After a hard experimental week (I have now around 55 T-75 or T-175 flasks with 6 different growing cell lines in the incubator) finally I have been able to turn a little weekend attention to move a step further with my home electronics “maker” plan. Instead of buying a complete Arduino starter pack ($65) I’ve just bought an Arduino diecimila open source microcontroller and a tiny breadboard on the Austin Maker Faire. But now I moved to the closest Radio Shack to get some capacitors, resistors and transistors. With all this investment so far I am still under $70. Bu I forgot to buy wires, hookup for the breadboard, stranded to panel-mounted components like LEDs, and I don’t have proper tools yet, like soldering iron and wire striper, multi-meter and loupe. Basic reference: MAKE The home electronics issue, particularly Charles Platt Your Electronics Workbench For programing an Arduino you need a PC, and my backup laptop, the iBook G4 is just perfect for that purpose. Next issue was to make the system work, and here is a step by step process, basically you download the programing environment and install it with the USB driver, then connect a LED (positive (longer) leg of the LED to pin 13 and the negative (shorter) leg to ground (marked “GND”), plug in the Arduino and upload the first trial Blinking LED code to the board and run it. Voila, you have the system.