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# What is PIC/Basic Programming?

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#### Squintz

##### New Member
Can someone explain to me what this is and what it can be used for? And can you give me some tutorial sites book names and other stuff to look at in case im interested in learning more.

#### Exo

##### Active Member
A pic is a 8-bit RISC (reduced instruction set) microcontroller. It can be seen as a fully self-contained computer with input, outputs, and optional perephials (like uarts, I²C masters,...) all in a single chip.
There behaviour is dependant on the program you put in it. And there are diffirent ways of creating a program, one way is in assembler (the native language of that specific µC). or a higher language (like basic)

Just google on 'pic projects' to see what kind of things one can do with these devices.

www.microchip.com : Home of the pic

#### MarkK

##### New Member
Squintz said:
Can someone explain to me what this is and what it can be used for? And can you give me some tutorial sites book names and other stuff to look at in case im interested in learning more.

Basic is a programming language.
Its much easier to learn than the $£%^&*^%^ awful gobbledigook assembly language that microchip provides for programming it's processor. Basically it does a lot of work for you and translates it into the cumbersome assembly language that you then shove into the PIC with your programmer. Mark K. #### Exo ##### Active Member MarkK said: Basic is a programming language. Its much easier to learn than the$£%^&*^%^ awful gobbledigook assembly language that microchip provides for programming it's processor.
Mark K

Well, i dont think MPASM is that bad. If you learn the full names of the instructions they're quite easy to remember
(Bit Test File Skip Set in stead of BTFSS for example)

Besides, Assembly will always be the most efficient way to program.
And knowing assemble helps when using a higher language. Programming pic's in a higher language without knowing how things work in the background will get you stuck sooner or later.

#### MarkK

##### New Member
Exo said:
MarkK said:
Basic is a programming language.
Its much easier to learn than the \$£%^&*^%^ awful gobbledigook assembly language that microchip provides for programming it's processor.
Mark K

Well, i dont think MPASM is that bad. If you learn the full names of the instructions they're quite easy to remember
(Bit Test File Skip Set in stead of BTFSS for example)

Besides, Assembly will always be the most efficient way to program.
And knowing assemble helps when using a higher language. Programming pic's in a higher language without knowing how things work in the background will get you stuck sooner or later.

Assembler has a slight speed advantage, but I would say it is unsuitable for a newbie to learn. Most of the applications the average hobbyist tries to construct don't warrant having to study the full architecture of the PICs.
It's a hell of a lot simpler to write basic than assembler, particularly for those whose first puter was a Sinclair and already know some basic.
If Microchip were to put out it's own snazzy version of PICbasic, a circuit diagram of a simple official programmer for their chips and regularly updated software for it, a lot more people and small companies would start using PICs.
Mark K.

#### Squintz

##### New Member
Im not a newbie to programming. I would still need to learn assembler if i were to go that route. I think i would be better off going with assembler first and learn it the hard way than taking shortcuts. for one it will give me a reason to learn assembler which i never had one before and second i have a great intrest in electronics and i want to know all not just the basics. Although i have to start from the basic to get more advance which is why i need a good project to help me start. Something like PICS for Dummies step by step how to and explaination of building a simple circuit and programming a pic to wet my taste buds.

For those of you who are more advanced i challenge you to write such a tutorial in our "Therory Articals" or "Electronics Projects" section of this forum. Choose which ever section best fits the tutorial

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