On the passing of Paul DiLascia



I was quite sad to hear the news this morning (via email) that my friend, Paul DiLascia has passed away suddenly.


 


I don’t know all details yet. I’ve heard he passed away on Sept. 3rd, but the MSJ/MSDN network just heard of it in the last day or so. Some details are still unknown by me at this point in time.


 


Paul preceded my book in the “Andrew Schulman Programming Series” with this book, Windows++, one of the first serious attempts at encapsulating the complexity of Windows 3.X programming with C++ classes.


 


Subsequently, we both ended up writing columns for Microsoft System Journal (MSJ), which subsequently was renamed to MSDN magazine. Paul had the C++ column, while I did “Under The Hood”.


 


Paul and I corresponded frequently, mostly about crazy reader questions, but sometimes on technical issues. Since we lived only about 30 minutes apart, we’d often have MSJ subsidized “columnist lunches”, where Paul, John Robbins, James Finnegan and myself could commiserate about the life of a technical column writer. A few great column ideas were born from these lunches, including my “Just enough Win32 Assembly Language to Get By“, which Paul inspired.


 


Paul was the longest continuously running columnist in the magazine’s history. I was the second for a long while. Paul was perpetually 12 months ahead in his streak. When I got to 60+ months without missing a column, Paul was still going strong at 72 months, and kept on going long after I left that race.


 


Paul was an amazing technical writer, and one with the gift of adding humor to what could be an otherwise dry topic. Eric Maffei once told me that without humor, MSJ would read like “Microsoft Pravda”. Paul’s contributions were a big part of why it wasn’t.


Comments (5)

  1. Stuart Dootson says:

    That is sad news – Paul’s columns were often helpful, one way or another, back when I was doing MFC development – as you say, his writing had a nice differentiation from the standard Microsoft-ese of most of the rest of the mag.

  2. zhzhtst says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. MSJ gives me much help. Thanks, Paul DiLascia, Matt Pietrek, John Robbins and others.

  3. operandx says:

    Paul DiLascia is a name that is well known amongst veteran Win32 developers.

    I’m very sorry to hear that he passed away, may his soul rest in peace.

    My machine contains numerous source files which contain the comment:

     // If this program works, it was written by Paul DiLascia.

     // If not, I don’t know who wrote it.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Paul_DiLascia

  4. Anil says:

    So sad 🙁 , i always admire him. His columns are of no match and source of inspiration.

    Feeling very bad…..

    Why God calls the good person so soon…????