Thoughts on "The Art of Electronics" 2nd Edition by Horowitz & Hill?

Thread Starter

blah2222

Joined May 3, 2010
582
Hey all,

Just finishing up my third year in EE and I have been hearing a lot about this book and was wondering what the fuss was about. For microelectronics theory we used both the Jaeger/Blalock and Sedra/Smith textbooks and found them to be very heavy and rather unintuitive for practical design.

Just curious to see what others thought about the Horowitz/Hill book.

Cheers,
JP
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
It's a good practical all-around book. It's not a theory book or school text book, and there really is no other book like it.
 

Thread Starter

blah2222

Joined May 3, 2010
582
Cool, would you recommend it for people who already know the gist of the theory but are looking to start building hobby projects?
 
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Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
This may be a bit dated now; it seems that a third edition has been in preparation for some time, but may be hanging fire for now.

That said, I think the book has a lot to be said for it, at least for those who are a bit past the beginners' stage. For instance, the (deliberately) "bad circuits" included are a great help, for instance to help us learn about the kinds of flaws that may lurk in circuits we may see on the Internet.

The book is not a complete course on Electronics, but does contain a lot of common sense, and in my opinion it could be particularly useful for those who have been studying theory, but want understand more of practical circuit operation and design.
 
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Sparky49

Joined Jul 16, 2011
833
I found it to be a bit daunting to begin with... It seemed a bit maths heavy and just 'splurged' everything our at me.

Saying that, after the first section, I found it much easier to follow and it certainly is still a great book.
 

studiot

Joined Nov 9, 2007
4,998
but are looking to start building hobby projects
There are many better (and cheaper) books out there for the practically minded but who also want the theory.

Try those by Joe Carr, the Tooley brothers, the 'Cookbook series' and the Circuit Designers Companion by Tim Williams.
 
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steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
My vote is to Malvino's
I'm confused. Is the title of the thread "Thoughts on The AoE", by Horowitz and Hill? Or is it, "What are better books to read". Is there some law that says he has to buy only one book? Should I not read "War and Peace", just because most people prefer "Moby Dick"?

Comparing books with the idea that one outstanding book renders others useless is not very smart. Given that electronics is often considered a blend of art and science, and given that some know theory before practice and others know practice before theory, why wouldn't we all want as many viewpoints as possible. I can think of over 20 electronics books to recommend ranging from pure theory to pure practice (oh look, there they are over on my shelf) and AoE would not be in the top 10, yet I would not ever give away or sell those in the 10 or greater rating range.

I think The Art of Electronics is a good book that everyone should read, unless they already know everything it contains (which might apply to about 5 people in this forum). There are other books that are better for particular things. There are better theory books and there are better project books, but there are very few books that give such a comprehensive summary of the knowledge, experience and viewpoint of two "artists" in our field of interest. To make a comparison, what if SgtWookie wrote a book summarizing his lifelong experience? What would you pay to read it in the hopes of retaining even 10 % to become better at what you do?

The only issue is whether the price is too high for a person's budget. If you have lots of money and see that it is very useful, buy a nice new copy. If not, pick up a used copy once you track a good price down. If you are poorer than that, go to the library to read it and take notes on the things you find useful.

So, don't vote and don't compare to other books. However, if there is a good reason for the OP not to buy the book, then state those reasons clearly so he doesn't waste his money, should those reasons apply to him.
 
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Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,647
It comes down to what you can get. I never have seen the OPs book, but the Malvino's book was available, and did the job.

Just finishing up my third year in EE and I have been hearing a lot about this book and was wondering what the fuss was about. For microelectronics theory we used both the Jaeger/Blalock and Sedra/Smith textbooks and found them to be very heavy and rather unintuitive for practical design.

Just curious to see what others thought about the Horowitz/Hill book.
To me there is an implied question about the books that are out there. Since I have never used the OPs book, but I have used other sources. If the OP states it is off topic I will drop it.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
I think it's all fine, as long as the suggestions are just intended to provide additional recommendations that the OP may not have been aware of.

I was just worried that the tone seemed to be that these other sources are mentioned as an indirect way to say that the AoE didn't offer much.

This kind of innuendo, if not intended, may mislead the OP, so I just wanted to put the comment out there.

Of course, if the innuendo is intended, then I don't object to a negative review, but would ask that the reasons be clearly given in fairness to the authors.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,476
So, don't vote and don't compare to other books. However, if there is a good reason for the OP not to buy the book, then state those reasons clearly so he doesn't waste his money, should those reasons apply to him.
Life is too short Steve. Relax, my next vote will be for presidential elections only.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
24,643
What ya know? I have both "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill and "Electronic Principles" by Albert Malvino sitting on my shelf and have never read either.

There's my book exercise for the summer.
 

Veracohr

Joined Jan 3, 2011
761
I've found it has some good practical info, but at least in some cases I've come across sections that didn't provide enough basic foundation info to understand the circuit being described, if I didn't have the necessary foundation already.
 
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