Monday, June 22, 2015

From Consumers to Producers - The Indian Story - Part 6 - Software


A Windows PC 386, with 120 MB Hard disk and 4 MB RAM. Even my mobile phone is at least 3 times faster than the first PC I owned. What software could possibly run on that ancient PC? Well, you will be surprised to know, a lot many. 

I bought my first PC to start my own business in graphic designing. If I remember right, I used CorelDraw 3 and Pagemaker 4 for my designs. And I did not have a colour monitor. It was all done in black and white and we used to use a colour chart to specify the colours that had to be printed. I used to mostly deal with a lot of screen printers, so the designs required mostly spot colours. There was, of course no Internet, and we used to refer to design books for ideas and Pantone Colour charts for colour combos. Surprisingly, CorelDraw and Pagemaker, both used to run very smoothly on that PC with 4 MB RAM. 

Then came something called AGP card - Accelerated Graphics Port, which changed everything. It was a card which had to be inserted into the PC, fixed on a slot on the mother board. It helped the computer render millions of colours. Today, that card has become a miniaturized chip on the mother board. By this time, we had colour monitors, and faster PCs, which could render the colours. 

The computers and the software were still meant for people who were rather experts. Computers were still out of reach of a large section of the populations.But with the designers and printers, the usage was growing. Things started changing rapidly after 1995, when the Internet came in. I remember, at that time, along with graphic designing, I also used to take up printing jobs. Printing letter heads, envelopes and visiting cards was a major revenue earner for us. After the Internet came in, within a couple of years, this part of our business died down. Organizations either simply stopped ordering letter heads, of the quantities got too less. 

But during these days, all the time, the PCs kept getting faster, the storage spaces kept getting bigger, and the software were available in more and more advanced versions. By the time I got into full time teaching in 2006 and quit my business, we were using CorelDraw 12, PageMaker 7 and Photoshop 5. I had also started making animations, and the last version of Flash I used was Flash MX 2004.Even now, most people use only the Microsoft Office software, and the ones that we used for designing, are still used only by professionals. However, there is one major change.....

Mobile telephony has not only made communication easier, but also put easy-to-use software/applications - or 'apps' as they are called into the hands of the common man. Today, once you click a photograph, or shoot a video on your mobile phone, you can easily edit it, also give effects and upload it to YouTube, or send it across using WhatsApp, Facebook, or any email app. Graphic designing and film making, blogging and making web pages and websites, is no longer the domain of a few. Anyone having a smartphone can do all this, and more.

Truly, we have turned from consumers to active producers of content. And the world of media is no more in the hands of a few. Who is to be given credit for all this? Do watch out for my next post... the final in this series.

Till then, keep reading, and please do comment. And all graduates, if you find this interesting, learn more @Deviprasad Goenka Management College of Media Studies. ‪#‎Join‬ the only ‪#‎AICTE‬ approved ‪#‎PGDM‬ in Media Studies. ‪#‎MBA‬ ‪#‎BMS‬ ‪#‎BMM‬ ‪#‎CommunicationDesign‬ ‪#‎Media‬ ‪#‎MediaStudies‬