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#1 New User Problem: Firmware


#1

I was thinking, which is often dangerous.

The first problem a lot of new users encounter is out of date firmware in new FEZ boards.

There are lots of cautions listed on the site, and even in the form to submit a question. But in a new users eagerness to get their new toys going they often don’t see the messages.

How about attaching a red label to the anti-static bags of all FEZ main boards telling the user the firmware on the device may be out of date, and a URL to where they can get started with the update process?

You could seal the bag with the label, insuring that the new user would not miss the message.


#2

I bet you users will still not see it :slight_smile:

FEZ is so cool that new users just want to plug and play.

Not only this, they maybe fine when they first try it out but then a new SDK comes out, they install it…and guess what? :slight_smile:


#3

:wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall:


#4

I think a better idea is to add a couple lines to the default code on the device.


while (true)
{
	Debug.Print("!!!! UPDATE THE DEVICE FIRMWARE FIRST !!!!");
	Thread.Sleep(500);
}

:smiley:


#5

Wasn’t it possible to read the device info?
Is the firmware version included too?

Maybe you could add a simple thing to the firmware which checks the board’s current version with the version number on your servers?

Or would that be TOO much? :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

The fix is simple, VS should print such a message. Unfortunately, we can’t do this on our end. We need Microsoft to do it.


#7

And another “more red” label reminding to read “less red” label first. Just kidding.
I like those music cards - you open it and it plays something. Open GHI box and Gus’ voice screams at you - “UPDATE THE FIRMWARE!”


#8

Not sure I totally agree… When the board is plugged into Windows it is registered as a new device and therefore there’s probably an event that gets fired. GHI could provide a small service that users are instructed to install first which would monitor this event and check the version of the board and notify users that a newer version is available. Then step them through an auto-upgrade process. My Magellan GPS does something similar. I believe it’s a NETMF based device.

Another alternative would be a feature on the GHI website that does automatic diagnosis of a board’s most common problems. Something like you see on the Dell website where you can press a button and it tells you every piece of hardware installed and if newer drivers are available.

So, if we don’t look at this as a Visual Studio problem and instead look at it as a GHI problem then I think some things might be possible.


#9

I want that box :smiley:

Well, it’s possible to look at the device capabilities in mfdeploy. It reads the firmware version.
That way it could be checked with the current version hosted somewhere on the tinyclr website.

It could even be a small text file which could be parsed to get the version number and compare it with the board’s version number.