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Firefox 3.0 – Initial thoughts

Posted by Sankar on June 19, 2008

It has been a couple of days since Firefox 3.0 was released and I have been using it since the release. I was a big fan of Firefox, but stopped using 2.0 because of memory hog issue. This has been fixed and 3.0 is much better in terms of memory handling.

One huge improvement is the way it processes javascript. So if you are big user of web 2.0 apps (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Google Reader etc), you will notice huge improvement in Firefox 3.0 compared to IE7. I use Google Reader several times a day and I was definitely impressed with the speed at which the pages were loaded in Firefox 3.0. Try it out and I am sure you will definitely notice the difference.

I think I might stay with Firefox for a while unless IE8 comes with a load of features.

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Posted in Software, Technology | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

थिस इस अवेसोमे… रेअल्ल्य गूढ़.

Posted by Sankar on August 18, 2007

Check this out. Google Indic Transliteration. Gives the hindi word as you type in english…

just in case,  you don’t know hindi, the title of this post is “This is awesome… really good”. It is not a translation… just the same words represented in hindi language.

I am guessing that this might be the Independence day present that Google was talking about. I am not sure though.

Looking forward to the tamil version of the same.

Posted in India, Software, Technology | 2 Comments »

Oh… no

Posted by Sankar on August 7, 2007

Apple today released a whole lot of updates including iWork, iLife and already most of my feeds are bringing up this information and only this information. It is going to be apple.. apple.. for a couple of days now.

I was unable to stand it when it was iPhone and iPhone and nothing else for a few weeks before and after its release. Now it is going to be iLife, iWork etc etc for a couple of days. Hope it ends in a couple of days and doesn’t occupy the internet for weeks to come.

😆 By this post, I am just adding one more junk post to the whole list that will be out there related to today’s Apple updates. 😆

Posted in Software, Technology | Leave a Comment »

The mobile phone is no longer just a phone…

Posted by Sankar on June 13, 2007

We all know that mobile phones these days are no longer just phones. They do a whole lot of other stuff apart from making and receiving phone calls. CNet has an article on what the phones will do in 10 years… Some of these features are already available now, but some are in early stages of development.

A new technology standard called “near-field communications,” or NFC, will turn cell phones into credit or debit cards. A chip is embedded in a phone that allows you to make a payment by using a touch-sensitive interface or by bringing the phone within a few centimeters of an NFC reader. Your credit card account or bank account is charged accordingly.

10 things your phone will do in 10 years

Posted in Articles/Links, Technology | 2 Comments »

Micorosoft Popfly

Posted by Sankar on May 19, 2007

Microsoft recently introduced Sliverlight – a new platform for building rich internet applications. To give a glimpse on what can be done using sliverlight, they have launched Popfly. This is what they have to say about popfly.

Microsoft Popfly

Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications. Popfly consists of two parts:

1

Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups.

2

Popfly Space is an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.

Before you come to conclusion that this is just another site where users create some static HTML pages, you are wrong. If you have the time, do watch the screencast of popfly demo. It is really awesome.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Dish Network DVR – Review

Posted by Sankar on February 26, 2007

I had the Dish Network installed at home right after I came here. One reason: Sun TV and K TV. That’s  the only source of some tamil channels out here. I am not going to talk about that here. I am going to talk about the Dish Network DVR.

DVRs has been in use for a few years now. If I am right, I think it all started with TiVo. I have just started using the DVR and hence I am writing about it now. The fact of the matter is that once you get used to recording the programmes and viewing them at a later time – all by pressing a couple of buttons in the remote, it is very difficult to go back to the past. Now I know how companies like TiVo make money.

I am not sure to call this post as a review of the DISH DVR as the product has been out for a while, but these are just my thoughts. The features are so convenient that you will like it. 🙂

  • Going out potentially missing out on a good movie/program? Just schedule the recording.
  • Two good programs at the same time – just record one while watching another.
  • Don’t want to spend 3 hours watching a 2 hour movie… just record and watch at a later time and skip the commercials.
  • The DVR that you get from Dish gives you 100 hr storage. This is more than sufficient for recording programmes temporarily until you watch it and delete.
  • And best of all, it is so easy and straight forward to use.

What I don’t like:  😦

  • There is no (straight forward) way to take the recordings out of the DVR onto your PC or other device, which I feel is very bad. Think of it similar to a VCR. If I have a VCR and I record some TV program, I can go ahead and transfer the content. I feel that the DVR also should work the same way. 
  • You have to shell out an additional $6.00 ($5.98 I think to be exact) to use the DVR… I think that’s part of the game. Can’t help it.

But if you are on Dish Network or DirecTV (even they have an equivalent service) or any other digital cable, go for the DVR. It is really worth it.

Posted in Technology | 3 Comments »

Daylight savings time changes

Posted by Sankar on February 22, 2007

Effective from 2007, the US daylight savings time will start on March 11th (which is three weeks earlier than usual) and end on November 4th (which is one week later than usual).

There will be lot of applications that depend on these dates to adjust their time. But since these dates are being changed from this year, there patches that will need to be applied to make sure that your system is in sync. Two most common applications that will definitely need updates are Windows and Office. I am not sure about other OS…

1) Windows: Check the following link from Microsoft site. This will download the patch for your version of the OS and install it. I think the patch will be installed if you have automatic updates turned on. But it doesn’t hurt to test anyway. I am not sure if you need the patch if you are not in the US timezone. You might want to check it out.

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cp_dst

2) Office: I am guessing that you would need the patch for Microsoft Outlook even if you are not in US time zone, but are having meetings and appointments with people in the US. The calendars will need to be synced and this patch is required for that. Check the link below for the patch for Outlook.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931667

There might be other applications that might need patches/updates. Will post when I learn something.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

AMD-ATI Fusion

Posted by Sankar on February 16, 2007

It’s been a while since AMD and ATI merged. More information has surfaced related to the CPU+GPU product that was announced/talked about just after the merger. It is again believed from various sources that such a product will be launched in about 2 years… Check the link below.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20070215PD216.html

On one side, there are talks of taking physics processing onto a separate chip to improve performance and realism, and on another side we have got a single chip with CPU and GPU functions. We have to wait and see how these things go ahead. But I am sure that things will begin to get interesting after a while.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

I am on Vista… finally…

Posted by Sankar on November 29, 2006

I have finally installed Vista RC1. I had downloaded it long back when they had a public download on it, but didn’t install it because I did not have a good video card then. Also, my system specs was not great either.

Since I have built a new PC now, I directly installed Vista. Didn’t even try XP. And the results have been great so far. It takes a little time to get used to, but after that things go smoothly. There have been countless reviews of RC1 and even the RTM version. So I am not going to reiterate. But I noticed a couple of annoying stuff (like the screen getting blanked out for a second when asking for the admin password when tring to install something and then coming back again)… It is little bit annoying. I hope this was fixed in RTM. Another thing was frequent UAC warning. I read somewhere that this has been toned down a little bit in RTM.

Anyway, I will be exploring more and start installing the applications… will post more if I find something odd.

Have to try the Media center options and see how it works… that’s on the agenda for this weekend

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment »

Building a new machine

Posted by Sankar on November 27, 2006

I was planning to build a new PC for a while now, but wanted to wait untile we moved to the new place. I have other uses for my existing PC and hence wanted to setup a new one. So this saturday, I went and got the components for building a new PC. As usual, it took me about 3 hours to go in and come out of Ritchie St. For those who are not familiar, Ritchie St is the electronics market of Chennai. It is T.Nagar’s equivalent for Computers and Computer related components. You go in and it will take atleast a couple of hours even if you buy just 1 product…

The component selection might come as a surprise for few… Anyway, these are the stuff I got.

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
  • Intel motherboard with P965 chipset.
  • nVidia 6600 GT 128 MB graphics card.
  • 1 GB (2X512) RAM
  • 160GB SATA HDD

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300:

I have been a long fan of AMD and I am still one. but as of now, everyone will definitely agree that Intel’s Core 2 Duo lineup is definitely better than AMD’s X2. Even though I got the entry level Core 2 Duo processor, it beats the mid-range AMD X2 processors. Please note that all these comparisons are based on various reviews that I read in sites like TomsHardware and other tech sites. I still haven’t run any benchmarks (and I doubt if I will run any).

So even though the Intel’s offering was a little expensive over the entry level AMD X2 3600+, I decided to go with the Core 2 Duo.

Intel motherboard with P965 chipset:

P965 chipset was introduced specifically for Core 2 Duo processors even though it supports other processor lines. There were about 3-4 boards based on the P965 chipset. But the Intel board that I got was on the lower end, but it has most of the features. Integrated LAN, Sound, VGA, USB and Firewire ports too. It has 4 DIMM slots which might come in handy in future.

nVidia GeForce 6600 GT:

This is relatively an old chipset and there are much better ones these days. But the cost here in India for even thse old chipsets are way too expensive. But I hope that I can play games in this card for atleast a year from now.

1 GB RAM and 160 GB SATA drive:

1GB RAM and 160 GB HDD has pretty much become the norm these days. It is also interesting that the board that I got has just 1 PATA slot which will be used by your DVD writer or any other optical drive. The days of having Primary and Secondary slots are gone. I hope to add more RAM very soon and I am sure “if” I get back to my old gaming days, I will definitely require it.

I wish the new PC sets up nice and fine. Been a long time since I did some gaming. The video card in the old system conked off a few months back and ever since I kept postponing getting a new card because building a new system was on the cards.

I have planned to use my other components like the Antec Case and PSU, monitor etc. I will be using the components from my old PC to setup another one…But that’s a little later.

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments »