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Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks
     

Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks

4.5 2
by Scott Fullam
 

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Put a hacker in a room with a Furby for a weekend and you'll hear a conversation that's fairly one-sided in its originality. Toss in an 802.11b network card, a soldering iron, wire cutters, a logic probe, and a few other carefully selected tools and materials and you'll have potential. Add a copy of Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks and by the end of the

Overview

Put a hacker in a room with a Furby for a weekend and you'll hear a conversation that's fairly one-sided in its originality. Toss in an 802.11b network card, a soldering iron, wire cutters, a logic probe, and a few other carefully selected tools and materials and you'll have potential. Add a copy of Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks and by the end of the weekend that Furby will be saying things you never imagined.From building an Internet toaster to creating a cubicle intrusion detection system, Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks offers an array of inventive, customized electronics projects for the geek who can't help looking at a gadget and wondering how it might be "upgraded." Beginning with basic hacks, tools, and techniques for those who may not have a background in electronics, the book covers the tools of the hardware hacking trade and basic soldering techniques, then moves into more advanced hacking projects. Clear step-by-step instructions allow even those with no formal electronics- or hardware-engineering skills to hack real hardware in very clever ways.Hacks in the book are rated on a scale of difficulty, cost, and duration. Projects range from those that are truly useful to some things you may have never thought to do, but which are really cool, such as:

  • Building your own arcade game
  • Making radio-controlled cars play laser tag
  • Building an automobile periscope
  • Hacking an 802.11b antenna
  • Building a building size display
Perhaps you're an electronics hobbyist who likes to learn by doing. Maybe you hack software and want to see how the other half lives. Or, maybe you've never hacked at all, but you'd like to get started quickly with some projects that do something interesting from the start. If you're any of these, then Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks will indulge your inner mad scientist. Using the projects in this book as a jumping point for other new and clever hacks, it won't be long before you're looking around, asking, "I wonder what I can improve next?"

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While most of us are content to use our technical toys as provided, hardware hackers constantly search for bigger, better, and more interesting ways to modify their equipment. Hardware Hacking Projects lives up to its title by outlining how to carry out various projects, from building an aquarium inside a Mac, to hacking a video periscope for your car, to building an Internet coffee maker. Cost, time, and difficulty are estimated for each, and project downloads are available online. Appendixes provide additional information on topics like creating schematics and different types of power sources. A clearly written, illustrated, and fun guide for larger libraries serving do-it-yourselfers, tinkerers, and power users. Hardware Hacking provides a similar step-by-step project approach, but projects differ in type and scale-find out here, for example, how to create a paddle for your Atari 5200, build a UFO mouse, and add a larger hard drive to your iPod. The last section includes an OS and coding overview, while beginning sections cover tools and electrical engineering basics. Appropriate for larger libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Slashdot.org
Overall, I was very impressed with this book. Fullam has given the geek community a valuable resource that will provide inspiration for aspiring and veteran hackers alike. It covers many projects that I have personally wanted to build or learn more about, and presents concepts that would be of interest to many fellow Slashdotters. ...I highly recommend Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks to anyone with an interest in those fun projects that only nerds can understand.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780596003142
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/14/2004
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.75(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Fullam has been hacking hardware since he was 10 years old with his first RadioShack 100-in-1 electronic kit. He built an "intruder" alarm to keep his sister out of his room. Scott attended MIT earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While an undergraduate he built a "shower detection" system so that he could see if the community shower was in use. After graduating from MIT Scott designed children's toys and built close to 50 prototypes in 2 years. He then went to work at Apple Computer in the Advanced Technology Group designing digital still cameras. In 1995, Fullam co-founded PocketScience, which develops revolutionary mobile e-mail communications products and services. As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Fullam personally developed all of the algorithms for the company's products. Scott now works as an independent consultant assisting consumer electronic companies design high quality products. Never satisfied with how the consumer electronics products he owns work, he often takes them apart and enhances their capabilities.

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Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Was it Peter Pan who said 'never grow old'? Because this book is for a select few. The ceaseless tinkerers who never left their childhoods. The common theme thru all the projects Fullam describes is one of hands on experimentalism. Enthusiasm is a more important prerequisite than technical background or skill. Electronics naturally pervades more examples. But simple stuff, and he even has explanations of how to read the colour coding of resistors. There is a modicum of software, because these days, even for hardware purists, you can rarely totally ignore software. Perhaps what Fullam should do is consider an advanced sequel to this book, if the latter is well received. Those who enjoy the projects here may appreciate something more challenging. There is a burgeoning field of people using mini ITX systems for all sorts of crazy off the wall stuff. These ITXs are full computer systems, reduced to the basics of motherboard with cpu, memory and disk, all for a few hundred dollars. Hobbyists are putting them into funky mobile applications. From Fullam's expertise shown in this book, he is well qualified to take your tinkering to the next level.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like Don Lancaster's TTL Cookbook and Horowitz & Hill's Art of Electronics, Mr. Fullam's book is definitely going to become a classic enabling virtually anyone to create insanely cool things.