Hello... anyone home??? (home.. home.. home..)

Thats a nasty echo in here!

No seriously, is there anyone doing any COM projects anymore?? Im *finally* finding time to get back into this stuff, and im starting to wonder who is actually developing in COM??

I think its safe to say X-treme is not comming back, so i think i might pick up his browser project and see where it goes... either that or finish up my MS Voice recognition COM stuff..

Well thats what im thinking of doing personally... how about hearing from someone else??

Posted on 2002-04-16 22:55:17 by NaN
Hi NaN,

about Xtremes web browser: based on his work I have made a general container app which can host any activex control.

The source is attached.

Currently I'm making some COM stuff (making my self written webserver a scripting host so it will support ASP) but for this work I have switched to C++ (shame on me).
Posted on 2002-04-17 01:23:49 by japheth
miracle and me deal at the moment with making our multimedia viewer as a ActiveX component (.ocx) and the opposite - embedding .ocx components in our presentations. Both parts work well now, but I would not say, that I understand 100% of the COM stuff, likely about 70% :grin:

(watch out www.xcomposer.com - all things done in pure assembler)
Posted on 2002-04-17 07:46:46 by beaster
I'm still doing COM stuff, well, I was before I started on the kitchen and had to stall my moving GIF control. While it isn't intended to be an .ocx but a standard window control, it does do its basic GIF to BMP trtick with some COM API's.

I'm doing enough assemby work at my day job to keep my coding jones content.
Posted on 2002-04-17 22:19:34 by Ernie

What is your day job?

I work as a Network Administrator on a small network of 180 nodes, doing programming as fill in work.

Posted on 2002-04-19 12:22:03 by Pone
I'm an electrical engineer. Recently I designed a nice compact (until my boss got his hands and trippled the IC count so he could feel improtaint) level sensor, probe changed capacitance bnased on the different dialectric of a fluid vs air, that capacitance set the frequency of a square wave, then had a PIC microcontroller convert the period to a level, keeping CAL data in an EEPROM. You only had to hit a couple buttons to do any init calibration.

I also redesigning our main product, the electronics to our 'non invasive' bubble detector (very useful in medical apps), got it down from 8 ICs to just a PIC and an op amp (thus letting me sneak itr inside the sensor head instead of underneath.

Added noise detection to that too, I can even tell when a sensor head is wet. Plus. built up two boards and it becomes single point failure redundant (ie, it can indicate if any single component has failed).
Posted on 2002-04-19 23:32:36 by Ernie
Looking for help? (wink wink)

The only job offer im offered is BOrInG!. What your talking about is exactly what i enjoy doing, but what im being offered to do is become a 'consulting engnineer'. Basically, check my brain at the door and draw blueprints all week long. If i have to think for a moment, there is no need to get up (and look for my brain), i can open the electrical code and copy a number out. :(

Anywho, what type of PIC are you using?? I mainly like using the 16F84A, but i suspect your using a different one with Analog abilities?? Irregardless, i have to admit, the PIC's series are one of the best hardware tool/devices I've ever used. They are extremely useful and cheap! I built my own remote control IR detection into my disk changer with just one PIC (and a Holteck demodulation chip). Its annoying when you can increase the volume remotely, but cant skip a song.

Oh ya one last question, did you design the pic to be reprogrammed on board? I know you can, and read a bit about it in the specs., but know one i know have actually implemented such a design ~ or if there is any 'snags' not listed in the spec.

Japheth & beaster,

Cool to see you guys are working still. Im a bit surprised at the OCX development, didnt expect this response. As well, thanx for the code Japheth, there is *alot* to look thu there ;)

Posted on 2002-04-20 00:16:46 by NaN
For the bubble detector I'm using a PIC16C621A-40, meaning it will clock up to 40MHz. I'm running it at 24MHz so I can bit-bang a 3MHz square wave out a pin, this signal goes directly to the transmit crystal. We use crystals that self-resonate at the 3meg so it has an excellent coupling, actually putting out twice as many cycles (down to -3dB) at it is driven with (below 3dB it keeps ringing along for several dozen cycles).

Kinda surprising for me, this device in a 20 lead SSOP package is actially about the same size as the 8 pin S0IC package, but gives me some extra IO pins for free. Plus the much anticipated 18F-whatever device has had its intruduction puished back another 2 Q's (over a year late now).

Oh, and I found a Taiwanese crystal manu that will deliver 3MHz +/- .2% for 20 cents a pices in decent (1K I believe) quantities.

I forget which PIC was in the level detector, it's kinda an oddball as it has a D to A, most PICs I run into have A to Ds. Nothing else was special, I ran it at 4MHz to get 1 per sec instruction timing, which made the conversion math a bit simpler.

I did have to dig into the Microchip app notes to get some double or tripple word multiplication and division routiones (I think I wrote the multiplier, but gace up on division).

I havn't goten into using internal EEPROM or flash memory, for storage I used the smallest external serial EEPROM Microchip has, came in an 8 pin DIP off the shelf from Digi-key. And yeah, I cookbooked the serial read/write routines from the app notes.

Mind you, it was a colossal development cycle, with the proto being built on monday, and literally getting the final byte of code correct on Friday afternoon an hour before the UPS truck came. And I only stayed there coding till midnight two nights.
Posted on 2002-04-21 22:36:08 by Ernie

Wow, makes me yearn for my PC days.
I used to make PC's, working for the sub-contractor of IBM PC's.

Then the off shore crunch came, and I was forced to re-train into software for PC's. I was the Test Supervisor and over saw testing and repair of all the electronic PWBs.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted on 2002-04-22 09:27:09 by Pone
I am currently making Dreamer 0.5 (a software musical studio with plugins), where a lot of COM work is done. I mean a lot. The instruments are all plugins, made by me, and the song rack window, where the instrument objects are embedded, draws everything- has no child windows, even scrollbars are drawn and managed by it. The instruments also communicate with each other (send and receive MIDI and wave data to and from different ports, and a lot more), even the .exe mainframe has a lot of objects within. I read somewhere on this forum that .exe-s do never have their own COM objects, but that's not true. Dreamer exports 5 different types of objects to the instruments. And by the way, each song rack has its own 4096 (maximum) waveform objects for the sounds from refills and embedded into the song file. These waveform objects (size 128bytes), if you allocate memory for them in the usual way, each will take up one memory page, and a song with 4000 wavesounds will take 16Megs only for these structures! So, I made a lil system to manage such objects, such as it takes as little memory as possible. Made 3 forms of it, for different purposes. I haven't seen anywhere it, but I suppose C++ compilers use something similar when creating objects. Haven't seen asm (straight, flexible approach) with it, so decided to brag, and ask whether I should post full documentation with src, and whether it will be appreciated.
Should I post it???

btw, Ernie, I've just started work with PICs, now only with the PIC16F84. For a D/A converter you needn't much- only several resistors and a capacitor. The system is not perfect, but for voice it is almost perfect. Below is the picture.

I made this scheme out, too :). But you can use it only with CMOS output!!! If a logical 0 is set to an output, the resistor is connected with ground. If 1, it is connected with +5V (or whatever voltage). If logical 0 does not connect the resistor with ground, the simple D/A converter will make big errors.
I used such DAC with a little digital radio receiver+transmitter I made 3 or 4 years ago. It worked fine at 8bit resolution, could not test it on higher.
Posted on 2002-10-20 01:35:33 by Ultrano

Sounds like a grand project you have there, best of luck with it.

Thanks for the D to A, but for any reasonable precision given the range of resistor values I'd have to stock, the PIC solution to the D/A is by far cheaper. (And I didn't do the math, but I suspect your ladder doesn't do a true D/A conversion, but somthing else. Do a search on 'R/2R ladder for a cheap to build D/A converter (only needs 2 distinct values) (or 1 value if you don't mind using two in series to get the 2R's)

I just finished an exausting COM project, but since I wrote it in VB I don't think I'll brag about it much. Its a USB driver object that provides an event source for asynch reads caused by the USB device itself (when it chooses to, such as to signal a button press). There were two hurdles to overcome: get VB6 to multi thread (did it with an exe server), get an method that waits for a READ event to return immediately and not at the end of the READ (which may never happen) (did it with a window timer).
Posted on 2002-10-24 21:00:40 by Ernie