I was quite sad to hear the news this morning (via email) that my friend, Paul DiLascia has passed away suddenly.
I don't know all details yet. I've heard he passed away on Sept. 3rd, but the MSJ/MSDN network just heard of it in the last day or so. Some details are still unknown by me at this point in time.
Paul preceded my book in the "Andrew Schulman Programming Series" with this book, Windows++, one of the first serious attempts at encapsulating the complexity of Windows 3.X programming with C++ classes.
Subsequently, we both ended up writing columns for Microsoft System Journal (MSJ), which subsequently was renamed to MSDN magazine. Paul had the C++ column, while I did "Under The Hood".
Paul and I corresponded frequently, mostly about crazy reader questions, but sometimes on technical issues. Since we lived only about 30 minutes apart, we'd often have MSJ subsidized "columnist lunches", where Paul, John Robbins, James Finnegan and myself could commiserate about the life of a technical column writer. A few great column ideas were born from these lunches, including my "Just enough Win32 Assembly Language to Get By", which Paul inspired.
Paul was the longest continuously running columnist in the magazine's history. I was the second for a long while. Paul was perpetually 12 months ahead in his streak. When I got to 60+ months without missing a column, Paul was still going strong at 72 months, and kept on going long after I left that race.
Paul was an amazing technical writer, and one with the gift of adding humor to what could be an otherwise dry topic. Eric Maffei once told me that without humor, MSJ would read like "Microsoft Pravda". Paul's contributions were a big part of why it wasn't.