I’ve been annoyed for a large amount of time (years in fact) over some of our software we use and sell. In essence, what we have is a TCP GUI that communicates on a 250ms timer with a microcontroller that’s serving up a two-way communications protocol over ModBus FC23 – we send commands either to write data to or read data from the unit.
Awesome news! I’ve been asked at work to start doing a bit of GUI development for our NASA projects. They’ve said that all of their stuff is developed using Borland C++. Now with my PennMUSH development experience, I’ve taught myself a bit of C++ (though my PennMUSH development experience has been mostly debugging and making sure it compiles under Windows, so it isn’t too in depth).
Aha! Thank you, Dad for my new Arduino hardware controller (and the partially-outfitted Craftsman toolbox to make my life simpler when building stuff)! Easy easy to program, and easier to wire up!
There was a time a few years ago that we were playing with a Seimen’s PLC at my old job, and the process to program it via their development package was more confusing than anything. I’ve seen Lego Mindstorms being programmed: VERY complicated. Arduino has taken these shortcomings of other PLCs and simplified -everything- to make these things easy to understand. All you REALLY need to know is basic electronics and basic programming structure (preferrably in C) and you too can program up one of these things.