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Modern Day Equivalent of Byte/Compute! Magazine?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the must-have-tape-drive dept.

Programming 327

MochaMan writes "I grew up in the '80s on a steady diet of Byte and Compute! magazines, banging in page after page of code line by line, and figuring out how sound, graphics, and input devices worked along the way. Since then, the personal computer market has obviously moved away from hobbyists intent on coding and understanding their machines down to the hardware, but I imagine there must still be a market for similar do-it-yourself articles. Perhaps the collective minds of Slashdot can divine some online sources of fun and educational mini-projects like 'write your own assembler' or 'roll your own bootloader.'"

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327 comments

Circuit Cellar (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582370)

A fantastic hobbyist type magazine. Our community college has a student subscription for it, definitely worth it. Edited by Steve Circia, name should ring a bell!!

Good question! (3)

snowboardin159 (1744212) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582384)

I even took some classes at a tech college to learn programming and whatnot, but the teacher didnt know these kinds of basics. Jumping into in depth problems with a base code already established was not a good way to learn for me, and im sure others might struggle with this too. Please slashdot, hook it up with some good links!

google (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582396)

Just try typing "write your own assembler" or "roll your own bootloader" in the search box. See what happens.

Make (4, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582398)

From O'Reilly is about the only one which I can think of.

Re:Make (5, Interesting)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582510)

Not anymore. They really dumbed it down over the last couple of years. When you recruit mindless radio DJs like Kipkay to the spotlight, you end up with stuff that might look cool to a twelve-year-old, but to any real hobbyist, it's just a bunch of lame junk like adding a Radio Shack toggle switch to a "radar gun" from Toys "R" Us or "hacking" a 9V battery by cutting it open and removing the AAAA cells. Not to rail on Kipkay because he really doesn't know any better, but Make has really moved to cater to the technically illiterate masses. It's becoming more of a light mods site than an in-depth guide to some really unique projects.

There's still always 2600, as limited as its scope is...

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582674)

A-g-r-e-e-d! You give kip kay too much credit. He loves to hear himself talk !!

Re:Make (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582794)

Unfortunately, yes. They have some awesome news on really cool projects people made, but these are usually shallow news articles - a few photos, some lines, no in-depth, no instruction, no deep how-it-works. That is combined with in-depth instructables on very simple and easy projects - stuff anyone can do (or buy from "Maker Shed"). Don't get me wrong - some of the simple, easy projects are quite interesting (like making plastic from curdled milk), but all are on "low difficulty" and most are quite pathetic.

Re:Make (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582726)

Make started out intresting. Had articles about creating demonstration moters using a battery,paperclips, and wire. When they started putting in articles about randomally adding wires/components to music devices create strange sounds, I began to lose interest. When the articles never got any better, I gave up on it.

Re:Make (4, Interesting)

cexshun (770970) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582880)

Are you serious? Make is crap! Once a month, you'll get an article about actually MAKING something. Other then that, it's 50 articles about knitting bicycle seats or turning a nerf gun "steampunk". Make has become nothing more then hipster fashion.

The Internet is this magazine. (5, Insightful)

vesik (249671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582400)

The Internet is this magazine.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (0, Redundant)

Rasputin (5106) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582444)

Yep. Print is REALLY dead this time. That said I do miss Byte.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582528)

Pretty much. In addition to Compute's Gazette I also read RUN (for C64) and AmigaWorld (sister magazine). They were great for learning programming & hardware, but have no place in today's world that is aimed at the simplified "turn key; start engine" mindset.

Similarly the science fiction magazines I used to read also faded away. Asimov's and Analog are still here but rapidly dwindling in circulation. I guess just as you can't go back to the 1920s when you'd read dime-store comics, and eat penny candy, you can't go back to the 1980s either. The past is the past.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582934)

I grew up with Compute! and the Gazette. Loved typing in those programs and it's where I first picked up programming. It was great to go through the games you'd type in, figure out what it all meant, and then make changes to it.

That all went downhill when anything decent was being provided in machine language. You'd just sit there typing in numbers, having no idea what it all meant. To learn anything from it, you'd need to possess a disassembler and the knowledge of assembly. At that point, you probably wouldn't be looking at type-in programs to learn more anyways.

They still had great articles though and useful utilities. Always loved the artwork too. I think the guy's name was Blair or something.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (4, Interesting)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582706)

You need to look into websites, there is no magazine that captures the zeitgeist of the personal computer industry today:

http://www.arstechnica.com/ [arstechnica.com]
http://www.lifehacker.com/ [lifehacker.com]
http://www.tomshardware.com/ [tomshardware.com]

then there are specialty sites that focus on very particular topics, but those are some good, general sites to start with...

To get your John C. Dvorak fill, you could go here:

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/ [dvorak.org]

And Jerry Pournelle is here:

http://www.chaosmanorreviews.com/ [chaosmanorreviews.com]

Hope that helps

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582734)

The last few unfortunate years of its existence aside, BYTE was the best computer magazine then or since. As has been said, something like the Scientific American of the computer world in its time. Unparalleled exposition about the latest trends in computer design, programming languages, etc. Plus in depth reviews actually worth reading. Outstanding columnists, etc. Virtually every issue from the 1980s is a gem.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582858)

Virtually every issue from the 1980s is a gem.

It did exist in the mid to late 1970's too. Every issue from the 70's was just a gem as well. Articles, programs, algorithm discussions, electronics, reviews on things like the late 70's computers from Apple, Commodore, Atari, Cromemco, etc. and the software for them. Great stuff back then.

Re:The Internet is this magazine. (1)

87C751 (205250) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582924)

Virtually every issue from the 1980s is a gem.

Through mid-1985, I'd have to agree. Beyond that, BYTE suffered the same fate as Creative Computing, getting watered down to be more general as both were used to fulfill remaining subscriptions of more narrowly-focused magazines like Compute! Gazette and the like as they failed. I was unfortunate enough to buy a 2-year BYTE subscription in early '85, so I saw its decline first-hand.

Make Magazine (2, Informative)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582420)

Make magazine is a wonderful DIY with electronics projects etc.

Re:Make Magazine (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582550)

Unfortunately it's rather on the "shallow water" side. It has articles talking about some awesome and hard ideas, and it has DIY instructables on simple, easy things. It doesn't have in-depth instructables on difficult, ambitious, big projects though. News on really interesting projects and instructions/tutorials on simple ones. "Popular audience". Though some of their simple projects are ingenious in their simplicity too.

I like this one... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582448)

Try looking at http://www.nutsvolts.com/. It has electronic and some programming at very low level.

Re:I like this one... (1)

SloWave (52801) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582892)

Sadly Nuts and Volts is dumbed down compared to the old Radio-Electronics mags. I let my subscription expire after only a year because it became too repetitive. Too much stuff about how to make LED's blink and the like. I don't think there is a good general electronics hobby mag anymore.

Maximum PC (4, Informative)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582456)

Maximum PC is a great magazine.

Re:Maximum PC (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582488)

Maximum PC is to 80s Byte/Computer as microwaved Ramen Noodles are to a Home-Cooked, Four Course Meal.

Maxim PC (2, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582570)

Oh baby .. thats one hot little CPU you have there. Do you like to cluster with other systems, or do you just go down all by yourself?

Re:Maximum PC (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582672)

Maximum PC is a great magazine.

Maximum PC died when they changed their name from "boot!".

Jarlsberg?!?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582460)

Want to beat the hackers at their own game?

        * Learn how hackers find security vulnerabilities!
        * Learn how hackers exploit web applications!
        * Learn how to stop them!

Jarlsberg - Web Application Exploits and Defenses [appspot.com]

Let me Google that for you (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582462)

Want to write your own assembler? Here you go [lmgtfy.com].

Re:Let me Google that for you (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582602)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22reading+comprehension%22 [lmgtfy.com]

He didn't ask how to write his own assembler.
He asked where to find a good, consistent source of articles about that kind of problems.

Re:Let me Google that for you (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582766)

He asked where to find a good, consistent source of articles about that kind of problems.

So lmgtfy is wrong in what manner? Google will do it.

Instructables.com is the only other "search" site you need.

I will concede the point that one thing google is iffy at best is finding the stereotypical electronics manufacturer appnote. Then again, how hard is it to figure out, if you want to do something with PICs, you go to microchip.com, click app notes, and do the obvious searchy searchy thing for what you want to do?

Re:Let me Google that for you (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582994)

...and if you look for news what interesting developments are there in microcontrollers? If you want to know what programming languages are "in"? Compare assemblers of PIC, '51, AVR and ARM (not instruction-by-instruction but in a subjective/descriptive way like an article does)? Learn about new algorithmic techniques in reading accelerometer data? Get news about a new manufacturer with microcontrollers of a completely different family?

You are suggesting a source of data. The question is not about data, it's about magazine articles. Not solving specific problems you have at the moment but expanding your scope, learning things you didn't know they are out there to learn in the first place.

Re:Let me Google that for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582786)

Apparently the only one with a comprehension problem is you. The point of my post was to show that all one has to do is search the internet.

Let me know when you find it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582476)

Maybe, if you find such a magazine, it can tell you how to connect to "the internet."

Re:Let me know when you find it (1)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582514)

This is low level stuff he's after - first write your internet, then your operating system and network drivers. /Then/ connect to the internet ;)

It's called "The Internet" (4, Interesting)

greggman (102198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582490)

I learned on Byte and Compute! as well but that's because back then that's all there was. That and a few books.

Now there's a gajillion ways now to be a techie. Whether it's coding to the metal or using JavaScript or Flash, using Java or C# or C++ or C or hand coding assembly. The number of ways to get the same buzz I got from those magazines in the early 80s has increased exponentially.

If you're stuck in the 80s though and just want to hand poke hardware then try the Arduino movement or one of these

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/12/fun_games_and_entertainment_open_so.html [makezine.com]

And no, I'm not dissing those projects. I'm just trying to say that writing something in JavaScript or Python gives me the same feeling I got back in the 80s from typing in programs out of Compute! It's 2010. I'd much rather be programming in C# on XNA on my PC/360 than in basic or assembly on my Atari800.

If you are intent on bit banging... (2, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582494)

If you are intent on bit banging... the available options these days are pretty much limited to microcontrollers, unless you want to end up in huge projects or small modifications on huge projects.

Most of what you can do with these tends to be robotics projects, since there aren't a lot of 8-bit general purpose computers available out there any more.

There are a lot of web sites that provide small source code for special purpose robotics projects which you could apply much in the same way as typing in BASIC games from Compute! or Byte magazine, and then playing with them.

If your intent is to provide a project for a kid, you could do a lot worse than going some place like Weird Stuff, buying up a handful of Compute! magazines and a Commodore 64, a 1541 disk drive, and a box of 10 floppies. There are plenty of analog TV's out there still to use a monitors which are otherwise sitting unloved in peoples garages.

-- Terry

Re:If you are intent on bit banging... (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582810)

Speaking of that, do you happen to know of any resources (such as tutorials/examples/projects) for basic audio and video?

I'm an ECE, and know processors inside and out, however I don't have a clue as to how you go from circuit board to a screen. I want to know how you display images on a screen (probably best to start with an analog CRT for now). I also want to know how audio works as well. I had a C64 shortly after they first came out; I was old enough to tinker with it a bit, but too young where I couldn't see beyond just using it to play games. I didn't know anything about programming, and nobody in my family had the interest or desire (father was a machinist and mother was a hairdresser).

I've been wanting to build my own replica of a classic video game system using a microcontroller, but realized I don't know basic building blocks of a computer.

Re:If you are intent on bit banging... (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582920)

I searched, and found my answer (sort of). At least in the case of the C64, it uses a VIC-II chip to handle everything, controlled by 47 memory mapped registers.

Now to dig into the specific workings of the chip. I think I found a starting point, unless there's something simpler. What I'd really like to know (for my project idea) is what the Atari 2600 used.

Re:If you are intent on bit banging... (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582942)

I read your comment and I suspect you're not entirely aware of what bit banging is. From the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]:

Bit-banging is a technique for serial communications using software instead of dedicated hardware. Software directly sets and samples the state of pins on the microcontroller, and is responsible for all parameters of the signal: timing, levels, synchronization, etc. In contrast to bit-banging, dedicated hardware (such as a modem, UART, or shift register) handles these parameters and provides a (buffered) data interface in other systems, so software is not required to perform signal demodulation.

Pragmatic Programming is another great option (3, Informative)

KhazadDum (790345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582496)

If you're looking for a replacement to the likes of Software Developer, Dr. Dobbs Journal, then please check out Pragmatic programming. As a hobbyist programmer, I enjoy the different articles, from metaprogramming to Facebook app development.

Arduino (5, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582498)

Personally I prefer working with ATmega's directly rather than with Arduino, but ... if you want to futz around and LEARN, Arduino is a good place for it. Lots of tutorials and others willing to help. Lots of neat plugin boards for sensors IO. Lots of choices of example software from FreeRTOS to VGA output on a pin (both of those aren't designed for the arduino framework, but porting them should be rather trivial once you get to the point where you would consider porting them.

If you're using Windows, I'd suggest just using the AVRstudio from Atmel and WinAVR (GCC for AVR chips if you want to use C/C++ instead of just ASM). You can start with the Arduino development environment and move up later. Its free. The Arduino environment is really just a replacement for your main() with a while(1) loop on the standard AVR toolchain anyway

Arduino has lots of examples and information, but from a debugging standpoint, its the worst there is.

AVR Studio from Atmel has a nearly perfect simulator, and if you use something like HAPSIM you can simulate other hardware as well, such as serial ports, buttons, leds and a specific LCD.

If someone would add some decent debugging abilities to Arduino it'd be a useful development environment for me, but debugging through the simulator might be a little overwhelming for a newbie I guess.

I used to roll my own boards for ATmegas, now I just use Arduino boards, price is more than the processor, but cheaper than rolling the whole board yourself unless you do it in numbers, the Arduino hardware is the best way to go if you're talking quanities less than 10 for sure, probably cheaper all the way up to the 100s if you're hand assembling.

Re:Arduino (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582896)

Personally I prefer working with ATmega's directly rather than with Arduino, but ... if you want to futz around and LEARN, Arduino is a good place for it.

Yes. ATMega boards with small LCD displays are available [microcontrollershop.com], and Atmel's free AVR Studio is a reasonable IDE, with C and C++. If you already know how to program and don't want to join the Arduno cult, it's a reasonable way to get things done. There's a wide range of ATMega parts with different combinations of RAM, Flash, and I/O devices. AVR Studio supports all of them; the Arduno support is more limited.

Online is the answer (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582506)

Tom's Hardware, Anandtech and others used to be really good resources. Maybe worthwhile to check them out?

Re:Online is the answer (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582552)

Wish there was a delete key. After re-reading the submission I feel foolish for suggesting these two sites.

Re:Online is the answer (1)

jpiratefish (1690054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582918)

These are great resources, however, magazines often have focus that websites do not have. Kids still need to be taught to eat - not just left off at the buffet and left to fend for themselves. People are no different when it comes to consuming information in all it's forms - it's like picking up a conversation and lifting facts out of their context - they have less meaning, or perhaps no meaning. Just because the dictionary has a great list of words, that doesn't make it a good learning tool. The Internet is the most fantastic research tool ever created, but it's not a learning tool until someone has the syllabus and the time and instruction to follow it.

Make and Some 2600 (2, Informative)

jjrff (891275) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582518)

As others mentioned Make is a good one and 2600 also has a lot more computer/network oriented material lately.

Nuts and Volts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582524)

Try Nuts and Volts magazine.

www.nutsvolts.com

Circuit Cellar Magazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582526)

It's more embedded computing but fun. If you remember Steve Ciarcia's stuff from early Byte, Steve started his own magazine when he left Byte. www.circuitcellar.com

Some choices (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582530)

Steve Ciarcia's who wrote the Circuit Cellar column in byte started a magazine which now simply goes by Circuit Celler. The articles tend to be related to significant embedded devices. I find it holds the spirit of Byte in that it encourages users to build custom computers rather than just settle for commodity parts. This is the closest thing I have seen for understanding a machine to the basics.

Make magazine obviously does the same at a more accesible level.

In the end Byte's value was that it provided reliable reviews and use cases computers, not based on OS, but on need. Be it Unix, MS Dos, CPM, of Mac OS, Byte honestly looked at what could and could not be done on th machine. It did not shy away from technical detail. Most of this has moved on online to sites such as Tom's Hardware.

Bytes! Gazette (2, Interesting)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582536)

I remember Bytes! Gazette which catered to the Commodore 64 and 128 crowd had this clever input program in Commodore BASIC that would allow the entry of programs by byte-codes. That is, each edition of the magazine had these long list of byte sequences (i think they were 5 chunks to a line, and something like 200 lines for the bigger games) where the first 4 bytes were data and the 5th was a checksum for that line. You would enter these sequences using the BASIC program and it would allow you to proceed to the next line or it would prompt you to re-enter the line if the checksum failed.

The problem was that the BASIC program code was only run every other issue, so if you only bought a few issues from the supermarket you'd probably miss the program and waste several hours entering otherwise meaningless junk into the standard Commodore prompt :-) Then again, I was only 9 at the time, so I didn't really know any better until my brother-in-law pointed out that I needed to use the BASIC entry program...

Sigh, I still kinda miss those days.

Re:Bytes! Gazette (2, Informative)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582648)

Apparently I don't remember very well because I think it was Compute!'s Gazette. I wonder what else I am misremembering from my youth.

Re:Compute's! Gazette (1)

xjerky (128399) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582834)

I remember Compute's! Gazette! And I remember not realizing that I needed the BASIC assembler at first myself:

AE 3D 10 00 23 11 7E 4D 8A

?SYNTAX ERROR
READY.
_

I feel like this is an "In my day...." post.

Re:Bytes! Gazette (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582664)

It was called MLC and it really stunk when you typed part of the MLC code in wrong and ran into a bug after entering a few hundred lines of numbers. :)

Dr. Dobbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582546)

DDJ is no longer available in print but is still alive and kicking online.
http://www.drdobbs.com/index.jhtml

Re:Dr. Dobbs (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582844)

I gave up on DDJ when they were filling the magazine with articles on "how to wrap xxx in mfc classes". You'd get several of these, and article on getting around Microsoft bugs, how to use some Microsoft functions, a couple of articles on interfacing with Windows through Java, and letters to the editor. Since I wasn't interested in Windows, very little of the magazine was useful to me.
Did they ever get beyond their MicroSoft slant?

2600 (1)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582564)

If you don't know of this quarterly magazine, look it up. It emphasizes the value of curiosity, while often providing templates for additional investigation. Some of the content is crap, but most of the time there's at least a few things of value.

Check it out [2600.com].

Re:2600 (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582748)

Yeah, I think you'd be better served going through old issues of Phrack than wasting your time with 2600's technical articles. The stuff in Phrack is dated, but at least it's real. And the letters page is way more entertaining than 2600's feeble attempt to copy it.

http://www.phrack.com/ [phrack.com]

XGameStation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582572)

as said before, Make is a good one...
Also, at www.xgamestation.com there are good retro/instructional video game consoles. And they have a good spirit of the late 80's/90's hacker forum.

Dude, you're reading it. (1)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582574)

What more do you want? Program listings in the back?

Re:Dude, you're reading it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582690)

Don't fool yourself. Slashdot left the realm of a tech site long ago and traded it in for politics, entertainment and legal bickerings.

Re:Dude, you're reading it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582850)

+1 Sad Truth.

Linux Journal? (1)

vinn (4370) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582576)

There certainly isn't anything remotely close to those old magazines. I remember devouring issue after issue of Ahoy! (!) Remember having to run your code through the checker to make sure you typed in each line right?

These days, about the only thing I can really think of that has code in it and projects like that is Linux Journal. Sure, Make has some things in it, but it's definitely not focused solely on computers. The one area that remains extremely accessible for a beginner and also has a very high practical value is the web. Some of the coding projects in Linux Journal for PHP and such are extremely useful and even readable for someone young.

CNET.com? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582600)

With the computer magazines still in business converting into websites, why not go to the tech centric websites such as CNET?

Re:CNET.com? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582654)

Sure except CNET sounds like a rather poor choice. It's more of buyer's catalogue than a news site, and more of news site than a magazine for hobbyists. You won't find tutorials on new programming languages there, no objective (negative) reviews of new technologies, no instructables on tinkering and hacking.

Sure it shouldn't have to be paper, but it should be the kind of content paper had...

Re:CNET.com? (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582838)

You might want to look at the "CNET How-To" and "CNET Hacks" HD video podcasts... Hacks even goes into things the companies don't want known, like iPhone jailbreaks.

Web search (1)

raphael75 (1544521) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582610)

The best way to do this today is to just look up stuff on the Internet. Technology is changing so fast that books/magazines quickly become obsolete and I don't bother with them anymore. They're pretty much a waste of money. The only way to stay current is to find stuff online. When I'm searching for something tech/programming-related I always check the date it was posted and if it's too old I'll try to find something more current.

Linux magazines (2, Interesting)

TINGEA77 (935076) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582616)

Although limited to one operating system only both "Linux Developer & User" and "Linux Format" magazines have coding sections that address multiple languages, system details, mini-project ideas, although they are both targeting the beginner coder.

Re:Linux magazines (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582740)

Linux Format is nice... but a bit expensive if you live in the US (about $16-17) and also focuses on newbies. It was a great introduction to Linux, but I really don't see an advanced coder really appreciating it as much.

If you are new to Linux I don't think I can recommend another magazine as highly as Linux Format, but if you are an advanced coder it might not be that interesting to you. Though I do like one of the projects from one of the authors of it, its called MikeOS, it is an OS entirely coded in assembly and is really easy to reprogram and is well documented. http://mikeos.berlios.de/ [berlios.de]

Creative Computing Mag was just as important! (2, Interesting)

jpiratefish (1690054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582634)

I loved Byte Mag, but it wasn't the only thing I grew up on. I also cut my teeth on Creative Computing Magazine as well - it was one of the few places where one could get the source code for a game, type it in and run it - and then make changes and learn. I grew up typing in every program from every issue, learning with every keystroke. Now my kids need the same thing, but it needs to be in something more current - like Python. If someone made a modern version of this, with VB, Python or whatever, I'd live by it once again!

Re:Creative Computing Mag was just as important! (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582908)

Creative computing was a fun, and interesting magazine until it decided to become a joystick comparison magazine. They lost interest in programming, and became a hardware review magazine. Same thing that happened to Byte later.

makezine? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582636)

Makezine [makezine.com] is the closest thing I've seen to anything like that lately. Lots of Arduino projects. I've also linked some projects you might find interesting:

How to program a person. [makezine.com]
How to scavenge a CD drive for parts. [makezine.com]
Arduino accelerometer. [makezine.com]
Electronics enclosure. [makezine.com]

But I'm probably way off, since it sounds like you're looking for software projects, not hardware.

Re:makezine? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582656)

Damnit, when I started typing the above post I was thinking I might get a "first post", but since I looked up the cool projects it took to long and about a dozen other people brought up makezine, oh well.

Saying internet is not enough guys (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582678)

Yes, he could go to the library and look at papers and figure out how circuits are made. But that is not what he is asking. He wants to know a place where all his info is available in a tutorial manner. So, suggest websites if you are talking about online stuff. Even google can give you more results than needed sometimes. There is a http://electronicsworld.tripod.com/ [tripod.com] I used to visit this when I was in undergrad. Now I am mostly into programming :)or :( whatever.

Definitely CIRCUIT CELLAR and ladyada.net (1)

Invisible Now (525401) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582752)

Complete code and hardware for sophisticated projects. The adverts will bring you up to speed on what's available for system on a chip, embedded controllers, etc. Deeper than Make. Hobbyists can try out robotics. Scientists can build useful data loggers, remote telemetry, etc. Newbies can learn the basics of writing and compiling code and downloading it to small devices of all sorts. System boards and compiler environments complete for under $40. Also try ladyada.net for complete hardware kits and Ardino system boards, etc. Learning to solder is fun and gives one an almost mystical reconnection to the roots of our digital age...

byte archive? (1)

RedMage (136286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582774)

Slightly OT, but was wondering if there was a good BYTE archive online? I've found various sources for other magazines (gazette, transactor, etc.), but nothing for byte. I've got 5-6 complete years of byte that could be a good starter if someone were doing it.

Anyone know what kind of copyright hassles some of these archives are getting? Are people getting permission, or are they relying on these publications being out-of-print and out-of-mind? I doubt there's much commercial potential left, for example.

Get code from the net, build, run and learn (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582822)

Online: http://www.google.com/codesearch [google.com] and http://sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Get code from the net, build, run and learn (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582996)

Thats just horrible advice. Most 'free code' is absolute crap with little to no commenting and even less information on why it does what it does or even WHAT its supposed to do.

Old computer rags actually explained it, which is why you learn.

Reverse engineering takes skill and domain specific knowledge which you don't get when you're starting out.

Manufacturer websites (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582862)

I grew up in the '80s on a steady diet of Byte and Compute! magazines, banging in page after page of code line-by-line, and figuring out how sound, graphics and input devices worked along the way.

They only existed in the 80s because the device manufacturers had no way to distribute large multi page paper documents for free. Sure, if you were a Genuine Degreed BS-EE with the job title to match, salesdroids would pretty much send you anything you ask for as samples. The general public, believe it or not, was expected to actually pay for printed appnotes and even printed datasheets.

Nowadays, if you want to learn how to make sound, or program a LCD, or run a A/D converter, you just download the appnotes from the manufacturers website, typically you get a PDF explaining in great detail how it works, schematics, and example code to get you started out. Some manufacturers go further and sell demoboards for a really modest (probably subsidized) fees.

Either the manufacturer's appnotes are so simple and clear that a "D" student could figure it out, or they go out of business and are replaced by a manufacturer with better tech writers. The quality level is generally excellent.

I know of a great one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32582866)

2600 its 733t

hackaday.com (2, Interesting)

konmpar (1822540) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582922)

I like hackaday.com. Has lots of DIY articles as other member's really great projects...
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