• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

CQC is going Open Source

AnotherOne

Active Member
I hate to say this, but I think CQC is in a slow spiral towards death. You started it when you said you were going to open source it and look for something else. Now would be customers are going to think twice about buying into CQC because of the chance that you return to the same state of mind you where in a few months ago when you announced the open source possibility - think premise. You may be able to turn this around with additional funding, but even that will be a challenge.
 

signal15

Senior Member
Proprietary hardware would be the death knell for CQC. Look at the price of an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android phones, and tablets. You can buy a server for $200 from dell if you search Dealnews enough. CoTS hardware is cheap and good, and software can be made to run on it that will do everything you want it to. The only people buying proprietary hardware for this stuff is installers who sell it to rich people that know nothing about technology. And at some point, those people are going to wonder why they can't just "do it all" through their iPhone or why they need a little black box that they paid a ridiculous amount of money for.

There's something to be said for building a strong community around CQC (or any other product) by eliminating the financial aspect of getting into it, and then selling additional services, support, or modules around it.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
I hate to say this, but I think CQC is in a slow spiral towards death. You started it when you said you were going to open source it and look for something else. Now would be customers are going to think twice about buying into CQC because of the chance that you return to the same state of mind you where in a few months ago when you announced the open source possibility - think premise. You may be able to turn this around with additional funding, but even that will be a challenge.

Everyone may perceive the events differently, and I will be the first to admit that my ears perked up when I heard the possibility of CQC going open source. However, because of the utility of the program itself (it can do everything I want and more) and its currently availability and cost (lowest price I have ever seen it listed), I am actually more prone to making the purchase now and actually having it vs. waiting for the unknown future (e.g. CQC being bought out and seeing a large price increase or even not sold to end users at all, or as you mention its potential "death"). I personally don't see any of the examples as actual scenarios but more of a worst case. In any event, as a DIY-er, I would much prefer to have the program and get support via the number of users here or on the CQC forum (or wherever that could potentially transition to) than to pay much more for another alternative. Who is to say any of the other companies will be around 6 months or a year from now?

As it's really spelled out in this and other thread regarding the current state of CQC, the DIY market it tough, partially because of budget limitations of the DIYers, and I certainly don't think there is another option that can currently be had for $350 with the same capabilities. Then again, I haven't done any deep research on the other alternatives either. :huh:
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
No matter what the company, there's always the chance the company will go way. Companies far larger than ours have done so in this and other industries. There are probably a lot of Premise or ex-Premise users around here, for instance. But, in some ways, our small size actually makes us almost immune to actually going away. Most companies die because they are burning the candle faster than they can add to it. Actually that's probably the most likely way to be successful, but it's also dangerous for the obvious reasons. Being conservative, as we have, and never spending more than we have, has its own sorts of costs and limitations.

At this point, we aren't going to open source it, so no need to worry about that. We could get purchased of course, that's always a possibility, no matter how large or small a company is. It's probably not nearly as much of a possibility as I would like, but it is one. And I don't say that because I'm looking to bail out and run off to Bermuda. No one is going to buy us and not strap me securely to the mast for some number of years. So I'm still on the hook one way or another. But I'd have a steady job, someone else could worry about the legal hassles, and we'd have a real staff of technical and sales and marketing folks.

As to having some hardware, it cuts both ways. Yeh, you can buy stuff cheap, but you have to set it up. Depending on what your time is worth to you, and how technical you are, a $1000 or $1500 box that includes the software and is ready to just plug in and turn on may be far more of a deal for you than buying a software product and setting up your own system. Though, in small quantities, it's probably not very easy to make good money even selling them for that much.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
Reading through this and a couple of the other CQC threads lately has me curious as to what the big deal is regarding the hardware piece. It's a software application... it requires a PC. What exactly makes that complicated or scares anyone away? I suppose since I have built 5 PCs for various people in the past 4-6 months I dont have any issue with it at all, but I also dont see where an integrator would have an issue. If you dont have the technical expertise or simply dont want to build them yourself, just source them from a local PC store, or even Dell. Can someone explain what makes this an issue?
 

wuench

Senior Member
Reading through this and a couple of the other CQC threads lately has me curious as to what the big deal is regarding the hardware piece. It's a software application... it requires a PC. What exactly makes that complicated or scares anyone away? I suppose since I have built 5 PCs for various people in the past 4-6 months I dont have any issue with it at all, but I also dont see where an integrator would have an issue. If you dont have the technical expertise or simply dont want to build them yourself, just source them from a local PC store, or even Dell. Can someone explain what makes this an issue?

The hardware piece is not a big deal. It just simplifies the installers job, because it is a predefine piece that has been tested, etc. It saves the installer time, gives them a tangible thing to sell that the customer can see, is easy to replace, and is a vehicle to make money for the installer and CQC via markups and such. An installer could probably still roll their own if they felt the need to.

In the past we have seen issues with certain hardware, issues with certain video cards, issues with different OS's. Like right now there is the TTS issue for some with Windows 7. Using CQC hardware and build, the installer wouldn't need to worry about all that. He can just drop in the hardware hook it up, and get to developing templates, etc. It also simplifies the support from CQC's perspective.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
A lot of integrators are not at all computer people, and definitely not of the sort who would feel comfortable putting together their own hardware, or even buying a pre-fab one from somewhere like Dell and setting it up. Their specialty is automation, and PC building isn't really very much part of that area of pursuit, though obviously a lot of people get into it because they tech weenies and would learn to do it for other reasons. But a lot of integrators are not of that sort. A lot of them don't even feel comfortable setting up a piece of software like CQC even if it was pre-installed on a hardware box really.
 

elcano

Active Member
Dean,

Just learned about your news. I'm sorry very much for the bad times that you are having, and al
so for the possible destiny of a product that you have developed for
�
�so long. I know how proud your are of your creation. These must 
be�
�painful times.

As for you, with all your experience and all that code, I think tha
t the best idea for the future would be an embeeded version of theÂ
 
CQC server and touchcreen running in one of those new powerful ARM p
rocessors. Probably on BSD, linux or other low-resources OS . 
Most normal people dont want a huge server sucking power at home.

As for the current software...well, even that I'm an open source advocate, I was having a bad flavor in my mout
h
 while reading the announcement. Switching a proprietary business model
�
�to open source is not easy. Not the right way. Throwing the sourc
e 
code to the community while closing the shop is the most fair that 
y
ou can do for existing customers, of course. Still, that does not ma
k
e an open source project.

Open source can very profitable for those that really understand the 
concept, however. But this business model is not easy to understand f
o
r some people. It took my partners several years - now he regrets all the time lost. 

I wish you the best success in your new business model. 
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
The hardware piece is not a big deal. It just simplifies the installers job, because it is a predefine piece that has been tested, etc. It saves the installer time, gives them a tangible thing to sell that the customer can see, is easy to replace, and is a vehicle to make money for the installer and CQC via markups and such. An installer could probably still roll their own if they felt the need to.

In the past we have seen issues with certain hardware, issues with certain video cards, issues with different OS's. Like right now there is the TTS issue for some with Windows 7. Using CQC hardware and build, the installer wouldn't need to worry about all that. He can just drop in the hardware hook it up, and get to developing templates, etc. It also simplifies the support from CQC's perspective.

A lot of integrators are not at all computer people, and definitely not of the sort who would feel comfortable putting together their own hardware, or even buying a pre-fab one from somewhere like Dell and setting it up. Their specialty is automation, and PC building isn't really very much part of that area of pursuit, though obviously a lot of people get into it because they tech weenies and would learn to do it for other reasons. But a lot of integrators are not of that sort. A lot of them don't even feel comfortable setting up a piece of software like CQC even if it was pre-installed on a hardware box really.

Understood. I guess I just don't see how anyone gets into automation type systems arent computer people. It's a heck of a lot easier for me to build a PC in 2-3 hours than it would be to completely automate someone's home. I thought more of the issue would be with simple form factor and power requirements of a PC having to be left on 24/7. That alone got me thinking about how CQC would run on one of these:

http://usa.aopen.com/products_detail.aspx?...8&mdstl=309

I have used them for some projects at work with very good results.
 

pete_c

Guru
I currently have an AOpen mini PC set up with W7/MCE and it works fine (mostly off using my NMT more).

I tested CQC on a mITX dual core, 4GB, Raid1 setup in a very small case with DVD Rom drive (with the option of using an even smaller 8"X8" case) and it ran fine.

This box is my designated gen V HA server box. It is currently collecting dust though.

The local HA high end integrator (Kole Digital Systems) pretty much just does AMX and deals with non computer literate folks which don't mind the spend and are awed by drapes which are automated. The philosophy at that location is related to the old methodology of "shock and awe" as the typical lay person assumes that home automation is only for the very few elite. The integrator has designed (very nicely) a showroom with elements typically found in a 500k to XXX million dollar home.

The location / integrator has been mentioned a few times in the local papers as defining Home Automation standards . A misnomer for me but not for a person that has never seen or read about home automation.
 

opie

Active Member
Understood. I guess I just don't see how anyone gets into automation type systems arent computer people. It's a heck of a lot easier for me to build a PC in 2-3 hours than it would be to completely automate someone's home. I thought more of the issue would be with simple form factor and power requirements of a PC having to be left on 24/7. That alone got me thinking about how CQC would run on one of these:

http://usa.aopen.com/products_detail.aspx?...8&mdstl=309

I have used them for some projects at work with very good results.

Many integrators have backed into automation from home theater/Hi-Fi and therefore don't always have a strong computer background. As control systems become more IP based, this is changing and those who were not computer and network savvy are getting that way or hiring someone who is. I have no problem building a computer but it's not worth my time to do so; I would much rather be able to order a pre-configured box that I can then customize for each client.
 
Top