Donations by Microsoft for the OS Lab
Microsoft has donated
- four Compaq
Ipaq H3970/3975 handheld devices running Windows CE 3.0. The device is equipped
with bluetooth, wireless 802.11b (Cisco Aironet 350 PC Card) and infrared
communication. The H39xx uses an Intel XScale processor, the PXA
250. The market value at the time of donation was in excess of $4,000.
- Two Tablet PCs (Fujitsi T3010D) for experimental classroom usage
and software development for Tablet PC software under the Windows XP
Tablet PC edition. (Market value at time of donation: $4000)
- four Compaq
Ipaq H5550/5555 handheld devices running Windows PowerPC 2003. The device is equipped
with bluetooth, built-in wireless 802.11b and infrared
communication as well as biometric fingerprint reader. The H55xx uses an Intel XScale processor, the PXA
250. The market value at the time of donation was about $2,600.
The donation are to enhance teaching and research on Real-Time and Embedded Systems
as well as advanced Operating
Results of experiments:
Sample student feedback:
- I think the ipaq was a very useful learning tool. We were forced
to learn new tools such as EVC++ and forced to learn to use the windows API.
I don't know if the latter applied to everyone but it was an introduction
to Windows programming for myself. The only difficulty was finding relevant
information about the Ipaq and xscale. However, this is to be expected and
forced us to become somewhat efficient at finding information. I will be
honest, when we first decided to use the Ipaq it seemed a little overwhelming.
But, looking back on what we accomplished, I feel I have learned a great
deal from using the ipaq in our project and from the class in general.
- Working with the Ipaq was a good learning experience. On the positive
side, we got an opportunity to work with a handheld device, experiment with
its wireless networking capabilities (specific to our project), gain insight
into the real-time features of WinCE. Several times, we faced the problem
of the device not responding, which necessitated a 'reset' of the device.
The other issues we had were related to the RTP/RTCP protocols and wireless
networks, not specific to the Ipaq.
- The experience of using XScale with WinCE was good. The API's provided
by WinCE eased a lot of coding effort. I have no specific views on the XScale
hardware. However, we were not able to exploit the hardware fully as we
had only the API's that WinCE provided us. Ideally, it would have been good
if Microsoft gave us Platform Builder 3.0 to go along with the hardware.
Using this we could run a lot of experiments that is not possible from the
Roman Stylus and Writing Tablet
~2nd century AC.