So I'm setting up the android SDK to play with, installing the Google "Android Developer Kit" which contains a modfiied Eclipse preconfigured with the android SDK. OK sounds good.
Except on creating a new empty blank project it throws errors and I can't build shit. So I google and many other people have this problem - it seems to be related to the eclipse/SDK versions as what I have isn't up to date - even though this all came from the latest download package available.
So I upgrade the android dev tools using the android SDK manager to the latest versions - all good. But when I try to update eclipse, it throws errors about not being able to reach the update servers. So I goggle - and I needed to remove the file "log4j-1.2.15.jar" from /Library/Java/Extensions/ - because somehow that java extension mucks up eclipse's ability to talk to the internet. o_O
So I do that and checking for updates in eclipse no-longer throws an error - BUT - it finds no update. Meanwhile the updated android SDK eclipse plugin is complaining saying that its incompatible with the old version of eclipse I have, and that I should update eclipse. But eclipse can't find any updates!
So I go back to google and it turns out that I need to update eclipse via the "Install New Software" option - which I try, and it then determines that it needs to UPDATE and not install new, which I say "yes f&cking please" and it starts... but then throws an error about not being able to download files! RAGE!
Back to google and the answer is to disable the 'http' update source and enable the 'https' update source. Installing 'new' software again and it worked - although it did warned me that its updating unsigned or verified content - 'sif I care at this stage- but finally I can create a blank project without any errors.
Lesson: I'm never complaining about xcode again - even in iOS 2.0 when the AppStore launched, I was able to just download and install xcode and start making an iPhone app with the simulator (although getting it onto a device was all sorts of pain). Not off to an impressive start Android! Hopefully the new Android Studio will be better, when its ready for production use.