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September 17, 2009
by rusirius
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I've been wanting to dive into microcontrollers for a long time now... I just never took the leap... Why? Because every time I started looking into what I needed I ended up with a headache! Different MCU's of every shape, size, and description... Half of which never made any real solid sense to me... Even after deciding on a specific platform (AVR for example) then you've got tons of different development boards, programmers, debuggers, daughter cards, expansion cards, and other crap to try to sift through...

No matter how many data sheets you read or product descriptions, you still never really seem to have an exact understanding of what you really need, etc... Even if you get the hardware side figured out, then you've still got the software side! Do you need an IDE? What about a compiler? How much did you say that's gonna cost me?!? It's just a huge mess that seems like you'll never be able to sort it all out...

That's exactly what happened to me, time and time again... I'd just about think I had everything figured out and be ready to place an order and then more confusion would set in and I'd just say, "Ahhh FORGET IT!!!"

Then I found Nerdkits... Could this really be true? Everything I need all in one package, included full instructions to help me get started? Not to mention complete product support ready to answer any questions I might have??? Try getting that with a bunch of various parts you threw together!

Now let me be honest here... I already had experience in coding with C... I also had a pretty good knowledge of TTL/CMOS circuits as well as basic analog stuff. So did that help me? No doubt about it! BUT... Given that prior knowledge, that's why I can say with total confidence that even if you don't have any of that knowledge before hand, the information provided with the nerdkit will get you where you want to be in no time!

Within an hour of opening up my kit I was already coding my own application for the ATMega168...

Now I'm sitting here about a week later with a nerdkit, an STK500, a Dragon, several extra ATMega168s, an ATMEGA8515, and an ATMEGA16... I'm already in the middle of coding several good applications and have tons more ideas that I can't wait to start! And it's all thanks to the nerdkit!!!

What Mike and Humberto have done here is taken everything available and applied their extensive knowledge of the field to boil it all down into it's most basic elements. The result is something that has to be the most rapid learning system for the AVR series I could imagine.

In no time after getting their kit suddenly all that information on those datasheets will make perfect sense... Once you want to grow beyond the kit, you'll know exactly what you need, where you want to explore, and how to go about it!

Just for the record, since I know someone out there will no doubt think I'm a stooge and just here for marketing purposes, I am in NO WAY affiliated with nerdkits, nor had I ever even heard of them before my first order a few days ago. I'm not being paid for this, or gaining anything personally for it... I just hope that someone out there, or hopefully lots of people out there, who might be in the same situation I was, will read this and be able to experience for themselves just how great of a product this really is.

You WON'T be sorry you did!!!

September 18, 2009
by mcai8sh4
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Here Here!

I'm sure Rusirius' comment reflects the thoughts of alot of the current Nerdkits customers.

September 24, 2009
by tech20
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Perfect!! This is almost exactly how i was going to put my review(Except i have had less electronics side experience) but this is the perfect review, and really, this is the best kit for all who want to plundge into microcontroller( or digital electronics in general), but PERFECT!!

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