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'recommended PIC books?'
2004\04\21@194822 by Wouter van Ooijen

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I will be teaching a course in assembler programming on 14-bit core
PICs, for ~ 19y old students Informatica (~ computer engineer / computer
science). Can you recommend a book? These guys do know the basics of
binary artithmetic, digital electronics etc, so it can be just PIC
architecture and assembly.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\21@200103 by Tom

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Not exactly a book but a good learning tool: MPLAB.

Write code, run the simulator, see what happens. For people who "know the
basics of
binary artithmetic, digital electronics etc," I think it will immediately
produce good, quick, foward progress.  Many, many questions to the piclist
could be answered more quickly by simply typing a few lines into MPLAB and
finding out how some instruction really works.

From what I understand, your JAL system would be a good follow on to MPLAB
and assembly code.

Absolute beginners might need more of a text book but the people you
describe should really take off by actual hands-on mode.

Just a guess.
HTH,
Tom


At 01:50 AM 4/22/04 +0200, you wrote:
>I will be teaching a course in assembler programming on 14-bit core
>PICs, for ~ 19y old students Informatica (~ computer engineer / computer
>science). Can you recommend a book? These guys do know the basics of
>binary artithmetic, digital electronics etc, so it can be just PIC
>architecture and assembly.
>
>Wouter van Ooijen
>

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2004\04\21@204138 by M. Adam Davis

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The only book I have looked through that would apply is Myke Predko's
Programming and Customizing the PICMicro Microcontroller:
http://www.myke.com/pic-book.htm

It covers the basics ( a chapter to each):
Microcontrollers
Microchip PICmicro
PICmicro architecture
Instruction set
Hardware features

And then goes through another 12 chapters on various other aspects.
It's a large book (1200 or so pages) and it isn't cheap, but it's less
expensive than most textbooks I've had to buy for school.

There are other books available that cover the PIC and are meant for
general courses in embedded design.  I simply can't offer an opinion
since I haven't seen them.

Hope this helps!

-Adam

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

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2004\04\21@213302 by Robert L Cochran

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I cannot recommend this book. I have it myself. The book comes with a
PCB for building his "El Cheapo" PIC programmer, but the software to
support the programmer does not install on some people's computers, most
probably because it wasn't compiled with Visual Studio 6 Service Pack 5
or later. In fact his El Cheapo version 0.84 software does not install
on my Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4 and all current patches) system.

I admit that I have not seriously used the book itself, but I did set
out to build the El Cheapo programmer (this was last summer), and was
very disappointed when the software would not install. Myke Predko, for
whatever reason, did not respond to my emails asking for support with this.

I've heard from other sources that Predko was seriously ill at some
point, but have not heard from Predko himself.

So if you buy this book, you are gambling that Predko's software will
install on your computer. If it does not, Predko will not support you.
So sorry. Your USD $52 for the book plus around another USD $20 for the
parts kit (mine is from kitsrus.com and glitchbuster.com also sells a
kit) will be wasted.

Not recommended. Two thumbs down.

Bob Cochran


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2004\04\21@214337 by Kevin Olalde

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Just a word of warning.  I have that book, it has a rather large number
of errors in it.  I asked the author about the errors, and he mentioned
that I must have the first printing of the second edition.  A number of
things were correct in later printings I'm told.

Thanks,
Kevin

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2004\04\22@015124 by William Dillon

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I've used this book to teach PIC students this winter, and a little this
spring (seasons are in terms of northern hemisphere :) ) I thought it
was successful, and had alot of information.  It is a bit verbose, so I
would pick parts of each section and assign them as reading.  I would
not, however encourage using the programming examples.  Also if you can
find a source for parts to make the programmer (El Cheapo) more cost
effective it is a good way for the students to have all the tools to
develop with the PIC's (mental and programming).

I hope this isn't too rambling...

-Will


Kevin Olalde wrote:

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2004\04\22@015538 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I cannot recommend this book.
> I admit that I have not seriously used the book itself

As said I have the book and I like it, but I never build the progger.

> So if you buy this book, you are gambling that Predko's software will
> install on your computer.

No. I would actually buy it for the text :)

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@015539 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> The only book I have looked through that would apply is Myke Predko's
> Programming and Customizing the PICMicro Microcontroller

I have that book and I like it, but IMHO it is less fit for this
particular purpose.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@015540 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Not exactly a book but a good learning tool: MPLAB.

Of course, it is the standard so I did not even consider using something
else.

> From what I understand, your JAL system would be a good
> follow on to MPLAB and assembly code.

No Jal (at least for this course).

> Absolute beginners might need more of a text book but the people you
> describe should really take off by actual hands-on mode.

It will be split theory / hands-on lessons, with the first hands-on
after 1.5 hour of talking.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@015953 by Shawn Wilton

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Stick with data sheets.  There are few books out there that are worth
spending money on.  Seriously.


Shawn Wilton
Junior in CpE
MicroBiologist

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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
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2004\04\22@015954 by Shawn Wilton

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That book sucks.  Half the code in the book is wrong.  Again, data
sheets and example (free) code are the only way to go.


Shawn Wilton
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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
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2004\04\22@022313 by Robert B.

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I learned most of the basics from Predko's "Programming and Customizing PIC
Microcontrollers", and found it to be very instructive.  I never built the
el-cheapo or installed any software.  It took me from knowing nothing about
microcontrollers to understanding most of the basics pretty quickly.  I
never tried to use any of the code, but rather just read it for
understanding then moved on.  I agree datasheets are the best reference, but
for the uninitiated they are pretty intimidating.  Looking back, I doubt the
book was worth the $ I spent on it, but I do reference it occasionally for a
broader overview of chip architecture or some feature I've never used
before.


{Original Message removed}

2004\04\22@025011 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004, at 23:22 US/Pacific, Robert B. wrote:

>
> I learned most of the basics from Predko's "Programming and
> Customizing PIC Microcontrollers", and found it to be very > instructive.

I found it useful too, and "not too expensive" compared to the average
textbook.  (Going to college will change your mind about bookprices
forever.  Dropping $70 on a book that you're not interested in, for a
class you have to take, is just ... depressing.  $35 technical books
will seem like a bargin, and $8 paperback fiction will get snapped up.)

It does tend to ramble into other architectures (PIC17, 12 bit cores,
etc.) (that was one of the reasons I liked it, but it's less than ideal
for an intro class that's going to focus on A particular chip.)

What you're really looking for is something along the lines of
"Introduction to microcontrollers and embedded programming, featuring
the PIC18F452", or something like that?  I don't recall seeing any such
thing :-(

BillW

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2004\04\22@060001 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> I've used this book to teach PIC students this winter
> (snip)
> I hope this isn't too rambling...

No, definitely not. I want a book for education, not for the progger PCB
that might be with it. Actual education experience like yours is exactly
what I am looking for. Thanx.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@081305 by Matt Marsh

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While we're on this topic I thought I'd give some info
on the couple of books that I've been reading over the
last couple of months as I've been learning PIC programming,
though note that neither of these are likely suitable for
your needs... but might be useful for others...

I should point out that my background coming into learning
PIC programming is purely software related. I've been
programming software for years, but my electronics
experience is very limited, I knew the basics of what
various components do and the basics of Ohm's law, but
that's about it.

The first book that got me started was "PIC: Your Personal
Introductory Course" by John Morton. I found this book
easy to read and got me started in a gentle way. It didn't
require me to have a big understanding of electronics
and so I was usually able to understand the circuits that
were being constructed with ease. Where this book does
fall down though is that it's a little old and doesn't
cover the more recent chips. That's not to say that it isn't
useful, just that it doesn't cover all the newest peripherals
etc, and of course you need to have a good read of the
datasheet to get the programs working with later chips.
Also, some of the techniques that this book teaches are a
little dubious in places. For example, when saving the
state of the STATUS register on an interrupt, it just uses
movf instructions instead of swapf. Also in a number of
places the circuits show draw far too much current through
the PIC pins than should be done... and these are just the
things I've noticed as very much of a newbie.

The other book that I'm reading at the moment is "Designing
Embedded Hardware" by John Catsoulis. This isn't a PIC
programming book, though it does include chapters on PICs
and other processors (AVRs, Motorolla 68K). I've only read
the first few chapters, but it's certainly interesting so
far... it was a big help for someone like me to have a
chapter at the start explaining basic electronic concepts
and circuits, and now I'm moving onto chapters explaining
all about building circuits etc. It seems like a good book
for giving a grounding in creating embedded circuits and I'm
certainly looking forward to the later chapters where the
book gets onto communication mechanisms such as SPI, I2C
and even ethernet and USB.

Hope this might help someone.

Matt

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2004\04\22@103054 by michael brown

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From: "Wouter van Ooijen"

> I will be teaching a course in assembler programming on 14-bit core
> PICs, for ~ 19y old students Informatica (~ computer engineer /
computer
> science). Can you recommend a book? These guys do know the basics of
> binary artithmetic, digital electronics etc, so it can be just PIC
> architecture and assembly.

The first book I used when starting out was by John Peatman.  It's the
'Design with PIC Microcontrollers' book.  I still find it quite useful
though it is a bit dated.  It's probably the best book I own as far as
microcontroller programming goes.  It's clear and concise with lots of
practical examples and information.

He now has a new book centering on the 18F452.  I haven't purchased this
book yet, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it based upon my experience
with his first PIC book.

http://www.picbook.com

In fact I think I'll order it now since I need to get up to speed on the
452.  US $69.00 at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130462136/

michael brown

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2004\04\22@124746 by Andrew Warren

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Matt Marsh <PICLISTspamspam_OUTmitvma.mit.edu> wrote:

> Also, some of the techniques that this book teaches are a little
> dubious in places. For example, when saving the state of the STATUS
> register on an interrupt, it just uses movf instructions instead of
> swapf.

   That's perfectly ok.  If the interrupt-service routine ends in
   the usual way (by restoring STATUS and then restoring W), then
   SWAPF is only required when restoring W.

   -Andy

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2004\04\22@124950 by William Dillon

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Strangely enough, I wish I could find a book like that for my class...

I am teaching college students about the PIC in relation to a computer
architecture class, sort of as a hands-on example.  I've found the 16
series chip to be a little more challenging for the students to work
with, the 'quirks' of the 16 series can sometimes get in the way of a
concept.  What is holding me, and my advisor, from moving up to the 18
series is the lack of a good book to work from.


William Chops Westfield wrote:

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2004\04\22@131954 by Matt Marsh

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On Thursday 22 April 2004 17:49, Andrew Warren wrote:
> Matt Marsh <KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspammitvma.mit.edu> wrote:
> > Also, some of the techniques that this book teaches are a
> > little dubious in places. For example, when saving the state of
> > the STATUS register on an interrupt, it just uses movf
> > instructions instead of swapf.
>
>     That's perfectly ok.  If the interrupt-service routine ends
> in the usual way (by restoring STATUS and then restoring W), then
> SWAPF is only required when restoring W.

ah, sorry, I should have said that the book is storing/restoring
both STATUS and W... and uses no SWAPF instructions...

Matt

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2004\04\22@150020 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> What you're really looking for is something along the lines of
> "Introduction to microcontrollers and embedded programming, featuring
> the PIC18F452", or something like that?  I don't recall
> seeing any such
> thing :-(

Nor do I, but I prefere datasheets, so I don't know which books are
available, and I certainly have not read them.

I did think about which core to use, I would have preffered 18F, except
for the larger instruction set and the lack of small chips. Maybe I'll
even stick to 12-bit, there are flash 12-bit core chips popping up from
'future product' status to 'in stock', an I understand the 6-pin 10F's
will be 12 bit too.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@150021 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Stick with data sheets.  There are few books out there that are worth
> spending money on.  Seriously.

For me personally I agree, but I am not so sure for a first year
student, who has had his first serious contact with C or Java just a few
months ago.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@181658 by Robert L Cochran

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How about:

Networking and Internetworking with Microcontrollers, by Fred Eady

I have not read this book but plan to order it soon.

Bob Cochran

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

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2004\04\23@015050 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Thursday, Apr 22, 2004, at 12:02 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>
>> What you're really looking for is something along the lines of
>> "Introduction to microcontrollers and embedded programming, featuring
>> the PIC18F452", or something like that?  I don't recall
>> seeing any such thing :-(
>
> Nor do I, but I prefere datasheets, so I don't know which books are
> available, and I certainly have not read them.
>
>
Didn't someone post some microchip training docs once?  Oh yeah:

http://techtrain.microchip.com/masters2003/(c1xuow55dt0yvl3t0zcci245)/
masters2003-CD/classes/701/701_PIC.pdf

I dunno whether you're supposed to use it, but it looked pretty
reasonable last time I checked.  You might see whether microchip is
willing to allow you to use it, or perhaps even has a more handout-like
document to go with it...

there does seem to be a lot more at:
http://techtrain.microchip.com/masters2003/(jd3g1drdsjvjqe550svzio55)/
masters2003-CD/index.htm

The Peatman book looks promising as well, though perhaps too advanced
for your target audience (described as a "senior level" class.  OTOH,
"senior level" is about when you stop learning heavy math and start
having fun, so maybe it'd be OK...)

BillW

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2004\04\23@021134 by Colin Constant

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>From: William Chops Westfield <RemoveMEwestfwspamTakeThisOuTMAC.COM>
>Didn't someone post some microchip training docs once?  Oh yeah:
>
>http://techtrain.microchip.com/masters2003

Anyone we know in that photo gallery?

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2004\04\23@023001 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Networking and Internetworking with Microcontrollers, by Fred Eady

From the title I would not guess that the focus is on as programming of
PICs. Is it?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\23@032514 by Rob Hamerling

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[about Predko's book]

Kevin Olalde wrote:
> Just a word of warning.  I have that book, it has a rather large number
> of errors in it.  I asked the author about the errors, and he mentioned
> that I must have the first printing of the second edition.  A number of
> things were correct in later printings I'm told.

This book (apparently first print of the second edition) was my first
intro to PICs. If it hadn't had an enourmous amount of errors I would
have considered it a good book. I have put an errata sheet on my site,
but it contains only the errors I found myself, so it is probably far
from complete! http://www.robh.nl/picsoft.htm#predko

Regards, Rob.

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'recommended PIC books?'
2004\05\04@170057 by Michael O'Donnell
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I have been trying to find the ideal PIC book for the last few months... I have looked at lots of them in stores, but decided to go with C rather than learning assembler.

One that I looked at and thought looked good (but didn't purchase and read thoroughly) was PIC in Practice by  David Smith. It was organized around a classroom course and might be just what you are looking for.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0750648120/qid=1083703627/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-2062674-2396119?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

cheers,
mike

William Dillon <dilwil21EraseMEspam.....EVERGREEN.EDU> wrote:
Strangely enough, I wish I could find a book like that for my class...

I am teaching college students about the PIC in relation to a computer
architecture class, sort of as a hands-on example. I've found the 16
series chip to be a little more challenging for the students to work
with, the 'quirks' of the 16 series can sometimes get in the way of a
concept. What is holding me, and my advisor, from moving up to the 18
series is the lack of a good book to work from.


William Chops Westfield wrote:

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2004\05\04@170519 by D. Jay Newman

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> One that I looked at and thought looked good (but didn't purchase and read thoroughly) was PIC in Practice by  David Smith. It was organized around a classroom course and might be just what you are looking for.

I know that many people feel differently, but I think that it's a good idea
to learn assembler language as a student. For the PIC it's fairly easy.

When I'm not using a stamp-type PIC I generally use assembler.
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