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"Inside Microsoft Windows CE" by John Murray

Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-03-16 11:24 PM
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I recently picked up Inside Microsoft® Windows® CE and it was very much not what I expected. I'm always on the lookout for some nice books about development, turns out this was more of a history book!
It starts with how Windows CE came to be, how WinPad was dropped as a project, how before Windows CE there were attempts to downsize the NT kernel before deciding to start from scratch with just the bare essential Win32 API functions. It goes on to describe the inner workings and design decisions that led to Windows CE 1.0, 2.0 and 2.11. It also includes lots of interviews with people from the core Windows CE team, and plans that turned out to be failures a few years after this book was published!
All in all a very interesting read, and in fact the only book I ever saw that really goes into the story behind Windows CE and credits the developers!
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-03-16 11:54 PM
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Nice find.

Never heard of WinPad, it might have been the iPad for Microsoft?
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-03-17 3:50 AM
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Kinda new to this site, arncha, stingraze?

https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/windowsce/default.asp
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-03-17 10:23 AM
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What I found interesting is that this book prominently mentions 3 languages to develop for Windows CE: C++, Visual Basic and... Java!
It turns out that in 1998, Visual J++ was still a thing and Microsoft made a Windows CE Toolkit for it. In 1999, they completely dropped support and pretended it never happened.
Here's a news article talking about it: http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9903/23/javajam.idg/index.htm...

I actually found the J++ toolkit here: https://winworldpc.com/product/microsoft-windows-ce-Toolkit%20/50
This was probably the last version to include J++, since in the next one it's only VB and C++
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-03-18 12:18 AM
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CE Geek - 2020-03-17 12:50 PM

Kinda new to this site, arncha, stingraze?

https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/windowsce/default.asp

Yeah, I must be... I look at the forum mostly, haha

Ah yes, Java... reminds me of when I went to a programmer school 10 years ago. Lots of crappy computers there lol.

I remember when Japanese cell phones (Galapagos keitia or Gala-kei for short) had Java runtime on it. Very tiny space but could do many amazing things on those.

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Visual J++

Visual J++, I think I've seen that long time ago!

Edited by stingraze 2020-03-18 12:26 AM
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-03-18 9:46 PM
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For anyone who cares, I dug around a bit more around the mystery of Visual J++. I got the Windows CE toolkit 5.0, last version to include J++ support.
Turns out there are only libraries for SH3, MIPS and x86! No ARM. They must've dropped support right before the first ARM devices hit the market. Truly a punch in the face to any developer using it, as it would've been no problem for MS to provide ARM support for this.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-03-18 9:48 PM
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That's interesting, no support for ARM, hmm...
I didn't know J++ had Windows CE support.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-03-19 2:13 AM
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As I recall, version 6 of VB, C++, and J++ didn't come out until CE 2.1. For VB and C++, at least, version 6 brought major changes, presumably to accommodate the big improvements in the API of the CE 2.1 core. Thus versions 2 and 3 of the eMbedded Visual Basic runtimes are so different that they are completely cross-incompatible.
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