I’ve let this page languish recently. That’s the story of the Internet. But I recently posted two previously unseen projects, and a video of some wall-racing autonomous RC cars. Check the links on the right!
What’s open source, runs the .NET framework, and allows you to utilize all the power of Visual Studio .NET for embedded systems development?
The FEZ (Freakin’ EZ) Domino and it’s sibling, the Mini.
Now, that last part was as hard for me to say as it was for you to hear (or is it see?). I’m not a Microsoft fanboy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I’ve earned my living for the last 5 years as a Linux system administrator — and I have no intention of ever returning to a Windows domain of my own volition. That said, there’s no denying the power of the .NET framework, C#, and the Visual Studio environment and their impact on rapid prototyping and development cycles.
Loyalties aside, the FEZ Domino is somewhat akin to an Arduino on the juice . In fact, the FEZ Domino even maintains pin compatibility with the Arduino so the drawer full of shields you’ve accumulated over the years won’t be going to waste. And, if your stepping up from a Parallax BASIC Stamp, then the FEZ Mini has you covered as a drop-in replacement for your old BS2 projects.
There’s nothing like a little competition, and that’s true in open source as much as in business. I don’t know when the FEZ Domino was released, but I’m glad elektor ran an article about the .NET Micro Framework in this month’s issue, or it may have continued to go relatively unnoticed in the hobbyist community.
And sure, you could argue about the merits of avr-gcc, or the flexibility of creating your own makefiles. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute. The Arduino (and clones), the BASIC Stamp, and the FEZ Domino aren’t really targeted at professional, manufacturing-grade engineers. They’re targeted at people like me an you. Yeah, you with the ThinkGeek t-shirt and Nerf gatling-gun hidden beneath your desk. People who like to explore technology, and to share their discoveries with the rest of the world. People who like to build, tinker, and Make, and to see their ideas come to life in the real world.
FEZ Domino just made it even easier to do just that.
The little mishap with one of my Android apps this weekend forced me to announce the fact that I had written a couple of android apps before I’d had the chance to properly adorn them with a little slice of the site. So tonight, I set aside some time to throw some of the information up. You can find more about my two forays into Android development at http://www.imagitronics.org/android.
I plan to update both of the applications as time permits, and with any luck, push a few more applications out into the wild over the coming months.
I haven’t even gotten around to creating the official site for the two Android apps I released in January, but I felt compelled to apologize for some problems with my Comic News Stand application. As stated in a previous post, I recently moved the entire imagitronics.org domain to a new hosting provider and apparently, during the move, forgot bring over the cron job that updates the list of new comics each week from Diamond. I apologize for the inconvenience. A user finally contacted me today and brought the issue to my attention.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, I feel a bit of good news is in order. I *am* working (albeit slowly, I just started a new job and moved into a new home) on an updated version of Comic News Stand that includes the much-requested cover images in the list. Here’s a picture of an early build to whet your appetites!
There is still quite a bit of work to be done on this new version. It involved a complete rewrite of the code, but it is on my short list of things to do in March.
Thanks so much for using the app, and for understanding that I am just one guy doing something fun in my spare time!
Last night I mentioned that my wife and I recently purchased our first home, and that I had a new workshop for the imagitronics lab. I thought I would throw up a few pictures of the new shop to give you an idea of just how great my new setup is.