I’ve been programming 8-bit micro controllers for some years now. I started with PIC (PIC16F628, like everybody else), bought a PicKit 2 (because that did work on a 64-bit OS) and started coding in CCS C. Looking back it’s all terrible but it got me going. Of course I can across some AVR code but I never used it until the whole Arduino revolution. A friend wanted to do some stuff with Arduino so I helped him out and I started looking at Arduino myself. Mostly because you can buy Pro Mini’s (with all components already on a board) so dirt cheap from China it really is a no-brainer. I looked at some 32-bit stuff and bought some Ti Launchpads etc. But never really got my head around it and because I never needed it I stayed with 8-bitters.
Then I came across a post on Hackaday about repurposing a AVR-programmer as a USB Arduino. I’ve seen those modules thousands of times on eBay but never bought one. (I use a Arduino as ISP.) Although the hack is neat I don’t find it very useful because of the limited I/O. For less you can just use a Nano with a lot more I/O. (Okay, you can’t present it as a HID or something else.) I started reading the comments to see how other people thought about it and then I spotted something that I found interesting. Especially the comment of [wongsta / drojf] about cheap ARM boards. So I fired up eBay and looked up that STM32F103C8T6 he talked about. And well be damned, even cheaper then the $3,50 he talked about. So I ordered a board right away. Together with a STlink v2 that was mentioned there.