Thread: inquiry from a hungry mac os x user

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    inquiry from a hungry mac os x user

    I've been interested in joining a local F.I.R.S.T program (robotics) next year, specifically the Software department.

    The description from the website is:

    Software is a computer based groups that designs the programs that run our computer to interact properly with the human driver. They also work very hard to design autonomous programs, and currently use C-based programming.

    i'm interested in learning some C based programming over the next few months to prep for next year, but I'm clueless as to where to start. also, the only system I have available to me is a laptop with Mac OS X. will that matter? I know that my compiler here on mac os x would be gcc (incorporated in xcode) and when a few years ago I had an interest in C++ on windows I used Dev-C++. Will me being on a Mac hinder my ability to code, or will I be able to make programs that I can compile and run on a windows comp too?

    also, any sort of help or direction for this project would be highly appreciated.

    thanks, john.

  2. #2
    Dump Truck Internet valis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    You may be able to setup gcc to compile apps for windows, but you'll need a windows installation so you have the libraries you will need to link against. Honestly I don't think it's worth the trouble of setting it up; what's wrong with writing apps for osx--at least then you have a real terminal.

    Also I'd like to warn you that FIRST is probably the most boring thing I have ever done.

  3. #3
    int x = *((int *) NULL); Cactus_Hugger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Banks of the River Styx
    Really? I loved FIRST robotics. I'm looking forward to next year. Sorry to hear that...

    As for the OP's question: Start with just basic console C, nothing graphical (windows, threads, etc) will be needed. Work on understanding the language first, and the basics.

    We used the supplied compiler for the robot, which ran on Windows. I don't recall there being a Mac version, but I could be wrong. It's summer, so I don't have the CD to check. The people on the FIRST forums would probably know better.

    As for win/mac, you could probably set up gcc to crosscompile with windows. I'd say just stick with the mac and program it, learn C and the basics, since anything Mac/Windows specific will be of little use in FIRST. Good luck!
    long time; /* know C? */
    Unprecedented performance: Nothing ever ran this slow before.
    Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
    Real Programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas, because dec 25 == oct 31.
    The best way to accelerate an IBM is at 9.8 m/s/s.
    recursion (re - cur' - zhun) n. 1. (see recursion)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    There's quite a bit of C to learn without ever having to worry about platform-specific libraries.

    Check the book list topic in this forum and find a good book, get the concepts and fundamentals down, and when it comes time to dive into the libraries and stuff, you'll be a lot better off....

    Just my humble opinion....
    Mr. Blonde: You ever listen to K-Billy's "Super Sounds of the Seventies" weekend? It's my personal favorite.

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