As I switched from a PC laptop to a Macbook in 2006, I now lack parallel ports and therefore can not connect my parallel port AVR programmer directly to it. Not that I had so far developed overwhelming enthusiasm to program AVRs while on the road but of course if I had to, I'd need to be prepared! So I researched a bit and ran into Thomas Fischls excellent standalone USB programmer USBasp (see here). As I did not have the motivation to have one of the various PCBs made that Thomas publishes on his website, I created a layout for a strip board to perfectly fit the size of an Altoids mint box or equivalent.
USBASP Stripboard layout
Thomas Fischl has designed a brilliant USB programming circuit for AVR microcontrollers which interfaces very well with MACs and PCs. This article describes a layout for a low-cost stripboard assembly of the USBASP programmer.
In case you don't know what a stripboard is, you can look it up here
Schematics and Firmware
Schematics are well documented on Thomas' website and the firmware has been taken on unmodified. I have chosen to use the ATMEGA-8 chip for the circuit as I had some left over from a previous project. The stripboard layout exactly follows the published schematics.