The software includes a debugger feature and c compiler. There is nothing else you need to buy to run projects and develop useful applications than the $25 dollar board. It is not crippled nor limited. There are other more advanced ways to program and create, but this is the simplesest mode. Oh, and they have video tutorials up. The project examples are already created ready to download and run. Once programmed the board will run independently when disconnected from the programming computer whenever the board is started. ie your project board will work untethered. Once programed. One and two channel oscilloscopes are in the 100 day project. These are useful projects. Add a case an probes and a battery.
And its the real deal. This is full development professional design software. Really.
Program by dragging analog components like amplifiers, analog mux, a/d around on what looks like a napkin or tablet. Add digitral components, logic, maybe an output modulated variable duty cycle block. Connect the pins for io and oupput. Connect the peices, All the "wiring" for all this happens on chip. If you like add additional outboard parts like switches.
Oh, and it comes with a cap sense slider and buttons, too.
And an Arm M0 processor.
Add program code in c if desired. Download and run. Debug. If you don't like it, just reprogram and download and run again. Or download something else. Its REPROGAMMABLE.
Free Code for all this including learning and running VHDL if desired, c. Download Psoc Creator software free from Cypress. Really, design, build and test your own custom chip. The will program multiples for you if you go into mass production. Or you can program your own. The design specs for the board are online. Build your own or vary, if the $25 is too much. Use it with a Raspberry PI. (one of the 100 day projects). Drive x-bees, cameras. Ethernet stack.
100 days 1 project per day AND a demo board for only $25! Pioneer Psoc 4 board available from element 14.
Hang up the soldering iron. Use this board as an interface for other microprocessor boards! Talk to the gprs, use arduino sheilds, resistive touch screens.
Use it to download the two channel oscilloscope and bootstrap a 2 x 3 inch dual channel oscilloscope using a arduino sheild color display and the on chip psoc amplifiers and a/d.
google search cypress psoc 4 pioneer board
and google search cypress psoc 4 pioneer board 100 days projects.
I think they have posted at least 75 project examples so far.