I have used the standard little Arduino board for quite some time now, and therefore always sent my sketches via pins 0 and 1.
Now I want to strike out for the larger world and do in-system programming via the FTDI path. I have not found a clear explanation of the difference between these methods, so I could use a little knowledge on this subject.
Does FTDI programming involve the Optiboot bootloader, or is it effectively a "native" method of programming the Atmel chips?
If I go through the FTDI port, do I still have access to the Serial function in a sketch? It would seem not, since the chip's RX/TX pins are not involved.
I read that it is good to power the chip from the FTDI port when programming, to guarantee a correct 5 v. reference. I am putting the Atmel 328 in a rather power-hungry circuit, and I don't want to pull the FTDI supply voltage down too much. How sensitive is the FTDI programming to power supply voltage discrepancies?
I thank you in advance for any help you can provides with these questions.