The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware 1st Edition
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“A tour-de-force that combines the many genius careers of one of the world’s great hacker-communicators: practical, theoretical, philosophical and often mind-blowing. Huang isn’t just explaining how to make things, he’s peeling back the roofs of factories, the surfaces of microcontrollers, and even the human genome. The secret workings of our world are laid bare and the levers by which they may be moved are put in the reader’s hands.”
—Cory Doctorow, Author of Little Brother and technology activist
“bunnie lives in the world of hardware where the solder meets the PCB. He has more practical experience and is a better teacher of how the ecosystem of hardware works than any other person I’ve ever met, and I know a lot of people in this space. He has rendered this experience and expertise into an amazing book—a hacker’s-point-of-view-bible to anyone trying to work in or understand and work in the emerging and evolving world of hardware.”
—Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 159327758X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1593277581
- Product Dimensions : 6.31 x 1.21 x 9.31 inches
- Publisher : No Starch Press; 1st edition (March 15, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #301,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For anyone who doesn't know, there's a renaissance currently in computer parts. Maybe you're learning to program with Arduino or connecting parts to a Raspberry Pi. Maybe you're learning to solder a kit and need a cheap LCP screen. Maybe you have the next big idea for a connected IoT device. Any computer part you want- an mp3 player board, capacitors, SD card readers, sky's the limit- can be gotten from China at jaw-dropping-low prices. But, you have to know your sources. You have to be able to read a datasheet, to deal with ordering through Mouser or AliExpress, and to avoid dangerous counterfeits. If you're in this world, you must read this book. Do it now.
Pros: Gives you real-world tours of Chinese factories and processes, warts and all. The author ended up working right on the line, teaching assembly line workers how to debug his product or how to install anti-RF "cans" to protect his chips. This is the 100% down and dirty of how Chinese knockoff electronics work, how they're made, and how you can take advantage of this market to get your product made. He talks about combing through racks of knockoff SD cards and discovering which were counterfeit- and sometimes even the company responsible was reselling these counterfeit parts! The counterfeit SD cards were breaking his devices, so there's a ton to learn and study on how supply lines work and how to operate safely when sourcing parts for a product.
Cons: The product the author was making for most of the book is Chumby... which was terrible. It's an overly expensive internet device. It's wrapped in Italian leather and priced like a premium product, yet it has a terrible low-resolution screen seriously limiting its uses. It's just a bad idea all over. You kind of wish he was making a product that had some market feasibility, because it makes you distrust his judgement elsewhere. I think his hardware skills are all in order so I trust his factory stories, but the kid is/was terrible at reading the market before launching a product.
Overall, it's a must-read for hardware hackers. I really want to do a field trip to Shenzhen and buy a $5 cell phone just to play with it. Maybe get a sleeve of SD cards just to see how many actually work. Who knows what you'll find.
As an open hardware developer I loved the first nine chapters. Bunnie shares all of his trials and experiences offering many valuable lessons about designing hardware which he learned the hard way. He goes further than most and gets into laptop, phone and FPGA adventures where as many of us have not ventured passed simple microcontroller projects. The book is easy to follow as it is loaded with stories, people and factories from around the world.
"The Hardware Hacker's" final chapter blew my mind. Bunnie dives into H1N1 virus compared to computer viruses, analyzing DNA sequences with UNIX CLI tools, decompiling protein sequences and patching our genome. These topics are often explained by biologists, but it was much easier to absorb when the biology was explained with hardware analogies.
Top reviews from other countries
Cleaver guy and has written an engaging and sometimes numerous book.
Einen Punkt Abzug, da die ganzen Bilder nur in Graustufen und für mich schlecht erkennbar sind.
On apprend beaucoup, on découvre les coulisses de fabrication des produits électroniques.
Une véritable bible pour qui s'intéresse à l'Open Hardware, au design au développement de produits, au DIY, Arduino, etc.
De plus 'Bunnie' a une bonne plume :)