@Adam: Love it, Max! That copter is inspiring, seems like my next project of choice!
Just today I got an update from the nanocopter Kickstarter project saying that they've achieved their first stretcg goal of $300,000 and that they are going to add a digital compass and barometer to the flight control board so the copter will be able to recognize its orientation and altitude.
As they say: "This will lead to a better flying experience for every backer and more possibilities and fun for the hackers."
Now they are heading onwards and upwards to additional stretch goals.
@Caleb: I suggest you go through some basic tutorials on arduino.cc first. Then go to learn.adafruit.com and build some of those projects. That and tronixstuff's book. Also Exploring Arduino by Jeremy Blum.
@Max.... I had just ordered a Picaxe Dev kit which was on special when I came to this column and read... "The PICAXE was a lot of fun, but it's too low-level for what I need."
"What have I done!!??" I thought, but compared to you I am a rank beginner in uC stuff, and I did a lot of BASIC programming some years ago, so the answer is probably "The right thing". Especially if it's fun.
How different is the PICAXE Basic from the old GWBasic or QBasic on PCs? Obviously there will be more port and bit handling commands, but apart from that?
Don;t worry -- the PICAXE is a great thing, and it's BASIC is easy-peasy to pick up -- you will have a lot of fun. The reason I prefer the Ardiuno is that you can do more sophirsticated stuff easier in C/C++ -- also the fact that you can get 8-bit and 32-bit Arduinos -- also the concept of the Wings that plug into the main Arduino board -- and th ebig thing is that the Arduino stuff ties into that robotic vision and nanocopter stuff
But for just messing around with your own projects, I think you will love the PICAXE
The reason I prefer the Ardiuno is that you can do more sophirsticated stuff easier in C/C++ --
As I recall Arduino does not work in C, but has its own language and IDE.
Nobody says you have to use the Arduino environment- you could use the Atmel development environment and then work with C. And others make products that are Arduino Shield compatible, the the Pioneer (Cypress PSoC4).
Hi Max: Have you come across this Kickstarter project "Microduino" yet, It looks like being the best thing I have come across for embedded Atmel/Arduino projects, I think I am going to go at least a $50-100 pledge.
It's going to be like when I was a kid(long time ago), when a new diecast Match Box toy came out, I just had to have it and nagged the parents until they gave in.
Looks like I will have to do a lot more housework to get the good lady in my life to open up the purse strings.