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Home Control Assistant Newsletter for December 11 2022

Have you read the Important Announcement posted on August 1, 2021? If you haven't you need to.

The latest version of HCA is 17.0.48 with new features!
Read about how you can download it.
Several months ago, I wrote about a set of programs I created that implemented what I called “Predictive control” The idea was to implement a system that learned over time what actions I did in my home. After it learned it was able to, based upon receiving a starting action, perform those same actions without me initiating each subsequent action.

Let me give you an example: I’m watching a movie. The movie finishes. I turn off the room lights, turn on the hallway lights, then the stairway lights, and finally the kitchen lights. The initiating action was my tapping the switch paddle bottom in the media room, and the subsequent actions are turning on the hallway lights, stairway lights, and kitchen lights.

The idea is for HCA to learn this set of actions and when it receives the initiating action to “play back” the subsequent actions.

As an aside: there is something like this in Alexa called “Hunches”, but it is not close to this level of sophistication.

Since I first discussed this idea and released the package that implements it to the online library, I found some problems and made some improvements. I’ve updated it in the library and wrote a technical note for it.


You can read all about it in technical note #140 and download it from the online library.

Since I get asked this all the time, the library is accessed from the “Design” ribbon category, “Library Browse/Import” button. Find the package you want in the list – make sure the “Show” dropdown says “All” or “Only Utility Programs” and press the “Import Selected” button.



And the second question I get is about getting an “Can’t import” error if you try and import. As the popup says you either need a current Cloud account or a library card. What’s a library card and how to get one? I discussed that all in a previous weekly message.

If you have HCA 17.0.48 or later, and access to the online library, you can add this to your own system and give it a try. Consider it an early Holiday Present!
If you are using a version of HCA prior to version 17, you may have questions about the wisdom of upgrading to version 17 given the future of HCA. Here is something to consider:

The support policy for older HCA versions has been changed
 as I can no longer devote time to past version users. Support will only be available for HCA 17 users.

If you are on version 16 or earlier and want to continue using the cloud features and want to be assured that if you have a question that it gets answered, it is indeed time to upgrade.

HCA is fully operational for several more years so the update cost, spread out over that time, is very little. Knowing support is available when you need it is worth it.
Upgrade to HCA 17
Anyone who is using Hubitat with HCA – not SmartThings – please drop me a note as I would like to add you to a discussion list for those users. I have some Hubitat ideas that I would like to “kick around” and it would help to have a group of users who have experience with Hubitat. Please just send a note to the regular support address saying you would like to be added to that discussion list.
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