My first job as a software engineer was programming an Intel 8051 microcontroller in assembler. We were counting code lines and shuffling around bits to cramp more information into a byte just to safe on the sparsely available memory. Fun times.
Today we have a vast amount of processing power, plenty of RAM and even wireless connection on the tiniest devices. Good times.
On this Link List I collect some microcontroller hardware I use often along with pointers to software, platforms and tools I use along with the hardware. Also some links to educational resources will be provided.
My favorite hardware
Espressif - ESP 8266
For the small tasks like measure things as sensors or control switches trough a WiFi interface there are those <$5 devices called ESP8255. They integrate pretty well with Home Assistant and other tools. You can program them in a Arduino environment or even directly from within Visual Studio Code with the Platform.io plugin.
The best and easiest hardware platform to run Home Assisten, Snips, Node-Red and other software is the Raspberry Pi. Meanwhile I have a collection of several type around. The ones in “production” run Home Assisten, Snips, Node Red and other software. One word of caution: Spend some money on a good SD Memory Card for your Pi. Cheap products tend to fail pretty fast.
Instead of installing conflicting software on top of the Raspbian Stretch operating system, I started using Docker for almost every software I want to use on a Raspi. The best and most reliable OS which comes with Docker preinstalled is Hypriot OS. Download the Image, configure WiFi credentials in the boot sector, burn the image to the SD card with Etcher (see further down) and SSH into your new Docker host. Straight forward and easy.