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A few simple Gotchas

This is one of a collection of pages which, together, attempt to show you "everything" about the Arduino's programming language.

There is a page for you with more information about the project in general, and the way these pages are organized, if you want that.

Please visit my page about power browsing notes sometime.

This page, and the software it references, ©TK Boyd, 1/10, 2/13.


While I said you would have to consult the other stuff online, and while if you've got this far, you've probably overcome the first of my "gotcha"s, I'm going to mention a "set-up" issue here anyway:

If you are having no luck connecting to your Arduino (or clone), be sure that you have the board and port properly set in the IDE.

The settings are to be found under Tools / Serial Port and Tools / Board.

"Arduino Duemilanove or Nano w/ Atmega 328" seems satisfactory for a BBB with an Atmega 328, and "modern" (post c. 5/09) boot loader, and version C board, with the "auto boot" mod done.

If your Arduino works some of the time, but you frequently have a failed upload, the following may help....

When your code has been modified... a) First, you should probably, on general principles, re-save it. That won't, of course, make any difference to the "upload to I/O board" (i.e. the Arduino) sync issues, but it should be part of your working routine. Hey! It's just a click of a button!

Once that is done,

b) Press down and hold the "reset" button on your Arduino.

c) Click the "Upload" button on your IDE

d) Wait for the message about the binary sketch size to appear....

e) ... THEN release the reset button.

If you don't need to do this on your system, I am very happy for you. On my system, the uploads seem to go faster, and I rarely have sync problems if I follow the above procedure.

One minor annoyance, one ex-annoyance....

Minor Annoyance: The writers of the Arduino IDE's text editor think I'm more clever than I am... keeping the shift key down at the wrong time causes newly entered text to overwrite old stuff, rather than to be inserted, which is what I would expect. Furthermore, I THINK that there's a way to, in effect, "press the insert" key... without actually doing that. Whatever the explanation, from time to time I find myself in overwrite mode, which I almost never use, when I don't expect it. I think it may be something to do with using backspace (delete?) when the shift key is down.

Ex Minor Annoyance: At 12/09, I don't think there was a find-and-replace function in the editor. However, at least from version 1.05 of the IDE, this want has been supplied.

The annoyance is not important! (Maybe if all editors worked that way I would prefer that system. But it is hard to remember to "switch" my shifting behavior. (Maybe most do in, say, the Linux world. I'm mired in Windows.) )The Arduino IDE is brilliant... AND free, don't forget! I only mention the annoyance so that you don't waste time fighting with it to discover what I've shared with you here.

Over the many years the Arduino has now (2/13) been with us, Windows has moved the goal posts again and again. Now we are facing the "improvements" if Windows 8. (Good time to move to Linux?). All I can say is that the Arduino people have overcome Microsoft's "help" again and again. I have every confidence that they will continue to do so. If you are using an Arduino happily with Windows 8, please write, tell me. And include the version number of your Arduino IDE? It is shown... not well labeled for version 0017... in the window that opens if you invoke Help | About from the Arduino IDE's main menu.

Right! That's it for now for "gotchas" and annoyances. Not very many, you notice. Send me yours! Back to stuff that is more fun.

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