What I'm Reading

This week, I'm focusing on two books which go together: Make: Wearable Electronics by Kate Hartman, and Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA by Becky Stern and Tyler Cooper.

Both of these books are about adding electricity to garments. I bought these books because I wanted to add lights and other elements to my handwoven items.

To begin, we'll focus on the second book, MakeGetting Started with Adafruit FLORA. This book is a mixture of good and bad. We'll begin with the bad - it's all available online at Adafruit's website. There are also many more projects on the website as well, mainly making the book defunct. I bought the book because it's an handy reference for Adafruit's items (which I mainly use exclusively). Since I don't have a printer, and tend to multitask on my laptop, having a book with the basic information is better.

The good parts of the book is that it can go with me. It gives me a good overview of several projects that allow me to do a variety of things with what I have. I don't recommend buying the book until looking over the website.

Now, the first book, Make: Wearable Electronics. This book is better than Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA. It provides a variety of projects as well as the overview of electronics (if, like me, you forgot that part of middle school). The book's emphasis is on Lilypad, the wearable electronic which started it all.

Instead of being project based, as many books are, this book acts more like a mix-and-match book or choose-your-own adventure. Chapters cover sensors, circuits, microcontrollers, actuators and wireless components. If you know what you want to do, you can flip to the right chapter and go from there.

If you don't know what you want to do, this book helps there as well. In each chapter, it gives some ideas for how the items might work. There is also a chapter talking about things to consider for wearable electronics.

All in all, it's a good book. For those (like me) using Adafruit more often, this book works well, I just need to check Adafruit's website for specifics.


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