In our last episode, back in the 2000–2001 timeframe, I described how we were entering a new phase of computing that would be dominated by small, handheld devices designed to make your life easier. The dynamic duo of eMbedded Visual Basic (eVB) and Pocket Access seemed like a godsend to the millions of Visual Basic and Access programmers who would be instantly productive in this familiar environment. With old friends like ActiveX controls and ADO along for the ride, a new wave of powerful Pocket PC 2000 applications would storm onto the scene. With handheld devices containing 32MB of RAM running at speeds of over 200 MHz, I always found it amusing when Microsoft told us eVB programmers that we were working in a severely constrained environment. Did everybody forget that in the early ’90s we were building similar Windows applications using Visual Basic 3.0 and Access 2.0 with only 4MB of RAM available to us? As we fast-forward to 2003, handheld devices are everywhere, and they’re more powerful than ever. That being said, your 400 MHz XScale Pocket PC with 64MB of RAM, a 256MB SD card, and an 802.11x compact flash card is still considered a resource-constrained device <g>. I hope the true embedded programmers who are slinging just a few KBs of C code and burning EPROMs don’t feel slighted. Oh well, memory and processors are now small and cheap and that’s why smart devices of all kinds are taking over the market and even outselling PCs.


Desktop Computer Smart Device Project Type Visual Studio Target Device 
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© Rob Tiffany 2003

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  • Rob Tiffany

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