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So I opened up a big bucket o' worms asking this question. Two of the answers mentioned that instead of using a 555, a PIC10F200 or PIC12F675 may do the trick.

Now, I've been spoiled with Arduino's programming interface...and have looked at this answer, and I want to expand on it a little bit. Mainly, I need someone who knows what they're talking about to confirm ro redirect my assumptions.

Assumption 1: There's some universal language for programming. It's likely assembly or some such.

Assumption 2: There's likely some software for PC that will allow me to write the program, and possibly even debug it.

Assumption 3: There's likely a USB or serial device that takes the completed code from my PC and flashes the chip. If I'm working with DIP-8, DIP-14 and DIP-28 chips at different times, is there some kind of universal IC flasher? or do I need a separate device for each chip?

What are some of the other questions that I need to be asking or pitfalls of which I need to be aware?

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closed as not a real question by clabacchio Apr 3 '13 at 8:37

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related thread How to choose a MCU platform. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Apr 3 '13 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev - wow. I am in DEEP. :) so many options. \$\endgroup\$ – dwwilson66 Apr 3 '13 at 1:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question is hard to answer because it's very broad. Perhaps you can improve the question with adding additional details, specific questions, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Apr 3 '13 at 8:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Camil is right, you should make it more scoped otherwise it will need too long and general answers. \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Apr 3 '13 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ For PICs, install the free MPLAB software from Microchip. That contains all the tools to write PIC code. It also includes a simulator, which is a great debugging environment unless you have lots of external world interactions. Still, many of those can be simulated well enough. After that you need hardware called a "PIC programmer" to dump the binary produced with MPLAB onto the actual PIC. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 3 '13 at 13:16
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There are many different ways to learn about specific topic however you can start reading books and knowing the main features of Microcontrollers, what is it?,learning about Risc vs Cisc Architectures,..etc.

I recommend you this :

http://www.amazon.com/PIC-Microcontroller-Personal-Introductory-Course/dp/0750666641/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364953188&sr=1-1&keywords=microcontroller

Assumption 1: There's some universal language for programming. It's likely assembly or some such.

As you know microcontrollers and humans communicate through the medium of the programming language called Assembly language. The word Assembler itself does not have any deeper meaning, it corresponds to the names of other languages such as English or French.In the practical world we have many didferents language but the comon used is C/C++,Vbasic .

Assumption 2: There's likely some software for PC that will allow me to write the program, and possibly even debug it.

if you've the proper elements (microcontroller,capacitors,resistors..etc for your project) you will need a programmer for flash or load your instructions in the chip,i know mplab is a Windows program package which enables easy program writing as well as easy program development. It is best to describe it as development environment for a standard program language designed for PC programming. MPLAB technically simplifies some operations consisting of a lot of parameters, which, until the IDE environment* appeared, were executed from the command line.You Can use for debuging porpouses,besides you could use Proteus for the simulation,and do the design.

Assumption 3: There's likely a USB or serial device that takes the completed code from my PC and flashes the chip. If I'm working with DIP-8, DIP-14 and DIP-28 chips at different times, is there some kind of universal IC flasher? or do I need a separate device for each chip? Programmers :

http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2519&param=en534451 I've used pickit3 is usb for the connection.

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Today, one way to get started with PIC programming, for about 35 dollars (plus ten dollars shipping) you can get the PIC24F Microstick 3V.

To program this, you download and install MPLAB environment, and add the separately downloaded MPLAB C30 compiler.

The Microstick is a tiny board "about the size of a stick of gum" with a USB port to plug into your PC. With this you can program the PIC, examine memory, run the code, and debug with breakpoints and single-stepping.

The device comes with headers you can install so that you can plug it into a socket on your own board, so there is no need to transplant the chip between the stick and your environment.

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I like TI's MSP430 Launchpad.

You program it in C/C++ (or assembler). The launchpad (ships with 2 microcontrollers) costs less than 10 USD - you get a free license for a Windows IDE (Eclipse based tool called Code Composer Studio, limited in compile size), or you can use a GCC toolchain under Linux.

The launchpad connects via USB to the PC (Windows and Linux work, Mac OS X will possibly work - I have not tried - with some components requiring compilation).

Once the microcontroller is programmed you can take it off the launchpad and use it on your own PCB/stripboard/breadboard.

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buy a pic12f, pickit2, a breadboard, and some led's, code it in assembler...

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