View Full Version : A New Face

04-10-2012, 12:17 PM
Hi guys

I thought I'd finally say a quick hello to everyone now that I've lurked in the background enough.

I'm new to the propeller and fairly new to all microprocessors really.
I have tinkered with an arduino somewhat and then bought myself a chameleon-avr.

What a let down!!!

I don't think it's at all geared towards beginners and I found the support to be pretty dire too

So..... I've now got a propeller quickstart board and a propBOE to play with and I must say that starting from the beginning has made things a LOT simpler.
So far I've only played with my quickstart board and will progress to the BOE once I understand the fundamentals a bit more.

The main thing I've noticed so far is how easy SPIN is to use.
I've only made LEDs flash so far but it was just so easy.
The main problem I'm having is with the transition from C. I was never any good with C anyway but I'm stuck in the habbit of wanting to assign things and ints and floats etc

I've just picked up a copy of "Programming and customising the multicore propeller microcontroller" and I think it's great. To the beginner, it seems a lot better than "McGraw's Programming the propeller with spin" book I started with.

Anyway, enough of that...

Hi everyone, I'll be sticking around :)

04-10-2012, 12:32 PM
Welcome ... if you can get used to the typeless-ness of spin, and sort out when a variable should be used, vs when a variables address should be used you will do well with spin.

04-10-2012, 12:36 PM
Welcome to the forums. You have some great choices in startup hardware. Keep us posted on your learning progress.

04-10-2012, 01:08 PM
SPIN is like C without types... there's really not that much work to learn it.

04-10-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the welcome guys.
I've only just noticed the "My Blog" link at the top of the page.
I may have to start using that :)

User Name
04-10-2012, 01:19 PM
The main problem I'm having is with the transgression from C.

04-10-2012, 01:28 PM

Oh bo**ocks!!

I meant transition........

Glad you pointed that out ::innocent:

04-10-2012, 02:19 PM
Nurbit - Welcome to Parallax Community.


User Name
04-10-2012, 02:39 PM
I meant transition........
There are those who consider that you got it right the first time. :) Chip caught a lot of flak for creating a new language, and more flak for redefining operators.

But just to be clear, I think Spin is a great language for the Prop. That it fits in 496 longs is astounding!

04-10-2012, 02:45 PM
Hi guys

I thought I'd finally say a quick hello to everyone now that I've lurked in the background enough.

Welcome to the forums!

Don't forget we have a few "gals" here also. :)


04-10-2012, 02:47 PM
Propeller downloads (http://www.parallax.com/ProductInfo/Microcontrollers/PropellerGeneralInformation/PropellerDownloads/tabid/832/Default.aspx) You'll find some great resources at this link.

Duane Degn
04-10-2012, 04:07 PM


I also lurked for a while before posting. I had also used C prior to learning Spin. Now I really like Spin.

The QuickStart is nice board to learn on. I like having the board powered by the same USB cable used to program it.

I've collected a very incomplete list (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?132216-Modified-QuickStart-Demos-and-QuickStart-Projects.)of QuickStart projects.

If you have a hobby servo, I hope you check out my QuickStart servo tester (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?137197-QuickStart-Servo-Tester). It lets you center a servo and check its range of motion using the touchpads as input and the LEDs (and servo) as output. (It also displays data to a terminal window.)

I also have a PropBOE project (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?138903-PropBOE-Bot)going. It's an example of using the SD card to store position (or speed for CR servos) information and having the Prop play back these positions (or speeds) to control servos from a script.

My problem with the Prop is, it's so fun to use in projects, it's hard to finish one project before thinking of another project the Prop would be great for and starting that project too.

04-10-2012, 04:17 PM

Welcome. If you are familiar with C maybe you should look at the PROPGCC forum. BTW I have the Chameleon-PIC and it too is collecting dust.

04-10-2012, 08:14 PM
Agreed, spin and its interpreter are pretty neat.

I hated spin with a passion for quite a long time and almost had a Parallax fire sale a few times (with plans to go to another chip), coming from a high level language background only, it was a real PITA for me. Now that I have a decent understanding of spin, I really like it. What I've come to realize is that my hate should have been directed towards the documentation and lack of information in the documentation. There are absolutes which are not explained well in the documentation, but instead assumed or touched on briefly ... with the assumption being that the user has had prior uC experience and prior low level language experience. This was not the case for me, since you've been with C for a while, I'm hoping that is the case for you.

My only complaint about spin is that it isn't fast enough, and so now I'm trying to learn PASM.

There are those who consider that you got it right the first time. :) Chip caught a lot of flak for creating a new language, and more flak for redefining operators.

But just to be clear, I think Spin is a great language for the Prop. That he crammed it all into < 32KB is even more amazing.

04-10-2012, 09:05 PM
Thanks for all the info guys.
Regarding the C background.... I started learning C about 15 years ago at college and was pretty good at it (if I do say so myself)
After college I didn't write any programs in C at all. I did a short course in VB but that was all the programming I did.
Now, 15 years on, I've forgotten everything I learned and getting the arduino was the first time I've had to use it in years.

My problems are from trying to get back into C and then dropping that in favour of spin.
I've really just got to keep on playing with it and see what happens.

I've got a few more things I'd like to try with the quickstart (I like flashing lights) and then I'm going to try and get some code from the OBEX running on the BOE (SIDcog is eating away at me)

I'm also favouring the QS at the minute because I can sneak it into work and tinker with it when no one's around.
I love the prop serial terminal too. I'll be using that a lot to write some more traditional learner code on (traditional in the way of testing maths functions and stuff)

Thanks again for the warm welcome guys, I'll let you know how I get on :)

04-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Welcome to the forum.

There are some Quickstart demos written for Propeller GCC.
I wrote a Whack-a-Mole program that you'll find in the Propeller GCC demos package.
Hope you get a chance to try it.


04-10-2012, 10:37 PM
Welcome, Nurbit. Spin and PASM are both a bit funky but each has an underlying elegance which is really beautiful once you understand it. With Spin, once you get past the white pace delimiters (turn on the guides in the PropTool, they really help), the biggest hassles are the poor string support and getting used to the incredibly powerful but funky expression evaluator. I still get tripped up using >= once in awhile. But it really makes some incredibly compact code possible.

04-10-2012, 11:28 PM
Nurbit, welcome. Don't forget to also check out Catalina C, and its Code::Blocks front end