VB capabilities and advice... 
Author Message
 VB capabilities and advice...

Hi fellow Netters,

I need to re-write a very old C/C++ application written in the days when
MS/PC-DOS was king.
The reason for the re-write is that the application needs some new
functionality, but more
crucially, some existing functionality does not seem to work on the
current MS OSs.

The application works with a bespoke electrical gadget which emits a
radio wave signal at a fixed frequency.
This gadget is mounted on a trolley, and when switched on sends radio
waves back to a receiver attached
to a pc via its com port.  As the trolley is moved forward, the receiver
picks up the signals emitted from
the device on the trolley.  The captured signals are read by the
application via the PCs com port.
The application then analyses these signals in real-time plotting a
graph based on the distribution of the
signals over time, measured using the PCs clock ticks etc.  The data
collected in this way gets further
analysed off-line using fairly basic statistical techniques to calculate
variance, co-variance, average trolley
speed, etc.

The application does not seem to be able to display this graph correctly
in real time on the more modern
OSs, e.g. W2K and WME.  Hence the need for a complete re-write.

I am a complete novice in Visual Basic so I was wondering if you gurus
could advice me whether VB is upto
such a job or not?  I guess the key elements of this application are:
   real time graph display, com port i/o API, low level bios clock tick
accessibility, etc.

The application still needs to have the same basic sort of
functionality, but needs to work under
W2K, WME, and XP.

Any ideas, comments or suggestions would be very welcome.  And since I
am a complete novice in VB
I would also entertain re-writing the appliation in other visual
languages such as C/C++/Java etc
if you guys think these would be more appropriate.

My apologies for the length and cross posting of this e-mail.

Best regards.

Naran Hirani



Thu, 22 Dec 2005 05:44:06 GMT  
 VB capabilities and advice...
1) real time graph display,
    Sort of - probably Ok
2) com port i/o API,
    VB is quite good at this
3) low level bios clock tick  accessibility,
    if you mean Int 8h - forget it
4) etc.
    that could be where problems lie

Win2k + is pretty mean about giving access to hardware
The COM ports should be fine

Timing might be a problem, if you just want to read the time then it
should be Ok, but if you want small fixed intervals you have to face
the fact that Win32 is a 'sharing' (multi tasking) OS

On Sat, 05 Jul 2003 22:44:06 +0100, Naran Hirani

Quote:

>Hi fellow Netters,

>I need to re-write a very old C/C++ application written in the days when
>MS/PC-DOS was king.
>The reason for the re-write is that the application needs some new
>functionality, but more
>crucially, some existing functionality does not seem to work on the
>current MS OSs.

>The application works with a bespoke electrical gadget which emits a
>radio wave signal at a fixed frequency.
>This gadget is mounted on a trolley, and when switched on sends radio
>waves back to a receiver attached
>to a pc via its com port.  As the trolley is moved forward, the receiver
>picks up the signals emitted from
>the device on the trolley.  The captured signals are read by the
>application via the PCs com port.
>The application then analyses these signals in real-time plotting a
>graph based on the distribution of the
>signals over time, measured using the PCs clock ticks etc.  The data
>collected in this way gets further
>analysed off-line using fairly basic statistical techniques to calculate
>variance, co-variance, average trolley
>speed, etc.

>The application does not seem to be able to display this graph correctly
>in real time on the more modern
>OSs, e.g. W2K and WME.  Hence the need for a complete re-write.

>I am a complete novice in visual basic so I was wondering if you gurus
>could advice me whether VB is upto
>such a job or not?  I guess the key elements of this application are:
>   real time graph display, com port i/o API, low level bios clock tick
>accessibility, etc.

>The application still needs to have the same basic sort of
>functionality, but needs to work under
>W2K, WME, and XP.

>Any ideas, comments or suggestions would be very welcome.  And since I
>am a complete novice in VB
>I would also entertain re-writing the appliation in other visual
>languages such as C/C++/Java etc
>if you guys think these would be more appropriate.

>My apologies for the length and cross posting of this e-mail.

>Best regards.

>Naran Hirani



Thu, 22 Dec 2005 15:46:03 GMT  
 VB capabilities and advice...
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply.
It has been very helpful

Naran.

Quote:

> 1) real time graph display,
>     Sort of - probably Ok
> 2) com port i/o API,
>     VB is quite good at this
> 3) low level bios clock tick  accessibility,
>     if you mean Int 8h - forget it
> 4) etc.
>     that could be where problems lie

> Win2k + is pretty mean about giving access to hardware
> The COM ports should be fine

> Timing might be a problem, if you just want to read the time then it
> should be Ok, but if you want small fixed intervals you have to face
> the fact that Win32 is a 'sharing' (multi tasking) OS

> On Sat, 05 Jul 2003 22:44:06 +0100, Naran Hirani

>>Hi fellow Netters,

>>I need to re-write a very old C/C++ application written in the days when
>>MS/PC-DOS was king.
>>The reason for the re-write is that the application needs some new
>>functionality, but more
>>crucially, some existing functionality does not seem to work on the
>>current MS OSs.

>>The application works with a bespoke electrical gadget which emits a
>>radio wave signal at a fixed frequency.
>>This gadget is mounted on a trolley, and when switched on sends radio
>>waves back to a receiver attached
>>to a pc via its com port.  As the trolley is moved forward, the receiver
>>picks up the signals emitted from
>>the device on the trolley.  The captured signals are read by the
>>application via the PCs com port.
>>The application then analyses these signals in real-time plotting a
>>graph based on the distribution of the
>>signals over time, measured using the PCs clock ticks etc.  The data
>>collected in this way gets further
>>analysed off-line using fairly basic statistical techniques to calculate
>>variance, co-variance, average trolley
>>speed, etc.

>>The application does not seem to be able to display this graph correctly
>>in real time on the more modern
>>OSs, e.g. W2K and WME.  Hence the need for a complete re-write.

>>I am a complete novice in visual basic so I was wondering if you gurus
>>could advice me whether VB is upto
>>such a job or not?  I guess the key elements of this application are:
>>  real time graph display, com port i/o API, low level bios clock tick
>>accessibility, etc.

>>The application still needs to have the same basic sort of
>>functionality, but needs to work under
>>W2K, WME, and XP.

>>Any ideas, comments or suggestions would be very welcome.  And since I
>>am a complete novice in VB
>>I would also entertain re-writing the appliation in other visual
>>languages such as C/C++/Java etc
>>if you guys think these would be more appropriate.

>>My apologies for the length and cross posting of this e-mail.

>>Best regards.

>>Naran Hirani



Fri, 23 Dec 2005 01:24:05 GMT  
 VB capabilities and advice...

Quote:

>Hi fellow Netters,

>I need to re-write a very old C/C++ application written in the days when
>MS/PC-DOS was king.
>The reason for the re-write is that the application needs some new
>functionality, but more
>crucially, some existing functionality does not seem to work on the
>current MS OSs.

Given that all current MS OS's are multi-tasking, you might want to consider a
"pre-processor" for capturing the data in real time, then sending the data to a
VB application for display.

Possibilities for a pre-processor include:

1. a PC (or PC motherboard) running MS-DOS

2. a micro-controller based device (Zilog Z8, various from Amtel, many others)

Either of these options would give you the full resources of the chosen device
for collecting and time-stamping the data, which can then be buffered as needed
for transfer to the display PC.  If the serial acquisition rate is low (say 9600
baud) then the collected data could be transferred to the display PC using
another serial port running at a higher speed, or the parallel port which is
even faster (although more difficult to implement).

Using a PC for the pre-processor would allow you to use the existing code base
for data collection.  This would speed up that portion of your development.

Using a micro-controller would be a smaller and more energy-efficient solution,
but would require more development effort.  The micro-controller device could
possibly be built on a PCI card that would plug into the display PC, providing a
"one connection" solution like you now have.

In these cases, the VB application would then be used strictly for analyzing and
displaying the collected data.

Another possibility is a serial-to-Ethernet converter, which could be used for
transferring the data to the PC very quickly and without loss of data.  This
assumes that you have or can install an Ethernet network.

If using a network solution, the VB application would collect and display the
data.

No, I'm not available to implement any of these solutions now, but I might be in
October ;-)

More about me: http://thelabwiz.home.mindspring.com/
VB3 source code: http://thelabwiz.home.mindspring.com/vbsource.html
VB6 source code: http://thelabwiz.home.mindspring.com/vb6source.html
VB6 - MySQL how to: http://thelabwiz.home.mindspring.com/mysql.html
Drivers for Pablo graphics tablet and JamCam cameras: http://home.earthlink.net/~mwbt/
johnecarter atat mindspring dotdot com. Fix the obvious to reply by email.



Fri, 23 Dec 2005 03:23:56 GMT  
 
 [ 4 post ] 

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