Hoping & Waiting For An Upgrade

I’ve been meaning to upgrade my phone for a very long time. I currently have my now old Blackberry Curve 8320, which is not only obsolete but after a couple of really bad falls on hard solid tiles, it’s also a little wonky.

The Curve will still accept & make calls, send & receive sms and and the normal stuff. The track ball is wonky and doesn’t work properly. I had long back cancel my Blackberry internet services, save BBM & chat services until a couple of months ago. Another issue is that phone will occasionally not read the SIM card, although the same SIM will work find without any issue but on the Curve it has an issue once or twice a week. The only thing I can do at that time is to remove then battery back, remove the battery and reinsert the SIM after removing it.

This is both annoying and can let you miss out on calls that could be important & vital for you. At the moment I can’t afford any of the Blackberry phones and I don’t want to settle for anything else. Hopefully soon I can upgrade and get a nice BB from the Bold series – 9700, 9780, 9900 or 9930 or even a Torch. Ideally I would get a load of cash and be able to get upgrade to a Bold and also get a tablet, the Blackberry Playbook. I want the 7inch version of the tablet. It would be easier to use on the go. I know some of you scoff at RIM, especially iPhone lovers, because of the recent problems that the company has suffered, but they will bounce back to being even better.  But first my situation should improve.

To Boldly Go Where No PC Has Gone Before

CASE  :    Custom-modded LanCool PC-K58
MOTHERBOARD   :  Asus P8Z68 Deluxe
CPU  :   Intel 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K
COOLER  :    Cooler Master Hyper 212-Plus
RAM   :  16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3/1333
GPU   :  EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Superclocked
SSD   :  240GB OCZ Vertex 3
ODD  :   LG WH12LS30
HDD  :   Two 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT
DRIVE DOCKS  :   Two Icy Dock MB 877SK-B
PSU   :  Corsair TX850
SOUNDCARD  :   Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
OS  :   64-bit Windows 7 Profession

When Kids Should Get Cell Phones

Ok here’s my point of view – don’t give you kids a cell phone at all until they turn 18!

I’ll let that be digested for a while; which kid actually needs a cell phone? I never needed it, most of my friends didn’t need one and none of you readers who are my age or older needed one. Or had one! And most people around the age of 26 & above probably didn’t get a cell phone until they hit their 20s. And we didn’t really need them but hey it would have been great to chat up your girlfriend at that age right?

I see parents giving their kids an iphone or a smartphone these days and think that it’s not needed. I know it’s convenient for you to contact your kid and in some cases to keep a track of the boy/girl but that’s the only good thing that I can think off. And if you do, why give them a cool, classy phone with all the things that can keep them distracted for hours? Give them a small uncool phone that will allow incoming & outgoing calls and send SMSes. That’s it, that’s all a kid needs to do at that age and that’s all you should give them. Unless you do have a really smart & mature kid who will not misuse his/her phone. There’s way too much trouble they can get into with the phone rather than without.

If your kid is away from you most of the time, like they stay in a hostel and you stay in another city, state or country then I guess the cell phone is required but once again limit the kid’s usage on it to Texting & calling. Keep it to the bare minimum until they grow old. I was shocked at what school kids with camera phones & internet connections can do and are doing in many places. It’s good that some schools are restricting the usage in classes and that’s a wise decision. Once they hit 18 it’s all over anyways so no problem there.

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RIP Steve Jobs

Woke up this morning to the news that Steve Jobs has died. He has has a battle with cancer and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. The co-founder of Apple Inc, one of the world’s great entrepreneurs, was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California. His ill health has always been a part of the man; he had taken a few leaves of absence to receive treatment and recover during his career.

Earlier this January too he had taken a medical leave. Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple’s CEO on August 24, 2011. In his resignation letter, Jobs wrote that he could “no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”.

A college dropout, Buddhist and son of adoptive parents, Jobs started Apple Computer with friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. The company soon introduced the Apple 1 computer. But it was the Apple II that became a huge success and gave Apple its position as a critical player in the then-nascent PC industry, culminating in a 1980 initial public offering that made Jobs a multimillionaire. Despite the subsequent success of the Macintosh computer, Jobs’ relationship with top management and the board soured. The company removed most of his powers and then in 1985 he was fired.

Apple’s fortunes waned after that. However, its purchase of NeXT — the computer company Jobs founded after leaving Apple — in 1997 brought him back into the fold. Later that year, he became interim CEO and in 2000, the company dropped “interim” from his title.  Well you known what comes next – Macbooks, MacAir, iPod, iTunes, iPhone & iPad and many others. The guy was a genius and a visionary. He was also CEO of Pixar until Disney purchased the company in 2006.

I never liked Apple products. I was always a Windows & I love BlackBerry when it comes to smartphones. When I can afford to upgrade from my current outdated BB, I will choose a newer BB model. My laptops will always be PC & Windows models. When I can afford t buy a tablet pc it will be BlackBerry. I wasn’t too impressed with iPhones or Macbooks. I’ve used both – a friend’s laptop briefly and for 2 months an iPhone kept in my custody for work. I admire the company and their success and their beautiful line of products but they were never for me. But mostly I liked the man behind them – Steve Jobs will be sorely missed by his legion of fans.

Steven Paul bad credit unsecure loan Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

USB Device Manufacturers Stole My Idea

I hope all of you know & have used a USB internet device (dongle as some people call them) on your desktop or laptop or netbook. I have one myself although I won’t be using it for much longer; I’m gonna be cancelling the service as I do not think I need one at the moment. But the reason that I am blogging about it today is that the companies who create & sell these devices should be paying me royalty because they stole the idea from me!

My imagination is quite active and I thought about about such a device way back in 1998! Well it wasn’t the USB device like it is now but still the main idea was still the same. I started going to an internet cafe once a week for a couple of hours in 1998 and missed using the net for the rest of the time. I had only seen laptops in tvs series myself. So I thought wouldn’t it be cool if there was a device which connect to the net and was portable enough to carry it around along with the laptop. Ofcourse I didn’t know the USB device shape and so I envisioned a mini-satellite dish, the size of a large coffee mug which you could connect to your laptop and it would connect to the internet for you. That was my dream and my imagination created it. And these companies stole my idea! They owe me billions of dollars for this.

I will sue!

New Wireless Internet Connection

I’m so addicted to the internet that if it weren’t for my close friends, former team members, some tv shows, football on tv, coffee shops & the occasional bar hop, I’d have no other private life other than the internet. And usually whatever else happens in my life is always shared on the internet. So not having internet access is an absolute no-no.

So as I am renting a place in Chalakudy, I needed to either transfer my current internet connection, a wireline broadband connection with Tata Indicom, or get a new one in Chalakudy. After a long futile search in their website and calling up their customer care payday loans providers center, I realized last week that Tata does not offer their wireline service in Chalakudy. No idea why but they just don’t. So I thought of the other options and decided that since I was just renting I would opt for the more convenient but not always optimal choice of purchasing a USB device/internet connection option. But which one?

Turns out that my choice would be made up for me. I called up Tata Photon, MTS mBlaze, Tata Docomo & Vodafone for their 3G/broadband USB device and broadband services. To me it seemed like MTS had the better & more attractive offers with their mBlaze device. I’ve heard only good things about Tata Docomo, Tata Photon & Reliance’s USB stick devices from friends and colleagues who have used them. Vodafone does not offer 3G services in Kerala and although their service is supposed to be good I wanted higher speeds. And Idea’s Netsetter speeds are not comparable.

However in Chalakudy only Reliance has the hi-speed option for the USB device. Which made it very easy to choose – it’s Reliance Netconnect. I took a Netconnect + connection with them and so far I like their services. I’ve not used it too long, a couple of hours on Friday night, an hour in Cafe Coffee Day on Saturday evening and right now as the power is down in the apartment, I’m using it as well.

Happy 1st Birthday Samantha

My first & current laptop, a Lenovo G550 aka Samantha, turned 1 year old yesterday. I remember wanting a laptop so badly but not being able to afford one for years. Finally, two things happened – my pay scale improved a lot and in May of last year, my 4 year old desktop pc died on me. So it was high time for a laptop. But I needed to wait 3 weeks to get one as I needed some cash to kick in before financing it.

During those 3 weeks I googled from the office for a notebook that would meet my specifications and fit my budget as well. I spent a lot of time with the tech guys I knew, including the ones at my then office. How much RAM, hard disk capacities, which processor and which brands to go for. Unanimously they all told me to stay away from Acer (till then that was the brand that I was going for) and we soon ruled out HP, Dell & Sony – too rich for my budget! That’s when I got a quote for the G550.

She’s a budget notebook, meaning build quality is durability rather than looks but the plastic seems cheap. The colour is a dull dark shale and there are no fancy trimmings either. But she works like a charm and has been great for what I need a notebook for. She is awesome.

Happy Birthday Samantha!

The ASUS Eee PC 1215B

In my search for a work purpose related netbook pc, I hit upon this very sweet looking machine. It’s the ASUS Eee PC 1215B; with a 12 inch monitor I’m not sure if you will bracket it in the notebook or netbook category but either way it seems awesome. This Eee was also recommended by someone I know online who just bought it. Any readers have an opinion on this baby? I’m not really an Asus fan.

What I’m Saving Up To Buy

I would definitely want to get an upgrade on my BlackBerry. I love BlackBerry and on Jan 1st 2010 was when I bought my first one – a Curve 8320. Even at the time that I had bought it, it was outdated as RIM had already released 4 or 5 more later models. But I was in a crunch due to money and I could afford the 8320 but not the other models. So I opted for it and still love the phone, christened Cindy (after two curvy evergreen women – Crawford & Margolis).

So I would like to get either the BlackBerry Bold 9780 or the Torch. I love both phones and I’m hit by envy every time I see it being used by someone or see a pic/video clip of it. Everytime I see someone using especially the white Bold 9700/9780, I just drool – ok in one case it was also because the lady holding it was a total babe! But you get the picture.

A cousin of mine has the Torch and he advises me to get that one but I am not sure that I want to spend that much money on a phone. Atleast not at the current salary bracket that I am in. The only time I have bought something that costs more than what I make, is when I bought my Lenovo G550 and that was a critical purchase. But I would love to own a Torch.

Also, as stated earlier, I am also looking out for a netbook, mostly for work purposes. I would love to get an HP or Dell or any good brand that has a reliable & sleek looking netbook. It would so help me at work at the moment.

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Reader’s Poll: Which Netbook To Purchase?

Ok now, I just need some help – netbooks; which one to get. The reason is two fold – my friend wants to get one but neither he nor I has no idea which one to go for. I would also like one for work purposes (lugging around my heavy but budget friendly Lenovo G550 is hard on my shoulder).

At my previous company, I noticed a lot of Samsung netbooks that were given to managers, DGMs, GMs and so on. I only got to the AM level before I left so never got to use the Samsung .

Usage on the netbook will be very basic stuff : internet browsing, emails, some light Excel, Word & Powerpoint work and playing videos that will need to be displayed via a projector to a larger screen. Wieght & portability is a huge factor in getting one and I want a 10 inch screen. Which one would you guys suggest?

Please vote and click here to see the poll results. Last date is 30th June.

My Very First Computer

I bought my first computer at home at the age of 20, which was back in 1996. It was a Pentium 100 from HCL short term loans for students uk with a 640 MB capacity hard disk. Yes, you read that right, it was 640 MB and not GB. Remember that this was December 1996. I was actually wowed by the size of the hard drive! Little did I know. Well it was the usually looks and a 15 inch monitor, Samsung if I remember correctly. It came along with a few games on CD-ROM and a joystick (does anyone still use them?)

My cousin, sister and I set up the system ourselves, as we got the system delivered to us by courier but the tech guys from HCL couldn’t make it to my house that evening. To our surprise the computer switched on and Windows 95 came on. Remember Win 95? We installed a couple of the games onto the pc and my cousin and I spent the next few nights playing each other on a Cricket game. We also played the other game, which was a alien planet shoot out stuff.

Over the years, I managed to get very few things copied onto the drive due to its micro capacity hard disk. I would do some C++ on it and some Foxpro as well as some other stuff. I used it to mostly play games – Doom, Duke Nukem & stuff. I would later get a 2 GB HDD & then a 20GB hard drive. I would play NHL 99 & a couple of the FIFA games on it too and play tournaments against the computer and myself. My first computer died out on me in 2003, messed up beyond salvaging and I didn’t have a pc for 3 more years.

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The Olive Zipbook X-107

While on the lookout for that secondary computer, a netbook to offset you laptop (as I am looking out for), why not go for a local brand? From Gurgaon, India based Olive Telecommunications comes India’s first ever zipbook, which are 3G embedded netbooks.  Currently it offers one 3G Enabled Netbook the Olive X107H. The zipbooks come at an afforable price and are now offering a discount for web purchases only.

From an original MRP of Rs.23000 down to Rs.17999, Olive is offering a whopping 33% discount for all web based purchases; that’s just Rs.15999. You also get a free bag and 15GB worth of free net usage which is worth Rs.3000 for 2 months. The key features of the zipbook are:

  • Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz processor
  • Intel 945GSE+82801GBM(ICH7)
  • 10.2-inch display ,1024 x 600 resolution
  • 3G EVDO embedded
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • 1.3kg
  • 4 colours
  • 1GB DDR2 memory
  • 160GB HDD
  • Windows XP Home operating system (worth Rs.4000)
  • 3 in 1 (SD/MS/MMC) card reader
  • Lithium-ion 3 cell Battery, Optional 6 Cell battery
  • 1.1kg weight

Would You Ever Get An E-book Reader?

I do not have an e-book reader; infact I only came to know about ereaders at the beginning of the year. I’ve been reading ebooks or “electronic version of printed books” and also books made only on digital format for ages but always on my computer.

Let me tell you that actual printed books are a favourite of mine. From the age of 8 or 9, I’ve collected books. When I got heavily into novel reading by the age of 12-13, I’ve joined a library and been a voracious reader. It was only because of the internet and getting a connected home that I’ve cut down on my reading drastically.

I would buy novels, read them many times over and a few years later sell them to a used book store. And then I would start all over again and get more novels. I would also save a few select novels which were my favourites and treasure them. I’ve got this copy of Stephen King’s It from…I dunno how many years back, which is torn in several pages and lost both front & back covers.

I joined a bigger library at the age of 18 and would get 3-4 novels, a biography or two and maybe some comics or something for 2 weeks. I would finish them all and come back for more in 14 days. I loved the time spent reading and most days I would lose track of time. I would start a book in the afternoon right after lunch and by the time I put the book down it would be dinner time.

Now, living in a smaller sized apartment where space is a premium, I do have quite a few books stored in my cupboard & shelves. But just like my cds are ripped up and saved as mp3s in my external hard drive for saving space, I would prefer getting a digitized version for all my books. Now, ofcourse I can’t burn the word from the books as easily (unless u scan then which is a tedious task) I can get ebook versions of these novels and more. Recently I downloaded pdf formats for the entire Tintin & Astrix comics – what joy! Similarly I would love to get novels in ebook format and get them onto my laptop or an ereader. I would like to get an ereader, so rather than lugging the laptop I can use this specifically only for reading purposes. It would be cool to get a Sony or a cool er ebook. They do look very handy.

What do you think? Any readers out there?

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My New 1TB External Hard Drive (WD)

After so many, many days of checking ebay, Rediff shopping, and bunch of other online shopping website portals for the best deals, speaking to a lot of people about the best manufacturer to go for, checking out a host of videos on Youtube for unboxings & reviews I finally settled on buying an external hard drive from Western Digital. With the company decided, I was left on deciding whether to go for a 1TB HDD or a 500HDD and should I get the one with an external power outlet or an internal one.

The ones that are internally powered, the 2.5 drives, were smaller, sleeker and sexier and took up much lesser space but they were also priced much more than the 3.5 drives which required a separate power outlet. I was opting to go for a 2.5 drive as I have a small desk and very little space on it that is free. But the cheapest offer for a 1TB 2.5 drive was atleast Rs.2800 more than the 3.5 drive option. I waited more days and checked out more reviews. Finally it was decision time.

I decided to go for the 1 TB My Book Essential from Western Digital and bought one from Cybermart via ebay and selected the option on the 27th of November (Saturday afternoon).

I got the drive through a courier this afternoon, Tuesday the 30th of November. Not bad, just 3 days to get it from Delhi to Cochin. It cost me a tad under 4k and that’s a good price. It’s 1TB capacity, is about 6.50 inches in height and 5.3 inches in length with 1.9 inches width and weighs about 2.60 pounds. It uses USB 2.0 interface that can transfer at the rate of 480 mbps. In the box we get the external hard drive, WD SmartWare software, USB cable, AC adapter, Quick Install Guide.

My Mouse Has Arrived (Video)

I got my mouse! It just arrived today in the evening by DTDC courier and I unwrapped & unboxed it around 6:45 pm today.

I quickly got myself some coffee and then tore off the paper wrapping. It was nicely unsecured payday loan packaged in bubble-wrap and cardboard as well and off it came. I took the mouse and bluetooth receiver from the manufacture’s packaging and was quite surprised to see that it came with a single battery as well. Shockingly it was a normal pen-torch or AA size battery and not the AAA size that I am used to for powering USB mouse.

Oh well, I had another surprise. The colour I had ordered the mouse in was a sexy red but I instead got the shale or dark gray that you see in this photo I snapped up. Lol, not exactly what I ordered but it’s cool. I do not mind this colour. As long as it’s not pink! Yeesh.

The mouse feels good in the hand although a bit chunkier than I am used to. It is still smoother to grip compared to my previous mouse so I’m liking it a lot right now. Here’s my rather bad attempt at an unboxing video. Sorry – 1.3 mp webcam. Shitty video quality.

Give Me All Your Disk Space

Back in December 2006, I got my first pc – an HCL system with a Pentium 100 processor (I think), who know how little RAM and about 650 MB of hard disk space. No, I am not kidding, it was 650 MB of space. Save a few mp3s, wallpapers and you’re done. That was 14 years ago. How the times have changed?

About 15 months later I got a 2GB hard drive. That seemed like a big deal for me at the time. I got quite a few freeware games and mp3s. By 2000 that was history (meaning I had a hard drive crash) and then waited a while to get a 20GB hard drive. Wow, lots of space, rite? Not really! By 2003 my system died and so did the hard disk. I was PC-less from Mid 2003 till September 2006.

Bang! I bought a new assembled pc with an 80GB hard drive. Alright, now we’re talking. Lots more space! By 2008 that drive was feeling claustrophobic and so in May of that year I bought me a Western Digital external hard drive with a 160 GB capacity. Cool! Plenty of space for lots more mp3s and lots of videos. That was good while it lasted but I’m sure that I would need more. However it took me till February of this year to branch out – got me a 320 GB hdd from Transcend. Ah, that’s more like it! Lots more drive space. I can use the WD mainly for mp3s and split my tv series & movies between that and the 320 mainly.

I sold my desktop in June and now have a laptop with a 320 GB hard drive but I don’t like saving all the video files in it. I’ve almost filled the 320 GB external drive as of today. Time for bigger artillery. I’m going to go for the 1TB from Western Digital. That will give me lots of space and more to save my files and download even more. Cause I’m downloading a lot and I want even lots more.

My First Foray Into Online Purchasing

Although I’ve been online from 1998 onwards and have had an internet connection at home for over 4 years now, I have never bought anything online. Not a single thing no matter the price. Not even a cd or a magazine (hangs head down in shame)! Till today!

After many weeks of visiting & browsing through online shopping sites like Home Shop 18, Rediff & ebay and even laughable attempts to win something on bidding sites (yeah right!) I finally thought of buying stuff that I can afford and can also use practically. I can buy it in shops in the city but I might be getting a good deal online and hence opting for it. Sensible and practical choices. Anyway, today seemed to be a good day to try, so I finally went and both my first purchase online.

Nothing Earth shattering or ground breaking or mind blowing or anything exciting. I did a lot of browsing through the categories in ebay (I’m limited to the Indian version ofcourse as I can’t afford the dollar rates) and checked out the computer/laptop peripherals section. I bought a wireless mouse with the mini USB blue  tooth dongle. I already have one but I thought I’d keep one more and I wanted one with a smaller USB dongle rather than the huge one I have with my ismart mouse.

There are a lot fancier ones for sale but currently I do not want such a big fancy mouse with lazer lights coming out of the ass end – there’s even a very cool car shaped mouse that is just killer on the looks department and some other ones too. But I’m super psyched about getting a 1TB external hard drive. That’s gonna be my next purchase. I’m downloading a ton of movies, tv series and rock concert videos and all that requires mucho space. I have my notebook’s 320 GB hard drive plus a 160 GB & a 320 GB external USB drives. It’s time now to go for a 1TB and skip the 500 GB altogether.