Apple unvieled their iPhone last week and I knew what I wanted to do for a living. It struck me, just like that,plain,simple,clinical. I’m not a geek ; but don’t recommend going back to the villages either, I’m somewhere in between and Apple says somewhere in between is not the place to be. I was jumping around clapping and shouting “iPhone ki jai ! iPhone ki jai” after watching the keynote, much to the annoyance of my co-lazy-techies doing time-pass in office.
If someone asks me what I like about myself the most,I’ll be overwhelmed with emotion ’cause I like me so much and would in most cases be silent with a smug face and a wide wide grin. But then one thing that excites me the most about myself will be my sudden reaction to genius, its like an internal combustion chamber filled with rocket fuel suddenly picking up a spark from somewhere. The feel good after that is unique,I feel thankful to myself for ‘getting it’ and settles down with that wide wide grin. Did anyone say ‘nauseating megalomaniac’? Whoever said that STAND-UP DAMU !
Certain questions gnaw at us without our knowing after that first time we chance upon them. Otherwise why would I think of cell phones, why would I think of how to fix them and when somebody does it why would I shout “Oh the genius of it” and then go through the ubiquitous feeling of why I didn’t get it first. All of us are pissed off with our mobile phones and thats a fact we live with. Dim lit screens, crazy menus,very less memory for songs and stuff, hell wrecking keypads and small small screens where browsing internet on the phone is unimaginable. Every time you make the screen bigger, the keypad is a pain for your fingers and vice versa. When you make both the keypad and the screen big or you make them slide, you carry a mobile as big as that grenade your grandfather used to throw at Pakistanis.
Apple took the keypad out and the ‘big players’ looked on like Watson. When you can touch the screen,why not have the keys on the screen. PDAs have done it before, but they were monstrous devices. Then Apple went on to merge their Ipod with the phone but the phone didn’t grow thick. The menu, voicemail, conferencing and internet browser are all years ahead and you have an iPod inside your phone.Its extraordinarily cute, a brilliant device.
Will iPhone be successful away from its San Fransisco neighbourhood in places where people still have grease on their fingers. I don’t know. But I know one thing “When you need to dial, it shows you a keypad; when you need other buttons, the screen serves them up. When you want to watch a video, the buttons disappear. Suddenly, the interface isn’t fixed and rigid, it’s fluid and molten. Software replaces hardware”. iPhone is the Oedipus of phones, the one Jim Morrison warned you about and I’m happy with that and I’m happy with Steve Jobs for that.
We live in a world where the monopolist of Operating Systems simply refuses to innovate – sticking on to some format he stole from someone before I was born. But then he is a philanthropist now,the worlds biggest – lets give him a Nobel Prize. Though he shovels the crappiest kernels down our gullet, I’m just happy that my dollar money fights AIDS in the dark continent. But when my system hangs every three minutes, unknowingly I tell him “Do your job dude!”
We treat Cell Phones like some divine gift; we’re just too thankful to existence that they are here for us. If you say Nokia’s N series is sluggish, it becomes blasphemy. A dear friend of mine said “You talk like a Commie ! Just be thankful to GOD that IT industry is here for you”. We were talking about trade unions in IT. My friend loathes coding and takes pride in the fact that he is Junior Management now.Guys like him breed and will be senior management someday and will lead our IT behemoths in times to come. They have disregard for new ideas *its just the new guy trying to impress the boss* and fear new technology *why to start at the bottom of some learning curve,when you have a penthouse on top of the old one* – so make merry, manage stagnation and celebrate mediocrity.
On a personal note, I regard lines of code as the foundation and motors of this industry and anyone who does not appreciate the beauty and genius of these lines of code have no place here, they are outsiders. Its been a long while since I got a chance to work with code as such, but I’ve loved it all the way. When I implement a few thousand lines of code and ten thousand call-centre operators around the world go home a few minutes earlier and less stressed out – thats about it, thats this industry, its rock. Rest all is auxiliary.
Our penny wise pound foolish IT behemoths are neck deep in hierarchy, they take no chances. So is our movies, its all in the family. You get the Khans any given day, Farhan, Hrithik and the Kapoors are your childhood friends, you call the Bachans uncle and aunty, you make soul-less bullshit and get blockbuster openings on star value alone and then you go on to call your movie “its all about loving your parents“. Sit properly dude, any gay fucker can do that.
Then there are people like Steve Jobs and George Clooney and Mani Ratnam, who know their craft. Mani got his iPhone in “GURU“,though nowhere near ‘Iruvar’ – I’m happy with the movie. Its a two hour fourty nine minute lesson for the Yashrajs and Rajashris.
Its the thread that runs through these individuals, the thread of genius and their commitment to that intelligence. Its the chances they take in the things that they do that makes them so special. And me so happy. Its Plato’s call on Wines and bottles.
Guess thats enough for the two cents Apple paid me to write this piece !