I am working on 1000 projects all the time. You may already know that of me. This one will be a fun adventure. I’ve started by shrimping.it this is a site where they show you how to build a bare bones Arduino. I went and ordered the part for 4 kits via the electronics seller http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ it was under $30 for all the parts I needed. I did not get boards as I plan to design my own at a later phase. Here’s the shrimp built with an 8 pin chip holder where it can be used to program the little chip. This is an Atmel ATTiny 85 ready to be programed.
Now the hard part. Let’s say I want to program a lot of these little chips. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Arduino held in memory all the code and capabilities to program the chip without an attached USB link to a computer? That’s goal #2.
Here is an ATTiny 85 running code that was pushed through the Arduino in the traditional manner (Goal #1). What I like about the Tiny line of chips is there is little to no supporting hardware required to have them run. This makes them a lot of fun for all kinds of little builds. They will even run off three or 4 AAA batteries and for quite some time.