Serial Communication

Hi All,
I have two questions.

  1. Is it possible to have simple serial communications between a simple sensor (I’m actually using barcode scanner that outputs serial data) and the vex cortex. I’m guessing that is one of the functions of the UART port? The serial cable is a DB9. Is there a cable that goes from serial to UART or do you have to make it yourself?

  2. I teach a class on robotics. In order to download the ROBOTC code - we use the USB cable - is it possible to connect one VEXNET to a computer and the other to the Cortex to download. Its ok the way it is but alot of our robots are mobile and it would certainly help if they could download the code without the cable

Thanks for any help.