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From: st...@criddle.demon.co.uk (Steve Criddle)
Subject: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/25
Message-ID: <36335bfc.15790220@news.demon.co.uk>#1/1
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I've heard that it's possible to program Mindstorms using Not Quite C.
Alta Vista can't seem to find it though.  Can somebody tell me the URL
please?

Anybody care to comment on what it's like to use?

Crid <*>
-- 
Steve Criddle - Hawkinge, Kent, England
http://www.criddle.demon.co.uk/

From: Nick <nta...@iname.com>
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/25
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Get NQC here:
http://www.enteract.com/~dbaum/lego/nqc/index.html

NQC is a creation of Dave Baum ... and is currently
the BEST MindStorms programming environment
available.

 - - - Nick - - -

Steve Criddle wrote:

> I've heard that it's possible to program Mindstorms using Not Quite C.
> Alta Vista can't seem to find it though.  Can somebody tell me the URL
> please?
>
> Anybody care to comment on what it's like to use?
>
> Crid <*>
> --
> Steve Criddle - Hawkinge, Kent, England
> http://www.criddle.demon.co.uk/

From: db...@nospam.com (Dave Baum)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/25
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In article <36335bfc...@news.demon.co.uk>, st...@criddle.demon.co.uk
(Steve Criddle) wrote:

>I've heard that it's possible to program Mindstorms using Not Quite C.
>Alta Vista can't seem to find it though.  Can somebody tell me the URL
>please?

http://www.enteract.com/~dbaum/lego/nqc/index.html

>Anybody care to comment on what it's like to use?

I like it a lot, but then again I'm a bit biased since I wrote it.  I do
get a lot of positive feedback on it.  In general, it is a fairly easy and
quick way to program the RCX if you're already familiar with C syntax. 
There are tons of limitations - most of which stem from the RCX firmware
itself, but even so you can do some interesting stuff with it.

Dave

-- 
reply to: dbaum at enteract dot com

From: "Cyberia" <cyberi...@spamx.erols.com>
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/25
Message-ID: <7100rv$rpo$1@autumn.news.rcn.net>#1/1
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I wholeheartedly agree. Without doubt this environment is light years ahead
of the standard product's interface. Thanks Dave....

I can't wait to see some re-engineered firmware that will allow argument
passing to subs, variable math on the fly, etc...

SeeYa !
--
Jim
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------
From The Keyboard of Cyberia (the machine's name, not mine)
Ethereal home of the clan Moran

Nick wrote in message <36337006...@iname.com>...
>Get NQC here:
>http://www.enteract.com/~dbaum/lego/nqc/index.html
>
>NQC is a creation of Dave Baum ... and is currently
>the BEST MindStorms programming environment
>available.
>
> - - - Nick - - -
>
>Steve Criddle wrote:
>
>> I've heard that it's possible to program Mindstorms using Not Quite C.
>> Alta Vista can't seem to find it though.  Can somebody tell me the URL
>> please?
>>
>> Anybody care to comment on what it's like to use?
>>
>> Crid <*>
>> --
>> Steve Criddle - Hawkinge, Kent, England
>> http://www.criddle.demon.co.uk/
>
>
>

From: Christoph Terhechte <ct@terhech.flausen.frei.haus>
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/25
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Cyberia <cyberi...@spamx.erols.com> wrote:

> I wholeheartedly agree. Without doubt this environment is light
> years ahead of the standard product's interface. Thanks Dave....

Just compiled my first NQC program, and it works. So I do join in.

> I can't wait to see some re-engineered firmware that will allow
> argument passing to subs, variable math on the fly, etc...

BTW, are all of the restrictions of NQC really firmware-related. Why
can't I use variables in the PlayNote statement? It would be great to
change the frequency of a tone according to the intensity of light
that the light sensor sees. The only workaround I see seem to be a
huge number of IF-clauses.

-- 

Christoph Terhechte <c...@terhech.snafu.de>

"Toto? - I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

From: ke...@pixel.Stanford.EDU (Kekoa Proudfoot)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/26
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Christoph Terhechte  <ct@terhech.flausen.frei.haus> wrote:
>BTW, are all of the restrictions of NQC really firmware-related. Why
>can't I use variables in the PlayNote statement? It would be great to
>change the frequency of a tone according to the intensity of light
>that the light sensor sees. The only workaround I see seem to be a
>huge number of IF-clauses.

Most of the restrictions of NQC are firmware related.  Dave Baum did a
great job - NQC is pretty flexible and does a good job of making the
firmware's entire byte code available to you.  There is no way to do the
tone thing with the current set of opcodes, which is unfortunate, because
that would be a cool way to get feedback on the intensity of the light.

An opcode list is at http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx/opcodes.html.
If you look there, at http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx/, and at the
things linked from the second page's See Also section - especially Russell
Nelson's site at http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ - you will get some
idea of the capabilities of the RCX, both with and without the current
firmware.

Work is being done to reverse engineer the firmware and the ROM in the RCX,
which will allow the following to be done soon:

- firmware extensions (although technically not allowed)
- completely new byte code interpreters
- native programs that run without an interpreter

More info is available at http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ and
http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx/#Rom.

-Kekoa

From: st...@criddle.demon.co.uk (Steve Criddle)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/27
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I believe it was Kekoa Proudfoot who once wrote:

~ Most of the restrictions of NQC are firmware related.  Dave Baum did a
~ great job - NQC is pretty flexible and does a good job of making the
~ firmware's entire byte code available to you.  There is no way to do the
~ tone thing with the current set of opcodes, which is unfortunate, because
~ that would be a cool way to get feedback on the intensity of the light.

I was thinking about the restrictions at work today.  It's pretty
annoying that you can't call a subroutine from another subroutine.  I
assume this was done so that you can't get into a stack overflow
situation.

Thinking about the restrictions further, I came to the conclusion that
it was probably done because there is no adequate way for the RCX to
give error messages.  The current RCX code (as opposed to NQC) doesn't
seem to have any situations where the RCX can have errors that need
reporting.  (The only one I can think of in NQC is a numeric
overflow).

Replacement firmware could put an error code on the RCX display.  OK,
so it would only be a numeric error code, but a replacement
programming language is not likely to be aimed at beginners anyway.
If the programmer is competent enough to tackle the programming
language, I'm sure they'll be capable of looking up error codes.

~ An opcode list is at http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx/opcodes.html.
~ If you look there, at http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx/, and at the
~ things linked from the second page's See Also section - especially Russell
~ Nelson's site at http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ - you will get some
~ idea of the capabilities of the RCX, both with and without the current
~ firmware.

I shall go and check these out.  More out of curiosity than anything
else.

Crid <*>   ...looking forward to replacement firmware.
-- 
Steve Criddle - Hawkinge, Kent, England
http://www.criddle.demon.co.uk/

From: mat...@mattdm.org (Matthew Miller)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/10/27
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Steve Criddle <st...@criddle.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>I was thinking about the restrictions at work today.  It's pretty
>annoying that you can't call a subroutine from another subroutine.  I
>assume this was done so that you can't get into a stack overflow
>situation.

No, it's done because there is no stack.


-- 
Matthew Miller                      --->                  mat...@mattdm.org
Quotes 'R' Us                       --->             http://quotes-r-us.org/

From: chuckc...@mindspring.com (Chuck Cottrill)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/11/06
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mat...@mattdm.org (Matthew Miller) wrote:

>Steve Criddle <st...@criddle.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>I was thinking about the restrictions at work today.  It's pretty
>>annoying that you can't call a subroutine from another subroutine.  I
>>assume this was done so that you can't get into a stack overflow
>>situation.
>
>No, it's done because there is no stack.

No stack?!
I think I'm going to be sick.
Are we talking about the mindstorms firmware or some extension/replacement?
If the basic mindstorms RCX isn't implemented with a stack, that is pathetic.
A replacement firmware w/o a stack isn't much use either.

the limited I/O of the RCX (3-in, 3-out) has kept me disinterested, but my
local Target has 20% off and has Mindstorms in stock -- I've considered it
but the limits of the RCX have discouraged me...

From: mat...@mattdm.org (Matthew Miller)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/11/06
Message-ID: <slrn745th1.t2g.mattdm@jadzia.bu.edu>#1/1
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<710661$jo3$1@terhech.flausen.frei.haus> <712e6i$964$1@nntp.Stanford.EDU> 
<36364cd9.1654070@news.demon.co.uk> <slrn73bv6f.o9a.mattdm@jadzia.bu.edu> 
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Chuck Cottrill <chuckc...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>Are we talking about the mindstorms firmware or some extension/replacement?
>If the basic mindstorms RCX isn't implemented with a stack, that is pathetic.
>A replacement firmware w/o a stack isn't much use either.

Just the current firmware. The replacement will be fully capable.


-- 
Matthew Miller                      --->                  mat...@mattdm.org
Quotes 'R' Us                       --->             http://quotes-r-us.org/

From: ke...@pixel.Stanford.EDU (Kekoa Proudfoot)
Subject: Re: Mindstorms/Not Quite C
Date: 1998/11/06
Message-ID: <7200as$eqe$1@nntp.Stanford.EDU>#1/1
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<slrn745th1.t2g.mattdm@jadzia.bu.edu>
Organization: Stanford University
Newsgroups: rec.toys.lego

Matthew Miller <mat...@mattdm.org> wrote:
>Chuck Cottrill <chuckc...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>>Are we talking about the mindstorms firmware or some extension/replacement?
>>If the basic mindstorms RCX isn't implemented with a stack, that is pathetic.
>>A replacement firmware w/o a stack isn't much use either.
>
>Just the current firmware. The replacement will be fully capable.

Oh yes, it will be capable...

So capable, Chuck, that it will bring new meaning to the word Mindstorm.

-Kekoa

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