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software and cpu loads

Hiya all recently i have been making a program to read information from my cars ecu in vb 2008 it works via a serial port.....

Now my question is how come other programs can read the same information and process it and display it on the screen with out any cpu load ??

Because the serial data is incoming very fast its running 9600 bps proberly not that fast but for my program to keep up to date with it i have to use a loop basicly constanly reading the serial port which destroys the cpus speed and loads it up i tryed using timers on vb but they only go down to 1 ms !

So basicly how do other programs read that information quick enough with out drawing lots load on the cpu ???? do i need to use a diffrent langauge maybe because vb is not good enough ??

Cheers tom :)

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