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2 July 2011
The Arduino is a popular open hardware device that has gained a lot of support amongst hobby electronics.
I've already reviewed some electronic books, including two Arduino books for beginners. The Cookbook series from O'Reilly is better known for software programming books, and despite being named after hardware this book is more about the programming of the Arduino than the hardware.
For beginners the Arduino Cookbook covers some basic circuits and example programmes. Many of these are ones that you can find amongst the sample code provided with the Arduino programming IDE or by a quick search on the Internet. It is useful to have them combined together in a book and does give some explanation beyond that available on the Internet etc.
For intermediate users then I think it falls a little short of other books. The circuits used are very basic and do not really teach much about the electronics, mainly providing the code to program the arduino with.
The book then comes into it's own again for advanced Arduino developers looking to push the capabilities of the Arduino platform. The parts I found particularly useful were those on using the internal EEPROM on the arduino (I didn't even know there was one available for use by user programs) and on creating libraries.
For simple programs then this is sufficient, if looking for something to cover a bit more of the electronics side and with some more complete programs then I'd suggest trying: Practical Arduino â€“ Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware, but this is the only book I've found that covers the advanced programming of the Arduino and for that I think it's worth having.
This review is based on the DRM Free ebook, purchased directly from O'Reilly - see this blog post for more details.