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How to spend a lot of money

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Still doing a lot to help the wife's business get off the ground. She's got a couple of contracts already, and her last day at her day-job is Friday. Yesterday we nervously placed an order for AutoCAD 2K with Civil Engineering extensions. I don't wanna be too graphic, but it cost more than both of our first cars put together :(

Biggest problem right now is office space. My office is a little 9x13 former bedroom with three computers and a lot of bookshelves. Needless to say, we're gonna be at each other's throats for a while having to share such a dinky space. I'll probably be calling the home remodeling people today to get some estimates on fixing up the garage into an office. It's a two-car garage, so there'll be a lot of elbow room there for an office for Shelly. Biggest problem is that the washer/dryer is out there, so we'll have to seal them off in their own little closet.

Home office hint: Got this one from my parents, who've been working out of the house since I was a kid. If you occasionally need a conference or meeting room for a group, talk to a local hotel. They've usually got several styles and sizes of meeting rooms for rent. You can usually rent a small meeting room from them for a few bucks.

There's a new version of STLPort out. If you're using C++ and you don't know about STL, you really should read up on it. It's basically a container class library. If you've ever used MFC or OWL, you're probably familiar with their container class implementation. Basically, it's a bunch of common data structures (list, queue, stack, etc), but they're generic and can hold just about anything. The old MFC and OWL implementations worked, but they had limitations. In order to be typesafe, they generally would only hold a certain type of data --specifically objects descended from a common root. It worked, but it often forced you to be multiply-inherited, and it couldn't store primitive types (like int's or pointers).

STL gets around this by being implemented as C++ templates (macros on steroids, for the uninitiated). For example, if you need a linked-list of integers, you can simply declare. . .

list MyIntegers;

To insert an element into your new list, do. . .


Very simple and clean. Of course, there are tons of other stuff you can do with STL, mostly having to do with algorithms that you can attach to these data structures, but it does make a heckuva nice container library if you're just starting out. Having written ten thousand linked lists and grow-able arrays in C, I've learned to appreciate when something like this is already written and free.

Anyway, STLPort is an actively-updated free STL that's portable to just about everything out there. There's some good documentation here if you wanna learn more.
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