Thursday, April 30, 2009

voting for a change!!!!

The day's finally here...
Its time to vote..
...for the very first time ( for me ).
I read a particular blog just as I was about to leave for voting and I almost changed my mind against it.

Then my mind ran back to a couple of months ago... Me and a friend were driving along when we met in an accident. As luck would have it, the other driver involved was the son of a politician who happened to be in power. In spite of it being his fault, he raised a ruckus as summoned an group of people who just demanded that I hand him money. Even the concerned politician called me and threatened to beat me if I didn't pay up. When I suggested that he get the job done in insurance, he just would not listen and went ahead to procure a rod with which he threatened to wreck my car. After a long time and numerous threats ( and a whole lot of bargaining ) I had no other option but to pacify him with some money.

At the time I was very angered. All politicians are just the same , said I . Why should I vote for such thugs and mobsters ? And I decided never to vote again... It was another one of my friends who said - You may not vote, but it won't stop others from voting. Others like the people who brought the concerned politician in power.
And this is why I voted - I voted for a change - Not so much in favour of a particular politician for him to win, but against the others  like the one whom I mentioned, so that people like him wouldn't come to power. I know every politician is pure evil, but given the options, isn't it our duty to choose the lesser of the two evils ?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nokia 5800

As I mentioned earlier, it was time for me to get a new phone and after a lot of research I finally got the new Nokia 5800. It's an amazing piece of technology which I feel is really destined to give Apple a run for it's money.


The touch screens is totally awesome. WiFi support is great  - I can get Wi-Fi networks long after I've lost the range on my laptop. GPS receiver is sweet and the it has nifty built-in software for using it. Nokia maps come with preloaded maps on India, and they seem to be highly accurate. A 3 month subscription of Nokia's voice guided navigation system is also available. Even the multimedia capabilities of the device are great. The music player is the standard N series music player with playlist support. The 3.5 MP camera is also totally awesome. The multiple input methods ensure that I have a wide options while entering data so I can use which ever I find most comfortable at the moment. The handwriting recognition is soo sweet!!! It the most accurate one I've seen to date! And quite fast too. The pricing is also much more competitive compared to other phones I considered.

So how does it compare to the iPhone? Well I can't really tell you that truly without playing with this first. So I'll be spending some more time with this piece and I'll let you know of the verdict later.

Posted originally via my brand new Nokia 5800, edited later on a pc.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

from Hyderabad to Shirdi

I've just come back from an impromptu trip to Hyderabad with Alok. We were just sitting around doin' nothing when we hit upon the idea of going to Hyderabad, after all, it isn't too far away isn't it? Just about 11 hours by road from here, and Alok already has a home there. So, on just a few hours notice we couldn't possibly find a train ticket so we went there by bus. It was indeed an interesting journey.

I haven't got much to say right now as I've just got home, and I'll be getting ready, about a few hours of sleeping and dashing right off to Shirdi - another thing we thought of on the way back. I'll post more about my trips ( or should I just look at it just one single long trip ? ) when I get back.

Also, I got a new cell phone. I'll post about it whilst I'm en route to Shirdi - I'm looking forward to blog via my new phone.

Caio.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2 iPhone or not 2 iPhone

My old Nokia has practically one foot in Davy Jone's Locker and so it's time to hunt for another mobile. I was totally into getting an iPhone and thank the heavens I decided to do a bit of research first. The first hurdle was of course getting hold of some reliable information as the most of the articles out there are crowded by Apple Fanboys. I finally happened about a few great articles about the iPhone and why it is not a good choice. Although an iPhone is still in the consideration I'll mostly be ditching if for the following reasons.

Why not ?

  1.  Ridiculously expensive
  2. Locked to particular network
  3. Battery irreplaceable
  4. No video recording
  5. No GPS navigation. The SDK doesn't even allow for 3rd party alternatives.
  6. Inability to use my own ring tones.
  7. Can't use as a modem,
  8. No flash
  9. Can't delete individual calls or messages
  10. No vioce dialling and poor speed dialling
That being said, there are still quite many things which make the iPhone stand out, like..

  1. Cool looks
  2. Incredibly clean and effective user interface
  3. Multi touch implementation, though flawed, still looks and feels very cool pinching your pics to zoom in on them.
  4. Accelerometer ensures optimal use of screen real estate by resizing and reorienting your content as you tilt the phone
  5. High quality multimedia experience.
So I'll be heading to the store in a couple of days and let you know what I get. Keep tuned.

Sorry about the delay

Its been quite some time since I posted. This is mainly due to my blogger's infamous "Page Not Found" error running rampant on the blog. But I belayed reporting it as there was a maintenance scheduled on 16th April and it's a well known fact that blogger starts misbehaving a lot during maintenance time. Well now that it is done, all seems to be working fine. But, looks like there's another one scheduled on the 21st and image uploading is supposed to be hit. I hope everything goes back to normal so that we can all get back to rambling on in our blogs...

Friday, April 10, 2009

10 things to look in a laptop

My PC is now completely redundant and it's that time again to hunt for another one which will be left equally outdated even before I walk out out that store.
 
 
So one important question comes to my mind : Desktop or Laptop. If it weren't for a few quirks with laptops, I would never go in for a desktop ever again. So here's my wish list for 10 things to look in a laptop : ( I, of course am looking for a complete desktop replacement laptop with a high degree of functionality, but I guess everyone's requirements change with their need ) 

1. Out with the wide screens
 
 
  The only time a windscreen's going to be of any use whatsoever is when I'm watching a movie. But when it comes to coding or doing spreadsheets or during wordprocessing, the more number of lines I can see the better, the width is not really of much relevance. And any time I need more desk-space, I just hook up another screen. Plus its more likely that my presentations are going to be of the 4:3 aspect ratio
 


2. No more front positioned audio jacks
  Seriously. Why would anyone ever think of something like this? Audio jacks should strictly be on the sides. The one's on the front just add to hindrance whenever I place the laptop on my lap. They also tend to break off the connected jacks easily.


3. No more glossy screens
  Glossy screens are great when I want to watch videos in the dark of the night, but I really like taking my laptop out on the college steps or on the park bench trying to freshen my mind as I trying to get my IE code working in  Firefox or the other way around. But in broad daylight, these screens reflect too much light to be readable.


4. Where are the navigation / pointing sticks?
 
  About a decade back navigational sticks were the de facto pointing devices in Laptops until they were replaced by the now-prominent touch pads. As cool as they are, they simply cannot provide the precision and speed provided by the humble navigational stick. Plus, I really use like using the middle mouse button. Many people with touch pads buy external mice any ways. On the other hand, I even take my IBM R50e to LAN parties and kick many asses with it, people are even more surprised that I use only the provided navigational stick.


5. I need my Home/End keys
  For some reasons laptop manufacturer's under estimate the Home, End, Insert, Delete and the Page Up/Down keys. I am highly dependent on those keys to navigate my way around my documents. Not only do many manufacturer's decide to move them around at their will, some actually require me to press some key in addition with the Function key to get the job done. ( I'm looking at you ACER ) Also, it's totally uncool to switch the position of the left ctrl key with your function key.


6. Ability to upgrade
 
  People use desktop PCs for years but laptops become outdated very quickly because they cannot be upgraded. Other than the hard disk, RAM and CD drive, nothing else in a laptop can be changed easily or at all even. We need the ability to upgrade our laptops!!


7. Drivers, drivers, drivers
 
  Most manufacturers provide drivers only for the OS the laptop shipped with. But I may need to change the OS from Vista to XP. Or I may even need to install Linux. But the driver support for them is non-existent. It would be great if such drivers were made available of the manufacturer's website.


8. Hard disk speed
  Anyone who knows his way around a laptop will tell you that the #1 bottleneck in optimizing the performance of a laptop is the hard disk speed. Until solid state drives reach an affordable price range, we'll just have to keep wishing for faster harddisks. ( In earlier times high noise levels, vibration, heat and power requirements kept laptop makers away from high RPM drives, but newer drives overcome many of those pitfalls)
 


9. Separate OS Installation Disk
  Many laptops are available only with a certain OS.
 
May be I don't wan to use windows on your laptop, I will be using Linux instead. I should be provided with a windows installation CD so that I could use it on some other machine , after all I've already paid for the license, why should I waste it?


10. Bigger is better
  Most laptop manufacturers are now aiming towards smaller and smaller screens. Its okay if all you plan to do is give presentations hooking your laptop to a projector. But I don't give presentations on the go, I make presentations on the go and a smaller screen is just a hindrance. I'm not talking 17 or 19 inch screens, but anything smaller than 14 inch just doesn't jig with me.

BONUS :

Chill it..
  Heat!!! The number one enemy. Cooling a laptop is significantly difficult than cooling desktop because of size constraints, but I personally don't mind carrying a *slightly* larger laptop if it means it can cool more efficiently.


That's if from me. Let me know your opinions via comments

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

dealing with Sality

My desktop PC isn't connected to the internet. So I didn't need to install any anti virus software on it. Because there's no way it could get infected right? - WRONG!! That's what I just found out. I donno how the virus snuck into the computer. It must have been a infected pendrive is all I can think of. But, anyhoo, the task at me was was to first figure out which virus it was. And how did I do it? I just hooked in a pendrive , ran a few applications and presto, the pendrive was now infected. And I scanned it on another computer to find the culprit. But, was it any simple virus? NO, it just happened to W32.Sality.

About W32.Sality

RISK : It doesn't really do much damage, but it is a damn nuisance is what it is.
MO : It infects all executable files adding a small but of code to them, which results in them being detected as infected.
DETECTION : Most all anti virus programs will be able to detect it.
REMOVAL : This is the main problem with Sality. The only anti virus capable of actually disinfecting Sality happens to be Kaspersky. All other software just delete the infected files. SO if you dont have a backup of your executable files, you are pretty much screwed.
COMPLICATIONS : You cannot install Kaspersky on an infected system as the virus just courrupts the antivirus leaving it helpless.
WORK AROUNDS:
1. Install Kaspersky on a clean system. Connect the infected harddisk to the system and clean it out.
2. Start the System Configuration Utility ( Start > Run > msconfig ). Go to Startup tab, click on disable all. Now goto the Services tab, ensure that Hide all Microsoft services is checked. Click on Disable All. Restart your computer, install and run Kaspersky.

And that's how I finally won back my PC.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another pic post

It's time for another pic post.
I hope you enjoyed my earlier pic post.Well her are a few more pictures which will get you chuckling.

Why Blu Ray is totally worth it:

The cycle of life :


The #1 person PETA should actually be after:

I cant even begin to imagine what would happen if he forgot to unchain the dog before he drives off:

Well, you wanted it cheap:

Oops! Looks like gravity's misbehaving again :

Now, this is uber-cool:

And, so is this :

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fools' day celebreation by Google

April Fool's day is a time honoured tradition of today's times. It marks the change of calendars from the old Julian system to the now-used Georgian system. It also demarks one of my cousin's birthday - Happy Birthday Pradnesh, but that apart, it is still a very fun-filled day.

Google is famous for playing pranks on this day. Like the famed Google Copernicus Center , Google Gulp and who can forget Google's future warping techonology : gDay , not to mention being Rickrolled by Youtube. Hell, even the announcement of GMail was considered to be a prank as 1GB space ( being offered at that time ) was totally unheard of at that time. Most e-mail providers provided anywhere between 5-10 MB of space.

But this time around, the mood at Google was in a down, what with all the lay-offs and all the down sizing. Many people were half expecting Google to just lay straight this year. And in a way I am happy to gee Google back at pranking everyone - it just means that hopes and morale at the Googleplex is back up.

In case you missed it, this is what google tried to fool us with :

  1. You tube tried to make us all watch our video's upside down.
  2. Google tried to change Australian Football by introducing gBall
  3. And for some reason the yellow person in google street view changed into a Panda
  4. GMail on autopilot
  5. Google Chrome in 3D ?
UPDATE : There's report of an AI singularity by name CADIE going online on the 31st of March. This seems very much like an April Fools Prank. Oh, and the Panda in Google Street View seems to be her. You can check out her homepage at http://cadiesingularity.blogspot.com/

    If any of you catch anything else off beat  with google today, do let me know via the comments.