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Topic:
EI going straight to builders with Lifeware
This thread has 350 replies. Displaying posts 46 through 60.
Post 46 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 00:14
madroxxx
Long Time Member
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105
I don't know enough to weigh in on either side, but one thing I will throw out there is that alot of people have gone out of business betting against Microsoft. About 13 years ago I when I was first starting out in the computer networking field I was fortunate enough to see the writing on the wall and became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer even though I was already certified for Novell Netware which was a much superior network operating system that had the majority of the market share. I haven't had a chance to work on a Novell server since Y2K compliance checks.
Microsoft has proven over and over that you don't have to have the best product, or the first product to market or ..., they can bully thier way in to a market they want to own.

Alot of people scoffed when they said they were entering the game console market too.

Last edited by madroxxx on February 18, 2007 00:20.
Post 47 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 00:50
AnthonyZ
Select Member
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1,987

Anthony Z-This statement raises two issues. One, you are
unfamiliar with the remote capabilities of dedicated servers.
I am an Xperinet dealer. Remote diagnoses is not only
possible but, were a hard drive in the RAID array to go
down, I get an email and show up at my client's home with
a replacement and they would never even know there was
a problem. Two, you openly bring up what is ultimately
one of Microsoft's biggest problems. Security. It's not
only vulnerable but a clear hacker target....Ping.

SC-Very aware of the remote site tools for request, experinet,
lutron, and more. In essence brother, your whole scenario
is taking place on your mircosoft machine and you are
using a piece of software to remote in to their box and
do diagnosis. The only difference from mine is there
are more powerful tools built for PCs than the linux
piece you are using. Either way Microsoft and software
are involved.

You're not addressing the issue here. The piece I sell, and Kaleidescape as well, simply operate better. Place a disc in and add it to your collection. I can't say anything about Kaleidescape as I am not a dealer but it takes only two selections to load a DVD or CD. That's it. Two whole button presses. Done. Not only did my client not have to screw around with 2 or 3 decryption programs to rip and discover but, it's also immediately available on every client piece. Even better, the quality of playback far outstrips any PC I am aware of but for, possibly, the Niveus box. How would I know? I own both an MCE hot rod and an Xperinet MIRV. Client can easily sleep at night knowing that the content is secure and won't be compromised by a hard drive failure or malicious, pimply faced a$$hole writing viruses. Worth paying for? You freakin' bet.
"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in"
Post 48 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 02:30
QQQ
Super Member
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4,806
On February 17, 2007 at 23:14, [email protected] said...
QQQ, walk me thru how you help a homeowner in florida,
when your office is in say California, load a picture
onto their crestron system and then associate the pic
with a certain scene in their dining room so that they
have it up on their plasma when they hit the romantic
dinner scene that is controlling the lights, audio, and
digital artwork. All while they sit in front of the crestron
panel, so they can replicate it next time they want to
add a new photo, and owe by the way the lights are a little
dim can we up those to 60%. By the way send a bill when
you are done. Life|support or you could be done in say
a minute or two. Keep writing code, while your competitors
are out installing another job and providing better service.

I have lived with, sold and installed the other "great"
systems, they can't perform on the same level as enterprise
based micrsoft software product. Quit kidding yourself.

What "enterprise based Microsoft software products" are you referring to? Please be SPECIFIC.
Post 49 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 02:53
QQQ
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After you answer that question Steve I have a few more for you.

1. Let's suppose a new product comes out for which Lifeware has not written any RS-232 code. What Lifeware software tools would I use to write that code so I could add the component to my Clients system?

2. What Lifeware software I would use if I wanted to create a custom GUI for my Client (NOT a new "skin" a customized GUI)? Prior to uploading it to their system in Florida.

3. If a Client wanted to use another media center with Lifeware such as Kaleidescape, how would I do that and integrate it into the Lifeware GUI?
Post 50 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 03:01
QQQ
Super Member
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On February 17, 2007 at 21:43, [email protected] said...
EIs approach is to be hardware
agnostic versus C4 has tried to build the best lighting,
hvac, audio and kept it all proprietary, all your eggs
are in the C4 basket. EI has chosen to embrace every
brand of lighting, audio, security, hvac, and more. There
are a lot of good products in the industry, obviously
different strokes for different folks or what is needed
on a job, but we dont want to reinvent the wheel. Where
we come in, is we help those companies bridge their communications
on to IP using and open standards, WSD, web services for
devices, this can run on linux, Microsoft, thread x, and
more. It is basically like usb type discovery of devices,
but over a network. Then once the devices can communicate
in an open standard...

Since you're such a huge proponent of open standards, and not being proprietary, just an FYI, it would be nice if Firefox users could actually watch the demo video on your website. Instead you require the use of Internet Explorer with a Microsoft Active X plugin. Shame shame!
Post 51 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 03:05
QQQ
Super Member
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4,806
And one final question since I am on a roll. What piece of Microsoft or Lifeware software would I use to burn DVD's to your Lifeware/MS media center?
Post 52 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 04:19
ceied
Loyal Member
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qqq, why are you posting at 2 am?

ed
Ed will be known as the Tiger Woods of the integration business, followed closely with the renaming of his company to "Hotties A/V". The tag line will be "We like big racks and tight holes"...
Post 53 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 05:00
Dean Roddey
Senior Member
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May 2004
1,009
Any PC based system will allow for remote access (assuming of course that things are working well enough to do that.) Our users/installers do the same thing with CQC, and it's easily done. It does allow for a lot of flexibility to do things remotely.

Of course it's going to be a lot easier if the machine you are RDP'ing into isn't a media center machine that the customer has been surfing porn sites on since you installed it, and is loaded with viruses, but a machine locked away in the closet and never used directly, i.e. replacing the dedicated controller with a dedicated controller that can just do more things in one box.

That, to me, is where the benefits lie in PC based automation systems, and why we created a highly networked system, so that the back end can be kept away from the naughty bits.
Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems
www.charmedquark.com
Post 54 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 09:07
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On February 18, 2007 at 02:30, QQQ said...
What "enterprise based Microsoft software products" are
you referring to? Please be SPECIFIC.

For example look at Citrix, GoToMY PC or GoToAssist, for support or remote diagnostic and setup
SC
Post 55 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 09:20
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On February 18, 2007 at 02:53, QQQ said...
After you answer that question Steve I have a few more
for you.

1. Let's suppose a new product comes out for which Lifeware
has not written any RS-232 code. What Lifeware software
tools would I use to write that code so I could add the
component to my Clients system?

We have what we call UDI, universal device interface, drop in the theRS-232 codes or IR and we can use those to integrate CE devices and such.

2. What Lifeware software I would use if I wanted to create
a custom GUI for my Client (NOT a new "skin" a customized
GUI)? Prior to uploading it to their system in Florida.

This is where our philosophy is pretty different, you would have to actually demo an EI system to a sophisticated homeowner to beleive. Currently we don't want the GUI to be different from house to house, this allows easier use factor, just like we all drop an email from Outlook the same way, we want the user experience to be streamlined. THere is menu and function flexibility, but not GUI changes. I actually did a demo to a very wealthy individual in NY a few weeks ago, he has over a dozen homes, all have the "C" system in them, he has never used the same integrator as he has always been unhappy with the final "product" he has used some great dealers, at the end of the lifeware demo he asked "how much more than my crestron system is this going to be?" A lucky dealer in florida now has a 40K sq ft job and 12 houses to retrofit. The power of this philosophy lies in the hands of the end user, this is just one of many similar stories. Especially if people have multiple properties, they really like a standard based use model. We will continue to see if this is a majority rule for homeowners, but at this point we are close to 100%, they really don't care how it looks as long as it easy to use and reliable. Often times we as dealers look at what we want, versus what are homeowners need.
3. If a Client wanted to use another media center with
Lifeware such as Kaleidescape, how would I do that and
integrate it into the Lifeware GUI?

UDI, but the model is MCE can do what you need done. as far as software, we stay out of the DVD business, but go look at thegreenbutton.com or mymovies.name
SC
Post 56 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 12:00
QQQ
Super Member
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On February 18, 2007 at 09:20, [email protected] said...
We have what we call UDI, universal device interface,
drop in the theRS-232 codes or IR and we can use those
to integrate CE devices and such.

Please clarify, is this something I can do as a dealer or do I provide you with the RS-232 protocol and you take it from there?
Post 57 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 12:50
Long Time Member
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31
UDI or Universal Device Interface is a dealer tool, once you have put a code in you can store your own library, remote central is a great resource for dealers and we built UDI so that you could use the code libraries here and elsewhere to have a broad scope of product to integrate into lifeware. It works similar to the software with a pronto for IR, but for both IR and RS-232. We are also constantly adding devices, had an email from another lighting company and thermostat company yesterday who is building WSD/IP into their devices so they self discover and you don't have to mess with anything other than how those devices will be applied in the system you are designing. We are trying to take the best of the current world of products and even legacy and spin them up into a software application. May not do everything that you can do today with amx or crestron, but our goal is to get you 95+% of the way there and do it a lot quicker, also add a peice of scalability and being able to replicate systems.
SC
Post 58 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 13:55
Dean Roddey
Senior Member
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|
This is where our philosophy is pretty different, you would have to
actually demo an EI system to a sophisticated homeowner to
beleive. Currently we don't want the GUI to be different from house
to house, this allows easier use factor, just like we all drop an email
from Outlook the same way, we want the user experience to be
streamlined. THere is menu and function flexibility, but not GUI
changes.

Isn't this making a 'feature' out of a lack of something that every other serious product offers? How does an installer provide any sort of real look and feel for their systems if they cannot customize the GUI any way they want, i.e. provide differentiation to their delivered solutions? Given that we are constantly being beaten on from all sides to increase the customization capabilities of our touch screen design system, and that every other product seems to have the same pressures, I'm just having trouble seeing as how this a good thing.

And I don't really think that the Outlook analogy applies. I may go from one computer to another at work and home and such, and the availabilty of a standardized (read: Non-Optimized for any Given Purpose) interface makes sense for what general use computers are for, where you have many applications all at use on the same screen and you want to have some commonality. But it doesn't apply to custom automation system touch screen interfaces, which in many cases exist specifically to create highly targeted interfaces for specific applications. I'm not going to be going to your house and messing with your automation system.

Isn't this is more of an issue that, being MCE based, you don't have the ability to do a lot of customiziation of the user interface to begin with?

Last edited by Dean Roddey on February 18, 2007 16:02.
Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems
www.charmedquark.com
Post 59 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 14:23
Moe's original BBQ
Active Member
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703
On February 18, 2007 at 09:20, [email protected] said...
Currently we don't want the GUI
to be different from house to house, this allows easier
use factor, just like we all drop an email from Outlook
the same way, we want the user experience to be streamlined.

I find this mentality perplexing. I find that my clients demand more personalization than conformity. When I hear this argument, I think back to the imortal words of Joe Dirt:

Joe Dirt: So your gonna' tell me that you don't have no black cats, no roman candles, or screaming mimis?

EI: No

Joe Dirt:
Oh come on man. You got no lady fingers, fuzz buttles, snicker bombs, church burners, finger blasters, gut busters, zippity do das, or crap flappers?

EI: No, I don't

Joe Dirt: Your gonna stand there, owning a fireworks stand, and tell me you don't have no whistling bungholes, no spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hooskers doos, hoosker donts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistling kitty chaser?

EI: No, because snakes and sparklers are the only ones I like.

Joe Dirt: Well that might be your problem, it's not what you like, it's the consumer.



Time will tell if snakes and sparklers are all the consumer wants. Best of luck to you.
Paramount Audio Video
California/Colorado
Post under Matt Marple on www.esiorg.com and Matt on www.integrationpros.org
Post 60 made on Sunday February 18, 2007 at 14:33
2nd rick
Super Member
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Has anyone else noticed that the software guys the only ones who cannot figure out how to effectively use quotes here??

On February 18, 2007 at 13:55, Dean Roddey said...
" (random example of Dean copying someone's post with quotation marks instead of | using the quote + reply function iof the board) "

Read on Dean, read on...


On February 17, 2007 at 21:43, [email protected] said...
QQQ- (words, words, words...)

SC-(words, words, words...)

Tvisser-(words, words, words...)

What??... This post was nearly impossible to follow...

Even if you don't want to use the vertical line (shift+\) command and manually create them, open exatra windows in the tabbed browser, open this same thread, hit "quote & reply" to the post you want to reference, and then paste it into the response window... Hit "edit post" on this post to see more.
Rick Murphy
Troy, MI
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