Programmed my first PIC (Programmable Integrated Circuit) last night.
Nothing special, I built a testbed kit, downloaded a TEST prog from Silicon Chip magazine, burned it to the PIC 16F84A (using a separate programmer kit I built last weekend), moved the PIC to the testbed and powered up. A row of LEDs lights up one by one. I couldn't be happier if I had built a space able rocket.
Well perhaps I would, but this was a great moment. To me PICs represent ultimate versatility. i know there are "better" chips out there, eg AVR, but for a lowskill grunger like myself, the PIC is perfect. The ability to take inputs and choose an poutput based upon the inputs appeals to my software-enabled brain. The world of doing all this with pure circuitry has always left me cold. I can understand what a resistor is, what it does, how V=IR etc, but I have never been able to grasp the "bigger picture" of how it all fits together and how a group of circuits allows a certain behaviour.
But with PICs, I write the code that tells the chip how to behave. And there are a thousand+ sites out there with hundreds of circuits I can snaffle to act as the inputters for the PIC. So I just need to work on pure logic design, where my limited strengths are at their best. So for example, I could have a circuit that measures temperature, windspeed, depth etc, and when a certain threshold is met, the PIC tells something to happen. Whether this is a motor starting up and moving the PIC away from the input, or it could be a text message transmission at 433 mHz (these addons are under $10 each!) I have a lot of options. Imagination is the limiter.
I'm off to the pool to see S and plan a revolution.