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Cuno Pfister’s Getting Started with the Internet of Things is now available in the Maker SHED. This new book from MAKE and O’Reilly (and illustrated by MAKE’s own Marc de Vinck) shows you how to create cloud-enabled sensor networking projects with the Netduino Plus:

What is the Internet of Things? It’s countless embedded computers, sensors, and actuators all connected online. If you have basic programming skills, you can use these powerful little devices to create a variety of useful systems—such as devices that react to real-world events and take action. This hands-on guide shows you how to start building your own fun and fascinating projects.

Learn to program embedded devices using the .NET Micro Framework and the Netduino Plus board. Then connect your devices to the Internet with Pachube, a cloud platform for sharing real-time sensor data. All you need is a Netduino Plus, a USB cable, a couple of sensors, an Ethernet connection to the Internet—and your imagination.

Although Netduino programming is usually done with Visual Studio, I’ve tested all of Cuno’s examples on a Mac using Mono, an open source implementation of .NET. You can find notes from Chris Walker (creator of Netduino) and me about this in the Mono forum at the Netduino site.

Brian Jepson

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.


  • Anonymous

    “an open source implementation of .NET” … this simply is not the case for any proper definition of “open source”.  where is the source code to the .NET libraries?  for instance, where is the source code for the IDataReader.GetSchemaTable method?

    we loyal readers know that you guys get some of your funding by flogging Netduino (etc), and we don’t begrudge you that; but please don’t attempt to create your own reality.  (if this point of view should find you surprised (and i’d be surprised if it did) try reading a bit about Mono and Microsoft .NET and patents and perhaps Bruce Perens, one of the founders of the Open Source movement)

    • Anonymous

      The .NET Micro Framework that runs on the Netduino was released by Microsoft under the Apache 2.0 license (http://netmf.codeplex.com/SourceControl/list/changesets). 

      If your point is that .NET is too broad a term for either Mono or the .NET Micro Framework–that both are a proper subset of .NET–then I’ll have to grant you that. But what runs on the Netduino and the tools I used to compile it are open source. 

      And I can’t speak to the patent issue for Mono as a whole (even using Mono, we link against the mscorlib from Microsoft that’s under Apache 2.0), but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on to what degree the Apache 2.0 license’s Grant of Patent License (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html#patent) impacts the .NET patent issues within the .NET Micro Framework.

      • Anonymous

        The key the difficulty lies in your parenthetical: “we link against the mscorlib from Microsoft”.  Do you have the source code to that? and was it free (as in beer) available to one and all?

        As to Apache licensing one could read endlessly about the nuances between their licensing and the GPL (oh…here for instance: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/749461/lgpl-mit-or-apache-differences)  But that doesn’t address the Mono issue.

        There are more and more fuzzy licensing schemes everyday.  But one should be reminded that something like the Maker community owes its existence to a very large degree those that fought hard to protect against the “trivial” but slowly expanding circles of proprietary lock up, secret formats, compiled drivers only, NDAs, black box object model… and so forth.  Many folks won’t care about this, but they still enjoy the benefits of those like crazy ol’ Stallman that fought for their right to know what exactly was running on their home-made boxes.

        Consider this:  if you cannot trivially acquire every line of source code in your project, then that’s the software equivalent of violating The Makers Bill of Rights (posted in this blog occasionally) under “Profiting by selling special tools is wrong”.

        ok… enough proselytizing from me.

        • Anonymous

          Hi herrnichte, you asked:

          The key difficulty lies in your parenthetical: “we link against the mscorlib from Microsoft”.  Do you have the source code to that? and was it free (as in beer) available to one and all?

          Yes. It is under Apache 2.0. It is in the source tree to the .NET Micro Framework. I think it’s under client_vX_Y/CLR/Libraries/CorLib, but I’m not positive.

          It is a subset of .NET’s mscorlib, but it is all that is needed for the .NET Micro Framework (the full framework does not run on Netduino). Microsoft’s release of the .NET Micro Framework under Apache 2.0 was a significant move, yet I realize it is only a small step. But I’m very glad they did it.

        • http://twitter.com/netduino Netduino Team

          Hi herrnichte,

          Yes, the source code to mscorlib for .NET Micro Framework is open source and you can browse and download the full source from http://netmf.codeplex.com.  Licensed under the OSI-approved Apache 2.0 license.

          Please note that the .NET Framework (desktop), .NET Compact Framework (mobile) and .NET Micro Framework (Netduino) are different platforms.  They are all largely code-compatible, all compile to IL code, and all support C# and Visual Basic. 

          The .NET Micro Framework is open source; the other ones are licensed for use with Windows (which I think is the point of confusion here–I think you’re thinking of desktop .NET, not the .NET Micro Framework used on Netduino).

          Chris
          Secret Labs LLC

      • Anonymous

        The key the difficulty lies in your parenthetical: “we link against the mscorlib from Microsoft”.  Do you have the source code to that? and was it free (as in beer) available to one and all?

        As to Apache licensing one could read endlessly about the nuances between their licensing and the GPL (oh…here for instance: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/749461/lgpl-mit-or-apache-differences)  But that doesn’t address the Mono issue.

        There are more and more fuzzy licensing schemes everyday.  But one should be reminded that something like the Maker community owes its existence to a very large degree those that fought hard to protect against the “trivial” but slowly expanding circles of proprietary lock up, secret formats, compiled drivers only, NDAs, black box object model… and so forth.  Many folks won’t care about this, but they still enjoy the benefits of those like crazy ol’ Stallman that fought for their right to know what exactly was running on their home-made boxes.

        Consider this:  if you cannot trivially acquire every line of source code in your project, then that’s the software equivalent of violating The Makers Bill of Rights (posted in this blog occasionally) under “Profiting by selling special tools is wrong”.

        ok… enough proselytizing from me.

      • Anonymous

        The key the difficulty lies in your parenthetical: “we link against the mscorlib from Microsoft”.  Do you have the source code to that? and was it free (as in beer) available to one and all?

        As to Apache licensing one could read endlessly about the nuances between their licensing and the GPL (oh…here for instance: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/749461/lgpl-mit-or-apache-differences)  But that doesn’t address the Mono issue.

        There are more and more fuzzy licensing schemes everyday.  But one should be reminded that something like the Maker community owes its existence to a very large degree those that fought hard to protect against the “trivial” but slowly expanding circles of proprietary lock up, secret formats, compiled drivers only, NDAs, black box object model… and so forth.  Many folks won’t care about this, but they still enjoy the benefits of those like crazy ol’ Stallman that fought for their right to know what exactly was running on their home-made boxes.

        Consider this:  if you cannot trivially acquire every line of source code in your project, then that’s the software equivalent of violating The Makers Bill of Rights (posted in this blog occasionally) under “Profiting by selling special tools is wrong”.

        ok… enough proselytizing from me.

    • http://twitter.com/netduino Netduino Team

      Hi herrnichte,

      .NET Micro Framework is an open source implementation of the .NET Framework.  It’s a subset of the desktop framework with some extra features targeted at microcontrollers.

      The full source code is here (Apache 2.0 OSS):
      http://netmf.codeplex.com/SourceControl/list/changesets

      The Apache 2.0 license (including grant of patent license) is published here:
      http://netmf.codeplex.com/license

      The Netduino design files and documentation are licensed under a Creative Commons (LGPL-style) license.
      http://www.netduino.com/legal/

      We love open source.  Our goal is to make both hobbyist and commercial projects successful with open source hardware.  Please let us know how we can help.

      Chris
      Secret Labs LLC
      [host of the Netduino project]

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to clarify one thing: yes, we make money when we sell a Netduino. But we sell Netduinos because I met Chris Walker, the creator of the Netduino, while he was developing the project, and really liked what I saw. It’s not just that it’s a product that we sell: it’s interesting, innovative, and I use it personally in my own projects. 

      What’s more, it came at the right time: when we were talking with Cuno about his Internet of Things book, there wasn’t another board built around the Microsoft .NET Framework that wasn’t encumbered by–I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your words–“proprietary lock up, secret formats, compiled drivers only, NDAs, black box object model”. Chris’s Netduino was the only .NET Micro Framework product that didn’t have that problem, and that’s why we sell it, and this is one of the reasons why we don’t sell other .NET Micro Framework boards.

      I’m not just here to sell you stuff; I’m here to share innovations that I find exciting and useful, and that I use myself.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QTY7RGSRFP7UUVULGE53T7MWI Gregg

        I should also add to your excellent statement, that one the pages concerning the gadgets that surfaced from last year’s event, and the business we are debating that the excellent device is one of them. That means it has Microsoft’s comments on approval.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QTY7RGSRFP7UUVULGE53T7MWI Gregg

    First things first:At the Maker Faire next month, will the Shed be there? Second: Will that be sold there, and how much?

    • Anonymous

      There will be a Shed there, and I’ve asked them if they are stocking the book. I believe the answer is yes, but I can’t remember if we typically discount books at the show.

      • Anonymous

        And they say we’ll have them there. Not sure about the pricing we’ll have, but hey, no cost for shipping if you buy in person!

  • LookingForIdiotsRanding

    anonymouse is a w*e*e*n*i*e. get off your pedagogical staunch of horse manure

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