Kyle Winfree on 18 Jun 2010 08:25:43 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] PIC Programmers?

Hi All,
    I just wanted to let those interested know that I did settle on an 
Arduino board for prototyping my project.  I choose it for several 
reasons; off the shelf hardware (mp3 player expansion), FOSSish in 
nature, and what sounds to be a relatively short programming learning 
curve.  I'll keep notes on the project progress on my blog, updated once 
a week or so, at
Thanks to all who responded and helped me decide on the Arduino,

Eric Wetzel wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 5:49 AM, Kyle Winfree <> wrote:
>> Hi Tom,
>>      Have you ever done any audio projects with either?  Or analog
>> output of any kind?  I haven't decided on an mp yet because I'm so
>> unsure of analog output support.
>> Thanks,
>> Kyle
> I've had a lot of experience with Microchip's PIC microcontroller and
> a little experience with Atmel's AVR family. Microchip doesn't make or
> sell a C compiler for their 8-bit micros, so it's assembly or a
> third-party C compiler. Their assembler and MPLAB IDE is free as in
> beer, but not free as in speech, and only available for Windows. They
> do officially support a C compiler for their 16-bit product line (the
> PIC24s and dsPICs); it's kindof a bastardized fork of gcc. In my
> experience it's been difficult to compile for Linux, but Xiaofan has
> done a lot of work and support in this area
> ( In contrast, Atmel's toolchain seems to
> be much closer to stock GNU and much more cross-platform.
> For hobbyism, the place where I feel these companies really differ is
> in sample availability. Microchip has sampled me many parts quickly
> and for free over the years. My three sample request experiences with
> Atmel have been atrocious. One came 6 months later, one never came,
> and the most recent one (through a distributor) I had to get the
> distributor to fill because Atmel wasn't even responding to THEM!
> Regarding audio, I've built a breadboard version of Ladyada's MintyMP3
> (, which is based on a PIC18. She
> uses a 24-bit resolution, stereo audio DAC with an SPI interface from
> Texas Instruments that's pretty cheap. Also, TI samples pretty easily.
> Regards,
> ~Eric
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