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30 BeagleBone Black Projects for the Evil Genius 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0071839280
ISBN-10: 0071839283
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30 BeagleBone Black Projects for the Evil Genius + Exploring BeagleBone: Tools and Techniques for Building with Embedded Linux + Make: Getting Started with BeagleBone: Linux-Powered Electronic Projects With Python and JavaScript
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Rush (Preston, UK) has a degree in Computer Network Technology and has spent the last 10 years working for Premier Farnell (CPC), an electronic distribution company. He also runs a MakerSpace blog and blogs regularly on the Element14 Community page for BeagleBone Black.

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Product Details

  • Series: Evil Genius
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 1 edition (September 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071839283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071839280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daddio on September 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the book in general. Like almost all of the books of this series, there simply isn't enough "EVIL" in it for my genius. Why don't these things have computer controlled water squirt guns or a favorite project from an old electronics magazine was a circuit that made a randomly generated noise at random intervals. I put that thing in the air vent of my roommates bedroom and he search for it for days before coming to me and saying "What have you done?" Hee hee. Priceless.

Anyway, that being said, the book carries you through quite a range of projects. It does a good job of discussing what you are doing and why. It is definitely for the more novice of us, as it starts with opening the box of the BeagleBone Black (BBB) and powering it up. But, that is fine. We all have to start somewhere. Why not start with a sound moral guidance like "Evil Genius".

A minor issue I have is that the book builds upon itself. What I mean by this is that as the projects go along, they rely on you having done the projects before. The project will say you need to install "X" software and perform "Y" task, but that task may have a dependency on the requirement tasks from projects before. For instance, you can't just jump in and do Project 18 without having setup your python environment in Project 15. Minor, but a bit of a pain.

I've also found a couple of typos that actually matter, but I have not found (with Google search and reading the book) a forum in which to report them. (ex. Page 64, Project 15 - He has you run "Opkg update && opkg install python-pip python-setuptools python smbus". There are two mistakes with this. One: I'm sure his word processor capitalized the first word of the paragraph, but UNIX is case sensitive. "Opkg" and "opkg" are not the same and it will not run.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Monk on September 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for inspiration as to what to do with your BeagleBone Black, then this is the book for you. The projects are thoroughly described in a step-by-step manner and the Appendix includes part codes for CPC, MCM, Sparkfun and Adafruit. All the source code for the projects is available on Github, making it easy to download it directly onto the BBB.

As well as the usual doing things with LEDs, including matrix displays, the projects also include more exciting things like: a GPS tracker, a robot rover, a foam dart gun sentinel, as well as various security type projects for the would-be Evil Genius to use to protect their lair.

As with all project books, its not just about the projects themselves. along the way, you will learn a lot about connecting electronics to a BBB and how to go about programming this great device.

I have to declare an interest here in that I introduced Chris to the TAB team. But I am very glad I did. This is an excellent book and I look forward to seeing more books from Chris.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Connors VINE VOICE on November 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
What struck me as I leafed through this book for the first few times is that there's very little about this book that actually needs a BeagleBone Black. This is a fine book for a beginner, and might be good inspiration for a more advanced developer, but the BBB provides a lot of flexibility that the author doesn't even come close to using. (Considering how popular it is and how badly bottlenecked production was for the first half of 2014 until Element14 started making them, this is a particularly frustrating outcome.)

There isn't a lot in here that lends itself to evil, honestly, but I guess it depends on how creative you can be with a lie detector (as best as I can tell, a variant on the circuit used in Scientology's e-meter, so...?) or a spy cam. (Notable exception: the sentinel turret, which couples the BBB to an off-the-shelf USB dart launcher. That's a recipe for epic chaos of the "ow stop that" variety.) there probably could be a bit more Python code in here, since that seems to be the lingua franca for this sort of development, but Javascript is the BBB's native language and therefore the path of least resistance. Rush doesn't place as much of an emphasis on product engineering as others in the series have done, so some of these might be more brittle than you'd expect in operation. I do like the wiring diagrams, most of which were done in Fritzing and bear that program's watermark; they're as clear and unambiguous as it's possible to be, which IMHO more than makes up for the lack of color.

As I said though, the book doesn't really take advantage of the BBB's unique features.
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