Archive | May 2014

Why use an arduino?

My view was always that people shouldn’t use arduinos for simple tasks that can be completed by some discrete logic chip or a 555 timer. I have even resorted to believing people that do this is stupid and have even said it indirectly once or twice. The truth is that I am the one in the wrong and there are many other people thinking the same thing and hopefully with the aid of this post I will be able to convince at least a person or two otherwise.

Why do I believe that I was wrong? Because the arduino is just a tool nothing more nothing less. If someone wants to use a arduino or an raspberry pi , let them. Logic gates is just a tool , if someone wants to use , let them. Analogue circuits is just a tool , if someone wants to use , let them. Why do I need to know how an astable transistor network works if I want to blink an LED? The point remains is that we humans make tools for our selves and continually improve them. That is all an arduino is. the same goes for an raspberry pi. Sure its not the most cost effective way to do things , or is it? How many tasks can a micro controller complete versus what a 555 can do?  Each iteration of electronics adds another layer of abstraction. This school of thought that the person does not know enough need to stop. The person knows enough if the project was a success or something new was learned along the way.

The only counter argument I can think of is in production scenarios. Where the cost out weighs the difficulty of using the correct technology. If you are a novice trying to mass produce something i would rather suggest you ask for an second opinion and then continue with your product.

At the end of the day the price to obtain knowledge is almost always justifiable , else we wouldn’t have gone to the moon and would not have built the large hadron collider. Also if the person really are interested in how electronics works they would learn it when they want to.

 

 

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