Ted Kaehler

It is my firm belief that you came here to receive a gift from me, so I hope you find entertainment and value on these pages.

I've written a blog entry on the origins of human intelligence, and why we have not met anything more intelligent than ourselves (yet).

I work for Viewpoints Research Institute (VPRI.org), and live in Las Vegas, NV. The first part of my e-address is: ted-pb and the second part is legenda.com

Etoys is a system that lets kids write programs. You can draw an object, and then immediately make it move with a script. Each object can show a Viewer of what it knows how to do. Drag out tiles from the viewer to make a script. It is easy and fun. Teachers and kids can make simulations of examples in math and science. Etoys is sometimes called Squeak because it is built in the Squeak Smalltalk programming system. Viewpoints Research makes Etoys available for every kind of computer at Squeakland.org. There are dozens of "projects" you can play with, right in your web browser. Make some new ones and upload them.


Etoys is included on the Hundred Dollar Laptop (the XO machine from One Laptop per Child, OLPC, at laptop.org/laptop/).

Another activity on the XO laptop is Scratch from the MIT Media Lab. Like Etoys, Scratch lets a child draw a picture and then make it move. Programs are made by assembling snap-together tiles, and Scratch has a tactile feel. Scratch is built in Squeak by John Maloney, Mitch Resnick, Brian Silverberg and others.

I have had the privilege of working on some extremely interesting projects. Here is a Technical Tour of Ted's Projects. It covers my career at Xerox PARC, Apple Computer, Disney Imagineering, Hewlett-Packard, and Viewpoints Research Institute.

My wife Cynthia Kaehler designs and creates fused glass pendants. Take a look at some of her work.

My Kaehler ancestors come from Prussia and Northern Germany. There are five books about Kähler family history, and I have copies of three of them. Here is a portion of the Kähler Family Tree, as outlined in the books.

What is Squeak? Squeak is a Smalltalk programming environment that lets you control the bits all the way down. The methods (programs) that you add have all the power of system methods. The entire system is open for your inspection. You may modify the base system whenever you want.

Most other programming systems have a core set of routines that you can't see and you can't modify. Squeak has within it a working model of its entire "virtual machine". These are all of the underlying programs that make Squeak work. You can read them and see how they work, and run them in simulation. If you find a bug or want to change how something works, you have the power to modify the virtual machine.

Did I mention that the Squeak development system is completely open source? Here is the homepage of Squeak.org. Download your own copy for Macintosh, Windows95, Windows NT, or UNIX. There is an active email list (how to subscribe). It is archived here. Squeak was one of the earliest open source systems, and I thank Apple Computer for allowing us to take Squeak open source in 1996.

The web page of my father, Al Kaehler, pilot, antique airplane owner, sax player, joke teller, and all around great person.

The web page of Ainslie Baldwin ("Miss Baldwin"), friend and former teacher at Terman Junior High.

The web page of sculptor Stuart Harwood, a free spirit who has lived enough for four average lives.

The disease SARS could have been the most serious public health threat since the flu of 1918. I am so grateful to public health workers around the world who defeated SARS. During the epidemic, I produced a daily Graph of SARS Cases. At the time, news media was saying that SARS was not growing exponentially. My graph based on World Health Organization data and my calculation of doubling time showed that both cases and deaths were growing exponentially.

Molecular nanotechnology is an engineering discipline whose goal is to build devices and structures that have every atom in the proper place. Identical parts will be truly identical. Once we have the ability to build atomically precise structures, the range of products will be very large. Diamond is an ideal working material -- carbon is abundant, its chemistry is well known, and the finished diamond is strong. Very light strong structures will enable us to build efficient cars, trains, planes, and space vehicles. But even more interesting are materials with some active component. Surfaces that clean and repair themselves will yield low maintenance solar cells built into roads and roofs. Other active materials will catalyze industrial reactions, measure properties of blood, clean up environmental pollution, and change virtually every aspect of medicine. See The Foresight Institute homepage. Much has been written on these popular aspects of nanotechnology, but what really counts are the technical details of how it will work. For that, see the stunningly comprehensive book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation by K. Eric Drexler (John Wiley & Sons, 1992). Apple Computer has been a major sponsor of the first five Foresight nanotechnology conferences.

My first wife, Carol Nasby Kaehler, died in 1991 of diabetes. She had the priviledge of being on the Macintosh team, and she wrote the original Macintosh Owners Guide. It's the thin little book that floats down beside a Mac in contrast to three heavy IBM PC manuals in an early TV commercial. Carol built the beautiful HyperCard Help System, that was included in version 1.0 of HyperCard. You can download the original Help System converted for use in HyperCard 2.1 or HyperCard 2.3. She also wrote HyperCard Power (Addison-Wesley, 1988, out of print).

I am collecting a dictionary of idioms of the English language. So far there are more than 5400 of them in a HyperCard stack. "It goes without saying" is a great one, because you immediately go ahead and say it anyway.

Oh, yes, about those colored shapes. They are pentominoes. Here is one to complete yourself. Can you see how to fit the three remaining pieces into the puzzle? You'll have to turn over at least one of the three pieces. If you know any 10 year olds, get them to make a set of pentominoes out of cardboard. A five by twelve rectangle is the most fun to try to fill with the pieces.

Created by Ted Kaehler. (The first part of my e-address is: ted-pb and the second part is legenda.com)
Updated 29 March 2014.
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