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I'm really a fun of Arduino project, it's easy and it has a great community. But i am aware that is has no technological innovation, it is only a wrapper on a (normal?) microchip, if i have understand well.

What there was before arduino? What was the way to do program microchip before if?

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There might be a bit of confusion as to what Arduino is: Arduino is not just the hardware platform, but also a set of software that allows the same code to run on most/all of Arduino-compatible boards. However, since your question seems to be about hardware, I'll stick to that.

Arduino was first developed in 2005. However, other easer-than-bare-chip systems around before then. Two examples:

So the first answer is "other Arduino-like systems were around before Arduino". The PICAXE, for instance is programmed over the serial port, in a manner similar to Arduino (which is programmed over the USB, usually).


Before that there were bare chips like AVRs and PICs, and hobbysts had to build the supporting circuitry (like LEDs, crystals, etc) themselves, circuitry that is built into the Arduino.

The Flash-based chips can be programmed in a manner similar to programming the Arduino without the bootloader: over the serial/USB connection. This requires dedicated programming hardware, which you can build at home.

Prior to Flash-based microcontrollers there existed other types of EEPROM and EPROM programmable chips. The programmers for this type of digital logic were bulkier and generally not something hobbyists built for themselves.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, nicely turned around an otherwise broad question with your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Anindo Ghosh Apr 24 '13 at 8:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this largely ignores the existence of Dev Kits, which arguably, is exactly what basic stamps and arduinos are, simply with different marketing terms. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 24 '13 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Camil Staps, Leon Heller, Anindo Ghosh, placeholder, Brian Carlton: This question should be reopened because of a class of devices known as Single-board-computers in existence at least 20 years before the PICaxe, Arduino, et al came into existence. The genealogy of SBCs is here \$\endgroup\$ – EM Fields Jan 1 '16 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EMFields A definitive feature of an Arduino is its development environment which is beginner-friendly and is extremely affordable (low total cost of ownership). To look for Arduino's predecessor, we should look for earlier devices that followed such philosophy. So, we find BasicStamp, BasicX, and such. Single-board computers are a somewhat different animal. Perhaps, a single-board computer to an Arduino is what a microprocessor is to a microcontroller. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jan 1 '16 at 21:26

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