Re: Free Alternative to PicBasic?

Mel wrote:
mike wrote:

I spent much of the day reading about Arduino. That looks interesting
too. I haven't convinced myself to spend the $20 to buy one, but I might
come around.

It's fun to be able to run up a program in, like, an hour, push it into the Arduino in seconds, and watch it go. I break with Arduino pretty soon after that, because their packaged solutions are too -- packaged. For example, you can get a well-made Ardumoto "shield" board that will stack on an Arduino main board and run 2 DC motors or the 2 windings of a stepper motor through an L298 H-bridge. You can't really stack a second Ardumoto to control a second stepper, because the L298 control lines route straight back to the selected processor pins, with no room for patching or jumpering, so running a second independent shield takes cutting and carving. Making up a prototype board with an ATmega and L298's is just as simple.

Maybe this is endemic to open hardware -- what you get for nothing is somebody else's solution to somebody else's problem. Can make for interesting reading, which is good, but once a project starts to develop you wind up solving your own problems yourself, just like the old days.


I got all excited about the arduino and set an alarm so I could snipe one
on ebay this evening. Decided to read the Atmega328 manual while I wait.
The architecture reminds me of the 8051. I really liked the vectored
interrupts...but things started to go down hill from there.
I want more I/O pins.
I liked the built-in voltage reference until I learned that it's
+/- 10%...that's worse than the VCC accuracy that the PIC uses.
And the A/D is specified for Vref = 4V. Not any mention (anywhere that
I could find) of the A/D specs for Vref = the reference voltage.

I'm sure it has its advantages for some classes of application, but for
what I'm doing, I can't see any advantage worth learning a whole new
architecture and language and toolset.

Won't be no sniping today...