Computer Engineering for Big Babies

By Ben Everard. Posted

Our one big issue with Computer Engineering for Big Babies (from £23, delivery December 2023) is that it’s not about computer engineering – it’s about digital logic. It builds on the earlier Computer Engineering for Babies book which introduced logic gates. This book expands this into standard components such as shift registers and memory read. Each page has two switches and five lights that can be used to illustrate the concept. The crowdfunding campaign doesn’t detail how many pages there are but, from the images, it looks like about five.

Let’s be perfectly honest – no, your one- or two-year-old isn’t going to learn a meaningful amount about digital electronics from this book (just as they’re not going to learn anything about zoology from That’s Not My Otter, or much about robbery on the high seas from Ten Little Pirates). However, many toddlers love a switch and, for some reason, most toy manufacturers seem intent on attaching a sound effects chip to the other end of the switch. For sticking to light effects alone, this book deserves interest from parents.

This particular reviewer rigged up some light switches to LEDs to give mini humans some switches to toggle without an auditory assault and, thanks to Computer Engineering for Big Babies, future parents will be able to get this peace without having to do the wiring themselves.

Computer Engineering for Big Babies, like many books of the genre, is really for parents rather than children. If you’re sleep-deprived and want some calming switches to flick while talking affectionately to a small human, then this could be just the book for you. Just don’t expect your child to remember any of it.

Buyer beware

When backing a crowdfunding campaign, you are not purchasing a finished product, but supporting a project working on something new. There is a very real chance that the product will never ship and you’ll lose your money. It’s a great way to support projects you like and get some cheap hardware in the process, but if you use it purely as a chance to snag cheap stuff, you may find that you get burned.

From HackSpace magazine store


Subscribe to our newsletter