Friday, February 14, 2014

Rover 3.1 and Tricks 1.1 released to registrants

I'm emailing all Rover Tricks registrants a small upgrade which adds a Snippet type to Tricks. Not bothering to dig through HomeSeer's mechanism for upgrades to send Rover 3.1 to everyone else since they can't benefit from this change anyway.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rover v3.0 has been released

I don't know how long it'll take for it to show up in HomeSeer's updater but it's available on this site.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rover Tricks Editor

The Rover Tricks Editor is an optional add-on for Rover v3.0 or later, which gives it the ability to learn and perform Tricks.  A "Trick" is a sort of virtual location you get to create precisely to your specifications; in a way, that makes it a customized Rover screen.  You can have as many tricks as you want, and each one can combine any number of devices, events, locations, and event groups, in any order you like.  You can also add a dynamically-updating clock, a link to a web page, a framed bit of web content, and links to other tricks.  Add it all up and you will find you can make any custom screens you want that give you precisely what you want to have at your fingertips -- without having to try to rearrange your regular HomeSeer devices or events to suit Rover.

So how do I get to all this wonderful trick-teaching goodness, you ask?  Well, while Rover is free forever, I've decided to ask for a couple of bucks for the Rover Tricks Editor.  Note that 100% of these payments will be donated to charity (specifically, the Vermont Foodbank, a local food shelf that helps distribute food to the needy).

So why am I asking for the money at all if I don't plan to keep it?  Mostly because I want to open a dialog with the people who use Rover.  The program has had hundreds of downloads, but I have only heard from a handful of its users.  I'm hoping if you're forced to contact me to send me your payment, you'll be more willing to contact me to tell me how you feel about the program, what you want to see in future versions, and most simply of all, to make me feel like updating and releasing this program is worth the time, that I'm not just dropping a pebble into a bottomless pit.

I'm also not going through the HomeSeer Updater for this because I want to keep my overhead low (basically just the PayPal fees), so I can give as much of this as possible to charity.  If I go through the Updater, not only do I have to go through a whole lot of rigamarole with setting up an account with the HomeSeer folks, they take a commission on the sales.  Since I make RTE so easy to install you just unzip an archive, since it's only an add-on to an existing script, I don't really need the Updater, and this makes it possible to get nearly all of your two bucks to helping the hungry.

If you're worried about my promise that Rover is and always will be free, that hasn't changed.  Rover remains fully functional without the Tricks editor; it just doesn't learn or do tricks, but it still has all the functions you already know, plus in v3 a whole bunch of new options, most importantly a new grid style that is great for tablets and touchscreens.  Rover itself remains free and fully functional forever.  All your two bucks gets you is the tricks editor, which also makes Rover automatically start displaying the links to tricks.  (The link you followed to get here will, instead, take you to the tricks editor itself when you have it installed.)

Note that I am now processing registrations using Dwolla instead of PayPal because PayPal is getting very greedy and taking almost a quarter of the money away from the Vermont Foodbank, while Dwolla charges a flat $0.25 and is proving far better to deal with. For now I'm leaving the PayPal button below, but I will be getting rid of it after a while and switching completely to Dwolla. Please try the Dwolla version; I think you'll be impressed.
Register with Dwolla:

After I receive and verify payment I will usually email out the Rover Tricks Editor within a day (unless I'm on vacation or something).  You only have to buy it once, you'll then get any future updates as well.

By the way, you really can teach old dogs new tricks.  The old saying isn't true at all; dogs are very clever critters and retain their learning abilities their whole lives.

If you're really determined to not use Dwolla, you can use PayPal for now, but this option is going away soon, because PayPal is increasingly evil.

Email address

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rover v3.0 is in development

It's been more than two years, so if anyone's even still reading this, I bet you weren't expecting to see anything. However, I am now working on v3.0. Here's what inspired it:
It's an old 7" Android tablet running a fairly old version of the Droid OS, which I've replaced with a 10" tablet of a much more current version of the OS.  So I mounted it on the wall.  As you can see, Rover on it looks brilliant, but isn't very fingertip-friendly.  So I am working on a new version of Rover which will be much more suited, and which might not work on some really old browsers that other display types of Rover work in.

As of this writing, I have developed a new grid layout, along with a new set of icons.  Here's an example of what things are looking like:

It also includes a new options setting for hiding the dimming controls for dimmable items.

Still to come:
  • A better way to handle snippets fitting in with the grid layout.
  • A new navigation bar at the bottom which replaces the long list of locations with some pull-down menus (since we're counting on newer browsers for this anyway).
  • Something like Tricks, by which you can create a "virtual" location that is ultimately a collection of devices, events, and links, each of which appears in one cell in the grid.  This lets you organize a screen as you see fit, regardless of how locations are organized in HomeSeer.
I'm not sure how long it will take.  So far my progress is very encouraging.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Rover v2.7 is released

Don't get too excited, it's just a minor bugfix for devices from plugins which aren't set as status-only, but use Iotype to avoid having extra buttons displayed.

Download it here. Or it should be in the Updater before too long.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

iPhone for HomeSeer: a slick iPhone-oriented system based on Rover

Tom Pepper has created a new interface to HomeSeer designed for the iPhone, based on a modified Rover. iPhone for HomeSeer takes advantage of the fact that an iPhone's browser is fairly current, and its connection is fairly strong, to produce an interface that is smart, sexy, easy to use, and similar to the iPhone's other screens, while carrying the full functionality of Rover.

You might like how it looks and works even in browsers other than the iPhone itself, so give it a try! (Though it does use slightly more complicated HTML so older browsers that Rover can handle might not know what to do with it, and it will use slightly more bandwidth than Rover in case you're counting every byte. But while Rover excels at working with very little, most of us have some performance to spare, and iPhone for HomeSeer isn't really using that much more.)

Check it out!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

X-10 to Z-Wave Bridge

Situation: You want to use an X-10 PalmPad and your existing X-10 interface on your HomeSeer system to control Z-Wave devices. Or, you have both X-10 and Z-Wave devices on the same devicecodes (or on the different housecodes but the same unitcodes), and you want to ensure that if you turn on the X-10 one from a PalmPad, the Z-Wave one comes on as well.

Solution: Create a single event in HomeSeer. The trigger should be X-10 Received. Select the housecode that the X-10 devices are on. For the unitcode, choose Any, and for the command, choose Any. The action is a script command, as follows:

If the devices are on the same housecode:
&hs.ExecX10 hs.StringItem(hs.LastX10,2,";"), hs.StringItem(";on;off;dim",hs.StringItem(hs.LastX10,3,";"),";")

If the devices are on different housecodes:
&hs.ExecX10 "q" & mid(hs.StringItem(hs.LastX10,2,";"),2), hs.StringItem(";on;off;dim",hs.StringItem(hs.LastX10,3,";"),";")

Change the q in the latter to whatever housecode you want to control. For instance, to use a PalmPad set on housecode D to control Z-Wave (or indeed, any) devices on housecode R, make the event trigger be housecode D, and change the "q" to "r".

Limitations: This will work for on and off, but not quite for dim; that requires a tiny bit more smarts, but more than will fit in a one-liner. Maybe someday I'll write an actual script to do that; it would only be a few lines long.

This depends on you receiving X-10 commands into HomeSeer in some way; usually that's a PalmPad, keychain remote, sticky-switch, motion sensor, etc. working through an MR26A, TM751, W800, etc. but it could also be other devices putting X-10 onto the powerline (such as PowerFlashes) and this being picked up by your CM11A, Ocelot, etc. Simply operating the local control on an X-10 device will not generally do this, since most will not transmit when operated locally.

Doing this the other way around (Z-Wave to X-10) would be harder since not all Z-Wave devices will notify HomeSeer when they've been changed, whether locally or remotely, and since the Z-Wave USB interface won't tell HomeSeer when someone has used a remote control to operate a device. That said, it'd be very easy to write a little script that would trigger on status change of devices and echo the command; the echo would simply be delayed until the next polling interval for most Z-Wave devices, since that's the first time HomeSeer would know anything changed.