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 8) Do you think i could use a old computer motherboard for a microcontroller and if so how would i program it, what must i do?

Wow.... :o

That would be a mammoth task!
You would have to run a small OS /(ie the linux kernel) and use USB or PCIs for I/Os, you'll run into problems running just from the BIOS.
Or even the PS2 post for a rotation sensor (crack open your old wheel mouse and you'll see why), the keyboard input for serial digital input.
So many options, anything is possible.

This would largely depend on how good you are at writing realtime programs.

I've actually heard about someone doing this before, and he complained that he wasn't able to get a good response time out of it compared to a dedicated microcontroller.  *shrug*  I think he just used windows, but still, it seems like much more work than is necessary.  :)

I'm pretty sure you could just use windows, and then just use the serial and parallel ports for input/output. The only real problem with that, is that you'll need a huge battery. Compared to a microcontroller, their power drain is insane.

If you do try to take the windows route, go for Windows 98 SE. You can strip it down to just the basic hardware interface, and then have your control program boot up, in place of explorer.exe

It would perform much better if you used a stripped down version of linux.  :)


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