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RDS version of Windows Embedded? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I hope this isn't off topic, but I was thinking that with the form factor of motherboards getting smaller, less expensive, and less power consuming almost daily, in the future the optimal scenario will be to have RDS running onboard the robot.  I was looking at versions of Microsoft's embedded operating systems on this page:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/about/what.mspx

    I noticed that there are some very specific versions for specialized environments like Point of Sale.  Would it make sense for Microsoft to create a version of Windows Embeded that was specifically tuned to run RDS on an onboard computer?

    The DSSHost could be modified to be started as a windows service so that the board would start it as part of the boot process.  A simpler solution would be to write a simple windows service that monitored the DSSHost and started it when it found that it was not running.  It could then start it with a list of manifests that was maintained in an XML file or even a flat text file, so the user can easily change the configuration.

    Is this even possible?

    Dogulas

    Monday, September 14, 2009 5:38 PM

Answers


  • We have found that actually setting up and configuring Windows Embedded XP is relatively simple.

    If I recall correctly it only took us about 2 hours to get a version of Embedded XP running on the onboard computer using the provided tools and manuals (there's only a handful of steps which are well described in the manual), however a version of XP Prof. was previously installed and was used (along with the provided tool) to determine all the required drivers files for the specific hardware. The majority of time is spent just waiting for the Embedded Studio tool to create the actual Embedded XP files. As a tip, it's not a back idea to create a separate partition for the Embedded XP (apart from the Standard XP installation).

    As long as there's nothing too specific required for running MRDS applications then it should be just as simple, just need to find the time to sit down and do it though...

    I haven't explored the licensing scheme much either!
    Our project was not intended to develop a robot for sale but rather for demonstration around the university and learning --> used for academic purposes.
    (due to membership with StudentIEEE much of the software, including Embedded XP, was gained free of charge thanks to MSDNAA!)

    We'd be happy to post a new thread when we're done. Probably include some links to youtube vids to show the actual application.


    AE.

    • Marked as answer by Dogulas Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:28 PM
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:52 AM

All replies

  • Quoting Edward AE:


    Interesting that you mention this.

    I happen to have been developing a Robot (Robbie the Robot) as part of a university engineering project (Curtin Uni - Western Australia).

    The primary control of Robbie was developed using MS Robotics Studio and is being run on a little Intel D945GCLF (inc. Atom processor)
    which was picked up fairly cheap. We are currently running XP Prof. onboard and have DSSHost run on startup. Connect to the
    board using Remote Desktop (Wi-Fi) and control through the onboard GUI. However we have run XP Embedded on the onboard comp.
    and will hopefully be able to get the control prog running on this within a month or so...    if good luck prevails.

    If XP embedded works as we're hoping then I don't think they'll need to develop a dedicated version, perhaps just a quick manual on 'How
    to get your MS Robotics Application Running Under Embedded XP'.


    AE.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 5:38 PM

  • Edward AE,

    Cool!  That will be great as long as the manual is complete enough.  I had though that it would be handy to just have an installation for a pre-made version, but it sounds like the steps are pretty simple.  Can you give me an idea as to the size of the effort?

    What about licensing?  I thought the CE and Imbedded versions had a peculuar licensing scheme.  I haven't explored that deeply enough.

    When you get this up and working, would you mind spinning a new thread with your approach, your steps, and/or your lessons learned?

    Good Luck,
    Dogulas

    Monday, September 14, 2009 5:39 PM

  • We have found that actually setting up and configuring Windows Embedded XP is relatively simple.

    If I recall correctly it only took us about 2 hours to get a version of Embedded XP running on the onboard computer using the provided tools and manuals (there's only a handful of steps which are well described in the manual), however a version of XP Prof. was previously installed and was used (along with the provided tool) to determine all the required drivers files for the specific hardware. The majority of time is spent just waiting for the Embedded Studio tool to create the actual Embedded XP files. As a tip, it's not a back idea to create a separate partition for the Embedded XP (apart from the Standard XP installation).

    As long as there's nothing too specific required for running MRDS applications then it should be just as simple, just need to find the time to sit down and do it though...

    I haven't explored the licensing scheme much either!
    Our project was not intended to develop a robot for sale but rather for demonstration around the university and learning --> used for academic purposes.
    (due to membership with StudentIEEE much of the software, including Embedded XP, was gained free of charge thanks to MSDNAA!)

    We'd be happy to post a new thread when we're done. Probably include some links to youtube vids to show the actual application.


    AE.

    • Marked as answer by Dogulas Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:28 PM
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:52 AM
  • Edward AE,

    Cool!  I look forward to reading about it.

    Thanks,
    Dogulas
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:28 PM
  • Embedded XP should not present any problems. As long as you have .NET 3.5 SP1 then everthing should run fine.

    The main reason for running Embedded is for a smaller footprint. However, these days solid state drives are quite large and so you might want to consider using Win7. I think it is faster than XP, and it will come with the latest version of .NET anyway. There will evenetually be an embedded version of Win7, but I don't know when.

    Trevor

    Sunday, September 20, 2009 1:48 AM

  • Hi Trevor,

    Does this mean that there will be a negligible increase in performance from XP to XP embedded?
    I was under the impression that fewer background processes are running and so less resources are
    used by Windows (we haven't compared performance between XP and Embedded).

    We're using a 40Gb hard drive anyway so I think I'll give Windows 7 a try if you think that would be
    faster.

    Thank you for the advice,

    AE.
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 1:09 PM
  • Edward AE,

    I'd love to hear about your experiences with Windows 7.  I'm currently using XP with a large solid state drive.  When you have tried it, could you post your results here?

    Thanks,
    Dogulas
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 2:56 PM

  • We tried out Windows 7.

    Unfortunately the results were not as expected and ultimately it was found that the little Atom processor and accompanying 2Gb RAM was just not enough to run our project using Windows 7. There were some clear benefits however, particularly the new remote desktop was found to stream video- type media with greater speeds and the speech recognition engine was upgraded. Due to the degraded performance however, we could not continue using it.

    However, we only had time to test out 64-bit Windows 7 and subsequent testing with XP 64-Bit showed that a similar-ish system slowing when running the MRDS application. Perhaps others could shed light on experiences using a 64-bit OS and whether or not they found reduced performance?


    AE.
    • Edited by Edward AE Wednesday, October 14, 2009 5:57 AM formatting
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 5:56 AM
  • While I can't comment on your specific setup, I'm not entirely surprised an Atom has poor performance in 64-bit mode :)  Unless you're doing something that can take advantage of the extra registers (not sure how well the JIT takes advantage of these) or the extra memory (so it doesn't need to swap to disk) then performance will usually be slightly worse than when running 32-bit thanks to more data needing to be moved around. You should definitely consider giving 32-bit Windows 7 a go.  Also, there's plenty of services that you probably don't need and can be disabled.
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:44 PM
  • You're likely right. If I get the chance in the next couple of weeks I'll install Win7 32bit on another hard-drive and check for performance increase. We did consider the Atom being significantly limited in 64-bit mode but were not sure of the details/lacking time to test 32-bit at the time.

    I'll post any results to this thread.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 4:24 AM