Given that this book is about software development and includes many sections on hardware, we thought some readers might be interested in what software and hardware was used to write this book. As with all good software, we will start by discussing the requirements. At the request of the series editor, all drafts had to be done in Microsoft Word. Of course this turned out to be somewhat of a dilemma for primary author Hamilton, who was one of the few people in the computer industry who didn't own a Windows PC. As with all difficult software challenges, however, an answer was found.
At home, where Hamilton wrote most of this book, he used a Power Macintosh 7500/100. Happily, he says, his daughter 's school still uses Macintosh computers instead of Windows PCs and thus their home computer was a Mac. Given that today's ads are full of the latest 450 MHz PCs, it's amazing what you can still do with a 100 MHz Mac. Thanks to Steve Jobs' and Bill Gates' recent agreements, the latest version of Microsoft Office actually runs very well on the Mac. The other tool Hamilton used almost daily on the Mac was Netscape, for e-mailing copies of the draft back and forth to all of those who helped to review it, as well as for doing online research.
At work, Hamilton's desktop was a somewhat newer , albeit now over two years old, 200 MHz UltraSPARC desktop running Solaris 2.6. He used this workstation to create all the code segments and most of the various timing numbers listed in this book. Solaris, of course, raised a slightly bigger challenge for editing Microsoft Word documents, not that the author ever did much of that at work. His solution was SoftWindows 95 from Insignia Solutions. SoftWindows lets you run a complete Windows 95 environment on your UltraSPARC desktop; in fact, it even ran Word 7.0 and the complete Office '97 suite. Finally, about halfway through the book, we started using an early release of Sun's PC File Viewer. This tool let the entire Solaris desktop, including the file viewer and mail client recognize (with the correct icons), display, and print Microsoft Word documents (along with about 33 other popular PC file formats). This was useful whenever we wanted to take a quick look at a chapter without having to launch SoftWindows. Things will certainly improve once Office 2000 becomes available with its default HTML file format.
Finally, the completed draft was imported into Adobe's FrameMaker 5.5 desktop publishing tool on a Sun workstation, which was also used for drawing most of the final figures. While this sounds like a lot of work, it really wasn't. Given the wide array of import and export filters available on both Word and FrameMaker, very little extra effort was required to transition back and forth between the two environments.