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'was Re: [PIC] now lazy noob rant.'
2005\06\28@190741 by Darrell Wyatt

picon face
I have to agree with Olin -

One of my pet peeves with the internet is that newbies
everywhere now expect to be spoon fed.
Instead of imposing upon others' time, and "cashing in" on
someone else's experience, spend the time and read everything
you can get your hands no small measure,
this list.
Appreciate the fact that there are experienced pic programmers
willing to provide assistance.  It is very generous of them to spend
time that could *easily* be spent elsewhere.
Their R.O.I. for time / knowledge is horribly skewed.  Recognize
this fact.


I learned on a 16f84a, and was not traumatized in the least.
I was aware of some of the difficulties with that chip because
I RTFM, and everything I could get hold of.  The internet is
chock full of *FREE* information about this chip.  I agree that
this is a mixed blessing, but you can glean good information
from almost all of them.  Especially by reading the *FREE*
information available from Microchip....If it's over your head,
then take a few steps back and learn the fundamentals first.

Olin is right on another issue, IMO.  Programming microcontrollers -
indeed - programming in general - isn't for everyone.  I have
personally come to accept the fact that I am not blessed with
the resources to be a nuclear physicist.  So I have opted not
to sign up for the NucPhys mail group...But that's just me.

I apologize for the rant.  I know it doesn't apply to 98% of the
list, but I'm going to send it anyway.  Maybe it will help someone
help themselves for a change.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

{Quote hidden}

2005\06\28@211038 by Russell McMahon

>> I just grabbed the 18Fxx2 data sheet, which is the thickest I have
>> lying
>> around, and its only 330 pages.  Frankly if you're not willing to
>> read a 1/2 inch thick manual

Must be printed on 20 gsm paper :-)

I find 300 page data sheets intimidating. I read them. I assimilate
them (hopefully). I people back to them who misapply them. But I'm
still intimidated by the sheer complexity of a typical modern


2005\06\28@214142 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
> I just grabbed the 18Fxx2 data sheet, which is the thickest I have
lying around, and its only 330 pages...

And the last aprox 70 pages
are "Dev Support" and
"Elec Specs". I've never read them when reading a
data sheet for a new PIC. And do you realy have to ? If
running at 5V and room temp ? And with nothing
then "normal" stuff
connected ? Just as a hobby ?
That leaves aprox 260 pages.

Then there
are 42 pages with the "Intruction set".
Again, if it's just a new PIC
in an old family, I never
read that part up-front. Leaves aprox 220

And of the rest, many parts of it are the same between
PIC of
the same family. USART, TMRx and so on.

My point is that if you have
seen a few data sheets,
there isn't realy much to read in the next

Now, the *first* one is another story, yes...
(I would still
leave out the elec specs for a
hobbyist beginner...)


2005\06\28@232111 by Russell McMahon

> (I would still leave out the elec specs for a hobbyist beginner...)

Maybe at the very very very start.

But this should be understood to some degree early on. Many questions
and problems that occur years after people have started using PICs or
other processors arise from the failure to understand basic electrical
specs. Things like guaranteed voltages out (high and low) under load,
loading current (related), max load for whole port or whole processor,
difference between abs max and operating sections (after years of
discussion people here are STILL currently suggesting using conducting
protection diodes as part of normal circuit operation*), input hi/low
levels, ... .

You don't need to know MUCH for a LED flasher but soon after that a
reasonable knowledge of the  electrical characteristics is highly

* Even list members who are not intimidated by 3 foot thick data
sheets have argued vehemently for allowing the use of conducting
protection diodes when the electrical section of all PIC data sheet
clearly forbids such use in normal operation.


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