Serial Comm. through a Comm Port - WinXP to PIC
Okay, this is my first thread and I have read up on what I should and shouldn't do, but I might forget and do something silly. If I do, please correct me, and I will do better next time.
I am working on a team project for school where we have an LED Matrix from scratch that we are addressing so that we can create a game. My piece of the project is to figure out how to incorporate serial communication into the picture (most likely will be RS-232 unless persuaded from using it). It entails a coding piece for the PIC microcontroller and a PC, as well as the actual wiring setup (hardware). I need assistance with the computer end setting up the comm port. I have not the faintest idea of where to start after having gone over some preliminary research for a while (~7hrs+). I am in need of assistence sorting out where I should start programming from. I have experience with C and C++, but only the basics and am starting to learn advanced things. I/O still scares me, so this is making me worry a bit. (Scholarly programmer of about 1 year now)
Okay, so to make things clear, here is what I could use in the way of help:
1. Should I learn C# to make things a lot easier?
I have found that there seems to be a lot of higher level things that I can do such that I don't have to understand a thing going on. However this looks like it uses classes and methods, which wouldn't be too much different that straight up function calls.
2. If I stick with C/C++ which of the two would be easier? I have more knowledge of C in general than I do C++ (since I have yet to get to the more OOP pieces of C++).
3. Are there any really solid sites that are for serial noobs like myself? Any recommendable books? I am willing to pay money to get the tools I need to reach my goal, so if there are any hardware considerations, or specific communication means I should consider?
4. Where else could I probe for information?
5. Are there any pitfalls to watch out for?
That is all I am coming up with at the moment. Please make sure to point out which piece(s) you're repsonding to, just for clarity (if you would be so kind). =) Thank you.