An excellent collection of essays, introductions, and recollections written by a masterful writer. Some of the topics you'll have a passing interest iAn excellent collection of essays, introductions, and recollections written by a masterful writer. Some of the topics you'll have a passing interest in, others you'll probably skip, but the good ones are moving and insightful and worth the price of admission. There's something here for any Neil Gaiman fan....more
An excellent historical tour of six philosophers including their historical origins, cultural context, and their continued influence upon the field ofAn excellent historical tour of six philosophers including their historical origins, cultural context, and their continued influence upon the field of philosophy. Survey books such as this are limited in scope but provide a narrative of philosophy usually within a specified context, in this case I would argue it is the historical changes in Western thought and how ideas and ways of approaching the nature of knowledge has changed through time from Socrates to Wittgenstein. The book is well-organized, thorough within this context, and quite enjoyable to read for anyone interested in the history of philosophy. ...more
I really wanted more with this book. The overall concept is sound, teach those interested in the basics of Arduino programming. Unfortunately, the booI really wanted more with this book. The overall concept is sound, teach those interested in the basics of Arduino programming. Unfortunately, the book is so far removed from the actual breadboards, components, and wiring, that it could have easily been written for almost any microcontroller or microprocessor.
I actually much preferred the basic book that came with my Arduino kit, "Arduino Projects Book" since it was focused primarily on teaching you how to connect components with supporting programming to get the controller to do as you wanted. Monk's book, on the other hand, left me feeling like, "Oh, okay I have some code, but how do I set up the connections and components to actually get it to work?"
Overall, I felt this short book was focused but lacked the depth and integration with Arduino to be useful to me long term. I don't feel I'll be reaching for this book when I need to remember that part about coding for some specific function.
Basically it failed to accomplish my specific approach to Arduino programming, namely coming up with an idea, setting up a breadboard and the components to get the circuitry created and then writing code to make it all function. I much preferred John Boxall's "Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects" since it provided in-depth examples, schematics, and explanations of why specific choices were made with the specific component and coding choices....more
What a disappointment! This book started out very focused and project-path oriented and then devolved into a seemingly random collection of disarticulWhat a disappointment! This book started out very focused and project-path oriented and then devolved into a seemingly random collection of disarticulated topics that were never consolidated into a coherent "workshop" approach to teaching. This type of approach leaves me feeling disoriented, confused, and without a sense that I've learned anything useful.
I really had high hopes for this book and after a good start I felt that I was really let down by the author's rambling approach to teaching. As someone who's been involved with developing course material myself, I see this type of workshop as superficial and lacking direction.
This could have been such a better book if he would have focused on directing the projects towards a final master project like the tank but with building blocks working their way towards that goal. Need to control servos? This project will allow us to use this code later to do that. Want to create a remote control, no problem, let's take some baby steps towards that goal. The book never explains WHY you're doing what you're doing or just how to troubleshoot effectively when things don't go the way you planned. You're left with no help to work your way through it yourself and the online searches I did for forum discussion provided no additional insights.
The last and fatal part of this book is the numerous problems with the project coding itself. Two main examples stand out to me as exemplary of my main complains. Chapter 7 has you interfacing with a 2 line LCD display. You have to use the command lcd.setCursor(column, row); in order to place your text on the display properly. The author proceeds to reverse the columns and rows in the lines of code and causes the LCD to display a garbled version of the example. I was able to figure this out for myself after much headscratching, but his is simply bad editing at its worst.
The second example comes in Project #31 where you are controlling an unrelated stopwatch and the author has the pinouts reversed in the code. It's a simple fix once you recognize the problem, but I shouldn't be troubleshooting his code, he and his editors should be!
Unfortunately, there are simply too many glaring errors, lack of direction, no connection between and among the projects, and simply a wandering approach for this book to warrant a good review. I would give it 2 stars for having some solid examples that can be gleaned if you're willing to wade through the tremendous amount of unrelated content and mistakes throughout the book....more
A good introductory book on how to set up basic Arduino functions and use breadboards and basic electronic components. The book doesn't deal a lot witA good introductory book on how to set up basic Arduino functions and use breadboards and basic electronic components. The book doesn't deal a lot with the why's of component selection nor does it deal build on basic designs in order to develop more sophisticated circuitry, but I doubt that these were the intent of this book anyway.
As a book that is included in a basic Arduino kit, it was just about perfect at whetting my appetite to look more deeply into electronics and Arduino programming. I have gone on to purchase and begin working my way through Simon Monk's "Programming Arduino: Getting Started with Sketches" as well as John Boxall's "Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects". These books are a next logical step for those interested in more than a mere introduction to the ideas presented here.
Overall, I would give this a solid 4 to 4.5 stars with the caveat that it is aimed directly and unapologetically at beginnings who want to delve into Arduino and have some fun, which I would definitely fall into as a category. I felt both interested and eager to know more after finishing this book, which I believe is its aim, so it a successful book, in my opinion....more
An excellent overview of western Philosophy from an amazing intellect. His succinct and insightful analysis of such a wide scope of philosophical tradAn excellent overview of western Philosophy from an amazing intellect. His succinct and insightful analysis of such a wide scope of philosophical traditions is amazing. Durant is best known for his Story of Civilization series but his single volume The Story of Philosophy is more approachable and I would argue offers a more tangible discussion of the history of our continuing struggle with the basis for truth and how we balance our quest for knowledge with our need for aesthetics and beauty. He sums this up best, I think, in the final short section on James Dewey.
Overall, a highly recommended read for those of philosophical bent....more
A truly enlightening book about the ways we think and the errors in judgement arising from our superficial brain architecture. The book presents numerA truly enlightening book about the ways we think and the errors in judgement arising from our superficial brain architecture. The book presents numerous facets of our brain wiring and how we jump to incorrect assumptions about things like risk, proportions, pain, and pleasure. This is a book you need to absorb rather than skim. Highly recommended. ...more
This was a fairly weak effort. Not only does the author not offer any profound insights into happiness or how people can live happier lives, he makesThis was a fairly weak effort. Not only does the author not offer any profound insights into happiness or how people can live happier lives, he makes most of his arguments in passive, weakly supported claims that skim the tops of any relevant research. I was left feeling like he was just bringing up a topic to check it off a list without bothering to explore it, critique it, or offer any real insights into the significance for people's real lives. There are only so many sex references and bad jokes I can stand before I say, enough is enough. I would high recommend not reading this one if you're looking for any real, in- depth insights into human happiness. ...more