Electronics > Microcontrollers

Starting with AVR-GCC. Any suggestions for literature?

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IanB:

--- Quote from: FenderBender on April 27, 2012, 11:24:25 pm ---As of now I don't really plan on being a software engineer (though you can't be certain what the future will hold). To be blatantly honest, I enjoy analog electronics more than digital. However, digital is inevitable, and I will have to be adaptive because who knows where I will land work. I also want to do some of my own projects with micros, but I've always been discouraged from doing anything too big.
--- End quote ---

You really don't need to worry too much about specialization at the early stages. Keep your thinking broad and it will serve you well.

All branches of engineering have much in common; engineering is about understanding and designing complex systems and the rules that govern their behavior. In electrical, mechanical or chemical engineering the rules may be scientific principles like physics or thermodynamics; in software engineering the rules are about logic, abstraction, organization, representation. But real engineering covers many areas. It would be hard to find a hardware project these days that doesn't have a whole lot of software in it.

Even the analog/digital divide is fuzzy. If you look close enough digital signals are analog, and sometimes the analog nature really matters. Ideal square waves only exist in textbooks. You will never see one on an oscilloscope.

Remember that "big" things are always a challenge for everyone. All big problems are solved by decomposing them into smaller problems that can be worked on individually. Don't be discouraged from attempting something big, just remember to be patient and to tackle it in bite-sized pieces. Everything you learn builds on something you learned before. Every problem is solved by starting at the beginning.

So never feel you have to do too much at once, and never feel what you are doing is too simple to be worthy. If it looks interesting and you have not done it before, give it a go and see what lessons you can take away from it.

FenderBender:
Thanks for all of the advice. My brother has a degree in Civil Engineering and you would assume he would be building bridges or something, designing pavement or something, right? No. He actually works for a company that puts up windmills in the ocean. Weird...So I guess an important thing would be to be able to think like an engineer as that will get the job done.

I just visited Rutgers University today which is only about an hour from where I live and I talked to some of the students. I feel like I know a good deal of what some of them are learning and they are 2nd or 3rd year students. Pssh even those grad students who for some reason thought I didn't know what a voltage controlled oscillator was... thought he was being so smart.  ;) So I'm pretty confident. The only problem now will be those darn Calc classes and then Multi-variable Calc. God help me. I don't hate math, but I'm not a natural born mathematician.  :P

Ed.Kloonk:
Some time ago I met a Civil Engineer who was working on a big project. His job was to oversee the construction of a new bridge.

I asked him about it and he said "The builders start constructing the bridge at each end and meet in the middle.

I asked him "Why are there two bridges?"

"We missed" he said.



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