Book review: Learning Python with Raspberry Pi

January 29, 2020 | 11:48
Book review: Learning Python with Raspberry Pi
Book review: Learning Python with Raspberry Pi

There are other books about learning to program in Python on the Raspberry Pi, but Dogan Ibrahim aims this book at a specific target audience: electronics engineers. That means that the many, elaborate, example programs are mainly focussed on the analysis and design of electronic circuits. This begins with a simple program that calculates the resistance value from the colour code, and evolves through the course of the book into programs that calculate and plot the values of more complex circuits.

If you are part of the target audience, then this approach is very practicable: you can immediately utilise your newly acquired programming skills in your application area, compared to many other books that illustrate the concepts of Python with quite general and not immediately useful examples. This alone makes the book very worthwhile – for electronics engineers, at least; if the terms resistive voltage divider, BJT circuit and active band-pass filter don't mean anything to you, then the code examples will not make the subject matter any clearer either.

The author really starts at the beginning: preparing your Raspberry Pi, installing Raspbian, using the command line, he even explains how to work with the nano text editor. After he has explained the basics of Python, the subsequent chapters include plotting graphs with matplotlib, building graphical interfaces with Tkinter, controlling electronics with RPi. GPIO and communicating remotely using TCP, UDP and Bluetooth.

The only real criticism is that Dogan Ibrahim developed most of the programs for Python 2.7, although he does indicate that they will work with Python 3 after some small changes. When you are reading this review, Python 2.7 is no longer supported, so it is not recommended to write and run programs in this out-of-date version of the programming language. I didn't immediately spot any issues that could become big problems in Python 3, but the devil is in the details. It is a pity that, as the reader, you will have to keep an eye out for these kinds of things.

But overall, this book is a very practical and broad introduction to Python for electronics engineers. After reading it you will certainly have enough inspiration to develop your own programs for the Raspberry Pi.

Author: Dogan Ibrahim
Publisher: Elektor International Media
Price: €34.95
ISBN: 978-1-907920-80-6
More information and ordering: elektor.com/learning-python-with-raspberry-pi
 

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