Well the $39 Spark.io is back in play, and frankly just buy the Spark device, maybe the little kit:

Buy this for $39 or the Spark Maker Kit, as Kits go it is worth the $99 and the little box is very nice.  The $99 US kit contains the Spark and is all you need, really.  Usually you need a bunch of other stuff, but if you get the $99 US kit, don’t buy anything else.  (Although the relay board is quite nice at $30.)


Don’t buy what looks like an UNO simulator and is called the “Shield Shield”.  It isn’t an UNO simulator apparently with less chips and apparently skimping on circuits, the Spark.IO designers decided to not use the normal pin patterns, but still silk screened the pin-outs as if they were.

So don’t buy this, really don’t, unless you review the pin-outs at: http://docs.spark.io/shields/ and it isn’t that it doesn’t work, it does, but it just isn’t what I expected, mainly related to the pin-out issues.  If you can live with that, then it works as described.