- Jan 1, 1970
1. Do you need ICE : In Circuit Emulator ? This is hardware which lets you
stop your program at the places you choose and look at your variables. If
you are a newbie or in a hurry, or need insurance, an ICE is required. The
alternative is "Crash and Burn", where you write some code, fiddle until it
works, write some more. People say they don't need an ICE, but I would not
pay someone to spend days finding a bug by trial and error.
I'm just in the process of buying an 8 bit ICE for around A$12,000.
I'd say that was a bit pricey for a student, wouldn't you?
2. Only the bigger chips do C++, because of required code memory.
That leaves C for the smaller chips. Let me share a secret : programmer
productivity and quality when using C (and C++) is fairly low, ie you take
more time to produce code with more bugs. This is to do with the C language
itself. There may be screams of outrage from others on this group, but you
can save brain cells, time and quality by using Pascal or even a good
compiled Basic. Don't be too proud.
3. Get the most powerful chip you can : the most RAM, FLASH, EEPROM, speed,
timers, peripherals, ports etc. You aren't going to make 1000 of these, so
saving $50 and spending 2 months extra time is silly.
Maybe, except the high end CPUs tend to be a lot more complex
which is probably not what a beginner needs.
For $450 you can buy the JTAG ICE for AVR - a real In Circuit Emulator.
Better than my A$12k but still a lot for a newbie.
The AVRs have so much grunt that I write all my interrupt handlers in C.
Not a line of assembler anywhere.
Errr... hang on a mo... didn't you just say in  above... no,never