Ok so i have had the class with Mike Shorter for PICAXE. Was Quite good, although a worrying note is the PC users have had trouble using it.
So we all were asked to solder our chips up (they come unmade with instructions), i personally found it easy as i quite like soldering, once all were done we split into groups and worked on getting the chip to communicate with the laptop. Our group seemed to be doing something wrong but Mike said it may be the quality of soldering.
We were shown how to connect the chip up on a breadboard :-
On the left is the chip connected
On the right is the Voltage Regulator used to control the flow of Volts through the system.