Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects.
We run semi-regular Arduino_Evenings at Nottinghack. Come along and get up and running with your new little blue friend!
Trouble uploading your sketch? Does your code happen to contain three exclamation marks "!!!" (most of my code does!!!) Be aware of the "Triple Bang Bug" where your Arduino's bootloader (a small program that allows it to be programmed!) drops into a diagnostic mode if it sees "!!!".
Why would the bootloader developers want to do this?
Well, it's very useful but the method chosen is clearly not ideal!!!
I mean really, WHAT THE FLIP!!!!!!
This can usually be resolved by holding back on the desire to overuse exclamation marks!!!!!!!! But sometimes you just happen to have 0x21, 0x21, 0x21 in your compiled hex and it isn't so easy to get around. The real solution is to upgrade the bootloader on your Arduino device and for that you'll need to get all ICSP on its ass!!!!!!!!
We can do this for you at the Hackspace - just ask any of Michael E, James F, Reprap Matt, etc.