Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Musings on Executing a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed

The cost of real estate has ensured that I stay hooked to the concept of wall-bed. I think any piece of estate that makes multiple uses possible is a gift. I think wall-bed is one piece of furniture that is crucial to make use of the precious estate we own.

It's been a while now and I've been reading and checking videos of different kinds of wall-beds.

A bed is typically a stationary object but a wall-bed involves movement. One movement results in bed occupying space for sleeping and another movement results in clearing space for uses other than sleeping. Easy to miss little but important things whenever or wherever movement is involved. So am trying to list them all down here. You can add too in the comments. Here I go.
  1. When a wall-bed opens obviously it needs clear space so that it can open fully. Nothing should obstruct the opening and landing of wall-bed legs on the floor. So if, before the opening of the wall-bed, the space was used for some other purpose or occupied with some other objects, one needs to move these objects beyond the space to be occupied by the wall-bed. If this space is visibly marked based on the dimensions of the wall-bed, then it would be a good reminder every time the wall-bed is opened and will result in smooth movements day in and day out.
  2. When the wall-bed closes, how does the mattress and the bed-sheets stay in order?
  3. When the wall-bed closes, where do you keep the duvets, blankets and pillows? One may need a dedicated space to keep them properly and easily. Of course, when the wall-bed opens, it should be easy and quick to retrieve the same.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Measuring Distraction

I knew I would write this post right after I scanned this piece of paper. And yet, what did I do? I opened an email which led me to open another link before I reminded myself that since I had scanned the format, I should write this post.

If your mobile phone and laptop suck up your time and leave you tired without any feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day, you might just want to do this exercise for a few days and measure your DISTRACTION QUOTIENT.

If you look at the sheet, you'll see 4 columns. You'll also see some symbols and words highlighted in green.

The first 2 columns are sort of 'purposeful'. Obviously, we use mobile phones and laptops for purposeful activities. So the first 2 columns give you the space to record what you consciously decide to do using these gadgets. They are marked with 'right tick' on top. You can fill these columns well in advance.

The 3rd and 4th columns are meant to record the instances of 'unintentional' or 'undetermined' use of these gadgets. The kind of thing I did (narrated right at the start of this post) before I started writing this post. You would fill these columns only after you've distracted yourself and done something which wasn't quite consciously determined in advance.

The ratio of the number of items in the first two and the number of items in the last two should give your DISTRACTION QUOTIENT. I hope you would know how to interpret that ratio :).

Monday, July 13, 2015

The stomach of our eyes and the legs of our fingers

As an incredible and incredibly tired - to the point of puking coz - user of the smart phone and laptop screens, I have often wondered about the role of tablet and phablet (that's such a fuck-all category name, the sound of it, the meaning of it) and the distinctions between the the latter two, and the distinctions between the latter two and the smart phone especially. Without any more long sentences, here are a few thoughts.

I can see two broad categories: consumption devices and production devices.

Mobile phones? Consumption devices in 'sachet' form, literally and also for different purposes. Suited for small tasks, small talking, small give and take of messages, small viewing. (Exceptions galore. Sickening ones largely I guess. Am not a gamer, but have watched users pore into their little screens playing obnoxious games for good stretches. I find reading a decent length article on a mobile mighty difficult for my eyes.)

Laptops, PCs? Production-cum-consumption devices. When we want to do graphics, write articles, some thoughtful long posts, read at length, browse a little long for comparing and shopping things, watching decent length videos or movies and such...

Tapping on touch-screens is not the same as tapping physical keys. Imagine, if we were to lay down the keys of a piano in a touch-screen form or the strings of a guitar in a touch-screen form. How easy or how difficult? Some folks have attempted such innovations. I wonder if they are any convenient.

And a weird statement is, small screen is not the same as big screen. Eyes want certain width of landscape viewing at least to feel comfortable for long stretches of reading, viewing, coding and so on.

Tablets/Phablets take care of the viewing bit, but don't make finger-tapping any easy. The brief periods when I've had a chance to use a Tablet didn't leave me feeling any great.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Making sense of that non-commital answer 'Depends!'

If there's one answer that drives us all nuts, it's 'Depends!'

And there wouldn't be a surprise if your reaction to the above statement is 'Depends!'

Actually 'Depends' is such a dependable answer because it seems to tread those fine lines between 'right' and 'wrong'. Our assessment of 'right' and 'wrong' is always so pathetic that we tend to depend on 'Depends!' to save ourselves. And so very often.

I won't be wrong to say that 'Depends!' means 'Debatable but let's not debate!'

Suppose I depend on the old saying 'excess of anything is bad', then I can also say, 'excess of rightness is wrong'. That might also tempt me to say, 'excess of wrongness is right'. And I might so rightly sound foolish with that excess of wrongness.

Anyway, have a look at this 2x2 matrix on the debate between means/methods and consequences. More elaborately, right and wrong means/methods, and right and wrong consequences.

If right and wrong always involve the 'Depends!' answer, then this matrix above doesn't accommodate explicitly the space for 'Depends!'. No?!

How and where do we accommodate 'Depends!'? Of course, between the Right and the Wrong, no?

Let's make some space...

That's the playing field. Plus-shape :)!

See if you can play around in this field. Take an example:

Means/Method = Coca Cola's incredibly frequent cute advertisements saying 'Open Happiness'

Consequence = Obesity among drinkers of Coca Cola

Can you place it in the matrix? And likewise many other things...

This Matrix of Means/Method and Consequence is just one way to make us ponder... Scale and Consequence. Ways of Reminding and Ways of Influencing. And whatever else you can conjure up, here's the plus-shape playing field.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meanings of sharing 'family and children' pics on FB

I wonder when Facebook was originally built it carried the tag 'social media'. But since it was meant to become a virtual hangout for friends, typically from a college, it isn't a surprise that it assumed the tag so easily.

Given the current situation, the meaning of 'social' can be talked about until...

Given that the connections to most 'friends' on FB now are at best tenuous, I am trying to make sense of the sharing-family-and-children-pics-(with all the friends)-on-Facebook phenomenon.
  1. Sharers know that friends might want to know what's happening in the family. Though these sharers don't know who these friends are exactly. So anyway, the pics should reach these not-exactly-known friends who might want to know.
  2. Sharers know who these friends are exactly but don't find any other channel suitable enough to do such sharing. 'Suitable' means convenient or sophisticated or common channel used by all friends.
  3. If in point#2, I pick the aspect of convenience, I can conjecture that sharers find it inconvenient to build a channel where they can do the sharing with just those friends with whom they want to share.
  4. Sharers find it a matter of pride to show off their 'families', whatever the context.
  5. Sharers are not exactly content sharing their moments and space with those they find themselves with. They want the moments and the space of togetherness to spread among other friends too. And who these other friends are, they might or might not know exactly.
It isn't very tough to reproduce. And it isn't tough either to take smiling pics every now and then. And it isn't very tough not to know exactly with whom to share smiling pics of those that we reproduce.

What's tough often doesn't get addressed, nor shared.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friend, not a follower

Earlier when I would befriend someone on FB, I would get that person's updates on my timeline (basis whatever algorithm FB has). There was no choice.

For some time now, FB has given us a choice. If you don't want to see updates from certain 'friends' on FB, you can 'unfollow'. In which case, you don't have to 'unfriend' to avoid the updates. Just 'unfollow'.

The default is 'follow'. When you befriend someone, FB assumes you'll 'follow' this friend. Follow = Receive updates on our timeline.

Befriend. Unfriend. Follow. Unfollow. Meanings galore.

Let me just open the box using a two-by-two window!

Monday, January 5, 2015

First you shape the system, then the system shapes you?

Not really. First they shape FB, then they shape you!

In a bid to have good conversations with all the friends 'befriended' on FB, a few minutes back I was engaged in calibrating the Notification Preferences of my FB account.

After my clicking some "unfollowing" buttons, FB throws a message:
"It looks like you’re using this feature in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. Please slow down, or you could be blocked from using it."

Funny this is, they've built a system in which users might end up taking up such an activity. And if FB has throw such a message, clearly they dislike such an activity or perhaps they didn't anticipate such an activity. Hurts their business, does it?

The verbiage of the warning message above is an interesting one. Read again:
"It looks like you’re using this feature in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. Please slow down, or you could be blocked from using it."
What do they mean 'it wasn't meant to'? Are they the arbiters and judges of meaning?

'Slow down'. What's that? Are they to decide how fast or how slow should I be operating the system?

As easy as it is to consume and post the rubbish that appears on our newsfeed, FB is alright if we suffer from infobesity. FB doesn't want us to get fitter however.