Preparing to Install a Solar-Powered Gable Vent Attic Fan

Standard

Attic-Gable-Vents
Attic view of gable vents where the fan will be mounted, facing south.

This is a home improvement project I’ve been thinking about for a long time that may offer considerable benefit. It’s been on my mind since our first summer in the house. Cooling our home in the summer to a comfortable level is somewhat challenging and expensive. Our home was originally built in the 1920s. As a result, it simply doesn’t have much insulation. Yes, some was added over the years, but it just isn’t sufficient for a home of our size.

Unfortunately, due to other factors related to when this home was constructed, we can’t simply drop more insulation everywhere in the attic. I’ve added some, but it simply cannot be done in most parts of the attic without some major renovation.

Recently, I ordered a Natural Light Energy Systems 30W Gable Mounted Solar Attic Fan. The intention is to cool down the attic considerably, thus also making it easier to cool the house.

Continue reading

Blast From The Past: Phoenix Chat

Standard

This image isn’t a joke but actually represents an old project I worked on, before IP-based chat programs were a dime-a-dozen. A long time ago I once dabbled in Visual Basic programming. This was not a finished project, but it did work. I remember that the Microsoft Agents spoke the text that was typed and I think I even had communication working between chat clients though it wasn’t perfect (sometimes messages weren’t received).

I’m not certain, but there may not have been any chat programs at the time that integrated the use of MS Agents. It’s possible there were but I just hadn’t encountered any – it wasn’t so easy to find information on the Web back then. File dates for information I had once posted on the Web date back to 1999 – I may have worked on this project a bit earlier. Many of the details have been forgotten but I developed it under Windows 95 or Windows 98.

Overall, I think all of the displayed functions worked but the program lacked proper error handling. In fact, the task of adding all of the necessary error handling for the most basic tasks is probably what led to my eventual lack of interest in Windows application programming. In those days it was much more difficult to find programming guides and how-to documents. In general, I had to rely on the books that I could afford and commercial APIs were out of my reach.