I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


For a month now I haven’t written any new posts. The problem is that I have been working at two books and haven’t found time for blogging. I know: if I stop making new posts, I will lose the few readers I have, but...

I have been working on an historical novel (did I already mentione it? Not sure) and, since November 22nd, have added to it almost 5 kWords. But where I invested most of my time is in the other book I am writing, with a total of more than 31 kWords. It is a manual to write programs in C capable of solving and generating Sudoku puzzles.

Those of you who write professionally (if any ;-) will appreciate that writing more than 1,200 words a day for a month is not trivial. I am actually quite satisfied with how things are progressing.

I started writing the manual because I needed to take a break from fiction and also because I couldn’t find any decent book on Sudoku programming. There is one published by Apress, but the code is in Visual Basic and it only explains how to implement comparatively easy strategies.

Despite having stated in several occasions that Java is my favourite computer language, I decided to write my Sudoku programs in C. The reason is that, for the non-initiated, Object Oriented programming is more difficult to grasp. The target readership is people who have some understanding of programming, perhaps acquired while studying something else, and are keen to generate their own Sudokus. And also IT professionals who work in system support or other not necessarily programming-intensive specialties. That is, the book is not directed to professional programmers. That’s why I was a bit reluctant to use OO techniques. That said, some algorithms, if I say so myself, are quite ‘tricky’...

Straight ANSI-C, with pointers and all, is definitely less safe than Java, and I also miss the possibility of returning from functions any type of variable. But I have quickly got back my half-forgotten C-programming skills and am now cruising along.

My new year resolution for 2011 (beside the standing one of losing weight...) is to finish the first draft of both books by June. In fact, I hope to do better than that. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I will try to make some posts on this blog, so that my followers (I like to think that there are some, despite the lack of comments) will not lose heart and forget me.

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