ReTread the Old Coder's Head ??
I would like your advice on how I should get started on writing some significant software that will run in the WIN-XP environment.
I've done a lot of coding and electronics design over many years, various assemblers, Pascal, 'C', BASIC. But I have never written anything in the new (to me) world of WIN-XP, .NET, XML and All That.
I have been working for some time on a collaborative project (on BoatDesign.Net) to define and prototype a "Multi-Purpose Onboard Computer System" for use on boats. This will be a Mini-ITX system with something like TinyXP, and quite a bit of external hardware. Take a look at:
if you're interested in the gory details. And there's a quick look at the proposed layout for the boat helmsman at the end of this post.
There are 2 parts here: The part inside the dashed line is a 19" LCD display, and the 3 sides are hardware panels. The NAV software is stock OziExplorer. I need to do the right side and lower sections in display software that is now non-existent! This will include interfacing to the boat sensors and controls via USB, and creating Meters and Dials etc.
The hardware panels have capacitive touch switches that end up coming in as USB keyboard keystrokes. I Think...
So, I AM confused. Where to start? Should I use VB.NET? Java?? Delphi? 'C' or 'C#' in another environment? What would support good graphics for dials and meters without coding it all myself? How do I force exact positioning of windows on the screen and not allow them to be covered up? Who's on First?
I just got VB Studio Express Edition. Could that work for this stuff?
I'm am willing and eager to spend the next 100 hours or more learning the software tools to do this. I've survived everything from System 7 Assembler on punch cards to OS/2 graphics, but it's time to retread the old head and get started.
What would you do? Where would you start?
Any suggestions, pointers to resources, comments appreciated!
Regards, Terry King ..On the South China Sea in Shekou
(Originally and Finally from Vermont, USA)