Best way to get started with Arduino

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Oh, yeah? Well I put on a one-man version of Hair that my neighbors lauded as “nightmare inducing”!


Another item not available outside the US. Thanks Mark!!

But what can you do with Arduino?

Best way to get started with Arduino

I thought that was just man arduino.

More like what can’t you do.

Our library (in Canada) just got ten of these kits; having seen a bunch of Arduino kits in my day, I have to agree. This kit is worth the price of admission.

It has a great book, tons of neat bits to fiddle with, and enough to keep one busy for a good while.

You didn’t really answer his question, but it does bring up the interesting philosophical idea of whether a list of things something can do and a list of things something can’t do are the same thing.

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The Arduino is a very good idea for non-engineers interested in STEM, but if you really want to understand what happens at quite a low level in computing, I think the PIC is a good bet. 35 instructions, on-chip peripherals and for most jobs doesn’t need external oscillator parts - just connect up a battery and go. With the PICKIT programmer/debugger, available for around $20 from Chinese sources, and a few components, it’s possible to get a real feel for low level programming - bit diddling and none of these fancy branches.

Even Arduino is a long way in abstraction from where things started, and the Pi is a very long way away. The PIC is more like a 6502 but with built in timers, serial ports and A/D converter, for around $1.

Later this year I may if I summon up the energy, and if there’s any interest, put up some documentation and source code for running a tiny near real time system on the PIC 16F721, with sample code for all the on chip peripherals.

The PIC means that with a soldering iron and some prototype board you can build a practical, working embedded controller that does some actual work for under $5. The initial learning curve is quite steep but it is much more like “engineering” than coding.

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