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Getting Started with the Internet of Things: Connecting Sensors and Microcontrollers to the Cloud Paperback – Jun 5 2011


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Product Description

Book Description

Taking the Cloud Out Into the Physical World

About the Author

Dr. Cuno Pfister studied computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Z rich). His PhD thesis supervisor was Prof. Niklaus Wirth, the designer of the Pascal, Modula-2 and Oberon programming languages. Dr. Cuno Pfister is the Managing Director of Oberon microsystems, Inc., which has worked on everything from mobile solutions to a large hydropower-plant monitoring system with 10,000 sensors.


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Amazon.com: 24 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to the Netduino+ platform! Sept. 22 2011
By Larry Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased a Netduino Plus (N+) board for $60 from Amazon because I had outgrown the Arduino platform with its limited address space and it looked like the N+ with built-in Ethernet and MicroSD support would be great for my data-capturing application. On a whim I also decided to order the "Getting Started with the Internet of Things" (GSIOT) book because I had found the "Getting Started with Arduino" book (also from Make) to be helpful for my son to get started with Arduino and these books are both less than $15. I didn't realize until I received GSIOT that it was written specifically for the Netduino+ and includes many incredibly well thought out examples that have led me through really understanding how to effectively use the N+ and using the free Microsoft Visual Studio C# Express to program it and run programs in debug mode.

I would not recommend purchasing the GSIOT book unless you have a Netduino Plus to run the examples on. Because the N+ is programmed in C# using the .NET Micro Framework, the examples would probably be incredibly frustrating to port to another platform. For the N+ they are very instructional. I've done a lot of programming and implementations for many different small microprocessor platforms, various computer languages, and other programming learning exercises ranging from database to web page programming and each time I sought out the best learning material I could find and never have I had a learning experience go as smoothly as it has with Cuno Pfister's GSIOT book. He has come up with a series of examples that begin with a classic HelloWorld example and lead the reader through short example programs that blink an LED, read a simple sensor (a potentiometer), program the N+ as a client to the Pachube web service using three different methods, and finally programming the N+ to be a HTTP Server for sensors and actuators through his Yaler (relay in reverse) reverse HTTP relay service. The examples are as simple as they could possibly be (one reviewer has commented correctly that the board is over-kill for the examples) but still demonstrate some pretty sophisticated solutions to the problems one encounters in talking to and from the "cloud".

I really appreciated the insight that Dr. Pfister provided into the problems and their solutions because over the last few months I have "hacked" together my own methods for capturing sensor data and getting it to a database on a remote server and his examples have made clear some much improved solutions. The fact that he doesn't show me how to interface to a specific sensor or how to display to a specific display is not important since I can find many other sources for that information (and I really only expect so much for my $15!). It was very refreshing to have him show me how to do something with high-level calls to a library and then to show me how to do it with low-level calls to Sockets and to explain to me in both cases exactly what was going on. I also appreciated his acquainting me with the Pachube service as it's a real resource for me working out my solutions before I have to get my own services going. And his Yaler relay service to allow talking to my little N+ servers without having to mess with my home routers and DSL modem is fantastic!

One of the reviewers mistakenly said there were no versions of the examples available. I found the examples at [..] which is where I downloaded the Gsiot.PachubeClent and Gsiot.Server libraries from.

I'm really looking forward to implementing my projects on the Netduino Plus platform using the information I have learned from this book. I have gone back and forth on whether I like working in the Microsoft programming environment and for a while thought that nothing could ever be better than Java or C++ and Eclipse (and sometimes Arduino) for my embedded projects but I really think Microsoft has done a good job with "porting" .NET to work on small devices with the .NET Micro Framework and it's great that they've gotten the free Visual Studio C# Express version to work for developing on the Netduino platform, and that Secret Labs has put together such a cost-effective platform and, finally, that Dr. Pfister has put together such an awesome little book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Practical Guide To Enabling Sensors & Micro's to Talk To the Internet May 31 2011
By Ira Laefsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This practical guide by a prominent Swiss Computer Scientist enables a concrete path to using sensors, actuators and microcontrollers with the Internet.
The examples are written and described for step-by-step completion around the easy and cost-effective Netduino Plus microcontoller and the C# (Java-like)
language but they could easily be re-written for a standard Arduino and Ethernet Shield. This is the first "full-service" DIY manual for enabling sensors, actuators and their data to talk to Internet & HTTP/HTML applications. Good use is made of the Pachube HTTP data collection and forwarding site as well as
SOAP protocols. While I was first an Arduino enthusiast (and still am) the Netduino Plus at $60.00 offers a powerful, easy to understand circuit board &
development environment that includes a built-in Ethernet Port and slot for the addition of a Micro-SD card. Good support can be obtained from the Netduino
home site (Secret Labs). The book follows the excellent format of "Getting Started With The Arduino" and "Getting Started With Processing"; it offers the
first hands-on introduction to communication with Internet & HTTP Protocols for the Data Storage and Processing of Sensor Data and the Internet of Things.

An important and valuable Hands-On Introduction to the Internet of Things and Protocols for Web and Internet Processing of Sensor, Actuator and Microcontroller Data.

--Ira Laefsky, MSE/MBA IT & HCI Researcher and Consultant
Formerly on The Senior Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and DIGITAL Equipment Corporation
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Good for Starting Netduino Development June 7 2011
By Adrian Bowles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is a good introduction to development embedded internet enabled applications using the Netduino. The netduino runs .NET Microframework and uses C# and Visual Studio development environment. VS is a windows product - so anyone wanting to do development using Mac/Linux or not using C# this book is probably not for you. Quite simply put it is related to developing for a specific platform using a specific development environment. Express versions of VS can be used and are free to download.

The book discusses the Pachube service to read and control the netduino over the internet which is a very common request for these type of devices. Whilst not covering really low level functionality of the Microframework it is designed as an introduction. It is a small book but covers enough to get you going and the examples can be modified easily for different sensors on the netduino. Sure the netduino is much more high powered than most of the examples require but again this is what most people are wanting to do when they get started here. The level is pitched for beginners who may not be experience software engineers experienced with C# but the examples are simple enough to walk through with only a limited knowledge of the language.

Are there more detailed books on the microframework? - sure. Is the hardware overkill for most of the examples provided in the book? Yep. But this is a good introductory book to hobbyists/developers wanting to use the Netduino hardware. The book is specific and there are more detailed books but this is really an introductory book and meets the goal well.

The negative reviews tend to ding the book for what its not rather than address what it actually is. Specific hardware, product not supported on different platforms, hardware to powerful, not enough detail. Lets state this clearly the book is an INTRODUCTION to NETDUINO development using the Internet. If thats what your looking for there are not that many books on the subject and this meets the requirement. After you get started you can get other books that deal more specifically with networking and/or microframework which are more general in hardware and detailed on .NET Microframework.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Getting Started with the Internet of Things by Cuno Pfister Feb. 5 2012
By Ronald N Tjoelker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book's subtitle says it all; 'Connecting Sensors and Microcontrollers to the Cloud'. If you ever wanted to be able to remotely monitor or record sensor data via the internet, then 'Getting Started with the Internet of Things' published by O'Reilly Media proves that the age of microcontrollers is upon us.

This well-written book introduces us to the 'Netduino Plus' microcontroller board, which is fully programmable using the .NET Framework. The information contained in this book is will be of great benefit to anyone getting started in the rapidly growing arena of embedded devices.

Cuno keeps us on the right path with a generous amount of sample code and a walkthrough of the .NET development environment. Separate chapters cover Writing to Actuators and Reading from Sensors. We then move on to how to connect the Netduino to the internet via HTTP. Pachube is introduced as an example of using one of the many available cloud services to store and share data in the 'cloud'.

The final chapter covers where to go from here, offering suggestions and inspiration on the unlimited possibilities that the world of microcontrollers introduces. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in embedded devices and how to connect them to the internet.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
bringing the pieces together Jan. 7 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells you how to connect sensors, embedded processors, and actuators together
over the Internet. This is the new way of doing things. I teach several embedded computing
classes, where the sensors and acutators are directly connected to the processor. But, they
can also be remote, anywhere in the world. The pieces are in place, it is easy to do. This is
a good first book on the subject.


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