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Author Topic: Good advice for HA device suppliers  (Read 9378 times)

dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2016, 04:35:33 PM »

The IP Commander was based on...
http://netmedia.com/siteplayer/telnet/index.html

I used Netmedia's BasicX IC in the BX24-AHT but saw no need to duplicate what the IP Commander did.
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bkenobi

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2016, 05:16:51 PM »

After reading many of the posts in this thread (and a couple others), it seems that there is a nomenclature issue.  It appears that API, server, and cloud are being used interchangeably in some instances.  To level set, API's are a way to expose the functions of a software so external programs can access them.  A server (at least as far as we have been discussing) is a device on your local network that allows access to devices outside the network.  A/the cloud is a server(s) set up by a company that provides some service that is typically accessed by a smart phone or PC and connects various devices connected to a home network (typically).  When these terms are mixed, it confuses the issues we are discussing and makes it appear that there is a conflict of opinions when there may not be.

When I think of an API, I typically think of a library or executable that I can call by some program to get something back (data or action).  In my mind, it's simply a black box that I can't see inside of but it does something I only care about the output from.  Some manufacturers implement their API through the cloud (e.g., the BloomSky weather station's API is actually a call to a remote web/cloud server rather than to the local hardware), though it is not intrinsically necessary.  What I want from an API for this weather station is the data the station is collecting.  When I call the API, it connects to the cloud and pulls the stored data and sends it back to me.  I would personally prefer it be implemented where the API connects to the local weather station and pulls the data locally without requiring an internet connection.  If the BloomSky server ever shuts down, the API is gone and the weather station won't have anywhere to send the data to.

Also, when someone sets up a network server and accesses it from a remote location, this is not exactly the same as a cloud.  And, if that is the preferred name for that server, the complaint/concern people have posted here are not related to that approach.  The only concern that has been cited about the cloud is strictly related to companies own servers that connect to proprietary devices that have no local control/data available to harvest.

I looked at Roku, Fire, etc last year and was about to order one of them.  But, I found out that my network connection was too slow and my TV didn't support the connections for any devices.  I'd have to upgrade my internet subscription, buy the streaming device, pay a subscription, get a new TV, a new receiver, a new DVD/BD player, etc just to watch free movies.  That free service started to look pretty expensive.   B:(

dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2016, 06:22:21 PM »

What I want from an API for this weather station is the data the station is collecting.
While the BX24-AHT did not include a complete weather station, it did have sockets for a barometric sensor and a temperature/humidity sensor.  And, you could access the data locally or remotely according to your needs.

Quote
Also, when someone sets up a network server and accesses it from a remote location, this is not exactly the same as a cloud.
And, there were simple, cloud-free web servers available as far back as 15 years. See...
http://netmedia.com/siteplayer/webserver/index.html
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 06:48:47 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2016, 07:13:28 PM »

I looked at Roku, Fire, etc last year and was about to order one of them.  But, I found out that my network connection was too slow and my TV didn't support the connections for any devices.
There are inexpensive HDMI to VGA (and other combinations) adapters.

My main monitor supports HDMI, DVI, Display Port and VGA inputs. I had to do a bit of fancy footwork to connect all - W10 (HDMI), W7 (DVI), Mac Mini (Display Port) and RPi3 (HDMI to VGA adapter). 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E717OXE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2016, 10:17:35 PM »


Only to the computer illiterate.

I've programmed computers since the days of Fortran/Cobol, and IBM punch cards fed to a mainframe so I think I understand the terminology.

So you disagreed with the technical link I provided you with huh? Maybe if you complain enough to everyone on the internet they will stop the cloud.
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bkenobi

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2016, 11:54:21 PM »

My TV is an old CRT Sony Wega XBR circa 2002.  I keep hoping it will die so I can justify replacing it, but it keeps going and looks great.  Heck, I had a break in years ago and the intruder wouldn't even touch it cause he knew it weighed 300#!

Unfortunately, the most advanced connection I have is component (Y, Pb, Pr).  I have a nice Onkyo receiver which sounds awesome, but component is all it has too.  I know I could get an adapter, but I've done those in the past and they always seem so clunky and disappointing.  Maybe they are better these days.  Anyway, the internet is really the biggest problem.  Watching low res YouTube requires buffering the whole thing to avoid hickups.  DirecTV on demand requires downloading the whole content, so it's not so on demand.

HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2016, 12:53:00 AM »

............... I looked at Roku, Fire, etc last year and was about to order one of them.  But, I found out that my network connection was too slow and my TV didn't support the connections for any devices.  I'd have to upgrade my internet subscription, buy the streaming device, pay a subscription, get a new TV, a new receiver, a new DVD/BD player, etc just to watch free movies.  That free service started to look pretty expensive.   B:(

Yeah. It's frustrating for most people. Just reading some of these post on THIS thread.... and you can almost hear the heartbreak of updating and upgrading.

My brother used to call the cutting edge... the bleeding edge. Of course... he is no longer with us. So his waiting for things to wear-out or drop in price.... didn't pay-out like he might have hoped.

But some members here... don't live in areas where broadband visits. So... no matter what resources anyone has... it is rare anyone has everything to work with.   

But huge flat screen hi-res TV are pretty cheap now a days.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2016, 09:29:08 AM »

My TV is an old CRT Sony Wega XBR circa 2002.  I keep hoping it will die so I can justify replacing it, but it keeps going and looks great.  Heck, I had a break in years ago and the intruder wouldn't even touch it cause he knew it weighed 300#!

Unfortunately, the most advanced connection I have is component (Y, Pb, Pr).  I have a nice Onkyo receiver which sounds awesome, but component is all it has too.

We have one of those Sony XBR beasts too, but ours is about a decade older.  It is what turned me off about Sony products.  It died soon after we received it, and was repaired under warrantee.  Then the power supplied failed, and I found bad solder joints.  Over the years it gradually degraded.  I can't tell you how many times I pulled out the chassis looking for bad solder joints.  First the tuner was intermittent and finally died - bypassed by a VCR turner.  Then the sound went - bypassed by the audio output and computer speakers.  Now it is pushed off into a corner waiting for us to haul it somewhere for disposal.

Only one of our TVs is flat-panel HD with HDMI inputs.  All the others are CRT 10-15 years old.  A couple are RF input only, and we use them with the HDTV converter boxes.  Others have either video or component inputs, and they work with the TiVo satellite adapters.  When our cable company switched from analog to digital, all our DVRs were rendered virtually useless, so I bought a 6-tuner TiVo.  That acts as the recorder and front-end for most of our TVs.  One advantage is now we can watch a recorded program on any TV connected to the TiVo network - even in the theater room.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2016, 11:51:14 AM »

With the limited vocabulary needed for automation control, why not use a voice recognition program in a PC, and do everything locally?

For example:  https://www.automatedliving.com/

The August issue of The MagPi deals with Windows 10 IoT Core on the RPi. There's a link to a PDF version below.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/windows-10-magpi-48/
There's an article on a Magic Mirror which uses the Windows 10 speech recognition and text-to-speech to create a mirror which interprets (limited) vocal commands, speaks, plays music, displays news, weather, etc.  The fellow who created it is adding facial recognition so the mirror can display individualized schedules, news, etc. for him and his wife. While the music, news, weather, etc. are pulled in from the web, the processing is all local with no clouds in sight (excluding those in weather reports).

It could be easily expanded to use WiFi and the ESP8266 (WiFi to Serial) to interface with any of the myriad of HA controllers supported by HAL via their APIs/Communication-Protocols.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 12:04:58 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2016, 12:56:20 PM »

After reading many of the posts in this thread (and a couple others), it seems that there is a nomenclature issue.  It appears that API, server, and cloud are being used interchangeably in some instances.
...
Quote
When these terms are mixed, it confuses the issues we are discussing and makes it appear that there is a conflict of opinions when there may not be.

Bill Gates learned computer programming in high school, using typewriter like terminals that communicated over telephone lines to an IBM mainframe. He would transmit his program/data, the mainframe would process it and return the results to a line printer that was associated with the terminal. Many businesses used similar setups before Gates created DOS/Windows/Office that ran locally on small, affordable PCs.

That ancient mainframe is comparable to today's clouds which are remote servers (or huge, powerful banks of same) to which we connect via the web, that run software programs (e.g. Office 365) as virtual machines. Aside from security issues, they make great sense for businesses. And, as I've stated, I've no objection to opt-in cloud connections that augment local control. I only object to HA hardware that forces us to depend on a cloud that may dissipate (e.g. X10 and Netgear) or burst, pouring our (perhaps personal) data out like a thunderstorm.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 01:00:03 PM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2016, 01:25:08 PM »

The August issue of The MagPi There's an article on a Magic Mirror which uses the Windows 10 speech recognition and text-to-speech to create a mirror ............... the processing is all local with no clouds in sight (excluding those in weather reports).

The "magic mirror" was a great gadget for the display of a technology. The original concept added the floating head/animated image designed to appear to talk when the program spoke. Cute, sure, maybe. Any advanced tech can tend to be something a user designs to.... show off... rather than exploit the technology to be useful. I don't know of anyone ever actually "using" a magic mirror for anything other than YouTube videos and bragging rights.

One of the (secret) methods police are using now is creating social media (Facebook) accounts. The police fake accounts are often friended with and/or pretending to be known criminals. So when a security camera catches an image of a thug selling drugs (or even a terrorist at the airport) police can load the image to Facebook and let their facial recognition identify the person for tagging. An EXCELLENT use for cloud tech.

Regular people have used their own security cameras and social media accounts to do the same thing. Using a similar cloud based technology idea could tell a home owner.... who was the person at their door when they were away. Or who visited with their 16 year old daughter while Mom and Dad was still at work.

If X10 is about showing a buddie how we can use a remote to turn the upstairs lights off and on while watching a TV and drinking a beer in the living room..... then no cloud, PC, software, programs or.... much of anything else is required.

But if good automation is about exploiting the latest technology to better life for our families and ourselves (and by definition IT IS). Then we need to look at what CAN be done with todays technology. Not at how little of todays technology we can use.    
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2016, 01:30:53 PM »

........ I've no objection to opt-in cloud connections that augment local control. I only object to HA hardware that forces us to depend on a cloud that may dissipate (e.g. X10 and Netgear) or burst, pouring our (perhaps personal) data out like a thunderstorm.

Everyone that reads these forums is well aware of your cloud/Internet fears. I think everyone understands fear (justified or not). But cloud technology is too big, too useful, too much of how everything is being done.... to NOT build in that direction.
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2016, 01:41:39 PM »

Regular people have used their own security cameras and social media accounts to do the same thing. Using a similar cloud based technology idea could tell a home owner.... who was the person at their door when they were away. Or who visited with their 16 year old daughter while Mom and Dad was still at work.   
All of which can be done without clouds.

How long have you had this allergy to facts?
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dhouston

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2016, 02:34:05 PM »

My TV is an old CRT Sony Wega XBR circa 2002.
How many watts? My 50" Vizio flatscreen is 75W.

Even remote areas without landlines can get high speed satellite feeds.
http://internet.hughesnet.com/plans-and-pricing.html
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 03:02:26 PM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Good advice for HA device suppliers
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2016, 03:17:58 PM »

Regular people have used their own security cameras and social media accounts to do the same thing. Using a similar cloud based technology idea could tell a home owner.... who was the person at their door when they were away. Or who visited with their 16 year old daughter while Mom and Dad was still at work.   

All of which can be done without clouds.

Amazing!!!!! Your a GENIUS!!!! You can identify a picture of my wife, mother, brother, LONG deceased father.... WITHOUT using the cloud?!?!? I am VERY impressed with your "facts". Please share with me... how it is you do this. PLEASE!!!!!

I mean... any and everyone can do this using scary cloud technology. But how do you do it without the cloud? 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 03:54:15 PM by HA Dave »
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