Writing a book is similar to entering a long-term relationship with an obsessive partner. Throughout the nine months it took to write this book, life went on: job changes, births, deaths, and even a hurricane. Throughout it all, the book demanded constant attention. Therefore, I'd like to thank the people that made it possible to focus on the book to the exclusion of nearly everything else. My wife, Deb and son, Matt supported and encouraged me throughout, even when I was little more than a reclusive houseguest hunched over the computer in the study. Additionally, Deb acted as my editor and indexer, eventually reading the book completely three times! Thank you both.

Thanks also to Marc Ewing and Erik Troan, RPM architects extraordinaire. Without their programming savvy, RPM wouldn't be the elegant tool it is. Without their boundless patience, my many questions would have gone unanswered, and this book would have been much less than it is now. I hope you find this book a worthy companion to your programming handiwork.

Rik Faith provided some much-needed information about PMS and PM, two of RPM's ancestors. Thank you!

Finally a great big thank you goes to Jessica and the gang at L'il Dinos, Jennifer and her crew at the Cary Barnes & Noble coffee shop, and Mom and her "kids" at Schlotzsky's Deli in Durham. If all of you hadn't let me sit around for hours writing, this book wouldn't be nearly as fat as it is. And neither would I!

February, 1997 Cary, North Carolina