I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself (see my profile). I’d like to get started my first project during the upcoming holiday break, but wondering which kit I should start with. The FEZ Corbra II seems like the ideal product since it has WiFi built-in, but that doesn’t appear to come out until after the holidays. Is there an interim board / kit I can by that would cause little code refactoring once its available and still give me the exposure to the framework and allow me to begin developing?
Any code that doesn’t use device specific items (WiFi, pins) can be ported between other devices without refactoring. Cobra II is definitely something worth waiting for. I have the original and have a pre-order placed for Cobra II.
If WiFi is not that important to you at the moment, then any Gadgeteer board would provide portable code (with the caveat that Skewworks mentioned). Note though that you’d need to recreate the project on the Cobra as the mainboard would different.
I’m confusing myself now … is the Cobra II a Gadgeteer board? I know it has the sockets, but will the mainboard show up in the toolbox?
If you can put aside WiFi as a core requirement for the time being, and learn on something less “capable” then I would be investing a small amount of cash in a Panda II or Domino; http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/category/6/
Both are great featured boards for the $$ but won’t do everything (and are somewhat end-of-line since there is no firm plan for them to get the 4.2 framework) and have much less resources than a Cobra II will be. They will let you learn about netmf and start to get established “thinking small”.
The alternative is to head to a Spider which is the Gadgeteer equivalent of the original Cobra. It’s based on the EMX module that has been replaced by the G120 that the Cobra II uses; the EMX is still supported for 4.2 so less chance you will stagnate there, but it’s more cash to lay out on something you know has been superseded.
Is there a kit I can purchase that would give me started, then just swap out when the cobra its available? [/quote]
There are a few kits currently available - Hydra Kit (OSHW), Cerberus Kit (OSHW), & the Spider Kit (premium). Your choice is going to depend on what you want to do. Since the Cobra II is a premium board then you will have access to features that may not be available in the OSHW kits. However, if you just want something to start tinkering with then any of the kits mentioned will be great. My personal favorite is the Hydra.
To replace one board with another, you just drag your new board from the toolbox to the designer and it will replace the existing board. All you have to do then is re-draw your wires. Of course, if you replaced a premium board with an OSHW board then you could run into issues if you were using premium libraries that are not available to OSHW.
Microsoft released their bits today. GHI’s bits normally come out about 6 months after Microsoft releases theirs but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see it sooner. From what I’ve seen so far the list of changes in 4.3 doesn’t seem very long.