I have dabbled with electronics in the past, mostly analog. I have also worked through some tutorials available online and ventured into micro-controllers. My interests wavered over time on the choice of micro-controller. I used PIC for a while, then moved to AVR and then MSP430 and so on. I was able to easily locate what I need through various sources on the internet. I then adapted the examples and then modified it to suit my needs. But, I was never able to master the skill and develop what I needed from scratch. It dawned on me one fine day, why not just stick with one controller and then perhaps get a book/coursework and go through that cover to cover.

I decided to pick a micro-controller for my study based on the availability of information and examples. I did my research but, I think everyone knows the answer to that question. There is no beating Arduino when in comes to examples and tutorials. So Arduino it was. But, I did not want to get Uno or Leonardo type of boards. I feared that the examples will be more of a straight forward cut and paste and I might get sloppy with the true purpose of this journey. I wanted to get something that would help me grow beyond the basics, and some room to grow. I considered Due but then decided not to venture into ARM and 32-bit world without mastering the 8-bit domain. So, I decided that it would be Arduino Mega 2560.

I then started to search for a board and found one at an affordable price. I ordered that and in few days it was at my door steps. I powered in on through an USB cable and the familiar LED Blink program was pre-loaded and it worked. My PC did not detect the appropriate drivers automatically, but, a brief search on the web pointed me in the right direction and I was able to get that resolved quickly. So all set for the hardware.

I was searching for a good book in paper form. You cannot copy and paste the code from a printed book and that takes complacency out of the equation. When you type the code yourself, you will make mistakes. Those mistakes are the first steps for successful learning.

I found Arduino Cookbook by Michael Margolis and it had decent reviews. I got the book too, it is an easy read. I think it was a good choice for my purposes. Get the Second Edition as it refers to the more recent revisions of Arduino Uno.

The book had a couple of examples before the more structured approach and I was able to try out the examples. I have a decent inventory of tools and components and so at this stage I just salvage the parts from some of my old projects. Hopefully I can go through the book from cover to cover this year and record my findings.

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