Thursday, February 2, 2012

MSExcel and the progress of technology

Once upon a time at the beginning of my career, I was poring over some data. That data happened to be in MS Excel. And I tried to sort it, sum it all of it to no avail.

I was facing a classic problem that we see. Whenever any new technology replaces an older one, we look for it to be incremental or the same. So, in this case, technology had replaced paper, but we were still using technology as paper. So, the spellings in the sheet were not organized, they were entered as text and there was no uniformity in the sheet at all. Hence most of the standard functions were useless, unless the sheet was cleaned up.

After about a week, I finally was able to produce a sheet that blew the minds of the people who saw it. And it was nothing great. Just totals, subtotals and a reverse sort by value. Which was difficult to come by in a paper mode, but far far easier when we move technologies.

Why did initial digital cameras have the sound of the shutter? Same reason.
Why does the ipad have a tap to mimic mechanical keyboards? Same reason.
Why are we thinking about sounds for new electric cars? Same reason. (On that note I believe there are better ways to for electric cars to develop – there is no real reason they need to look like IC engine cars from outside, but that’s a different rant for some other time)

Why do most MSPowerpoint presentations look just like digital flipcharts? Or why is MSPowerpoint itself like Flipcharts? And that’s why something Prezi is a smarter way to use the digital presentation medium!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be Civil. Make nice!