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What's going on: developing for the manufactured

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I don't usually post non-technical posts, but today I went home early and don't have anything to show (think screenshots,) so I'll explain what exactly what I'm developing.

I work at a company that has lots of doctors that use a computer and a special Claw device to navigate a software package created by Fuji.

The company (sorry, can't say the name) is going to sell "packages" to doctors that allows them to work from home. Basically this is all the equipment that they need. Including:

  • Dell computer, Optiplex or Dimension

  • Desk

  • Chair

  • Claw device

Currently we are using the OEM provided software, and we can not sell the packages with this software. The company, more specifically one of my managers, wants complete ownership of the software because they are going to brand the device and get a manufacturer to create the devices specifically for us.

I'm developing that software.

It's basically a client application that sits in the Notification Area (http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2003/09/10/54831.aspx) maximizes when the icon is clicked. When minimized or closed it goes back the notification area.

I got the Windows Driver Development Kit (DDK) from Microsoft a couple of weeks ago and I'm using the USB HID driver faculties to work with the device. The device is opened using CreateFile and is read using ReadFile. One word of advice: don't ever use overlapped files for device reading; just don't go there unless it's a complete necessity.

It's looking pretty good so far. I'm using wxWidgets as the application framework. I've separated all platform dependant code from non-platform dependent code because. Hopefully one day they will also need clients for Linux or Mac and that's where wxWidgets helps me.

I really urge anyone that needs a good application framework in general, but can benefit from a wonderful GUI manager, should use wxWidgets.

Happy coding!
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