Intro

Hi all. Couldn’t locate an intro section here so hope you don’t mind me jumping straight into this forum.
I’m Neil, social worker in the day, freelance software and hardware engineer by night.

I’m new to Arduino but not new to embedded systems. My background is in PIC and VB, so I’m currently learning how to translate the program structure and instruction set. One thing I’ve found so far is how handy it is to have one IDE to develop both the micro program and windows end at the same time, so I’m not constantly syntax bombing between MP-LAB and VB.NET!

I’ve ordered an UNO to mess about with, and a couple of bootloaded SMD versions for hard coding into projects I’d already had in mind for a PIC. Plus, something I have never owned in my entire life, a breadboard! My age means that my school days weren’t graced with the whole breadboard experience, we did everything on fibreglass boards with fiddly little springs, so thanks Arduino guys for opening my eyes to that too!

I get some of the serial stuff already, the last PIC I developed on was a 16F628A, which has no UART, so that was a bit of a nightmare coding the delays needed for bit-banging, which is why I started my search for a UART enabled PIC. Eventually though, destiny or luck sent me to an Arduino tutorial where my eyes were opened before I had chance to spend my money on any more microchip products.

I’ve started a test program just to play with the syntax, while I wait patiently for my goodies to arrive in the post. I’m finding myself instinctively writing in a very MP-LAB-esque fashion, luckily the structure is familiar as far as the ‘includes’ and the ‘setup’ and ‘main’ origin points. I’ve never written in C or any of its derivatives, only vb6 and vb.net, but I note its still very ‘basic’ in its feel, although some of the characters such as ++ and && are still catching me out. I compile it every few lines just to see what errors are thrown and I’m simply systematically going through, correcting myself along the way, to make it compile right.

I’m a bit wary of the program space, perhaps this is instinctive having worked with some very low capacity PICs in the past, and having written a simple LCD and PWM test program, I’m already up to 10% of space gone. I’m using the ‘int’ parameter sparingly, I think, this comes from being a hardcore register based programmer wary of space, and not referenced to any libraries I don’t need. I’ve got some very intricate sketches in mind, which are going to need several nested loops, perhaps you guys have any other tips for conserving program space? I guess one of those tips could be “stop worrying about it” … hahaha. I guess time will tell when the UNO arrives and I can start throwing it into some real projects.

Anyway, enough of the essay, nice to meet you all (well virtually anyway) or should that be e-meet? I dunno, all the same, hopefully I wont need you guys too much but I mean that in the nicest way possible :slight_smile:

Welcome, and thanks for joining the forum. I hope you find it useful. The mix of people is very wide, everybody from professional engineers, accomplished hobbyists, novices, students, and kids, and they are from all over the world. Based on your background I'm sure you will have a lot to contribute within a very short time, so jump right in.

Too long intro…well welcome to community