Why you should check on your grow box (especially if it is computerized)


My day job is in software development, so of course it came to mind that software/hardware can fail while I was making my computerized grow box.  During its inception, I would check on it daily physically or remotely to make sure all was well.  After a couple weeks of this it was so stable that I started to not check quite as often.  Though in my mind there was never any question of if it would crash, it was when. Well that answer came tonight when I decided to check on my strawberries, cucumbers, and blueberry plant (trying to propagate a blueberry plant damaged in recent snow storm)

I noticed the lights were out and turned on the LCD display to see “Unable to find operating system.”  Before anyone screams “you should have used Linux”, the problem was completely hardware related caused by a failed hard drive (not even the one with the operating system).  Unfortunately this was the drive that had the SQL database, so hopefully I will be able to savage some of the data.  Once I got the machine to boot up I saw the temperature was down to 38 degrees (poor little cucumber plants) but fortunately in the time it took to write this post it warmed up to 47.3F 57.7F, so hopefully the cucumbers will feel better in the morning.

Tonight I am adding one more item to my software to do list, a Vista Gadget to monitor the health of the grow box to ensure it is up and running.  This was also a good time to ask the mental question, “When was the last time I backed up my code?”  Code now backed up and am wondering why I am breaking my cardinal rule of always having source control even with a single developer.

4 Responses to “Why you should check on your grow box (especially if it is computerized)”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I suggest you to add mail server and a function that sends you a temperature report on a regular basis. This way, you can notice any failure when you don’t receive any mail.

  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Well the box currently does not have internet access. I was also thinking about the possibility of updating the status of the grow box on this site.

  3. Mike Says:

    Because this is a gardening project, not a coding project.Funny how that works, isn’t it?

  4. james Says:

    what is this software and where can I get it
    I am growing specialized meats inside (I live in a cold climate

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