Win a Pocket PC, SmartPhone, Studio Pro or other stuff….

Since you’re reading my blog, I’ll give you some “insider information.”  OpenNETCF Consulting is going to be sponsoring a coding competition in which you can win some cool swag.  The official announcement will happen tomorrow, but you can get a jump on it today!  We’ll also be dropping version 1.2 of the SDF for the competition with lots of new fun features.

Here’s the 4-1-1 (the links and all may not be active until tomorrow):

First Annual OpenNETCF Coding Competition


OpenNETCF Consulting is pleased to announce that we are sponsoring our First Annual .NET Compact Framework coding competition. 


General Information

The competition will run from July 15, 2004 until midnight GMT, August 31, 2004 and everyone is invited to compete.  All entries will be accepted, though board members are not eligible to win.  Submissions must follow the the submission guidelines (detailed later) and be posted into the OpenNETCF Wiki (again, more details later) before midnight GMT of August 31, 2004 to be scored and eligible for any prizes.


The general purpose of the submissions is to demonstrate using the .NET Compact Framework and the OpenNETCF Smart Device Framework.  To help make the competition objective we have a well-defined score card that all submissions will be scored against, and each submission will be scored by at least three judges.


Categories and Prizes

Category:         Smartphone

Prize:                Microsoft Smartphone Developer Kit

Sponsor:           OpenNETCF Consulting


Entries in the Smartphone Category simply need to run on the Smartphone 2003 platform.  Beyond that it’s up to your imagination.


Category:         Security

Prize:                Security First Ethenticator MS 3000 PCMCIA Fingerprint Reader



Since we have a fingerprint reader, we figured a Security Category would be apropos.  What does “Security” mean?  Maybe encryption, maybe something we’ve not thought of.  We’d like to not steer anyone, so again, let your imagination go wild.


Category:         Vanilla CE

Prize:                Visual Studio 2003 Professional

Sponsor:           OpenNETCF Consulting


A lot of focus is placed on the pocket PC, but there are lots of non-Pocket PC devices out there and they deserve some recognition.  Other than the fact your app should target the Windows CE platform instead of the Pocket PC or Smartphone, it’s up to you what you do.


Category:         Pocket PC

Prize:                Hewlett Packard iPaq 4150 Pocket PC

Sponsor:           OpenNETCF Consulting


Since the Pocket PC is the popular mainstay of Compact Framework development, it wouldn’t be right for us to leave it out.  Targeting the Pocket PC platform is the only Category rule here.



We also have the following prizes that will be given for submissions that don’t win but receive honorable mentions:

         Very useful SanDisk 8in1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Writer (qty 2)

         Newly swiped Microsoft Windows Embedded logo short-sleeve shirt (qty 3)

         Microsoft Embedded DevCon 2004 T-Shirt (at least it’s unworn!) (qty 1)

         .NET CF Programming with VB.NET by Paul Yao and David Durant (thanks Paul) (qty 1)

         Any other cool swag we garner between now and the end of the competition


All entrants will also receive an ultra-cool sticker (fancy, eh)!


Submission Guidelines

All submissions will be as a new topic in the OpenNETCF Wiki found at (there’s a link on the front page to the competiton and these rules).  Basically you need to edit the Competition Submissions page, add your app title (Camel case, use no spaces – play in the Sandbox if you need help) and then post the following items:


  1. In the Wiki text for your submission, provide the following (there’s a sample available):

         The category you’re submitting for (you can only have one category)

         General description of what the app does

         The idea or purpose the app means to serve

         What you think is the best part of the app

         Any explanations for usage, installation or whatever the judges might need to make your app work.  While we’re all technically competent, try to make it simple because if we can’t figure it out, we simply won’t judge it.

  1. Attach your source code in a single ZIP file.  Do *not* include the bin or obj folders or any compiled executable (viruses are not appreciated! ).

You may make any changes after the original submission up until the deadline.


You can submit as many apps as you’d like, but you can only win with one.


For fairness to everyone, all submissions must have been written during the competition time frame.  Obviously this is on the honor system, but if you submit something you’ve been working for a year on, it will be fairly obvious.


All submitted code must be the submitter’s original work and must not have any other license, copyright or whatever attached to it.  Please read the Fine Print below.


Peer Feedback

Feel free to add any comments about other submissions at the bottom of the Wiki text page, but do *not* modify the original author’s text or code.  Modifying another competitor’s submission is a quick route to disqualification and stern looks from all.


The Score Card

Here’s how we run a tight ship and keep complaints about favoritism to a minimum.  All submissions will be scored against the scorecard below and the highest score in each category wins.  We’ll have at least three judges score your submission, but we’ll try to get more (if you’d like to be a judge, contact us) if we can.  The judges’ scores are final – there’s no arguing or negotiating allowed.  Bribery of judges is frowned upon unless it’s a large sum of money.  Extortion will definitely get you disqualified.  Now let’s get to it. 


You can get a maximum score of 100, broken down into 11 Items:


Score Item


Max Points


Following your Category rule(s) and the Submission Guidelines (everyone should get full score here)



Following accepted coding standards.  This means being consistent in your style, using good capitalization procedures, minimizing use of globals and all that good stuff.



Code Readability.  Good code should be readable and easy to grasp by anyone, not just the author.



Good use of comments.  Yes, this sounds like a school teacher talking, but it really is important



Use of a variety of OpenNETCF Smart Device Framework classes.  Using a single method kind of defeats the purpose of the competition.



Simplicity.  Doing something in 10 steps to use more OpenNETCF Classes or to show off when 2 steps would do is counter productive



Innovation.  Did you do something that’s not something everyone sees daily?



Extensibility.  Could your application be expanded into a larger app?  With only 6 weeks to work, we’re certain you can’t do everything you’d like to



Good use of OOP.  Using inheritance when warranted and all that.  Don’t go overboard though – see Score Item 6



Wow factor.  Yes this is subjective, but we all have seen apps that just made us say “Wow!”  That’s what these points are for.



UI Effectiveness.  The UI on CE devices often requires a completely different approach to the UI than a PC application.  Doing things like adding 10,000 items to a ListBox are a good way to score low here.



Bonus points:  We’ll give a bonus point for each valid bug you find and fix (in the SDF, not in your submission) during your development up to a maximum of 5 points.


Fine Print

No competition would be complete without some fine print.


  1. All submissions become the property of OpenNETCF Consulting but will remain as shared source under the same license as the Smart Device Framework.  Visit for more details on the license.
  2. OpenNETCF Consulting and are not responsible for any damage, problems, disasters or anything caused by either our code or any submitted code. 
  3. All submissions must be the author’s original work and cannot contain code or material that is already copyrighted, owned or otherwise spoken for by any person, company or entity other than OpenNETCF or the submitting author. 
  4. No submissions that fall under the GPL, LGPL or similar license will be accepted.  We simply cannot afford the risk.
  5. No warranty is offered or implied for anything we do.
  6. All prizes are as-is.  They’re all new (in boxes where applicable) and we’re making a good-faith effort to provide them in working order, but if they don’t work or something like that, we’re not responsible and not bound to provide a replacement.
  7. Unclaimed prizes will be held by OpenNETCF Consulting
  8. Winners will be announced when judging is finished.  We make no promises as to when that will be but we’ll try to be expedient.
  9. Anything we’ve not thought of should always be inferred to go in our favor and any we reserve the right to change any of these rules without notification or explanation.
  10. We reserve the right to disqualify any entry or entrant as well as delete any submissions without notification or explanation.
  11. We reserve the right to add to this fine print without notice

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