Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day one, and kneebouncers*****

In the nineties, back when I was still staying in hostels and delighting in the restaurants of C.P., a friend got married. Had a son. I was maha impressed that when that little kid got to be four year old or so, he was able to make basic webpages and do some programming. Or so I remember. It may be that he was just able to put the computer on and start his favourite game, but I had not so much as touched one at that point of time, and his achievements were really cool. His father was totally into computers, of course. So much so that he designed his own website, combined it with his love of traveling and came up with an online travel agency. And left his anaesthesia practice. But thats just a story. The point being that when computers are as basic an equipment around the house as a toothbrush, kids will take as naturally to them as er, to brushing their teeth? But (again!) thats not why the kid site section of my bookmarks grew to eclipse the rest of them, or made me get Foxmarks so I could synchronize them over different machines. No, that story has to do with my own precious bundle of joy not eating. Period. No matter what the incentive offered, or what the punishment suggested, right from the time weaning started, food, and drinks even more so, have been no-no-no-NO! unless I managed to distract attention from the fact that there was something going in the tummy, with a basketful of toys. One fine day, papa dear got his laptop and a nursery rhyme cd to the table, just to see if that would help, and mummy got a little break from washing toys after each meal. The laptop never left our table since. And I got started on my newest collection, which I itch to share with friends, family and teachers, hoping that someone else will be able to show me new things :)

So, here we are. There will be two main parts to each post. One, a lot of piddling nonsense like what you have just read. And two, the website of the day, with hopefully a sentence or two describing it, so you know what it is like. I will post the url as it is now, but am not going to keep on checking for broken links, so if you don't find it, you can do a google search to see if its still alive.

So, today's site is something for the littlest ones. Its called Kneebouncers, and it has been developed by Punch Communications, LLC. A site for little ones to play with when bouncing on your knees. It has very simple, bright and colourful bold images, and no advertisements. A few games, all played by simply tapping on the keyboard, an event which leads to peek-a-boo or some other change in the screen image. Even before they start reaching out for the keyboard - which is difficult to imagine since mine was doing it before starting to sit - you can show them this, and they'll enjoy it. The sound effects are nice, and the animations cute and smooth. Plus, it doesn't take very long to load up. I don't know how to embed links yet, and the photo is just a screenshot (edit - learned how to link but still leaving url so you know what it is!), but check it out -


P.S. Of course there are post scripts. For one, here is Dr. Rakesh Anand's travel agency site - http://www.arounddelhi.com/ Maybe he will correct me regarding the prowess of his eldest, but no matter what, he can't take away my sense of awe then at his son's playing with the impressive machine! And of course, I do so admire his taking an uncharted territory on for the fun of it, then making it such a success.

P.P.S. The second one of course is about Foxmarks. I had recently shifted to Firefox, tired of the IE closing down on me every now and then, and was totally floored by its tabbing feature, when this sudden surge in bookmarking made me look for something to synchronize bookmarks added here and there. Foxmarks are a life saver, and I don't know what to do without them now! Plus they are improving and already in alpha for the IE. Do check them out as well - http://www.foxmarks.com/ By the way, firefox shuts down on me as well, but it has this neat feature of being able to restore all tabs and windows as they were before it was paralysed, so I don't mind as much. Unless you are in the middle of writing a long blog entry like this. Keeping my fingers crossed!

P.P.P.S. Adding this later - check out the stars in the heading for each site to get an idea of how much we like it here. Zero through five.

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