Archive for June, 2007

Various embeddded things

June 20, 2007
(1) The finalists have been announced for the Microsoft Embedded Student Challenge:
– That’s the one that my students won 2 years ago.
– There are 15 finalists this year (not 30)
– Its in Korea as part of teh Imagine Cup
– I just read through one which looks good.  A Dynamic Braille Reader for blind impaired people with Speech2Text so its useful for otther two.
– I make a review of all 15 on this blog
Finalists  <<– Click here
– Good luck to all.
(2) I noticed in TheAge yesterday that there is now a commercial device for eye-tracking to be used with signage (if you can make eye contact you can make a buck).  It uses a mechanism that my other Embeddded Student Challenge group from 2 years ago used to track the whites of a person’s eye.  Their system alternnatively flashed an ineer and outer ring og infrared LEDS and differenced the image captured from a web camera positioned in the centre.  They were able to track the eye movement and watch for eye closure.
(3) There is a new book out for windows Mobile Devices/Compact Framework:
One of the authors helped author the previos "Bible" on the Compact Framework:  (Microsoft .NET Compact Framework (Core Reference)) :
Andy’s original book was authoritive and comprehensive.  It not only told you how to do things but it also told you why and what you couldn’t do (and why). .. So I would expect that the new book will fill the void well.  I’ve ordered it.

Footy (AFL) : Bummer!

June 17, 2007
Essendon lost the Port Adeliade last night so we didn’t make 5 in a row.
We played like dogs for 3 quarters then blidzed them in lat quarter (6 goals to none.
They one 19 goals to 13.
Margin 31 points but was in excess of 70 points when the last quarter started.
Unfortunately I could only listen to it because it was interstate and not on free to air TV.
Double bummer!
Jay Nash played well, which is a good find.
He replaced one of the pregame injured players (Campo and Stanton).
Now for the mid season break.
We are 7/5 and probbably need to win at least 6 or 7 of our last 10 games to make the finals.
Given that our percentage is low and there is a log jam around us on the ladder, 12 wins will probably not be enough.

ICOP 2300

June 10, 2007
I built an image with the box with a range of capabilities and it worked well.
I used the Compact Flash and added a CF boot of NK.bin from it as a menu option.
I want to now use it an in-vehicle CAN Bus device capturing and displaying real time vehicle data.
I have been developing an application to do this in XP Pro.  The problem is the lack of FTDI CE 6 drivers.
I can request and capture J1979 messages.  I am extending it to display data as an instrument cluster.
I will migrate it to an XPe system.
What I intend to do for CE is either build a CE 5 image or use an XP system as a serial relay from the USB (Virst Serial)-CAN adapter.  I am using a ValueCAN device from Interpid (Cost about $US270).
For this purpose I have purchased a 150 watt in-vehicle inverter.  I had checked out a variety of DC (12V) : DC converters but this way I don’t need to get a converter for each specific computing device.  I can just use each device’s mains plugpack.

Footy Aussie Rules Again

June 10, 2007
Essendon won again by one point on Friday night.
Last week it was Sydney by one point who were th erunners up last year in the grand Final.
This week we beat West Coast who were the Grad Final winners last year.
We have now beaten last years top 4, not bad for teh team that finished 15th (2nd last) last year on 3 wins.  This year we have won 7 from 11 at the season’s halfway mark.
WC were all powerful in the first quarter.  Esendon were in awe and totally intimidated by them.
Essendon eventually clawed their way back into the game, despite being 6 goals down at one stage in the 2nd quarter and 5 at halftime.
In the end it was Essendon’s accurate kicking and their superior tackling (their stats were well ahead on this) that won the game for them.  Especially with the last minute or so being fought out on WC’s pocket up to their goals.  The match winner was when Fletcher(Ess) punched the ball from in front on the point post away from the goals and out.  There was 4 seconds to go which was consumed in teh throw in. 
No goals were kicked after the 12 minute mark of the last quarter.  Both sides missed one reasonable shot at goal.  I suspect the WC ran out of steam in teh 2nd half as well, given the way they ran and ran and ran in the first half.  Essendon in the end (despite being one down on teh interchange bench) paced themselves correctly.
Go Bombers!

Win CE 6 Camera Driver

June 10, 2007
As per Mike Hall’s Bog:

We’ve just released a CE 6.0 USB Camera Driver (download page here) – CE 6.0 introduces a new camera driver model that mirrors the capabilities of the existing Windows Mobile camera driver model – on CE 5.0 we didn’t expose a camera driver model, this meant that camera driver developers would need to expose their own specific interfaces, perhaps using IOCTLs to expose functionality – this meant that applications would need to know the specifics of the underlying camera driver model to interface with the camera.

The new CE 6.0 camera driver model plugs into DShow – this means that applications don’t need to know the specifics of the underlying camera, and will talk to DShow instead.

The driver gets installed here – %_WINCEROOT%\public\ThirdParty\Catalog\USBCam

I’ve got an idea for a cE camera so I’ll bog its devlopment.

Windows XPe Update Rollup Release

June 10, 2007
From Mike Halls’ Blog:

Update Rollup 1.0 for Windows XP Embedded enables OEM customers to use some of the latest Windows Vista components on the Windows XP Embedded platform, including Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player 11, User Mode Driver Framework, Remote Desktop Connection 6, and .NET Framework 3.0. It also includes hotfixes for Windows XP Embedded SP2 Feature Pack 2007. The Update Rollup 1.0 for Windows XP Embedded is not a stand alone product; it requires the developer to have Windows® Embedded Studio tool suite installed.

Here’s the two installer locations.

The Update Rollup 1.0 contains the bits that you may have known as "Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 2 Feature Pack 2008".

To download the Full product you need to have the OEM version installed:
– ie You paid for it.  No te that MDSNAA version was teh OEM version as well.

Also you need to registered as an OEM to be able to login to download site.
The Eval version (which I guess won’t work with the OEM version) doesn’t require a login in.

ICOP Boards

June 2, 2007
I got an ICOP 2300 box this week for CE development.
This box is particularly useful because its fanless and the box is a giant heat sink.
My intention is to develop an in-vehicel CAN Bus vehicel diganotics unit with it.
I asked Sam Phung about openning the 2300:

There are 4 screws holding the top cover together.

The top cover also acting as a large heat sink with heat-transfer adhesive to glue the top-cover onto the CPU.

After removing the 4 screws, you need to use a small flat head screw driver and carefully ply the top-cover away from the heat-transfer adhesive (it’s reusable).


There should be a CD with BSP & SDK for eBox-2300.

Otherwise, you can find them on the Download section on my site,

 Just for the record, there is no point to openning the box unless you want to change the embedded disk.
I did get it open.  I used a large thing kitchen knife teh prise the heat sink tape fromm the top.
I also want to get a ICOP 385x box for XPe.
I want to develop it as in-vehicle computer.
There is a 3 week availability delay.

Sam Phung:

You can take a look at our eBox-38xx series product.  It’s design with Via’s 800Mhz Eden-nano CPU with USB 2.0 interface.





                eBox-3852 (Dual Ethernet)



                eBox-3854 (6 USB 2.0 interface)


Footy (AFL: Aussie Rules)

June 2, 2007
Just watched Essendon beat Sydney by one point tonight.
Someone rang me with seconds to go saying you’re going to lose.  I said that the siren will go which it did.
Some issues in the 2nd half.
– Kick on siren at end of 3rd quarter by Scott Lucas (Ess). Going to points.  Spider Everett (Sydney) punches it away but it bounces through so point awarded.
-McPhee when attacking ran the ball out whilst kicking it forwards, played on but didn’t get called out.
 Essendon player picked the ball in and grubbed it through for a goal.
– Sydney got a couple of goals. (2 points the diff)
– Sydney kicked to goals ball bounced, touched goals whilst going through .. 1 point difference.
 Phone call ???
– Ball out in pack in Sydney’s half.
– Siren !!! Essendon by 1 point !!
Last week againsts Sydney we won after Richo was controversally called for hand in back from which he had kecked a goal.
2 weeks that the football gods have smiled on Essendon.
Another close game that we have won this year.  Last year we lost many close games.