File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Java in General and the fly likes Enough about books and Java, Herb - what's up with Starcastle? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Java in General
Bookmark "Enough about books and Java, Herb - what Watch "Enough about books and Java, Herb - what New topic

Enough about books and Java, Herb - what's up with Starcastle?

Jim Yingst

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Sorry for the off-topic post, but I can't resist. Anyone replying to this thread should beware that it probably won't count for the giveaway (which is probably about to end anyway). Unless Tom is feeling realy generous. But it is about Herb, so what the heck. If the topic leads to an ongoing non-Java discussion we can move it to Meaningless Drivel later.
For those of you wondering what the heck I'm talking about here - play "spot the famous Java author" here. And hope that Herb forgives me for reminding people how long his hair used to be.
So, Herb - when's the new recording coming out? I quite enjoyed the debut album when I discovered it some years ago (though well after the initial release), and was amused to find a Famous Programming Book Author™ lurking amongst the band personnel. Also enjoyed Fountains of Light and Citadel. And I see that though you moved on long ago, there seem to be plans for a new album now, with your name attached again. (Though you don't appear in the recent studio pics, so I'm not sure how involved you are now.) Is that still going forward? I just saw the news about Gary Strater; most unfortunate. I hope things work out for him. And, selfishly, I hope that includes him being able to continue with the planned CD etc.
Anyway Herb, whatever the current situation may be, just wanted you to know that there are still a few of us out here who remember your previous career fondly. Cheers...
[ January 09, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Herb Schildt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 253
Thanks for your kind words about my old (really old!) rock band. That was a long time ago, but it was a wonderful time!
For those who don't have any idea what Jim is talking about. Starcastle was the name of the band that I played in during, and for a while after, college. It was started back in the 1970s by a bunch of us college kids who liked to play music. The thing was, we got really popular and were offered a recording contract by Epic Records. (Back then, this was like winning the lottery!) We recorded 4 albums, 3 of which did pretty well.
Startcastle played what was then referred to as "Classical Rock" (which today is called "Progressive Rock"). This meant that our influences were classical in nature. (Think Bach, Mozart, etc.) I played keyboards, specializing in synthesizer. I was also one of the first to use a computer (what else!) to control the synthesizer. (Remember, in those days there was no MIDI!)
At any rate, it was a great time, but my real career awaited. And the rest, as they say, is history! BTW, the other members of Starcastle also moved on. One is a physician (family practice), another is an executive with a major corporation, etc.
Now, as to your question about Gary (the bass player). His cancer is currently under control, but it is a bit day to day.
As for the new CD. A couple of years ago, Gary called and said "Herb, would you like to do a Starcastle reunion album?" I mean, what could I say? Everyone (me included) had musical ideas that had been gathering dust for the past 20 or so years. Here was a chance to give them life. But, of course, no one had the time to actually do it. Then Gary proposed that we use MIDI, ADATs, computer mixing, etc. to allow the CD to progress as everyone had time for, each working invididually as time permitted. Of course, the vocals required studio visitts. Frankly, the timeline has been very long, but I do believe that the new CD will, eventually, see the light of day.
One last point: I have always seen the writing of programs and the writing of music to be fundamentally the same creative task. (And for me, they both use keyboards!) Both programs and music require one to work within a set of rules. Both are constructed from a series of small units. In the case of music, notes. In the case of programs, statements. Both produce impressive results only when practiced by a master of their craft.
Again, Jim: Thanks for remembering!

For my latest books on Java, including Introducing JavaFX 8 Programming, see
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Even though the posts in this thread would not be eligible for the lucky draw, I cannot stand sharing my experience here...
I just found out that Mr.Herb is a musician also... By the way, how did u decide to jump into the I.T. world, leaving the pretty outstanding keyboard player life?
Your situation might be similar to me..... I am actually a lead guitar player, when I was in high school and in university... Even until now, I am very eager to run my fingers on the fret... But because of the market demand, I had to learn computer science instead of music in the university... And after graduation, I got to jump into the programming world, which is extremely popular in the current job market, deciding not to become a professional lead guitarist...
I did compose a lot of songs in Metal genre... That's my favourite genre... There were about 30 songs that I composed in my life before...
But now I'm already in the I.T. world... I have to struggle my life with programming... But I play my Washburn sometimes... It's still screaming like thunder...

Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11951

One of my colleagues here is a HUGE prog-er... he maintains a site dedicated to Progressive Rock (
He's awaiting your next album, and apparently they even had you booked for a show at some point you had to cancel (understandable, given the circumstances). While i have not heard your albums, i'll have to borrow them from my friend and give 'em a spin!!!

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Enough about books and Java, Herb - what's up with Starcastle?
jQuery in Action, 3rd edition