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About The Project

The idea for The Open Source Cookbook got started in June 2002 as I was doing my only summer session at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. I had just moved into a new apartment, and had just been given a whole pile of new kitchen gear as a move-in gift. I had always enjoyed watching things like Food Network, and especially shows like Alton Brown's Good Eats. This was no small contributor to my drive to begin the project.

I then submitted a story on Slashdot in July as I began to build up some techniques in my cooking, and it was posted to the Ask Slashdot pages on July 23, 2002. I'll never forget what my email inbox looked like afterwards. My little student website at OU got bombarded (7,000 hits in about 2 days time) and I got about 250 emails within the space of a few days. Talk about a deluge. I started assembling the book using only my little iBook and a copy of Microsoft Word for OS X, and within about two weeks I had enough of a book that I posted it on my website.

Since that time, the generous folks at www.ibiblio.org have given the book a more permanent home, as well as Ross Nelson of www.randomdata.net. Most of the recipes in the book are based entirely on things sent in to me via email or through the forums, and the book has grown from a piddly 35-page booklet to nearly one hundred pages of recipes, information, and insights into cooking for the geek.

About the Author

Matthew Balmer, a.k.a. InspectorPraline, is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education (2003). Among the things he enjoys are cooking (obviously), playing his trumpet, typography and typesetting, teaching, tinkering with his computer, writing music, anime, and watching old game shows. He has often remarked before that if he didn't enjoy music so much, he'd have sought a degree in graphic design or computer science.

He is an enormously huge fan of the cooking show Good Eats, and takes many cues in his own cooking from the show and its host, Alton Brown.

Among things he calls accomplishments are such things as being an alumnus of the Delta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity; being a member of the Pride of Oklahoma marching band for 3 years; and getting the wonderful opportunity to student teach at Edmond Memorial High School.

You can view my résumé if you would like. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

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