Wot, no serial port on my main dev PC - time for virtualisation!

I've just been porting some old .NET 1.1 code to .NET 2.0.  I started work on a Windows service which communicates via an RS232 serial port (remember those?); a common interface standard for broadcast television equipment. I started up my Windows service which I'd just ported to .NET 2.0 and it hung when trying to send the second command to the serial port.

I suspected the RS232 library and Win32 API calls, but then the light went on - I only have an RS232 port due to a bluetooth dongle, and it doesn't really work like a pukka RS232 port. This was even with a Windows service that 'fires and forgets', not waiting for a response from the serial port and just keeps sending data regardless of any acknowledgement.

Thanks to the guys at http://www.hw-group.com it is not a problem. One very quick (and free - thanks guys!) download later, my machine has a completely configurable virtual serial port which points at a TCP/IP address and port, and I have a working Windows service again.

Print | posted on Monday, June 11, 2007 2:10 AM

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