Thinking In .NET

Thinking in .NET
A place to learn about C# and the .NET Platform by Larry O'Brien


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Larry's World

Larry's World


Everyone in the neighborhood talks about how I'm constantly sitting in the window, staring at my computer. I'm like the Mrs. Bates of Fairfax, CA. However, I've recently gotten an 802.11B wireless setup for my laptop, so now I can constantly sit on the couch (five feet from the window) and still be working 14 hours a day.


SCUBA is my real passion. Once upon a time, I studied Marine Bio and worked in a lab. By the time I was 25, though, I concluded that one would spend more time underwater by doing anything but science as a career and spending all of one's money on travel. Which has pretty much turned out to be true.


After leaving Marine Biology, I wrote a screenplay which got into preproduction but was never made. (From the people who brought you Re-Animator!) After that, I moved to San Francisco to become the Product Review Editor for two now-defunct magazines -- AI Expert and Computer Language.

For some stupid reason, I was quickly elevated to be Editor of CL. In 1992, when the publishing company bought the publishers of Dr. Dobb's Journal, the subscribers of CL were given to DDJ to boost its circulation and because a bunch of idiots who didn't know anything about the subject matter decreed that the magazines could not coexist. I was very upset by this, and when the publishing company put me in charge of a new magazine intended to compete with Software Magazine I instead essentially continued with CL's editorial vision. The new magazine was called Software Development and is still in publication ten years later.

Along the way, I began writing and speaking on programming issues. I've been a columnist for Java Pro and SD Times (which has no relation to the magazine Software Development, incidentally).

I tried to write a book back in the mid-90s on artificial life programming with Microsoft Foundation Classes, but got bogged down (not least because I couldn't figure out whether I was writing a popular science book a la The Blind Watchmaker or a programming book). After that humbling experience, I didn't try writing another book until Thinking in C#


I love movies, and strangely enough, love writing in the rigid screenplay format (a medium for story-telling, not stylistic games). For most of the 90s, I harbored the dream of going back to Hollywood. By your mid-30s, though, you're too old to be a "new talent" in Hollywood. But with digital video technology, the barriers to creating a visual story have fallen. So now, having decided that what I really cared about was telling stories (not a film career per se), I spend what creative effort I have left at the end of the week on video projects.

Of course, the instant I decided to write and produce local, shoestring digital films, I became obsessed with a story set on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that couldn't possibly be filmed for less than several tens of millions of dollars. Worse, the story and screenplay keep trying to turn themselves into a novel. If Thinking in C# does well enough to put me into full-time writing / teaching mode, I'll probably expand the screenplay draft into a novel and see if I can get it published. Sheesh.

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All contents Copyright 2002 by Larry O'Brien. All Rights Reserved.