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#1 Admiral Awesome  Icon User is offline

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Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 14 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

i first want to start off with an assurance that I'm not lazily coming here first to request others to find information that perhaps is easily available to me as I have some information myself, I would just like to get others opinions, and perhaps have a chance to find a great resource that may not be so well known, and even get info on something that I perhaps have not thought about.

The point of this question, which I shall make a long story short, is that I was given an incredible opportunity at the Robotics laboratory in my University, a chance to intern with the professors and actual work directly on their projects/robots. The thing is, I have no experience whatsoever in this, as a matter of fact, I'm pretty new to even simple programming as I'm taking my first programming course this semester which is in C. They saw how passionate I was and walked me through a few of the hardware and software they use, and so I have to learn a lot, and I have to learn it fast. Robotics is pretty much my dream and I'm ready to work hard for this, because if I don't go into high gear, I could lose this opportunity which may not come back in a long time.

Now you may have guessed the question by now but here it is. I need resources, tips, direction pointing, anything that can help me, because my questions are as 101 as they get. I was given a small kit to take home and mess around with which consist of: a "Freescale FRDM-KL25Z" with the cables to plug it into my computer, a "400-point Breadboard" that came with two chips and a round black... thing that has two pins, one side with a + and the other with a minus. I also got a plastic container with metal pins, covered in different colors and of different lengths. I will include a picture of it all since my descriptions are pretty bad.

What I have done so far is I've found the freescale product page for the MC, which I understood maybe 10% of the terms about it at first. I downloaded the quickstart guide which shows me how to start it up and I made an account on Mbed.com which I'm starting to read some of the instructions they have, and they have a web based SDK to let me create and compile the code for the machine right online... after I indeed learn how to code a MC. I have such loose knowledge however, I don't know what the difference between micro controllers are, they can't be the same right? They have so many different ones to choose from. I don't know if all MC's use the same language, or even what language they use at all. I really would like some information that can give me either a very broad and basic look at terms, and the use of Micro Controllers, or a very efficient, and personally thought as efficient method to learning this trade.

I really apologize for the huge question, but this is something I really would like help with and I don't want to risk getting it deleted because someone thought I was asking for someone to find information for me due to laziness. This is something I'm really passionate about and I want to make sure I get it done as efficiently as possible. Thanks for any and all help.

Info:
Freescale product page

Mbed site for programming MC

Image of hardware at hand

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Replies To: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:07 PM

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This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 15 September 2013 - 12:30 PM

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#3 Admiral Awesome  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:55 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 14 September 2013 - 06:07 PM, said:

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I really apologize for the huge question

Its a huge question... And a huge topic. There are entire textbooks and websites dedicated to this. Its the kind of stuff people spend all their free time on as a hobby, learning bit by bit {litterally 'bits'}

You're nearly asking...

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I don't know anything about cars but can intern for Mario Andredi if I can just learn enough over the weekend.. But there are so many engines and transmissions, what can you teach me in this thread?


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They saw how passionate I was

Eh... I would have serious doubts here, about how passionate you are. After all, for something you say you are passionate about you haven't taken it upon yourself to learn any of it even as a hobby. People who love this stuff don't wait for a job opportunity to start learning. I built my first computer from a Heathkit at around age 10. People I work with buy kits for everything from LED controllers to parallel port interface to USB weather stations and play with them on the weekend just because they are genuinely passionate about this stuff and are drawn to off the clock just for fun. Personally it seems a lot like someone saying they are passionate about cooking, but haven't so much as asked their mom to teach them how to make an omelette. I guy genuinely passionate about photography owns a camera and plays with it even if its a $10 cheapie and works their way up both in skill, equipment, reading all the books and magazines they find on the topic without any prompting at all.

I guess I'm asking... Are you passionate about robotics and electronics... Or are you excited about the *idea* of being in robotics maybe because it sounds cool and would be indoor work rather than outside digging ditches in the rain?


As much as I appreciate the reply, I am slightly bothered by the narrow minded outlook on society that you have. I'm sorry that not everyone can be up to your skill level and determination in life. There are others who aren't born with not only the interest but the drive for something such as you. God forbid there are people who have reasons they can't get something done in their life.

If you need to know, I've had a pretty harsh upbringing, and due to circumstances, a lot of the time was spent depressed, and micro controlling was the last thing on my mind. Some people have to wait for opportunities because they're not the go better to make themselves opportunities either. Yes due to my low self esteem, I spent all 4 years of playing World of Warcraft instead of getting amazing at what I really wanted to do in life, because that gave me the instant gratification I thought I needed. Of course because I'm such a failure you suggest I should just quit right where I am and go pick up a job at McDonalds or something because I'm obviously not passionate about anything. I mean if anyone was passionate they would have had to start it when they were 10. I mean they're born knowing their passion after all, it's not like they can discover it at a later age.

I guess I didn't write enough, because I believed I clearly portrayed that the question wasn't to give me the entire worlds worth of knowledge on Micro Controllers, it was to point me in a direction, give me a tip of where someone got really good information. I'm just stopping at a gas station and asking for directions in the long trip to my career.

Now probably an appropriate way to reply, and what I as looking for, is just the name of those books or websites you were talking, or at least any that you have found to be extraordinarily helpful. I posted this question a few hours ago, but I'm already on it, I have an SDK, and I already did the blinking light, and now I'm manipulating the light using the very little C knowledge that I posses, making it blink faster over time by increasing the wait time every time it passes the while loop. So the point of this thread, is I don't need your advice, it's just something on the side for anyone that maybe has a real good resource they would like to share.

Finally, please go take your terrible, stereotypical philosophy and find a thread where someone is actually asking for it. It's pretty sad that a new guy actually will have to say this to a mentor but please go read the rules on how to answer to questions, because I read all that way before making a thread at all here. You really gave a new guy a bad impression of the site already if someone who wastes others times with their shaky at best beliefs instead of being helpful is actually a mentor.
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

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This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 15 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

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#5 Admiral Awesome  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:47 AM

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That's good. Because if you'll notice, I didn't give you any

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I gave you a perspective that you may not have realized could be taken regarding your question/situation and asked you a question. One you didn't answer.


Looks like neither of our questions are going to be answered then.

If you really want to derail a question like that, at least send pm to the person instead of spamming the thread with pointless inquiries. Be my guest and make a thread if the question is itching so much. Now if you're not going to follow forum rules, follow the forum response etiquette and if it's not going to be in relation to the question I actually asked, in contrast to my reasons behind it, then don't bother posting or I'm just going to report your post.
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#6 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:41 AM

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This post has been edited by tlhIn`toq: 15 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

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#7 Admiral Awesome  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 15 September 2013 - 10:41 AM, said:

I don't know why you think you're question isn't going to be answered. The thread is open. There are many people here. I have no control, or impact on what others do. In fact, someone posting a controversial response as I often do helps bring more people to the conversation. Lots of people love to debate a topic at length. So there are now two very differing opinions posted here. That generally is a start of a very lively conversation.


let me rephrase, 'I guess my question isn't going to be answered by you, and your question isn't going to be answered by me'

or if you'd rather have a very direct interpretation. 'I really don't want to hear anything else from you that isn't an answer to my question'

Yes, controversy sells, but at a price.
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#8 Admiral Awesome  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

Since this topic is nearly derailed into a pit already, I guess I might as well post this hilarious screenshot of people in a chat room who aren't intelligent programmers can have a little more common sense than someone who's been super smart since they were 10.

Posted Image

I guess building computers since you were 10 teaches a lot, but it doesn't seem to teach manners, common sense, or the ability to interact with other people and society.

(I'm obviously the blue text)
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#9 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

Well - So much for conversation. Yep, I think you did COMPLETELY derail it with that last post. This pretty much as a "just give me the answer" kinda post and I didn't realize it when I replied. My fault. I didn't realize this was basically a "gimme teh codez" question or that was your perspective.

My fault. My bad. My mistake. You're completely right. You have no fault or blame in any wrong doing here. I'm entirely the bad guy. I with you the best of luck with your life, your question, your project, and your internship.
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#10 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

Fascinating... now this is where the line is crossed. I will just close the thread as it was teetering on a precipice and now was shoved over and is spiraling into an inevitable sad flame war. Feel free to start a new thread and shy away from the personal attacks.
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#11 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Request for information regarding intro to microcontrollers

Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

At some point the other 499,999 members of this board will jump in and tell me I'm a douche and give you all the answers you wanted. In the hopes of that happening for you I have done my best to clean up the thread by deleting all my comments.
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