Computer robotics may sound very complicated and hard to learn but it is rather very simple. Before I go any further, I shall give a small list of what you need to start.
You first need an input/output port. This plugs into the printer port and also the joystick port (this may vary, depending on where you buy it from). The port I use is a SWITCHSOFT port, which I bought for 30 pounds. With this I got some experiments, which I could run from the port.
Also, it may help if you know a little about electronics because this will help you along the way. You do get some software with the port that you can use to control it, but I found this not very good. You also get example programs that run in various languages. If you haven’t guessed which language I program in by now – it is STOS.
The port itself has two options:
- You can have 13 inputs on their own.
- You can have 8 outputs and five inputs, which I find enough.
The port is very easy to control. If you have a LED plugged into the first out- put port, you can turn in on by typing the following:
10 OPEN #1,”PRT” : REM you always need this at the start
20 PRINT #1,CHR$(1) : REM this lights up the LED on 1
30 WAIT KEY : REM wait for a key to be pressed
40 PRINT CHR$(0) : REM switches it off completely
This small program lights a light up on output one. You use the CHR$(x) to light up which one you want.
REMEMBER: Always finish the program using CHR$(0) to switch everything off on the port. At a later date you will see why, but for now it is best to get used to doing it.
Well, that’s about it for this time. But if you have a port try changing the number in the brackets to see what happens.
If you do not have an INPUT/OUTPUT port, ring SWITCHSOFT on 0325 464423. They should be able to help you.
Well, that’s all for now…