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Maximum Lego NXT: Building Robots with Java Brains Paperback – April 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0973864915 ISBN-10: 0973864915

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Variant Press (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0973864915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973864915
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[This book] succeeds brilliantly in the difficult tasks of introducing the reader to the Java language, to the Mindstorms system, and to some programming techniques peculiar to robotics . . . in such a pleasant way that [the reader] doesn't even realize [he or she is] learning new concepts."  —Mario Ferrari, author, Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms

About the Author

Brian Bagnall is the author of several computer books for Variant Press, McGraw-Hill, Prentice-Hall PTR, and Syngress Publishing. He is a key developer of leJOS, the Java SDK for LEGO MINDSTORMS. Brian is the author of the groundbreaking Core LEGO MINDSTORMS Programming, which has been translated into French and Japanese. He is a Sun Certified Java Programmer and Developer and co-author of the Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Study Guide.

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Customer Reviews

This NXT Java book was useless starting from page 3 on.
Jason A. Butka
Started writing the first sample program in Eclipse, the book referred to classes(like the Pilot class) that do not exist!!
lego learner
In this case the rush to market has significantly detracted from the quality of the book.
Brian D. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Toaster on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was published before it was ready. There are numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, missing steps, incorrect file names, vague references, poorly written instructions and aggrivating projects that just plain don't work or suddenly leave you in the dark

This book has many good ideas and interesting topics BUT...

NOT FOR THE NEW JAVA PROGRAMMER

Even intermediate would be pushing it.

Right from the beginning nothing works as the book describes:
- LEJOS installation instructions are wildly incorrect
- Developer environment installation and setup instructions are missing critical steps
- Critical explanations and critical steps are missing throughout
- Explanations will suddenly jump from explaining the basics to saying things like "Now download your favorite free chess program and hack it to control your chess playing robotic arm." -- Uh....okay..
- Bluetooth set-up and operation does not work as described and steps are again - missing.
- If you can't get bluetooth working, you can't do some of the projects and here again the technical level jumps from very basic to expert.
- Programs can only be run ONCE then must be downloaded again to run them again.

I'm sorely disappointed.
The LEJOS project has a LOT of great potential and I will return to it at a future date but as it currently stands this book has left a very sour taste in my mouth.
Publishing this book should have waited at least until book and product match up.
It needed a lot more proof reading.
Releasing the book in its current state only damages any LEJOS following that it could have inspired and damages the readers trust in the reputation of an author that is intelligent and very knowledgeable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aaron P. Fletcher on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Despite the nasty reviews surrounding this book, I strongly dis-agree. I thought this book was extremely helpful. I am a java programmer but my work is in the data integration area. This book really helped me to step out of the box and start programming movement between motors,sensors,etc. I enjoy all of Brian's writings, blogs, books, etc. You won't find a better book about programming NXT bricks with Java. And who expects a 12 year old to pick up this book and understand? It's a book most suitable for experienced java programmers.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fido on May 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Received a few days ago, still getting through it. This book seems to be for people with at least some familiarity with Java.

Pros: Reasonable instructions for building a bunch of different robots, a long with some 'patterns' that can be used for your own creations; Full software listings of Java programs to control robots; seems well written with an easy to read style.

Cons: Construction plans not colour, making it difficult to follow at times; discussion of Java programs not necessarily as thorough as could be; Java discussion in general seems a bit thin; Java set up instructions seem a little glossed over.

Conclusion: It seems that this book is pitched at someone who knows at least a little bit of Java, or at the very least wants to learn about Java, and also wants to get into mindstorms. Since that pretty much sums me up, I think it is worth it's weight in gold. For those who are not familiar with Java, I think this book will still be a useful addition to the mindstorms library, however there may be better alternatives. As a Lego Mindstorms Java book for Java developers, it gets *6* stars, but as a pure Mindstorms book for those with little Java skills, I can see it could easily get knocked down to 3 or 4 stars.

Finally, not to put too fine a point on it, this book is about a hojillion times better than "LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Hacker's Guide", as this book actually gives some practical building instructions along with code to do some fairly cool stuff.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Hughes on June 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
The author blames problems in the book on a version of lejos software release which is not yet released. Unfortunately the issues with the book have as much to do with poor writing/editing as it does with software unavailability. Some examples:
1. Page 29 states "2. ...Plug in your USB cble and type lejosfirmdl
In and of itself this instruction sounds very straightforward. However, none of the previous steps identify or open an application where typing is allowed. After spending considerable amount of time on a lejos.org forum the reader discovers the command needs to be typed in at an MS DOS command line. Maybe readers are supposed to be telepathic but a simple description of where the comand is supposed to be typed would be a nice touch.
2 Pages 31-33 describe the dowloading and setup of an Integrated DEvelopment Enterprise. The instructions are reasonably detailed but step 8 referes to three leJOS NXJ tools but the previous steps only create two. Somehow you are supposed to know about the third.

It would be nice if the author delayed release of the book until:
1. The software version was released or at least a sure thing to be released or, as several individuals have asked on the lejos forum, developed clear instructions dealing with the current released version of leJOS.
2. Spent sufficient time editing the book to identify basic problems similar to the ones mentioned above.

In this case the rush to market has significantly detracted from the quality of the book.
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