Bought The Lenovo A6600 Plus

I just bought the Lenovo A6600 Plus for my mother. I bought it off Amazon India for Rs.5590. It’s a lower end phone but it does look good and has a lot of good features. She is only going to use it for calls and Whatsapp. Having moved myself to the Moto & Lenovo platforms I am pleased with this choice. I should have the device by Tuesday, perhaps even Monday on Prime’s 2-4 day delivery. She isn’t using a phone at the moment as her old phone, a Panasonic which I bought last year died.

Specifications : Announced 2016, September
Dimensions 141 x 71 x 8.8 mm (5.55 x 2.80 x 0.35 in)
Weight 142 g (5.01 oz)
SIM Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.0 inches (~68.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes, up to 5 fingers
PLATFORM OS Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Chipset Mediatek MT6735P
CPU Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-T720MP2
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, autofocus, LED flash
Video Yes
Secondary 2 MP
Radio FM radio
Micro USB 2.0
BATTERY Removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 400 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h (3G)
MISC Colors Black, White
Price About 130 EUR

Watching You Play With Your JoyStick!

Do You Like Watching Other People Play Video Games?

No! Absolutely not. I cannot think of anything more boring than watching someone else playing a video game. I myself do not play a video game, online, on pc or otherwise. I used to play a bit and that too just a handful of games. A few racing games, football (FIFA mostly but I had another one as well), EA’s NHL, Doom and Duke Nukem. I played them many years ago in the 90s and early 2000s and they were on a standalone pc with no access to the internet.

I didn’t have internet at home back then so I never played online games, I just played against the computer or if a cousin was at home visiting my family I played against them. During the summers of 1998-99, I had some cousins come on down to India from Scotland and they had a Sega video game deck and we played a lot of FIFA and Sonic the Hedgehodge and some other stuff but FIFA was our favourite as we guys were all football fans and we played a lot of tournaments.

Watching some of my cousins playing their turns were boring enough; I couldn’t wait for my turn and would read a novel or watch tv in another room in the meantime. Watching someone else play? Like on Youtube – people are crazy. Anyways, that’s not for me.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Bought The Moto G4 Plus

I have bought a new phone. My Samsung Galaxy J7 was only 1.5 years old but I decided to sell it and get a new one. So I bought the Motorola Moto G4 Plus smartphone was launched in May 2016. Here are some specs:

Dimension 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm (6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 in) Weight 155 g (5.47 oz)
SIM Single SIM (Micro-SIM) or Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Screen 5.5 inches (~71.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
PLATFORM OS Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617
CPU Octa-core (4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A53)
Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot) – single & dual SIM models
Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM or 32 GB, 3 GB RAM or 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, auto-HDR
Video 1080p@30fps, HDR, check quality
Secondary 5 MP, f/2.2, auto-HDR
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery

I wanted the black one but the store didn’t have any and only have a few ones in gold and several in white. I went for the white one. I have installed a few apps for the moment and will take tomorrow to do the rest. As I sold my Samsung in exchange for reducing the price for this phone, I can’t shoot an unboxing for my Moto G4 plus. So instead here is a video of someone else doing a professional unboxing of the same phone.

Bought A New Smartphone – The Samsung Galaxy J7

Goodbye BlackBerry and Hello Samsung. Bye to the BlackBerry OS which I loved and hello to Android.

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After a few short weeks of thinking and rethinking and doing research online on various videos and reviews of a few phones, checking prices online and in shops here, I finally settled on the Samsung Galaxy J7. I say settled because I was going for the A7 which costs 5-6 thousand bucks more but in the end I decided to go with my usual policy and not pay for a phone more or around the same for my current laptop. The prices for some smartphones are ridiculous.

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I bough the phone, a 16gb external memory card and a hard back cover for Rs.15000 ($240 approximately) and I was the first customer for a large mobile showroom this morning, having reached there by 10:20 am. I bought the phone and immediately came back home.

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Having installed some apps and played around with it for a bit, I am already in love with it. It will take some getting used to as I have never had a Samsung or Android smartphone. In particularly not using a physical keyboard. That is a major thing for me. But I love it and having had been a loyal BlackBerry user for a long time, I just had to give up as their current good phones are priced way beyond my budget. So bye to the BB, hello Samsung.

Ringing Bells Freedom 251 : What A Phone

Everyone in India and their grandmother has been talking about the Freedom 251 smartphone. Ringing Bells, a company based in Noida, is called the cheapest smartphone in the world, priced at just Rs.251 (less than $5) – yes you read that right. The next cheapest priced phone in India is around Rs. 4,100 and it has lower specs than the Freedom 251 phone. Whaaaat???

The smartphone is 3G-enabled and features a 4-inch WVGA resolution display. It is powered by a 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB RAM, 8GB total storage space and sports a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back. It will have 0.3 megapixel camera on the front and has a 1450 mAh battery. You would otherwise have to pay atleast Rs.4000 for these specs. Here are the problems though, and it seems like a typical scheme that rings around in India ever so often. Firstly, the initial ads showed us a much better looking phone than what it actually is. The actual phone is posted to the left.
Secondly it’s not a made in India phone as they claim it to be (as part of the Make In India initiative that this government seems to dangle in front of the public). It’s actually a phone from Chinese manufactures AdCom and you can see that they have hidden the logo with a whitener. On all the phones! The cheapest phone you could get in India till date was the Rs.1449 – and the Freedom 251 actually has better specs than the other phone! Experts say that the cheapest phone in China, with these specs, will cost $28 to make and $40 to ship and sell in India. How are these folks at Ringing Bells making it available at just Rs.251? It remains to be seen. The review phone sent to a couple of tech magazines & websites seem to be working well for it’s spec and dirt cheap price.

New Phone For Mum – Samsung Galaxy J1

Today I placed an order online for a phone for my mum. It’s the Samsung Galaxy J1 launched in January 2015. The phone comes with a 4.30-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 pixels by 800 pixels at a PPI of 217 pixels per inch.

The Samsung Galaxy J1 is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core and it comes with 512MB of RAM. The phone packs 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Samsung Galaxy J1 packs a 5-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Samsung Galaxy J1 runs Android 4.4 and is powered by a 1859mAh removable battery. It measures 129.00 x 68.20 x 8.90 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 122.00 grams. The Samsung Galaxy J1 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts two Micro-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM. Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Accelerometer.

Display – 4.30-inch Processor – 1.2GHz Front Camera – 2-megapixel

Resolution – 480×800 pixels RAM – 512MB OS – Android 4.4

Storage – 4GB Rear Camera – 5-megapixel Battery capacity – 1859mAh

It’s Rs.6409 from a good seller on eBay and with some discounts, I managed to knock off Rs.518.

Time To Switch Brands?

I am still paying of the EMI on my laptop and it’s going ok (it’s a 6 month EMI) but I can’t wait for it to be done as I want to take another EMI on my credit card. I want to upgrade and get a new smartphone. And for the first time since the last three it most probably will not be a BlackBerry.

That is stunning – as stunning a declaration as you can get to hear from me when it comes to brands. I have been a staunch loyal supporter of BlackBerry but lately they have made it difficult for me to remain so. Forget the apps that I am missing out on (although the Uber one really stings) but I can’t afford to buy the latest 2 phones from BlackBerry because of the ridiculous price tags that they place in India. India has a large BlackBerry following but even we are finding it difficult to stay loyal.

The Passport and the Priv are priced way to expensively for my taste. Rs. 62k for a smartphone? What the fuck! I can’t believe it. This from a company that needs to move sales. I can buy 3 laptops for the price of a Priv. 2 for a Passport. But BlackBerry India does not care. They have decided that they only want the rich Indians to buy their latest phones. But I can’t complain. It’s their product and they have the right to choose their prices. I could try and get one from the US or Canada via eBay but…….

So in a couple of months I will be looking for prices online and if I do not get a good option I will be getting an Android phone. Let’s see how it goes.

So We Have The New Laptop All Setup

Yesterday I took a sick day as I wasn’t feeling so great, with a bad cough and sinusitis, and I took that opportunity to install Windows 7 on my new Dell Vostro. I haven’t done this in a long while and I had to do it a few times before I got it right. Mostly I was having a problem with partioning the drive into the sizes that I wanted. I thought I had gotten it right but I had call someone and get the right way to do it.

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By afternoon though I had to stop and take rest post a late lunch as I wanted to lie down due to the effects of the cough and wheezing plus I had taken some medicine. By late evening and I started anew on the laptop and got it right this time. Most of last night and this morning was installing the applications and software that I usually use. I also needed a couple of drivers for the system as well. Then it was onto copying the various images, photos and videos from my external hard drives that I had copied onto and which were on my old laptop.

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That is mostly completed now and all that remains is the huge collection of Mp3s that I have. That will take some time so I might get to it only by tomorrow. Otherwise we are good to go. I am going to clean out the old Lenovo laptop and give it to my dad for his office – he and his co-worker need a spare computer for their work at the NGO they go to.

The New Laptop is Here

So Amazon India has impressed me by delivering the laptop to me 2 days early – and on a fricking Sunday morning too!! Yes that is correct, I was out of my apartment by 11:45 am and 10 minutes later I got a confirmation SMS stating that the package was on it’s way to me and then I got a call saying that it has arrived at my apartment. That was quick. So thank you Amazon India.

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I was out till 3pm and once I came back home, I opened the box and took out the laptop. So it’s the Dell Vostro 3558 Corei3 version. It comes in a 15.6 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD & 4GB DDR3L 1600Mhz and a 500GB SATA Hard Drive 5400RPM (not 1TB as I had erroneously stated in the previous post). It has 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 slots, a security slot and a Media Card (SD, SDHC, SDXC) slot. And this is my first computer with a chicklet style keyboard.

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My old Lenovo is over 5 years old and is getting on. I am gonna give it to my dad’s office so he and his coworker can use it for their purposes. Today I have spent a long time copying files and data from my Lenovo’s 500 GB drive onto two external drives and it is odd to see my laptop’s drive almost empty. That is an odd feeling looking at two drives empty of all data.

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Nothing lasts forever so out with the old and in with the new I guess. Especially when it comes to computers. Cheers! I still have to install Windows 7 in this so I haven’t even switched on the computer yet!

Is This My New Computer?

So I am in the market for a new computer and it being the festive season in India, I was checking up deals online on the few online stores that I visit. After consulting with a techie cousin of mine, based on my needs and usage, and seeing what was out there on offer, he suggested this particular laptop : it’s the Del Vostro 3558 Core i3.

Here are the specifications :

INTEL CORE I3 / 1.7GHz – 4005U / 15.6 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD

4GB DDR3L 1600Mhz / 1TB HDD SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) / dvdrw

HD (720p) capable webcam, microphone / Stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio® 4

Dell Wireless-N 1705 @ 2.4GHz + Bluetooth 4.0 / USB 3.0 (1), USB 2.0 (2), Security slot, Media Card (SD, SDHC, SDXC)

Intel® HD Graphics 4400

It comes with just DOS but I can easily find someone to install Win 7 for me (no I do not want an upgrade to Win 8 or Win 10 or whatever). I will be making up my mind this week.

Time For A New Laptop

It’s time for a new laptop. This current one, a Lenovo G550 that I have named Samantha, is over 5 years old and it’s having a bunch of issues. Mainly that it’s aging and it’s time for a change.

Now I don’t use the laptop for anything fancy so I will go for a budget option. I had looked at laptops a few months ago and I think I can get a decent one plus I can now get it on EMI. I think I can get it on a really good deal.

I don’t want the fastest or the fanciest looking one as, well, I don’t wanna buy it and then starve for the rest of the month. Hence the EMI option on my credit card. I only use a laptop for the internet, downloading stuff to watch, listening to music, making payments online and online shopping. I don’t need the latest processor for that. I will go for a less faster one and skimp on the glitzy look and save that extra cash.

Let’s see, maybe I can go for a new laptop by November 1st.

Extinct Technologies In My Lifetime

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

I think, because of the amount of time I spent with it and enjoyed it, my stereo system and my Walkman are the ones I miss the most. Don’t get me wrong; I prefer mp3 formats and players and also playing music on my laptop but from birth till just a few years ago, I would always spend hours listening to the stereo system and my multitude of Walkmans. The pleasure of making copies of your favourite songs on cassette tapes was something altogether. Also CDS! Gosh I remember when CDS was sa new things for me and loving the format.

Now everything is MP3 for me. I also do miss VHS and video players – but only for nostalgic reasons. I hated the tapes and the player getting fungus and the roll of film getting stuck inside of the player. Along with those I also miss the Atari player I had! Oh my lord, how much fun we had playing those for hours and hours. And yeah an older Sega mega player. Damn, we used to play football competitions on it.

What about the joy of Polaroids? Ofcourse it can’t compare to digital optoons now but I do remember the excitement of Polaroids during the early 80s when I was like 4-6 years old. My parents let me use it to take snaps of the family. What else do you miss from the years or decades gone by?

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

The BlackBerry Q10 – Review After 13 Days Of Use

I’ve had my new phone, the BlackBerry Q10 for almost 2 weeks now and have finally gotten used to the touchscreen aspect (after about a week) since this is my first touch screen (it has a QWERTY keyboard as well) that I am using as my personal phone, I am loving it. So I thought I should just mention a few reasons as to why I like it so much.

Excellent keyboard, best I have ever used on a phone. I love the physical QWERTY keyboard on BlackBerry phones and this is my 3rd phone and the smoothest and easiest keyboard to type on. I also like the fact that they have added an HDMI port to connect to a tv or external monitor if you need to do so. Big plus! The 8 MP camera – superb – auto-focus camera with face detection and Time Shift and an LED flash! I am taking some good photos on it and uploading it here, on Facebook & Twitter as well as Flickr & 500px. There is also a front facing 2MP camera (for selfies and vlogs). You have full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps; 720p on the front-facing camera.

I just love the BlackBerry Hub is a unified inbox of all your communication and social networking accounts, which works amazingly well. It’s easy to keep track of your messages in each application that you use – email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp etc etc. This is truly amazing edition which knocks everyone out of the park. BBM on OS 10 and above comes with video chat and file, screen sharing abilities. Awesome! You get 16GB of storage on the device and a microSD card slot (I currently have a 4GB card in it) and you also have Dropbox and Box.NET integration. The phone came with the apps for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Youtube preinstalled among others. I have only downloaded the Whatsapp & CutePress (for WordPress) apps. Even though it’s not in stereo, the speakers sound amazing for a mobile device like this. I am rocking out on the music as we speak.

Those are my views on the phone after almost 13 days of usage. Internet is fast enough and easy to use. Next I shall focus on some of the apps that I use.

Time For A New Phone

Now that I am back to a regular paycheck (and getting the best pay I have ever had till now) it’s time to think of making some upgrade to my life. I need to get a new book shelf (coming up next month) and a new phone and finally a new laptop. Hehehe no I am not making that kind of money but yeah I could get the new phone & a new laptop in a couple of months. I think I will go for the phone first and wait until I get my credit card, which I applied for, before I get a laptop.

My Blackberry Bold 3 is a good 2.5 years old which is why I want to upgrade to a new phone. Problem is I don’t want to and can’t really afford to pay too much either. Unfortunately BlackBerry’s India prices are ridiculous (as are for some other phones as well but seriously dudes) and though I want the Passport (pictured on the right) I might go for the Q10 (which is there on the left). I found the best prices from reputed vendors on ebay India and will look out for even better prices both online as well as the shops here. But while ebay and some other online stores have regular discounts and offers the shops here usually don’t have any. And hardly ever for BlackBerry phones.

I will see about an EMI on the credit card and if I can get a low interest one I might get the passport but I don’t feel good about paying so much for a phone (Passport best offer is around Rs. 35,000-37,000 and for the Q10 is Rs. 14,000-15,000). I most probably will go for the Q10 because I do like it and the price is reasonable. We’ll see!

Winamp Shuts Down After 15 Years

After over 15 years of existence, music player Winamp is shutting down it’s doors and will cease to exist after December 20th, 2013. Winamp has always been the choice of playing mp3 and FLAC music files for me from 1998 onwards and the only choice for playing music since 2006 when I gave away my stereo system and began using my computer as my main source of listening & playing music. In 2007 I even had a separate blog category for a few months as I re-ripped all my old cds (after my old hard disk had died) and did the same to my new ones.

From it’s launch in the late 1990s, every music geek had a copy of Winamp and downloading mp3 files from the internet or ripping and creating your own from your collection of cds were the craze. AOL famously acquired the company in June 1999 for $80-$100 million—and Winamp almost immediately lost its innovative edge. When iTunes took over in many part of the world, countries like India which doesn’t have the iTunes monopoly continued to be Winamp territory. If you buy a new desktop, laptop and tab in India you can be sure than among the free little applications that they give you Winamp is sure to be there. When I bought this laptop that I am typing on back in 2010, they not installed Winamp but they also gave me a few folder worth of music – all of which I deleted since Tamil & Bollywood music isn’t what I listen to.

Winamp is very customizable and best of all they had tons & tons of skins, mostly created by users. I used to go crazy over them and download a few 100 (movies, tv series, sports teams, music bands etc) that I’d keep changing every few days. For the past 7 years I have only used 2 or 3 and this one pictured here – the Star Trek LCARS themed one – is the one that I usually use. If you can’t bear to leave the past behind, you have one more month to download the free Winamp media player, along with some skins and plugins, before it shuffles into the annals of history.