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[DPRG] Families

Subject: [DPRG] Families
From: Sluggy slugmusk at linuxlegend.com
Date: Thu Jun 28 12:08:46 CDT 2001

Mike McCarty wrote:

> You spent $10 for the 68HC11, but you spent $100 for the Pentium.
> To put it another way, there is nothing preventing you from
> experimenting with the Pentium except your own choices.
> Have you ever tried to design using the Pentium?

In the example given, that Pentium might be 10 times the cost of a 
68HC11, but perhaps 100 times more complex and difficult to utilize, 
making the 'HC11 quite a bargain. :) Again, a choice in the complexity
of the design.

Of course, maybe the best way for a hobbyist to utilize such a powerful 
CPU is to build on the work of others, maybe by using an 850MHz Pentium 
PC motherboard, off-the-shelf components and software to make a robot 
programable in a high level language. This lets the hard work of CPU 
and peripheral design land on the shoulders of people who are really 
good at that and leaves the hobbyist free to experiment with higher 
level activities and theories without being mired in the minutia of 
component level hardware design. 

This is also why powerful MCUs like the 'HC11, 8051, PIC and (insert 
your favorite here) are so popular among robotics hobbyists. We get 
to design and build the actual robots rather than having to figure 
out how to make a CPU drive a 10mA load or how to connect RAM and 
DACs and I/O chips to the CPU's bus. People that are really good at 
that have already done those things for us.


(who is still gathering a huge collection of parts and has not 
completed a rolling robot in about two years!)

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