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ATMEL ISP is a good software. All you need to do is build/buy a ISP cable and then you can easily program your ISP devices. But mind you, ISP is very slow at programming. It takes 1 minute to program 8kb flash which is too slow for development purpose. For development you can build any of the freely available development boards and use PAULMON. It is a very nicely written and the best monitor that I've ever used.
Yes, I have done ISP programming before. All you need is the software and a few wires from parallel port running down to your PCB. Check out www.aec-electronics.co.nz . They offer free ISP software along with cable schematic.