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Full Version: Version 4.8 Released
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October 13, 2015 - CQC Version 4.8 Released

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. is proud to announce the release of version 4.8 of their CQC automation platform. Unlike some recent releases 4.8 does not include fundamental changes. We just had a good collection of new features, improvements and fixes, and we didn't want to hold them off until our upcoming 5.0 release, so this release is to get these new bits out.

Here is an upgrade guide for existing customers upgrading. There really isn't anything of note to worry about if coming from 4.7, so primarily this is for customers coming from pre-4.7 versions.

4.8 Upgrade Guide

Bear in mind that as of 4.7 we no longer support XP and Vista versions of Windows. Windows 7/Server 2008R2 are the new minimal supported versions. This is per our announcement back in 2014.

Some of more notable changes in this version are:

Amazon Echo Support. CQC now supports the Amazon Echo. So you can use the Echo to send commands to CQC and CQC can return text back to the Echo to be spoken in response. Many people have been asking for a voice control option for CQC, so this is a step in that direction. It may not be for everyone, because the nature of the Echo infrastructure means it's a bit tricky to set up, but it works well once it is in place.

Plex Media Support. We've added support for the Plex Media system now as well. We have a media repository driver that lets you browse Plex media from within CQC. And we have a standard media renderer for Plex clients, to allow you to control playback and start up up playback of selected media and so forth in the usual way.

New/Updated Drivers. There are quite a few new or V2'd drivers. There are new drivers for the Denon X3200W, Emotiva XMC-1, a new renderer driver for iTunes (via the Tray Monitor as with the iTunes repository driver.) There are new V2'd drivers for UPB, Russound, Marantz SR5005, JVC projectors, and RCS thermostats. The Sonos Zone Player driver has also been updated to support cover art and the ability to select pay based stations and playlists (Sirius, Spotify and so forth.)

Try It

You can download the new version via the Try/Buy menu item on the web site, and try it out for 40 days. So you can know for sure whether it meets your needs before you commit.

Existing customers covered under the maintenance system can upgrade at their convenience.

Use the web site's Learn menu to learn more about the product. Extensive video and text information is available to help you learn how CQC works and how to get the most out of it.
A 4.8.2 followup release has been posted. It includes quite a few smaller fixes and improvements, plus some new and updated device drivers. The notable new bits are:
  • Nest V2 Driver. A new, V2 compatible Nest driver has been added, which uses the official (cloud-based) interface. It supports the REST streaming interface so it's quite efficient. It supports thermostats, cameras, and sensors.
  • Harmony Hub Driver. There is a new driver for the Harmony Hub. This driver allows you to see (and react to) changes in the current 'activity' on the hub, so CQC can react to such changes and control devices in response. You can also set the current activity and make the hub send out any currently configured device commands.
  • Dynamic Content. Some new features have been added to the user interface system, to allow you to create certain types of content dynamically on the fly. It's not uncommon to want to create scrollable overlays that present available things like lights, thermos, volume controls, etc... Currently you have to manually replicate the same widgets over and over, updating each new set to reference the next light, thermo, etc... Now you can tell the overlay to dynamically generate such content, based on a layout template that defines the content for each new instance. This makes it far easier to create adaptive user interfaces, particularly since you can query the lists to load from drivers directly, i.e. the list will just adjust to whatever is available at the time.
Well, it appears there are two issues in 4.8.2, so you might want to hold off until 4.8.3, which should probably be posted tomorrow. Those problems are:
  • Some drivers may not send out standard event triggers in some cases.
  • The values written out by the TimedFldChange command (the initial and later delayed values) get stored to the field, but don't get sent to the driver to send out to the device.

If you have already upgraded, and you depend on either of the above, you should move up to 4.8.3 when it shows up. Even if you don't think you depend on these features, probably it would be best to move forward anyway, just in case.

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause. We try our best, but sometimes these things happen.
Version 4.8.3 is now available. It takes care of the two issues above. Again, apologies for any inconvenience. The web site basically just pretends 4.8.2 didn't happen, and was just updated to indicate 4.8.3 instead.
If you use any drivers that talk to other drivers, you may run into an issue that causes a 30 second'ish lockup. This will only happen if both of the drivers are on the same machine. The one where it was initially noticed was the irrigation scheduler driver, which talks to other drivers to turn off/on sprinklers and such. There aren't many drivers that do this, but there are small number of them. Typically you would be aware of this because it would require some setup on your part to tell that driver what other drivers it should talk to.

If you run into this problem, 4.8.5 is available to fix this issue. We probably won't issue it formally, just going on to 5.0, but we wanted to make this patch available for those folks affected: