Microcontrollers and OLEDs

The launch of the Raspberry Pi Pico has reminded me to play about with microcontrollers. I have completed a first-year-undergrad-like project: display something on a little 128x32 OLED display, using a Teensy 2.0! My biggest fear was installing the toolchain, but it turned out to be easy. Maybe things have improved in the last few years. Microcontrollers being big enough and powerful enough to happily run C rather than really prefering assembly is also definitely pleasant.

Of course, a photo is necessary:

Source is up on Github, and there's a video here.

Big-banging I2C was relatively painless (having previously done SPI for SD card access on my Dirac Z80-based machine), and I got to play with very simple graphical effects. So, fun.

Of course, the whole thing is a yak-shaving exercise. I want to do this as a warm-up before using the Teensy 2.0 (5v compatible, yay!) to drive a 30-pin SIMM, as an early experiment towards building a 68K Mac-compatible, which has been on my project bucket list for ages. I'm starting to realise how these MCUs can make a nice support device for these retrocomputing experiments.

Posted 2021-02-13.