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Bad to the Bone: Crafting Electronics Systems with Beaglebone and BeagleBone Black 1st Edition

2.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1627051378
ISBN-10: 1627051376
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers; 1 edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627051376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627051378
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
IMHO, this book is not worth the money! If the poor editing was not enough: (Pg 20 "You made (sic) [may] need to include other..." Pg 23, "It is important to pay (sic) learn about..." Pg 38, "...Bonescript is written to (sic) specifically for it. "...JavaScript interpreter that (sic) for running on the web host..." Pg 45, "We introduced each function on when-needed basis..." (correct phrase is "on an as-needed basis"), Pg 50, "...the sensor output voltage decreases with the range from the sensor to maze wall." Should this actually read, "...decreases as the range from the sensor to the maze wall increases."?, Pg 53, "The loop function calls several functions to read..." Should it be, "The loop function call a function to read..." (look at the code directly above this paragraph and it only has one call that reads: IR_sensor_value = b.analogRead(ainPin); in the while(1) loop. The other two function calls are digital writes. On Pg 58 he uses the abbreviation UML before ever defining to what it refers.) And I could go on about the extremely poor editing; then the lack of information makes it a zero!

On the technical side, the explanations are more suited for at least a Junior Level college course where students have had a couple of years of microcontroller interfacing and are knowledgeable about the ARM processor and the peripherals. The author only provides a vague overview with programming stubs stating that the details are left for exercises at the end of the chapter.

He provides only a cursory introduction on BoneScript. He does not present how the user loads, launches, or interacts with the interpreter.

He lists two different robot platforms for his exercises, one from Graymark International and a DFROBOT ROB00003 from Jameco.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, since the BeagleBone/board could use some concise, useful and practical information. However this book is just not helpful. The topics it covers range from a too quick discussion of Javascript, weirdly focusing on comparisons to other languages, to a lot of discussion of elementary electronics. The book is full of comments about how 'this will be more fully discussed elsewhere', but the 'elsewhere' is either not there, or is even more brief than the reference. The major thing I was looking for, namely insightful hints and comments on the internal workings and manipulation of the power of the BeagleBone is completely lacking. So I am back reading the online documentation, hoping that the next book will do a better job.
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Format: Paperback
I bought a BeagleBone Black DevKit and thought a printed reference would come in handy. As of last week, only Bad to the Bone: Crafting Electronics Systems with Beaglebone and BeagleBone Black was available. I bought a copy.

A serious error on my part.

This book was hastily jammed out by a couple faculty types who can fill in the gaps during the lectures. Good on them - class or no, there are LOT of gaps. I'm not sure what their course is about, perhaps Embedded Systems programmed in C, but the material in the book is not comprehensive without a lot of help. There is a section on C, but it is really sketchy.

The overview of the BeagleBone Black hardware adds essentially nothing to the materials posted at BeagleBone.org. When compared to the free presentation by the CEO of BeagleBoard ([...] the book is a complete waste of time.

Bad to the Bone essentially presents some class projects, and gives enough material to maybe get through the work with the help of a decent TA, but newcomers aren't going to really learn the whys-and-wherefores. Project source codes are given, but I didn't spot a URL where one might get the sources. (I've found the effort of typing something blindly from a book isn't terribly educational - it's much more profitable to use the time to dig into why things are done a certain way, and what alternative techniques are available.)

There is more sketchiness about Linux programming.
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My overall impression of this book is that it was cobbled together quickly and pushed to market. I'm not sure what audience the authors meant to serve. The introductory sections on JavaScript and C aren't long enough to do a beginner any good and the experienced programmer will already know them. These topics are rightfully the subject of an entire book on their own. There are some code examples in the book but they're presented with little or no supporting explanation of why they were written as they were. The section talking about some of the supported communications subsystems consisted of "yes, the Beaglebone has (I2C, SPI, CAN) so buy a cape supporting it and you'll get documentation. The example on PWM is presented twice because it's handled differently in the version of Linux on the original Beaglebone and the Beaglebone Black. The text says it's for updating at 100 Hz and 50% duty cycle. The Original is correct but the Black version is really for a PWM updating at 50 Hz and 50% duty cycle. This book really didn't provide much value beyond what I already learned from the documentation and information I found online.
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