Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TRAI bows to pressure, extends SMS limit to 200

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has eased the daily SMS limit from 100 SMS per day to 200 SMS per day. According the press release, TRAI increased the limit after receiving "representations" from service providers and consumers.


These "representations" are nothing but the anger of the youth against the ban. While some people might be benefiting from the ban by getting less marketing SMS, this number is certainly less than the people who are affected by it. India is a young nation and youth like texting. TRAI should come with innovative and more practical solutions to stop unwanted telemarketing. 


Well, I receive more marketing calls on my number than SMS, what would you do next, limit the number of calls that I can make from my phone? It looks like limiting the number of breaths you take fearing the amount of pollution in the air. Ridiculously funny!


This increase in limit might bring smile to certain faces, but it certainly is not the solution. I would request TRAI to stop playing with the Great Indian Mobile Service Consumer.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Sony Ericsson" to become "Sony"!!

With Sony purchasing Ericsson out of it's mobile phone venture, it would now be in more control of it's phones and the users like us would have better compatibility and connectivity of these phones with other Sony devices.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/27/us-sonyericsson-idUSTRE79Q19J20111027


As a Sony Ericsson user since more than 4 years, I am quite excited to see "Sony" on the phones instead of "Sony Ericsson" though I am still quite not sure whether it will happen or not as it is up to Sony on how to proceed with the takeover.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What is Windows 8 Developer Preview



My last post was about the installation of Windows Developer Preview. But for those who are not sure what Windows Developer Preview is all about then here is something!

Windows 8 is the upcoming Operating System from Microsoft Windows family. There were speculations about new version of Windows since long but they actually ended when Microsoft officially announced the release of Developer Preview.

Windows Developer Preview is the test version of Windows 8 that is released by Microsoft for the developers and testers. So, if you want to get a hands on to the yet to release version of Windows, it is for you.

Windows 8 aspires to be the next big release in the market and it doesn't seem to be just another version of Windows OS but a giant leap forward for the world's number one Operating System manufacturer.

Windows 8 will be the operating system not just for traditional PCs but for every other device that runs a featured Operating System. This includes desktops, laptops, netbooks, and tablets. The usual Windows desktop is transformed by what is called Windows start screen that has all the applications that you want to use just a click or touch away.



That's just at the face of it, otherwise it also has many new developments inside that makes it really interesting. These new features are yet to be fully revealed and experienced. 

Here is a video from Microsoft that will give you some idea.

  

The first thing I felt after getting aware of this was "Wow, I want to check it out!" and yes, it is possible through Windows Developer Preview.

Windows 8 Developer Preview - Installation

Hello Friends,


Windows 8 is the new buzzword in town as Windows 8 Developer Preview is out. If you want to know about how you can also install Windows 8 Developer Preview and and get a hands on rather than just watching YouTube videos on it, then read on.


Let's start with the first step and the first question.


Where to download the setup from?


Well, Windows 8 Developer Preview can be downloaded from the Windows' official MSDN site. Here is the link.


http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home/
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516


It is a legit download and you surely are not infringing any rights! ;) 


After you have downloaded it, you'll see that it is a ISO file and have to be either,


1. Burned on a DVD to use it. Or,
2. Run using a CD/DVD Image reading tools like "Daemon Tools"


If you have multiple partitions on your hard-drive or if you have an external storage device (External HDD) or if you want to do upgrade rather than clean install (we will discuss it in detail) then  you can very well go ahead with the second step. No need to burn a DVD.


But if you only have on single partition or no external HDD, or if you want to do a clean install, then you'll have to burn the ISO into a DVD before proceeding further.


Before moving ahead, let me answer few questions.


Upgrade or Clean Install?


Upgrading means installing a new version in a pre-installed version and in this case it might be already installed Windows Vista or Windows 7. On the other hand, a clean install here means installing Windows on a formatted/ unused partition or HDD.


So, what to do? Well, If you have enough space on your HDD that you can use one entire partition (greater than 16 GB) then you can very well go ahead with a clean install.
But if you do not have a entire partition available to install Windows 8 on since you have multiple Operating Systems installed on those partitions that you do not want to format, then you can use the upgrade feature.


In my case as well, I was having two Windows OS installed on my age-old laptop that I did not want to format, so I just worked hard to free up around 16 gigs of space by reshuffling files and chose the upgrade option.




How to read an ISO file?


There are various tools available on the internet to read ISO files. Here, I will suggest a way that I found very simple.
Just go to www.filehippo.com (click here) and download latest version of Daemon Tolls Lite. Install it. Reboot the system and give the path where the ISO file is stored to one of the drives created by Daemon Tools. Once successfully done, you will see Windows 8 Developer Preview opened in a separate drive in MyComputer.




How to burn ISO to a DVD?


It is again fairly simple. Among the various tools available online, you can use Nero. It has an option of burning Image to CD/DVD, Use that and you will have a bootable Windows 8 DVD in your hand.




Now, we will go ahead with the "upgrading" option. But if you want to do a clean install, just put the burned DVD in the reader and switch on the computer, boot from the DVD, choose the "custom installation option" and follow the instruction. Just be sure to take backup and wipe clean the partition you are using for clean installation.


Upgrading to Windows 8 Developer Preview


1. Load the DVD into the reader or load the image in Daemons tools.


2. You will get a autoplay notification. Run the setup.
If you don't get autoplay notification, just go to the drive containing Windows 8 DVD/Image in MyComputer, Right click --> Open, and run the setup.




Windows Installer has stopped working!!


Caution: On Windows Vista machines, you might get an error saying,  "Windows Installer has stopped working". This is a identified problem and there is a solution. You just need to open the DVD contents, locate and open the "Sources" folder and find and run the "installprep" file instead of the setup file. Go to the link for details.


http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/aec79420-56bb-4a5c-b1c8-1030b2e77d23




Caution 2: There is one more problem that I encountered and that you might also encounter. It is "Something wrong happened" error. The installation reaches to 30-40 % and fails after giving this message leaving you furious. But don't worry, there is a solution for this also.


Just check the SHA1 hash value of the ISO file you downloaded. It should be 


4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC  for 

Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86)



79DBF235FD49F5C1C8F8C04E24BDE6E1D04DA1E9 for 

Windows Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64)


and

6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF 
for

Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64)



Check this link for more info. 

Let me also answer one obvious question of how to check the SHA1 hash value of ISO file.

How to check the SHA hash value of an ISO file.

Well, I did it this way, Go to this link, Download and Install Hashtab 

After installing, just right click on the ISO file and check the properties.


 You'll see "File Hashes" tab on top. Click on it. It will take some time for the Hash values to generate.



In couple of minutes, you will see the hash values. Just check and compare with the values provided about.



If the hash values mismatch, then download a new copy from the Microsoft link provided above. And repeat the process.
Check this link for more info on Hash values.


That's all about the troubles for now, lets now see how the Windows 8 Developer Preview installation looks like.


Once you have crossed those hurdles, it's a smooth road ahead! ;)

You'll be asked for settings related to upgrades and all. I went ahead with express ones.

Now choose the country, time and keyboard.

Settings done, You can now connect with the Windows Live account in Windows 8, like what you do with a Google account in Android! ;) :) Here, it's a relatively optional step though!

After you are done with filling forms, you get to see the welcome screen and it really is a long road ahead! Lot to explore for you and yet lot to offer for Windows.

After doing a bit of preparing stuff, you witness the start screen which is filled with lots of applications.



So, that's all about the installation of the new Windows 8 Developer Preview. How to explore these options is another long story that is for us to explore. 

Feel free to ask any questions you have or difficulties you are getting. I will try best in my capability to answer that.

Thanks for reading. Namaste!

Monday, September 26, 2011

TRAI’s 100 SMS Per Day Limit



Just got aware of the upcoming 100 SMS per day limit from September 27th, imposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI).  Earlier, it was to begin from February but was postponed then. I was unaware of the ban at that time and today when I heard of the news, my first reaction was “what the hell it is?”
Though the true nature of the ban is still unclear to me as there are various incomplete versions of the news, like for instance

Some say this ban will not be applicable on festive days like Holi and Diwali when you may send more than 100 SMS; while other says users will be mostly hit on these days as we don’t normally send more than 100 messages in a day otherwise.
There is also lack of clarity on are we talking about the bulk SMSs in this ban or the regular SMS as well. I mean, will this ban make telecom companies to convert their unlimited messages per day plan to 100 messages per day and after that the users will be charged according to the normal plan? Or will it simply not allow you to send any more messages after 100 messages.

It is most probably the ban only on the free messages exceeding 100 per day; one cannot be stopped from sending text message otherwise as it will be in direct conflict with the basic “fundamental right” of the freedom of expression of an individual.
Then also, the limit of 100 messages per day looks a bit harsh as a normal teenager, for whom texting is the basic mode of communication, can easily reach such a limit in a day. 

The scene would be clearer in the coming days!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sony SRS D8

Among the newly launched SRS series speakers, SRS D8 is the higher end model. Like the other models in the series, it has one Subwoofer and two Satellite speakers. When compared to other speakers in the series, the power output is significantly higher in SRS-D8.



Let's also see the comparison in terms of specifications.

(Source: Sony India website)

I have compared the sound of all three versions of SRS-Dseries and have found the sound output of D8 significantly better than its peers. If you look at the Subwoofer of SRS D8, there are two outputs for the Bass sound at the bottom which really does their work well. :)



Let us look into some features that catches eye.


  • 60 Watt Power Output (15 + 15 Watt Satellite Speakers, 30 Watt Subwoofer).
  • Separate Bass and Treble control (which is not there is other two models). 
  • Auto Power Off when idle for 25 mins (Turns on automatically when any signal is received).
  • Two Inputs (Mini Jack & RSA).
  • Output for Headphones.
Other specs can be found on official website http://www.sony.co.in/product/srs-d8.

Let us now see the images of the device from all the sides. :)

Front View
Top View

Control Panel on Left Speaker

Front View

Front/Side View Comparison
Back Panel on Left Speaker

Back Panel - Zoomed in



So, this was the overview and the images of the newly launched Sony SRS D8 speaker system. For any technical and functional queries, leave a comment. At the end, I will leave you with a fun unboxing video that I along with my friends have created. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNHw2vsBQYw.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What this place is all about...

Though I don't want to build concrete walls in order to define what this place is for; however, it will contain the information about various gadgets that I get a chance to know about. I would try to tell the story of that gadget in  the most informative way possible and would try to follow it with regular updates and by responding to the queries.