On 11/12/22 02:28, Tony Duell via cctalk wrote:
The other day I saw a product with a flashing LED, the
flash rate was
set with a knob. Yes, a microcontroller with a pot connected to an
analogue input and LED hung off an output port. This is the sort of
thing I'd do with a couple of transistors or an NE555 depending on
which turned up in the junk box first.
It's inevitable evolution--why fight it? Without that, we'd all be
nematodes or bacteria.
MCUs make a lot of very complex stuff simple. A tape controller that
would have required a couple of large PCBs now can be put on a
filing-card size pcb--and most of that is connectors. Almost anything
electronic sold today has an MCU in it--even a lithium cell.
One thing that a small MCU has over a 555 is that it can be programmed
once and you can be assured of its frequency stability. No fooling with
pots and caps to get the thing to work the way you'd like.
Signal processing is fairly easy when a commodity MCU has a fast-enough
ADC and lots of memory? You can write your own realtime FFT software
for it with no problem. Why write a CRC calculation routine when
there's dedicated hardware to do that?
If anything, a modern medium-scale MCU can be so packed with peripherals
and features that the reference manual outlining them can run to a
couple thousand pages.
Productions yields have drastically improved since Hans Kamenzind spun
the 555. I'm sure that he would approve of MCUs, were he still alive.
I'm certain you'd be tickled to see your beloved HP 9800 series box
re-imagined in TO5 germanium point-contact transistors and relays.