getting started with the Finch in NetBeans

This year the robotics team is using The Finch for teaching the new programmers about programming.  The robot is cute and I know I’d want to play with it so I bought one too.

While I like Eclipse better than NetBeans, the programming team uses NetBeans.  I decided to try out NetBeans with the Finch so I’m familiar with their platform/interface.  I’ll want it soon enough anyway to check out NetBeans projects from git.

Step 1 – Install NetBeans on the Mac

  1. Download NetBeans – the basic JSE edition
  2. Open dmg file which allows you to choose to run the installer.
  3. Choose defaults and install
  4. When first launch NetBeans asks if want to install JUnit.  (not clear on why JUnit doesn’t come with NetBeans – it comes with Eclipse)
Step 2 – Import Finch project
This one took me a few minutes.  You need to
  1. Download the NetBeans project
  2. Copy it to the NetBeans project directory which is /Users/me/NetBeansProjects on a mac
  3. In NetBeans, File > “open project” and then drill down to Finch.
Step 3 – Run a program
  1. Connect the Finch’s USB to your computer.  (The tutorial doesn’t say this, but it is implied.)
  2. Per the tutorial, choose Run > Run File.
  3. Enjoy the Finch.  It’s so cute!
Step 4 – Run a different programs
I very carefully misunderstood the instructions about not choosing Run > Run and did it anyway.  Luckily, you can choose Run > Run File and have it ignore your preset default.  Or you can completely unset it by editing the file FinchBeans/nbproject/project.properties and removing the main class line.  Then I can remember to choose Run > Run File.

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