Thursday, March 30, 2006

No. I don't make errors.


Excuse me. I am not at fault! I made no error. Why should I be blamed? Why should I be the scapegoat? Why should I face the flak? Why should I be called guilty?

Uh-oh...Did I come straight to the point? Very quickly? Well, let me go slow then. First, I'll introduce myself. My name's Computer. Yes. Computer. No. Not Computer Error. Error is not my last name. In fact, that's what's bugging me.

Actually, 'Computer' is my last name. I have a number of cousins. Mainframe Computer. Mini Computer. Personal Computer. Laptop computer. Palmtop computer. So, you see. Computer is my family name. And I love my family. That's why I hate it when we are taken lightly.

We've been around for quite a while now. More than 50 years. The origin of our species was from somewhat gigantic structures like ENIACS and UNIVACs to the current species. Over the years, We have become more smaller, more faster, more colorful and more friendly.

Even children and old people find us friendly nowadays.

From our earlier habitats of huge rooms in universities and corporate jungles, we have now migrated and dispersed into desks, briefcases, and even pockets. I am, therefore, proud of my race, and its growth of these far reaching proportions.

Now, what bugs me most are not the bugs in my software, but when I am said to be in error. We have been known to do our duty. We do what we are told. Then why call us wrong, when we are not? Uh?

Recently, on a quiz show on Bahrain TV, USA was considered as an axis power in World War I instead of as allied power, and the poor contestant was not given points for his correct answer.

When some viewer asked, through the columns of GDN, how it is possible, the reply from Bahrain TV, was this: It was a 'computer error'.

Computer Error???! Now, that gets me blinking mad. Yes. That gets me all worked up. Why are you defaming my poor cousin at Bahrain Radio and TV? He just stated what he was told. He performed as he was programmed. He gave only the data he was given. He displayed the information he was fed with.

He is just a faithful computer. Like all other computers. And we computers are always faithful.

It's the manufacturers, programmers, data entry operators, end-users who make mistakes. Not us.

There's no such thing as a 'computer error'.

It's only people who make errors. Why blame computers?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Love for Lyrics


Songs, I believe, are not just music, but the 'words' that make them up.

Of course, there are many people who feel that music alone can be enjoyed, without lyrics. And I somehow, reluctantly, agree, with them to an extent. Because music, we all know, transcends cultural and social barriers, and can effectively display a range of emotions.

When a soft rythmic music thumping increases, in tempo, to an ecstatic beat, it could mean a heightening religious fervour, perhaps in a hindu temple.

Or when the boom-booms and tom-toms swell to a deafening crescendo, it could mean the climax of a tribal dance leading to a human sacrifice, perhaps in an African jungle.

Or when the strumming of strings begin to twist into ear-piercing frequencies, it could mean the long-haired headbangers are gloriously playing to the crowd, perhaps on a Rock-group's stage.

But - no matter how good or bad the music is - I somehow delight in the 'words', and in the formation of words into tunes. Mere music can be great. But when words in songs tell a story, or convey a connection, or bring out an emotion, I feel excited by them. By the lyrics.

That's why I am a lover of Country Music, and not of Rock Music. So, music of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton or Garth Brooks are what you will find in my home and car and computer, and not of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, or Led Zepplin.

Take for instance, words from Garth Brooks' song, The River which I think are great inspiraion, for those who are risk-averters. [You may click on the link to hear the song later, if you wish.]

Too many times we stand aside
and let the waters slip away
Till what we put off till tomorrow
has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
and say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
and dare to dance the tide

Wow. The last two lines "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tide", I think are amazing lyrics, that spur you to go on with life, with a firmer resolve. Hearing these words, as I drove home one frustrated afternoon, I was reenergized and rejuvenated!

Lyrics like the one below I believe are even more amazing. Imagine writing a song on a painter. And imagine using words creating the vivid imagery of his paintings! And also bringing out the pathos, and the struggle of the painter. Check out Don Mc Lean's song 'Vincent', written on the painter, Vincent Van Gogh.

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colours on the snowy linen land

or these..

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds and violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colours changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artists' loving hand

You can listen to this song, vincent, by clicking here

Listening to these words, sung so well, can only tell you the power of words within a song. It's such a great masterpiece - a fitting tribute to that great painter.

I can go on and on, on the power of lyrics in songs, but i'll list a few songs and link them so that you can hear and enjoy.

Until next time, Adios Amigos.