Tom Igoe raves about Make: Electronics

Education Technology
Tom Igoe raves about Make: Electronics

The glowing reviews of Make: Electronics just keep on coming. We’re thrilled by the response. And yes, we love that it’s selling plenty of copies, but the thing we’re most excited about is that people get it — the goals we set forth, to create an attractive, engaging, fun, plain English beginner’s guide, that made it okay to make mistakes, seem to have paid off. It seems to really be filling a need we suspected was significant. The book is currently ranked #669 on Amazon and remains at #1 in the Circuits, Robotics, and Robotics and Automation categories, as well as #3 in Electronics overall.

A few days ago, we (author Charles Platt and the book team) got a wonderful congratulatory note from physical computing and Arduino pioneer, Tom Igoe, author of Physical Computing and Making Things Talk (which he did with Make: Books). Today, Tom sent us a link to a review of the book he posted on his blog:

Charles Platt writes in a tone, and with a philosophy that I thoroughly agree with: learn by doing it. I love the fact that he not only gives exercises, but gives some that he knows are going to fail, and tells you so. He shows you what can go wrong, and makes you do it, so you’ve already experienced the failure and don’t fear it. Exercises like licking a 9V battery, or measuring the resistance of your tongue seem scary at first, but are safer than they seem, and valuable learning exercises.

Platt doesn’t hide his mistakes, either. He uses them as stories to illustrate his lessons. Reading – and seeing in pictures — how he blew up a capacitor, for example, is fascinating, and lets you know that when you make mistakes, you’ll survive too. The stories of his mistakes are very reassuring.

There is plenty of electrical theory in this book, but you don’t feel like it’s being shoved down your throat. Platt explains conversationally in examples, pictures, and short biographical sketches of some of the big names in electrical history. By the end of each chapter, you’ve absorbed a lot of material, without the feeling of exhaustion that comes from reading most textbooks.

Make: Electronics: I love this book!


In the Maker Shed:

Make: Electronics
Our Price: $34.99
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun and experiential way? Start working on some excellent projects as soon as you crack open this unique, hands-on book. Build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them! With Make: Electronics, you’ll learn all of the basic components and important principles through a series of “learn by discovery” experiments. And you don’t need to know a thing about electricity to get started.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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