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…from the Editor’s keyboard…

                                                    Issue - 4

                                                    Issue - 3

                                                    Issue - 2

                                                    Issue - 1

Issue - 4 Editorial...

We’re back again!  This seems a good tagline we can continue to use for TechMotivator.

Over the past months, there have been interesting examples of the use or application of technology for socio-economic development, especially among rural communities.  Are we essentially attempting to transform rural areas into pseudo-urban areas?  Is this desirable?  In this issue, we feature two cases that involve the use of communication technologies for rural transformation.  We wish that the questions that follow ought to cascade further.  After all, good democracy has among its foundations good discussions and debate.

Recently, we came across an article in which the author pointed out that perhaps it is time for the human species to give way to some other species to take control of this planet.  What was that?  We believe that this is an impossibility, say, at least over the next few centuries?  Aren’t we maintaining that technology is, unarguably, the determinant of planet domination – benign or otherwise?  We, the human species, are in control of technology (or, is it the other way around?), at least for now!  Of course, we can always choose, unwittingly and chaotically, to blank ourselves out of contention.  And, this is eminently possible even within the next few decades.

In the ultimate analysis, we ought to master all technology lifecycles for peace, prosperity and dignity among all species.  Although this may sound either like a wise principle or a crazy refrain, it certainly is meant for collective good.

In this issue’s TechGenius column, we feature Dr. Arun Netravali - one of India’s finest intellects in HDTV and Digital Video Communication Technology.

In TechToons, we feature a cartoon that captures a futuristic personality-complex between man and computer

In TechMorph, we have featured an umbrella. We would be willing to feature any new products suggested by you!

In TechCase, we present two new caselets – one dealing with an 'illiterate' villager running a radio station in Bihar, and an innovative technology to reduce phone rates in villages.

In TechMatters, we feature an article about the debilitating consequences of 'online' pharmacies on society

In TechQuiz, we provide answers to Quiz 3 and present ten more questions from the world of Technology Inventions.

In TechTalk, we feature three addresses delivered by  Shri. Onkar S. Kanwar, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar and Shri. R. R. Shah as part of the 19th National Conference on In-house R & D in Industry.

As always, we believe you will find this issue to be absorbing and valuable.  Please send in your comments and inputs for our future issues.  See you again soon.

Get motivated ……… technologically.

Prof. L. S. Ganesh,

Dr. Monto Mani, and

Mrs. Geethanjali Monto

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Issue - 3 Editorial...

We’re back again!

Welcome back to the world of Techmotivator.  We hope you enjoyed browsing through our website, and savoured the previous two issues.  We remain committed to make technology more understandable and enjoyable.

There are several outstanding scientists, engineers and technologists in our country who, unfortunately, do not gain the kind of popularity and do not wield the extent of influence that achievers in some other pursuits such as cinema, sport, and performing arts enjoy.  Techmotivator, as its name implies, is focused on promoting a wider and deeper interest in technology among people in all walks of life, and especially among young persons.  Do we have a better way than projecting the noteworthy work and accomplishments of our brilliant scientists, engineers and technologists who are legion?

In this issue’s TechGenius column, we feature Dr. G. S. Bhuvaneshwar, one of India’s finest Biomedical engineers.  His innovative work on artificial heart valves has made them affordable on a larger scale and revolutionized the treatment of the human heart.  It’s quite a challenge to make “big brands” out of such “hidden” technologies.  But, do we need to do this?  Techmotivator believes that “big brands” can also be made out of such technology products – those that are apparently more sophisticated and of more critical value, but unexciting – than the “big brands” in other product types.  Of course, there are “big brands” in sophisticated technology products.  How about Boeing’s “Jumbo” jet, Microsoft’s “Powerpoint”, Intel’s “Pentium”, Sony’s “Walkman” and Toyota’s “Lexus”?  But, these products are exciting to most people.  So, how can we build “big brands” out of the sophisticated and critical but unexciting technologies?

In TechToons, we feature a cartoon that captures the morbid humour in electronic virtual worlds.  Have you participated in an e-auction?

In TechMorph, we have studied the shoe, a seemingly common product that is rapidly increasing in technological complexity.  Do you have any other products in mind you would like to have a morphology for?

In TechCase, we present two new caselets – one dealing with ‘cat fuel’, an innovation (gulp?) by a German, and another about the effects of technology on parenthood.  You may have more questions than answers in your minds.

In TechMatters, we feature an article about the now ubiquitous mobile phone and its mind-boggling socio-economic and inter-personal impacts.

In TechQuiz, we provide answers to Quiz 2 and present ten more questions from the world of Technology Inventions.

In TechTalk, we feature a talk delivered by Dr. S. M. Patil, the then Chairman and Managing Director, HMT, about his experiences in managing technology.

As before, we believe you will find this issue to be absorbing and valuable.  Please send in your comments and inputs for our future issues.  See you again soon.

Get motivated ……… technologically.

Prof. L. S. Ganesh,

Dr. Monto Mani, and

Mrs. Geethanjali Monto

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Issue - 2 Editorial...

We’re back!  Although it’s taken us a while to bring out this, our second issue, it’s been an enjoyable experience working on it.

By now, we hope many of you would have read our first issue and enjoyed its contents.  We deliberately aimed it at a wider audience, and hoped that this would be welcomed.  We have received encouraging feedback from a few readers, and we are motivated to progress further in this endeavour to project and discuss “technology” with a wide open perspective, one that is less restrained by technical jargon and nuances, and more people-centric.

It is our intent to enable clear identification, understanding and description of the relationships among technologies, their morphological forms, the resulting functional capabilities, and their utilization (at a price) by different socio-economic entities (ranging from individuals, through families, communities, business and other organizations, and eventually on to organizations involved in global policy making).  Obviously, we also need to understand the mind and work of the technologist.  For all this, we have to observe, interpret and seek insights about the mutual influences among technologists, technologies and various socio-economic entities.  When this is done diligently, our individual and collective abilities to deal with technological and techno-managerial issues get enhanced.  This is the focus of Techmotivator.  We, the Editors, are motivated by the desire to

about technology, technologists, users, and even innocent bystanders who have little choice but to accept the significant influence of technology in their lives.  We seek to establish Techmotivator as one of the common platforms to enable readers share their ideas, insights, experiences, views, and comments with others in our community.  A reader’s section will soon be featured to begin the momentum, one that we hope will be perpetual.

In this issue, we have included a new section dealing with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and have augmented it with links to well-known internet resources on IPR.  As we grow, we hope to continue to add more sections to make “Techmotivator” as comprehensive and wholistic in its presence as can be achieved.  We have added new content to the other sections.

We believe, you will find this issue to be absorbing and valuable.  We look forward to your comments and inputs for our future issues.  We plan to make this a quarterly, and if all goes well we should be able to serve three more issues by March 2006.

Get motivated ……… technologically.

Prof. L. S. Ganesh,

Mrs. Geethanjali Monto, and

Dr. Monto Mani

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Issue - 1 Editorial...

TECHMOTIVATOR – the name of this electronic newsletter from IIT Madras.  A word that may not yet be in any dictionary, but we’re hoping to popularize soon enough.  Hope you find it easy to interpret.  TECHnology is the MOTIVATOR for our newsletter, and we wish would also be the same for you too, dear reader.

Why do we need this newsletter?  What is its purpose?  Who are the target audience?  What could be its contents?  How should we present it?  How should we publicize it?  These were among a whole host of questions that we considered often during the past year.  Then, the decisions were made.  We will host it from our Institute.  We will use it as a medium to get young people (and others also) interested in technology, its uses, its implications, its future, and consequently our future too!  We would enable them to share their interests, observations, opinions, expectations, questions and the like.  We then put forth our proposal to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) of our national Government, and they responded promptly.  They are the primary supporters of this effort.  Thank you, Dr. Vinay Kumar, Mrs. Jyoti Bhat and your team, for your encouragement, support, and constructive prodding.  So, here we are with the first issue of TECHMOTIVATOR.

Throughout history and before, Technology has been the most definitive influence on the lives of people in all tribes, communities, nations and civilizations.  Simply put, technology alters the way people spend their 24 hours in a day, the activities they engage in, the environment, nature and manner of their work, and even their psyche, beliefs and behaviour.  We also observe a strange love-hate relationship most people have with technology – they love it for all the convenience and comfort (and most times, also social status) it gives, and hate it for their inability to understand it sufficiently easily and the consequent lack of control over it.  There’s both elation and depression about technology.  The elation comes with the confidence stemming from our apparent control over nature, at least in terms of understanding natural phenomena, laws and principles.  The depression comes with the havoc that technology has apparently wrought through wars, and disasters (industrial, social and environmental).  Technology is today the quintessential abstract magician, and those who master it are those who seem to matter in our world in terms of the power, authority and control they wield.

Throughout history and before, Technology has been the most prominent indicator of socio-economic development.  The human creature has always yearned for experiencing whatever, whenever, wherever and howsoever it wants.  The more this is possible in a society, the more developed that society is seen to be.

In the present context of our nation, we look up to technology as the ‘Brahmaastra’ for self-reliant development.  The notable initiatives of successive governments is a clear pointer.  The accomplishments of our scientists, engineers and technologists, here and abroad, give us immeasurable pride and confidence.  Will these become the great binding force that will galvanize our nation for absolutely aligned, focused and relentless pursuit of progress?  Will our technologies become globally competitive?  Will we be seen and respected as a nation not only with an awesome heritage and culture, but also as one with the tech-edge?  TechMotivator is a humble contribution towards such a desirable movement.

We wish to present an electronic forum through which all of us can get introduced to, learn about, critique or assess, propose developments in, and forecast different technologies.  For this, we include different sections to cater to the large variety of interests our readers would have.  In this, our first issue, we have:

We hope you will enjoy going through our newsletter and look forward to constructive interactions among us.  We repeat what is commonly quoted by many quality conscious people:  if you enjoy any section or all of our newsletter then spread the good word around, but if you have any observations, suggestions, comments, or criticisms that you feel would be useful, please pass them on to us.  We urge you to make contributions to future issues by way of interesting articles, essays, technology descriptions, morphologies, cartoons, chats, debates, reports, quizzes, questions and so on.  This would also enable more frequent and meaningful interactions.

Get motivated ……… technologically.

Prof. L. S. Ganesh,

Mrs. Geethanjali Monto, and

Dr. Monto Mani

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