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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Electronics books for software guys

Interesting post on Slashdot today: Slashdot | Books On Electronics For the Lay Programmer?

There was a good bit of collective wisdom spread throughout the 264 posts that I thought was worthwhile to distill here.

Despite it's awful cover and stupid title, There are no electrons: electronics for earthlings helped me put 3 quarters of circuit analysis into context way back when I was getting my computer engineering undergrad. Several other people on slashdot also recommended it.

I found Physics guys taught electronics so I could understand the subject. The canonical electronics text for those guys is The Art Of Electronics. This is the book the best tinkerers I know have on their bookshelves.

Some people like the old-school Forrest Mimms lab notebooks published by Radio Shack. I recall they didn't immediately grab my interest when I perused them a few years ago.

A former Navy Electronics tech recommended their series of training manuals: NEETS

Scanning the contents of this book with a ridiculous title that someone recommended, it looks to be a decent overview that could get you familiar with all the different words people use. If you have a Computer Engineering degree this should all be familiar; if you have a Computer Science degree, this is some of what you missed ;)

After making a mess with a soldering iron for years and saying "Ya, I know how to solder" I finally asked someone how to *actually* do it the right way when I found my primitive techniques couldn't solder surface mount components. I wish I would have found this intro to microcontrollers + learn to SMD solder kit from Spark Fun. Techni-Tool has less exciting learn to solder kits.

Physical Computing, Practical Electronics for Inventors, and Electronic Components for project builders look promising enough to take a closer look at.

I liked the look of Analog Interfacing to Embedded Microcontrollers so much that I bought it the last time I was between jobs. However, it is languishing on my bookshelf waiting for me to have more spare time.


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