When people ask us about HIDmaker, our conversation inevitably boils down to 3 very basic questions:
- "Does HIDmaker WORK ???"
- "Is it EASY ?"
- "But, can I do it ?"
Let's take a closer look at these questions.
1) Does HIDmaker WORK ???
It sure DOES. We guarantee it! But don't just take our word for it.
Consider that Microchip has been selling our products on their online store, MicrochipDIRECT, for several years now. Dr. Bob has taught classes about TCPmaker at the annual Microchip Masters conferences for several years running. You can be absolutely certain that that if HIDmaker or TCPmaker DIDN'T work, or if it WASN'T a high quality product, then Microchip wouldn't be distributing and recommending our products. Microchip definitely wouldn't allow Dr. Bob to teach a class about something that didn't work.
Notice what Microchip says about our company in their online store:
"Trace Systems is a trusted Third Party Tools Provider."
Take a look at some of the real products that our customers have been able to make with HIDmaker:
In fact, HIDmaker works so well that it is used in some military applications, in places all over the world. Let's be realistic here: if HIDmaker didn't work, those guys with all those guns and bombs would be coming after US, and giving us a LOT of trouble!
Those military guys AREN'T after us, because HIDmaker just works, and they're happy. That means YOU'LL be happy, too!
We recognize that your version of this question may be very specific: "Will HIDmaker work with <my unique application>?" The best way to find out is for you to send us an email, or give us a call. Tell us what you can about your application, so we can help you figure it out.
You don't need to tell us any proprietary secrets (although we can work with you on under a Non Disclosure Agreement if you need that). Most of the time, we can get all the information we need to answer your questions, if you can just describe the kind of data you need to send back and forth between your PC host and your PIC device:
- How much data needs to go IN toward the PC?
- How much data needs to go OUT from the PC?
- How often does that data need to go in each direction?
- Can the format of that data be fixed, or does the format need to change over time?
And don't forget, registered HIDmaker customers are eligible for technical support, which includes expert advice from Dr. Bob on how to structure your HIDmaker FS project to work best in your application.
2) "Is HIDmaker Easy ?"
Our customers all think so. Here are some direct quotes from them:
"Hi, my name is Matt Hocking. Firstly I would like to congratulate you
on creating this great USB tool. You should be really proud of
yourself as it is indeed a high quality and well refined piece of
technology. I programmed the microchip PICDEM USB FS board to transfer
data and control I/O on my first attempt in 10 minutes, without even
reading your users guide, for VB.NET and PBP. Very impressive! I was
I then read your users guide and was again impressed with how easy it was
to understand your framework." - Matt Hocking
"Again, thanks for the help. HIDMaker saved me a huge amount of time on this
project" - Dave Byman
"I do have one more general comment to make about your product. It's
excellent in every way. I have been very impressed." - Robert Galter
"I just wanted to let you know that I just started using my copy of
HIDmaker FS . I have read your entire manual and experimented with the
sample code. I cannot believe how easy and intuitive this product is.
You have really boiled down the development process; I could not be more
pleased or impressed. I find the Visual Data Designer tool to be
The most difficult challenge for me has been to retrain my
thinking of RS232 communication methods to the easy process you have
developed of passing direct variables from the desktop to the PIC.
Everything is so much easier now; I don't feel I really need to fully
understand USB communications to develop hardware/software applications.
Kudos to you and your work for the development of such a powerful
product, it's worth every penny and I could not be more pleased!" - Ryan Sheldon
You too will find, as our customers have already found, that HIDmaker gives you amazing power - with an extraordinarily easy learning curve!
3) "But, can I do it?"
This is the hardest question for us to answer. Because we don't know you, we cannot answer this for sure, but we can help YOU to answer this question for yourself.
You can be reasonably sure that you CAN successfully use HIDmaker if you can say "yes" to these 4 requirements:
- You have a Windows PC and know how to use it to install and run regular everyday software.
- You have a basic understanding of PIC microcontrollers
- You have one of our supported PIC compilers, and a PIC programmer or debugger, and you know how to use those to create PIC code, compile it, burn it into a device, and run it
- You or (another member of your team*) have one of our supported PC compilers, and have enough basic experience with it to be able to use it to compile and run a program on your PC.
Those are the minimum requirements. More knowledge or skills are always helpful, but we do NOT require you to have deep knowledge of any of this stuff. In particular, we do NOT expect you be a USB expert before you can start to use HIDmaker.
We have had successful HIDmaker customers who were not educated as engineers. They have told us "Thanks to HIDmaker, I got a lot farther than I feared. I got it working."
So take heart. YOU can do it, too.
You WILL become a USB expert, after you have used HIDmaker on a project of your own. That's because you'll learn quite a lot by DOING things with HIDmaker.
* We recognize that not everybody is comfortable with working on both PIC microcontrollers, and PC programs as well. Many of our customers use a team of developers, with one person who is the PIC developer, and another person who is the PC software developer. A single license of HIDmaker can be activated on up to 3 PCs, so we can work with several persons on your team. (We have worked with multi-person teams for years.) We DO expect that your company will designate one single person to be the registered user (and that person must actually REGISTER our product with us). That person should be our point of contact with your organization: tech support requests must come from him or her.
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