Archive for June, 2006

WESC .. And the Winner is .. Romania

June 27, 2006

Images from the event are at:


The winning team is: Team 44Tech

Their project is: Forrest Watcher






Congratulations to them.


There report is at :


In summary it is a system to monitor a forrest ysuing a sensor network to log illegal forrest logging and for forrest fires.


Their presentation was very professional.


WESC Waiting for overall results

June 24, 2006
Windows Embedded Student Challege (at Redmond WA) Day one is over.
We didn’t make day two of the finals.
The RMIT students presented well.
The demos all worked.
Turned out our main opposition was from Georgia Tech who also had a Green House project.
Their project addressed the issue of modeling power usage which the RMIT team got hammered on by the judges.
Day two presentations have just completed and we await the the final results.
The project I liked most was a Scarecrow that scares away birds from fish farms in Florida using water sprays and sound blasts.

At Windows EmbeddedStudent Challenge

June 23, 2006
The competition finals are well underway.
I found a bar to watch the soccer yesterday. Now Go Aussies against Italy.
We had the introductory dinner last night, then back to the hotel for a late night going back over the content and presentations.  Bill didn’t speak to the students this year (he did last year).
The team presented well despite being first up.
They have there demo session in about 20 minutes.
There is a wide variety of projects.
My friend from Gergia Tech’s team have a very similar project, a green house too!
The quality is generally better this year, but some projects seem a littl eoff the mark.
Some seem to have only a token use of the eBox II ( there is a requirement that they use it).
There are projects such a scarecrow that has had international interest.
Locust detector.
Personal  fire alarm system
Mine shaft air quality system
Water quality system with alternative routing of dclean water.
We mentors get to vote so we have to review all projects.
The best judged teams  and 1 teams voted best by mentors will be selected later today to participate tomorrow.

SQL Mobile done CE done easy ..

June 20, 2006
The April (or thereabouts) CE QFE has SQL Mobile for CE in it.
I created a simple emulator (x86)  OS and added the SQL Mobile components (and CF 2 components (2)
I then copied a Windows Mobile Emulator SQL Mobil eapp to flatrelease directory and it ran , except the top part of the form hides any controls that are there.
I opened the app in VS and chnaged the target to CE 5 SDK, moved the controls down and it worked.
This app creates a new local databse (.sdf files) adds a table, adds a couple of records, queries thetable, changes a record and requeries.  The status is shown for each step.
The app is on babbage
Th elink is near the top of the page.
Look for the DeviceApplicationxesql_cs project.
2 points: You can get away with just copying .NET CF to flat release dir and running them from there as if its in the windows dir. 
I set the VS app build dir to the flastrelease dir.

Windows Embedded Student Challenge

June 20, 2006
We are off to Seattle in a couple of hours.
Maggie got her Visa at the last moment.
PS If you ever need a US Visa allow weeks, not a week.
(OS Students studying in Australia need a visa to travel to US.)
We had a good talk with RMIT Media today.
Students are still ahving some some troubles with ASP on CE
They found a video on it
Our last year’s winners actually "cracked the code" aith ASP.CE
This area lacks documetation.
We need some good how to’s on this.
Cheers, next report from Seattle.

Using Visual Studio 2005 with Platform Builder / CE 5

June 20, 2006
Using Visual Studio 2005 with Platform Builder / CE 5
Taken from Mike Hall’s Video "Using Visual Studio 2005 to build Managed Applications for Windows CE 5.0"
With some added comments by me.
PS Haven’t tried this yet.  I watched the video and made notes.
Do initial build of OS first
VS 2005 needs to be able to download cab files to target CE device
– Search for "wceload" in catalog
– Get ‘Cab File Installer’ just under Activesync <Applications – End User>
– Add to workspace
Need to know target IP given from DHCP
– Search in catalog for "IPconfig"
– Get  ‘Network Utilities’ (Ping etc) <Network Features>
VS needs some apps/DLL on target.  Installed on development machine when VS is installed.
c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\CoreCon\1.0\Target\wce400\x86
 Wrapper as catalog component ‘ConMan Files’.. using CEFIlewiz (Download via Mike Hall’s Blog)
 Add this component
Choose ‘.NET Compact Framework 2.0’ (Not 1.0 m they are mutually exclusive) <Applications and Settings>
 Download Dec 2005 12 month Rollup from Windows CE updates to get CF 2 in catalog
Run ipconfig /d  .. outputs to debug window  (Keep for <**> below)
Need to build OS
– Then build SDK for OS
 .NET CF will greyed out.. OK… Probbaly don’t need evC++ support.
– Install SDK to Dev machine
Develop VS app
– Select target in VS as the SDK
– Include debug break points
– On device (whether directly or from PB) run:
 – ConManClient2.exe
 – CMAccept.exe
In VS 2005
– Menu:Tools-Options-Device Tools-Devices- Windows CE 5 Device (In top drop down list)
   Select the target device (its SDK), Release version
   Choose properties
   Configure TCP/IP Transport – Use Specific IP, enter IP address of target <**>
Run app
 – It builds then deploys:
 – The .NET CF2 cab files download and install
 – Mike says that if the cab installer is not part of OS then cab fiels will still downlaod but you wil get deployement errors
Q If you choose the .NET CF 2 catalog component, do you need VS 2005 to deploy CF2 ????

WESC: Windows Embedde Student Challenge

June 17, 2006
As per one of previous blogs, we are off to Redmond on Wednesday for the Microsoft Windows Embedded Student Challenge finals.
– We won it last year with the Evergreen Watering System.
– 200 Student teams iinternationally.
– 30 selected for finals.
– RMIT had 5 teams entered, one has made the finals
– The team’s trip is fully funded by Microsoft; I get to go too as mentor
Team Haxor, RMIT  project is Green House
Julian, Nicholas, Maggy and Shobhit   are busy puting finishing touches to their project
Maggy and Nichloas were having some visa problems.
Nichloas has his, we hope Maggy gets hers.
We travel via LA on Wednesday.
-Dinner is on Thursday (last year Bill did an impromptu talk)
-Friday the teams (30) all set up as a "trade fair" and each do an individual presentation to one of 4 teams of judges.  Nine teams are selected for the next day Plus:  We mentors also visit the displays and vote on one team for the  final day.
– On Saturday the 10 teams selected do a semi public presentation, each in turn.
  Winners are announced and then its off for a boat cruise. 
Given that in teh US drink gae is 21 and most students are just under 21 all sessions are "dry".

Do’s and don’t’s .. mainly don’t’s with Vista!

June 16, 2006
DO: Story so far: I installed Vista on my 2nd SCSi drive on my Dual Xeon machine.. got that to work OK.. DO ..BUT:
DON’T :My XP on the first drive got screwed up… Don’t install Vista on the same machine
====  that you intend to continue working on in XP.
DO:  Have it so that you can physically remove the XP HD, then swap as required
Note: I did the install by swapping which SCSI drive (I have 2) the system would boot from
Then meant to able to swap back via BIOS to the XP install. etc
There would most likely be solutions to my problem but I do sugegst that you follow the last point.
It appears that Vista did do something to my XP HD, made it E:\
Its E:\ when when I boot from that drive.  I thought that it would swap back to being C drive when I changed the boot order , alas …! #$%^&#@:
– When I tried to login to XP it logged me out straight away.  I am sure that was because it was tring to find user stuff on C drive but that is now the Vista drive.
– I did a repair install, but that left the XP drive still as E:\  The installed apps were looking for there files on C drive…Bummer
  I couldn’t even uninstall most of the apps because they couldn’t find their content to remove on C drive (The vista one)
– I did a clean install of XP, ie install on the XP drive by removing the \windows directory on it but leaving all other data (incl. Program Files dir) intact.
  But this still sees the XP drive as e:\
 Vista must have indelibly made the XP drive E;| ! $%^^&*#
So I am living with eth XP drive as E:\ and reinstalling apps (overwriting) to E drive
I have made both swap files (Vista and XP) to be on the third drive , and large IDE drive.
So as I said, don’t install Vista on a machine where an XP install is visible , if you want to be able use the XP :  Qualification:  I have not explored dual boot which may solve this.  Had a little look at this but Vista doesn’t appear to use a boot.ini file.  There is info on this but I’m not following this now.  I’ll try dual boot on another machine some time. 
Too busy re-installing:
CE 5
VS 2005
SQL 2005
Office 2003
Windows XP Embedded
Burner SW.
Plus all of those useful utilities that I have agrregate don the machine. over the last couple of years.  Hope some of the installs are still on the HD’s.
I have exam papers to mark, and we are off to Windows Embedded Student Challenge in Redmond on Wednesday .. I’ll start blogging on that for the next week.

Vista Build 5: Dual Xeon machine (Updated)

June 11, 2006
Compaq XLW500 Dual Xeon, 2Gig RAM, NVidia Quadro-4 380 XGL Video Card.
– Running with Hyperthreading 2 x 2 = 4 CPUs)- 2 SCSI disks (33G) and one 180G IDE Harddrive
Intention was to use one of he SCSIs
– Couldn’t initially use because it was Dynamic
– Tried boot XPE CD1 to run Diskpart but SCSI not loaded
– Booted XP on machine and ran Diskpart there.
  Cleaned the target disk, which also removed the dynamic aspect
Was able to install OK except:
– Ethernet card didn’t install.  This is a bummer becuase can’t now search internet for solution.
  May need to install another NIC.
– Multiedia didn’t install
This platform should be a better one to try then the VIA because the VIA is ony 1 GigHz and 0.5M RAM
Will test significant sw on it when get NIC sorted out.
When I revert to my XP image on the first HD it logs me out as soon as I log in. #@$%^&*

Windows Vista VIA Mini ITX M10000-Take 2

June 11, 2006
I re-installed Vista Beta 2 on the VIA M10000.
Uesed new key
Disable automatic registration.
No data change in set up.
Works OK subject to issues as below
Note: Can get new key by registering for download of Vista and then just getting key without downlaod.
Need passport of course.
Office 2007
I installled Office 2007 beta OK to this image
One issue:  Have to keep retyping same key for each Office product installed.
When trying to register on-line the regsitration goes through but site access that should follow fails.
Vista Issues:
-Adjust video by : Right click on desktop/Personalise/Display Settings
-Can’t use Movie Maker and DVD Maker AT ALL because Video card is not up to scratch.@#$%^&*
  Could use Movie Maker in XP with given video.
– Many web pages won’t load.  Tried turning off all security phishing etc to no avail.
– Video card was installed as generic but updates updated it to the coprrect VIA Chrome one.