communication using serial port in c

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i want to comunicate to external electronic circuit through the serial port of PC. how can i do it in C.
is there any specific instruction in C for serial interface as it is there for parallel port like outportb or inportb?
will it be sufficient to connect the RX,TX & gnd pins of the RS 232 connector to the circuit?
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Serial programming is a complex topic in any language on any platform.  Specifics of exactly how to do it will depend on what computer, OS, compiler, toolkit, etc. you are using -- can you tell us?  

Generally speaking, C does not contain "specific instructions" (statements) for serial I/O.  On the other hand, 'outportb' and 'inportb' aren't standard C, so perhaps you're using a specialized version of C that DOES have special statements.  See your documentation.

For best results you should connect not only RX,TX, and GND, but also the other RS-232 control lines (e.g. RTS, DTR, CTS, CD).  Some serial hardware will work with only RX/TX/GND, but some will not.

What C compiler you plan to use?
Tx, Rx and Gnd pins are all u need yes! , i have some code here to help,  it sends a text file,  maybe it can help you :)

#include <dos.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>

#define COM1 0x3F8
#define Inter COM1 + 1                 /* Interrupts On/Off                                                       */
#define FIFO COM1 + 2                /* FIFO Control Register                                                   */      
#define LCR  COM1 + 3               /* Settings for Baudrate/DLab etc                                       */
#define LSR COM1 + 5               /* Line Status Register                                                 */

  /* Serial Ports Base Address */
  /* COM1 0x3F8                */

void cominit(void);                     /* Function Prototypes */
void readfile(void);
void polling(void);



 return 0;

/************************************ Functions *****************************************/

void cominit(void)
      outp(Inter , 0);   /*            Turn off interrupts                                                       */

 /*                                     COM1 - Communication Settings                                               */

       outp(LCR , 0x80);  /*            Set DLAB On                                                                   */
       outp(COM1 , 0x03); /*            Set Baud rate - Divisor Latch Low Byte                               */
                             /* Default 0x03 =  38,400 BPS       */
                        /*         0x01 = 115,200 BPS       */
                        /*         0x02 =  57,600 BPS       */
                        /*         0x06 =  19,200 BPS       */
                        /*         0x0C =   9,600 BPS       */
                        /*         0x18 =   4,800 BPS       */
                        /*         0x30 =   2,400 BPS       */

       outp(COM1 + 1 , 0x00);              /* Set Baud rate - Divisor Latch High Byte                   */
       outp(LCR , 0x03);                          /* 8 Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit                              */
       outp(FIFO , 0xC7);                    /* FIFO Buffer Register Settings                             */



void readfile(void)
 int data,i,flen,charcount;
 char filename[30];                 /* Filename 30 chars maximum                                    */
 char fdata[50000];                      /* Filesize 100,000 maximum                                          */
 FILE *fp;                               /* File Pointer                                                            */

 printf("Enter filename to transmit as string\n");
 scanf("%s", &filename);

 flen = strlen(filename);                     /* If filename > 30, Error                                    */

 if (flen > 30)
      printf("Filename too large\n");
      goto getfile;

 fp = fopen(filename,"r");                       /* Open file for a read                                     */
             if ( (fp == NULL))
                   printf("Error in opening the file for reading\n");
                  goto getfile;
                   data = getc( fp );                   /* Read first char                                                */

   charcount=0;                                      /* Count up num of characters in file                   */

      while ( !feof( fp ))
         {                                                          /* Not end of file, so read char                           */
         fdata[i] = data;                        /* Read characters into array                              */
             data = getc( fp );                   /* Read the next char                                        */
         charcount=charcount+1;                  /* Increment character count                               */

   while (i != charcount)
   outp(COM1,0x00);                                    /* Send End of Transmisson Character                  */
   printf("\nFile Sent Successfully");


 void polling(void)
 int c=0,charcount,i;
 char data=0x01;
 char filename[20];                                     /* Filename 20 chars maximum                              */
 char fdata[50000];
 FILE *fp;

 while ( data!=0x00 )                              /* Data not equal to End of Transmission            */
 c = inp(LSR);
            c = inp(LSR);                            /* Check to see if char has been recieved            */      

            data = inp(COM1);                        /* Get the next char                                          */
             fdata[i] = data;                         /* Write the char into array                            */
         charcount = charcount +1;

      printf("Enter path to save the file to\n");

 fp = fopen(filename,"w");                        /* Open a file for a write                                    */

 if ( (fp == NULL) )
       printf("Error in opening the file for writing\n");
             while(i != charcount)
                    putc(fdata[i], fp );             /* Write chars to file                                          */
    printf("\nFile Received Successfully");

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I have this completed now and can send any file over the link,  .exe, .doc  whatever!  i can get you that code if u would like
hmm if the circuit you wanna comunicate with is a transciever device or radio device u will need more than these 3 pins yeah,  are u converting the RS-232 logics with a max-232 chip yes?
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