Raspberry Pi for Dummies

The name Mike Cook echoes around the corridors of Pi Towers every now and then when we make awed conversation about our hardware heroes. Mike used to write a column called Body Building for Micro User magazine back in the days of the BBC Micro, in which he’d create hardware projects that made kids like me swoon at the sheer potential of those GPIO pins at the back of the Beeb’s casing. (The Beeb’s exposed GPIO was a big influence in the design of the Raspberry Pi.) Mike was an early adopter of the Pi, and you’ll have seen several posts here featuring his otherworldly Pi hardware hacks. (The solonoid glockenspiel and the first persistence of vision project we ever saw for the Pi were both Mike’s – see this tag for all the posts on this blog featuring Mikestuff.)

thought Mike had been quiet for a bit. We hadn’t heard much from him in the last few months: turns out that this was because he was busy with the whizz-bang hardware section of Raspberry Pi for Dummies, the rest of which was written by Sean McManus.  If you are even slightly interested in learning about hardware (and having fun with it), you should run to your nearest bookshop right now. Here are some videos to give you a taster of the sort of hardware projects you’ll be able to make with the book:

This second video is only the start of the potentiometer fun – you’ll end up making something that looks an awful lot like an Etch-a-Sketch.

Sean McManus, by the way, who wrote all the non-hardware bits of the book, is also someone I’ve chatted with by email in the past about Pi – and he’s someone to whom I owe a vote of thanks for another excellent book he wrote, this time in the Older & Wiser series. His iPad for the Older & Wiser has saved me many, many hours of shouting “No! Touch the blue thing that looks like an A!” down the phone at my Dad, clearing time to have lovely fatherly/daughterly conversation instead, for which we are all grateful. Sean’s own page on Raspberry Pi for Dummies is well worth a look; he’s posting additional guides and content there on an ongoing basis, and is available there to answer your questions.

So if you’re looking for an addition to your Raspberry Pi library, Raspberry Pi for Dummies comes highly recommended. Thanks to Sean, Mike and all at Wiley for your work on the Pi – we really appreciate it!


Gordon avatar

Test comment from me!

Steven avatar

I. want. that. Book.


Andrew Edwards avatar

Is this available for download?

Jim Manley avatar

This is a test comment from the Emergency Comment System. If this had been an actual comment, you would have been instructed to tune to your local Emergency Comment System station for further comments. This is only a test. We now return you to the normal comments, already in progress.

Jim Manley avatar

Yay! Comments now possible once again from my iPad and all other devices in one attempt! I was beginning to worry I had used up my allotment of comments, and wouldn’t be surprised if I had.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing this book, but $16.99 for the Kindle edition and $14.73 for the paperback version is just completely upside-down pricing from a green perspective and there’s no indication if any of the proceeds goes to the Foundation. Half the price of the Model B and two thirds of the price of the Model A? Really?

colin allison avatar

Amazon are showing the book as available in 1 to 2 months!

Jon avatar

Yeah, I saw “1 to 2 months” too! C’mon Amazon, sort it out!

That said, I went looking round Bookaxis, Sainsbury etc. and they all have publication date listed as 23rd APRIL, which Amazon have 23rd MARCH with at least a month to wait.

Go figure…

Sean McManus avatar

Thank you for writing about our book, Liz! Much appreciated!

To answer comments above, the book is out as soon as it can get through the distribution chain now. It’s available now on Kindle and iBooks, and print will follow as fast as they can move the books. I thought it was being printed in both Europe and the US, so the April date surprises me. I’m expecting to get my first print copy next week.

Thank you to everyone who’s expressed an interest in the book. Mike and I have been working hard on it, so I’m excited that it is now reaching readers!

John avatar

Does the book include any secret information that the average dummie can’t find online?

colin allison avatar

Thanks Sean – I put an order in anyway – I am sure it is worth waiting for.

Mike Cook avatar

Well my projects can’t be found on line.
But the point is that the information is presented in a coherent way. You will not find any how to access the graphics chips directly sort of thing if that is what you mean.

Duncan Smeed avatar

I ordered the book yesterday and the confirmation included the following info. Looking forward to receiving it:

Delivery estimate: 11 April 2013 – 7 May 2013
1 “Raspberry Pi For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))”
McManus, Sean; Paperback; £9.53
Usually dispatched within 1 to 2 months
Sold by: Amazon EU S.a.r.L.

Simon avatar

All of the amazon links in this post use the affiliate code gastronomydom-21: is the revenue from this going to the R-Pi foundation? (hopefully it is…)

eben avatar

Ah, good spot. I’ll encourage Liz to give her ill-gotten 50 pence to charity :)

liz avatar

Yes, it is! It’s a hangover from when we started this website (and didn’t expect it to get so big) – I used my old affiliate account rather than set up a new one, so the name doesn’t accurately reflect what it does. But please be assured etc. etc.!

RootShell avatar

Sounds like it’s time for another prize! Raspberry organization should consider making a competetions and award a free copy of the book to one random of the comments in this post ;)

I should would like to have one… but money is not floating around me :(

Chris avatar

Ordered, thanks for the heads up!

Jonathan Wheal avatar

Another good reason to order is that Sean is a downright nice bloke. A few years ago, I dug out my old Amstrad CPC 6128 from the cupboard, and, fiddling around with it as one does, soon found I needed a tape file header reader to do a bit of hacking around with old Speedlock games (like the Codemasters and Ocean ones that used to make the border of the screen go all fuzzy while they loaded) I had on cassette. Sean wrote such a utility and had it published as a type-in (probably in Amstrad Computer User or Amstrad Action) many, many years ago. I emailed him, and, by return of email, he sent me the program listing. Top bloke.

colin allison avatar

Mine shipped today from UKPaperbackshop who have a link on the Amazon UK page for the book.


Duncan Smeed avatar

McManus, Sean “Raspberry Pi For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))”
Previous estimated arrival date: April 11 2013 – May 07 2013
New estimated arrival date: April 04 2013 – April 04 2013

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