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C Programming for Microcontrollers Featuring ATMEL's AVR Butterfly and the free WinAVR Compiler Paperback – March 1, 2005


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C Programming for Microcontrollers Featuring ATMEL's AVR Butterfly and the free WinAVR Compiler + tinyAVR Microcontroller Projects for the Evil Genius + Programming Arduino: Getting Started With Sketches
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Smiley Micros (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976682206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976682202
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The author (Electrical Engineer, Official Atmel AVR Consultant, and award winning writer) makes the sometimes-tedious job of learning C easier by often breaking the in-depth technical exposition with humor and anecdotes detailing his personal experience and misadventures.

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Customer Reviews

I found the book to be very readable, easy to understand and fun to read through.
Book Reader
I must say this book appears rushed, has some crucial errors (especially for first timers), typos, poor layout in places, and a weak index.
Mark Strauch
The author bills the book as "...a low cost way to learn C programming for microcontrollers", for beginners.
Steve

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tronix Student on November 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am writing this review from both the viewpoint as a student of electronics, and as a teacher of some 13 years experience.

Pros:

* Excellent value for money

* Excellent hardware available from author's website

* User-friendly style of writing

* Wide coverage of C - I am learning a lot

* CD ROM contains source code, data sheets, compiler, IDE and

terminal software, software for downloading code

* Friendly and responsive answers to questions via email

* Wide range of topics covered

Cons:

* Sloppy editing - many typos and some fundamental errors

* Weakness in communicating concepts

* Needs to explain longer/detailed code/program examples step-by-step to fully explain concepts and so students grasp program functionality and AVR architecture clearly and confidently

* Has been rushed

Mr. Pardue has written an enjoyable book. His writing style makes it easy to get through somewhat technical subject matter. There are a range of fun and practical examples to experiment with. However, more detailed examples could be broken down further and explained, which from a pedagogical perspective would be more effective for students to fully grasp and feel confident with the inner workings of programming.

If Mr. Pardue writes a sequel covering more advanced C programming and AVR microcontroller concepts, especially detailed assembly language programming and AVR architecture, and effectively explains detailed code examples and AVR architecture step-by-step I will definitely buy it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Book Reader on February 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This a fun book that is great for people that want to get started in embedded programming and design. And at a low introductory affordable price.

This book, and the AVR Butterfly (~$20 at Digikey) are the best bargain you can get for getting started in Embedded programming and development. Together (the book, the AVR Butterfly and miscellaneous parts) form a complete development kit. AVR must be selling the kit for a loss to introduce their products. Buy it before they change their minds.

Although this is not a professional development kit, you will be able to do a lot. This is more like a cookbook to introduce you to the concepts and to enable to easily put a project together.

After reading through this and putting together the projects you will have the basics to understand more advanced books and enable you to design more advanced projects.

The one basic I thought the author left out that was important to include, was the C programming type qualifier "volatile". Volatile before a variable tells the compiler that a variable can have its value altered by agencies other than the program. For example you would use this when you are reading from a hardware address that is set by an interface. Otherwise the compiler may optimize the variable as a constant and not actually read the value from the hardware address on repeat iterations.

Code example: volatile int temp; Reads an 8 bit temperature code from a hadware address interfaced to a thermocouple.

So now you have it.

I found the book to be very readable, easy to understand and fun to read through.

As prerequisites for this I would recommend:

* Familiarity with the C programming language.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Steve on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author bills the book as "...a low cost way to learn C programming for microcontrollers", for beginners. Low cost it is, but for beginners, it's likely not.

Pardue's book is about two things: hardware, and software.

For hardware, Pardue commendably picked Atmel's Butterfly. It's a truly amazing and compelling miniaturized machine, guaranteed to mesmerize and puzzle anyone with a desire to learn microcontrollers. For less than the cost of a dinner, one can have the Butterfly, and for a song, download the free software to program it. Pardue's book is also reasonable in cost.

What makes the Butterfly come alive is a program, a compiled C program. And the software side of Pardue's book is centered around the C language. Briefly, the author takes you through the process of learning C, writing programs, compiling them, loading them on the Butterfly, and executing them. While C is a relatively "low level" read "simple", language, it is still complex and difficult to understand for beginners.

What makes this book a bad choice for the newbie? Well, you can't teach C and microcontrollers in 269 pages, period. Basically, the author's scope for the book is simply too ambitious. But don't misunderstand: Learning C with the Butterfly is a really good idea, it's just not practical in so few pages.

For example, a good C book covers mostly C, unsurprisingly. For instance, Prata's very good "C Primer Plus", is over 700 fairly concise, but beginner friendly, pages. (Granted, Prata's book covers more C topics than Pardue's book, but the comparison is still valid and compelling.)

Contrast that to Pardue's short 269 page book, that attempts to cover appx 700 pages of C, and at the same time, covers microcontrollers. Not gonna happen.
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