custom development environment for writing c code for vex

I finally got my programming kit off ebay and programmed in easyC for all of one night. Granted I am currently in “tinker-mode” meaning I’m still learning by trying stuff out. But after trying to modify or rearrange my easyC code I quickly got sick of its visual metaphors.

So I put together a build environment complete with a graphical IDE to build my robot projects in Microchip’s ‘c’, and thought I would share.

*]First of all I ripped off Jeff Garbers makefile from his post on botmag: Thank you Jeff for rolling this up, I hate figuring out makefiles. Download his makefile here: and read his instructions for using it.
*]Don’t forget that you have to have easyC installed! This is not a way for you to get out of buying that programming kit. Buy it, install it, and register it. I put mine in c:\easyc to prevent any long filename monkey business. But easyC of course comes with Microchip’s compiler and it converts those visual programming elements into compliant ‘c’ code anyway.
*]Next you will need the vex starter code availale here: This is all one big directory so I moved it under my easyC installation: easyc\vex… (put the header files in userapi, and the libs in Lib.)
*]In order to use this makefile you have to edit it for the name of your .c file. And then assuming you are using windows download the gnu make utility for win32 here: If you scroll down the page a ways you will find “mingw32-make-3.80.0-3.exe”. That’s the one I use. Put it somewhere in your path. Once you have it there, make sure you can build your .c file using: “make all”. If you have all of the paths setup this will work. Took me a few tries. You can even type “make dl” and it will build your .hex file and kick of the ifi loader and download it to your bot! (thanks again Jeff.)
*]Second, I used an open source gnu IDE called devcpp. This is available here: [

What does this do for you? Well devcpp has syntax highlighting and a useful “project” and “Classes” tab for you to navigate your source with.

Personally I like to write my code in ‘c’ so that I can do some real custom operations and not be hindered by easyC. Since I am still learning the api from vex and microchip I use easyC to generate ‘c’ code then copy it to a file and work it over in devcpp.

Anyway, if this is helpful to anyone that’s great.]( Devcpp does more than I need it to, but it is free, fast, small and well did I mention free? Also it is pretty configurable and I was able to wrap that makefile. Install it whereever. I opted not to install lots of stuff since I didn’t want to actually build win32 programs. To simplifly life I opted to make it the default program for “.c” and “.h” files. (I use MSVC2005 for C++.))