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Port I/O

 
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DavidR
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:55 pm    Post subject: Port I/O Reply with quote

Port I/O is something I would really like to see "built in" to VDS.
The ability to toggle bits or send/receive a byte/word of data would allow VDS to work directly with the popular "plug in" I/O PCI boards or even simpler interfacing to the real world through Parallel ports.

There is a whole culture of tinkerer/experimenters out there who like to play with hardware and control things but aren't really into programming.
I think that the simplicity and ease of use of VDS would make it an instant hit with this crowd. A positive review in a magazine like "Nuts & Volts" could result in a significant increase in the user base.

...........David
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jules
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not as simple as you think.

Some years ago I wrote an extension to do port I/O. It's a specialist function, therefore I'd argue that there is no justification to build it into VDS, however the code was extremely simple, and it wouldn't be much of an overhead if it was.

However, direct port I/O is not allowed under Windows NT, so this extension no longer worked. Under NT/2K/XP you need to go via a port driver, and one is not included by Microsoft, so you have to use a third party product, and the code you use to do call this driver from VDS would be specific to the driver you used.

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DavidR
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Port I/O Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation Jules!
Oh well, it would have been nice but I guess using an extension is a reasonable solution.
I found a free one here http://www.geekhideout.com/iodll.shtml that looks like it should work but I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. If anybody else has experimented with this I'd like to know about it.
..........David
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jules
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you post the interface details to the DLL, someone might be able to help you figure out how to call it from VDS. But not me, I'm just about to shut down for the weekend...
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vdsalchemist
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Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,
I have a solution for you but I am not finished with other parts to my Gadget.dll. The only way to use IO ports under NT/Win2k/XP is to use a kernel mode device driver. Gadget is able to load and use such creatures. Please be patient since my DLL is still not ready yet the DLL is very ambitious and wants to do it all but I keep telling it that it cannot but it keeps comming up with more ideas Wink

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Hippo
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I for one would love to have the ability to read/write to ports, gadget.dll sounds like just the ticket.

Once you have port I/O, with a little bit of homebrew hardware, you can do all sorts of great things such as control relays for switching on lights etc. Or how about controlling an LCD/LED display? Wire a 4x4 Matrix onto your port and with a VDS app you now have a keycode entry system. The possiblities are endless.

Thats the trouble with being an electronic engineer, always wanting to tinker Very Happy
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