So I’m trying out the “stand alone” boot-loader-loader by by Bill Westfield (“WestfW”). This is an amazing sketch that can load any program to another ATMEGA328 kind of like ArduinoISP except it is much, much faster and is not required to be connected to a computer. AdaFruit industries sells a kit (with a nice tutorial) that comes with everything you need to turn your Arduino into an “optiLoader” (excepting a few wires and a reset button).
When I tried to use it for the first time the red led came on and the buzzer started screaming. It didn’t sound good. It turns out the “device signature” was wrong. Changing line 5 of images.cpp to the code read off the chip (14 in this case, F in another, 300 in another) the program loaded in less than a second. This takes over a minute the avr-dude way.
The next obvious step here is to be able to load any program from an SD card.