I am writing this post on the green membrane keyboard of my new pre-production OLPC XO. I’ve just finished upgrading the operating system to the latest version. It’s especially convenient to have it working because I left my AC adapter for my normal laptop in the office, so I can conserve battery power on my Thinkpad by using my XO instead.

I’ll have to post a picture taken with the XO’s camera, but not now. Now, I’m going to sleep.


Last night I went out to dinner with my grandparents, my second cousin Morgan, and (for the first time) my third cousin Georgina from Switzerland. Morgan and Georgina are both doctors, and so we had a lovely evening discussing the state of health care.

Today, I got an e-mail from OLPC informing me that they are giving me a prototype laptop to help me work faster on my OLPC project: Acoustic Tape Measure. There seems to be some enthusiasm for this project, which is nice. It is pretty magical to see in operation.


There was a world series party in my apartment tonight (Red Sox won), with a bunch of MIT grads. One of them called ahead, asking if we had a wireless network in our apartment. He explained that his company was launching their website tonight, and he was on-call for the launch. He was bringing up the site during the game. Everything went smoothly, and afterwards we logged on to check it out.

The site is http://www.everyscape.com , and it’s quite impressive.


I went to a Halloween costume party last night. That’s a bit of an overstatement; maybe half the people there were wearing some kind of costume. It was fun.

This morning I went to take a shower, and saw in the mirror that on my forehead were two great pink blotches, reminiscent of hives or eczema. I never get hives, so this was very much unexpected, and it took some time before I realized what had happened.

It was drizzling during the party, but still more comfortable outside the house than inside. My costume at the party consisted of an enormous deep purple straw hat. As you might expect, the splotches washed away just fine.

No bike

I bought a new tire and tube today, and installed them on my bicycle. Just before I arrived at class, the new tube had a sudden blowout. I locked up my bicycle and walked. On the way back, I grabbed the flat wheel, to investigate at home. From the appearance of the tube, I suspect a design flaw, but I am not an expert. In the mean time, my bicycle, minus rear wheel, is sitting outside in the rain, locked to a street sign near MIT.



I was surprised, when I arrived at my apartment in Boston today, to find a party in my living room. Emily had invited over some friends to watch the final game of the ALCS, which would determine whether the Red Sox would go to the World Series. It was fun, and they will.

My GPS is definitely dead. It reboots spontaneously at inconvenient times, and occasionally even hangs on reboot, requiring a hard reset with a paperclip. Replacing the battery might solve the problem, but it’s put together with those silly star-hex screws, designed specifically to discourage disassembly. I’ll have to see if any of my metric Allen keys are close enough.

(An Allen key is not Alan Keyes.)


I went home for the weekend, to close bank accounts. It worked, with only a minimum of guilting from the bankers. By Monday, my financial life will be a lot simpler.

My mother is vaguely in the market for a new car, so we visited a Honda dealership today, and this afternoon I drew up a list of every decent mid-size sedan on the market. There are quite a lot of them.

In Use

During the summer after sophomore year of college, I wrote a simulator for a modified form of the Gillespie algorithm. It was an extension of a class project, and basically just for fun, and to teach myself more about programming. I never really expected that anyone would use it.

On the bus this morning, I ran into a friend in the Biophysics department who said that she’d just been using my program to check something in her research.



When I came back from China, I couldn’t find my Harvard ID. I searched for a few days, then went to the card office and got a new one for $25. Today, I pulled out my ID to swipe it through a card reader, and the reader rejected it as invalid. I shrugged; these things are not very reliable.

I just opened my wallet again, and realized I am carrying two copies of my ID. The missing ID was in my wallet the whole time.

I haven’t quite figured out how this happened. My wallet is pretty small.