Parts & Books


The parts you used for intro to physical computing should get you started. Any additional parts will be determined by what sensors you choose to work with.


Below are recommended texts for the course in general.

Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers, Dan O’Sullivan and Tom Igoe ©2004, Thomson Course Technology PTR; ISBN: 159200346X Includes much of the material covered in class and lots of advanced examples as well.

Make: Electronics, Charles Platt, © 2009 Make Books, Sebastapol, CA; 1st edition ISBN: 0596153740. An excellent intro to electronics. Practical, readable, and enjoyable. Start here.

Getting Started in Electronics, Forrest M. Mims III, ©1983, Forrest M. Mims III A very basic introduction to electricity and electronics, written in notebook style. Includes descriptions of the basic components and what they do, and how they relate to each other.

Practical Electronics for Inventors, 2nd Edition. Paul Scherz, ©2006, McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing; ISBN: 978-0071452816 A more in-depth treatment of electronics, with many practical examples and illustrations. An excellent reference for those comfortable with the basic topics. The use of plumbing systems as examples to demonstrate electric principles makes for some very clear illustrations of how different components work. Good chapters on sound electronics and motors as well.

The Art of Electronics, 2nd Edition. Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill ©1989, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-37095-7 For more advanced coverage of electronics, but still accessible to the non-engineeer, this is an invaluable reference. Not as accessible as Practical Electronics (above), but more in-depth on some topics.

Build Your Own Printed Circuit Board, Al Williams, ©2003, McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics. ISBN 639785506973 The title says it all. This book introduces how circuit boards are made, how you design them using specialized CAD software, and how to fabriacte them at home or to get them manufactured professionally. A good introduction to the process.