a man, a plan, a cake: nirvana

BugLabs update

Well a lot has happened on the BugLabs front since last I posted: the bug won CNET's Best of CES award for Emerging Technologies; they opened their store to early adopters today; and they let me know that they're sending me a very generous gift!

Back in November, they had an "application cook-off" that I co-won with koolatron. Jeremy, the BugLabs marketing guy had said "prize details forthcoming" back then, and I'd pretty much forgotten about it until I watched the
Engadget video with Jeremy at CES. I sent him a friendly reminder after he got back from CES and he wrote back with:

Was waiting til Monday to do this, but hey, it's the weekend, why not?

We're going to be sending two BUGbundles out, one for you, one for Koolatron. So you get the BUGbase and all four shipping modules, and we'll send you the "von Hippel" module when it's ready!

Sorry for the long, long wait - we had planned to do this some time ago, but the snag we hit early on in manufacturing basically nixed our whole approach. But, we're back up and running now...

I was amazed. The kit's early adopter price is $549, so they are being exceedingly generous. I didn't spend nearly enough time with the bug to warrant that, but now that I have actual hardware coming I will need to get back into working on some of my apps.

I took a gander over to
bugnet and saw that, now that the beta is open, the apps are getting a lot more attention. One person even commented on mine about a typo; in this case one that was in the SDK last time I had compiled the app, but which has since been fixed by BugLabs. In the closed beta there were a lot of crickets chirping after the initial excitement, so It's nice to see the community around the bug starting to come alive.

I have to say, I'm excited to be getting a bug. With my intention to be more frugal in 2008, I had written off my chances of getting one to play with, but now I'm going to get one guilt-free! Maybe I will finally get round to making that
GpsLogger do some actual logging.


So, I ended up putting my OLPC XO up on eBay. Some nice chap from Mexico picked it up for far too much.

I felt good about the donation part of the Give One Get One program, but not so good about adding $400 to my ever mounting AMEX bill. I had some grand ideas for working on some Python apps for it, playing with the Sugar frontend, and some other stuff. But, I realized over the Christmas break that I really wasn't going to have the kind of time to dedicate to it that would be required. Also, my kids are spoilt by access to nothing slower than a PowerMac G4, and so there wasn't much to offer on the XO that they didn't already have quicker access to, with better input devices, and a better screen, on the Mac.

Now, that's not to say that I don't think that the XO is a worthwhile device. I think it will be useful to its target audience: children who likely would not have the opportunity to be directly exposed to information technology otherwise. And as the interfaces get a little more polished, and the selection of applications expands, it will become more and more useful. I saw recently that John Negraponte intends to sell the XO officially in the US, as opposed to just via the Give One Get One program that I acquired it through. The success of the
Asus Eee PC shows that at least some portion of the populous has cotton on to the fact that they don't need the resources of the supercomputers-in-PC-clothing that are now available from Dell et al. I do think they will still want something a little swifter than the XO, but perhaps in the educational setting it might just do okay.

I wish it well.