It looks like this is a good time of year for Kickstarter projects to turn up. Not only did I receive my MoPi board yesterday, but today I got three of Mike Hibbett's LPLC PIC18 development board in the post.
I must admit that I am a complete newbie when it comes to PIC development. I kind of know what a PIC is, but somehow I have managed to avoid ever working with one. When I saw this project on Kickstarter I thought I might as well give it a go. This in turn has raised a bunch of issues, though. Unlike the development boards with which I am familiar (Arduino, Freescale FRDM, Raspberry Pi and so on) there seems to be no easy way in to developing with PIC chips. It seems you need at least a hardware programmer and a specialist IDE to even get started.
The best I have managed so far is to solder on a programmimg header only to find that the connector on the programmer has a different number of pins! A few bumbling questions on twitter to the creator of the board and I think I have an answer as to how to connect the programmer, but now comes the hard bit of making something actually work.
I know that several people at the Ipswich Makerspace have experience with PICs, so if I really get stuck I'm sure I can ask for help, but I'm quite looking forward to the challenge of new discoveries and new skills. Wish me luck!