BasicX™ is a computer programming language that was designed by NetMedia, Inc. for use with its BX-24p™ microcontroller. It is based on the Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) language. BasicX™ and the associated products offered by NetMedia, Inc. are used mainly in robotics, satellite equipment, rocket equipment or other machines where complex microcontrollers are needed.
John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, professors at Dartmouth College, invented BASIC in the early 1960s as a way to allow students outside of the science and math fields to program and use computers. At the time, only custom software could be used on computers, which limited use to people who were able to design their own software. BASIC became very popular and widely used during the next two decades. Today, some modified versions of the original "dialects" are still in use, but it has also been the starting point for the development of newer languages, including Microsoft® Visual Basic®.
The BX-24p™ controller is the most popular product that uses BasicX™. It has 16 I/O lines, eight analog inputs, and 400 Bytes of RAM. The BX-24p™ can execute 83,000 instructions per second, has an on-chip regulator and low-voltage reset, and has two on-chip LEDs for reading information. It is considered the most powerful microcontroller available in its size.
In order to use the BX-24p™ controller and language, the computer must meet certain requirements. Supported operating systems include Microsoft® Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. The computer must have an Intel® Pentium® or faster processor, a minimum of 16MB RAM, and at least 10 MB of free space on the hard drive. The software and associated documents can be downloaded online.
Customers who wish to order a controller can visit the BasicX™ website or contact one of the product's distributors. In North America there are eight distributors. These include NetMedia, Inc. in Arizona, CSMicro Systems in Nevada and Robodyssey Systems, Inc. in New Jersey. There are 14 other distributors around the world.
Support for BasicX™ is available from two main sources. First, there is a list server offered by NetMedia, Inc and Yahoo!®Groups that allows users to communicate with each other. Subscribers can post and respond to questions as well as access an area that offers example code. Second, users can e-mail the customer support team by completing a form on the BasicX™ website. Additionally, since BasicX™ is a free language, there are other websites that offer advice on how to apply it in specific situations.