The Arduino Uno, Mega, Duemilanove and Arduino Nano automatically draw power from either the USB connection to the computer or an external power supply. If you're using an Arduino Diecimila, you'll need to make sure that the board is configured to draw power from the USB connection. The power source is selected with a jumper, a small piece of plastic that fits onto two of the three pins between the USB and power jacks. Check that it's on the two pins closest to the USB port.

Connect the Arduino board to your computer using the USB cable. The green power LED (labelled PWR) should go on. The text of the Arduino getting started guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Code samples in the guide are released into the public domain.