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DPRG: Real good riddle.

Subject: DPRG: Real good riddle.
From: droid at bellatlantic.net droid at bellatlantic.net
Date: Fri Jul 25 22:16:18 CDT 1997

I am facing pretty tough choice here...
The Microengeneering labs,Inc is a supplier of a PIC microcontrollers.
Now...They offer something called PicBasic. It is said to be a compiler.
They tell me that whatit does is converts teh program that write in 
PBasic to assembler and then to HEX. The PBasic they offer includes 
inline assmebler....now...there comes a good one.

for $179.99 they offer this bundle(I have placed a individual prices in 
the parenthesis )

PBasic compiler,($99 when purchased alone)
EPIC Plus Programmer($60but that is only a programmer, with no cables or 
adapter. The one with the 40 pin adapter and cables and AC adapter costs 
AC Adapter($10)
25 Pin cable($10)
PIC Proto18 ($10)
PIC16F84 ($7)

Now...The $179 seems so be the best bundle here since if I Wanted to buy 
the whole thing but without the PBasic compiler, well It would cost kind 
of more, right ? (I hope my math is still right).

The thing is...I don't know a thing about the assembler. I have seen some 
example codes and to tell you the truth,,,this thing looks like 
someone designed it while drinking the rest of his cappucino late at 
night. I know that the PBasic wil compile the code for me but I can't run 
away from it. I mean it will get me sooner or later. I can program in 
other languages tough :
CBM Basic
Apple II Applesoft Basic
Boland C
Borland Turbo C++ (v 3.0 for DOS)
Borland Turbo Pascal 7.0(for DOS)

All of these programming languages do make sense, maybe that's becasue 
they are sort of human soun'a'like. Well, in the assembler it looks 
rather differnt, you have all these registers, accumulators, and whole 
lot of other stuff. 

Since I want to, well I should say I HAVE to learn the assembler, I 
believe that PIC chip should not be TOO complicated and I hope that it 
will allow me to learn a WHOLE lot about the guts of teh whole 
chip(Someone told me that to be efficient or even programm at all in the 
assembler you HAVE to know the guts of a chip...kind of makes sense to 
me... :(   )

But (yeah...every teacher always repeated not to use "but" at the 
beginning of the sentence...I guess I had to sleep on this one) I don't 
even know where to start learning this language. I mean...I thought of 
buying this Easy PIC'n since it says teh  it teaches the assembler and 
the chip itself(PIC16F84). There is only a tiny problem. This is a single 
book that I would have(since library has nothing ,well except 1 or two 
books that include word assembler in their title...they didn't look 
rather for beginner when I looked at them.) Now when I will have some 
question...hell I have no idea of who to ask. I mean...I can't write to 
the DPRG group eery time I have a question, because this would become an 
assembler newsgroup. So I was wondering if this Easy PIC'n book is a good 
place to start, I mean from the description it seems to be just what I am 
looking for but you can't tase it by smelling it right ?
I have looked at the Waldenbooks (a book-selling chain of stores) and all 
tehy have is stuff for the like advanced things or for IBM computers...it 
didn't look to easy..well nothing is easy and I don't expect it to be but 
why should I spend my money on the book which will collect a dust and my 
son will pick it up years from now and say :"God damn...why did you buy 
this book, IT SUCKS !!" So I think I will go for the Easy PIC'n unless 
somene would think it is a bad idea...(if so please expleain)
Additionally, is there anything on the WWW where there would be some kind 
of tutorial about the assembler...I mean like a basics..?

And another Q. 

I know that Borland C and C++ (for DOS) have something called IDE 
compiler..if I'm not mistaken that means that the whole thing is 
integrated in single editor. Every assembler I have seen on the WWW is 
old style ...which means the you write your programm with the DOS EDIT 
and then compile it back in DOS and all...is there an assembler for the 
microcontrollers which would look similar to the C or C++ (not commands 
of course, DUHHHH, the feel and integration where you can write your 
program in the on window then press button and thing compiles it)

I will GREATLY appreciate any response to this letter. Thank you all.

P.S.   :)


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