I have come back after 3+ years to have another attempt at finishing the hardware section.
I found for the first two chapters that I was able to make most of them very quickly, and with much more simplicity than I used to.
I have finished the first 3 chapters. But the first 2 went by so quick that I am still a little nervous, because I had to try each sequential chip numerous times in the testing software before I got it. If it continues like this then I might just fail again, but we shall see.
Do you have any advice for avoiding just constantly doing trial and error until it works? Should I read the chapters more thoroughly before I attempt the exercises, so that I am almost sure of every implementation just from reading it? I don't know if that's possible.
Let it take however long it takes. We all have lives that have to be lived and something like this has to take its proper place in our priorities. Rushing it too much will rob you of both some of the enjoyment and some of the learning opportunities it presents.