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I am trying to figure which microcontroller starter kit to buy, provided i have only macs and like to code on them (and look for a solution without linux in virtualbox and the like).

It is an acceptable answer to say that all compare poorly to Linux or Windows based toolchains but has to be explained.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any preferences towards a specific family of microcontrollers? \$\endgroup\$ – m.Alin Apr 7 '12 at 9:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Microchips newly releaseed tools are available for OSX, Windows and Linux. I haven't used them yet though. \$\endgroup\$ – kenny Apr 7 '12 at 12:19
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Depending on your needs, Arduino may be a fun starter kit with lots of shields (hardware expansions) available and a huge community. Arduino has a low entry level from both a hardware and software respective and you can still write regular C/C++ with it.

However, Arduino doesn't have a debugger. Recently Atmel has released AVR Studio 5, which is integrated into Visual Studio. It makes it even less portable to OSX, unfortunately.

I do know microchip has released MPLAB X final recently, and it is supplied for Mac OSX out of the box. I don't have a Mac to test it , but I am pretty certain it will work (have seen 1 or 2 random video's of people using it fine with Pickit 3 and PIC24's).

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I use the gcc/AVR toolchain under OS-X, inside eclipse and from the command line. I don't know what other gcc code-generation options are available, but it would surprise me if gcc didn't target most of the more popular devices.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Their is also a similar toolchain available for MSP-430 on Mac. \$\endgroup\$ – ben Apr 9 '12 at 14:32
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OS whatever is a FreeBSD "port". Anything rated for unix or linux can be made to work with an amount of effort proportional to your experience level.

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