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Customer Testimonials » A Gold Mine of Experience

September 03, 2009
by dbankman
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Wow! I'm thrilled with the quality of this kit, and more so with the quality of support I've gotten from the NerdKits team. These guys, having graduated from MIT just a year ago, are a gold mine of experience and knowledge when it comes to all things electronic. Not only do they have the answers to all my questions, but they also have the skill to teach effectively. It's rare for engineers to have phenomenal teaching skills, and it's even rarer for two of them to partner up and start a company dedicated to teaching. I consider myself lucky to be a customer.

When I first got my NerdKit in the mail (2 days after I ordered it) I started by reading the PDF guide. I was impressed by how easy the guide made it to get an AVR microcontroller up and running in just minutes. The AVRMacPack for Mac OS X on the NerdKits customer downloads page is incredibly convenient. Normally it can be difficult to configure an expensive programmer and the avr-gcc compiler, but not with NerdKits. They make it easy. And the best part is, unlike an Arduino kit, you're still interacting directly with the AVR microcontroller and writing straight up AVR C code. This is by far the best setup for learning microcontrollers with a single one-stop shopping bargain kit.

In addition, each NerdKit comes with a ton of sample code. This is very helpful for anyone learning the basics of AVR C programming. My favorite NerdKits code is the LCD driver. Having written a minimal LCD driver for the Arduino, I know how time consuming it can be to implement and debug a parallel interface. NerdKits provides the LCD driver code and examples of how to use it so that even beginners can enjoy LCDs in their microcontroller projects. LCDs are great for debugging and NerdKits makes it really easy to use them.

I was most impressed by the response I got from Mike Robbins regarding my question about implementing the discrete Fourier transform on the AVR as a modification of the sound meter project. He gave me a couple suggestions about how to improve the efficiency of my code, and explained them so thoroughly that I (someone who has taken no classes in signal processing) could understand them without a problem. Again, it's very rare to find an engineer with incredible teaching skills. NerdKits truly is a gold mine.

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