Saturday, October 27, 2012

Making Progress

With the help of N8ERO, I have been making some progress in sorting out some of the content.  Although I am capturing it in the form of a book, I'm not so sure that  will be the final format.

It might be nice to publish an actual book. I suspect a lot of folks would still like to see actual paper.  But I would also like for people to be able to access it free of charge.  Jared Smith has published books licensed as CC-BY-SA, which is how I would like to do this course.  I need to touch bases with him.

The Elmer 160 course was released as a series of PDFs, one for each chapter.  That might not be such a bad plan for this one too, but it makes things like cross references and indices somewhat problematic.

It might even be preferable to release it as a series of YouTube videos, or perhaps on online course on Moodle.  even if it is released as a document or documents, I think a few videos in support would be a good thing.

At this point, much of what is there is somewhat fragmented.  I have a good set of screenshots and prose around creating a project in MPLAB-X.  I have an initial program.  The plan is to do a simple blink a LED, but in multiple steps:

  • Write  a loop that toggles the LED pin.  Run that program through the MPLAB-X simulator and see the port change.
  • Run the program in the dsPIC-EL.  Observe that the LED stays on.
  • Recognize that the LED is blinking too fast to see.  Insert some delay loops to slow things down.  This is an opportunity to introduce functions and refactoring.
  • Instead of delay loops, use the dsPIC timer.
  • Instead of hovering over the timer, use an interrupt.
I also have the beginnings of a quick intro to C, and a number of tables that required research.  There are lots of details folks might ask like "where are these include files?", "what are all the data types?", and "what are the differences between the different PICs?".  All of these require digging up the associated data.

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