Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. - Support Forums and Community
Version 2.0 Released - Printable Version

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Version 2.0 Released - Dean Roddey - 12-12-2006

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd is very proud to announce the 2.0 release of CQC (the Charmed Quark Controller), its software-based automation and media management system. Version 2.0 introduces very significant new features and capabilities to the CQC product.

Charmed Quark System's automation products provide robust, flexible, and cost effective control of lighting, HVAC, security, home theater, media data, and other systems. It is available in various configurations, which will scale to meet your needs, whether large or small, open or secure, a single room or the whole home. Build your own hardware, or use our pre-built systems. Do it yourself or pair up with one of our integration partners, whatever fits your needs and budget.

What's New

The list of new features is far too large to list in detail, but the highlights are:
  • Media Management. There was a massive overhaul of the media management system in this release. There is now a Charmed Quark specific media repository, which is managed via our own repository management and CD ripping tool, which also provides metadata retrieval. So you will no longer need either J.River or DVD Profiler if you use our new repository. And you no longer require an export/import cycle to get new data into the repository as with J.River/DVD Profiler, since any changes made with our repository manager are immediately available. J.River/DVD Profiler are still supported for those who still want to use them.
  • Interface System. A major new feature in the graphical interface system is support for 'pop-ups' and 'pop-outs'. These are modal interfaces that can be popped up over the main interface, interacted with, and this dismissed. They make the system much more flexible, and the new action system allows you to create your own confirmation pop-ups, browsing pop-ups, and so forth, which completely blend into the look of your interfaces. It adds a huge amount of power to your user interfaces. The 'pop-outs' are like pop-ups except that they present themselves by sliding out like slide out panel, to make your interfaces more graphically appealing. You can also have WAV files play when they are sliding in or out.
  • Action System. In CQC, an 'action' is a list of commands to carry out in response to a button press on an interface, at a scheduled time, etc... I.e. it is how you string together sequences of commands to create automation logic. The 1.x version of actions did not support any sort of logic, instead requiring the use of a CML language macro for anything beyond a simple linear list of commands. 2.0 now supports conditional logic in actions, many new commands that can be done at the action level instead of requiring CML, and a hugely streamlined action editing process. This new action system represents a huge step forward in the amount of power available to the non-programmer.
  • New Drivers. There are many new drivers available in this release, including but not limited to the whole RNet family of Russound devices, Vantage Q Series lighting, the full line of Integra receivers and DVD players, RCS serial thermostats, Betabrite LED displays, Networx NX8/8E security panels, Jandy Aqualink pool controllers, Rotel RSP-976, Nuvo Concerto multi-zone audio system, Pioneer VSX-84TXVi, Topfield PVR, Slim Server/Squeezebox, Insteon PLC, and Xantech MRC88 multi-zone audio system.

Give it a Whirl

The product is available in a 30 day unencumbered form, so you can use it to it's fullest extent during that time, in order to see if it works for you. If you decide to buy, you can just license your existing installation, so that you won't have any interruption of your work done during the trial period. To download the installer, click the Try/Buy tab of the main web site menu, or the Try It button in the upper right hand corner, and then the Try It area.

Then go to the Learn tab of the new web site, and select the Tutorial Videos link, which provides a set of videos to talk you through the process of installing and getting familiar with what CQC can do. You might want to go through the Using CQC section (also under Learn) first, but if you are hands on person you can just dive right in and come back to the Using section later.

Our license is a site license, and all our device drivers are part of the package, so there are no hidden incremental costs as your plans expand. There is a required base package, plus a number of optional packages. We also have a full system package that includes the base and all options at a reduced price. There is a Master Server which is licensed, and other clients can be run as required/desired.

* There are two versions of the CQC product, a DIY version and a professionally installed version. The DIY version is available for purchase on the web site, and at a very reasonable price, in an 'as is' format, with best effort support provided purely through the CQC support forum.