Thursday, September 28, 2006

First Impressions of Sony W700i

Yesterday was the first time I thought I should put the WalkMan abilities of my Sony W700i to test. WOW!!! Was the first word that came out of me the moment I plugged the special Sony Fontopia Earphones and played Madonna's 'Die Another Day'! The moment you put them on, the special ear plug technology shields ANY and EVERY sound around you! All you hear is PURE music! Very innovative design. And the effect is nothing less than my Creative Inspire 5200 5.1 speakers!!! I'm tempted to say that I have never heard such good quality music on any other Nokia phones!

So for all you audiophiles, go for Sony W-series if you want to double up your phone as source of musical orgasm! Besides, the control buttons are aptly designed and placed. No nonsense and providing all the power you want to control what you listen to, while the rest of your keypad is locked. What is really additionally cool is that the headphones disconnect in between, and allow you to connect the phone easily to your amplifier or music system with off the shelf standard connector!!! Pretty cool! So much impressed was one of my colleagues (who was planning to buy a mobile) here in office that he went straight to the shop and asked for the same phone. (He ended up buying the later version W800).

As to phone features, the only thing that I'm missing is it's organizer doesn't allow you to categorize appointments as Birthday, Meeting, Reminder, etc. It's PC-sync works pretty well. Great for backing up contacts and appointments.

Camera performance already posted at Sony W700i camera on test.
Didn't try anything too exotic, but for simple day-to-day point & shoot functionality it is more than satisfactory.

Here's where you can see that earphones can be disconnected and you can hook in your line-in wire here.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Many Many Happy Returns of the day

That was the mantra the whole of yesterday!!!

First off, I want to thank all of my family & buddies for making this birthday a very special event, just in case I haven't done so personally. Usually I'm not very excited about birthdays, and just take the day as any normal day. But it was for my family and buddies who made me feel SO SPECIAL that I was deeply touched. Was working late on 26th night and was reminded of my birthday in few minutes by a buddy. Nothing special, I shrugged, with YAD, 'yet another day', in life attitude. On most of earlier occasions I had dozed off long before midnight. As soon as the clock struck 0001 hrs calls and sms'es started pouring in! My parents, bro and godfather were at home too! By the time I was done taking blessings from parents and good wishes from buddies it was well past 1 AM! That is when I felt, I'm going to have a great day ahead!

Even while I reached office and was at office, the calls and sms'es didn't stop. And not to forget so many emails and hundreds of scraps on Orkut!!! So much so, I have not been able to respond to even 25% of the scraps yet. At office, buddies gave me a surprise treat!!! Back home in the evening, my bro & buddies @ my society gave me another surprise: they had put up a kind of mini-party!!! It was so much fun to have all the attention and everybody around you (esp @ office even where some people don't even know you) is so kind to you! For a moment I felt the day should not pass away. Alas! What comes has to go back where it came from! As the day ended, I had grown a year younger (only SICK people grow old), was a year wiser, came closer to friends and had few more blessings! As I type all this, the happy moments with everyone yesterday come vividly flashing in front of me.

Here I'm being ragged before I'm allowed to feast on the yummy chocolate cake!

Maa, see what they did to me!

Having lunch at peace, finally!

More photos to come, will share them tomorrow.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who, knowingly & unknowingly, made my day special!

Photo Credits: Archana Limaye.
--- edit ---
As promised, here are more photos from my birthday bash
1. Lunch with office buddies
2. Surprise mini-party society buddies threw

Browser Stats, very pleasing!

This is the Browser Stats as seen on my blog on 27th July! Glad my readers are aware of the fact that Firefox is FAR better a browser (rather THE browser) compared to... you know what! But I would love it to be Firefox 100%!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Microsoft's Masterpiece of FUD

I have been very much aware of M$'s FUD (Fear, Uncertanity & Doubt) tactics and couldn't resist sharing this LJ article with you: Microsoft's Masterpiece of FUD

You don't necessarily have to hate M$ or be an ardent fan of Linux or Free Software to enjoy reading this article. Of course satisfying both conditions will only help make more sense out of the article.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Have you ever wondered...

Wanted to share this for LONG, but always shrugged it... only until now...

Did you ever notice that whenever you open the tap to wash your hands, or clean a cup, or razor, or anything else, you (& everyone else) just opens the tap to it's full force!!! NO!!! Well, then observe it once. Now that you are conscious of this, you will have to observe someone else do it. Pantry is the BEST place to watch for such things. What I'm trying to get at is, we don't have to open the tap to full force. With almost 10-25% of tap's full capacity, you can get 95% of your work done. Water is a VERY VERY precious resource, ask someone who lives in a desert. In cities, we usually tend to be oblivious to this problem and then one fine sunny say in summer we curse our municipal corporations that they are incapable of managing water. Have YOU ever contributed to it by being conscious of your own water usage? I'm more sensitive or aware of this maybe because I'm predisposed with this instinct, by great forefathers, my ancestors, are from most arid of deserts. But we, as educated and sensible citizens, can try to save as much water as we can. And believe me, it's not that big an effort. But imagine the savings we can get by even 10% of our total Indian population (of 1.1 billion as of 2006) practicing this moderation!!!

You never know that your moderation might help some poor farmer in a remote village with his crops!

Why do we study that braindead subject of Civics in schools?

On the way to for exhilarating Sunday football game, me & my buddy Adi were discussing the !@$#ing sad sate of Pune roads. Trying to share a gist of the same...

We study a subject called Civics in our schools. Idea is to make the literate mass (BTW, there's marked difference between educated and literate masses) aware of their rights and duties. But what the subject is full of is sadist numbers (no of ppl to make a assembly meeting going,, criterias (to become PM, MLA, etc.), irritating dates, and all other utterly useless shit. The subject SHOULD be meant to teach about civility, isn't it! Why should it NOT include what to do when you are cheated by a shopkeeper? What accounts as cheating to consumers? How to deal in consumer courts? Is there such a thing called as case against the government? Where to demand better quality of infrastructure? After all we professional salaried people pay !@#$ing 30%+ of our hard earned salary for all this. But unfortunately it finds it's way in safes of the braindead corrupt officers. How do you charge such imbeciles? I'm sure even the most literate (and educated) of us might not have slightest idea of this!!!

Isn't all this a part of our civil rights? In fact Civil Duty, I would say. But all that we study in our textbooks is utter nonsense & absolutely useless. Just a means of wasting kids' valuable time & making money out of selling textbooks.

Weekend Mission: Clearing up all Postal Mails

This weekend I picked up the MOST daunting of tasks: Organizing hoards of letters & documents that have been accumulating for more than 3 yrs now!!! If you are staying alone, in your own flat, with a bank account, and maybe a loan and subscription to few mags (which means MOST of us) and above all if you are incharge of handling every incoming postal mail, then you know what I'm talking about! A few days back I desperately wanted a document and to my dismay I didn't know where I put it Arrgghhh!@#$ I knew it is safe some where, but I sniffed out every corner of my house and failed miserably to locate it. That is the time when it dawned upon me that I haven't organized LOT of my documents (coming in mostly via post) for about 2-3 years now. And I vouched to clear the mess the very next weekend.

Saturday looked promising... Brushed my teeth, had bath, filled my stomach with good breakfast and was feeling like kicking some a$. What better task could I think of! It took me well over 4 gruelling hours to get through the backlog. Property papers, property taxes papers, IT papers, electricity bills, water bills, society maintainenece bills, bank statements, milkman bills, purchace invoices, gaurantee cards, etc.: in short it meant that I will have to scan through more than 150 postal mails and sort them out and throw away the unwated ones. You won't understand the pain of doing this and neither the value in doing so unless you have done it at least once. I made 3 passes to locate every document that I had stuffed in drawers, under the beds, under pillow, inside cupboards, my bag, old files, and everywhere else you can think of.

Though not very crisp, for the uninitiated, here are a few tips that I would LOVE to share. Categorize your documents in 3-4 categories:

1. Permanent
- These are the documents that you MUST preserve for your life
- Includes property papers, car papers, taxes filed & paid, payslips, etc.
- Your achievement proofs: gard certificate, educational certficates, etc.

2. Long Lived, 5+ yrs
- You need them handy whenever you planning anything big, like going for a loan, big vacation
- Can't think of anything right now

3. Short lived, 1-5 yrs
- You can afford to dispose them off after a year. You are sure you WON'T need them again because they are outdated anyways.
- Credit Card bills, purchase bills, gaurantee cards, yearly bank statements.

4. Ephemeral, less than a year
- You can do without them and should be disposed off every 6 months or so.
- Paper/milk/maid bills, subscription mails, telephone bills.
- Should the need arise, you can easliy get a duplicate copy

Have at least 1 file each for the above category. Add-remove categories as per your need, but don't forget to live by it and cleanup and rearragne as and when necessary. Otherwise you will find yourself in oacen of papers and won't have a clue as to how to get rid of it.

This might not reflect the magnitute of papers I cleared, but here's the photo of 150+ emptied envelopes stacked besides a CD cover. When not empty, the stack would have been easily 5x-8x this height! Keep a box handy, prefereably near your enterance, where you can deposit all the mails that you get home. If this box is NOT the first thing you notice after entering home, then it's likely your mail won't find it's way into it. Every week, or fortnight scan through it, categorize and file it. Index and label your files properly. You can go a step further and maintain ToC (Table of Contents) for your easy reference.

Any more tips and tricks are MOST welcome. This was a small but IMPORTANT lesson for the rest of my life.

Besides this, it was regular dose of football Sunday morning. Rest of weekend was mostly uneventful.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Weekend Update

As usual, things happen that you like and some that you don't. But all in all, last weekend was pretty satisfying. As usual, football was at the center of giving me pleasure! This Sunday, 14 ppl had turned up for the game. Which meant a 7 aside non-stop 1.5 hours worth of amazing, wonderful and tiring game. The regular ground was in pathetic state because of rains, so had gone to Abhiman society to play. The ambience of the society was more than enough to excite us to play harder!

Following the game was my mentor, my boss, my manager, my senior friend, et. al., Raghu's, house warming party. It was more of a team lunch, which was being postponed due to burgeoning workload. Raghu was the architect of his own bungalow himself. And that is the reason everyone of us were so eager to see, what he calls it as, the version 1.0 of his home. The endless discussion of interesting problems while doing so, at the lunch table only made us all more inquisitive! Man with impeccable judgment about almost everything, he chose and put every damn thing with uncanny attention.

It's difficult to pick on anything and say, 'It would have looked better that way'. But a few things about his home that I like the most are...
Rainwater harvesting: It was really amazing to learn that how much water you can harvest if you provide for it. And what doesn't strike many bungalow owners is the fact that doing so can ease so much pressure on already growing shortage of water. Just 2500 or 3000 sq.ft. of area that harvests rain water, collects enough water to fill up all of his tanks. Don't recall exact metrics right now :(

The second part that was really impressive was the placement of windows and Italian bricks (just like normal bricks, but made of glass, to allow light to pass through). There is enough light throughout the day, without blinding you. Another thing is the garage, exactly the way found in American apts (the ones you see in Hollywood movies). You must visit this home before you start building your own.

After a few rounds of the house, we sat down for lunch. The food was AMAZING! And I had eaten enough to let myself skip the dinner!!!
Here you see Raghu opening a GIANT gift from us, his team.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sony W700i camera on test

While staring down through my balcony, I noticed that sky's exhibiting wonderful colours. I had my Sony W700i handy and thouhgt of putting it to test!
Am glad with the results. See for yourself!