The reason for this question is I don't want to BREAK my setup! I had a difficult time getting Atmel Studio up and running. I even uninstalled Arduino from this system because I thought it may have been responsible for the difficulties.
So, I know I could install MinGW or similar, which isn't a problem, but if I do, I want to know it won't break anything. My end goal is this:
Ideally, I would like a C programming environment where I could write simple code snippets for testing and learning C, then hit "Run" and have it run as a runtime program like Visual Studio does (or used to). I have limited harddrive space on my laptop so smaller is better. I really don't want to sign up for Visual Studio. I'm not looking for visual forms or anything like that, just an output window (console?) for testing my code snippets. I see Atmel Studio has an output window but it looks like it only outputs from percepiotrace. I sometimes spend 20 minutes or more searching the web for answers when if I only had the above setup, I could have pounded out a couple lines of code and found the answer in a tenth the time.
One problem is I've never written a "make file" and don't know where to start unless its at the beginning, then I could just follow any of a myriad tutorials online. I have no problem with that... I just don't want to somehow screw up a driver or environment variable (or worse) that will cause problems with Atmel Studio. If there's a way to use Atmel Studio without setting a target device AND it has an output window for print statements, that would be great, but I can't find a way to do that.
What's the best path?