There are a lot of great microcontrollers out there on the market. Every one of them has their strong suits and each of them were really built for different purposes. There is a lot of over lap though. There are wonderful support forums for all of the platforms. So for those people debating where to start this article is for you. If however you have a favorite already then feel free to tell me about it in the coments section because I would love to hear your point of view.
From a practical standpoint if you are running linux or mac, parallax is almost been taken out of the equasion unless you really want to put in some extra effort, I say this because their software is gennerally only windows compatible although there is some basic stamp tools for linix over at sourceforge. And while you can certainly run a windows vm is that really what you want to do starting out?
Next you have to consider what you want to do and this is where the Arduino family shines. There is a ton of hardware built for the arduino family of microcontrollers. When it comes to plugging in hardware and whipping up some code based on examples provided by the manufacture or from code provided to the comunity at large by talented programmers the Arduino makes it easy to go from start to finished in no time.
And while there is not as much hardware support out there for the beaglebone there is certainly a lot of software support available out there for it. The raspberry pi has a ton of software support out there and a growing ammount of hardware support and tutorials.
This is not to say that I dislike the parallax family of microcontroller’s on the contrary I happen to love my parallax P8X32A. Who wouldn’t want a 32 bit micro processor with 8 cores? But i am simply more comfortable programming in C as opposed to spin. Where parallax’s really excel is in the field of quad copters and robotics in general where you tend to need faster processing of sensor data.
oh yeah… happy Pi day!
- Porteus version 3.0 was just released.
- How to calculate Pi on your linux/unix or mac pc