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Monthly Archives: January 2012

  • The .NET Gadgeteer Diaper Alarm Part 1 (Moisture Sensor)

    During the .NET Microframework and .NET Gadgeteer code camp talk that Andrew Duthie and I gave several weeks back, we tossed around the idea of using the Gadgeteer and a moisture sensor to alert parents of, ahhhh, soggy diaper issues. Shortly before the holidays, in the mail, I got a package of goodies from Microsoft Research. That package included one of these moisture sensors from S...

  • The n00b filter: Bad UX at its Finest in Eagle PCB

    Speaking of UX… I finally decided to download and learn to use the industry-standard PCB and schematic layout software: Eagle. I've tried a bunch of others, and quite frankly, got tired of always using "also ran" software. The majority of the info on the web is for Eagle. It certainly doesn't have the best UI or the best workflow, but it has absolutely the most amount of information a...

  • Maker Geek Roundup 006 for 1/25/2012

    The Maker Geek Roundup aggregates information of interest to makers everywhere. Topics include .NET Micro Framework, CNC, 3d Printing, Robotics, Microsoft Robotics Studio, Electronics, General Maker stuff, and more. If you have something interesting you've done or have run across, or you blog regularly on the topics included here, please send me the URL and brief description via the con...

  • Now, more than ever, you need a designer

    Before joining Microsoft, I was a consultant, primarily building desktop applications using a variety of MS technologies. During my last couple years there, Silverlight was a large part of that both for full apps and as parts of larger web sites. Prior to that, it was WPF, Windows Forms, VB, HTML and even SharePoint. tl;dr: The point of this long post is not to show you examples of ...

  • Arduino The Documentary

    For anyone interested in open source microcontroller development, or why boards are named with *duino type names, this 1/2 hour documentary is a great watch. http://vimeo.com/18539129 Arduino.TheDocumentary.2010.English explains the origin of the Arduino in a relatively non-technical interview-based documentary style, with interviews for people involved in the creation, as well ...

  • My First Real PIX-6T4 Game: Sixty4Racer

    After assembling my Netduino-powered PIX-6T4, I wanted to go and write a simple game. This post describes the construction of that game, including all source code. Concept When you have 64 monochrome red pixels, you need to keep the graphics simple. I decided on a game inspired by the classic Atari River Raid game. This is essentially a vertical scrolling game where you need to dodg...

  • Assembling the PIX-6T4 Netduino-powered Hand-Held Game System

    I recently picked up a PIX-6T4 build by Fabien Royer (with games by Fabien Royer and Bertrand Le Roy). This is a 64 pixel, two joystick/button, monophonic sound hand-held game device based around the Netduino Mini from Secret Labs. You create games in C# using Visual studio. Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft and I enjoy working in the .NET Micro Framework as well as C++ on other micr...

  • WPF 4.5 Cross-Thread Collection Synchronization Redux

    In my post about WPF 4.5 Observable Collection Cross-thread Change Notification, I showed the basics of how to synchronize collection updates in WPF, and how to avoid having to manually dispatch calls to the UI thread. In the comments, Jonathan Allen brought up some very good points that I simply didn't know the answers to (and a lock I was missing in the example). Thanks to Jonathan fo...

  • WPF 4.5: Observable Collection Cross-Thread Change Notification

    WPF 4.5 is available as part of the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview released at the Build 2011 conference, and is part of the .NET Framework version 4.5. WPF 4.5 addresses several important customer requests including the ability to have cross-thread change notification for collections - the topic of this post. Update 1/20/2012: I have posted a set of updates to this post with add...

  • GNU C++ BlinkenLED Part 1 on the AVR (ATmega1284P with MikroElektronika EasyAVR6) and Atmel AVR Studio 5.1

    In this Part 1 post, I'll show how to interface with ATmega ports and pins to light up LEDs on a board. The follow-up post will show how to use the timer to actually blink the LED. Most of the Microcontroller code out in the public is C or Assembly. I have nothing personal against assembly or C (and may end up using a little assembly in the future), but I decided I wanted to write C++...

  • Setting up for Developing and Debugging the AVR (ATmega1284P) with AVRStudio 5.1

    In the wee hours of the night, I've been continuing to learn how to develop for the various AVR family chips from Atmel. I also do a lot with NETMF, Netduino, and the .NET Gadgeteer, but sometimes (despite the pain!) it feels good to code right on the metal. Introductory/getting started information for the AVR family is not always the easiest to find, so this post covers a few other i...

  • Windows Client Developer Roundup 086 for 1/11/2012

    The Windows Client Developer Roundup aggregates information of interest to Windows Client Developers, including WinRT XAML, WPF, Silverlight, Visual C++, XNA, Expression Blend, Surface, Windows 7, Windows Phone, Visual Studio, WCF RIA Services and more. Sometimes I even include a little jQuery and HTML5. If you have something interesting you've done or have run across, or you blog regu...

  • Threading Considerations for Binding and Change Notification in Silverlight 5

    A reader of my Silverlight 5 book recently reached out to me about threading and why I create some objects on the UI thread in the examples. We discussed some of the reasons, but I felt this would be a good topic to share with everyone. In fact, this is one area where it would have been fun to go into great detail in my book, but there simply wasn't the space. Threading and cross-thread ...

  • Silverlight Reporting Open Source Printing/Reports Example Updated for Silverlight 5

    I recently posted an updated version of Silverlight reporting on codeplex. Here's the overview. This project, a unofficial project by Pete Brown of Microsoft, provides a a very basic framework for building simple, short, multi-page reports using Silverlight 5. The intent is not to be an all-encompassing reporting solution, or a solution for large reports. Instead, this is a set ...

  • MFOS Synth 7: Front Panel Update (Knobs and started wiring)

    Today, I started wiring the front panel. Over the next several months I'll be building what is definitely my most complex electronics project to date: the MFOS (Music From Outer Space) Sound Lab Ultimate, Ultimate Expander and (if Santa brings one) Sound Lab Mini-Synth Mark II, likely all in the same home-made wooden case, side by side. The Ultimate and Expander are together a ...

  • Maker Geek Roundup 005 for 1/7/2012

    The Maker Geek Roundup aggregates information of interest to makers everywhere. Topics include .NET Micro Framework, CNC, 3d Printing, Robotics, Microsoft Robotics Studio, Electronics, General Maker stuff, and more. If you have something interesting you've done or have run across, or you blog regularly on the topics included here, please send me the URL and brief description via the con...

  • My new recording mic: Shure SM7B

    Over the Christmas break, I decided to replace my great Samson C01U mic with something a little more high end. Today was the first day I really got to try it out at work. Criteria I knew I wanted a new mic, but there were some specific things I was looking for. For the new one, I had the following criteria: Not a USB mic. Straight XLR Must sound good for close-talking voice o...

  • MFOS Synth 6: PCB Complete

    Over Christmas vacation, I completed all the component mounting on my MFOS Ultimate board. Over the next several months I'll be building what is definitely my most complex electronics project to date: the MFOS (Music From Outer Space) Sound Lab Ultimate, Ultimate Expander and (if Santa brings one) Sound Lab Mini-Synth Mark II, likely all in the same home-made wooden case, side ...