Category Archives: Philanthropy

My Wife, The Bag Lady

Today I want to brag on my wife a bit. Kathy is great at trying to meet the needs of people she meets. One group which has always tugged at her heartstrings is the homeless. Austin has a large homeless population, and we’re up that way often enough that we encounter them regularly. On our […]

On My Mind: Tech, Crisis Response, Maps, Crowd-Sourcing

I’ve been having some interesting talks with my friend Ben Mengden lately. He graduated with a Geography degree, has been delving into architecture over the past few years, and is really interested in the developing world and how those disciplines can be applied there. I have a deeply rooted interest in computing, the Internet, and […]

The African Children’s Choir

Last night, Kathy and I took the kiddos to see a performance of the African Children’s Choir. As a big fan of African choral music, I was really excited to get to hear this group, even though I didn’t know much more about them than their name. I was not disappointed. The 30-strong choir, made […]

Extreme Financial Management: Why Budgets Suck

There is a school of software engineering broadly referred to as “agile programming.” The basic distinguishing features of agile programming is that it is responsive to changing needs and gets as much done with as little extra overhead as possible. Advocates of this style are fond of saying “do the simplest thing that could possibly […]

OLPC, Microsoft, and Intel

The Times Online has a really interesting article up on the One Laptop Per Child initiative and Microsoft’s and Intel’s responses to it. It’s a great read, and provides an interesting window into some of the skulduggery that the corporations engaged in when threatened by the vision of a cheap laptop for the developing world. […]

Make Software? Make Money? Help Cure Cancer

My friend and occasional boss Seth Dillingham is gearing up again for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, an annual bicycle ride fund raiser that benefits the Dana-Farber Institute, a research organization that battles cancer. Part of Seth’s fund raising each year includes a big Macintosh software auction, for which he’s now collecting donations. If you make Mac […]

Some Reading For The Summer

Here are a couple of books I’ve quite enjoyed recently: IrresistibleĀ Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical: Shane Claiborne, the author of this book, is an interesting cat. He’s passionately devoted to the idea of living according to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament, especially with regard to the poor and disenfranchised. I particularly enjoyed his […]

Archimedes: A Big Enough Lever

This morning on the way to work, I was thinking about the critics of the One Laptop per Child program. Lots of people maintain that, rather than sending a $100 laptop to kids in third-world countries, we would do far better to send them $100 in food. And to a degree, I think they’re right […]

Two Heroes

Two people that I have found myself looking up to lately: There’s an 91 year old woman who volunteers at the Hays County Food Bank. While I will likely consider it a fairly major accomplishment to keep my nose hair well groomed and those darn kids off my lawn when I’m that age, she’s out […]

Give One, Get One Starts Today

Just a reminder: The One Laptop Per Child initiative starts its Give One, Get One promotion today. The deal again is this: you plunk down $400, which pays for two XO laptops. One goes to a child in a developing country, one goes to the child in your life (who might be you)! This promotion […]