Quite some time ago, TI sold the MSP430 Launchpad at $5 price. Needless to say, I bought one immediately. The kit came just with the board and a cheap USB cord. And right away, I was able to get the demo programs to work. An LED blink later, I grew weary to do anything more and the board has since been dormant. Life (and Work) gets in the way when you are trying to figure out how to setup the right registers to run a simple hobby project.
Thankfully, we had the Arduino’s and they made things so much simpler and more importantly fun. Sure, there is a pleasure in looking up 50 page datasheet to setup a bunch of ports as inputs or outputs, but applications are sometimes more closer to your heart than anything else. Anyway, more recently a brilliant bloke at TI whom I can’t thank enough, ported the wiring framework to TI’s development kits. Not just the launchpad, but even the CortexM4 boards (TIVA/Stellaris). I find this very important for technology education and I hope more chip manufacturers follow this trend. Being able to teach or learn embedded programming with a more affordable board and a much simper ecosystem is pure bliss. The project is also on github .
Visit http://energia.nu/ and revel like I did.