I continue to be frustrated by the state of embedded systems programming.
If I want to program an ARM9, I need a special programmer. If I want to program an MSP430, it will require a special programmer. The list goes on and on, for each new chip that I think I'd like to develop code for; the cost is prohibitive, and in each case, it is likely that the tools:
I don't know about you, but my MacBook doesn't have a parallel port. And Windows running under VMWare doesn't always recognize these little programming dongles. And really, I don't want to use Windows or Linux at all. I want to use my Mac.
I'm thinking that I need a sub-$300 device (sub $100 would be ideal) that can program any small device, whether it is the new Blackfin processor or a crappy little PIC. This implies a software solution, with some mix-n-match cabling coming out of the box.
I'm going to start thinking about this a bit more, because it is a genuine problem in the embedded space. It represents the worst kind of vendor lock-in, and makes my life as an educator and hobbyist a complete nightmare. I need a solution that:
In the end, the solution is probably called a "LEGO Mindstorms NXT", and I should just give up on embedded platforms. But I'm not prepared for that yet.