- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1490537368
- ISBN-13: 978-1490537368
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paperback – June 25, 2013
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Showing 1-7 of 29 reviews
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It appears this book was translated from German. A few tables and illustrations didn't get translated but I had no problem as a result. There are a few minor issues with the translation (primarily confusion between "then" and "than") but they are rare and don't affect the readability of the book.
First a little background on me so readers understand my perspective. I recently retired from a 30+ year career as an embedded systems engineer. Along the way I developed and implemented numerous communications protocols and spent most of my career in product development. In addition, for more than 30 years I have enjoyed home automation systems of my own design which have greatly improved enhanced my quality of life. My most recent system comprises four Arduino boards on a proprietary network, custom software, wireless and hard-wired sensors and actuators, and X-10 control devices. With this experience I feel comfortable claiming that I know something about designing and implementing home automation systems and that I am well positioned to learn about the Z-Wave system.
I recently became acquainted with the Z-Wave system. It is apparently an international standard with support from a great number of companies. As it wirelessly connects sensors, actors, and controllers it seems ideal as the basis of a home automation system. I like to learn by doing so I was looking for a book to introduce me to Z-Wave and guide me into a proof-of-concept implementation that I could gradually expand as I gained more knowledge, eventually replacing my current system with a non-proprietary one. Alas, this is not that book. In fact, I'm not sure who the target audience for this book would be.
First, as other reviewers have pointed out, the book desperately needs to be edited by a native English speaker. There are grammatical errors on nearly every page as well as the occasional punctuation error. These errors are bad enough to be severely distracting, bringing the reader to a jarring halt while he/she tries to determine what the author is trying to say, Also, the content of some of the Figures is presented entirely in German, some is in English, and a few Figures contain a mix of German and English. I don't believe any of the Tables contain any formatting at all; even some simple formatting like bolding the column headers would greatly improve their appearance. Speaking of appearance, many of the images in the Figures are of such low resolution as to be unreadable. Also, the choice of images is sometimes odd. Do we really need a picture of a AAA battery?
For me however, the content itself is more troubling than its presentation. The material is a hodge-podge, random information just thrown together with no unifying structure and inconsistent in its level of detail. For example, on page 82, there is a bit-by-bit definition of the protocol's MAC frame. Who exactly would need to know this, a device manufacturer? Wouldn't they already have a more detailed copy of the entire protocol spec? Wouldn't the rest of us benefit more from something like a discussion illustrating the process of initializing a Z-Wave network? In Section 5.1.2, Picking the right devices, the author presents a high-level list of considerations for device selection. Unfortunately he fails to explain how the answers to these questions drive the choice of an appropriate device.
I could go on, but but assuming you've read this far you already understand how disappointed I am with this book. For the money this book cost I expected to get a lot more useful information from it.
The grammar is the worst feature. It is so bad as to be very distracting to the native English reader.
On the technical side it is aimed at developers more than installers or end users of Z Wave technology.it is very general in its descriptions and does not offer much information for the typical installer.