Have a look at the Arduino forums and specifically at the PID library and accompanying article. For temperature control I would recommend having a look at digital sensors like the DS1820 to start out; getting better accuracy will cost you. Simplest/safest heater-element control is a pre-assembled relay system like powerswitchtail.
Originally Posted by mweintraub
See also the f/stop timer linked in my signature
Yes, I've been looking at that sensor actually. I found it pretty cheap.
I just watched this and got my juices flowing with ideas.
I'm new to hardware design/development, but not software development. I can't wait for the intro Arduino class tomorrow and I hope it helps me understand what I need to know to get this project off the ground.
Yes, I saw that PowerSwitch Tail device too which looks awesome. I also thought about having an all in one control unit, so I'll have to think about it.