At that time, I had taken a 4-weeks course in Visual Basic, and another 4-weeks course in Visual C++. I had already rented a Windows PC at home.
I knew a bit of many kinds of astrology techniques, those kinds you can read in magazines and can master in a few minutes.
I was eager to code those astrology techniques into some GUI/desktop apps.
Before I started coding, I looked around. I read in some Myanmar magazines about some theses on astrology at our Computer University. Their calculations were thick,deep and complex. That's fine.
What was not so fine: their outputs were also very hard to understand.
I also checked out some Astrology CD's written by Myanmar programmers, selling at about K 400. Their outputs were of the same kind as those of the theses. (At that time Don Norman hasn't written Living with Complexity. He hasn't proclaimed that "Make output understandable.").
I couldn't learn from them, and so I coded my own design.
- 1 text box to enter user's question
- 1 button beneath it
- Read the user's question.
- Throw a 6-sided dice 6 times, since this is I Ching.
- Using the result from the dice throws, read from a table of answers.
- Show the answer to user.
My cost to create this was about 8 hours of coding and 8 hours of reading. And users liked it a bit.
Compare this to the other software makers' costs and the users' reaction to their softwares.