So many errors... this is what makes horror movies...
At first I thought the ESP8266 01 module gets programed like any other add-on to the arduino: program the arduino with the module attached. But no! These are actually different in that they get programmed separately on their own. Before I figured that out I completely uninstalled and re-installed the arduino IDE on my old Windows computer (my FTDI drivers are messed up on my Mac and I need to do deep computer surgery to fix them. I'm not psychologically ready for that yet...). Of course right after uninstalling the Arduino IDE, my windows chose it was a good time to install system updates which take a few hours to complete...
When that ordeal was taken care of, I hooked up my ESP8266 to my arduino to program and got this exact error when trying to upload an example sketch onto my ESP8266: https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=622116.0
The solution that worked for me was to uninstall the latest ESP8266 Community board drivers and re-install the 2.5.0 version of them. But then I got a new error...
The new error was this very common one: https://arduino-esp8266.readthedocs.io/en/latest/faq/a01-espcomm_sync-failed.html
Also here: https://github.com/esp8266/Arduino/issues/4414
My solution was to not use the Arduino Pro Mini as a conduit to upload sketches and instead connect the FTDI adapter directly. And then as I was uploading the sketch I got a new error... sigh...
But then I tried uploading again and the previous error came up. I'm starting to feel like this is hopeless!
Strangely enough, my HUZZAH feather works perfectly fine. But It only has one analog pin and I was having issues with the 16 channel mux. Also since it's bigger I'll probably have to get a bigger proto-board, if I were to use it instead. :(
I then tried increasing the upload speed of the module to 256000. Then I got new errors....
I read in one of the forums that you can upload code to the generic module by selecting the Node MCU 1.0 ESP-12E Module as the board. Aparently they're similar enough that it works. I tried it and the WifiScan code supposedly uploaded. But then when I opened the serial monitor to see if the module was scanning, it wasn't showing anything. :(
I've ordered a Wemos D1 Mini in case if that would work. In the mean time I'll see if I can get by with the feather... :(
If you are looking for a summary for my Masters thesis, it is here.