Mark Rittman is a "BI, DW & Big Data specialist, Oracle ACE Director" who dabbles in home automation and smart appliances: he spent 11 hilarious hours locked in an epic struggle with a wifi-equipped smart kettle, trying to get it to heat water for a cup of tea, livetweeting the battle.
The root of the problem seems to be Rittman's attempt to integrate his kettle with his other automation systems, "hacking together" a solution, but there were a series of hilarious and dismally familiar side-issues that made his debugging problem infinitely harder.
It started with his wifi access point resetting itself, then the kettle's flaky wifi connectivity refused to accept data from the hub (though it claimed periodically to be connected to it). The kettle also periodically insisted on "mandatory recalibration," which seems to have knocked it off the network.
But then things got weird. The excellent Internet of Shit Twitter account linked to Rittman's struggles, which sent enough people to his online presence that it clobbered the home servers he kept in his garage, saturating his network and preventing his Amazon Echo from connecting to the mothership.
Finally, the kettle started to integrate with the Echo, allowing him to use voice controls to boil water -- but then his smart lightbulbs demanded a mandatory update and plunged the house into darkness while it downloaded and installed.
A note to commenters, please try to come up with something more original than, "Why bother with a smart kettle?" The obvious answer is "Tea, Earl Grey, hot."
English man spends 11 hours trying to make cup of tea with Wi-Fi kettle [Bonnie Malkin/The Guardian]
Still haven't had a first cup of tea this morning, debugging the kettle and now iWifi base-station has reset. Boiling water in saucepan now. pic.twitter.com/lC3uNX5WTp— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016
3 hrs later and still no tea. Mandatory recalibration caused wifi base-station reset, now port-scanning network to find where kettle is now. pic.twitter.com/TRQLuLzLpx— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016
Now my wifi kettle is basically taking the p*ss. Told me it had found network, now you need to recalibrate me, oh btw I didn't rly connect pic.twitter.com/WbGsIrzBio— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016
It is, and OK apart from flaky WiFi connectivity; main issue is that there's no IFTTT or HomeKit integration, so hacked that together myself https://t.co/0IjD7q4wzM— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016
Well the kettle is back online and responding to voice control, but now we're eating dinner in dark while lights download a firmware update pic.twitter.com/yPTDoUkM9Z— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016
My work is done. And now onto everything else I meant to do today, after that first cup of tea. pic.twitter.com/bJPuJ85TCT— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016