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RobotC: The book.
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Author:  NeXT-Generation [ Sun May 20, 2012 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  RobotC: The book.

Everyone,

I've noticed a distinct lack of books for RobotC. That is, none. I'm here to (maybe) fill that gap. I've been thinking long and hard about this, and I think it's entirely possible for me to write a RobotC for LEGO MindStorms book. Frankly, the free online stuff just doesn't cut it. If I do this, then it'd be the kind (as so many are) of book that I would've wanted when I started. It would cover the basics to stuff like: structures, tasks, memory manipulation, string manipulation, etc etc. Now, this won't be happening next week, or next month, or maybe even not next year, but I will be working on this. As they (robots) say, "See a need, fill a need".

Comments?

Author:  magicode [ Sun May 20, 2012 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

I've always wanted to do this for the Cortex, but I've never gotten around to starting. Good luck if you go through with it. You might want to look at existing texts, like http://carrot.whitman.edu/Robots/notes.pdf , and there's a couple of them floating around on vexforum.com if you care to look.

Author:  Spiked3 [ Sun May 20, 2012 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Have you written a book before? What is your available time like? I have never been down the road myself, but I knew a few that did. Take however hard you think it is and multiply by 100. I'm not sure the 'level' of book you are planning, but I think that formula holds up in any case.

On the plus side, it holds many rewards. The people I knew all got much more recognition in their field, and in every case much better employment (read $$$). Granted, this was back in the days of early computers, and Visual Basic had a much broader appeal than say RobotC, but even now I detect a sense of 'undeserved' popularity for some authors in the NXT field.

Please include this early in the book; Do not use tasks until you understand the purpose and consequences of multitasking. Do not be lured by its name, StartTask, as it probably does NOT do what you, a beginner, thinks it does. On the other hand, make understanding it a primary goal, as it is important in anything serious.

There I contributed :P

Author:  NeXT-Generation [ Sun May 20, 2012 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Spiked3 wrote:
Have you written a book before? What is your available time like? I have never been down the road myself, but I knew a few that did. Take however hard you think it is and multiply by 100. I'm not sure the 'level' of book you are planning, but I think that formula holds up in any case.

On the plus side, it holds many rewards. The people I knew all got much more recognition in their field, and in every case much better employment (read $$$). Granted, this was back in the days of early computers, and Visual Basic had a much broader appeal than say RobotC, but even now I detect a sense of 'undeserved' popularity for some authors in the NXT field.

Please include this early in the book; Do not use tasks until you understand the purpose and consequences of multitasking. Do not be lured by its name, StartTask, as it probably does NOT do what you, a beginner, thinks it does. On the other hand, make understanding it a primary goal, as it is important in anything serious.

There I contributed :P


No, I have not written a book before. I have all the time in the world. I'm a 13-year old homeschooler. I can do this stuff practically all day. The "level" would probably go from the very basics (read: "uh. What's with all the curly things?") to intermediate-advanced like multitasking, structures, and advanced arrays.

I'm not really seeking "employment" (see previous paragraph) I just want some extra $$$ for buying LEGO and other electronics parts. Also, I think that RobotC deserves a book by now, I think I can do it.

Yes. That will be one of the first things said. I should know the difficulties, as I had much trouble with them to start also.

There. I contributed to your contribution.

Author:  mightor [ Sun May 20, 2012 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

I played around with the idea to write a book for a while, I even started with one together with another MCP friend of mine but it took way too much of our time, so we sort of cancelled it after a little while. Keep in mind that you will need a good editor. If you are interested I have some contacts at No Starch Press and Manning Publications. You can contact me privately via mightor@gmail.com

- Xander

Author:  Coder A [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Quote:
No, I have not written a book before. I have all the time in the world. I'm a 13-year old homeschooler. I can do this stuff practically all day. The "level" would probably go from the very basics (read: "uh. What's with all the curly things?") to intermediate-advanced like multitasking, structures, and advanced arrays.


You mean you homeshcool or are homeshcooled? A book sounds great, by the way. Like xander, I think you will have to be careful and have a good editor. It was always in the back of my head to write a book, and since we are about the same age, maybe in the future our possible publications will compete! I hope it goes well with you!

Coder A

Author:  RoboDesigners [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Side note:
Coder A wrote:
You mean you homeshcool or are homeshcooled?

Typically, we say "I'm a homeschooler" as equivalent to "I am homeschooled." Our parents will say "I homeschool my children," or "I homeschool."

Also, if he's 13, chances are he's the one being homeschooled... :)

I'm homeschooled also... (I'm a senior in high school) If there's any way I can help (not sure how, yet), I'd be happy to. I enjoy writing blog posts every now and then about ROBOTC (typically with the VEX system).

//Andrew

Author:  NeXT-Generation [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Maybe a collaberation between us three? :wink:

Though, with the EV3 releasing soon, I'd rather write one for that...

Author:  RoboDesigners [ Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

NeXT-Generation wrote:
Maybe a collaboration between us three? :wink:

That would be really fun... :)

NeXT-Generation wrote:
Though, with the EV3 releasing soon, I'd rather write one for that...

Ugh... yeah. My parents are a little bummed about the EV3 (we have several NXTs, and were hoping to teach robotics classes with them. It's harder to use the old hardware when the newer stuff is out). That said, I think it would be really cool to get an EV3 when they come out. (Just have to earn the money to do so...)

Author:  Coder A [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

I am homeschooled also! Wow! All three of us are. That is pretty neat.


Something you will have to consider is to what depth you will describe operations and data management. By this I mean the shcematics of the logic gates used to add, subtract, and do other stuff with, how 23 is stored in a byte (10010111, by the way), memory allocation algorithms, and the like. Authoring a programming book is going to be hard, but we can all help! Finally, if I may say so myself, I think I am a pretty good proofreader, so im shur i coud help with hat!

Author:  MHTS [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

Coder A wrote:
I am homeschooled also! Wow! All three of us are. That is pretty neat.


Something you will have to consider is to what depth you will describe operations and data management. By this I mean the shcematics of the logic gates used to add, subtract, and do other stuff with, how 23 is stored in a byte (10010111, by the way), memory allocation algorithms, and the like. Authoring a programming book is going to be hard, but we can all help! Finally, if I may say so myself, I think I am a pretty good proofreader, so im shur i coud help with hat!

I can't tell if you are joking. If 23 is decimal, the binary value is 00010111 (0x17 - not 0x97). You said you are a good proofreader but then your next statement is full of misspelled words :)

Author:  RoboDesigners [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

MHTS wrote:
Coder A wrote:
I am homeschooled also! Wow! All three of us are. That is pretty neat.


Something you will have to consider is to what depth you will describe operations and data management. By this I mean the shcematics of the logic gates used to add, subtract, and do other stuff with, how 23 is stored in a byte (10010111, by the way), memory allocation algorithms, and the like. Authoring a programming book is going to be hard, but we can all help! Finally, if I may say so myself, I think I am a pretty good proofreader, so im shur i coud help with hat!

I can't tell if you are joking. If 23 is decimal, the binary value is 00010111 (0x17 - not 0x97). You said you are a good proofreader but then your next statement is full of misspelled words :)

hehe...

Addendum to MHTS's post:
10010111 typically represents -23 (if you're dealing with signed numbers). The sign bit is set for negative numbers, unset for positive.

Author:  magicode [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

RoboDesigners wrote:
Addendum to MHTS's post:
10010111 typically represents -23 (if you're dealing with signed numbers). The sign bit is set for negative numbers, unset for positive.


Actually, integers are usually stored as 2's complement, where 10010111 would be -105.

Author:  RoboDesigners [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

magicode wrote:
RoboDesigners wrote:
Addendum to MHTS's post:
10010111 typically represents -23 (if you're dealing with signed numbers). The sign bit is set for negative numbers, unset for positive.


Actually, integers are usually stored as 2's complement, where 10010111 would be -105.

Oops. I knew I was forgetting something. I don't deal with binary a lot (Java doesn't present much need), so I'm a little unfamiliar. I'll learn it in full some day...

Author:  Coder A [ Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC: The book.

If it is stored as 2's complement, I have no idea how to write it. I only read about it once. Well, I was just trying to show just how complicated and confusing writing a book could be (my being wrong only emphasizes my point). Do you have any example robots you will include in the book?

I was joking. I try to do my best at spelling. :wink:

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