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Saturday, May 22, 2010

3-D Movies - Pros and Cons

Now Now People, It's been a while. I Know I'll be Rusty. I know my 'wit' will be not upto par. But one has got to start,, nay,, resume at some point irrespective of pursuit of perfection. So here we go...

The emerging, or as some say, the established trend of 3-D movies is for most movie lovers to see. Blockbusters like Avatar and not so seamless 3-D rendering of Alice In Wonderland just go to show that the 3-D phenomenon first pioneered and also debunked in the 60s or so has finally matured to a point where the visuals actually intended by the movie maker is projected to the audience rather than blurred out, flushed out frames that are more headache inducing torture rather than enjoyable entertainment.

However, as with any technology, the discerning adopters( read - the CONSUMER) always find out the balanced mix of pros and cons which ultimately can make or break any technology. And therefore, I shall present the comprehensive list every filmmaker should look up and think of(What the hey,, Blogs are BIG) while making his next 3-D Magnum Opus.


  • Immersion - There's no doubt that a well made 3-D movie is immersive. Hell, Shrek Forever After looked mighty good, let alone Avatar.
  • Focused Viewing - I have seen it first hand that 3-D movies tend to make the viewer give undivided attention to the movie, and not to the chitter chatter around them.
  • Novelty - Watching 9 2-D movies out of 10 and one 3-D movie does tend to give it a feeling of novelty. Even if the movie is sub-par, viewer tends to be absorbed into it.
  • No Mush - Ok Ok,, no need to scratch your heads. This is solely for those who've had to sit through a movie with a couple in front, or right at your sides being "Cozy" (noisily i might add) and crapping out your movie experience(Easy with the Stares,, you know am right). Why this is so?? I shall explain in due course...


  • Unwieldy Eyegear - Well DUH!! Want 3-D?? Need Glasses that look like portable eye testers at your friendly optometrist.. NO,, Thank You!!!
  • Headaches - Ok, Strictly not a generality, but dang,, sometimes one does feel like the head is being pounded. The Eyegear surely isn't any help either.
  • Dark Visuals - It seems to be given that 3-D movies will be darker than normal 2-D movies. Whether it's a technical issue, or simply an issue with specific theaters (namely ALL in my case),, I cannot say. The Darker visuals in no way enhance the detail of the movie. Even Avatar is some scenes looked blandly washed out.
  • No Mush - Right then, This is not a mistake. It DOES very well fall in both the categories. While one doesn't really enjoy loud mush from others, surely one cannot expunge oneself from the temptation of enjoying a cozy moment of 'magic' with one's partner in the dark confines of the theater (FINE.. it sounds hypocritical.. SUE ME!!!). So the CON?? Try enjoying a cozy moment when your eyegear keeps getting in the way. Not to mention looking into the eyes of the other is an impossibility. By the time one take the trouble of tearing them off,, the 'moment' is almost surely..... GONE!!

There Ladies and Gentlemen, is a short but precise take on the 3-D movie experience. While the listed attributes are movie-title agnostic, it is my personal view that animated movies lend themselves to 3-D much better than live-action ones (No Offence Avatar, but Shrek 4 was more immersive in my view). Before the Avatar aficionados start a flame war, lemme rephrase by saying that CG heavy visuals lend themselves better to 3-D than live-action.

And Finally, while 3-D is undoubtedly making strides,, personally i'll take good old 2-D anyday. If for no reason than simply to rid myself of the loathsome eyegear. But what the hey, maybe glass-less 3-D will be a reality someday.

We Shall See...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Portable Apps – Making sense on Desktop

Note :- This blog entry covers only Windows based PCs. Mostly for 32-bit Windows PCs, with 64-bit (where notified)

“My PC has gone so sloooowwww!!”,

“I’m getting too many errors!!”,

“What does this BLOATware do??”

We’ve heard these rants from PC users all too many times to even count. You buy a Fresh-Off-The-Rack PC or Notebook, load up your Operating System, and it’s all Zippy and Fast and Clean and you’re all happy getting hands on with your new tech baby. BUT as they say – GOOD TIMES DON’T LAST FOREVER. As you keep using it, you find it getting slower and slower over time and throwing up niggling errors, freezes and system crashes now and then just to frustrate us ‘gentle’ and ‘calm’ users into a state of plentiful stress and sometimes, sheer fury.

The Low Down

Before we tackle the issue head on and provide (hopefully) a lasting solution to the problem, we must analyze where the problem arises and why. The primary culprit in this phenomenon of “ever slowing” PC experience is ‘the storehouse of information’ in the Underbelly of Windows – The REGISTRY!

As software gets installed and uninstalled over time, the registry size increases and it gets cluttered with obsolete and orphaned entries with keys pointing to nowhere and all that nastiness. Not only does this exact a increasing memory cost to load that registry, it also causes application crashes and BSODs.

The Solution

Of course the simplest solution is, don’t install anything new. But then again, that’s impossible to actually undertake. No Operating System comes with all the tools one needs and even if they did, users typically install their own favourite ones over the bundled ones. Therefore we look at 2 different ways to have a lean and clean PC and avoid these registry problems to the maximum extent possible.

  • Solution A – Use 3rd party uninstallers and registry cleaners to get rid of all traces of an uninstalled program. This is a favoured solution of power users. There are several good Freeware uninstallers which do an amazingly good job at this.
    • Revo Uninstaller – Has a Advanced remove option which removes an application using built in uninstaller, and then scans for leftover files, folders and registry entries and shows them to the user for manual removal.
    • Eusing Free Registry Cleaner – Does an amazing job of cleaning obsolete registry entries. Another notable mention is Wise Registry Cleaner and Regseeker(for advanced users only).
  • Solution B – Use Portable Apps. Portable apps are applications which are optimized to be self-contained and run from USB pen drives without requiring any installation. While the premise of portable apps is just that – Portability, one can make a case of using portable apps on the desktop with similar ease with the single most beneficial attribute – NO REGISTRY ENTRIES!

What all applications can best be used as a portable app?? Practically anything!! Though for daily usage for most of us who’re not power users, i’ll shortlist a few which have none or minimal changes in usage whether it’s a installed or a portable version.(All softwares named are available as portable AND install versions. Choose carefully from the software website before downloading)

  • CD/DVD Writing App : My personal favourite is Infrarecorder. Available as both 32 and 64-bit executable.
  • PDF Viewer : FoxitReader. Light, fast, small download and overall, LOADS better than the Adobe Bloatware.
  • Download Manager : WinWGet. Does everything that heavy download managers can do including scheduled downloads
  • Zip Manager: 7-zip. Handles all archiving formats including RAR, GZ, ZIP and more.
  • Media Player – VLC Player and Winamp Portable. VLC Handles DivX/Xvid Video files without need of Codec Packs to be installed.
  • Browsers: Portable browsers allows one to test run a new browser without the hassles of installing. Portable Chrome, portable Firefox, portable Opera are all available, along with instructions on the web to create your own portable version.
  • System Cleaner – CCleaner. Cleans out temporary files, internet caches, cookies and even registry entries.
  • Remote Desktop – AMMYY Admin. Connect to any PC in a few clicks.


  • No Installation required. Simply Unzip and Use.
  • No registry entries after installation or orphaned entries after uninstallation.
  • Don’t Want the app?? Simply Delete the folder.
  • Small install base
  • No chance of required files being scattered all over the Windows partition and System folder.


  • No Accessibility from Start Menu : Users have to create manual shortcuts for the apps.
  • No preset File-handling: Apps like 7-zip, VLC Portable and so on have to be manually connected to the file types the user wants them to handle. One time issue though.
  • Slower(?) WinXP and Vista/Win7 have superfetch with loads software into memory for quick loading. It is not known whether portable apps can be superfetched. Therefore loading time of Portable apps can be slower than installed apps.

While there are also portable Antivirus softwares and anti-spyware, such system critical apps are best installed on the host system and updated regularly.

Where Can I Get Them??

  • : Most popular portable apps site. Site offers categorized lists of softwares which can be used standalone, or inside the launcher and suite software.
  • : One of the largest listings of portable apps. Also has instructions on how to make your favourite app into a portable one.
  • Wininizio Pensuite : Preset suites of portable apps inside executable launchers.
  • Lupo Pensuite : 3 Suite options of Full, Lite and Zero.

Portable apps along with regular housekeeping such as ChkDisk/Scandisk, Disk Defragmenting and power tweaking can help keep the system fast, clean and Happy(user too) for a long long time. If one is REALLY BRAVE, one could do a fresh install of the OS, and install Portable Apps for all functionalities that are covered by apps available, and then use regular install versions of apps whose usage is not taken care of by portable apps.

Update:- The idea of a Fresh Install is appealing,, especially for those whose systems are FUBAR with months and years of neglect and loose installs and uninstalls. But this option comes with a HUGE drawback,, especially for users saddled with low internet speeds. That drawback is the need to install all the security fixes and service packs from Microsoft for your OS. Therefore i would suggest you use this option only as a last resort, and also keep the latest service pack offline installer handy for quick updates with all the latest patches without the need for time-consuming internet linkups. Power users can use Nlite of Vlite and slipstream the service packs into a customized installer.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bane shall become the Saviour

History and traditional wisdom teaches us that any idea, any action, any tool, any technology is almost always what is called "a double edged sword". Any idea which can be used for personal gain, can also be used by others on us for personal loss. Any science used for betterment of lives, can be equally used to take away lives. And one field of science more than any idea that has shaped and destroyed nations, lives and civilization over time is - Economics.

Economics and the pursuit of economic progress and prosperity have since the days of yore, made man fight with each other, ally with each other, device ways of progressing self faster and stopping others from progressing as well. But as with any mass applied science, economics has had many unpredictable side-effects on society. And in this blog, we shall delve into one of those side-effects that in today's world , in the first place, should not exist in it's entirety in the macro sense, and in the second place, should exist in a totally opposite way in the micro sense.

That side effect is - Dowry

Dowry is a practice whereby the family of the bride pays out several gifts to the family of the groom. In more passive terms, it is the property brought by the bride to the husband's family and house. In India, this practice has been prevalent since the days of kings (and maybe even earlier) spanning to the modern age. While in theory dowry is completely voluntary, in practice however, it is a much darker phenomenon. Irrespective of how dowry might have started off as or why, today dowry is pretty much a mandatory burden on the part of the family bearing and upbringing a girl child. It is majorly for this sole reason that female foeticide is such a sad yet true reality. Families in rural villages and even urban India abort a female child prematurely or have it killed at birth just to save on the crushing economic burden that the female child can potentially put on their heads. This perceived, and in many cases a very real, economic burden coupled with the globally adapted (though, personally speaking, an outdated view strictly from a social sense) mindset that the male child is necessary for the progression of the family bloodline and tree whereas the lineage breaks with the girl child since she's married off into another family, tends to put the girl child at peril even before the child gets to see the light of day outside her mother's womb.

This brings us to my first point which i elaborated upon in the second para - The Macro Picture. While in an "ideal" civilized society, this social evil should not exist, it is but also a reality that no society is ideal and thereby this evil has to be tackled on the ground rather than just blind ourselves to the reality and hoping it'll vanish over time. Dowry has resulted in a skewed sex ratio where males in a society far outnumber females. This may or may not be a global ratio,,but it certainly is in traditionally patriarchal societies like India and China. There are reports that in many villages in the north-Indian state of Haryana, there exists not a single marriageable female but instead has a smorgasbordial glut of marriageable men who have no choice but to either seek out females from other states or suppress their biological urges till the suppression is no longer required (read " Seeds becoming rotten in old age and 'transportation pipeline' no longer functioning"). Now of course the consequences of female foeticide which has all but wiped out a majority generation of females cannot be undone in a few days, weeks, months or years. A generational gap,,by very logic,,requires a generational leap to repair the fallouts of past mistakes. So for this skewed sex ratio to correct itself in the future, we need to start talking concrete steps now. Those concrete steps are to be a minimum 2-pronged strategically devised action where on one hand the masses are educated on the disastrous biological fallout of such an arcane and barbaric practice and on the other hand, this mutated economic burden factor has to be mitigated at first and nullified later so that female foeticide reduces if not completely vanishes. While the education of the masses will take several decades, the economic angle of it can be applied even now.

This brings us to my second point which i elaborated in my second para - The Micro Picture. The most likely question you, the reader, would ask me at this point is - How do we tackle a social problem from an economic angle?? Simple!! A social issue whose problems are caused by economics, also has it's solution in economics. How is that?? Very simple. Economics as those learned in the field would say is "a self balancing system". We see it all around us. A commodity goes into shortage, it's price goes up. And those seeking to profit from it's high price, supply that commodity which over time bridges the supply-demand gap, and prices come down. Now Now, i'm not crazy nor am i preaching human trafficking. What i am pointing out however is that with just one simple change of mindset and one change of action, this whole problem of dowry will be lessened to a VAST degree. First the mindset, change the line of thinking that girls are an economic burden. By the very sense of economics itself, since marriageable girls are in shortage compared to men due to the skewed sex ratio, girls become all the more premium in social value. Therefore from thinking that girls are a economic liability, the family of the girl should think the girl child is an economic asset. And as any asset whose value has risen, it should infact gain property to the family rather than lose it. Lost me?? In simpler terms,,the father of the girl child rather than give out dowry,,should ASK for dowry from the groom simply because by very numbers,,there are more prospective grooms than prospective brides. The day this idea lights up in the brains of the daughter's father, is the day the first step towards dowry eradication begins. But for this idea to really take root and be successfully propagated en masse, an change in action must take place. That change of action is the unintelligible hurry which the father of the daughter shows in getting her daughter married off in many cases. It's not unusual to hear about daughter's getting married off as soon as they reach legal age of marriage. This has to stop simply because it tends to show the father of the daughter as desperate, and a desperate man is prone to manipulation and psychological and/or sociological blackmail for eg the neighbours and relatives may start murmering about why the daughter is way past her marriage age (in most of india it's around 23-24) and start putting pressure on the father to get her married off. As if the father wilts under pressure,,he's most likely to get her married off to the first guy they find irrespective of what unfair demands he might, and probably will, place on the bride's family.

That, my readers, is my take on the phenomenon of Dowry and my two cents on how to tackle it. As you may have noticed and surmised that i have stripped away all aspects of social and political correctness and only looked at it from sheer logic and the best economic sense that I am currently capable of. Critics might say I have oversimplified the problem and thereby presented an impractical idea of it's solution. But i have learnt from history and personal experience that an idea by it's very nature SHOULD be simple. It is the application of the idea that need or need not be complicated to ensure the best benefit.

If you have any views, comments, suggestions or flames. Put them through

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Awesome...Great...Good...Ok....EH WHAT?????

That's one progressively downer going level of appraisal if i may say so myself,,right readers???

So what is that a chain of? My mood? Social Morals? Any other arcane "old is gold and new is crap" sort of subject that everybody from old retirees having their daily morning/evening "chat ups" to political ideologists and intellectuals who still feel central govt controlling everything is the best form of governance?

It CAN be all that since the heading is fairly generic and open to interpretation and extrapolation. But i'll keep it focused on a fairly light topic.......


I, for one, can honestly, without hesitation, utterly staunch in my views, state that current film music has gone to utter SHIT.Well,, the SHIT part is applicable to 98% of the hindi movie music in anycase even if not the complete 100%. But why am i saying that?? Am i a 80-90 year old who feels listening to songs sung by Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, K L Saigal or composed by S D Burman, R D Burman brings back memories of a time when going to the bathroom to piss wasn't a chore in itself at 1AM at night or that i could actually eat SOLID food rather than slurp spoonfulls of squishy mush coz i don't have teeth?


Let me make you all look at it with a simple view. Pick up any song from the days of Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi and co and listen to it once.

Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera,
O Haseena Zulfon Wali,
Chura Liya hai Tumne,
O Mere Dil Ke Chain,
Mera Joota Hai Japani,
Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua,
Khoya Khoya Chand,
Dil Ka Bhawar Kare Pukar,

(examples given for your ease of picks. You can add any of your choice)

After one solitary listening you can probably hum it no end and even sing 40-50% of the song paragraphs. Listen to it twice and i can pretty much guarantee you can sing the whole song with word perfect accuracy. Now that isn't something to be taken trivially. The popularity of a song depends crucially on how fast it sticks in the listener's mind. And in THAT aspect the oldies win hands down. Take the breed of the new "hip" songs that litter the music scene and after 5 minutes of hearing them,,you can't recollect one line. Examples for those are way-yy-yy too many to even start writing about here, so fill in your own whilst reading( Ok. Some examples like CASH). Not only are the songs which are normally intertwined during a movie plot unfolding,,say,, like the hero-heroine catching each other's glances for the first time and holding them, the first kiss, the 'stuck-at-lonely-shack-in-monsoon' have become forgettably ordinary,,but the so called "Item Songs" have killed off whatever sanity was left. Even the ludicrously popular ones like college favourite "Crazy Kiya Re" doesn't hold anyone's imagination to hum or sing it after a couple of months.

Now my current crib about the state of the music scene isn't anything economic in nature. Hold on a sec......It IS economic in nature. I gotta spend precious moolah buying shitty songs and music. Ok...Ok, i download most of my music for free on P2P before venturing out to buy any CDs after a review of songs. But my current crib is that, I, a self annointed listener of "quality" music, has to wad through the drudgery of mindless and pathetically distant-to-the-listener music just because there HARDLY IS ANY OTHER VARIETY AROUND!!!( and the music moguls ponder why P2P has taken off so explosively....yeesh)

Music, any type or genre, in my view must make the listener forget about his ills, his problems, his world around him and immerse the person in the feeling and emotion the music is meant to convey. Classical music does that with perfection. Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi's music can totally absorb you into their fold. I hold a special place for John Williams' music from the Star Wars series of movies coz they have a really good ability to make your mind feel the emotions of the movie even without watching. And why even go that far off?? Even our own national anthem instills a sense of belonging and pride towards our nation(yeah ok,,that's the basic premise of any national anthem, but still). Compare that to the beats heavy film music of today,,and it seems that pharma companies have a secret pact with music composers to have them belt out headache inducing music to boost the sales of over-the-counter painkillers. The "Remix" culture is pretty synonimous with that particular feeling. Somebody should tell DJ Suketu that a remix needs something more than "Bang-Bang-Bang-Bling-Bling-Bling". Take away the actual lyrics,,and i can bet pretty penny that a listener can't make a distinction between any 2 of DJ Suketu's remixes( on a related note, i do like DJ Aqeel's remixes due to the face that he uses original singer's voices in his remixes, especially of Kishore Kumar, and has a variety of styles; and Bally Sagoo who's "Churaliya" is still the ultimate remix in my view).

But there is a clearing at the of the tunnel it seems. The "Underground" music scene is exploding all around the world from college groups belting out some cult classics like "BC Sutta" from the Pakistani group - Zeest, and my personaly favourite, "Gaand Mein Danda" from a group from XLRI Jamshedpur - Bodhi Tree. Now these aren't exactly "for family listening", but they accomplish perfectly what any form of music is meant to accomplish - make the listener FEEL the singer's/composer's emotions and his outlook on his life. The "Asian Underground" movement in the UK pretty much evolved into the "lounge music" scene with names like Talveen Singh and Karunesh. The success of all these names point to one thing from the Point-of-View of the listeners to the media empires - GIVE US GOOD MUSIC and we'll BUY them. Push CRAP on us and you can forget us spending a single cent.

Oh yeah,,before i wrap up. I would like to point out a weird trend going around with respect to music listening especially by the "hip" crowd(read college and under 28 group). Songs like "Gasolina" by Daddy Yankee and "Bebot" by the Black Eyed peas have become somewhat akin to trendsetters when it comes to "oooh yeah,,that's cooooool man" type of songs. Funny thing is,,,i haven't met one,,,,ONE listener around me who even understands a SINGLE word in any of these songs. One is in latino while the other is Filipino. Now why would a "Hindi" nation bred up on "American English" listen to these kinda songs and actually RAVE about them???? Hmm,,,,,beats me. Well,,no matter,,you wanna rave,,then rave. It's a free country. But don't try to show it off as being "COOOOOL" to the other person and ping someone who actually listens to "GOOD MUSIC" as a dead-heap old-timer.

Hey,,who knows. Maybe if the "Bebot" crowd are exposed to Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Classical Instrumental or even good quality Asian Underground, they might even learn to like "MUSIC". But i surely ain't getting my hopes up.

P.S:- Was also gonna write about Tamil music since i'm a avid listener to old movie songs of Sivaji films and stuff,,but couldn't get the names of singers and composers in my mind. But no matter,,the picture there isn't too different too.Also i have a similar article on movies coming up. But till then Happy Reading and Happy Listening to "Good Music" ;)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Facelifts Galore

Greetings readers,

I've updated the layout of my blog to include a integrated search box with 3 preset domains which i feel will be useful for the readers. They are :-

Moneycontrol - Moneycontrol is a financial portal of the CNBC-TV18 group and can be used to get equity market news, tips, boarder messages and quotes of Indian Exchange stocks from the NSE and BSE.

Engadget - Engadget needs no introduction in the techie and consumer electronic savvy crowd. For newbies, the site features reviews of consumer electronics like mobiles, PDAs, consoles, Mp3 players and so forth. So if you need a rundown of the pros and cons before buying a product, simply run through the reviews here.

The Pirate Bay - THE No. 1 Bittorrent tracker site. Anything file you need to download, you'll get the tracker here. I recommend utorrent for you torrent downloading needs. Advanced users can opt for the Azureus client.

I also have a Google Pack button on the right in the links menu should you want to download Google Apps like Google Earth, Reader, Picasa and so forth. There's a BlogRovr button which allows you to go to the blogrovr site and download the Firefox extension (Also available for Internet Explorer) allowing you to read your favourite blogs in a nifty pop-up on any page you are and also subscribe to them for updates. One of the most useful additions being the Answerboxes which allow you to just double click on any word to get a short windowed dictionary. Last but not least, the custom links which have a variety of useful sites bookmarked. Notables include Yourminis and Investorwords.

If you feel the links here are not what most of you are looking for or you want more to ease your browsing,,suggest the links and i'll put them up. If any functionality you desire needs to be added,,send in the suggestions on that too.

Happy Reading!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mobile Illiteracy & Miserliness- The DARK Truth

Let's face it,,,irrespective of the fact that mobiles have gone from the realm of strictly "rich" to a level where even a rickshaw-walla has one to chatter away,,they're still the uber style and "status" icon on a 'portable' level. Mobile manufacturers churn out new models with glitzier styling, more features, better battery, larger screens and so on and so forth at such a rate that a state-of-the-art mobile today is OBSOLETE within 6 months from the "bleeding edge" Point Of View. And while witnessing replacements on a yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or even bi-monthly timescales; it seems hard to imagine that just half to three quarters of a decade ago,,mobiles were still considered a nouveau-rich accessory which users kept till the mobile died of "Old Age".

But it's not a bad thing at all. For the price of a "hand-held brick" that could do nothing but make phone calls and send messages with a battery life of hardly 5-6 hours,,today one can have a virtual handheld computer which is a camera, media player, storage medium and your personal secretary (albeit without the 'curves' ;) ) all rolled into one. Oh yeah,,they still make phone calls and send messages. (WWWooooWWW)

India today has the fastest growing mobile population in the world in percentage terms and ranks 2nd in absolute terms. Mobile telephony operators mint money,,LITERALLY,,by catering to the ever increasing horde of users. More and more services like banking and ticket booking are being offered from the comfort of the mobile phone. Everything seems a shining pot of gold for users and operators alike.

But all this glitz,,,all this replacements to be "up-to-date" in style and features,,,all this new fangled feature terminology and the ever present tendency of young and old to want to carry the latest 'HOT' product on the market hides a disappointing truth - Mobile users are ILLITERATE and amazingly MISERLY even if they flaunt the latest Nokia N95, Sony Ericsson P1i, XDA 02 or the latest incarnation of the ultra-popular Motorola RAZR.

Illiterate you ask??? MISERLY you ask??? Surely i jest,,right????


Take a good long look at the mobile usage details of most of the population, if i may put a top of my mind number to it, 95% of mobile users in India haven't moved on from the basic "call and message" way of using their mobile phones irrespective of whether their mobile is a economy level plain-jane Nokia or a top-of-the-line Symbian or Windows Mobile Smartphone like the XDA O2 or the E90. Now why is that? Surely a person buying a phone with everything but the kitchen sink built into it would use most of the features inbuilt,,right??? WRONG again!!!! A study from BBC and WIRED Magazine showed that 90% of all mobile phone features are never used by the user. Why is that?? The easiest answer would be,,that the features are hard to grasp. After all,,if you go to a person with a mobile and say " Setup the net usage using GPRS or EDGE with sounds and images set to 'OFF' to save BANDWIDTH and speed up RENDERING", the majority chances are the least the person would do is give you blank stares as if you've asked a ascetic monk about the technicalities of the Kama Sutra,, or worse,, wallop you right in the eye for denting the "i'm a mobile user,,so i'm mod" image of himself/herself. Bottom line, the user has no idea how to go about it. Setup Email - No idea, setup PC drivers for USB transfers - No idea. Enable/Disable features on phone - Maybe not "No Idea",,but barring tech-o-philes or really savvy users,,most will crap out coz they feel they'll "Brick" their phones( Techspeak for making the phone inoperative)

Let's for one moment take a summarical view of what the most usage styles of users who have mid-range phones and top end phones are. MP3 listening and transfers are right on top of usage time. So is transfer of video clips and pictures using Infrared or Bluetooth. Listening to FM. Now you ask me, all these things are a sign of tech savviness, is it not? Well,, one one level it is. But then again,,take a good long look at the things listed above. MP3 , pictures and video transfers using Bluetooth, FM listening - All FREE!!!! It doesn't cost a CENT. Now just tell that person so generous in transferring the media to send it to you via GPRS to your email,,and i can bet pretty penny,,that person is gonna BALK. Why? Coz it costs MONNEEYY!!! So,,the most features one uses on the phone,,are ones which can be used for FREE. That's a telling example of why usage of the internet over mobiles hasn't taken off till date in India though every phone from Rs 4000 onwards having WAP or GPRS are well capable of it. The Illiteracy about telephony features is so rampant that, with an example to clarify, people don't even know that most mobile operators offer basic internet packages on their networks FOR FREE. (Airtel Live is FREE,,for those of you who didn't know till now whilst browing other pages costs a measly 15 paise per 10KB translating to Rs 15 per MB of usage. Expensive compared to fixed line packages,,but you can't beat the portability ease and anywhere internet lookup for sure). Taking pictures is a big thumbs-up for mobile junkies. Camera Mobiles are really mana from heaven for the young who want to capture certain 'Cherished' moments with family and friends( Now Now,,keep your thoughts clean,,i know about the seedy side of this usage). But to see guys and gals going ga-ga over more and more Megapixels on their phone cam is a avenue of amusement in itself for a musing techie. While a 5MP camera on the N95 sounds amazing,, it's also pretty.......USELESS! Why? Simply because no home PC monitor can show 5MP in it's full size state. So the picture has to be zoomed out to be viewed. So if one is zooming out to see a smaller picture,,why have the need for massive sized photos of 2MP and beyond in the first place? The Sweet Spot for mobile cam phones is 2MP giving you 1600x1200 sized shots. Anything more seems overkill especially since mobile cameras use CMOS sensors rather than good quality CCD sensors that standalone cameras use. The quality difference is so world's apart no serious photo-junkie worth his salt would be caught dead using Camera Phones to capture minute detail professional level shots,,no matter how good camera phones are. Though as a side note for buyers, i must say,,Sony Ericsson has the best camera quality in phones. Their 2MP phones like the K750i can run circles around a Nokia Nseries in camera quality while the higher rez 3.2MP K800i and beyond are a class apart and give a good alternative to budged standalone digicams for casual users.

So,,,after all the hoopla,,,one sees that either users are completely clueless about how to use most of the advanced features of their phones, or are too cheap to pay for using most of the features that their phones offer even if they ARE tech savvy to use the features. So this brings up one question. IF,,in majority of the cases,,if all one has to use is the calling and messaging feature and occasional MP3 listening,,what's the point of changing for newer and newer phones every 6 months????? Why would one want to chuck, say a Nokia 6680 for a Nseries whilst in the end using the same things in both phones and nothing more? Why would one want to blow a month's salary on a high-end phone like a XDA 02 or Sony Ericsson P1i or Nokia E90 when you're gonna do the same things that you did with a 8000 bucks mid-range?? But beyond all that,,,,,,,,,,,,Why spend such high amounts of money,,,,when most users are not even generous enough to actually CALL and instead save that precious rupee by giving MISSED CALLS and wait for the other person to call back???? Why flaunt your mobile's EDGE, 3G, Java, Blah-Blah, Bling-Bling if you don't even know how the hell to use them? How many of use see anyone using their mobiles to book tickets over the mobile internet,,or pay their bills,, or do mobile banking??

Barring the top 5% of users comprising of businessmen who really use the services like mobile banking or checking their email and so forth and the techies (i'm a proud member of the techie world if i may boast) who actually have the skills to use their mobiles to the hilt of what it offers,,the rest are just shams and posers for whom the most knowledge about phones which they are aware of is the MAKE AND MODEL of their phones. Mobile Internet????? Duh!!!!!

That concludes the insights on the "hip, modern and technologically astute" world of Indian mobile users.

Which part of the world do YOU come in????Put in your views.....

Author's Note - Has a MotoRIZR Z3, tweaked for extra speed, additional software for Fax and setup for mobile internet using EDGE where available or GPRS as backup. Hates the Java based OS for it's speed,,but loves it for the ample software for it available on the net.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

LOVE..........It is Truly MAGNIFICENT!!!

Disclaimer - Historical timelines, quotes and actions are accurate to the best of my knowledge.
If there's any mistake,,kindly correct me. Blog contains Cuss words. So if queasy
,,kindly stop reading right now

Amour! Amor! Liebe! Pyaar! Ishq! Kaadhal!
Many names,many languages; one feeling.......LOVE.

I love LOVE ! (no pun intended)

Love's one of the most beautiful feelings a person can experience and cherish(and it IS to be cherished. One who doesn't cherish love is a Fool to the absolute unadulterated level of "BRAIN DEAD IDIOCY"). You feel lively, you feel perky, you feel BLISS and the whole world seems like a bed,,or a road,, of roses with nary a thorn. It makes you feel like Samson,,while you look like Beetle Bailey. It make you act like Bill Gates, while you're closer to Uncle Scrooge. It makes you talk like Dilton Doiley,,while you're closer to Moose Mason (refer Archie Comics for Dilton and Moose). Bottom line,, love makes you want to be/do/try to do things that you never really thought you would be in daily humdrum life. All in a day's work to try and ingratiate yourself in your beloved's eyes more than you already are. Which isn't exactly a bad thing btw. One should always strive to improve oneself,,if love helps,,there's no harm in it.

OR IS THERE????????????

There are many famous love stories in contemporary and classic literature, like Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, Salim-Anarkali, Samson-Delilah and so forth, we'll find tales of loss, grief, betrayal, sacrifice and above all..DEATH. It's kinda strange you know,,,that most famous love stories all seem to end with...DEATH! I mean c'mon ,,,Love is not THAT bad (young couples and jilted lovers using New Delhi's Janak Puri District Centre towers complex as impromptu jumpoff points need not apply). But what's common alongwith the death's of the main protagonists in the story is that the life and death's of these main players doesn't really affect the lives of the other "side characters" a lot barring the sense of loss and grief immediately following the loss of the loved ones. But there is a love story,,,which while running it's course,,seemingly has alterned a standing of 3 nations from inception to modernity(atleast the inception of 1 nation anyway).

What love story is this???? Not a very widely documented,,but certainly largely rumoured,,and seemingly substantiated into certainty very recently. The love and times of - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister and Lady Edwina Mountbatten, Lord Mountbatten's - the last Viceroy of India, Wife.

Now,,Jawaharlal Nehru or 'Pandit' Nehru as he's affectionately called has a rather mixed image in India. While some see him as a pioneer of India's supposedly "peaceful and prosperous" NAM (Non-Aligned Movement)ideology and "Democratic Socialism", others see him as an outright failure as a politician who caused more damage to India in modern history than the British ever did. How exactly can a Love Affair cause so much trouble?? Let's find out.

Before we delve into the specifics of the love story, let's take a look at Nehru himself. Nehru was a idealist,,no doubt about that. He believed that good intentions and happy cheery feelings were all that were needed to run international and local politics. His "Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai" outlook is well documented and his aversion towards a state military outfit is also documented in his statement after India's independence "Disband the Army, the Police is enough to look after the Indian state" (
Was he NAIVE or WHAT???). It was a good thing the Army wasn't disbanded since our "dear neighbours" Pakistan launched a attack on Kashmir in 1947 to grab that state from India. The Indian Army's counter-offensive resulted in pushing them back before Nehru went to the UN and a UN brokered cease-fire came into effect (thereby creating the today known LOC or Line of Control). Now,,on the surface Nehru's move seems like a good move right??? After all fighting ceased and clear demarcation came in. WRONG!!!! It was a FUCKING DISASTER. The Indian Army pretty much was able bodied to fight Pakistan all the way back to the then demarcated "International Border" after the partition,,but Nehru's run to the UN put and end to that AND ended up in India losing 1/3rd of Kashmir which it still hasn't recovered till date. Now you ask,,what does this have to do with his love affair? Ah,,but it has EVERYTHING to do with his love affair.

According to Viceroy Mountbatten's daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, it was Mountbatten's wife, at the secret behest of the Viceroy himself, who told Nehru to go the UN to broker a cease-fire. Taking an excerpt from Lady Hicks' interview with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN.

'Lord Mountbatten "used" his wife Edwina, who shared a "deep emotional love" with Jawaharlal Nehru, to influence India's first Prime Minister to refer the Kashmir issue to the United Nations, according to the last Viceroy's daughter.

"That is true and he did use her like that. But he certainly wasn't going to throw her, he didn't say to her go become the Prime Minister's lover because I need you to intercede. It was a by-product of this deep affection," Lady Pamela Hicks said in an interview to Karan Thapar in his programme 'Devil's Advocate' to be aired on CNN-IBN.'

Full article HERE -

Now come on people,,how fair is THAT? Indians lose part of their hard-fought, blood-spilt, newly liberated from 200 years of bondage, land just coz Nehru had the HOTS for a GAL?????? Way to Go 'Panditji'. Talk about thinking with your BALLS rather than your BRAINS. His missteps in the 1962 war is also worthy of "degenerative praise",,especially since it made Indians who felt equal to Chinese in image and self-belief as the leaders in Asia,,fall to a image of self-defeatism and utter inconfidence out of which we're only NOW just emerging,,but don't think LOVE was a factor in THAT,,unless proved otherwise in the future.

But is Nehru alone??? Is he to be blamed outrightly for this gaffe,,which apart from the scale of damage caused to India,,is but a part and parcel of many guys' lives in Love? I mean we do generally see guys and gals acting way out of their usual character when they're in love. I, while now looking at it from a outside perspective may talk like a impervious giant, too felt these changes in myself where i acted unconsciously, or consciously, to change ourselves to become more and more suited to "her desired image" of me. Whilst one does want to impress his/her beloved,,how far should one go before the feeling of complete self-personality detachment(for oneself and by others) start setting in?? I myself underwent changes like giving up eating non-veg, shaping my wardrobe likes/dislikes and even the friends i had all in order to adapt myself more to her image of me. Now i certainly am not saying ALL that is bad,,,but surely,,some of these things are way extreme and i was a fool to have overlooked, undermined or potentially hurt others around me,,if i did. If you change how you look, dress, act, eat, drink, behave and even mingle with a particular friend circle to attune yourself to your beloved,,shouldn't we really ask ourselves for one moment, If he/she wants all these changes in me to make me "perfect",,What the FUCK did he/she see in me to fall in love with me for in the first place??? Sounds strange?? It IS strange. How is it,,that after falling in love,,looking at each other all doe eyed and misty thinking we're perfect for each other,,we start putting up conditions to change the person into something he just was NOT when you fell in love in the first place????

Now,,I'm not any "LOVE GURU", not any "Spiritual Swami",,nor am i any "Psychology Prodigy". But what i am is a keen observer and a bloody critical thinker( THAT should explain my blatant cynicisms of some things). I've seen many cases,,personally and with friends,,that a person in love,,starts ignoring or even disliking his old pals at the subconscious behest of the lady love,,and vice versa. Today you think you're chummy pals with nothing bad between you,,tomorrow you find that guy/gal telling you to piss off just coz "the beloved" wanted so. Seen people lose all focus into what they're doing,,and just sit and talk virtually NOTHING for hours with a silly grin on the face which makes it obviously apparent to the passer-by that he/she is "IN LOVE". Lemme tell you people. These actions seem innocent enough at first glance, but adding up over time,, these lead to a major shit storm not many can survive.

if you've read it this long,,,,you'll be wanting to ask me,,"What do i have against Love??". I don't have anything against Love per se. But what i DO have against,,is the common mistake people make of having grandoise vision of careless bliss when they are in Love. They think nothing can go wrong. They think it's all Cool. They think just coz they're in Love,,they know best about everything and they can teach "worldly and otherworldly lessons" to people around them.

ONE piece of advice to such folk - GET A GRIP!!! Love is part and parcel of one's life. But the secret in succeeding or failing in love is the same as it is with every other facet of life - CONTROL or BE CONTROLLED!!! If you can control your emotions and balance love with other aspects of life,,it'll be truely rewarding. But if you let LOVE lead you around like a dog being led around by the scent of a bone in the ground, you're setting yourself up for a right royal FUCK....a 'FUCK' NOT of the Happy and 'thumping' kind!!!!

Sounds like Politics?????? Love IS POLITICS! The one who gives less and gets more WINS,,and the one who gives more and gets less ends up looking like an ASS in a Horse Derby.

So on that end note of Love and Politics,, i'll wind up by saying - Don't be another NEHRU and let yourself AND those around you get FUCKED!!!!


In a nutshell - FUCK rather than BE FUCKED

Author's Note - Contrary to popular literary standings,,I, personally, do NOT consider those who die after being jilted in love should be in any way honoured or looked upto. I figure such people to be weak and inherently better off to be DEAD in anonymity from sheer un-deservedness to live rather than spread their "downer" contagion among others. I feel life is too precious to be ended for such a trivial manner as a broken relationship. Not to mention the action itself is highly selfish and by no means or worthy of appraise in classic or contemporary literature and/or mainstream media. Coming to Nehru, i consider him an outright FOOL who worked more to undermine India's borders than any single person in the 20th century. Hindu-Muslim Bhai-Bhai and 1/3rd Kashmir gone. Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai and again part of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh gone. So you get the point. Nobody screwed India more in modern times than it's own "Bhais".

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