Skip to main content

OLPC talk at design school

I gave a talk about the $100-laptop at the Magdeburg school of Industrial Design. We did some very inspiring projects using Squeak, Etoys, and Croquet together before. The designers always come up with interesting ideas, even though not everything is directly implementable by us developers.

Carola Zwick, dean of the school, wrote a book Designing for Small Screens that certainly gives valuable insight for OLPC developers, and she provided (though indirectly) some very important infrastructure for the OLPC office: her group designed the chairs they are sitting on. I got the actual invitation by Christine Strothotte, who got her PhD doing computer graphics in Smalltalk just a few years before I got mine from the same school. She's teaching interaction design nowadays. I'm looking forward to doing an OLPC-related project with these great folks.

A student took some photographs during the talk. Also, from his blog post it seems I convinced him of the merits of the OLPC project (it was a lively discussion). Thanks for posting, Cheng!

Comments

Sandra de Palma said…
I really hope this gets a great success, MS not neede anymore.

olpc.com

Popular posts from this blog

Frontend-only Multi-Player. Unlimited Bandwidth. Or: What is Croquet.io, really?

A multi-player web app needs a backend, right? What if I told you, it doesn’t? Read on for how Croquet gets rid of servers. No, really . Instantaneous Shared Experiences  is how we describe Croquet on our website. And while that excellently describes What Croquet does, as Croquet's Chief Architect, I wanted to share a bit about How we do that. So I wrote a Twitter thread . Here it is in blog form, slightly extended. Click the animation above if it does not play automatically Croquet lets you build completely client-side multi-user web apps. Read that again. Client-side. Multi-user. No I’m not kidding. I built it, I know it works. 😁  Croquet apps run completely client-side: can be hosted as a static web site no server-side code needed no networking code needed  Croquet is literally virtualizing the server: Instead of running code on a server (or in a serverless function) we run it as a virtual machine (VM) on each client.  Croquet carefully controls the inputs to these identi

Deconstructing Floats: frexp() and ldexp() in JavaScript

While working on my  SqueakJS VM, it became necessary to deconstruct floating point numbers into their mantissa and exponent parts, and assembling them again. Peeking into the C sources of the regular VM, I saw they use the  frexp ()   and ldexp () functions found in the standard C math library. Unfortunately, JavaScript does not provide these two functions. But surely there must have been someone who needed these before me, right? Sure enough, a Google search came up with a few implementations. However, an hour later I was convinced none of them actually are fully equivalent to the C functions. They were imprecise, that is, deconstructing a float using frexp() and reconstructing it with ldexp() did not result in the original value. But that is the basic use case: for all float values, if [ mantissa , exponent ] = frexp (value) then value = ldexp ( mantissa , exponent ) even if the value is subnormal . None of the implementations (even the complex ones) really worked. I

Emulating Smalltalk-76

If you got as excited as me about Dan Ingalls' live Smalltalk-76 demo on an actual 1970's Xerox Alto, you may have wanted to try it yourself.  For one, you could try my Smalltalk-78 VM. Smalltalk-78 is a leaner version of Smalltalk-76 but very much identical in syntax semantics.  It is also possible to run the full Smalltalk-76 environment, and here is how: First, you need an emulator for the Alto computer. Ken Shiriff posted a nice piece on how to run ContrAlto on Windows . It is written in C# and I got it to work on my Mac using Mono. So here's a step-by-step: Install Mono from  http://www.mono-project.com/download/ Download ContrAlto-mono.zip from https://github.com/livingcomputermuseum/ContrAlto/releases Download this Smalltalk-76 disk image: http://www.bitsavers.org/bits/Xerox/Alto/disk_images/chm/xmsmall.zip Unzip both  ContrAlto-mono.zip  and  xmsmall.zip  in the same folder. In a terminal, change to the ContrAlto directory and run mono Contralto.exe .