(yawn)

I bet some giant corporation will figure out how to make this really crappy

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/03/microsoft-researchs-net-gadgeteer-steps-out-into-the-light-sh/

Don't judge it until you try it. It looks like a good starting point for many projects if you can afford it.

frank26080115:
Don’t judge it until you try it. It looks like a good starting point for many projects if you can afford it.

That is the keyword, if you can afford it. They sell it like DOS in the 80’s, almost 400. This won’t be intended for the general public as arduino is for sure.

Looks like total overkill for adding a couple PIR sensors to tell when your cat is at the door waiting to come in.

Someone mention cat doors and overkill?

GHI Electronics on the box, that makes it family of the FEZ Panda, Domino etc; - see: http://www.tinyclr.com/

Have played with a FEZ domino last year and I must say I like it, definitely more powerfull, but the "IDE and prog env." take more time to setup and upgrade. The multitasking is very convenient but brings its own set of "problems". As I programmed C# almost for a decade now the step to using it was not great, sometimes considered buying a FEZ Cobra or Panda II which is shield compatible (to some level) but never found a good reason.

Personally I think the mbed platform - http://mbed.org/ - is more interesting if more performance is needed.

Wonder how well it works with Mono on a *nix platform...?

That's one of the things people seem to always forget about M$ solutions - the fact that you need to pay (and pay, and pay, and...crash) a 'doze license for the stuff; if you want to have a fully supported dev environment, you've got to pay ($$$) for Visual Studio.

...and you know something, this wouldn't be that big of a deal for me (I have no problem paying for software), if Microsoft would just sincerely apologize (if nothing else!) for their bad and predatory business practices in the past which put so many other businesses in the grave (I still say Microsoft was responsible in part for the death of SGI).

Two simple words - "We're sorry."

Why is it so hard for so many (corporations, people, etc) to own up and take some responsibilty? Why is it so difficult to utter those words?

I got tired of Microsoft's ways a long time ago; I got tired of seeing company after company go under due in part to their heavy handed business tactics. I got tired of looking at my computer, and thinking "Is this it? Where's the excitement I had when I used my TRS-80 Color Computers, or my Amigas?". So I asked myself what else was around, and whether I wanted to continue to support such a company.

Soon after, I jumped ship for Linux, and never looked back...

With my wife's laptop just died and she using mine, I would have to jump on some linux ship. Cr0sh, what version of linux do you recommend for a beginner. What I hate about unix is the need to know so many commands that I don't use everyday. I want something easy to use with good GUI.

CrossRoads:
Looks like total overkill for adding a couple PIR sensors to tell when your cat is at the door waiting to come in.

LOL That’s a great way to describe the average project around here.

robtillaart:
Personally I think the mbed platform - http://mbed.org/ - is more interesting if more performance is needed.

I had a choice between a mbed and Netduino Plus at one point, I got the mbed because the Netduino Plus was sold out. I think both are great, both of these guys have ethernet built right in, which is awesome.


Anyways, I hate it when people needlessly bring politics when anything involves Microsoft. I’d rather see engineers objectively decide based on the product more.

Visual Studio is big but it’s really nice, I’ve used it for Windows app development, AVR Studio 5, and ASP.NET. It shines at making you productive.

I totally agree with you that vs is good for the right job in the right hand. As a hobby programmer with almost 30 years of experience among various languages, I found most IDEs unnecessarily complicated for most people trying to learn a bit of programming just for fun. Even eclipse is pretty heavy. I want turbo C where you can type up a program and hit compile and run. Frankly how many people have projects longer than a couple hundred of lines and would benefit from a complex IDE? Not many on arduino forum. Think "learning curve". If you programmed professionally,even for three years, you would not like how arduino IDE looks like. But how many arduinoists are professional programmers?

BTW, I hate typing on ipad. It is not fast enough for my type speed. I need a computer right now!!!

liudr: With my wife's laptop just died and she using mine, I would have to jump on some linux ship. Cr0sh, what version of linux do you recommend for a beginner. What I hate about unix is the need to know so many commands that I don't use everyday. I want something easy to use with good GUI.

I currently use Ubuntu (10.04 LTS - I'm behind a rev); I've used it since rev 8.04 - so far (overall) its been a joy, compared to other distros I've played with (and I've been playing with Linux since 1995 in one form or another, but my first real distro was Turbo Linux 2.0 in 1998 - that's an old Japanese Linux distro).

Why do I like it? Because for the most part - it just works. Very easy to set up and install; you can try it as a LiveCD or Live USB stick - give that a shot first on your box to make sure everything works properly - note that it may take a while to boot up, because it is running from memory and a comparatively slow drive (ie - the CD or USB stick); once in-memory, though, it isn't too bad - this will allow you to "try-before-you-buy", and it won't cause any harm to existing 'doze partitions. Otherwise, just download the install ISO and run.

Package updates and complete version upgrades have been mostly painless (there was an issue in 8.10 or so where Samba access was problematic - but a rev update in a couple of weeks fixed the issue, fortunately); I installed it once (at 8.04) and am now on 10.04 LTS, all the updates to here were done via the net and the auto-update package manager.

I found the installing the Arduino software (my install is fairly out of date - I'm still on 0019) took some acrobatics, and I've forgotten what I had to do - but I installed it based on some tutorials and such on the old forums, before there was a package to install with (which I believe there is now); so my install was done to a directory in my home folder. What's nice about this is that since everything for each rev of Arduino is in its own folder, I can run older versions of the platform as needed, if needed.

There is very little software out there that can't be run using Linux - Ubuntu being no exception; there is a ton of applications available out there (BTW - if you want an -awesome- video editing app that isn't too complex - check out OpenShot), and every programming language under the sun - something I've been recently playing with is QB64, which has been pretty awesome overall (I have a soft spot for BASIC - it's what I grew up on). I've also successfully got various old DOS games and such running using DOSEMU (which comes with a FreeDOS install), and I have managed to get the Window's version of Eagle running using Wine (though the Linux version works better - then again, if I ever get to the point of needing it, which - though I always say I'll use it, hasn't happened yet - that I will stick with gEDA and/or Kicad for schematic capture and PCB design).

I'm not much of a gamer, but what is out there and available for Linux (not just Ubuntu, though there is plenty in the archives, too) suits me fine. Still, if you want to play the latest and the greatest, you're going to want something else besides *nix, of course. I keep hoping that this changes (there's no reason it couldn't, except for the inertia - there's plenty of support to develop games every bit as good under Linux as under Windows).

As far as the command line is concerned - you're still going to want to learn how to use it, if for nothing else than to kill rogue processes. While there are plenty of GUI tools for this sort of thing (and they have all turned out to be really nice over the years), I have found that having a knowledge of the command line to be very important (but then again, I kinda grew up with the command line in one form or another), as well as useful (there are a ton of things you can do at the command line, once you understand your shell, that are impossible to do with a GUI in any reasonable way - heh, wget alone makes the command line worthwhile).

:)

liudr: With my wife's laptop just died and she using mine, I would have to jump on some linux ship. Cr0sh, what version of linux do you recommend for a beginner. What I hate about unix is the need to know so many commands that I don't use everyday. I want something easy to use with good GUI.

I will say that, for my purposes, I'm looking for something other than Ubuntu. However, to get your feet wet with Linux, I think it might well be the best choice. Or, some other distribution based on Ubuntu, such as Mint. One thing you will want to bear in mind is that with Linux, you can choose from many different desktop environments. The 2 biggies are Gnome and KDE. Ubuntu, by default, comes with the Gnome desktop environment, except that in the latest release, they've stuffed in their own "shell" called Unity, instead of using the Gnome shell. I won't say "don't even bother", because you might find you like Gnome just fine. But do remember that alternatives exist, if you find that you hate it. I recommend installing the Kubuntu variant of Ubuntu, which is same in terms of system startup, which kernel, and all the base stuff, but it uses KDE applications instead of Gnome applications. Note also that you can run apps written using the KDE libraries and/or Gnome libraries, irrespective of which desktop environment you use. A lot of people get confused by this, which is unfortunate. I don't run either the Gnome or the KDE desktop. But I run KDE and Gnome apps.

You can, after installing the appropriate packages, switch between desktop environments. I don't use a desktop environment at all; I run a simple window manager, which suits my needs quite fine. If you don't like Gnome or KDE, you can try Xfce, Fluxbox, Fvwm, or one of many other window managers.

Also, don't forget that you can download, burn, and boot from a whole raft of "Live" CDs, so you can try different distributions without even having to install. I don't know for sure how informative that really is for picking a distribution, because a lot of the things which differentiate them are more "under the hood" stuff, which you really won't mess with much using a live CD anyway. But you can at least give Gnome and KDE desktops a trial run before installing one or t'other.

Someone mention cat doors and overkill?

"Flo control" I love it :)

That's gotta be the smartest cat door I've ever seen.


Rob

liudr: I found most IDEs unnecessarily complicated for most people trying to learn a bit of programming just for fun. Even eclipse is pretty heavy. I want turbo C where you can type up a program and hit compile and run.

I downloaded a copy of Qt Creator a few days ago, and although some parts are a little clunky it's nice to work with, different to the norm. Considering how complex it could be I don't think they've done that bad. Qt is nice to program with as well.

liudr: I totally agree with you that vs is good for the right job in the right hand. As a hobby programmer with almost 30 years of experience among various languages, I found most IDEs unnecessarily complicated for most people trying to learn a bit of programming just for fun. Even eclipse is pretty heavy. I want turbo C where you can type up a program and hit compile and run. Frankly how many people have projects longer than a couple hundred of lines and would benefit from a complex IDE? Not many on arduino forum. Think "learning curve". If you programmed professionally,even for three years, you would not like how arduino IDE looks like. But how many arduinoists are professional programmers?

BTW, I hate typing on ipad. It is not fast enough for my type speed. I need a computer right now!!!

If you don't mind BASIC (of a QuickBASIC 4.5 variety) - check out QB64 (http://www.qb64.net/) - it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux (although Mac and Linux right now are a rev behind, which means that some of the commands for 'doze don't work in the Linux version - I keep hoping this is corrected soon). It comes with an IDE much like the original QuickBASIC 4.5 (and similarly, like the old DOS Turbo C and TurboBASIC IDEs), which was writting in QB64 (actually, QB64 is written in QB64 - the history of it is kinda fascinating - the guy behind it started building it using QuickBASIC 4.5, and bootstrapped it until it could compile itself!). It comes with full source code, too; technically it is open-source Freeware, built on top of various LGPL bits and pieces.

What it does is take QBasic 1.1 or QuickBASIC 4.5 code, and converts it to C/C++ - then it invokes a C/C++ compiler (gcc in Linux - not sure what it uses under Windows or Mac) to create a native executable that runs very, very fast. It has a ton of extra commands to allow you to take advantage of modern hardware for graphics, sound and other things (although this is proving to be an issue for the developer when it comes to Linux and Mac support - he's taking a while to get to the next rev in part due to trying to figure out how to handle library inclusion and port access for things like the serial ports and such).

It is a real 64-bit implementation of the BASIC programming language (your QB programs can easily use gigs of memory and such) - although apparently under Windows it only compiles to 32-bit due to the current unavailability (?) of a free/LGPL 64-bit C/C++ compiler (?) - this causes some issues for people under Vista or Windows 7 (not sure why gcc can't be used...?)...

Anyhow - it's something to look at...

:)

justjed:

liudr: With my wife's laptop just died and she using mine, I would have to jump on some linux ship. Cr0sh, what version of linux do you recommend for a beginner. What I hate about unix is the need to know so many commands that I don't use everyday. I want something easy to use with good GUI.

I will say that, for my purposes, I'm looking for something other than Ubuntu. However, to get your feet wet with Linux, I think it might well be the best choice. Or, some other distribution based on Ubuntu, such as Mint. One thing you will want to bear in mind is that with Linux, you can choose from many different desktop environments. The 2 biggies are Gnome and KDE. Ubuntu, by default, comes with the Gnome desktop environment, except that in the latest release, they've stuffed in their own "shell" called Unity, instead of using the Gnome shell. I won't say "don't even bother", because you might find you like Gnome just fine. But do remember that alternatives exist, if you find that you hate it. I recommend installing the Kubuntu variant of Ubuntu, which is same in terms of system startup, which kernel, and all the base stuff, but it uses KDE applications instead of Gnome applications. Note also that you can run apps written using the KDE libraries and/or Gnome libraries, irrespective of which desktop environment you use. A lot of people get confused by this, which is unfortunate. I don't run either the Gnome or the KDE desktop. But I run KDE and Gnome apps.

Part of me wishes I was more of one of those "configuration freaks" - the one thing I -don't- like about Gnome on Ubuntu is how much the Gnome people have "dumbed it down" and taken away certain config options in areas that you have to do backflips to get around; but I do like the "lightweightness" of it compared to KDE (just lightweight enough, IMHO).

Now - if I were one of those "configuration freaks" - there is only -one- WM for you:

http://www.enlightenment.org/

I don't know about today - but waaaay back in the day, enlightenment was considered to be the 400 lb gorilla of window managers; it was a super heavy beast that required a "top machine" to run it properly; and talk about configuration options...

:)

cr0sh: Part of me wishes I was more of one of those "configuration freaks" - the one thing I -don't- like about Gnome on Ubuntu is how much the Gnome people have "dumbed it down" and taken away certain config options in areas that you have to do backflips to get around; but I do like the "lightweightness" of it compared to KDE (just lightweight enough, IMHO).

Now - if I were one of those "configuration freaks" - there is only -one- WM for you:

http://www.enlightenment.org/

I don't know about today - but waaaay back in the day, enlightenment was considered to be the 400 lb gorilla of window managers; it was a super heavy beast that required a "top machine" to run it properly; and talk about configuration options...

:)

I haven't used Enlightenment much. Waaaaay back, I tried it out briefly on a Sun workstation. I didn't care for it much. Haven't looked at it for quite a while, but I don't recall finding it useful to me the last time I tried it. I run Fvwm now. It's completely configurable via a plain text .rc file. It has tons of modules, so there's very little you can't make it do. It also supports pipe reads, so you can, for example, tell it to execute a Perl script and then do something with the output. (The output would be, presumably, Fvwm commands.) The thing I really liked about it was when I switched back to it after some years of using KDE. My old config files were 95% good, and the Fvwm folks supplied conversions scripts which didn't just blow everything out. I was very quickly running my desktop just the way it was when I stopped using Fvwm, with a few enhancements thrown in for good measure.

BTW, Linus called Gnome 3 "the unholy mess".

Thank you cr0sh and justjed. I am downloading the ubuntu live cd. I will give it a try and if I can bare with it I will install it in a box.

My favorite IDE was the turbo C. It is simple and good. I remember you can call up help on any functions or statement you write. Maybe it also included dos and bios interrupt helps but I don’t know. I liked turbo assembly or TAMS too but it most certainly doesn’t do rep movsd correctly in 386 protected mode. No dos compilers did it correctly anyway. I learned BASIC a long time ago and can still read and write in it a little bit when it comes to programming excel or other M$ office tasks for processing grades and lecture simulations. It’s not my favorite. My favorite is still C. Yes, I remember QB for dos and I used it quite a bit before finally switched to C.

OK, now the live cd is downloaded. Time to burn it and try!

Wow. That little camera he's using has to have the worst automatic white balance I've ever seen. I have an old broken 35mm camera that does a better job.

OK, so far so good. Somehow the CD verify process failed during burning but the ubuntu still booted up. Should I be burning another copy?

I'll be exploring software options and enumerate a list of software I have to have running on my computer and some replaceable ones that I can live with a similar software. It is worth trying. It looks like mac though.

Anyone running ubuntu on laptops? I know laptop hardware drivers could be hard to seek.