Advice on microcontrollers

Hey everyone. Long-time member of the site, but just now starting to get into microcontrollers. Looking for some help on choosing a good, easy line of microcontrollers/programmer (easy to use without sacrificing too much function) which would be good for someone new to microcontrollers. Would the ATTiny line of microcontrollers be any good, or would pic be better? Oh, I'm also a university student so cost of the microcontroller/programmer is something I'd like to keep low (if possible). Thanks to anyone who might be able to help me. Either respond here or send me a private message ... Thanks again :)

Brennn109 years ago

Have you looked around a bit? There are multiple Instructables. I am sure Westfw has a ton of knowledge about this, so he might come along and answer your questions as well.
You should try PIC micros (same as pic microcontroller), you can get them free as samples from the site, and a programmer which can program a wide variety of them is available at sparkfun electronics for about 10 dollars. Or if size isn't a matter you could always use an arduino
Atmel's AVR microcontrollers (ATTiny, ATMega and the original line) are also available as free samples on their site. They're cheap, can be programmed in Assembly or C (or basic, but I'm not sure there's a free compiler for that). You can also get super cheap programmers for AVRs, but to get you off to the right start with minimal headache, I recommend the USBtinyISP Programmer ($22 www.adafruit.com). AVR has the added benefit of being more standardized than PICs, meaning that if you know how to program one AVR microcontroller, you can probably program any of them. You can't quite say that with PICs. Don't get me wrong. Microchip PICs are great, but they're not the only good thing out there.