9 October 2008

MIT dream

Last night I dreamed about MIT.

Texas Instruments had finally decided to build an RPN-based calculator, and for obvious reasons had chosen MIT for a major promotional event. I had been browsing the MIT bookstore and had seen a promo kit, so I snuck in to the labs to see the hardware in action.

It was “landscape” format, like the classic HPs (12c, 15c, 16c), but had a wide bitmapped display that could show 20 digits easily. It wasn’t just a calculator–they had taken ideas from the mobile phone world, and added a camera with extra low light sensitivity, a Zeiss lens with macro focus, and high speed motion capture, so you could record your experiments with it too. Oh, and it ran for something like 60 hours on two AA cells.

Pondering whether to buy one, I sat in a nearby cafe. The barista asked why I was so excited, when I could be visiting New York or Harvard or something. I explained that for me, MIT was where it had all happened, but in my excitement the only name I could think of was Marvin Minsky. When I mentioned him, the barista snorted, and said he was a hack.

I think this is quite possibly the geekiest dream I’ve ever had. I think it’s all because I was looking at R6RS yesterday.

© mathew 2017