Gordon McComb, Writer and Editor

Books on Technology

Trade books I've written or co-authored

Doesn't look like I'll beat Isaac Asimov's tally of 515 books, but I'm pretty happy with the 60-odd I've written since the early 1980s.

All have been on technology subjects of one kind or another. Here are some of them:

Computer hardware and software

WordPerfect Macros and Templates started me on a rewarding consulting career. It was one of the few books ever given the distinction of a PC Magazine Editors' Choice award.

It won numerous other awards, too, including the 1990 Computer Press Association's Best Product Specific Book, along with numerous regional press and book awards. Feel free to be suitably impressed.

I've penned computer-related books on many topics, including:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Word
  • JavaScript and other Web programming languages
  • Desktop applications (like Quicken, PC Tools, and Lotus 1-2-3)
  • Using the Macintosh
  • Web page publishing, HTML, eCommerce
  • Building, repairing, and maintaining PCs

Home video and home theater

Remember VCRs? I wrote a very popular title on how to fix 'em - after all, these things used to cost hundreds of dollars, and people didn't just trash them when they broke, like they do today. It sold 200,000 copies over three editions.

I wrote VCRs and Camcorders for Dummies with best selling author Andy Rathbone. It was sold in some bookstores, but mostly in video sales and rental outlets.

Robotics

I'm the proud author of Robot Builder's Bonanza, the most widely read book on hobby robotics, now going into its fourth edition. Several hundred thousand copies are in print.

Robotics is a personal hobby, but it's also a passion for me to instill an interest and excitement of invention in young adults. Many of the technologies used in desktop robots wind up in everyday products. Learning about small desktop robotics helps to teach current and future technologies.

I've also written and edited a half-dozen other books on amateur and educational robot making, all for McGraw-Hill.

Hobby Electronics

Strictly for the hobbyist, these books demonstrated such things as making a non-lethal ray gun (yes, really!), how to produce 100,000+ volts of electricity on your kitchen table, even measure the speed of light.

You know, stuff that everyone wants to do. Well, at least crazy mad scientist types. Titles include:

  • Gordon McComb's Gadgeteer's Goldmine
  • Laser Cookbook
  • Gordon McComb's Tips & Techniques for the Electronics Hobbyist
  • Electronics for Dummies (first edition)

Radio Shack

Apart from Forrest Mims, I've written more titles for Radio Shack than any other author. These books were sold at over 8,000 stores, plus mail order and franchise outlets.

Subjects ranged from building speaker systems to home security to video to "living the electronic lifestyle." My Building Speaker Systems book was a big best seller (about 350,000 copies), and Radio Shack carried it for many years. Alas, along with orange shag carpet, the Shack has done away with most of their books. Not to mention my royalties.

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