Startup Advice

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It's been quite a while since I've seen the embedded side of development
and I'm hoping to make a transition.  Since it's been so long I probably
need to start from scratch.  Finally, the question:
What tools would you suggest to someone getting started in development
on their spare time (i.e. - not much money)?
Compiler -
Chipset -
Project Suggestions -

etc.  Thanks for your replies.  Please keep 'em short.

Re: Startup Advice
Bender said
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The best advice I can think of is to have a customer and an application
in mind before selecting anything.


Re: Startup Advice
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I have to agree with that. Look around at what companies need in your area.
Different areas seem to have different needs. Maybe it's high-end 32-bit CPUs
or maybe it's 8-bit microcontrollers. Maybe it's Defense, or Automotive,
Internet, or Consumer Electronics.

Now, if you just want to monkey around with some stuff to get those old
embedded brain cells working again, then I'd suggest Zilog's eZ8 eval systems.
The single board is cheap ($50 last I checked) and comes with stuff like I2C,
SPI, push buttons, and LED arrays attached so you can experiment a bit without
soldering. It also comes with a C compiler. I'm more of an 8-bit guy myself. I
also have a PICDemo-2 board from Microchip Technologies and an Atmel AVR STK500
board (but no C compiler). All are pretty cheap to get into.

Re: Startup Advice

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No, definitely not. Customers want dates and figures.
How could an unprimed beginner estimate development time
and cost ?

Get a PIC or an AVR and download their manufacturers free
assembler and development IDE. The bigger and faster machines
rely on the knowledge gathered with a small ones, even
if you then happen to have a compiler.

Ing.Buero R.Tschaggelar -
& commercial newsgroups -

Re: Startup Advice
Start with the PICs.  There is so much support out there, you can't go
wrong.  Go to microchip, pick up a cheap starter kit.

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Re: Startup Advice
Thanks for all the advice.
Since I just want to putz a bit first I picked up a Zilog Z8 development

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