Re: [mowbot] mowbot brains

Lawrence Lile (lilel nospam at
Mon, 3 May 1999 14:27:53 -0500

All I can say is WOW go Byron! The ability to use C in this way would be
realy cool.

Here is a possible business model - sell boards, not code. If you sell
modules like the basic stamp, you are selling hardware (well within the open
source/GNU concept) and support.

Publish your code under license like you suggested, free for hobby and
educational purposes, Cheap for commercial license. Charge for support.
The honest commercial developers and real hobbyists will pay you a nominal
fee to get support, and the dishonest ones and cheapskates would'a ripped
you off anyway so you are not behind by giving them some code.

-----Original Message-----
From: Byron A Jeff <byron nospam at>
To: mowbot nospam at <mowbot nospam at>
Date: Monday, May 03, 1999 2:13 PM
Subject: Re: [mowbot] mowbot brains

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Byron A Jeff <byron nospam at>
>> To: mowbot nospam at <mowbot nospam at>
>> Date: Sunday, May 02, 1999 2:06 PM
>> Subject: Re: [mowbot] mowbot brains
>> Hear Hear, I second everything you said avout PICS. I'm probably going
>> build my mowbot brains out of a PIC16C505. I've got a few (a key point -
>> part in hand is worth two in the catalog") They are a very inexpensive
>> (US$0.90 for 1, $0.50 for 100,000) and look like they have enough I/O.
>> To the fellow using 555's - Microcontrollers are pretty complicated to
>> learn. That's why they are so much fun. You're learning curve will be
>> easiest if you go with one of the PIC basic add-ons. OTOH, if you ever
>> to make a living programming microcontrollers, study assembler. It is
>> that hard to pick up.
>The PIC basic sparked something I forgot. I have been working on (like
>a system similar to the Parallax BASIC Stamp. The Stamp is a small PIC
>system that lets you program the board in BASIC. The program resides on a
>serial EEPROM while an interpreter lives in the PIC program memory. The PIC
>runs by fetching the BASIC program tokens from the EEPROM and interpreting
>them. You lose the speed advantage but gain programming in a high level
>language, fast turnaround (no need to wait for a part to erase to reuse),
>in circuit programmability, and no need for an EPROM eraser.
>My system is C based. Called NPCI (Nano Pseudo C Interpreted). It has a lot
>of nice features: block structured (no gotos), C-like syntax, bit
>and my favorite: assembly subprograms that can be added to the interpreter
>and called from a NPCI program.
>One problem though is that it's unfinished work. I'm also trying the
>the nature of Open Source Software, which I love, and basic capitalism,
>which I love too. So I'm trying to figure out a license where the code is
>freely available for hobby, design, and other not or not-yet for profit
>activities, then have a pay scheme when you sell product with NPCI
>King of like a royalty where a royalty of $0.00 is $0.00 but a royalty of
>$39.95 (the cost of the NPCI embedded product) is something other than
>I'm hoping to spend a couple of days on it in the next month or so and get
>back into a usable state.
>I'll keep you folks posted.