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Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I cleared out my cubicle today to make room for someone who will actually use it.  Nothing else has changed other than I no longer have an assigned desk.  Since most of my work is either on the phone or traveling, this isn't a hardship.  I moved about a hundred reference and text books, plus another two dozen self-printed and bound copies of various standards and implementation guides that I've worked on over the years.  I also brought home three cases of Dr. Dobb's Journal, Software Development Magazine, and the C/C++ User's Group magazines that I've been schlepping around for years.  I will be looking for a home for those, or will wind up recycling them if nobody has any interest in them.  They are about a decade old.

I left behind a few books (less than 10).  I no longer need C/C++ Compiler manuals, or old VB references.

I can hardly stand for some reason to give away a good book, and to throw away even a bad one is difficult.  I still have my copy of "Data Structures and Algorithms" from 1983 on my bookshelf (a good book).  In shifting all of these books, I discovered a few old favorites that I'm going to reread:  Daniel Dennet's "Brainchildren", and Donal Norman's "The Invisible Computer".

I also ran across my collection of author copies (of my own writing).  My first publication was a book review of Unix Unbound (Kochran and Wood) in a controlled circulation magazine called Academic Technology in 1987.  That magazine only lasteda few months.  My next two were a chapter in "Tricks of the Windows Masters" (Ed Tiley) in 1992, and an article on "A Source Code Profiler" that I wrote for DDJ, also in 1992.  I didn't do any writing again until 2000, when I published an article on how to use Java and XML together, inspired by one book I didn't like: "XML and Java" (Hiroshi Maruyama) and another that I did like: "Java and XML" (Brett McLaughlin).

Of course, now there's The CDA™ Book, as well as a whole host of profiles and implementation guides that I've written.  I'm thinking of refactoring The CDA™ Book into two, the first part on Data Types and the RIM becoming The V3 Book, then a smaller CDA Book, followed by the HQMF Book.  That way, a lot of material that I want people to know for The HQMF Book would not need to be repeated.  What would you, my readers, think of that?

I now have my (home) office restocked with a bunch of books I've been missing for the last year or so, and I'm glad they are at my fingertips.  I find it somewhat amusing that Perl in a Nutshell sits next to copies of the ICD-9-CM manual and a CPT-4 manual.  Those are just a few books down from The XML Bible (Eliot "Rusty" Harold), and the SGML Handbook (Goldfarb).

In this day and age of technology, I work from home and talk with and share information with people anywhere in the world.  I spent an hour with an instructor at Northeastern University, recording a session for his online class as well today.  Even (or perhaps I should say, especially) education benefits from all this technology.

Cycling back around to the beginning:  In that same magazine where I had my first publication in 1987,  Brock Meeks said of Computer Conferencing: "They can participate at their own convenience, with no regard for time or geographical boundaries from their own office, laboratory or home." He was speaking of academics, but the technology is available to all of us.  Perhaps someday soon, I'll be able to hold a web-conference with my doctor, or better yet, my child's pediatrician.


  1. Unless you're planning to increase the amount of Data Type, RIM and CDA material - quite dramatically - I'd prefer a single book. My major request is for a more comprehensive index.

    As for throwing away books - that's just impossible. Simply file them on the 'too hard shelf.'

  2. I think your idea is good.The V3 book and CDA book,then each of them you could describe more details and more references and examples.