Quantum Books is a bookstore in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA. I'd like to say they're in a "desolate part" of Kendall Square, but it's really no more desolate than the rest. Kendall is where MIT is, loosely speaking. Quantum Books sells computer books. We don't get there very often, because they never seem to be open much on weekends (we work out on Route 128). Therefore, this information may be somewhat out of date.

Years ago, Quantum was nifty. They had a lot of those UNIXy books with stupid cartoons on the cover: The Dragon Book and so on. They had a couple shelves of Free Software Foundation manuals with ghastly caricatures of Richard Stallman on the covers, even more low budget-looking than the rest. They had a massive focus on stocking the dweebiest damn books they could find, and it was great (some of the form submit buttons on their web site, for example, are labeled "MAKE IT SO", which is some kind of Star Trek catchphrase). More recently, they've started losing their way and stocking a lot of stuff from questionable sources like Microsoft Press and WROX. Here's an eerily incoherent list of new arrivals this month:

Petzold, Charles is actually a damn fine author, by the way, MS Press or no. His Programming Windows is the tome on Windows programming. But what's with "MSCE Training Kit"?! That's just sad, and what's it doing alongside Electromagnetic Noise and Quantum Optical Measurements? Jesus, I don't even know what the hell that means.

Well, we all gotta pay the rent. Quantum is a bit cramped, but cozy, and the customers are mostly a satisfyingly weird bunch. It's worth a visit -- and they're having a special on books from the Cambridge University Press until 1/31/2002!

They've got a web site at http://www.quantumbooks.com, where they will gladly sell you books online.

Editor's note: Quantum Books is no longer open in this sector of the multiverse.

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