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How did Project Niño came about?

For the past few years, my wife and I have been trying very hard to conceive a child. Finally now I am being rewarded. Someone told me - when you have done enough good deeds, God will reward you.

Now, what is my gratitude?

My previous job required me to fly around in Asia Pacific Region a lot. I enjoy my work very much, as a trainer, print system integrator for pre-press, printer, design house, graphic reseller etc. I gained a lot of exposure to the world, but sad to say, nothing in my life as a simple man. Without my job, I am still a nobody.

In my job, I have trained many people is Asia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Korean, Japanese, China Chinese, Malaysians...... I consider myself quite good in my work, as a system integrator for 20 over years, I really do enjoy helping these people to cross over to the new segment of technology in Printing, Design and Desktop Publishing, but, many a time, I see these prepress production people lack in 'materials' or failure to create content for their next level of expertise in getting into digital age of publishing. So many are still stuck in the manual and conventional pre-press stage. Unlike the US and Europe where pre-press operators are considered skill and professional workers. In Asia, they are still being considered as another class of blue-collar workers.

With the digital era moving so fast, and so merciless, what is their future?

Why do they alway find it hard to cross the barrier, even with those high tech machinery, graphic systems - Automation Pre-press system with Computer-to-Plate... 1.6 Millions dollars Digital Presses, yet the end result of the product still not to the 'expected standard' of professional like us?

I realised that I have failed as a system integrator. To drive those 'machines' and high tech 'systems' they need to have more 'Deep' thinking, more in-depth understanding of the system. How? If their level of literacy skills is low or not so developed. These 'production' workers will always need 3rd parties' training or help, it is never ending; the circles keep coming back and around, softwares upgrade, system upgrade, trainings always being needed. Why and how?

In many 3rd world countries, especially Asia, the level of Literacy, is normally quite low. I have seen them in my previous job's travelling and classroom training. I realised that the efficiency of linear reading is not built into them at all. They failed to sit down and read an instruction manual, even a self-help book on a graphic software application. They prefer to watch recorded videos, or webinar training etc.. many details and inspirations are lost in this process. Understanding is being made simple and compromised.

Extract from somewhere, "Linear and Deep Reading Is Especially Necessary With Today’s Technology - Where some thought that the advent of computers would make the reading less important, the exact opposite is true; it has made reading even more important. Gathering information on the web or even communicating via email and social media all require reading and writing. Even texting requires reading and writing skills.

For a graphics artists or writers to write good original book of art or original artwork, they need 'inspiration' 'ideas' 'quotes' 'samples' 'creations' .... the list goes on. Where to find them? We try to move pre-press workers into e Publishing, to create contents on social media,.... all these they need ideas.. concept!!! Where to find them? Re-publishing, Sharing, Retweet... all these actions do not speak volume.

I managed to tumble onto this article one day ; Learn Timeless Ideas. We need our children to read more Classic Story Books. Reading the classics is a cheap hobby. In our Public Domain Sites, we have thousands and thousands of classic left behind by Great Men and Women. They are free! Knowledge is free.

We like to believe, in our modern arrogance, that technology has changed everything. In truth, it feels the same to be alive today as it did a thousand years ago. The lessons of the classics carry as much weight as ever. They contain information that is directly applicable to your life. Don’t believe me? Try reading Ben Franklin’s Autobiography without learning something. Reading the classics develops an understanding of the human condition and a deeper appreciation of modern problems. The best books are yet to be written.

So with our power now, we can change the world, - this is what I believe. Every kid in Asia should have more exposure to all these great books. Alice in Wonderland still being used by many Hollywood great producers and script writer. Moby Dick is still being used to create many top ticket-selling movies.

Project Niño is where I have decided to start sharing public domain ebook in Asia. This is a project where we can download thousands popular ebook into a tiny eBook Reader and pass around in Asia. With the built-in dictionary, built-in Text-to-Speech technology, those kids in Asia that who cannot attend schools due to so many conditions and reason, can do their own reading and improve themselves, this may be keeping them out of the streets, staying out of trouble, spending more time reading those classics, in the end, be more inspired, be more knowledgable. Reading the classics is the easiest way to improve your writing. Why not learn from the best? Great authors have a tendency to take over your mind; go and becoming a better thinker, many great writers are also great thinker, as many a times (proven) they are able to think ahead of time!

Project Niño, will be also a project that I would like to pass down to my child. After so many years and countless attempts, I finally got a child - (Niño - in Spanish means child), thus, Project Niño is born.

Without a job I am a nobody -- this thought keeps haunting me. Thus, I hope with Project Niño, will remind me of who I am and what I should be doing. This will be my legacy as a trainer or an artist who has beliefs and has tried.

Francis Tay

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