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May 14, 2004

Watch And Learn

I am coming around to the realization that my field of software is an Oldsmobile. Part of this realization has to do with the grid computing infrastructure I mentioned last month. Part of it has to do with the insanity of VB.NET which I am trying to digest. (more on that later). A good fraction of it relies on my absolute ignorance and fascination with the tools, techniques and outputs of the CG trade (Do check out Rockfish). But a lot of it has to do with watching my own kids and monitoring their expectations.

As Stowe Boyd points out, kids don't care about snail mail. And one of these days, the tools of this trade are going to be a lot more sophisticated.

Yesterday, as I returned Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow & Red Dead Revolver to the local Blockbuster, I tried to conceptualize a new set of visualization tools for Enterprise computing. When it comes to graphical interfaces, we are so very retarded in terms of the way we conceptualize the functioning of our businesses. Even the simplest videogame is worlds ahead of what most businesses use. The number of execs I have talked to who would pay an arm and a leg for stoplight charts and dashboard dials are legion. But no gamer over the age of 7 would settle for the lack of realtime, or subtlety in corporate accounting systems. As I staff up at Metro Decisions, I'm only going to take gamers. I decided that a month ago.

A pal in NZ is starting up a company which appears to have broken through the OLAP barrier. It was bound to happen. Now that reality is at our doorstep, the next phase really has to kick in. And we will not sell it to the current crop of businessmen, but to the next generation which is happening now.

I have watched the industry for a long time, and they squander resources. They make excuses the same way they make work. Young minds and egos have no time for such ossification.

I argued with F9 yesterday. She says as a general principle the movie is better than the book. The subject was L'Engel's 'A Wrinkle in Time' and I wouldn't concede the point. But perhaps I should. What's in books that can't be digitized? It's always that the book covers things the movie does not. But we do have ways to visually and auditorially master the third person omnicient, and the craft will advance from here. What's expensive about shooting film in the current format can be overcome by videogame narrative. Kids do spend 100 hours in single games. I know.

There's a great potential awaiting the right team of programmers. You may not have heard it here first, but this blog is to remind me of certain things as well.

Posted by mbowen at May 14, 2004 10:18 AM

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