Rob Farley

Rob Rob Farley has been consulting in IT since completing a Computer Science degree with first class honours in 1997. Before moving to Adelaide, he worked in consultancies in Melbourne and London. He runs the development department in one of Australia's leading IT firms, as well as doing database application consultancy and training. He heads up the Adelaide SQL Server User Group, and holds several Microsoft certifications.

Rob has been involved with Microsoft technologies for most of his career, but has also done significant work with Oracle and Unix systems. His preferred database is SQL Server and his preferred language is C#. Recently he has been involved with Microsoft Learning in the US, creating and reviewing new content for the next generation of Microsoft exams.

Over the years, Rob's clients have included BP Oil, OneLink Transit, Accenture, Avanade, Australian Electorial Commission, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Royal Borough of Kingston, Help The Aged, Unisys, Department of Treasury and Finance (Vic), National Mutual, the Bible Society and others.

Did you mean to come here? My blog is now at

06 September 2005

PDF books

More and more I'm finding that it's good to read books on my PDA. My PDA is also my phone, so it doesn't tend to leave my side. It has wireless too, which means that it syncs really easily when I'm at work, or some other hotspot. So it's great for downloading RSS feeds, podcasts, that type of thing. I have a 1GB SD Card in it, so storage isn't a problem. Nowadays when I'm by myself in the car, I'm listening to podcasts instead of the radio, and at other times, I can check out media-casts that have downloaded, or read some PDF that I have.

Recently when I had registered to do a couple of exams at TechEd, I bought a couple of exam prep books, and was pleased to see they had PDF versions on an accompanying CD. So I put them on my PDA, and found that it was really handy. Certainly better than lugging around a massive great text book with me. So next time I want to get a book (maybe Jesper's book on security) - I'll be hunting around for a way to get hold of a PDF of it.

Dr Neil was telling me that there's a publisher who creates personalised PDFs for you when you buy a book through them. It puts your name in the PDF, so that they can tell if you make it available to other people. I think this is a neat idea. It makes the publishing costs really small. Shipping becomes free. And yet there is still no real worry about the publisher being ripped off by having the electronic version file-shared around the world. Now, if only I could get a bunch of non-technical books too...

Oh yeah - my phone is the O2 XDA IIs, for anyone that's interested. It's a good phone, although I would've traded it for the IIi if it had've been available at the time. The IIi basically trades the built-in keyboard for a better camera. I don't use the keyboard, so it's probably a trade I would've made.