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I need to build an application on a Windows system that communicates with the Arduino board (for testing and controlling breadboard setups).  I know that Visual C, Visual Basic, and Processing IDEs are all available.  What else is out there for this particular task?  Is any one of these better than the others, or simpler to use? 

My apologies if this has already been addressed.  I just got started with my board and the ARDX 1.3 kit.  Looking forward to doing some interesting things.  I have used the Firmata2.2 sketch on the board and the Firmata host program, but I need something beyond the current Firmata host program.

Thanks.
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Basically you can use any language for any platform that can read and write to that platform's serial port. Note that I have not said anything here that is specific to any device; in theory you could hook up an Arduino to a Cray and develop your app with Fortran if you wanted to.

With that said, given your three examples - I would say depending on what you are trying to do Processing or VB would be the simpler, and Visual C coming in 3rd. There is an absolute ton of development platforms and languages available for every system out there. I'd dare say that if you don't have any programming experience beyond what you've learned on the Arduino, you are likely to find all to be a learning exercise.

If all you have learned so far in software-development has been the Arduino, then Processing will likely be a quick and somewhat familiar route, rather than attempting to learn the syntax and structure for something like VB or Visual C.

What is your background? What kind of application are you trying to create?

For all I know, you'd do better using Python! We'll need a little more detail here...

smiley
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I am retired after working 46 years with computers (1965 to present).  I have had a stint with Apple ][ assembly language, followed by Logo, Pascal & C (C on Windows and Macintosh).  All past programming has been a worthy experience, but for now, I want to be able to quickly build Windows applications that interface with a running sketch on the Arduino board. 

I really don't want to invest in purchasing a product (C, C++, or C# products can come at a price), but I do want something that will get the job done even if it isn't considered elegent, or Enterprise scalable, or award winning.  Potential projects include home energy monitoring, weather data collection (raw from a weather station), educational tool/toys, or wireless devices. 

Thanks for your interest.
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Quote
(C, C++, or C# products can come at a price)

http://www.microsoft.com/express/

Quote
Although Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express products are provided free of charge, we do require that you register your product within 30 days of installation for continued use. If you are not sure how to obtain your free Visual Studio 2010 Express registration key

Certainly you can afford that price.
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Your implication is that the cost (free) is the "only" price.  Using "free" Microsoft software has other costs.
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Such as?
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