I've been out of the loop on this stuff now for about 8 years... I used to play around with PIC16F84s but haven't for too long.
What's the best "L/P plate" processor packages these days? I see references to PICAXE, Ardunio, and other packages on the web and in sites like "instructables", but have no idea what's best suited to people who aren't so worried about web integration
The first 2 projects I need to get done are going to be standalone devices using character LCD screens for output, and a simple Hex keypad for data entry - other I/o counts outside of those devices will be in the 5-8 pin range.
Ideally i'd like a highlevel language like C, or BASIC if possible as part of the package (similar to the AVR_GCC package offered for AVR) whereas in my PIC days there wasn't much in the way of free/included high level languages suitable for cheap startup learning.
So what's the reccomended packages for people starting up into the embedded processor scene these days? What would you reccomend for the projects listed above?