Working with the microcontrollers, Arduino compatibles mostly, has been quite a bit of fun but has had a few challenges. For the last three or so months, I’ve been working with boards that do not have on board USB connectivity so I’ve had to use FTDI TTL to Serial converters. These things are cheap, under $2 on eBay. They work great…as long as you are not using Windows 8. And, therein lies my problem.
As I am designing a product to be used by ordinary people, these things HAVE to work with any modern version of Windows, from XP to 8.1. And? They didn’t work with 8 or 8.1. So, I set out to begin designing my own interface for 8.1. Fortunately, there’s a way to make them work.
I stumbled upon a nice site, Electro-Labs.com, and, one click after another led me to Nerd Ralph, a blog not unlike this one. One of the Nerd’s posts was about these little devices, which are actually clones of the Prolific device. Prolific, understandably, was upset over the clones and made the newer drivers incompatible with the clones. The Nerd, fortunately, is very clever and found out that the older drivers do still work with the clones and has posted the older drivers.