¿Qué necesito para programar un microcontrolador?

Una vez que tienes un microcontrolador, el siguiente paso, es programarlo para que haga algo útil.

Para hacer eso, necesitas:

 

  1. Un editor/procesador de texto.
  2. Un compilador/ensamblador.
  3. Un programador/quemador.
¿Qué son estas cosas?
  • Un editor de texto, es un programa para escribir, cuya función principal, no es que el texto se vea lindo, si no, ayudarte a escribir. Normalmente colorean las palabras especiales de cada lenguaje para ayudarte a comprender la estructura de tu código de forma visual. Además, muchos vienen con agregados útiles, como expresiones regulares (regex), de las cuales que hablaré en un futuro post.
  • Un procesador de texto, es un programa para escribir, cuya función principal, es que el texto se vea lindo, para esto te deja agregar imágenes, tablas, colores, distintos tamaños y tipografías para las letras, etc... Esto no es muy útil para programar, por lo que no lo recomiendo, sin embargo conozco una persona que programa así. Si puede servir, por ejemplo, para documentar tu código.
  • Un compilador, es un programa que traduce el código escrito en un lenguaje en particular a código de ensamblador o a un archivo binario/hexadecimal directamente, lo cual es ejecutado directamente por un computador..
  • Un ensamblador, es un programa que traduce un tipo de código de muy bajo nivel (que no pienso enseñar por que no me gusta :P) a un archivo binario/hexadecimal.
  • Un programador o quemador (como le quieran decir), consta de dos partes, un software pare el computador y un aparato físico que se encargan de traspasar el archivo hexadecimal desde el computador en que lo compilaste, al microcontrolador que lo debe ejecutar.
Ok.. se que parecen muchas cosas, pero por eso mismo, se han inventado atajos para resolver el problema:
  • Un IDE, una sigla en inglés que significa "Entorno de Desarrollo Integrado" (Integrated Development Environment), es un conjunto de esas cosas, que para nuestros fines, normalmente traen un editor de texto, un compilador, un ensamblador y un programador (software). La idea es que la mayoría de esas cosas queden ocultas para simplificarnos la vida, por lo que muchas veces solo vemos el programa para escribir y un botón que compila, ensambla y traspasa el programa al micro, todo automáticamente.
  • Un Bootloader, es un programa especial para el microcontrolador, que hace que no requiera un aparato especial para cargarle tus programas (y en consecuencia, se reduce el costo).
Ya, ahora se ve más simple; sin embargo, aun existen alternativas más simples y agradables, como por ejemplo:
  • Arduino: Una plataforma construida a partir de microcontroladores AVR de Atmel, son increíblemente baratos, poderosos, y no solo traen un IDE y un Bootloader, si no que además trae muchas funciones pre-hechas en C++, gracias a lo cual, puedes hacer complejos programas en poco tiempo.
  • Picaxe: Otra alternativa, pero ocupando los PICs de Microchip. Personalmente, y con toda la subjetividad que eso implica, no los recomiendo.

 

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