Friday, 10 July 2009

The History of Windows CE: 4. Talisker

After the Pegasus post you should expect part 2 and 3 before going on with part 4.
But I did "On-Site-Studies" on the Isle of Skye where Talisker comes from.
Microsoft started code naming Windows CE after Whisky brands with version 4.0, code name Talisker.
Talisker is the only destillery on the Isle of Skye, one of the Inner Hebrides (a group of isles) in Scottland.
The destillery is located in the village of Carbost, Talisker itself is just a couple of buildings six miles west.
It's worth to do a nice walk down to Talisker Bay and go swimming. Okay, it's Scottland and much to rainy ;-(
And the Whisky? To be honest, I don't like Talisker 10 Years, it's rough and strong, but older Whiskys are better.

Let's go back to Windows CE:
The Windows CE .NET 4.x versions were full of new features, better IDE integration, new drivers, better debugging and a lot of advantages.
But the developers didn't like the long name with the extra ".NET". Microsoft followed our wish to remove the .NET in version 5 but re-invented a much longer name in version 6.
Another problem was the short time between 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2. Short after setting up a new device with the newest OS version it was old. You had to port your device to the next OS version every year. This problem was solved in version 5 with the Add-On-Packs.

The best innovation of Windows CE 4.x was the Hive-based Registry.
The Registry stores all information about the system, e.g. which drivers must be loaded or what Control Panel settings are set.
On PDAs the Registry is simply in RAM because you never switch it completely off. But if you do a Cold Boot or your battery is completely empty you will lost all your settings. Under Windows CE 3.0 it was very hard to implement a persistent Registry.
The Hive-based Registry is file based and located in a Filesystem on your Storage Device (e.g. Flash).

Stay tuned for my postponed Alder post.

Tschüß Holger

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