I've just installed GCGraphical. Where is the help file? Is there a tutorial? How do I start, considering that I know almost nothing about programing. I've looked at the tutorial for GCBasic, but it looses me at "crimson editor." I don't know what that is.
If you're a newcomer to PIC hardware and PIC programming, perhaps GCBasic isn't the right entry-level language for you. It's a great language, and in many respects its better than other Basic compilers, but it's not really a training tool.
I do think Basic is the best language for newcomers, but I'd suggest you start off with something a bit more intuitive that lets you see what's going on in your code without the added variables of learning about PIC hardware at the same time you're learning about software. To accomplish this, I'd recommend an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that allows you to develop and simulate the operation of your PIC project on your computer instead of having to build hardware and try to debug that at the same time you're trying to learn and debug your code.
I recommend that you visit www.oshonsoft.com and download their free evaluation copy of their "PIC Simulator IDE". This is a pretty good basic compiler combined with a hardware sinulator and a bunch of other goodies. You can actually pick a PIC, show it on screen connected to ,say an LED, write code for it in Basic, and execute the code while watching all the PIC's internal registers and external I/O. It's pretty cool. If you decide to purchase it, the price is very reasonable.
Once you've learned how PIC's work and how to program for them in Basic, you might want to revisit GCBasic, as it's pretty efficient, flexible, and open-source, which might or might not interest you.
PS: I'm in no way connected with Oshhonsoft, I just happen to have evaluated their product and was impressed with it.
I've used oshonsoft to simmulate a program, and it seems preety good.
A teacher once explaining software projects explained these three parameters.
Cheap, Easy, Fast
Then he said pick two! can't have them all!
Cheap and easy is PICAXE look up Phanderson.com . simple programming cable
Easy and faster is Kronosrobotics series. they have good examples, a good simulator,,but the chips are a little pricey if you need several. Serial programming with a level translator chip. Very powerful basic commands.
Cheap(after programmer investment), Easy(once it get set up) and fast is GCBasic . Need a PIC programmer ( I love my PICKit2) Allied electronics has the best PIC prices and PICKit express which comes with a already made protoboard (plug and play).
steps to program a PIC
1)circuit schematic so you know the Inputs and outputs
2)List of things you want it to do - flash an LED?
3)Example programs - check out the GCBasic forums and examples come with the PICKit2 and online PIClist site
4)good software programmer knows when to copy and when to create
5)put it into a txt file using either notepad or Crimson editor
6)compile using GCBasic bat files either from command line, dragging dropping or the 'F" key that you set up in Crimson
7)using the PICKit2 program the chip using the compiled.hex file
8)Power the project ans see what works
9) usually don't work exactly to design so go back to step 5, fixit and repeat