Hi, I have made this site because I just want to share my entusiasm for all things electrical and "computerish". It started with the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework and has since evolved to also cover the Arduino platform.
When I first discovered the .NET Micro Framework, I felt that this was the perfect marriage between the high level programming world that I love from the PC, and the low level electronics stuff from the embedded world.
I started out with electronics many many years ago but decided to make a living out of programming instead of burning my fingers on the soldering iron and get electrocuted by a high voltage line. Programming PCs are great fun and I really love it, but something is missing! There is no hardware in the form of buttons, sensors, lamps, motors and stuff like that.
For many years I have had an interest in robotics, which really combines all the things I find interesting in the technical world: Electronics, Mechanics and Programming. Playing around with this is not easy. Several skills needs to be mastered and often you have to struggle with selecting a proper microcontroller, which has to be programmed in some language - assembly or maybe C/C++ in some obscure variant. Often you have to spend time to learn new instruction sets and code libraries, build or buy a new programming device that fits the new processor, maybe even get a new debugging tool, get up in speed with the new programming language dialect, not to speak about the prices for a new compiler. Phew - this is not for a hobbyist.
With all the new microcontroller boards and modules you have available for almost no money from Ebay, it is very easy to find new "toys" to play with.
.NET Micro Framework is an integral part of the Visual Studio development environment and Arduino can also be programmed from Visual Studio using a plug in module.
It has never been easier than now to get started with embedded programming and building electronics :-)
Professionally I hold a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and I have been programming professionally since 1989 (Yeah, I'm old - but I actually got my first computer 10 years before that! - This was a "Nascom 2"). I started using the C# programming language when this was still in beta and I have been stuck to this ever since. Coming from Delphi, C# was a natural move. Together with the .NET framework and Microsoft Visual Studio, nothing beats it. It is just a great set of tools.
So, using the C# programming language and the .NET framework (in various variants) for programming directly on the chiplevel to control hardware - what else do a nerd need?
Why ".NET softwired"
In my play with words my definition of softwired is sort of the opposite of "hardwired" which is the way electronic systems was traditionally put together (before the microprocessors and the microcontrollers). Once wired it could not easily be changed (unless you broke up the wiring and rewired it). This was all hardware only and changes did not come easy.
"Softwired" on the other hand, is my word for "easy rewiring electronic circuits". Of course this is just programming, but as the .NET Micro Framework is about controlling hardware of some sort, I find it a proper way to indicate that this is all about "programming soft and hardware modules" and putting it all together in an easy way. I hope this makes sense to you - at least it does to me :-).
You are welcome to join me in the fun world of .NET Micro Framework and other micro controller stuff.
Peter F. Jørgensen