Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meeras review of the iPad

My niece's review of the iPad. Its amazing on how kids are able to learn using today's mobile devices so easily. Meera was even able to learn the multi touch gestures to jump between applications at the age of 2. Kudos to the iPad designers.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Any Buyers?

Over the last few years I have accumulated a small collection of fiction books. Having read and re-read them 4-5 times now I have grown weary of them and especially the space they end up occupying in my closet.
I would happily replace all of hem for their digital variants that I can read on my phone or iPad. However there are few venues available in India to sell used books online. I did run into few options through google: buyselloldbooks. However none of them seemed very promising. I am sure there is a market here - which is evident from the numerous book stores buying and selling used books in Appa Balwant Chowk, Pune.

Though one of the peeves I have with e-books is that they are priced the same as printed editions. I would expect some kind of a cost benefit for not having the publishers print, sellers provide storage and manual handling of those books. However that argument does not seem to be valid.

My collection:
  1. Michael Crichton's entire collection
  2. A lot of Isaac Asimov Fiction
  3. Some Robin Cook
  4. And miscellaneous (thank you spell check) of Harry Potter, Gurucharan Das, Scott Adams
Any buyers?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Facebook vs Google+

I am mostly a dormant visitor on social networking sites. I have been on facebook for few months now, mostly from my phone. There was this nice flowchart doing the rounds on which social networking site to use:

Image courtesy here. Doe not take very kindly to google+ :)

However I recently logged in to google+, and I really loved what they have done with the interface - clean and crisp. I think they have something coming...obviously still a long way from facebook's 850 million

Ye Ye...Its my birthday

I am forever bullied into celebrating special calendar days by my wife. Nothing against it except its mostly very very crowded, expensive with poor service all around on such days.

Me, I would rather go out for dinner on the weekend instead of on a birthday that falls in the middle of the week. I have a busy job and its usually difficult to get home early. Or take the case of new years eve going out anywhere involves trying to find a venue when everything's shit expensive and unreliable, getting friends together when everyone has 3 different plans and 4 different backup plans, I can't drink because I am driving, traffics bad ...and I can go on.

Of course, rationalizing with wifey on this is as futile as boiling water with a magnifying lens :P
And no, its not my birthday today.

My phone is an iPhone

After a long wait and some underhanded urging , I got an upgrade to my stone age Blackberry phone from the office. Though not exactly what I wanted, iPhone 4 was a giant leap from where I was.

I have been using the iPhone for about 5 months now and here's a quick list of what my likes and dislikes:
  1. Apple store is great with lots and lots of apps. The paid ones are also priced very reasonably
  2. Screen is awesome, very responsive
  3. Simplicity of use. Interface is clean, not too much clutter
  4. Great battery life (if not using 3G)
And what I dislike:
  1. Too expensive, esp. if you are buying it in India
  2. Too many restrictions put by Apple - can't blue tooth to a non-apple device,  no custom launchers, app store is good but still I would like to install anything I want on the phone
  3. Battery life sucks with 3G. Though this is a problem with other phones also in the same class
  4. After you are beyond the "oh my phone has this feature also" phase, you start feeling constrained by the number of things that you cannot do on your phone
Anyways, unlike ND here, I did not spend 40k on buying a smart phone, so can't complain too much :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Proof that wifey eats fish

My in-laws are the typical Marwari lot. So it's really a big deal for them to be related to an omnivore, drunkard occasional drinker like me. Not exaggerating - my brother-in-law won't even sit at a table where others are eating eggs. In fact, the other day I saw him turn his face from the Television, when I was watching a recipe show for chicken masala.

Going to the city tonight

Living in the suburbs, every weekend warranted a trip to the city. Whether you needed to shop, dine or just hang out, there was always a shortage of venues in the PCMC area. Not that Pune had a lot to offer in terms of variety, usually we ended up going to the same malls or restaurants or MG or FC road. However going out in the neighborhood never really felt like going out.

In the last couple of years, these weekend jaunts have become rare, given that availability has increased and I have become lazier :). So today wifey finally dragged me to FC road quoting some insane excuses. I figured that we could try this new seafood restaurant Maasemari, I have heard good things about. Review coming....

The 300 rupee haircut

I got a haircut after about 6 months of abstinence from the saloon. Earlier I used to go over to a local saloon where a barber is called a barber instead of a hairdresser. This time I went over to a Jawed Habib franchise. The cost of the hair cut has gone up from ₹200 to ₹300. That's a steep hike even after discounting the inflationary mood around. Well, the only thing I like about the place(for the price) is that its clean.

The haircut didn't seem to have done much, what with most people commenting that it was better in its earlier unbridled raggedness. So the next one's going to be due only after skipping ₹300 worth of local saloon trips :)

Tu mera hero hai....

I was watching 1983 hit Hero on Zee Classic today. Some good songs, ding dong being my favorite. This also has the "showman" of Hindi Cinema doing a cameo in this song..something he used to do in all his movies.

Though, the fun  was in really seeing the crisp editing, the impossible stunts and the funny characterizations.
In one scene Jacky Shroff is shot on the arm by a cop with a pistol from about a kilometer away. And Meenakshi riding pillion realizes that after Jacky falls from the bike. 
Crowning glory is the biggest sacrifice ever done my Meenakhi praying for his recovery: 
"इस देवी माँ के सामने, एक सच्चे प्यार करने वाले कुंवारी का ये प्रण है, की जब तक मेरे किशन को होश नहीं आता तब तक मै ये चुदियाँ नहीं पहनूगी।"
Good stuff!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mama monkey hai

I have been teaching my niece Meera some sentences.
I call her Babu and the first sentence I taught her was "Babu monkey hai". Unfortunately my wife and sister did not catch the humor in it and twisted that to "mama monkey hai".
So I had to teach her a new sentence "mama smart hai". However that did not register with her so now she goes on with variations of "mama monkey hai" and "mama smart monkey hai"! To add she can't pronounce smart so she says माठ which means dumb in Marathi.

Now I am trying to teach her "mama clever hai". Hoping she gets over "monkey" soon :)

Mama and the Monkey

Good read. Start from the bottom: