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Recommended books

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[edit] Books

[edit] Lightning, Transients and ESD

  • Lightning by Martin Uman. Best book on lightning for the layman. Learn about ball lightning (yes, it really exists! (most likely - but why no captures on security cameras?)) great into for anyone who wants to know the how and why of lightning. 1983 298 PP 0.61 x 8.21 x 5.66
  • All About Lightning Continues where his lightning book left off. It is THE source for any serious student of lightning. 1986 167 pages 0.41 x 8.45 x 5.38"
  • Lightning and Lightning Protection More good information about Lightning. Has some good graphs and tables listing some statistical data. Good addition to the Ulman books 1979 about 100 pages 6.25 X 9.25

[edit] PCB Manufacturing and Soldering

  • Printed Circuits Handbook The authoritative text on the manufacturing of circuit boards. This book was produced by non other than Clyde F Coombs, Jr. of Hewlett-Packard (not to be confused with today's HP).
  • Solders and Soldering The best book to look in to analyze soldering problems. Learn why contamination of your solder bath causes brittle joints. Fluxes and metallurgy are explained to more depth than I have seen elsewhere. 1992 350 Pages hard cover

Moving on to today with the lead-free insanity

[edit] Ultrasonics

[edit] Instrumentation and process control

  • Instrument Engineers Handbook - Volume 2 Process Control by Bela G. Liptak (Editor) This covers all the latest advances in control hardware, transmitters, displays, DCS, PLC, and computer systems. In-depth coverage of control theory and shows how such unit processes as distillation and chemical reaction are optimized. Illustrated throughout. Pricey but may be just the thing for you. Hardcover - 1551 pages 3rd edition (February 1995)
    Dimensions (in inches) 2.60 x 11.32 x 8.91
  • Microsensors Principles and Applications by Julian W. Gardner Great book on microsensors and smart sensors. Covers manufacturing, application in an engineering course level. Paperback - 344 pages (August 1994) Dimensions (in inches) 0.87 x 9.51 x 6.58
  • Sensors and Transducers
    A Guide for technicians
    by Ian Sinclair I haven't read this one, but he wrote a great book on passives This should be good stuff. Hardcover 2nd edition (March 1992)
  • Understanding Smart Sensors
    by Randy Frank One more book on smart sensors to get you up to date on the state of the technology. Covers micro-machined sensing elements of all kinds, and the use of intelligence (say micro processor) applied at the sensor. Even some pretty good fluff on micro-electromechanical systems, packaging implications, and mechnatronics. Hardcover - 256 pages (December 1995)
    Dimensions (in inches): 0.78 x 9.27 x 6.21
  • PLC Primer This book is rather out-of-date, but is still quit good for beinging PLC programmers. It is intended for the long obsolete EX250, but the examples work just fine on the new T1 V2000 programmers. The starter kit comes with a full set of manuals that can help you get started.

[edit] Machining Milling and Molding

  • Machine Shop Practice, Vol. 1 by K. H. Moltrecht
    Volume 1 of a two book set - excellent information. Full of great information. It could use a glossary of terms, and the placement of the text really should be closer to the figures they refer to, but it is a very useful book. The photos in the book are dated, but cutting metal hasn't changed much.
The 'larger-print' edition seems to make it easier to understand and provides more room if you like to mark up your text (I won't tell if you don't tell). But! don't misread the title as 'large-print'; it isn't! They really should have blown it up to 8 1/2 x 11" format as the audience for this book tends to be old enough to need it. The other smaller print version is might be OK if you don't mind wearing your Optivisor] all the time. This is supposed to be THE classic reference for any machine shop.
Sadly it has not been edited and updated at least in terms of correcting math examples. (I would be a bit ashamed - after all this is the 28th edition!) In the Machining econometrics section (p1064), it gives a length as a square unit! Next, comes equations with mixed units. Later, they give a unit of:
CM3/min/mm (come on - get a clue)
The math examples in this section seem to be written/edited by someone that never had any math beyond high school, a vague understanding of logarithms, and lacking even the basic science background that would prevent mixed units, undefined variables and more. This is sad because the information buried under this amateurish math presentation is important and seems to have be drawn from some engineering text (minus any credit or bibliography information)! The web site has no errata download, no link to send corrections.. <sigh> After all the glowing mentions of this standard tome, I expected better.
Yes, it is probably true that any machinist should have a copy of this book, yet it has obviously been neglected by its publisher despite its handsome price. This neglect makes me wonder if it is safe to use the tables within? If I had a limited budget I would instead get Moltrecht's Machine Shop Practice books listed above.
  • The EDM Handbook by E. Bud Guitrau.
    Covers vertical and wire EDM with a section on metal finish.
  • Injection Molding: An Introduction Gerd Potsch; Walter Michael Published by Hanser Gardner Publications in 1995
    A good introduction to injection molding covering the process, machine, parts of the mold, properties, behavior and classifications of plastics, behavior of plastics and more.

[edit] Optics

[edit] Wood Working

  • Router Magic by Bill Hylton. This book shows countless tricks to get the most out of your plunge router for wood working (or plastic!).

[edit] Memory and Mental Math

[edit] Linux books

  • Mange Raid on Linux by Derek Vadala, author of Managing RAID with Linux 12/05/2002 Managing RAID on Linux is a book that any serious system administrator will need to have. The first part of the book is pretty good - and will help you get your raid up and going. The book does need an update and has only 5 paragraphs on recover technique. (That is enough for me, but I was doing raid before there were any books!). Not a perfect book, but if you are running a Linux server you should have it.
  • Mastering Regular Expressions A good O'reilly book by Jeffery E F Friedl Learn how [0-9]{3}\.[0-9]{3}\.[0-9]{3}\.[0-9]{3} will match an IP address.

[edit] Electronic Design - Analog (there ought to be a college course using the next 4 books!)

  • The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design This is a great book to help inspire the analog engineer. Not your dry school text but the war stories of how this field developed. A must read for any serious analog EE . Hardcover - 398 pages (July 1995) 1.06 x 10.45 x 7.26
  • Troubleshooting Analog Circuits
    (The EDN Series for Design Engineers)
    by Robert A. Pease An excellent book on Analog prototyping and trouble shooting. It is by the master; or should I say "What's all this Robert Pease stuff about anyway?". A must have for any serious analog engineer. Pease talks about the real world from the trenches. His plain spoken style is a fun read. One of the best 3 electronics books I've read in the last 5 years. Paperback - 224 pages (December 1993)
    Dimensions (in inches): 0.56 x 10.01 x 7.01
  • The Art of Linear Electronics
    by John Linsley Hood More analog goodies Paperback - 352 pages 2nd edition (June 1998) Dimensions (in inches): 0.73 x 9.57 x 7.40
  • Switching Power Supply Design by Abraham I. Pressman From the Back Cover
    A practical guide to state-of-the-art power supply design Switching Power Supply Design, Second Edition Nowhere else can you find, in one book, all the information you need to design a switching power supply. And no other book on the subject is as practical, yet mathematically sufficient, without being unnecessarily academic. Using a tutorial, how-to-do-it approach, Pressman first explains basic principles and why things are done as they are. With a knowledge of basic principles, the engineer can easily cope with new design requirements and evaluate alternative design decisions. The topics covered represent all those areas where a design decision has to be made in commencing a new design. These include: Topology Descriptions-A quantitative description of the roughly 15 commonly used topologies. Maximum current and voltage stress on power transistors for specified input voltage-output powers are described. The discussion permits selection of an optimum topology for the specified input-output voltages, output powers, and the selection of the power transistors; High-Frequency Magnetic Fundamentals-Ferrite core hysteresis, coil skin effect, and proximity effect losses; Transformer Design-Derivation of equation for transformer core selection for available output power as a function of frequency, flux density, iron and bobbin area, and topology; novel charts derived from the equations, permitting core selection at a glance; core, coil, total transformer loss, and temperature rise calculations; transformer design examples in major topologies; DC Current Biased Inductor Design-Design of inductors carrying DC bias currents using ferrite, MPP, Koolmu, and powered iron cores; Magnetic Amplifier, Snubber Designs, and Resonant Converters; Feedback Loop Stabilization; Critical Polaroid Waveforms in Major Topologies. This second edition adds chapters on the current hottest topics in the field; power factor corrections, high-frequency ballasts for fluorescent lamps, and low-input voltage power supplies for laptop computers. Hardcover - 600 pages 2nd edition (November 1997)
    Dimensions (in inches): 2.06 x 9.36 x 6.35
  • Simplified Design of Micropower & Battery Circuits John Lenk Simplified design of micropower and battery circuits provides a simplified, step-by-step approach to micro-power and supply cell circuit design. No previous experience in design is required to use the techniques described, yet the book covers the topic with information for the student as well as the design professional. The book concentrates on the application of commercially available micro-power ICs. Contents include: Introduction to micro-power/battery design, Battery Basics, Battery Chargers, Single Cell Circuits, Multicell Circuits. 1995 240-287 illus US$35.94

[edit] Passives

Sadly, there are no new books on passives. The following are the best I've found.

[edit] HCS08

[edit] NO-lead - Surface mount

Not a very good book - I'm thinking of taking it off this list - not up to date on no-lead and way to much stuff that belongs in committee meetings.

[edit] Thermodynamics - Heat Transfer

  • Heat and Mass Transfer By Anthony F. Mills
    Thinking about heat sinks or temperture rise of a wire disipating x number of watts?

[edit] PC hardware

[edit] Aquaria Books

  • Captive Seawater Fishes: Science and Technology By Stephen H. Spotte This is 'THE' definitive work on seawater aquariology, and 'THE' major reference book on the subject. Once I had this book I was able to keep salt water fish my fish dealer couldn't! This is not a 'aquarium keeping lite' - this if for those of us that want to understand all that we can. Hardcover - 976 pages (December 1992)
    John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471545546 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.95 x 9.56 x 7.86
  • Marine Aquarium Keeping, 2nd Edition Marine Aquarium Keeping, 2nd Edition By Stephen H. Spotte If you have a salt water aquarium, you should have a copy of this book. Dr. Spotte show that he knows Aquariums and shares in a quite readable form. This book is intended for the amateur aquarist. Most Aquari information bandied about is a blend of science with way to much folk lore. Dr. Spotte is a pure scientist and presents the real story. He bings reality to aquarium myths, which protects the lives of your fish. (beware if you have bitten on the plastic filter media craze - you need 42 feet to accomplish what you can do with 8" of gravel). Clear, exacting step by step procedures for setting up and treating SW tanks. Clear warnings about 'specialist feeders'. This book needs to be above every marine aquarium. Paperback - 192 pages 2nd edition (July 1993)
    John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 047159489X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.46 x 9.21 x 7.51

[edit] Auto ECU EFI - Car Computer Systems

[edit] Home School books

[edit] Economics - Investment - Money

[edit] Historical Science

  • The Code Breakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet This is a long book, but I read everything in it - it provides a good back ground on ciphers, explaining the different types so a little math background will help. What is most interesting is all that is left out of his final chapter that is supposed to bring his book up to date. There is no comment on the total ignorance of the US public on exactly what is being recorded by the NSA and homeland security (AKA 'the American Stasi).
  • Slide Rule
    186 pages by Nevil Shute
    An autobiographical book about Nevil Shute and England's R100 and R101 Airships or dirigibles. One was a government project that crashed and hurt the dirigible industry. An example of the difference between a socialist or capitalist system attempting these effort - that crash might have really set air ships back a bit.

[edit] Odds and ends

  • Elsevier's Periodic Table of the Elements
    This chart was very overpriced, but at the same time very good. It should have been printed on thicker stock for the price asked - and perhaps laminated. I had one that ripped in the first year and was disposed. If it was a quality product I would recommend it to all - I can only recommend it if you plan to frame it in some way that will protect it. It should cost $10. I'm trying to find one to replace it.
  • The Singularity Is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil (of the Kurzweil reading machine fame) 672 pages, Publisher: Viking Adult
    Very interesting speculation on when computers will become self-aware and pass human intelligence. I agree that they will not be a threat - they will have their own existential dilemma, but they will have a clear answer - they exist to help and care for man.
    In other places he rather misses some things. where he talks about the resolution of brain imaging increasing exponentially, it is measured in voxels - rather than pixels per inch - and something that is cubed is going to increase exponentially - not a surprise and not evidence of exponential increase in function. (Many of his other examples are quite will founded)
    In other places he seems to not understand that the biggest threat to man's progress in not technological, but governmental. The increase in socialism seems to not register - government is growing at a rate that is also exponential - and looks likely to absorb the technological gains to the point that the individual will become poorer.
    It is quite possible that we will see machines become self-aware in the next 20-30 years - but it is also possible that government will be afraid (as they are of the Internet) and with the help of religious groups send us instead to a new sort of dark age.
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation By Lynne Truss. This book is great and such a joy to read. If you want to really understand punctuation, or wondered why it seems to be changing, or wondered what is the correct way to punctuate (is it inside or outside a quote?) Then this book is for you. I finally figured out what the deal was about some punctuation I always had trouble with: the rules differ between the US and UK!
  • Bicycling Science Did you ever want to really know why a bicycle works? Get into the depth of the physics involved with bicycling. How fast can a bike go on a steep hill? Can brake generated heat cause a tire failure?
  • QED
    It is not extremely technical and a very good explanation of Physics by a thinker on par with Einstein. Feynman also did art work, played bongo drums and much much more.
    Feynman was not just at Los Alamos - he was one of the top few - and he had his feet on the ground. I've only met a handful of people in my life that had both feet on the ground, and didn't fall for some mucked up thinking of one kind or another. Feynman is the example of this - an original skeptic with a fine tuned BS filter.
    Another Feynman book follows

[edit] Philosophical Books

Best book on Objectivism.

  • Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Timeby Michael Shermer
    Great illustration of the endemic infection of pseudoscience in our lives today. Strangely, this text seems to be infected with 'special respect' for religion - as exemplified by the inclusion of preface by Stephan Jay Gould - someone who obviously believes in weird things himself. No where in the text does he dare illuminate the large elephant in the room - the same case can be made about any of these religions. No description of the mechanics of how mutually reinforced delusions operate. Shermer seems to be infected with the religious meme himself. He also obviously is not capable of taking a not-knowing position (ego problems). There are many things that are not knowable when observing open systems.
  • The God Delusion By Richard Dawkins (who hits another one out of the park!) Put this on your Winter solstice shopping list!
  • Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon By Daniel C. Dennett
    Is religion good for us? Let us turn to science and seek the truth. Science over time, despite wrong turns, egos, politics, jealousy - has a consistent record of being closer to the truth than any other method of inquiry. Don't think science is the best way to find the truth? Then next time why not fly on a jet designed by prayer and non scientific people listening to voices?
  • The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason By Sam Harris
    "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
    Yes, there is a reason to fear the blind faith belief system. A system that has the potential to discount today; the hear and now. When death is simply a transition from one existence to another, we need to consider those who believe in such an after-life. Such deluded people can think mass genocide is the work of their god and revere ancient scriptures instructing them to be an instrument of such genocides. It is all to likely that these people may soon use nuclear weapons to carry out the calling of their god delusion.
  • The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Acharya S. Did you know that Buddha was born on December 25th of a virgin along with Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, Mithra and so many other gods? With all these stories we hear about The Last Supper, Adam and Eve, etc., where do these stories come from? Why Jesus is symbolized by a little fish? The fish symbolizes the astrological sign of Pisces. Jesus symbolizes the age of Pisces which began around the time of his alleged birth. The Christian fish symbol is another indication of the astrological roots of Christianity.
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