Coders at Work: more interviewees signed up

As of today, I’ve got seven interviewees signed up (assuming that other publisher doesn’t try to hoard Simon Peyton Jones). They are:

  • Joe Armstrong — inventor of Erlang
  • Bernie Cosell — one of the main software developers on the original ARPANET IMPs
  • Simon Peyton Jones — co-inventor of Haskell
  • Alan Kay — inventor of Smalltalk and object oriented programming
  • Peter Norvig — AIer and Lisper, Director of Research at Google
  • Ken Thompson — inventor of Unix
  • Jamie Zawinski — author of XEmacs and early Netscape/Mozilla hacker

I haven’t done any more interviews but I’ve been working on the transcription of my first interview with Peter Norvig. It’s all coming back to me how terribly painful it is to transcribe audio. Even with my snazzy homebrew transcription software, I’ve been proceeding at a rate of about 4:1 real time to interview time. That is, to transcribe 15 minutes of interview takes me about an hour. Which means that for every two hour interview I do, it’s going to take me a full day just to prepare the raw transcript. Yes, I know you can hire people to do this but a) I don’t really have a budget for that and b) correcting a transcript can be about as much work as preparing it, particularly if the material is technical and your transcriptionist is not. The good news is that as tedious as the transcribing is, it does give me a chance to start mulling the material over in my head, getting ready to edit it or to prepare for subsequent interviews.

Finally, I got around to putting a spam filter on the Coders at Work comments page so all the stupid link-bombing spammers’ efforts should now be completely for naught. It’s been very satisfying watching it eat up the steady stream of spam comments. Of course these days the spammers are about the only comments I get so I haven’t had any live tests of my filter’s ability to recognize ham. If you have any comments about or questions for the folks I’ve signed up to interview or suggestions of who I should try to get to fill in the last ten spots, feel free to leave a comment.

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