TI launched this crazy package of a microcontroller with all the bells and whistles that an arduino has for just $4.30. This includes a USB cable, the assembled board as well as the free IDE tools to get you started. There are a couple of catches though:
a) The free ide tools are only available for windows
b) There is no easy language for the board as there is one for arduino. (There is a graphical tool Grace available for win)
However, if you are willing to delve in to the embedded world and don’t mind getting dirty with C, this is an amazing deal.
Though there are no official tools available for other platforms, there are many wikis out there that outline the creation of the toolchain for linux and OSX.
I have personally managed to get this up and running in Linux Ubuntu (11.04) using the hackaday wiki and I recommend this wiki for OSX. Though, I have had some issues setting this up with rf2500 and permission. It seems that the solution is documented here, I just haven’t had the time to set it up.
The basic code that I have uploaded works great!
Since, I am completely out of touch with core C Assembly programming, this micro controller provides a great opportunity to learn this architecture at a meagre cost of just $4.50.