Arduino, C#, Hardware, Windows 8, WinRT

Bluetooth communication between Arduino and Windows 8.1

Introduction Recently, after being inspired by this video of Arduino Bluetooth communication with Windows Phone 8 by Marcos Pereira, I got myself some new devices to play with: Arduino Uno R3 in a starter kit (link) JY-MCU Bluetooth module (link) and a few extra cables The thing is: I don’t have a Windows Phone 8 yet and the Windows Phone 7.8 APIs do not support this kind of Bluetooth communication. But: I have a Surface RT and with Windows 8.1 the RFCOMM API can be used to establish a serial link to the Arduino. Arduino and Visual Studio It happens that my developing skills are quite limited to C# and when I had to develop some Kinect software with Processing in early 2012, I almost freaked out. Arduino code is written in C++  and the standard Arduino IDE is derived from the Processing IDE. Fortunately there’s the Visual Studio extension…

Hardware, Life, Root, Windows 8

2 months Surface RT – some thoughts from scientists perspective

There are countless reviews on the Surface RT already, but I consider myself some kind of non-average user, so I’d like to share my experience too. To understand my argument on the device, you should know: Who I am I am a undergraduate Biology student from Germany with some experience in WPF/Multitouch/Kinect/Windows Phone/Windows 8 development using C#. Most software I write is just for personal use, but I published some of my work (WP7, Win8) as well. Since the launch of the first public beta, I‘ve been using and developing for the Windows 8 platform, so I have a reasonable understanding of what’s going on. The Surface RT is my very first tablet computer. I’ve considered to get other devices (HP ElitePad, Samsung – ARM as well as x86), but decided that the Surface RT was the best fit. Everyday tasks Just like my HTC Mozart, I use the Surface…

Software, UI

Simple Launcher 2

As some of you may know, I have done an application called ‘Simple Launcher’. It’s purpose is to provide an easy way to have a multitouch user interface to start other applications. By pressing a small button on one of the controls it switches between container and bar-mode. In container-mode the user can drag’n’drop an application to a different container (or bar) and in bar-mode he can scroll through or launch applications. Empty containers will be remove automatically and new ones can be created via a button on the top. The user may also change the background by selecting a .jpg file. (Backgrounds are stored in ./Backgrounds and the selection is saved.) Here is a video of the application running on a HP Touchsmart notebook: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsZMSKe9h2k&w=448&h=252&hd=1] Simple Launcher 2 Demo   As all of the controls used in Simple Launcher are derived from MS Surface you need to install the…