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The art of electronics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by TygerTyger, Oct 25, 2014.

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  1. TygerTyger


    Oct 17, 2014
    Hi all,
    Just coming back with a quick question really relating to something i was told in another post.
    I was told that a good way to go for books was to buy "the art of electronics"

    The question i have about the book is, is it worth buying even though the book is rather old, and possibly outdated? I'm aware not everything in the book would be outdated, but i was mainly wondering if it was still worth buying even with it's age. Really all i'm looking for here is a yes or no answer :) looking online a lot of the reveiws are mixed with people saying it's too outdated and other people calling it "the bible for electronics" so i figured getting some help from here would help me decide.

    Thanks in advance :) :)
  2. Merlin3189


    Aug 4, 2011
    I don't have it any more, but had one years ago and thought it the best general electronics reference book around. I know many others at the time thought so too. I lost mine when I lent it and it did not return: seems to be the fate of many of my best books!
    I have sometimes been tempted to buy it again, but I don't need it as much as I used to; you can get so much on the web these days; and I'm just too mean to fork out the prices I've seen it for.

    So I'm with the "bible" camp. Even if it is outdated, fundamental electronics is the same and many people, judging from the posts on this site, would benefit from learning the fundamentals. And now the second edition is available online as a .pdf, if you want to look at it. (How legitimate that is, I wonder?)
    Also there are rumours of a third edition due out this year - but I've no idea how true they are, nor what the new content is.
  3. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

    Dec 18, 2013
    Well as far as I know the Physics of transistor, capacitors, resistors and inductors have not changed. So if you want to learn about electronics then yes. If your after up todate applications then yes and no. The book is designed to teach you some of the basics and you would be able to design basic circuits after reading this book. If you wanted to go a bit deeper in something then you would need another book as you would anyway.
  4. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    Agree with Adam. Learn the principle. Ignore the specific devices he talks about, they are typically obsolete.

  5. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    I recommend it.
  6. Arouse1973

    Arouse1973 Adam

    Dec 18, 2013
    I personally like John Bird.
  7. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    My oldest son, who is an electrical engineer working for a multinational corporation in Atlanta GA, gifted me with the second edition of Horowitz and Hill's "The Art of Electronics" a few years ago. I thumbed through it and thought, "I sure could have used this twenty or thirty years ago!" There is some really good practical stuff in there that I learned in the 60s and 70s, by trial-and-error mostly, with a lot more learned reading trade publications like Electronics, Electronic Design, Electronic Design News (EDN) and several others. Horowitz and Hill approach electronic design pretty much the same way I did then and continue to do today: a little theory, some math, and a LOT of intuition born of experience.

    Would I recommend this book to a rank beginner? To someone who has not a clue about how electricity, much less how electronics, work? Hell yes!

    For such a person, it may be a struggle at first to get past Chapter One, Foundations, but the effort is well spent. The text is well written and clear with plenty of examples. If you continue in electronics, this book will an invaluable reference for years to come, even though specific devices used in the second edition are pretty much obsolete today for new designs. The fundamentals of practical design you will learn from this book never change.

    Although this book began as a collection of teaching notes for undergraduate physics students, it is very readable by beginners. There is a companion student study book by Hayes and Horowitz, which I have not reviewed, which may be of some help. Please consider the money you spend on good books as cheap tuition. This is a good book.

    There is a Third Edition in the works, scheduled for publication in Canada in October 2015. is taking prepublication orders. In the meantime, you can rent the Second Edition from Amazon or Barnes and Noble (and perhaps others) to see if it to your liking and ability. Please support the authors by NOT downloading bootleg copies of their work.
    chopnhack and KrisBlueNZ like this.
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