Good things that have happened in the past week
The latter two don't deserve further comment but I suspect the Arduino will provide quite a bit of entertainment in the future :)
So far, all I've done is play around with the various components that came with the starter kit I got and wrote a program (ok ok, a sketch) to interpret morse code as detected by the photo-resistor.
The most fun part of that really was getting the code to both generate a morse message (via a nice shiny, red LED) and read it at the same time. The process of getting it all to work left me with the impression that playing with the Arduino has the potential to not teach me anything about electronics. Part of the reason I wanted one was so that I could move beyond the simple A-level physics understanding I have of electronics. Being a programmer though, most problems can probably be solved with just a few components and some good code ;)
If anyone has any suggestions of things to build with an Arduino that will teach me good principles of electronics, do let me know. I imagine I'll start to learn more once I have a few more interesting components like LCD screens or some ICs to play with.
I'll probably share things I found out every now and then in this blog. Until then, I look forward to seeing if my morse reader can successfully read in the pub at the next ALUG meeting.