Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Packing a Punch-The Lenovo Ideapad Y560

I was recently given an opportunity to try and use one of lenovo's multimedia centric notebooks,the Ideapad Y560.In general people pericieve the Ideapads as inferior to the other offering from Lenovo - the Thinkpad series.But the Ideapads have come a long way from being an Essential series to a Multimedia and feature rich offering.When I only started using this notebook did I realise that indeed it is a heavyweight to reckon with in terms of performance and meets the consumer's day to day multi tasking and media demands.But first let us look at what this powerful machine has gotta offer

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 740 @ 1.73GHz (With 4 processing cores)
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB (DDR3 at 1333MHZ)
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 with 1GB of dedicated graphics memory
500 GB HDD plus inclusion of Intel's rapid storage technology(Lenovo calls this rapid drive)

The inclusion of a highend core i7 processor just makes the package a lot sweeter.Combine all of the above with a 15.6 inches HD screen and you get one of the best multimedia experiences.Performance wise the Ideapad sails through standard benchmark tests including Sisoft sandra and PC mark.The Windows experience Index should give us a basic idea on what to expect from the system

The Intel CPU is undoubtedly the stellar performer here,you can clearly see that it has a score of 7.1(7.9 has been the highest score given by Windows to a CPU)

Aesthetics wise the Ideapads offer covers with self design that give it a new funky look.They come in black and other colors depending upon the Ideapad family you have choosen.Mine came with a design which represents a snow flake theme and it has been one of the nicest things Ive seen till date :)

This notebook also has an ATI Radeon 5730 HD premium graphics GPU.Therefore I wanted to see if it could run some high octane games like Eracer or Need for speed most wanted.Both the games rendered very well at 1024X600 display resolution.

The 15.6 inches LED glare has a very bright output and a good colour production when compared to regular notebook screens out there

Among other things I am a regular user of Linux.The ATI GPU rendered some advanced desktop composition effects which are generally not supported by its regular contemporaries.As a fun factor,I wanted to take this feature for a spin and it worked out pretty well.

The speakers which come with the notebook are JBL certified and come incorporated with Dolby Home Theater experience.The laptop is Lenovo enhanced experience certified which means it will boot 66% faster than the other notebooks.The inclusion of a TV tuner and a Blue ray drive add some muscle to its Multimedia capabilities. People who are looking out for a full fledged Cinematic experience in a notebook can try this one.Its worth the money you put in....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grappling with Analytics and SEO

The first time I heard this Jargon was during my Internship days at Ogilvy last year.While I tried to understand the underlining advantage of it at that time,it became clear by the end of my short stint that it matters the most when your are trying to understand about your site's audience and increase the sales as a result.My interest in the same did not stop until I wanted to see how it really works or is it worth something which I can learn.

To start tinkering with this concept I needed a website on which I could practice the various know hows I get to learn.I Could not buy my own domain so instead started to see if something can be learnt if I try the same with my own blog.
Unfortunately still does not support Java script snippets due to security issues,so I had to Google a bit to find an alternative one.All this was to just see how far of the blog was able to reach in the Blogosphere.

Along with Analytics, SEO has also been an area of interest only to learn it practically rather than optimizing it for the sake of Search Engine Queries.Last year I found a pretty good site which would provide me the type of audience who see my blog from various geographies.

The site has a clean looking Dashboard UI based on AJAX and presents the site statistics depending on our time frame selection

As time progressed more and more features were added to site some of them informative and some of them just useless.The traffic trend analysis report shows the cumulative number of hits for a time frame.Good one if you only want to see how well your blog reaches on the information superhighway.

Then there is also the data on number of unique visitors visiting the site.It also includes the number of times your site has been translated into a regional or local language according to the audience's choice .A good addition if the site is found to be interesting and as a result a translation is performed.

Some features though I found to be too lousy,why the heck would I ever want to know what kind of browsers of OS the audience are using? The numbers give what we already know in general,looks like more number of users are using Windows 7 followed by XP and 64bit Linux.

Would have loved to use Google analytics but WordPress has no support for that!!!I am still learning the very basics of SEO and perhaps when I am ready will buy a domain for a limited time and then start to test my knowledge once again.All of this is to learn something which I found to be amusing last year!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Microsoft PDC at India Development Center – Hyderabad

After attending the Community Tech days earlier this year,I got a chance to be at the very same place once again to attend PDC Nights at the India Development center in Hyderabad.What is so unique about this year's PDC is that Microsoft has taken a different way of interacting with Developers working on Microsoft's platform and MVP's by conducting it simultaneously at various places all over the world with 30,000 participants.

Before we could start watching the Live PDC stream from Redmond,We interacted with the head of the Mobile Application platform.It was also a good chance to interact with some my fellow MVP's who like me were attending a Microsoft event for the first time.

After watching Steve Ballmer's keynote,it was time to take note of Microsoft's latest offering in the Mobile ecosystem,the Windows Phone7.It remains to bee seen how the Windows phone 7 will be received,but since there are loads of developers out there who already work on Visual Studio, Apple's Iphone might be facing a strong competitor in terms of app development.Some cool apps which were created for the windows phone 7 were demonstrated.Also included in the demos were how to develop an app by using a Visual Studio Express edition for Windows Phone 7 by using a live Emulator of the Windows Phone.

The main focus of Microsoft other than the Mobile and Windows platforms has been the cloud.The inclusion of a Cloud computing platform in its portfolio completes the trivia of Technology platforms.Cloud computing on its part reaches far and wide across the boundaries and it certainly has a promising future for SME's and Corporations who cannot afford or maintain large number of Data Centers of their own.An interesting example was demonstrated in this regard.Pixar studios which requires exponential computing capabilities utilized the Windows Azure platform to render their animation sequences.The Pixar head also mentioned that If they had to rely on rendering a 1140 frame sequence on todays single processing machines,it would take them approximately 124 years to complete the rendering sequence! On the the other hand since the Cloud computing platform is scalable in nature,it provides the same rendering and completes it in approximately 2 hours.

According to Microsoft today's cloud computing environments have 3 main services in the offering.The well known SaaS(Software as a service),Platform as a service(SQL server Azure,Virtual Machine hosting,Visual studio),Infrastructure as a service(Data center computing power as explained in Pixar's case)

For now we have seen how Amazon's EC2,Microsoft's Azure and Ubuntu's One service have come out.These are certainly interesting times and more such scalable technologies may bring number crunching computing to affordable levels

It was fun to be at the event,I am still a noob at Visual studio and stuff but may want to learn more as and when I interact with more number of people along the way...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sights and Sounds of the Indian Railways…

Ogilvy and Mather was recently approached by the Indian Railways to release an ad about its connection with the common man as the preferred mode of transport across the length and breadth of the country.What's amazing was that a public sector unit which has virtual monopoly over rail transport in the country was trying to send out the message of the Human connection which the railways has had with most of the people

Although the timing of the campaign had coincided with the commonwealth Games,this has been long overdue.The railways had never promoted itself as the preferred choice of the aam aadmi (The common man).It has always been the preferred choice! With the little time in their hands,a sensible ad which touches the very basic Human way of living has been produced.

Being one of the millions of aam aadmi this is what I have experienced so far as a frequent traveler on the Indian Railways

Unlike for other countries where Rail transport is just another way of public transport,for many Indians it has always been the part and parcel of their life.A friend of mine once compared his life to train,I really liked his thoughts so will share the same thing here!

He says and I Quote "Life is like a train,many people come and go as you pass but there there is only one engine for my train".What he meant to say was that only his future better half can lead along with him in his life while all the others might just be lame passengers :)

Among other things during a train travel you come across interesting encounters from different sections of the society, Entrepreneurs,Small scale business men,IT guys and what not!.Since the last two months I have been experiencing more of such encounters where discussions go abuzz once you get acquainted with you co-passengers.They can go for hours together.You may meet the same person again on the same train at times...If things go pretty well you may even end up keeping in touch with some people just like what we do nowadays in all those social networking sites...this one though I would prefer to call Rail networking :D.

Let me give an example of this.Last year I was travelling to Bangalore for an Internship program at the Ogilvy-Lenovo marketing hub.Now I was not advertising guy to go there but my mind told me that it would be a very good learning experience.Lucky enough while on the train an HR was sitting in front of me and from what I noticed was observing my body language(Dunno why! :D).I at once confirmed the same and asked her on how PR firms work and whether she could help me in correcting any structural mistakes in my resume(I was a freshman out of my bachelors).She had 6 years worth of experience in resume making so it was my luck day indeed haha!Her insights about my career objectives and my resume were truly valuable!

What I realized is that not only people per se but even the entertainment Industry(Bollywood to be precise)leverages on the popularity of the railways... there are many Instances of these, the most recent one being Slum Dog Millionaire.In one way or another in the form of a song or a dance the Railways has maintained that unique distinction of Indirect promotion platform!

The Hero and Heroine meeting between the two very trains every day....

Wanna Dance on the train??!!
The Academy award winning song at Mumbai's Victoria Terminus

The railways are also chaotic and unpredictable at times.There are hawkers who have their own business to run on the train selling everything from Snacks,Cookies and Indian Junk Food to Coca Cola and the like.Travel by any early morning train and you will get piping hot coffee/Tea and newspapers as well! During festive times face nightmares in the morning,chaos in the stations where millions and millions travel to their native places...People jostle to find a seat..why so? 17000 trains are not enough for 1 billion people!The lucky chaps who get a seat involve in conversations and the unlucky ones simply have to bear the brunt of standing(Happened loads of time with me but only used to stand for 3 hours).This is when an a new hobby started from my side an amateurish hobby --Photography.While they may not be of any standard it is a good thing to pass your time(other than reading a book while standing)
[caption id="attachment_743" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Rows and Rows of green paddy fields,nothing but thick monsoon clouds hovering ahead!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_746" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="One of those times when you get place to stand only near the doors,good time to capture the monsoon clouds and the sun fighting it out... "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_747" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="How can Max-New York life Insurance become a household name?Use the Railways of course!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="A clear and sunny day would give you loads of time to enjoy the country side.."][/caption]

Ive got some small dreams If I can call them to cherish with respect to the railways

1)Visit the Grand Central station in NewYork
2)Travel by the Eurostar,The French TGV and mostly the German ICE.I only ponder sometimes If I can go and visit or experience any one of these in my life...only time will tell...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crossing Major Milestones on the Information SuperHighway

Its been more than 11 years since Ive been using the Internet.I just completed my school and was entering my 11th grade,it was the very same time that my sister was provided with the first PC in our family.A compaq presario.As I shared in my earlier blogposts,I was more enthusiastic at times than my sister to learn all the fundas of a PC and I did learn them very well by trial and error methods.An internet connection was still a distant dream even when the rest of the world was already racing ahead. Subsidized and cheap connections were not available ,and the only dialup connections from some private players were too costly to fit the bill.

We got  a plethora of cd's with the compaq pc, one of which was a Dialup connection software from a private ISP.That was the very first time I was looking at an ISP package,or rather an Internet connection kit.I never putup a dialup before,that ISP had no service in my town unless I connected to it using an external dial in number.But I did tinker with the ISP kit,enabling the internet connection without the knowledge of my parents(Especially my mother!.Parents were still stereotypic in thinking that the internet was a bad place to fumble upon unlpleasant things at that age :) ).What I never knew was that we would  be charged in terms of telephonic calls rather than the number of hours we used the line...the result :- Even the telephone department was  surprised as to how we were making so many calls everyday :D.

We got a huge bill that month,I could only imagine what a  silly thing  I had done by using that ISP.There ended the matter of using an internet connection in my home! For the next 4 years a weekly visit to the nearest Internet cafe became my habit.I was so regular that the owner was generous enough to let me use his system for free at times when I had to chat on yahoo.. dunno how much I spent but my mother who had become conspicuous about my fondness towards the internet ultimately decided to apply for a broadband connection at home.Thank goodness the rates had fallen drastically by that time!Suddenly the internet  was available to at a reasonable price.Dialup connections were a thing of the past and I started to utilise it by learning about the tech world in particular be it he PC,mobile or the cloud itself.

Two years ago,I stumbled upon something during my random Internet searches.I screwed  my Lenovo desktop and wanted a quick solution for the same.A Google search landed me on the Lenovo community and since then I have never looked back.I say this because this has been one of the worthiest things I have ever done through the internet.Reaching out to my fellow users regardless of  the boundaries helping them with their tech problems.

All long the way I made new friends from various timezones across the world,learned about various cultures,ethics and beliefs.The so called "Digital divide" had been bridged! at least in my case.During the last two years of my bachelors I was hooked on to the internet,it was around 3 in the morning one day when I was still awake sitting before my PC.I had become a nocturnal person by then...All of a sudden my mother was at my side looking curiously at the screen on what I was doing at that early time.Among other things customer collaboration was one of my regular activity. I did not hesitate to explain what the forums were all about and how I was simply not wasting my time but was trying to do my bit of help.Pat came the response to which I was pleasantly surprised!.She was happy to see me helping out others... This was my first recognition of using the internet in a positive way from my mother and as a result my first major milestone

Blogging has been another case which I truly believe has brought maturity about my perception towards the Internet.During an interaction with the forum's senior member I realized that Blogs were indeed a platform to let the world to know about you,whatever you felt was good enough to share.Blogs also meant that I could express myself to the more broader audience of the Blogosphere and the rest of the Internet as well..So i started writing on random thoughts and rambling about things which mattered to me the most... This has been the second most importance milestone I crossed on the InformationSuper Highway..

Today at 24 I sometimes analyze how I started with this wonderful invention and how I am leveraging on it to my own advantage of Gaining and Sharing knowledge.Knowledge is power!Knowledge is divine!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Art of choosing…

Two weeks ago,I was going through a couple of videos I had stored in my desktop.A friend of mine who is pursuing  his MBA shared them with me explaining that they were very informative and knowledgeable.That video was about Walmart and how it was  controlling the  prices across  the range right from the productivity price.Then I remembered that those videos were from TED talks....

People from across spectrum's  sharing their ideas...looked like a great site to explore!And then I came across one video,by Sheena Iyengar.I was particulary interested in her talk after I checked her profile.An expert on choices Sheena Iyyengar's speech on the effect of making choices was one of a kind I  had ever come across.When it comes to choice during shopping, I am usually a dumb fella,unlike my brother who is very choosy and generally takes loads of time to finish his selections.

Although  being choosy while shopping is no big deal for me(I just pick out stuff randomly which attracts my eye at the first instance),there were certain incidents though, which made me to "think" and select.One such an incident happened this year in march,when I was lucky enough to obtain a certain product to use on a long term loan.When I as given a long list of choices from which I could choose from,the first thing which came to my mind  goodness! really!!!!

Because most of the products in the list were truely out my finanical range....and then I began to think..hmmm which one should I pick?Shall I just take in the most expensive item on the list since it was been given to use for a limited time  but free use?Or do I have to pickup something which really reflect my  budget range in case I could buy one of those in the near future.. At that time I had still not heard of sheena but when I watched her video,this incident came like a bolt in my head

My choice then had converged on the basis of things which I wanted to explore  and which I used to ponder while I was a in high school(I was crazy about computers then!).

[caption id="attachment_711" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My choice was based on my desires and enthusiasm "][/caption]

Just think about it people,If you get something you always desired wouldn't  that effect the way you think?wouldn't that make you to set your goals in order to use and enjoy certain desires in your life which you wanted the most?(If you were still in the initial stages of your career of course!).In the end my choice of selecting something which I cherished was based on my desire to use something new,something different which people around me generally do not use.This perception lead me to overshadow the initial thinking of mine where I was clearly looking to get reflected in terms of my own financial might.

Making a choice may also depend on cultural  demographics.Some choices which I made or may make in the future may effect my family or friends in certain aspects.Should I take them into account or should I follow which my mind tells me and not my brain?I am not seriously thinking about those choices right now but I do not want get into a situation where Keanu Reeves gets to decide between the two doors in the "The matrix" (Add AI+karma and you get navras haha)

Some choices which I took may not bear fruit right now but may have a longterm productive result.I only hope what ever I choose is to the best of my abilities and strengths!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Porting KDE Apps to Windows

This never came to my mind before,trying to run KDE apps on windows!.But a friend put the same question on twitter.Thats when I thought to try out .Although I was aware of such a project long ago,the lack of an Internet connection at that time did not allow me to test how this works out.

KDE has never been my choice as a desktop environment in Linux.Even after KDE started the oxygen project with fancy new themes and glossy icons,I was still not convinced of switching to KDE.Gnome is still my preferred Environment

But porting KDE apps to windows?Whoa that was something which I wanted to tinker with!Initially I thought the whole process might end up like the Wubi Experience with Ubuntu,but as it turns out...the native look and feel of KDE is still there(All those Oxygen based Icon sets)but it works like a charm in Vista too.I tried the whole thing on a Thinkpad X200 tablet running Windows Vista business 32bits.

The initial setup involves selecting the proxy settings enabling the KDE installer to connect to the respective repositories.The download and installation of the packages might depend on the number of  apps you want to install and the speed of your connection

Note: To get full size images,please click on them

[caption id="attachment_688" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Initial setup"][/caption]

After detecting the proxy settings,the installer continues to the package selection.There are a plethora of apps available.Most of them games and office utilities.

[caption id="attachment_689" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="package selection"][/caption]

Mine is a 256Kbps ADSL connection,so it took about 2 hours  to install 490 MB worth of packages.Enough time for me to watch a bollywood blockbuster or 3 episodes of Alias back to back!The download was complete and the apps were installed into the default directory (Documents folder).

[caption id="attachment_690" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Installation"][/caption]

After the installation is complete you will notice that the apps have been neatly organized/placed into windows explorer.The start menu shows them under various categories depending upon their usage.This is really good,something which I have not found in Windows apps running on Wine.

The other good thing about this is that you still get the Native Windows Aero.Atleast you dont have to sacrifice the original theme of the host OS.On the other hand people familiar with Wine will notice how ugly the UI is of any Windows app running on Linux.All of this depends of course on the compiler on which these apps have been designed to work on.The MinGW compiler is a cross platform and opensource system based on GCC.It can be used to create apps to run on Windows and Linux.Best example of this is the Firefox browser.

The only thing which I liked about the newer versions of KDE was the oxygen theme set.Something which has been incorporated into this app.From KDE 4.0 onwards dolphin has been the default file manager.And running in conjuntion with Oxygen theme just gives it the perfect finish.(More polished then the simplistic Gnome)

As you will notice from the next image,the Oxygen theme is more of a macitosh thrown in with a glossy finish.There is a real time folder preview here too very nice!Just taking the mouse over a particular folder shows a collage of pictures on the right

[caption id="attachment_696" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Dolphin manager running Oxygen"][/caption]

As mentioned earlier,I never seriously used KDE.All this was done due to curiosity.The one thing which I always liked about KDE have been its bundled games.They are not memory hogging or heavy games,but the more rudimentary ones like board and card games,puzzles and some other teaser games.There was no dearth for those here!.Those who want to pass their time with them have plenty of choices.Here are some more screenshots of my favourite KDE games.

[caption id="attachment_698" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="bejwelled on KDE"][/caption]

Not only games,but Konqueror the default web browser of the KDE runs very well too!Looks like KDE is doing a good job than what people at Wine are doing...

Has anyone of you tried to run KDE on Windows?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Check out DAY 820

Title: DAY 820

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Funny and interesting Ads

First the Top10 superbowl cmmericals for 2010.This link was shared by my friend Dinesh

This one is from Bingo chips with chili flavor.The whole Idea of the product  has been wonderfully executed

Parents can have stereotypic thoughts some times,this one a life insurance ad leverages on that!

Bollywood's superstar saif ali khan featuring in a Lenovo Ad

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monsoon sounds and chirpings

The monsoon rains this year have many surprises.Its been heavily raining for the past 36 hours as I write and farmers who are about to grow cotton may face flash floods(Last time it was drought and heat due to the failure of the monsoons) which made a hole to their pockets,this time its the rains.(The unexpected bursts coming down from the heavens)

There is the  plunk plunk plunk, heavy sometimes but with full of force.The Met department announces a tropical cyclone but alas not much as a hour of rainfall last week!Otherwise its been a heavy kinda monsoon.If you are living in places such as Bangalore or Bombay get ready for an unpredictable burst of rain!.

Unpredictability happened in my native place last week on the 4th.After 5.30 PM I saw a huge souffle of clouds  gathering over the area on my birthday.I was planning for a house party with some few friends left here including my juniors from the college.A cold wind was making its move and the situation in the sky sounded as if Dementors were flying over the area

The weather was turning murkier as time passed by.I was still wondering if there  would be that small and cosy Birthday bash.It always happens during my Birthday dunno why!do clouds love me Is that the reason they all are over my home?Or do they hate me and they want to spoil my evening?!I will never know,mom always says that my Birthday is jinxed and thats the reason it rains heavily where ever I go on that day.It happens most of the times during shopping too.Who knows it might be for real!

Day transcended to night before I could see the twilight in the horizon.The dark clouds above  always ignite  some stupid speculations in my brain.Will there be a power cut?Will there be a Low voltage?Or will I have to face something which I fear?I wont tell what I am fearful of for it can bring laughter to most of you!There were more clouds by 6.00 and it certainly looked like they were ready for an attack!

The evening was melancholy.There was no birthday bash!Reason?POWER CUT POWER CUT! All I could do was sit and watch my favorite show Alias(Not the first time!).The rain started pouring in pitter-patter.By early next day in the morning it was raining heavily.It was not pouring  at all till midnight the day before.(Even though there were heavy clouds)

The first thing I did was to start harvesting the rain water for a dried bore well in my home which was more than 100feet in depth. Rejuvenating  the almost dry bore well was the top priority given the scarcity of water we face after every summer.Once upon a time Warangal was a pleasant place to live,there were no water problems as the ground water was aplenty.These days there are more number of apartments and building coming up-exhausting the water table.

I followed a simple methodology.First I took a 2liters ka 7UP bottle,made it into half and put the one with the neck in the drain fixed to a pipe.

The other end of the pipe was put into the an empty borewell beside the regular one which we use.It was just a blind calculation of mine that water will rejuvenating   soon enough.But it did not happen for another 2 weeks.Yesterday I noticed there was enough water to be pumped into the overhead tank.Looks like this technique is working very well!

Unexpected Guests :

For the past 10 days or so due to the heavy rains 2 guests have been doing the rounds inside the home for fulfilling their own agenda!At first I thought,God these poor things must have come inside by mistake due to the heavy rains!But nooo they have come here after actively surveying for home for 8 days!yes 8 days!My mom told me that the tiny sparrows have been our guests inside for the past 8 days!

The two sparrows resting  on the fan

The   birdies started flying in from the back door of the house,into the hall and back outside again in a jiffy.So this is what they have been doing for the past 8 days... surveillance!. I wondered how merrily they were enjoying their new abode right under my dog's nose!Then yesterday they came back again in the afternoon and they did the expected action.Trying to build a nest they were those puny birdies inside my home!!!

The other one as you can see below decided to "check-in" into the upper part of another fan!

[caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="You can see the bird but only as a spec."][/caption]

They started bringing in the materials even if it was raining.Looks like our house is a safe heaven for them.The two of them became immune to the barks of my dog and are  flying in everyday in the afternoons.I am not going to sit and watch what happens,I was just observing how other beings create an alternate source of  protection when their own one is endangered(Due to the monsoons)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Intel MeeGo on Ideapad S10-2

Last month I got a chance to see what Intel and Nokia were up to.Forging their technologies together,The Moblin and the Maemo OS were combined into a single platform targeting Mobile users and Net books.Called MeeGo it has been doing the rounds for quite some time now on the cloud,and  the early builds available look quite promising.

While I as going through the  MeeGo website,I fortunately found the Lenovo Ideapad S10 to be under the Hardware compatability list.Being an opensource enthusiast I downloaded the Image on the same day and copied it into a thumbdrive.Since its a '.img" file we will need to use a thirdparty tool to push the image into the thumbdrive.More installation instructions here

[caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="MeeGo's clean and no nonsense background"][/caption]

The boot took about 30 seconds to get into the desktop(While using it with the Live USB).The interface is intuitive and quite simplistic in my opinion.

Navigation must not be a problem since its almost analogous to tabbed browsing.What really interested me was the social media connect apps which come with the OS itself.Much like gwibber in Ubuntu(But quite responsive).It also has a new feature I have not seen on any other platform called "Myzone" .Basically it shows previews of all the social media connect updates Including web,twitter and IM in a single page.

The default my zone was empty when I first using the OS but things started showing up as I used twitter and the internet.Look how the default zone is in the beginning

After some social media tinkering It ends up something like this.Nice!

Another simple thing of MeeGo is the switching of applications .While most Linux geeks would love to use desktop composition and compiz to get a nice and  eye candy app switching experience,MeeGo takes the simple way.How? It has another tab / feature called "zones".Its similar to the myzone feature I mentioned earlier but this once is used to switch between various apps.The default screen for  Zones looks something like this

After you open multiple applications and want to make a switch just go to the zones tab to select/Open any apps which are running.Simple and easy to use!But if you still wanna how some fun for switching its not available yet but we do have compiz!! on the others at least.I opened an achieve manager,a contact list and an IM simultaneously and this is how it looks like

The applications which come bundled with the OS are not  heavy weights either.Since it is targeting the Netbook and the mobile segment,you will find the most basic apps which will keep us running if we are an avid netbook user.There are Card games,IM,A media player(Banshee) and some basic system tools.In other words the app package  collection is a stripped down version of what we get in a standard ubuntu setup.There is no Gimp or a Productivity application like Open office(Both of them are available in the most basic Linux distros I have seen).But considering the environment for which the OS has been designed it is prudent that MeeGo doesnt have the biggies in it(Installed by default)

Internet Experience :

Using the Internet on MeeGo was no issue.It comes with the Chromium web browser.The one thing which also made me notice was the fast page rendering.Chrome works more or less the same for me in both Windows and ubuntu,but on MeeGo it was way too much snappy.Simply put Opening sites was like Zip Zap Vrooooommm!

[caption id="attachment_622" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Web experience on MeeGo"][/caption]

While I dont know the exact reason for it,I do believe that MeeGo has been optimised for certain platforms and we may see customized versions of MeeGo in the days ahead.Already Other Linux vendors are making their own versions of Meego,Novell's SuSE MeeGo as shown below

[caption id="attachment_623" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Novell's Version of MeeGo"][/caption]

I have not seen how devices work with the OS,but it seems plug and play works ok,excluding the case where my Toshiba external HDD was not getting detected.One more thing to mention is that the present form of MeeGo does not have support to Read/Write to NTFS partitions.But since it is still in the nascent stages we can expect better support as time progresses.

The integrated webcam was not working either with the bundled application cheese.I could successfully turn on the webcam using the same app on a Thinkpad X200 running on Ubuntu 10.04.Looks like I need to find an alternative.Also present in the menu system were some other options like network settings and bluetooth devices.

[caption id="attachment_625" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Network settings"][/caption]

While multimedia on this platform is not so perfect as I expected,the recent news of Cyberlink's announcement to support this platform is a boon in the making.It also looks like netbook makers have started releasing MeeGo based sytems. I am seriously thinking of switching to this light weight Social media centric OS.I like Social media and the cloud,so this is a good chance for me to use them to my best.Who knows I may switch from Ubuntu to MeeGo on my netbook in the future!But till then to all those Opensource guys-- try it if you have not!!