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2019 January 21

More typos than expected

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:53
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When I released my textbook in December, I offered 25¢ for each typo or other mistake found in the book.  I expected, based on how much material was new, to have about 50 typos in the book.

My students have already found 42 errors, and they are only up to about page 200, so I’m having to revise my error estimate upward to about 100 errors.

This year’s class seems to be pretty sharp—they have done much better on the first two quizzes than last year’s class did, and in two weeks they have already found about as many typos as last year’s class did over two quarters.

2018 December 30

Book is done (for now anyway)

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:38
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I released the final version of the book today, with all my edits from the summer and fall. No more edits are expected until summer 2019—unless a big error is found that I need to correct quickly.

Although I’ve raised the minimum price (to $5.99 from $4.99), the coupon LeanpubHolidaySaleHoHoHo is good through 2019 Jan 1 for the old price.

Students in BME 51A for Winter 2019 should have gotten their coupons for free copies.

Anyone who bought the book or used a free coupon in the past can get the new version for free.  The URL is now https://leanpub.com/applied_analog_electronics, though the old URL should re-direct.

I’m offering a token payment for the first report of any error (25¢ per error, and I’ll scale that up for bigger errors).  For students or tutors in the class, I’ll pay cash at the end of BME 51B.  For anyone else, I’ll pay by PayPal.

The book now has

603 pages
302 figures
12 tables
475 index entries
142 references

 

2018 December 17

Latest book release

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:59
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I released the new version of the book today, with all my edits from the summer and fall.  I’ve also raised the minimum price (to $5.99 from $4.99).  Anyone who bought the book or used a free coupon in the past can get the new version for free.  The URL has changed—it is now https://leanpub.com/applied_analog_electronics, though the old URL should re-direct.

Students in BME 51A for Winter 2019 should have just gotten their coupons for free copies.

I expect to do a few more edits in the later chapters (those for BME 51B instead of BME 51A) in the next couple of weeks, with another release in the first week of January, but the book is basically done (for this year anyway).

I’m offering a token payment for the first report of any error (25¢ per error, and I’ll scale that up for bigger errors).  For students or tutors in the class, I’ll pay cash at the end of BME 51B.  For anyone else, I’ll pay by PayPal.

The book now has

593 pages
302 figures
12 tables
473 index entries
140 references

 

2018 December 7

Slow progress on editing book

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 23:38
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On Nov 25, I listed the global editing left to do (except for the first step, which was done):

  • sweep through the index—standardizing entries, adding new ones, making sure that entries pointed to all relevant parts of book.
  • sweep through figures—checking size, positioning, and (where relevant) figure credits
  • check coherence of lab instructions for each lab.  Some specific point editing may have left inconsistencies.
  • sweep through full text looking for important sentences or paragraphs that need to be highlighted with “important” boxes.  (I started adding the boxes last year, but I have not done a sweep of the whole book looking for where they are needed.)
  • check for overfull hboxes (bad line breaking)
  • check for widow and orphan lines (bad page breaking)
  • spell check all files.

I thought that I might be able to power through the editing and be done by Nov 30.But here it is Dec 7, and I’m less than half way through doing the “important-box” sweep (250 out of 534 pages done). I have gotten the figure credits done, and I’ve fixed most of the figures in the first 250 pages.

I also redid a couple of figures—one was using old Bitscope-generated data, when I could now get much more and much cleaner data with the Analog Discovery 2.  The other one I fixed was a fairly recent one showing ringing in a Schmitt trigger inverter that had capacitive feedback—I made it clearer by increasing the feedback capacitance to make the ringing last longer.

I also cleaned up the instructions for the thermistor lab and the hysteresis lab.

Because I feel I need to release some version of the book next week for the BME 51A class, I’m probably going to end up doing two releases—one next week and one the first week of January.  I’d like to get at least the important-box sweep and spell check done through page 354 (the end of BME 51A), which I should be able to manage before next week’s release.

There are still 10 overfull hboxes (1 in a chapter title, 4 in the reference list, and 5 in the index), with the worst overfull boxes in the reference list.  The problem is partly with the inflexible spacing of bibliography entries and partly with hard-to-break urls.  Since the worst of them is only 17 points too wide, I may not bother fixing them.

I’ve not even looked to see whether there are widow and orphan lines—though I have set the penalties for them high and set \raggedbottom, so LaTeX should avoid making them. 

I’ve not done any spell checks yet—I’ll start that after I’ve made any more major modifications through page 354.  I did spot and fix a few typos while doing the sweep for important boxes.

2018 December 1

New book cover draft 6

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:03
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Here are some tweaks to the book cover, based on blog-reader comments from New book cover draft 5:

 

This newest draft uses subscripts for the schematic labels and has the schematic slightly further to the right, to make it look more visually centered. I’ve also made the font (Bitstream Vera Sans) explicit.

I’m not 100% committed to Bitstream Vera Sans, but I’ve looked through my collection of 28 sans-serif fonts using FontBook and didn’t find any that looked more promising.  Even some of my favorite fonts (like Optima) did not work as well for this design.  About the only font that seemed competitive was Gill Sans, and the difference wasn’t big enough to convince me to make the change. 

Interestingly, FontBook did not report Bitstream Vera Sans as one of the fonts I have—it seems to have been installed in a non-standard location, possibly with the anaconda python installation, possibly with inkscape.

Any more suggestions? The feedback from my blog readers on this has been quite valuable.

Progress on editing the book has been slower than I had hoped.  I’d wanted to do the release yesterday, but I’m only up to page 111 on the scan for sentences to highlight in “important” boxes, and I need to get through page 526.  In the process of doing this scan, I’ll also be checking to see whether the instructions in each lab are consistent.

I’ve found one inconsistency in the thermistor lab (are we optimizing for max sensitivity or for linearity at Top?), and left a to-do note there until I make up my mind.  In the past we’ve always optimized for linearity, though the book said we were optimizing for max sensitivity—one of the bugs that is getting fixed.

After the scan through the whole book, I still have the spelling check and the orphan/widow-line check to do.

I’m guessing that I have another 10 days work before I can release.

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