Well, in my quest to build a cheap CNC driver I have been learning lots and not saving a whole lot of money.
Today I broke down and purchased the resistors and diodes needed to build a PIC In Circuit Serial Programmer.
The ICSP that I'm implementing is based on the work done by "Nancy".
The good news is the breadboard version seems to work. The software is able to detect the PIC (16F716), claims to be able to program it and even verifies that it has been programmed as requested. (To confirm it actually verified correctly, I stuck a blank in and received an error message when I "verified" it.)
Sadly the PIC didn't do what I wanted it to - it gets to the initial state, but doesn't respond to inputs. There are some warnings in the HEX editor of the PIC that may need attention.
So tonight is a good news / bad news state that I'm going to bed on.
(PS - So far I'm in to this CNC for over $350 - lots of that is education, spare parts and the new Spin Saw which has yet to be mounted.)