I’ll admit it… I trash talked the Arduino platform. I’ll also admit that any comments I made were entirely unfounded. Like other people I know, I equated the Arduino platform’s simplicity with “restrictiveness” and “cheesyness.” I don’t know why, but I kind of viewed it as the “VB” of microcontroller programming (ie: good for n00bs, but really bad otherwise). I used to laugh at people who had their little toolboxes with their cute cut-to-length wires and kits.
Well, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong, and my skewed (and unfounded) opinions of the Arduino have now vanished. Instead of equating the Arduino platform with “VB” rather than something cool like C# or F#, I now view it as a type of mini .NET platform. My main concerns with the Arduino were the fact that the hardware was standardized to work properly (at the time I was playing with specialized chips like the AT90CAN32) and the fact that there is a bootloader on the chip wasting space. Read more…
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I only wish the Arduino was created earlier. I’ve always used breakout boards since most chips like this need “just a few components”, but when everything went surface mount, and fine-pitch, it became too hard (or even when you can find a DIP using a breadboard for the crystals, caps, etc. would often be a pain, and then you can’t do anything where they might come lose).
I keep several Pro-Minis around (3.3v 8Mhz), and several Seeed Megas (with all the pins – I have 4 input captures, 3-4 serial, and lots of everything else).
There are arudino libraries, but I usually use my own Makefiles and the base GCC AVR libraries since I do custom interrupts which don’t fit into the environment, but that is part of what makes it so flexible – I can still program it using the arduino bootloader far more easily – The whole can be used, or whichever parts are useful.
I ported the arduino bootloader to another device (jpeg trigger) so I could more easily test new software. Others are porting it to things like the xmega.
I still need the dragon for things like ATtiny85s but for most things I start with the arduino.
Thanks so much for the kind words and for mentioning my blog on your site! Stay tuned, in the next week or two I hope to have video up of Arduino assisted mind-control of physical objects by interfacing it with my EEG 😀