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Technology New Technologies for the Conscious Home Save Energy


The United States government is now requiring energy companies to figure out ways to save power and become more efficient.  Seems the last time they did this in automotive industry – we started seeing a lot of new solutions like gas-free cars! Enter thermostats and smoke detectors. Now consumers who are building a new home will be integrating the latest technologies into their modern house plan.   Today, companies like Google are seeking ways to take the smarts of smartphones and build them into everything else, including your home.  And now the company is setting great expectations for a world populated with Google-powered smart devices. Google has just acquired Nest Energy Services for $3.2 billion in cash. Read more
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Published On : 03-18-2014
Author :Brian Toolan
559 Views

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES ON Technology

Cool New Technologies for Home Design
New home design technology trends in the last couple of years have been focused on energy efficiency and mobile control for homes. Some of the highlights of these new technologies featured on the CNBC Slide how entitled, “Hottest New Home Technology" which were previewed at a recent Home Builder’s Show include: A laser robot vacuum – cleans your house efficiently. The Neato Robotics adds a laser that maps your house; then knows what has already been cleaned and what still needs to be done. After it is finished it heads back to its own home base. Kohler eco-friendly Numi toilet for today's modern bathrooms. It offers a motion-activated seat and lid, an air dryer, a multi-option bidet wand, a deodorizing charc Read more
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Published On : 12-30-2013
Author :Brian Toolan
759 Views
 
New Website for The Plan Collection
We recently completed a development upgrade and redesign of our website at theplancollection.com. The goal was to improve the user experience and provide our users with access to more detailed and relevant information. We appreciate your comments, feedback and suggestions. Read more
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Published On : 03-02-2012
Author : Steve Donegan
1515 Views
Search Using ASP.Net and Lucene
Getting Started Getting Lucene to work on your asp.net website isn't hard but there are a few tricks that help. We decided to use the Lucene.Net 2.1.0 release because it made updating the Lucene index easier via a new method on the IndexWriter object called UpdateDocument. This method deletes the specified document and then adds the new copy into the index. You can't download the Lucene.net 2.1.0 binary. Instead you will need to download the source via their subversion repository and then compile it. Don't worry this is an easy step. Using your subversion client - I recommend TortiseSvn get the source by doing a checkout from this url: https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/incubator/lucene.net/tags/Lucene.Net_2_1_0/ Next go into the di Read more
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Published On : 01-01-1753
Author : Steve Donegan
9814 Views
Be Careful With Page.PreviousPage
I found something interesting while testing the website tonight. The new search we implemented was not working on the pages that display house plans. I thought that it was some kind of routing error that could be attributed to the url rewriting. However, closer examination showed that this is the error: 'Page.PreviousPage' threw an exception of type 'System.Threading.ThreadAbortException' For some reason ASP.Net doesn't like certain nested master pages and will throw this error. My solution was to remove the Page.PreviousPage reference and key off of a parameter value - in this case the value contained in the search box. All that I can figure is that the PreviousPage reference attempts to actually load the page which can result in Read more
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Published On : 03-04-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
3491 Views
XML Encoding Problems - Hexadecimal Value 0x1A, is an Invalid Character
Recently I started noticing exceptions in my log files that stated "hexadecimal value 0x1A, is an invalid character". I did some searching and a lot of other people have had the same problem. It occurs when someone pastes in text that contains specific unicode characters that are invalid in XML. From what I gather this frequently happens when someone copies in text from Microsoft Word. The trick was to find out which characters are invalid and then use a regular expression to remove them. You can look at the specs for all the details: http://www.w3.org/TR/xml11/#charsets http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/#charsets http://www.unicode.org/Public/UNIDATA/UCD.html But it is probably easier to just get the code: /// Read more
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Published On : 03-03-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
19658 Views
Updated Forums
We recently updated our forums. This was a big move as it required retiring our old forum software and migrating all the old posts to our new custom forums. We feel that the change will provide a better experience for everyone using the site. If you have any questions or would like to make a comment feel free to post to the forum and let us know what you think! One quick tip. If you paste a link to a house plan in the forum like this: http://www.theplancollection.com/house-plans/home-plan-9218 the software will automatically add in the image of the house plan and create a working link. Read more
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Published On : 02-25-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2716 Views
The Forums are Broken
The forums are busted at the moment. Sorry about that. We are currently using a piece of software called community server that we purchased so we didn't have to write our own. It has been nothing but trouble so now we are moving away from it to a simpler system. We are writing it so it will take a bit longer to finish, but you can expect to see it running within the week. The debate between whether to write your own software or to find something that exists is always a tough one. It is always nice to let someone else do the work for you, but over time it can actually be more cost effective to develop your own solution if: What you need is only a small subset of the off the shelf software and you want to simplify the experience fo Read more
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Published On : 02-14-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
2567 Views
Why Asp.net Sucks (Tonight)
I have noticed a slight slow down on a few of the pages on the website so I figured that it was time to get in there and turn on some caching. Asp.net, the technology we use, is supposed to make this very simple. All you have to do is something like this: Then magic happens and your page is magically stored in memory and millions of people can view it at the same time. The problem is that every page on The Plan Collection contains a login control. It is the little piece of code in the upper right. If you turn on caching guess what happens. The first person to login and view a page gets their user account broadcast to everyone else that sees that page. That's right the designers of the LoginView Asp.net control were so sh Read more
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Published On : 02-01-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
3448 Views
Ping Feedburner, Ping-o-Matic, Google, Technorati and All the Other Cool Kids Using ASP.NET and Some Magic
It has been a long time coming, but we have finally managed to migrate away from Community Server to our own custom blog software that is integrated directly into the web site. The reasons for the change are numerous including the need to customize the look and navigation of our blogging software and our desire to provide readers a more streamlined experience. The final part of the migration to this new system was released tonight. This final piece being the ability to ping the various providers that watch new blog posts. The code required to do this is not difficult to write. I am posting it below in case anyone is interested in how it is done. Ironically enough this post will be the first one to actually use the ping service. H Read more
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Published On : 01-30-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
4697 Views
Fixed The Main House Plan Pages
The other update I made last night was with the main landing pages. Some of the pages - luxury house plans, country house plans, and arts and crafts house plans looked fine because we had edited those pages by hand. However, many of our other pages like cape code style house plans page and our colonial style house plans page looked terrible. I was able to use our existing page processing system and create a template for our landing pages that is loaded dynamically and then sent through the processor. The template contains place holders that are replaced with values specific to the style. Those values are replaced on the fly and then the page is generated. The result is a much better looking page that the guys in the office don't Read more
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Published On : 01-29-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
1907 Views
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