OK... the Pro Mini literally *just* came back into stock over at SparkFun - I'll be ordering that. I just didn't know how long the part I'd planned on would be out-of-stock, and using a straight chip sounded like it might work. But now I don't need to make up my mind by tomorrow (had to order stuff). I'm still curious...
Thanks for that link Grumpy - the manual is very informative. But what if I wanted to build this in? In other words, assuming I didn't need any Arduino shields or easy programming, what would I need to feed an Arduino with to make it go?
This breadboard circuit gives what looks like what I need: http://arduino.cc/en/uploads/Tutorial/arduinoispbb.png
. All I see is two caps, a few resistors, and a crystal, but this seems to be enough to run the chip.
Would I be able to get away with those components plus a 5v regulator and a datasheet handy to find the digital and analog I/O pins?