The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, written by Simon Monk (who I gather is quite well known within the maker community, having authored various books on the Arduino and Raspberry Pi), is a book which clearly knows how to motivate me.
Based around the idea that the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner, it uses that theme and setting to teach the basics of electronics, by showing you how to build a number of practical projects using components which will be readily salvageable after the dead have risen.
To ensure people are in the right mindset, the very first chapter does a bit of world building by explaining what life will be like when there is no more room in hell, and discusses the different types of zombie one may encounter.
This is quickly followed by the first practical project - that of building a rechargeable solar battery. The justification for this is that the national grid is one of the first things to fail, and seeing as we’ve become somewhat reliant upon electricity in our modern world, it would be nice not to have to do without (that, and the fact the rest of the projects in the book also require some form of electricity).
The rest of the projects are based around further enhancing your chances of survival by doing things like powering lighting, building a zombie detector, and a whole bunch of other fun things.
And this is exactly what I mean by being able to motivate me - if you tell me we’re going to build a rechargeable battery, and I’d have no interest - but tell me we’re going to build a rechargeable battery because the hordes of the undead are just around the corner, and I’m falling over myself ready to get started.
So that’s where I am now - getting ready to build a rechargeable battery. In fact I plan on making all the projects in the book, having set it as a long term goal for myself.
To make things a bit more interesting, I’m also trying to simulate the world of the apocalypse by only working with second hand components (where possible) - not only will this be more suited to the theme of the book, but I’m hoping it’ll make it a touch cheaper as well - so expect me to spend a lot of time in the coming months browsing eBay.
Anyway, I plan on keeping a blog of my progress with this project, so once that’s up, I’ll no doubt post a link to it from here.
(PS, If you’re quick, you can pick up a copy of the book, along with a bunch of other book based around hacking, in the latest Humble Bundle).