The ATTiny’s are Atmels smaller 8-pin and up microcontrollers. The good news is that these microcontrollers can be programmed with the very familiar Arduino developer IDE & using the all too familiar digitalWrite, analogWrite, delay and analogRead functions. So no C++ or assembly required!
Not all off-the-shelf programmers support these little guys – but good news you probably already own the programmer. By using an Arduino & connecting a few jumpers from the Arduino to the ATTiny you can program the ATTiny from the Arduino IDE.
I tried several examples on the net and found the following to work best, please note you will need to use version 0022 of the Arduino IDE – I was unsuccessful in using the Arduino 1.0 IDE (there are known issues but it might work for you). Here is the link: Programming an ATTiny with an Arduino.
Update 08/06/2012: Found that the current latest release (1.0.1) programs fine with the updated instructions.