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All I want is lighting control and central music and HT guy says = $40 K min ! - Page 2  

post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally posted by kc51295
for entry level crestron system- that is way too much- I am beginning to design home renovation- no way I am spending $40 K plus when all I want is central music, zone lighting and MAYBE climate control- any ideas ?- what should be a reasonable budget ?
There are a near-infinite number of ways that "central music, zone lighting and MAYBE climate control" can be implemented. Near one end of the continuum would be a single stereo pair of line level audio distributed over cheap wire to a low-end receiver in a few rooms, coupled with some X-10 stuff for basic lighting control. Cost: a few hundred dollars.

Near the other end would be a top-of-the-line Crestron system with huge gorgeous touchpanels, a zillion zones of digital audio and video, user-configurable lighting scenes with "slider" controls for every light in the house, and the ability to have individual HVAC setpoints for every room, including the coat closet. Cost: the sky's the limit.

That $40k *could* actually be a great price for a professionally-done Crestron system -- it all depends on what you're getting for that price.

In general, you get what you pay for. One way to reduce the cost is to make some sacrifices in the "ilities" (quality, capability, usability, flexibility, reliability, etc). Another option, if you're capable and have the time, is to do some or all of the work yourself. If you do, then you'll also have the further option of acquiring some or all of the equipment used and/or on eBay.

For reference, it's quite possible to do sixteen zones of audio and video, with Crestron touchpanel control, graphical selection of CDs, DVDs, and MP3s, an integrated security system, complete two-way control of nearly every light in the house, two-way HVAC control with temp sensors in each room, whole-house paging, audible and visual announcement of caller ID and security info, etc ... for about $20k in parts. I know, 'cause that's what I did.

HOWEVER, if I were to add in the number of hours I've spent times my hourly rate, the true cost would be many times that amount -- and probably comparable to what it'd cost to have it professionally done. But my worked great for me, 'cause I'm cheap and I love to tinker (AND I'd never have been able to convince my wife to spend much more than that on "geek" stuff ;-) .

I guess what I'm saying, is that it's pointless to complain that $40k is "way too much" for some unspecified system. It's also futile to ask for opinions about a reasonable budget without specifying what *exactly* you'd like to do, at what level of "ilities", and how much you're willing to do (and are capable of doing) yourself.

Please don't take this as a flame, but rather a suggestion for asking the kind of questions that will give you the answers you're *really* looking for.

- digiphotonerd
post #32 of 116
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
But what's inside a PS2? Isn't just a stripped down version of XP basically?
The X-Box is a PC running a stripped-down Windows OS. My TiVo is a PowerPC based computer running Linux, and it's rock-solid - even with my hacks (webserver, bash, ftp) installed. (I don't know about the insides of a PS2.)

There are embedded systems in industry that use versions of Windows OSes. But Windows isn't the point - it's that the future is (I believe, much like Dean) in "PC"-based systems, with loadable software modules. Windows, Linux, whatever. The computers these future control systems run on may be very "closed", like an X-Box or TiVo, but that doesn't make them any less of a computer.
post #33 of 116
Why are products such as Tivo so stable even though they're computer/software based yet when it comes to home automation, computer/software systems are maligned as being unreliable, especially when compared to something like Crestron ?

Actually, I've never quite understood why Crestron is so reliable even though it uses software and must be individually programmed for every installation just like a computer.
post #34 of 116
I think that PCs are equally as stable, when used in the same way, which is to say, if you put together a PC based on known good hardware, ECC memory, and RAID5 drive, strip it down to just what's needed, and put it in a closet where you never mess with it directly, it will remain stable. People think PCs are unstable because they go by the example of a PC in constant use by a naive user, who installs products without any real knowledge of what level of quality they are, who infects it with spyware and viruses and so forth.

A PC used as the controller for an automation system should have no exposed shared drives, and all of the usual end user services disabled, so that it's only real means of access is via the control system network API. It shouldn't be used for anything else, or only a well controlled set of functions possibly. The Crestron system probably is not available to the user to run games on or surf virus laden porn or file swapping sites and so forth.

This of course assumes you care about it that much. The joy of software based systems is that you can decide. If you aren't going to particularly care if you hose the PC in your HT and have to reload it, then you don't have to worry about such things. So you can dial up your level of required robustness and isolation for the primary PC controller as needed.

You can also, after it's configured, snap the drive with Ghost and have a quick way to get the machine back to it's original state without re-installation and reconfiguration.
post #35 of 116
Understood, Dean.
But, how does Crestron or AMX work? They don't use a PC right, so how is their hardware configured? Are there hard drives in their controllers? What makes their systems different from PC's?
post #36 of 116
I've never had the chance to poke around inside one, so I can't say. Clearly they have the same basic architecture as a PC, since anything that does this kind of job would have to. But I don't know the specifics. Someone else more familiar with them would have to speak to that. If they don't have hard drives, that certainly can increase their reliability, but it also would vastly reduce their ability to provide certain sorts of features held very desireable in modern systems. They have to have some sort of user modifiable memory, in order to configure them in the field, but I dunno if it's some sort of flash memory or disk or what.
post #37 of 116
interesting side note (both for kc51295 and the debaters), but you can now run a crestron clone on your pc.

it looks and acts just like a crestron touchpanel, you just your your mouse to click instead of touching the screen. (although crestron does offer a product that will turn any plasma/tv into a huge touchscreen :eek: )

it is a good way to eliminate panels in rooms that will have a pc in them.

-robert
post #38 of 116
Or just get rid of the Crestron system altogether if you have a PC :-)
post #39 of 116
kc5129
I sent you a PM. I was in the same boat you were in a few months ago. I would recommend lighting control. My wife and I went with Crestron, but they are others like Vantage that are excellent, and a bit cheaper than Creston. Creston also has premade audio packages for 6 and 8 zones. You could also always start with a russound or Niles audio dist system and add a creston overlay to control it later.
post #40 of 116
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I've never had the chance to poke around inside one, so I can't say. Clearly they have the same basic architecture as a PC, since anything that does this kind of job would have to. But I don't know the specifics. Someone else more familiar with them would have to speak to that. If they don't have hard drives, that certainly can increase their reliability, but it also would vastly reduce their ability to provide certain sorts of features held very desireable in modern systems. They have to have some sort of user modifiable memory, in order to configure them in the field, but I dunno if it's some sort of flash memory or disk or what.
Just a crazy thought. The next time you spend a few years developing a product for a market you might want to have some clue who the competitors in the market are and how their products work. Especially when they dominate the market and you constantly claim your product is an alternative.

How many copies of CQC have you sold? Have you made it past the number 0 yet?

p.s. I'll understand if you don't answer.
post #41 of 116
QQQ, I couldn't have said it any better myself.
post #42 of 116
If the code for CQC is as long as his posts...
post #43 of 116
FYI

From Crestron's website: PRO2

Processor
CPU 32-bit Motorola 5407 ColdFire® Processor
Processing Speed 257 MIPS (Dhrystone 2.1 benchmark)

Memory
On-board Memory 36MB
Expandable Memory Compact Flash slot up to 4GB (accepts standard Type II Compact Flash or IBM Microdrive® not included)

Y-Bus
40 Mb/s parallel communications; built-in 3-slot card cage supports Crestron's existing CNX expansion cards and new C2 expansion cards
IR/Serial ports 8 programmable simultaneous outputs for IR, TTL Level RS-232 or serial interface; signal (ws) and ground (G) pins; infrared output up to 1.2MHz with individual UART per port allowing simultaneous firing of all ports
I/O Versiports (8) programmable digital/analog input and digitaloutputs; digital outputs offer 250mA sync from maximum 24VDC; catchdiodes for use with real world loads; digital inputs rated for 0-24VDC, 20K ohms input impedance, logic threshold 1.25VDC; analog inputsrated 0-10VDC, protected to 24VDC maximum, 20K ohms input impedance; programmable 2K ohms pullup resistor (per pin, software reference to GND or closure to GND)
Communication ports 6 bi-directional ports for RS-232/422/485; Ports 3-6 Cresnet Accelerator ready
Computer console 1 RS-232 port (accessible from front or rear panel), 9-pin DB9 for programming with a PC
Cresnet port 1 4-pin male connector, expandable via Cresnet Accelerator, which increases the effective network speed, fan-out and device addresses by a factor of 8 for each poll accelerator added to the system.
Relay ports (8) normally open, isolated relays; each relay is rated 1A, 30VAC/DC; MOV arc suppression across contacts for use with "real world" loads

Z-Bus
300Mb/s parallel communications; 1 expansion card slot. Optional cards include: C2ENET-1: Single Port 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, C2ENET-2: Dual Port WAN-LAN-10/100 BaseT Ethernet. Future Support for USB, USBII, FireWire.
Ethernet Support 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, Dynamic/static IP and full duplex TCP/IP, UDP/IP, Built-in Firewall, Built-in Router, Built-in Network Address Translator (NAT), Built-in Web Server: Files shared in internal flash or compact flash card memory (capabilities depending upon which Z-Bus card is installed)

Operating System
Real-time, preemptive, multitasking kernel, Multi-threaded, FAT32 file system with long names, Fully compatible with existing SIMPL™ Windows® and SIMPL+™ programs, Enhanced SIMPL+ instruction set
"

jcmitch
post #44 of 116
BTW, I for one am glad a project like the CQC exists. Dean's willingness to support the hobbiest and pc based integration crowd can do nothing but help further and refine the profession. Its not about the gear guys, its about getting the gear to run, and Dean seems earnest in that reguard. Thank You.

jcmitch
post #45 of 116
I have tried to stay above the CQC v Crestron fray, but am know going to chime in with my $.02. I am in the middle of having an elaborate Creston system installed. I am concerned that going with a proprietary system like Crestron might not be the best thing in the long run over an open source application like CQC or Premise. At some point in the not to distant future these type of systems will give Creston and AMX a serious run for their money....Stepping off my soapbox....
post #46 of 116
Quote:
Just a crazy thought. The next time you spend a few years developing a product for a market you might want to have some clue who the competitors in the market are and how their products work. Especially when they dominate the market and you constantly claim your product is an alternative.
Well, Mr. Smart Ass I do know who they are. As to their internals, well I e-mailed them and and said, "Hey, I'm about to create a product that competes with yours, how about sending me some internal information about how your products works?" I don't know why, but they didn't respond for some reason.

I clearly know what their basic capabilities are, because every automation system works about the same at that level. I just don't know the details of their internal architecture, and probably no one else here does either because they are a closed, propietary system. And I cannot afford to pay them just to figure out the other bits and pieces by going to one of their training classes.

In the end, the architecture of Crestron was meaningless to me anyway, because I wasn't trying to just be a clone of them, I was trying to create something that is the next step along. I've worked a lot in the distributed computing and process control world in my past, and I put that knowledge to work to create a system that makes use of all of the modern capabilities of object oriented software architecture, distributed object architcture, and networked PC systems. I would have done the same even if they'd been stupid enough to send me their top secret documents, because that's the future.

If you could come up with something that a Crestron system can do, but mine is not capable of doing, then you'd have a point. But I doubt very seriously you can, because I fully understand what is involved in an automation system and in device control and I know that what I built can do those things. It might not currently have the drivers for the particular device to do a given thing, but that's not a lack of capability it's a lack of opportunity for me to get access to that particular device.

Quote:
How many copies of CQC have you sold? Have you made it past the number 0 yet?
No, actually I've not made it past zero yet. And I'm not ashamed to say that. It has nothing to do with problems with the product, or the fact that I've not been successful in infiltrating Crestron with industrial espionage agents.

The reason I've not 'sold' any copies so far is purely a matter of number of devices supported, because I don't have the revenues to buy lots of devices in order to support them. So all of my users so far are, gasp, people who who actually wanted to use it so much that they wrote their own drivers, and I gave them a free copy of it in return, so that I could expand my driver support. And more hardware vendors are making hardware available to me as the product becomes more well known.
post #47 of 116
Quote:
If the code for CQC is as long as his posts...
It's considerably longer actually. It's quickly approaching half a million lines of code. Very few individuals have ever created a system of this size and complexity by themselves. I would imagine that no more than a few dozen developers have ever done it, if even that many.
post #48 of 116
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
Well, Mr. Smart Ass I do know who they are.
Actually, you don't. You've indicated as much in several posts here. I asked you some time back in a PM who you saw as your primary competitors. You responded that you didn't know who the other players in the market were. I was shocked by the answer at the time but didn't comment. Now I have. It was inconcievable to me that someone had spent years developing a product with no awareness of the market the product was targeting.

If you care to I would be glad to go back and find the PM. Why am I challenging you on this? Because you repeatedly assert the superiority of your system and the architecture it runs on in spite of the fact that you have extremely limited knowledge of your competitors products and the fact that you have no experience in the industry and 0 sales. The fact that you may write good code counts for little in this equation.
Quote:
"Hey, I'm about to create a product that competes with yours, how about sending me some internal information about how your products works?" I don't know why, but they didn't respond for some reason.
Maybe they figured you had a few marbles loose.
Quote:
In the end, the architecture of Crestron was meaningless to me anyway, because I wasn't trying to just be a clone of them, I was trying to create something that is the next step along.
So the architecture of the dominant player in the market you intend to compete in was meaningless to you? Do you have any idea how absurd that sounds? Did it EVER occur to you that you might have learned something EXTREMELY VALUABLE about how to design your product by understanding how the market leasders products worked? EVEN if you still intended to bring out PC based software?

BTW, how can you create something that is "the next step along" if you don't know what the previous step was? How do you know you didn't take two steps backward?

Oh ya, one last thing. I DID take the time to download your product and evaluate it just to be aware of what's on the market and it's not "meaningless" to me to know the answer.
post #49 of 116
Ouch!

While there is nothing wrong with inventing your own system the true test is the customers. If it works and works well they will buy. Maybe Dean if he wants to really market his product should hire someone who has the experience in that area. Let the 'coders' code and the 'marketers' market. That would be a smart business decision. If Dean has a viable product then he will see sales. The majority of the public is smart enough to know the difference. And don't say the word BOSE as that is another...........

Dave
post #50 of 116
QQQ,

You mis-spelled a word in your last post.
You wrote " market leasders" but I think you meant "market leaders".
post #51 of 116
Quote:
So the architecture of the dominant player in the market you intend to compete in was meaningless to you? Do you have any idea how absurd that sounds? Did it EVER occur to you that you might have learned something EXTREMELY VALUABLE about how to design your product by understanding how the market leasders products worked? EVEN if you still intended to bring out PC based software?
I DO know how they work. As I mentioned, much of my career was involved in the process control world, in which far more stringent and more ambitious control scenarios were involved and on which lives, not home theaters, depend. So I know perfectly well how automation systems work, and ones that involve multi-million dollar factories, not just home theaters.

The particular details of what CPU or disk drive is inside the Crestron system is immaterial, though I have nothing against knowing this if it comes up. All automation systems are, in terms of their fundamental features, about the same. As posted above, it's exactly what I would have expected, and I'm not at all suprised that I'm not suprised.

And it's not that it means nothing to me, it's that it wouldn't have affected my design. I already know how to design an automation system, because I worked with them in the past, and understood well the requirements from the point of a custom installer who needs a flexible toolkit that can create as much reusable functionality as possible to minimize effort on each new job. I hardly had to go take a Crestron class to know that their basic design is the same as everyone else's.

I do know who my competitors are in the business, regardless of whatever answer I may have given you a long time ago. I've done a lot of looking around lately. I know that my system can do what it needs to do to address the automation market, and I bet that I work far more closely with my users than Crestron does with theirs. Have you talked directly to the core engineers at Crestron lately? Well, my customers talk to me every day and I'm constantly improving the product based on their feedback, and I usually get those changes in in the very next release, and I fix problems that day usually.

As I said, the primary issue with my product is that it doesn't have enough devices supported at this time, which is not a lacking in capabilities, it is just a lack of ability to get access to the devices I need in order to write drivers for them. The other major issue is that home automation is a backwater market at this time, unfortunately. Though many people, and I, believe that it will break out soon, at this point it is primarily driven by custom installers doing fairly small numbers of installations for big money, and those custom installers, as has been shown many times in conversations here, have vested interests in the systems that they already know, and they aren't much interested in trying new ones. There is a DIY market, and I'm mostly addressing them at this time, for those practical reasons.

So I've had a fairly hard time convincing custom installers to even try it out. And it wasn't because I don't know Crestron's product line by SKU, which they never even ask about. It's primarily because it's new and they don't know it and generally don't have the time to learn something new. Some are interested, and they are planning on using it in upcoming installs, and that will grow.

I know my system is the next step foward because I know that they have a centralized system, based on proprietary hardware, and try their best to keep information about how to use it proprietary, so that they can charge for access to it. I, OTOH, have a network distributed system, completely object oriented, ORB based, user based security, with a fully object oriented macro language, fully document everything so that anyone can access the most technical features of it, and target general purpose hardware which is very price competitive.

I fully understand the issues of marketing, but I also understand that it costs money, which I don't have at this time. I am working with various resellers right now to get them involved, and they have more marketing skills than I do, and will help me out in this regard. But, in terms of the technical issues, I assure you that I know what I'm doing, and I know how automation systems work, and I've done jobs in hundred million dollar factory automation upgrades in the past that could kill people if not done well, and I know my product has the capabilities it needs. The automation world didn't appear when Crestron created their system, it had existed for a long time before. Crestron, like me, created a system to meet those requirements, and I understand the requirements just as well as they do. I just used newer technology, and targeted general purpose computing and networking hardware, whereas they created a centralized, proprietary system. But in terms of what they are capable of vs. what I am capable of, they are certainly about the same, because the requirements are well known.

The reason Crestron is dominant right now has nothing to do with the superiority of their systems. I've heard enough Cestron people talk about it to know that it's not going to be winning any Nobel prizes. I'm sure it's competent enough, but that's all. They are winning, because they've won in the past, and they are the status quo at this point. Even a technically superior product has a lot of work to fight that status quo, because it's heavily entrenched. But, that is also their greatest weakness, because they've had to accumulate a lot of evolutionary baggage at this point, like all companies do. They are big and have lots of support issues, and it slows them down.

So they are vulnerable to younger, faster, more flexible and hungrier competitors, who are willing to take on the smaller jobs, and work more closely with users, who can afford to start off from scratch with newer, more flexibible software technologies, and who can sell their products a lot cheaper. It won't be easy, but it never is. And everyone like me, who has the balls to step out and create something new, inevitable has to take a bunch of crap from people who want to naysay their vision and their work.

Quote:
Oh ya, one last thing. I DID take the time to download your product and evaluate it just to be aware of what's on the market and it's not "meaningless" to me to know the answer.
When I can download a Crestron system for free for 30 days, I'll be glad to check their system out.
post #52 of 116
Quote:
While there is nothing wrong with inventing your own system the true test is the customers. If it works and works well they will buy.
Actually, there's another issue, it has to work well and support their hardware. Mine works well, but because of my limited hardware support right now, I'm limited market-wise to those people who are both interested in automating their systems, and who have hardware I support. This is improving quite a lot lately, and people are starting to send me equipment to do drivers for because they want to use the system. Each new device entices a new set of people who now just need that one or two other devices supported, and therefore might send me those to do. But it is still a slow cycle upwards.

If I'd had this system where it is now back in like 1999, I'd be retired right now and laughing at you mere mortals from my mansion on the hill. But in the current environment, funding is rare and costly in terms of equity, so I've turned down the handful of possibilities so far. They just wanted way too much for too little money. They are mostly interested in finding startups where they can buy half the company for a few hundred K. But I have a large and complex product already done, and that doesn't fit well into the seed money kind of capital scenario. But I'm not a large enough prospect for later round investors either.

So, I'm bootstrapping myself up for now. It's a tough row to hoe, but that's the situation I'm faced with.
post #53 of 116
Dean

The Crestron software is public to download. All you must do is click the I accept for the usual copy write material.

Also All it takes is a phone call to Crestron to talk to the guys writing the software. In fact often have the software engineers eating lunch and dinner with the attendees at the Crestron classes in NJ. I know I can

Dave
post #54 of 116
Actually, for legal reasons, I'd not want to attend any of their training classes nor download any of their software.

Though I am curious as to what the software does for you without the hardware?
post #55 of 116
Sorry - I know this is OT from the original intention of this thread.

For some (like Dean) this is a very emotive subject. Dean has poured countless hours into designing and building a good product and is having a hard time seeing the financial rewards required for his business to succeed. Does Dean push the product a little hard on this forum (for reasons clearly stated above) - yes. Does that make his product invalid or uncompetitive? - certainly not.

The real problem here as I see it is that there just aren't enough low-cost options available. CQC is a brave attempt to change that situation.

I'm certainly not in a position to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a Crestron or AMX solution, but I do want a product that can not only work for my HT, but for all my automation needs. I'm hoping that CQC will be the right product for me but, as Dean says, it's all about hardware support.

Technically, CQC is a great product. As someone said above, it's really about the marketing at this point.

Andy.
post #56 of 116
Well Dean, maybe it hasn't yet translated into money in your pocket, but you should be heartened by the positive responses such as Andy's and others on this thread.

I was sorry to see you and QQQ go at it but I suppose it was inevitable at some point that this would happen. I was hoping to defray the anger with distraction by pointing out spelling and grammatical errors, but I guess that was a feeble attempt at humor on my part . :-) BTW, your spelling is impeccable.

Question about CQC; if electronics manufacturers move towards IP based products as they seem on the verge of doing, how will this impact your product ?
post #57 of 116
"Though I am curious as to what the software does for you without the hardware?"

What does your software do without third party hardware to fire IR signals, send/receive RS-232 strings, Monitor digital and analog signals, open/close relays, etc. You know the things you need to do to automate a home? You have to remember that Crestrons hardware has these things built in. You won't find 6 RS-232 ports, 8 IR ports, 8 realy ports, 8 I/O ports, Ethernet, and expansion slots for a slew of cards to accomodate any system configuration on a PC. Don't even pretend that QCQ can do all of this with third party hardware. That would be alot of hardware on the USB ports right? What would be the cost after you even up the hardware capabilities?

Dean, If you have the software to perform these funtions you better find the right hardware to connect all the systems in a large home or your product will never make it. Crestron isn't just about software. The fexibility of their hardware is the key to a successful integration.

FYI, Here's a link to the RTOS that Crestron uses.

http://www.acceleratedtechnology.com...d/nucleus.html
post #58 of 116
Quote:
What does your software do without third party hardware to fire IR signals, send/receive RS-232 strings, Monitor digital and analog signals, open/close relays, etc
That's true, but you can fully evaluate my software without those things. It's easy to try out all of the functionality and understand how it all works without actually controlling a real device. It has a 'variables driver' whose primary purpose is to provide system wide state storage for macros (to provide them persistent state data between invocations or to set system wide state info that multiple macros can use.) But you can easily use it to just define a few dummy fields, to make it look like a device, and completely use the system from end to end and have it act exactly like it would in a real installation. So it's completely possible to evaluate the full look and feel and work flow of the system for free.

In terms of what it would cost, most people will get something like a USB-UIRT ($40), SmartHome X-10 controller (about $40 also), and either a multi-port PCI serial card or a USB based multi-port card (from $120 to $400'ish according to how many ports and who they want to buy it from.) If they want ultimate placement flexibility, they can get ethernet based multi-port cards. These are a little pricey now because they are new, but competition is beginning to happen and the prices are coming down.

If you are going the next step up, you could get the Global Cache GC-100 for contact closures, sensors, and zoned IR all in one box. It's like $130 and upwards, according to how many of each you want. But it is ethernet based so it doesn't need any serial or USB ports, and placement options are very convenient because of that. So you aren't tied into any kind of centralized placement.

And, since I'm agnostic about what hardware you use, I also support the HAI Omni set of panels, if you want to use that kind of hardware and put it under a wider umbrella control system like CQC. And I'll support other such smart panels as the need and opportunity arise. I don't tie you into one kind of hardware scenario.

The computer could be the smallest thing you can buy today basically. And CQC wouldn't really even strain that machine. Or, you can buy a top of the line multi-CPU system with RAID5 and use it as your media server and network domain controller and run CQC on it.

That's the joy, once again, of software based systems. You get to decide the level of robustness, capability, and quality you want, to suit your needs and budget. The minimum entry point is VERY low if that's all you want, but it can scale up to a very large system. CQC is highly multi-threaded and it can scale up to take advantage of larger, multi-CPU system to support high throughput for a centralized configuration in a large home or small business. Or, you can create more of a star configuration and make use of CQC's network distributed capabilities.
post #59 of 116
Quote:
Question about CQC; if electronics manufacturers move towards IP based products as they seem on the verge of doing, how will this impact your product ?
I would love that. I argue for it all the time. It's far and away the best thing that they could do. It's fast, it's ubiquitous, it's goingto be present anyway in most modern homes in either wired or wireless configurations (or both) so it offers very flexible positioning for where devices live. I think that it makes far more sense than USB or Firewire, or if the device exists to move video content around over Firewire then keep the control features on the ethernet network, and leave the Firewire for media control.

The problem with USB is that it usually requires a device driver from the manufacturer. Though that's not horrible, in the long term it's just asking for support issues if there is anything between me and the device, because it puts an onus on the end user to load the right driver. And, it means I have to load device drivers into my object server where the server side drivers are running.

I'd prefer to just not deal with that at all, and prefer that they treat their devices like a service and allow us to access it via a socket based API, instead of loading their code directly into our control systems. That also increases flexibility since the controlling driver doesn't have to be on the same machine as where the device lives.

All of this is stuff I deal with in my Protocol Rules document.
post #60 of 116
In case anyone cares, I'll add a few cents.

Because credibility usually adds more meaning to posts, lets just say I'm a software engineer for a large company working beyond the current edge of mainstream products.

Talking about the future - Dean is basically right about the future of computing. It is not closed proprietary systems. However, its not PC either - it is utility based. Imagine recieving processing power in a similar fasion as you recieve electricity. Once the CPU's are better abstracted from an OS, we'll see a lot more of that. VMWare has some interesting stuff, as does EGenera.

The future is also distributed and encapsulated. Dean's model is right on.

I think (someone) made a post about how if he doesn't fully know the architecture that makes his approach somehow less valid. Well, it flat out isn't. His architecture is different. He seems to be coming from a current line of thinking - do you know anything about UML? Basically you model a problem (use case) and then design a solution (collaboration). It appears he's done that. When he wrote 'they should treat their device like a service' it should be obvious to anyone with (current) software engineering knowledge that that is EXACTLY what they should be doing.

There's simply no question that things will go to a networked model. Obiously they'll be wireless as bandwidth and other costs decrease.

So anyways, to me (the attackers) just came off rather ignorant and unfounded. I don't see why you choose to attack him so - he's simply promoting a product he believes in. Do you attack the Goo guy in the PJ forum? I'm sure you'll see difference why that analogy is not valid, but my basic point it maybe you should do a little research before commenting on architecture or design.

My criticisms of Dean and the software:
*You need screen shots on your web site. I haven't spent much time on it, but by now I should have seen something :)

*You should offer a sample package. Pick XYZ hardware and offer it as a supported bundle. Obviously, I think your market is low cost. If not a bundle, then link to where they can be purchased and have your software preconfigured for those modules.

*I suggest redesigning the site so that it never scrolls beyond what an 8.5 x 11 page would hold (smaller if possible). Just have next buttons or something.


So anyways, personally I'm glad Dean is doing what he is. Its given me a new option to look at more alternatives. I'm not sure it fits my needs, but it definitely looks interesting.

Mike
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