Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wiki in French!

Hey, just wanted to say that a French translation of my wiki project is under works. All the credit must go to my Belgium friend Caroline, for all of the time and effort she is putting into it.

And here I thought that my dream of seeing it translated was never going to happen... (ha!)

You all can find the site here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's Presentation at Sun

Finally, the big day arrived. My OLPC wiki presentation.

When the day started, I wasn't feeling nervous. Not nervous at all. A bit worried though. Worried that I did not plan out a good presentation, since at that point, I didn't. I've noticed that I'm better off contemplating the ideal statements and ideas that I would like to showcase, and then a little while before going up, writing out a brief outline. Detailed outlines tend to confuse me because I then try to stick to them, but with a simple outline I'm free to stray a bit and still give off something good. At home I grabbed a quick meal and went off to Mouse. It was there that the outline was born and here it is.

Introduction to the project
Why we started it.
The goals

Start to show the layout of the wiki.
Talk about navigation, the difference from Getting Started and How To.
Talk about how the page looks when we set out to edit the wiki.
show some example pages.

Videos - talk about how we went about creating them. The three or so day progress. the editing. then show the videos

Pass out the OLPC and have then try out a tutorial.

Speak about how I reflected upon the OLPC project on my blog.

Talk about what i plan to do to get more action out of the olpc community.
I want to start sending out letters, be more active in forums and other blogs centered around the project.

See what I mean? Just little notes to help guide me along. Anyways, after maybe a half-hour or so we all left to head up to the offices. I had a very interesting conversation about colleges and how all of this work can help me out on the train ride up there - gave me quite a few ideas to try and attempt to but into action what I won't bore you with the details with (not yet anyways...).

When we finally got to the place, we were given our passes and were lead to the room. The room itself was fairly large. An "L" shape formation of tables towards the front, surrounding the projector. Also kind of entrapping whoever was up talking by not giving them much places to escape to (not that I was having any thoughts like that...). After the initial setup, which included finding out that the computers there could not load my videos, we were all set to go. I had asked the people at Sun to go see if they could find the connection cord for my Macbook to their projector and someone happily went off to find one. After all, someone in that building had to have a mac...

Now since I was going second, I sat back and watched my friend go up and do this thing. A little ways into his speech, I had received the cord that I needed and continued to watch, and as I watched I scribbled down some more notes for myself. It was around then that I little fit of nervousness began to creep up into the pit of my stomach, but I was able to keep it under control by a mixture of ignoring it at some points and acknowledging it at others - the last thing I needed was a distraction. Anyways, my friend had finished his excellent address of his project and it was finally my turn to jump into the fray.

After an introduction by Carole, detailing what OLPC was all about and the numerous things that I've done with the machines, I opened things up by asking for a guinea pig from the crowd. I saw them up exchange anxious glances across the tables and watched them offer each other up. All of which was funny to watch and served to help relieve some of my own anxiety. When someone had finally allowed themselves to submit, I had her come up and try to open to XO. And what a sight that was. She had started off pressing areas of the computer that should thought buttons should be, fliped it over, messed with the battery a bit, and so on and so forth until she finally gave up. Her successor was not much better, but I believe that she had manged to pull down the ears - the first step in the sequence. (I forget who it was that tried asking the computer to open...) But it was the third person who got it. And this person had happened to be a 10 year old girl. Now, I had orignally stayed away from calling on her for a reason - my plan was to give the adults an untempered shot at figuring it out, and then when they failed, I would pick on one of the kids who happened to be there to wow everyone. Now the little girl came up to the table the XO was on, stood in front of it, looking down with a thoughtful gleam in her eye and...

Picked up the laptop and preceded to shake it.

At that point, I saw my vision of the perfect launch dashed out of existence. The look on my face must have been similar to one a person might don if they had, lets say, beckoned their cat over to them quite possibly to play with it, only to have said cat, in one mighty and sheer random heave, leave a hairball in their lap. Disappointment does not begin to cover it, that semi perceived betrayal of my expectations. The little girl continued to take stabs at it though, refusing to give up and she did, in time, manage to open it - thus saving and consequence restoring my hope for my demonstration.

The rest sort of just feel into place after that. I carried on and finished sans showing the videos I made - the connection cord just was not the right fit. The resulting conversation we all had afterwards gave birth to many ideas, some of which may end up being explored here should I get the time.

I would like to express my thanks to Sun for allowing us to come, to the audience for showing up, and to Mouse (especially JB) for the help on the project.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Videos for OLPC wiki

Here are the two videos for the wiki. Took three days to put together, and they may be a bit amature, but we did put a lot of work into them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Doctor Who - Time Crash

I heard about this some time ago, but I only just went to look for it this morning. Basically this is a nice little short in which the tenth doctor (the current one) meets the fifth doctor. It takes place right when the third series ended and is pretty funny to watch. Anyways here is the video along with the behind the scenes video. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

OLPC Wiki update 4/21

The video taking session is now complete. We have two videos in the can for opening night. All we have to do now is edit them, fix up the wiki, and write up the report. All before Thursday. Should be fun...

Anyways, today was fairly interesting. I'm still at odds with hearing and watching myself (its just so irritating...) but I was able to get through it. The main issue was that I kept rabbling like I do in my usual speech and writings, which is bad for a straight to the point tutorial video. We had to do quite a few takes before I got it remotely correct. But, whats done is done. And I'm happy to now be able to carry on. We've been making good time. Anyways, I'll report back again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Summer Internships

MOUSE right now has three potential internships open for the taking. However, we must write about the two that we would like the most. I'm thinking that out of the three, my favorites are Tekserve and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. Like I said before, I really enjoy macs and my visit to that apple store helped me to solidify that choice. Also, it would play well into allowing me to learn more about sales and service repair on mac items, thus I can better help myself and my school should the need for a makeshift technician arise (and it shall, knowing my luck).

As for the law firm, my main thing is the international appeal it has on me. More than likely, I'd be dealing with other people from all over the world, and if lady luck decides to simile down upon me, I may be able to meet people from France and/or Japan and use them for speaking practice.

Now that I'm done with the write-up its up to chance to see where I end up. But in the mean time, I have my little videos to get back to.

Apple Store Visit

I finally got a chance to go to that new Apple Store on 14th and 9th yesterday. I went into Manhattan to meet up with my Japanese teacher but I felt that the day's good weather would be wasted by just sitting down so I suggested heading there. He agreed, seeing as how he had not been there yet and he's a big fan of macs just like I am. So we went and the was way too much fun. It's amazing how time just flies past - we must have spent hours in there. You see, I'm looking into buying a MacBook Pro when I'm going off into college to replace this MacBook I have now, so I'm looking into the market to see whats around. But funny thing is, when I was at the store, I somehow felt inadequate since I had my MacBook in my bag and I was around all those new and shiny laptops. That feeling persisted until I met a clerk who had asked me if I needed help with anything. Here is how that conversation basically went:

Clerk: "Hello sirs, do you need some help?"
Me: "Um no not really, I'm just looking into a new laptop, so I'm just wondering. See I want something new to get rid of my MacBook when I'm off to college. In fact, I feel bad about taking it out here. Its so old..."
Clerk: "You think thats bad? I'm still using an iBook G3."
Me: (slightly stares at him for a while in disbelief) "Oh.... I'm so sorry."
Shig: starts to laugh in the background...

So yea, I've learned not to complain anymore cause there are people out there who have it worst. Really worst. I then pulled out my Battle scared MacBook and got a little cleaning for it. (thanks a lot for that!) Afterwords, I went to look at the iPhones, yet another thing I plan on getting once I'm in college. I really like the look and feel of it and I would like to start programing for the thing.

One more thing that this trip was good for is that it really gave me more reasons for wanting the MOUSE internship at Tekserve. I've decided that that's the place I want to go to this summer, but more about that in a later post.

And so, this concludes my trip to that Apple Store. My god, I wonder how long it took me to get there - I've had plans to visit running back from October or so. Better late then never I'd suppose...

FeedBurner and Email Updates

In an effort to make this place more noticeable, I've now included email updates via FeedBurner. It is located at the top left of this webpage, so what are you waiting for? Go sign up already. (lol)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Season Finale of Torchwood/Doctor Who on BBC America

Tonight, BBC America aired the finales of Torchwood and Doctor Who. Both of them just so happened to be superb. Torchwood's especially was just captivating - partly because I had already seen the Doctor Who finale but mostly because it just simply stood out on its own. Two of the main characters ended up dying tonight. Of course, one of them was already dead and all (really long story. watch the show to find out) but their deaths were still powerful nonetheless. I must hand it to the writers of both shows - very good job tonight. You already have me impatiently waiting for series 3 of Torchwood.

And as for Doctor Who, it is not that I did not like the finale of series 3 because I'd already seen it. In fact, its possible that I've even had more fun this time around - I was able to get a cousin of mine and my mother to get into it as well. Plus, watching John Simms play the Master was great. He really did do a wonderful job at playing the role of a crazed antithesis to David Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor.

Though there is one thing that is bothering me. Scifi happens to be the channel to be showing new episodes yet BBC America just finished showing series 3. I would think BBC America would be the the one to show the new series 4, but I guess that there must be some deal that was made or something. Oh well, there is no point in complaining about who shows what so long as I get to watch my shows. I win either way so I'm happy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



My Spring Break is pretty much shot (in the best way possible)

As the title says, my spring break is more or less gone. Not that I mind at all, its just that whenever I explain to people my age what I'm going to be doing, they gain this odd look on their faces. One that can only be explained as a strange mixture of dismay, objection, and false sympathy. Really, its annoying - its always been like this for as long as I can remember. Whenever I do something with my spare time that is outside of their limited sense of perception, I always get that look. And 9 (or let me be nicer. 8) times out of 10 the things that I do with my time are exponentially better than what they end up doing. The little projects and events that I invest my time into always wield sometime of greater good. Now while I may be called anti-social within my own little circle(s), its because I find that on average the little things that they decide to focus on does nothing for anyone. Not themselves, family or anyone else. Its largely just socializing (along with a few other things I shall not dare to even go into). So in the end, just who's fault is it that I don't want to be around them more so than I have to? Mine or theirs?

Anyways, getting back on topic since I'm now finished with my little rant, I'm spending my days up until Thursdays finalizing the wiki and project report. Then Friday, I'm running to the Business library here in Brooklyn at Cadman Plaza for a little something involving my current internship. Looking forward to that.

In addition to all that, I have to find time to work on my numerous papers and past assignments that I've missed here and there. Amazing how little nuggets of work can accumulate if left unattended...

Oh what a busy week it shall be...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When people have too much time on their hands...

When people have too much time on their hands, they develop some odd crazy skills like these guys did. Really, whats so wrong with picking up a good old book now-a-days? Or am I just too old fashion?

Death Touch

Thought this was interesting. As to how real it is, I have no idea.

MOUSE's 10th Anniversary Video

To further prove my point about how retarded I look and sound on camera, I've decided to post this video here. Now, I'm not going to point out which child I am (due to shame) but for those who know me, they shall now understand why I like to keep my hair cut. It would be like this more often if I had the time to go cut it off. I really should have gotten it cut before I went to that video shoot...

The reason why I was able to find this video is because I was told that it was up at MOUSE's main site. I'm really happy because of that, but still. I look dumb to no end man...

Video Creation for Wiki Has Began!

As the title states, we've finally started to make the videos for the OLPC wiki. This of course is a good thing and a bad thing for me. First off, the good: We have just over a week left to get this part, along with the documentation for the project, done. So we have to get the ball rolling. The bad: I hate being on camera, which is funny seeing as how I want one so badly. I despise hearing my voice after its been recorded and I hate seeing myself on a screen. Its one of the main reasons why I was so happy to have another student join me - that way I could record them and not get myself on tape. I just look so funny...

In another note, taking the shots today was quite fun. JB and I went around the office looking for a place to film, and when we finally found one or two, I kept messing up. I'd lose my train of thought or something and then would stumble. And as if this was not bad enough, there was a point in which one of the XOs refused to work. You see, we were filming a guide on how to update the laptops wirelessly but it had given us a bit of an additude when we wanted to reconnect to the web. So him and I just sat there for a while, watching the computer until I was like "Um...." Hmm. As a matter of fact JB was laughing the whole bloody time. He enjoy my little mistakes a bit too much. I won't be surprised if he ends up making a "bloopers" section of the wiki. Or at the very least, pass it around to everyone at MOUSE.

The Pope is near

Pope Benedict XVI is now visiting America. Today was the first day of his tour of America so to kick-start it all off, he met with President Bush - I even hear old Bushy went to pick him up at the airport. If thats true, I have no idea... So yea, not that I'm overly religious or anything but his visit has now began to poke at my interest. It seems like many people, namely catholic teachers, are planning to go and already have gone on strike to raise awareness about their lack of a "decent" paycheck. All of this has me paying more attention to the Pope more recently - reminded me of how I find something off settling about his holiness. I, in no way, shape, or form mean any disrespect to anyone who is catholic but he just makes me feel odd. He gives off some weird vibes that I can't truly explain well, but its there. Now I know about the whole thing with him being a Hitler Youth when he was younger - and indeed that did raise my eyebrows in alarm, still sort of does - but it would seem like he had no choice in that - once again, I can't help but to question that but oh well...

In this life time, I have only seen two Popes in action, this one being the second, but I find that next to the one we had before him, he seems less "Pope-like". And I'm not the only one to notice this. Quite a generous amount of people have agreed with me about all of this. So if I'm crazy I'm not the only one...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Final Fantasy VII - Crisis Core

I really want this game.

Now, I'm not all that big of a fan of Final Fantasy VII. I never played the original game, and I feel that people may be over doing it with the FF:VII franchise, I must admit when there is greatness. This game is it. Really. The story provides a wonderful explanation of the events that took place before the first game. One that has obviously been well thought out and well put together. Not only that, but the music is simply beautiful. Out of the two-disk soundtrack here are my favorites:

The Price of Freedom
A Moment of Courtesy
Theme of Crisis Core "Truth Behind the Project"
The World's Enemy

Another thing I find special about the game is its ending. While everyone knew what happened - its a well known story. One of the basic plot lines for the first game - it was just incredible in how the creators went about putting it together. I hardly play games that end as nicely as this one did.

And now, I end this post with a clip of one of my favorite cut scenes from the game. A three way fight on top of a *huge* cannon. If you listen closely you can hear the songs The Price of Freedom, Truth Behind the Project, and The World's Enemy, in order, throughout the duration of the battle.

End of my two week shadowship

So yea. Friday was the last day of my two week engagement at Sullivan and Cromwell. I must say, that was nothing but fun. Everyone there were nothing but nice and and informative people. They showed me a lot - such as how all of their offices world-wide are interconnected to each other via their own internal networks and things about the new and upcoming advancement of electronic security, just to name a few. A few of my discussions with certain people also allowed me to take a closer look at my goals to see if I'm what I'm going after is what I really want. And so, its only proper for me to end this post with a round of thanks.

Thank you everyone at Sullivan and Cromwell who took the time out to show me around for the last two weeks. Your time and kindness will not be forgotten.

Also thank you everyone at MOUSE for always helping me out. Without you guys, I would not have chances like this in the first place.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Reading and Comprehension

I've been thinking lately about my training in languages. My Japanese is slowly moving somewhere, though not as fast as I would like it to be, and I'm starting to forget my French (which mortifies me). So because of this, I've started to place this new idea into action. I've asked friends who speak the two target languages to assist me with this concept. Basically, I'm asking them to just glance over articles that I've chosen to read and create questions based off the readings for me to answer. This is nothing new - its a popular way of teaching languages in school. I myself remember being drilled in such ways. And remember that it did help. And now that my old ways aren't working as well as they once were, I need to change things up again. Hopefully I can get somewhere with this.

*Edit: I realize now that this would be something very interesting to research. The link between reading and comprehension. Know what? I think I will go poke around the web and then post my findings here. Save everyone else the trouble.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Late Birthday Gift

Last night, around 8 or so, I heard someone knocking on my front door. Perplexed as I was, seeing as how I was not expecting anyone, I went to go answer it. Turned to be my neighbor with a package in hand for me. After a small like greet-and-thank session with the nice old man, I closed to door and ripped into the box. The box itself was fairly large - getting it open was a bit difficult without anything sharp, and at some point my mother had quietly slipped next to me, watching with a strange sort of abnormal interest on her face. She had asked me what was it and I had no idea how to answer, so I didn't. I just buired myself deeper into the task at hand.
Once I was finished in getting it opened, we both peered inside, awfully curcoius to see what we'd find. And you'll never guess what it was. Go ahead - I'll wait.

It was a Tickle me Elmo doll.

Told ya you would never guess. Now to fully understand the reason why I would receive such an item, there are some details that I must explain. I have a friend who lives far, far away. And during one of our many phone calls months ago, I mentioned that when I younger I really wanted a tickle-me-Elmo doll. Thus, I'm guessing that she took that to heart and brought me one. Now, there are some other things that Elmo came to stand for during the course of our conversations so I'm wondering if her giving it to me was in someway referring to all of that (and no, I'm not going to explain what those things are. Makes me seem more of a child than I already am).

But all in all, I must say this:

Thank you Lexie for the gift. Really did make my day. :p

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Series Four of Doctor Who in America

So yea. The new series of Doctor Who begins in America on April 18th on the Scifi Channel. The season premier will be the 2007 Christmas Special, "Voyage of the Damned". It would appear that this series of the show just began in England yesterday, so we won't be far behind. I just can't wait for it to start. I've been needing my Doctor Who fix lately, and the long wait did not help at all.

Anyways, here's to another hopefully great season of the show. I have no doubt that the fourth series will be just as good as the other three that came before it.

My birthday (part II) ~ A Content Reversal

I know my last post was not the happiest of posts - indeed it was a bit gloomy. I expect this one though to be of a more buoyant if not content nature. These set of days, inclusive surrounding my birthday, have a way of bringing about such a Jackal & Hyde response from me. They end up nicely balancing themselves out so I suppose that makes it all fine in the end.

Anyways, in an unforeseen move from my eldest cousin, Kim had decided to take most of the family out to Long Island to visit this arcade/restaurant place called Dave and Busters. I had spent most of the morning at my father's house, so when I finally did arrive at my aunt's house, I came across everyone there all dressed as if they were going someplace. At first I was disappointed - I had planned to take a bit of a nap there and when I saw them in that prepared state of anticipated departure, I thought they were going to drag me into following them around shopping. But when I thought about it a second time, taking in all of the details more throughly, I found that something seemed off. I began to ask around to find out just what they had in plan and no one really gave me an answer. It was not until I asked Kim herself that understood - she wished to treat everyone in recognition of my birthday.

So all seven of us - my mother, cousins, aunt, uncle, and myself - got in my mom's car, and with Kim at the helm, set off for Long Island. Now I must say this: I greatly enjoy long drives. particularly along highways. I like watching the surroundings whiz past. Also, I'm given the chance to go off in my own little world for long stretches of time without someone bothering me. The drive was of a pleasant length. While it was long, it full of enjoyable conversations shared by the vehicle's passengers. Their range of topics, for example, were from the man expecting to give birth to a baby (this one within itself is a doozy. I'm going to restrain the need for further explanation. It starts to pain me after a while of dwelling on it...) to the advancement of science and to me learning how to drive. All in all, it jumped around the place.

Finally after some directional mishaps - Kim and my uncle kept going back and forth about which way to go to find the place. Each battle ended up with Kim following his suggestions, which turned out to be wrong, causing me to start trusting her judgment more - we found the place. When we got inside it was a bit more fancy than a typical arcade, due to the existence of the restaurant. We by passed all of the big, bright flashing lights and sounds of the entertainment around us and went to eat. This may have been the best part. The barbecue sauce was just great - and I, being a hardcore barbecue sauce addict (story(ies) for another day), fell in love with it at first taste.

Afterward we ran around the place for at least another three hours just playing the games there. The highlight of this would have to be when we were watching people play a DDR-like equivalent game. Really, there are some crazy skilled people out there. The first kid was able to move his legs at such an amazing speed - he held on the the bar behind him and was able to play what should have been a two player game by himself. Really, bloody cool. The second great player was actually two that performed as one. When you watched closely, their legs seem to be moving as if they were connected to the same mind - they touched the pad at exactly the same time, with the exact same speed (which was nothing less than blinding, much like the guy who went before them). I seem to have some weird complex of respect for those who are able to do such things on those types of games. It was a visual delight to be able to watch and just left me in awe.

The second game worth noticing was the virual reality boxing game. It was much like boxing from Wii Sports. You have to move your body around to hit and dodge the attacks. So I went first. I began with no real problems, but as I progressed I started to lose it. That game broke me down so much that at a certain point, I was just pummeled the living hell out of my opponent. I even started to be on the screen out of fear that he would somehow get back up again and take me out. I refused failure. Of course, I lost in the second round due to fatigue - the game took out Kim and my uncle in succession because of that element after me, though they tag-teamed and were therefore able to get farther than me (12th place instead of 87th).

So yeah. Yesterday was probably the better out of the last three days. So I'm happy I was able to end on such a content note for this 17th birthday of mine.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My birthday ~ Uncelebratory Assessments

Yesterday - the fourth of April - was my birthday. Not sure what can be said about it. I got good amount of friends together to go out to lunch with - one of them even paid for my food. woot! - and I went out to dinner that evening. This was in stark comparison to my birthday last year - it was spring break and so as soon as my mother left for work, I locked all the doors, turned off anything anyone could contact me with (phones, computers, etc), and went to sleep. I really just don't find all my birthday to be all that interesting. Celebrating it is not high on my list of priorities.

The most my birthday does for me is make me think more about this life of mine. Its past, present, and future. The day of my birth date and the day directly proceeding it are nothing more than causes of reflection. There is so much that I'm aiming to do - and that makes me worry. I had a very insightful conversation with someone at my internship on Thursday. It really did help me add some clarity, or at least another level of analysis to my thoughts.

I've also noticed that birthdays have a way of seeming more for those that around you than for yourself, when you don't really care for them. A lot of people got upset with me when I took a fairly easy-going attitude in answering their question of what I wanted to do on that day. One or two of them told me to think of those who are around me - that day is important to them for a reason. I guess I understand that, but I don't see anything wrong in just going along with whatever they have planned for me without much of my personal input.

In the end still, it was my birthday. Even with all of these thoughts swarming me, I still had some kind of fun. The likes of which will be explained next post...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Language Books and (Semi)Update to Guides

I recently ran into a bunch of books on grammar for Japanese and French. Some of which include the titles "Minna no Nihongo", "A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar", "A dictionary of Japanese Particles", and "Schaum's Outline of French Grammar". I've been looking through them, trying to come up with a method of study that would wield the most results. So far I've been most drawn to the Minna no Nihongo and the basic Japanese grammar book. They seem to have a lot of quality sentences for me to steal and enter into Anki (for those of you who don't understand what I mean by that, I'm sure to write a little something about it in upcoming days. Google "anki" in the meantime if you'd like...) Schaum's outline of French looks nice as well, but not as nice as the other books I already have. Hopefully I will still have a use for it.

The greater importance of this post is that I'm still figuring out how I should write the so-called guides I've been contemplating. Should they be a collection of notes or me actually doing lessons. I'm leaning towards notes, for I'm simply just not that good in either languages. But nevertheless, I'll figure it out. And soon. Spring Break type soon - tentatively.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My grade's poorly executed prank...

So I shared with you a prank that was actually funny. Now, the next one I shall explain is not. Well, it is in its stupidity. So last night, as I was on AIM, I got a chain message saying that people were planning to walk out of the classrooms at 9:10 or so. I read it and then deleted it - I had no real enthusiasm towards the whole thing. So today, during my first period class, a few people randomly got up, made bit of a scene due to the disorganization of their planned event, then finally left. The rest of us were just watching - one could almost read the question marks over our heads. Then chaos broke loose. Everyone began to understand what was happening and more or less went crazy. My poor science teacher said to me, "They never did this kind of crap at my old school," sat down and just watched the mayhem unfold. We started to hear yelling in the halls as the more unruly children in the school ran around. I even believe one of the school's teachers joined in on their activities as well.

So after the people who left our classroom came back, they looked at the rest of us with a scornful glance and proceeded to call us punks. Because of their failed coup, the little band of students began to plot out plan B. They got everyone's phones and set them to ring at a certain time. Finally second period came along. They all acted nice and cool and everything went well. That is until the phones all across the classroom started to go off. One by one they rang. The teacher for that period looked around in confusion then told us that no one was going anywhere, then moved to stand in front of the door, declaring that they would have to go through her within that one simple action.

After that, there were some more isolated incidents of disobedience (such as throwing paper towels and shredded paper in the hallways) but other from that, they all just gave up. Thats what they get for coming up with their scheme the night before....

Gmail's Custom Time ~ April Fool's Joke

So this year's joke from the kind people on Google's gmail team is the Custom Time feature. Now this one took me a while to get. I read the whole page thinking, 'Wow, this is interesting, but whats the point?'. It was as I read the page a second time that I realized that it was a joke and started to laugh. And I really was considering just how I would use it and how evil people would be with that tool. I must admit that I got the biggest kick out of this 'testimonal':

"I just got two tickets to Radiohead by being the 'first' to respond to a co-worker's 'first-come, first-serve' email. Someone else had already won them, but I told everyone to check their inboxes again. Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."

Plus this statement from the team pertaining to why they are only allowing people 10 uses of this was funny as well:

"Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless."

All in all, good joke you guys. Had me going there for a while. Its always nice to take a few moments out of the day to have a good laugh.

Windows and OLPC

I've been following this issue for a while and word on the street (or should I say web?) is that a windows based OS is coming to the XO machines. I must say that I'm intrigued by all of this - for both positive and negative reasons. Some of which, I'll explore here in order to give you all a sense of how I came to my overall conclusion.

  • Opening up the XOs to other operating systems rather than Sugar is a smart move. Not everyone can handle Sugar (due to frustration or otherwise). Its nice to allow people more freedom of choice.
  • It also will bring in more of a userbase. Much more people are into using Windows rather linux and so by using that OS you'll also see the general interest of the computers increase greatly.
  • This little thought just occurred to me: While creating Sugar to make things simple for kids across the world was a great idea, I can't help but to think that it may handicap them later on when they try to use more mainstream computers. I think that exposing them to different environments as they are being taught with the XOs would be a better method.

  • The project itself may become more corporate than originally planned. There is a chance that the goal may be lost in the shuffle.
  • Along with the possible consequence of a lost vision, it may end up turning off people that already are very involved with the current movement. People that have already done so much work for the community, thus it would be a shame to see them leave.

Yet still, overall I think that despite Microsoft being the so-called "evil empire", having the OS on the machines would be an interesting thing. It would - hopefully - open all of this new to new people and new ideas. All of which, would help to bring the project closer to its goal. Well, in my little perfect world, at least. Can't wait to see what really happens...