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tinyAVR Microcontroller Projects for the Evil Genius Paperback – Feb 8 2011
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About the Author
Dhananjay V. Gadre is a scientific officer with the Instrumentation Program of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, India. He has a M.Engr. from the University of Idaho and a M.Sc. from the University of Delhi. Dhananjay’s interests include computer architecture, communication networks, hardware-software co-design, programmable logic devices and Hardware Description Languages. He is a licensed radio amateur (VU2NOX). He has written articles for a number of electronics magazines, including Electronics World. He is also the author of Programming the Parallel Port: Interfacing the PC for Data Acquisition and Process Control (R&D Books, 1998).
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Top Customer Reviews
By the way, did you know that you can run an Arduino core on the ATTiny if you want? Did you know that you can use your Arduino board as a TinyAVR programmer? So all of you (you know who you are) who don't want to learn C or assembler (yikes!) can still benefit from the IC albeit with some code overhead.
All in all, a rare find in a plethora of mediocre offerings. Highly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
All the code examples have no line breaks, which alone is enough to make it unusable but the worst problem is that some key code symbols don't render at all so its not just hard to read, it's completely wrong, and in significant ways. Here's an example:
The left shift (<<) operator just doesn't show up in the book, so anywhere where you should see something like this:
b = 1 << 2;
it appears instead as
b = 12;
This is bad in so many ways...first, it's hard to spot in the middle of code (especially without any line breaks!!!) so even if you're aware of the problem it's easy to misread. Next it's a legal statement so if you actually code it, the compiler will happily accept it and it will run. The results will be a mess, the first statement from above shifts a bit 2 places to the left and assigns the result to the variable 'b', the second assigns a value of 12 to the variable 'b'.
If this was just a problem here and there it might be manageable, but bit-wise operations are such a key part of programming for microcontrollers, they are part of nearly every example!
I also noticed that some other reviewers noted that the website has been updated with the source code and that's true, so you can see the code properly written, but that's pretty cold comfort. And, the site still has problems, the book says there are videos of the working projects on the site. I was never able to find them.
These folks are just phoning it in, and that's a shame it could have been a really great book.
These microcontrollers are very popular and there are lots of resources out there, you can do much better than this one.
At the moment I'm expanding project 2 into a 5 channle rgb color mixer with 3 digit 7 segment displays per channel so I can set the colors via cie color space. I have the adc input sliders set up on a fet so I can control over all brightness as well.
Without this book to jump start me I would have never gotten this project going. Plus!!! Email the authors and they answer questions! Only in the internet age.
Word of warning MAKE SURE TO DISABLE THE DIVIDE BY 8 FUSE unless told not to!!!!!!
Summary: Excellent jumping off point. Excellent written. Good value.......Buy it.
So, why did this book almost lose stars?? The book does NOT provide complete code, parts lists, circuit board drawings, etc. and to actually build the projects the downloads would be really nice. Unfortunately, the web site provided on the back of the book does not even acknowledge the existence of the book, and the other web site, mentioned within the text for every project throughout the book does not exist...well, until today. This evening (March 15,2011) this site now shows a drupal screen informing the site should be up by Mar 20...almost 2 months after the book started shipping.
Alas, I could not convince myself to degrade the book's rating because the publisher couldn't get their act together. By the time the book went out, they should have had at least an info page, but they couldn't even answer my email beyond the auto response their system sends out. So, publisher gets 2 stars, book gets 5.
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