Pinguino Forum

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FYI I bought two Olimex PIC32 Pinguino Micro boards 2 yrs ago. Every year I dust them off and hope that support for them has improved. This past week, I once again went looking around to see if there was a IDE with reasonable support. Here is what I have found. (Ben Franklin said someone's opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it, and this is my opinion.)

The Olimex Pinguino Micro is a super concept... except what is advertised is not what is delivered! A PIC32 for $16 - Yippee! Olimex advertised a PIC32 Arduino compatible board - the only problem is a stable IDE with the bootloader they provide does not exist (folks use to call this VAPERWARE - a product sold with software that does not exist).

Pinguino-V11 - Rating (3 out of 10): Pinguino-V11 is by far the nicest IDE concept I have seen.
BUT... It is extremely buggy [Image: sad.gif] I tried several versions and they all have bone crippling problems. From what I can tell, the Linux version may be OK but I tried it under Win7 64bit and it is pretty much useless. If this IDE was stable, it could be 10 stars!
+ It is the cleanest looking, feature rich IDE of all the open source I have tried.
+ There is an active blog and forum, questions are answered promptly
+ It has code line reference numbers.

There are too numerous bugs to mention, but here are a few.
- If a program name is the same as an existing file or dir name, it will not compile.
- The name: "The Pinguino IDE" is confusing and non-distinct. It needs a legitimate name.
- Auto edit (command completion) stops working unexpectedly. You must reboot the computer.
- Commands are not universal between CPU implementations, so examples do not always work.
- It is missing much of the command documentation
- It lacks a virtual com serial terminal.

MPIDE - Rating (7 out of 10):
My evaluation of MPIDE is based upon using it for non-pinguino dev boards. However, previous experience with it has been good.
+ The most stable IDE for programming a PINGUINO MICRO I tried.
+ The forum/user group is very active and support is very good.
+ includes virtual serial terminal.

- No command documentation.
- Does not support line numbers.
- MPIDE  requires a custom boot loader to be installed before a Pinguino can be programmed.

UECIDE - Rating (6 out of 10): is a branch off of MPIDE and is not very intuitive to use, it lacks command documentation and does not have auto edit completion. It also has some file naming problems but is usable. I found creating new projects manually was an easy workaround to the IDE problems. It lacks a USB bridge to UART (virtual com) but does have a basic serial terminal.
+ UECIDE allows code line number reference.
+ Support and development are very good.
+ includes virtual serial terminal.

- There are a few bugs including problems with SD cards. 
- The IDE environment, icons, layout, and colors were the worst of all the IDE's.
- The JAVA engine is very slow even on my 3.5ghz quad core desktop.

If it had a cleaner layout and theme, I would have given it 7 stars. 
Bottom line is it works but no frills.

MPLAB - Rating (7 out of 10): It is hard to rate this because it is stable and has every imaginable tool but is the least user friendly of all the IDE's.
+ The libraries, tools, and coding are exhaustive
- Only PIC CPU's and programmers are supported.
- The programming environment is difficult to setup without a mistake
- Programming is designed for professionals with industrial applications.
- It will take several days to learn the proper use of the IDE.

There are many other open source or free programmers that do not have a development environment. An Internet search will reveal the latest versions and information.
Quote: I have not used MPIDE because it requires a different bootloader to be installed before MPIDE can be used.

If what is stopping you from updating the bootloader is the lack of a hardware programmer, you might want to consider this PIC32 programmer comprising a cheap Chinese Arduino NANO (under $US 3 on a certain auction site), five resistors and a zener diode. Although it can be wired up on a breadboard, using a small piece of veroboard (strip board) eliminates lots of wires and is more useful for multiple chip programming. Full details may be found at: and

That takes care of the hardware, for the software there is pic32prg for Windows, Linux and OS X. See