Hardware Hacking Projects: For Geeks
by Scott Fullam
Published by O'Reilly
In the WLUG library

Reviewed by Ian Wells


hacker n slang computer enthusiast, esp. one who breaks into the computer systems of computer companies or government.

The above is perhaps the world's perception of hackers, but author Scott Fulham reclaims the term for the good guys.

The review on the back cover begins "Hardware hacking starts with the belief that you have the right to take things apart to see how they work. However, the real fun comes when you realize that you can put things back together in any way you want. This may void the warranty, but you could end up with something better than the original, or, at the very least an interesting conversation piece."

I was one of those who at an early age pulled things apart to see how they worked; everything from engines to wind up gramophones, so this book was of great interest to me. Even if you don't want to make one of the fifteen projects contained within, it makes fascinating reading and should awaken the inquisitive spirit in all, geek or no.

Projects include, how to build your own arcade machine, make an aquarium out of an old Mac, a wearable computer, a building size display and more. Some projects are way out but nonetheless interesting. I recommend this book as a very good read for those who like to look outside the square.