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[avr-gcc-list] New to the list

From: Barry Brown
Subject: [avr-gcc-list] New to the list
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 09:15:34 -0700
User-agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022


I thought I'd break the silence by introducing myself.  I'm new to the list
(as of Monday) and new to AVR programming.

I'm a software programmer working in Sacramento, California.  My company
makes an embedded security device based on Linux.  I'm also a professor at a
local community college teaching, what else?, computer science.

My interest in electronics goes way back to my childhood.  Only in the past
few years have I started showing an interest in tinkering with
microcontrollers.  It's just a hobby and so far unrelated to my work,
although I've surprised some of my coworkers by showing that I not only do
software, but hardware as well. :)

The first experience I had with microcontrollers was the PIC, but I quickly
grew weary of its shortcomings: un-orthogonal instruction set, quirky
syntax, and very limited RAM.  Frustrated, I set this hobby aside for about
two years.  Upon switching jobs and working in a place where hardware and
software people interact (in fact, my manager is formerly a hardware guy), I
was pointed in the direction of the AVR.  So far, I like what I see.  I
purchased my first AVRs and assorted support components less than a week

At this time, my toolset is the avr-gcc compiler and PonyProg programmer.  I
built the latter from schematics posted on the net.  My first Hello World
program (ie, blinking an LED) took a couple days to get working.

There you have it in a nutshell.  One observation: the AVR seems to have a
large European following whereas the PIC appears to be largely an American
thing.  Why is that?  It's certainly hard to find sources for AVRs here.
I've found only eBay, DigiKey, and a handful of other distributors, whereas
almost everyone (even my local mom-and-pop electronics store) carries the


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