Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Talking directly to Hardware with .NET Micro Framework

Awesome!!!! Awesome!!!! Awesome!!! Why oh why am I just now finding out about this.

It's been available since November 2006, this is the ultimate technology that will allow me to actually enter the embedded devices and automation industry of Computer Software. My dream is finally coming true. One day I will have a gig in Home Automation for sure. :-)

Ok, so the Micro.NET Framework is very similar to the .NET Compact Framework, but has a much smaller foot print and is deployable to a much wider scope of devices. The platform is esentially an environment that extends the advantages of Microsoft .NET and the toolset in the Microsoft Visual Studio development system into a class of smaller, less expensive, and more resource-constrained devices than have been possible with previous Microsoft embedded offerings. Several Microsoft products use the .NET Micro Framework already, including MSN Direct watches, Microsoft TV Foundation Edition, and Windows Vista SideShow. I just finished watching this webcast and bought this book from amazon which ships from WA, so I should be up and running and writing a sample application on an emulator this weekend.

The stack is shown below...

PAL = Platform Abstraction Layer
HAL = Hardware Abstraction Layer
The OS part is there just in case I want to deploy Micro Framework to a device which has an OS.

Some of the things that have been done already...

I'm especially interested in network connections and using the TCP/IP stack so that I can talk to
other devices with in my network via a special device loaded application. In essence... I build the app, test it on the emulator, flash the hardware with the application deployed, and up boots the hardware and then my app is loaded. No OS overhead or any of that. :-)

Below is the book that I bought which I've linked to above.

Here are some cool inspirational *.wmv videos

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