Peripheral Interface Controllers, Personal Computers, and Bill Gates

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by ElectronicMotor, May 9, 2016.

  1. ElectronicMotor

    Thread Starter Member

    May 1, 2016
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    I get bored sometimes in my workshop, building stuff, and I do a bit of thinking.
    I love Peripheral Interface Controllers (PICs). They give me a lot of 'real-time' control over the things that I am building.
    I used to love Personal Computers (PCs), as they also did this, back in the days of DOS, Windows 3.X, and Parallel Printer Ports.
    Now, thanks to Bill Gates (BG) and his 'Capitalist Market Monopoly', they are only good for painting pretty pictures on big screens.
    A PC is nothing more than an expanded version of a PIC. BG has turned what could have been an extremely useful tool for electronics engineering into a Great Big Piece Of Fluff (GBPOF).

    So, You Can Only Fluff A Pillow So Much, BG.
     
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    I too lament the loss of the parallel port, but there are plenty of converter/expander/adapter gadgets available for use via a USB port or Wi-Fi.
    As for getting bored building stuff, ...... surely not? :D
     
  3. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Then use linux
     
  4. ElectronicMotor

    Thread Starter Member

    May 1, 2016
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    I will admit, my two million pixels of screen is pretty cool, and I can pick up a good DigiTek USB oscilloscope for around two grand.
    Bloody audio ! I will give Linux another crack though. I still think BG has wrecked it for us enthusiasts. I love progress, but Capitalists !
    I wanted my PIC to communicate with my PC on my current project. I would have to be 18 again to figure out USB communication. Although there is stuff out there that will do that too. I swore I would build my OWN computer and write my OWN operating system. It looks like I am doing that.
    Lament, Lament, Lament.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  5. dannyf

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2015
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    It is always easy and fun to blame others for your own misgivings.

    But, you can only play that game so many times before your time runs out.
     
  6. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Ubuntu has reached a usable state of condition. It's the most common just to use it for some office work. Mplabx starts up quite fast.

    Windows...well often the hdd led is on for minutes. Then nothing for several days. Then crashes again or network errors. It's of course some hardware which is outdated or for which a compatibility mode driver Is used.

    Windows in some cases will search windows update all over again after failing to install the supplied driver. Though the software works and sees the device.
     
  7. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    "Capitalist Market Monopoly"......................that's a good one.
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Stop crying and whining.
    You want to build your own computer and operating system? Been there, done that.
    There are lots of options out there to choose from besides PICs and PCs.
    Look at ARM chips such as STM32F4 family.
    I capture gamma ray pulses at 42Msps and can analyze the pulse in 10μs - straight code, no hardware support. No fancy OS that gets in the way. Scope and info displayed on LCD monitor in real time, all done in software.
    The sky's the limit. All you need is your imagination.
     
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  9. John P

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2008
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    And there's Raspberry Pi and all its imitators. There seems to be an infinite variety of big chips that do something in between a little microcontroller and a real computer.

    It's true that there isn't much left on a current PC that qualifies it as a "hacker engine". We've had to get used to doing without memory-mapped interfaces, but USB is pretty wonderful, if you understand that you never need to understand it(!!) Get an interface chip like the FTDI one (I designed my own carrier board for it) and it looks like a UART at both ends of the line, and for many projects, you can power your electronics off the USB cable.Then you have access to huge data storage, off-board data processing, and a great big display. And you can pick the computer up and carry it anywhere, even if there's no power source where you want to operate (for a while).

    Oh but it is a tragedy. I'll never PEEK or POKE again.
     
  10. DNA Robotics

    Member

    Jun 13, 2014
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    I don't know why people keep upgrading to the latest & greatest before they have to. I have numerous XP PCs to run CNC in my machine shop and hobby interfacing with the parallel port. I still have 1 laptop with a parallel port.

    Would you buy a program that wouldn't work on your computer? I won't buy a computer that isn't compatible with my favorite Paint Shop Pro program from 1999.

    A friend gave me a Windows 7 laptop. I like it well enough for surfing the internet but I still use an XP laptop for emails because I like Outlook Express.

    You should have kept your old computers but you can still buy them at second hand stores.
    The only thing wrong with GW Basic and Q Basic were that they were slow. At 2+ giga-hertz they are not slow anymore and would be much easier for a young person to learn than C++ windows programming.

    End rant...
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
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  11. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
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    I use Win 7. I looked at Win 10, and I will never upgrade to it because it is not suitable for my purposes. Don't know what I do if Microsoft kills Win 7 so that I can no longer install it, but it certainly won't be Win 10. Hopefully, they come up with some new version where you can remove the Apps and such. I would pay for that. But chances are slim :( I still could use Win XP on my computer. I could even use Win NT if it had USB and drivers for newer hardware. But I like how you can tile windows with your mouse in Win 7 - the only feature I found really useful in the past 15 years - so I stay with Win 7.

    As to the parallel port - there are hundred millions computers made every year. Only a tiny fraction of people would want a parallel port. It's silly to install parallel ports into hundreds of millions of computers.

    You can, however, buy a PCI card and add a parallel port to your computer for $5 which doesn't sound like a huge expense compared to the cost of the computer.
     
  12. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    In fact, he has more options today to build/integrate whatever hardware he wants, in any configuration, with whatever operating system -- with more power and at a lower cost than ever before imaginable.

    And this is all due to capitalism.

    What the hell is he complaining about?!!!
     
  13. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    The only things I'll go back to the '80s for are the music and the girls...

    ...and Ronald Reagan.
     
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  14. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
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    But now you can get music with more power and at a lower cost than ever before imaginable :)
     
    joeyd999 likes this.
  15. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Old people.....
     
  16. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I have friends that still run MS-DOS on both legacy machines and modern machines because they want the level of control it gives. I don't know the ins and outs of running it on the current architectures and I know that they had to fight some battles to get it to work.
     
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  17. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Windows 10 Anniversary edition release will include the BASH shell from Ubuntu..
     
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