When you hear the name “Arduino,” does a picture of the Uno come to mind? While the most popular, this 8-bit based board isn’t the only Arduino available today. There are some other boards available like the Due and recently introduced Zero, which are far more advanced than the humble Uno.

These are 32-bit microcontroller boards that have a very different architecture compared to the relatively straightforward Uno. In fact, one of the most striking differences is that the Due and Zero have two USB ports.

What is the difference between the Programming and Native ports on these more powerful Arduino boards?

Users of the ATmega328 based Arduino boards will recognize that the analogWrite() function doesn’t actually do anything analog.  It just sets the duty cycle of a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal.  The (new) Arduino Due board, which I have had limited time to play with, actually sports two Analog DAC channels. Using a very simple for() loop, it is possible to generate a sawtooth waveform using these channels.

I’ve been working with Arduino boards for a number of years, as shown by the dates on some of my older blog posts.  In that time I’ve only used boards based on the ATmega8 (like the Duemilanove or Uno).  The Due is the first Arduino board I have used in what I would call the Mega form factor.

Open source software that isn’t signed by an identified developer can cause headaches upgrading it on OSX. While working with the Arduino Due the first time, I downloaded 1.5 Beta of the Arduino IDE and ran into this error:

“Arduino is damaged and can’t be opened.  You should move it to the Trash.

Here’s why you see the “… is damaged and can’t be opened” dialog and how to fix it.

When getting started with the Arduino, the shear number of board options can be intimidating. While the variety is a great option, it can be daunting to a new user. Many people are afraid of selecting the wrong board, or their budget doesn’t allow for buying multiple boards. Just looking at the “official” boards listed on the Arduino.cc site, there are 14+ different Arduino board types to consider. Then there are a variety of 3rd-party…