I ordered the Pixel Qi DIY kit the day after it became available (I was on a flight from Paris the day it was launched). Even with overnight shipping, because of the holiday and weekend, it only just arrived today in the mail and I’m currently typing this entry on my Acer Aspire One with a Pixel Qi screen. In the sunlight, it’s everything the hype makes it out to be and I love it.


All the guys at the office were floored by the screen in the direct sunlight.


The only issue I’m running into is that I would like to turn off the backlight at all times. I’m not sure that this is possible without different hardware. I noticed that when I installed the screen and hadn’t pushed in the connector entirely that the screen’s backlight seemed to be off. Not sure. I hope I can find a way to turn it off.

So, I’ve been waiting for a decade for a reflective computer screen and watching Pixel Qi for at least a year I believe. They FINALLY launched their DIY kit while I was in Europe and it sold out in less than one day. I was so disappointed not to get one of the first DIY kits to test on my netbook. I preordered one anyway and I’ll let you know if it works on my Acer Aspire when it gets here.

At first I wanted to get excited by Eric Cantor’s announcement about the YouCut program. Then I saw the dollar amounts saved and realized that a 0.017% is likely just a political pawn move. That’s like me asking all my friends to vote on how to save less than $10 for the year. While the concept sounds appealing, I would love to see budget cuts in the double digits as many Americans have had to make themselves.

I see videos like dump Reid and realize that Americans recognize that we must stop spending, but I worry that we will, as a people, run from the incumbents, only to find more of the same in a different party package from the challenging candidates. The republicrats are all alike these days. Pay close attention to Peter Schiff, Rand Paul, and those who are not career politicians.


Great article from fast company on the Standford d.school – ditching the cubicles and going for project based work spaces. The d.school’s grand opening was today. Thanks to Mike Levinthal’s help on Orabrush, Jeffrey and I met William Burnett in their open conference room a few weeks ago and Professor Bernard Roth gave us a tour of their building. The kinds of projects they’re working on were fascinating (pumps for under $20 to change a community for example).

The students we interviewed to help us with product design were all extremely high caliber people and product designers. Very difficult choice.

Dave Kelly, who’s a schoolmate of Mike’s, also gave us a tour of IDEO. The culture of those organizations really opened our eyes to an incredible way to set up offices. I loved how they hung their bicycles from the ceilings (sounds like the tree houses we built as kids). Thanks to Kathleen (Dave’s assistant) for helping set the interviews up for us!

We’d like to recreate something similar at the Provo Town Square or some other place with character for Orabrush. If you know of any places in the area that we could do something creative with, we’d love to know.

HP Slate versus Apple iPad

Although I was correct in assuming that HP would continue to piggyback off Apple’s marketing (they released a video before and blog post just after Apple’s iPad launch), it appears that my prediction for a Pixel Qi slate computer was too hopeful. The specs on the HP Slate are released via Engadget along with a promotional video on the coat tails of Apple’s hype.

Due to this unfortunate revelation, I will not be purchasing the HP slate and I’m still waiting for a computer that meets my display needs.

Last week when I was on my way back from a game of pickup ball at Declo High School, I noticed the stark contrast between the fancy new school versus the Junior High and Elementary School buildings beside it. They appeared to come from entirely different worlds. The old schools had been pieced together, one building at a time (each probably a decade apart), as the student body and needs grew. There were four unique sections to the old high school that also served the junior high.

Old Declo High School Main Entrance

Old Declo High School Gymn and View of Building

It was striking to see the uncoordinated sections of the buildings next to that modern high school. Strangely, during a time when I think a lot about living within ones means, the old schools, which represented self-control and restraint in spending, had a disciplined beauty to them, while the new school carried the baggage of America’s current pain and burden of high debt.

New Declo High School Building Funded by Multi-million Dollar Municipal Bond

I remember when I was a teenager the months of debate over the multi-million dollar school bonds to rebuild the area’s schools that were way out of date. As I had participated in alternative schools (home school and AHA) in my later years rather than public schools, I argued against the debts (and taxes) that would be placed on all of our properties, regardless of whether we use the state-of-the-art, expensive new buildings.

This morning I read an article about municipalities and cities going bankrupt due to too much debt. Others are borrowing against the future to keep up with payments, trying to avoid bankruptcy. It seems that American credit card habits spilled over into municipal governance and now it’s time to pay the price. I wonder how well my community is bearing the weight of the school bonds. Feeling the weight today, would we have chosen to take on the debt 15 years ago? Or would we have chosen a more conservative approach like that of past generations’ school expansion?

I have asked students how the schools are doing and apparently there has been enough growth in the community to easily fill the new schools. I hope that this growth is offsetting any losses in tax revenues due to unemployment rates for our community.

I know I have some regrets about the way I handled debts in my own businesses. What’s done is done. Hopefully we’ll all learn to be more wise the next time around.

I asked many on LinkedIn.com and here on my blog to contribute ideas to improve my young aspiring entrepreneur’s chances over his toy sale a few years ago. He had decided that his project for this year would be to sell something again. We really appreciated all the ideas.

Ultimately, we talked about where to go for heavier traffic in the country and realized that most skiers heading to the Pomerelle Ski Resort pass right near our home. We requested permission from the farmer who owned the field (happened to be my uncle) and set up at the base of the Albion grade.

We started with market research. My boy called Pomerelle to ask how much they charged for hot cocoa. Mid-conversation he hung up the phone and exclaimed, “ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS FOR ONE CUP!!”

He and I searched the Internet for good recipes and he went to town with his Mom to purchase the ingredients. The cups and lids were harder to come by as they were sold in 600 to 1000 packs on the web and would run over 100 dollars together. Too risky. Luckily, when we attended a cousin’s reception, he asked the owner of the Sweetheart Manor in Burley if he could buy a few cups. He grinned from ear to ear when he walked away with 60 cups and lids for free, a donation to young entrepreneurship.

We all decided that 3-5pm, when the night skiers were headed up and the day skiers were headed down, would be the best time to sell. As repetition would catch those who drove by repeatedly, we planned to sell for 2 hours every Saturday in February.

The signs, which were made out of silage plastic, required more work than we thought they would, but they showed up very well and were strong enough to leave outside for the month.

I was impressed with how much he grew over the four weeks. He went from standing their quietly waiting for someone else to initiate the conversation, to jumping up and down to get people’s attention as they drove by.

He also learned, after selling mostly regular chocolate cocoa, that he could get more people to purchase his Strawberry Valentines cocoa if he encouraged them by saying, “this one is my most favorite in the whole world.”

At the end of the month he made $90.59 total revenue and spent $26 on supplies, so he brought home $64.59 to split between his capital for the next sale, his savings, his mission fund and his tithing. He was thrilled, and so were my wife and I.

I didn’t expect this move from Amazon until the Kindle had a color screen and a touchscreen. Apparently, they’re going to open kindle up for developers. I’ve been hoping this kind of move will help developers to implement some more powerful education tools into the Kindle.

Anyone who knows me realizes how excited I am about reflective displays for computers, laptops, ereaders, phones, etc. I bought a Kindle and a Motorola F3 just because they use eInk.

I love the Marisol screen technology that I read about a month ago but rediscovered in the CES news this week.

Apparently, it reflects much better than the Pixel Qi screen.

The only problem with this demo is how bad it makes me want one of these screens.

I found a competitor,  to the Pixel Qi screen before Mary Lou Jepsen was able to get a product out the door. It’s called Liquavista.

I have yet to see a product that is launching soon with any of these technologies, but I’m considering the Entourage Edge as a useful alternative. It provides an eink display and a color display in a book form factor.

I’ve been searching for a replacement for my lost Kindle.  I’ve honed in on one display technology, the Pixel Qi screen, and I’m watching the outcome of the following devices:

  1. Plastic Logic Que
  2. Microsoft Currier (this one currently sounds like it most fits my life, but I’m worried it has back-light screen)
  3. Notion Ink Tablet
  4. Apple Tablet

My requirements are:

  1. Non-emitting light screen (I like Pixel Qi because it supports video and text editing so I could do all my work on it)
  2. Web browser
  3. Wi-Fi
  4. Text-editing/file system
  5. Kindle reader program (this may be optional depending on the availability of a digital library on the device)
  6. Full-text search of both books and my personal notes
  7. Pen or written input

We’ll see how the different systems stack up.  I would appreciate any insights into new options to fulfill my requirements.

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