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Issue 2.6


Thoughts from the Publisher

Issue: 2.6 (July/August 2004)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: When RBD publisher Marc Zeedar was a kid he used to create magazines just for fun. Now he's doing it for a living! You may contact him at editor@rbdeveloper.com.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 2,647
Starting Page Number: 5
Article Number: 2600
Related Link(s): None

Full text of article...

Interacting with the Real World

One odd thing about computers is that so much about them is virtual: a photograph on a computer screen isn't a print you can hold in your hand and you can work all week creating a website and have nothing physical to show for it. Programming can be the same way. When you're finished, there's nothing tangible to show what you've done.

Wouldn't it be cool if computers could interact with real world things? How about a program that turns on the air conditioner when the room temperature raises above a certain level? Or perhaps you're a researcher and need to record specialized data from equipment.

That's why I'm so excited about this issue's cover story on Vernier Software and Technology's $220 LabPro and REALbasic. LabPro is a small box that connects to your computer via USB or serial. You can connect dozens of different scientific instruments to the box -- accelerometer, barometer, force sensor, light sensor, motion detector, sound level meter, temperature probe, EKG sensor, humidity sensor, and many others -- and bring all that data right into your own REALbasic application. Add Vernier's Digital Control Unit and you can control motors, lamps, LEDs, buzzers, stepper motors, and other DC devices. Imagine your own robot, controlled via REALbasic!

This adds a remarkable new dimension to your REALbasic programming. In Part One of this two-part series (page 17), authors William H. Murray and Chris H. Pappas explain how to get data into your application. Next issue they'll go over output.

In This Issue

Of course LabPro is just the beginning: this issue packed with exciting features, from our interview with the multi-talented and ever-present Joe Strout (page 11) to a fascinating Postmortem on creating commercial software with REALbasic (page 13). Lars Jensen has an article on drawing with text (page 24) and Jonathan Johnson continues his SQL tutorial. And that doesn't even get to all the cool columns in this issue: from RBScript (page 30) to Better Dating (page 33), we've got you covered!

End of article.