Alasdair Allan is a senior research fellow in Astronomy at the University of Exeter, where he is building an autonomous, distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that reactively schedule observations of time-critical events. He also runs a small technology consulting business writing bespoke software and building open hardware, and is currently developing a series of iPhone applications to monitor and manage cloud-based services and distributed sensor networks.
Alasdair Allan is the author of Learning iPhone Programming, Programming iPhone Sensors, Basic Sensors in iOS, Geolocation iOS, iOS Sensor Apps and Arduino and Augmented Reality in iOS, all published by O'Reilly Media. He is a senior research fellow in Astronomy at the University of Exeter. As part of his work there he is building a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes which, acting autonomously, will reactively schedule observations of time-critical events. Notable successes include contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2. Alasdair also runs a small technology consulting business writing bespoke software, building open hardware and providing training. He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, or more frequently provides commentary about them in 140 characters or less.
I am relatively new to iOS programming (one year since my first contact with Objective-C) and *very* new to Arduino (how could I miss this awesome device for so long!!!???). I was looking for a way to connect my iOS device to Arduino and I came across the Redpark serial cable for iOS, sold by MakerShed. Allan's book taught me everything I needed to know to make iOS apps that will connect to my Arduino. After reading the book twice (the second time devoting extra time to write and seriously understand the code), I am now fully able to develop apps that do exactly what I needed: connect my iPod Touch or iPad to my Arduino.
If you are trying to learn to connect your iOS device to an Arduino, this book is for you. The book does require some knowledge of Objective-C (necessary for iOS programming) and C/C++ (necessary for programming Arduino sketches). Also, because you will need to run your apps in your iOS device, you will need to be an Apple developer (subscription is $99 a year).
To me, this book was worth every cent. I am now planning to buy and read all books from this author. I really liked his writing style and his cool approach to programming!
PS - The last chapter contains code that is a little dated. If you want to connect the Arduino to the Internet using the Ethernet library, just replace Server() and Client() with EthernetServer() and EthernetClient().
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I bought this book to connect my arduino projects to my iphone and just have fun with it all. This book does teach you how to do that but the majority of the book relies on the use of a RedPark cable that you can buy for like $50. It might say it more obvious somewhere in the description but I didn't realize that until I was reading through the book. Also I should have looked at the page count because this book is THIN! The code looks pretty good (font etc.) and there are several diagrams and pictures to help you along the way so that is really nice. I haven't bought the cable yet so once I get it and play around with it I'll update my review. All in all from what I have read through it is an ok book. I honestly just wish I knew it relied so heavily on this other cable before I bought the book.
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