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PICList Thread
'Where do PICs come from :-)'
1996\05\05@135141 by Wilf Melling

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Does anyone know where I can find information on the development of the
PICs or the company(s) that started it all off.

I found a brief history at T.A.K.Designs Web page and mailed the
contributors by one no longer works for Mchip and the others mail
bounces.

I have been using the 16C84 for a home alarm and it's OK but I can not
compare it to other devices. I would like to know what is making the
little devils so popular?

again,
gratefully yours
--
Wilf Melling
Tel. +44 802 633888

1996\05\06@095131 by Thomas Coonan

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>Does anyone know where I can find information on the development of the
>PICs or the company(s) that started it all off.
General Instruments?

>I would like to know what is making the little devils so popular?
 - Simple assembler, such that many people do not feel intimated to
   use it.  Therefore, people can bypass compilers are other vendors.
   Tools are far less intimidating than ones application.
 - One-chip design.  May be re-assuring that you don't have to figure
   out the boiler-plate CPU circuit with RAM/EPROM, etc.  Even though
   it may be easy, feels nice knowing you can immediately begin on your
   actual application.
 - PICSTART assures folks that $200 (or whatever) gets you going.  The
   SIM makes you feel like you don't need to spend the money for an
   emulator if you're cheap.  Tools are on WEB.
 - Let's face it... DIGIKEY..


I'm curious what you find.  I like Techno-History, too.

1996\05\06@141226 by Eric Smith

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Wilf Melling <spam_OUTwilfTakeThisOuTspamMELENG.DEMON.CO.UK> wrote:
>Does anyone know where I can find information on the development of the
> PICs or the company(s) that started it all off.
...
> I would like to know what is making the little devils so popular?

Thomas Coonan <.....Thomas.CoonanKILLspamspam@spam@SCIATL.COM> replied with a list of reasons,
including:
>  - PICSTART assures folks that $200 (or whatever) gets you going.  The
and
>  - Let's face it... DIGIKEY..

And don't overlook Parallax.  Today there are many vendors selling
inexpensive PIC development tools, but it wasn't always like that.  When
I first heard about the amazing new CMOS EPROM-based PICs (yes, there were
older NMOS masked-ROM parts), I thought they would be really useful in my
designs.  So I called Microchip and got info on development tools.  They
wanted many thousands of dollars for the assembler, simulator, and a really
horrible programmer.

It wasn't until about two years later that Parallax hit the scene with their
$200 programmer that included an assembler.  And apparently a lot of people
had been in the same situation as I; the things sold like hotcakes.

After a while, Microchip's marketing people finally got a clue, and started
giving away their assembler and simulator, and selling the inexpensive
PICSTART programmers.

PICs appeared in the Digikey catalog later, and while it was a good thing,
I don't think it was essential to the PIC's acceptance.

Cheers,
Eric

1996\05\06@145730 by John Payson

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> I have been using the 16C84 for a home alarm and it's OK but I can not
> compare it to other devices. I would like to know what is making the
> little devils so popular?

For me at least, my love for the 16C84 stems from its easy in-circuit
programmability and (given that ability) fairly low cost.  While it is
still possible to spend $$$$ for a PIC emulator, an almost-as-good
system (given the price) can be built from scratch in a couple of hours
with under $30 of parts.  Personally I'd like to see Radio Shack start
carrying the things--RS has some amplifiers, glue logic, and such along
with a cool ISD chip [voice recorder]; throw on a PIC and you should be
able to do all sorts of cool stuff.

1996\05\06@151345 by Andrew Warren

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Eric Smith <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> When I first heard about the amazing new CMOS EPROM-based PICs (yes,
> there were older NMOS masked-ROM parts), I thought they would be
> really useful in my designs.  So I called Microchip and got info on
> development tools.  They wanted many thousands of dollars for the
> assembler, simulator, and a really horrible programmer.

Eric:

I'm surprised that you were quoted such a high price... Around here,
that programmer (the original PICPRO) sold for $500; qualified
customers got one for free.  I don't know anyone who's ever paid for
any version of the assembler or simulator.

-Andy

Andrew Warren - .....fastfwdKILLspamspam.....ix.netcom.com
Fast Forward Engineering, Vista, California
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

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