Rob: Embedded and Specialty Programmer

Welcome to my wagon. I'm the resident programmer here at Esmerel, and, like most programmers, I have my own ideas about how things should be done. If you are interested in my opinions, maybe you would like to visit my soapbox. My latest speech is about the Denial of Service attacks and whether they could affect you.

Or you can read some of my previous soapboxes, which include:

If you're interested in games, or the pictures you can make with letters (ASCII art), then you might want to go to Thelion's shop and see if he still has any copies of Unicorn Quest. It is a typing tutor which a few friends and I wrote. We wrote the original to help a girl with one hand learn to type, but then other people got interested and we made versions for one or two hands.

I've written a lot of other programs, but most of them are hidden inside the things you use everyday, like your bank machine, or your internet connection.

Rob's Bookshelf

In my travels, I have picked up a number of books. Some of these describe the lives or works of people I have met. Some are just fun to read. Some are still being written! I have not yet unpacked them all, and I expect I will keep getting more, but feel free to browse through my library.


Right now this is my favourite fiction book. It's just come out. It was written by Ann Ewan, who helps Stewart keep this site organized. It's about a world where evil wizards rule. Three companions, the blind woman, madman, and wizard foretold in prophecy, set out to destroy the wizards' power and free the people.

Awk Words

One of the most useful tools for a programmer is AWK, a text scanning and processing language. This book contains numerous examples of using AWK to solve everyday programming (and debugging) problems. It assumes you are already familiar with the pattern-matching capabilities of regular expressions, such as provided by grep.

How To Find Anything (Without Really Trying)

One of the first tools you should get used to when programming is grep. It is more than just a text searcher. With the regular expression capability it can be used to help with many programming and debugging tasks. It is also a great start towards learning AWK, a programmable text scanner.

Robert's Rules (Of Coding)

Over years of programming, in many languages, the authors of this book have learned many basic rules about how to design and implement software. These rules are the results of sometimes doing things right, and, more often, doing things wrong then examining what went wrong. These rules may help you avoid some of the same mistakes.


Set in ancient Britain, this is the story of one Roman soldier.

Not with a bang but a whimper?

Scientists, looking at the sun from deep underground to determine the ultimate fate of the universe.

Entomology Today

In the world of embedded programming, every program has to work correctly or it's no use. When the program goes out, it works; but that doesn't mean nothing ever goes wrong along the way... Warning: This book contains graphic descriptions of digicarnivorous entities. People with weak programming skills are strongly cautioned

The Definitive HTML Reference

The entire World Wide Web is written in a language called HTML (hypertext markup language). This book describes the language, and gives several references for other places to read more.
- Back to the front gate.
- Read Ann's opinions of some technical books.
- Visit some other wagons.
- Drop by Thelion's shop

Your borrowers of books - those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.
Charles Lamb, 1823

Page maintained by Rob.