Ah time to get your little hands on the hardware.
Take your Arduino out of its protective bag or box. Look at it and make sure it looks kinda like this:
If there's anything missing or really wrong, make sure to contact the store you bought it from. For example, here is an Arduino that is missing the two round silver capacitors! (This is extremely rare but it has happened)
If you have an Arduino compatible, it might look a little different. For example, here's an Adafruit Metro.
If you're using a compatible, make sure that for sure:
- It is an Atmel ATmega328 or Atmega328P
- There are headers for plugging wires into
- It runs at 5V (check the product documentation)
- It has a USB-serial chip on board, such as FT232, FT231x, PL2303 or CP2102/CP2103/CP2104 which are the most popular and a USB plug
We'll discuss these parts in more detail later but, sometimes 'Arduino compatibles' use completely different chips, so the most important thing is that is an ATmega328 at the core.
OK, now that you are satisfied that your Arduino looks good, put the rubber bumpers on the bottom of the board. This will protect your Arduino from spills and dirty tables. If your table is made out of metal, this is essential!
Keep your desk clean and keep the 'duino away from paperclips or other metallic items