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CQC Version 4.4 Released
Oct 6, 2013 - CQC Version 4.4 Released

Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd. is proud to announce the release of version 4.4 of their CQC automation platform. This release introduces some fairly significant changes, some of which are related to the future direction of the product and which will be ongoing.

In order to really take the product up another notch, it was necessary to make some changes that may require a small amount of attention on the part of existing customers to adjust for, and there are new features that existing customers might wish to familiarize themselves with. So we have written an upgrade guide. It is highly recommended that existing customers read it before upgrading.

4.4 Upgrade Guide

The more notable changes in this version are:
[INDENT]Driver Standardization. We've begun in this version what will be an ongoing process of driver standardization. This is necessary for a number of reasons. See the Upgrade Guide mentioned above for more information.

Velocity Sensitive Gestures. Gestures in the user interface are now velocity sensitive, i.e. they move further if you flick faster. This allows you to better control how much movement occurs. Multi-touch hardware is now supported, or you can use regular touch screens or a mouse to drive gestures.

Scrollable Overlays. You can now scroll the contents of overlays if the loaded templates are larger than the overlay itself. There are some limitations on this, so see the User Interface Designer technical document and read the section on Overlay widgets. This feature both allows you to reduce the number of templates required to cover multiple screen resolutions, but also allows you to create some 'smart menu' style interfaces where the menu is really a template that is being scrolled back and forth.

You can also set overlays into a 'page scrolling mode', where they always move a page at a time, which is sometimes desirable for certain sorts of interface designs.

Secure Interface Mode. The Interface Viewer now has a 'secure mode', which will display a popup template of your choice upon dismissal of the blanker. You can use this feature to require some sort of login to get back into the system after a period of time has passed (the blanker invocation time.) See the Interface Viewer Guide in the technical documents section of the web site.

Media Improvements. You can now control the text displayed in the Cover Art Browser widget, so you can display whatever metadata you find to be useful for making selections. You can also now see track specific cover art in the Media Image widget when playing media items via a playlist, as opposed to via the original collection.

You can now queue up media on a Media Renderer driver from multiple media repositories at once. Previously you had to set a default repository on the Renderer, and that would cause the playlist to be flushed. This is no longer necessary. You can either use the default repository when queuing up new media, or you can queue up media explicitly from a specific repository.

Media Renderer drivers were the target for the initial step in our standardization of drivers, so all of the media renderers should be interchangeable now, and auto-generated user interfaces should work as is with all V2 renderer drivers. See the upgrade guide mentioned at the top of this page for details.

Auto-Generation. The auto-generation system has been expanded to allow you to configure a number of global actions, which are involved in particular circumstances. This change allows you to customize the auto-generated user interfaces without having to modify them directly, primarily targeting the setup of hardware upon entering particular interface areas, e.g. set up your home theater upon entry to the movies section.


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. Other customers can purchase an upgrade to the 4.2 version if desired, just contact us for information.

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 considerable number of new tutorial videos have been added for this release.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
A follow-up release, 4.4.1, has been uploaded. This is just a 'small fixes and updates' type of release, which takes care of some things that slipped through the 4.4.0 release testing or that were back-ported from the 4.5 betas where it was safe to do such things.

The new release is available on the web site. If you are licensed for 4.4 already, or are eligible to upgrade to 4.4, then you can upgrade to this version. If you are already on 4.4, then you will not need a new license since it is just a revision upgrade. If you are any of the 4.5 betas (4.4.9xx versions), then you cannot use this version since you are already beyond it. You have to move forward on the betas.

Most of the changes are fairly technical fixes, but here are some of the more useful changes:
  • The Global Cache IRE driver was never very reliable. It couldn't convert incoming IR data into a consistent text string that could be used to look up an action and invoke it. This has now been fixed and it should be quite reliable to use now.
  • The Global Cache iTach Flex units have changed the protocol slightly, such that IR blaster ones wouldn't always be recognized as having any valid blaster zones. This has been fixed now.
  • The Leviton Z-Wave driver will now correctly get status updates from motion sensors that send their notifications not as standard reports but as multi-level sensor reports, which some it turns out do.
  • Generic trigger drivers (which take text strings from serial ports or IP ports and invoke CQC actions based on the incoming text, had an error that prevented them from working correctly with parameterized trigger strings. See the IR/Trigger device driver documentation for what those are and why you might want to use them.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum

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