PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: I'm a capitalist and I'm okay...


I'm a capitalist and I'm okay...

I'm a capitalist and I'm okay
I work all night and I sleep all day

300px-LaunchPad_wireframe Well, I don't work all night so much anymore. I used to.  I am a capitalist though. I think money is good (what some people do with it, not so much). And, I also think that when people make money, they should do so in such a way that others benefit as well. That's one of the reasons I like Ti's Beagleboard so much. Speaking of Ti, they have another microcontroller product that I'm excited about as well.

The MSP430 LaunchPad is a little development board designed for education in general as well as familiarization with the MSP430 line of microcontrollers for experienced developers. (I hope they don't mind that I'm using their picture on the right here. I don't have one so I couldn't take my own picture of it.)

A lot of companies have development boards for their chips. That's nothing new. But what is really cool is that they have set a retail price for this of $4.30. Yes, the price of a 16 ounce latte.

Now I know that a latte is important. Some people have speculated that civilization would collapse without caffeine. But, here's what you get in the place of that latte: (from the Ti website, again)

"For $4.30, the LaunchPad includes a development board, 2 programmable MSP430 microcontrollers, mini-USB cable, PCB connectors for expandability, external crystal for increased clock accuracy, and free & downloadable software integrated development environments (IDEs)"

Cool. I can explode one and still have another to finish the project with. I'm going to get me one of these and spend some time with it. I don't have any personal experience with the MSPP430 line, so it will be filling it's primary mission.

On the subject, I ran across an interesting website dedicated to the MSP430: www.43oh.com. If you're already a 430er or are just intrigued by the chip, go check it out.

Duane Benson
Buttered scones, anyone?


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Socialists loving money isn't an oxymoron, nor is capitalists wanting fairness.

Whomever you are, you just gotta do your best to do the right thing.

Jam on scones can be good too.

Buttered scones sound great. I'm a socialist and I love money. That's not an oxymoron contrary to the stereotype. I'm a market socialist and I love free enterprise. There are more and more like us around. You'll learn what it means soon enough but let's say that business is dandy with us but Wall street and Banks are going to get it hard if we get our way... mmm Butter and scones.

A great reference for the MSP430 series is the book "MSP430 Microcontroller Basics" by John H. Davies. I've been using these devices for years and this recent purchase (about the price of 15 lattes) would have been so nice to have. Even at present I find it invaluable. Davies collected a lot of information and presents it all in one place for the reader. It is a real time and headache saver.

The LaunchPad is a great tool for introducing kids with just a little programming experience (I'm talking elementary school here) to electronics. Nothing like blinking LEDs to light up their eyes, sp to speqk. Major kudos to TI for putting this platform out there!

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