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Programming and Customizing PICmicro (R) Microcontrollers Paperback – Dec 4 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1190 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 2 edition (Dec 4 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071361723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071361729
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 4.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,291,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Using the PICmicro(R) family of microchips as examples, electronics writer Predko explains microcontrollers, programming languages, and programming. The author does assume his readers have some prior education or experience, and his technical text may require some additional reading. The CD-ROM includes source code, two sample operating systems, and HTML interfaces. Library Journal 20021101

About the Author

Myke Predko is an advisory engineer working on Intel server products test for Celestica in Toronto, Canada. He has worked as a test engineer, product engineer, manufacturing manager and new products introduction engineer as well as having been awarded four patents in the fields of processor design and product test.

Mr. Predko is author of nine technical books including Programming and Customizing the PICmicro(R) Microcontroller, 2/e and PICmicro(R) Microcontroller Pocket Reference, two comprehensive guides to the device covered by this book along with Programming and Customizing the 8081 Microcontroller; The Handbook of Microcontrollers; PC Ph.D.; and PC Interfacing Pocket Reference.

His interests include robotics and he was one of the designers for the TAB Electronics Build Your Own Robot Kit. Mr. Predko currently lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter and two Siberian huskies.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just as bad as his 8051 book in the quality of the English. He probably knows how to program the PIC MCUs, but I couldn't stick around long enough to find out. The book desperately needs an editor, and the publisher should be ashamed of letting a semi-literate author get away with this. It reflects on them as much as on him. The bad grammar and spelling can distract one from the technical errors. And there are plenty of those, partly oversight and partly the author's own shallow understanding.
Just opening at random to pp. 178-179, on clock oscillators I learn that "applications that require extreme accuracy allow the use of cheaper clock designs." How about "do not require"? Then I learn that "an error of 30% to the target speed are not unheard of." Sure, that's just English, but gee whiz, it's that way through the book. Then I learn that the circuit uses a "Schmidt trigger," presumably the German version of the well-known Schmitt trigger. Lower on the page I find "Crystals and ceramic resonators delay the propagation of a signal a set amount of time. This set amount is dependent on how the crystal is cut." If ever an author were asked to demonstrate that he hasn't a clue about how a crystal works, he couldn't find a better way. And so forth. It's that way on every page.
He probably knows the PIC processors pretty well, and I won't take that away from him. One pass through the book by a competent copy editor, and another by a real electronic expert could easily turn this into a much shorter, coherent, accurate, and useful book, but neither of those has happened.
All his books seem to have a strange combination of rave reviews and pans, with very little in between. That's unnatural, and the explanation that jumps to mind is bothersome.
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Format: Paperback
I am a professional embedded programmer. I purchased this book so that I could get up to speed on the Microchip PIC architecture and its assembly language.
I read the first 105 pages of the book in detail so that I'd have a basic understanding of the PIC micro architecture for the mid-range family. (I acquired an MPLAB-ICD, from Microchip, which is based on the 16F877 -midrange chip.) Afterwards I went straight to the section in chap. 14 on the MPLAB-ICD and got the ICD kit running.
After that, I went to chapter 15 and did the first 10 experiments using the MPLAB-ICD. Basically, the course that I followed allowed me to get up to speed in the shortest amount of time. Most of these experiments were designed for the 16F84 but they're all easily modified to run on the 16F877.
My findings:
1. The book is sprinkled with spelling and grammatical errors, however so is the Microchip documentation on their chips - this is more frustrating because you're taking Microchip's word as absolute truth.
2. It is nice that Myke included the El-Cheapo programmer circuit board. However, given the time and cost associated with building it, I'd rather use the MPLAB-ICD. However (there's always a however) the El-Cheapo programs quite a variety while the ICD only does the 16F877. (Note: Microchip has a new ICD that programs all or most of their chips. It's low cost and is already built.)
3. Unlike other reviewers, I found the code that I ran to be reliable - I found no blatant errors in the code - errors that would keep the code from running "as advertised." I copied my code from the CD - this was a time-saver.
4. The book is way too long to read from cover to cover. I'd die of boredom if I tried to do this.
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Format: Paperback
It's a great book, no question. But Predko gets so bogged down in technical minutia that it's incredibly frustrating for beginners with little or no knowledge of the PIC and Assembly Language programming. It does include a programmer and tons of software along with some primers in basic electronics and programming theory, but it all suffers from hyper technical jargon and glosses over topics useful to beginners with this preconceived notion that you already know these things, so why waste time here?
Ironically enough, Predko's claim that complaints about the First Edition being overly technical was his inspiration to write the second. Amazing, I can only imagine what the First Edition looked like.
I don't mean to be completely negative though, it's a great book with a lot of added value (via the programmer and software) It definitely has a place on your bookshelf if you're interested in PIC programming and has a great collection of experiments, including ultrasonic range finding that are just enthralling. The best.
Buy it, but if you are a beginner plan on going though it after you have read a more basic introduction to the PIC and Assembly. IMO, that's the only way a beginner will truly appreciate this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very detailed and has lots of good info on programming. It explains the various peripherals and special features on PIC's in detail. It also has a list of projects with schematics and code at the end.
However, it is also not terribly well written. There are several sections I had to reread multiple times and consult other sources and individuals to understand, especially sections pertaining to the program counten.
This is a pretty good book and covers a wide range of material, from basic to advanced. However, make sure this is not your only resource, because you may find yourself lost.
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