The implementation of a control and development program for a local area network (LAN) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3f4629772

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  • Rapid advances in technology have seen computing move from a large central computer to desktop microcomputers. This advance was also seen in the design of dedicated computers, computers designed to perform a few specialized tasks or duties. These computers, or microcontrollers, are often controlled by a central computer and themselves perform a large variety of tasks ranging from the monitoring of equipment, to the control of automated machines. Since these microcontrollers could be scattered around in the number of sites, many of them are interconnected by Local Area Networks (LANs). One such experimental network of microcontrollers, the Task*Master, was developed at Oregon State University. The Task*Master system consists of a central personal computer (PC), and a number of smaller single board computers interconnected on some form of network. The PC issues commands (called tasks) to the microcontrollers to have them perform specific jobs. A number of network configurations have been developed for the Task*Master system, but none have included a application program for organizing and scheduling the Task*Master units. The Network Control Program (NCP) provides these needed capabilities. The NCP program provides high level support for the Task*Master system. It is designed to be a development enviroment for the creation and execution of programs to manipulate the Task*Master microcontrollers in a useful manner. To achieve that goal, it contains access to a text editor, file manipulation facilities, lists of the Task*Master units connected to the PC and the tasks that they can perform, and a program interpreter that executes programs written in a simple programming language. The NCP program language contains the basic programming structures, such as IF/THEN statements or WHILE loops, as well as arithmetic and logical operators and functions. A number of other functions provide access to the Task*Master network for the transmission of commands, and reception of data. The program provides the Task*Master user the ability to create a program that controls the Task*Master units in whatever fashion he desires. The type of control system does not matter, as the PC can be reprogrammed to fit the situation.
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