OT: Robotics or embedded or hardware programming... what is this called?

Ian Smith smithi at nimnet.asn.au
Thu Jun 28 10:40:06 UTC 2012

On Mon, 25 Jun 2012 09:43:35 -0600 (MDT), Warren Block wrote:
 > On Mon, 25 Jun 2012, Ian Smith wrote:
 > > On Fri, 22 Jun 2012 06:47:48 -0600 (MDT), Warren Block wrote:
 > > > On Fri, 22 Jun 2012, Ian Smith wrote:
 > > >
 > > > Well, there is devel/arduino.  It's not emdedded Linux, but an IDE for
 > > > writing and downloading code.  The Arduino is a small embedded controller
 > > > based on the Atmel AVR microcontrollers.  They are quite powerful, easy to
 > > > program, and accessible for experimenters.  You can skip the Arduino
 > > > environment if you like, using the same lower-level tools like avr-gcc
 > > > directly.  And the Arduino board can be used as a programmer, downloading
 > > > code to plain AVR chips and avoiding the need for more Arduino boards. Talk
 > > > about the Arduino on FreeBSD is generally on the freebsd-embedded mailing
 > > > list.
 > > 
 > > Thanks Warren.  I got the wrong idea that Arduino ran an embedded Linux
 > > from a friend, a Linux-using Electrical Engineer, but not a programmer.
 > > I'd also (too) briefly glanced at www.arduino.cc and noted Windows, Mac
 > > and Linux references, and Linux binaries, but had no idea you had ported
 > > the GUI.  Could you perhaps try pushing the FreeBSD port upstream to
 > > Arduino, so people can find out that it exists from there?
 > There was an updated entry mentioning the port in the Playground, which now
 > seems to have reverted back to the old not-yet-working procedure for FreeBSD
 > 6.1.  And I see that 1.0.1 is out, so now the port needs to be updated.
 > There doesn't appear to be a way for me to edit that.  I can send mail to the
 > site about mentioning the FreeBSD port on the downloads page.  Or you can, if
 > you like.

MAMBM .. I'd promised myself I wouldn't spend any more time on this :) 

That wiki is fairly messed up, but its search helps a bit; searching for 
'FreeBSD' (ie googling 'FreeBSD site:http://arduino.cc/playground') 
turns up more than is indexed from the sidebar, including some pages not 
apparently accessible otherwise.  It really needs the main index editing 
(as well as http://arduino.cc/playground/Learning/FreeBSD) to point to 
(say) 'Installing Arduino on other platforms' after the Linux one, but 
it'd be a bit of work.  Yes, even just a link in the Downloads section 
would help, but making FreeBSD support more obvious sure wouldn't hurt.

 > Something I forgot to mention earlier is that it may now be possible to buy
 > Arduinos or compatibles at Radio Shack stores in the US.

Yes they're definitely getting out there. Tandy / RS abandoned the kit 
market here, but Jaycar (2011 cat) has Uno-compatible boards for $40 and 
a Duemilanove-compatible with onboard Ethernet 'shield' for $70.  Hmm.

Despite indexing FreeBSD under Linux(!), anybody interested in embedded 
monitoring, control and/or robotics with Arduino or Atmel uCs in general 
should find something of interest in 'The World Famous Index of Arduino 
& Freeduino Knowledge' at http://www.freeduino.org/

sucked in, Ian

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