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[DPRG] beginner microcontroller options

Subject: [DPRG] beginner microcontroller options
From: kooger yap kyappc at time.net.my
Date: Thu Sep 2 19:48:44 CDT 2004

There is a site www.stampinclass.com which has many downloadables like 
tutorials and "What is microcontroller ?" book

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Comer" <me at kencomer.com>
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2004 9:16 pm
Subject: [DPRG] beginner microcontroller options

> From: "Alex Flores" <alexflores1980 at yahoo.com>
> > Also, while I'm at it, I was wondering if anybody knew a nice
> microcontroller for a robot novice like me to play around and
> experiment with.  I figure I'll start off messing with LED's, and
> when I'm good at that, I can move on to servos and other things.
> It sort of depends on what you mean by "nice microcontroller for a
> robot novice." Do you really, really mean that you want to get down
> to the opcode by opcode microcontroller programming? Or do you just
> want something cheap and easy to use that can still be used a long
> time from now?
> If you really really really meant "microcontroller," then read this
> paragraph. If you meant "some kind of processor in the middle," jump
> on down to the next paragraph. I'm playing with the PIC 16F. The
> resources and we-did-it-this-way documentation for this
> microcontroller are far and away the best and biggest. Let me say
> that again for emphasis. There is a HUGE set of resources for usage,
> projects, finding problems, etc etc etc. If you want to build
> towering castles one grain of sand at a time, this is definitely the
> best way to go. It's Harvard architecture with around 14bit words for
> program instructions up to 16k words or so, a couple hundred bytes of
> read/write data RAM, and a few k EPROM/FLASH data memory (vague
> numbers are because there are dozens of chips in this family). I
> don't recommend this approach even though it is the one I am taking.
> I have some radical and probably stupid ideas I want to try out, and
> I need to get down to this level to produce what I think I want.
> There's also some decent documentation from some chip in the Motorola
> 68000 family (68HC111?). This would be more familiar to you if you're
> used to dealing with von Neuman architecture processors (i.e.,
> processors that only have one kind of RAM that is used
> interchangeably for data space and program space). This is not really
> a microcontroller in my view, but some people call it that. It's a
> little pricier, but this chip is used at a lot of universities for
> pretty sophisticated machines. The big plus for this is that you can
> get some "here is how you make a fairly complex robot step by step"
> documentation.
> But I saved the best for last. If you don't care to relearn
> everything from scratch, go look at the BASIC Stamp at
> http://www.parallax.com/ It programs in a dialect of BASIC (and the
> "cpu" is an entire tiny computer on a chip-sized motherboard that has
> a PIC mcu at its heart). I can't recall who, but someone in DPRG even
> had a nice PC board that could be used to slap together a line
> follower pretty quickly with this. (Who was that masked man?)
> --
> The UN, the CDC and the WHO all say in blunt, unequivocal terms, "A
> flu pandemic is inevitable." Maybe not to your town and maybe not
> this year; but history shows us to expect three per century. The
> important hallmarks have already appeared this summer. Get a disaster
> kit. Twenty-first century cultures are highly mobile and
> Avian/Swine/Human flu hybrids kill even young, healthy people. Get
> masks, gloves, no-cook food for 3 days, and easily prepared food for
> 3 weeks. Do it today. The worst that can happen is you end up with
> spare groceries.
> The life you save will be someone you kiss, someone you hug, or
> someone you see every day. (If your life is so bad you hate all the
> people you see every day, then pray for plague.)
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