Well a couple months back, I started watching videos by Julian Ilett on YouTube. He buys many things directly from China via ebay international. I decided to give it a try. The first thing I thought about was obviously the Arduino. Although I was a PIC guy for most of the time, the lack of a proper free C compiler for the same along with the paging issue had forced me to abandoned programming in ASM like a plague. I used to do ASM for PIC only if it was utmost important. The rest of the cases, I just abandoned programming entirely.
I decided to try my luck with Arduino Pro Minis available from china for just above $2 each. Received my shipment in about a month and a half and now I am addicted The ease of use of Arduino is just amazing. Other than the occasional irks with the Dev environment, everything works great for an amateur. So now I do not even look back to PICs anymore. Don’t get me wrong I like them, but the lack of a proper C compiler is just ridiculous.
I am in the process of writing a DS3231 RTC launchpad program. Its almost finished. Once complete it will be available from GitHub.