Welcome to my electronics page. I started playing with PIC 16F84 microcontroller once but got bored quickly. The instruction set is disgusting, and although I enjoy working with small manageable things, 16F84 wasjust a bit too limited for my taste. So decided to take a look at 80C52 BASIC interpreter that Intel put to public domain, and been hooked ever since. After first couple of trials I quickly settled to configuration that I call 'core', and this configuration is basis for all my current experiments. Another favorite of mine is Atmel AVR series for its simpicity and very practical hardware feature set.
As for equipment, I have nice scope (Tek's TDS210), universal programmer for EPROMS and microcontrollers, and CadSoft's Eagle CAD (really nice) for schematics capture and PCB layout. I have not set up PCB etching facilities for myself yet, so I'm building stuff by point-to-point soldering on solder breadboard with wirewap wire.