[time-nuts] Updated Shera controller
hmurray at megapathdsl.net
Thu Jul 29 01:48:55 EDT 2010
stanley_reynolds at yahoo.com said:
> Full circle back to the software, the number of units sold, the cost per
> hour and time to complete project would determine the software cost. Would
> not surprise me if the software would be the biggest expense till you break
> the 1000 unit mark unless the cost per hour was very low. As a hardware guy
> at heart it is hard for me to assign a cost/value to software ;-)
That line of thinking is probably appropriate for a commercial project.
For a hobby/volunteer project, software can be free. Consider Lady Heather
as an example.
In this context, there are two types of software. There is the software you
run on the board you build. There is also the software you use to develop
the software you run.
I'm assuming a volunteer would write the software just like volunteers have
I'm not familiar with windows. I think PIC and AVR come with free software
for windows which works well with their low cost development platforms. The
compiler may be crippled to get you to buy the real version from somebody,
but I'm pretty sure it's good enough to get well off the ground.
I'm not familiar with what's available from the vendors for ARM.
gcc has good support for PIC, AVR, and ARM. There may be better, but it's
well past good enough. (It runs on windows if you use cygwin.)
If you aren't using the vendor packages, you also need a utility to download
the compiled bits. I'm pretty sure I could find one, and/or write one from
There might be a third type of software, a library that you use in the
software you write, say a FFT package that's optimized for the CPU you are
using. In the context of low volume hobby projects, it's probably
simpler/cheaper to use a bigger/faster CPU.
Or perhaps you need an OS. If you depend on a commercial OS, somebody would
have to buy a license. Linux is free and runs on ARM. NetBSD runs on ARM.
I'm not sure about the other BSD variants. That's 1/2 :) I expect most of
the code we would be interested in would be low level, just collect the data
and pass it off to a PC to do the number crunching, display, and archiving.
As such it doesn't need an OS.
These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.
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