I found out last August that the the Votemaster was actually Andrew Tanenbaum, shortly after I met him online. I’d written him suggesting that Electoral-Vote.com needed a feed; RSS was new to him so I explained and helped debug his, it’s been a huge success (#79 on the Bloglines top 100 as I write). Those readers who never studied Computer Science may not know that Andy Tanenbaum is one of the top CS authors in the history of the world. He’s also the author of Minix, the educational OS that helped motivate Linus to write Linux. I personally learned networking from his classic Computer Networks and once taught a course using Minix and his companion text Operating Systems. Which is to say, he’s one of my major influences and one of my heroes. It was very sweet, explaining a little piece of our discipline to one who explained so much to me. Kind of amusing too... his half of the conversation included something along the lines of “It can’t be that simple; you mean the whole world just polls this RSS thing to see if it’s changed?” Plus, it’s worth saying that Electoral-Vote.com is a very fine piece of work, up to Prof. Tanenbaum’s high standards. If you haven’t been reading it, dig through the archives and enjoy his erudite but amusing commentaries on the course of the election.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
October 31, 2004
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