Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would highly recommend
Best primer I've found for gaining a good understanding of how fundamental components both work and what they are used for.
Excellent question and answer approach ensures understanding is maximised.
Published 16 months ago by jimbo

versus
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION: A 3 star book with numerous problems
This could be a truly excellent book ... but it needs some competent technical editing.

If this book is quickly scanned and "flipped through", and the table of contents read, it might seem an outstanding book for those starting electronics. However, actually reading the book and going through the problems sets reveals there are just too many errors and ordering...
Published 16 months ago by One-Reader


Most Helpful First | Newest First

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION: A 3 star book with numerous problems, 20 Dec 2012
This review is from: Complete Electronics Self-teaching Guide with Projects (Paperback)
This could be a truly excellent book ... but it needs some competent technical editing.

If this book is quickly scanned and "flipped through", and the table of contents read, it might seem an outstanding book for those starting electronics. However, actually reading the book and going through the problems sets reveals there are just too many errors and ordering issues (see below). That is, while the table appears exemplary, the actual content is less so.

The problems start as early as chapter 1, "Review and Pre-Test". Questions are frequently asked before the information for an answer is provided, not the other way around as is appropriate for a self-teaching guide.

For example, the authors ask a question, for which readers are expected to provide an answer on the blank lines provided, "What is electrical current?". However, they provide the information for this answer after, and not before the question.

There are throughout this book more factual and calculation errors than expected or acceptable. In the presentation of the V-I curve, the curve is presented with current on the vertical axis and volts on the horizontal axis. The authors then ask the question, "what is the slope of this curve?".

The slope of a curve is (y2-y1)/(x2-x1). Ohm's law provides R = V/I not R=I/V. However, the authors state the slope of this curve is the resistance. This would be true if the curve was reversed, i.e., with volts on the vertical axis and current on the horizontal one, but is not true as presented.

Here are a few other errors that provide an understanding of the problems present: To get the answers provided on page 26 Problem B, the total current would have had to been less than that stated by the authors. The formula on page 27 is not the correct one for I2 but for I1. In Chapter 2 readers are shown a circuit on page 81 and than asked to answer a question about that circuit on page 82. Unfortunately, not enough information is given to answer the question asked. However, in the answer an assumption, for which no basis is presented, provides the missing information, etc. These seemingly "small" mistakes could be particularly confusing to beginners.

The authors are not consistent about rounding, providing an answer with two digits after the decimal in some places and one in others. This causes problems as readers answers will often not agree with the authors. For example, Chapter One's DC Pre Test provide "wrong" answers to some problems such as 9 and 10B, where apparently rounding was used and, thus, the answers obtained are not correct to any reasonable degree of precision. This occurs many times throughout the book, particularly if the final result require several consecutive calculations.

A beginner needs to confirm that the information provided is correct. Fortunately, care in learning earlier material often makes this possible, and may even help enhance learning for confident students. However, for those with less confidence, this could be a significant problem.

The problems clearly result from inadequate technical editing, and attention during writing. This is unexpected from a usually outstanding publisher such as Wiley, particularly for a book in a later edition. Some beginners may find the relatively large number of mistakes daunting.

Hopefully, later printings or editions will correct a large portion of this printing's (the first) problems. Another book in this series, "Quick Calculus: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition" while now an exceptional book, also had numerous errors in its earlier printings.

-----A hopefully gentle rant-----

I hope Vine reviewers will not be too upset with these next comments, as these reviewers perform a quite useful function for an item that has no reviewers.

However, those of us who pay for our books have more "skin in the game" than Vine reviewers. We "buyers", perhaps, read our purchases more carefully, and are less tolerant if a book has problems and probably less hesitant to point out its weaknesses.

I often rely on "real" reviews to make my purchase decisions. However, here the ratio of Vine reviewers compared to "real" buyers seems disproportionate and inappropriately high.

The number of positive ratings a book receives often correlates to the chronology of posted reviews and their evaluation. For example, reviews made before a book has many "real" buyers tend to be high. That is the case here, where most of the highly rated reviews, the leading review is an example, are from Vine reviewers who apparently received the book before many "real buyers" did. This may be a cautionary sign.

Amazon should reconsider its policy, if it involves "flooding" Vine reviewers shortly after a book is published with free copies, as this may serve to raise a book's evaluation, perhaps inappropriately.

We should also be cautious of reviews from reviewers with more that 930 book reviews. That would average about one book a week, for each of the 18 years since 1995 when Amazon first went active. This is an almost impossible schedule if it includes fully reading and solving the problems in technical books such as the one reviewed here.

Reviewers who have NOT worked though a technical book before reviewing, do a disservice to potential buyers.

Hopefully, Amazon can develop an algorithm that minimizes Vine reviewers' contribution to a book's "star rating" once the proportion of buyers providing reviews is relatively high. It seems appropriate for Amazon to consider accepting only a single Vine review from Vine reviewers who have not bought the book reviewed.

Hopefully, the ratings problem will correct itself over time as more buyers obtain and read this book, and potential buyers read and rate the reviews of buyers, as opposed to Vine reviewers. Now, however, to this reader/buyer in view of the errors and other problems present, the book's rating seems inappropriately high.

Fortunately, this is not the significant problem here in the UK that it is in the US.

----- End of rant -----

This book really has a lot to offer to its intended audience. The basic organization and design of this book is exceptional. With the proper editing this book clearly deserves, and proper attention given to the ordering of information, it could easily deserve five stars.

However, the errors now present are egregious and pervasive. Until, and if, they are corrected, three stars seems appropriate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would highly recommend, 30 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Best primer I've found for gaining a good understanding of how fundamental components both work and what they are used for.
Excellent question and answer approach ensures understanding is maximised.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource, 16 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Complete Electronics Self-teaching Guide with Projects (Paperback)
As a mature student on a part time engineering course, I've found this book invaluable in helping me understand the intricacies of electronics and it only arrived this morning! I'm sure time goes on it will prove an essential part of my library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb4d95648)

This product

Complete Electronics Self-teaching Guide with Projects
Complete Electronics Self-teaching Guide with Projects by Harry Kybett (Paperback - 20 July 2012)
23.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews