Robert Bruce Thompson


Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Thompson reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.



“Middle to high school students and many an adult DIY science person will find this an inviting collection packed with fun experiments and ideas.”
— James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review: The Bookwatch, The Science Shelf, August 2012, Volume 7, Number 8
“It does an outstanding job of teaching the reader how to build a computer. Having it on hand could be a great confidence booster for a novice.”
— Marte Brengle, Windows 7 Tutorials
“It would be a great book for budding (teenage or older) scientist or detective! I bet science teachers would have great participation--with minimal whining--by implementing some of these science labs into their curriculum--in the school system or for home schooling.”
— Michelle, My Springfield Mommy
“This book is a pretty straightforward read. It makes you feel as if you are part of CSI!”
— Lisa Martin, Lisa Reviews
“There is quite a bit of fun to be had here though, and a great deal of understanding of how things work to be gained by working through this book. The Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments is do it yourself science at a very basic level, and recommended for all nerds in training.”
— Greg Barbrick,
“I couldn't do home labs without it...If you want to do home labs on your own, I would suggest this.”
— Linsey Knerl, Lille Punkin'
“With proper supervision, this is an ideal book for middle-school and above students who are interested in the “whys” behind forensic science and those who want to challenge themselves in learning about chemical and physical reactions used in our everyday lives. ”
— Conny Crisalli,
“For the teenager, the Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture is a great resource that will inspire and educate them, not numb their mind like a gratuitous video game. For the adult, it may reveal the latent forensic scientist that was always within them.”
— Ben Rothke, RSA Conference
“If there's one thing that really irritates me about some homeschool science books, it's that they assume you are fully equipped with a school-sized lab and have more equipment than most families can afford. The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments doesn't do that; in fact, it's a very practical and approachable method to teach kids of any age some of the most important biology principles they'll need to know!”
— Linsey Knerl, Lille Punkin'
Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments is well-written and well-illustrated.”
— Si Dunn, Sagecreek Productions
“This book is for anyone, from responsible teenagers to adults, who wants to learn about biology by doing real, hands-on laboratory work.”
— Amanda Tippit Chilson, Outnumbered 3 to 1
“Great both for homeschoolers or for anyone who just wants to learn more about biology by doing real, hands on lab work.”
— Anne G., Upstate Ramblings
The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments would also make a great course for homeschool Co-Op classes. Especially considering it can be used with so many different curriculum’s. The students can do biology at home and the lab at co-op. I’m seriously considering this for next year.”
— Katy, Katydid Country
“Both of my kids enjoy and excel in the study of science. My daughter has even expressed her desire to become a neurosurgeon someday, though it is still early and that is subject to change. I like to fill some of those Summer Vacation "Mom, I'm so bored!", moments with something educational and The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson from O'Reilly Media helped me do that. The photographs were amazing and definitely are favorite part of this book. ”
— Melissa,
“I have used and loved the authors’ Chemistry book, Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science), but I honestly did not expect to like this one as well, just because it isn’t my favorite subject. But now I am actually excited about doing Biology, and looking forward to it! I decided we are going to start the using this book now, because it seems too interesting to wait. So we are going to learn to use the microscope, make slides and mount specimens over the summer, and have fun with this book.”
— Anne, Upstate Ramblings
“My husband's next school course is in Biology and as my son is going into High-School Biology this year, I thought this would be a great book to have at home. It talks about the importance of keeping a Lab Notebook (and how to format it), how to prepare and give careful consideration to your work area (especially at home) and planning / scheduling. I found the experiments to be very interesting and the procedures not difficult to read at all. After each Lab there are Review Questions and some of them come with colored photos to assist you on the provided steps. ”
— Manda Tippit, inRandom
“A thoroughly educational and simultaneously entertaining introduction to microbiology for the home Maker and for in-home education.”
— Ira Laefsky,
“I found the Thompsons’ book the best I’ve read when it comes to building PCs.”
— Rik Farrow, ;login:
“The book features large, full-color photographs, showing various points of construction for each project. In addition to construction details, in-depth discussions of component selections are also given in each section, giving the reasoning behind the ones selected and why...Authors Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson give you all you need to know in one neat package. Well worth the price and time to read.”
— Mark Mattson, Computer Users of Erie, Horizons
“It doesn't matter if you've never built a computer system before or if you've built PCs for your entire extended family, you need this book if you want to be confident that you're doing it right and for the right price.”
— Tim Fisher,