LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Hacker’s Guide

Product Description
Build and Program Over 20 Challenging Design Projects in Just 30 Minutes Each with the New Generation of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® More powerful and intuitive than ever, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT is a new robotics toolset that enables robot enthusiasts and hobbyists to build and program all kinds of projects. The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Hacker’s Guide explores this new generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS, providing a collection of projects, how-to expert… More >>

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Hacker’s Guide

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5 Comments

  1. We are very pleased with this book.

    We have seen and or read almost every other Lego book we have been able to get our hands/eyes on and this is by far our best pick and it was very reasonable in price compared to all of the others.

    We have and use the NXT in our home school in combination with Python and Kturtle.

    We also hack frequently and with relish.

    The hacks in this book are straight forward and really pretty easy but also practical. The power supply hack pays for the book in agro alone.

    The lead up to the hacks is excellent. The history of the brick and the history of Logo (not LEGO) are instructive and to an end useful. The author gives no credit to Jim Henson nor the countless FSS/OSS nor the likes of Collins (Pearl) and the virtual Lego software hackers. Perhaps a case of the hand that feeds but the author says nothing of problems with the software or the bluetooth interface and makes no mention of the “Non Microsoft/Apple” universe. On the other hand he states right up front he is working for LEGO and I must agree that getting “Surprise” packs from Lego in the mail with NXTs in them would tend to mute my critical remarks.

    The hacks are clear enough and cool enough and have just enough exotica to make them tempting. They do inspire and without too much intimidation. The addition of BIONICAL bits instead of “true” hacking of say usb cameras and sharp bits from the kitchen is perhaps wisdom not product group loyalty but your little hackers, scientists and robot enthusiasts will soon depart from the text won’t they.

    To sum up…

    This is NOT a good book for the casual Lego build nor those thinking to pass on their kid’s NXT to another generation. This in a book for the truly immersed and those who delight in hacking. It is informative and inspires and at a very good price.

    We gave it 4 stars because it could have easily and naturally included the above mentioned omissions and that is a shame because there is such a rich and diverse universe there for the true hacker, Lego or otherwise.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. I really looked forward to reading the book, based on the publisher’s comments.

    What a waste of time….and money.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. If you are looking for a book that will explain how how to attach non-LEGO motors and sensors to your NXT and how to interface with your household gadgets etc, look elsewhere. This book is a collection of useless facts much of which are unrelated to LEGO or NXT. There is not a single NXT project anywhere in this book. Buying a tank model and putting an NXT on top of the tank thread (without physical mount or wiring) does not count as a hack. Building a camera bracket out of Lego parts does not count as an NXT hack either.

    The author implies that you can connect motors from electric toys to the NXT brick, but does not care to explain how to do this. I suspect that he never actually did it himself.

    How is buying a third-party $200 development kit and connecting it to your laptop an NXT hack? The author says you can “add” it to your NXT project. Some “hacks” are simply ridiculous. In one chapter the author suggests to spend $30 on a graphics converter that does not work with the NXT graphics format. Maybe someday it will, says the author.

    There are many pictures in this book, but most are not useful. For some of these author did not even bother to write an explanation. E.g. there is a picture of RoboSapien with some piece of electronics stuff in his hands. There is no explanation of what this is or what it has to do with NXT or anything else.

    So don’t bother reading this book, it will not help you become an NXT hacker.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. What can be said that hasn’t already been said but what the heck does building a library of leg bricks have to do with NXT? This author is a hack himself, THIS BOOK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH hacking with NXT, Do not waste a dollar!
    Rating: 1 / 5

  5. I got this book along with NXT set as a gift, so I was very excited to learn about mindstorms a bit out of manual. The book turned out to be jumpy, full with unrelated photographs, trivial or non-helping ‘hacks’, unfinished projects, and cheese illustrations. At least half of the book is totally unrelated to NXT. Language in which the book is written is supposed to be funny dialogue, but is actually outright shallow. I would not recommend this book.
    Rating: 1 / 5

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