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post #271 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 02:49 AM
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anyone selling an AV2 for that amount needs cash or needs to unload it. There are discounts and then there are discounts. Selling a current model at that price isn't a discount so to speak, it's a going out of business sale. I'm not saying that's the case, and I'd word it differently if you had publicly named the company, but something is amiss. Crestron does not have "distributors" BTW, they have dealers. I'm a large one so I'm well aware of the pricing structure for Crestron's largest dealers and if someone is selling at xxx, it's not because they are making money on it. Electronic products don't have the margin to support those types of dicsounts.
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post #272 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 03:42 AM
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xxx, anyone selling an AV2 for that amount needs cash or needs to unload it. There are discounts and then there are discounts. Selling a current model at that price isn't a discount so to speak, it's a going out of business sale. I'm not saying that's the case, and I'd word it differently if you had publicly named the company, but something is amiss. Crestron does not have "distributors" BTW, they have dealers. I'm a large one so I'm well aware of the pricing structure for Crestron's largest dealers and if someone is selling at xxx, it's not because they are making money on it. Electronic products don't have the margin to support those types of dicsounts.
I really dont know if these guys are in a cash crunch or are highly profitable and have no cash flow problems. You'd have to ask them. :)
This *is* a major distributor for all sorts of A/V gear (call them a dealer for Crestron if you wish) and after speaking to the regioanl rep, he mentioned that one university alone has an 8mil line of credit with them (he also said that not all of that line is used). If they are willing to float an 8 mil LoC, then I doubt they have cash problems, but who knows...

If you spend about 10 minutes on google and wade through some of the search results returned, you will come across this company.

P.S. - I did not do business with these guys since he could not assure me that he could obtain software on my behalf. I paid more than this amount for my gear.
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post #273 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:01 AM
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To give but one example, I I do not believe that the GUI on my DSS receiver or Tivo or any other number of devices on the market sold in the millions allow me to redistribute the various screen elements and last I heard that wasn't a major feature request .
I re-read this and am having a tough time trying to understand what you mean exactly. Could you elaborate?
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post #274 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:39 AM
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Alan loves to talk about this magical RS485 bus and its bandwidth limitations, yet he does not know that the bandwidth that bus provides is more than sufficient to deal with the I/O traffic of a typical solution. The devices should render what it needs to and be able to take full advantage of the host environment. You might disagree with this, and that's fine, but I just dont get why a $5000 device needs to be dumbed down when at some point, someone decided to license a rather capable OS that is not free to license.
Nothing magic about a RS-485 network--which is your point --but compared to a Ethernet backbone it is slow. For the purposes it is used it *can* suffice but on larger jobs with lots of traffic network speeds can become an issue.

With respect to the efforts of most software engineers, much of your work speeks for itself and what ever research you guys base or fail to base your solutions upon leaves much to be desired with respect to egonomics and usability. With the exception of Apple most developers get it wrong 30 per cent of the time. I have zero clue on whom your market research is based but you might wish to attend a focus group now and again. The real issue is that you need to find the equivallent of me and I have no clue who that might be in the computing world. End users have no clue.

This is hardly a new problem and lord knows most manufacturers of electronics are every bit as guilty as you software gurus of products that are egonomily challanged. Every so often someone gets it right and the next your they revert back to the same old same old.

Crestron does not share its propritary information with me but it would seem to these old, tired eyes that they looked at the future, noted the coming convergence that has been spoken of for some 20 years was finally converging and decided to partner up with an existing product rather then reinvent the wheel. Some of the pricing reflects dealer markups at full retail. Larger 2 way panels that can take advantage of existing wireless network infrastructure led them down the path they chose.

Reading some of these comments from a dealer's perspective also throws light on why working with a raydxr, while fun in some ways is also a major pain. He can never be happy. It's great to be on the edge to mix and match components and OS's. Wonderous to install a hub so you can stare at packets to hack protocols. Yet no solution, save the one he devlops, will not be called a kludge. Every time I think working with this sort of guy will be fun I am then called back to reality that these guys for whom the working solution is unacceptable. The point that we pros understand is that there is no gorella like Microsoft in the arena to keep everyone playing on the same page. A'int going to be with the size of the consumer electronic giants. Trane does not care if you want to automate its HVAC. Nor does just about anyone else. We attempt to make systems work in an enviorment that conspires against it. CATV company cannot deliver enought signal to power their boxes? My problem. Satellite companies compress too much? My problem. Power company cannot deliver sable power? My problem. How many serial protocols do not return information reliably? Too many, to wit, Knox video switchers. My problem. It's not that my clients are stupid. I'd bet they might be smarter by powers of 10 than raydxr and by powers of 50 than I. They do not wish to devote brain power to using these systems. They want them to work. They do want cool guis but they could care less if I use a sub page or multi mode to accomplish it. I value pre-engineered products, tech support, and reliability and hardware solutions not based upon hard drives and IT solutions. RS-485 is robust and has plenty of bandwidth for almost any application, save graphics. I don't get paid the 10's of millions in development that raydxr does. I have to program for free on occasion as in the case of the thief. I don't want to spend 1000 hours figuring out how to deal with systems that drop bytes. I want known quantities.

I am not against third party panels. I just don't want to be the one to figure out which of them work and which don't. I don't want to go through the headache of tryng to get these no name tablet manufacturers to honor their warantees when they fail. It's a business. I am not wedded to Crestron in the way raydxr contemptiously suggests save to suggest that theirs is to date the best solution for the greatest number, including the base of installation companies that do not have folks with phds in computer science on staff. Just as raydxr tries to reinvent the wheel because he is used to doing x and does not know that in this case you need to do y I too like to limit my experience to what I know. I am far more familiar with Crestron then with Windows or development. Imagine being castigated for admiting you are ignorent. Only on AVS. Try it raydxr. It might be good for your soul.

Alan
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post #275 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by raydxr
I re-read this and am having a tough time trying to understand what you mean exactly. Could you elaborate?
I concur. I had trouble with the intent on that one too.

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Originally Posted by raydxr
Go and see the dev tools in action. See what you can build with them. If after viewing those, weigh the amount of work you will need to engage in to inspect packets or snoop traffic. If after all of this, you still want to go with Crestron, fine. If not, there are other ways you can go.
Yes, I heard you the first time. It's funny how many of the local dealers are so busy that they don't have the time for "new client relationship development", especially when those client's are in such a preliminary phase (My house plans aren't in plan check yet, but should be by the end of the year, construction to start in January I hope).

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post #276 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QQQ
Ah, but there's nothing like have a two way camera in the bedroom. It just makes things so much more exciting knowing someone might be at the front door watching.
If only my wife thought like this.

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post #277 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audiblesolutions
Reading some of these comments from a dealer's perspective also throws light on why working with a raydxr, while fun in some ways is also a major pain. He can never be happy.

Alan
I think you guys just push each others buttons (pun intended). At least there always seems to be two totally different perspectives, which I find useful.

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post #278 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QQQ
A comment. You guys sure seem to be banking on distributing HD over component via some type of coaxial cable. Good luck if you expect to be distributing DRM protected HD.
Actually, I hadn't contemplated that risk. Are you suggesting that the current Autopatch/Extron component video distribution products will be obsolete (to some extent) once DRM protected HD is involved? What would your resolution be to the request for distributed HD (and component/progressive scan DVD)? What about the need for future compatibility in general, run conduit?

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post #279 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 05:47 AM
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Nothing magic about a RS-485 network--which is your point --but compared to a Ethernet backbone it is slow. For the purposes it is used it *can* suffice but on larger jobs with lots of traffic network speeds can become an issue.
No, you read it as I think that the RS-485 network is magical. It is not magical but it is enough if you move the appropriate processing to the client where it belongs. Reducing network noise is a good thing and us noob programmers have had to do it plenty of times when people used to ask to connect via dial up to their office db servers.

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With respect to the efforts of most software engineers, much of your work speeks for itself and what ever research you guys base or fail to base your solutions upon leaves much to be desired with respect to egonomics and usability. With the exception of Apple most developers get it wrong 30 per cent of the time. I have zero clue on whom your market research is based but you might wish to attend a focus group now and again. The real issue is that you need to find the equivallent of me and I have no clue who that might be in the computing world. End users have no clue.
You keep raising issues and yet you have no practical example that you ever point to. You write tomes and make assertions and then walk away. You suggest that people are not able to use File Explorer yet millions upon millions of people store and share digital media on their computers. Somehow, they seem to manage.

A great software application and software development team takes into account the possible events the user might initiate in an event driven environment. Those that do it well, spend a lot of time and energy to get it right. Some companies do it well, and others do not...
For instance, in your Crestron applications, there is a dialog and in this dialog are some options and a set of command buttons...When options are selected buttons can be pressed - and if options are not selected, buttons can *still* be pressed. Doh - why Crestron? Why are you enabling command buttons that will fail to execute an action? It's but one line of code to disable the button if the conditions warrant it...

If you actually care to learn about this topic instead of telling me about how little we folks know, go buy yourself books from the likes of Alan Cooper and see how much time some people actually spend on this issue.

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Reading some of these comments from a dealer's perspective also throws light on why working with a raydxr, while fun in some ways is also a major pain. He can never be happy. It's great to be on the edge to mix and match components and OS's.
I am plenty happy boss - no need to worry about my happiness. I have yet to storm my dealers gates and have no plans on doing so. The thing you dont get is that a guy like me would never ever do business with a guy like you so it does not matter. QQQ on the other hand would be a different story. Whether he would like to work with a guy like me is a matter onto itself. :)

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Wonderous to install a hub so you can stare at packets to hack protocols. Yet no solution, save the one he devlops, will not be called a kludge. Every time I think working with this sort of guy will be fun I am then called back to reality that these guys for whom the working solution is unacceptable. The point that we pros understand is that there is no gorella like Microsoft in the arena to keep everyone playing on the same page. A'int going to be with the size of the consumer electronic giants. Trane does not care if you want to automate its HVAC. Nor does just about anyone else. We attempt to make systems work in an enviorment that conspires against it.
Amazing isnt it - you love to draw conclusions about me when you know nothing - you did this before and I pointed out how stupid your comments were. So why not just stop and comment on the issues rather than engaging in psychoanalysis.

In this very thread I mentioned that one could build their own framework and that sometimes I feel like doing that but as you see, I chose a different route. A working solution is all that I seek, but that solution has to conform to the needs of my family and not to Alan's perspective on the universe. That is a working solution in my book - not what you think is a working solution.

You also love to bring up HVAC issues...Why is it so tough for you to get over the hump in this space? I mean it was quite easy for me to tell my HVAC dealer what they will install and how and why. As much as they wanted to shove a Lennox zone control system down my throat, I was able to explain why I dont want it and why my alternative suited my needs better.

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They do not wish to devote brain power to using these systems. They want them to work. They do want cool guis but they could care less if I use a sub page or multi mode to accomplish it.
You have not developed nor used any alternatives. Your comments are made in a vaccum and should be taken as such. When you say that Elan's audio is crap, I ask myself wow - here is a guy who must have used the thing and found it to be lacking somehow - come to find out, however that you've not actually used the product in question. The same way with development tools and PC based systems. You've just not used them nor spent any energy on investigating them. Unlike QQQ, you would not know how AMX might offer some advantages to the issues at hand...

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Just as raydxr tries to reinvent the wheel because he is used to doing x and does not know that in this case you need to do y I too like to limit my experience to what I know. I am far more familiar with Crestron then with Windows or development. Imagine being castigated for admiting you are ignorent. Only on AVS. Try it raydxr. It might be good for your soul.
No, you comment on things you know nothing about and make certain the rest of us know you are a pro and by definition you are privy to things none of us could possibly understand. Read posts and if you did, you will find that in the 100 or so I've posted I have always prefaced my comments by suggesting I may be wrong and when someone has an interesting product to suggest (like the multi-zone product by ADA) I go and check it out and read more about it - even if it's not something I plan on buying or investing in or ever using.

Now before you post again and suggest that I somehow have an Oedipus complex and that my mommie screwed me up and that will forever prevent me from understanding the brilliance of your ways, please take a moment to read posts and comment on facts you are familiar with...
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post #280 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 05:53 AM
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Actually, I hadn't contemplated that risk. Are you suggesting that the current Autopatch/Extron component video distribution products will be obsolete (to some extent) once DRM protected HD is involved? What would your resolution be to the request for distributed HD (and component/progressive scan DVD)? What about the need for future compatibility in general, run conduit?
If you cannot pass analog HD signals, then it's a problem. Nothing has been finalized on HD DVD and BluRay so its hard to say but it seems that the preference by the powers is to downconvert the analog signal to 480p.
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post #281 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by raydxr
Amazing isnt it - you love to draw conclusions about me when you know nothing - you did this before and I pointed out how stupid your comments were. So why not just stop and comment on the issues rather than engaging in psychoanalysis.
Now there is an other useful comment. Sheds tons of light on the subject. You love to go for the ad hominum attack as if it illuminates anything save about your preferred band of thought. When one follows that line you make more ad hominum attacks.

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Originally Posted by raydxr
In this very thread I mentioned that one could build their own framework and that sometimes I feel like doing that but as you see, I chose a different route. A working solution is all that I seek, but that solution has to conform to the needs of my family and not to Alan's perspective on the universe. That is a working solution in my book - not what you think is a working solution.
Oh, you have done far more. You have critiqued and spoken as if you had far more experience than the few minutes you have spent. You may disagree with my assessment of Elan, and I will readily confess that I do not have the time to readdress each company as they struggle to kludge together their product solutions. When I last looked at them their touch panels required video. My last integration experience ( 4 months ago ) required that I send IR into its controlers to make them work. If they finally get it right bully for them. The fact is by the time they do it right there are solutons from Sonos, C4, Netstreams, Russound or Crestron that either challange theirs or blow them out of the water. To wit Adagio. To wit the steaming media solutions metioned above that you prize so much. Nonetheless, I spent time looking at the Elan solution. Kaadray provided a far more balanced and informative perspective on the two worlds. I merely suspected you were in error. He had the knowledge base to point out where and how. You make that personal. I merely point it out. I don't care if you are smarter or you have a house to larger TV than I. It should be about the information not about one's ego.

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Originally Posted by raydxr
You also love to bring up HVAC issues...Why is it so tough for you to get over the hump in this space? I mean it was quite easy for me to tell my HVAC dealer what they will install and how and why. As much as they wanted to shove a Lennox zone control system down my throat, I was able to explain why I dont want it and why my alternative suited my needs better.
You are too intelligent to make these comments but so it must be personal or personality. You like to see it as a hardware issue. It's thermastat X or zone control B. It's about blower N or damper U. I have tried to answer this but you are more interested in attacking me than in advancing the knowledge base of those reading these posts who might benefit from each of our perspectives. The point is not that HVAC is difficult as an HVAC system. I think we both agree on this. It is integration that can be a problem. Ever try to get information out of an HVAC system, especially a Trane? Ever deal with any of the propritary Carrier systems and try to place the information on any kind of touch panel from any party of the first part to one of the second. Ever look at the code ( in this case by one of the Crestron software engineers ) who attempted to write a scheduler macro? Works like a charm save for 2 small issues.

1. An end user who wants to schedule his setpoints so that at 6:30am the tempature is 70 degrees will do so by setting the time at 6:30 and the setpoint to 70 degrees. Imagine his surprise when he rises and finds that the system is in heat or cool mode but the tempature is not 70 degrees. Why? Because it takes time to move the tempature up or down to that setpoint but the programmer forgot to take that into account.

2. Cool setpoint is higher than the heat setpoint. What would happen in that scheduler program if the user reversed matters and set the heat setpoint higher than the cool?

My point which you studiously avoid is that to write software for a subsystem you need to understand it intimately; more intimately than even the machanical contractor understands the system. You do not need to know how to size a duct nor do you need to know how to wire a damper. You do need to acquaint yourself with the system far more intimately then would first appear necessary. I run into beautifully crafted software where the programmer forgot to time out a thread and so the module endless polls for data and the system locks up. I have seen help files for modules state that they could do X but when push came to shove it could not. If I look at the tool box on IE and I see a circle with an X in it I think to myself what the ????? Next to it is a icon with a piece ofpaper with arrows going east-west and west -east. That is a "refresh button" That icon is so clear. When you spend time with clients you discover that for many of them the most common icons like play, pause and stop have no meaning. Text has meaning but text takes up space on a panel ( especially the smaller ones you have no use for ) and do not look cool, irrespective of the font.

When I first wrote software to control pool/spas I was told a) that if the heater was engaged the filter had to be engaged and when the heater was turned off the filter had to run 30 minutes longer. Some tell me the latter is too long and unnecessary. I care not as that pool contractor wanted it so. Now some of these software interlocks are not necessary as the hardware now can protect itself. It is a good idea as an additional safeguard I am now told but unnecessary. Do I need to keep up on every subsystem or can I rely on the information from that contractor? It depends. But ability to write code and knowing what to write in all cases are too different skill sets. That has been my experience and if it is not yours you are again reading about truth not Truth.



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Originally Posted by raydxr
You have not developed nor used any alternatives. Your comments are made in a vaccum and should be taken as such. When you say that Elan's audio is crap, I ask myself wow - here is a guy who must have used the thing and found it to be lacking somehow - come to find out, however that you've not actually used the product in question. The same way with development tools and PC based systems. You've just not used them nor spent any energy on investigating them. Unlike QQQ, you would not know how AMX might offer some advantages to the issues at hand.
Please cease with the exagerated misquites. I never said Elan's audio was crap. I do not like the way it behaves as a control system. I do not like that it requires video as opposed to indirect text. If all you want is to distribute audio it will work. But my point is that for a tiny bit more money a superior solution exist from any number of corners including Crestron. I do not like the way its Teac OEMed tuner works ( and I wrote a Crestron macro to control it ) although for the money I like their amps and I the dual tuner is ok. The over priced Crestron is preferred only because it allows the end user in run time to set and label his own presets. ( see we agree on this feature, even if few ever use it after the first week ). Think I am unaware of AMX? Think I have never touched an Elan system? My problem is that I assume you are not arguing for argument's sake or you have not made this personal. I have not. I think your perspective is off and I try to move you back on track. I suggest that you can do the same thing only you need to go about it differently. As in most every case we were talking about Crestron vs third party and most of your non development comments related to Crestron solutons I was remaining on a consistant logical track. I could provide you with a list of features that AMX does better than Crestron and Crestron better than AMX. Which would prove what? In either case you are speaking of propritary solutions that cost more than you wish to pay and for whom you would have to deal with propritary applications making your soluton possible. The biggest differences are for the most expensive panels you and most here would never touch for reasons of cost.


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Originally Posted by raydxr
No, you comment on things you know nothing about and make certain the rest of us know you are a pro and by definition you are privy to things none of us could possibly understand. Read posts and if you did, you will find that in the 100 or so I've posted I have always prefaced my comments by suggesting I may be wrong and when someone has an interesting product to suggest (like the multi-zone product by ADA) I go and check it out and read more about it - even if it's not something I plan on buying or investing in or ever using.
With ADA located in White Planes, NY what makes you think I am unaware of their product? Anyone who posts gives their version of truth, small "t." If you do a search of my posts ( and I now see I have gone over 1000 ) you will see only two times I mention I am a pro. When money or price is brought up and the usual hostility come up and 2. on these sorts of topics where 3rd party solutions are brought up as better than those more expensive from a manufacturer. I bring them up to suggest why someone in business might shy away from those solutons or why they might be ignorent of them. I bring up what I do for a living about as often as you bring up your day job. It informs our perspective which I would think is a good thing. You do not. So be it. Now we both agree that we each provide our own view of the world. When an IT pro chimes in he will offer his world view. This was very insightful.

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Originally Posted by raydxr
Now before you post again and suggest that I somehow have an Oedipus complex and that my mommie screwed me up and that will forever prevent me from understanding the brilliance of your ways, please take a moment to read posts and comment on facts you are familiar with...
Clearly I have rubbed you the wrong way. If I apologize for any offense, lord knows what it may be save to suggest knowledge in one area does not immediately translate into an other. That would seem self-evident. I am narrow. I am wed to one provider and one solution. I resort to psychology. Perhaps a few hours on the couch might be in order as you might rachet down the hostility a notch or two. Where this left turn came from is a mystery but when you make your arguments personal I guess logical consistancy becomes less unimportant. I never suggested, unlike one of your buddies who PM'ed you, that you work with me but I did suggest using the talents a dealer would bring to the table to save you the trouble of reinventing the wheel and discovering for yourself the roadblocks and solutions to them on your own! You might come around and decide to work with me. But there are plenty of others with whom you might establish a relationship. Work with Dave, with QQQ or with your current dealer, if he has the goods. Yes, what you are doing is intreaguing but so is the pretty decorrator who had me redraw my touch panels so the colors matched her decorr. There are two sides. One is playing on the edge and streching. The other is to deal with expectations or a world view that occasionally seems both unfair and mixes apples and oranges. Development and integration seems different to me and if I have read kaadray's posts correctly he seems to have reached a similiar conclusion. You do not. Vivre la difference.

Alan
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post #282 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 08:09 AM
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Now there is an other useful comment. Sheds tons of light on the subject. You love to go for the ad hominum attack as if it illuminates anything save about your preferred band of thought. When one follows that line you make more ad hominum attacks.
What the hell are you talking about. You have on repeated occassions drawn incorrect conclusions about me and my desires and motives. You are trying to paint a picture of the "type" of noob I might be when you know nothing about me. You may be entirely comfortable undressing people on this forum and calling them thieves and what have you, but since you dont know me nor my motives nor my needs nor anything having to do with me, I ask that you focus your psycho babble on someone else - perhaps the so called thief perhaps someone else.

I may not know as much about integration as you or QQQ, but I personally enjoy exchaning information. When I came across Nexlight, the first place I came to was avs to see if someone has anything to say about it. I found nothing and in passing I suggested that people check it out. From that little post, I've had one person converse with me about it and prompted QQQ to check it out. Whether it's a good system or not, I dont know but things such as this are of value to me and others.

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Oh, you have done far more. You have critiqued and spoken as if you had far more experience than the few minutes you have spent. You may disagree with my assessment of Elan, and I will readily confess that I do not have the time to readdress each company as they struggle to kludge together their product solutions. When I last looked at them their touch panels required video. My last integration experience ( 4 months ago ) required that I send IR into its controlers to make them work. If they finally get it right bully for them. The fact is by the time they do it right there are solutons from Sonos, C4, Netstreams, Russound or Crestron that either challange theirs or blow them out of the water. To wit Adagio. To wit the steaming media solutions metioned above that you prize so much. Nonetheless, I spent time looking at the Elan solution. Kaadray provided a far more balanced and informative perspective on the two worlds. I merely suspected you were in error. He had the knowledge base to point out where and how. You make that personal. I merely point it out. I don't care if you are smarter or you have a house to larger TV than I. It should be about the information not about one's ego.
Look, you spoke to the S12 and did not preface your comments about the Via panel. You said "bad" audio. In some circles, bad may mean good, but I dont think you were using that particular definition of the word. You dont know the product...period. It might suck and it might be the best, I dont know and I dont care. You said what you said and it was said in a vacuum based on cursory review.

Now, what I said about VTPro is true and nothing about what I said is incorrect. You have even agreed that it is limited. I also said (and quoted the actual text I used) that it might be possible to circumvent the limitations of VTPro.

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1. An end user who wants to schedule his setpoints so that at 6:30am the tempature is 70 degrees will do so by setting the time at 6:30 and the setpoint to 70 degrees. Imagine his surprise when he rises and finds that the system is in heat or cool mode but the tempature is not 70 degrees. Why? Because it takes time to move the tempature up or down to that setpoint but the programmer forgot to take that into account.

2. Cool setpoint is higher than the heat setpoint. What would happen in that scheduler program if the user reversed matters and set the heat setpoint higher than the cool?
This is something software developers confront all the time and the good ones address them. This goes to the point that no matter what you might think, you are dealing in an event driven world and you have to account for what the user might do that you were not expecting. That is why I pointed out a small example in Crestron's application (which you did not quote nor did you comment on). Though this little oversight by the Crestron R&D team wont bring the software to its knees, it points to the fact that just because one software developer does not account for what the user *might* possibly do, does not mean that there are not others who pay attention to such things.

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My point which you studiously avoid is that to write software for a subsystem you need to understand it intimately; more intimately than even the machanical contractor understands the system. You do not need to know how to size a duct nor do you need to know how to wire a damper. You do need to acquaint yourself with the system far more intimately then would first appear necessary. I run into beautifully crafted software where the programmer forgot to time out a thread and so the module endless polls for data and the system locks up. I have seen help files for modules state that they could do X but when push came to shove it could not. If I look at the tool box on IE and I see a circle with an X in it I think to myself what the ????? Next to it is a icon with a piece ofpaper with arrows going east-west and west -east. That is a "refresh button" That icon is so clear. When you spend time with clients you discover that for many of them the most common icons like play, pause and stop have no meaning. Text has meaning but text takes up space on a panel ( especially the smaller ones you have no use for ) and do not look cool, irrespective of the font.
Look, if I wanted to install a Carrier system, I would have invested the time in learning about it - if I wanted to install Trane, I would have done the same. Believe it or not, I actually spent the time to learn about duct size and how the damper was wired. I researched zone control boards and the type of fan motor the HVAC system used, its power consumption, etc.

I've also spent far too many hours looking at how people use software applications and so have the likes of MS. That is why in IE with one mouse click you can call a dialog box and with one combo box selection, specify that you want to display text within individual toolbar buttons. Since I know where this setting is stored, I could write a program to apply this change across all computers and systems which Im managing (assuming that the audience wants to display text).

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Please cease with the exagerated misquites. I never said Elan's audio was crap.
Post #10 in this thread - you say:
The control sysetm. Not the security system, not the (bad) audio system and certainly not the lighting system.

You did not say crap - you said bad. If you meant some other audio system, then I dont know which one it might have been since your quoted Dave's question about the S12, which is the only audio system he referenced.

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I think your perspective is off and I try to move you back on track. I suggest that you can do the same thing only you need to go about it differently.
And as I asked, show me your UI and show me the project - let me see how you implement this. If you've implemented it and it solves the problem, I'd be more than happy to actually pay you what you think the implementation is worth.

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Which would prove what? In either case you are speaking of propritary solutions that cost more than you wish to pay and for whom you would have to deal with propritary applications making your soluton possible. The biggest differences are for the most expensive panels you and most here would never touch for reasons of cost.
Which would prove you know what you are talking about. If you know AMX, then tell us why QQQ suggested it might offer an alternative that addresses the limitations I suggest Crestron currently has. I have no problem paying loads of money for the control system but you are right, I do have a problem paying loads of money for the touchscreen.

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With ADA located in White Planes, NY what makes you think I am unaware of their product?
When in heavens name did I say you are not aware of ADA. I said *I* was not aware of it. Someone was kind enough to bring it up. I was the one who had to go and read about it. I was the one who had to ask about it. You never mentioned ADA in relation to the S12 - you said the S12 has bad audio but unlike another contributor, never mentioned ADA. I know we all have egos, but you keep injecting yours into the discussion and take offense at stuff that were not actually said.

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Yes, what you are doing is intreaguing but so is the pretty decorrator who had me redraw my touch panels so the colors matched her decorr. There are two sides. One is playing on the edge and streching. The other is to deal with expectations or a world view that occasionally seems both unfair and mixes apples and oranges. Development and integration seems different to me and if I have read kaadray's posts correctly he seems to have reached a similiar conclusion. You do not. Vivre la difference.
Look, if you dont like the line of work you are in and are confronted with thieves and evil decorators, what the hell can I do about it. In the case of this decorator, were it me and I was desiging systems, I might have a style repository and all sorts of color options and the like, and when someone changes paint color, it would be as easy as selecting one item from a list and apply the style across the entire touchpanel...This sort of stuff is done all the time by noob programmers.

There are principles and practices that are as applicable in the world of integration as they are in the world of software development. It is now, has been in the past, and will be in the future and event driven environment.

You rub me the wrong way because you are so quick to judge others but when it comes to Crestron, you are far more reluctant to do so. You speak to the 80% solution of software developers, but you wont say that Crestron's solution is no different - go sniff and inspect port activity - it's not a kludge, it is something that Crestron felt would be done and therefore they've solved your requirement. Bah

Show me your UI and show me your implementation. Show me how you went about changing the color scheme of that solution you built for the decorator. Maybe, just maybe I could suggest how it would be done in our world and it might trigger something within you and you just might take that to the folks at Crestron and just maybe, they'd listen.
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post #283 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 09:34 AM
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I only made it through about 4 pages last night and now there's another page. If you guys continue at this clip I''ll never catch up.
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Originally Posted by qqq
To give but one example, I I do not believe that the GUI on my DSS receiver or Tivo or any other number of devices on the market sold in the millions allow me to redistribute the various screen elements and last I heard that wasn't a major feature request .
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Originally Posted by raydxr
I re-read this and am having a tough time trying to understand what you mean exactly. Could you elaborate?
I am referring to the on-screen GUI that a satellite receiver or Tivo DVR has. That is a GUI in its own right. The iPod is a GUI and IMO its GUI is one if not the single biggest contributor to its success.

I was stating that I don't think people want to be able to drag and drop and rearrange elements on the GUI on their Tivo on screen interface.

I underatand the usefullness of being able to drag and drop elements in a software program where one wants to customer the program/page to ones liking or create a custom "home portal". I also understand your desire to be able to do it on a touchscreen but think its a complete non-issue except for .01 of geeks like you. No insult intended with that statement.

GUI is my passion and I've spent a lot of time researching it as well as creating them. Most of the Crestron ones I've seen on web sites suck and i will say no more. I haven't gotten far enough through the thread yet to comment on some of the statements I noticed from you while skimming, suffice it to say I think there is a major disconnect between what you want and think others might want versus what they really want. I'm speaking in generalities of course. All I can say is guys like you should all be forced to spend two weeks a year sitting with real users and watching them try to use their PC programs before you are allowed to design anything that relates to the end user :).

Microsoft GUI as an example is a JOKE and it's mind boggling that this is what they come up with. But that's what happens when you are completely out of touch.
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post #284 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QQQ
... suffice it to say I think there is a major disconnect between what you want and think others might want versus what they really want. I'm speaking in generalities of course. All I can say is guys like you should all be forced to spend two weeks a year sitting with real users and watching them try to use their PC programs before you are allowed to design anything that relates to the end user :).

Microsoft GUI as an example is a JOKE and it's mind boggling that this is what they come up with. But that's what happens when you are completely out of touch.

Not to ad fuel to the fire here, but as the original poster, I have to come to raydxr's defense on this one. He is actually persuing something very similar to what I am looking for.

Now I'm not saying that Crestron can't do what I want it to do with VTPro, because I have yet to take Ray's advice and sit down with a dealer and the tools, nor do I particularly care how elegent the means to the end are. If the GUI programming software from Crestron or CQC (or insert popular GUI development platform here) is bulky/slow/abnormal/weak, this is not a high priority for me as long as the end result is classy and can be accomplished for a reasonable price.

Given that line of reasoning, if it is bulky/slow/abnormal/weak, then it seams unreasonable that the end result can be accomplished without tackling a learning curve (if DIY) and/or paying someone for more hours of development time than necessary (if using a CI).

An RS-485 network hardly seems like the ideal choice given the choice between that and 100 base T.

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post #285 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QQQ
Microsoft GUI as an example is a JOKE and it's mind boggling that this is what they come up with. But that's what happens when you are completely out of touch.
Actually, as someone predominantly using the MS Gui, I found ITunes unintuitive. The gui on my Nano is fine, but there were several things I could not do in ITunes that I can in WMP10.

Compared to KDE, or any other Linux guid, I think MS is light years ahead. IMHO, it all boils down to what each of us are comfortable with. I think if Ray spends enough time with VTPro, he may still dislike it, but ultimately he'll be more comfortable with it and it won't seem as bad as originally suspected, but this is just my theory, he'll have to speak for himself if/when he gets to that comfort level.

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post #286 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 10:06 AM
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I am referring to the on-screen GUI that a satellite receiver or Tivo DVR has. That is a GUI in its own right. The iPod is a GUI and IMO its GUI is one if not the single biggest contributor to its success.

I was stating that I don't think people want to be able to drag and drop and rearrange elements on the GUI on their Tivo on screen interface.

I underatand the usefullness of being able to drag and drop elements in a software program where one wants to customer the program/page to ones liking or create a custom "home portal". I also understand your desire to be able to do it on a touchscreen but think its a complete non-issue except for .01 of geeks like you. No insult intended with that statement.

GUI is my passion and I've spent a lot of time researching it as well as creating them. Most of the Crestron ones I've seen on web sites suck and i will say no more. I haven't gotten far enough through the thread yet to comment on some of the statements I noticed from you while skimming, suffice it to say I think there is a major disconnect between what you want and think others might want versus what they really want. I'm speaking in generalities of course. All I can say is guys like you should all be forced to spend two weeks a year sitting with real users and watching them try to use their PC programs before you are allowed to design anything that relates to the end user .

Microsoft GUI as an example is a JOKE and it's mind boggling that this is what they come up with. But that's what happens when you are completely out of touch.
What can I say to this other than ok.
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post #287 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 10:13 AM
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"Your right and I'm wrong"?

:D
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post #288 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 10:50 AM
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It's really an Apples and Oranges comparison. An automation GUI delivered into a particular home is a dedicated solution that only has to do a fixed set of things and can be tailored to do that cleanly and simply(er). The Windows GUI has to be able to handle a huge range of uses, so it necessarily has to be more flexible and inevitably more complex.

The thing is, you could do a GUI that would hold the user's hand to the Nth degree, but even a niave user would get tired of that very quickly once they figure out what they need to do. So unless you are willing to create a system in which two completely different GUIs exist side by side and can be switched between (and to impose that on every single application written to that OS, because the apps are what the user mostly interacts with), you kind of have to compromise and provide an interface that assumes a little bit of pre-knowledge of the basic GUI mechanisms.

To me, and it seems that almost all our CQC customers agree, the best general paradigm for an automation interface is the Pronto-esque scheme of a main interface in which a set of common controls are always present, and one or more 'overlays' into which task specific sub-interfaces are loaded. Unless they have some stylistic reason to do otherwise (they want completely unique layouts for every screen), they mostly seem to use this paradigm, and it seems to work well.

If the system supports nested overlays, i.e. the loaded sub-screen for TV can in turn have a section in which they user can load up a favorites channel or tuner or keypad, then all the better. It creates a 'modal' interface in which the tasks related to a particular task are kept together but at each nesting level the common controls for that task are always available, maintaining continuity, while sub-task screens can be called up as required.

That's very different from a scheme where there's a single screen that shows lots of stuff and each of the display controls accesses some drop down or popup to adjust that value, i.e. a very non-modal scheme.

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Who in this thread has interacted with over 100 different customers (NOT DIYers), taken feedback and presented the GUI to the customer?


Are we talking about the masses here or just a few DIY who want to spend some time on the GUI ? I'm lost in regard to whom this is being designed for?

After all "To each his own". If I wanted a cool GUI I would hire a graphic designer not someone from a tech background. And vice veras right?
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Too add on that last thought. Who should design the flow of my GUI? The graphic designer who knows nothing about the gear? Or the tech who plans to make this all happen?

While windows might be easier to program for some it is more difficult for me. I'm sure I could code around Dean all day long with Crestron but on Deans turf I'm lost. So who is better? All subjective if you ask me. 99.9% of my customers are NOT DIYers. So I prefer to go Deans way. IF my customer base was more like 80% DIYers then I would toss Dean some business.

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post #291 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 03:01 PM
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It works both ways. A graphic designer probably won't be best to create the flow, but the installer probably won't come close with designing an attractive set of images. Some folks do well at both. If you happen to have available a set of images that happen to work well in the creation of an interface, that can get around the need for a skilled graphics designer.

I'm definitely no artist but I've put in a lot of time to learn Illustrator so that I can create original artwork for use in CQC and in my own system. It definitely does help to be both the graphics designer and the system designer, since you can create exactly the look and flow you want. Within the limits of your artistic ability of course, which is why all my stuff tends to be 'techy' such as glass or plastic or metal, since those are things that can be done by learning techniques and don't require any real artistic talent.

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While windows might be easier to program for some it is more difficult for me. I'm sure I could code around Dean all day long with Crestron but on Deans turf I'm lost.
I'm not sure if you are speaking generally or specifically, but you'll never have anything to do with Windows programming or the Windows GUI in CQC. You use our interface designer to visually design interfaces, which is a specialized tool just for that purpose, and the macro language is our macro language.

The only way you'd come into contact with Windows itself is in basic setup of the system,i.e. installation of the OS and drivers, if that's appliacable. And even that mostly wouldn't be necessary if you bought a pre-installed system. At that point it would just be a matter of installing a driver or two in some cases, though most devices are serial/IP and don't require any drivers on the controller. Mostly only USB devices have that need.

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post #292 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AI Limited
Actually, as someone predominantly using the MS Gui, I found ITunes unintuitive. The gui on my Nano is fine, but there were several things I could not do in ITunes that I can in WMP10.
I was referring only to the physcial iPod.
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Compared to KDE, or any other Linux guid, I think MS is light years ahead.
That's like saying my dogs sh*t doesn't stink as bad as your dogs sh*t :).
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IMHO, it all boils down to what each of us are comfortable with.
No, no, no, that's not what it boils down to :). That is one of the types of beliefs that result in poor GUIs. Yes, we each may have our own preferences but there is excellent evidence that useable GUIs can be developed that most human beings find intuitive.

Let me give an example. I have spent a lot of time testing our GUIs with clients and not only asking them for feedback but watching them operate them. In one instance, I noticed that when clients wanted to perform a particular common action they would get lost. I could not understand why as it seemed like it should be crystal clear. The solution? Changing the font to huge bold on the button. Then everyone noticed it. It was that simple. But without real research and feedback from users, I'd have Never discovered that.

GUI is a really interesting study. Let's use MS as an example. Where would I start? If I get a chance I'll post a list of classic Windows gaffes that even a beginning GUI designer should not fall victim to.
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I think if Ray spends enough time with VTPro, he may still dislike it, but ultimately he'll be more comfortable with it and it won't seem as bad as originally suspected, but this is just my theory, he'll have to speak for himself if/when he gets to that comfort level.
But that is confusing the issue. Ray's complaint was about the GUI he could CREATE with VTPro, not the interface has has to work with inside of VTPro.

We need to define what we are referring to when we use the term GUI in this thread. It seems to me that we are talking about the GUI that the user interacts with on the TOUCHSCREEN. Not the program GUI for CQC or VTPro or whatever. Those are just tools IN THIS INSTANCE, even though they have their own GUIs.
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post #293 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by raydxr
Of course there are lower end products like Homeseer(this one gave my win2k server way too many hiccups), Cinemar and Girder but of the software solutions I've tried, the 2 notables are CharmedQuark and Premise.
Those are the ONLY two unless something has slipped under my radar. If I was going to use one it'd likely be CQC as Premise has basically been a dead product and is a complete unknown even if it is supposed to be undergoing an upgrade. It's now been swapped between 3 companies, the founders, then Amp, then Motorola.
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post #294 of 296 Old 10-30-2005, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought Ray was complaining about both the tools and the GUI he could create. :rolleyes:

...and my dog's sh*t smells pretty bad.

My point about comfort was that some feel more comfortable with a "windowsesk" feel in their GUI, while others prefer the "Ipodesk" feel. You don't like windows, I do. You like the IPOD gui, to me it was initially foreign and took a little getting used to (as it was my first apple product).

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post #295 of 296 Old 10-31-2005, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by raydxr

Post #10 in this thread - you say:
The control sysetm. Not the security system, not the (bad) audio system and certainly not the lighting system.

You did not say crap - you said bad. If you meant some other audio system, then I dont know which one it might have been since your quoted Dave's question about the S12, which is the only audio system he referenced.
I'll take responsibility for being insufficiently clear but the context of that post was which sub system should take on the responsibility of the control system. In terms of my experience with Elan, that 2 way drivers are factory only, that their panels were based upon video my judgement that there were better audio controllers than Elan. The issue was not did an Elan sound good or route audio from input X to zone Y. With respect to this they are fine. Within the limitations of a system that either forces you to use propritatry equipment ( and I both like and dislike the DTNR. If there is a power on command in the protocol I sure must have missed it. I would love for the option of labeling presets in run time--which is possible but requires lots of extra coding. It sounds OK, is not the most selective tuner but the feedback works and it does provide 2 tuners. ) I think there much better audio systems than the Elan systems I have come into contract with. ADA is a really good system. C4 from what I read is better even when one considers its limitiations at present with respect to driver construction. Netstreams is really good and they have some of the same issues with drivers--but they do not claim to be a control system. In an age of CD servers and satellite radio 2 way feedback is essential. I felt Elan was missing much with this respect, hence my judgement that it is "bad." If this new S12 addresses these issues, then bravo.

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Originally Posted by raydxr
And as I asked, show me your UI and show me the project - let me see how you implement this. If you've implemented it and it solves the problem, I'd be more than happy to actually pay you what you think the implementation is worth..
I don't know how to do this. a GUI is not a static image but is interactive, especially in a Crestron or AMX world. How would I pop up the subpage when button X was displayed? While I love cool graphics they matter less to me than how intuitive operation is. My screens often have logic accompanying them that makes certain selections automaticly. Moreover, many of my screens are customized to the client. It may begin with my vision of egonomics but it ends with theirs. Finally, I am not in the business of selling code. I have given away or published lots of software macros, including my DTNR macro. Some things I will not sell. I would really have no idea how to put a price tag on it as unlike GUIFX I do not hope to sell 5000 units and so amortize development costs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by raydxr
Which would prove you know what you are talking about. If you know AMX, then tell us why QQQ suggested it might offer an alternative that addresses the limitations I suggest Crestron currently has. I have no problem paying loads of money for the control system but you are right, I do have a problem paying loads of money for the touchscreen.
I do not place myself as an AMX expert, but for instinance, Modero touch panels have more resolution and they wrote an algorithum for placing graphics very close together and still retaining their use as buttons. You cannot stack graphics that close in VTPRO and still use them as buttons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raydxr
Look, if you dont like the line of work you are in and are confronted with thieves and evil decorators, what the hell can I do about it. In the case of this decorator, were it me and I was desiging systems, I might have a style repository and all sorts of color options and the like, and when someone changes paint color, it would be as easy as selecting one item from a list and apply the style across the entire touchpanel...This sort of stuff is done all the time by noob programmers.
When you are in the consumer/retail business you will run into bad apples. One tries to minimize this fact and the potential risks but the fact are they exist. As for that particular piece of "eye candy" I have a love/hate relationship with her. Budgets exist for her but don't count in my case. You will cajole or bully. In that particular job I was a subcontractor with a fixed price and a contract that said stock screens and make the system work. Graphics and VT- Pro means Phontoshop and it is time consuming for me to change colors on so many items and then go into the program and change them one by one. I did it. She was assuaged ( I'd never say happy. ) as my brown and tan colors were not quite the same as her decor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raydxr
There are principles and practices that are as applicable in the world of integration as they are in the world of software development. It is now, has been in the past, and will be in the future and event driven environment.

You rub me the wrong way because you are so quick to judge others but when it comes to Crestron, you are far more reluctant to do so. You speak to the 80% solution of software developers, but you wont say that Crestron's solution is no different - go sniff and inspect port activity - it's not a kludge, it is something that Crestron felt would be done and therefore they've solved your requirement. Bah.

Show me your UI and show me your implementation. Show me how you went about changing the color scheme of that solution you built for the decorator. Maybe, just maybe I could suggest how it would be done in our world and it might trigger something within you and you just might take that to the folks at Crestron and just maybe, they'd listen.
Nothing is perfect. I make mistakes and so does everyone else. Crestron is very much guilty of writing marcros that 80% work. They have software gliches and they occationally bring really bad decisions with respect to products. But who on this board will understand what a C2N-NPA8 is or why is turned out to be a product not ready for prime time. They screw up some things in firmware or in their software applications. But in toto they get right more than they get wrong. Glitches turn out to be at the margins and if it affects a job I am doing it is serious. When it does not it is not. When they screw up they tend to respond fairly quickly but money and backwards compatibility are issues. Just because I foolishly redraw screens for nothing does not mean that Crestron is equally bad at running their business.

I do agree that there are principals and practices that are similiar in software development and integration but the one great difference is that I do not control the systems I am controlling. You exist in a known Windows world but I do not control the firmware in the DVD player, the catv box or the receiver. I do not control the serial protocols but I have to make them work. Moreover, experience is crucial in any job not just book knowledge. Knowing you way around a product, its strengths and weaknesses is helpful. I might pulse a signal using a mv, mmv or I might write
PUSH (digital_Signal_In)

{
(pulse,20,Digital_signal_out);
}

You can do what you want but you may not be able to do it in the way you are used to doing it. You may not like sub pages but the end user ( your family ) might not care as they are more interested in using the system then in how the system was built. AI Limited was very much correct in this respect. I care about how hard I have to work. The end user does not. You may care that it's a Kludge with respect to state of the art development tools but for me, who does not know what these are and in some ways could not care less ( as it does not alter the fact that I am working within a universe that excludes those tools )

With respect to showing you explain to me how? Care to fly to NY? Want to set up a video conference? How would you like to establish bona fides when we are hardly local to each other. I had no idea this was turning into a job interview. I am sure you could think of any number of ways to do this. I have already stipulated that I depend very much on the kindness of strangers.

Alan
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post #296 of 296 Old 10-31-2005, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ
"Your right and I'm wrong"?

:D
Good one, I think we'd all like to hear this more often!

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