I have a background that includes spreadsheets, programming, and electronics, so this book piqued my interest. I didn't run into any surprises until I thought a bit more about its contents and my experience that tends to be rather unique. My conclusion is that this book is going to be much more valuable for the average electronics engineer than I first thought.
Because programming and especially Excel knowledge are not always high on the list of expertise for many embedded developers. These tend to be known but only enough to get by. This makes Excel By Example invaluable because it addresses its topics in a step-by-step, example format that allows readers to immediately make use of the ideas introduced by Kagan.
The book has a number of chapters with a host of examples addressing useful areas like Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and counting machine cycles. It even uses techniques like goal seeking to address problems such as voltage regulator configuration. The examples are numerous, useful and well presented. It even goes off in some interesting directions like interfacing to a digital multimeter and a function generator using a serial port. The devices in these examples may not be readily available, but how the interfacing is accomplished can be adapted to a range of devices.
The book comes with a CD that has the various Excel spreadsheets used in the book. It also has an eBook version of the book that is very handy, especially for those of us that tend to prefer electronic media.
Spreadsheets are extremely useful tools. This book will help you get started quickly with examples that may be usable right now.
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