Monday, June 11, 2007

The Jam is Over.

I got six hours of sleep last night. SIX HOURS! It was great. I feel all refreshed now.

Today was data entry day. After a trip to Olin to drop off checks (I need to get over my fear of handling sums over $100; in some respects it's a lot of money, in some respects it isn't, but it's just money. That's all.) SJ and I went back to the OLPC office and I typed up the surveys from yesterday's Game Jam tests. The results left me wondering how children find 3-5 hours a day to play video games. Probably the same way the average American finds over 4 hours a day to watch TV.

As a side note, the OLPC office is not unlike Gill's lab; open tables, people grabbing space to work... it's a little cleaner and doesn't have snakes or a Wii, and the age distribution of the people present is much broader than 18-22, but the atmosphere feels similar. I like it. I need to find another OLPC project to work on, because...

...the Jam is beginning to reach done-ness. It is slowly moving off my shelf to be replaced as alpha project by my research proposal - beta project is now my financial infrastructure, which I really need a Crunch Day for, with company. Something about moving thousands of dollars between accounts makes me much more nervous than it should, so I've been doing research and research and putting it off. I need company to help motivate/compete/guilt me into getting my finances set up already, slacker! If you're in the Boston area and want to do this, email me.

The hunt for the replacement of my Dell continues. Omar had a lovely, lovely IBM tablet at the Jam this weekend. SJ as a shiny IBM X60. They are both expensive... but not as expensive as EmpororLinux's Raven tablet (over $3k). That's right, folks; they got the handwriting rec and the fingerprint scanner working. They are shiny, tiny, and I would greatly like one. However, I still have no reliable source of income, so until then, I hope my Dell doesn't fall apart.

Finally, Gloria wrote a beautiful article on women in technical communities. If you are interested in technology or gender equity, please give it a read; I'm curious to hear what folks think and also whether similar behaviors are exhibited within other minorities-in-technology or minorities-in-<field> groups (as in, is this a "women in tech" thing, a "women in X" thing, a "minorities in tech" thing?)

One of the smaller sections at the end describes the practice of writing under a male pseudonym. I actually don't go by Mel because it's a male pseudonym. It was a nickname I chose for myself when I was 7 ("Mallory" was too long, "Mal" meant "bad," and "Mol/Mil/Mul" just sounded weird) without knowing it was a male/unisex name. That having been said, it's rather convenient. I don't hide the fact that I'm female, but people online will usually assume I'm a guy (giving me more "credibility") unless I've been introduced to them through someone else (which gives me "credibility" too). However, I'm also moderately blunt, less apologetic, and in speech/interests/manner more "stereotypically male-like" than most females I know. So there's a particular little experiment I have in mind to run sometime, just to see what happens.


Anonymous said...

Rather than an x60, you could go with an x40; much cheaper, but still quite capable. I've actually owned both an x40 and an x60s, and I ended up selling the x60s.

I'm assuming you'd run linux on it; Ubuntu works well on it, suspend/resume works, and it's even endorsed by mjg59. I think SJ used to have an x40 (and I'd be really surprised if I was the only one in the office with one).

- dilinger

nikki said...

You start talking about tablet PCs, and I start groaning about the ridiculously shiny $2500 tablet that Wacom offers [a screen! flat so you can use a ruler! 2000ish levels of pressure sensitivity!]...

Other than my mostly irrelevent free-associating: you are getting more or less done with Game Jam. If it so please you, send me some work?

Mel said...

Ooh, x40s are indeed nice. Thanks, Dilinger! Time to start saving...

And Nikki, you'll be hearing from me very, very soon. We've got some art requests already. :)