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Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller: The Official Guide 1st Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071664509
ISBN-10: 0071664505
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Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller: The Official Guide + Programming the Propeller with Spin: A Beginner's Guide to Parallel Processing (Tab Electronics) + A Hardware Interfacing And Control Protocol: Using RobotBASIC And The Propeller Chip
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Parallax, Inc., a privately held company, designs and manufactures microcontroller development tools and small single-board computers that are used by electronic engineers, educational institutions, and hobbyists.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education TAB; 1 edition (January 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071664505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071664509
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

André LaMothe was born in Silicon Valley, CA. He is a Computer Scientist, Futurist, Game Developer, and International Best Selling author. Mr. LaMothe holds degrees in Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science.

Mr. Lamothe has been programming and developing systems for over 30 years. Including embedded systems, text books, and PC games, he has produced over 750 products over the last three decades.

He is currently the CEO/Chief Scientist of Nurve Networks and iC0nstrux.com. Before founding Nurve, Mr. LaMothe was a Silicon Valley consultant and worked on projects ranging from Artificial Intelligence at NASA, to rendering algorithms at Software Publishing Corp (SPC), to Virtual Reality at Visions of Reality to name a few. He is the former founder/CEO of Xtreme Games and PlanetFreeStuff.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Justin on October 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying that I got this book via Parallax and one of their Demo Board kits. Having read all the reviews posted for this product I was more or less ecstatic to dive in and learn more about the Propeller P8X32A Multicore Microcontroller. The power and resources at your disposal with this chip is rather remarkable; hence the excitement when I received the book.

Once the book arrived I opened it right up and started to read everything that I could that evening. The first two chapters are great! Learned a good bit, however, everything thereafter is really a huge disappointment. The book, mind you, is an official guide to using the Parallax SPIN language and how to program the Propeller via the Propeller Tool software. However! once you get past chapter two a whole lot of things let me down. For starters, every project after blinking the LEDs requires extensive extra hardware. You'll need several XBee modules, a GPS module, a robotics kit, the Board of Education, among various other things such as servos and what not. All in all, to use the full extent of the book and really get your moneys worth is to spend potentially a couple extra hundred dollars. That is asinine and ridiculous. To use a $23 book with a $40 board that has only 8 GPIO pins for use (as everything else is tied up to VGA output, PS/2 mouse & keyboard, USB, stereo & audio jacks) I was a less than satisfactory customer.

While the book is great for learning how to blink the on-board LEDs, it really lacks in a lot of other features that the Propeller chip can do. For example, a solid explanation for how to use certain Blocks or Objects would have been fantastic; especially a proper introduction to how to use the DAT function. A lot of the projects don't make much sense either.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pflaum on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an electrical engineer with 30+ years of experience designing with various microprocessors, microcontrollers, ASICs, FPGAs and CPLDs, I found the book to be a refreshing joy to read compared to most of the similar books available. This book has something for everyone regardless of skill level and is not just the common "re-hash" of the documentation commonly found in many books on the subject.
The book begins with a well-written discussion of the Multicore Propeller and the languages used to program it and escalates throughout, building layer upon layer of knowledge, showing how to have fun and learn using concrete example projects. Upon completion the reader will be well poised to continue
exploring this exciting world with the Multicore Propeller.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roy Eltham on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book covers everything you need to know to start building projects with and programming the Propeller microcontroller. From blinking an LED to wireless networking with XBee modules and more. It has examples of working with just about any sensor you can think of, such as GPS, ultrasonic, digital gyros, compass modules, and more. Each chapter has parts lists, schematics, and code. There's lots of good diagrams and photos to help you understand how to hook things together or work with the various devices you connect to the Propeller. They also include lots of "try this" boxes with alternate things for you to try with the project.

There is a chapter on how to debug your code and most of the chapters also contain helpful tips for testing and debugging the hardware as they describe the project. Also, all of the source code for each chapter is available online (the URLs are in each chapter). Some of the projects also have URLs to websites for the project or videos.

Most of what you need for these projects is available from the Parallax site, and if not then the text tells you where you can get the parts needed for the given project.

I am very happy with this book, and will be referring to it for several projects in the future. I highly recommend that you get this book if you are planning to work with the Propeller microcontroller.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Kesler on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a beginner to electronics with limited hobby level experience in programming computers, I am very impressed with "Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller." The book begins with a description of the multicore Propeller and an introduction to the Spin language used to program it. Debugging tools and practices are discussed followed by an overview of sensor basics with examples. Eight interesting projects fill the remainder of the book, with topics ranging from a balancing robot to an HVAC green house model. My favorite project is the chapter on wirelessly networking Propeller chips. In this chapter we are taken through the steps required to wirelessly network a robot with a compass and a PING))) ultrasonic sensor, an accelerometer/inclinometer, and a display. The communication is provided via XBee 802.15.4 modem/transceivers. The final result is a robot that can follow a heading, turn based on wireless input from an accelerometer board (steering wheel), and wirelessly transmit useful information back to the tv display, such as bearing, distance to objects, bar indicators for drives, and signal strength.

Anyone from beginner to advanced skill levels will find this book educational, interesting, and engaging.
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