Posts tagged with “Updates”

Oct 20, 2017

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We rebuilt KL11’s website from the ground up, on Stacey, with enough Easter eggs to start a delivery business.

Oct 14, 2017

Sometime last year, my Diwali-gifted smartphone kissed an elevator-floor. The glass shattered, sending proper menus and hamburger menus and notification icons and tiny unsubscribe buttons to corners they weren’t supposed to see. Two generous pieces of cellotape and some craftiness with the surgical blade held it together for a few days. 

I am not comfortable in my new interaction-designer shoes. I admire the printed page from the years spent in the screen-printing lab and under the A4 sheet studded wall in the Gurgaon studio and in quiet bookshops and in front of surprisingly good ‘PGs for Boys’ posters[^1] pinned to trees. Something from those years have put this ‘us-versus-them’ notion in place where I think about ‘experience designers’ the way I think about the sixth Hitchiker’s book. I don’t think it (the thinking) is entirely healthy or appropriate.

I have lost the urge to stay up-to-date. How a swipe up is different from a half-hearted swipe up-then-sideways seems trivial, overthought. I didn’t know it was possible to feel any more out of touch when in company of people talking technology. Despite a license, I stay behind on the older version of design software just so I can round corners individually. (No, that is an exaggeration. The X230 sans a battery won’t run like makhkhan anymore with countless updates and a hunger for a decent internet connection.) This is, I tell myself, not a Luddite romancing of older technology; I just find the illusion of control comforting. (There is a physical switch on the laptop that turns on the Vimanam mode. There is a battery I can pull out to make sure the phone is absolutely, positively, switched off, or parts I can put back together after a skirmish with the elevator-floor.) The rejection isn’t based on profound ethical questions or plant product induced lucidity; sometimes I just want to fiddle in the pant-pockets to change an inappropriate track. (This, while holding onto chromed pillars in an overcrowded bus home. The resemblance this exercise has to pole-dancing violates copyright laws. The bus twists and turns and wallops and sings a Metallica song as it comes to a halt, throwing you into a confused dance of limbs and polythene covers and the occasional umbrella. This is what I imagine mosh pits to be.)

Our devices have shrunk-in size and in number-to one portable, all-knowing object we sleep with and wake up to. Mine have, since the elevator incident, grown in number and demand room of their own. Shortly after switching to the Nokia 105, I found a 4th Generation iPod Classic on OLX, a used Fujifilm X-20 in Velacherry and fell back in love with the Kindle. I switch these[^2] the way people switch applications. Mine just involves more hand-chrome-pole-coordination. 


[^1]: There was one in front of the sandwich shop along the road next to Ramaiah Institute in Bangalore, where I would stop on my way to (and later, from) the IISc and polish off a black-tea and sandwitch, watching the traffic pause and change colours. The poster was basic, made in MS Word (or so it seemed). That is one thing I respect in those posters-you can’t tell which program they’ve been through. All our 3D rendered, bezier-nudged, pixel-pushed pieces carry that unmistakeable stamp of the program through to the end. To my biased eyes, they are somehow not ‘fully there,’ not honest enough, certainly not ‘loved’ the way someone who uses a tool along and outside its strict margins and bleed-marks loves her work. 

[^2]: The Price I Paid: A counter-argument to the many-devices proposition is the amount of money it takes to acquire and maintain these. Here is a cost breakdown for anyone interested. Nokia: Rs. 950 from a shop in Mavoor Road (cheaper than buying it online); iPod 4th Gen: Rs. 2300 off OLX (did not bargain); battery from iFixit: Rs. 860; Fujifilm X-20: Rs. 20,000, from OLX.

Update: KL11 Blog has an article on setting up a frugal design practice.

Aug 6, 2017

Installed Linux Mint (Cinnamon) on the other hard-drive (that came with the X230). Trying to go the free and open-source software route. Does anyone have any experience similar to these people? I am told (even G says) it is hard to switch to an all-free-software workflow if you have a graphic/interaction design practice. Has anyone tried ElementaryOS? I have dealt with Scribus before and it wasn't pretty. Will see what can be. To share your INR 0.63, my email is abhijith@keyaar.in

Jul 29, 2017

With great powerlessness of resisting the cozy surveillance benefits of the Aadhaar card, comes great financial freedom. I can finally take that INR 201 paid every two-three months to the cellphone tower people and go buy an island off the Lakshadweeps. (They have already got my mug in various poses, my teeth count, my hair samples, dreams of my unborn children and blank pages in my soon-to-stop-being passport, which apparently don’t prove the whole snowflake nature of things. They say pigeons are making a comeback in certain circles. Can’t. Wait.

Jul 17, 2017

The commute to KL11 is spent in a Tarzeny haze on dull days, hanging onto the stainless steel rods crisscrossing the bus that takes in everything, from seat-expecting mothers and that uncannily well-dressed elderly gentleman on his early morning booze run to the state-owned-and-operated IMFL store halfway to town and the backpacker who refuses to part with his violently swinging bundle of pain and entanglement and the disgruntled ticket checker (conductor of the symphony). The elderly drunkards drown the rainy days in quarters as if all that water hasn’t enough mojo. On busy days, suspended in a sea of bodies—warm except for the half-shut umbrellas fresh off a surprise shower—the kindle becomes extra padding to my sketchbook, warmed by the packed lunch and water-bottle, leaving me listening to interviews pilfered off the internets or to Kodaline on loop. Today, half way into the yatra, Pamuk’s long and often unexciting bit on “Strangeness in My Mind” gave way to Arundhati Roy reading from the “Ministry,” and it was three different kinds of odd and beautiful. The burqa-clad girl seated next door sent strange glances my way as I giggled inappropriately and looked at the Hindi numerals on the HMT when I noticed she noticed I noticed. Ms. Roy broke into ‘Kozhikkattam Chammandi’ and went on to spice up the translation with guts. I have had the hardcover on the table for almost three weeks now, and haven’t gotten past the first few pages.

Jun 5, 2017

Graduating again in a few days. This is what I have learnt in two years. That, and sneaking V for Vendetta references into thesis reports is fun. (Also, that barring my typewriter and the book about typewriters, all life's essentials can fit into a 35L backpack.)

Mar 31, 2017

Writing my thesis report to read like a political thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world of resource starvation and a general lack of art.

Oct 17, 2016

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Johnny Cash, perfect side-dish to pushing pixels around.

Oct 15, 2016

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Google Maps. Frugal Maps.

Oct 11, 2016

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Oct 5, 2016

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Aug 29, 2016

Wrote a thing titled THE CRISIS AT ITEM NUMBERED TWENTY FOUR for a literary thing. The day is saved and we can all go home. Too much Bukowski and too little Pynchon.

Aug 14, 2016

Working on a data-visualisation project on the Dandi Salt March, reading through the Thomas Weber tome on the subject, one takes note of the uneasy voyeurism of all these data-trumped narratives. This is where I confront the difficult relationship I have with the personal and the digital and what it means to excise work from the other thing.

Mar 13, 2016

This little piece of the internet is now tracker-free. If you are a uBlock or Ghostery user, the browser buttons will throw friendly zeroes back at you. 

Feb 23, 2016

JNU Students have a YT Channel up and the lectures are worth an all-nighter, if not a last-minute train journey to Delhi.

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