Author:  Jim Ledin
Publisher:  Packt
Publication Date:  February 5, 2021
Publication Link
Prerequisites: Some knowledge of C programming; some basic soldering skills; some knowledge of digital circuits

Disclaimer: The publisher sent me a copy of this book for review. I promise that everything said here is my own opinion regardless. All reviews at the Cross Trained Mind are open and honest.

About This Book

This is a book that digs deep into building embedded systems that can work with today’s most demanding applications. It takes you from nothing to designing and building your own circuit board, which is not the easiest task. It’s a hands-on book that will teach you useful hardware and software skills.

Who Is This For?

This book is written for anyone interested in low-level hardware and the Internet of Things. With network interfaces embedded in more and more items, understanding this area can open many doors in designing new toys, smart home accessories, or appliances. Robotics is another application area that benefits from this book and is where I’m coming from.

Organization

I like the overall structure with an introduction section, the basics, and then advanced information. Each chapter also has a good structure, starting with the Technical Requirements and ending with a Summary. This is something that any technical book should have. Each chapter is unique enough that there is no useful microstructure beyond this.

Did This Book Succeed?

Mostly. There is a lot to understand and at times the book doesn’t explain the why. Granted, this is a more hands-on book, and it’s meant to get your hands dirty. The one quibble, and this is something that I’ve pointed out in other books that deal with hardware, is that the cost of the project isn’t detailed out in the very beginning. The cost of the board itself is on page 106 in the printed version and hidden in a paragraph. If I’m expected to build something and need to buy the hardware, I want to know before I buy it so I can work out if I want to pay for both the book and the project.

Rating and Final Thoughts

I give this book a 4.7 out of 5.

The project should have been summarized at the beginning of the book with a cost estimate. I would also have liked to have seen recommended sources for learning the prerequisite material. Finally, follow-up books or projects would have been welcome as an easy way to expand what you learn here. Thankfully, these are minor concerns about an otherwise solid and useful book.

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