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Which book to read to get an idea of how modern gadgets work?

  1. Jul 15, 2013 #1
    I always wanted to know how a car works, how T.V. works etc.
    However I was not one of those kids who opened all the gadgets in their free time and looked at how they work (I wish I did that).

    Now I'm in college. I took Computer Science and Electric and electronics is not my department. I want to get a basic idea of how modern gadgets work. I don't have time to study all the electronics and go through an in-depth analysis of how machines work.

    Is there a book which briefly tells you about how complicated machines are made. I just want to get a basic idea (the gist) of how these gadgets work. I don't want to go into the detail (because I don't have time) of their implementation.

    Let me tell you about my current knowledge so it's easier to recommend a book
    I know about the physics obviously (Electromagnetism, semiconductors etc.)
    I know about gates (AND, OR, XOR) and how these can be used to build more complicated devices.
    I have idea about how a processor is made.

    Basically I know how digital devices like computers work. But then I look at other electric devices at my home like oven, television etc. and have little idea how they work.

    Recommend me a book to help me. Do remember I am not an electrical engineer
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2013 #2
    Is there any way you can take an introductory course in analog electronics? I had one in my 4th year as a physics student, how is it not required for a CS major?

    Malvino's "Electronic Principles" practically covers everything in that subject and has practically no prerequisites, but isn't exactly a light read... (you'll know what I mean if you hold it in your hands). I'd go with something like that, also these video lectures are okay:

    http://www.screencast.com/users/hoppep/folders/Electronic Devices 1 Lectures

    Not in order though, so be sure to jump around until you find your starting point (just go read the intro chapters on diodes, trannies and op-amps from Malvino).
  4. Jul 15, 2013 #3
    I already had an analog electronics course.
    The topics taught were:
    1) Amplifiers
    3) Filters
    2) Multivibrators

    I think I have some more electronics courses coming up though. But I am have some free time now and hope to learn a few things.
    I had a look on the book you mentioned - "Malvino's Electronic Principles". It covers pretty much what I learned in the course I had.

    But what I actually want to know is how these things - filters, amplifiers, oscillators actually combine to make a gadget.
    For eg:- You learn about AND gate, OR gate, NOR gate but how do you use them to build a processor is a completely different thing.
    Same in my case. I know about all the basic circuits but then how do you build something out of it? That's what I want to know. Any books for that (something light please)
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