Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm going to miss DC

With less than 30 hours left here in DC I'm really starting to realize just how much I'm going to miss this place and the great people I've meet here. Obviously I'm really looking forward to my travels to Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco but I certainly wouldn't mind a couple of extra days here in DC just to properly say good-bye to everyone and still have some time to take it all in.

Anyway, it's getting late here and I'm really exhausted so I better hit the matrace. Hope to have some time to catch up on my e-mails, to-dos and overall thoughts during that 7h train-ride to Boston on Tuesday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Remarkably quiet

It's been awhile since I last posted something. However things around here have simply been too insane for me to find some spare minutes to sit down and blog. Work is definitely keeping me very busy, a fact which didn't make me too happy on the weekend when I was getting things done instead of slacking off. However the situation has improved since yesterday and while I'm still far from being bored the workload is now much more managable than towards the end of last week. Apart from that I'm out and about most days, after all I only have 7 more days here in DC and I'll definitely make the best of it. :-)

Anyway, it's about time to grab some sleep... Good night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fuck fuck fuck, I lost my mobile phone

Fuck, I just got home and realized that my Austrian mobile phone seems to be gone. Must have slipped out of my pocket in the Metro or something. Fuck, fuck, fuck. That's like the perfect ending for a day that had already pissed me off anyway.

Even though I have already filed a lost&found online form with WMATA I don't think I'll be seeing that one again. Not only because I'm in DC but mainly because I immediately called my number when I figured out that my phone was gone and initially it rang and then went into the voicemail, now it directly goes into the voicemail. This just sucks, especially since I had a ton of notes and to-dos on that phone, plus a couple of cool photos.

Now my last hope is to wake up tomorrow with the phone's alarm clock waking me up from within a random pocket of my jacket, but I'm not holding by breath. So the first order for tomorrow is to report it stolen back home in Austria (I don't have the necessary data on me to do that right now) and then bitch and scream about it for the rest of the week.

Fuck, fuck, triple fuck...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Random late-night thoughts and photos

I got a fair amount of BBQ'ing, beer drinking and work done since I got back from Boston so it really comes as no surprise that time is flying by again. As ever so often I meant to post some blog updates on the weekend but I really didn't manage to get it done. However I'm proud to report that I looked through the photos I took during my 4h walk through Boston last Tuesday. Plus I actually uploaded them to Flickr already. (Both things which I still haven't managed to get done for the photos from my NYC trip a couple of weeks ago.) Anyway, head over to my Boston set on Flickr for some impressions of the city.


Now let's see how much blogging I get done this week...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Scared of the ticking clock

I know, I talk about this a lot, but it is really really scary how time flies. I'm not even talking about those outstanding 5 days in Boston from where I just got home two hours ago. Rather it's the fact that I realized that I only have a bit more than 2 1/2 weeks left here in DC!

Anyway, off to get some badly needed sleep... Good night everyone!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3 hours left...

ARGH, I only have about three hours left here and still shitloads of things I want to get done even though last night we again stayed until 5:30 a.m. and only slept for around 2 1/2 hours.

I'm certainly sad that I have to leave, it's been outstanding being here and I'd love to also be able stay for the next two days. On the other hand I have to admit that I'm very much looking forward to getting a good nights sleep! :-)

Anyway, off to finish my things, hope to be able to post another update (and some of the photos which I took last night) soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 3 @ 1CC - 06/09/08 - Cambridge, MA (#2)

Ahh, it's already 4 p.m. and only now do I have some spare time to do a brief write-up about yesterday...

It was again a pretty good day and you can find all of the artifacts, transcripts and whatnot produced during yesterday's grassroots bootcamp session at w.l.o. We started the day with a brainstorm on the most pressing grassroots community facilitation problems that need to be addressed. It yielded some good and interesting results, community-assisted testing being the one I'll be focusing on over the coming days and weeks. After lunch consisting of very good pizza I briefly meet up with Walter Bender for an interesting discussion about both olpcnews and Sugar Labs. Afterwards I had the pleasure of joining in on an OLPC tech-meeting where some of the plans for the coming weeks and months were discussed. There should be some challenging tasks in there for external contributors, more information will be made available over the coming weeks.

In the evening I meet up with my friend Bob to grab some burgers and beers close to Harvard square. As always we had some great discussions about topics ranging from wifi networks to history.

By the time I got back to the office I was quite beat but we decided to call it a night. Unfortunately Maker House, where I'm staying, was locked and there was no key to be found so Seth and I ended up staying at SJ's place. Anyway, the 6 hours of sleep were certainly well deserved!

Well, I'm off to see the city, after all it's my 2nd time here in Boston and I've spent basically of it here in the OLPC offices in Boston. Last time we did spend 2 or 3 hours walking through the city center and the Harvard area but this time I want to see a bit more and maybe grab a bite to eat (seafood!) somewhere. :-)

Day 3 @ 1CC - 06/09/08 - Cambridge, MA

Another productive day.
Lack of sleep.
Good night.

More details to follow tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

From Dusk 'till Dawn

June, 9 - 5 a.m. - 1CC, Cambridge, MA

Day 2 @ 1CC - 06/08/08 - Cambridge, MA

Ah, what a great evening. I'm currently sitting in a courtyard, surrounded by fancy new buildings of the MIT and other R&D companies. It was a relatively hot and humid day but right now it's just perfect outside, with a light breeze and dusk slowly setting. It kind of reminds me of summer nights at Attersee, a lake in Upper Austria where my family used to go a lot when I was younger, with the only slight difference being that I'm several thousand kilometers away from Austria and not looking at the lake.

Anyway, we had another very productive day here at 1CC, with many more interesting discussions about community-related activities. Rabi from OLE Nepal also gave everyone an overview of their work there, I had heard most of it earlier in the week in DC but it was still an interesting session. Afterwards some plans for some important projects to be done in the June to August timeframe were discussed, more details about them will become available shortly.

Tomorrow marks the official start of the grassroots bootcamp and I'm very much looking forward to 2 1/2 days of intensive sessions, brain-storming, planning and hacking.

I can't even begin to really describe just how great it is to be here, I'm having an outstanding time and I'll definitely try to stop by again in late July before I fly back to Europe.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 1 @ 1CC - 06/07/08 - Cambridge, MA

I arrived in Boston 20 hours ago and I've spent 16 of those hours here at the OLPC HQ (aka 1CC). We ended up staying until ~ 6 a.m. last night, just discussing a lot of recent developments and plans for the future, obviously with a focus on community engagement and whatnot. Then we headed to Maker House where I'm staying while I'm in town, only to get up 2 1/2 hours later, take a quick shower and head back to the office. Today we've been quite busy discussing various bits and pieces, from a match-maker platform, community focused communication and events to feedback loops between deployments and (potential) contributors around the world. We also had a couple of good laughs and we might share some of our stories and jokes via a podcast (or something similar) in the near future.

Anyway, even though I've had my fair share of chai latté, coffee and coke I'm slowly starting to crash and it's about time I get outta here to grab some dinner and beers. Very much looking forward to tomorrow, especially the afternoon shall be interesting and it will be great to have a chance to match some faces to e-mails and nicknames in some of the meetings tomorrow. :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's great to be back at OLPC HQ in Cambridge, MA

XO-laptops. They're everywhere. On desks, the ceiling, in shelfs, on the floor.

P.S. Yes, it is close to 4 a.m. on a Friday night and we're still in the office... ;-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What a day...

Read my lips: Transcribing sucks!

In my case it's a one hour telephone-interview that I had yesterday. While the preparations and the interview itself were very interesting, transcribing the bloody thing to use it as a basis for an article I'm writing is quite the opposite. In fact it's a royal pain in the rear.

But hey, it's only 6 p.m. and I've been in the office for a mere 9 hours. No reason to complain and plenty of time left today to work on the damn thing...


Remembering... Taipei

After last night's post and keeping an eye on all the news coming from Computex today it's not really all that surprising that I had another 'Taipei moment' tonight. After an interesting discussion session about ICT in education that Wayan had organized, we went out for dinner and beers. The moment we got out of the building and saw that it had rained I had somewhat of a flashback to my Taipei experiences in 2006 and 2007. The rain, the wet streets, the yellow lights in terms of the atmosphere combined with the fact that I was talking ICT over beers with a bunch of outstanding people from different parts of the world certainly reminded me of all the good times in past years. On top of that I didn't get too much sleep last night and had quite an intense and productive day and so it's not hard to connect the dots. Plus the weather in DC these days is remarkably similar to Taipei as it's hot and humid here and there's no escape from it, especially when the A/C in your office isn't working.

The generally interesting thing here of course being that I had spent quite a lot of time these past 48 hours reminiscing about Computex and Taipei. But it's one thing to think about something and a totally different story to actually be back there, to literally relive these moments long gone. I've often thought about these sort of moments and for some reason they're often connected to out-of-the-ordinary experiences such as Computex or travelling. I'm starting to believe that there are certain situations that the mind simply can't fully comprehend at the time, often due to sheer exhausting, sleep deprivation and mental overflow (been there, done that), which come back at later times to be thoroughly processed. Reliving those moments is probably part of this process. And actually I really don't mind it, quite the opposite, I cherish the chance to mentally be back in situations and places long gone.

So cheers to good memories and here's to many great experiences in the future! ...and could you please bring me another Sam Adams?! ;-)

Listening to Heavens - Patent Pending and In Flames - Come Clarity while I write these lines sitting in the metro on the way home...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Computex 2008 opens without me...

So while my Monday, a great day by the way, is slowly coming to an end I know someone who certainly isn't sleeping at the moment. In fact I'm quite convinced he hasn't slept all that much in the past few days seeing that he just got into Taipei on Monday to attend Computex 2008, definitely the best place to be these days. I'm of course talking about my friend Sascha of and epiacenter fame.

At this precise moment he is probably running through either the traditional exhibition halls around Taipei 101 or in the brand-new Nangang Exhibition Centre looking for news-worthy information, photos and videos which will then be rapidly published via the aforementioned Web sites and Steve's (On a fun side note: check out operations center that Steve set up to cover Computex out of his home in Germany!:-)

While following the constant stream of news coming out of Taipei over the past 48 hours I couldn't help but feel a little sad that I'm not there to enjoy the raging madness that is Computex. I was lucky enough to be there in the past 2 years and it was a blast even though I probably aged a year during the 6 days each I was in Taipei in both 2006 and 2007. The preparations leading up to those 6 days were always quite cruel, last year I actually pushed myself over the edge as I briefly passed out from exhaustion during the first leg of my flight from Vienna to Taipei via Abu Dhabi. (Needless to say a flight across the globe is the very worst time to lose consciousness.)

Of course the event itself is quite demanding in itself, running from meeting to meeting, always on the look-out for new products and/or booth babes. This is balanced by great evenings and nights spent in the hotel bar of the Grand Hyatt, at small halal restaurants, random watering holes or wherever else. Of course it's always the people that really make these nights memorable, and damn, I miss having the chance to hang out with them. Even though many of them have actually moved on to greener pastures and aren't in Taipei anyway.

Just when I was about to publish this article I remembered that I had taken a short video during my 2007 trip which I uploaded as sort of introduction to the Computex coverage on

Needless to say that after watching it and looking at some of my photos taken back in June 2006 I just might cry myself to sleep tonight...

China Pa, Carnegies, Taipei 101... I miss you!