My second interview from Japan goes with a famous webmaster in the customization, Masatoshi Ueji. The following interview has been made up of some replies from him and reproduced as a conversation on IRC.
TEK Hello. It is very precious that we have time to talk with you, thanks. Well, eh... at first, please introduce yourself?
Mr. Masatoshi Ueji (shortly Masatoshi) Sure. As you see on my Profile page, I was born in 1970 and now I am a system engineer. Yes, it is my job to develop some systems or solutions, but recently I have tasks to deal with a "system integration" for quite a big company, consult with clients, and encourage and manage our projects. So now I'm working with many persons side by side.
TEK Seems to be little hard... oh yea, today we would like to talk with you about your another activities in the customization and at M's Factory. How long have you enjoy?
Masatoshi Well... I have replaced icons since the time of Windows 3.0. But the most significant motivation was to customize "the feel" or handling rather than "the look" or appearance of desktop. Anyway, the time of Windows 3.0... errr 9 years ago or so?
TEK Sorry, in that time I didn't use a personal computer but a Japanese word processor for my job, so I don't know anything about OS before Windows 98, hehe.
Masatoshi Oh really? Ah... anyway, I think I have already made my original icons in that time. Or, speaking of "rasterizing computer graphics", yea these were made dot by dot, it could be traced back my days in junior highschool! I made characters in games by such a way by hand... it would be the starting point of my history with graphics similar to icons :)
TEK What do you have some secret to making such great icons?
Masatoshi Thanks. But I will not tell about the way step by step :P Most weighted things are "to cut odd details", "to know how to come and appear the light on object", and...
TEK ... and?
TEK Haha.. Was there some influence to make your motivation?
Masatoshi As to customize my desktop, there were many things I have talked while ago. And for making my website more technical in the customization, I have inspired from Mr. JIN's site called "desktop mania" (now dead)... it was a site for the customization in Mac.
Masatoshi Oh I have to tell you that... at the beginning, M's Factory was not for the customization and I wrote webpages for movies, games, and my reviews of Formula One.
TEK They are another hobbies, aren't you?
Masatoshi Yes, sure.
TEK Today, do you refer to some websites for your design things?
TEK You give us many contents on icons, skins, utilities for customizing, wallpapers, and others. What do you like the most among them?
Masatoshi I would like to appeal Desktop Gallery to people. The concept of M's Factory will be there, though it is my challenge to approach to looks of another OS, and the usefulness should be out of question, hehe.
Masatoshi And, I love to make my icons, so the section of them seems to be emphasized than others.
TEK I see... by the way Masatoshi, we know you accepted the caution from Apple. Would you tell us about what was happened and about your opinion on Apple?
Masatoshi Sure. Apple Computer, Inc. sent a recommendation to me that I must immediately deleted all skins which they imitated the look and feel for some versions of operating system by Apple Computer, Inc. as of 15th January, 2001.
Masatoshi I accepted their recommendation and deleted all files that they pointed me. But they have not sent me the same advise about icons in M's Factory, so now I keep and show my icons on the web :)
TEK Please go ahead...
Masatoshi Well, I think Apple applied their apropos and true approach that is established from their own right. M's Factory has not any commercial purpose and it is my private site. I had actually the first impression on their recommendation as "Dear, why was it so matter for them?", but it was my impression and I was convinced that M's Factory have made more influences than I think of. So, consequently I agreed with their recommendation and deleted all files and links from M's Factory.
TEK You are right, I think so... then, what is your motivation to "keep" your interesting? Errr, I don't mean "albeit in this situation", hehe.
Masatoshi Mmmmmmm, it is "to like it", isn't it?
Masatoshi Tweaking and customizing my desktop for my own pleasure...
Masatoshi ... proudly showing the result and taking feedbacks...
Masatoshi That's the way, haha!
Masatoshi Also, I want to surprise people with my desktop, such as "Wow! Is this a desktop of Windows?".
Masatoshi Oh wait, sure, I have encouraged by many visitors, thanks!
TEK Hehe, I see.
TEK Then, how do you think about the desktop customization in general? Do you think this will become a category of business?
Masatoshi For the desktops, they will have more abilities to costomize itself in look and feel, though they will still depend on basic sevices from operating system.
Masatoshi Today, the user interface appears to be established or sophisticated at a certain degree. We can expect them to improve their usabilities. Anyone wants his/her own interface, and so the operating system will be developed for the purpose as well.
Masatoshi Moreover hardwares must be increased their capacities and we... looking at the situation from the side of "seeds"... will be able to make more great looks. They will take some techniques from design or games. Consequently while these several years, we may look at the beginning of business in the user interface.
TEK Thank you for the time to talk with us. Take care.