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Microcontroller development install based on Netbeans

Finding a few PIC12f683 microcontrollers in a $1 thriftstore music on hold box stimulated another look at the feasibility of implementing development tools. There is a bit of synergy, too, because Microchip now has a cross platform IDE and C compiler available at no cost. A problem is that Mplab X runs in a netbeans environment and that needs Java and the 32 bit libraries. Attempts to install that wasn’t straightforward.

As for netbeans, the first item is to ‘apt-get purge openjdk*’ to clear the deck, then hit Oracle for the JDK with NetBeans download installer. OK, that works.

But Mplabx needs the 32 bit libraries and has its own jre – see Install MPLAB X IDE on Linux – Developer Help – installs OK. When run and icon shows up on the launch pad and sometimes a netbeans ‘report usage’ dialog box comes up but that is it. The icon says its running but that is the only evidence of the fact. It appears that solving this one is going to take a bit of research.

The xc8 compiler also installs OK and will respond to a command line run with version report option. That, at least, gets documentation and header files available for inspection.

The GUI has had some problems on this Ubuntu 13.10 setup. lightdm needs to be restarted to get both screens going. X reports low resolution when trying to shutdown. Keyboard shortcuts seem to take a vacation now and then. There are things to iron out.

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