Tag Archives: Netduino

Free Webcast: Getting Started with Netduino

This Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10am PT / 1pm ET, Chris Walker from Secret Labs LLC will be doing a free 1 hour webcast hosted by O’Reily Media titled Getting Started with Netduino.

Start building electronics projects with Netduino, the popular open source hardware platform that’s captured the imagination of makers and hobbyists worldwide. Join Chris Walker, inventor of the Netduino and author of Getting Started with Netduino for an exciting webcast presentation where he will provide an overview of projects you can create with Netduino as well as what you need to experiment with Netduino and the .NET Micro Framework.

If you haven’t heard Chris speak before, be prepared for an energetic presentation covering anything you could want to know about taking the leap into embedded programming using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio. If it’s been on your mind or you’re just curious this shouldn’t be missed!

Update: The recorded Getting Started with Netduino session is now available.

Happy Listening,
-Erik

Netduino and .NET Micro Framework (NETMF)

Early Arduino Experimentation

I recently purchased a few things from the MakerShed which included an Arduino and a Netduio Plus. I spent a couple weekends playing around with the Arduino first because I’m mostly a Mac guy at home and the code editor was available for Mac. I was up and running in under a couple minutes.

My first impression was that it was a lot like working with the BASIC stamps I had used for years except with the tremendous benefit of there being a Mini USB port right on the chip. (I bought the Nano which is just the brains without the shield-breakout. It’s the same form factor as a stamp and can be placed on a breadboard.)

The programming was shockingly similar except it used a variation of C instead of BASIC. The rest was about the same. In under an hour I had a Parallax RFID reader connected on a mini breadboard, troubleshot my first problem (you can’t program the Nano while the RFID reader is wired into the Rx pin!) and had my first project.

My observations were that the code editor, while designed to make it easy for people to stitch together lines of code to get something working, made it too easy to just stitch together lines of code without doing proper encapsulation or object oriented programming. Stepping back this trait seems endemic in the hobby hardware and microcontroller areas. As a software guy myself I can’t help but cringe and I immediately started trying to figure out how to build my own classes.

And that’s when I remembered I haven’t used C in a long, long time. Using impending deadlines as an excuse, I broke off my endeavors with the Arduino and let everything sit for a couple days.

Picking Up the Netduino

A few days later I saw an announcement from MakerShed that SparkFun and Instructables had teamed up and were hosting a microcontroller contest. Any project using a microcontroller was eligible for entry. Just make a project, post an instructable and open source your code. It was a simple gimmick but it got me to pull out the Netduino and have a crack at it.

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