Yeah, I agree. Whatever about the Arduino IDE, the benefit of the Arduino shield compatible hardware is great for prototying and proof of concept or just plain old messing around! We @NXP are now making our LPCXpresso boards with these shields so customers can piggy back on this hardware ecosystem.
haha, I don't think anyone who wants to learn arduino will be offended with me telling them it is a good idea. Usually it is the ones who build their boards from scratch who get annoyed at the mention of the arduino.
Very interesting Max, especially the comments, and I look forward to the next thrilling installment. I have heard reactions like Antedeluvian's before - ie that Arduinos are for amateurs - but in my case that's probably what I need. BUT - one of my current "to do's" is to learn C, and that fact the the Arduino environment is "C-like' does put me off a bit - I wonder if I would not be better dealing with a pure C environment like Microchip's PICs - which do offer a vast array of capabilities and sizes. Could you - and others - comment?
Tony re: "If you're getting into 32-bit land, it's worth checking out alternate ecosystems, such as the BeagleBone Black ($45) which is cheaper than the Arduino Due ($50)."
It's kind og a golden age for systems like this. Critical aplications generally take custom hardware, but for applications that can deal with off-the-shelf, there an incredible number of good options.
8-bit Arduinos are great for hobby and staters. 32 Arduino compatibles look like they may become a viable tool for non-critical embedded applications. The mbed fits that same place. The Beaglebone, Raspberri Pi and a few others are great low-end Linux systems. Move up to the Beagleboard XM and you've got a tablet-power system.
There's this new Intel Arduino compatible too. I'm not sure what to make of that one.