First of all, one of the things that I found most interesting and curious about this text was that I found myself reading about stuff that was written as a visionary and futuristic plan, but almost all of those things described are so widely used today and incorporated, or at least easy to get, in our personal computers. Our lap tops can do a lot of stuff for us (and they do it) all of the time. We use them every day for so many different things. So I found it very interesting, to read these actions and descriptions as if they were future goals, objectives and intentions, because for me, and for most of us, all of it is a day-to-day regular thing.
The part of the text that I picked for this nugget was (of course) the one that had the words “movies, frames, animation” in it:
“Much of the design of SHAZAM, their animation tool, is an automation of the media with which animators are familiar: movies consisting of sequences of frames which are a composition of transparent cels containing foreground and background drawings. Besides retaining these basic concepts of conventional animation, SHAZAM incorporates some creative supplementary capabilities.”
SHAZAM sounds like a pretty interesting, interactive and cool tool I wish I had when I was younger. This sort of “app”, and the part of the text that describes it called my attention. I find it very interesting, because it talks about movies, sequences, frames, the drawings that can get animated by children. I probably shouldn’t pick more from the text but this really helps to expand and understand better what they are referring to: “Considering children as the users radiates a compelling excitement when viewed from a number of different perspectives. First, the children really can write programs that do serious things. Their programs use symbols to stand for objects, contain loops and recursions, require a fair amount of visualization of alternative strategies before a tactic is chosen, and involve interactive discovery and removal of “bugs” in their ideas.”
The talking about drawing and images made me go back in my mind to when I was younger and I had my first experiences with the computer programs. I was getting more familiar with them and there was one program that was particularly more interesting to me, Paint. And I can assure that I was not the only one that liked this program above the rest. It was fun to just do whatever, strokes and color brushes, figures and lines in a “blank page”. It was like a white blank digital canvas, and the mouse was like our hands (or our fingertips) using finger paint or crayons just making a colorful mess on the blank space. Now, if Paint was more like SHAZAM, it would have been soooooo much better and exciting. As I read about it I got excited and thought about it, how cool that program would have been for me. It is described as easy to use, child friendly and helpful for their development. My review on it would be positive, I imagine. The whole text section “Animation and Music” reminds me of Paint this feeling of drawing on the screen whatever doodles we thought about. Along with it, I also found very interesting the following part of the text which mentions animation. How cool would it be if you could actually draw your little doodles in Paint and then animate them and edit them at the same time? I wish Paint had that feature integrated. Something that I find somewhat curious is that the program for drawings and animations is called SHAZAM, which nowadays is an app for music used to identify songs particularly. After reading this text, I wished I had a Dynabook when I was younger. It really sounds to me like an equivalent of an iPad for us today. This means that kids today have access to all this things that were just a sketch and a plan back in those years. Nowadays the children are exposed and use all the advantages that can be found in a piece of technological engineering. What a lucky generation!
(Also, totally unrelated but, for some reason after reading the text, it really made me want to watch 101 Dalmatians. I don’t know why. I guess because of the retro and animation themes. Drawings, then color, then animation.)