Thursday, October 27, 2016

Game of thrones - Winter has come and gone for me....

Yes I  got addicted to game of thrones this year(briefly) . Very late to the party - but better late then never right? For me, my all time favorite serials still remain to be Alias and the X files. No question about that and no second thoughts. No one can replace my love for agent Scully or  Bristow. But why the deviation like never before?  Turns out its a one time addiction.

Before I even started watching it, friends of mine who were die hard fans would say " oh you still didn't watch it? You have to watch it - its so awesome! " Like I had committed a crime for not watching it till now duh!

So I wanted to put their misery to rest - and would forcefully watch it until the first  season was finished. To what I understood - GOT in  a gist can be explained as a 45 minute drama filled with Sex, Nudity, Prostitution, lot of beheading and romance between brother-sister, father-daughter??, more war scenes and to round up - conspiracy theories. For me, the intimacy between family members seemed more unnatural than romance between same sex folks.

I don't know what it was - but as time progressed I became really additive to this. Was watching it even before the day I had an interview!! Such a precedence is dangerous but well, it happened. While some characters simple seemed necessary for me, I got into the habit for forwarding the story until my favorite characters were in action . One thing which spices up the show is the ruthless way in which the characters are eliminated. At the end of every season - people would be murdered or would commit suicide . May be this is one of the reason I never wanted to have an attachment with the story as I had with the X files and Alias because no one was dying there! Also, I silenced my friends who were hell bent that I watch the entire series and not miss even "a single episode". There -  I did it and now I am free. I also believe there are others who have been in my shoes. It really sucks when people give so much importance to fiction and talk as if it is the end of the world for not watching it. Give me a break fellas

Oh khalisi!  I hope you will get the iron throne pretty soon because winter is coming... 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lenovo Yoga 900 - A lean beast to reckon with

So I was sent a Yoga 900 as a Christmas gift last year and also to take some time to use and review it. Before that in spring 2015 I was given an opportunity to work with its older sibling, the Yoga3pro – part of the multimedia centric – Ultrabook laptops. I used both laptops – The Yoga3pro through spring 2016 and the Yoga 900 post-Christmas. 

I do not want to compare both of these models right now because the Yoga3pro is no longer available at the Lenovo shop. What I do want to share is how worthwhile the newer Yoga900 is .
When it comes to aesthetics, it is almost similar in size to its predecessor, save the thickness because of the CPU which is more powerful when compared to the previous core m on the Yoga3pro 

The System which I obtained had the following specs
Intel i7 6500U with 2.50 Ghz, can be clocked to 3.01 Ghz with Turbo boost
256 GB SSD
Windows 10 Home 

The best part about the Yoga 900 is the watch band based hinge, similar to the Yoga3pro. It provides a sturdy and a nice feel to the laptop when it is being swirled between the tablet and the tent mode. 

I would say it is on the unique selling points of the system. To start with there is a brand new logo on the top. As with the previous yoga models, it can be changed into various “modes” namely Stand, Tent, Tablet and Laptop. More information about this can be found in my earlier article. 

The screen has a nice 13.3 inches QHD IPS screen.  A great resource to use Netflix and YouTube in High Definition.  The color reproduction looks great most of the time and the only problem I see is that application scaling, where the menus seemed to be garbled or overlapped – this is not a problem with the laptop per se, but the software vendor who still don’t provide Hdpi support to their apps. 

I have not ran all the synthetic benchmarks like others, but what  I did was, pushing the laptop to the limits – by incrementally increasing the workload on the CPU,GPU and memory and see how the system handles it.
So to run the test I installed Intel’s  GPU Analyzer to check out average CPU, GPU load . The test run was for 2152 seconds and this is what I got in the end 

The memory benchmark also resulted in strong performance. The test was run to check the average memory throughput. The i7 combined with the generous 16 gigs of ram is obviously doing a very good job.  To give an idea about much this machine could handle, the test environment I used included 4 YouTube videos running in IE 10 in full HD, One HD video on the windows media player, transferring 72gigs of data from an external hard disk to the system and also on top of that, running an instance of SQL Server 2016 which was executing a set of lengthy stored procedures. I won’t say that this is a generic environment which will apply to everyone, but in my case this is what I do while I use the Yoga 900.
The end results
1)      GPU was busy at 59% on average
2)      Overall Usage of GPU in Average 18%
3)      Aggregated CPU load was 41.85%
4)      Average GPU Frequency was 356 Mhz

To check whether my conclusion about the CPU and GPU were correct, I wanted to take a second opinion, so ran a couple of more tests on the user benchmark tool. The results were not surprising. It compliments my own tests with positive results

Lenovo has created a formidable Multimedia Ultra book which performance very formidably! . This has been one the of the best machines from Lenovo I have used till date, and  explore ways in which I can use to the fullest of its potential 

Monday, May 30, 2016


This is a very late post about my trip to Singapore last year. Better late than never right?

So I landed in Singapore in the early morning August 15th while India was celebrating its Independence Day. When I planned for the trip, I expected to see a lot and even extended the tour plan to 5 whole days. I probably did not do my research properly. In 3 full days you can see and experience most of Singapore. My friend Shravan was there to host me – so I took this opportunity to the fullest.

First day, I got to see the night life that Singapore had to offer. We went around various pubs in Boat Quay and Clark Quay. There were a plethora of pubs around the place. There was Russian pole dancing in one, Bollywood themed in another and my favorite of all - the Altitude one pub.  It provides a fantastic night time view of the city. The open top pub on the 60th floor also acts as a good observation deck. 

At one Altitude 

On the second day, we were off to Sentosa Island – the place seemed to be too artificial. Singapore is only a city state, so when there is not much offering in terms of nature, folks have cleverly built and developed areas around the city and marketed it as a place of relaxation and fun.  There are many things one can do while at Sentosa, I explored Madam Thussads (duh! at last! ) . Spent some time at the beach and that was it. Honestly speaking, there is nothing much to do. But you can spend a whole day there. Other options include Universal studios and an Aquarium. (I skipped them both because I knew I could get similar, if not superior experience in the States). In the evening Shravan took me around Marina bay area, and there -   I had a jaw dropping experience. Downtown Singapore on one end and the Marina bay on the other. You could just sit for hours and keep staring the bay area around you. 

By the fourth day, there was nothing much to do, so we went for a short visit to suntech city. Basically it’s a group of 7 office towers with a mega fountain in the middle. Also known as “fountain of wealth” it’s the world’s largest fountain.  After a couple of photo ops, we were on our way to Little India to visit the famous Mustafa stores. To my surprise the store stretches almost into 2 streets across the road! No wonder this is a famous place for tourists to visit and shop. In the evening, I was back in Marina Bay to visit the famous Merlion . Yes I had planned for this even before I came so it had to happen! 

On my last day, I spent the whole day in leisure at the Singapore botanical gardens. I love nature to bits and what better place to chill out in this big concrete jungle. 

At the singapore Botanical Gardens 

Panaromic view of the city
I bet it would take more than a day to explore the entire place. Once the garden tour was done, I still had time to visit the Merlion in the morning and the Singapore Flyer! Yay!  I always wanted to visit the London eye, but this one was something similar. So this was pretty much my experience. All of this was not possible without Shravan – who took me around places. So thanks Shravan!