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Bebop to the Boolean Boogie: An Unconventional Guide to Electronics (with CD-ROM), Second Edition Paperback – January 9, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0750675437 ISBN-10: 0750675438 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Newnes; 2 edition (January 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750675438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750675437
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,110,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Extremely readable and easy to understand, you'll wonder how people learned about this stuff before this book came along."
- New Book Bulletin, Computer Literacy Bookshops

"A highly readable, well-illustrated guided tour through basic electronics."
- Science Books & Films

"There's something for anyone involved in anyway in electronics, whether as a mild interest or as a serious technician. . . . The book is an excellent and invaluable resource for anyone who's ever held a soldering iron and wants to know what makes current electronics technology tick, and where it's going in the future."
- Everyday with Practical Electronics (U.K.)

"This book is better than most college courses for learning electronics basics."
- The Daily Spectrum

"Maxfield shows the best of his style, mixing deep knowledge of technical history with a great sense of humor and a strong passion for finding some (almost) unbelievable nuggets of trivia. On the whole, this is a book that deserves the acclaim it received since the very first edition and it should be on the desk of everybody who is interested in digital electronics design."
- Electronics World, January 2006

Book Description

The highly-successful most readable and comprehensive introduction to contemporary electronics available!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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THIS was a fun book to refresh my memory.
Retired
I have a MSEE, but I found this book to be far more enlightening and useful than any textbook I ever read in college.
Ching-An Cheng
I would recommend this book to anyone trying to understand the nuts-and-bolts behind what makes your computer tick.
Thomas Dunham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maxfield's book is unique, both in format and in content. And I'm not just talking about the gumbo recipe at the end.

The first section, almost 150 pages, is "logic lite." It starts with transistors, both MOS and bipolar. From there it works its way up to simple latches and such, and scratches the surface of state machines, with side trips to boolean arithmetic and such. The breezy, informal style will work for people put off by more academic treatments, but the logic design content stops way short of what any other basic logic text would present.

The second, longer section covers material sorely missing from all other logic texts I know. It starts with the simpler parts of silicon fab process, then goes through all kinds of printed circuits and hybrid packages giving a fair tour of the basic printed curcuit (PC) processes that were current when the book was written (1995). It even goes into gutsy stuff like the copper patterns in PC processes that have to do with heat flow during soldering. All those real-world facts earned this book an extra star. The "far out technology" chapter at the end is an interesting read, too, with its discussions of nano, optical, and molecular computing.

The book's weaknesses are significant, though. It would work well with any of several companion texts that would cover what this misses. That includes more advanced logic techniques, like alternatives to gate-level implementation and all the fussy bits of state machines. A standard logic text (e.g. Katz) would fill in those blanks. Going in a different direction, it does only a little towards talking about how PC layout interacts with logic design. More about ground planes, guard rings, power decoupling, RF emissions, etc.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
Maxfield audaciously attempts to cover the fundamentals ofelectronic theory and components from atoms to large scale integrationand beyond. He manages to pull it off brilliantly.

This is a book that anyone interested in the subject can read for pleasure, it is no stuffy textbook, and yet you find that you have received a comprehensive grounding in the subject, almost without realising it.

The authors off-beat style and liberal sprinkling of quirky facts keeps your interest while difficult concepts are presented in a way that makes them easy to understand yet manages to cover them in more than sufficient detail

There is also a pretty good Seafood Gumbo recipe.

The author has a website at [...]

See also Maxfields new book - Bebop Bytes Back (an unconventional guide to computers) at [...]
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ching-An Cheng on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have a MSEE, but I found this book to be far more enlightening and useful than any textbook I ever read in college. It teaches you the real basics of electronics without going into complex mathematical equations and theories. It teaches you in a way that is fun with emphasis on the key points that really matter. If you work in the electronic industry, but are non technical or even if you are technical this is a great book that is easy reading. They should write more books like this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Some people are content to use their computer and other electronic devices in the same way they use a VCR: simply put in a tape and press "Play," then turn it off and walk away when they're finished. But the more adventurous among us are interested in learning how these machines really work! Bebop to the Boolean Boogie is a fantastic way to discover everything you ever wanted to know about digital electronics, integrated circuits, boolean algebra, and so forth. It is filled with tons of clearly drawn illustrations which are described in detail, in a language that a beginner to electronics can appreciate.
I recently had to take the cover off my VCR to release a video cassette, and there were resistors, capacitors, ICs, and so forth. I wouldn't have been able to identify anything in the open VCR if it hadn't been for Bebop to the Boolean Boogie! I have some electronics books on my reference shelf that I've picked up in the past, like: "Troubleshooting & Repairing PC Drives & Memory Systems" by Bigelow, 1994. But books like that already expect me to know electronics -- Bebop to the Boolean Boogie gives me the foundation needed to read and understand Bigelow's book!
Many authors take a lot for granted as far as what the reader already knows. Bebop books, on the other hand, walk the reader step-by-step through some pretty sophisticated concepts, with just the right amount of humor added, so the subject matter isn't too dry. Yet, they also treat each concept thoroughly. Another thing that other books have a tendancy to do is either talk over my head or insult my intelligence. Bebop to the Boolean Boogie has successfully found the middle ground.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the friendliest "textbooks" I've ever encountered, this is a superb introduction to digital logic followed by a description of how that logic is captured in silicon. The many historical sidenotes are fascinating.
The very liberal dosage of diagrams has a hand-drawn feel (no doubt due to the casual font) that makes you feel the author is looking over your shoulder explaining them to you.
A must for anybody curious about digital electronics who hasn't had any training in the area. I'll bet quite a few who know the subject well will also enjoy the book. And if you like this one, the author has followed it by the even better "Bebop Bytes Back" for those who want to understand (really) how computers work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hi there, my name is Clive Maxfield, but everyone calls me "Max" (the name of every dog and every robot in every science fiction film ever made). This is sort of a family nickname; my dad, aunt, little 'bro, and so forth are all called "Max" (this can lead to somewhat convoluted after-dinner conversations).

When I was younger, I was interested in both Art and Engineering; at one stage I was seriously contemplating going to art school, but my mom told me that very few artists made much money, so I became an engineer specializing in electronics and computers. And then, while I wasn't looking, I accidentally became a writer. Don't ask me how; it started with a single magazine article, and ended up with seven books and writing as a full-time job (in the day) and as a hobby (in the evenings).

My current passion (apart from my wife, of course) is my recently published book "How Computers Do Math" (which I co-authored with my friend, Alvin Brown). This little scamp is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing a virtual computer/calculator called the DIY Calculator. The book walks the reader through a series of step-by-step interactive laboratories, that end up with the creation of a simple four-function (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) calculator program (written in our simple assembly language) that makes the DIY Calculator ... well, calculate (you can read more on our website at www.DIYCalculator.com).

Last but not least, my idea of a good time is having a BBQ and hanging out with family and friends.