Sunday, May 30, 2010

Which Thinkpad are you?

Ive been using a Lenovo X200 tablet for the past 3 months and  must say it has been a satisfactory experience till date. A power packed machine into a 2.4lb box with an ultra low voltage Intel® Core™2 Duo processor SL9400 processor. What I mostly like about the Thinkpad is the weight factor.A friend of mine who was carrying it in a bag was surprised to find it so light when compared to his bulkier Dell studio laptop.The initial setup of the notebook consists of some basic tasks like enrolling the fingerprints,registering the computer and enabling an antivirus product.(Microsoft security essentials highly recommended here)

Some things were new to my eyes like the legendary track point from IBM or the finger print authentication system working in conjunction with the client security solution.The track point is so precise that you will never know that you would need a mouse!Trackpoint

Using windows vista business which came bundled with it was not a good experience in the beginning,but later on I found vista to be quite responsive(Would still prefer windows 7 here ;)  ) Vista or Windows 7 can indeed leverage on the security features incorporated within the box.Like the Trusted platform module 2.1 or the fingerprint encryption services(also works for securely logging into websites)

The battery backup is very good too considering the 5 hours of power cut I face during the summer season :) .On an average the 9 cell battery pack gives 7 hours and upto 8 hours in case of selecting the extended battery life option.The thinkvantage power manager which comes preloaded with the system provides various tweaking options in order to optimize battery performance and also to extend the life of the battery in the most needed times.

[caption id="attachment_502" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Thinkvantage power manager"][/caption]

The Thinkpads also are environmental friendly when it comes to power consumption and the overall make of the system.When compared to the previous X61 series,the heat near the touch pad has been significantly been reduced due to the new adaptive thermal management system which automatically monitors CPU and and fan speed to provide a cooler and quite experience.With selected systems certified to be EPAT gold rated,the X200 gives it counterparts especially the apple notebooks a shoulder to shoulder in competition.The ULVP processor also makes a fine balance between performance and battery life.


The thinkvantage suite of software is a collection of useful apps provided by lenovo to increase the end user's experience and enchance the productivity levels.It contains some very useful and cool stuff like system rejuvination,system recovery,access connections and password manager.The thinkvantage suite also provides a failsafe recovery environment in the case of a system crash,helping the computer to restore to an earlier time.The most amazing thing Ive ever seen is a browser(Opera) in the recovery environment providing the critical support required to contact an online technician or tech support.

While using the tablet PC mode,I found that the notebook should work better provided it is running windows 7.Vista was a bit sluggish again in this regard,but I would give it some points considering the long battery life.Watch out apple! .Have you ever tried to sleep on a sofa and listen to the songs coming out while the system is the tablet mode?Its a bit of kindle with audio thrown in and you do get an ultraportable machine.This is how a tablet mode looks like while i listen to some bollywood jingles.

[caption id="attachment_511" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Windows media player running in tablet mode"][/caption]

The thinkPAD project

I was watching the news regarding the release of apple's new IPAD.Looked a bit expensive and certainly out of reach coz they are still not available in India.I got a weird Idea of trying to use my thinkpad as an IPAD  for my own satisfaction.It looks almost like an iPad people!.I installed ubuntu 10.04 and viola!there it was! a closest brother of the iPad!!

[caption id="attachment_507" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="thinkPAD!"][/caption]

As the promo goes on the lenovo site I think its  apt to say that there is more thinking in a thinkpad!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You Know You Grew Up in India in the 90s When…

Incoming calls for mobiles were 12rs per min!When we used to boast about our NRI relatives living in america and we would always play akad bakad bambe bo.

This is what the community  says which i joined just 5 days ago....The name sounded a bit weird to me.Joined it out of curiosity.But after just 4 days,figured out just how many people were sharing their nostalgic moments they had in the 90's!Those ten years till the millenium arrived were the best of my life,I would cherish them always.That people who went through their childhood started joining the community made sense.53,000 in the last 4 days and counting....

The kids in the 90's had a very different childhood from today's  tinytots.We were not the kind of brats who would sit in front of the TV's or computers playing high-end games or tinker with the Xbox!Our childhood mostly revolved around outdoor games be it funny games like "chain cut","current shock" or more logical and brain teasing games like "brainveeta" or "The business game".All of these are no longer played anymore...

[caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Brainvita!"][/caption]

During our summer holidays,I would always request my Dad to get a nintendo video game for rent,with a daily tarrif of 25Rs,not because we could afford it,but the reason being that my mom was worried that Il neglect my studies.So me and my twin brother used to wait and wait,for the exams to finish!And then it started first get the rental nintendo set and start playing em all!I still remember some of them!Contra,Roadracer,galaxy and who could forget super mario!

[caption id="attachment_469" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="the game where we prevailed over evil!"][/caption]

While I did have some fun time with the rented nintendo box.I was also very much inclined towards other programs which impressed me and made an effect on my TV viewing habits.In the early 90's satellite TV was still infant in India,the only channel to which I was a regular.Some programs revolved around the cultural diversity of India and some others included premiers of bollywood blockbusters.I still remember watching superstar amitab bachan's movies late till midnight in the weekends with my twin brother .Those were some of the "D" times for me!

As the 90's progressed so did the my penchant for other stuff like cartoons and some western soaps!(Indian soaps were still in the nascent stages due to the less satellite channels ).All through my childhood till the mid of 90's the only cartoons we would know about were the mickey and donald duck,the tom and jerry show.Cartoon network changed all that!There were so many zonores to choose from.Be it the power zone in the afternoons,Scooby doo in the evening or the Dexters lab!

[caption id="attachment_472" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I miss the Lab!"][/caption]

Doordarshan,the state owned broadcasting channel was my only window to the world.Getting to know about it,and gaining knowledge.It was until discover channel and some others from the same stable which made me to make a switch.Doordarshan started to loose its loyal viewers.Opening up of the Indian skies to foreign airwaves brought a phenomenal change in the way people watch television. While the state run channel still continues to be in my sight for some reasons(especially rocket launches or election news),I think it need to re-invent itself to the likes of the modern day viewer.Since it was a state controlled channel,many programs would include shows and broadcasts which reflected a common Indian's life.(Atleast its not following the same genre of some stupid saas-bahu soaps which are now all over.Kudos to you doordarshan!Your good days will be back!there are 67000 members in Facebook discussing your past right now!

As the 90's came to and end and I entered my teenage,my taste started to change.From the funny looking dexter to the more serious and action packed spiderman,Gi-joe series and the powerzone.To some extent my fondness of fighter jets and planes,rockets must have started  with these shows -Gi-joe,swat cats and Ninja robots!It was not only fun to watch these but also made me to realize how good and bad prevail in this world and why it is important to be in the right track always.

[caption id="attachment_473" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Go joe!!!!"][/caption]

From Gi-joe to the knight rider,everything  was capturing my imagination!The concept where a Car is emotionally attached to its owner is really cool.This must be the only show where a car actually cries! A bit weird but it was great overall...Night rider yes we remember you!

Pop culture was brewing up(The Indian Pop culture more so).One of the all time hits in the 90's was the "Made in India" song.Its so famous that people still listen to as far as Uzbekistan in central asia

[caption id="attachment_477" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The best film which represented the 90's era"][/caption]

Then at the end of the decade came a plethora of satellite channels,the convergance of TV the PC and the internet.Cartoons were no longer of interest and I inclined more towards News channelsToday at 23,I still feel like going back in time,had it been repeated again-I would happily embrace my past once more!!

The information which describes the whole theme of the community is very interesting and fun.The whole description is given here

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Intel Atom developer Conference – Hyderabad

I was at the Intel Atom developer conference to have a look at the new MeeGo platform promoted by Intel,Nokia and The linux foundation.These are exciting times as we have seen companies bringing out various mobile based platforms.Google bringing out the chrome OS,Apple's iPhone and the PC giant Lenovo's own linux platform for its Hybrid notebook and ARM based smartphone.

It is very interesting to see too competitors like Nokia and Intel coming together to create a competent platform.I call it competent due to the fact that it is going to be maintained under the Linux foundation.

The session started at 10.00 am and continued till 4.00PM.while i could not sit through all of them,these are some of the points I grasped while at the conference.

Maemo is an opensource based platform developed by Nokia based on the Debian OS,the Linux kernel and the Gnome Project.While Intel came up with the Moblin project for mobile and touch based devices.From the total revenue share 70% will go to the developer without paying any upfront fees.Interestingly netbooks seem to be the initial target of the platform,mobile devices are next in the list Ive heard.

One of the best things about the MeeGo platform seems to be the reusablity of app components.Its a boon as it will be covering a larger spectrum of devices ranging from netbooks,smartphones to connected TVs!

[caption id="attachment_463" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The MeeGo Architecture"][/caption]

MeeGo offers the Qt application development environment, and builds on the capabilities of the Moblin core operating system and reference user experiences. Using Qt, developers can write once to create applications for a variety of devices and platforms, and market them through Nokia's Ovi Store and Intel AppUp Center.Now Qt being a holistic  platform combines with the mono framework  provides a native look for the apps.

Intel is also gearing up to provide these apps through its intel software network.To  provide a platform for debating about new Ideas,a portal has been created called Ideatup. People already following the fan page in facebook are giving out some Out of the box Ideas like Instant email without booting and Music tweeter.

How MeeGo will compete with the rest of the platforms out there in the days to come remains to be seen......

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 on S10-2

Ive been waiting for this since the alpha days.The windows 7 starter edition on my netbook was struggling to run more than 3 programs hump!But not any more.As soon as I got a copy of ubuntu's latest avatar,popped in a thumdrive and installed it on my netbook.First impression of Linux on the ideapad S10-->It works! oh yeah it does,thats what I found and a sigh of relief too .

[caption id="attachment_441" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Initial screen setup"][/caption]

The default wallpaper of this distro looks something similar to macosx leopard.There are a number of under the hood changes including cloud storage support and social connect platforms.Before that lets have a closer look at the default screen
All the devices were working out of the box giving the best OOBE experience I had ever seen on a linux distro.Good job canonical!Some devices like the broadcom wireless were detected and provided with proprietary drivers.Sweet!.All I had to do was select the driver from a list and ubuntu did the rest!

Although this version was meant for mainstream desktops and not for netbooks,I still wanted to give it a try.I did not want to sacrifice some of the best things this has,which the netbook version omits :).One of that is the desktop composition effect.Compiz runs pretty well on the netbook with occasional stuttering.That can be ignored ofcourse considering the small form factor of then S10 !.The window switcher from compiz runs flawlessly in the bittybox, a la coverflow in the Macosx

[caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Compiz on the Ideapad S10"][/caption]

Ubuntu also has many UI changes under the hood.In the previous versions, notifications were provided in the form a balloon tip similar to Windows.That has been dramatically revamped to a new and intuitive notification system.We can notice a translucent information box  which is more eye pleasing.The hotkeys work out of the box!yes they do!

The best thing of this version is the incorporation of social media broadcasting app.Called Gwibber funny name eh!,it neatly integrates popular social  media services into one,providing a one stop client to use! awsome!

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Gwibber a social media boon :)"][/caption]

Some fun stuff added today :

I wanted my netbooks interface to look a bit like the just added a beautiful looking dock at the end of the installation.Called the cairo dock,it has runs on an openGL api and is very smooth in functioning.Finally something closer to the MAC to use!

[caption id="attachment_452" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Stack like feauture in the cairo dock!"][/caption]

final thoughts :-  Ubuntu+social broadcasting+S10= small is powerful!!! small is a revolution!!! :)