The projects on this website use a small, programmable circuit board called a microcontroller (sometimes called by the brand name Arduino). By definition, these boards are computers: they can run code, just like the computers in your phone or on a rocket.
Although your microcontroller is a computer, it's missing a lot of the things you probably associate with the computers in your life: a keyboard, a mouse, and a screen. Since it has none of these things, you'll need to write code on your computer first, then upload it to your microcontroller using a USB cable.
The Arduino IDE is a free software for writing and uploading code. Download the software at https://www.arduino.cc/en/software, or create a free account to use the no-download browser version at https://create.arduino.cc/editor.
Plug one end your USB cord into your microcontroller board and the other into a USB port on your computer. Then launch the Arduino software.
That's it! When you're ready, move on to Project One to build your first circuit.
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