Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4020 mails)

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Re: [SLE] new v9.2 is out
  • From: Danny Sauer <suse-linux-e.suselists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 09:20:44 -0500
  • Message-id: <20041015092044.G22080@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John wrote regarding 'Re: [SLE] new v9.2 is out' on Fri, Oct 15 at 01:42:
> On Oct 13, 2004, at 11:08 PM, Danny Sauer wrote:
> >
> > Pic Micro chips are kinda fun to play with, and you can make them do
> > actual useful stuff. If you wanna play with assembler in a
> > semi-instant
> > gratification way, check them out.
> >
> From time to time I've thought about playing with pics. I've used the
> popular, though limited, Basic Stamps from Parallax and gotten some use
> out of them as embedded sensor pollers in a PV power system for my
> house. They're really toys though (programmed in basic, no interrupts,
> etc.), and unfortunately until relatively recently they needed Windows
> to download the firmware to them. On top of that they're kind of
> expensive - not to mention proprietary - compared to the pic chips
> themselves.

I was originally looking at the Basic Stamps, but rejected them based on
both the observation that the PICs themselves are about $1.00 and just need
a simple 5V regulator to run, and that the PICBasic language was pretty

> I've often thought that getting a gcc-based setup on linux for
> programming pic (or Atmel's AVR) chips directly would be so much
> better, but I've never had the time to do the research and pull
> everything together. (Yes Novell, that's a hint.) Do you have a
> working setup? If so, I'd like to hear about it.

It's not terribly difficult. I'm using Microchip's USB programmer that
came with their "discovery kit", or whatever they call the thing that's
about $45 and comes with a development board, USB programmer, and one of
the 8 pin chips (12F675, maybe). I haven't tried that one under Linux,
though, except through VMWare running windows *on* linux. :) The CD came
with a couple of header files and some stuff involving linux, but for some
reason it didn't work well for me. I don't recally exactly what problem
I had with it - perhaps that I couldn't remember how to do what it was I
wanted to do in C. I'm just not sure. Anyway, if you head to and type in "microchip", you'll get several links of interest.

I'm presently trying to replace my stupid thermostat with a smarter one,
built on a 12F675 using Dallas 1-wire temperature sensors, though I may run
out of GPIOs by the time I settle on a display method. It's amazing how
much work I'm willing to do just to avoid having to switch that stupid
thermostat between "heat" and "cool" all the time at this time of year.
Why in the heck can't someone just make a thermostat where I put in the
temperature I want my house to be, and the thermostat decides for itself
whether to turn on the heat or the A/C, anyway? Even cheap cars can do
that now, why can't my friggin' house? :)


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