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PICList Thread
'Programmer backup (was 16C84 serial numbers)'
1995\11\18@045342 by David Tait

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Newfound Electronics wrote:

> Good designs and the back up for them look like disappearing soon.

Jim, I wonder if you could elaborate on the above statement.

> But I don't see the designers of these programmers jumping up and down
> to help anyone out ...

Perhaps I'm just touchy this morning but as the designer of a simple
16C84 programmer I would like to point out that, although short of
jumping up and down, I do try to help people out.  I have setup a
FTP site where help notes and user contributed software can be found:

ftp://ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/micro-controllers/PIC/

and I answer all queries relating to the programmer as promptly as
possible.  All the information, software and help is given free of
charge.

David
--
spam_OUTdavid.taitTakeThisOuTspamman.ac.uk

1995\11\19@031536 by Newfound Electronics

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{Quote hidden}

For the benefit of all others, I offered david my thoughts on these matters
in private email *before* I read his above reply and *after* he had posted
it so they actually crossed in the mail by coincidence.

David has emailed privately since and there is general agreement on the
problems people at the entry level face with their first programmer. In
fact, David was able to expand further with his own experiences. It was a
very useful exchange and a pity the thoughts were not shared publicly.

So theres no issue between myself and David relating  to the second point
above. (unless David disagrees.) So those looking for a reply with a bit of
bite, sorry!

I consider David to be a pioneer and his efforts honourable. Certainly, none
of my remarks were aim at David,  or necessarily anyone else. If help is
available to users for these programmers great, If they're happy, I'm happy
and will shut up.

If you look back in the last two weeks there has been requests for help with
cheap programmers on the piclist. It would have been nice to be able to
point to a source of help in these cases . This is what I have based my
thoughts on, nothing else.

As my comment has lead David to remind us of his offerings, it has proved to
be of some use to all of us concerned.

As long as there is clear understanding by all parties, everyone is
protected especially the new comers who can't be expected to know what to
look out for.

Regarding my first statement:

" Good designs and the back up for them look like disappearing soon."

I hope this is just a paranoid rambling but I am concerned that the volume
of cheap programmers may mean "mid level" programmers are squeezed out of
the market. This would mean a big jump from your first programmer to a full
production programmer.

If something works as it is supposed to then I guess you could say that was
a "good design."

What I refer to by "good design" is something that is high in utility,
automation and sophisication etc. but with great ease-of-use. If even an
experienced PIC user was to design a programmer for all the PICs and
possible programming options, I feel they would be stunned by the level of
sophisication possible.

Long list goes here:  "   "

Throw in some extras like OTP fuse protection, serial numbers, configuration
files the possibilities add up. This is before you come up against ID
locations that appear, disappear and change there size depending on what
documentation you look at, Checksums with similar problems, program modes
and commands for the 16C84 join in on the act etc. You have a lot to contend
with.

My fear is that  cheaper programmers will capture the imagination and
market, and mid level programmers that do the above and  generally keep
up-to-date will be the ones to go.

I hope my fear is unfounded  but this is what I meant if it clears the
matter up.

Regards and thanks for my  indulgence with the "soap box."

Jim

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