Here are some competing products which can be used with Make the Cut software though I have not tried these products specifically, they look like they do about the same thing
Klic-N-Kut computerized craft cutter
Pazzles Inspiration amazon
BossKut Gazelle amazon
Step 1: Materials
Windows computer. I'm using Windows Vista home edition. (Please no flack from the anti-windows peanut gallery. Yes Linux is cool and so is Mac. Let's all try to get along).
"Make the cut" software. $59.00 Windows only. This is what I'll be using for this instructable. There is a trial version that also works, but creates a big diagonal slash cut through the finished artwork.
There is a competing program called "Sure cuts a lot" that works on MacIntosh, though I have not tried it. There may be other competitors as well.
USB cable with standard type A and standard type B connectors (Not included with the cricut.)
USB serial driver which comes with the free trial download of Cricut Design Studio. You'll need to download this in order to get the appropriate USB driver to make this work. I'm not sure if the driver can be distributed separately.
Inkscape. A free vector drawing program that lets you work with SVG (scaled vector graphic) files. You can also use Adobe Illustrator or other programs that can export SVG format. Update: Actually the 'Make the Cut' software has it's own vector drawing ability which you can access through the File->Import->Pixel Trace which actually works even better than Inkscape.
Cardstock or bristol board.