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  1. #1
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    Default PBP Book

    Hello All,

    I'm working on a book for PBP, and would like to solicit some feedback on a
    few things before moving along with it.

    Primarily, I'm looking for feedback on what people would prefer as for content
    and book format.

    The book focuses on two major areas.

    1. How to use each PBP command & a detailed introduction on what each
    command requires the user to setup manually before using the command.

    For example; What do "I" need to do first before using ADCIN, HSEROUT, etc,
    and when it may be more advantageous/appropriate for someone to configure
    certain hardware registers/peripherals manually. A good example of this is for
    someone using hardware PWM, or looking to use the PIC hardware USART
    without the over-head of PBP commands, and for added flexibility.

    I.E. as some folks already know, using a PIC with 3 hardware PWM ports,
    HPWM is obviously not the way to go.

    2. How to read & interpret those 500+ page PIC data sheets. This involves
    putting info in PIC data sheets into laymans terms that the novice can
    actually understand.

    So, my questions are;

    1. What do you feel would be missing from the information provided as
    outlined above?

    2. Would people prefer printed & bound VS a book in .HTML format?

    The book was originally designed in HTML format. I.E. it will come on CD
    ROM,and viewable with any browser. This is due to the heavy graphic
    content that makes this type of book prohibitively expensive to publish and
    allows me to keep pricing down.

    By including a large number of graphics, the book can explain things in great
    detail with actual photo's & schematics. My argument for this approach is that
    nothing is left to the imagination. The picture/schematic shows everything in
    detail.

    3. What do you feel is left unexplained, or could use more detailed information
    on, in the PBP manual?

    4. Would you like to see a section on using the 18F series with PBP?

    5. How about a section on using newer full-speed USB PIC's?

    Note that my intention is not to produce a PBP project book. I would prefer
    to make it a book that leaves the reader with a firm understanding of how
    PBP works, and how to read & interpret PIC data sheets. I think once these
    two areas are understood the reader can produce pretty much anything they
    want with PBP, and a PIC.

    Any & all feedback would be appreciated.
    Regards,

    -Bruce
    tech at rentron.com
    http://www.rentron.com

  2. #2
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    Seems to be a good idea Bruce. Your intentions and plan are really great and i don't see anything else too add.

    CD-ROM format or Printed... why no both? Sure the printed one will be much expensive but if some readers like me hate PDFs or can't bind the document by themself, this will make things easy. You know how i work anyway. Even with a bind book, i send it right away to redo the binding for a bullet-proof binding as ALL books on the market are just too faget to be lifetime proof. I can't use PDF as reference (for stuff i consider useful). I really prefer the touch of paper.

    For what i feel now your book will need at least a thousand pages or so... don't count on me to use a PDF, HTML file. BUT having the file, i'll send it for binding.

    If you do some Bind book, some may like the idea to have removable pages and have the flexibility to add their own comments betweens pages... Even if it make the book much sensitive to loose page after few/many uses. Those kind of books really sucks IMHO. One day or another you'll loose a page or more. One compiler gave that kind of stupid binding book in the past.. Why? well i can't say but i hate that.

    Keeping pricing down is a must. My own opinon will be to produce only PDF or HTML CD-ROM but printable if the user want to bind it himself. BTW, is there any country in whole world who don't have any binding place close?

    4. Would you like to see a section on using the 18F series with PBP?
    Unless you introduce some assembly comparison, i can't see why it must exist such a section. That's still a black programable component with some pins after all. OK right, most 18F offer more interesting option but if user is still too lazzy to read a little bit the datasheet or surfing on the Microchip website... it's his own problem.

    A section wich discuss of 12XXX, 16XXX, 18XXXX difference could be interesting if it provide many details as
    What 14Bit core mean?
    When using 10F, 12F, 16F or 18F


    5. How about a section on using newer full-speed USB PIC's?
    Good idea, but you know what it imply too. You'll need to explain both side, PC side and PIC side. So now you'll need to explain VB (or else PC language)+ PBP. It still a good idea BTW. Refering /pointing user to Mecanique easy HID and the Jan Axelson book could ensure you some $$$ OR at least you can negociate with them

    The only thing i would suggest too add is to talk about
    1. some IDE like MPLAB, MicroCodeStudio
    2. device programmer
    3. ICSP

    If you feel i can help on anything, let me know on my private e-mail. I will be really glad to help you.

    Good project, good idea. I'm sure this will be a success and handy for many beginner, novice see expert user. It's always interesting to know/learn different point of view as nobody can say that they use the right and ultimate programming method.

    mmm, maybe i should do a book too! LMAO... no way, not intelligent enough for that. Project book... maybe.... mmm Melanie, Darrel, Bruce why not doing it together? Just an idea
    Last edited by mister_e; - 15th April 2006 at 10:57.
    Steve

    It's not a bug, it's a random feature.
    There's no problem, only learning opportunities.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up

    Bruce
    This sounds like a book most people here really need myself included especially item 2 how to wade through that datasheet.
    May be a section on porting code from asm to picbasic nothing to elaborate just something to help people get started.
    I think the cd option is the best way to keep it affordable
    I volunter too proof read your book when it's done
    Steve with over 1900 post's you've already wrote a book

  4. #4
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    I really like the idea of a printed book. For me they are easier to read and more portable.

    As far as content: I really think there should be a programming practices, methods, and conventions section. One idea would be PICBasic "standard practices." Writing simple programs that blink an LED are simple and easy when you start scaling up from there you start running into interrupts, timers, and code size issues. There is no documentation on how to layout a program logically, what methods to use, or the big picture of embedded programming. I think a big overview of good programming practices might be nice, basically dos and don'ts of PICs and programming.

  5. #5
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    Default Great Job Bruce.

    Hi,

    While PBP makes your life easier as stepping into the world of PIC micros it does have its own shortcomings while developing professional applications. I would like to have a PIC primer first that lets even newbies touch your book. Then lets enter into solutions with simple problems. Now addup where PBP loses. Speed, Codespace utilization, Interrupts, coding style to name a few. For example when you toggle a port.bit (14bit) it always touches the TRIS registers which is unnecessary in terms of code, execution speed. I would then like to have stuffs that could make life a little bit easier like ready code+circuit snippets.Reading a datasheet is not a big deal if you have at least read one thorouhgly. Architecture remaining please try to build a foundation stone for the readers. If it is on a CD-ROM then have some nifty utilities on-board , like auto code snippet generator. If I am asking too much then I am still dreaming and the tranculizers that I took last night are still active
    Regards

    Sougata

  6. #6
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    Bruce i feel you'll need to do more than one book now

    1. an introduction to PIC and Datasheet
    2. an introduction to PBP and command explanation
    3. an introduction to PIC programming using PBP
    4. General programming tips
    5. Hardware consideration using PIC
    6. How to write program on a PIC using your fingers, a keyboard, a PIC programmer and a PC...OK just kidding for that one

    PWM, CCP, TIMERs, Interrupts and ALL internal PIC stuff should be covered in details.. oh well that's still in the 'How to read and interpret datasheet' or in the 'Introduction to PIC'

    Glad to see you'll do it for Melabs Compiler
    Steve

    It's not a bug, it's a random feature.
    There's no problem, only learning opportunities.

  7. #7
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by bbarney
    Steve with over 1900 post's you've already wrote a book
    well, remove post where i'm wrong, where i'd repeat CMCON=7, ANSEL=0,...,..., heated debate, personnal opinion and you'll probably discover that i did 'round 200 usefull post or less

    By his deep PIC knowledge, Bruce is one of those to have the ability to write the ultimate reference book. If some don't know his company or website, have a look to www.rentron.com. There's a bunch of usefull stuff: code example, project for PBP and other. And as if it was not enough, you'll also discover some VisualBasic tips. What can you ask more?

    Even if i've never met him and i'm not associate in any part of, Bruce is one of those i highely recommend to everybody's looking for a serious supplier.

    Sure i'll be one of the first to wait at his business door when the firsts release will be available.
    Last edited by mister_e; - 16th April 2006 at 11:08.
    Steve

    It's not a bug, it's a random feature.
    There's no problem, only learning opportunities.

  8. #8
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    Great idea Bruce! You're one of the few I could see creditable enough to undertake such a task. Although you mentioned that you don't want it to be a project book, it would be nice to sprinkle it with some small applications that make the reader think outside of the box, expose some of those features avialable with pics that a beginner would not normally think of. Examples from your website projects for example. Maybe not complete apps, but useable chunks that the reader can piece together and stimulate the brain. What is your target release date? Sign me up... looking forward to it!
    Wisdom is knowing what path to take next... Integrity is taking it.
    Ryan Miller

  9. #9
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    What I want to know, looking at everyone’s comments is “Where do you draw the line?”.

    Now I’ll get seriously flamed for this (like I care), but I’ll say it anyway. The PICBasic manual as it stands is 90% of the way there. The other 10% is in your PICs Datasheet.

    If you don’t know how to program in Basic – go to night school.

    If you don’t know electronics – go get a course at your local college.

    But what I see is folks tinkering with things they haven’t a clue about, asking others for help and then not understanding the answers they’re given. How do you connect a Matrix Keypad to your PIC? – well I can think of at least six different ways of doing it – including two completely different ways that use just one I/O pin for a whole 4x4 Matrix Keypad… how many examples will we put in the book?, because I’ll bet the one you don’t put in is the one somebody’s going to moan about that you haven’t got.

    I’m sorry to say this Bruce, and please prove me wrong in a couple of years time, but you’ll end up writing a complete microprocessor electronics course encompassing everything from basic Ohms Law (ie how to calculate a potential divider so as not to overload your PICs input pins) through to why the slowest peripherals should be given the greatest interrupt priority (bet nobody on this list ever thought of that one!). Then after spending six months of your life on your publication, it’ll take a further sixty just to recoup the initial investment in time and money.

    Go look at Heathkit Educational Courses… big binders full of basic but useful stuff (costing a fortune) but that’s exactly what it cost to produce. And to be really useful to everyone, that’s what it will end up as – you just won’t be able to do it for $19.95 and whilst a HTML/CD version is great, the instant you start selling it, it’ll be ripped-off and published for free somewhere on the net.

    Back to my original question – “Where do you draw the line?”. Some time back a colleague of mine produced an excellent Accounts package for the PC. He was swamped with support calls with brainless questions like “What’s a Nominal Ledger?”, “What’s Depreciation?”, “What’s a Balance Sheet?”. Whilst his manual was great for setting up and using the product, he forgot that the users were totally inept, didn’t have a clue about Accounting and expected his product manual to be a complete Accounts Course.

    In the same way, the PICBasic manual is a Product Manual and not a Programming Course. They provide you with information about a command or feature, and they make the assumption (perhaps wrong assumption) that you know what you’re doing. Which means any attempt to expand on that becomes a training course in programming and electronics.

    Never mind Sleepless in Seattle, call me Cynical from London.

  10. #10
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    Smile

    Hello,

    I have to agree with Melanie on this. I have been learning for years. On Sunday mornings I sit at the keyboard and look at previous posts and have built a nice library of "How to do's" including the problems people have had and how it was resolved. I refer to the PBP manual as well as looking for someone else's comments on things.

    I don't have a degree in programming or electronics but I do keep one comment in mind that Melanie stated some time ago, "It doesn't matter how it gets done, just as long as it works and that the customer is pleased with it when you're finished." I should also add that you should get paid well for what you did!

    Yea, I'd like to see a better book, but every PIC book I got is the same, explaining the basic structure of the PIC, the instruction set, and a few applications. I have 3 books that I refer to frequently. But I spend hours working out the problems. I had one major problem last spring and I was aided by Charles from MELabs and Steve Collins. I have shared what I learned from these gentlemen several times with people on this forum.

    I tried to buy Les Johnson's book in 2004 only to find that it didn't sell well, or so I was told. I finally got a copy from Melanie and I thought the book was great as it didn't take me back to the dinosaur age to explain where silicon came from. It just got right to the point and had examples in it. That's what I look for in a book. Beyond the basics. I also agree that many people that write to this forum are really in over their heads with their projects. I also follow a few other forums related to PICs and they are really about the same with questions from people just getting started.

    To me this forum is all I need!!!!! Keep up the great work, everyone.

    BobK
    Last edited by BobK; - 18th April 2006 at 18:04.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I don't have a release date yet since this is obviously a work in progress. Just wanted to get some ideas & feedback before moving along with the book.

    All valid points Melanie. Thanks. I don't have a single book with all the answers in my own library, but I do have a few out of some 700+ that I keep in front of me, and refer to often.

    The majority of them sit on the shelf collecting dust, but occasionally get opened when I run into something not covered in the few I keep in front of me.

    Honestly, I don't think it would ever be possible for anyone to put together a single book with "all" the answers, or even one that would leave every single person that read it 100% satisfied. But it's nice to have a resource like this list to bounce around a few ideas & get some feedback before publishing one.
    Regards,

    -Bruce
    tech at rentron.com
    http://www.rentron.com

  12. #12
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    I'd like to see a book that addresses your basic idea. If I could use your book for examples and then know more about reading the data sheets to make things work that in itself would be a nice resource. I also prefer the "feel of paper" over an electronic version if I'm using it as a reference.

    I understand what Melanie is saying however for a hobbyist as myself I'm not gonig to be taking night classes to learn the finer points of programming. I stick to small projects and use what I can find on the Internet and questions I ask to learn more. The data sheets are overhwhelming when trying to learn. I've figured out some problems on my own by using the data sheets, but something to help explain themnow that would be nice.

    Perhaps people are saying, indirectly, that this forum should only be for professionals and if you want to learn anything go to school, don't look for a book to help because it can never exist? I hope not.

    Bart

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    Funny you should mention it Bruce. There was once a book with ‘everything’ in it. I picked a (well used) copy up in a very peculiar antiquariat in a Tokyo backstreet a couple of years back. Yeah I know I spend too much time in peculiar city backstreets, but I’m that kind of girl. The book dates back to the early 1970’s (before my time I would add!!) and was one of the ‘secret’ books which made Japan a manufacturing giant. It contained ready made and tested circuits and designs for just about anything electrical/electronic of the time. If you were a manufacturer and decided to start making transistor radios, you opened the book, chose the number of transistors you wanted to use, and picked a ready working design. It didn't matter if you were an industrial giant like Sony, or a garden shed outfit like Tama Denki, all you needed to do was adjust the layout to your plastic case (in many instances a design had several layouts already configured for available plastic cases) and you were in business. Maybe that’s what’s needed now… “101 ready uses for a 10F200”.. duh…

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    Perhaps people are saying, indirectly, that this forum should only be for professionals and if you want to learn anything go to school, don't look for a book to help because it can never exist? I hope not.
    No, not at all Bart.

    I went into the costings of a book about three/four years ago. It doesn't pay. In the length of time taken to write something really good, I could have banked $100k doing something else. Which is why authors regurgitate the same old stuff to fill their books with cheap content (like BobK's mention of "The Sex life of Silicon"). It fills pages fast, doesn't tax the brain cells and is easily copied and edited from other publications. However, it can also be argued, that if you don't know the basics, sooner or later you're going to come unstuck (see questions on this forum for prize examples).

    This forum isn't for professionals. Count the number of QUESTIONS posted by Bruce or Darrel or others - in total, you won't fill the fingers of one hand. What do we have that YOU don't have? Absolutely nothing. We use the same PICs, the same Compilers, the same Assemblers, the same Manual, the same Datasheets and have the same Search Engines and Internet Access. We KNOW where to look in the PIC Datasheet - they're all laid out the same way. You've seen one, you've seen them all. And if you don't know, then Adobe Acrobat's got a SEARCH button.

    On a personal basis, I use the forum for two reasons... For one it's a BUG ALERT. If there's a problem, I'd like to know about it before I waste my time. I don't know about you, but my time is money, and I'd rather not waste too much of it with a problem that somebody may have spotted before me. The other reason is the forum is a distraction. Sometimes when at my PC struggling with the days problems, it's good to switch off, grab a coffee and do something less taxing for a few minutes. I've lost count the number of times I've posted to the forum whilst some client or other is on the phone talking complete rubbish. It's good practice for later in life when we eventually get married and need to ignore the prattlings of ones spouse whilst doing something else.

    But I do insist that people make the effort to learn. After 20,000 posts telling people to use CMCON=7, not reading the manual, not looking in the Documentation, not looking in the Datasheet, not using the forum SEARCH, not doing an Internet Search, it does become a struggle to actually bother answering some questions with the same old answers time and time again. Looking at some questions, we're heading fast towards "What's a Resistor and Why and When should I use it?". That's why I said folks should go to school.

    If Bruce does eventually come out with a good book - buy it. If only for the simple reason is that he will have invested a huge chunk of his life in creating it.

  15. #15
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie
    But I do insist that people make the effort to learn. After 20,000 posts telling people to use CMCON=7, not reading the manual, not looking in the Documentation, not looking in the Datasheet, not using the forum SEARCH, not doing an Internet Search, it does become a struggle to actually bother answering some questions with the same old answers time and time again.
    For what Melanie says above, I would like to propose a simple solution (if it does not solve, at least can slow down). So that people who do not even care about learning can at least get into thinking of it.

    Here_it_is:

    During a new member registration, the forum system can ask couple of simple questions (like a short quiz). The questions should be related to both PBP and basic electronics. As the users will try finding answers from the Internet, the quiz will have a time to complete (ex: five minutes) and if the all is wrong, no registration takes place. GoTo Example

    Next:
    If the user comes back to register again, the questions appear to be different (and keeps doing it each time).

    The idea of having this quiz is to have the prospective member find the answers online and prove right there that the answers of simple questions can be found by simple search just like the answers of relatively difficult questions can be found by extensive search.

    Without doing this but rather posting a simple question to the forum is simply “I do not care, post it today and have it tomorrow. Someone will answer it anyway, why spend time searching…” kind of behavior. GoTo So


    Example:
    Tip: Use the forum search to find the answers.

    Question1:
    How to turn off comparator in 12F675
    Three minutes.

    a. I do not know.
    b. CMCON = %00000111
    c. CMCON = 2 1/2
    d. ADCON1=%11000001
    e. b and d

    Question2:
    What makes a difference?
    10 seconds

    a. Knowing that the size matters
    b. Pulling a pin high instead of pulling it low.
    c. Having a nonworking code work but later on realize that it actually does not.
    d. All of the above
    e. a and b except k
    f. None of the above


    Queston3:
    How to pull a pin high?
    One minute

    etc..
    …..

    GoTo Next


    So:
    This is just an idea.
    Melanie is the administrator and may come up with something much better if of course something like this would indeed be useful.

    IF "wanna read this post again" THEN GoTo Here_it_is


    ----------------

    For Bruce's idea, I think that if the target audience is the people who have very little experience but try learning from somewhere, then why the book should not make a difference for them? For such an audience, of course, the language in the book should be quite simple and the beginning of the issues should be quite near to the zero.


    END
    "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital." Napoleon Bonaparte

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    Let’s not implement any type of "tests" for new members. Keep in mind some ppl are just looking and my not have ventured into picbasic yet, others are just starting out in the electronics/PIC world.

    I know it isn't always fun to answer the same questions but sometimes that’s what ppl need. I know from my tech support days that sometimes you end up answering the same question hundreds of times, however its the first time that person has heard it.

    Best bet is to keep things as they are, answer questions as they come in and gently remind new members about searching. Something else to consider, if someone is new they may not know what to search for.

    Bruce I think your book an whatever format can be an asset to the community.

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    I'm not in favour of testing the Membership... but...

    If this was my Forum, I'd insist that every question is accompanied by $10. Then at the end of the year, we can randomly pick a spot on the globe, all meet up and have ourselves a party. Kinda like a PIC 'Masters' conference but without the boring bits...

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the clarification Melanie.

    I'd still like the book that is being described here. It may be that it is a waste of time and will never happen. I know from trying to find some reference materials to learn more that it is frustrating to get my hands on an actual "book" and not have to rely on electronic versions which are no where near as handy.

    Personally, if I had that type of book I'd learn a lot more than from any other source including this forum. As it stands now, I learned BASIC programming over 25 years ago on an OS2 computer at school that featured about 25 commands, 4K of ROM, 4K of RAM and a 10 inch black and white monitor!

    Of course, I had the chance to expand on that knowledge a bit since then, but that was the basics. What little I've done with PICs already exceeds anything I learned with basic, but there are operations in POC basic that still totally baffle me so using them to solve a problem takes on added frustration that a datasheet example book would help with.

    Bart

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    Thumbs up Go for the Book

    Bruce,

    After reading your (past) postings to this forum, I would certainly buy the book.
    Your style is very clear and to the point.
    Your knowledge is more than needed to write a helpful reference book.
    If you decide not to follow up on the idea, the PicBASIC world would be a lesser place.
    Please consider going ahead with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    1. What do you feel would be missing from the information provided as outlined above?
    I see nothing missing, you will find missing pieces as you write.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    2. Would people prefer printed & bound VS a book in .HTML format?
    A bound book would be best for me. If You do it on HTML, I still would buy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    3. What do you feel is left unexplained, or could use more detailed information on, in the PBP manual?
    It is hard to answer this as I don't know enough about PBP to know what I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    4. Would you like to see a section on using the 18F series with PBP?
    Yes, this is important even for PBP users that are comfortable with older PICs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    5. How about a section on using newer full-speed USB PIC's?
    Again, I don't know enough to use them yet. What better reason to buy the book!

    -Adam-
    Ohm it's not just a good idea... it's the LAW !

  20. #20
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    I've just read through this thread and thing that it's a wonderful idea. It's what's needed to suppliment the missing 10% that Melanie was on about.

    I also agree that you have to draw the line somewhere, and I personally don't feel the need to have a three volume glossary explaining all the known electronic terms and phrases. It should be expected that the reader will google what a resistor or LED is if they don't know.

    For my point of view I find PicBASIC Pro very similar to the old BASIC I used on my ZX81 all those years ago. I bet 90% of the forum membership can own up to typing something like

    10 for i = 10 to 25
    20 print "hello"
    30 if i > 25 then CLS
    40 next i

    whilst walking round Dixons or some other computer shop. And PBP follows this logic.

    I've only dabbled in PIC programming since 2004, and class myself strictly as a novice. I started by downloading samples from other web sites, and being shown how to write code in ASM. Frustrated by the commands I looked for a higher structured language for my simple projects, and ended up using JAL. However there are loads of issues with JAL, and one is its poor manual. For me not having an example of how to use each command and the correct syntax made me look for an alternative. I then looked at PBP and downloaded the manual. This and the examples (and the forum ) helped make my mind up to go out and get a copy.

    However I've found that on some occasions, it appears that there are other commands that are not detailed enough in the manual and it is this area that I feel the book will work. I've been searching Amazon and the like for a book just like this, more of a very detailed manual for PBP rather than the project books that are currently on the market, and I feel there is agap to be filled.

    To answer another point Melanie raised, you will alwayd get the total knobhead that has the mental capacity of an ameaba cell. It happens in all forums and all subjects. I was a very active member of a herpetological society (thats someone with an interest in reptiles, amphibians and spiders) and we used to get asked really stupid questions, but that didn't stop two committee members writing a successful book.

    Another comparason could be the Hynes manuals (this is for folk in the UK) - these used to contain a section at the front showing a complete stripdown of the engine of whatever car the manual was based on. Now I don't want to start any feminest arguments, but most women don't know how to check the oil let alone how to replace the piston rings, so now the later versions of the manual are really extensions of the cars handbook, but showing things in more detail.. like how to check and top up the oil !

    Bruce, get writing and put me down for a copy..

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    Thumbs up

    Bruce,

    As a new member (just joined today), I would love to see a book and would purchase one for sure.

    As you are aware, there are a few books out there now. Most of them do not go into configuration details for the smaller devices. They usually cover the 16F84 or the 16F876/7. I would like to see a section on the differences between the 12FXXX devices vs the 16F8X(X).

    Some of the more experienced members at this site think that a book is not such a good idea. But, for many of us it would be great. Many of us don't have time to do heavy research due to other life priorities. The bottom line is that it would be a great resource for us that are not as well versed as you and the other experts.

    Thank you,
    Ben

  22. #22
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    Default PicBasic Pro Book

    Bruce,

    I think a book dedicated to only PBP is greatly needed! Lot's of books have info on both PicBasic and Pro, but if one wants to learn PBP only, they end up with less than 1/2 book for their money. I think most authors think that most people will learn PicBasic first, then PBP. I, like many people, never even dabbled in Basic Stamp or PicBasic. I like to see lots of written PBP code, could call me a visual learner. Good luck with your efforts!

  23. #23
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    Default

    I agree with Melanie except for the completeness of the PBP manual. I think there are a lot of holes. A couple examples:

    1)I posted a question on here about pulsin. Lets say I want to check the pulse length of a high signal. The book doesn't say if it waits for a leading edge, or if it will just start counting when the instruction starts and the pin is high. I never got an answer. I ended up puting an if then statement to start this command when the pin is low.

    2)For LCDout you need to put a $FE for commands. The manual does not explain why this is. Someone in here told me that $FE makes the enable bit high while leaving it out lets the enable bit go low.

    These are both things that you would have to either find in the manual or have developed PBP to know. I don't think that anyone but MELABS could write a book that explains this.

  24. #24
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    Default

    Hi Bruce,

    I have a title for your second book.

    Code:
    ============================
    
    Teaching math!
    
    My pupils are:
    
    Parallax Basic Stamp I
    Parallax Basic Stamp II
    MELabs PICBASIC Compiler
    MELabs PICBASIC Pro Compiler
    
    ============================
    * * *

    To the user schu4647:

    A great source of information is the Parallax Basic Stamp 2 manual and
    the Parallax web site. Many of the Parallax Basic Stamp commands are
    supported by the MELabs Compiler.

    Example: Pulsin
    See PDF page 97 and 98 of the link below:
    http://www.pond.ie/pdf/BStamp.pdf

    Best regards,

    Luciano

  25. #25
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    Exclamation PBP Book & Titles

    "Hello nedtron it appears that you have not posted on our forums in several weeks, why not take a few moments to ask a question, help provide a solution or just engage in a conversation with another member in any one of our forums?"

    OK You asked for it . . .

    Rehashing command syntax and data sheets seems redundant.

    A book of good practical "real world" examples with code, concise explanation and "real" schematics would probably be useful and helpful.

    I don't mean "Hello World" nor half baked Myke Predko projects.

    Something more on the order of Don Lancaster's TTL Cookbook might work.

    Perhaps a PIC Heathkit on steroids would do the trick?

    Good practical examples provide a solid foundation and may communicate nuisances either to subtle or to verbose for logistic text.

    Perhaps "PIC Micros for Dummies" would work?

    Every programming text that I have seen neglects the very effective and infamous Bill Gates approach to programming "The Art of Stealing Other Peoples Code and Compiling It".

    Personally, I can always steal and compile faster.

    The Internet has made steal n' compile technology a reality.

    I have seen countless engineers searching the Internet for drivers, active controls and source code.

    GNU public domain code is the cat's meow!

    A federal court found that the Pentium II had stolen embedded Cyrix code and inadvertently included the Cyrix trademark statement! (dumb)

    National Semiconductor bought Cyrix and collected the big bucks from Intel. (smart)

    Now I know that their are prima donnas who think that every byte of PIC Basic code that that they compile is a virgin holy creation of the highest order deserving Code Protect, Serialization and encryption techniques not yet devised by lowly Microchip.

    However, I see it as the PIC game.

    Parker Brothers gave us Monopoly and Microchip gave us PIC.

    Both are great games allowing players to devise their individual strategies.

    There are other great games such as Visual Basic, C++, FORTRAN and Assembly.

    However, at the end of the day, Parker Brothers (Hasbro), Microsoft, Borland and Microchip are the real winners!

    And yes, we were well entertained . . .

    Or it least I was . . .

    I kind of like this title “Steal This Code & Give the Bucks to Charity”.

    Perhaps, I have over elaborated and the title "RTFM" might just work after all?

    Got to go, there's some USB HID code looking awfully good!

    Ned

  26. #26
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    Default

    I would spend a chapter on the bootloader, and just putting some code on a chip. Basically talking to the chip, and flash an LED. Great start, minimal code.

    I would ignore writing anything on each command, as a search or reading the manual will work everytime.

    Keep in mind that a chip is all about IO. Spend a lot of time on this (like the rest of the book). Digital input, analog input (linear and logarithmic). Maybe a temperature sensor (thermisistor). Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g, ethernet, RS232 (both internal and Max232a, etc). Output to LED, LCD, Touch screen, data logger on chip and external stuff like SD card, eeprom, X10, etc.

    If you had projects like home automation, and logging, maybe a thermostat, you will sell a bunch of books, and I'd buy one. If you went into commands I'm out, a waste of my time and money. Don't teach logic, that can be obtained anywhere. Fundamental circuits are OK though because there are way more programmers than there are circuit designers.

    Always explain why you are selecting a command over another one, or a specific circuit.

  27. #27
    malc-c's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by air1kdf

    If you had projects like home automation, and logging, maybe a thermostat, you will sell a bunch of books, and I'd buy one. If you went into commands I'm out, a waste of my time and money.
    But then it becomes just another "project" book which would also require the reader to have extensive knowledge on how to build what could turn out to be complicate CCt's or PCB's if they want to use them. The other option would be to simply have a subroutine that does one of these functions with a simple diagram on how to connect each sensor / relay / etc rather than a full blown program.

    The thing is, looking back on this thread, it originated in 2003.. it's now 2006 and Bruce has not added any comments since April of this year... so the book may be a long time in coming ???

  28. #28
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    Default


    Originally Posted by malc-c

    The thing is, looking back on this thread, it originated in 2003.. it's now 2006 and Bruce has not added any comments since April of this year... so the book may be a long time in coming ???
    Wrong!

    This thread was started on 14th April 2006, 21:44.

    Best regards,

    Luciano

  29. #29
    malc-c's Avatar
    malc-c Guest

    Default

    Whoops - I looked at Bruce's joining date - sorry !!!!!

  30. #30
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by malc-c
    But then it becomes just another "project" book which would also require the reader to have extensive knowledge on how to build what could turn out to be complicate CCt's or PCB's if they want to use them. The other option would be to simply have a subroutine that does one of these functions with a simple diagram on how to connect each sensor / relay / etc rather than a full blown program.

    The thing is, looking back on this thread, it originated in 2003.. it's now 2006 and Bruce has not added any comments since April of this year... so the book may be a long time in coming ???
    I think that we are talking about the same thing. I didn't mention nor imply anything complicated. Unless you consider a logarithmic type of sensor, which are simple to connect, but a quick search on this forum shows no results on how to implement the conversion in code.

    I would also like to add power supplies, since every project needs one.

  31. #31

    Default PBP Book

    Bruce:
    It would be nice if a book is written with an intent you have outlined in your first e-mail.
    All I can say is, I would go for it.
    Urmish

  32. #32
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    Default

    Thanks for the outstanding feedback everyone. It does help.
    Regards,

    -Bruce
    tech at rentron.com
    http://www.rentron.com

  33. #33
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    Most of the books I buy have a page in the middle that opens up to about 2 pages long. Usually has a nice picture there.

    But if I were looking for a PBP book, it would probably cover Include files, and Macro's.

    Oops, 4 months late request. Doh!

    DT

  34. #34
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    Default

    You need to get out more Darrel... the definition between software and softwear is blurring...

  35. #35
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    Default

    Well, I hope Bruce DOES come up with a book.

    As for the comments about those in way over their heads, you're darn right I am. I've said it from day #1 and I'm still lost, ask Steve. I started with zero electronic knowledge, just basic electricity about DC, AC and don't take a leak on a wall outlet.

    Now I can program an 18F2550 and have it interface with a PC by fast speed USB, I'm kinda proud of that even if the program still has hiccups. I've learned how to etch my own double-sided PCBs and use surface mount components.

    If we all stayed with what we knew, nothing would get done.

    Robert
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Not as dumb as yesterday, but stupider than tomorrow!

  36. #36
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    Smile GO For IT

    Write the book Bruce, you may not get rich, the True Reward for the effort,
    is in the Satisfaction you get in having done a job well. CASH IS WONDERFUL,
    it is however a secondary pursuit. And REMEMBER, there are still PC users out there still trying to figure out," Which key is the ANY KEY?", which is to say, nothing is ever obvious to everyone, you may need to write 2 or 3 books.

    JS

    BTW
    PDFs are great to yank out a few pages and take to the bench, but PDF books are really hard to read in the bathroom!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe S.
    BTW PDFs are great to yank out a few pages and take to the bench, but PDF books are really hard to read in the bathroom!
    This conclusion cannot be a definitive conclusion but rather a subjective conclusion....


    (Click to enlarge)

    Luciano

  38. #38
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    Luciano,

    A projector toward that wall for presentation purposes would be a good addition.
    "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital." Napoleon Bonaparte

  39. #39

    Default

    Hey Luciano
    I'am curious where you got the picture of Bill Gates bathroom
    and believe it or not Donald Trump has one too

  40. #40
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    Default

    PDfs are great but can be copied and distribute too easy. I prefer paper touch. Usually this how most PDF ends up here.... let's see a PIC datasheet.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by mister_e; - 22nd August 2006 at 17:03.
    Steve

    It's not a bug, it's a random feature.
    There's no problem, only learning opportunities.

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