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.

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