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[ale] Working with custom hardware/microcontrollers

intro (and semi - pro as well) hacker part; arduino! has IO ports ans can do
cool stuff AND its programmable pretty easily.

On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 1:28 PM, Michael B. Trausch <mike at trausch.us> wrote:

> Hello,
> Recently, I have kind of gotten fascinated with the idea of doing more
> things that would involve hardware, both attached to a PC and controlled
> by microcontrollers.  However, I am also finding that it seems a bit
> difficult to find enough information to get a solid start in figuring
> out what I need to acquire to do things.  It probably doesn't help that
> I'm very much a software person and know very little about actual
> low-level electronics, which is what I would like to learn about.
> I'm wondering if anyone on here has been in that boat and knows of some
> decent resources to use to get started.  I know that I would eventually
> need a breadboard to play with things (though what do you do with a
> circuit after you've prototyped it on the breadboard and then want to
> use it in something?) and that I would need to find a decent amount of
> reading material and also buy collections of wires, resistors,
> capacitors, microcontrollers and all that jazz.  I just don't have a
> clue where to start.
> Many of the things that I would like to do can be done by purchasing
> something that someone else has made, more likely than not, and adapting
> it for my usage.  That's fine, but I actually want to learn about these
> things, and I have a few ideas for what I think might be somewhat small
> projects that would enable me to learn how to do things assuming I can
> find a base to start working with.
> Eventually I would like to have learned enough to do bigger things, such
> as creating custom self-sufficient hardware for various specific
> applications, though I don't have any clue where I would go about doing
> something like that.
> Oh, yeah, and here's something else that I don't have: real serial
> ports.  I do have a USB thing that has multiple serial ports coming off
> of it, but I don't know that I could program them in the same way as a
> "real" serial port.  Probably would be to my advantage to learn how to
> use USB as a communications mechanism for such hardware, wouldn't it?
>        --- Mike
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James P. Kinney III
Actively in pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness
Doing pretty well on all 3 pursuits

 Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by
faith, then you are conceding that it can?t be taken on its own merits.
   Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith", 1992
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