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62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer: (And Other Discarded Electronics) Paperback – February 11, 2010


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62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer: (And Other Discarded Electronics) + The Big Book of Hacks: 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (February 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761152431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761152439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Don't trash it -- Transform it!

It's irresistible geek chic: 62 projects with step-by-step instructions for repurposing old computers, cell phones, scanners, mp3 players—even that nest of useless cables and drawerful of meaningless remotes. There are fashion projects: RAM Money Clip, Capacitor Earrings. Arts and crafts projects: Mouse Pencil Sharpener. Gadget goodness: USB Destop Fan, Postindustrial Nightlight. And great toys, like My First Squiggle Bot and Mr. Resistor Man. Includes the basic tools and techniques for working with electronics and a full-color insert that shows the finished projects.

About the Author

Randy Sarafan is a new-media artist who is currently a Virtual Fellow with the cutting-edge F.A.T. (Free Art and Technology) Lab; is a top project contributor and community manager at Instructables.com, the leading user-generated how-to website; has contributed to Make magazine; and creates projects with a unique style and an eye for fun (a breathalyzer microphone, water-gun alarm clock, USB-enabled fruit). He graduated with honors in the Design Technology program at Parsons School of Design and lives in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

Turns out it is a great coffee table book for the geek in me.
M. Urso
Instead it's a collection of useless projects like how to make coasters out of cables, compost bins from old scanners, or an ant farm from an old monitor.
Rudolph J Hubert
Second, this book makes us think about all the good stuff that we throw away just because it gets erratic or outmoded.
M. Rigsby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Rigsby on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first few pages contain information useful for a "new to electronics" person--things like resistor color code and what to do with capacitors.

While there is a temptation to consider this a manual for electronic scavengers, I think it works on a couple of deeper levels.

First, it opens the door to electronics as an art form; you can take old parts and create something that doesn't use electricity at all. You can make things that are useful or just interesting. All things don't have to have a practical function--or be beautiful. Conversation pieces are good for--conversation-- (something we may have to work harder at as face to face communication is replaced by electronic gizmos).

Second, this book makes us think about all the good stuff that we throw away just because it gets erratic or outmoded.

To sum it up, this is a good book for the artist, for the electronic beginner or the person concerned about trashing things rather than finding a new purpose.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jim Giarrusso on September 16, 2012
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I was not expecting such a basic, non-technical book for used computer parts. The target audience must have been preschool daycampers. When it says you'll learn to make a pencil sharpener out of a computer mouse, you'll be disappointed to find you have to go to a store and get a pencil sharpener, then stick it inside the mouse.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Urso on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
After being told for many years "what are you going to do all that stuff" I found an answer in this book. I have been in electronics since 1970 in high school and have "collected more than my share of items "needed to be fixed". This book makes a step towards the answers. Many of the "projects" are silly, but I guess that is the point. IT CAN ALWAYS BE USED. Turns out it is a great coffee table book for the geek in me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph J Hubert on May 31, 2013
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I picked this up hoping it would offer some type of "Hack" Electronic Project ideas, or even something like the old Radio Shack Science Fair projects from the electrical components - nothing of the sort. Instead it's a collection of useless projects like how to make coasters out of cables, compost bins from old scanners, or an ant farm from an old monitor. On the positive side the Author IS trying to get the reader thinking of ways to reuse "trash" and keep it from ending up in a landfill (hat's off for that), I just wish there was something of more value in the ideas.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn R on March 18, 2013
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I was very disappointed with this book. I had visions of discovering some really neat things to use electronic components for. There wasn't anything in the book that I found interesting or would want to do.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on June 30, 2010
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I bought this book for my husband's birthday. He works on computers for a living and loves to do little projects so I thought it would be perfect for him :) The book is nice with a lot of different ideas in it, but there are too many that are useless. I do understand that when making things out of a dead computer you probably won't really be making a lot of useful things, but I just thought it would have more guy oriented cool projects in it. Not to sound sexist or anything, but making projects from a dead computer really seems more like something a guy would do (at least a much higher percentage), though I'm sure there are girls out there that do it too. So, being able to make sparkly trinkets for a cell phone just doesn't seem too appealing LOL ;) All in all, I wish there were more useful projects in the book and that it was a little less "go green" which in this circumstance seems to produce junk :( My husband has yet to make anything from the book ideas, it's been 1 month since his birthday...that is perhaps a review in itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L.M. on February 1, 2010
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This book is such a fun read! I purchased it for my mother because it looked very interesting. The author is whitty and very creative. We keep it on the coffee table and it's quite a great conversation piece! I'd highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mxcrazydude on June 2, 2012
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I really had high hopes for this title. What a disappointment! Made up of mostly usless projects. Save your cash.
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