Is That All - Make: More Electronics (2014)

Make: More Electronics (2014)

Chapter 37. Is That All?

I have finally run out of time and space. No doubt you can think of other topics that might have been included, but I chose the ones that would make an integrated package. All of the primary components and concepts, including phototransistors, voltage dividers, comparators, counters, multiplexers, hysteresis, logic gates, randomicity, timers, and sensors, have recurred from one project to another. With just a little imagination, you may now be able to apply these tools and techniques in applications of your own.

Some people with rather impressive academic credentials have fact-checked everything that I wrote, because personally, I don’t have any qualifications. I feel it’s only right to tell you that I acquired the knowledge to write this book without formal instruction.

I realize that this method of learning is not suitable for everyone. I also realize that self-education tends to result in an incomplete understanding of a field. Still, if I can acquire sufficient knowledge to write books about a subject, maybe the process that I call “Learning by Discovery” can work for you, too.

We’ve all had the experience of reading a text book—especially when an exam is imminent—and forgetting a lot of it just a couple of weeks later. When you dig up the information to build something on your own, and you experiment with it, and learn about it by watching what happens, I think the experience is very different. The knowledge becomes embedded in your memory.

Moreover, when you are forced to use your own initiative to solve problems without outside assistance, you develop the ability to innovate.

Tinkering with hardware is a great tradition in the long history of technology. If this book helps you to feel that you can do this—that you can open up a product and figure out how it works, and fix it, or use it for a different purpose, or modify it, or improve it—you will have acquired valuable skills and an empowering mindset, and I will have achieved my purpose.

For me, this is an ending point. For you, I hope it may be a beginning.

—Charles Platt