Like all high-functioning dev teams with a modicum of self-awareness, we thrive on gallows humor and existential dread. No wonder we’ve adopted the this is fine dog for our mascot.
I was searching for the original image source when, to my immense surprise and delight:
A This Is Fine dumpster fire vinyl figure that I can buy?! Shut up and take my money. I did and they did. 2 days later…
I’m flattered Cap’n Quacks thinks I could pull that off, but I’m a home automation luddite and I plan to die that way. There’s probably a million smart LED light options that would have worked, but after 5 minutes of looking my eyes glazeth over, so I went old school instead. Here is the laziest pull-request activated signal light that I could come up with.
- 100% Soft This is Fine Dumpster Fire Vinyl Figure – I bought mine from Amazon.
- A smart electrical outlet that supports IFTT (If This Then That) automation. I bought the Etekcity ESW10-USA, also from Amazon.
- A lamp cord with an E12 candelabra socket from the friendly neighborhood big-box hardware store. I found it by the ceiling fan repair parts.
- The lowest wattage LED bulb you can find. DO NOT use an incandescent bulb, no matter how low the wattage, it will melt the vinyl. I found that out the hard way.
Next, drill, cut, or gnaw a lightbulb-sized hole into the back of the vinyl figure. It should be just wide enough that the bulb slides in with a little resistance and doesn’t fall out.
Screw the bulb into the socket/cord, plug it in, and make sure everything works (the first socket/cord combo I bought didn’t). Now it’s time to set up the smart socket.
Socket to me
Install the VeSync app on your mobile device, create an account, plug in and turn on the smart socket, follow the instructions to activate the device, update firmware, and name it. Test turning the socket on and off through the app. Here’s how mine looked after setup:
The printed instructions that come with the sockets include a QR code link to the full users manual, but mine just led to a dead page. Fishing around on the Etekcity support site I found the manual for a similar model. It was close enough. Search for “IFTTT” (If This Then That) in the manual to get right to the good stuff. Naturally, you will need to create an IFTTT account. I followed the guide to install the IFTTT app on my mobile device and pair the outlet, but after that I much preferred using IFTTT website on the desktop to finish setting up the automation.
IFTTT has a selection of pre-made GitHub integrations, none of which do the thing I wanted, so I created this one from scratch. Be advised at some point in this process you will be prompted for your GitHub credentials. I forget which step. While logged in to IFTTT, click the create button at the top from any page:
At this point you may get an error about accessing the repository. I got several. After a while I got an email from GitHub.
Follow the link and configure it to allow repository access. Mine looked like this when I was done:
Got back to IFTTT to finish creating the applet.
The beacons are lit!
Get your pull request on, and…maybe immediately, maybe eventually, the trigger will fire and light your dumpster fire.
Room for improvement
This was a lot of fun to put together, but there is more I wish it could do. I wish it would turn off by itself, but there is no way to do that on the free tier of IFTTT. I wish I could make it light with different intensity and color for different events, but that would take a more advanced LED setup. Finally, I wish it was more responsive to GitHub events, but it uses polling instead of web hooks or push notifications. Maybe that is supported for the paid tier as well. But for now, I’m very pleased.