Sunday, January 25, 2009

Backward incompatible change: DZ will become JDK 1.6+ only

Jukebox, the platform DZ is built on top of, is currently undergoing a code review and enhancement process. One side effect of advanced JMX uplift is that the new Jukebox will be incompatible with JDK 1.5.

Whereas JMX is probably *the* cause to upgrade from JDK 1.5 to 1.6 (latter is the first version where it is really usable), the source code compatibility of JMX features is broken.

The improvement is so significant that I'm willing to restrict DZ to 1.6 as soon as new Jukebox is pulled in.

Speak up if you care.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Echoes: Efficient Cooling and Ventilation System (ECVS)

ECVS prototype
A team of UC Berkeley students made a very impressive implementation of DZ Testbed, powered by the MAKE Controller.

Evolution in action - the demo videos look just like DZ looked around 2002, with bang-bang damper action and all.

It would be interesting to see what eventually comes out of it - their design scope and constraints (though unpublished) are certainly different than mine.
Makes me think of the eternal dilemma - whether to go the software or the hardware way. I wonder whether it is really necessary or justified to use specialized hardware, even for $109.00, when much more powerful general purpose hardware can be bought for about the same price. The only justified application I see is mass produced, fixed functionality, no upgrade, disposable gadgets - but even then, time of such things is coming to an end. Take a look at your thermostats, or even better, your car CD player (people still drive cars with cassettes, and CD player is already obsolete), or even better, your car navigation system (how many generations of navigation systems have changed in a not-so-long lifetime of a single car?).
In any case, the prototype rocks. Still waiting for the credit to be given to DZ.

via Makezine

UPDATE (2009/10/22): The project site is gone, apparently expired as the group graduated. Regrettable. Makezine article is still there, though. I'll leave the dead links intact in hope they will get reincarnated some day.
UPDATE (2012/03/07): Project popped back on Google search, links updated.