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My Computer Books

I've loved computers and programming since the 1970s, so writing books about these topics feels completely natural to me: analysing complex technical matters and re-synthesising them as a book, in a (hopefully) readable and understandable form, is something I really enjoy. If the day had 48 hours, I'd still do it;-).

Win32, Windows 4.0 und Windows NT; Springer Verlag, Heidelberg 1993

The first computer title I wrote (if I am allowed to skip a small book about dBase II I wrote in 1983). It dealt with porting existing Windows software from the crufty 16-bit world to the new and shiny universe of Win32: the focus were the coming version 4.0 of Windows (this baby was the then not-yet-christened Windows 95) and of course Windows NT. Part of the deal with Springer Verlag was that they would do a swift American edition (see further down).

Got a few good reviews and was mildly successful.

CompuServe professionell; Addison-Wesley, Bonn 1994

By now, online services like CompuServe or an upstart called America Online (aka AOL) were all the rage (the internet was far smaller then than it is nowadays), so after I had finished the Win32 book I decided to write about all things online. I knew almost nothing about this but of course that was half the fun: learning the ropes, getting all the myriad technical details into my head and then condensing it all into a nice, little a book. Good plan and the book, like all books, certainly started little… but it grew and grew until it had more than 400 pages and the publisher said STOP. However, it was among the first books about online services in Germany and it got raving reviews and sold accordingly.

Professionelle Win32-Programmierung; ITP Bonn 1996

A linear continuation of the first title about Win32: the focus of this book, however, was much less on porting existing programmes to Win32 than on writing completely new software. A nice book that was fun to write because there were so many technical riddles to solve. If Windows is a computer game in disguise, programming Windows must be the mother of all computer games.

Porting to Win32; Springer Verlag, New York 1996

The English edition of the Springer book. It took me about a year to do the translation (and to include all the new stuff Microsoft kept churning out) and the Springer lads and gals a really swift year and a half to get the thing published.

Got pretty good reviews but was a bit late to market.

Internet — Das Kompendium; Markt und Technik; Haar 1996

The BIG book about the internet. And big definitely means big: more than 1000 pages and about one year and a half of hard work, most of it done between sessions of moules frites and trappist-brewed beer in Brussels, as Vero had been posted there for a total of about 18 months. But it all paid off handsomely, because this title was selling in its tens of thousands, undoubtedly helped by some very friendly reviews.

This brick of a book went through two expanded and much changed editions.

Internet — Magnum; Markt und Technik; Haar 1998 (Helmut Saaro)

I did this title under pseudonym (Helmut Saaro is an anagram of Thomas Lauer). The content is almost exactly the same as for the Internet Kompendium, but it was a cheaply done soft-cover edition which went to the shops about 30% cheaper than the Kompendium. (The publisher feared that having the same author name on the cover as for the Kompendium might cannibalise the sales of the latter, therefore the pseudonym.) All in all it was a shameless case of content re-use if there ever was one. But it was a success nevertheless.

Appeared a year later in a second, “expanded” edition (which, in fact, was a slightly abridged copy of the second edition of the Internet Kompendium).

Gekonnt Surfen; Markt und Technik; Haar 2000

A slender book (at least compared to the previous two: a mere 250 pages) about doing research on the internet. The basics for searching the web (Google, Yahoo et cetera) as well as the other internet services, like ftp or finding email addresses. There was also a long chapter that dealt with complex research questions, stuff like constructing multi-level queries with connected ANDs and ORs or NOTs.

(And no, I am not the Jumpin' Jack Flash on the cover!)

Go back to My Trekking Books phase or forward to My Fiction.

$updated from: My Computer Books.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:22 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$