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Being Creative – A Journey

December 3, 2010

The farthest of my memories are a blur, a potpourri of memories which all had one thing in common, me tinkering around with something. My first creation was a potential energy powered toy airplane which used an elastic rubber band, and an ice cream stick. And the next was when we were staying at a hotel, when I decided to get rid of batteries and tap directly into the powergrid and broke off the wired controller (which housed the batteries) and plugged those naked copper wires into the AC power outlet, sparkling a huge spark, and flames. It was an accident, one which I luckily survived to be writing this. But it was also my curiosity that had driven me to search for an alternate power source, for back then I wasn’t in school yet. And my education was plain observation, which still is one of the best education one can ever have if applied properly.

My passion for making things happen was borne out of curiosity and (was) aided by a healthy mind (then). I had attached makeshift missiles to a Toy Robot which I owned, which again used a wired remote. Somehow, got them to launch. All this was before I even joined playschool. Looking back at such memories I can only say that School education has softened my brain, and not otherwise. The media (TV, and others) are mostly useless and do not inspire creativity nor curiosity. And from my observations of people who’ve attained greatness I can safely say that most, if not all of them had come up with ingenious ideas rather than ingenuous ones on their own.

Education is universal, and shouldn’t be limited to what one learns in a classroom, for such education is detrimental to the development of the human brain without proper all round education. The same is true for everything. One needs to look at both sides of the story to know what actually is going in. I’ve had my share of being on both sides of one, and believe me it isn’t easy to comprehend what’s going on until you crossover to the other side to take a look for yourself. For Creativity can be sparked anywhere, in the crapper rather than a research institute!

Ridin’ Solo

December 3, 2010

Like Jason Derulo’s song I’ve begun to ride solo. Time I sprouted my wings and flew out into this brave new world. I’m my best friend, I talk to myself and discuss issues that require immediate attention. I’m loving myself. And so far its been awesome, no blaming others, I’m sick and tired of that. I’m my own Boss, I’m my own employee. I set deadlines myself, I’m the sole employee of my Start up, which would be launched in the near future.

Its awesome getting to know yourself after a long time. I’ve never really spent much time with me. I teach myself, brainstorm wonderful ideas myself. I am Solo.

Overcoming that dreaded block

September 22, 2010

If you’ve been following this blog you would’ve known that there hasn’t been any activity lately, but it isn’t so. I have sat down at times, wanting to write a post about the latest tech/happening/movie/etc that I’m interested about, but usually that ends up not going further than a title and a couple lines of text, cause either something more important creeps up or I just lose track of the post amid the plethora of open tabs (multitasking ain’t exactly my forte) So, as most would say, I did experience that dreaded block — The Writer’s Block, because of which I couldn’t get around to finishing a few articles that I’d promised my mates for the college newsletter, or get on with my scripts/novels, etc.

This entity — the writer’s block, is a curse, a disease which robs us of an ability to express our thoughts in text. And upon constant contemplation I’ve determined the causes for my particular case of the Writer’s block.

Expectations, when this blog was fresh, were nonexistent. I cared less about who would read my blog, posting my thoughts, unmindful of the readership, with no expectation, expecting no credit. It was an outlet of my thoughts, a place where my thoughts could take refuge. A place which my thoughts could call theirs. But as the readership increased expectations grew and I began to doubt myself if I could always meet them, apparently I’d succumbed to this overwhelming pressure. The only solution for this would be to pen down thoughts just for the heck of it, rather than attaining constant applause for a great blog.

Twittering did lead me down this path. Its called Microblogging for a reason and forces us to cramp our thoughts into 140 characters, something which is essentially a detrimental activity for our breed. It takes out many views/angles one might want to express about a particular subject. Once a tweet is posted, that particular thought vanishes from one’s mind, not being an object of constant interest that pricks at the person’s mental state. My thought process always revolves around some particular idea/entity which is extinguished only when I’ve jotted down a few lines and had my share of views on that particular entity. These thought processes stretch from a few hours to days, sometimes even weeks. A prolonged thought process only helps us get various personal views on something, and which contributes to a great if not a mediocre article.

Responsibilities, everyone has them, but the degree of them varies per person. Some take up writing/blogging responsibly, others try to. Its not always that a person can spend time hammering at their keyboards, social commitments, responsibilities, work, etc are bound to drag many a creative person down. One of the reasons why my peak blogging/writing occurs at night. We need to sit back and sort our priorities accordingly, for blogging is a responsibility in itself. We have a responsibility to convey our thoughts in words, just as other artists convey their creativeness in their respective manners.

These should be my weaknesses, the ones which make me a mortal of a blogger :)

Raze down that block folks. You sure as hell can !

P.S. Don’t buy this !

Portable Perfection – An Imperfect Postmortem

September 20, 2010

When one glances upon the ZuneHD, it is impossible to steer yourself away from that beauty, for it oozes with sexiness, and boy oh boy, it is Sexy alright !

And if people can’t remember, Zune makes up only about under 2% of the overall portable media player market share. And why would have Microsoft put in so many efforts and resources to make a iPod Touch killer ? The answer is as plain as daylight. Microsoft doesn’t entire a market unless its sure of what it’s doing, and if its beaten the first time, it comes back again, packing some serious stuff. But has MS emulated its Xbox success story here with the ZuneHD ? It is yet to be seen considering that it has much going for it, but Apple’s device is well placed and priced much more competitively.

Just how competitive is the iPod touch compared to the ZuneHD ? For starters the ZuneHD is actually cheaper when you compare them price-capacity wise, but the iPod Touch has the advantage of having an ocean of Apps, right from the fun yet useless Fart apps to the quintessential Productivity apps. And the iTunes ecosystem is no match for any competitor, moreover the recent upgrade makes it a device of its own, and in many ways, a cellphone radio-deficient iPhone 4; In light of this, MSFT needs to ramp up its Zune software and put out a OSX version and stop alienating Macs ! ZuneHD’s UI which in recent times has been referred to as the Metro UI, which is at its heart a true digital UI. Because it doesn’t mimic the age old 3D physical buttons used in almost all UIs. The fact is even more spelled out cause the work behind it has been a lot. And the result is a drop dead, gorgeous UI that makes us question all the other companies’ efforts !

UI delineations apart, the Zune ecosystem itself is poised and supposed to stand out, cause MS pursues a subscription model built around the wonderful Zune Pass, similar to an all you can eat buffet in a high class hotel to Apple’s efforts which aren’t unlike the traditional Gourmet restaurant fare. While people might swear by their Zune Passes, it just can’t hold a candle to Apple’s behemoth of an App Store! This is one of the facts that MS is looking to rectify by throwing its weight and first party developers behind homegrown mobile development entertainment studios and investing in other 3rd party developers.

But, do applications really determine a device’s worth? Are we overlooking some of the most important facts that goes into the making of a portable product let alone a product that is supposed to be perfect ! Yes, till now we have. One of the most important features are battery life, and how does the ZuneHD hold out against its competitors ?

From my research of averaging most reviews and personal impressions from users, it lies somewhere around 30-33 hours for Audio and 8-9 hours for Video. Although, the stated battery life is true only when used in a power-saver mode, i.e., with the Wifi turned off, and lowered screen brightness (around 5%). MSFT does claim that there are battery life extending techniques, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927710 . Not sure if they really work though !

Now, looking at the Goliath side of the competition, the iPod Touch, Apple advertises the battery life as being 40 hours for Audio and 7 hours for Video. Certainly better figures than the ZuneHD, although debatable since its an official source, and reality usually tends to fall behind official figures, as always.

In closing, I expected a lot more from Microsoft, but unlike the Xbox experience, the phrase “Portable Perfection” is just used as a marketing tagline, and not as the ultimate goal for MSFT’s Zune line of products, for updates are deficient, apps are non-existent ( save for a few ), wavering support, and an uncertain future. I’m gonna have to quote Uncle Ben again, albeit in a different manner,

“With great Hardware, comes a need for great Content”.

For once, MSFT has better hardware, but deficient software and content support, something which I never expected from them. In contrast, Apple might well be laying stake to that tagline in the upcoming years !

Happy New Year Folks !

January 12, 2010

Happy New Year fellas, well its been 12 days since the New Year.  Nevertheless it is a New year and a New Decade too ! Here’s to all the highs & lows in this new year.

Happy New Year 2010

Also, let’s make resolutions that actually matter — either to us as an individual, or to our environment as a constituent !

We need a Telecom Revolution in India

July 25, 2009

3G, the global mobile broadband standard that has quite become a common thing around most part of the world still eludes India. India, supposed to be a growing economy, with its technologically sound citizens, and growing foreign businesses and a booming telecom market still hasn’t adopted 3G yet. With reasons behind its non-adoption being mostly corruption-related and other factors and With the Ministers being busy pocketing our Tax Rupees, it ain’t gonna happen soon.

In a age where 4G technologies are ready for mass-international consumption, tech such as LTE, WiMax has been finalized and is slowly moving out of labs into testing fields. While the rest of the world is getting ready to embrace 4G, we’re yet to experience 3G !

The need of the hour is a Telecom Revolution in India, akin to Reliance’s launch of the Rs. 500 Mobile. Something which forced Nokia and other Mobile Companies to take note of the lower market for mobile phones, and come out with a plethora of stellar handsets for the less fortunate. What we require now is not just the speedy auctioning of the 3G Spectrum but also a crazy revolutionary affordable plan from some Service provider that forces the market to adopt 3G ASAP ! 3G needs to spread like wildfire, for businesses in India are losing thousands of billions of dollars without even realizing that High speed internet is the need of hour and 3G is a goldmine for a ton of services would spring up and thereby increasing the rate of expenditure which would thereby spur the National Economy.

A Revolution in India is overdue, its time its done and bring India out of its current economic shambles !

HTC Hero and how HTC pulled it back from being the real “Hero”

July 25, 2009
Official-HTC-Hero-01It was not long ago, when I’d laid my eyes on the HTC Hero, in fact I believe i’d first seen it on my Opera Mini on my SE W830i, while reading Engadget about Adobe Flash on Mobiles(Cellular Phones). I was not satisfied with what i’d seen, for I am a person who believes in seeing images in all its glory. So, as soon as I’d come home from College, I logged on to interwebs and was stunned on seeing those images in HD !
The Design as we all know, is phenomenal and outstanding ! And I personally love that lil’ Jay Leno Chin that HTC tirelessly slaps on most of its devices. And the UI, was simply outstanding, something that I thought Android would never achieve so soon. HTC had worked on it, and by God, they had made a masterpiece ! I personally sighed upon the previous iterations of Android UI. But by the Heavens, the Hero was simply outstanding, and would deliver us Flash on the go, a dream for many of us. It was a no brainer that there’d be lives lost over this lil fella. But, I had grown fearful, for the Hardware specifications were not known by then (at least not to me). But now after a few reviews and after the Hardware Specs were revealed, my worst fears had come true. HTC had worked tirelessly on its UI, but failed to think of the Hardware it would require, and just slapped a tried and tested hardware config, that just worked !
While it might be reasonable that HTC was not pinning all its hopes on this, an Android device, which just started as a side project while it had been busy polishing WinMo devices. For HTC, Android was an experiment, to see how the market would react to a new MobileOS. But they were the first to support a infant OS and nevertheless, did work on it. But at the back of their mind, they just couldn’t think of an Android device as their Flagship model. For they are and have been staunch WinMo aficionados. And While HTC has succeeded in bringing their innovations to Android, they have failed their new small, but rapidly growing legion of Android fans. While the tech community is quick to label a touchscreen device a “iPhone Killer”, this device could very well have been just that ! But it just fell short, thanks to HTC.
Here’s to hoping that upcoming Android devices from HTC be more powerful in the Hardware front as well. For there’s not a lot that Mobile Flash & a stunning UI & awe-inspiring design can help when the hardware is not powerful enough.
For me the Hero will always be the love that never was meant to be !

Official-HTC-Hero-01

It was not long ago, when I’d laid my eyes on the HTC Hero, in fact I believe i’d first seen it on my Opera Mini on my SE W830i, while reading Engadget about Adobe Flash on Mobiles(Cellular Phones). I was not satisfied with what i’d seen, for I am a person who believes in seeing images in all its glory. So, as soon as I’d come home from College, I logged on to interwebs and was stunned on seeing those images in HD !

The Design as we all know, is phenomenal and outstanding ! And I personally love that lil’ Jay Leno Chin that HTC tirelessly slaps on most of its devices. And the UI, was simply outstanding, something that I thought Android would never achieve so soon. HTC had worked on it, and by God, they had made a masterpiece ! I personally sighed upon the previous iterations of Android UI. But by the Heavens, the Hero was simply outstanding, and would deliver us Flash on the go, a dream for many of us. It was a no brainer that there’d be lives lost over this lil bugger. But, I had grown fearful, for the Hardware specifications were not known by then (at least not to me). But now after a few reviews and after the Hardware Specs were revealed, my worst fears had come true. HTC had worked tirelessly on its UI, but failed to think of the Hardware it would require, and just slapped a tried and tested hardware config, that just seemed to work !

While it might be reasonable that HTC was not pinning all its hopes on this, an Android device, which just started as a side project while it had been busy polishing WinMo devices. For HTC, Android was an experiment, to see how the market would react to a new MobileOS. But they were the first to support an infant OS and nevertheless, did work on it. But at the back of their mind, they just couldn’t think of an Android device as their Flagship model. For they are and have been staunch WinMo aficionados. And While HTC has succeeded in bringing their innovations to Android, they have failed their new small, but rapidly growing legion of Android fans. While the tech community is desperate for that elusive “iPhone Killer”, this device could very well have been just that ! But it fell short, thanks to HTC.

Its unacceptable that HTC didn’t even consider putting in a better Processor, and just decided to throw in a Qualcomm MSM7200A, which is the same chip that the Touch Diamond 2, the Magic and the Galaxy sport. While it may seem sufficient for most operations it does fall short of delivering a full stutter free experience, a SoC akin to what the Pre and the 3Gs have might have been a better decision on HTC’s part. But as I’d said, they couldn’t just think of an Android device as a Flagship model of theirs.

Here’s to hoping that upcoming Android devices from HTC be more powerful in the Hardware front as well. For there’s not a lot that Mobile Flash & a stunning UI & awe-inspiring design can help when the hardware is not powerful enough. HTC doesn’t quite realize Uncle Ben’s quote that,

“With great Software, Comes the need for great Hardware”

For me the Hero will always be the love that never was meant to be !

htchero

sense_hero

P.S: Just to showcase the Widget UI of the Hero, I’ve included a few more pics. Please note that the Teflon coating (a first for Mobile Phones) is only on the White version of this Phone.

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