So, my plans to build the Game of Life Clock took a step closer to reality today with the arrival of my order of stuff from Oomlout following the recommendation of a couple of people. Everything turned up within 24 hours of placing the order. Very impressed.
In addition to the 8x8 LED matrices I needed, I bought a new Arduino Duemilanove, since my old NG only has an ATMega8, with 8k of ram. This has been fine for tinkering, but was looking a bit tight for running the game, RTC and matrix driver chips. The Duemilanove has 32k of ram, which is tonnes more than I need.
It also gave me a chance to order the ARDX starter kit, which in addition to the Duemilanove has a bunch of extra stuff to play with. Given the Arduino-heavy nature of some of the dev8D workshops this year, it seemed like it'd be worth having some extra bits to play with.
I've not really done much this evening other than have a play with the first starter kit circuit, and get the latest arduino software up and running. It is worth noting that the 10mm LED that ships as part of the starter kit is a bit "argh, my eyes".
One thing that did come as a bit of a surprise was not having to hit the reset button to upload a new sketch. That'll take some getting used to.
Next up is driving an 8x8 LED matrix off a pair of 595 shift registers. I'm still torn between using shift registers or the much more sophisticated MAX7219 LED driver. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so I think the best bet is to have a play and see...