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Programming Interactivity: A Designer's Guide to Processing, Arduino, and Openframeworks 1st Edition

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596154141
ISBN-10: 0596154143
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A Designer's Guide to Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks

About the Author

Josh Noble is a consultant, freelance developer and Rich Internet Application designer, based in Brooklyn, New York. He's the lead author of O'Reilly's Flex 3 Cookbook (released May 2008).

As a graduate student, Joshua Noble studied interactive art, teaching himself programming and electronics using available resources on the internet. After school, he began teaching coding to art and design students interested in interactive design at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He found an acute need for a book that taught the technical aspects of programming and computing for interactive art and design as well as some of the theoretical and conceptual aspects of design interaction. He's worked extensively with each of the tools discussed in this book and has taught the subject at workshops, colleges, and to friends.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596154143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154141
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joshua Noble, is a consultant, author, and teacher based in New York City and Portland, Oregon, and is the co-author of Programming Interactivity (O'Reilly 2009), Flex 3 Cookbook (O'Reilly 2008), and ActionScript 3.0 Bible (Wiley, 2007). He has worked with Flex and Flash on a wide range of web applications on a variety of platforms over the past six years as well as working with PHP, Ruby, and Erlang. He also works on architectural installations and large large-scale touch systems using Processing, C++, and OpenCV, microcontrollers and sensors to create reactive environments. His website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K Seder on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I great book! I was surprised to see how thick this book was.

I am learning the Arduino and have found this book such an in-depth and invaluable reference. It's a well written book that presents each language from the ground up so that even the complete beginner isn't lost. This book is for all, no matter what stage of learning.

If you're just started with the Arduino, or already have some experience with the Arduino and want to learn more you will NOT be disappointed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karl Kelley on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I began reading (studying?) this book, I was a bit disappointed because of its emphasis on Processing and OpenFrameWorks which are two programming languages closely related to the Arduino programming language. I had purchased the book specifically to gain knowledge about the Arduino language and its nuances, and here I was being "force fed" more languages!
After reading the first Chapter or two, I laid it aside for a couple of weeks, hoping to sell it on e-bay or something. I picked it up again, thumbed to some random location in the middle of the book and found that I was "hooked". I downloaded the Processing language Development Environment as suggested in the book, found it was virtually identical to the Arduino language (from which it was derived), and was delighted that the book delved very nicely into the "nuances" that I had been looking for.
I have little interest in OpenFrameWorks language, but this book gives me everything I hoped for related to Arduino and Processing. It is thorough, simple when it needs to be simple, and more in-depth when appropriate. I recommend this book to anyone who has a desire to become proficient in the programming environment used by Arduino. (BTW...if you don't know what an Arduino is, you probably should NOT by this book!)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This massive volume provides the artist, designer, or non-technical hobbyist with all the skills they need to create awesome demonstrations, interactive systems and exhibits which exploit the best of what has been developed in Physical Computing and Interaction Design. Contained within this handbook are the tools for the non-technical individual to explore and exploit the capabilities of the Arduino Microcontroller environment, three different and powerful programming environments (Arduino, Processing and openFrameworks), basic Analog and Digital Electronics, Machine Vision and Sound Processing, as well as interviews with leading practitioners of Interaction Design and Physical Computing.

Its all in here in a well explained and comprehensive fashion--everything the artist, designer, or hobbyist needs to exploit programming, microcontrollers, physical computing, sensors and actuators, and interaction design. My only slight nit, on this excellent instructional handbook is that--given there is much too much information to be digested in a few sittings, the navigation and exploration of this important guide to Interactivity, will be somewhat anecdotal and will require tabbing of important spots for subsequent reference.

But this is the best and most up-to-date and comprehensive review of Physical Computing and Interaction Programming available anywhere.

-_Ira Laefsky
Information Technology Consultant and HCI Researcher
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Spinelli on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good treatise about interaction among computers, microcontrollers, human beings and the outside world. In particular it explores Processing, Openframeworks and Arduino.
Absolutly clear on how to make things work, both hardware and software. Those who are not too familiar with electronics or programming will find the practical examples in this book easy to reproduce. Some problems may be encountered with "Openframeworks" though, having it up and running at the beginning. There are some links and forums where any unskilled individual can find help anyway.
This is a "must read" for the creative artist, designer, architect, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ibbobb on March 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great resource for those new to Arduino, Processing, or Openframeworks. The amount of (quality) information that the author managed to get into the book is impressive to say the least. Some of the interesting topics I'd like to mention include:

-> Interfacing the Arduino with practically any kind of device you can imagine: motion sensors, accelerometers, stepper motors, appliances... the list goes on and on.
-> Using the Arduino to talk to Processing applications (easier than you think, it's just Serial communication!)
-> Image processing with Openframeworks
-> Networking in Processing and Arduino

Seriously, it really is in-depth. Take a look at the index if you don't believe me.

I bought this book along with the Arduino Uno. My one caution to those that want to do the same is this: The setup information for Arduino doesn't exactly cover the Uno. The Uno (and the new Mega) came out after this book was released. BUT, the process hasn't really changed at all. You shouldn't have any problems.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get involved with any of the three technologies the book covers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dirkjot on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that this is a great effort and, clocking in over 700 pages, a volume filled to the brim with interesting stuff. The book has a slightly cryptic title but it deals with how to programming interactive installations, artworks, or games. A fascinating topic that was in need of a good introduction.

This book tries to be that introduction and to a certain extend, it succeeds. However, I wish their was more focus to this book. The author or editor should have decided to either leave the introductions to programming out (there are plenty of books on that), or to delete advanced topics like shader programming. Now, too many topics are introduced, briefly explained with very short demo programs, and then left again with the repeated mantra "this book cannot begin to fully deal with this very complex topic". Additional niggle: Instead of writing that mantra, give me some good references to other books and sites and explain what these sources do well. Also, instead of only explaining how shaders work, tell me what I may need them for.

I like the thematic approach of this book. It first introduces the three main topics: Processing (java), arduino (a micro controller), and openFrameworks (a C++ environment). After that, it deals with topics like sound, touch, positioning, etc. Each topic comes back twice, because Processing and OpenFrameworks are both discussed. This leads to a lot of overlap and made me wonder whether this should not have been two books instead of one. It also makes the introductions to programming more awkward: If this book is really also aimed at people without any prior knowledge of programming, why teach them two languages at the same time?
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