So one of the things I received for Christmas this year was a "Getting Started with Arduino Kit". This came with the Arduino Uno board, a hand full of components (resistors, LED's and the like), some hookup wires and a breadboard.
At first glance all the pieces and parts seemed a bit confusing, but with a little reading and some patience the development process turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. Please note of course that I had just come from using the Microchip SDK MPLAB IDE which requires programming in assembly language.
Anyways, in no time I was up and running. I got the little LED (Pin 13) to blink with some of the example code provided with the Arduino Development Environment.
After this I got a bit ballsy and went right for a program that makes the Arduino speak. Its a rudimentary speech synth and I merely just had to load and run. Below is a video of my effort.