Several things made me skeptical about this book going in:
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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