Re: BX-24 vs BasicStamp

Started by hack...@gmail.com February 21, 2007
[Moderator's note: This message is a reply to a three-year-old thread started by Don Kinzer. IMO, it belongs on a Parallax forum, where it is likely to be received better. Do other recent noobs think similarly?]
I'm a newbie to this stuff and I didn't really find much info on the BX-24 when I was trying to find something to start with. I don't think this chip is geared toward newbies.

I think Parallax has great tutorials, education kits, customer service, accessories and marketing. This was a major attraction, and more convenient for me being a newbie. I think many other newbies agree. I think reliability may be another attraction. I have read a lot more reports of problems with BX-24 chips than with the Parallax chips.

The BX-24 guides are very basic, the programming manual for the mouse is only 12 pages.

One big problem I have with the BX-24 is I am not able to find any software for it that runs on Linux. I refuse to use a Windows emulator too.

Now that I know more about microcontrollers in general, and have done some of the Parallax tutorials, I am considering getting a mouse kit for learning how to program the BX-24 and comparing the differences.

I have read various posts about the cost of the BX-24 being less expensive. This is not the case for a newbie though. As a newbie I would need to purchase the mouse kit with the BasicX book for $280. No offense Chris, the book looks great and I plan to purchase it in the near future. The Parallax Boe-Bot kit is much less expensive. I was able to get one on sale for about $125 + shipping on the internet.

Needless to say I chose the Parallax chip. However, this doesn't mean this chip is for everyone, or every solution, or even every newbie. It just works for my purposes in learning and experimenting; we will see what the future holds.

I love the sound of the multitasking language on the BX-24, and it may be well worth the cost of the mouse kit to learn the language.

PS:
One thing I really like on the Parallax site is the customer projects section. It helped to put things into perspective for me as a newbie.

>I've been wondering why the BasicStamp seems to be more popular than
>the BX-24. Perhaps it's not but some superficial evidence is that
>the basicstamps Yahoo group has about three times as many members as
>this one and has activity roughly in the same proportion.
>
>Does anybody have any ballpark idea of the number of Stamps out there
>versus BX-24 (or the Atom, etc.)?
>
>I can't figure out why anyone who's just getting started would choose
>the Stamp over the BX-24. The Stamp, even in it most powerful form,
>has a raft limitations and shortcomings compared to the BX-24:
>archaic language, slower execution speed, extremely limited RAM,
>small program space (partially ameliorated in the higher end Stamps
>with a clunky paging scheme), no real math...
>
>So what is it? Better marketing, better PR, being there first, dumb
>luck?
>
>By the way, I have seen that Radio Shack had a pilot program to sell
>Stamp "Board of Education" kits. The scuttlebut is that the pilot
>went well and they're planning a more significant roll-out shortly.
>it also sounds like the Stamp is being used in quite a few college
>and tech school courses. Too bad, that.
>
>Don
>who confesses to having built a project using the Stamp2 but now uses
>the BX-24 instead.
It's always interesting to look back and wonder why we took a certain
path to where we are now. Certainly, the Basic Stamp had a great
tutorial book and had a head start in the market, but that is about
where it ends. I was quickly frustrated by the lack of facility in
the chip and as soon as I saw the BX-24 I bought one immediately and
never looked back. I did come from a programming and hardware
background (since 1965) and so taking on a new chip regardless of
documentation was not a fear I harbored.

My experience with the BX-24 has been great. Any rumors of unreliable
hardware or software in the chip are totally unfounded. Here is what
I wrote nearly two years ago concerning the Basic Stamp:

" there are significant constraints to this particular device which
include limited program size, speed and a very small workspace for
variables which are the places that information is stored. Another
impediment when considering interfacing with analog circuits is this
controller's inability to directly read voltage levels."

The math available in the Stamp is limited to integers, and
trigonometric functions are completely missing.

As for using the BX-24 with Linux, it seems windows emulators are the
best bet so far. Of course, if you aren't willing to buy/install the
tools don't undertake the project.

Remember, you are only a newbie for a short while when you get into
these devices. The wealth of on-line help and examples is a great aid
to learning the BX-24. Once that newbie label wears off, the desire
to do more, run faster and write larger and more capable programs will
have you wondering why you settled for the Basic Stamp. It was good
for its time, but has been superseded by the competition and that
happened a few years back.

Dennis

--- In b..., hacktorious@... wrote:
>
> [Moderator's note: This message is a reply to a three-year-old
thread started by Don Kinzer. IMO, it belongs on a Parallax forum,
where it is likely to be received better. Do other recent noobs think
similarly?]
> I'm a newbie to this stuff and I didn't really find much info on the
BX-24 when I was trying to find something to start with. I don't
think this chip is geared toward newbies.
> .........
Cloxwerx
I need to reiterate what Dennis has said. I too used a number of stamps
in projects, but the one day I needed to do some maths, and the stamp
could not do what i needed to do. I bought a BX24 and since then have
used several hundred in many many applications. The price is the
same,and that where it ends. The BX24 is faster and MUCH more powerful.
There are many code examples in the documentation on the netmedia site,
and many more on Peter Andersons site. There are also code examples in
the files section of this list.
neil
cloxwerx wrote:

> It's always interesting to look back and wonder why we took a certain
> path to where we are now. Certainly, the Basic Stamp had a great
> tutorial book and had a head start in the market, but that is about
> where it ends. I was quickly frustrated by the lack of facility in
> the chip and as soon as I saw the BX-24 I bought one immediately and
> never looked back. I did come from a programming and hardware
> background (since 1965) and so taking on a new chip regardless of
> documentation was not a fear I harbored.
>
> My experience with the BX-24 has been great. Any rumors of unreliable
> hardware or software in the chip are totally unfounded. Here is what
> I wrote nearly two years ago concerning the Basic Stamp:
>
> " there are significant constraints to this particular device which
> include limited program size, speed and a very small workspace for
> variables which are the places that information is stored. Another
> impediment when considering interfacing with analog circuits is this
> controller's inability to directly read voltage levels."
>
> The math available in the Stamp is limited to integers, and
> trigonometric functions are completely missing.
>
> As for using the BX-24 with Linux, it seems windows emulators are the
> best bet so far. Of course, if you aren't willing to buy/install the
> tools don't undertake the project.
>
> Remember, you are only a newbie for a short while when you get into
> these devices. The wealth of on-line help and examples is a great aid
> to learning the BX-24. Once that newbie label wears off, the desire
> to do more, run faster and write larger and more capable programs will
> have you wondering why you settled for the Basic Stamp. It was good
> for its time, but has been superseded by the competition and that
> happened a few years back.
>
> Dennis
>
> --- In b... ,
> hacktorious@... wrote:
> >
> > [Moderator's note: This message is a reply to a three-year-old
> thread started by Don Kinzer. IMO, it belongs on a Parallax forum,
> where it is likely to be received better. Do other recent noobs think
> similarly?]
> >
> >
> > I'm a newbie to this stuff and I didn't really find much info on the
> BX-24 when I was trying to find something to start with. I don't
> think this chip is geared toward newbies.
> > .........
>
>
>
> 3:19 p.m.
>
>



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