Hi guys, I was searching ebay a couple of weeks ago and stumbled upon some arduino items.
They were reasonably priced and I thought it would be fun to get one and see how it goes.
I ended up buying this one:
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it cost around $15 delivered and is really quite cool. It doesn't require a special programmer (like a pickit2) and plugs directly into your USB port.
You then download the free arduino IDE which is packed with loads of examples for you to get started straight away.
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For the absolute beginner - this is the way to go. For those proficient with PIC's already, you should be able to pickup arduino programming in a day.
Something different to keep things interesting