Imran Malek

Sat 06 February 2021

My foray into home automation with home assistant

Posted by Imran Malek in home automation   

This post talks about my first foray into home automation.


Strangely enough, there was one thing that motivated this entire adventure. Our home has a set of lights on the porch that need to get turned on every night. After a few weeks of manually turning them on (or forgetting to turn them off once day breaks), I broke down and decided that I would find a solution. Not content with a simple programmable timer, I wanted something that would turn the lights on at sunset and off at sunrise - without having to reprogram it every few months to account for seasonal changes. This was all the justification I needed to dig into home automation.


The first thing that I did before even starting along this journey was understand the basics of how the various pieces of equipment work inside my home. For this, I leaned heavily on …


Sun 12 July 2020

My concerns with an online Bar exam administration

Posted by Imran Malek in law school   

In a typical summer, recent JDs around the United States would be spending most of May, June, and July studying for the most consequential assessment of their careers - the bar exam. The two-day test, which surveys multiple areas of state and federal law, represents the final barrier to becoming licensed attorneys that have the ability to put their years of legal education to use in order to serve clients. Every July, hundreds of newly minted law graduates hunch over their laptops in convention center meeting rooms to answer multiple choice questions, fill out essays, and test their abilities to apply law to fact.

Of course, the summer of 2020 has been anything but typical. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only fundamentally changed the way the law is taught, it has also affected the way its tested. Across the country, state bar examiners have taken different approaches to the problem. Some …


Thu 12 March 2020

A Student's Guide to 'Working From Home'

Posted by Imran Malek in law school   

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Update 2020-03-12-1155: Added a section on Security, moved VPN topic there


With the WHO's recent declaration of a pandemic and the litany of school closures happening due to COVID-19, many law schools are shifting the rest of their classes this year to remote classes conducted through services like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or WebEx.

As a former engineer who spent a lot of time working remotely, there are a few things that I've picked up from experience and from reading various productivity/business books that I think would be useful to share.

Getting started

The first few days of working from home are, admittedly, pretty great. You get to wake up in your pajamas, pop your laptop open wherever you want (including from the warmth of your bed), and just lounge at your own pace. If you're like me, you'll also simultaneously realize that your productivity ends up taking …