Our washing machine is due for some repair or maintenance. At times the thing stalls in the wash cycle progress and an indicator LED flashes (for a while – if ignored long enough the machine just plain quits, which is just wonderful as there’s then no hint of just where in the cycle[s] it quit. Call it another argument for the “brute force” approach of the reliable Speed Queen [this machine is NOT a Speed Queen model]). Once realized, the treatment is… to press the START button again and the thing resumes.
The problem is that now it’s not “set and forget” or “set a timer for the claimed wash time” but “check on the indicator panel from time to time.” Guess what doesn’t really happen? And it if starts stalling at a new time, that isn’t noticed until much later. Argh. However, this has a strange overkill work-around. With a phone app that uses the phone’s camera and is a local webserver (and a nice large capacity USB battery) I’ve set things up so I can be in the ‘office’ and keep an eye on the washing machine.
That’s how cheap computing power has become. An old/spare phone can be used as a webcam/server. And it doesn’t need to be much of a phone, either. This thing is a “Figo” bought really cheap (the more recent alternatives can be had for all of $40. I did NOT drop a zero.) as a just-in-case phone and it’s slow to the point of ridiculousness – and yet it serves. [ADDENDUM: Or it served for an hour or so, even with external battery, the internal one drained flat. A more recent phone has taken its place, for now.]