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'FS PM Emulator stuff'
1999\04\15@111905 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Darrel Johansen wrote:
>
>      "John A. Craft" wrote:
>      >
>      > I guess i'm gonna move to some other emulator, but here's a chance
>      > to get an emulator at my loss.
>
>      Tjaart wrote:
>      > >Are you going to buy the new Mchip emulator? I have a PICMaster
>      > and am pissed that I have to buy a new emulator just because
>      > they say so.
>
>      No one at Microchip is forcing anyone to buy a new emulator.  People
>      are still buying PICMASTERs, and they are quite a bargain now.

If I migrated to a new PIC device, I'd have to buy a new emulator. If that
isn't 'forcing', it is at least 'aggressive coercion'. You guys know very
well that companies spend huge amounts of cash on development platforms,
so to change to a new one is usually not cost effective.

The only reason the PICMaster is a bargain now, is because it will only
support old devices. Clearing the shelves so to speak.

>      We're proud of our new design and hope that our customers will
>      appreciate all the labor and hard work that's gone into the product.
>      It's quite competitively price for the features, and, if I do say so
>      myself, the support is tremendous.   And did I say it runs under
>      MPLAB? :-)

The support from our local distributors Pace is incredible. I have
said this many times before. I have spent many fruitfull hours with
my trusty PICMaster, so I'll be the last one to bash it.

This brings us to a next point.

ATMEL has sent us a free emulator. The price of the AT90LS8535 is half
the price of the 16C877 (with more performance), and they even offered
to port our current PIC code to the AVR platform. We obviously need to
make a major platform desicion soon, so I need to know if Microchip
is coming to the party. The current pricing policy on the midrange
PICs is to say the least, surprising.

Do you think that Microchip is willing to revise this policy soon?

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1999\04\15@113406 by John A. Craft

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>is coming to the party. The current pricing policy on the midrange
>PICs is to say the least, surprising.
>
I must agree.  Considering how long these parts have been in production, it
seems the price can be lowered.  The competitors seem to think so, it
doesn't seem to cost them as much to make microcontrollers.

>Do you think that Microchip is willing to revise this policy soon?
>
Oh, i'm sure this is gonna fly.  While I know and trust the products, can
someone say cash-cow?

Jc.



John A. Craft                                                   (601)689-8103 Vo
ice
Sr. Systems Analyst / Vice President                    (601)689-8130 Fax
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1999\04\15@115921 by Dave VanHorn

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> This brings us to a next point.
>
> ATMEL has sent us a free emulator. The price of the AT90LS8535 is half
> the price of the 16C877 (with more performance), and they even offered
> to port our current PIC code to the AVR platform. We obviously need to
> make a major platform desicion soon, so I need to know if Microchip
> is coming to the party. The current pricing policy on the midrange
> PICs is to say the least, surprising.


Welcome to the dark side :)
I've been working with the 8515 for almost two years now. It's a nice box.
If it helps, I have some sample code at http://www.dontronics.com that may help you
get started with the device. It's called (for lack of a better name)
"Getting Started"
I have a later version here with LCD code examples in 4 and 8 bit mode, and
better R/C servo code.

I've done pics too, I'm not going back there by choice.

1999\04\16@012903 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Hi Darrel!

Darrel Johansen wrote:
>
>      Tjaart wrote:
>      >If I migrated to a new PIC device, I'd have to buy a new emulator. If
>      >that isn't 'forcing', it is at least 'aggressive coercion'. You guys
>      >know very well that companies spend huge amounts of cash on
>      >development platforms, so to change to a new one is usually not cost
>      >effective.
>
>      >The only reason the PICMaster is a bargain now, is because it will
>      >only support old devices. Clearing the shelves so to speak.
>
>      PICMASTER supports most current devices, not just "old" ones.  I don't
>      know why you think we do "aggressive coercion."  Many people on this
>      list probably design products that have a life cycle, then come out
>      with newer, cheaper, better products.  How many provide a free new
>      product (or even discounted as MPLAB-ICE is for PICMASTER users) to
>      those who purchased the first product?

As far as we have been offered (without asking) :
1) ATMEL (we haven't even bought 1 chip from them yet..)
2) Fujitsu (..or from them..)
3) Hitachi (..or from them..)
4) Scenix (..or from them)

As far as we've accepted :
1) ATMEL (it is being couriered as we speak)
2) Scenix (aaaah - real speed : can anyone remember the yeeeehaaaah thread a while ago? ;)

>      I think ATMEL should give everybody a free emulator.  Will they give one
>      to everyone on this list?  They could also give everyone free parts, too,

I agree completely. It will level the playing field for some real competition.

>      then our prices would be infinitely more expensive. On the other hand,
>      we'll still be in the microcontroller business and be able to provide
>      parts for you in the future. :-)

Hell, the ideal is for you to pay us to take the parts ;) I suppose we'd
have to pay our customers to take our product too, then.

>      I don't set prices or policy, and this portion of the discussion should
>      not be done on the PICLIST.  It sounds like ATMEL is being very aggressive
>      trying to steal you away from Microchip.  We'd like to have your business,
>      but PACE decides whether they can give you a competitive offer.

We are a 'registered' user, so we are already getting a good price (in Microchip
terms). We are not talking about the prices being a little high, or even out of
the ballpark. We are talking a *fundamental* Microchip pricing policy. This is the
reason I have (at personal financial risk) taken this to this public forum.
Pricing affects every user on this list, so this forum is perfect. I am now
even considering a voting section on my 'PIClist' web page.

I have no intention of bashing PICs (they are nifty little devices), but you
(Mchip) have been becoming more and more complacent in you pricing policy.
You have made a meteoric rise in the electronics world because of a good
vision, and a lack of serious competitors. Times have changed. It is now
time to adapt.

Just for the record :
1) PACE has absolutely no reason to nail us with high margins on Microchip,
  because they (like the other major Mchip distributor in SA), can also
  supply us with ATMEL.
2) I have many, many times before praised Mchip for the realistic pricing
  on the 12CXXX (and now the 16C505) devices.

BTW I have taken the [OT] out of the subject line. This is very
much on-topic.

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1999\04\16@015200 by Gerhard Fiedler
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At 07:42 04/16/99 +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>>Darrel Johansen wrote:
>>      >The only reason the PICMaster is a bargain now, is because it will
>>      >only support old devices. Clearing the shelves so to speak.
>>
>>      PICMASTER supports most current devices, not just "old" ones.

that sounds like marketing speak. the original poster said "will only
support old devices." if my semantic parsing works, this means that in the
future ("will") it will not support any new (starting from now on) devices.
which is exactly what microchip told me.

>>      I don't set prices or policy, and this portion of the discussion should
>>      not be done on the PICLIST.

>BTW I have taken the [OT] out of the subject line. This is very
>much on-topic.

i agree with tjaart, this is not only appropriate, it's probably even on
topic (for me, at least :)

where else could someone exchange (and read about) experiences regarding
real world comparisons in real projects of pics with other micros in the
same range? at the microchip site?? :)  and since not all here are
hobbyists, pricing and price policy is very much an issue for a number of
people here, just as much as silicon bugs or emulator prices.

ge

1999\04\16@021551 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
> i agree with tjaart, this is not only appropriate, it's probably even on
> topic (for me, at least :)
>
> where else could someone exchange (and read about) experiences regarding
> real world comparisons in real projects of pics with other micros in the
> same range? at the microchip site?? :)  and since not all here are
> hobbyists, pricing and price policy is very much an issue for a number of
> people here, just as much as silicon bugs or emulator prices.

Exactly.

This discussion seems to have caused quite a negative response
from Mchip. It should be seen as a helping (or is that a waking)
hand. No-one is trying to close their doors - just to keep ours open.

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1999\04\16@024308 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 08:28 04/16/99 +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>This discussion seems to have caused quite a negative response
>from Mchip. It should be seen as a helping (or is that a waking)
>hand. No-one is trying to close their doors - just to keep ours open.

yes, and it's always interesting, and in some cases really illuminating, to
hear about what kind of support who gets from which distributor or rep or
manufacturer. for independents these infos are worth =a=lot=, and they are
hard to get. and it sure would help if mchip had something helpful to say,
other than aggressive defense.

ge

1999\04\16@104939 by John A. Craft

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>I have no intention of bashing PICs (they are nifty little devices), but you
>(Mchip) have been becoming more and more complacent in you pricing policy.
>You have made a meteoric rise in the electronics world because of a good
>vision, and a lack of serious competitors. Times have changed. It is now
>time to adapt.

I may not be so high minded on this.  Some develop as employees of larger
companys and can withstand a few thousand every now and again, but in my
case I am developing a product to sell myself.  Sure if I do a good job and
with lots of luck maybe it'll become a high-volume product, but for now,
i'm stuck in the poor developer mode and pay full price for everything.  I
got in to this with my eyes open and knew what the cost were, but dropping
multiple thousand's, so I can use a new part.

UnFair.

>Just for the record :

Yes, the PicMaster has been a good product.  There have been times when the
POD or the probe has "died", but MicroChip was VERY responsive to get me
back up and running.  I will continue to use the PicMaster, unless someone
decides they need it :).

Jc.



John A. Craft                                                   (601)689-8103 Vo
ice
Sr. Systems Analyst / Vice President                    (601)689-8130 Fax
Nation Computer Services, Inc.                          http://www.ncs-ssc.com
MSAAP Bldg 9101, Room 105D                                      KILLspamcraftKILLspamspamncs-ssc.co
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1999\04\16@111822 by Peter Tran

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Can you tell me more about Scenix chips. I don't know anything about them.
Thank you.


----- Original Message -----
From: Tjaart van der Walt <RemoveMEtjaartTakeThisOuTspamWASP.CO.ZA>
To: <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 1999 10:42 PM
Subject: Re: FS PM Emulator stuff


Hi Darrel!

Darrel Johansen wrote:
>
>      Tjaart wrote:
>      >If I migrated to a new PIC device, I'd have to buy a new emulator.
If
>      >that isn't 'forcing', it is at least 'aggressive coercion'. You guys
>      >know very well that companies spend huge amounts of cash on
>      >development platforms, so to change to a new one is usually not cost
>      >effective.
>
>      >The only reason the PICMaster is a bargain now, is because it will
>      >only support old devices. Clearing the shelves so to speak.
>
>      PICMASTER supports most current devices, not just "old" ones.  I
don't
>      know why you think we do "aggressive coercion."  Many people on this
>      list probably design products that have a life cycle, then come out
>      with newer, cheaper, better products.  How many provide a free new
>      product (or even discounted as MPLAB-ICE is for PICMASTER users) to
>      those who purchased the first product?

As far as we have been offered (without asking) :
1) ATMEL (we haven't even bought 1 chip from them yet..)
2) Fujitsu (..or from them..)
3) Hitachi (..or from them..)
4) Scenix (..or from them)

As far as we've accepted :
1) ATMEL (it is being couriered as we speak)
2) Scenix (aaaah - real speed : can anyone remember the yeeeehaaaah thread a
while ago? ;)

>      I think ATMEL should give everybody a free emulator.  Will they give
one
>      to everyone on this list?  They could also give everyone free parts,
too,

I agree completely. It will level the playing field for some real
competition.

>      then our prices would be infinitely more expensive. On the other
hand,
>      we'll still be in the microcontroller business and be able to provide
>      parts for you in the future. :-)

Hell, the ideal is for you to pay us to take the parts ;) I suppose we'd
have to pay our customers to take our product too, then.

>      I don't set prices or policy, and this portion of the discussion
should
>      not be done on the PICLIST.  It sounds like ATMEL is being very
aggressive
>      trying to steal you away from Microchip.  We'd like to have your
business,
>      but PACE decides whether they can give you a competitive offer.

We are a 'registered' user, so we are already getting a good price (in
Microchip
terms). We are not talking about the prices being a little high, or even out
of
the ballpark. We are talking a *fundamental* Microchip pricing policy. This
is the
reason I have (at personal financial risk) taken this to this public forum.
Pricing affects every user on this list, so this forum is perfect. I am now
even considering a voting section on my 'PIClist' web page.

I have no intention of bashing PICs (they are nifty little devices), but you
(Mchip) have been becoming more and more complacent in you pricing policy.
You have made a meteoric rise in the electronics world because of a good
vision, and a lack of serious competitors. Times have changed. It is now
time to adapt.

Just for the record :
1) PACE has absolutely no reason to nail us with high margins on Microchip,
  because they (like the other major Mchip distributor in SA), can also
  supply us with ATMEL.
2) I have many, many times before praised Mchip for the realistic pricing
  on the 12CXXX (and now the 16C505) devices.

BTW I have taken the [OT] out of the subject line. This is very
much on-topic.

--
Friendly Regards          /"\
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|R&D Engineer : GSM peripheral services development|
|--------------------------------------------------|
| Mobile : RemoveMEtjaartspamTakeThisOuTsms.wasp.co.za  (160 text chars) |
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1999\04\17@073629 by paulb

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> and since not all here are hobbyists, pricing and price policy is very
> much an issue for a number of people here, just as much as silicon
> bugs or emulator prices.

 Eh?  You mean *quantity* pricing, don't you?  Those of us who are
presently hobbyists are *very* concerned about units and tens.
"Hobbyist" doesn't mean "idiot with money to waste" in this sense.

 (I hope ;-)

 Of course, we simply aren't going to buy a PICMaster or ICE in the
first place.

 Who knows?  *Some* of us might even commercialise at some stage.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\04\17@104033 by Eric Oliver

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I know it's hard to put a group of people in a box.  Many hobbyists, like
me, have an idea but are doing on their own time.  Every "hobby" project I
do is related toward learning how to build my 'idea'.  Truly, it may never
pan out but if it does quantity pricing is certainly important.  When
selecting a component I do pay attention to quantity pricing and how it
would affect the price of my 'gadget.

I selected the PIC because, being new, the price was pretty good and there
was mountains of information on the Net.  I had never heard of the AVR
until recently. Certainly the first version will be with a PIC because my
course is set.  Because of recent traffic on this list, I'm going to learn
about the AVR before redesigning for future versions. It sounds like a
great chip !

Eric
{Original Message removed}

1999\04\19@010718 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Peter Tran wrote:
>
> Can you tell me more about Scenix chips. I don't know anything about them.
> Thank you.

It is a flash-based chip that was designed to compete
with the lower-end PICs. To be able to do this, they
designed the chip to be compatible (understatement) with
the PIC architecture. Microchip sued the shit out of them,
but all except one (I think) cases were thrown out of court.

The designers at Scenix underestimated their efforts. They
wanted to create a chip that would be fast enough to enable
us to stick all the peripherals like asych comms (RS232),
I2C, SPI etc in the hardware with enough processing power to
also drive your application. Boy, were they wrong! The SX
runs so fast (20 times faster than a PIC), it has opened
a whole new world of applications to microprocessors,
including even FPGA/GAL emulation.

They have an example that runs 8 full duplex asynch ports
at 19200 baud (I could be wrong on the exact baud rate) on
one chip. There is even a reference design with a full 2400
FSK modem on a single SX chip.

They have a whole range of plug-in 'virtual peripherals' on
their web site. These are no more than chunks of tested code
that you use in your programs to emulate hardware.

Check out their web site at http://www.scenix.com

--
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