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Re: Programming language recommendation?



JW wrote:
> Along the same line: anyone on here doing PIC programming or know of a 
> list for beginners? From CW keyers to Antenna control units and 
> everything in between it looks like it would be fun to program some 
> gadgets for around the shack...

Without lighting up a PIC/AVR flamewar, I've pretty much entirely moved 
from PIC to AVR.  The hardware is generally two to four times faster for 
the same clock rate (gets more done per cycle) and is easier to program 
- you can make up an AVR programmer for the parallel port that's 
basically three resistors!

Furthermore, the toolchain is much better for AVR - Microchip are only 
interested in pushing their frankly dreadful Windows-only MPLAB 
software, while Atmel actively contribute to avr-gcc, a cross-platform 
toolchain based on the industry standard gcc.  The whole AVR community 
seems a lot better than the PIC one, and I say that as a long-standing 
user of PIC microcontrollers.

In short, PIC is great, but the community isn't as strong and the tools 
are rubbish.  On the other hand, Microchip are always more than happy to 
  sample parts and their customer support is *excellent*.

AVR is technically superior in pretty much every way, with an excellent 
community.  Unfortunately Atmel's tech support are a dour bunch who are 
often hard to get good information out of, and not great at sending samples.

I haven't tried the ARM-based AVRs or the MIPS-based PICs yet, though. 
Those might be something to tempt me back to Microchip, if MIPS is as 
good as I remember it ;-)

Gordon
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