July 3

One Month to Go Until this Year's Pan-Mass Challenge

On August 2nd and 3rd, for the fourth year, I’ll be biking with Team Dolben in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a Jimmy Fund event benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a leading center for research in prevention of cancer and treatment of people with cancer.

You can contribute on-line in support of my ride. Or if you would rather make a donation by check, and don’t receive a direct solicitation from me, please contact me by email (just edit the spam impediment, changing “[AT]” to “@”).

posted @ 08:51 PM EDT

July 9

Some Pan-Mass Challenge Fundraising Highlights

Last year 3,394 PMC riders raised $15 million for the Jimmy Fund. The 16 riders of Team Dolben raised $94,375. $4,238 was donated by people supporting my ride.

This year the PMC, with 4,000 registered riders, has a goal of raising $16 million, while Team Dolben’s goal is $100,000 in donations.

posted @ 10:28 PM EDT

July 10

How Computers Work

Charles Petzold (2000), Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Redmond: Microsoft Press: 0-7356-1131-9)

Petzold takes a constructive approach to explaining how a computer works, starting with a relay, then showing how logic gates are made from relays, and then higher level devices - such as data latches - from gates. At first I thought that using relays in the construction was silly, but then realized that they are much easier to understand than transistors and so make the whole discussion more accessible. In fact, anyone can easily make a rudimentary relay from some wire and pieces of metal and wood. After building up a programmable machine, Petzold goes on to point out that making a usefully large machine out of relays is impractical, but that transistors can be used in much the same way to construct logic gates.

I think that this way of presenting the mechanics of computation should be quite satisfying to the average reader, though, at the same time, the amount of detail included might discourage someone who was hoping for a quick explanation. For Brad DeLong (certainly not an average reader), Petzold hit the sweet spot.

posted @ 03:21 PM EDT

July 13

Pan-Mass Challenge Training Update with Three Weeks to Go

This morning I rode a 32 mile circuit at an average speed of 18 miles per hour, making 132 miles for the week, and 1,410 miles for the season.

posted @ 12:27 AM EDT

July 20

YAPTU (Yet Another PMC Training Update)

Yesterday I rode a pretty flat (all east of route 1 in Hampton, North Hampton, and Rye), 26 mile circuit at an average speed of 18.6 miles per hour - not quite Jan Ullrich’s 30 mph, but good by my aging standards. With two weeks to go until the Pan-Mass Challenge I’ve ridden 1,360 miles in the past quarter, 13 weeks, including six 50 milers, three 100ks, and one 80 miler.

posted @ 11:01 AM EDT

July 25

I'm Riding with Lance Armstrong in the Tour of Hope

I’ve signed up to ride with Lance, Oct. 18th, in the Washington, D.C. leg of the Tour of Hope which benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation and cancer research.

posted @ 12:17 AM EDT