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'[PIC] Some random thoughts regarding tutorials'
2005\11\02@184929 by Bill Kuncicky

picon face
A few days ago I posted my first piclist posting, asking for some advice
about tutorials about pic programming.  I received a lot of very helpful
replies from experienced people, and after spending a few days looking
at the different tutorials thought it might be helpful to other newbies
to give my thoughts.

First, I think that all the tutorials approach the subject from  the
viewpoint of a hardware person who wants to learn something about
programming, rather than from the viewpoint of a software person who
knows how to program (although not a pic) but needs a lot of guidance on
the hardware aspects of things.  The reason that I say this is that a
lot of knowledge about such subjects as, for example, A/D conversion
seems to be taken for granted.  Us programmer types are not necessarily
all that familiar with such things.  :-)  We should be, I agree, but I
think that more emphasis on exactly what is happening with the hardware
in even the most trivial circuit would be useful.

Second, none of the available tutorials really seem to be completely
up-to-date.  I do not know much about how fast Microchip comes out with
new products, and of course am too much of an inexperienced newbie to
really say anything particularly intelligent about this subject, but I
have this feeling that by the time a tutorial  gets written, edited, and
put out for general consumption,  that  the technology has moved on.  
Probably no way to fix that, but it sure would be nice to see a tutorial
that started out with the new stuff available.  (Are there any tutorials
for the new ds30 pics that I read about?)

Third, every tutorial seems to excel in certain areas and be weak in
others.  This probably reflects  the background of the author, and since
they all have done a better job than I could ever do I am definitely not
being critical -- but I would very much second the advice of one of the
people who advised me --  that a newbie should use several tutorials
rather than just one.

Fourth, after reading a good deal, it seems clear that building a
programmer, rather than buying one, is a good idea for a newbie like
me.  Not for someone who is doing this stuff for a living, of course --
but just to further my education as to how all this stuff works.  It
just seems like, to me anyway, that building a programmer and getting it
to work would be important.   I might be wrong on that one, though.

Fifth, and last, one thing that is fast becoming obvious is that my
electronic background is a lot weaker than I thought, after looking at
the material.  I thought my background was pretty good (two years of
pre-engineering), but it definitely needs improving.  Probably most of
us who have played around with electronics have a copy of "The Art of
Electronics," by Hayes and Horowitz, on the bookshelf.  But perhaps a
lot of newbies like me do not know that there is a companion book called
"Student Manual for the Art of Electronics" by the same authors, which
offers a whole lot more down-to-earth details..  I found one of these on
Amazon.Com for $17 and plan to use it extensively in furthering my
knowledge of what I am doing.

And just in case you might wonder just what I am doing, let me just say
that my college education got interupted when the family grew
unexpectedly, and that now I am an associate manager at a place that
does a lot of business around lunchtime.  But I have a little corner of  
the bedroom in the apartment that I can use for a workshop, and by
agreement with my wife the time between 8 PM (after the baby goes to
sleep) and midnight (when I go to sleep) is mine to further my
self-education.

So thanks for listening, and I hope that perhaps some of the comments
are useful to other newbies (I feel sure the old-timers will yawn and
delete  the message.  :-)

Take care,
Bill


2005\11\02@190906 by olin piclist

face picon face
Bill Kuncicky wrote:
> Fourth, after reading a good deal, it seems clear that building a
> programmer, rather than buying one, is a good idea for a newbie like
> me.  Not for someone who is doing this stuff for a living, of course
> -- but just to further my education as to how all this stuff works.
> It just seems like, to me anyway, that building a programmer and
> getting it to work would be important.   I might be wrong on that
> one, though.

I sell programmers, so this may be biased.  Designing and implementing a
good programmer is not an appropriate newbie project.  There's a lot more to
it (if you want to do it right at least) than might be apparent at first.
And what are you supposed to use to program PICs while developing your own
programmer?

There are some very simple programmer designs out there that use just the
parallel port lines, for example, but these have a host of problems.  There
are OS issues, driver issues, voltage issues, etc.  A newbie could build up
one of these with only moderate electronics knowledge, but you end up with a
crappy programmer.  Real programmers contain their own controllers, and take
a lot more than newbie knowledge to create.

I recommend getting a ICD2.  This can be used as both a programmer and
debugger.  You don't want to be worrying about your tools when everything
else is suspect too.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\02@195211 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face
Thanks for the comments! A few comments in response.

I'm becoming a big fan of wikis. With a wiki, with lots of people
contributing, the tutorial could always be up to date since it would be
continously edited instead of being written once, then posted on the web
to rot for years. Second, with multiple authors, you don't get one
author's perspective, complete with weak points. Each contributor can fill
in with his/her strong points. It seems that contributors could vastly
expand on the wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIC_microcontroller .
Pages could be added describing the processor core and the various
peripherals on the chip.

By the way, my start at playing with a wiki is at
http://www.hallikainen.org/BroadcastHistory .

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2005\11\02@195238 by Rolf

face picon face
What a good posting. I agree with most of what you said. It seems that I
am a "newbie" with a similar background, and about 6months ahead of you.

I have done a lot of reading as well. I am a "very experienced" computer
programmer in financial institutions, and if anyone needs help with
Databases, DB2, Oracle, Sybase, even MySQL, feel free to drop me a
line.... but, PICs and electronics in general are pretty foreign to me
(still).

So, one observation as relative newbie: I wish there was a "concept
index". I needed a MOSFET for a recent project, and first I had to
discover that I needed a MOSFET. Then I had to go through the whole
learnong curve f what a MOSFET is compared to a transistor, and why I
couldn't just use a PIC pin, etc. What I needed was to be able to say:
Here is a problem, what are good ways to solve it, and how does one
discover what parts fulfil a given function. I ended up having  just the
PIC, then the PIC with a transistor, then a PIC with a 2N7000 FET,
finally a BS170MOSFET. I would have been much happier if I could have
skipped some of those steps.

Subsequently I have found that I could have used a microchip part as
well in an 8pin PDIP instead of two TO-92 packages...

How does one efficiently find the right part to solve a particular
problem? Does eveyone just know what a 2N???? is?

Back on the subject, and perhaps some next steps for you - (i.e. general
hardware electronics tutorials):

have a look at:
http://www.faqs.org/docs/electric/index.htm

and

http://www.electronics-tutorials.com/

I have found them both to be useful.

Rolf



Bill Kuncicky wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\11\02@202235 by Kenneth Lumia

picon face
> How does one efficiently find the right part to solve a particular
> problem?

Years of training, years of experience, parametric searches
and asking questions.   You may notice that on occasion,
people attempting to answer questions on this list ask
the originator for more information - typically stated as  
"what are you trying to do" as opposed to just answering
the question outright.  They do this because some answers
are "context sensitive".

Ken

spam_OUTklumiaTakeThisOuTspamadelphia.net


{Original Message removed}

2005\11\02@205147 by Bill Kuncicky

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote

>
>> I sell programmers, so this may be biased.
>
I think that probably you are a bit biased, but not in that way.  It did
not escape my attention that your recommendation was for Microchip's
programmer.  :-)

>>  Designing and implementing a
>good programmer is not an appropriate newbie project.  There's a lot more to
>it (if you want to do it right at least) than might be apparent at first.
>And what are you supposed to use to program PICs while developing your own
>programmer?
>  
>
No, I agree.  I could not design a programmer.   If someone came to me
and pointed a gun at my head, and said: "design a programmer, or die
like the dog that you are," then I would just have to humbly ask  them
to aim straight.  No, I could not design a programmer.  But I think that
I can a build a programmer that someone else has designed.

>> I recommend getting a ICD2.  This can be used as both a programmer and
>debugger.  You don't want to be worrying about your tools when everything
>else is suspect too.
>  
>
I said a while back that I thought perhaps you were a bit biased.  I did
not say this lightly -- I have read a lot of the archives, and I know
that you are one of  the guru people on piclist.  Nevetheless, for me,
trying to build something like the programmer set out at WinPicProg is
probably better. I think that your bias is toward assuming that we are
capable of things that we are not capable of.   For one thing, as
ashamed as I am to have to admit it, spending $17 for a copy of the
Student Manual for the Art of Electronics called for a major sit-down
discussion with my wife, and whether the medicine for the eye drops for
the baby could be stretched out for a few days by perhaps giving her
half a drop rather  than a whole drop.  :-)   (That is kind of an
hurting smiley-face, but that is the way life is).  So (and I am not
asking for sympathy, merely stating how the world is operating these
days -- I got myself into this situation, and will get myself out) a
major expenditure for a programmer would take a major decision for us
both.  I would much rather not have to do that.

So I think that I will try and build a programmer, following someone
else's proven design.  And I may very well rue the day, too.  :-)  But I
just have to follow my instincts (although God knows they have not
served me well in the past).

Best regards,
Bill

2005\11\03@014609 by Řyvind Tjervaag

flavicon
face
Hepp...

Vet ikke om jeg sa dette igår, men jeg kjøpte likegodt tre bøker om  lakkering når jeg først var igang. En som var litt generellt on  lakkering og hvordan sette opp lakksprøyte osv. En om flammelakkering  (Classic ikke trueflames ;) ) og en om pinstriping. Her skal det  lakkes. Nå trenger jeg bare litt lakk og noe å lakke på..

Ø

On 3. nov. 2005, at 02.51, Bill Kuncicky wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\11\03@024817 by Řyvind Tjervaag

flavicon
face
Oops... Sorry, that was not ment to go to the piclist....

Øyvind

On 3. nov. 2005, at 07.46, Øyvind Tjervaag wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>> --

2005\11\03@055320 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Bill Kuncicky wrote :

> Second, none of the available tutorials really seem
> to be completely up-to-date.

Why would this area be any different from the
rest of the Internet ? Most of what you find on "the net"
has long passed it's "best before date", including
any PIC info out there.

> I do not know much about how fast Microchip
> comes out with new products,

Several 10's of processorns each year :-)

> Probably no way to fix that, but it sure would be nice to see
> a tutorial  that started out with the new stuff available.

I'm sure all available tutorials did that. Once upon a time... :-)

> Fourth, after reading a good deal, it seems clear that building a
> programmer, rather than buying one, is a good idea for a newbie
like
> me.

Might be. But you could at least start out with a good design.
*My* first programer was a Wisp628 built from whatever I had
available at the time : http://www.voti.nl/wisp628/index.html
Today I resell this programmer in Sweden and have had very
few problems with it.

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik



2005\11\03@085022 by olin piclist

face picon face
Bill Kuncicky wrote:
> For one thing, as
> ashamed as I am to have to admit it, spending $17 for a copy of the
> Student Manual for the Art of Electronics called for a major sit-down
> discussion with my wife, and whether the medicine for the eye drops for
> the baby could be stretched out for a few days by perhaps giving her
> half a drop rather  than a whole drop.  :-)   (That is kind of an
> hurting smiley-face, but that is the way life is).  So (and I am not
> asking for sympathy, merely stating how the world is operating these
> days -- I got myself into this situation, and will get myself out) a
> major expenditure for a programmer would take a major decision for us
> both.  I would much rather not have to do that.

You seem to be genuinely trying to learn something, seem to have a good
attitude, and aren't blaming everyone else for your problems.  Give me your
mailing address and I'll send you a EasyProg kit for free.  For the rest of
you listening in, don't expect me to be giving things away on a regular
basis.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\03@091655 by Rolf

face picon face
Who are you? What have you done with Olin?

Just kidding. Jeez. Makes me feel all generous too.

Rolf

Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\11\03@092103 by Bill Kuncicky

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> >  Give me your
> mailing address and I'll send you a EasyProg kit for free.

That is very tempting, and I appreciate it very much.   It would
certainly solve the problem, and be an easy solution to getting a
programmer going.  However, I'm going to take a pass on it, because to
take you up on the offer would be a violation of my principles.  This
financial hole that I am in right now is just temporary, and I've got a
few ideas on making some extra money.

Take care,
Bill

2005\11\03@093228 by olin piclist

face picon face
"Øyvind Tjervaag" wrote:
> Vet ikke om jeg sa dette igår, men jeg kjøpte likegodt tre bøker om
> lakkering når jeg først var igang. En som var litt generellt on
> lakkering og hvordan sette opp lakksprøyte osv. En om flammelakkering
> (Classic ikke trueflames ;) ) og en om pinstriping. Her skal det
> lakkes. Nå trenger jeg bare litt lakk og noe å lakke på..

Do you really expect a lot of people here to understand whatever
(Scandinavian ?) language that is?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/product

2005\11\03@101747 by Řyvind Tjervaag

flavicon
face
No, that is why I sent another mail right after that one apologizing  for sending it to the PICList, when it should have been sent  somewhere else... ;)

Øyvind

On 3. nov. 2005, at 15.34, Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\11\03@102203 by olin piclist

face picon face
Bill Kuncicky wrote:
> That is very tempting, and I appreciate it very much.   It would
> certainly solve the problem, and be an easy solution to getting a
> programmer going.  However, I'm going to take a pass on it, because to
> take you up on the offer would be a violation of my principles.  This
> financial hole that I am in right now is just temporary, and I've got a
> few ideas on making some extra money.

This reminds me of a parable.  There was this really religious guy living a
religious life and one day a big flood came.  The water was up to his front
porch and someone in a boat came by and offered him a lift.  He said, "No
thanks, the lord will look after me.".  Then the water rose to the second
floor.  As he was looking out the second floor window someone else came
along in a boat and offered him a lift.  He said, "No thanks, the lord will
take care of me".  Then the water covered most of his roof.  As he was
sitting on his chimney yet another person came by in a boat and offered him
a lift.  "No thanks, I trust in the lord and he will take care of me."  Then
the water rose above the chimney and the man was swept away and drowned.

He ended up in heaven and asked the lord "What happened, I trusted in you
and you let me drown anyway?"  The lord replied "What do you mean?  I sent
three boats!"


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\03@104136 by Nelson Johnsrud

flavicon
face
Bingo, Olin.

Bill, take the offer.  It's not a hand-out -- just a helping hand.  The
world needs more helping hands.

Nels

Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\11\03@120038 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

>> Probably no way to fix [out of date tutorials], but it sure would be
>> nice to see  a tutorial  that started out with the new stuff
>> available.
>>
What do you expect for the dollars you're (not) paying?
You could always pay to go to microchip's seminars, or "Masters", or if
you're a big enough customer I'm sure microchip will be willing to send
some people out to sell^h^h^h^h explain all the latest chips to you.
(and surely there's 3rd party training for PICs?  Though I don't know
that I've seen too much along those lines...)

This is complicated somewhat by the fact that "the new stuff" is not
always the best choice, especially for hobbyists.  Much has been said
about the obsolescence of the 16F84, but that's a 12+ year old chip.
There have been plenty of cases where jumping on some new bandwagon
would have been a big mistake (even for real OEMs), and it's certainly
true that not every new chip makes it into the hobbyist distribution
channels that are important if the device is going to succeed in that
rather small market (otherwise, we'd probably all be using motorola
CPUs.)
And "the new stuff" these days includes ALL of PIC12, PIC14, PIC16,
and PIC18 cores, plus the dsPICs and 16-bit (data)  chips...

One might also argue that any tutorial that covers a particular "new"
chip is MUCH too specific to be properly educational, just as
introductory
programming classes tend to teach subsets of whatever language they use.
Microchip's "Masters" conference seems to run about 60 (sixty) classes,
each of which might be considered a 'tutorial' of sorts...

BillW

2005\11\03@124220 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Nov 03, 2005 at 08:52:12AM -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Bill Kuncicky wrote:
> >For one thing, as
> >ashamed as I am to have to admit it, spending $17 for a copy of the
> >Student Manual for the Art of Electronics called for a major sit-down
> >discussion with my wife, and whether the medicine for the eye drops for
> >the baby could be stretched out for a few days by perhaps giving her
> >half a drop rather  than a whole drop.  :-)   (That is kind of an
> >hurting smiley-face, but that is the way life is).  So (and I am not
> >asking for sympathy, merely stating how the world is operating these
> >days -- I got myself into this situation, and will get myself out) a
> >major expenditure for a programmer would take a major decision for us
> >both.  I would much rather not have to do that.
>
> You seem to be genuinely trying to learn something, seem to have a good
> attitude, and aren't blaming everyone else for your problems.  Give me your
> mailing address and I'll send you a EasyProg kit for free.  For the rest of
> you listening in, don't expect me to be giving things away on a regular
> basis.

Olin,

This gesture is mighty good of you.

It's good to see that people still have heart.

BAJ

2005\11\03@161743 by Maris

picon face
At 09:20 AM 11/3/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
>> >  Give me your
>>mailing address and I'll send you a EasyProg kit for free.
>
>That is very tempting, and I appreciate it very much.   It would certainly
>solve the problem, and be an easy solution to getting a programmer
>going.  However, I'm going to take a pass on it, because to take you up on
>the offer would be a violation of my principles.  This financial hole that
>I am in right now is just temporary, and I've got a few ideas on making
>some extra money.
>
>Take care,
>Bill
>--

Bill -

How about this: I could send you parts for TWO programmers; then you could
assemble both and send me one - that would certainly be a bargain for me. I
don't have plans for any programmers, so you would have to find one on the
net and send me a parts list. Also, you would have to assemble the
programmers on perf-board because I wouldn't have any PCBs for them.

As an alternative, you might reconsider accepting Olin's generous offer -
you could assemble the kit (which would come complete with a PCB) and then
use it until you could move on. Then you could return it to Olin, or pass
it on to someone else wanting to learn about PICs. That way it would just
be a loan, plus you would have done the work of assembling it.

For PICs, I would recommend using the PIC18xxx series; they have more
features, yet don't cost much more than the older PIC16xxx chips. So
whatever programmer you choose, you should make sure it can program the
18xxx series.

For tutorials, you might want to check out
www.mikroelektronika.co.yu/english/index.htm
They have a free PIC book online which is pretty good.
You could also look at
http://www.voti.nl/jal/index_1.html

Maris



2005\11\03@173717 by Bill Kuncicky

picon face
Maris wrote (and several other people wrote other things):
> > How about this: I could send you parts for TWO programmers; then you
> could assemble both and send me one
Come on guys, give me a break, huh?  Olin's offer was a very generous
offer, and I deeply appreciate it.  Probably more than any of you
realize, because it affirmed the view that I have of myself, which
sometimes, usually while lying sleepless just before dawn, I start to
doubt.  But I can't take charity. Period.  Not in any form, and no
matter how well intentioned.  It is just a part of who I am, for better
or for worse.  I'll get my problems solved -- it will just take a little
time and patience.  And if you all want to swear at me for being so
stiff-necked, I cannot help that -- nothing that any of you might say
could even begin to compare with the opinion that my in-laws have of
me.  :-)  So please drop it, OK?   I'll do fine.  I'm young, healthy,
and by the time the wee one is old enough for me to start teaching her
to program, I'll have something going.  I understand that some of the
previous generations (from what my father-in-law tells me) generally
spent 2 or 3 years wasting their time (his view) in the military, so if
I have to spend a couple of years catching up on what I foolishly threw
away (my education) things should still average out

Bill

2005\11\03@180843 by olin piclist

face picon face
Maris wrote:
> As an alternative, you might reconsider accepting Olin's generous
> offer - you could assemble the kit (which would come complete with a
> PCB) and then use it until you could move on. Then you could return
> it to Olin,

I'm not looking for it back.  Besides I've got plenty of used EasyProgs of
various revisions bumping around here.  Bill can do whatever he wants with
it.  The offer still stands, but I can't do anything without the address to
send it to.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\11\03@194355 by davedilatush

picon face
Rolf wrote...

>So, one observation as relative newbie: I wish there was a "concept
>index". [...] What I needed was to be able to say:
>Here is a problem, what are good ways to solve it, and how does one
>discover what parts fulfil a given function.

The closest I think you'll come to such a "concept index" are the
application notes written by the major semiconductor vendors.
They're goldmines full of information.

National Semiconductor, Linear Technology, Texas Instruments,
Fairchild Semiconductor, Analog Devices, and Maxim (as well as
others) all have large collections of appnotes that you can
download from their websites in .pdf format.

These cover a huge variety of topics and application problems in
electronics, most of them from exactly the angle you're trying to
take: here's a problem, how can it be solved and which components
have qualities that make them particularly suited to solving that
problem.

>How does one efficiently find the right part to solve a particular
>problem?

By narrowing the search domain.  Nearly all of my designs use
parts from a very short list of "favorite devices," ones which I
use repeatedly and with which I've become very familiar so I have
a good feel for what they can and can't do.  

The list changes gradually over time, driven by technology and
economics and the meanderings of my current "problem mix", but
I'd guess that at any given point in time I do 99% of my
designing with fewer than four dozen different semiconductor
components (counting transistors, MOSFETs, diodes, opamps,
instrumentation amps, comparators, voltage references and voltage
regulators).

So when the "right" component is defined as "something suitable
from my current 'stable' of parts", it becomes fairly easy to
find.

Hope this helps a bit...

Dave D.

2005\11\03@222440 by Rolf

face picon face
Actually, it helps a lot.

What you are really saying is that I have no hope of finding a place
with "all the answers", and that experience counts for a lot.

I guess I will have to just earn some experience.

Thanks for the pointer to the app-notes as well. I should have taken the
hint earlier as I have certainly scanned a lot of the Microchip ones.

Rolf

Dave Dilatush wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\11\04@023425 by Ian Stewart

flavicon
face




> Bingo, Olin.
>
> Bill, take the offer.  It's not a hand-out -- just a helping hand.
> The world needs more helping hands.
>
> Nels
>
I would second that.

Ian


2005\11\04@053714 by Juan Cubillo
flavicon
face
OK Bill, if you don't accept charity then let's make a deal:
I can send you a JDM programmer with one condition, that you program a PIC
16F628 and send it back to me. You keep the programmer.
I'll even send you the PIC so you don't have to buy it!!!
Charity..NO
Just one man who needs help helping another helping needed man (or something
like that...)
What do you say???
Juan Cubillo

{Original Message removed}

2005\11\04@071437 by Hazelwood Lyle

flavicon
face
Bill,
First, welcome to the Piclist.
It's not always a quiet neighborhood, but I think you'll get along just fine.

Second, I can suggest a GREAT general-purpose embedded devices tutorial. Stay
subscribed, and try to devote time every day to keeping up with the message
flow here at piclist. Over time, you will be exposed to some of the most diverse
opinions in the business. When everyone agrees on a given subject you can
consider it to be  pretty solid information. When everyone seems to disagree you
can study each perspective and really learn a lot more.

It's here, for only the cost of an internet connection and the time it takes to
review each days discussions.

Later, as you learn more, you will probably contribute to the list yourself, helping
others. You may answer them on or off-list, depending on your willingness to subject
yourself to the.. umm, "diversity of opinions". :-)
(WARNING: Some list members are NOT fond of off-list replies, lurk and learn)

In any case, I'm glad you're here, and I hope you stick around for a good long time.

Lyle Hazelwood

2005\11\04@074822 by Juan Cubillo

flavicon
face
> OK Bill, if you don't accept charity then let's make a deal:
> I can send you a JDM programmer with one condition, that you program a PIC
> 16F628 and send it back to me. You keep the programmer.
> I'll even send you the PIC so you don't have to buy it!!!
> Charity..NO
> Just one man who needs help helping another helping needed man (or
something
> like that...)
> What do you say???
> Juan Cubillo



2005\11\04@084441 by Bill Kuncicky

picon face
Juan Cubillo wrote:
> OK Bill, if you don't accept charity then let's make a deal:
> I can send you a JDM programmer with one condition, that you program a PIC
> 16F628 and send it back to me.
Thanks, my friend, but no.  One thing that seems to be forgotten here is
that I am just starting out with learning about this stuff.  I initially
asked about some tutorials, then started this thread just to make some
comments on what I had learned so far (and thought might be useful to
some other people at the same level of development that I am at).  
Looking back, I am not really sure just how needing a programmer even
got into the deal.  I think that someone suggested that I *need* a
programmer, and that I need a programmer *now* or something like that.  
Then things just kind of cascaded, and if I were really smart I would
take everyone up on all these offers and open my own business.  :-)  
But, the point is that right now I could no more program a PIC 16F628
than I could fly a jet plane.  I do not know what is involved.  If it is
a hard thing to do, then I would have a problem, and if it is an easy
thing to do then you could just do it yourself and still have your
programmer.

Take care,
Bill

2005\11\04@124502 by John Nall

picon face
Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> > I'm becoming a big fan of wikis . . (snip) . .  It seems that contributors could vastly
> expand on the wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIC_microcontroller .
>  
Hmmmm.  Thanks for pointing me to that.  I didn't even realize that it
existed (although I had heard about the "wiki" concept while listening
to "Talk of  the Nation" on NPR).   Just out of pretty much idle
curiosity, who wrote that particular one?  (About  the
PIC_microcontroller, I mean).  Seems like there would be some
identification of the author, but I sure didn't see one.  I suspect  
that it was someone at Microchip, since they list "Microchip
programmers," but none of those produced by people like Wouter, Olin  
and others. Not that there is anything wrong with listing the ones made
by Microchip, of course, since they make good stuff.  But for someone
looking for information at the wikipedia seems like it would be nice to
have it as complete as possible.

2005\11\04@140308 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>  Just out of pretty much idle
> curiosity, who wrote that particular one?  (About  the
> PIC_microcontroller, I mean).  Seems like there would be some
> identification of the author, but I sure didn't see one.

AFAIK the concept of 'author' does not exist for a wiki - everyone can
edit. IIRC I did edit some PICmicro wiki at some popint in time - but
probably not this one.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\11\04@142114 by John Nall

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > AFAIK the concept of 'author' does not exist for a wiki - everyone can
> edit. IIRC I did edit some PICmicro wiki at some popint in time - but
> probably not this one

Guess you're right.  I just went in and edited the one that I was
talking about, to add the information that there are also programmers
available from other sources than just Microchip, and at no point was I
asked to provide any information as to who I am or how come I am smart
enough to be putting stuff in  there.   This is a new concept to me, and
I am not sure whether I think it is a good idea or not.  (Not that it
makes the slightest difference what I  think or do not think, of
course.  :-)

2005\11\04@155539 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
PICList.com offers similar ability to edit pages, but only after
registration. Anyone can add comments to the bottom of the pages, but they
are visible only to the poster and to admins until they are approved.

Wiki systems are suffering more and more from abuse such as spam, vandalism
and even personal vendetta. See
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_vandalism

I think piclist.com is a bit ahead of its time in dealing with this. I get
web casino sites trying to add links all the time.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\11\04@161134 by Harold Hallikainen

face picon face

> PICList.com offers similar ability to edit pages, but only after
> registration. Anyone can add comments to the bottom of the pages, but they
> are visible only to the poster and to admins until they are approved.
>
> Wiki systems are suffering more and more from abuse such as spam,
> vandalism
> and even personal vendetta. See
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_vandalism
>
> I think piclist.com is a bit ahead of its time in dealing with this. I get
> web casino sites trying to add links all the time.
>
> ---
> James.


I read that the LA Times tried a wiki and had to pull it down immediately
due to vanalism.

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com

2005\11\04@161753 by John Nall

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> PICList.com offers similar ability to edit pages, but only after
> registration. Anyone can add comments to the bottom of the pages, but they
> are visible only to the poster and to admins until they are approved
>  

I seem to have a vague recollection that when I was active on the
piclist a few years ago, before dropping out to do other things which
needed to be done, that I tried to put a tutorial that I wrote on
piclist.com, and had a terrible time doing so.  My own fault, of course,
but the point is that it was pretty difficult to figure out how to do
it.   Has that gotten better?  I would like to do some more tutorials,
concentrating on the ds30F3013 because I don't think there is too much
material available on that, and piclist.com would certainly be the
appropriate place for such things.   I like the idea of having to
register to edit stuff -- I completely understand about the wikipedia
being open to everyone encouraging participation, but guess I just do
not have the faith in human nature that the people that run such a thing
apparently do.  Citizens' Band Radio being a prime example (gosh, I hope
that was not a political thing to say -- it is awful trying to not say
anything controversial!!).

2005\11\04@163813 by Stephen D. Barnes

picon face
John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

If you are really considering a dsPIC tutorial, I for one would be
excited to read it!

--
Regards,
Stephen D. Barnes

2005\11\04@164749 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Piclist.com is pretty easy if you use standard HTML. Just write what you
want at your local PC using html or an html authoring program, then go to a
good starting page at piclist.com (e.g. for a tutorial on PIC USB interface,
go to piclist.com/microchip/serial ) and log in, then use the form at the
bottom to enter a new file name (e.g. usb.htm) and add a title in the big
comments box and press Add.

That will make a blank page and make you the owner. Now go to the new page
and click on "Edit source" or "Edit HTML" buttons. Open your HTML document,
pick the part between "<body>" and "</body>" and copy that out, then paste
it in before the </BODY> in the page on piclist.com

Or if you have a good internet connection and IE5.5 or better, you can write
it using the WYSIWYG editor on piclist.com. That editor is not perfect, but
it works for most things. You just create the new page as before, then click
on "Edit" or "WYSIWYG Edit" and start typing. You can do the standard bold,
italic, underline stuff and add links, lists, and block quotes from the tool
bar. The show HTML works but the Table and Heading buttons need help. Save
often using the "Update" button.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\11\04@175131 by John Nall

picon face
Stephen D. Barnes wrote:
> > If you are really considering a dsPIC tutorial, I for one would be
> excited to read it!

Oh, I'm really considering it.  The only obstacle to beginning is that I
haven't yet figured out just what sort of format to use.  That is,
whether to go with a dry, academic approach (which is what I am used to
doing) or to try and go with what seems to be the usual PIC approach of
each chapter (lesson, whatever) being a little project all on its own
(the Myke Predko approach).  I guess I lean toward the latter, but that
is harder since I don't have an engineering background.  Of course, I
could take a good existing tutorial for something like the 16F84 or
whatever and just adapt that (assuming permission from the author, of
course).  But anyway, I am definitely planning on doing such a thing, if
only for friends.

2005\11\05@124829 by Peter

picon face

On Fri, 4 Nov 2005, John Nall wrote:

> Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>> > AFAIK the concept of 'author' does not exist for a wiki - everyone can
>> edit. IIRC I did edit some PICmicro wiki at some popint in time - but
>> probably not this one
>
> Guess you're right.  I just went in and edited the one that I was talking
> about, to add the information that there are also programmers available from
> other sources than just Microchip, and at no point was I asked to provide any
> information as to who I am or how come I am smart enough to be putting stuff
> in  there.   This is a new concept to me, and I am not sure whether I think
> it is a good idea or not.  (Not that it makes the slightest difference what I
> think or do not think, of course.  :-)

True democracy is a scary concept to most ;-)

Peter

2005\11\06@083145 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> I read that the LA Times tried a wiki and had to pull it down immediately
> due to vanalism.

I find the Wikipedia /extremely/ useful. I never found an entry I
considered "crap". And I find this amazing, considering the concept.

Gerhard

2005\11\07@114109 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
Just back from a week in Kourou where I got up "close and personal" with an
Ariane 5. ;))

>So, one observation as relative newbie: I wish there
>was a "concept index". I needed a MOSFET for a recent
>project, and first I had to discover that I needed a
>MOSFET. Then I had to go through the whole learnong ...
> I would have been much happier if I could have
>skipped some of those steps.
>
>Subsequently I have found that I could have used a
>microchip part as well in an 8pin PDIP instead of
>two TO-92 packages...
>
>How does one efficiently find the right part to solve a
>particular problem? Does eveyone just know what a 2N???? is?

Oh what an insight - now if only every person that asked a question could
have such an understanding of why they then find themselves on the receiving
end of 100 questions ...

2005\11\07@115653 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Bingo, Olin.
>
>Bill, take the offer.  It's not a hand-out -- just a
>helping hand.  The world needs more helping hands.

I would agree. Do not think of Olin's offer as charity. The payback is that
at some stage in the future you help someone else. I am sure that some
disabled charity would thank you for building something that makes some
disabled persons life easier, once you get to a point where you can use your
new found knowledge.

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