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Printed circuit boards are at the heart of just about every electronic device made today - PCs, cell phones, MP3 players, PDAs, telephones, stereos, TVs, remote controls, cameras, your car, and even small appliances. The reason these items have come down in price over the years is because of printed circuit boards. Whereas before you had to pay someone to physically connect (and repair!) wires for each component (a time-consuming and thus expensive prospect), now an error-proof, custom PCB is installed instead.Hobbyists and designers can now start their projects with a printed circuit board, rather than using it as a last step (and contracting it out to someone else, as was previously the norm). It not only makes a more professional-looking prototype, but also makes it easy to mass-produce. And the techniques are the same for the hobbyist working on a single project. This will be by far the most modern book on the market, with the latest and greatest techniques for producing intricate PCB's at a fraction of the cost of sending them out.
Al Williams (Houston, TX) is the author of 18 books, including many programming titles, as well as Embedded Internet Design, also published by McGraw-Hill. An electronics professional for over 20 years, he is principal of his own company, AWC, which produces hardware modules for microcontroller developers. Mr. Williams also designs PCBs for a wide array of clients.