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Getting Started with PIC Answered

Hello again,

I'm looking for suggestion or first hand accounts on getting started with programmable IC's. I'd say I have enough basic electronics skill to get by, but I'm completely new to programmable chips. So I'm asking where is the best place to start? I'm mostly just looking for hobby stuff at this point. The PICAXE stuff seems simple enough for a starting point, anyone have first hand experience there? I should note I don't have any access to programming though parallel ports, and I'm running Windows Vista, so any set up would need to support usb and my os. Additionally any recommendations on some reading would be nice too.

Thanks again


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