NetduinoWe are now at the start of a wave of new boards using 32 bit processors that are actually affordable for the hobbyist. This has opened the door for interesting programming languages like Microsoft’s C# to be run on resource constrained devices. 

Our first devices are the Netduino and Netduino mini. You can program these boards using Microsoft’s Visual Studio development tools. Programs are written in C# (bit like Java) and they can be debugged while running on the board in real time. Now you can know what is going on!

Under the covers is the .Net Micro Framework which executes the code, provides memory management and includes a lot of code libraries written for low level operations so you can concentrate on the fun bits.

The development process is very fast and easy to learn and best of all the tools are free (as in beer).

These boards are an excellent way to get into embedded programming on small devices. If your a more of an expert then you can use the full power of C# to build complex programs using object-oriented techniques. Either way, these things are a way to get a project done fast.