[time-nuts] I want a good micro-controller

Mark Sims holrum at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 13 16:04:21 EDT 2008

Hello Hal,

The MegaDonkey can be programmed in one of three ways:  

1) the on board bootloader via either of the onboard RS-232 ports (or use a USB-RS232 dongle).  The bootloader is VERY fast (over 10Kb/sec... about as fast as the chip can write it's flash memory).  One neat feature of the system is the ability to echo all the screen drawing commands/touchscreen to a host PC.  You can remotely control the unit via a wireless dongle or not use an on-board LCD screen.  The serial ports match standard PC ports.  You use a null modem cable to connect it to a PC.

2) via the Atmel standard ISP (10 pin) connector.  Any standard ATMEL programmer can be used.  

3) via the Atmel standard JTAG port.  You can use the ATMEL JTAG-ICE device for programming and debugging (but it is always best not to put bugs in your program to start with ;-) )

Although Atmel's programmers and JTAG ICE are nice,  I MUCH prefer the bootloader approach.  Atmel's programmers can be a bit cumbersome and finicky about establishing connections to their processors.

If you are developing commercial applications we have a high-grade crypto bootloader available (DES, 3DES, AES256, XTEA). 

The software is all written in C.  We deliberately try to use as little of the language as possible...  makes it easier for non-gurus to understand.  We used the avg-gcc compiler in the popular free, open source WIN-AVR package.  This compiler integrates very well with Atmel's free AVR Studio development environment  (if you like developing in an IDE environment).

>I'm not up to date on boards.  The mega-donkey looks like a good straw man.  
>(I think you need something else to program it.)

Get Windows Live and get whatever you need, wherever you are.  Start here.

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