I've been watching the Kinect hacks online for the past several months and really enjoyed them. I started thinking recently that I would kind of like to work with it myself, see what kinds of things I might be able to make and do, and decided to get a Kinect to play with.
The first thing I found was that there are a lot of different development platforms that all connect the Kinect to the computer in different ways. I also found out that all of these platforms were in different stages of development, and I don't think any of them are finished.
In the end, I found a lot of information about Kinect 1.2 running under Ubuntu, and felt that this platform gave me the most initial options for immediate enjoyment.
Trying to install, I found that the instructions that are given on the webpage (which are incredibly difficult to find), aren't really helpful in installing them on a computer, so after spending two weeks with google and three computers, I finally feel I've figured out the best way to install the working application. This instructable will be my attempt to convey that information I learned to you!
Step 1: An Operating System
For the purpose of this instructable, I installed all of my applications on the current version of the Ubuntu Operating system. So If you head over to ubuntu.com, and download the desktop version of Ubuntu 10.10 either 32 or 64 bit depending on your system hardware and you'll be ready to begin!
[Note: I have not tried this with Ubuntu 11.04 and can therefor not guarantee any of this will work within that OS]
Follow the directions on their page for installing either via a usb thumb drive or a cd (or your own preferred method). Once Ubuntu is installed on your computer, you're ready to move on to step two!