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Tech Q&A

Scott MacHaffie

Describe your latest project.
My last project was writing Palm and Treo Hacks. It was an interesting challenge — I signed the contract for the book and began writing a month before our twin boys were born. Much of the book was written at 2 a.m. while feeding the babies. Palm and Treo Hacks explores some of the possibilities of PDAs. PDAs are much more than just simple organizers, and I think the book reflects that.

  1. Palm and Treo Hacks
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    Palm and Treo Hacks

    Scott Machaffie

What inspires you to sit down and write?
I have always written, ever since I was a child. Somewhere around the house, we even have a story I wrote when I was in sixth grade — our teacher had us all write stories and gave us a spiral-bound copy of everyone's story.

What inspired me most recently was seeing Lord of the Rings and re-reading the books before the films came out. I thought to myself, "Perhaps I can get published" and started looking for something I could write.

Chess or video games?
Chess when I can find a partner to play with; otherwise, World of Warcraft. And if I can find three other people to play with, then Siamese Blitz Chess (otherwise known as bughouse chess).

What do you do for relaxation?
I like to read — mostly science fiction and fantasy, occasionally programming books, and early Celtic, Irish, and Scottish history. I'm also slowly learning to speak (Irish) Gaelic.

Douglas Adams or Scott Adams?
Douglas Adams. He was an excellent writer, and I enjoy British humor. I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and a couple of the following books in junior high — usually during math class.

If you could be reincarnated for one day to live the life of any scientist or writer, who would you choose and why?
Richard Feynman — that covers scientist and writer in one go! He led a very interesting life — he gave talks as a graduate student that were attended by the top names in physics. He worked on the Manhattan project. He was on the board that investigated the Challenger disaster, and his report was included as an appendix to the official report because the rest of the board didn't agree with his conclusions.

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