Friday, August 20, 2004

Reliance invests 1500 Cr. in TCS IPO

Reliance puts Rs 1,500 cr on TCS IPO

I was spellbound, amazed, and utterly disgusted reading this headline. Reliance and the Tata group are two top business houses in India. Though one would say there is a healthy competition between these, the areas of business and business objective vary greatly. Some businesses also are direct competition to each other.
This sentiment of competition and loyalty can also been seen among employees of these groups. For one, I do not subscribe to the 'market domination' and 'aggressive' policies of Reliance. Take Reliance IndiaMobile for an example. You can very clearly see through the policies and objective of Reliance to kill the competition and gain market domination, which is so different from Dhirubhai's so called dream of providing cheap telecommunication for each Indian.
Although I am a subscriber of Reliance IndiaMobile, I detest this kind of unfair competition. Now when Reliance has shown such keen interest in acquiring so many shares of the TCS IPO, my opinion about Reliance just got firmer.

Really, Reliance does operate by the punch line, "Mere baap ka sapna, sab ka maal apna."

Disclaimer: India is a democratic country. Each one has a right to have his say and be heard. Opinions expressed here are solely mine. Reliance, please don’t cut off my phone or sue me for this!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Nokia 6230 - Chronic Technophilia

Chronic technophilia! What else would I call this? This time it struck, it made me buy the perfect phone - the Nokia 6230. This phone is also the costliest I have ever purchased - standing numero uno at INR 18,500(about USD 415). Adding to my ever-expanding list of gadgets, which includes a digital camera, two camera phones, a mini PDA phone, and a portable flash memory-based mp3 player, this phone becomes the 18th I have used.

So what's so good about this phone? Let me start with the physical features. At first glance, this phone resembles the massively popular 6610 in terms of size and weight. The phone form factor is candy bar type, and weighs around 90g. The curves in this phone are mostly squarish, bringing out it's corporate-friendly personality. The VGA camera is located on the back with the oh-so-nokia strip extending to the side of the phone. The phone loudspeaker and infrared port are stylishly located on the right side of the phone. The power button is located on the top and neatly designed to make it look perfect. As in other models, the volume keys are located on the left side for easy access during calls. The keypad design, again, is mostly squarish, with wide buttons in the mid row for large fingers. The keypad also features a five-way scroll for quick navigation. This phone belongs to the 6-series phones from Nokia(6230, duh?!?), which are known for their business-oriented features.

Getting to the interface, regular Nokia users will fail to unlock this phone the first time. This phone will not unlock with the left soft key and star (*) combination. Instead, you have to push the five-way scroll inside and then star (*) to unlock this beauty. It may take a while before you get used to pushing the scroll key to select. Apart from the standard Nokia features, which include address book, messaging, call register, settings, gallery, organizer, applications, and services, this phone also contains a menu for media. The separate profiles menu has been done away and has been included inside settings. Games are now included inside the applications menu. The right soft key is 'Go to' in standby mode, and provides access to mostly frequently used functions such as create mms, bluetooth options, inbox, gallery, services and so on. The left soft key continues to activate the phonebook. The interface is extremely fast and the phone response to key press is simply outstanding. The graphics for the menus have also been slightly changed from the 6610 or 6800.

Going deeper inside, the phone is based on the series 40 platform. The screen resolution is 128x128 with a refreshing support for 65,536 colors. The display screen is made of active TFT, unlike my T610, allowing easy visibility in sunlight. The phone contains 8.8MB (wonder how nokia comes at this odd figures, why not 9MB!) of internal memory and comes bundled with a 32MB MMC card for additional data storage. The camera in the phone is a VGA CMOS sensor, which manages to capture images at a resolution of 640x480. The camera also doubles up as a video recorder with no 9 second limitation. You can capture videos of upto four minutes, which makes this phone stand apart from earlier videophone models.

Another incredible change in this phone is the quality of the loudspeaker very unlike the 6600 where mp3s sound like AM radio! Nokia has finally realized the importance of a good-quality loud speaker and has come quiet close to that of Sony Ericcson. The inbuilt mp3 player is easy to use and supports a 5-band equalizer. Presets such as rock, pop, and jazz are inbuilt, but you can also create your own presets. Mp3 files can be set as ring tones, message alerts, or alarm ringers. So this means, you can wake up to your favorite song without bothering to leave your computer on.

Connectivity for this phone is accomplished using Bluetooth, Infrared, and GPRS. Unlike the earlier camera phones, bluetooth can be turned on and off at will. Infrared connectivity is pretty much same, though transferring mp3 files (more than 2MB in size) takes a good five to ten minutes. GPRS along with EDGE provides a superior surfing experience. Wallet allows you to shop online directly from your phone, without having to bother about the security of your credit card information. The phone also contains an e-mail client for downloading mails from pop3 or IMAP servers. This means you can check your mail and reply to them on the go. The mail client, unlike earlier models (read 6800) is responsive and fast. There are also loads of clipart, images, and animated gifs for use with MMS messages.

Other features found in the 8310, such as voice dialing and voice commands, which were left off in most color screen models, have been included in this one. Radio quality is crystal clear, camera quality is beyond average, and the network signal strength in this phone lives up to the Nokia pride.

Summing up, this phone has everything a technophile like me would ask for. With a 65k color screen, a good camera, a video recorder, a media player, MMS and surfing through GPRS, voice dialing, radio and a massive memory of at least 40 MB expandable to more than 512 MB, this phone is rightly touted as the 'perfect phone' and vouched for by yours truly.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Driving & Dido

Last I was happy for so many reasons. Took to the wheel quiet some time past midnight, listening to music, and cruised along the streets of Vashi, New Bombay. Dido's Thankyou was filling the chilly, moisture-laden air of the night and my mind was absorbing each and every word of the song and relating it to things in my life. The streets were empty, the rain was pouring. The breeze was gentle and the car I was flooring. An experience to cherish and remember for life.

My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window,
And I can't see at all

My car window is foggy and I can't see at all.

And even if I could it'd all be grey
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it's not so bad
It's not so bad

I see a pothole coming. I'm too fast to slow down. Is it going to be a bumpy ride? Pass over it and realize It's not so bad.

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay
My head just feels in pain

Feel like going home and having some whisky.

I missed the bus and there'll be hell today
I'm late for work again

It's quarter past one, and I'm working tomorrow. I'm gonna be late for work again.

Heard it once and wanted more. Heard it twice and it was so nice. I wonder how tiny things in life, like this, give so much happiness?

Monday, August 09, 2004

Have you ever wondered...

...what happens to Spiderman’s webs after he has finished swinging?

Spiderman whooshes to places by shooting webs from his wrist. He swings on these webs, alternating between the hands, to produce forward motion. I wonder what happens to these webs after he has finished swinging.

Do they keep hanging there for people see and acknowledge the existence of Spiderman? Or do they vanish into thin air? Or is it that they retract back into our friendly neighborhood hero's wrist?

I wonder what happens. Now why didn’t Sam Raimi think of that? Food for thought?

Monday, August 02, 2004

WRC in Mumbai

Participants Information Brochure

World Rally Championship

The World Rally Championship (WRC) is now in Mumbai. The event commenced on 31st July 2004 and will continue till 31st August 2004.

The details of the event are as follows.

Track location: Chakala, Andheri (e), Mumbai to Marol, Andheri (e), Mumbai

Track morphology: Loose gravel, muck, and lots of water.

Loose gravel, muck, and lots of water

Weather: Mostly cloudy and rainy. You may experience thunderstorms occasionally.

Admission criteria: Anything with wheels, two or four. Any fuel, as long as your vehicle can run.

Expected competitors: The track shall be inundated with public transport buses, three-wheeler rickshaws, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Best of Season: When it pours like crazy and local trains stop functioning.

Track Details: The stretch from Chakala to Marol has been selected as the venue for this WRX season. The track comprises an abundant amount of loose gravel, potholes, and knee-deep water. Being open to all classes of vehicles, the track is expected to be slow moving. You may also experience stalled vehicles, as all vehicles may not comply to requirement regulations and cannot be driven through water.

Four-wheel drives may be of utmost use to wade your way through the gravel filled water. Should your vehicle’s tires get thrust in gravel or a pothole, switch to your four-wheel option to drive you out of the pit. If you don’t have a four-wheel drive option, ask bystanders, spectators, or junta for help to push your vehicle out. Storm water drains may be occasionally open to allow recession of excess water. You must keep a careful eye not to drive into these, as they can be difficult to see when the track is flooded.

Beware of two-wheelers or three-wheelers. These categories of vehicles are known to change course at lightning speeds giving you very little time to avert a collision. You must therefore be extremely cautious when driving in this track.

This track has been designed with utmost care and precision for your rallying pleasure. Incase you have any queries or wish to contact us, contact the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) instead. We can’t be of much help anyway. If you are representing the BMC, go away! For everyone else, happy rallying!

Happy rallying!
Disclaimer: All images copyright of their individual owners.

Original Joke

Fr.Agnels (FRA) and Sacred Heart (SH) are two prominent schools in Vashi, New Bombay and have been around for around two decades. Both these convents have had a healthy competition not only in producing toppers, but also sports, facilities, and quality of education.

However, the competition doesn't end there. Pass outs or alumni from these institutions continue to hold reverence for their alma maters. Agnelites and Sh'ites continue to baffle each other with every achieved feat. And I being an Agnelite myself have no different views. Keeping the tradition of slurring alive, I hereby present this joke. Sh'ites, no offense intended :)

This was not a long time ago when the rivalry between Sacred Heart (SH) and Fr.Agnels (FRA) reached new heights. FRA kept achieving incredible feats in academics, sports, quality of education, higher education, and post graduation.

Now, the management of SH decided they should at least compete if not catch up with FRA. They decided to start an engineering college, very similar to FCRIT (Agnel's engineering college.) After approval from the govt. and raking finances, the project saw light of the day.

Guess what they decided to call it?

Sacred Heart Institute of Technology (SHIT)!!!!!!!!