Taken: AT 286 motherboard with mathco
feedle at feedle.net
Sat Oct 20 17:13:02 CDT 2007
On Oct 20, 2007, at 1:18 PM, Tony Duell wrote:
> It is a lot easier to connect you hamster wheel/ relay-to-control-
> homebrew circuit to an 8-bit parallel port than to a serial port (or
> worse a USB port). Yes I know there are microcontrollers with built-in
> serial ports, USH interfaces, and whatever. But the thought of
> having to
> write the firmware for the microcontroller, get it debugged, etc, puts
> people off. COnnecting a couple of resistors and a transistor
> together is
> an easier introduction to hardware hacking.
As somebody who got their start hacking the Commodore VIC-20 and the
CBM "user port", I don't find a BASIC Stamp plugged in through a USB
port that significantly different to experiment with, at least from
an ease-of-use perspective.
There's almost as much power in some of the BASIC Stamp products as I
had in the entire VIC-20. A couple of teens I know who are just
starting to "hardware hack" are doing the exact same sorts of
"thermister controlled fan in the window" stuff I was doing on the
VIC-20.. except now they are doing it all outboard. Even with a
small webserver. On a BASIC Stamp, you can have your "thermister"
project done in about an hour, assuming no previous knowledge of even
basic electronics, just following the instructions in the Stamp's
When a PIC chip based system that has more CPU power (and in some
cases, even more RAM) than we had in entire computer systems can be
had for $80 at RadioShack with a breadboard, manual, and programming
software.. what do you need to bring it all into the computer for?
When you are finally advanced enough to want to talk to a bigger
computer, you'll have enough of the basic understanding to get the
USB-based stuff working.
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