My Arduino Experience
I have never messed around with microcontrollers before and decided this looked like a good hobby. I decied on the Arduino because it is open source and I support that as much as I possibly can.
So to get started, I got the the following:
Arduino Starter Pack consisting of:
* Arduino Diecimila - The latest and greatest Arduino revision, assembled and ready to go, including 4 rubber feet
* 3' USB cable - Perfect for connecting your Arduino to a computer
* Protoshield Kit - One of my designs, its got everything you need to make prototype designs using an Arduino. Note that this comes unassembled by default.
* Tiny Breadboard - Fits on top of the protoshield, high quality and easy to use
* 9V DC regulated wall adapter
* 9V Battery case with switch and a 2.1mm plug
* Tutorial starter pack parts, enough for Arduino online tutorials
* a 10K potentiometer,
* 1K potentiometer
* 2 small pushbuttons
* 5 red diffused bright LEDs
* one each of red, green and blue ultrabright LED
* 5 @ 100 ohm resistors
* 5 @ 1K resistors
* 5 10K resistors
* a CdS photocell (new!)
* Also includes 4 pieces of 18" long jumper wire in red, black, yellow and blue, perfect for use with the solderless breadboard.
* A nice tucked box to store it all in
GWS Mini Servo
Pololu Micro Dual Serial Motor Controller
21YK0F Distance Sensor
Sharp IR Sensor Cable
Sharp Infrared Sensor Mount
GM10W motor + wheels
T-1 3/4 5mm Full Color LED
Some misc. headers, jumpers, etc.
For programming, I am using Arduino 0.11 running on Linux.
I have completed the published tutorials and some of TodBots guides. Programming is pretty easy and straightforward. So far the only problems I've had are with the Serial Motor Controller, but that's probably just me screwing something up.
I have not decided what to build yet, so many possibilities...