14th October 2010, 08:07 PM
Cortex 25 has escaped into the wild - so here's a thread to talk about it!
14th October 2010, 08:09 PM
Paul - you mentioned wanting Cortex running as a service.
It sounds to me that this would take significant development effort, and given finite resources available to Idratek, it implies giving up or delaying other possible features we might be asking for.
What do you see as the benefits of having Cortex running as a service?
14th October 2010, 08:12 PM
Automated Home Ninja
Just so everyone is aware no official annoucement has been made by the guys at Idratek but the next version, version 25, has been anticipated for some time.
Part of the Idratek web site refresh has enabled the viewing of the release notes for v25:
It is possible it is an accident and maybe pulled but the doc has an October 2010 date so is likely to refer to the update
14th October 2010, 08:20 PM
Automated Home Legend
small point, but this thread is the 345th - equalling the count on the X10 forum !
14th October 2010, 08:33 PM
Automated Home Ninja
I'd like to see the GUI management console and the main Cortex engine / database seperated from one another. A number of people have reported issues with interactive logons for the current version and a client / server configuration may well address these problems.
Originally Posted by Gumby
To be honest Cortex needs a significant recode to move away from the current support stance of Windows XP. In the not to distant future all OS will be 64bit rather than 32bit (Mac Snow Leopard and Windows 7 both have 64 bit versions and the latest server relase from MS, Windows 2008 R2 is 64bit only). In addition many people are requesting Cortex to run on non-Windows OS like Mac OS and Linux.
Todays market requires function but also form and Cortex excels in the former but doesn't do so well in the latter. Have a look at the the work Kevin has being doing with the Joggler and xAP Flash. It is both functional and also very pleasing to the eye.
Don't get me wrong I love Idratek and have no intention of defecting. BUt after 2 years of minor updates to v24 I was hoping for more in v25.
15th October 2010, 10:22 AM
Automated Home Legend
following Gumby's wish-list theme, a simple / affordable & Cortex-friendly way of sensing when things are on, and/or for measuring voltage & current, has been wished-for by many ...
could one or more new Idratek modules could be the way of achieving this ?
even some sort of add-on for slightly enhanced versions of modules that exist already (those with analogue or digital inputs) ...
perhaps utilising some of the following :
the voltage & current sensing device Martin used here :
and these voltage & current sensors :
19th October 2010, 02:13 PM
For me, and I think by evolution or intentional design the Cortex interface is more of a management interface than for constant day to day interaction. It is useful for configuration and monitoring but is not appropriate for the wider family either via the inbuilt UI or the web interface. Separating the engine from the UI could help , and I do like Windows service possibilities but there is already considerable ability to add your own UI to Cortex. I had half expected UI customisation (at least our own icons etc) in V25 but custom UI's - by definition are very individual and create many wishlist requests, so maybe best avoided.
(IMHO) the IDRANet system is currently designed to work as a hardware network with day to day interaction via the supplied switches, keypads , IR and sensors. The intelligence is supplemented by Cortex but I don't see that as a control interface for the wider family. I think this is a good model. Strangely the rest of my family just don't seem to get that buzz that I get when I get an SMS telling me that the water is now hot enough for a bath - sat in a car 100 miles away it is kinda hard to explain.
Automation should be as effective yet transparent as possible. IDRANet + Cortex is pretty unique amongst automation control systems in that it implements functionality rather than just control, addressing whole areas like heating and security ..and with great capability.
The issue comes when you wish to encompass more abstract control within your system - AV amplifiers, TV recorders, mp3 selection , news, weather , browser and other internet sources etc. These necessitate larger graphic type displays , ideally touch screens... or maybe you just want to use touchscreens for your IDRANet control of things like lighting and heating. Having a unified interface to all these systems ensures things are much more adoptable by the whole family.
The solution, I believe, is to separate the 'front end' and the hardware / implementation and to provide some way to link them all together. Surprise I'm not going to use that 'x' word you're all expecting me to come out with.
IDRATEK will never be able to offer hardware solutions for everything and their forte is not in the UI front end design either . However Cortex is now very open via the 'automation network' plugin and you can therefore layer on top of Cortex your own front end to look just as you wish. There are also possibilities to integrate and control other hardware from within Cortex. You employ Cortex as your engine and IDRANet as your hardware implementation as well as pulling in other technologies should you wish. You then augment it with a nice touch screen interface should you wish.
So - just getting back to Paul's point - having Cortex there as a 'service' both figuratively and literally would be ideal. I see the current UI as a management interface and if it could detach and therefore improve resilience/performance even better. For those wanting their own fancier UI's it is already possible via various routes - albeit requiring a bit of effort to design and integrate them.
Once I get xAP Flash into a full release state I'll hopefully get some time to design some useful work within it and post some screen shots of my IDRANet and 'other' control.
PS Before I get the inevitable fanboy reposts , it's unfortunate (and IMHO a big mistake) that Apple have excluded Flash but there you go - they're powerful (and opinionated) enough to do this sort of thing. I just resent them making this decision on my behalf. ' IF' Flash does make things less stable then allow the user a menu option to turn it off. Only if trounced by Android might they hopefully revisit this. Once HTML5 alternatives emerge you can kick off a 'you see we were right' chant and Mexican wave, although I've yet to see viable demonstrations of this as an alternative to Flash. Meanwhile the Appstore offers some alternatives . BTW I do love my iPhone, iTouch and especially my iPad even if they don't display a lot of websites as they were designed to look !
Last edited by Kevin; 19th October 2010 at 02:45 PM.
19th October 2010, 07:12 PM
Automated Home Legend
picking-up on Kevin's point, 'wonder if it would be possible to list what the family would want access to - apart from it just working, and a boffin always available to sort it when it doesn't ...
eg: assuming a fully automatic set-up, without light switches or manually-adjustable thermostats, then might it be just simple over-ride controls for lights (on off up down), for heating (on off up down), for intercom controls (respond speak listen open-door), etc ...
ie: if a PC screen & even a DFP was thought too complicated, would a four-button module or two or three in each room cover it ... one for lights, one for heat, one for comm's, etc ... very simple & direct, and all working through Cortex, and so with minimum chaos (due to unawareness of modes, time-constants, etc) for the boffin to unravel ... ??
the modules could be real (in the room, on wall or coffee-table) or virtual (on their 'phones & communicating via IR, to be be as direct as possible - as would be possible via the "L5 remote" app, if they happen to be using iPhone or iPod touch or iPad - or other such, if not) ... with feedback via the lights - doing what was commanded, or briefly dipping, or sensor-module LEDs pulsing, or whatever ...
Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 19th October 2010 at 07:52 PM.
20th October 2010, 11:23 PM
Automated Home Guru
Family HA wants:
light automation etc to just work
intercom access - gets used ALL the time in our 3 storey house
retrieve messages - individual pin code from any interface
kill lights in unoccupied rooms
Info display - temps (esp outside), occupancy
News / weather forecast, calendar would be desirable, but not really HA, more the sort of stuff to display if a touch screen was available.
21st October 2010, 12:53 PM
Automated Home Legend
>intercom access - gets used ALL the time in our 3 storey house ...
that's interesting - the house we're building is three storeys, and we've three MFPs sitting here waiting to be installed - I think you've just made us think again on where we were going to install them ! Do you have MFPs or DFPs ?
'wonder if the new AUI (with video, too) would be even better ?