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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Charmed Quark Controller  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello gang. I would like to make a small announcement here, which hopefully doesn’t violate any forum rules or anything. As some of you may know, I’m a software engineer (you could probably tell by the pocket protector), and I’ve got a project coming to fruition that I’d like to get some feedback on.

Give me just a moment for some history, which I’ll keep brief, then I’ll get into the meat of the matter… All of my career I’ve been very much into the development of general purpose, object oriented, software tools. For the last ten years, I’ve worked on a project called The CIDLib C++ Frameworks. This is something that I’ve basically done for my own self-edification, which is a good thing considering that most folks would find this kind of software about as exciting as dirt. CIDLib was for many years a shareware project and for a couple an open source project.

However, as of about a year ago, it became obvious to me that it had become way, way to powerful for me to continue to kill myself for nothing. So I decided to make it a proprietary product and began looking around for a project to use it in, hopefully something that would be of interest and use to actual real people. So, I decided to mix my hobby and my other hobby and create a product that I felt like I would like to have, and which therefore others might like to have as well.

The result of this last year’s effort is The Charmed Quark Controller, or CQC for short. CQC is a distributed home/home-theater control product, which is completely software based. It going to be a quite serious application, effectively creating a distributed object processing system in your home, in which you can monitor and control your devices from any computer on the network. It supports both a ‘virtual front panel’ sort of interface for live control of devices, and a powerful macro language for writing your own control sequences in a way very similar to languages like C++ or Java.

I am getting very close to a preview release, which I will make available to a limited number of technically savvy users who also happen to have some of the devices I currently have drivers for. After that, it will enter a more widely available beta test phase, and then go golden, hopefully in the late summer/early fall time frame.

What I’m looking for now is some feedback on the new web site I’ve also been working on feverishly over the last month. I’d like feedback on the web site itself (i.e. layout, the flow, is it readable, etc…) as well as on the content, which describes the upcoming product. So you can give me some feedback on the product itself before you really see it in person.

The web site is not completed yet, but a lot of it is place, more than enough for you to get a good idea of the product and where it is going, so hopefully you can provide me with some feedback very early and let me know where I’m off the track, request features, and so forth.

I’ve updated my www.charmedquark.com page to be just a place holder page. It basically tells people coming to find the CIDLib C++ Frameworks that it went bye bye, and that a new product is coming. The actual preview web site is here .

So check it out and let me know what you think. Any comments are welcome. I may not have time to get back to you on every issue, but I’ll definitely read everything. And you can certainly use this thread for general discussion so that everyone can participate and we can get a little back and forth going about the features and whatnot. So have it and hopefully we’ll soon have a cool new toy for everyone to play with.


------------------
Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #2 of 10
I checked it out, but didn't see much right now. I'm curious to see how your software works though. I'm Netlinx certified so I've done a lot of control programming.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
What exactly were you looking for, perhaps I can point you to the right information?


------------------
Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #4 of 10
I found it...I didn't go to the /Preview section before.

Thanks
post #5 of 10
Bravo, this looks like the start of something very good. I am in the process of expanding my network/PC consulting business to include home automation and AV technology and it is exciting to see someone approaching this from the direction you are. I look forward to watching your project progress.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I hope to have the preview version out very soon. The macro engine is good enough for now, so its just polishing off the Dwin driver, writing up some install instructions for the preview version, and doing some testing.


------------------
Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #7 of 10
I just wanted to repeat the previous: If it don't have a control port-Don't buy it. This has taken entirely to long for the A/V designers to get with the program. IR only is like 8-tracks.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Amen, bro. IR is kludy, unreliable, and one way. You can't get much worse than that. The big issue right now is DVD players. Almost no DVD player, except the Meridian and a few others of that ilk, provide a control port. Its a key piece of the puzzle and having strong control of it is important to having a fully controllable HT.

One other thing I've got to look into is whether I can talk the Intervideo folks into exposing an API via which I can control WinDVD from one of my drivers, which would get a lot of people to the point of having a controllable DVD player.


------------------
Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
The Dwin HD-700/HD-500 driver is just about done. Here is a link to the
drivers page if you want to see what the interface looks like.

I've got a wee bit of tweaking yet on it, then the only thing left for the preview release will be writing up the installation instructions.


------------------
Dean Roddey
The Charmed Quark Controller
droddey@charmedquark.com
www.charmedquark.com

If it don't have a control port, don't buy it!
post #10 of 10
Dean,
I'm very impressed. Do you plan on supporting other devices in the near future? I'd be very interested in your software if I could use it with my Electrohome Marquee 8000 projector. Will it be possible to integrate it with RS-232 HVAC systems and X-10 controllers?
Please keep us posted on your progress.
Thanks,
James
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