Tonight I assembled the adafruit usbtiny programmer. It will be the programmer I use with my LED Matrix project when those boards come back. The instructions from adafruit are great and I would recommend it as it seems to be very flexible in operating voltages and protocols.
One point I’m confused is the use of jumpers or 1.5KΩ resistors for R4 and R7. I went with jumpers I made from some hookup wire I have laying around. Hopefully that’s correct.
According to the adafruit instructions, the usbtiny won’t light up until you’ve pinged it with some avrdude instructions. This is distressing because you expect the red power LED to light up when power is appliced, but USB must enumerate it for power to be provided. I got avrdude version 5.10 installed using macports and applied the command:
/opt/local/bin/avrdude -c usbtiny -p m8
After that the LED’s lit up and I knew my work for tonight is complete!