I have a basic understanding of electronics, including construction and trouble shooting procedures.
I have a few years of experience programming in C.
I have a few hours of experience with Arduino hardware.
Lately I've been running into a lot of projects that I would like to try that are MCU based, but I don't feel like tying up a $13-15 Arduino module in a trivial application, indefinitely.
After some research it appeared that, for the kind of the thing I want to do (operate 4 element, 7 segment LED arrays, automatically switch sub circuits into and out of functional blocks, things like that.) I might be able to do most of them with 8 bit AVRs
I'm still not ready to make the jump yet, though. Too many questions still remain.
1. How capable are the ATTiny chips? What kinds of things are they good at, and are there some really inconvenient things that they can't do at all? (I plan to communicate with them via RS232 at least at first. I have plenty of time.)
2. My preferred programming language would be Borland Turbo C 2.0. I've always heard that C is pretty much C, but am I looking at compatibility problems.
3. Suppose that I have a cheap, dumb, IC that is designed to do something that I can also program the AVR to do. Do you recommend that I add the function to the program, or use the chip? My initial thought is to use the chip.
This is not a very comprehensive, but the reason is that I don't know enough about AVRs to know what to ask. It seems that, in most of what I have read, most of the words have to do with the internal design of the chip and not what it can do for me. Maybe I've been reading the wrong stuff?