Travel Diary

To: [email protected] From: "Kannan" | Block Address | Add to Address Book Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 18:02:40 +0100 Subject: [e-suvadi] Travel Diary 09.03.02 Reply-to: [email protected]
Dear Suvadians: KaNi Tamil Sangam was the first one to invite me in Chennai and honored our initiative. The sangam has several bright IT professionals with a heart for Tamil computing. Interestingly it has members who are not IT professionals but simply Tamil lovers. This mail is about them and their direct contributions to THF. Mr.Elangovan is the former president of that Sangam and is still a key member. CEO of CadGraf he has visions of making Tamil IT landscape a place of creativity. He feels it is not sufficient to produce programmers but innovative IT professionals who could design a product, develop it and market it. Prof.Udaykumar of CPDE, Anna University once mentioned that the tamil wave for single dollar jobs should be changed to at least a hundred dollar job. He pointed out that Tamils prefer to sub-serve an American rather than being a master designer themselves. This he mentioned true for NRIs and RIs from India. Elangovan wanted to develop fonts for Granta characters and I gave him a book (thanks to Kalyan for pointing me the publisher). Dr.Kodumudi Shanmugamthe ex-director of Int.Institute of South Asian Studies and a well known archeologist- a member of KTS requested Elangovan to develop a method to compress the file size of an image from say 150 KB to 15 KB. He apparently did that for an olai using Photoshop filters. This will help a lot in placing those files in the web without loosing the resolution. Unfortunately, I didn't see his result. He has digitized a book given by Dr.Pakkirisamy for THF. Again I didn't have the time to collect it from him. I presume he will enable us to download that e-book from his website. Mr.Anto Peter the present secretary of KTS became well known to the tamil computing world when he led a huge delegation from India during the TI 2001 in KL. I met him in the campus of TVU when I saw 'Chitra Barathi' in his hands. I requested him to digitize that for THF which he did and gave it to me during the last days. He was instrumental in meeting Chennai based archeologist Mrs.Padmavati , the new director of Int.Inst.Tamil Studies Dr.Krishnamurthi and the old Dr.Rama Elangovan. I asked him to key-in 6 books of my collection. E-texting is the ultimate and so better now than later. Anto Peter organized the TV show with SunTV network as well. Luckily Prof.Krishnamurthi copied the programme which appeared on March 16 and gave me a CD. These days nobody in Chennai uses VHS tapes. Everybody watches the home video as digital movies! A good copy from a VHS tape to a CD costs between Rs.150-200. Quite reasonable. Pinnacle Studio that captures VHS images into a digital movie costs in Malaysia RM 1330. I captured my digital THF movies as Windows Media Player movies using a Sharp Digital Video Camera. Dr.A.K.Srinivasan is just more than a THF enthusiast. He has agreed to digitize old Carnatic songs. During this trip I got the complete version of Kodai Nachiar Thaalaattu and I requested his sister-in-law who teaches music in Chennai to compose the music for this great work. AKS wanted to visit Melkottai manuscript library of Lakshmi Tathachar with me but unfortunately due to time strain we could not make it. Mr.Pakkirisamy has helped me to meet Mr.Krishnamurthi of Gnanalaya, Pudukkottai which is a vital contact. He has donated an interesting book on Tamil alphabets to THF as well. Prof.Krishnamurthi plays a key role in Tamil computing by developing an OCR for it. He was more than willing to test his software with my laptop that has Windows XP. After several trials that includes sending his personnel to my home he succeeded in getting a relatively bug free version for XP. This includes adjusting his software for my Mustek scanner images as well. He has agreed to scan and OCR a tamil book of early 20th century on Anandarangam Pillai of Pondichery which I gave him for THF. This will be the first book in our archive of machine reading! Manoj Annadurai is innovative, as many know. He showed me a way to convert an e-suvadi (an image of a manuscript) into text if one writes the alphabet over the image that carries the text. Unfortunately, I could not meet him after I met him in the KTS meeting. Manoj could be an important element in converting e-suvadis into readable/searchable texts. Senthilnathan proposed that THF should at a later date archieve tamil films as well. He tried to arrange a meeting with the veteran film maker/camera man Balu Mahendra that could not happen due to latter's busy schedule. He wants to digitize tamil books published by NCBH and other Russian publishers. Anbudan Kannan