Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 105-110,000 words
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
Oregonian William Van Winkle has over twenty years of involvement in the personal computer industry, the last fourteen as a journalist. For more, visit his blog.
For almost ten years William Van Winkle has interviewed some of the most influential people in science and technology for CPU (Computer Power User) Magazine. This book is a collection of twenty-five of those interviews, some old and some recent. Each also has additional information that catches up on what the interviewee has done since, updates some of the things discussed, or provides predictions or further insights from the interview subject. Two additional volumes are planned.
As someone who has been involved in technology my entire working life and who considers himself well read on many of these subjects, I was amazed at the breadth of topics covered and how much I learned. Van Winkle’s interviews even extracted new information from the interview subjects I thought I knew all about.
The only negative I found was the propensity of some of the interviewees to use acronyms and jargon in their answers. Obviously, Van Winkle couldn’t control how his subjects answered the questions. Given the breadth of subjects discussed, many readers may find a section on a subject they’re interested in requires additional research to translate the jargon. However, most sections should be understandable to the majority of readers with a basic knowledge of computers and the internet.
There were three sections of particular interest to avid readers of e-books. The interviews with Mark Coker, the founder of the e-book distribution company Smashwords, and Bob Young, co-founder of Red Hat (a software company) and (more important for us) founder of LuLu Publishing, give their thoughts on publishing and e-books. I also thought the 2003 interview with Esther Dyson (the “First Lady of the Internet”) was especially interesting when she was talking about the music industry and its difficulties at the time. Her comments seem to apply to the publishing industry today.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars