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ZBasic & ZX-24 Longevity/Popularity

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Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 9

Posted: 01 January 2018, 23:27 PM    Post subject: ZBasic & ZX-24 Longevity/Popularity Reply with quote

Sometime in 2008 I got into microcontrollers and bought several ZX-24Ps, a USB-TTL Interface Module and a nice Parallax project board. I used them on several projects at the time. Iíve since been distracted from that interest but now am needing to get back into it. My father-in-law gave me an Arduino-UNO and I downloaded the software for Mac and was off and running in minutes. Then I stumbled on all my old hardware I had previously used. It brought back all the joyful memories of using those ZX-24s on this Parallax project board with all itís easy to access extras!

At first I was delighted to think I could just jump back into this field using the original equipment I had invested in but am getting the idea it may not be that easy. The first reality check I was reminded of was the serial interface hurdle using a Mac. Iíve always used a Mac and canít remember what software I was using to program the ZX-24. Both Parallels and Wine are familiar titles as I remember using them in the distant past but have no use for them now and have been happy to leave all windows applications behind. Iíve also continued to upgrade my Mac hardware so in the computer industry it was eons ago that I was successfully programming these ZX-24Ps I have.

Iíve spent all the time available to me during this holiday season trying to get this USB-TTL Interface Module to work on my newer PowerBook running OS 10.12. Iíve been wrestling with the latest Wine download available which seems to run the ZBasic IDE ok but the ďStatus: current port COM1 is invalidĒ dialog found in the ďSerial Port OptionsĒ window stays on persistently. Iíve downloaded and installed the latest FTDI FT232R drivers for Mac. Iíve spent the week searching the web and WineHQ for help. While it is evident that the COM1 issue is a prevalent hurdle, non of the answers that have seemed to help others in the resent years have proven helpful to me. Iíve even tried Cross Overís version of Wine but to no avail. I need to go back to work tomorrow and am getting the ideal that I may need to just resign myself to the idea that it may be time to move on with what is currently being used and easily implemented in my situation. I donít think the Arduino was as popular when I got into this as it is now. I thought Iíd put this out here on this forum as one last attempt to get some answers.

Thanks for your help!
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 612
Location: Cape Coral

Posted: 02 January 2018, 0:32 AM    Post subject: ZBasic & ZX-24 Longevity/Popularity Reply with quote

Preface: I am not a Mac user so my experience is perhaps of little use.

Still, the largest hurdle to get the ZBasic IDE running under Wine on
Linux (Debian, in my case) is the necessity to symlink
~/.wine/dosdevices/com1 to /dev/ttyUSB0.ÔŅĹ I suspect it will be similar
in MAC OS.

In Terminal:

ÔŅĹln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

ÔŅĹwhere ttyUSB0 has an RS232 adapter on it, like your FTDI, works here.ÔŅĹ
Com1 is then available in the IDE.

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Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 9

Posted: 04 January 2018, 2:17 AM    Post subject: Might be a bit Terminal challenged Reply with quote


Thanks for your helpful comments! Unfortunately the terminal application is not necessarily second nature to me. Sadly that may be some of my problem. I was wondering if you could be a bit more verbose.

??? ÔŅĹln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1. ???

I'm not sure what all that is. Could you please explain a bit more? I'm not sure what "ÔŅĹln" is and "~".

This may be a bit out of the scope of this forum but I thought I'd ask.
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Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 612
Location: Cape Coral

Posted: 04 January 2018, 5:20 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, the email process apparently converted special characters into Unicode which didn't display intelligibly. I'm sending this as fixed-width Arial text which I hope conveys better.

Terminal is a program that emulates the old text-based Teletype ASR-33 and similar machines that provide a CLI (Command Line user Interface) to work with the operating system. Actually, GUI (Graphical User Interface) functions are frequently translated and executed via an invisible command line, so you are often using the CLI - you just don't see it. While arcane, the command line is very powerful - and some OS necessities can only be done via the command line.

Creating a symbolic link is one of those things that might not be possible via the desktop GUI, so you'll need to run Terminal. You can find the Terminal application in the Applications/Utilities folder. Again, since you're running MacOS and I'm running Linux, my experience might not apply. You might find better help here:

That site does not discuss symbolic links at all, so maybe my suggestion won't help but, in Linux, a symbolic link is necessary to get serial working in Wine.

In Terminal, type:

ln -s /dev/cu.usbserial ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

Then see if Com1 is available in ZBasic under Wine.

Good luck.
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