In the past I’ve expressed a negative opinion of Arduino, I’ve described it as an overpriced solution for people that are too lazy to learn a real microcontroller. At this time I am completely flip-flopping on this opinion

. The Arduino is in fact a fabulously useful and reasonably priced tool that every nerd should own. In the past I felt that at $30 or so per unit was too expensive to actually use for anything On the Internet you see numerous electronics projects with an Arduino at its heart and this isn’t really what’s intended. The Arduino you see is actually a prototyping tool, that’s not a secret, they say so on the website very near the top of the page. However for a long time I failed to appreciate what that really meant. Hopefully I can rescue someone from my mistake.

The intended use you see,is to come up with An Idea, throw it together with bread boards and dead bug and tape and glue and whatever, and your Arduino! Then you can write your code, find out if your idea really works, get everything debugged and then you can design a board and build your device for keeps. Your Arduino goes back on the shelf for your next project and your board gets populated with an atemel microcontroller that runs between $3 and $4 depending on where you get it.

In the beginning of course all your projects are based on the same atmega 328 that the Arduino Uno is based on however this provides an excellent gateway to using many other atemel microcontrollers several of which have their own Arduino’s based on them. In short, Arduino’s are awesome, I was totally wrong about them, and you’re going to see a lot more of them here.

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