The contract for DIDA arrived through the ether this morning, so I finally got my thumb out today and finished bashing out a rough first draft of Chapter 1 for DIDA. Writing a book is much like preparing for an exam in that you have an ambient knowledge of a subject and then need to revise specific topics to fill in the gaps of that knowledge. Given that databases is a subject I have studiously avoided covering for five years, a surprising amount seems to have entered my brain via osmotic pressure. Gaps like the history of and interaction between Microsoft Data Access technologies - UDA, RDS, OLE DB, ODBC, ADO etc - I think I am excused.