Arduino + Twitter + LEDs

I have a problem that i would like some help figuring out. I am trying to run an array of LEDs off of streaming information from the internet. I'll write a program , which would then feed information to the arduino, which would then run 50 plus led's. My first question is how do i get information from my computer to my arduino. I'll probably write the program in C. Does anyone have experience in making C communicate constantly with an arduino?

Thanks, Nick Sturtzel

I am kind of new at this and struggle a bit with programming. I did however write a program a while back for Visual Basic that sent information constantly to the arduino.

There are libraries available for Visual Basic and I am sure there must be some for C applications. Although I think you may be better off with C++

As far as I can remember in my program I just had to setup up the serialport, baud rate etc. And then just used some form of Serial.write type of command. Which was obviously possible due to including some sort of library. (I think it was MSCOMM or something like that).

It was also in some form of loop that updated the value I was sending.

I found this for C++: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system/serial.aspx

Hope this helps. If anyone has any input please add it as my experience with C and C++ is limited... :-?

I did something similar recently and used Processing and the Twitter4J library. I found an example on the processing site and had something working in a matter of minutes.

I chose to create my own terse serial protocol between the computer and the arduino, but you can also use the firmata library which can direct control the arduino from processing.

Processing is Java based, so it doesn't meet your desire to use C, but it would be a very quick way to get there if you don't mind a little java syntax.