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'New MPLAB [was Re: Newbie intro]'
1999\07\06@143831 by netquake

You're right, the package works fine, but also do my car (and
believe me, you won't buy it in a million years!).
Isn't it Microchip *supposed* to be doing this software effort to
maintain customers and be competitive. After all I can also download
similar well-programmed packages from the competition (not willing to
favor other companies here, I'm a PIC fan after all!) at then same
*price*. My point here is that the minimun requirement I would ask
from a multimillion chip company is to provide their customers with
the best development software possible at minimun or no cost. The way
I see it, we're paying for this service every time we buy a pic.

My personal opinion only
(I can understand if you disagree.)

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1999\07\06@160046 by jamesp

picon face
You have a valid point.  Yes, I guess we are paying for the
development software everytime we buy a PIC.  And, yes, we
have a right to expect the best possible software for the
price, whether it be an outright lump sum or distributed over
the course of many PIC's or many years, or whatever.  But, I
think that the product offered by MChip right now fills my
needs.  Whether or not it is the best they can offer, I don't
know.   Probably not.  But MChip has not only allowed, but
endorsed third party software development as well as hardware
development.  And I'm guessing at least one of the factors
behind such a decision is to relieve them of the burden of
writing development software in the first place.  So, what they
offer is a product that allows you to utilize their parts and
do development work at a mininum cost.  If you want to
get really serious about software development, you can go to
the third parties to get better development tools.  Of
course, that means higher cost because you now have assemblers
and compilers written by a company that depends on the income
from these packages to support them.  I guess what I'm trying
to say here is that from my point of view, for the price of
the MChip development software, it's hard to beat.  If you want
to spend some money, you can get better tools.  And generally,
the more you spend, the better the tools.   But, if you want
to get started, or you only have one or a few designs to do,
and you don't want to or can't spend a lot of money for
commercial quality tools, then the MChip package is the way to
go.  And me personally, if I had my druthers, I'd run DOS
based apps for my PIC development work.  They take up so little
space compared to windows based apps, that even a small hard
drive can last a long time and hold hundreds of files.  But
that's another story.

                            OK, I'm done now.  Regards,


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1999\07\06@162937 by Bob Blick

Other than MPLAB being a little slow, and having to use a "modify" window
to change the contents of a register, I have very few complaints about

Not looking forward to the new 32 bit version, I'll have to scrap a
computer. New software, written in MS VC++6 is outrageously bloated, too.

Say what you will, but when the new version comes out perhaps some of us
will reflect on what was and what will never be.


1999\07\06@162944 by l.allen

picon face
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I hate to further muddy the waters here... BUT I find it hard to
critize MPLAB because it works.
I previously designed with Motorola 68HC11 micros.. getting from code
to product was about as much fun as poking yourself in the eye with a
sharp stick while having root canal work with Anne Murray records
being played in the background.
Im sure there a lots of useful functions coming up short on MPLAB
but I know I can select a PIC, code /develop it with the ICEPIC, it
will compile, it WILL program (unlike the lottery of 68hc11
development) and the project is operational.
This has been true for many development cycles now, I upgrade MPLAB
as a separate directory lest it start to function as poorly as
Win95/98 where an upgrade is really a downgrade.
The clever stuff should be in the code, not the IDE.

Just my philosophy.
Time to sit back and wait for the put downs.... go ahead... do you're

Lance Allen
Uni of Auckland
New Zealand

1999\07\06@170726 by Matt Bonner

Lance Allen wrote:
> I hate to further muddy the waters here... BUT I find it hard to
> critize MPLAB because it works.

I've got no problems with it either, at least since the latest version
which seemed to fix all the serial comms problem to my ProMate.  I only
use it for programming, though, since the simulator doesn't suit my
weird ...I mean, state-of-the-art... design.

I edit in UltraEdit, compile with MPC out of UltraEdit, and call up
MPLAB from UltraEdit.


1999\07\06@210430 by Thomas Brandon

picon face
Haven't used MPLAB enough to make a real comment but it's worked fine for

One thing I have found neat in terms of MCU design is Intel's ApBuilder
(Download it at The price is right (free).
Again it looks a bit clunky but that's okay. The thing I love about it is it
is designed for newbie's basically. It's code editing is pretty poor (just
notepad) but it's a reference library as well as IDE. You get a graphical
view of all the peripherals of the MCU and can graphically edit the initial
options which is very nice. It's integration of documentation is great. You
download manuals seperately for each device and they are integrated into the
IDE. At the tpouch off the button you can see quick facts on all the
peripherals, link to the manual or even get a list of all the instructions
where you can enter the data and copy the instruction.

If MPLAB added features similar to this I for one would be in newbie heaven.


1999\07\08@003612 by netquake

Yes. I suppose they give you an *entry* package for you to sample
then go spend some bucks if you want something better.
This is game a lot of companies depend on to survive.
But I'm not willing to join the game.
I get your point of view anyway (and also trust good old DOS! ;)

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