Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Where to find the info you need?

People who know me, and people who have read the past few entries, know that while I drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid, I also quench my thirst at other water fountains.  One of those, for quite a while, was Palm - I owned a Palm IIIc as well as a Handspring Visor.  In fact, with the VisorPhone add-on, my Visor was my cell-phone for a while - show me a Pocket PC (not a Windows Mobile smart phone, a Pocket PC) that has a single add-on piece of hardware that turns it into a smart phone.  Didn't think so...

Anyway, I had and used Palm devices, and wanted to code for them.  After some searching, I found the resources I needed to do it - all free, all open source, all tricky to configure.  Oh, sure, I could have forked over the big buck for Code Warrior, but as you may have figured out, I'm a fan of free software and open source - why pay for something when, with some study, know-how, research, and a little configurarion, I can get for free myself?

Of course, there is no end of information on the web on how to program - right now, I can put my hands on 3D gaming tutorials, data-driven web site development, source control concepts, even how to run GIMP.  So, I found some sites on programming for the Palm, downloaded the tools I needed, even found a 300+ page PDF file called the Palm OS Programmer's Companion.  But none of it was enough - I needed something that wasn't tied to the screen I was trying to code on - I needed a book.

Yes, I'm a book junkie - even better, I'm a book collector.  I've got a modest library, say no more than 500-600 volumes, ranging from classics (Twain and Dickens) to sci-fi (Heinlein, Asimov, Dan Simmons, and Robert J. Sawyer) to history to technology.  Yes, I buy technology books, even though I know they're out of date the minute they're printed.  However, I have an out - I buy a lot of them, and sell the old ones at Half Price Books here in Seattle.

So, I not only found a few books on Palm programming at Half Price, but I sold them there last night (no, I don't do Palm programming anymore - I don't program Apple ][e computers anymore.  I've got my limits - go figure).  I threw in an old VC 6.0 book as well, and my wife had two older Atkin's books - five big heavy books.  They gave us <insert drum roll>: US$3.00 and a 10% off coupon.  That went towards buying O'Reilly's Learning GNU Emacs for only $8 (less with the coupon and tax).  Retail from O'Reilly?  US$39.95.  And before you say anything: yes, I know there are free web resources all a bout Emacs I can use.  What can I say?

I'm a book junkie.  What are you?

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