I just have a few general questions that those with more experience could easily answer.
I am working with an arduino, and interfacing with various devices such as the PC that I use to write the arduino C code, which is obviously plugged in via USB, and I have had success with a serial link to an iphone by connecting the tx/rx pins.
What sort of data integrity guarantees are there for the serial link? For example if the cable connecting two devices becomes frayed or damaged, what sort of changes might I expect my data stream to undergo? Could it start receiving garbled data, or will it just cut off?
Is its functionality fully encapsulated by a byte stream? Suppose I want to relay 16-bit numbers. My first and only instinct is that I must come up with my own protocol (big-endian or little, for example) to pack my data into a byte stream and write to the port? It functions more or less like a network socket (minus the concept of packets) does it not?