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Visual Basic for Electronics Engineering Applications

Discussion in 'Electronic Books' started by ThermalRunaway, May 13, 2007.

  1. ThermalRunaway

    ThermalRunaway New Member

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    Book Review:

    Title: Visual BASIC for Electronics Engineering Applications
    Author: Vincent Himpe
    ISBN-13: 978-0-905705-68-2
    ISBN-10: 0-905705-68-8
    Supplier: Elektor Electronics

    Category:

    PC Application writing for Electronics interfacing and control.


    Introduction:

    I could hardly control my excitement when this book came through the post. For the Electronics Hobbyist or Professional Designer it offers the opportunity to take your projects into a completely new world with PC control via your own GUI (or command-line) driven applications.


    My Review:

    This book covers Visual BASIC programming for all the latest versions of the development environment including 5.0, 6.0, VBA, .net and 2005 so no matter which you use, this book should give you an excellent footing for the development of Windows applications.
    The book is written by an Electronics Engineer, specifically FOR Electronics Engineers and is geared towards our applications of the language. The first half (or perhaps 3/4) of the book covers the Visual BASIC language and assumes no prior knowledge so if you're a complete beginner or maybe you've experience with other languages but not this one, then this is definitely the book for you. It walks you through the language with supporting code made available for each topic to help you with your understanding.
    The latter part of the book is most likely to be the most exciting as this is where you will apply your Visual BASIC knowledge to build applications specifically for the control, communications and monitoring of your own Electronics projects. The book covers the following:

    * Serial Communications
    * Printer Ports
    * Bit-Banging
    * Protocol Emulation
    * ISA
    * USB
    * Ethernet Interfacing
    * Remote Control of test equipment via GPIB (very cool!)
    * Communication via TCP/IP and UDP
    * Internet Servers

    Each of these topics is extensively covered and supplied with supporting code for you to play with and learn from.

    *The Bad Bits*

    Now that I've covered the good bits that this book has to offer I'm sure that if you're anything like me you're already falling over yourself to obtain a copy of this book. Personally, I would certainly advise you to go ahead and get hold of one but before you go logging on to Elektor Electronics I do have some minor bad points to put forward.
    Firstly, and before I start, I want to make something perfectly clear. This is an EXCELLENT book. If you're the least bit interested in building Windows applications to use with your own Electronics projects, then this book is undoubtedly for you. But there are some bad points to consider (two in particular) which I'd like to put forward as part of this review.

    Bad Point No.1:
    Vincent Himpe should sack his proof reader, because this is probably the worst book I've read in terms of spelling, punctuation, grammer, and the structure of sentances. I think I was cursing over a Japanese-English translated TV Service Manual the last time I read something this bad. Now don't get me wrong, the book isn't so bad that it's unreadable, but there are a lot of spelling mistakes and there were a few occasions where I had to read a paragraph, read it again, and then consider what he was trying to say for a few moments before I could grasp the issue. I suspect that English is not Vincent's first language and if that's the case then you could argue that the book is very WELL written, but I still feel that a good English Translation of the English Translation would be desirable for future editions of the book. In any case, this amounts to only a minor frustration and has little impact upon the content of the book itself.

    Bad Point No.2:
    I think Vincent has suffered at the hands of a desire to please everybody. He has opted to support numerous versions of Visual BASIC, past and present, and in so doing he has created the opportunity to become occasionally frustrated with the layout of the book. To give an example, I use VB .net2005 and there are quite a few major differences between this and previous versions of VB. Vincent has accomodated this by giving in-depth descriptions of any differences between classic VB and new VB, but the net effect (excuse the pun), goes something like this;
    You spend some time trawling through a topic, juggling it all around in your head in order to obtain a clear understanding, and then you turn the page only to find that .net no longer supports the feature you've just read about or does it in a completely different way. You're therefore forced into a position where you have to put your new-found knowledge behind you and try to replace it with the .net version instead. As you can imagine, it leads to some confusion from time to time. I developed a technique whereby I would often scan a few pages ahead to see if there were any significant changes to the topic in the .net version and if there were I would only briefly scan the main explanation and then pay more attension to the .net explanation afterwards. It's not a major issue, more of an occasional frustration.

    Conclusion:

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has even the least bit of interest in writing Windows applications and/or controlling your own Electronics projects. The content of the book is excellent, it's interesting, and the book serves as a useful reference once you've finished reading it so it'll prove to be value for money over the long term.


    My Rating: 8/10 (I'd give 9 if the proof-reading were improved!)
     

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  2. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    I built a washing machine run by Visual Basic once - ran on a system nicknamed "Winwash 2000"

    I did it as the controller on the other machine refused to spin my socks and one afternoon I'd had enough and ripped its innards out. I made a controller from an 18F1320 and some other bits and hooked it up to a PC via an RS232 cable.

    Worked brilliantly but the missus couldn't work out how to program it so went out and bought a new machine :(
     
  3. ThermalRunaway

    ThermalRunaway New Member

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    Hehe! Brilliant :D

    Typical woman though, if you don't mind me saying!

    Brian
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. TDelphi

    TDelphi New Member

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    HAHAHAHA, Nice Shot,

    First time to know that there are such kind of books for visual basic. :S
     
  6. bioegyption

    bioegyption New Member

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    thanksssssssssssssssssssss
     
  7. ThermalRunaway

    ThermalRunaway New Member

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    Hi all.

    I've had a number of emails from people asking me to send them a copy of the book by email. I don't have an electronic copy, I have it in paperback as you can see from the photo. Also, even if I did have an electronic copy I wouldn't send it because that would be unfair to the author of the book!

    If you want a copy, visit Elektor Electronics' website and they will supply you with a hard copy for about £30.

    Brian
     
  8. cutebipin

    cutebipin New Member

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    its good and cool
     
  9. alpish

    alpish New Member

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    hi does visual basic 6 work in vista system or does it need any patch? thanks
     
  10. ThermalRunaway

    ThermalRunaway New Member

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    Hmmm I'm not sure actually. I beta-tested Vista before it was released and quickly decided it was the worst operating system I ever had the misfortune to use - even worse than previous versions of Windows, So I decided it was a better idea to put up with XP.

    Hopefully someone else can better answer your question than me.

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I installed VB5 under Vista and it seemed to work OK. I say seemed because I only kept Vista for 1 week and then reverted to XP. Things that didn't work under Vista were Autocad lite (2004) and MPLAB. It also seemed to randomly pause for 3 seconds for no apparent reason.

    Vista sucks. Just don't go there.

    Mike.
     
  12. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

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  13. William Richardson

    William Richardson New Member

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    Good post

    Good Post. i really enjoyed reading this post. first time i come across that there is VB book is there for Electronics Engineering Applications.
     
  14. Dr-Chambers

    Dr-Chambers New Member

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    You can download the ebook from:

    Pirate link deleted by moderator.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2008
  15. retro

    retro New Member

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    Yes run 2000 or XP or better use Linux. :D VB sucks and you guys really need to learn how to code in C or Perl.
     
  16. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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  17. srmd

    srmd New Member

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    Thank you for the information
     
  18. mwtheplumber

    mwtheplumber New Member

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    [
    Bad Point No.1:
    Vincent Himpe should sack his proof reader, because this is probably the worst book I've read in terms of spelling, punctuation, grammer, and the structure of sentances. I think I was cursing over a Japanese-English translated TV Service Manual the last time I read something this bad. Now don't get me wrong, the book isn't so bad that it's unreadable, but there are a lot of spelling mistakes and there were a few occasions where I had to read a paragraph, read it again, and then consider what he was trying to say for a few moments before I could grasp the issue. I suspect that English is not Vincent's first language and if that's the case then you could argue that the book is very WELL written, but I still feel that a good English Translation of the English Translation would be desirable for future editions of the book. In any case, this amounts to only a minor frustration and has little impact upon the content of the book itself.



    QUOTE]


    Great review, but people who live in glass houses etc. :)
     
  19. Salgat

    Salgat New Member

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    Tempting, but I hate reading something that isn't precise, this book may be too frustrating for me.
     
  20. engkhlaif

    engkhlaif New Member

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    dear, i have my graduation project that simulate an industriam machine i need and graphical user interface that is installed on a PC and through this i can controll my machine !!!
    does this book help my i will use serial communication and iam using
    a PIC16F877A !!! plz reply as soon as u can
     
  21. srikanthsamaga

    srikanthsamaga New Member

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