The Dallas .NET Micro User Group focuses on the .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) from Microsoft. The group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Improving Enterprises and our meetings are free to attend. Please RSVP according to the monthly meeting announcement to assure plenty of food and drinks for everyone.
.NET Micro Framework (NETMF) is an open source platform that expands the power and versatility of .NET to the world of small embedded applications. Desktop programmers can harness their existing .NET knowledge base to bring complex embedded concepts to market on time (and under budget). Embedded Developers can tap into the massive productivity gains that have been seen on the Desktop.
This month, we'll talk about the current Hackathon for Weather that is going on right now and how to get involved. There are three $200 cash prizes available to win, check http://dfw-weather.challengepost.com/ for offical details. We'll also talk about other microcontrollers, such as the the Raspberry Pi and using the open source Mono framework to allow development of applications in C#.
Hackathon for Weather:
You will have 15 days to develop your project. Launch date will be on April 20 from 2-5 PM at Dallas Makerspace (DMS). Bring your project back to DMS to be judged on May 4 from 2-6 PM. For the full description & rules, check out our ChallengePost page: dfw-weather.challengepost.com It's coming upon Bad Weather Season here in DFW, and we are inspired to see what we can come up with in terms of an end-to-end solution to help with emergency management and/or the tracking/dissemination of important weather-related information. Most other hackathons focus on creating mobile apps to solve these problems, which are all fine & dandy until the power goes out, phone/data connections get clogged with traffic, etc. We have many different interests with programming and RF communications around here, so those of you interested can form a team and attack a problem in this space. Some ideas: - Google TV app that can interrupt Amazon Prime Video to display a weather event - App that helps relatives monitor family members in the path of a storm (where those in the disaster path are communicating through a mesh of XBee nodes instead over mobile data) - FM or ham radio tuner for Android -- these things are packed with radios, so why not tap into their full capability? - Use your imagination!
We will have FREE food, drinks and a meeting room, courtesy of Improving Enterprises. The food will arrive by about 6PM which offers plenty of time to socialize before the event start time at 6:30PM.
Be sure to thank our sponsor, Improving Enterprises, a premier, Dallas-based training and consulting firm and please keep them in mind for your company’s training and consulting needs.
Pluralsight On-Demand! .NET Training - Pluralsight is a premier Microsoft .NET training provider. Pluralsight delivers classroom and On-Demand! training around the world. The reputation of the Pluralsight technical team, the in-depth course content, along with the variety of training delivery methods, guarantees you access to the highest quality learning experience that makes the most sense for you and your business. Pluralsight is offering a 1 month free subscription to their Pluralsight On-Demand! training for unemployed user group members. We will also raffle two certificates for one month free (Value: $29 each). All other members can receive a free trial into the Pluralsight On-Demand! library by requesting it directly from <a href="https://www.pluralsight-training.net/microsoft/OLT/subscribe/Subscribe1.aspx?freetrial=true&planHint=Monthly" data-bitly-type="bitly_hover_card">here.
In October 2013, a new .NET Gadgeteer kit (REF) was launched specifically for education. It includes a low memory board and key modules that can be used in schools. The combination of modules and mainboard chosen keeps the cost down whilst allowing for sufficient different projects to give a full exposure to physical computing and programming.
Alongside the development of the kit, a new book "Programming in Visual Basic and .NET Gadgeteer" has been written by Sue Sentance and colleagues at Microsoft Research to use alongside this new education kit.
25 schools across the UK are now piloting both the kit and the books in schools. These schools range from middle schools to secondary schools with sixth forms and also include three girls-only schools. The schools are in England, Wales and Scotland, from Devon right up to Edinburgh! The pilot will end at the end of February and the schools will report back on their progress with .NET Gadgeteer but initial feedback indicates that the students are excited to be using the kits and enjoying learning to program in Visual Basic. For most students on the pilot, they have no prior knowledge of programming. The projects that are developed in the book include a tunes generator, stop watch, traffic lights, burglar alarm, morse code generator and a game. Each chapter covers a different set of programming concepts in an incremental way so that students gradually build up their confidence in programming.
Chris Atkinson, from St. Bede’s School, one of the pilot teachers reported: “The kits are fantastic!! We are using them with our gifted and talented students who are really enjoying learning programming! Although the buzzer lesson was an interesting lesson with the noise! Great fun for the kids, practice and the students are developing a love of programming. We have now developed a programming group because of this.”
Tom Hendry, from Balerno Community High School in Edinburgh says: “So far the gadgeteering is going great - the third years have started to make their own improvements to the gadgets [in the book], and the students will be starting to plan their own gadgets, which should lead to some good ones …
More information about the materials for .NET Gadgeteer can be found at http://gadgeteering.net/learn . Electronic copies of the book can be downloaded from this site, or there is an option to order a free hard copy (whilst stocks remain). The Gadgeteer kits for education can be purchased from GHI Electronics or various other electronic outlets.