Your thoughts on Great Cow BASIC

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  • Hugh Considine

    Hugh Considine - 2006-08-14

    If you've tried GCBASIC, I'd appreciate your feedback on it. What features do you like/dislike? What would you like to see in future versions?

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Yes, I've tried GcBasic. It's Wonderful and free. I waiting more content Commands property & help files. And If you want i can make Turkish Setup & Help web page.


      Murat INCEER
      Alanya - Antalya / Turkey

    • Hugh Considine

      Hugh Considine - 2006-09-30

      Thanks for your feedback!

      If you have the time to create a Turkish setup and help page, that would be great. The more people who can use GCBASIC, the better!

      Is there anyone else reading this who would be interested in creating a translated version of the help page for their language?

    • Stefano Delfiore

      I can create a translated version in Italian, let me know if you are interested.


    • Hugh Considine

      Hugh Considine - 2006-09-30

      That'd be great, if you want to!

      Would it be worth making alterations to the compiler so that it can display messages in languages other than English? I could make it so that it reads its messages from a file rather than being built in to the .exe.

    • Stefano Delfiore

      Hi Hugh, it's a good idea to have the compiler messages translated in other languages.
      For help translated in italian, you could e-mail me for the details. I have no software to produce a chm file.
      At the moment there is the possibility to have a translation in Turkish and Italian, I hope that other people could be interested to translate in other language as Spanish, French, German and so on.


    • Hugh Considine

      Hugh Considine - 2006-10-01

      For the help, I use a program called HelpMaker. The HelpMaker file for the GCBASIC help is now at, and will be included in the source directory of all future releases.

      The next version of GCBASIC should also have some ability to be translated without having to alter and recompile the source code.

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Hugh, I think its great, its free, who wants to pay $50usd for one chip so you can use their free(Ha!) compiler.  Also, the idea that someone can ask for help with the collective knowledge of a group is empowering.

      There is huge competition for eyeballs, and of course dollars out there in the microcontroller world.  Just a few would be the Basic Stamp, Pic Basic (Pro), PicAxe etc.  Tuff to convert people already up to speed with another system.

      I would liken the GCBasic situation, to a new housing development.  People wait and see how the neighborhood develops, before they are willing to jump in.

      Just some random thoughts:

      1) Prioritize future features, use competitors library's as a hit list.

      2) Give more in depth backgound on GCBasic command set.  Explain the built in limitations where necessary in terms of valid syntax, data numbers, and short example, or refer to a specific example.  Perhaps start a manual?

      3) Verify chip compatibility with GCBasic feature set, list in table.  Or, list devices that are not yet verified with certain feature sets?  Ask the community to help verify unproven chips and features.

      4) Keep GCBasic version log, or last couple of stable downloads available to revert to if necessary.

      5) Have a projects page

      6) Ability to download .jpg's, html links in forum.

      7) Use pdf or html for manual, documents, tutorials?

      8) Bootloader project
      That was a mouthful.  For my part, I can verify anything that say can be breadboarded with a 16f675, 16f684, 16f648a, and 16f819.  Also anything that might have to do with PicKit1, which I am using also as a programmer.


    • Nobody/Anonymous

      I know very little about programming PICs, but I am trying to use a 16F874A for some field biology research.  I downloaded GCB just to see what it was about, and to my surprise.  I actually got it to work (mostly).  I'm still on the steep side of the learning curve, and it was nice to find something accessible to beginners.

    • Joshua Wojnas

      Joshua Wojnas - 2007-01-10

      their needs to be more documentation. Config registers are important

    • Grant

      Grant - 2007-05-09

      Hi Hugh,

      Thank you for such a wonderful and easy to use alternative for Microcontroller programmming! Being a total, I've really appreciated that I could dip my feet in the PIC pool without having to spend too much to do so!

      The GCBasic forums and in particular the users, particularly yourself and Kent who have provided help to me, are great. There's no secrets, no code protection, no money-making..... it's really inspiring to see everyone looking to support each other!

      I really look forward to seeing future updates including more detailed documentation, code examples and as my skills increase to be able to contribute to the GCBasic community.

      Keep up the good work!


    • Tam Do

      Tam Do - 2007-05-25

      Thanks for the great program Hugh!

      One thing I would really like to see is a project page or a wiki site. It would be really useful and a great alternative to the Help Files which I find is often incomplete or outdated quickly due to updates.

      Additionally I would like to see use of the Subversion Repository system to keep track of changes. This would help people more easily identify what you have changed with your updates and to modify or submit changes to it.

      If you need a hand in setting up a wiki site or maintaining the project page i'm here. This is a really great project that I would like to see succeed.

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      This software is not bas at all!

      For now, when the compiler does not understand  a line, it passes the line as is to the assembler. I could be interesting not to do so and through a compilation error. This way it would be easier to spot syntax error.
      May be a simple command line switch to do that...


    • Nobody/Anonymous

      I am really impressed - I build a Great Cow BASIC program within 2 minutes after I have spend 3 days learning assembler.
      It seams that this program work fine and the help-page is all I need for getting started.

      It would be nice with a short overview of the activities (program development) that is planed. I have seen some comments in some threads but a overview with "month" and "finished activities" would be fine.

      I need the I2C communication and have seen you comments to this. I look forward to try it.

      Keep on this good job.

    • mmotte

      mmotte - 2007-10-26

      I like it!  Can get a lot done with just a few lines of code.  I am just a hobbyist so I can't justify 200-700$ for full blown basic or C.  Also the IDE's that are supposed to make them easy are so mind boggling for me. Where do I put my code? How do I get it there. What do I include? what is extra?

      Now with Great Cow Basic,  I am using Crimson editor and PICkit2 and coding is fun again. I can change the program and try it in just a couple clicks.  I know where the files go and have a few ideas/projects waiting for me to build.



    • Nobody/Anonymous

      GCBASIC is great, I tried and working very well for 16f690
      Is there any way to add support for new PICs?

      • Hugh Considine

        Hugh Considine - 2007-12-07

        Adding support for new PICs is usually just a matter of making a new .dat file in the chipdata directory. Occasionally some changes are needed in the various .h files included with GCBASIC, but this is pretty rare.

        I have written a small program which automatically generates the chip data files from the .inc and .dev files included with MPLAB and from the Microchip site, which I can upload if it would be of use.

        Is there any particular chip you need support for?

        • Nobody/Anonymous

          Sorry for the delayed response.  How do I use interrupt , for example timer 0 interrupt  for PIC 12F675.I would like to  create a timer using the interrupt so that the chip can do some other activity during the intervals.

    • shiveni

      shiveni - 2007-12-30

      Hai man great job done. I was tring this compiler for the past two days. Really enjoying

      How about PIC24F and DSPIC series....

      How about a repository system to maintain / add more peripheral supports .. like Ethernet/Nokia GLCD/IR RC5 Etc...

      By the way i am writting RC5 code.

      Shiveni... (PICKIT2 clone do it your self.....)

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      I've just been playing with the GCBASIC, Crimson Editor & PICkit2 programmer for a couple of days. GCBASIC is excellent IMHO. Ok, it has it's little quirks, but I can live with those - at least for the moment!

      Well done. Please keep up the good work!   :-)


    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Hugh, an excellent start. Most impressive to me is the quick pin setup which I have been wanting to see in the "professional" packages for a long time now.  It has a way to go, but this is an excellent start and is already my favorite basic compiler for pic processors. Thank you very much!


    • Nobody/Anonymous

      using interrupts and USB utils since most of the new chips has USB interface. Also I am not sure  whether we have support for rs232 using hardware USART

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Hi GCBASIC admin,

      I have to admit that GCBASIC is a piece of fantastic software! Only using a few lines could create a complete project. It is definately a high-level language recommended to use. Furthermore, I'm a BASIC lover.

      Although the software is powerful and yet extremely easy to use. I hope to see the following improvements in the future releases:

      1. I'm not aware out if we are supporting ADC operation with reference voltage. Probably easier handling of ADC input with reference voltage will help. (In fact, I'm little bit disappointed with only one command for ADC.)

      2. Add in new LCD command to justify the display string. Currently we need to calculate the string position manually for left, center and right justification. I believe with this justification support, GCBASIC will become more exciting.

      3. For keypad, probably a sample circuit diagram would help on the expected design. The rationale to include this is we have a few keypad matrix design.

      Internet Lam

    • kent_twt4

      kent_twt4 - 2008-05-18

      At least in regards to the V+ref, V-ref issue, it seems this is just a hardware issue.  In other words, make sure the direction of the appropriate pin is made an input, and then apply your voltage.  With a TI TL4050A precision 4.096V reference applied to V+ref you can get a very accurate voltage meter.  For instance:

      #define Volt AN0
      dir PortA.0 in
      dir PortA.3 in ;V+ref
      dim BatVolt as Word
      BatVolt = RVAD10(Volt)
      BatVolt = (BatVolt*16)/10   ;Vref+=4.096 volts or 4mv per bit
      ;Scale up to 16.4V multiply again by 4 and drop LSB

      Is there a specific command that you had in mind about the ADC?

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Hello Hugh!

      Great work!

      I am a beginner to PIC programming, i got hooked with PIC when I bought my first beginners robotic kit, microbric viper, since i could not afford parallax boe bot, viper is based on the PIC16F876A chip. I really enjoyed building my viper which led me to research more about PIC, i was impressed with the Basic Atom language to program the chip.

      I then focused looking for BASIC-based compiler for PICs, it was then that i've found GCBasic! i was really happy to know that a free BASIC compiler for PIC exist, not crippled but a fully working compiler. This was a very good find! though i have programmed in ASM, C before, i really appreciate programming language which are done to earth and easy to learn, which promotes fun and productivity in programming.

      It's really inspiring! I'm from the Cebu, Philippines now working here in Singapore. I really would like to help my community back home and plan to teach Robotics (a very fun combination of mathematics, electronics and programming) to public schools or to out of school youths back home, i wanna give them a fresh start. With GCBasic at least we have free platform to build from.

      In line with this, i have search wikipedia and found out that GC Basic didn't return any results, so i have created a entry in wikipedia. it was initially a rough draft article, but it was somehow cleaned by the wikipedia staffs, I hope with this entry,this will improve visibility of GCBasic.

      I will be communicating with you some time soon! keep up the Great work!

      Best Regards


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