"David Billington" wrote in message
OK, I didn't know it was the segment pattern that was output, I just
looked and found some code to decode it and it didn't explain the reason
it was in that format. Maybe I'm spoiled as my Sylac digital DTI has
RS232 output in human readable format.
What do you use to write hardware control programs?
I got into it when the engineers tasked me to create applications boards and
programs for new ICs, that would run on a customer's unmodified lab
computer. At the time the best solution seemed to be to use the printer port
bits for the interface. In order to have full unhindered read and write
access to the the port's I/O registers, which Windows and VB don't allow, we
used QBasic under DOS, which has only the brief clock interrupt, otherwise
my program had full control of everything except USB. QB provided a nice
Integrated Development Environment with interpreted or compiled execution of
the relatively small stand-alone applications programs that I was writing.
The final DOS version of QBasic has the structured syntax of Pascal and C's
pointers, great improvements on the original Basic.
The PIC was the preferred uC for small jobs so I've only played briefly with
an Arduino. The choice for important tasks was the TMS320 DSP family. I've
never had a chance to program one though I did design a DRAM controller IC
However printer ports went away and USB replaced RS232, and my old laptop's
batteries are dying, so I'd like to find an IDE with hardware register
access capabilities to replace QBasic. The main reason for laptops is remote
datalogging, I couldn't very well strap a desktop onto a prototype electric
motorcycle or use one in a Cessna. At home I could be datalogging beside the
basement water heater or out at the manually aimed solar panels.
The degreed technical staff kept the pure hardware design or programming
tasks for themselves, but I was assigned the ones that required some
competence in both, plus circuit board design and mechanical packaging which
is critical at microwave frequencies like GPS.
Lab computers are former office computers, and AFAIK always ran Windows. I
acquired some UNIX experience in the lab, though I'm far from fluent in it.
Mitre used Macs, with LabVIEW for hardware control if the NuBus interface
boards were available or I could build one.