[Newbies] communication with serial port

Benjamin Schroeder benschroeder at acm.org
Wed Nov 1 01:23:47 UTC 2006

On Oct 31, 2006, at 5:24 PM, remin at elgen.dk wrote:

> hello to all,
> i am new in this forum... so forgive me if this subject has been  
> posted before!
> (is there an archive of old posts on the beginners list? i cant see  
> it at http://www.lists.squeakfoundation.org/cgi-bin/ezmlm-browse)
> anyways:
> is there any good tutorials/examples on how to communicate with the  
> serial port? for beginners of squeak?
> i am building a physical computer interface and display which i  
> would like to control the functionality of with squeak. the  
> physical controller is the arduino board (www.arduino.cc) linked to  
> the computer via USB (since my laptop has no serial plug i use a  
> serial->USB converter). the serial monitor in the arduino  
> environment works perfectly fine (i get lots of input), so i guess  
> the USB signal is treated like a serial signal via the arduino USB/ 
> serial software/drivers.

Hi Jacob,

What operating system are you running on?

I also have an Arduino. I use Mac OS X, and my board shows up as a  
Unix device, in /dev/cu.usbserial-something or other. (I'm afraid  
I've left the board at the lab so I can't check right now! :)

Squeak has a SerialPort class, but I'm not sure how to get it to  
recognize serial ports on OS X. I hear it works well on Windows - and  
maybe Linux - but I'll leave explaining it to folks who know better.  
It looks like Ned Konz wrote a short introduction to it recently, at


(The rest of the archives are at "http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/ 
pipermail/beginners/" - I think it must just be on a different  
mailing list system than the page you found.)

On OS X, I've instead written a small C library to read and write the  
serial port, and talked to it using Squeak's "FFI" functionality.  
(FFI stands for Foreign Function Interface, and it's a way to call  
external libraries from Squeak.) I've had success talking to the  
Arduino this way.

I'd be happy to share my Unix/OS X code if it would help - let me know!

Benjamin Schroeder

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