Entries from November 2007 ↓

One Laptop Per Child: “You are Part of Something Big”

In my recent post on the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC), I mentioned they were selling the laptops to the general public for a limited time starting November 12th. I purchased mine the morning of the 12th, and am awaiting its arrival in mid to late December. You can still purchase one at the OLPC website.

This week someone sent me a link to an audio slide show on the BBC where Nigerian pupils and teachers explain how the $100 laptop project has helped education in Africa.

If you have doubts about the program’s viability you should watch this well-executed video from the founder of OLPC.

Finally, I received an email today welcoming me to the OLPC community. Here are some excerpts:

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Slides and Code from Fairfield / Westchester Code Camp

I spoke at the Fairfield / Westchester Code Camp yesterday in Stamford, Connecticut. The turnout was great and the facility, the University of Connecticut Business and IT campus, was amazing.

I spoke on LINQ to SQL, the new ORM technology from Microsoft. The presentation resulted in a good discussion about the architectural considerations of using such a tool, and I bailed on a few examples I had prepared to give time for all the Q & A.

Feel free to download my sample code and slides. The code is in C# 3.5 and runs in VS 2008 Beta 2.

[tags]connecticut .net, code camp, asp.net[/tags]

Marvel Comics on DVD, Virgin Charter, Hiring Rock Star Programmers, and the Ultimate PO Box

Amazon.com: “Marvel Digital Comics!”
560 issues of the Amazing Spiderman for $40 on DVD? How am I not buying this right now?

Virgin Charter
Chartered flight is perhaps the last huge markets in the U.S. with no major player. Richard Branson is out to revolutionize it.

100 Resources to Attract, Retain and Use Rock Star Programmers – HR World
A good list of resources on hiring developers. Looks like I have around 10% of the links.

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Warning: Software Startups are Not as Easy as Everyone Says

A few months ago I had a conversation with a successful friend of mine (by successful I mean 29 years old, self-employed, a six-figure income, and two houses in Northern California). He runs a software company.

We were discussing what it takes to be a software entrepreneur and in a moment of self-reflection he said “I’m not as successful as I anticipated. I thought success would be easier.”

One of the Smart Kids
When you’re young people throw compliments at you left and right.

Wash your hands, get a round of applause.

Tie your shoe, get a standing ovation.

Read the Guinness Book of World’s Records cover to cover…well, that will get you beat up by a 6-foot third grader named Chuck…but you get my point.

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The Joys of a Simpler Life and Holding a Program in One’s Head

Paul Graham published an essay called Stuff in July.

Reading it took me back to my trip to Africa in 2005, which I wrote about in an early essay titled Using Technology to Fight Poverty. Since that trip I’ve slowly jettisoned around 30% of my possessions. What Paul says is true; the clarity a simpler life brings is remarkable. Giving away, selling, or trashing stuff you haven’t used in a year will change your life.

If you want to blow your mind on the subject of “stuff,” check out the book Material World.

Paul also recently published Holding a Program in One’s Head, which single-handedly made two of my partially-finished essays completely irrelevant. An awesome commentary on what we do for a living. Definitely worth your time.

[tags]paul graham, possessions, programming[/tags]