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200 recipes in this Arduino Cookbook
on 3 June 2012
This (second edition) is an outstanding guide to the Arduino environment. It is probably not for the absolute beginner, who would find "Getting Started with Arduino" by Massimo Banzi a clear and concise introduction. By contrast this 700 page Cookbook covers a huge range of topics, from using the C++ language to do simple arithmetic to detailed control of associated hardware. The 18 chapters are arranged in a total of over 200 sections, each of which contains a recipe describing a task, a circuit diagram and sample computer code where appropriate, followed by a detailed discussions which are in effect mini tutorials. The style is concise, extremely clear and objective - the author being able to make his point without being patronising and without any misguided attempts to liven the text with unnecessary humour. It is extraordinarily comprehensive; with four different recipes for controlling ordinary DC motors, as well as sections on stepper motors and servos. Using these recipes you will be able to communicate with other Arduinos, with your PC and with Web pages. You will also be able to send Twitter messages containing sensor data, keeping you informed even when off-site. It does not stop there, as with other O'Reilly books, there is comprehensive on-line support. I did find a diagram with one unlabelled component. If I had not been an absolute newcomer to this world I would have been able to guess the component value, but instead I asked for clarification by email and received a response from the author within hours. With this kind of support you cannot go wrong! Heartily recommended!