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Author Topic: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed  (Read 34273 times)

Offline tt55du

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2010, 04:55:21 pm »
The activity in this forum has just been crazy, but without adding extra fuel to fire I just wanted to let you Micasa know what I think of the new "Vera2".

I use my Vera for everything (router/firewall, wireless AP, ssh server, sftp server, dydns, wol) and love it!
I would not be thrilled with the new changes if I had to replace my Vera though

1.  4 to 1 LAN port does not bother me since I have a 24 port gig-E switch it's uplinked to.

2.  I hope it did not lose routing capability or it's Open WRT core

3.  I like the external antenna, my vera is in a closet so it allowed me to wire an antenna outside the closet to get a better signal

4.  Internal battery is nice, but is it user replaceable? my Vera is already on a UPS so I'm covered it also doubles the power at 12 watts, is that to charge the battery when the original drew ~6watts?  not a lot more power, but I'm really happy with what my current vera can do on current power.  If it's to facilitate the schlage lock install, I never felt that the lock was that hard to install if you follow the directions explicitly.

5  Having a removable dongle was great, when the schlage lock upgrade came it was just a simple switch rather then shipping the whole unit back.  The other advantage is that I extend the USB dongle outside the closet to a point where both of my schlage locks can reach it.  When it was in the closet It would not work with all the EMI and I would have had to get nodes with security class built in .  How would I accomplish that with the a built in z wave chip?

I know I am probably not like most of your users that you say like the new form factor but I hope you extend the option to have both versions.  If not, I may have to look into buying a backup in case mine fails.

btw, I'm excited about all the software activity, but I am staying put for some time, probably until a mature UI4 comes out.  I worked too hard too many many times from scratch to get the Vera to where it is right now.  It recently ran for > 50 days before needing a reboot so I'm quite happy with it and am living fine with the few problems I have with it.

To Micasa: Keep up the hard work!
To the Forum: Keep Micasa on their toes!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 04:57:48 pm by tt55du »

Offline larry

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2010, 01:28:30 pm »
I'm a newbie, just received the new form factor box and new sw.

I found the new form factor a surprise - not bad news just unprepared for it.  It seems OK, and I am happy to have the newer unit.  I think the tradeoffs discussed seem fine.
It did not make me think MCV was very  'professional' to be surprised; especially when there was clearly some thought given to including a new Quick Start guide and a last minute notes.

The new SW was more of a challenge, it took several tries to get things set up and then after reading several threads on the forum I decided to try UI2 to learn what the fuss/changes were.  I have to say it was only 10 minutes with UI2 vs. hours on UI3.  The UI2 environment may not be as 'modern' but it is very functional and with the tutorials it is really easy to get going.  Maybe it was somewhat easier because I had been through UI3 - but I think not.

I have decades of experience in embedded systems, SW & UI development, I'm no expert here but so far I find UI2 the winner.


Offline Joe

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2010, 03:35:01 pm »
Conditional expressions is what makes the "smart" in smart home.
*DING DING DING* We have a winner!

On the micasaverde website there is a very nice comparison of Vera capabilities to the capabilities of competing products. It paints a very good picture for Vera, because Vera has more capabilities, and often at a better price point. Given that, and the drive that MCV seems to have for always improving their product, it seems silly to say that conditional expressions are something MCV doesn't need to focus on because they are not present in the competition.

Are there really thousands of Vera users that want their lights to turn on even when it's light out? Do they want their heat to turn on when nobody is home? Do they want their security system to arm when someone is home? Who are all these people paying $300 for Vera and $50-$150 for light switches, only to have the lights turn on and off on a pre-programmed schedule?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 03:08:14 pm by Joe »

mcvovidiu

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2010, 03:23:16 am »
Hi all,

1.  We decided to make Vera a home automation system more than a router, but you still gave 1 LAN, 1 WAN and the Wireless.

2.  None of the routing capabilities won't be lost and we're still using OpenWRT as the main core of Vera.

3.  Answered at 1.

4.  The battery pack is a rechargeable one. You can charge it many many times until it's life will end.

5  The built in z-wave module has a greater range and it deals much better with the interferences and other distracting signals. The antenna for the z-wave is more powerful than the USB Z-Wave dongle.

We switched to this new custom platform for various reasons, but the main was that ASUS doesn't produce anymore that hardware. So, right now we have a deal with a manufacturer that will produce hardware for us as long as we need and to our specifications.


"To Micasa: Keep up the hard work!
To the Forum: Keep Micasa on their toes!"

Thanks for supporting us.


Offline 325xi

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2010, 10:34:06 pm »
I definitely support the transition to new form factor and new UI.

But... but - absence of at least some conditional expressions IS ridiculous. I don't understand where the idea of users "don't know what conditions are" came from - people that capable of dealing with home automation are generally tech savvy enough to understand simple AND or OR. And as a feature it's much more relevant then having LUA section in scene definition (which is nice too - for those 15 people on this planet that actually use it)

Offline djrobx

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2010, 11:10:58 am »
Quote
seems you guys are content on poo-pooing any support for AND.

But you do realize that "less than 1%" uses xml or lua is EXACTLY the reason you need to add "AND" to the ui because using XML and LUA isn't what "normal people are going to do?

To say that less than 1% dont even know what "AND" means in a scene is a little over-reaching I think.  Most of us figure out what "AND" means probably  sometime around our second birthday.
I couldn't agree more.

Aaron, I don't think people are asking for complex, grouped boolean logic.   A simple AND operator is desperately needed, so we can make intelligent scenes like, "WHEN I unlock my door AND it's past sunset, turn on the lights." .  That really seems like home automation 101 to me.  

Yes, you can write luup scenes to do this, but luup is probably too complicated for a good chunk of your target audience.  



Offline michaelk

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2010, 05:25:53 pm »
For you guys interested in adding some simple logic to the UO- there's a thread here asking for it:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=3145.60

MCV thinks it's a fringe group that wants this - so if you could pipe up in that thread to let them know you also think it's valuable it might help them understand bettery that the many people think it's a valuable feature.

also there's a poll in the following thread trying to prove there are more than five people who care about this as MCV originally thought. So you might want to voter there too- although it seems clear at this point it's not just 5 people. But you know what they say "every vote counts"   ;D

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=3225.0

finally it seems Javier is the only person at MCV who's got some ideas how to get this accomplished. And pretty simply at that. But havne't heard any mention of when the rest of MCV might get on board with his intelligent ideas. He came up with a SIMPLE QUICK solution in one of the UI4 threads. So maybe you want to pipe in over there too that you are also interested and we can get some kind on an official response that they will spend the time to implement Javier's idea.

Of course a sketch would help a lot. Please feel free to propose and we will try to integrate it in the new UI.

So far, it seems that the simplest way is to simply add more conditions to the event definition screen.

Currently, you can only define a single variable to be compared to a single argument.  Adding more of these (variable/operation/argument), would do the trick.  The event would fire only when all conditions are met.  This is the AND.

Then, simply defining several events with the same result takes care of the 'outer' OR grouping.

The UI impact is minimal, and so is the extra burden on the user.  I don't know if you have already begin sketching that part (the scene/event/trigger/timer definitions); for now, simply allow for multiple conditions on a single event trigger.

What we still have to define is about the 'back of the frontent'.  Currently, it builds a JSON structure described here http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Luup_Events.  We could either extend this structure, and change the Luup engine to handle it, or we could drop this structure and make it always generate Lua scripts, even for simple events.

To be honest, now it seems that this was what the users were asking from the beginning; but for hardcore programmers it wasn't obvious.  At least for me, as soon as you pass the simple list of options, you're in programming territory.  And if you don't want to program, you need a code generator.  No middle grounds!  But it seems that just this addition, limited as it is, will make a big difference for some users.

In any case, the visible portion of the UI is almost unchanged (in concepts), the real work will be in how it communicates with the backend.


thread is here:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=3185.msg14484#msg14484
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 05:28:18 pm by michaelk »

guest4690

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2010, 09:51:27 pm »
He came up with a SIMPLE QUICK solution in one of the UI4 threads.

Thanks for the kind words; but i have to note that the solution is simple only in terms of UI and concepts involved.  The implementation will need either some backend extensions, or a small code generator.

Offline michaelk

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2010, 08:40:18 pm »
not our problem.

BIG LAUGH.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though- your post with your idea sums it up well- all the "coder" types were making things too complex- you finally figured out us non-coder nugget heads just want in a quick and simple UI change.  While I can't speak for everyone obvioulsy, I think you descirbed what most of us are asking for perfectly. Someone finally understood.

we just hope that your bosses realize that since this is like the most common thing asked for (in umpteen different threads)- that maybe we aren't some fringe group but rather maybe we are valuable users with insight asking for a feature that the masses would really appreciate. And so they move it up in the priority list to sooner rather than later.

Hopefully it's not too much work for you guys. I get that it's not trival. I reread your post a few times and thought to myself that you woudn't be getting it done in 20 minutes or anything.


Offline wotipka

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2010, 02:31:01 am »
I want to throw my vote in for some AND / OR options.  It would be great to turn on lights after an event (ie. door unlock, motion, etc) only if it were after dark.  That is a basic example but with options, I am sure that it can get a bit more interesting.  One for me would be cool down the house three degrees if it is after 2 and motion is detected.

kw
Vera 1.0.979 HA02 Appliance Module, HA04 Outdoor Appliance, 3 HA05 Screw-in Lamp Modules, HA03 Lamp Module, WDTC20 Thermostat, Schlage i-Link Lock, Panasonic DC30 camera.

Offline CMRancho

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2010, 09:09:35 am »
I want to throw my vote in for some AND / OR options.  It would be great to turn on lights after an event (ie. door unlock, motion, etc) only if it were after dark.  That is a basic example but with options, I am sure that it can get a bit more interesting.  One for me would be cool down the house three degrees if it is after 2 and motion is detected.

kw

MCV believes that you represent only some tiny fraction of their total user community. They are completely clueless.
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Offline SteveO123

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2010, 05:12:54 pm »

MCV believes that you represent only some tiny fraction of their total user community. They are completely clueless.
[/quote]

+1 on that one.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 10:47:28 am by SteveO123 »
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Offline michaelk

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #57 on: March 16, 2010, 12:21:12 pm »
fringe nut jobs!

Offline larry

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2010, 04:25:51 pm »
He came up with a SIMPLE QUICK solution in one of the UI4 threads.

Thanks for the kind words; but i have to note that the solution is simple only in terms of UI and concepts involved.  The implementation will need either some backend extensions, or a small code generator.

Javier mentioned that to add conditional expression will require backend work or a code generation. What environment would a code generator need to run in?

guest4690

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Re: New Form Factor Vera with Beta UI Factory Installed
« Reply #59 on: March 16, 2010, 04:54:10 pm »
Javier mentioned that to add conditional expression will require backend work or a code generation. What environment would a code generator need to run in?

It would be part of the frontend dialog.  instead of constructing a JSON structure that describes the conditions, it would build the Lua code from some templates and insert just like user's code.