This week marks a new calendar year, as well as a sprint forward into what promises to be a busy time. It was about a year ago that I made my commitment to re-dedicate myself to learning and playing go, and I feel that I have made satisfactory progress to that limited goal. I have barely scratched the surface yet on the amount of total material I hope to someday master. I am playing semi-regularly now both over the board and online, and have managed to teach the game to a handful of interested others both at my office and some random passerby. I could certainly do with a more rigorous and steady daily reading exercise or tsumego, and I hope to build that into my routine soon, as there is copious sources for this being hand-delivered to my inbox each week.

Perhaps some of my lacking as a go student can be excused by my new life as a go programmer, as I have managed to find myself involved in porting or writing code for 3 distinct platforms for playing and learning Go. My XO laptop from the OLPC Foundation has arrived, and already I have begun customizing and learning the unique interface so that I can begin a go-related project on there. And I continue, however haltingly, to work on iShudan as a web application for the iPhone. I have some designs on a 1.0 release soon, so that people can download a fully functioning release and install to a local server for starting their own Go Dojo with other internet connected go players. However geeky I may be, writing code is certainly not my primary skill set, so this is all a series of rather ambitious projects where I am learning a lot and each new environment brings certain advantages and disadvantages.

I have joined the fledgling Seattle XO Users Group to obtain assistance and support in working on the XO, and I hope I might even be able to contribute some documentation back to the community as well.

The laptop is a marvel of engineering and design, but also fails to achieve its potential without the necessary software and processes to use it in place. The promise of the OLPC project overall is incredibly powerful, and I hope that this seeding of units out to developers in the general public will vitalize the effort, validate the current progress, and bring in much-needed new blood to this idea.

This post was composed and written from the XO, where I have installed and am using a modified version of Opera. This brings the ability to use tabs, and custom key mappings that allow browsing with the screen folded into book mode. The experience is quite extra-ordinary.