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PIC Microcontrollers are an intriguing mix of electronics and programming. Because their primary purpose is to control things--such as relays, lamps, motors, displays and the like, a knowledge of electronics is necessary before a PIC is to perform a useful task. But, because a PIC without programming is an inert piece of silicon, writing code is necessary as well. 

Many books on PIC programming assume the reader is interested in only how to write code and that the reader already understands the electronics behind getting useful work out of the PIC. In my view, that is an error, as many people come to the PIC world from the programming side, and would benefit from a discussion of the PIC's connections to the outside world.

In writing Programming the PIC Microcontroller with MBasic, I attempted to balance electronic and programming, with a thorough discussion of the circuits involved, and why they were designed they way they are.

Programming the PIC Microcontroller has received good reviews at Amazon and is rated 4 stars out of 4 possible stars by its reviewers. Here are a few excerpts from Amazon's reader reviews:

It's an AMAZING resource, easily one of the best-written textbooks on any subject that I've seen in a long time. It's laid out in a tutorial format, with each chapter building on the ideas in the previous pages. The book is also easy to use to find specific techniques as you would with a reference book, either with the index, or with the thorough way Jack cross-references related chapters within each chapter.

Jack introduces one or two major concepts in each chapter, such as working with digital outputs, I2C, stepper motors, or HSerial, and then shows how to design the electronics parts of the concept as well, and gives solid reasoning for how he's making design choices along the way. He has a deep understanding of both computer theory and electronics design, but presents both of them in a friendly, non-jargony way that I think many experience levels could understand.

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Jack Smith has done a real service to everyone seeking a pathway to develop projects with one of the industry's most popular and best supported processors - the Microchip PIC. He has documented all the compiler's features, in a clear and concise fashion, that allows the user to realize all the power of this compiler. Every chapter clearly explains the hardware and software relevant to the chapter's subject, and provides numerous useful code examples to get the user started.
The chapter on using ISRASM, MB Pro's interrupt handler, and the chapter that collects together and summarizes all the previously unexplained commands and features, easily makes this book a 'must have'.

Programming the PIC Microcontroller with MBasic includes a CD-ROM with a free MBasic compiler, restricted to the 18F876 and 16F876A chips, as well as other circuit design and simulation software and data sheets on the devices used in many of the book's circuits.

To order a copy of Programming the PIC Microcontroller with MBasic from, click on the image below.


My publisher, Newnes, has recently published a new PIC Microcontroller book, "PIC Microcontrollers: know it all," which is a compendium of chapters from other eight PIC Microcontroller books. Six chapters are from my book, Programming the PIC Microcontroller with MBasic:

Section IV. Programming PIC Microcontrollers using MBasic
Chapter 18. MBasic Compiler and Development Boards Chapter 19. The Basics?Output Chapter 20. The Basics?Digital Input Chapter 21. Introductory Stepper Motors Chapter 22. Digital Temperature Sensors and Real-Time Clocks Chapter 23. Infrared Remote Controls


MBasic is a product of Basic Micro and you can learn more about it at