Cortex is 21 today

Got an email from idratek ... version 21.0.0 of Cortex is out. Release notes are a bit tantalising, some choice goodies are on the way.

Well, I'm pretty impressed, there's quite a few things that have appeared that were on my wish list and some general improvements. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but picks out some of the improvements that I will use straight away.

First up is that certain doors can be nominated as external, this is intended to help with presence and also alarm arming. I've changed mine, so I'll have to wait and see what happens.

Next is the ability to have a delay on presence triggers. I thought this might be a good idea for heating control, to avoid triggering boiler runs for short occupancy, for example, a transit corridor or short night time bathroom visits. Since I haven't got my radiator valves in place yet Idratek have beaten me to it !

Next is a scene object. This is quite interesting. The basic idea is that the scene can define a lighting profile against time of day. I have been faking this with a set of macros triggered from the scheduler, but the new scene object allows a much finer granularity of control (both time and dim level) than would be practical to achieve through macros. Any given light can be associated with more than one scene, and scenes can be enabled and disabled by other objects. So task-based scenes can be triggered that involve different sets of lights and also factor in time of day. There is a warning that only one scene should be enabled per light at any one time to avoid control conflicts. I think this is going to require some planning, especially as this is also interacting with the individual lighting triggering, or example, via presence. But as a quick test I've implemented a scene object for my landing light to get nicer graduation through the day, especially through the morning and evening transition zones. The next step will be to have "task-based" scenes for this: "work-day" and "lie-in".

The permissions dialog for locking out design changes has had a few tweaks. I use this mostly for self-protection, by locking down the room layout it avoids me accidentally dragging rooms around the floor plan. I think I'd ultiimately prefer something a bit like layers in a typical drawing program to handle this, but the permissions capability is adequate. To be fair, the permissions dialog is also intended to support a user/designer split in a circumstances where a installer configures the system, so layers might not work in that situation.

A new "logic" object has been added. I haven't tried it, but it appears it can be placed in between objects that would normally have direct connections to create more complex behaviour. I think this could be very interesting.

Something I've been hoping for ... in fact originally I was expecting the xPL capability to allow me to use this ... Slim Devices Squeezeboxes are now supported. YES. YES. Unfortunately it's a licenced option and I haven't got a licence yet, so I will have to wait to have a play. According to the release notes, Cortex will be able to use the Squeeze box for message display, as well as integrating control with other items.

Finally, and perhaps most interesting ... nope, you'll have to wait for the next entry ...

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This page contains a single entry by David published on February 21, 2007 11:17 PM.

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