Re: Mac and BX-24

Started by Drew June 9, 2005
I developed a commercial product using the BasicX harware platform and IDE. I did all the
software development (device firmware) in the BasicX IDE under Virtual PC on a Mac, first
under OS 9 and later under the various flavors of OS X. Downloading over USB serial
converters from the Mac, while cludgy *usually* worked fine. The problem later was our
product integrated built-in USB support using a USB-to-Serial bridge chip on the circuit
board. Well the software drivers for the USB-serial bridge were NOT compatible with the
BasicX IDE running on real Windows hardware so that meant upgrading firmware on our
product from a Windows machine was no longer possible. The funny thing is that it
continued to work fine on a Mac, with the Mac verison of the USB-serial chip drivers
installed, using VirtualPC. So now using the Mac+VPC became a NECESSITY for
downloading firmware to our device.

We needed to fix the Windows platform download capability and also offer native Mac
support. After contacting Netmedia & signing a few NDAs they were quite cooperative and
supplied the necessary info to make it happen but no support beyond that (I was on my
own). Well we ended up getting the firmware right before the product was released and
never had to offer "field upgrades" to customers so I never finished the new Mac &
Windows downloaders.

Fast forward to this week. I needed to make a slight change to the firmware and re
download it. I COULD NOT make it work. I tried everything (long, long list of things
beginning with Mac OS updates, VPC updates, Win updates, driver updates, etc.). It simply
wouldn't download anymore from the Mac (errors out or freezes when attempted). Using a
real PC wasn't an option either because as I mentioned before the BasicX IDE is
incompatible with the USB-serial chip drivers. What I ended up having to do was
UNSOLDER the AT25256 eeprom from the unit, build a bare-bones BX35 system on a
protoboard, install the eeprom in that and connect it serially to the PC's COM port,
program it, and finally reinstall it into the product. THAT worked! What a pain in the a$$!

So now I'm seriously revisiting the previously mentioned Mac/Win downloaders. The
question is who else is interested?

The other thing it's akward enough to use Windows when you are used to the Mac (little
things like file/folder management, cursor/mouse movement, the mouse pointer that
doesn't automatically "hide" when you begin typing as it does on a Mac, having to reboot
and run the "Wizards" after new hardware/driver installs in Windows, etc. etc. BUT, on top
of that the BasicX IDE sucks by even Windows app standards. I would really, REALLY like to
rewrite it as a native Mac app under XCode but I would need access to a lot of priveledged
information about the BasicX compiler, runtime environment, etc. that I think Netmedia
would not be to anxious to share. That and the time it would take to complete, which I
can't really spare right now. IF there was some demand and IF Netmedia would be
cooperative I may do this (how about it Chris?).

-Drew

--- In basicx@basi..., "borngraphics" <borngraphics@y...> wrote:
>
> Umm, there is a great attitude. I have just started working with the BasicX and Basic
> Stamps again after a couple of years of doing other projects. One of my main problems
> has always been no native mac support for the program uploaders. The mac is a very
> viable platform, very well suited for this sort of application. I was originally working on a
> realbasic app for the mac, and the stamps. Now with the Parallax PBASIC Tokenizer
> Library and macbs2 it is very easy to program those. NetMedia, from what I have seen
has
> no support for any *nix system. A simple downloader is not to complicated, and if I can
> find the time I will see if I can put one together. The goal would be to write one *nix
> compatible serial downloader, even if you have to use the os x terminal and a great text
> editor like TextWrangler / BBEdit, it would be a start.
>
> VNC is not a real option for me, because I do a lot of this from a PowerBook. Virtual PC
is a
> ridiculous option because of the bloated over head that has to run for essentially a text
> editor and serial connection. Ouch.. To lump a request for basic mac support with C64,
> TRS-80, etc... is foolish. Integrating control of a stamp, with things such as shell
scripting,
> and applescript become pretty awesome once we have a quick and dirty way to natively
> upload to the BasicX...
>
> tsprap, look at the stamps again, and brainstems by acroname. You will find osx
support
> there. Even if not native to the company, at least the community seems more open.
>
> --- In basicx@basi..., "James R. Parish" <homer@j...> wrote:
> > And while they are at it they could make versions for the C64, ATARI800,
> > TRS-80 and TI99...
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: tsprap [mailto:tsprap@y...]
> > Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 8:00 PM
> > To: basicx@basi...
> > Subject: [BasicX] Mac and BX-24
> >
> >
> >
> > This is just a sugestion. I'm mainly a Mac user and don't like
> > switching between Mac & PC to program the BasicX. Couldn't NetMedia
> > make a Mac version of their editor/downloader? I would make my own, but
> > i'm a novice in progrmaing C/C++, Java, or RealBasic on a computer.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Yahoo! Groups Links



I'm happy some people are interested in porting BasicX to Mac. : --- In basicx@basi..., "Drew" <m715@m...> wrote:
> I developed a commercial product using the BasicX harware platform
and IDE. I did all the
> software development (device firmware) in the BasicX IDE under
Virtual PC on a Mac, first
> under OS 9 and later under the various flavors of OS X. Downloading
over USB serial
> converters from the Mac, while cludgy *usually* worked fine. The
problem later was our
> product integrated built-in USB support using a USB-to-Serial
bridge chip on the circuit
> board. Well the software drivers for the USB-serial bridge were NOT
compatible with the
> BasicX IDE running on real Windows hardware so that meant upgrading
firmware on our
> product from a Windows machine was no longer possible. The funny
thing is that it
> continued to work fine on a Mac, with the Mac verison of the USB-
serial chip drivers
> installed, using VirtualPC. So now using the Mac+VPC became a
NECESSITY for
> downloading firmware to our device.
>
> We needed to fix the Windows platform download capability and also
offer native Mac
> support. After contacting Netmedia & signing a few NDAs they were
quite cooperative and
> supplied the necessary info to make it happen but no support beyond
that (I was on my
> own). Well we ended up getting the firmware right before the
product was released and
> never had to offer "field upgrades" to customers so I never
finished the new Mac &
> Windows downloaders.
>
> Fast forward to this week. I needed to make a slight change to the
firmware and re
> download it. I COULD NOT make it work. I tried everything (long,
long list of things
> beginning with Mac OS updates, VPC updates, Win updates, driver
updates, etc.). It simply
> wouldn't download anymore from the Mac (errors out or freezes when
attempted). Using a
> real PC wasn't an option either because as I mentioned before the
BasicX IDE is
> incompatible with the USB-serial chip drivers. What I ended up
having to do was
> UNSOLDER the AT25256 eeprom from the unit, build a bare-bones BX35
system on a
> protoboard, install the eeprom in that and connect it serially to
the PC's COM port,
> program it, and finally reinstall it into the product. THAT worked!
What a pain in the a$$!
>
> So now I'm seriously revisiting the previously mentioned Mac/Win
downloaders. The
> question is who else is interested?
>
> The other thing it's akward enough to use Windows when you are used
to the Mac (little
> things like file/folder management, cursor/mouse movement, the
mouse pointer that
> doesn't automatically "hide" when you begin typing as it does on a
Mac, having to reboot
> and run the "Wizards" after new hardware/driver installs in
Windows, etc. etc. BUT, on top
> of that the BasicX IDE sucks by even Windows app standards. I would
really, REALLY like to
> rewrite it as a native Mac app under XCode but I would need access
to a lot of priveledged
> information about the BasicX compiler, runtime environment, etc.
that I think Netmedia
> would not be to anxious to share. That and the time it would take
to complete, which I
> can't really spare right now. IF there was some demand and IF
Netmedia would be
> cooperative I may do this (how about it Chris?).
>
> -Drew
>
> --- In basicx@basi..., "borngraphics" <borngraphics@y...>
wrote:
> >
> > Umm, there is a great attitude. I have just started working with
the BasicX and Basic
> > Stamps again after a couple of years of doing other projects. One
of my main problems
> > has always been no native mac support for the program uploaders.
The mac is a very
> > viable platform, very well suited for this sort of application. I
was originally working on a
> > realbasic app for the mac, and the stamps. Now with the Parallax
PBASIC Tokenizer
> > Library and macbs2 it is very easy to program those. NetMedia,
from what I have seen
> has
> > no support for any *nix system. A simple downloader is not to
complicated, and if I can
> > find the time I will see if I can put one together. The goal
would be to write one *nix
> > compatible serial downloader, even if you have to use the os x
terminal and a great text
> > editor like TextWrangler / BBEdit, it would be a start.
> >
> > VNC is not a real option for me, because I do a lot of this from
a PowerBook. Virtual PC
> is a
> > ridiculous option because of the bloated over head that has to
run for essentially a text
> > editor and serial connection. Ouch.. To lump a request for basic
mac support with C64,
> > TRS-80, etc... is foolish. Integrating control of a stamp, with
things such as shell
> scripting,
> > and applescript become pretty awesome once we have a quick and
dirty way to natively
> > upload to the BasicX...
> >
> > tsprap, look at the stamps again, and brainstems by acroname. You
will find osx
> support
> > there. Even if not native to the company, at least the community
seems more open.
> >
> > --- In basicx@basi..., "James R. Parish" <homer@j...>
wrote:
> > > And while they are at it they could make versions for the C64,
ATARI800,
> > > TRS-80 and TI99...
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: tsprap [mailto:tsprap@y...]
> > > Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 8:00 PM
> > > To: basicx@basi...
> > > Subject: [BasicX] Mac and BX-24
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > This is just a sugestion. I'm mainly a Mac user and don't like
> > > switching between Mac & PC to program the BasicX. Couldn't
NetMedia
> > > make a Mac version of their editor/downloader? I would make my
own, but
> > > i'm a novice in progrmaing C/C++, Java, or RealBasic on a
computer.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Yahoo! Groups Links