I'm new to electronics in that I've never actually built anything before (I know the basic theory/forumals though, and have drawn up schematics, etc, but I've never actually built anything), and recently I have become interested in electronics as it applies to microcontrollers. I'm fairly certain I'll have no problems with the microcontrollers themselves(the PIC12F675, PIC16F877A, and PIC18LF4539 for now) since I've done assembly programming on several platforms before and the data sheets from microchip seem to be very complete with respect to programming. However, the electronics part is giving me some problems. My primary problem is that I don't have any parts at all since I've just become interested in electronics. I do have the extreme basics - some assorted resistors, LEDs, a multimeter, a breadboard, and some wire. I need some help figuring out what other components I'll need to do general tinkering with the PIC-based circuits. I'm guessing that for simple projects, I'll probably need some capacitors(of various values - which ones are common in digital circuits?), some transistors, maybe some more resistors, maybe an LCD display for graphical output, some resonators/crystals to drive the chips, and maybe some various other ICs(like what? perhaps a multiplexer, maybe some 555 timer chips, anything else?). My breadboard doesn't have a power supply, since either a breadboard with one or a sepearte unit were both too costly (at >$100). I'm looking into 'building' one using an AC Adapter (or rechargable NiMH batteries, but they cost much more), but really I'm not sure how I would use it. I'm guessing that I'd need whatever kind of socket it plugs into so I could hook it up to the breadboard, and probably also a voltage and current regulator (I'd prefer the adaptor provide more of each than the circuit requires just to be more tolerant to slight changes - would that really even help?). I'm guessing using regulators means I'd also need the components from the regulator IC's data sheet to build each regulator circuit (the regulator I found only does one or the other function so I'd need two). Is this at all the proper way to go about this? From the PICs data sheets, the desired volage is 4.2V to 5.5V with a desired 10mA if I'm reading it correctly, but I'm not complete sure I am (they're on microchip.com if you'd like to look and help me with this). In summary, I'm looking for any good pointers/information/resources/books/websites/etc on what inexpensive parts are good to have when tinkering with PIC-based circuits, on how to build an inexpensive power supply for such projects, and any other general information on electronics/digital circuits that you think is important. PS: If you reply via electronic mail, include "sci.electronics" (with or without the quotes) in the subject or it will get filtered to the trash.