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Programming the Beaglebone Black: Getting Started with JavaScript and Bonescript Paperback – 1 May 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071832122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071832120
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

For electronic kits to accompany my books, see:

You can also find an electronics starter kit for the Raspberry Pi here:

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Simon Monk (Preston, UK) has a degree in Cybernetics and Computer Science and a PhD in Software Engineering. He is the bestselling author of Programming Arduino, Programming the Raspberry Pi, and other books.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Alan Randles on 22 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent and practical book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great intro into the world of BeagleBone Black! 13 May 2014
By cdunlap42 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book does a great job of introducing JavaScript and BoneScript in a way that a beginner can understand. The programming piece is linked to simple hardware interfacing, too, which makes this book very practical. My favorite part of this book, though, is in Chapter 9 where you get a taste of using HTML and Web interfaces using the BeagleBone Black. You learn how to control electronics through a web page interface and then have a couple of projects at the end of the book putting that knowledge to use. Great stuff! I would recommend this book to anyone interested in entering the world of BeagleBone Black. It provides the foundation you need to get started and then move on to bigger projects of your own..
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Really good for the price 27 April 2014
By N. Emerson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Small book, true, but it has some good information and like the title says, it concentrates mostly on programming. However, it does have some simple hardware project examples. Not a definitive reference, but holy cow it's less than $11 at the time of this review and ships free with Prime, so what more could you want for a beginner.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Simon Monk's Programming the BeagleBone Black 16 May 2014
By David - Published on
Format: Paperback
I greatly appreciated Simon Monk's latest Tab book. He shows how the BeagleBone Black bridges the space between Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I especially appreciated Chapter 3, JavaScript Basics. He shows how to write programming and set it up as a text file. As far as prior programming experience, nothing is assumed, so anyone with good computer skill can dive right in. I highly recommend this treatment of the BeagleBone Black device, and I look forward to more of the enlightening and absorbing books by Simon Monk.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Programming the BeagleBone Black 19 May 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Another great guide by Simon Monk! When I buy a 'getting started' book, I'm looking for the essentials that help me get off to a good start, and learn my way around. This book delivers just that. I've programmed in several languages, so I don't need all the deep details, just the main concepts that get me started down the right path. I especially needed the help from the chapters on JavaScript and BoneScript since I've little or no experience with them. However, this book helped with solid, working examples and how to use them in different environments. That was all I needed! And, I loved the chapter on web interfaces. For some reason, I'm always a sucker for trying out things on the web. I've been tinkering with it for more decades than I want to admit, but still just can't leave it alone. It was a great chapter to round out a fine book for booting up your interest in the BeagleBone. Finally, however, I'd be remiss if I didn't also say thanks to the author for the extra help on setting up various kinds of connections at the front of the book. It was much needed and very helpful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good, but there are a few faults... 18 Nov 2014
By C. Betka - Published on
Format: Paperback
I got this book on Kindle a few months ago, and just started working on it a couple weeks ago. It's pretty easy to get through and I've made good progress in that sense. Coming from (mainly) C/C++ programming with no real experience in javascript, I found the syntax to be pretty easy to pick up. That being said, I personally don't like javascript much because it seems to make it quite easy for undisciplined "hackers" to write code, get it running, and call themselves a programmer. I suppose you can do that in any language, but give me a nice set of compile errors/warnings any day. Anyway, javascript is pretty quick to get going though, and I suppose many people will like that is a plus.

I will say that I struggled a bit with my rating on this book. I would have liked to give it a 3.5, quite honestly. The main problem(s) I've found is that there are fairly annoying little inconsistencies between the code and the text description, and these can trip you up a bit. One of the more obvious issues is in chapter 9, where the author uses port "8080" throughout the textual descriptions for making his web server connections. However the code actually uses port 8085--so unless you figure that out, it's not going to work for you, because the Beaglebone server simply isn't listening on port 8080. I did get it to work quite easily because I've worked with sockets and ports a fair amount in other languages; however I wonder if other folks will struggle a bit if they don't have much of that sort of experience?

Also, I agree with the reviewer(s) who've opined that perhaps a more rigorous explanation of actually running the code is in order. For instance, sometimes the latest version of cloud9 (in Debian, anyway) doesn't actually KILL the process running on the CPU when you hit the stop button in the IDE. I mean, the IDE *says* the code is stopped, but if you check "ps aux | grep <keyword>" you'll find that there is still a rogue process running. Now that isn't the author's fault of course, and maybe he has never experienced this--but if it does happen to you and then you try to run some web-based code in chapter 9, the port is probably still bound...and in that case will fail. So you'd better be somewhat skilled at using the console output messages (at a minimum), in order to help figure things out when they won't run as you expect them to. I guess my point is that it's hard to believe that the author never saw such a thing, so a few words of wisdom on what to watch for (and how to deal with it) would have been helpful. Maybe he hasn't experienced it, so this comment will help folks who do experience the problem.

Finally, I also do agree with the reviewer that stated that it would have been nice to get a bit more background on the Linux OS under the hood. For instance, the author seems to use the node package manager (npm) to update node.js throughout the book--but unless I've missed it, he never really seems to go into detail on what it's for...and why/how it differs from the OS's package manager (opkg or apt-get, if you're on Debian). Again, a person can research this on their own--and I do think there's a certain degree of confidence that comes with doing so, and solving one's own problems as such. However when you "don't know what you don't know," it can be quite helpful to get a gentle nudge or two in the right direction.

Overall though, I think this is a pretty good book. Since you can't assign half-stars, I gave the author 4 stars because the book does do a good job on most things. Indeed the examples are a bit simplistic in most cases (until the one using jQuery in chapter 9, lol!), but I wouldn't necessarily call that a bad thing. In fact I think it's helpful to have a concrete, simple example, because it makes it easier to learn the basics--so long as the simple example covers the them. And in fact I think the author does a pretty good job along those lines, and I find myself going back over the code repeatedly...and learning a bit more about the different parts, each time I do.

So I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get going on the Beaglebone platform. Whether you're running the new Beaglebone Black, or the original Beaglebone (the white one), the examples work very well, especially if you're using the most recent version of whichever distro you so chose to use. I'm using the latest version of Debian on the original Beaglebone, and thus far haven't run into anything that a little time spent with Google can't solve.

Knock on wood...
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