2/17/2006 - At Embedded World 2006, Kontron and Franzis Buch- und Software-Verlag have concluded a cooperation agreement to develop technical literature for professional developers in the field of embedded computer technology. The first joint book project will be completed by the end of June. More books are planned at quarterly intervals. For Kontron, this debut in the book market provides a new marketing tool for the early communication of embedded computing expertise to students, newcomers, and experts in development with COMs, SBCs, and slot assemblies, as well as Kontron's first contribution to the Year of Information Technology initiated by the German government.
Kontron and Franzis are ideal partners: both companies have extensive expertise in their fields. With over 2,300 employees, Kontron, a global player in embedded computer technology, can guarantee that leading specialists from around the world will always participate in the reference book projects. Franzis offers more than 50 years of technical publishing experience and market-leading branding for electronics and computer literature. The developers Matthias "Kalle" Dalheimer and Lutz Rogowski, both well-known in the open source community, were enticed to work on the first book "Linux goes mobile". Published in German and English, it will deal with the Linux development of mobile devices, based on the ePDA with the Intel® Xscale 80219-based X-board<GP8> COM. The X-board<GP8> is an ideal platform for high-performance and mobile applications. An economical starter kit for immediate evaluation will be tied in with the book.
"We see the planned reference book projects with Franzis as an important milestone in our educational support of embedded computer technology. It is the quintessential base technology for open embedded systems, since children and young people today grow up with it and handle it as a matter of course," says Norbert Hauser, Vice President of Marketing with Kontron, assessing the company's involvement in this new field of activity. At the same time, the reference book projects are an investment in the future for Kontron: if students in schools and colleges become very familiar with our solutions early on, they will be predisposed toward them when making purchasing decisions in their professional lives.
"The road map we have devised with Kontron is sophisticated and should make for great sales; with development concepts that are not just theoretical, but can also be practically implemented as concrete solutions, it meets our philosophy exactly, because we always want to offer our readers immediately usable solutions for their professional or day-to-day work," comments Thomas Käsbohrer, Managing Director of publishing with Franzis Buch- und Software-Verlag.
The first Kontron book
The first book from Kontron, which will be published in both English and German, is titled "Linux goes mobile" and will be written by the open source pioneers Matthias "Kalle" Dalheimer and Lutz Rogowski; it will focus on Linux QTopia programming for mobile devices such as PDAs and mobile telephones. An embedded PDA with Kontron's X-board<GP8> with Computer-On-Module will be referenced as a practical hardware platform. The X-board<GP8> is based on the Intel XScale 80219 CPU and is an ideal platform for mobile high-performance applications. Embedded solutions are one of the largest growth markets for the Linux open source operating system.
The book introduces programming GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications with the QTopia development environment and library from the Norwegian company Trolltech AS. It is derived from the popular QT Library, which was also developed by Trolltech AS and is used in many open source projects. Well-known open source projects with QT are the KDE project, a Windows for Linux (X-Server), or innovative application projects such as SCRIBUS, a professional DTP solution for Windows, Linux, and Mac. The special feature of the QT Library is that it supports a wide variety of operating systems: currently, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, IBM AIX, HP HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris, and FreeBSD. With the QTopia Library, this advantage will now also be applied to devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, and particularly industrial devices. Thus, mobile applications can also be ported to a wide variety of hardware and software platforms. The book will describe these processes in detail. It offers the basic principles of QTopia, e.g. GUI design, events, working with KDevelop and Embedded Linux. Other topics include real time under Linux, installation on mobile devices, cross-compiling, and driver development. There is a core open source version of QTopia, as well as a special version for mobile phones or PDAs for commercial developers and users.
All examples are illustrated using cutting-edge reference hardware from Kontron, the X-board<GP8> and the ePDA carrier board with 3.5" LCD. This general purpose hardware is suitable for all applications that need low energy consumption and limited heat generation with maximum performance. Furthermore, the hardware platform stands out thanks to its particularly small form factor, which was developed by the world market leader Kontron and established as a global standard. Via the MiniPCI interface, the ePDA can be expanded as desired by additional hardware modules in order to develop dedicated industrial PDAs or industrial control modules.
Matthias "Kalle" Dalheimer is one of the most experienced and active experts on the open source scene, and is among the most important developers on the KDE project. This project aims to develop a powerful graphical interface for Linux similar to that which exists under Windows. The QT Library from Trolltech was chosen as the basis for development. After years of intense wrangling with the QT Library, Mr. Dalheimer took a chance on going freelance and founded Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB in Sweden. His customers include giants of the industry such as Intel and Motorola or HP.
Lutz Rogowski is one of the leading KDE developers and experts for PIM (Personal Information Manager) under KDE and Linux. Mr. Rogowski is one of the leading hardware experts for mobile devices such as mobile telephones, PDAs, or palmtops and has broad experience in the area of porting from Linux with QTopia to a wide variety - including "exotic" - platforms.
Both authors have participated in important projects such as KOLAB or SPHINX, which were promoted by the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology.
Franzis Buch- und Software-Verlag is one of the oldest and most successful technical publishers in Germany. Franzis publishes books and software on the subjects computers, electronics, and telecommunications, emphasizing user-oriented practical examples over dry theory. Books from Franzis are distinguished by immediately usable solutions for professional or everyday practice.
A global leader in embedded computer technology and mobile rugged solutions, Kontron supplies a diversified customer base of OEMs, system integrators and application providers in the automation, test and measurement, communications, medical, gaming and entertainment, military, aerospace, public safety, transportation, and energy markets. The company helps its customers to considerably reduce their time-to-market and to gain a competitive advantage with products including high-performance open computer platforms and systems, single board computers, human-machine interfaces and mobile rugged computers. Kontron employs more than 2,300 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. The company is listed on the German TecDAX 30 stock exchange under the symbol "KBC". Kontron is a Premier member in the Intel® Communications Alliance which means earliest access to leading-edge Intel technologies and privileged engineering support.
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