KISS fan, looking for hardware (Arduino?)

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No, not the band, the concept. I'm looking for a simple, easy-to-use board
with several AD channels and some IO pins, that I can use while connected
to a linux system. I bought an Arduino, it has the hardware I want, but I
can't use it yet. There's something called the Simple Message System that
allows users to send simple commands from the host: 'r a', 'r d 6', 'w d
6 1', that sort of thing. I could control that with a couple of shell
scripts (readAD and wait4pin). That would be platform independent.

Problem is, I can't load SMS into the board. The crappy software from is ugly and almost useless. And, as a Silicon Valley burnout
and non-programmer, I don't want to mess with Java or cross-compilers.
I just want to use the hardware.

The cost of Arduino can't be beat. The problem is the software: originally
targeted for WinPC, and it looks it.

Can anyone recommend a simple-to-use controller, or a service that would
burn SMS or similar on very-inexpensive hardware? The goal is to end up
with scaled data in a comma-separated textfile, for import to oocalc.

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