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Why should I use an Embedded Operating System on an Embedded Device?

This is a good question when it comes from people with no experience on embedded devices and a very bad one when you hear it coming from people that work on embedded devices. “I’m using a PC inside my embedded device, so I can use Windows as I use it on my PC” this is usually a statement made by people who actually design bad embedded devices. And those devices are not bad because they use a PC-based hardware (using a PC may be a good solution for some kind of devices where developing a custom board is too expensive and does not provide any real advantage in terms of cost), not because they use Windows. It’s because they use a Windows version designed for PCs, and so they behave like a PC and not like an embedded device! A PC has always a user taking care of it (or calling for help when something goes wrong beyond his recovery capabilities!), an embedded device must run unattended. Users don’t want or even can’t interact with it. It must be able to solve its own issues and, at least, report errors by itse ...

Using SYSPREP in Windows Embedded Standard 7

Using Windows Embedded Standard 7 you can quickly build an Operating System configuration that support your hardware and include only the components required to run your application. Being able to customize the set of packages that are included in your image has multiple advantages: - reduced footprint (you’ll save storage and memory giving more resources to your application) - improved security (some services may have bugs that allows remote exploits and can become a security issue, removing them if they are not needed on your device will improve security) - improved reliability (less code, less bugs ). In Windows Embedded Standard 7 you can generate a set-up DVD or thumbdrive that can be used to install the operating system and your application on a target machine. Doing a full setup on each device could be a suitable solution, but it has some drawbacks. Setup may take a long time and may require some user interaction, some components may need to be installed or configured after the main OS setup etc ...

Using Dependency Walker

Dependency Walker is a very useful tool that can be used to find dependencies of a Portable Executable module. The PE format is used also on Windows CE and this means that Dependency Walker can be used to analyze also Windows CE/Windows Embedded Compact module. On Win32 it can be used also to monitor modules loaded by an application during runtime, this feature is not supported on CE.

Installing Windows CE 6.0 tools on a Windows7 64bit PC (Updated again)

I recently bought a new PC and I choosed a machine based on the 64bit version of Windows 7.
Using a 64bits OS will allow me to use more than 4GB of RAM and this is quite important for me because it will allow me to run multiple virtual machines to test beta products and keep some customers' development environment isolated from the others (for example for customers that need to test and certify each installed QFE and may allow me to install them on my development machine some time after their availability).

Gimme the right key

This post is not about lockpicking... it's about registry settings (and keys) and configuration files, but I can't manage to find a better title.

What’s wrong with my build?

Windows CE build is quite a complex process.
It involves different tools to parse makefiles, build and link code, merge resouces, make the OS image etc. and if something fails during the build is not always easy to understand what's wrong.

Did you install Windows CE shared source?

If you don't have a "PRIVATE" subfolder in your Windows CE installation subtree or if it's almost empty, go finding the installation CD and re-launch the installation.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded on Windows Embedded Compact 7

Fellow MVP Jochen Dieckfoß has posted a tutorial about Silverlight for Windows Embedded development using the new tools included in the Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP on his blog “Discover the Windows Embedded Experience”.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded tutorial (step 6)

In this tutorial step we will develop a very simple clock application that may be used as a screensaver on our devices and will allow us to discover a new feature of Silverlight for Windows Embedded (transforms) and how to use an “old” feature of Windows CE (timers) inside a Silverlight for Windows Embedded application.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded Tutorial (step 5 and a bit of Windows Phone 7)

One of the most important aspects of this new platform is that it will be programmed using a new set of tools and frameworks, completely different from the ones used on older releases of Windows Mobile (or SmartPhone, or PocketPC or whatever…).

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