Computer Books, Hecl, Skype

Henri Yandell comments on Addison Wesley being prominent in his book list. I noticed the same thing myself recently (my list is on this page, towards the bottom: http://www.dedasys.com/freesoftware). Perhaps the surpise is that O’Reilly is less prominent than one might think given their high visibility in the portion of the tech world that I deal with. O’Reilly, however, tends more towards documenting current technology well rather than having many books that are timeless classics. I hope they keep focusing on putting out good books that do at least that rather than trying to create their own trends like “Web 2.0” (bleagh!). In any case, we’ll have to wait a while to see if any of their books stand the test of time – a lot of the Addison Wesley and Prentice Hall books are from ten, fifteen, years ago or more (The C Programming Language, Knuth’s books, Design Patterns, etc…).

Hecl

I’m currently working on making it very easy to write and create Hecl applications for J2ME. I’m pleased with how things are going from the community point of view as well – a couple of people have show interest in using Hecl commercially, and I’ve been asked to write an article about it for a European Linux/software magazine, which is something I’d started doing anyway…

Skype

My parents got around to installing Skype and buying a microphone. Free voice calls from Italy to Oregon! The quality is really good, although there are some echo issues that probably come from my use of a cheap microphone.

It sort of bugs me to buy into the network effects of a proprietary system, but on the other hand, anything that keeps my money out of the hands of Telecom Italia makes me happy.

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