So, apart from excitement and sadness since Thursday night, I went to an OLPC Users meeting. The last time I assembled with a bunch of fellow nerds for a specific hardware platform was AtariFest in 1990 or something. Much discussion on the STacy
coming out. I was a member of ARMUDIC, and got in some embarrassing (for me) flame war with Amiga enthusiasts on a dial-up BBS.
Nothing's changed. It's the same people! Okay, Georgia Weatherhead and Tom Hudson weren't there, but I mean the same type of people. I felt like an elder, because I wore a very geeky vi joke shirt and RIGHT away an emacs guy called me out on it. We almost had a "I remember punch cards and LPTs and PDP/11s..." war before I stopped. Did I *want* to look old? Some of the people there were like, 8 or 12. Seriously. Someone's Junior High class, I think, was there. And adults.
In any case, Mike Lee ran the show. He's got a lot of hats. He's head of the OLPC Learning Club - DC, blog writer for olpclearningclub.org, and his company's sponsorship liaison to the MIT Media Lab (which developed the OLPC). Nice guy. He brought all kinds of OLPC accessories, mostly of what he's been showing off on OLPC News. Curtis Cannon from Greater DC Cares was there, and spoke about some of the connections that OLPC was expected to bring. The most "ooh ahhh" that was not a foot-pumping generator was Justin Thorp talking about the involvement of the Library of Congress, bringing media to these kids.
Of, coure, the whole time anyone was speaking, I was geeking out with the laptop. There were no open WAPs, and I think even with the online presence, people were too shy to chat with me. I saw some people chatting like mad on what i think was xochat.org, but I think they had a connection to an open Linksys that, for some reason, could only be seen on that side of the room. But I am not sure because if that were the case, we'd all be sharing that wireless connection. Maybe I was doing something wrong.
Afterwards, there was some "free mingle" time which I enjoyed. I learned a lot. I had always suspected the "top row" was function keys, and now I had proof.
I hope to make the next one.