One oddity of the first few pages is that the first example given is a Hello World program, which is perfectly traditional, but has to be the most boring way possible to introduce a technology with as much potential as the micro:bit. The other moment that jarred is that, moments after being told that the micro:bit is packed with sensors, the first hardware project requires an additional piece of hardware. This is a minor quibble – the whole point of physical computing is that you’re adding other bits of hardware to a computer, whether that hardware is a microphone, motors, servos, speakers, or whatever. It’s just a little odd that the capabilities inherent in the micro:bit aren’t explored further before add-ons are introduced.
The rest of the book is packed with projects and experiments for young, mad scientists, incorporating servos, motors, music, communicating with Bluetooth Low Energy radio (BLE), and more. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember that we published a how-to on BLE in issue 30, which just goes to show this book’s ambition. It’s aimed at kids, but there’s nothing dumbed down here. Micro:bit for Mad Scientists is an excellent resource to take curious kids on a journey into physical computing.
Simon Monk $24.95 No Starch
VERDICT Thorough, fun, useful, and varied projects for the Emmett Brown in your life.