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Small observations

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johnhattan

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A couple of quick observations. First off, I am once again underwhelmed by Apple's decision to release OpenPlay (formerly Uber) to developers. This was a tool that was announced over a year ago at CGDA 1998. The authors, a couple of guys at Bungie and Apple, started a mailing list about it. I hooked up to the mailing list, received three messages that the source would be available for download really soon, and never heard from 'em again. A full year later it finally manages to clear Apple's lawyers, and the folks in the original mailing list are never informed about the project at all.

OTOH, kudos to cheapo electronics-maker VTech, of all places, for completely opening up the OS of their up-coming PalmPilot clone, the Helio. It's not shipping yet, but VTech has announced that the OS will be open source, and the compilers and SDK's will be free. Finally, a company that realizes that software sells the hardware!

They are, however, gonna have to drop their price. A couple days ago, I was able to pick up a Windows CE palmtop with twice as much memory for the same price.




I'm starting to figure out Practice of Programming. I finally figured out the audience. Despite being by Addison Wesley, which tends to lean towards the sophisticated design stuff, this is a book for beginning programmers, which explains the overlong explanations of common algorithms. Thinking about it, I figure that this book would've been a great adjunct to my sophomore data structures and algorithms classes in college. As it stands, I find myself skimming over a bunch of stuff I already know to find the occasional pearl, but it's still worthwhile.

If you're in college or are just starting out, this could be a very valuable book.
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