Why We Need Side Projects
Most businesses thrive on creativity in one form or another. Whether it comes in the form of a beatifully designed layout, a new product idea, or a method to do an existing job better, it's the creative drive that pushes businesses forward. While most companies frown on working on anything other than your assigned project; there are a few (such as Google and Valve) that have come to understand a simple truth: we need side projects.
GPS in NETMF
Recently I started a little side project for my fiance to create a Pipboy. The first 2 things she wanted was to be able to send/receive text messages and view her position on a map like in Fallout. The first was done easily enough with a WiFi card and a web-service. The second meant finding a GPS that would work without breaking the bank.
PNGs in NETMF
Last year there was mention of adding PNG support to the .NET Micro Framework, however that never really surfaced. In fact, it's no longer even on the work list over on CodePlex. But never fear because we've gone ahead and added it; and it's open source.
What Is Spiral
Following on the success of Pyxis 2, Spiral SDK is UI library for smaller NETMF devices. The initial release is targeted specifically at the FEZ Panda II (based on the USBizi) with the FEZ Touch module (240x320 LCD with Touch Screen). With a total cost of $79.90 (USD + Shipping) this combination makes an excellent starter package for those just entering the world of NETMF or with small requirements. Of course, the FEZ Panda II isn't nearly powerful enough to run something as large as Pyxis 2.
Details and Demo SDK after the jump.