ptorrone writes "MAKE's yearly open source hardware guide is now online with over 125 projects in 19 categories. The creators of all of these projects have decided to publish completely all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings, and 'board' files to recreate the hardware. They also allow any use, including commercial. In other words, you can make a business making and selling any of these objects. This is similar to open source software like Linux, but hardware-centric."
The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland";
but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.