I always wanted to learn electronics but to me it just seemed to far out of reach. It was so cool to see all the awesome projects people were making with these little arduino boards but I just could not get myself to take the plunge. Actually, I was going to pass on this book, but the "hands-on introduction" lured me in and I decided to give electronics another shot. The nutshell, this book makes it so easy to learn without getting weighed down by all the heavy details (which are usually the show-stoppers). John starts you off with a good primer on electricity, electronics and writing sketches (a.k.a source code). I like the fact that he gave just the right amount of information to give you a high-level view of what is going on, and pumped to learn more. Each project starts with a description of what you will be creating, the hardware needed, and a sketch to make it all work. The first thing I noticed about this book was how conscious John was about his descriptions, especially when he explained the electronic and programming concepts. He made them bite sized and easily digestible. The same goes for the hardware side, you get a list of parts with part numbers and the supplier to get buy them from so there was no guessing if they worked or not. The only thing you have to do, is go purchase them. Lastly, each project has a working sketch John provides that I found to be a good starting point to get you up-and-running quickly (I later discovered I could use my own preferred programming language; ruby, via a gem created by other enthusiast, an added bonus!). Also note, that each project sketch builds on the previous, teaching new programming and electronic skills as you progress. So its best not to skip, although it wouldn't be hard to do it if you have a programming background. All in all, I feel John did a great job planning out this book and the projects. And in the end, I had fun finally learning electronics and became a superhero in the eyes of my little ones in the process, how awesome is that.
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About the reviewer
Gregory Zentkovich (grandslam)
I like to spend time with my family... I love my wife, and I love my kids (3). I love to travel, run, surf, play with computers, and write code.... oh, and review tech books =) … more