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  • Transferring contacts to your iPhone

    Posted on July 21st, 2007 Sandeep 7 comments

    I was using a Nokia 6680 phone for the last few months. When I got the iPhone, I realized that transferring contacts to it is a two-step process: first, I had to transfer all the contacts on the Nokia 6680 onto my Windows Address Book (over Bluetooth, thankyouverymuch), then I had to fire up iTunes to sync them to the iPhone.

    That’s wrong. That’s so friggin’ wrong. What is Apple’s rationale in not including something as basic as the OBEX profile with Bluetooth? Are we to use Bluetooth only with a wireless headset and nothing more? Or was it something forced down Apple’s throat by AT&T?

    By the way, I did not return the iPhone. I am holding on to it for just a bit longer. There are various reasons, but I’m not going into the details – maybe some other time, but it’s definitely not because I am convinced with it.

  • The iPhone: Yes, I bought it… No, I am planning to return it soon

    Posted on July 6th, 2007 Sandeep 3 comments

    Classic Russ.

    Yes, I got an iPhone. I have until July 15 to return it. All preliminary tests indicate that I will be returning it before that date. Too many first-version bugs to make it a usable phone, I am better off using the Nokia N73 that’s on its way from Bangalore ;)

    Apple iPhone

    I guess I’m too much of a Nokia fan. The big plus points of the iPhone are, of course, the iTunes integration, large screen and touch screen interface. But I am too slow when it comes to typing on its QWERTY keyboard. Also, the music player (or “iPod application if you will) sometimes crashes for no apparent reason when browsing the web on Safari.

    Thanks to the large screen, rendering on Safari is pretty good. I don’t have my Wi-Fi router with me yet, so I have been using AT&T’s EDGE network (reportedly giving me around 150 kbps). It drains the battery a lot faster than I imagined (it must be all the YouTube videos I’m watching).

    Other hiccups include slower app switching – you have to hit the Home screen and open another application to switch between running applications. So far, there seems to be no alternate way of doing it. Heck, there’s no way to transfer contact information over Bluetooth. Or download files from the web.

    I am on a pre-paid plan and just yesterday canceled my auto-refill option. The only one thing that’s keeping me from returning it is that I could cancel my AT&T plan and continue to use it as an iPod/Wi-Fi device for browsing. It definitely doesn’t justify the price (I paid $549.79 for a 4GB iPod) to use it as a developer test bed. Let’s see, I still have more than a week to decide if this will end up in my pocket or go back to the Fifth Avenue store where I bought it.

  • Canon DC40 DVD Camcorder

    Posted on November 17th, 2006 Sandeep 1 comment
    Canon DC40

    So I finally succumbed to the Canon DC40 DVD camcorder. It features a 4.3 megapixel CCD and a nice widescreen LCD. If recording in widescreen HR (hi-res) mode, the camera apparently uses the entire width of the image sensor for true 16:9 widescreen images. Now, I don’t have a compatible TV to try it out (mine doesn’t even have audio/video inputs – it’s ancient).

    I haven’t had time to play around with it a lot, apart from a couple of hours at a friend’s wedding. I must say I was impressed at the video quality. Low-light videos turned out to be grainy – a bit of a downer there – but it was not all that bad. At high quality, I managed about 19 minutes of video on a mini (3″) DVD disc that’s around 1.4GB in capacity. I’m using DVD-RWs and initializing them exclusively to VR mode, although I don’t have a VR-compatible DVD player. (Which doesn’t really matter if you read that bit about my TV).

    You can also take digital still photos, and the DC40 comes with 9-point Ai-AF (auto intelligent auto-focus) which proved to be surprisingly useful. Again, I did not play around with it a lot. The Canon website and manual list several features that look neat.

    More soon, I promise.

  • ReviewMe

    Posted on November 17th, 2006 Sandeep No comments

    Sponsored Post! (I think)

    ReviewMe is advertising done right. It’s the missing link between companies that need to reach out to potential customers and blog authors. For the companies, it’s giving something for bloggers that they would love to write about, while at the same time get an early feedback and traffic even. This is just about ideal for new entrants in the market.

    If you are a company, there’s no definite way of saying a particular blogger will be interested in reviewing your product. ReviewMe solves this problem by giving the blogger the freedom to choose your product.

    The review does not have to be “positive” – ReviewMe’s FAQ clearly states that they do not allow advertisers to require a positive review from the bloggers – it’s a fair system.

    In the end, the bloggers get paid. For writing about something they like. Definitely a better alternative to Adsense, if you have a small readership.

    Getting onto the ReviewMe bandwagon as a blogger is easy: simply create a profile, select a mode of payment (PayPal or check) and provide your blog’s URL. ReviewMe has to first accept your blog, of course. This depends on a differerent factors like blog citations, subscribers and traffic.

    Heck, they even have a US $25,000 giveaway – if your blog is accepted, the first review offered is one of ReviewMe itself. What are you waiting for? Join in the fun.

  • Mozilla Calendar

    Posted on June 3rd, 2005 Sandeep No comments

    I recently installed Mozilla Calendar extension for Firefox.

    It has a clean interface, and since it’s a Firefox extension, you have to first install Firefox and then install Calendar; if you’d rather be content with IE or another browser, you might also be interested in Sunbird, the stand-alone version of Calendar. I probably would’ve liked it more if it just opened as another tab (or even a small button that opens a new tab like the Gmail notifier) in the Firefox window. Right now, it opens in a separate window and it has to stay open for you to get your reminders/alarms/etc.

    The day/week/month views are all there, but the year view is missing. Unless you are my type (i.e. forgetful), you may not really want that last one, eh?

    One neat thing about it is the webDAV support allowing you to share your calendar with others, much like how you can with MS Outlook and Exchange. I couldn’t try out this feature myself as don’t have access to such a server. Right now it doesn’t have sync capabilities with Palm. Heck, I don’t want support for Palm; Symbian support is sufficient for me :-)

    As usual, you have themes to beautify your calendar.

  • Yahoo! Messenger Beta

    Posted on June 2nd, 2005 Sandeep 2 comments

    Just noticed this cool feature in the new Y! Messenger beta: when you type in a long series of digits (about 8 or more, I think), this gets displayed as a hyperlink in the chat window. When you click on it, you get options like “Send Text Message” and “Save to Address Book.”

    Very neat!

  • Yahoo! Messenger beta

    Posted on April 28th, 2004 Sandeep 4 comments

    Yahoo! has come up with a beta version of their IM software. It’s available for download from http://messenger.yahoo.com/beta.

    First impressions
    Nice make-up! Yahoo took out the older interface and replaced it with a very nice looking one. (Of course, if you prefer the former, you can switch back to that – it’s now a skin).

    The integrated address book has improved. Now you can IM, SMS, mail or call your friend at the click of a button (you may need some time to find the button, though).

    One much needed feature was the ability to show yourselves as “Online” to a select group, while still being “Offline” to others. This has been added in the form of “Stealth Mode”, where you can select only those friends who can “see” you online.

    Radio
    We also have integrated radio, thanks to LAUNCHcast Radio. Not all stations are available, of course – many are exclusive to LAUNCHcast Plus, a paid service. It’s worth a go if you are really into music (and bloating up your ‘net bills), IMHO. And when you are listening to the radio, you can have the artist/song shown in your status, allowing others to tune in to the same station if required. I pretty much liked this feature.

    There’s better integration with your mobile now – if you sign out of the messenger but still wish to chat with your friends, you can sign in from your mobile device. Check “Preferences > General” for this option. Simply click on the “Edit mobile device” button, enter the necessary details and you’re done.

    You can invite a friend to play games online. My list of multi-player games includes Chess, Pearl Hunter, Word Racer, Checkers and Dominoes (I haven’t yet tried out anything). What else? Hmm… oh wait, the drop-down where you select your current online status is now moved to the top, just below the menu.

    Conclusion
    Overall, it looks good, although it is a little bloated for an IM. I selected the bare minimum install and that came with a 4.77 MB download. I’d give it a 6.5/10.