Once upon a time, long ago when the electronics ran on steam, there was something called "the serial port". A "real" serial port, not the "serial port via USB" that has been common for some time.
And back in those days, it was common to connect things to computers across this port. (Of course, we still use a "serial port" to connect things... but it is OH so much simpler these days.)
This essay was particularly directed to people who wanted to connect Arduinos to "big" computers, e.g. a Windows machine.
These days, you just plug a USB cable between the Arduino and the Big Computer, and it Just Works. In the Bad Old days, you plugged the Arduino into a little extra bit of electronics, the "serial adapter". The one based on a chip from a firm called FTDI was popular. Then you plugged the adapter into the Big Computer. In the Very Old Days through a "real" serial port. We then graduated to FTDI adapters that could "talk" to the Big Computer across a USB interface. (Best thing since sliced bread, the USB interface!) But you still weren't done. You often had to complete a tedious do-it-once task: "install the drivers". Drivers are still part of the picture (9/23)... but their installation usually "just happens" without any hassle for the user.
And, in case you didn't infer the following from the above: We no longer need the extra bit of electronics between Arduino and Big Computer.
This is sketchy... put here as much for my own wants as anything else... but, just in case it helps the other dinosaur on the planet that might want it...
I had an ModernDevice USB-BUB interface cable, for programming Arduinos over a USB port... or for general TTL-serial to USB wants, too, of course.
The chip at the heart of it: An FTDI FT232RL
I had an old XP laptop I wanted to use it, and the Arduino IDE with. (The IDE installed like a charm from a sneaker netted copy of the standard install file for vers 1.8.1)
Plugged in... Windows told me it "couldn't find driver".... even when, reluctantly, I let the laptop connect to the web, and search.
So I unplugged the adapter, and...
Went along to...
FTDI's drivers for VCP page
Fetched the .zip for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, x86 (32-bit)... CDM 2.08.24 WHQL Certified.zip
Opened the .zip in Windows (File) Explorer. Did select all. Copy.
Created a new, empty folder. Did Paste.
Plugged adapter in again. Got usual New Hardware Wizard. Told it NOT to search internet or use the automatic Windows. Said I had disk. Drilled down to the folder I'd created.
There were TWO "things" to install. Sorry... doing this from memory a few hours after the process. Files ending ".inf"? One for "Port" one for... Ummm.
I think I did the "port" one first. As soon as it was finished, the New Hardware Wizard, essentially, restarted itself. I then said "do the other one now." New Hardware Wizard ran to completion this time. And, without restarting computer or anything, ALL WAS WELL!... Launched Arduino IDE, and it "saw" the "serial port". ("Tools/Port").
So... until all our XP machines finally die... THANK YOU FTDI for supporting us! (They also support Linux, where Windows 10 is driving me, at least!)
Search SheepdogGuides.com site, including much of my Arduino material...
What's New at the Site / / Advanced search
This search tool (free to me and to you) provided by FreeFind.com... whom I've used since 2002. I'm happy with them... obviously!
Unlike the clever Google search engine, FreeFind's merely looks for the words you type, so....
* Spell them properly.
* Don't bother with "How do I get rich?" That will merely return pages with "how", "do", "I"....
Disclosure: FreeFind tells me what people have searched for. It doesn't tell me your personal details. (If someone would "spy" on you, wouldn't they also feel free to lie in a "privacy statement"? Not to say I'm not lying... how can you tell?... but to say "What are privacy statements worth?".
The search engine merely looks for the words you type, so....
*! Spell them properly !*
Don't bother with "How do I get rich?" That will merely return pages with "how", "do", "I", "get" and "rich".
I have other sites. The Freefind search will not include them. They have their own search buttons.
My SheepdogSoftware.co.uk site.
My "wywtk.com" site...WhatYouWantToKnow
My Skywoof.com site.
My oldest-still-going site is at http://www.arunet.co.uk/tkboyd/index2.htm but that does not accept httpS access. An image of most of it is also available at https://skywoof.com/aru/index2.htm
Ionos site hosts my website, and I wouldn't put this link up for them if I wasn't happy with their service. (They haven't been much help to me in respect of the transition from http -> https, but perhaps that is an impossible task. Sigh.)
Click here to visit editor's Sheepdog Software (tm) freeware, shareware pages.. Material on this page © TK Boyd 17 Sep 23
Click here to visit the homepage of my biggest site.
Click here to visit editor's pages about using computers in Sensing and Control, e.g. weather logging.
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AND tested for valid CSS
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