Frequently Asked QuestionsQuestion #1: Why didn't you print the book in color?
Answer: I discussed this option extensively with the publisher, No Starch Press. In the end, I decided to print the book in black and white for one main reason: cost. Printing in color would have significantly increased the cost of the book, putting the book's price outside of many potential readers' budgets.
Question #2: Why do the projects in the book use pieces only from the NXT set?
Answer: Since the NXT set may be the only LEGO set some readers own, I wanted to make sure that everyone could create every robot in the book. Besides that fact, there's so much that can be done with the NXT set; my book really only scratches the surface of all the possibilities!
Question #3: Can I use the educational version of the NXT set with the book?
Answer: There are two versions of the NXT set--the "retail version" and the "educational version"--and The Inventor's Guide was written specifically for the retail version of the NXT set. By itself, the educational version of the NXT set does not have the necessary pieces to build the robots in my book. However, if you purchase an Education Resource Set, you will have enough pieces. Click here for more information.
Question #4: Which version of the NXT-G programming language does the book cover?
Answer: The book covers NXT-G 1.0. The latest release of NXT-G, 1.1, offers a number of bug fixes and enhanced performance but is virtually the same in functionality. For this reason, the coverage of NXT-G in my book applies to both versions (1.0 and 1.1). If your NXT set included version 1.0 and you would like to purchase version 1.1, you can order it online at the LEGO store.
Question #5: Should I read the chapters in order? Or can I read them however I want?
Answer: Generally speaking, I recommend reading the chapters in order. Reading the "theory" chapters first found in Parts I, II, and III will help you to understand the project chapters in Part IV. However, you can work on project chapters while reading theory chapters; you're probably excited to actually begin creating robots!
Question #6: How can I make computer-generated instructions like those in the book?
Answer: I used a collection of free programs to produce most of the images and all of the building instructions in The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventor's Guide. You can visit Ldraw.org to find out more about the computer-aided design (CAD) system and download the programs, and I recommend purchasing Virtual LEGO: The Official LDraw.org Guide To LDraw Tools for Windows to learn how to "LDraw."