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Archive for July, 2007

All I want for Christmas

photo credit Mike McGregor mikemcgregor.comIts starting to sound like sales of the OLPC might actually happen this year. Reuters is reporting that Mary Lou Jepsen, CTO for the OLPC project, is considering selling the XO to the general public starting in October! I’ll have to keep an eye on the retail wiki page to see if any details show up.

The options discussed for pricing include a one for two, or one for three plan. Basically it means that you would buy one laptop for the base costs required to produce two or three of the models intended for distribution. Basically, when you buy one in a developed nation you’re buying one for yourself and one for a child in a developing nation. Where else can you buy yourself a new toy and help educate a child at the same time!

The one for two pricing of around $350 is a slam dunk. I’ll pick one as soon as they become available at that price without looking back. The $525 one for three option is something I’d have to think about though. I probably would buy one at the higher price, but its quite a bit harder on the pocket book. I wonder if there would be a way to account for the overage charge as a tax deduction.

I believe this may be the most important charity project in the world right now. The ability to provide a child the resources of an entire library in a form they can carry with them will transform the nations where they are distributed.

Link, via BoingBoing, via One Laptop Per Child News

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Useful bling

2007-07-19 Comments off

Screenshot-cube

Desktop Cube

Originally uploaded by rharrison.

I was just reading cgwalterspost on his thoughts about the Pyro Desktop project. One of the comments got me to thinking about desktop “bling” and how useful it really is.

I actually wouldn’t have a agreed with him a few weeks ago. I thought the “bling” I had with compiz and beryl (now compiz-fusion) was great. I had everything turned on but really didn’t consider it incredibly useful. Mainly I was running it just to rub in what the OS X and Vista groupies couldn’t have, and I did think it was fun.

I started having some problems with my machine locking up running with compositing recently and had to turn off the fancy effects since I didn’t have time to figure out where the problem is. The last two weeks without bling I’ve found that all that “fluff” really did give me a great deal of helpful feed back in my daily work. I’m really having trouble adjusting to not having the bling any more, which is really surprising.

The scale plugin (expose) is the one I miss the most. Just being able to hit a button and see all my open windows is incredibly helpful. Especially on the laptop where I have limited screen real estate. Wobbling windows (which seemed like one of the most useless plugins) did give me a feel of how my windows were moving, and setting my system bell to simply wobble the window slightly is a very welcome change instead of having the entire screen blink for a visual bell, which is annoying, or just the title bar, which I never seem to notice. There are many other effects I really want back. Thumbnail previews, the cube, even the “light my window on fire when I close it” plugin. Actually that was my favorite.

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Will it Blend?

2007-07-12 Comments off

Just the name of this post lets you know something incredibly absurd (and incredibly awesome at the same time) is just on the other side of these links. The premise for the site is simple. In order to show how “powerful” and “tough” their product is, the makers of the Total Blender ask a very simple question. Will it blend? They throw anything they can think of into their blender to answer that very question. The “unsafe” category is the one to watch, including things like, pens a golf club, a dozen glowsticks, and my personal favorite an iPhone.

I think it may be partially because my Mother has a blender that really reminds me of this one (insanely loud, incredibly obnoxious, and totally unstoppable) that this has to be one of my favorite sites on the Internet. I never have time to actually browse it, since it really is a total waste of time. Thankfully, there are many other dedicated surfers out there with more time on their hands than I. I sure appreciate them posting or blogging about the highlights so I get to enjoy them to!