The Brunning Software PIC Assembler BSPWA has been written for beginners but has been given a number of unique features which will make it the preferred assembler for most projects long after the beginning phase has been passed.
The picture shows BSPWA when it has just been started. Notice that two buttons have a green background which is used to highlight the most needed buttons at each stage of the process.
When you are first starting to learn about PIC programming it is important to type in all the text. This helps the natural learning process. So just click on the large text area and start typing. Periodically during your typing click the [Save] button to save your programme. The text in the book suggests the file name that you should use for each experiment with detailed instructions of where and how to save it.
For most programming work BSPWA provides one large uncluttered text screen. This gives the clearest view of the process.
When your programme is ready click [Build] to create the PIC code.
When suitable code has been created the [Write Test PIC] and [Start Simulator] buttons turn green. There is no setting up required just click [Start Simulator].
The most important PIC registers are displayed in the right hand panel. The simulator buttons are just below the right hand side of the text. These include two simulated push buttons connected to RA0 and RA1 and a simulated keypad.
Four simulated LEDs and a simulated LCD are at the top of the right hand panel.
This picture shows that text has just been written to the LCD and the yellow LED has been turned on.
The clock cycle counter is immediately below the [Single Step] button. This programme has taken 1,053,826 clock cycles to get to this point. The clock cycle counter is an extremely useful feature which allows the exact time taken for a procedure to be found.
When you have gained some experience of PIC programming you will not need to type every line of text. The usual way to start when using BSPWA is by loading a suitable library using the template selector. This loads the actual library text into the BSPWA editor which allows the routines to be adjusted to your exact requirements.
Other useful features are the compare routine and split screen operation.
BSPWA has three separate text editors which are selected using the screen    buttons. At the left of these buttons is the split screen button [S]. (When clicked the S turns to [X] with a pink background).
For example, use the template selector to load library 1827 into screen 1 and library 1936 into screen 2. Then click [S] to change to split screen operation. Click the red [X] just below the screen  button to display the comparison buttons. Click [Compare top] to compare the two files from the top.
This picture shows the result. The PIC16F1827 has 18 pins and the PIC16F1936 has 28 pins. The great advantage of these latest XLP PICs is that apart from being a different size they operate exactly the same. Most of the library text is identical which makes finding the differences almost impossible without using the compare facility of BSPWA.
The programme highlights the differences in screen 1 using bright yellow so they can be easily found. We can see that the two PICs use different input/outputs lines for their USART connections.
When you become more experienced and want to create software for your own projects the Selectable Library is ideal. Click the first item in the template selector menu to open the pop up box shown in this picture. Tick the appropriate boxes then click [Create Text].
This is a quick and convenient way of creating the outline programme text for a new project. Then edit and save the text to adjust it to your exact requirements.
When your projects become more complex it is best to use an 18F PIC so we have given the 18F selectable library a greater range of options. And remember that this text is fully compatible with MPASM as we do realise that there are times when MPASM does need to be used. We are not in the business of reinventing the wheel but we do believe that BSPWA gives newcomers a more enjoyable starting experience.