displaying analog sensors data on a pc

Hello, I have written much software for embedded processors but not for the pc for about 10 years. (I'm really a electronic engineer.)
I have a stream of ASCII data (CSV data ) from some analog sensors sent via USB. I want to write some software for a pc to display these values in real time, as for example coloured icons or a bar meter. I used to be quite familiar with the simplicity of RS232 but USB software is new to me. I now regard myself as a beginner in pc software, should I use something like Visual Basic to get something up easily? I wrote in "C" for many years, but really just want something quick and easy for a demo? Any ideas please? Maybe there is an application off the shelf for analog display?
lyn www.lyndsay.com sensecam at gmail dot com
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The Arduino folks have been using a package called Processing for that sort of stuff. It's a free download from http://www.processing.org .
It's based on Java. With your C background, you should be comfortable right away.
There are lots of examples on the site. Chances are very good that you'll be able to tune up a canned example that's close to what you want to do.
I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my to-do list. :)
Good luck!
Tom
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for the

sensors
these
meter. I

something up

something
depends on your time frame and the sophistication desired.
First writting anything like this from scratch even in VB (which is considered easier, and there are easier tools) requires a learning curve dependent on your own high level programming tools experience. Mostly with familiarization with terminology and the TAO of VB you will want access to VB experts, Consier posting this on one of the usenet forums for VB or VC programming they might even dump some code that aleady works and you just change to suit your need . I would not reccomend VC or VC# etc, it will look as foreign as VB even with your "C" experience and the learning curve probably steeper just trying to find all the software calls to do what you want and how to connect to other calls. Learning curve is worst thing about these tools. a seasoned VB/VC/C# prgrammer could knock out a nifty version in less than an hour and probably less that 1/2 hour.
If you need sophistication Dials/Buttons/charting etc
Then consider there are scads of OTS software / toolkits / component libraries / applications that do this kind of stuff allready and you can download a freebie/trial for your demo. These can be as easy as drag drop integrated display and programming environment to mundane components you add to VB/VC etc.
EG. National Instruments "LabView" which is probably overkill by magnitudes from what you have stated but it is fun and pretty and there are many other similar tools
you will find these tools under usuall monikers of MMI, HMI, SCADA etc
you may illicit OT comments from sci.electronic.design
consider posting to VB/VC software groups good luck, robb
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http://www.lvr.com/usb.htm
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Thank you all for your replies, I shall check out. Actually my website www.lyndsayw.com, not the other I mis spelt ...in case anyone cares!
Lyn
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On a sunny day (Thu, 01 Nov 2007 11:27:58 -0700) it happened Lyn

Now that is something that I did not want to suggest after your first posting, but now I do: How about installing LINUX? The way to go in Linux, for simple things like this, is: libusb (to get the data) xforms graphics package (to design the GUI). http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/xforms / xforms has fdesign, a WYSIWYG graphics design program that allows you to add buttons, dials, sliders, displays, etc.. look here for my satellite positioner / recorder how it looks for example:
ftp://panteltje.com/pub/xdipo2.jpg
or some PC scope... with internet remote support: http://panteltje.com/panteltje/xpequ/index.html Although I do not use fdesign, but type the code by hand, fdesign will write the C code for you, if you add the sliders and other stuff, all you need to do, is add (write) the callbacks. I am glad to hear there was an explosion at MS, now we know why their share price has never been the same again: http://finance.google.com/finance?q=microsoft&hl=en
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Try DasyLab.
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What "explosion" are talking about ? Just curious ... jcd
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On a sunny day (Thu, 1 Nov 2007 18:32:44 -0500) it happened "pogo"

It is described on the OP's site, www.lyndsayw.com :-)
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Oh! Got it now! Thanks ... jcd
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wrote:

Very cool! I'm glad you set us straight on the correct website address! jcd
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Lyn wrote:

...
Just buy LabView. That's what everybody uses commercially. Anything else will take 10x as much work, at least.
                    John Nagle
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Hi Team, Loads of good ideas here! Many thanks. lyn www.lyndsayw.com
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I also think LabVIEW will be the best solution for your purpose.
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How much $?
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If you want to code something custom (in Python - will work on windows): http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net /
If your data is a time series, RRDtool can manage it (runs on windows too and has Python interface): http://oss.oetiker.ch/rrdtool /
If your data does not need to "update realtime", this can be hacked (needs Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP): http://cacti.net /

maybe. we scripted a scrollling display up in bash shell using RRDTool and ImgMagick.

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