Paul Koning paulkoning at
Wed Feb 3 08:06:30 CST 2021

> On Feb 3, 2021, at 2:51 AM, Peter Corlett via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 02, 2021 at 09:20:01AM -0800, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> [...]
>> When I last proposed the STM32F407, I was met with "Oh, but the Blue Pill
>> is cheaper". Okay, use the Blue Pill, but my code won't work with it. Not
>> once has anyone contacted me and said "I'd like to try my hand at doing
>> this, what can you tell me?". I've described the methodology of using an
>> MCU elsewhere several times.
> I have a pile of Blue Pill boards, and using it to read floppies was an
> obvious application. However after running the numbers, it turned out there
> isn't enough RAM to buffer an entire track from a HD floppy. It also has a
> broken USB implementation just to liven things up a bit.
> The Raspberry Pi Pico has a similar price to the Blue Pill and seems a much
> better machine for this task, although I haven't combed through its
> reference manual yet.

I haven't used RPi at all, since when I looked at it some years ago the SOC technical information was secret. Contrast the BeagleBone, for which there is a 5000 page manual.

In any case, for work like this an Ardiuno might be sufficient and quite possibly easier to use.  I've used the ARM based Arduinos, they have quite a lot more memory, faster execution, and native USB.  In fact (if you should need it for something else) host side USB, not just device side.  The Adafruit "Trinket" is great for cases where not much I/O is needed; there are a variety of others that have a dozen or so I/O connections, all for $10 or thereabouts.


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