starting out

being new to arduino, but not new to hardware programming, have been looking at the options available

from what i can see, the arduino mega seems to be the best long term investment just from the sheer point of how many inputs/outputs & memory that it has

obviously an ethernet module would be nice to play with, question of which i posted in the interfacing forum

would appreciate feedback from others on first purchases, new experiences coming to arduino

Hi Matteo,
are you aware that the ethernet-shield does not work out of the box with an Arduino-Mega? The ethernet shield pins are arranged for the Duemilanove-board.

If you don’t have any specific project in mind that requires lots of IO and/or the extra memory on a Mega, the Duemilanove+Ethernet is a good start.

I also very much appreciate that you can replace the MCU on a Duemilanove board after spilling a cup of coffee over your external hardware :o (this is how I decided I need an external programmer too and no more drink and food at the desk)

Eberhard

I would second the purchase of the standard Duemilanove over the Mega. You would be supprised with how many projects you can do with the number of I/O’s supplied and most of the shields have been designed for the pin layout of the Duemilanove.

I’d also agree with the Duemilanove board. If you really get skint for output pins you can consider multiplexing.

Chances are, once you get to the level where you need more pins you’ll find uses for your ‘old board’

In the UK at least, the Arduino boards still gain a very high second hand value price - worth noting.

As the other guys have mentioned, Duemilanove has so many shields which are compatible jumping across to the Mega1280 may end up costing you more. I’d wait till it’s a ltitle more accepted.

If money isn’t an object, consider picking up both…

You could always use a Shift Register IC to increase the number of outputs too. They cost pennies.