Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best places to eat when you are in Atibaia

I have lived in Atibaia SP Brazil for a year and there were two places I strongly recommend you to visit. The city has many restaurants, most of them very expensive and not worth the dimes.

Delicias do Paulo is known for the parmeggiana steak, which is a favorite of mine, Although I could not afford a real filet mignon , a contra filet was possible to my pocket. Man, they have two sizes for the dish, and the small one is enough for 3 persons. It is accompanied by rice and French fries. A crispy mass evolves the meat and the tomatoes sauce is carefully made to add flavor not just hide lack of taste and spices. And they have this mixture of two kinds of cheese, mozzarella and a traditional cheese from Minas Gerais. The price of the medium steak was 35 reais ( contra filet ) and around 40 for the filet mignon. But really worth.

Picanha na Tabua is what we call here a "churrascaria" or a "all you can eat : steakhouse". But many have these buffet tables to make you eat stuff and forget the meat it self. At Picanha na Tabua, they serve you a big dish with sallad, rice, beans, sauce and bread and then they start bringing you maminhas, fraldinhas com bacon, picanha, cupim, everything roasted and made as it should be. The best barbecue you will find there. The price was around 9,90 reais so it is more than worth.


I have looked over for the topics people reach this blog and it seems that most people check my ARM simulators post.

I have a piece of advice. Being my self poor enough to not being able to afford any ARM development board ( though Olimex has cheap ones ) I got into this search for a simulator. I in fact do not recommend using one. If you are after getting knowledge with ARM, you probably would be better buying a cheap J-TAG and development board from Olimex ( hey Olimex, if you want to give me free hardware for this free advertisement I am not gonna regret ;-)) and using Yagarto , not a lizard folks, just a suite with all the stuff you need.

However, commercially speaking I would be willing to do ARM development from scratch, only if paid by a major company which could afford compilers like Keil or IAR. And real good debugging hardware.

Anyway, you can play with IAR and Keil demos.

If programming for hobby, please consider AVRs, their 32 bits version for example.

I intentionally did not include links for Keil or IAR here. If they want to advertise, I want them to pay me :-) This is my "demo advertisement". But I do admit, their products are excellent.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

AVR Quick start for C freaks Part 2: Information

Ok, first of all get the datasheets, they are far better than 99% of the tutorials you are trying to find on the web. If you are not satisfied, check this tutorial . They describe the architecture, assembly, external hardware in more palatable words than ATMEL and they make use of the Atmega8 AVR processor as an example. They also have GOOD schematics for the hardware.
In fact, they seem to be happy to give a picture of the whole thing.

As for C programming, the link below is quite didactic as it also teaches C, but it will fill us - C old freaks and 8 bit microcontrollers fans- with good tips.

I had posted another link, but I became aware that it used many deprecated features so I think that the best reference is actually the documentation it self:

Is also a good place to go and play around:

Actually, this is the first site you should check, but the information is not quite easy to find at first grasp, so don't give up. Do like me and try the forums first. Believe me, this is actually one of the few forums around that have posts that can teach you anything on the subject they are supposed to deal with: AVRs. The ARM lists, for example, are full of people rather preoccupied to show their skills than to help.

More of it, I can come up later. Just avoid the hard paths. Go straight to these links given by me.
And of course:

Ok, for now it is all I can give. I still don't have a secure knowledge of the programming softwares to load the hex code to AVRs, they seem to be easy to assembly.

AVR Quick start for C freaks Part 1: The Software

The ATMEL AVR processors, are the genuine state of art in 8 bit processors. In fact it is historically known that its architecture evolved with C programming in mind. Please take a look at Wikipedia . If you don't trust me of course. Well, the initial chips were designed by some brilliant Norway dudes from ATMEL Norway. More info from Wikipedia here.

AVRs benefit from RISC instruction set and Harvard architecture and it is generally reported as the fastest and more efficient 8 bit microcontrollers.

I don't aim to teach the whole thing, I just see you like someone like me: you know C pretty darn well, you can read a datasheet and grasp a processor easily, you don't use and don't want to use pirate software.

Firstly get these software:
  1. Some AVR developers gathered all open source free tools to develop programs for AVR using C, that's WinAVR.
  2. Get the AVRStudio from ATMEL, it is free and you can interconect it with the compiler that comes with WinAVR.
This is all. Really. WinAVR has in the bundle, the avr-gcc compiler, which is a MingGW port for AVR. They also put in the bundle the avrc-lib which is a C libray for usage . When you install WinAVR it will set your Windows leaving nothing for you, avoiding headaches. You may of course, use the IDE that comes with WinAVR but believe me, I used it, also used many others and none of them handles makefiles. Yes, I have edited the make file template that comes with WinAVR and got to compile, make, etc. It is just that if you install AVRStudio the ATMEL freaks allow that you choose the GCC compiler, and just edit the make file visually. Which is a piece of cake. I am old, I don't need to waste time to brag about how cool I am because I handle my make files by hand ;-)

Coming next :Part 2 or "Hey Man, where do I get information on the AVRs without wasting time searching on google or need to ask it in forums full of people that is easily irritated?" which I will answer pointing the good and free docs on the web that I took some time to find.