Sparks will fly: how to get started?

image I recently mentioned the contest called Sparks will fly. The theme of this contest is “Imagine the house of the future” and obviously you are given the opportunity to use the Spark kits to implement your solutions and ideas for a cool home automation system.
So you would build a Windows CE image along with applications that will run on devices. If you are not familiar with the Windows Embedded C E6.0 tools and would like to know what it takes to build such an embedded system (or if you are en embedded developer already but want to learn even more), go get some online training! Here is the list of training modules that have been made available online (videos +PDF files):

Item Name


Starting Guide

The Starting Guide contains a flowchart outlining how to navigate this training and an overview of the code examples.

Embedded Design for Windows Developers

Module 1e is for Windows developers and is designed to provide an understanding of what makes up an embedded system.

Embedded Design for Embedded Developers

Module 1w is for embedded developers and is designed to provide an understanding of the Windows paradigm, the concept of Windows programming, the Windows GUI, and the Windows Software Development Kit.

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Introduction

Module 2 is intended for all developers and is an introduction to Windows Embedded CE 6.0.

The Target Device Hardware

Module 3 is intended to introduce the target hardware and hardware-related topics. It features 4 different hardware platforms.

The Development Tools

Module 4 introduces the development tools: Platform Builder and Visual Studio 2005 which hosts it.

Understanding the Build System

Module 5 takes a first look at the building process and is intended for all developers, provided Modules 3 and 4 have been completed.

Creating and Building an OS Design

Module 6 describes the process of creating and building an OS design. This module presumes all earlier modules have been completed.

Application Development

Module 7 is intended for application development. It discusses the importance of the SDK and how to create and roll it. It also discusses the creation of three application development tools; Win32 API and MFC, both native tools; and developing managed applications in C#.

Remote Tools

Module 8 reviews available remote tools and describes how to use a remote tools framework to create a customized remote tool.

How to Attach a USB Webcam

Module 9 discusses how to attach a USB webcam, covering preparing the OS design for using the webcam and creating an application to show camera input.