David J. Malan '99 just made the lives of die-hard Harvard shuttle riders everywhere a little easier.
The computer sciences concentrator spent 100 hours between last summer and last Sunday night developing a computer program that provides customized shuttle schedules for Harvard students.
Jobe G. Danganan '99, a former Undergraduate Council member who lobbied for increased shuttle service, says the beauty of the service lies in its easy access.
"There are computer terminals everywhere, and people tend to lose their shuttle schedules," he says. "It literally takes seconds to set up, and voila, there you are."
After they set it up, students can access shuttleboy in a matter of seconds at any computer terminal from which they can access their FAS account.
Besides offering customized shuttle schedules, the program also provides a full shuttle schedule (including how long it takes to get from one destination to another), shuttle operation dates and transportation-related telephone numbers.
The service has already met with the hearty approval of Harvard undergraduates.
Pforzheimer resident Ken Ihara '99 emailed all of his housemates about the Shuttleboy program yesterday, encouraging them to try it out for themselves. And even River House residents are finding it useful.
Danganan says, "I tried it myself, and it's an awesome program. I feel that this is definitely an added convenience."
However, he says he worries that not many students know about this service yet.
Malan says he hopes "word-of-mouth among friends" will help this program to take off.
Malan, who has been Harvard Computer Society's (HCS) director of seminars and who led the Freshman Week Computer Seminar Series this year, says he initially spoke to Faculty of Arts and Sciences Computer Services Director Franklin M. Steen this summer about publicly installing Shuttleboy on FAS so students wouldn't have to install the program themselves.
However, Malan says he was "told that they were not willing to put a student's work on the public systems."
Nevertheless, Malan says he hopes the FAS Computer Services will reconsider its policy because he believes "the program can be of use to the general FAS population."
Malan, who did not even begin programming until he took Computer Sciences 50, "Introduction to Computer Science I" during his sophomore year, says the inspiration for Shuttleboy came from a friend who wrote a short program a few years ago that displayed the Quad shuttle schedule.
How to Access ShuttleboyType: echo "alias shuttleboy~malan/pub/bin/shuttleboy">~/ .aliases at the fas% prompt. Log out, and then log in again. At the fas% prompt
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