mikroBASIC vs BASIC Stamp vs PicBasic Pro

Hi
I have been looking at platforms for newbie like me. I posted on topic of BASIC Stamp recently and thanks to all who replied - there were some VERY
useful suggestions.
I think the Stamps and Parallax hardware are too pricey compared to other uCs, but I will keep an open mind, because they have some cool stuff that I like like the StampPlot DAQ app, USB oscilloscope, heaps of free books, etc.
I am slowly learning using C for PICmicro BoostC ( C2C ) compiler, and will learn more C for AVR later too, but there is little support for newbies for PIC C. I am sticking with C, but... I would also like to use BASIC compilers. Although I don't like the language ( I like VB though ), also, the huge cost in $AUD for PicBasic Pro has put me off. BUT there is a LOT of support for PicBasic Pro, I have found about a dozen books that cover PicBasic Pro ( including a number of robotics books, which is what I REALLY think is cool ). mikroBASIC looks like an excellent platform, at half the cost for PicBasic Pro + full IDE or for free! ( the trial version is limited only by a 2kB hex limit ). mikroBASIC has an excellent manual, there is a free online book, several dozen examples.
So my questions are:
1. What are people's view of comparisons and differences for mikroBASIC, Picbasic Pro, and Stamp ( language, funtionality, syntax )
2. Is it possible to easily port for a newbie applications for Stamp to PICmicro using PicBasic Pro, or mikroBASIC?
3. Should I start out with the free mikroBASIC and see if I can port some apps from Picbasic Pro code?
4. Do PicBasic Pro or mikroBASIC support floating point calcs?
5. Other points?
Please fell free to comment
Cheers
Dale
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pick 1 langauge at a time and learn it well. If you jump around between languages you will not become proficient enough to achieve well. Before you decide on the language to concentrate on, do a review and compare how easy / efficient / achievable it is to do things in each language. You can do a lot of stuff quickly with stamp basic but you often "have" to buy the compatable stamp h/w which can be expensive. Personally I think it (stamp stuff) is a huge rip off.
As a vb / c / c++ programmer with years of experience (Windows all version after 3.1) it took about 5 minutes to get bored with the stamp stuff - too slow & too limiting. You already seem to see the limitations by mentioning c more than once. I use codevision C compiler (free version at the moment) for atmel avr family when I am doing this stuff. An atmel chip, socket, 2 small capacitors and 1 xtal & you can have a running (albeit do nothing) system then custom build the rest / clone it. Effective!

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XCSB is a structured BASIC as is VB.
XCSB supports multitasking. You can send messages between tasks using mailboxes (simple shared variables) or message queues (using the builtin XCSB FIFOs). You can easily and efficiently setup interrupt handlers to process external events and send data to a background task for processing.
XCSB also supports floating point calcs directly (no need to mess about using third party libraries and obscure global setup sequences to pass parameters to - and retrive results from - these libraries).
XCSB also supports pointers, so passing arrays to user defined functions is simple and efficient.
XCSB generates incredibly efficient optimised machine code, often as good as the very high end C compilers. Complex sequences of XCSB statements are sometimes reduced to a few machine code instructions. The resulting code often runs several hundred times (700+) faster than the equivalent code on a BasicStamp. Programming embedded realtime systems with this kind of raw performance is a totally different experience to using a BasicStamp.
XCSB Version 1 is stable and has been in production release for some time now. Version 2 is now in BETA and supports function overloading.
Regards Sergio Masci
http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising PIC compiler FREE for personal non-commercial use
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