Build Your Own Embedded System -

Build Your Own Embedded System


Once again the Embedded SystemsConference is coming to the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose,CA, this April 14-18. And again it will be both an exhibition of thelatest in tools and technology, plus a huge educational event with fivedays of classes.

But there's a difference this year. Attendees with an “All AccessConference Pass” will be given an ARTiGOdevelopment platform, preloaded with Windows CE. This isessentially a Pentium-class PC which attendees will use in a specialseries of hands-on classes. After the conference, take the ARTiGO home.

I know I want one.

Regular readers know I'm an advocate of learn-by-doing. Theoreticalknowledge is critical, but engineering is ultimately about buildingthings, which implies a Catch-22: we learn to build things only bybuilding things.

Thirteen different ninety minute classes use the ARTiGO system togive that sort of hands-on experience, each one taught by a MasterCraftsman of the technology. Each session stands alone; you don't needto attend all, or even most of them. Pick one or more particularsubject areas of interest and go to just those classes.

Six cover aspects of Windows CE deployment. If you're looking atusing CE for the first time be sure to check out the intro class aboutbuilding that OS and loading onto your embedded platform. Another willhave attendees turn the ARTiGO into a web and file server, while otherscover debugging CE and finding performance bottlenecks.

Two classes delve under Windows into the BIOS, and show how tocustomize the BIOS as well as to get fast boots. I might have to takethat one to find some way to speed up the agonizing boot time of my XPmachine.

Low-power and wireless are certainly leading trends in the embeddedworld, and one of the sessions will have folks building an ultra-lowpower wireless sensor network. Another show techniques for maximizingbattery life, and comes with yet another freebie: aSilicon Lab's CapTouchSenseSK kit.

Want to get into the ARM revolution? Take the ARM-Based Embedded WebServer class, and gohome with an eval kit from Luminary Micro.

Finally, if you're considering USB be sure to take the EmbeddedUSB Made Easy course, and leave with a Silicon Lab's F320 USB toolstick.

All in all these classes promise to be interesting and fun, and thegiveaways are pretty enticing, too.

Editor's Note: Click here to register nowfor the Embedded Systems Conference, Silicon Valley.

Jack G. Ganssle is a lecturer and consultant on embeddeddevelopment issues. He conducts seminars on embedded systems and helpscompanies with their embedded challenges. Contact him at . His website is .

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