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ASP.NET and Embedded Development



 



Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:35:00 GMT

(image) The Smart Grid Innovation Contest is an open international competition to find new, sustainable Smart Grid business models and technologies for the near future.

Siemens believes in the future of the Smart Grid for a more sustainable world – a vision of intelligent, flexibly controllable power generation, distribution, and consumption. The breakthrough of Smart Grid applications, though, strongly depends on attractive business models that combine technologies and economic benefits.
The Smart Grid Innovation Contest consists of two phases: during the first phase, ideas are generated and developed in a collaborative community. In the second phase, universities are invited to submit research proposals to further elaborate and develop ideas.

Idea contest (for everyone) from April 13 to May 31 2011
 
Call for proposals (for universities) from October 4 to November 30, 2011. Siemens will award €15,000 and a workshop trip to Berlin together with Siemens Smart Grid experts to the five best ideas and the most valuable contributions. In a joint effort with several universities, more than €1,000,000 will be invested to translate the participants’ ideas into innovation. The contest addresses your creativity and your local expertise in making energy systems smarter and more environmentally friendly.

Watch an idea grow, through suggestions, comments and ranking, into mature and realistic innovation!

Full competition details and rules at:
http://www.siemens.com/smartgridcontest




Build a Quadrocopter using .NET Micro Framework and win a VS2010 + MSDN Subscription

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 13:42:25 GMT

For those of you are interested or working on a Quadrocopter controlled by the .NET Micro Framework, there is a contest where the winner of a flying Quadrocopter will get a free VS2010 license including 1 year MSDN subscription.

Check my blog at http://netmicroframework.blogspot.com/




Visual Studio – would like to see some new features in the next version

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 08:33:11 GMT

Yesterday evening I was sitting on my laptop and thought about what I like in Visual Studio and what I’m missing. Well, at all I’m very happy with Visual Studio, cannot remember any other development environment that is working as good as Visual Studio on Windows.

Here are some features I’m missing or maybe didn’t find yet:

  • Close documents automatically when not in use: I would like to have an automatic closing feature that will close files that are not used any more. I mean if you open documents just to see an implementation or some source code this document could be closed after 1 hour or a customizable duration. Some of you know the Windows desktop folder where not used links are placed running a wizard. Of course, documents that are checked out or changed should stay open.
  • Find a file in solution explorer: I know that it is possible to enter a filename in solution explorer to find a specific file to edit. More often I’m using similar starting filenames like qualitycheck.aspx, qualitycheckdialog.ascx, qualitychecktab.ascx, qualitycheckedit.ascx,.. And ASP.NET itself creates duplicate starting filenames for the code-behind source files, too. That means I have the .aspx and .ascx again ending with .aspx.cs and .ascx.cs. It would be great to hit a special key, enter a filename in the textbox and have a list of files that fit the search. Using a simple drop-down (live search) it would be much easier to open files in big projects. The textbox itself could find class names or other interesting text, too.
  • […] I will add some more missing features later…

What do you think? Or is there already a solution to do this?




Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginner's Guide

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 06:56:41 GMT

Build enterprise-ready business applications with Silverlight An introduction to building enterprise-ready business applications with Silverlight quickly. Get hold of the basic tools and skills needed to get started in Silverlight application development. Integrate different media types, taking the RIA experience further with Silverlight, and much more! Rapidly manage business focused controls, data, and business logic connectivity. A suite of business applications will be built over the course of the book and all examples will be geared around real-world useful application developments, enabling .NET developers to focus on getting started in business application development using Silverlight. In Detail Microsoft Silverlight is a programmable web browser plug-in that enables features including animation, vector graphics, and audio-video playback--features that characterize Rich Internet Applications. Silverlight makes possible the development of RIA applications in familiar .NET languages such as C# and VB.NET. Silverlight is a great (and growing) Line of Business platform and is increasingly being used to build business applications. Silverlight 3 made a big step in LOB; Silverlight 4 builds upon this further. This book will enable .NET developers to feel the pulse of business application development with Silverlight quickly. This book is not a general Silverlight 3/4 overview book. It is uniquely aimed at developers who require an introduction to building business applications with Silverlight. This book will focus on building a suite of real-world, useful business applications in a practical hands-on approach. This book is for .Net developers, providing the answers to many questions that are encountered when creating business applications in Silverlight, ultimately enabling rapid development with ease! This book teaches you how to build business applications with Silverlight 3 and 4. Building a suite of applications, it begins by introducing you to the basic tools and skills needed to get started in Silverlight development. It then dives deeply into the world of business application development, covering all the required concepts needed to build sophisticated business applications and provide a rich user experience. Chapters include: building a public website, adding rich media to the website, incorporating RIA into your website, and among others. By following the practical steps in this book, you will learn what's needed to create rich business applications--from the creation of a Silverlight application, to enhancing your application with rich media and connecting your Silverlight application to various Data Sources. What you will learn from this book Learn the basic tools and skills needed to get started in Silverlight 4 business application development. Discover how to enhance your Silverlight business applications with rich data such as sound and video. Know when and how to customize your data in Silverlight using important data controls. Understand how your Silverlight business applications can connect to various Data Sources. Deliver your Silverlight business application in a variety of forms.   Interesting? Read the chapter 1 – Getting Started for free!! [...]



Microsoft MVP Award 2010 – Thank you!

Fri, 01 Jan 2010 19:15:26 GMT

Reading my mails today:

(image) Dear Michael Schwarz,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in .NET Micro Framework technical communities during the past year.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership."

Now, this is my fifth MVP year [2006, 2007, 2008, 2009] started in 2006 with the Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio Development / ASP.NET. I’m really surprised that I got the MVP award again. Thank you Microsoft, a big thank you to all of you!!

2010 will be a great year with new great products! I hope I can still give my best to you and help supporting Microsoft products.




ZigBee Smart Energy Blog

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 16:17:25 GMT

While I’m currently working on a ZigBee Smart Energy device running on Microsoft .NET Micro Framework 4.0 (beta) I have started a new blog writing about news concerning Smart Energy (Smart Grid) around the world: http://smartenergy-news.blogspot.com/

For those of you not familiar with or never heard about ZigBee Smart Energy, here is a short statement from ZigBee Alliance’s web site:

ZigBee Smart Energy offers utilities and energy service providers secure, easy-to-use wireless home area networks (HAN) for managing energy. Smart Energy gives these groups and their customers the power to directly communicate with thermostats and other smart appliances.
New advanced metering and demand response programs can be implemented in homes easily and securely because of ZigBee wireless technology. Now utilities and energy service providers can easily implement energy management and efficiency programs to meet changing government requirements.

There area a growing number of products certified by the Alliance for ZigBee Smart Energy. These products represent every type of device needed to implement a robust home area network using ZigBee Smart Energy.

The ZigBee modules I’m using are from Digi International – a simple firmware upgrade and you can start implementing the new Smart Energy profile.




[de] Silverlight 3: Das rasante Autorennen live & kostenlos

Fri, 09 Oct 2009 17:38:25 GMT

Für alle, die am Wochenende nichts vorhaben, und mal etwas Deutsches mit Silverlight 3 ausprobieren möchten:

Zur "TV total Stock Car Crash Challenge 2009" präsentiert Vodafone ein brandneues Feature: Erleben Sie das TV-Ereignis mit Stefan Raab, Elton & Co. zum ersten Mal live und gratis in der Videothek! Startschuss für das heiße Autorennen ist am 10. Oktober um 20.15 Uhr!

Viel Spaß beim Zuschauen!




Quick thoughts on the Microsoft AJAX CDN

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 10:40:29 GMT

Today reading on idunno.org about Microsoft AJAX CDN, something I was thinking about a bit, too:

Scott “Red Shirt” Guthrie announced today that the jQuery and the Microsoft AJAX scripts would be hosted on the Microsoft content delivery network (CDN) – which should speed up the initial loading of these script libraries and save you bandwidth, as you won’t have to host them any more. Being an untrusting soul, errr, security person, I thought I’d take a quick look at how its delivered.

The scripts are hosted on http://ajax.microsoft.com/ which presents the first problem – it’s a microsoft.com domain. When you do any serious browsing to the normal microsoft.com sites you’re going to get a cookie, for example if you login to view things that require Live authentication, or you register for an event or even a session ID. On my machine I have seven cookies that are sent to any microsoft.com site and some of them look like tracking identifiers (the omniID for example is a GUID, then there’s MUID, a cookie called ANON and so on). There’s no way of knowing what these cookies actually do, but they will be sent with requests for the CDN based script libraries which, if Microsoft were so inclined, could be used to track users as they travel through various sites using the CDN. Of course google does the same thing, and has been doing it for longer. The google script for loading other scripts (yes I know) comes from google.com, so the cookie that identifies your searches will be sent when you browse to a site that uses the google script CDN (adsense and google analytics scripts come from different domains, and so those identifying cookies won’t be sent). So there is a potential privacy problem here, if Microsoft were inclined to be evil.

Read the full story here.




New Version of Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer Available

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 06:18:23 GMT

There is a new version available for Microsoft Expression SuperPreview for Windows Internet Explorer. Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a visual debugging tool that makes it easier to migrate your web sites from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7 or 8.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer speeds the essential task of debugging your web sites for cross-browser compatibility. With Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer, you don’t need a web service to debug your pages on the same machine that you use for development.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a stand-alone visual debugging tool that makes it faster and easier to migrate your sites from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7 or 8. With Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer, you can ensure that your Web sites work correctly in Internet Explorer 8 while also maintaining compatibility with earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer shows your web pages rendered in Internet Explorer 6 and either Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8, depending on which version you have installed on your machine. You can view the pages side by side or as an onion-skin overlay and use rulers, guides and zoom/pan tools to precisely identify differences in layout. You can even compare your page comp to how the targeted browsers render the page.

Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer not only shows a high-fidelity rendering of how pages will look on different browsers, but it also identifies the element’s tag, size and position, applied styles, and location in the DOM (Document Object Model) tree so you can quickly fix the error.
Expression Web SuperPreview for Internet Explorer is a standalone, free application with no expiration and no technical support from Microsoft.

If you’d like to debug your pages for both Internet Explorer and Firefox, download the free 60-day trial of Microsoft Expression Web.

The older solution was to use one of the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images which will expire January 1, 2010.




How to download Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7 E without any Web browser?

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:44:28 GMT

Windows 7 RTM will be available in the next days and for all European users there will be no Internet Explorer 8. I’m not sure if there will be an option to install Internet Explorer from the setup DVD or if we can simple add this as a Windows feature in control panel. Following command line batch file will download Internet Explorer 8 setup: @echo off if exist download-IE8.cs del download-IE8.cs echo using System; > download-IE8.cs echo using System.Net; >> download-IE8.cs echo using System.IO; >> download-IE8.cs echo. >> download-IE8.cs echo namespace Download_IE8 >> download-IE8.cs echo { >> download-IE8.cs echo     class Program >> download-IE8.cs echo     { >> download-IE8.cs echo         static void Main(string[] args) >> download-IE8.cs echo         { >> download-IE8.cs echo             if (File.Exists("IE8-WindowsVista-x86-DEU.exe")) >> download-IE8.cs echo                 File.Delete("IE8-WindowsVista-x86-DEU.exe"); >> download-IE8.cs echo. >> download-IE8.cs echo             try >> download-IE8.cs echo             { >> download-IE8.cs echo                 HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/C/3DC5DC1B-2B60-487A-BAE2-732662BC0886/IE8-WindowsVista-x86-DEU.exe"); >> download-IE8.cs echo                 request.UserAgent = "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.1;)"; >> download-IE8.cs echo                 request.AllowWriteStreamBuffering = false; >> download-IE8.cs echo                 request.Timeout = 10000; >> download-IE8.cs echo. >> download-IE8.cs echo                 using (Stream s = request.GetResponse().GetResponseStream()) >> download-IE8.cs echo                 { >> download-IE8.cs echo                     FileStream fs = new FileStream("IE8-WindowsVista-x86-DEU.exe", FileMode.Create); >> download-IE8.cs echo. >> download-IE8.cs echo                     byte[] read = new byte[1024]; >> download-IE8.cs echo                     int count = s.Read(read, 0, read.Length); >> download-IE8.cs echo. >> download-IE8.cs echo                     while (count != 0) >> download-IE8.cs echo                   [...]



Results of AJAX Statistic for .NET Development

Tue, 23 Jun 2009 07:36:12 GMT

Simone has created another survey concerning AJAX usage with ASP.NET. The results are available, now, and it is really interesting to see that there are only small changes in the use of AJAX libraries for ASP.NET developers. The most used Ajax/JS library among .NET developers is jQuery, which is used by the 71,4% of the users. Second comes the Ajax Control Toolkit with 58,8%, followed by the core ASP.NET Ajax library, which is used by 44,8%. The 3 most used libraries are still the same of 2007, just with the opposite order (it was ASP.NET Ajax, the Control Toolkit and then jQuery). He writes more about the results concerning my library: And, despite becoming a dormant project, AJAX.NET Professional lost only 3% of the users. Here are the results in more detail: 2007 2009 diff jQuery 13,3% 71,4% 58,1% AJAX Control Toolkit 49,6% 58,8% 9,2% ASP.NET Ajax 73,7% 44,8% -28,9% Telerik radControls 11,7% 15,6% 3,9% Ajax.NET Professional 13,3% 10,3% -3,0% JSON.NET 3,3% 9,7% 6,4% Raw Ajax 11,3% 8,6% -2,7% Prototype 11,5% 8,3% -3,2% Yahoo! UI 5,5% 7,0% 1,5% Ext JS 6,1% 6,1% 0,0% Script.aculo.us 9,7% 5,3% -4,4% It is really interesting that there is only one big change, jQuery become the new #1, I use jQuery in combination with my own library since the very beginning, and this combination is still what I recommend to use. If you have a look at the CodePlex download statistics you can see that Ajax.NET Professional is still alive: And for those of you are interested: yes, I’m still developing my private version of Ajax.NET Professional. I have added several features that let me work with JavaScript, jQuery and ASP.NET more faster. One interesting feature I have added is the AjaxHashCode attribute that will append a __hash property to the JSON converted structure. This can be compared more faster on the client-side JavaScript code to indentify if there is a change in live data. Maybe I will have some time to publish my private version which is not 100% compatible with the public one, but maybe interesting for some of you.[...]



IActiveScriptParse and x64

Fri, 19 Jun 2009 14:20:49 GMT

Some days ago I had to work on an .NET application that has been ported from C++. This application is using VBScript as scripting host using the IActiveScriptParse interface. While the C++ compile was working fine on x64 the .NET port didn’t work.

To understand why it is not working I had a look at the target platform settings in the .NET project. By default Visual Studio is using Any CPU. The .NET runtime then will have a look at the PE header to identify if the assembly has been compiled with Any CPU, x86 or x64.

The IActiveScriptParse interface on x86 is mapped to IActiveScriptParse32 with the ClassID BB1A2AE2-A4F9-11cf-8F20-00805F2CD064. The easiest way to get it working on x64 was to mark the assembly as x86. You can do this with the target platform property in your Visual Studio project or by using the corflags.exe:

corflags.exe ConsoleApplication1.exe /32BIT+

Well, the effect is that the the application is running in 32-bit mode on x64 what I don’t want to. There must be a better solution to do the trick and keep the Any CPU target platform.

Let’s have a more detailed look in the C++ source code. The interface IID_IActiveScriptParse is mapping to IID_IActiveScriptParse32. When reading the source code file ActivScp.h I found that there is a x64 version, too. When I had a look at the OLE-COM Viewer I didn’t find it there. Ok, I will take the new ClassID C7EF7658-E1EE-480E-97EA-D52CB4D76D17 from ActiveScp.h and use it on x64 platforms. To device if you’re running on x64 or x86 you can check the size of IntPtr:

if (IntPtr.Size == 4)
{
    IActiveScriptParse32 x = (IActiveScriptParse32)Activator.CreateInstance(t);
    script32.InitNew();
    // …
}
else
{
    IActiveScriptParse64 y = (IActiveScriptParse64)Activator.CreateInstance(t);
    // …
}

Hm, that’s working in my .NET application, but not really nice. I will create a wrapper around the both interfaces as the method arguments are the same (except the size of the IntPtr, of course).

While searching for the x64 interface description I found that Microsoft already created such a wrapper. You can find this in _comimports.cs, but all members are marked as internal and a define is set to not compile the code, why? I don’t understand this.

Using the wrapper couldn’t be easier:

Type t = Type.GetTypeFromProgID("VBScript");
ActiveScriptParseWrapper wrapper = new ActiveScriptParseWrapper(Activator.CreateInstance(t));
wrapper.InitNew();
// …

I’ve created a feedback at Microsoft Connect, maybe we’ll get this or find a common solution for this.

Just one note: using C++ the compiler will always use the x86 version (IActiveScriptParse32). You need to add a define #define _WIN64 to explicit use the x64 version. Oh, that means the x64 compiled version before could use the 32-bit one? That is the difference I still don’t understand why it is different using C++ or C#. Is this a bug or a feature by design?




MFtoolkit available soon in .NET MF 3.0 SP1

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 22:21:00 GMT

Microsoft announced that parts of the MFtoolkit will be available in the first service pack for .NET Micro Framework 3.0. Missing http support (currently we have only simple WebServices) is one of the most requested features. Support for hardware devices / modules like XBee or common sensors are following right after. .NET MF 3.0 SP1 will be available around June 2009.

Until then the MFtoolkit will be still available at CodePlex. This week we got some new features like NetBIOS lookup, C6820 camera driver, SHA1 and SHA256 support as well as more improvements for XBee and http server classes.

Update: yes, today is April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day.




Ajax.NET Professional and ASP.NET MVC

Wed, 25 Mar 2009 12:01:08 GMT

Sean Lin has written about how Ajax.NET Professional (AjaxPro) can be used with ASP.NET MVC and what you have to change to get it working.

Anyway, I have been using Ajax.NET since .NET 2.0, as well as since .NET 3.5. I haven't found a good reason to switch and it even runs under ASP .NET MVC and I reckon it is still better than using Ajax.ActionLink(). Unless of course, there's some easier method that I do not know of then please feel free to enlighten me anytime. Most of my Ajax use centers around requesting data from the server asynchronously and then using javascript to update the DOM.

As there are still a lot of developers starting with AjaxPro right now I will publish a new release during the next weeks that will change AjaxPro to use jQuery instead my own JavaScript code.




How to fix German c:\Programme “Access denied”

Fri, 27 Feb 2009 18:29:05 GMT

Some months ago I opened a Microsoft Support call to ask why I cannot open c:\Programme (the German translated folder for c:\Program Files) on Windows Vista or Windows 7 Beta. When you type c:\Prog on a German Vista machine you will get a drop down list containing c:\Programme. Use the arrow keys to select it and press enter. What you get is a access denied message.

(image)

Another test I did was to open c:\Programme\Windows NT, and wow, this was working without any problem. But when I clicked in the address bar on the Programme tab I got access denied, too.

For those of you don’t understand what the problem is: on Windows XP Microsoft decided to use the translated name of Program Files. Some applications didn’t asked the OS for the program files folder and used instead hard coded c:\Programme. To get those applications running on Windows Vista Microsoft introduced the symbolic links. But here is the problem, they are not working as I (and others) expect.

Well, the end of the story is that I found a solution how to fix it (note that I’m not responsible for any damage or problem doing following steps):

  1. using administrative rights open a DOS box with cmd.exe
  2. there go to the root directory of the system drive using cd /D %systemdrive%\
  3. next you have to delete the symbolic link with rd Programme
  4. add the symbolic link using mklink.exe /J Programme “c:\Program Files”
  5. to hide the link you can use attrib +H c:\Programme

Microsoft Next Level Support told me today that they would use this solution for any support call in the future, maybe they will add a KB article next, too.

We are taken your solution in account in future OS. For current OS we will not provide a hotfix for security reasons. In Windows 7 Beta we have the same behaviour. Hopefully it get fixed for release version which is the job of the development team.

It was my pleasure to talk to you today. Following our telephone conversation I will proceed further with the temporary archive of the SRZ….

I checked this behaviour on different languages, but all I checked are using c:\Program Files since the beginning, seems to be only a bug (Microsoft told me first it is by design) in the German OS.




Moving .NET Micro Framework Stuff to a New Blog

Mon, 23 Feb 2009 09:45:51 GMT

As this blog is more about ASP.NET and AJAX development I’m moving the .NET Micro Framework related stuff to a new blog. If you want to continue reading update your RSS reader to http://netmicroframework.blogspot.com/.

I have started today with this blog and hope I can put some pictures from next week starting Embedded World here in Nuremberg. Yesterday I have received the AUG AMI Developer Kit (AUG Elektronik GmbH) with a really great looking OLED display. I will write more about the new device this week.




Ajax.NET M! (mobile edition) cancelled

Fri, 13 Feb 2009 09:20:44 GMT

Some months ago I started to implement an Ajax.NET Professional version for .NET Compact and Micro Framework. Some weeks later I decided to build a library with several network related features and I’m now moving the Ajax.NET M! to this new project at CodePlex.

Michael’s Networking Toolkit provides featrues like a DNS resolver, an HTTP server (AJAX support will be added right now) and XBee module support (from Digi International).




Follow me on Twitter

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 06:38:00 GMT

A long time ago I registered at twitter but never posted any message there. But things are changing and I have started using Twitter, now. You’ll find my Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/mschwarz77en  ( http://twitter.com/mschwarz77 is my German one).

Update: Well, I have stopped using twitter any more... sorry for all my followers!

For German readers I have created a German blog at http://michael-schwarz.blogspot.com/ where I’m writing about everything I find interesting.




Congratulations 2009 Microsoft MVP!

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 22:16:40 GMT

Wishing all a Happy New Year 2009! Today I have received a congratulation mail from Microsoft telling me that I have been nominated another year the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in ASP.NET Development. I’m very happy about this mail and my fourth year being a MVP.

(image)

Dear Michael Schwarz,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership.”

Thanks to all the developers, community members and friends that have worked together with me. Another great year 2009 is starting right now with Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010, Windows Azure,…




How to bridge 40 km (or more) with two XBee-PRO 868 modules?

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:25:10 GMT

Since I first used the XBee modules from Digi International I got questions from developers how to get higher ranges. Well, the XBee 802.15.4 modules I’m currently using have a maximum range of nearly 100 m. The XBee-PRO modules that are using 63 mW (+18dBm) power output could reach up to 1 mile (~1.6 km). In Germany you have to limit the XBee-PRO modules to +10dBm because of some restrictions in the 2.4 GHz band, so you loose some meters. Digi International now offers the XBee-PRO 868 modules which are using the 868 MHz short range device (SRD) GH3 band for Europe. With a dipole antenna you can reach 40 km, using a high gain antenna you should get a signal up to 80 km. The XBee-PRO 868 modules are pin-compatible with the XBee 802.15.4 modules which makes it very easy to choose the modules you need. XBee-PRO 868 modules are long range embedded RF modules for European applications. Purpose-built for exceptional RF performance, XBee-PRO 868 modules are ideal for applications with challenging RF environments, such as urban deployments, or where devices are several kilometers apart. The XBee-PRO 868 features: 868 MHz short range device (SRD) G3 band for Europe Software selectable Transmit Power 40 km RF LOS w/ dipole antennas 80 km RF LOS w/ high gain antennas (TX Power reduced) Simple to use peer-to-peer/point-to-mulitpoint topology 128-bit AES encryption By deploying this and any XBee device, OEMs are leveraging the value of the XBee product family and Digi's unsurpassed Drop-in Networking offering of gateways, adapters and network extenders. In addition, XBee users can take advantage of platform agility, the ability to rapidly change their XBee solution with minimal development. Product summary: 868 MHz SRD G3 band 500 mW EIRP RPSMA, U.FL, or attached whip antenna options 24 kbps RF data rate Industrial (-40C to +85C) temperature rating ETSI Approved I have ordered two development kits each including two modules and USB/serial boards. Digi has an offer until end of February 2008: $99 USD compared to a single module that costs already between $69 and $72 USD. The kits contains: (1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ RPSMA Connector (1) XBee-PRO 868 w/ Wire Whip antenna (1) RS-232 Development Boards (1) USB Development Board (1) RS-232 serial Cable (1) USB Cable (1) 868 MHz RPSMA Antenna  (1) Power Adapter (1) 9V Battery & Clip Various Adapters My XBee library will support both modules, of course, and will be released this week.[...]