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Okay but not what the title suggests
am 4. Juni 2016
Well I should start out by saying that I am a person that is not good at learning from books at all. If you are that kind of person my opinion on this might not be of much value for you.
I have been working rather successfully as a software engineer for about 15 years. I pretty much learned all things required for my job by actually working on projects, trying stuff out and googling whenever I got stuck. That books on technical subject - that change constantly - are still a big thing always seemed kind of odd to me when all you need to know is readily available online. However after getting into electronics recently I found myself struggling with understanding switch-mode-powersupplies. While there are many videos and articles on the subject and I understand the basic idea behind it, I had a hard time actually applying that knowlege to my projects. When I stumbled across this book I thought I might give it a try. Mainly because its title suggests a practical approach to the topic and also because power supplies are one of the topics in the book. After giving it a try I can only conclude that this is not for me. There is nothing in there that is not explained in more detail for free on the internet. Again that might be a subjective thing and different people might prefere to learn from a book instead. However my subjectiv opinion aside the title just doesn't really match the writing style of the book. This should be called "Introduction to Electronics and basic Components". I assumed the approach taken in the book might be top-down ("Here is a problem and here is how to solve it"). Rather it just gives you formulas and a very basic overview of existing component. This bottom-up approach is just not what the title would suggest.
In particular I thought it might help me understand what kind of power-converter circuit would be the best choice for my project and how to choose the components. Actualy the chapter on power-supplies is like 15-ish pages long and doesn't even scratch the surface of the topic. Also the topic about microcontrollers, in particular the subsection about the arduino/atmega I found to be especially laughable. The book contains a screenshot of an eagle-diagram for a breadboard arduino. You know ... stuff you can just download or find with google in like a few seconds. Instead of copying by hand from a book. It also has a very basic code-example that is more simplistic than the examples that come with the arduino-ide. That is basically all the book has to say on that particullar topic which makes me wonder why this is even in there.
All in all it is just way to simple. It does a good job explaining the basic formulas. Has hand-drawn pictures of basic components. The title however suggests that the intended audience already knows the basics and looks for a guide on how to apply this theoretical knowlege to actual projects. Oddly enough the book doesn't actually deal with this. At least not in the way I expected.
In summary, if you want a basic guide in form of a book this might be for you. The "practical" part is very questionable at least in my opinion