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Engineering LibreTexts

1.1: Overview

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  • This course introduces the C programming language and specifically addresses the issue of embedded programming. It is assumed that you have worked with some other high level language before, such as Python, BASIC, FORTRAN or Pascal. Due to the complexities of embedded systems, we begin with a typical desktop system and examine the structure of the language along with basic examples. Once we have a decent grounding in syntax, structure, and the development cycle, we switch over to an embedded system, namely an Arduino based development system.

    This course is designed so that you can do considerable work at home with minimal cost if you choose to (this is entirely optional, but programming these little beasties can be addicting so be forewarned). Along with this course text and the associated lab manual, you will need an Arduino Uno board (about $25) and a USB host cable. A small “wall wart” power adapter for it may also be useful. There’s a lot of free C programming info on the Internet but if you prefer print books and want more detail, you may also wish to purchase one of the many C programming texts available. Two good titles are Kochan’s book Programming in C and the one by Deitel & Deitel, C-How to Program. Whichever book you choose, make sure that its focus is C and not C++. You will also need a desktop C compiler. Just about any will do, including Visual C/C++, Borland, CodeWarrior, or even GCC. A couple of decent freeware compilers available on the Internet include Pelles C and Miracle C.