Ok short of hijacking another thread I decided maybe its best to put one here..

I have had EXTENSIVE experience in past years in a variety of hacking devices in a laboratory setting. And ended up stalling my CS degree since I got a real job that would pay the same money as a CS degree would get me..

So lets just say I am a little rusty but have been looking for some bandwagon to jump on and I have been out of this for a while. If it tells you how far I am out of the loop these days the whole Idea of a registry is somewhat new to me. I understand the concept but haven't worked with it much yet.

Been trying to buy up some books on Ebay to get me pointed in that direction...

I will likely be upgrading my site and getting more time on that but I would like to get setup and going on writing some stuff for our little phones. Have some ideas of stuff I would like to see. And some of this stuff seems so easy to me I would rather spend the 16 hours to code it then spend $29 to BUY it... Don't want to sound arrogant there just guess I used to have fun writing software and want to get back into that "hobby". Seems the chasing women hobby just gets me into trouble...

Anyhow, the meat of this message really is...
What programming environments do we really have available?
Guessing the VS2008 is the best one with VS2005 not far behind it but if you want to get involved with a low budget are there some freebies out there?
I know about the EVC being available but thinking I might be better off installing the VS2008 trial and resetting it every 3 months until I get the handle on this environment.
Are there some good books that can lead you to the right path as well? I have looked for books on windows mobile stuff before and come up pretty empty so far on the used books. And you know how it can really suck to buy a book for $50 that tells you absolutely NOTHING about what you want to use...

Hardware wise I have more then enough capacity.. Currently have a Linux file server, WinXP home box, WinXp Pro box, my kids both have Winxp Home boxes. My Media center for my TV will be a Vista box with blue ray etc... Adding another Linux box, a Windows Server box and probably another Vista box to my home but the last three are more to play with while working towards obtaining my administrator licenses. For phones I have a 700wx and a 800w..

Also looking towards working towards the MS Programming licenses as well so I have a little on my plate.. But when I get back in the loop it shouldn't take too long. When I was done our lab was totally automated and we were 10 years ahead of anyone else in the industry and the time it took me to write software was 1/4th the time it took anyone else I came across and generally had less bugs and worked better first time... (But you have to figure this is due to getting screamed at by lab techs who had to deal with my screw ups... When you have people literally screaming in your face that your an ***** and calling you names you tend to tighten up your releases a bit and thing out the bugs before programming..)

Anyhow... I suppose I could have written this in about 4 lines but that wouldn't have been any fun now would it...

Rodney