December 16, 2006

Introducing Laszlo Valentino DiBona

At 10:38am today Laszlo Valentino DiBona was born.

Chirstine and He both are happy and healthy. The vitals:

7lbs 8oz
20.5 inches long.


December 14, 2006

Thinkpad Laser Etching Photos

Someone in the comments asked for pictures of my laser etched laptop. The Thinkpad T43p has a black magnesium finish and takes a laser in a very subtle way. Phillip Torrone from make is going to be making the epilogue laser available to folks to burn their fun things onto their slabs. Anyhow here's a bit of what I remember from my sessions lasering different objects:

1) Thinkpads: 100% laser power. 150 dpi up to the limit of the image resolution.
2) iMacs: 100% laser, 150 dpi, takes the laser really nicely.
3) Nintendo DS and other soft plastics (blackberries, psps, etc) 60-70% laser, 75 dpi.

The first DS I did at 100% got a little bubbly and the laser browned the white plastic. The guy was happy about the results but I preferred a non-bubbly image.

More than 150 dpi and the epilogue laser would jam, I did some at 300 , but then had to cycle the equipment. I did about 30 laptops and 10 or so other items. The smallest being a tiny cell phone.

December 7, 2006

The OLPC in Person

At the Google Media party on Monday, there was an olpc on display. I had noodled with the board level electronics but I had not until then gotten the chance to mess with the hardware. I think it's pretty neat.

You'll notice a couple of things, The cool wireless ears, the nice display. It weights a little more than a thickish O'Reilly book (Tim, not Bill) , the keys are softish and water resistant. There are 3 ports, and the screen rotates around so it can be read like a book. There are 3 mousepads that you can use either for mousing or for a signature pad.

The whole things can be gamey, with the dpad and direction buttons on the screen. There are speaker/headphone and microphone jacks and there is a built in handle. It was pretty neat. I want to try to give one next year to the students and mentors in the summer of code to help bootstrap cool apps for it. It wouldn't add a significant amount of money to the SoC program, and would be really neat for everyone involved.

December 5, 2006


In my ongoing mission to keep myself typing so I don't look like an utter fool in print, I bring you a inter-blog mash note about Watchismo. Watchismo is a fun blog about watches that are weird, cool, normal and dysfunctional. People who know me might say "But, Chris, you don't even wear a watch. Are you some kind of watch poseur?" I assure you, dear readers that I am not going for some kind of watch duplicity, some temporally oriented deceit at all. I like watches, but I can't manage to wear them for longer than a month or so before I find them kind of redundant with the other clocks on my person and I leave them behind in a NASA style reduction in weight before going on a long flight.

That said, I find some watches, like the tumbler one, marvels of physical engineering in a way that cell phones and laptops and such aren't. I get more excitement out of the Sidekicks hinge than the entire software suite on my blackberry. Mind you, the berry is a fine machine, it just fails to excite me in the same way that durable, very very rad, machinery does. Rad in fact is the word I'd most like to have apply to things I work on. I don't know if I've achieved this, but I've certainly tried for the rad-ness. Google is a pretty rad place. I'm just saying.

December 2, 2006

Writing On the Wii

So I've not been writing enough as it seems my narrative style has gone stilted and my brain's vocabulary selection mechanism has come up short as of late, so I have to write a bit more to get back into the groove of things. You, my friends, will be the victims of this. Speaking professionally and Writing are very similar for me in that if I don't do enough of them, I am not as good at them. The last sentence as a case in point, how tortured is that?

Could I have written it better? For sure, here's a pass...

If I don't write, or give speeches for that matter, I get worse at it.

Ugh, too choppy, how about:

Speaking professionally and Writing are very similar for me in that if I don't do enough of them, I get worse over time.

Well, it's factual, but not very fun to read. How about...

I've found that if I don't speak before crowds, I get worse at it. The same is true of writing.

Not awful, and leads well into future sentences, I'll stick with the last form. Let's continue, shall we?

I've found that if I don't speak before crowds, I get worse at it. The same is true of writing. Accordingly, I'll now subject you to an essay about the Wii.

I think the Wii is nintendo's attempt to 'DSify' the home console. What do I mean by that? Well, if you look at the long history of the Game Boy, you'll see a steady , iterative advance of the handheld through Game Boy, to GB Color, GB Advance, Micro through to modern DS and DS Lite. This iterative approach maintains a certain amount of backwards compatibility, but not much of it, maybe 3 iterations or so depending. Comparing against the NES, SuperNES, N64, WII, you'll see a third of the offerings and it seems an interesting analogy might be comparing Nintendo's handheld offerings to web development while the consoles are more like packaged software, with long vistaesque release times and a concomitant expenditure on marketing and years of sunk costs.

As such, I think we'll see a DVD playing WII, an HD WII, multiple WII colors (Like my Blue one, above) , a super small WII, a stereo cabinet friendly WII, and a WII that will play DS games. I think they'll come out every year or so, and Nintendo will leave the big money iteration game to MS and Sony, to what end, I'm not sure anyone can predict, no matter how keen the various game blogs seem to enjoy slamming the two companies.