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Spider versus FEZ


#1

Will the FEZ lines be continued?

What makes the Spider any better than an equivalently powered FEZ?

Why should I use the Spider instead of the FEZ Cobra?

So far I don’t really see that the Spider brings anything beyond new form factors for the same things already nicely available via FEZ & eblocks.

Not ranting, just trying to figure out how this really fits into the mix.


#2

Personal thought: the rest of the Fez line will never disappear. There will always be a need for Arduino compatible pinout devices (sadly). Can’t see that need dissolving anytime soon, so can’t see GHI stopping something that is an enabler of people with ard-based shields migrating to a better platform.

Whether Spider or Cobra suits your needs better is a great question - what are your needs? (that’s a rhetorical question :slight_smile: ) If you have a specific project in mind, and want to have that in it’s own little contained box, then the cobra is awesome for that. But if you are like me and you like connecting new things to your device and figuring them out, then perhaps Spider is more suitable. Really it will come down to space - Cobra contains the space a little more than Gadgeteer will as it uses bigger cables and connectors, where Cobra can be quite compact; and the second aspect is do you want plug and play (and then unplug and plug in new stuff) or do you want to assemble what you have more permanently.

Over time I expect that Gadgeteer based devices and sensors will become another “defacto” standard. As that happens, you’ll see more benefit in using a Gadgeteer based module. You won’t have the challenges in the hardware as much, and there’s software benefit too - the whole concept is to easily allow you to prototype a solution, hardware and software, much quicker than ever before.

E-blocks are really a simple connection method that has minimal wires. Gadgeteer extends that to be able to support many devices (because it has more signal wires) but the downside is that there’s more space consumed.

The other aspect is software. Because Gadgeteer devices “know” what type of device you can plug into any particular port, and you have an additional SDK, you are slightly further abstracted from knowing how to deal with some of the concepts that you deal with today. Take for example the camera capability shown off with the flipbook maker - the sample code Gus showed was a handful of lines only, trivial for even a poor coder like me to use. But if you want the full flexibility of writing your own code (with the downside of also having to deal with the hardware side more) then perhaps a Cobra would be better.

So in summary, “it depends” (a classic consulting phrase that I never get tired of repeating :))


#3

FEZ Spider Board has been made to be .NET Gadgeteer compatible. .NET Gadgeteer does not only offers hardware standardization which allow you to use modules from other vendor with FEZ Spider mainboard but also it offer software package that makes the .NET Micro Framework programming style even simpler. I recommend that you visit www.netmf.com/gadgeteer website to have a better idea about this amazing platform.
Also there are couple videos made by Gadgeteer team out there that give a good introduction to this platform.

So to answer your question, it really depends on your experience and your application. At the end FEZ Spider or FEZ Cobra they are both FEZs.


#4

Thank you Brett for the nice answer. :wink:


#5

I just noticed the GHI released Spider from a C9 video.
http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/This+Week+On+Channel+9/TWC9-Kinect-SDK-Beta-Refresh-NET-Gadgeteer-Azure-Storage-Analytics-Pranking-Softies

I was hoping for this for some time. Great job. Look forward to using. Will place order asap.


#6

You are comparing apples to oranges. Why use a laptop instead of a desktop? Both can have same core processor and software but each one may fit better for some uses.

One is highly moduler (gadgeteer compatible) and the other is ODM handheld box.


#7

Any chance we’ll see a FEZ Gadgeteer shield in the future that we can drop on top of a Panda-II? Also, will you be continuing your 3-pin tinkerer line or does the Gadgeteer replace it going forward?


#8

@ ianlee74 - it is my understanding that the gadgeteer isn’t replacing anything.


#9

Fez is great… its has many features for a low price, for people getting to know .NETMF, or for a compact project. Spider is great too; better a platform.
Sams boards, (see the wish list) for the Gadgeteer; to connect a FEZmini to the Spider looks like a great project.
The FEZmini alone can be place in a class room environment; its small, easily can be placed in a bread board, its on board COM2 is “Hand Shaking” capable, runs on .NETMF… they are both great products, if your starting out and dont know if you’re going for Pro. try the FEZmini, FEZ Panda, or a FEZ Domino.

They are all great platforms.


#10

The question is how do you FEZ vs spider? it is a FEZ Spider :slight_smile:

I am kidding I know what you mean.


#11

I’m quite sad now, I went to look for shields so I could buy some, but they are no longer showing in the catalog.


#12

We still have shields available:
http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/category/267/

But the future is for.NET Gadgeteer modules;):
http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/category/275/

By the way, take a look at this link to get a better idea about the differences between FEZ, OSHW, SoM …etc:
http://www.ghielectronics.com/offers


#13

Yes there are still a few (less than there were), but the e-blocks are also not available any more. I’ve already got a good investment in the Panda II and mini plus some shields and e-blocks. I also just plain dislike the physical design and the pinout design on the spiders, the 3-pin used on the e-blocks is much more friendly - especially when customizing. I know spider is the new buzz and I see where it can be good, but it really loses some of the great features that the Panda II, mini, e-blocks, and shields offered.


#14

Gus, I really hope you don’t give up everything without a gadgeteer socket. Modules like EMX, ChipworkX, and Cerb40 still have a place in the world!

Also, what about that surprise you hinted at for this week? Still on schedule? There was reason to believe that PintSize.Me would be interested…


#15

We didn’t and we are adding more. Stay tuned :slight_smile:


#16

And now, with the FEZ Cerbuino Bee?


#17

@ baz
What do you mean?


#18

What will be the relationship between fez panda II and new board? It seems that the Cerbuino will superseed the FEZ Panda… Will not?


#19

Why do you think that?

These 2 products are very different, yet they look similar. See this please http://www.ghielectronics.com/offers/

Makers want open source but commercial customer don’t.