Thursday, June 30, 2011

Migrating to Android from Nokia

Ive been a very lateral entrant to the Android platoform.Those big flashy touch screen phones would not fit my bill and I was completely oblivious of their presence as well.Most of the time,I  keep in touch with my friends through Short Text Messages rather than calling them up.While both of those have come to equal footing in terms of monetary terms,  I thought it was time for me to adapt at least the platform which provides so much flexibility. Full touch screen phones never fancied me, be it loaded with any OS.

Last week I was to take train back to Hyderabad,when my cousin who tagged along with me took me to the nearest MobileStore . He insisted that it was time I had an Android since I was always online in one form or another. As expected the sales man in the showroom took me through all the good phones,from Samsung to the Iphone. While they seemed to be flashy and highly configurable in nature I wondered whether it was too much for my need.

Then I got the attention of the Sony Xperia Mini,the smaller version of Sony's Android products with a sliding keypad included. The phone had more features than I could imagine,excellent Sound clarity, the famous XB headphones with extra bass and a 5 mega pixel camera. All seemed well and I did not use it till yesterday as I had to rush back to Hyderabad

The pain started when I had to shift my older Nokia's Contents (The short text messages) to be precise. While a Nokia to Nokia transfer is no big deal,copying the messages to the Android was.It took 5 hours for me to understand on how I could transfer the Sms's.

There were around 2060 messages for me to backup. I don't think any one would ever think of doing such a thing,but for me those messages were precious in some nature and souvenirs as well.It was well into 3 AM in the morning when I finally managed to copy them as they were.

Google helped me out in this regard,I found a nifty tool called nokia2andorid sms which made the cross platform migration a breeze. Its an awesome tool and is highly recommended

There are lots of things to learn from the new platform,in the course of time I intend to do just that


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pass time turns into Passion

It's  been ages since my teen days during school when I was not allowed to operate a camera in our home(A japanese made Yaschica).My mother was apprehensive about it being sabotaged in my hands.Her perception being that I was too immature to handle such a gadget at that age.

Far from my mother's perception,I would at times sneak out the camera and click away anything that I found interesting like mad.Using the camera roll was an enticing experience, especially when I Was given a chance at last to operate it. All this was a result of curiosity which I had towards photography.

[caption id="attachment_1070" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Abstract photo taken during my train journeys"][/caption]

It all started with the frequent train journeys every week,when I used to shuttle between my home and Hyderabad during the 3 days weekoff.At times there would be no place to sit and I would just stand near the door while the train rattled along the country side.It was especially during my return journeys and the monsoon season that I started clicking away after a long time

[caption id="attachment_1083" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Rajadhani express gleams during the early morning sunrise"][/caption]

While most of them happened to be taken on road or the train,some of them happened to be taken near to my workplace. It was one of those days at Motorola last week when I was waiting for my cab outside the building.We were there to take some snaps with a colleague who had just resigned from the company.I was skygazing and a vision flashed across my mind.This vision for me was like the heavens coming down on to the building it self!I did not wait but immediately clicked my vision into reality which resulted in this

I get to see a lot of the country side during my travels,something which I am sure many people get to experience.Sometimes it is the early morning sunrise,and sometimes it was the looming monsoon clouds hovering  over the country side while the sun tries to jostle itself amongst the darkclouds. It is very interesting to capture such a phenomenon and at times not so easy when you try to capture it from a running train while standing at the door

[caption id="attachment_1088" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Sun and the Monsoon clouds jostling in the heavens"][/caption]

Elsewhere in the  United States, my brother who resides in Illinois  sent me a rare phenomenon.For me it was quite rare to see.This might be a common sight in the States but  defiantly not here. Planes were flying over one another at  various altitudes. The after burn combined with the sunset during which the photo was taken gives us an impression as if they were some kind of shooting stars traversing through the sky. This photo was taken while it was still twilight.

[caption id="attachment_1090" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Photo Courtesy - Parthasaradhi Samavedam"]

Most of the photos which I clicked were taken from my Nokia 5130 C-2 Express Music phone.I was not inclined towards buying High end cameras,for it were just some moments which I wanted to store with me. I've seen Sony  releasing its  Cyber shot Camera with a 270 Degree "Super wide" shot option. I use my sister's cyber shot which does not have that feature but If the prices of Sony's camera's are to come down significantly,I am even tinkering with the idea of  getting my own in the near future.Thus in a manner of speaking,photography has become more of a passion for me rather than just a past time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Revving up the Ideapad and how

Its been a while since I've had the opportunity to use a Ideapad from Lenovo.I never used it to the fullest of  it's potential,untill now that is.I got inclined towards playing high-end games somehow and since than have been trying to push this baby to the limits literally. The GPU it has got entices me to do so. While I am no gaming freak,some of my friends who are very good at gaming asked me to take the notebook for a spin.Their frequent suggestions about the same  ended me in buying  some. Some of them which  I find truly intriguing  when I play. These might not be "new" to many people who are avid gamers,for me it has been rather a new experience ever since I used to play with the rented Nintendo games during summer holidays,which my father used to get for a 1$ a day, 13 years ago.

Untill now Ive been trying to tinker with 3 games which my friend Hemanth recommended. All of them seemed to be resource intensive and highly octane in Nature.

The first one is called "Blur" from Activision technologies. And true to its naming ,it really means on how it's called. While I've never been good at strategy based Shooting games like  counter strike and the lot, Racing has been my might from the beginning. While the size of the installation code seems to have increased over the years from a single cd to 7GB ,the length of the game play seems to have increased too.  More places,more cars( Licensed cars from various manufacturers).

This game reminds me of the Hollywood movie Death Race . While there seems to be no blood and gore like in the film, the whole concept in essence looks alike.

As in the film where, the protagonist takes on a "one on one " with the last remaining racer, this game also has something  similar to the film. In order to play the one to one level,we have to satisfy some of  his choices and demands.Only then are we allowed to take him  neck to  neck :) . Its fun to have a single player in the fray where the opponent tries to play hide and seek with you and vice versa while you try to shield and protect yourself from him and try to blast his car into smithereens!

The second one worth mentioning is "Dirt 3" from Codemasters. This one is in a totally different league. A typical rallying game,they too seem to have brought licensed versions of cars and teams into it. While it is not so fast  paced as Blur, it incorporates a charisma of  what a  rallying championship is all about. Indeed,after playing the game for a couple of hours, It was a nostalgic experience pl with the Subaru car. I still remember the famous "333" number associated with the team when I used to watch the cross-country championships during my school days.

Car controls are drifty in the game,perhaps this has been intentional from the designers.I have just  started playing it.Looks like it needs a windows live id to login before the game can save  my progress.(This sucks! the updates which it shows never download properly and the live id is not downloading my profile).Goodness knows when this will get resolved! The game changes its arena to tracks around the world.From the icy regions of Norway,the deserts of Kenya and the rocky terrains of the United States. It was quite a challenge initially but I did manage to finish a the top by the end of the day... yay!

The last one is "Prototype" I have been told that this had been one the popular games at large. As mentioned earlier I am never good at strategy  based shooting games.But my friend Hemanth convinced me to give it a try considering the powerful  GPU  the notebook comes with.Another experience here again as we can act on our will and become shape lifters after consuming people on Times Square. This one looks like a promising game and perhaps in the long-term I may get hooked to it since it's a very lengthy game.

I may get to learn more about gaming from Hemanth as time progresses,for he is one of the most accomplished at games I have ever met!