Sunday, May 9, 2010


"I'll buy it if it works on my Pocket PC with a MIPS CPU..."

This was the rough message that a potential customer of my products wrote in a recent email. This is not unusual - some of my customers use the products because they still work with SQL CE 2.0. Apparently for business customers, a ten year old technology seems quite fitting for their daily work.

The device component that ships with my products goes all the way back to Pocket PC 2002, when Microsoft decided to support only ARM-based CPUs and drop support for MIPS and other brands. I remember that this was a bit of a nuisance back then because there were some non-ARM devices on the market that suddenly lost the ability to upgrade to version 2002 (something similar is happening now, isn't it?).

What this all means is that this particular person wants me to build the device DLL using the Pocket PC 2000 SDK. To my big disgrace, I found that my VMs were not properly configured so I set out to install a fresh XP VM with the Embedded Visual Tools 3.0 (2002 edition) plus the Pocket PC 2000 SDK. Fortunately, I kept copies of these museum-grade pieces of software because you cannot find them anymore from official Microsoft sources (namely MSDN).

So I started to install the thing and was prompted to enter the product key. Where did I save it? Damn... Nowhere to be found! I do have the eVC4.0 one, but not the one for version 3.0. Or do I? Actually, if you are going down memory lane like I did this afternoon, remember that the key for eVC3.0 is the same as for eVC4.0 (someone told me long ago that the product would validate any key, but I did not try that). So look for a valid download souce for eVC4.0 (like CNET) and use the key they provide.

Now that all is set up, let's enter the time machine...

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