May the Schwartz be with you

Senior Greg Schwartz works on the Paly web page, the robotics team and plays with his electronic gadgets.

Senior Greg Schwartz has carved himself a unique niche in Paly's diverse student body. With his golden, reflective Oakley sunglasses, Star Wars T-shirts and tech gadgetry concealed in every pocket, Schwartz can often be found sitting along the walkway at the corner of the library nearest the English building.

"People always know me as 'the guy who always wears Oakleys' or 'the guy everyone trips over,' and my classmates might know me as 'the evil pun-meister,'" said Schwartz, referencing the dry, yet witty, puns he interjects during class lectures.

Schwartz is definitely a recognizable character with his clothing, his gadgets and his Camel Bak, which stores water and allows him to drink on the run.

Schwartz needs all the high-tech help he can get to keep up with a relentless schedule that can seem mind-boggling even to the most dedicated Paly students. Flip open his Handspring Visor Deluxe (think Palm Pilot) and a schedule filled with hours devoted to the Paly web and robotics teams reveals itself.

Schwartz serves as co-webmaster of Paly's official web page ( and works on the animation, construction and video portions of the robotics team.

"Right now, web team is taking more of my time, but soon robotics is going to become much more time-consuming," said Schwartz, noting that the building stage of the robot begins now and continues until the Florida robotics contest in March.

Schwartz constantly works to create systems within the Paly web page infrastructure that make information about school more accessible. Schwartz envisions a system that alerts students to new assignments, has teacher contact information, tracks progress and automatically records late grades for tardy assignments.

 Schwartz constantly works to create systems within the Paly web page infrastructure that make information about school more accessible.

Schwartz has already begun work on databases that give him these capabilities for his web publishing team. Implementing this type of database for teacher contact information and a master schedule for the page is his next goal.

Schwartz and sophomore Robbie Stone are currently working on the staff section database so teachers can create contact information accounts.

"In theory, the parents, students and administrators can get at the information. It just makes it a whole lot nicer for everyone involved," Schwartz said.

Around campus and in class Schwartz can be seen using his many gadgets for useful applications.

He carries a cell phone, a Visor Deluxe full of web team contact information with a stow-away keyboard, a Timex Ironman data link triathlon watch, a Rio MP3 player with an expansion card to store more songs and a digital camera to take pictures for Paly's web page. The data link watch stores phone numbers using a wireless interface with a PC, and Schwartz uses his MP3 player to carry a fraction of his 10-gigabyte collection of digital music.

At home, the gadgetry continues with the Schwartz family's use of instant messaging to communicate with one another, universal remote systems for the lights, TVs and stereos, and of course the handy TiVo. An article about the Schwartz family's common sense use of technology was published last year in an issue of The Wall Street Journal.

But Schwartz isn't all high-speed data links and impressive databases; he also is an Eagle Scout and he participates in the rock-climbing club.

"I also have to throw in a shameless plug for Frisbee," Schwartz said. "We play every Friday afternoon in the quad, usually three to five; it's a lot of fun, I wish we played more."

So how does Schwartz handle his commitments? He genuinely enjoys each activity that he is involved with. A pun or two will definitely keep himself amused and a bundle of helpful techno-tools cannot hurt either.

The Campanile Monday January 22, 2001