HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New Hot Top (3 msgs / 101 lines)
1) From: Vicki Smith
I just noticed what Tom wrote about the new Hot Top. Also note what he 
says about the IR2.http://sweetmarias.com/prod.hottop.shtml=============
Future HotTop Models: We expect to have a new programmable model by late 
February or early March. There is a chance we may have a few early 
February (we'll update this as soon as we know). The so-called 
"programmable model" allows some level of "roast curve" control, that 
is, to set target temperature points at intervals during the roast. This 
is a control panel upgrade, and you will be able to upgrade older 
machines to make them "programmable." But I have a few words of caution: 
the price jump is going to be huge. Word is, the programmable model will 
be about $1000! Secondly, I have not tested one, but have suspicions 
about ease of use, and the level of control. On my programmable 
i-Roast2, I find myself using the default programs, rather than custom 
ones, more than not. I feel like a truly programmable roaster needs a 
really good interface ... meaning a laptop. Seriously. So I remain 
skeptical. It is entirely possible that the current Analog and Digital 
models will be, in your day-to-day roasting experience, as useful as the 
programmable model. But of course, I am making conjecture here, and we 
won't know until February or March. -Tom 1/22
==================
Vicki

2) From: MichaelB
Vicki,
Thanks for pointing out that reference. Tom keeps slipping all kinds of
announcements and information onto the website under our noses.
Like Tom, I have no inflated expectations about the usability of the new
programmable hottop. But IMO it's worth further consideration. What do we
mean when we say something is easy to use? We often mean many different
things that can be broken down more precisely.
Ease of use is a general attribute that has many different meanings. You can
break down user interface interactions into 20 or more attributes, more
precise than this. IMO the three most relevant attributes here might be:
1. Ease of learning: given a new interface, how easy is it to learn to use
it.
2. Ease of using: once you've learned it, how easy is it to use on a day to
day basis.
3. Usefulness: Does it accomplish the goal.
My hope is that the hottop will score in usefulness; that the programmable
interface with it's control of time and temp and fan will allow us to create
profiles that the machine and the bean can follow. And these profiles can be
saved and used again. I am willing to put up with it being hard to learn and
hard to use, if - and very big IF indeed - if it allows me to truly profile
my roasts successfully. And if it turns out to be easier to learn and use
than we are expecting, well that's just a bonus.
On 1/25/07, Vicki Smith  wrote:
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MichaelB

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
While Tom's comments are only conjecture and the ~$500 Hottop programmable
upgrade might turn out to work fairly decently, you gotta also understand
his perspective might be jaded by observing how it's possible to have total
control, easy to use with intuitive interface, precise profiles, accurate
environment and bean temp monitoring, manual or fully automatic modes, set
and forget or change on the fly any time mid roast control of a Hottop as
Jeffrey has designed and executed. There is nothing that can compare until
getting into ~$5k+ commercial roast control systems.http://www.pawlan.com/ccr.htmlWhen Jeffrey was selling his control system with a Hottop for ~2k it was a
good deal IMO. There's nothing on the market that can touch it in that price
range, including added cost of buying a laptop or dedicated desktop (either
starting around ~$500 these days). While I'm not totally convinced a PID
controlled Hottop can't produce equal roasts, there is no doubt in my mind
Jeffrey's is a superior easy to use totally elegant solution.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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