PE6 Operating Manual & SERTXD hiccup

benbaker7

Member
Hello Folks. I guess I'm slowly coming to grips with PE6, but it's not easy. I looked for an operating manual, but the best I could find was a link provided by Steve Baker, entitled 'PE6 Beta Testing Briefing' of Sep 2013. As you are of course aware, that's exactly what it is - a product briefing - but certainly not an operating manual. So does such a thing exist per se? Secondly, I'm starting to use SERTXD. Under PE5, the screen opens with F8, but doesn't appear to do so with PE6. It can be opened under PICAXE Terminal. Part 1 of the PICAXE manual doesn't seem to cover this problem.
So do I have a problem, or is it a case of operator error/misreading of the options?

I'd appreciate any help.

Ben Baker
 

AllyCat

Senior Member
Hi,

The User Manuals (1 and 2) have been "updated" to some extent, to cover PE6, but I must confess to also still using PE5 by preference (particularly for "quick and dirty" tests).

I think one of the issues with the Terminal Emulator is that PE6 is more intended to use Multiple windows which can be a problem for smaller screens (e.g. my Netbook). A "mistake" I made initially was to set the Terminal as "Always on Top" which meant that it had to be closed down onto the taskbar when working with the Editor. It appears that PE6 cannot (or does not) "pop up" the Terminal (from the taskbar) but only bring it "forward" from a "hidden" layer?

Cheers, Alan.
 

The bear

Senior Member
As a beginner, with no prior knowledge of programming, I have no problem with PE6.
However, I have plenty of problems with the programming, but I'm enjoying the struggle, it's good brain therapy, (I keep telling myself).
hippy, Technical & the forum members are really great.
I've got at least a dozen (12) small projects running, each time I learn something, it's back to the project(s), to update or tidy them up.
Several existing projects are waiting for the brain therapy to really kick in!
Bear..
 
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hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
It appears that PE6 cannot (or does not) "pop up" the Terminal (from the taskbar) but only bring it "forward" from a "hidden" layer?
That has always worked for me. Whether put to the back because I have clicked on the main PE6 window or because I have explicitly minimised it, it always comes to the foreground when I click on its taskbar icon. Just tested on XP and Windows 7 but don't have a Windows 10 nearby to check that.

"Always on top" can be something of a pain with a small screen but I have only ever really needed to use that occasionally when simulating and wanting to see what's being output.
 

AllyCat

Senior Member
Hi,
[the Terminal] always comes to the foreground when I click on its taskbar icon.
Yes, I believe so too. But my recollection is that PE6 (after it completes a download) does not "recover" the Terminal window automatically if it's on the taskbar (only if it's hidden)? I'm not sure of its behaviour with f8. That's the trouble when there are "too many" configuration options. ;)

IIRC with PE5, the Terminal has to be closed before a download can occur and I believe it then can automatically reopen (on top) after the download.

Cheers, Alan.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
But my recollection is that PE6 (after it completes a download) does not "recover" the Terminal window automatically if it's on the taskbar (only if it's hidden)?
I believe you may be correct with that. It's already open so doesn't open it again, but it doesn't bring it to the front. I think that may be by design but cannot off-hand remember why.

I wonder if the majority of us here still prefer PE5.
It took me a while to get used to PE6, wean myself off PE5, but I eventually managed it and haven't used PE5 for quite some time now.

The ability to use #MACRO, #DEFINE and #INCLUDE, and their usefulness, is what forced me into using PE6 more regularly and I slowly got used to using it. I then found things I wasn't that fussed by initially proving themselves extremely useful as I did more.

I'm still an old school "Windows XP Classic Style" favouring person and PE6 is rather at odds with that - as are most apps these days, and it is slower to start up and likely always will be, but I found it was liveable with though the initial change can be quite jarring.

I find "legacy toolbar" with "small icons" rather than "ribbon", and using "tabbed layout", suits me best. Once I got over the initial, longish, "it's different; I don't like that" hurdle, found reasons to like it, it became less of a problem.

"Resistance is futile" :)
 

benbaker7

Member
Thanks for your help, guys. As Hippy advises, no operating manual per se. Oh well, I'll stagger on.
But one of the replies led me to the (sort of) solution to my problem with the serial terminal screen and F8. When I load PE6, it comes up in reduced screen size. By maximizing the screen, F8 brings up the serial terminal screen, which is what I wanted to do in the first place. So how do I set the system so that the PE6 screen comes up maximized when first loaded? (I'm using XP).
And how did you, ERCO, manage to display FUTILE on your DMM? Or is it contrived? Anyway, you're right. Resistance is indeed futile.

Ben Baker
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
So how do I set the system so that the PE6 screen comes up maximized when first loaded? (I'm using XP).
Locate the PE6 shortcut on the desktop, right-click and select Properties.

In the Shortcut tab there is a "Run" option which should be set to "Maximised".
 

inglewoodpete

Senior Member
I wonder if the majority of us here still prefer PE5.
I went over to PE6 several years ago. I find it to be a much more professional IDE to use, with many similarities to Microchip's MPLAB, VC and VB. Even though I'm reluctant at times, (as hippy says) resistance is futile.
 

Buzby

Senior Member
My gripe about PE6 is that when simulating, if I reduce the simulation delay to less than about 100 the app goes totally unresponsive.

The code window runs the highlight quickly, but nothing else updates, and none of the stop or break buttons work. I usually end up killing it with task mangler.

I've mentioned this before, but never got to the bottom of what it is.

Has anyone else seen this behaviour, or is it just me ?
 

lbenson

Senior Member
My gripe about PE6 is that when simulating, if I reduce the simulation delay to less than about 100 the app goes totally unresponsive.
That's not my experience. Below some point (below 30), the simulator stops highlighting the code as it walks through (I assume because it's going so fast that highlighting would slow it down), but break works for me, and pins and variables are shown updating. For instance, this repeatedly toggles pins on a 20x2 and code explorer shows b0 incrementing--all the way down to a delay of 0:
Code:
#picaxe 20x2

do
  toggle b0
  pause 10
  inc b0
  if b0 > 15 then
    b0 = 0
  endif
loop
 

Buzby

Senior Member
When I tried your short prog it responded as you described, but when I run the code I posted in the shift register thread, once I get below 31, the opposite happens. The highlight is running like mad, and everything else is unresponsive !.

I've got a back-to-front OS !.
 

jims

Senior Member
Buzby....I'm sort of a "programming novice". Just what is a......"back-to-front OS"?? Thanks...
 

lbenson

Senior Member
when I run the code I posted in the shift register thread, once I get below 31, the opposite happens. The highlight is running like mad, and everything else is unresponsive !.
Worked for me, though I had some difficulty figuring out which combination of toggling C.1 and C.2 worked to clock the data and increment the buffer pointer (and I still am not certain). I changed BufLen to 16. Here is a screen shot with Simulation Delay at 29 ms, at which point the highlighting is not walking through the code, but toggling C.1 and C.2 causes the bptr cell highlight to move and the previous cell to reflect the status of C.2.
23201
But ... does this code not do what you intended?
Code:
do ' Main loop
    do: loop until ClkPin = 1
    @bptrinc = DatPin
    if bptr > BufEnd then         '     If past last byte ...
        bptr = BufStart         '           ... reset ptr
    endif
      
    MyPtr = bptr ' Not really necessary, 
                 ' but lets you see value of bptr without switching tabs
    do: loop until ClkPin = 0
loop 'Main loop
 
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Buzby

Senior Member
But ... does this code not do what you intended?
Code:
do ' Main loop
    do: loop until ClkPin = 1
    @bptrinc = DatPin

Not quite.

The 'do : loop until' locks the chip up until ClkPin goes high. This means we can't do any other work while the pin is low.

When using a one-shot to determine the rising edge, the PICAXE can execute the 'clocked data input' code once, then carry on cycling round doing other stuff.

In the demo below pin1 will increment b2 by 20 each time it goes high, and pin2 will decrement b2 by 2 when it goes high. Meanwhile, the main loop counts b3 up in fives.

( Note : The 'bit0=Clkpin' lines are to avoid a situation when the clkpin changes state between the two lines that make the one-shot. This can lead to missing an edge sometimes, which can be very difficult to track down. EDIT : I just realised the shift register code has this problem, that's what comes of writing code when I should be sleeping !. )

Code:
#picaxe 08m2
#no_data

' One-shot demo

symbol ClkPin1        = pinC.1     ' Clock pin 1
symbol ClkPin2        = pinC.2    ' Clock pin 2

symbol Pin1mem        = bit12
symbol Pin2mem        = bit13
Symbol oneshot1        = bit14
Symbol oneshot2        = bit15

do' Main loop
   
    ' Make 1-shot for pin 1
    bit0 = ClkPin1
    oneshot1 = bit0 &/ Pin1mem
    Pin1mem  = bit0

    ' Make 1-shot for pin 2
    bit0 = ClkPin2
    oneshot2 = bit0 &/ Pin2mem
    Pin2mem  = bit0
   
    ' Do stuff only when pin 1 goes high   
    If oneshot1 = 1 then
        b2 = b2 + 20
    endif
     
    ' Do stuff only when pin 2 goes high
    If oneshot2 = 1 then
        b2 = b2 - 2
    endif
   
    ' Do stuff all the time
    b3 = b3 + 5
   
loop
 
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Buzby

Senior Member
Buzby....I'm sort of a "programming novice". Just what is a......"back-to-front OS"?? Thanks...
It was a bit of a joke really. Most Operating Systems (abbreviated to OS) like Windows, Unix, etc., have 'high priority' and 'low priority' processes. High priority stuff is things like responding to mouse-clicks or keyboard entries, while low priority stuff is things that can afford to wait a bit, like archiving a huge file.

When my PE6 is simulating fast, it looks like my mouse-clicks have been pushed way down the priority list, so far down they never get a chance !.
 
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