So a quick explanation of why this page exists...
I've been playing with the language Python for a few months now for ad hoc small projects related to my day job. I've been meaning to learn it in a slightly more structured manner, and got this book for Christmas.
I also got given this robotic arm from Maplin (http://www.maplin.co.uk/robotic-arm-kit-with-usb-pc-interface-266257) and since it has no Linux software I thought this would be a good opportunity to combine learning and practicing some of the more sophisticated Python features, whilst at the same time producing an easy to use Python script that others could make use of.
In my googling for Linux software for this arm I found this: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/programming-9/c-code-for-maplin-usb-robot-arm-851033/ - but since there were questions about it actually working and it would mean part learning another language variant (I'm vaguely literate in at least half a dozen computer languages but fluent in none!). That didn't suit - but did provide some useful info on the possibility of doing it in Python. A few days after I started some C code was then published too (http://notbrainsurgery.livejournal.com/38622.html) - which I've not tried - but aware that non programmers are not likely to embrace C as much as they might with Python I decided to finish what I started. Last night I debugged my first prototype and got it moving the arm. My plan is to post a cleaned up version of that code as the beginning of this page sometime this weekend, and then add more advanced functions and packaged code which might be useful for total new comers etc.
Of course I'd be delighted to hear about features you think would be useful and I'll consider them; or indeed I'm quite happy for you to modify the code to include those features yourself - feel free to send me such improvements if you'd like me to share them here.