I've been working on a project which is based around an Arduino but I don't really want to plonk an entire Arduino module in the final circuit. My plan is to use a minimal Arduino compatible circuit around an ATMega chip.
I still want to take advantage of the Arduino UI and programming interface so I will need to program the Arduino boot-loader on the chips before placing them in the circuit. I have a little USB programmer for the AVR which has a 10 pin ISP adaptor to programming the circuit. Unfortunately this connector is not very breadboard friendly so I soldered up a small adaptor board to make prototyping a bit easier. You can see a picture of the board to the right (not exactly my best soldering work but it does the job).
Now I can breadboard up a programming circuit to get the boot-loader on the chip. I think I'm going to be using the AVR chips more and more often so I'll probably make up a full programming adaptor with a ZIF socket for the CPU and with the required support circuitry needed to support programming.
I'll do a few experiments with a breadboard circuit first before I make any permanent circuit though - stay tuned, I'll document it here.