This Manual vs Bergsman's Book

Many people have asked me what is the difference between my manual and Bergsman's book. The following was posted to alt.home.automation. Actually, I suggest you buy both!


Bergsman did a pretty good job in "Controlling the World .. " and I considered using it in my Instrumentation Control and Sensors course .. i didn't for a number of reasons;

at $30.00, it is costly, and all the more so because for my students, it is padded with routines in BASIC, pascal and C .. i want my students to get jobs and i use this course for as a pratical platform for teaching C ..

Bergsman has an aversion to C and indeed most of his routines are incorrect .. whoever did them did not have a good knowledge of && vs & ..

as you note, many of the circuits are wrong ..

he doesn't treat interrupts or infrared remote control .. something like remote control really catches my student's interest ..

my job is to train undergraduate engineers, not techs .. so i can't just give the students a bunch of schematics . rather, i must explain why that resistor is 330 Ohms, the difference between open collector and totem pole, how to design with optoisolators, design drivers .. minimize noise, what's a ground loop, etc ..

on the other hand, i can't take every idea as far as i might like as i want my students to take those steps .. for example, i avoid fluid detection because i would expect a student to figure out how to use these ICs ..

so, the intended audiences for bersgman's book and my manual are different ..

i wrote my manual over the christmas break (and the extra time with the blizzards helped) .. it was based on student work over the previous month .. thus, all circuits were built many times over and they did indeed work .. in fact, over the course of the semester we didn't loose any printer ports which is pretty amazing as students can do some wierd things ..

so, yes! .. i have used the five inputs on the Status Port and the four open collector bits on the Control Port as inputs .. successfully ..

are there errors in my manual? .. i am sure there are .. you know that each time you redraw a circuit or clean up some code, errors have a way of popping up .. but, i hope not many .. and i would like to know about any you find ..

please appreciate that i don't make any money on this manual .. any profit on the $10 gets plowed back for components and if a student wants one and has only 38 cents, they get a copy ..

if you buy it and don't feel it was worth the money, just send me e-mail and i will return your money ..

Peter H. Anderson,,