Tatha and I ( Webcomic)

Tatha and I, as I plan to keep it, is a complete story said using webcomics. The first Episode will be launched on Monday16th August.

I am still in the process of fixing how I want you to see the comic.

Do keep checking this space for more.

Prologue to Tatha and I

If it was about asking questions, no one could stop Kartik. “Why must I say that I am coming back when I am actually going ?” Sidharth, and his inquisitiveness. Curiosity had till date only killed kittens. Somehow he knew he could question everything. Challenge anything. Maybe this old man with whom he was having this conversation was responsible for the cat in Kartik. Whether it was correct to ask or not was a value system too relative to discuss, atleast thats what ‘He’ felt.

tatha — Grandpa in Tamil

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How Software has Become more Human!

Books, not Dolls

While standing at the billing counter, I happened to over hear a conversation that happened between a Mami ( as the iyer women are affectionately called) and her young daughter. The girl wanted a doll. Young girls play with dolls, but the Mami had other plans for her daughter. She quickly asked the girl to look for her dad who was busy deciding whether an original James Bond dvd was worth it or not  secretly I think, most thyar chadam (curd rice) eating,1 to 30 tables crunching iyer men want to be like James Bond. But that’s not a respectable job in the “Family”. How can an iyer boy do a job that he cant tell anyone about. After all getting that job is the iyer boys greatest achievement.

Coming back to the Mami, as I saw the young girl run to her dad, our Mami brought out these two extremely interesting books, books that are a must for a young girl of 5, books that must be locked in a shelf forever. Even if the world ends and a new breed originates, these books must never be found. The title of these books read, “Math  Puzzles”.

Information and Interface design. Revisited.

During the international Designing for Children’s conference, my first conference at that scale, which I really enjoyed, I had a  lot of people asking me what I did. In my previous life (as an engineer) I would have blankly mentioned that I have a degree in comp science and engg. and the listener would have assumed I am an IT professional. I was used to this and dint bother questioning what I really did.

At the conference one would ask me what I did. To which I would answer that I am a student, and that’s where the problem started. What do you study ? Information and Interface design. Oh, websites ! NO. not only. Obviously it was a horrible Information design if the course title dint give the listener a brief idea of what the course consisted of. And that’s because I had said something but not given the listener the information one asked for. As such information has no form. We give it form. Through stories, by writing it down, drawing it or verbalizing it. Information design is about giving form to information. And the problem arises when we confuse information with its form. A calendar communicates the date. Information is in the message the calendar communicates to us.

The last time I was asked the same question I pointed out to my HMT watch and explained to them how the watch communicated information to me and through a particular medium that can be called the interface.

I thought of this for a while and came to a conclusion that what I liked doing was telling stories. Somehow I found this medium gave good form to the information I wanted to convey. Stories through various mediums. It could be a film, a photograph, a line which starts with a dot, becomes a plane and finally pretends to be the roof of a house.

Stories are well designed Information blocks,  they convey the theme and plot there by placing the listener in the same frame as the story teller is, exhausting the imagination of the reader/listener. Now one has to be a creative genius to be able to do that. Story tellers thus can be called the best information designers ever.

Designing for children is a big task. Products and services intended to children have suddenly become the next booming industry. They all have a good motive. How to educate the kid and still allow the kid to have his creative freedom. But, throughout the entire conference we never thought about the old grandma we all have seen at some point of time who convinced you and empowered  you to imagine that a sparrow could make himself s cup of paysam ( flavored milk) picking up that one grain of rice it could with in its small beak.

Who taught the grandma how to be a good information designer?  At times, knowing very well that the kid cant even understand what the grandma is saying, she still continues to narrate a story somehow grabbing the kids attention.

pickitup

In a feat like never before, pickitup.com helps grandma find a fallen safety pin. “I was only trying to fix my blouse when the safety pin fell off my weak, injured by repetitive stress hands”. States grandmom.

“I quickly picked up my 3G cell phone with video conferencing and a 7.2MP camera to place a video call to my son”. Indeed technology has helped grandmom. “My son who is suffering from splinternet syndrome asked me to pickitup. And im glad he did so!” states grandmom.

When asked if the index search used by pickitup.com worked well for grandmom she was prompted to search for the same, quickly identifying “index” and “search” as the key words. Pickituping safety pin and how to pick up took me to a website which taught me how other people with splinternet syndrome across the world have also faced the same problem.

“One of the users even asked me to ask my grandson of ten to pick up the pin and give it to me, but little does that user know that my grandson has only got up twice in the last two weeks. He is at level 14 on the world of whatcraft”  grandmom states very proudly.

After visiting  a blog called “magnets and more” grandmom explained that she learnt that the Bossy speakers next to her monitor had magnets. On reading another blog called simple home remedies, grand mom crashed one of the speakers on the floor right where the pin fell and carefully pulled the other end of the wire to finally be reunited with the safety pin.

“I will update this on my blog so no one else has to go through the same ordeal” says grandmom.

Who said technology is not changing the world. “We are on the verge of starting an application which will help people solve similar daily problems using solutions on the splinternet says the imaginator of the multi million dollar firmpickitup.com. At pickitup.com its our constant endeavour to help solve problems.

There is no doubt that we have finally entered the world where the splinternet will finally be useful to all. The world will be a better place if everyone uses the splinternet the imaginator says. “I would love to elaborate more on the benefits of being a pickituper but I just dropped my mouse !” says grandmom.