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Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (January 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003142
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Fullam (the author) provides an excellent introduction to practical electronics, as well as a whole lots of fun." - Will Knight, New Scientist, March 20th "...this is a nice book for getting ideas on how to build nice projects. All basic knowledge of electronics and assembly are in the book, which makes it perfectly suitable for a beginner, while also providing ideas and details for the more tech-savy experts in the field. While reading through projects you'll learn the basic items needed for your own project. A fun book to read and to learn from and get new and novel ideas." Wirelessleiden.nl - http //wiki.wirelessleiden.nl/wcl/cgi-bin/moin.cgi/BoekenPg "Overall the book is good fun, and after reading it, you start to look at household objects in a different light."Linux Magazine, June

About the Author

Scott Fullam has been hacking hardware since he was 10 years old with his first RadioShack 100-in-1 electronic kit. He built an "intruder" alarm to keep his sister out of his room. Scott attended MIT earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While an undergraduate he built a "shower detection" system so that he could see if the community shower was in use. After graduating from MIT Scott designed children's toys and built close to 50 prototypes in 2 years. He then went to work at Apple Computer in the Advanced Technology Group designing digital still cameras. In 1995, Fullam co-founded PocketScience, which develops revolutionary mobile e-mail communications products and services. As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Fullam personally developed all of the algorithms for the company's products. Scott now works as an independent consultant assisting consumer electronic companies design high quality products. Never satisfied with how the consumer electronics products he owns work, he often takes them apart and enhances their capabilities.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is very thorough and I am very satisfied with the explanation.
Romina Wilcox
If I were teaching any high school technology class, this would be my text book.
Bob Kaehms
I'd like to be able to hack together something cool just to say I could do it.
Thomas Duff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Contents
This is a fun guide to hardware hacking projects from beginners to gurus.
The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 - Basic Hacks, Tools, And Techniques - How To Build A Portable Laptop Power Supply; How To Build An Aquarium Inside A Macintosh; How To Hack 802.11b Antennas; How To Build A PC Water-Cooling System; How To Hack A Furby (And Other Talking Toys); How To Hack A Video Periscope For Your Car
Part 2 - Advanced Hacks, Tools, And Techniques - How To Build A Digital Video Recorder; How To Hack A Building-Size Display; How To Build A Cubicle Intrusion Detection System; How To Build An Internet Toaster; How To Build A Home Arcade Machine; How To Build A Remote Object Tracker; How To Make RC Cars Play Laser Tag; How To Build A Wearable Computer; How To Build An Internet Coffeemaker
Part 3 - Appendixes - Schematic Capture Software; Communication; Easy-to-Use Microcontroller Boards; Power Sources; Resources; Index
Review
I'm a software guy, not a hardware nut. To me, plug and play has been a godsend. But every once in awhile, I wish I had the chance to play around with wires and such. I'd like to be able to hack together something cool just to say I could do it. And with this book, I now have the chance.
Scott Fullam has put together a fun volume of projects that span the range from rank beginners to people who read schematics on a daily basis. Each project is rated for cost, time requirements, and difficulty. Based on that, you can figure out whether or not the project is one you can reasonably expect to complete based on your skill level. There are some basic instructions on tools and reading schematics, but I think that you'd be better off if you come into the project with at least a little background knowledge beforehand.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lindsay on October 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a big, floppy paperback full of projects many geeks or would be geeks already know about. After all, the internet leaks this sort of information all over. However despite some of the projects being a little underwhelming for the geek about town, the fifteen projects would probably be the perfect introduction to hardware hacking for a youngster keen to get into electronics and computers.

Now that there are very few electronic hobbyist magazines around, it is hard to know how any except the most talented youngsters will get started on hacking gadgets, except via books like this. Having a talented toy designer write the book is a great ploy, as many of the best gadgets are derived from subverting toys and general consumer appliances.

Some of the introductory projects are a little wimpy. The author doesn't really make it sufficiently clear that an external battery pack for a notebook computer is unlikely to extend your working time much (alkaline batteries are ill suited to most high current drain computers). However there is an undeniable need for a very simple introduction to the tools and materials you need to use. This is one of six tasks teaching tools and materials. The last couple are hacking Furbys, and making a video periscope for a car.

The advanced section includes digital video recorders, building lighting control, a remote GPS object tracker (just like James Bond). There is a very nice one chapter introduction to making wearable computers.

The book would make a perfect gift for the potential hardware geek.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Are you an electronic enthusiastic with a lot of spare time and some extra cash laying around? Well, turn those resources of time and money into awe-inspiring hacker projects. Scott Fullam's latest book is the tool you need for that transformation. Inside you'll discover plans for your own cubicle intrusion detection system - cube warriors of the world unite! See what's causing the traffic jams with your homemade video periscope for your car. Go all out and build a gigantic (building-sized) low-resolution display, perfect for declaring your love for your girlfriend, or for mad games of pong.
The book is nicely laid out like a textbook and crammed full of illustrations and tables and schematics and photos. Page 270 (describing wearable computers) inspired me to hack my old camcorder's viewfinder for a handy head-mount display. Perhaps you'll be motivated to build your own home arcade machine (page 213) or customized TiVo from scratch. Whatever your hacking fancy, you'll find related projects within these pages. A must read for the experienced or up-and-coming hacker
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bob Kaehms on May 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's easy to get a sense of what the book is about
by looking through the online table of contents, or
by reading through a sample chapter.
I was lucky enough to be asked to read the book prior to
release, and my initial impression was "WOW!". If I
were teaching any high school technology class, this
would be my text book. It not only teaches you about
each project, but provides the tools and insight to
help unleash your own creativity, or that of your students
or children.
Tim O'Reilly should send some sample copies to schools
and see what they think. It might prove to be their
foray into the textbook market.
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