[amsat-bb] Re: Programming language recommendation?
Gordon JC Pearce MM3YEQ
gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Sun Oct 5 03:18:18 PDT 2008
> 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 ;-)
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