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Old 26 July 2012, 21:04   #1
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Best stuff to learn C programming for Amiga (plus project idea/questions)

Hi All,

As the title says, I'm after advice on what the best (easiest, most user-friendly) options are for programming my own applications. I know a bit about C etc from various microcontroller projects so I wouldn't be starting completely from scratch, and while I haven't touched one in a good few years I have some Amiga use experience under my belt.

Here's what I want to accomplish:

I like 80s style electronic drum kits. Sort of an unhealthy fetish... :P But to buy a real one in good condition costs an arm and a leg. So I thought "hey, why not build one". After much plotting and scheming I wondered about actually using a Paula chip as the sound generation methods and quality pretty much captures the mood I was going for. A bit more research and I wasn't exactly convinced I could make it work outside of it's natural environment.

So then, I thought, "well... the A600 has a pretty small mainboard, why not just use the whole thing?" And that's what brought me here, as I was well and truly getting into unfamiliar territory.

On the hardware side of things, I would (hopefully) have an A600 board in a nice rack case, floppy drive broken out to the front panel with scavenged mounting hardware. Also on the front panel would be some LED display gubbins, various switches etc for the UI, and some trigger pad sampling circuitry, with ALL of this "front end" stuff being managed by it's own microcontroller. The idea being to have this heap of stuff communicate with the A600 guts via the serial or parallel port.

The A600's job is to receive messages sent to it and play back the appropriate samples from it's memory at the right time and volume, and also write back to the panel controller so it's display can be updated according to what's going on. At least... that's the theory! Instead of having to design my own custom audio hardware, I now only have to learn some programming for hardware known to work (I already know how to build the front panel crap, having tinkered with each block of the circuit in one way or another many times before).

Does this sound in any way feasible? Any tricks and traps for n00bs I should be aware of? And finally, let's say I succeeded in writing the program and got everything to play nicely, can I actually use it straight from the boot screen without having to load up WB etc first? It'd be nice to just shove a "system disk" in and off we go, as I'm not planning on using any video output except for debugging.

Many thanks for any advice!
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