I'm a 45 year old engineer, and I must admit, in a sort of middle-age crisis with electronics, embedded systems, and software.
Then I received the Arduino Mega 2560 R3 board and some sensors/output addons I ordered for prototyping a new project this afternoon, minutes before closing time (I had never used an Arduino before).
The board is beautiful, and the "thank you" note in the box is a nice touch. Also loved the geeky stickers.
In a couple of minutes I had the "blink" running. In some more minutes, a DHT11 humidity/temp sensor showing readings in the terminal (including the time to solder wires and resistor to the sensor). Then I had to go home.
The Arduino SDK is simple, elegant, nice, and user-friendly without being silly. Libraries from the playground in c++ source code and seamlessly added to the SDK? C'mon, where's the lengthy and uninstallable software installation, download-stuff-from-multiple-sites, craft-yourself-a-cross-compiler, patch it with duct tape to the SDK, fix the sources, retry? Where are the dozen header files and all kinds of setup steps before the actual program can execute? Amazing. Not even Lego Mindstorms is that easy.
Arduino was a shot of geekosterone for me. It's been a long time since I last wanted Monday to arrive, just to be back at the lab and play. I want to buy one to play at home with the kids. I'm in love with this thing; you have no idea.
Joao S Veiga