good way to start? equiptment?

what should i buy if i am a first time arduino user? what are the essencial "supplies" (i have access to all the breadboards, resistors, caps, pots, connectors and leads as well as many LEDs and 9 digit led bricks i can eat) but what [i}else[/i] should i buy? i see on amazon and ebay many an arduino, but will they all have the USB adapter? i would like to take my arduino wireless, should i buy a shiled, or a cheaper bluetooth adapter? I want to eventually build a robot, should i buy supplies for that or master the blinking LED with a button? Just asking for words of advice from all you experts out there!

I’d normally suggest a starter kit but you seem to have all the bits to go with it.

Get an arduino duemilanove from a reputable supplier (ie, not ebay). Tell us what country you’re in and we’ll suggest somewhere, or you can have a look around this site - I believe there’s list somewhere.
You could consider getting two clone boards, it’ll work out a little more expensive than one genuine arduino (but not much) and that’ll mean you can have one board for running a project and one board for developing on. Somewhere like earthshineelectronics or oomlout are both great if you’re in the UK, they sell genuine and clone boards. I believe ebay has a lot of fakes (clones that pretend to be genuine arduinos).

You’ll need a USB cable but it’s a USB printer type cable - normal USB at one end and fat and square at the other (USB type B I think). You’ll need to download the software from this site, and I suggest you get a guide book. There’s one available on oomlout.co.uk (decent british vendor) here: link that takes you through the basics, and is handy as a referrence til you get going.

As for wifi, it depends what you want to do really. Have a good google for similar projects, find out what hardware they use and if they’ve shared their code. Adapting other people’s code for your own projects is a great way to learn

Thanks! Im in the US, so pref. US vendors. And i agree, i was looking at the starter kits, and noticed that they provided nothing i didnt already have.

What do you mean by a clone arduino? a "seeduino?" I read about those, and they seem cheaper, but i wasnt sure what i was buying. what types are like the duimillinove(cant spell)? im ok with soldering, so whatever gets me the most board for the least cheddar im gung-ho on.

I'll leave it to someone else to tell you about US vendors and give personal recommendations, but this is the list of vendors on this site: link.

If you have a look at this example of a clone: link you can see it clearly states it's a duemilanove clone. I don't know what a seeduino is, I haven't come across one before (I'm fairly new to it myself).

I got mine from sparkfun but now I am looking at some of the other clones around as my project grows. What started as a " hey, can you hook a copier up to one of these?" has now grown to maybe wireless and or ethernet and perhaps voice and proximity sensors.

It started as such an innocent and simple looking project to hook a copier or printer up to an adruino. Now I am in over my eyeballs and not looking back. 8-)

Adafruit sells a starter kit. I'd get a decent sized breadboard minimum of 800 points they are cheap anyways. I used a radioshack 15w soldering iron for a while until I ended up getting a digital temp controlled station with different tips. You might want to add a shield with a mini breadboard also. Solder wick for mess ups...

copiertalk, did you get a copier or printer hooked up to an arduino?

yes I have. As an access control device.

From feedback they are now wanting to see if I can integrate user logging / storage and other functions into the prototype. This started out as a simple " can you limit the users who have access to the machine in an inexpensive manor?" .

Sweet, well done!

Have you got a web page for the project? I'd like to learn more about how you did it.

I do not have anything documented yet. This just started out an an innocent question of how to do it and with my limited knowledge of electronics and programming I remembered from college many years ago I am just thumbing my way through it.

I am mostly relearning things by the school of hard knocks and many blown LED's as I go. ;D