A PCB (either premade or from perf) that can hold the following.
We like the EMSL devboards for this use, they are available in 'xx8 and '2313 formats.
|Full dev kit|
|ZIF socket||An easy-to-open ("zero insertion force") and close socket, we prefer the ones with gold contacts - a little pricier but will last a lot longer. Make sure they are 'universal' - can take both 0.3" and 0,6" wide chips!||ZIF socket|
|Indicator LED||Use it for 'power good' or other blinky.||5mm red diffused|
|6-pin box header||With a key, its less likely to insert the cable backwards.||2x3 pin header|
|Ceramic Oscillator||16MHz is good, but really anything >4MHz is OK.||Ceramic resonator|
|Ceramic 0.1uF capacitor (104)||Nearly any capacitor will do, just to provide a little power supply smoothing.||Ceramic Capacitor|
|Rubber bumper||For protecting the PCB!||Rubber bumper|
|Programmer||We like the USBtinyISP - not just because we designed it but also because it can provide 'target power' - so you don't need a seperate power plug!||USBtinyISP|
There's not a lot going on here, basically solder the ZIF socket in and wire up the socket! The crystal will make it easy to program lots of Arduino chips (which is what we've used this setup for)!
The magic in the pudding is the ZIF socket, which is basically a latching socket that when open is easy to insert chips without bending any pins and when closed is very secure. They are very satisfying to use and last for tens of thousands of cycles!