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Basic Stamp programming

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As I think I understand it - a programmer can write a program to a BASIC STAMP; which can then be used to control hardware devices, like on an autonomous robot. 1 - What program compiles the code? It couldn''t be a regular compiler like .NET? 2 - Do stamps come with a USB cable for downloading the program? If not how does it do so? 3 - I once heard you could also (if clever enough) use a PDA to do the same activities as the stamp; and that it would even be more powerful. How and why?

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My understanding is that every Basic Stamp comes with its own code editor that will compile and upload the code to the stamp. Similarly, every Basic Stamp may have a different connector to the PC. AFAIK, both parallel and serial cables are used.

As for using a PDA instead of a stamp, I can''t imagine that working well. A microcontroller needs relatively good timing, which doesn''t seem easy to achieve if you offload logic like that. It''s more plausible to consider a PDA connected to an existing microcontroller rather than replacing the microcontroller. Of course, technology has suprised me before.

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