- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (June 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617290246
- ISBN-13: 978-1617290244
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Arduino in Action 1st Edition
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About the Author
Martin Evans is a professional developer and a lifelong electronics enthusiast. He presented an autonomous obstacle avoidance robot at the 2010 Edinburgh Ruby conference and is currently building Arduino based underwater ROV.
Joshua Noble is a creative technologist based in the Pacific Northwest who works with smart spaces and tools for creativity. His internet presence can be found at thefactoryfactory.com or on twitter at @factoryfactory.
Jordan Hochenbaum is an artist whose work explores new interfaces for musical expression and creative interaction. His work can be found at www.flipmu.com.
Top customer reviews
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1. Several publication delays (I kept getting those Amazon messages "sorry, delayed, click if you still want.. ugh")
-- Not a problem now, but made me look twice for errors if it was rushed to press
2. Publisher promos saying "for beginners." Hmmm.
3. The rise of Raspberry Pi. Is the author fighting an Arduino migration? With no mention of Raspberry, do you have to go backwards (from the Raspberry-> Arduino books) to connect this material?
I just finished a week long study of the book and am pleased to say none of my worries came true. Typos and mistakes in the sketches (Arduino-speak for programs) are minor to nonexistent (VERY professionally edited), and I see no obvious indications of lower quality due to rushing. I still take issue with the "for beginners" -- not in a bad way, but because there are so many excellent advanced projects, including linking to IOS (apple operating systems) and NUMEROUS other platforms from bluetooth to Nintendo, xbox, etc. There are no kinect hacks (another delayed book is in process for that) but there ARE NUMEROUS other hacks in this nearly 350 page gem.
Manning is in general a good technical publisher, and they have extended their searchable ebook with this as well as their outstanding layout conventions, including LOTS of tables, pictures, code snippets (real, not pseudo) and very well illustrated pin diagrams. This is clearly a title by (real world) electronics folks FOR electronics folks, not a bunch of theory from cut sheets.
Even though I was drooling for some Kinect hacks, the authors surprised me with a section on face tracking with PROCESSING of all things! I've used that program for years in digital art but never even considered it for interfacing with cameras and arduino. Their approach is MUCH easier and friendlier than trying to do it in C++ as you have to with Kinect (or C#) per other Kinect hack books.
You can see the many projects covered in the table of contents on this page, which range from simple to some pretty advanced synthesizers, filters, shields, SPI's and even Twitter, as well as many toys and creative "wearables," WiFi hacks, etc. I DON'T recommend this as your very first Arduino book as the "beginning" info is fast and not nearly as complete as needed if you're very new to this board-- the authors move VERY quickly from your first blinking LED to sketches and programming. For intermediate and advanced users, there's a ton of real world shortcuts, insights, hacks and ideas, as well as cool projects like a wearable keyboard, -- many of which suggest your own possible product developments if you're "wired" that way. (I evaluate new circuits for patents, so that's my prejudice).
Finally, because this is one of the most recent, current and up to date Ard books, there are a TON of "related" product toys and gadgets mentioned, with their websites, to really build your repertoire, lab or shop. Everything from 3D tracking camera units to weather stations and security rigs are carefully detailed both by pin connections AND their native languages-- if you need Xcode for an app, it is given. Highly recommended despite my initial misgivings. Even as a rabid "Pi" person myself-- I'd still tell you this is well worth the investment if you're a Pi hacker yourself. Code is code, and translating both from and between Ard and Pi, though not the intent of this book, is very doable due to format, and the amount of detail given.
TIP OF THE DAY: Be sure to REGISTER this book at manning on their beta PDF site (address in front of book). Yes, you get a searchable pdf/ kindle readable book (a beta feature at this writing, but mine worked fine) BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY you get all the SOURCE CODE mentioned in the text! After you register (you will need two alpha numeric codes from the insert in the front of the book (an A-I/1-20 spreadsheet). Once you activate, you'll see two TINY choices beside the title, "pdf and code." Click on pdf to save the e-book, then click code to download a zip of all the source code. NICE GIFT from this publisher and nice extra saving you time filling out the code examples. Since this will work as a reference, and the index isn't as complete as a search, I'd save the ebook just in case you need to go back and find a code snippet you found scanning, but then forgot the page.
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This book is great. it is by no means perfect, but it is one of the most interesting technical books I have read. It is very well written. The authors' style is clear and easy to read.
The preface says that it is for the beginner and intermediate levels. I don't agree. It is not for the very beginner. Writing a book about Arduino is difficult because Arduino development requires both software and hardware skills. For example, it shows schematics for the circuits, but doesn't really explain how to read them. It shows pictures of the circuit, but they are not close enough to really see where the connections go. With that said, if a beginner reader is willing to spend just a little bit time figuring that out, they can really enjoy this book. Also, it doesn't teach the principles of programming. It has an appendix about the programming language, but I think a very beginner would need a bit of patience to understand.
But, the book is written in a way that you don't really have to understand everything to get the projects to work. They are recipes. That makes it easier for the beginner.
I also wish that the authors wouldn't have introduced so many external technologies in the book. He uses Python, Processing, Cosm, iOS, etc. I understand that the Arduino needs to communicate with the external world, but it becomes distracting. He should have just mocked the external side of things, and provide a download for it. Also, using Cosm (now xively) is a bad choice. They are very expensive, although the
y have a developer license that allows you to use up to 5 devices in production for free.
With those things said, what i really love about this book is that it has real, fun, awesome, non-trivial projects. I did several of them,
and for me it wasn't difficult at all to complete them. The instructions are clear. I am a software engineer, and I have programmed Arduino before, and also other microcontrollers, so I maybe had an advantage. But I tried to do the projects "without thinking", pretending I was learning this the first time. They are well written. The code that I copied and pasted worked. Now, if you want to do absolutely everything in this book, the parts will cost you close to $1000. But, they are exciting projects, so it is worth it. You could build a simple obstacle-avoiding robot with the components and projects presented in this book.
Overall I think this book is worth it.
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