A long time ago I used to play around with electronics, including audio power amplifiers and microprocessors. Those were the days of the first 8-bit microprocessors, and I worked with the 6800, 6502, SC/MP, and 6809.
To fund my hobby I wrote articles and reviews for magazines, including a series on CMOS, and a regular column about microprocessors called Micro-Bus for the British hobbyist electronics magazine Practical Electronics (no longer published). As a student I wrote a series of application programs for the Mk14, a low-cost single-board computer aimed at hobbyists, and programmed from a hex keypad.
More recently I hadn't touched a soldering iron for several years until my daughter brought home an Arduino kit from school, and I discovered that the Arduino, and later the Raspberry Pi, has caused a renaissance in hobby electronics. Since then I've enjoyed rediscovering building microprocessor-based projects, and particularly enjoy working with chips like the ATtiny85.
When I first started working with microcomputers the chips, such as the 6800, had 40 pins and you typically had to wire up at least 24 pins, for the eight data lines and 16 address lines. If you wanted any memory, I/O, timers, etc you had to provide additional chips, so breadboarding was a nightmare. Now the ATtiny85 provides the functionality of a complete development board in a small 8-pin package, costing around $2, and you can make a practical application on a small board with just a few wires and components. It's a great time to be experimenting with microelectronics.
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