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    BYOB Episode 67


    Dave

    This week we have a special guest on the BYOB.  We spend some time talking to Dean Roddey from Charmed Quark Systems.  As Chairman, founder, and CTO of the company, Dean walks us through the capabilities of his software and key differentiators between CQC and the competition.  We only touch the surface of its capabilities, and we hope you enjoy the show.  A special thanks to Dean for talking the time to appear and answer all our questions.  Also want to thank Jesse on the forums for the lead on Charmed Quark Systems.

     

     

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

     

     

    We encourage you to download the free trial and give a test run.  It takes a bit of work and definitely watch the videos first.  The flexibility is pretty amazing.

     

    Charmed Quark:  http://www.charmedquark.com/#/CQSLHome

     

    Videos:  http://www.charmedquark.com/#/Videos

     

    Free trial download:  http://www.charmedquark.com/#/TryCQC

     

     

     

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    E-Mail - byob@homeservershow.com

     

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    OMG! when I have 6 months to spare I might give this a go._Watched some of the tutorial videos and I am still not sure why I might need this,_Not saying its a bad product but it is a tad "complicated"._Too hard core for my meagre tallents.

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    It can look that way at first, but once you get into it, its addictive and not that difficult.

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    If you want to do something complicated, it will take time to set up. When I arm my security system into Away mode, it turns off all the lights, turns down the HVAC, shuts off all stereos, and closes the drapes. When the automation system is informed by the security system that there's been no motion in a room for 30minutes, it turns off the lights and any appliances. Those are "green" examples. There's also non-green examples, from something as simple as true a/v universal remote where you don't even need a fancy Harmony remote, you use a generic cheap remote, press the "pause" button, and the automation system determines if you're watching TV, a DVD, BluRay, or listening to a CD and routes it to the correct device. Or perhaps safety is your thing. In my house, when the doorbell rings, the touchscreen in the kitchen wakes up and pulls up the CCTV camera at the front door so my wife can see who's there before walking close to it. A bazillion more examples abound, however these are custom logics. There's zero actual programming required, its all point & click. The complexity is not in learning some arcane coding language, the complexity is in deciding what you want to do and the rules by which your life works. Most people have complicated lives, and cannot use simple logic to describe them or what they'd need to automate in order to make their life simpler.

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    While my system does a lot more, I have to say that the best part is the home theater in my basement. When I want to watch something a series of things occur: the lights dim if they are on; the projector turns on; the DVD megachanger turns on if applicable; the amplifier turns on and the appropriate video source is piped to the projector. I think it's like Windows 7. Very complicated if you try to use all of the features but you can use just the basic parts to get to where you want to be. As Dean stated in the podcast, the hardest part is selecting the gear you want to use and putting all the pieces together. I'll give a simple example of why this system paid for itself. I have 2 cable boxes, the DVD megachanger and a Roku in my basement with cabling through my house delivering HD and SD as appropriate for the devices at their destination. The matrix switch in the middle allows viewing of whatever I want in any room. Finally, two of the rooms don't even have computers but rather IR receivers to allow the very remotes from the cable company to switch between sources and change channels etc. The 6 TVs in my house would cost a fortune, each month, to have all that capability and the DVD functionality just wouldn't be easily possible. Startup is a learning curve, but so was Excel. I used a background from a website, a general idea what I wanted and never looked back. I have lighting, HVAC, theater control, security, weather, etc. The list of planned things is twice that long and is limited by the time and equipment to make it work. If you decide to trial it, do NOT try it without the forums close by. The people there are extremely helpful and often give you enough to get well on your way.

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    For those who are curious my "master server" is a Windows XP box with 1g memory. Only one other box supports devices at this time. It is much higher power but that's not because of CQC, it's the desktop in my home office.

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