Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I'm Ron Burk

And so the blog begins. I haven't had much use for blogs, but now I'm working on a book and will (one of these days, I sure hope) have something to promote, and voila -- I now have a use for blogs!

My name is Ron Burk. I was the editor of the magazine Tech Specialist, which turned into Windows/DOS Developer's Journal, which turned into Windows Developer's Journal (gee, it's been so long, I'm not sure if I even spelled it right). I departed before it got renamed again and then vanished into the ether.

Sometimes, I run into people online who remember my name and ask what I'm up to. Mostly, since leaving the magazine, I sat around, living off my ill-gotten gains, and wrote whatever piece of code I felt inspired to write. I learned a lot about Linux programming (mostly networking related things), and refused to learn a darn thing about .Net (not that there's anything wrong with .Net!).

A few years ago, I took a detour and learned a whole lot about cancer, or rather, a whole lot about a very narrow slice of the cancer world, which just goes to show you can learn a lot about anything if you're sufficiently motivated, since I never even had a Biology class in high school.

But all along the way, there's always been this book (remember seeing the word "promote" at the beginning of this rambling post)? I can no longer remember how long ago I started it, but I do know that at least two machines have died out from under me while I was working on it. It started out as a small project and has grown into my (future) masterpiece, my life's work, my final word on computer programming. I'll finish it, or it will finish me, and I'm not taking bets on which is more likely at this point. Nevertheless, with a few hundred pages written (of which I figure at least a couple hundred will survive editing), it's not too soon to start thinking about promoting. Hence, the blog.

Where the Magic Happens


Richard said...

Post some more, there :) Also, add or link up the RSS feed if you get a chance?

Vince A said...


Excited to see you're blogging. I was a long time W/DDJ reader, and it was that magazine that hardened my Windows programming skills. Hard to imagine that just a few years ago, magazines like W/DDJ were one of the key ways for us to find out what the others were doing and finding out.

You seem to have been 'working' on your book since around 2003. I distinctly recall you mentioning it in one of your editorials. It's an easy to remember title because of its close similarity with Weinberg's almost similarly titled book (Psychology of Computer Programming).

Best of luck with it. Hope you can keep up the blogging.

How come your blog seems to have no RSS feed?

Ron Burk said...

Hi Vince -- good to hear from a former reader. Yeah, that book's been around so long I'm ashamed to look at some of the file dates.

> How come your blog seems to have no RSS feed?

Must not have punched the right button. I think it's got one now!

Ron Burk

Mark Allan Young said...

is that an electronic whiteboard in your office?

Ron Burk said...

Yes, it's a very old iBid resistive grid whiteboard. I don't know how programmers live without them. Alas, someday I'll have to move to Windows 7 (from XP) and I doubt the ancient software that supports the board (via the serial port!) will work there. When will hardware makers learn to open up their specs to programmers if they want to succeed? :-)