I'am totally new into electronics :). I have some programming experience.
I would like to get some more information about electronics. How microprocessors work, how to build your own board and how resistors and other components work.
Are there books about general elecronics? I know the best way to start is just to experiment, but I would like to have a reference book.
Thanks in advance,
I'm in the same boat and have been reading through http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/
It has been helpful so far, although I'm not terribly far in. They even have a PDF download so you can read it offline (n800 for me.)
Get yourself a copy of "Getting Started in Electronics" (W5YI : Product : Getting Started in Electronics) by Forrest Mims. It's an older book, first published in 1983 by Radio Shack, and it is currently being sold by The W5YI Group. You can sometimes find original used copies for cheaper on Amazon. It is written for all ages and uses great hand-drawn pictorial diagrams to describe exactly what goes on in electronic components.
I got my copy of this book in 1985 when I was 10 years old and started playing with electronics, and I haven't stopped yet. I can trace the beginnings of my career as an electrical engineer directly to that book.
It does not cover microprocessors but you will get a great start on basic electronics with this book. It does cover digital logic and TTL and CMOS integrated circuits which you will no doubt run into when you work with microprocessors though.
I'm enjoying "BASIC Electronics Theory"
It's more of a textbook. Published under a division of McGraw-Hill, Inc.
If you visit Amazon.com page, you can preview the book.
It also specifically covers microcontrollers, gates, CPUs, memories etc, but it has a chapter on tubes.
I had good luck with the book: '123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius'
The title sounds kinda gimmicky, but the structure of the book is excellent. Every 'experiment' is laid out in a very consumable fashion that allows you to get the hands-on experimenting you were mentioning, without much risk of 'releasing the magic smoke.' Before each experiment is a parts list and a full explanation of why the circuit works.
Also don't let the title fool you, it has a lot more to do with electronics and circuitry than the mechanical aspects to robotics.
It covers things from as simple as why you need a resistor in series with a LED, up to power regulation and motor drivers, ect.
edit: ooh and it also covers creating your own augmented micro controllers for a better understanding of what the Arduino is really doing!