Sunday, January 24th, 2010
A company is building a huge multilevel car parking. It is 10 floors high and 200 cars per floor. While this new parking space will solve a lot of problems for the people, there is a new issue that is creeping up.
How to remember where exactly you parked your car. Frankly i have faced this issue with a 4 floor building, with just 50 cars/floor.
“hmmm was it on the ninth floor ? or seventh ? I think its an odd number..”
Some guys who are very meticulous will remember the floor and the parking bay number. But most of us, dont; given the fact that you are already late for the breakfast meeting.
Its a user experience problem. how can we help the memory load of the user?
How can we, as user experience designers, the user?
Ofcourse, we can have different colors for each floors, number them in big fonts, which will help for. at best, 2 weeks.
After that the question will be ” Was it on the red floor ? or the yellow one ? i think it was a bright color…”
“Defenitely its not blue, it was yesterday that i parked in the blue floor.”
Ofcourse, we can give bay numbers like 9-193 or 8-132. But thats what the administrative folks do- not the user experience designers.
In both the solutions above, the end result will be that after your tedious day, you will be lugging your laptop which is growing heavy by minute, walking through at least a couple of floors, pressing the remote control door unlock button, till your car beeps to life, where you never expected it to be found.
yea, we can use technology. put an RFID tag in your car, link it with your mobile and which will pin point the lat and long of the car, use your GPS to walk up there. Maybe even get the car to start before you reach there.
Great ! now get out of that 2050 scene and tell me some simple solution which can be implemented cheaply.
photo by arinas74
Sunday, November 29th, 2009
We have often come across them. At traffic signals they come to you with open arms, begging for some change. We ignore/ we sympathize/ we donate/we shoo them away, depending on your mood.
But, Did you know that they probably demands more respect, according to the (sic) formula economic status is directly proportional to the respect one gets?
In a minute, a person could cover about some 10 cars/bikes at a traffic signal. Supposing that 3 of them feel generous and give them say on an average 2 rupees each. ( I have seen people giving a crisp fifty rupee note)
He gets 6 rupees /minute.
If he works for an hour he gets 360 rupees.
8 hours a day = 360 x 8 = Rs.2880
If he works for 30 days a month = Rs. 86400
I know you are getting restless- May be that is a little too optimistic.
Lets be a bit more realistic.
Cut it by half.
No education, no experience, no whatever that a person would require to work in a company and earn that salary.
Still too big a sum to digest?
Cut it by half again.
He decides his working hours. He is ‘working’ only 8 hours a day. And absolutely no tax.
what he earns is more than what a fresh B.tech software engineer earns in his job !
Not to mention the long hours he put in at his job or the taxes he pays.
Who is smarter?
Maybe its not his fault he is making that much money. We are too gullible.
is it that they dont have any other option other than begging? What is the government doing about it?
The Begger’s rehabilitation colony at Somanahalli on Magadi Road is about 15 kms away from the city, Spread across 159 acres. The Beggars’ Colony that houses 922 inmates was established in 1944.
“Garden of Eden outside the city. Indeed, I should add that for a real beggar, such relocation would probably not be such a bad thing. Verdant surroundings, relatively clean air, free food and bed, even some retraining for jobs – I imagine that a lot of poor people wouldn’t mind a genuine shot at these things.
from Ashwin Mahesh, Citizen Matters
But we still can help them, right?
We already do. 3 per cent of the property tax goes towards beggary cess.
Oh ! you get all sentimental about the hapless kid they carry ?
I have got news for you. The kids are rented.
Beggary is a cognisable offence under the Beggary Act, and the police have the powers to arrest them.
I have seen people who were in crutches few seconds ago, running in full speed with both crutches folded in their hands when the police chase them.
I leave it to you to decide what you want to do the next time you see them.
photo by sixintheworld
Saturday, April 25th, 2009
Here is my first trial on HDR imaging. couple of awesome tutorials are here, here and here
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
I started tweeting recently. After the initial lazyness to sign up, I found out more reasons not to use twitter and tried to resist for a while. Probably because the first few tweeple I read considered this as another way to fill the internet with their obsolate ideas and to satisfy their digital narcissism.
Soon i corrected myself and after trying it out for a few weeks, I find it interesting, informative, fun and sometimes addictive.
I cant believe that today I have made my 100th tweet !
Microblogging is fun, particularly if you are too lazy to write long blog posts.
If you are interested, here is the link to follow me : http://twitter.com/harikrishnanc
see you there !
Sunday, November 16th, 2008
This years edition of foss.in is here. so if you are anywhere in the southern hemisphere, do not dare to miss it.
Put your coding hats on, and watch out for the hackers !
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
All I would need is a small button. I am not aware of any TV remotes that has this button. But let me guarantee you, we are talking about a button which is going to be used very frequently. If you are a person like me, very very frequently.
Function of the button is simple- it swaps you to any other pre-set channel for a pre-set time, and returns back to the channel you were watching.
It works like this- Most programs have a specified time duration for the commercial break. for example, every 15 minutes you have a commercial break of 3 minutes.
The user has the option to set this time first. So when the ad starts the user presses a button, and again when the break ends. The stop watch calculates and sets the time.Then the user chooses to which channel he would like to swap to.
Consider you are watching a movie in STAR movies , and you calculate the typical ad break is for 3 minutes and set the swap time to 3 minutes. You choose your swap channel to be, say MTV.So next time when the ad break starts, user presses the SkipAd button, he is taken to MTV, watches/listens to music for 3 minutes and at the end of 3 minutes he is automatically swapped back to the Star Movies, just in the nick of time, so that he can continue to watch the movie.
I know for sure no TV manufacturer is going to add this feature, the channels are going to kick them if they do it. Someone will have to hack a remote and add this feature. I do not have any idea how to do it. Instructables has some good DIY articles, for remotes but not this feature.
Though it is an annoying user experience to have ad breaks in between the programs – I dont have a problem with the Ads, infact, I love the ads like this or this or this. And again I get irritated when the same stupid ad is played again and again, as if you are so dumb that you will not understand anything unless its fed into your senses multiple times, over and over again. Dude, I got it the first time you said that !
On the other hand, these are the so called pay channels. We pay for what we see.
How is it like to watch ads between a movie in a theatre ?
 from wikipedia on star movies india:
This beam is targeted towards India and the rest of South Asia. As of late the beam is only present in Nepal and Bhutan outside India. This beam has many advertisement breaks during films, creating an annoying viewer experience. As most Indian channels share this disadvantage, Indian viewers are forced to bear with it. The channel has higher TAM ratings in India over HBO South Asia. This is the only region where Star Movies enjoys a lead in the viewer ratings.
Monday, June 9th, 2008
let me not go to work this Monday morning.
Let me embrace my pillow
Let me be in my bed, slipping in and out of sleep and wake
Let me be free from the worry of the eternal cycle of tiny needles meeting the roman numerals.
Let me step out when I am damn bored of it.
Let me dress shoddy.
Let me just cover up for the warmth.
Let me sleep walk the paved streets of the old city.
Let me not worry about my missing shoe.
Let me feel the cool air in my face.
Let me not worry of the impending storms.
Let me watch the giggles of tourists celebrating their escape from bored lives.
Let me helplessly watch them trying to find directions to their happiness.
Let me smile at a cute baby in the pram.
Let me stare at a stranger.
Let me capture the moments of perceived beauty in my mind
Let me not worry about the hunger of a beautiful girl.
Let me have an unheard drink.
Let me order my food by just pointing at it.
Let me just sit and watch my life pass-by.
Let me be not a part of it.
Let me see the boring synchronised dance of civilization
Let me see the hopes bloom.
Let me hope the despair vanishes.
Let me decide not to understand life.
Let me board a tram which takes me to nowhere.
Let me be crazy.
Let me be anything.
Let me be just me.
Let me be just me.
Sunday, January 20th, 2008
After coming to Amsterdam, I was perfecting my art of not keeping in touch. I too lazy to write detailed emails, or blogs.
So after almost 50 days, i wrote an email to a friend, then this intelligent idea of making a blog post out of it, arised. Its edited a bit, in best interest of the family audience.
So Alstublieft, Here you go:
Statutory warning: reading long mails may cause neck pain or compel you to reply.
I will be there on jan 26th. post poned the previous 7th jan by few weeks. Hope to make it this time. I am already missing the pollution, noises of the street, homefood, friends, crowds, traffic jams and the smells of bangalore. Here it almost like living inside a fridge, a little closer to the cooling pipes though.
I will need to come back soon, probably in a month or two, on long term work permit. Don’t know where I will end up in life !
New year was at Dam Square- the main fun center- a heavy crowd of girls and guys, either stoned or drunk, most of them carrying a bottle or pot, some with extra supplies in the cold winter air.
Live music of some rock band, and the whole crowd was dancing. Ending with a
countdown to the new year.
this week moving to new apartment with my team mates. looking for a place now. mostly near the present place. its forty minutes trip to office from here, using first a bus to the next metro station, Amstelveensweg, and from there metro to Vlugtlan. From Vlugtlan to
Haarlemmerweg by bus again. But the buses and metro frequencies are amazing. every 5 mins you have them. and most of them will have a few seats vacant. even at the peek hours. awesome infrastructure for travel. cant compare with our poor bangalore.
Update: moved to a new apartment, its a small cosy place. has two bedrooms, private balconies, living room and a small kitchen, fully furnished. so far, so good.
Heard bangalore was much colder this time ? After a few days of snow and white christmas, here now the temperature is better, around 5-6 degrees in day time with occassional cold breezes. But comfortable.
Last weekend had been to Paris. Wonderful place. Interesting historical places, add the trill of seeing Monalisa and Eiffel tower.
Louvre was simply grand. Prime example of how a meusium should be run. Its user friendly, professinal and very well managed.
After wandering around in the Richelieu wing watching some Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities some Islamic Art, sculptures and Decorative Arts in the morning, I took the guided tour. An elderly lady, the guide, took us around the famous exhibits of Louvre, including the winged victory and the monalisa . interestingly, they call it Monna lisa, with an extra ‘n’ or Monna for short.
There was a heavy rush to see the painting, didnt matter to me much, maybe because I am not a major fan of hers.
Came back home by eurolines comfortable buses. And yes they play movies here too.
Previous night, we were at the Eiffel tower, the symbol of france- shooting skywards, which finds mention in DaVinci code, rather satireically, as “Symbologists often remarked that France-a country renowned for machismo, womanizing, and diminutive insecure leaders like Napoleon and Pepin the Short-could not have chosen a more apt national emblem than a thousand-foot phallus.”
Though we couldnt climb till the top floor and had to be contended with the 2nd floor instead, it was great experience. I would say none of the pictures represent the feel you get from up above there.
Church of Notre Dame, famous from that old school story,
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was an experience too. The ambience of the place demands slience and obeisance. As if you can touch the shadows of history in the dark air of the intensely decorated and high walled altar. A loud noise would disturb the sleeping souls and the wolfs of Paris killed in the steps of the church which was built as early as 1345.
Left France without even trying one thing that France is famous for. The French Kiss.
A couple of weeks before we were at Barcelona, Spain. I didnt have any idea what to expect at Barcelona, thanks to the busy and taking-up-all-my-time work at office. But its was a pleasant surprise. a warm and friendly place, language would be a slight problem though.
What interested me most was the historical monuments and the architecture of the old buildings like
La pederera. Gaudis masterpeices. of late all the new so called buildings are just ugly compared to the ones here.
Barcelona is a happening place with a lot of clubs, bars and bustling night life, even when the temparature of 2 degrees. Summer time is supposed to more fun with the beaches becoming active.
The Seven of us went to a night club here, after a heavy dinner at salamanca which ran to a bill which almost bankrupted us all. (I still can feel the shrill that went up my spine when I saw that !)
Roamed around in La Ramblas, the brigade road of Barcelona. Its a very vibrant and happening place. Statues which suddenly come to life(Street performers), flower shops, souvenir shops and the like.
Amsteelveen, where we stay, is a very calm and sleepy town. The shops open at 10, and close by 6. Wonder when these people do their shopping.
I love this place, this is what i see when i lookout from my bedroom window, yea but without color correction, ofcourse.
Amsterdam, the city center, is a happening place. On the christmas eve, I was walking past the windows when a cute young girl from behind the window wished me “Merry christmas”. Sad state to be in on a christmas eve, when everyone cuddle up in the warmth of their family.
I am taking a lot of photographs. I have bought a tripod too, for some night time long exposure photographs. Some of them are coming up good. Will send them soon.
Update: Heh ! i started writing this note a few days ago. Didnt get time to complete and send it. Work had been rather demanding in the past week. Some sadists call me on phone from India as early as 5.30 am !
Now thats almost what i have been upto after leaving bangalore. In the public interest, I guess i can post this as a blog.
The pictures are from the Paris trips – need to edit and upload the other pics, eventually.
Monday, October 8th, 2007
How would it be like being invisible ? For the last few days, on and off, I am experiencing how it would feel like being invisible. No, I didn’t find a cloak of invisibility from an old bedtime story.
It was much more simple. All I needed was a razor, some shaving form and 2 mins of a bored Saturday evening. I took off my french beard.
Somehow, even though I didn’t want it to be, my french beard had become a trademark symbol of mine. ” Hari who? that frenchie guy ?” was a normal dialogue.
So on last Saturday, when I was terribly bored, didn’t know what to do, at the spur of the moment, I decided give myself a new look. 2 minutes-Off went the beard. The stranger in the mirror looked at me with curious eyes.
Next day at office, colleagues “what happened ?” I had already forgotten about all this beard thing and took a moment to understand their reaction.
“oh, I was just bored.” I said.
“Bored ? does it sound like a sensible reason for you to shave ?”
“You know actually, that french beard suited you.”
“You look young !”
These were some of the reactions I got. Personally I hated the look of a good mannered, innocent person, which I am not. Also I was afraid if I looked like one of those effeminate heros of bollywood.
At lunch time, the friendly canteenvalla said bluntly “lunch time is over, sir !” Hmmmm.. he was a nice guy, used to save a few chapathies and some curry even if i went for lunch at odd hours.
This saturday,i had been to filmcamp, while waiting for the show to begin, many of the known faces passed by, with out even seeing me. It was as good as being invisible, you see them walking around, talking but they don’t see you.
Gosh ! I am invisible !
But couldn’t play this act for long, some one caught me soon. I tried to hide the guilty feeling of a small kid caught trying to hide beneath a bed, with a sheepish smile.
Though it lasted only for a little time, I felt like a magician. But, the beard will grow back in a while, or people will get used to my new face.
What do I do to become invisible again ?
Sunday, September 30th, 2007
a photo from my recent trip to Mahe from Bangalore