Started off with Arduino
I just started this week with the Arduino, and it seems to be going well.
I've done the basics (hooking up various LEDs, getting RGB LEDs to work properly, driving a small motor, built the Adafruit Proto-Shield) and think I'm ready to start on some more advanced projects.
I ordered two LCD's (one 2x16 and one 4x20) so those should come soon. Additionally, I supplemented my Arduino with a Seeeduino from Makershed.
My project for the LCD's is going to be to the following:
1. Create a device which can be mounted on the window next to my office door (so that persons approaching from the hallway can see what my status is prior to entering), which will:
a. Run on the Arduino platform
b. Display up to four lines of text (my status [at lunch, on phone, busy, available, etc], ambient office temperature/humidity, perhaps my name, and some other miscellaneous data)
c. Animate above text.
d. Eventually integrate with the XBee 802.15.4 wireless chip, and accept data to display on the screen.
e. If possible, integrate with the LCD Smartie application to provide more interesting functionality.
f. Be somewhat portable, self-contained, and be only midly harmful visually (some aesthetic appeal would be nice).
g. Not be enclosed in an Altoids tin.
Once I get the parts, I will start documenting my project, in the hopes that it will help someone else! This has been, thus far, my first real experience soldering, working with micro-controllers, and exploring programming outside of a purely software environment.