[time-nuts] PICTIC II ready-made?

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 19:57:36 EDT 2012


On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM, WB6BNQ <wb6bnq at cox.net> wrote:

> Chris,
>
> Your undying devotion to the Arduino is laudable.  However, the point that
> i
> think you are missing is such functionality is also available on other
> platforms
> with the same amount of ease and support.  If you take someone who has
> never
> seen, touched nor had any knowledge of any computing process, then you
> would find
> that they would have just as much beginning trouble with the Arduino as
> any other
> platform.
>

No, some platforms are harder than others.  Building an FPGA powered
project at home is harder than writing a Perl script.  Using a bare AVR
chip is harder then using the same chip inside an Arduino.  Try listing all
the skills one must learn to make an LED blink on various platforms.

You are correct about no platform being perfect.  Arduio is not well suited
to anything that you are going to manufacture.  The unit cost and size are
both 10X to high and it lacks enough power for things like signal
processing.  It is well suited to building one off projects that don't
require much compute power.

It's advantage is that it makes uP development slightly easier than writing
a Perl script.   The user does not need to know much.


I've used all kinds of computers,  Mainframe machines to control radars and
uPs to control head movement on a disk drive and I used a Linux system once
inside a CCD camera.

In this case I thought if the PicTic were to be redone I'd like for it to
be "hackable" by beginners who don't know a lot about TICs or uPs.  If you
make it to complex people will see it as a black box



> A true computer NERD would have the ability to flexibly deal with different
> platforms, as each have their strengths and weaknesses.  Thus no one
> platform is
> perfect and you chose the one that best fits the project.
>
> Bill....WB6BNQ
>
>
> Chris Albertson wrote:
>
> > On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Attila Kinali <attila at kinali.ch>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Wed, 25 Apr 2012 08:45:52 -0700
> > > Chris Albertson <albertson.chris at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 5:50 AM, Bill Dailey <docdailey at gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I have wondered the same thing.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > It might be time for a group project to design a "Pictic III" that
> uses
> > > > parts that are readily available.   Today I'd build it around an
> Arduino
> > > > rather than a PIC even if the cost is more.  Arduino is programmable
> by
> > > > __anyone__ and plugs into a USB port, no onwwouldhave to supply
> programed
> > > > chips and because it is so easy to program maybe some users would
> try to
> > > > make improvements and offer them to others.
> > >
> > > May i ask what makes the arduino programable by "__anyone__" ?
> > > Sofar, i only had a look at the hardware of arduino, but never looked
> > > at the software side, as for me, who is regularly writing C code for
> > > bare metal uC applications, the software part is solved if i know that
> > > gcc can generate code for the architecture in question.
> >
> > I can do the same thing too.   But there is a steep learning curve for
> most
> > people.   What makes the Arduino easy for beginners is the combination
> of...
> >
> > 1) A boot loader that makes the Adruino self programmable over USB.  No
> > other hardware is required.  This also means EVERYONE has the same
> > programming hardware so the software can hide the fact that it is even
> > being used.  No "settings" to figure out
> >
> > 2) The IDE is written in Java and is portable.  It is truly identical on
> > all platforms.  Yes it uses gcc but the end user never has to deal with
> gcc
> > or even know what gcc is.  Same with saving your code, hit just puts it
> > "some place" and keeps track of it
> >
> > 3) There is a library of functions that work together.   and the library
> is
> > the SAME on even Arduino so all the example code "just works".  you can
> cut
> > and paste code between projects.   Most people when they write programs
> are
> > really stringing together library calls.  So it takes two lines of code
> to
> > get the value from an ADC and send it over USB to a PC.
> >
> > 4) There are lot of books and on-line training materials and all the
> > examples work on all platforms and on all Arduino compatible devices.
> >
> > 5) it is fast.  I can change a line of code and then hit the "load"
> button
> > and seconds later the changed code is running on the Arduino.  It is
> almost
> > like programming an interpreted language
> >
> > 6) The whole system was designed so that artists and designers could us
> > microcontrollersin their projects.     The first test project I did was
> to
> > read the voltage from the wiper on a 100K pot and display it on an LCD
> > screen.   It took a little over an hour and that included wiring up the
> > hardware, plugging the Arduino into the computer.  Then I unplug the USB
> > cable and connect a 9V battery and I have a portable toy project.
> >
> > Chris Albertson
> > Redondo Beach, California
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-- 

Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California



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