I passed by this book on display at my local library a few times before I actually picked up 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer and I initially picked it up as a skeptic. From the first time I saw the cover of the book, I kept thinking “what about the heavy metals or capacitors and electricity?”. When it comes to computer repair, you’ll often here the stories about how much electricity is stored in a monitor even after it’s been unplugged for a while. I was a little anxious that the book would be unsafe and read through it to find out for myself.
As far as my fears of safety were concerned, they were allayed within the first 40 pages of the book that cover tools, techniques, and safety. In addition to covering the basics of working with electronics, it also seemed very educational by explaining the different components of a computer and how they work.
The chapters in the book include:
- Projects for a post-consumer dwelling
- Fashionable technology
- Arts and Crafts
- Making Noise
- Gadget Goodness
- Playful pet Projects
The two projects in the book that I thought were most interesting were the Flat-screen Ant Farm and the iMac Terrarium.
While I am probably far from the target audience of the book (targeted at teens, I would guess), I don’t think I can recommend the book. I’m all for recycling and saving energy but the final products just don’t look that great. It’s not surprising that using trash results in things that look like junk. Being crafty isn’t one of my interests either but if I were to make something, I’d like it to look nicer than some of these results. Properly recycling the equipment would also be better than temporarily transforming the equipment into an arts and crafts project. For teens gathering an interest in computer parts and making craft projects hands-on, this book might be a lot more interesting.
If this sort of thing interests you more than it did me or you’re more in the target audience, you can pick up 62 Projects To Make With A Dead Computer by Randy Sarafan from Barnes & Noble or from Amazon.com.