I'm in 2nd year Engineering, and I'm taking a few circuits classes, so I've got a rudimentary knowledge of programming and discreet components. In my labs, I've worked with logic gate chips as well as the Altera MAX CPLD.
(As a side note, can the Arduino be coded with VHDL? I've barely studied the stuff, but it'll be on my final exam and it'd be great to mess with it at home on my own hardware)
As I'm on a student's budget, I'm hoping to start my own home setup on the cheap. I've ordered a (Bootleg?) Arduino Mega (http://goo.gl/pgSKd) and LED/7-segment display module (http://goo.gl/bbHeL), and some hookup wire from dealextreme.
Is there anything else I should get to be starting on basic projects? I'm thinking a breadboard should be on the list, as well as a few project boxes to semi-permanently mount switches and LEDs. Is a separate powersupply needed?
I have a ~200 various LEDs back at my parents place that I ordered off of eBay years ago. I never did much more then burn them out in various installations, as I didn't (and still don't to some degree) understand why they need a resistor in-line, even in an application where their voltage is proper. They came with some separate resistors I believe. Also I've got some small toggle switches.
I've got interests in cars and motorcycles, and would eventually like to build a digital dash (first for a computer racing sim and then an actual vehicle), but that's a little ways down the road.
Thanks for the read, and hopefully I can learn a lot from this community. Who knows, maybe eventually I'll be able to help out as well!