Make: AVR Programming
Learning to Write Software for Hardware
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Final Release Date: January 2014
Pages: 474

Atmel's AVR microcontrollers are the chips that power Arduino, and are the go-to chip for many hobbyist and hardware hacking projects. In this book you'll set aside the layers of abstraction provided by the Arduino environment and learn how to program AVR microcontrollers directly. In doing so, you'll get closer to the chip and you'll be able to squeeze more power and features out of it.

Each chapter of this book is centered around projects that incorporate that particular microcontroller topic. Each project includes schematics, code, and illustrations of a working project.

  • Program a range of AVR chips
  • Extend and re-use other people’s code and circuits
  • Interface with USB, I2C, and SPI peripheral devices
  • Learn to access the full range of power and speed of the microcontroller
  • Build projects including Cylon Eyes, a Square-Wave Organ, an AM Radio, a Passive Light-Sensor Alarm, Temperature Logger, and more
  • Understand what's happening behind the scenes even when using the Arduino IDE
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oreillyMake: AVR Programming
 
4.3

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (10)
  • Easy to understand (9)
  • Well-written (9)
  • Accurate (6)
  • Concise (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (9)
    • Novice (6)
    • Student (6)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (9), Maker (7), Designer (4)

    Reviewed by 12 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Book as promised

    By enno

    from Estonia

    About Me Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

      Good starting point to AVR programming.

       
      5.0

      Great guide for hands-on learning

      By Rob the Newbie

      from Boulder, CO

      About Me Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

        I've been using the book as a step-by-step way of learning to build and program automated gadgets for my own pleasure. (I'm a novice-to-intermediate "maker", with long-ago experience in C and a little experience with command-line Linux.) The book is clear, detailed, and written in a way that encourages experimentation and enjoyment. The example projects are carefully graduated so that each one builds on the preceding one. I particularly appreciate the way in which the code for a project is presented first, then explained second. You can build a device, see it function (fun!) and then do the work of understanding how the program makes it happen. That, and the gently humorous writing style, has kept me cheerfully motivated and occupied for five chapters so far.

         
        4.0

        A Very Useful Reference

        By CrashBang Prototyping

        from Johannesburg, South Africa

        About Me Maker

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

          This book is great for getting to grips with AVR micocontrollers. I see it as a good resource for people moving onto AVR - whether you're already familiar with other microcontrollers and want to move to AVR, or if you're making the transition from Arduinos to working directly with AVR.

          The author has structured the book well, making it useful as a pick-up-when-you-need-it reference as well as a progressive read for those starting out. If you're starting out you probably won't read it cover to cover, but at least the first section will get you progressing nicely.

          If you're already comfortable with microcontrollers, some of the content may be a little too basic for you - but you'd probably benefit from it as a reference, using the examples to speed up the time spent with your head in datasheets.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great introduction, but took a while

          By Steve

          from UK

          About Me Educator

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

            The book covers most topics you would need to get started on AVR programming. For the most part, the examples are good, with certain examples running through different chapters adding more features as they are taught.

            Personally, I wasn't that keen on all the speaker based projects, but that's just me (they might be of great use to other people).

            The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was simply because I was unable to use the book to actually figure out HOW to program the AVR. This section in the book seemed very lacking to me and I ended up researching online instead.

            After I got that problem fixed, all the examples worked nicely and the libraries provided made the initial learning curve a little less steep.

            In all, a very good book to learn AVR programming.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            I find this book to be very thorough.

            By Carl

            from Raleigh, NC

            About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

              This is a great book and I'd recommend it to anybody that is interested in how Atmel microcontrollers. The only issue I have with the book is that it has problems with Aldiko on my Samsung SM-T900 tablet, images do not show up and text gets lost. Strangely it works fine in Aldiko on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus cell phone.

               
              4.0

              Very good to learn AVR software

              By Fern Best

              from Cascais, Portugal

              About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

                I am using it with Atmel Studio 6.2 with good results.

                 
                4.0

                covers the basics and adv topics

                By maks

                from australia

                About Me Developer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

                      The explanations are a bit too basic in places as the author tries to cater for complete new comers to C programming and microcontrollers but he makes up for this by covering more advanced topics well and erring on the side of covering too much instead of too little.

                       
                      5.0

                      A very good and explaining book

                      By Janne

                      from Sweden

                      About Me Developer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Concise
                      • Easy to understand
                      • Helpful examples
                      • Well-written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Intermediate
                        • Student

                        Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

                        A good learning book on ATMEGA microchips

                         
                        5.0

                        Wonderful AVR reference

                        By Jing

                        from San Francisco, CA

                        About Me Developer, Maker

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Accurate
                        • Concise
                        • Easy to understand
                        • Helpful examples
                        • Well-written

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Intermediate
                          • Novice

                          Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

                          For a long time I've been using tutorials and random sample code I've found on the internet to help bootstrap my AVR programs. When Make: AVR Programming came out I no longer needed to comb through the internet to find sample code and explanations. All I need now is my Make: AVR Programming book and the datasheet for my micro.

                          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          2.0

                          Not ready for prime time

                          By GeneT

                          from Oregon

                          About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                            Cons

                            • Too many errors

                            Best Uses

                            • Intermediate

                            Comments about oreilly Make: AVR Programming:

                            "Make: AVR Programming" dares greatly, but falls short. It suffers from three fundamental flaws: poor editing, unclear definition of audience, and lack of structure.

                            First, the book could use a good editing, preferably by a fresh set of eyes. There are an excessive number of small mistakes - most are harmless (directing the reader to the next chapter, when it should have been "next section", etc.), but some will be absolutely confusing or flustering to neophytes who are often frustrated when something doesn't work, yet matches the examples given. The frequency of errors is high and the potential to frustrate and lose a reader as a result is equally high.

                            I found on two Windows machines conflicts with the Arduino development platform and WinAVR, which the book recommends for Windows users. This problem manifests with an "rc=-1" error, which the author assures the reader is a wiring problem. In this case, it's not. If you are on a Windows machine, try uninstalling the Arduino software if you have this problem. I mention this to help Windows users of this book and because the introductory examples in a book like this need to be as bulletproof as possible. If the reader can't make *anything* work - they stop there and the book has failed them. Perhaps this is somewhere an editor (testing with Windows) could help. I believe, from some other remarks in the book that the author uses / prefers linux.

                            It appears that the author was over-ambitious in trying to be all things to all people. Parts of the text read as though they were written for someone who had never programmed anything or someone who had no electronics knowledge, but that level of explanation is not preserved, so the book will not work well for anyone who is a complete neophyte at either. If I were the editor I would have the book re-scoped for an audience with previous basic programming and electronics skills. To succeed with absolute amateurs a great deal would have to be added to the book.

                            The structure of the book is somewhat bewildering. Perhaps because the author has great enthusiasm for his topic and cannot help but throw in myriad asides. At times these are appropriate - when they directly expand on the material being covered - but often they are an unnecessary and unhelpful distraction from the purpose of the chapter. Although there is some discussion of hardware, the book tends to want to treat the controller as a black box and I am of the opinion that integrating an understanding of the controller internals would not only help assist in understanding the material presented, but also help teach the reader what sorts of things to look for in order to select an appropriate processor for their project.

                            In all, I would not recommend this book to someone wishing to learn basic embedded development. It's just not ready for prime time. Someone who had worked through the book might be able to configure features that were similar to those in the book, but they would not really be ready to do much more. A reader with no programming experience is probably going to find the book impenetrable. A reader without electronics experience would probably get by, albeit with difficulty or vague comprehension in parts.

                            Although I was disappointed, I think there's tremendous demand for a book in this niche (AVR, 'real'(non-Arduino) programming). And, this book does a number of things well. It endeavors to be platform-neutral with instructinos for Windows, Linux and Mac. It doesn't require anything fancy or expensive (i.e. it's not based around a several-hundred-dollar eval board, nor do you need an expensive programmer). The examples are mostly well-chosen - brief enough to understand, but still interesting enough to care about. It's not ready yet, but with appropriate editing I think this could be a very good book.

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