Shion: Two major new features

A brief update on Shion progress:

1. As some of you have already noticed, the USB device performance is noticeably better in the latest version of Shion. A slight delay introduced to the communication between the Mac the PowerLinc USB solved the problem.

2. Thermostat support will be available in 2.0b10. I’ve been testing this in my office and the results have been promising. I know that some testers have the Venstar modules, so I’m looking forward to sharing the thermostat functionality with you.

3. This evening, Shion’s “virtual device manager” came online and is working. This is a small bit of code that allows instances of Shion to share their devices on the local network to other instances of Shion to control. The typical scenario is one where the computer connected to the powerline network (via PLC) is in a location different than the user.

Using another machine (such as a laptop), the user can fire up an instance of Shion on the local computer. The new instance finds the older instance on the network and downloads the list of devices from the older instance. The remote (laptop) instance adds these devices to its local list, allowing the user to control them as if he were directly using the machine connected to the powerline network.

I’ve been playing with this feature on my laptop all evening, and it’s great fun to control devices in this way from locations convenient to me. I still have to polish up the feature a bit and add some error-handling code, but I’m hoping to share this feature in the next beta release (2.0b10).

If everything goes according to plan, 2.0b10 should be available this weekend. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

-Chris Karr

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