Myki runs on top of Windows CE

Just a quick post for today: the question being one which has been doing the rounds among the more technically inclined when discussing Melbourne’s partially commissioned Myki ticketing system – ‘what version of Windows is it running on top of?’

Thankfully for us who are always looking for answers, this IP address conflict dialog displayed on a Fare Payment Device (aka Myki ‘reader’) spells it out clearly – Windows CE.

FPD showing a IP address conflict message from Windows CE

The same OS is used on the Tram Driver Consoles located inside each tram cab, as shown by this bog standard Windows CE login screen.

Bog standard Windows CE login screen displayed on a Tram Driver Console

So what version of Windows CE is in use? On another occasion I found a Tram Driver Console with the Windows Taskbar displayed, which gives us a few clues.

Bottom left-hand corner of a Tram Driver Console screen, running Windows CE

Bottom right-hand corner of a Tram Driver Console screen, running Windows CE

For comparison, this is the Windows CE 5.0 desktop:

Windows CE 5.0 desktop

And the same screen for Windows Embedded CE 6.0:

Windows CE 6.0 desktop

Released back in 2006, the advantages of Windows CE 6.0 over the older version 5.0 are:

  • 2 GB of virtual memory for each process, up from only 32 MB.
  • Limit of more than 32,000 processes, up from just 32.

As for the hardware in use in Melbourne, ACS Solutions supplied EVD 100 validators are the Myki scanners installed at railway stations, with the EVD 200 onboard trams and buses. Both have a 800 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, 1 GB of flash memory, and run the Windows CE operating system.

I have no idea knows how much memory the cobbled together Myki codebase actually needs, but at least for the readers and tram driver consoles, we know that Windows Embedded CE 6.0 what everything is running atop.

Further reading

Bonus material

In November 2012 I found this error message on a Myki FPD stuck in a reboot loop – an exception thrown by the open source ‘log4net’ library for the Microsoft .NET runtime.

Error message on a Myki FPD stuck in a reboot loop

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5 Responses to “Myki runs on top of Windows CE”

  1. [...] system is that it is faster than a magnetic strip based one: Myki fails at that. Maybe building the entire system atop Windows CE is the issue, perhaps it is because we hired a company that was described in a leaked draft of an [...]

  2. jimmy says:

    It is worth noting that ACS Atlas ticketing system is also built on the windows CE operating system 2 years in and we have very few issues with out ACS supplied system in Adelaide.

  3. [...] The story starts on my tram home from work, when I noticed the Tram Driver Console in the rear cab was stuck in a reboot loop. The first screen was a simple ‘Launching application’ message on the standard Windows CE desktop. [...]

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