Dec 26

1) What is the largest pdf file it can handle (in GoodReader)? So far 1.3GB scanned pdf file with more than 1000 pages full of 300 dpi resolution images and OCRed text in the background (for searching) along with 4 more files of 500 to 800 MB (similar format) were opened simultaneously. All the talk about the -“amount of RAM is the file size limit” is not true. The APP handles only one page or a part of the page at once. So there is no problem handling such a large PDF. iPad 2 is even able to multitask by playing an xvid video and download from app store while the GoodReader is minimized with all the files open.
2) The page refresh rate and text search are quiet fast but not at par with a desktop. You can switch between PDFs very quickly.
3) PowerPoint files were much faster and smoother to view. Multiple images on a PowerPoint slide might cause some problems. It depends on how you made them.
4) chm files of size up to 230 MB are quick to open and read using CHMate-lite. Since it is a free app only one file is allowed in the library.
5) If a scanned PDF is opened in iPad looks all blank or with white pages, the solution is to extract all pages as jpg files and make a PDF again. Use what ever software you are familiar with. OCR software like ABBYY FineReader or OmniPage can do this and make the PDF searchable. This works almost every time you get the same problem (these PDFs are usually produced by an old ADF duplex scanner driver).

Must have app for PDF reading and annotating – GoodReader
I think GoodReader is the one to have, if you have a lot of PDFs and want them all at your disposal. It has some useful features – highlight, underline, draw a box or shape, text input etc.

Resolution of iPad 2
If you think the resolution on an iPad 2 might not be suitable for medical images, you can wait for iPad 3 and find out if it has the retina display as suspected. The fact is, the resolution of iPad 2 is more than enough for almost all the images in medical text books, even if they are scanned ones (obviously, raster and vector images appear differently while zooming). Landscape mode is the most efficient way of reading a scanned book. One up-flick to read the bottom half and one left-flick to go to the next page.

Why an iPad 2 ?
The one fundamental difference between an iPad 2 and any other ebook reader out there is the ergonomics. The more you read on an iPad 2 the more you want to read.

Eye Strain!
There is no eye strain even after 12 hours of reading for 14 days straight. You might want to adjust the brightness if it is too much for your eyes, but usually the internal sensor takes care of that. Just observe the same precautions you take while reading paper books.

iPad 2 for Medical Students
Model : 3G + WiFi 64 GB White
Reason: 64 GB fills up in a day if you have a huge eBook and Educational Video collection.
3G is not just for Internet access. Only 3G version has a GPS receiver built in. It is better to have a GPS version for a little more. Once you get the newer version of iPad you can use this one in your car for navigation and entertainment. White iPad 2 is superior to black, if you are an avid reader.

iPad 2 Apps for Medical Students
PDF reading – GoodReader
CHM files – CHMate-lite or the Full version
Video playback – VLC, FlexPlayer, PlayerX

Apr 5

I miss

1) Operator/Service Messages and Commands(ussd widget solves the commands problem, but needs more dev to handle service messages and their reply commands). Fully functional with the new Update.

2) A simple SMS list with marking capability for archiving and deletion.

3) Ovi Maps for Indian small towns.

4) And Ovi Sync. (Pc sync is working and I was able to copy all contact from my 3110classic to this one by connecting both to the pc)

I like every single feature-

like, the light sensor for lcd and keyboard illumination, the browser, the feel of the keypad , the crisp display, the fast wifi scanner, the media player that plays almost every type ofvideo, the freedom that comes with the device, and the feeling that I truely own this phone.

I strongly recommend a bluetooth or wired handsfree set to avoid wrist strain using this 1/4 kg hardware…. Ahh the days of motorola bricks are back again.

[Posted from my N900]

Aug 2

My WordPress Blog got hacked !

Posted by Praneel

It kept getting forwarded to other sites when my site is clicked in Google results. The 2 most forwarded sites were “windows-antispyware-2008.com” and “zhaba.biz” and Avira anti virus always popped a warning that said-

there is a Virus or unwanted program ‘HTML/Crypted.Gen [virus]’

I read about this and took steps to recover my blog. The old theme is the culprit. I got rid of it and am upgrading to the latest version of WordPress now.

Aug 2

The recent accident in Gautami express where so many people lost their lives to fire and many more injured is a very gruesome event even to read. Most of them were not aware of the fire and many suffocated and became unconscious, leaving them in the path of the fire. The fire in a moving train spreads extremely fast and produces very high temperatures. It’s like a blow furnace with people inside. Though there is a plan to create Coaches with Fire Retardant materials, that doesn’t prevent the passenger luggage to act as fuel. So in addition to that, what can be done to prevent such a tragedy and limit the damage is to implement available technology in all coaches. It costs just a fraction of the profits the Indian Railways is making in a single day.

1) Let all coaches be fitted with Heat Sensors, Smoke Detectors, Fire Alarms (all are located in 3 to 4 places in every coach) and an Emergency Alert system that stops all electricity to that coach, Turns the emergency lights to switch on (better still, depending on the direction of the fire, these lights can direct the passengers towards a safe exit), warns the Engine Driver and sends the location of the train to the nearest station (GPS location or Rail Track way points what ever works).
2) The fire spreads very fast when the train is moving. So the driver can stop the train in with in a few seconds after the warning or else the system will stop it automatically.
3) Infrared cameras fitted on a periscope in the engine to visually confirm the fire.

More time consuming technologies like sprinklers and fire retardant foam sprays , metal wings deployed at the ends of the coaches to prevent spreading of fire and better door locks should be implemented without delay.

We must use the technology we are so proudly exporting at least for our safety.

Aug 2

Problem
This is a simple solution for Fiat Palio 1.9D starting problem where the Pump Indicator fails to go off after 10 seconds and if you try to start the car anyway, there will be a loss of power.
Solution
Try this- put the key in and start it with one quick turn. It works almost all the time.

Explanation:

Normal Procedure: Key in >> Twist to start battery power >> wait for the heater and pump indicators to go off >> Twist more to start ignition.

Solution procedure: Key in >> Twist all the way to start ignition.

Jul 30

Intel July 2008 Price Drop
Intel announced a huge price drop in Core 2 Duo CPU segment on 21st July 2008. The best buy now is Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16 GHz 6MB L2 Cache). Current Price in India is going below Rs 8,500. Here is the original Intel Price list. Since I am a Quad Core fan, I was not very happy with this.

Intel August 2008 Price Drop
When I went to place an order for Q9450 (Quad core 2.6 GHz, 12MB L2 cache) processor my dealer suggested me to wait for a couple of weeks. There is a memo sent to the distributors about a new price cut scheduled for 10th August 2008, in Quad Core segment and it is a really good one. Intel Q9450 and Q9550 are currently at Rs. 15,500 and Rs. 25,500 respectively. Q9450 is going to be phased out and Q9550 is going to be available for Rs. 15,000 + taxes.

May 1

I read this Indian inventor who lives in penury just now, and it is about the inventor of an amphibious bicycle from Bihar, who made it under Rs 6000 against patented designs of Rs 45000 to 50000. The BBC got an interview and declared that NIF used and left the guy to his fate. The NIF gave an explanation about the help he received and expressed their sympathy and apology for not being able to make this a financial success for the Inventor.

My Ideas
I think this amphibious Bicycle / Tricycle can be sold in states like Kerala and in countries like Thailand where waters ways are highly used.
Instead of the usual boat, tourists can get a ride on this amphibious bicycle / tricycle. They can even rent their own Amphibicycle and have a trip in the water ways. If successful we can see couples in this amphibicycle instead of a gondola in Venice.

If you have any ideas please share them here.

Apr 27

2 Things about Yahoo Hosting

[1] Yahoo Removed the line “500 Concurrent MySQL connections” from their features list. I couldn’t find it anywhere in their site now. May be they realized that it’s too much for such a low price.

[2] Yahoo India is offering a domain, 5 GB space, 200 GB transfer and a Rs 250 worth of Ad promotion for Rs. 999/Year. Not a bad deal, considering they are offering .in domains also which go for Rs 800/year on renewals. The catch – it’s only for small businesses, so no personal sites are officially allowed. The workaround is – You can call any site with ads as a small business venture and may one day actually make it your cash cow.

Apr 9

2 Broadband Connections, 1 Billing Account – Convert BSNL’s Free land line into a second Broadband Connection

I already have a Home 900 Unlimited Connection from BSNL.
Recently a marketing guy from BSNL called me and offered a free phone connection for 1 year. The reason – I was paying more than Rs 1500 per month in bills for the past one year. He told me that this new phone has no free calls and no security deposit or installation charges. The call charges were Rs. 1.20/min.

Then I asked him if I could use this new phone for a second broadband connection. He told me that this was the first time he had heard this question. So he checked and told me that it’s absolutely possible. He gave me a choice of numbers and picked a good one out of them. I said OK, and believe it or not, with in 1 hour I got my new phone installed. The phone was activated the next morning. I applied for a Home 500 plan and paid for the Type 2 Modem (1 WiFi + 1 LAN port). With in 4 days I got a second broadband connection with a Type 4 Modem (1 WiFi + 4 LAN ports). The guy who brought it doesn’t even know what he is holding. I opted out for installation, so he gave me the DNS, login, pass, helpline no. etc. and left.

Now I have a Home 900 automatically converted into a Home 750 (which I will convert into a Flexi 350 next month) and a Home 500 Plan. I use the unlimited one all day and for all systems and the 500 (with 2Mbps true speed) in the free hours. I wanted this setup for more than a year now. And they always said that one billing account can get only one Broadband connection at home. Somehow it’s changed for the better.

Apr 8

Here is a big disappointment with a little bit of good news.
The disappointment
“Flexi 350” is a 256 kbps plan, not a 256 – 2 Mbps one. And there is no Night time free (2-8am)

The Good News
“Home 900” unlimited is now “Home 750” unlimited (at 256 kbps). A slash in price of Rs. 150 . BSNL automatically changed all Home 900 plans into Home 750 Plans.

If you are not sure how much bandwidth you are going to use, then take Flexi 350 which is enough for casual browsing, email and a lot of instant messaging. If you exceed the plan’s limit of 2GB in a month you will be charged at Rs. 0.85 /MB of transfer. So after exceeding ~ 2.5 GB of transfer in a month your plan will become unlimited Home 750 for that month only.

Impact
Is minimal, but encourages more people to get a broadband (as it is called by BSNL) connection.
Decreased risk of heavy bills, compared to Home 125 , Home 250 and Home 500 plans which are not suitable for people with less understanding about bandwidth.
If your broadband usage varies between months this plan will save a good amount of money. There is no worry if you decided to use more bandwidth in a particular month- your monthly bill will never exceed Rs. 750

People who don’t have a clue about the bandwidth, usually take a plan with minimal monthly pay i:e 125, 250 and 500 Home plans. And most of them end up paying the heavy bills. There was no option for an optimal speed + cost plan in Broadband category. The beauty of this Flexi 350 plan is not fully explained by BSNL people. They have to brush up their pitch. We used to pay 12000 (including taxes) for a 900 Home plan per year. Now the same plan costs between 4600 to 9960 depending upon usage.

Recommended

I strongly recommend BSNL Flexi 350 Broadband plan for – email , browsing and instant messaging.

For beginners and parents at home.

For net junkies. If you are on Home 900 (or Home 750 now) you can change to Home 350. There is a psychology aspect here. There is no excuse now. If you know that ‘not being a net junkie’, you can save money, then it can help cure net addiction.

For people with legitimate necessity for net access and a tight budget- like job seekers and part timers. They actually know the value of money.

I hope, one day, we all can enjoy much higher speeds and learn to better utilize the resources.

Apr 7

Good News for New Webmasters and Small Businesses.
There are many web hosting deals that oversell and offer unlimited everything for peanuts and ban you when you try to use what they promised. They offer this because they know you are not going to use. But when Yahoo announced their new Unlimited Hosting plan I was sure that it is going to make a huge difference.

This plan replaced all the 3 old plans ( Starter, Standard and Professional ). Yahoo says the plan includes Unlimited Web Space, Unlimited Transfer, Unlimited MySQL 4.1 databases and Unlimited Storage for the 1000 email accounts besides all the other goodies like constant backups and multiple mirrors.The best part is 500 concurrent MySQL connections, which is not offered by anyone in this price range.

Apr 7

Did not happen. Check this post.

At last the day we are all waiting for has arrived. Unlimited 2Mbps Broadband Home Plan is here. BSNL gave this ad today and I’ve confirmed with the their customer care. This is going to be integrated into the system tomorrow i:e 8th April 2008. I repeatedly asked them if it is a 256 kbps to 2Mbps plan (Like the Home plan 500) or one like the current Home 900 Plus at 256kbps constant speed and their answer was very exciting to me. It is a 256kbs to 2Mbps variable speed plan (like Home 500) . BSNL did mention that this is an Unlimited Plan in the ad and their customer care explained what “Maximum Rs 750 per month billing” means.

BSNL Broadband Unlimited 2mbps Flexi 350 Home Plan


The Plan Details

1. You pay Rs 350 per month for 2GB of transfer limit.
2. Once your limit is exceeded, you are billed Rs 0.85/MB of transfer.
3. The maximum billed amount per month is Rs 750.
4. Once the overage exceeds 470 MB (470 x .85 = Rs 400) or your total bill reaches Rs 750 ( initial 350 + 400 = 750) the plan becomes unlimited, and you will be billed no more than Rs 750 for that month.
5. No more “2 AM to 8 AM free hours”. (Who needs them now ?)
6. This plan is for a limited period only. ( It sounds cheesy.. cos they didn’t say if they are going to keep the plan for a limited time or the sign-up period for a limited time)

This the coolest thing BSNL has ever done (besides rural mobiles). I am waiting till tomorrow to see if they keep these specs or change them to 256 kbps.


It’s Impact

– More e-learning courses can be launched by providers
– Rich content can be delivered without compressing too much detail
– The real broadband experience can be felt by everyone
– Students have more time to learn and less frustration downloading a lecture
– We can see an exponential increase in creation and exchange of rich media content

Let’s see tomorrow whether this holds true.

Feb 15

Yesterday, I was searching for a cable in my attic and I found a rusty piece of metal fitted with a wooden handle. I brought it down to throw it away. Then I found out that, this is my Air Rifle which was a gift from my uncle in 1994.

The butt was broken off at the grip. It’s GNW India make .22 cal with Grill tip, scope rail and an excellent Trigger. They don’t make this anymore. I bought a Chinese made Sisco Air Pistol a couple of weeks ago and because of it’s pathetic performance (couldn’t even pierce a coke can at 10m) some new boxes of .22 pellets are in my closet. I loaded the old rifle with a .22 pellet, set up an empty Coke can, aimed and fired a shot. I was totally surprised. This gun was not used for 7 years and it is covered in rust, still the first shot sliced through the coke can, a plastic bin behind it and chipped off a piece of cement before ricocheting and hitting my hand.

I gave it a quick overhaul, fixed it with some nylon rope (the screws on the sides are not available, I have to find some other solution) and zeroed it with some rusty tricks. Now it is amazingly accurate even at 20m. Here is a coke can and my old air rifle.

Coke Can with Air Rifle Shots
My old Air Rifle
GNW Air Rifle Logo

Jan 24

Vegan Breakfast Recipe 001

Posted by Praneel

Ziziphus + Muesli

This is a Good breakfast to start the day.
Take 45 gm muesli with 6 fruits of Ziziphus mauritiana (regu pandu in Telugu). Muesli are available in all Major Super Markets. There are many blends and brands of muesli some have added dry fruits. For best results select a brand without any added sugar. Muesli are usually better than cornflakes and have a high fiber content and low glycemic index.

You can add sliced banana or diced apple for a change. Keep changing the fruit everyday.
You can eat it dry or with some hot milk.

Ziziphus Plus Muesli Breakfast

Jan 24

Laptop Fan Sound Solution

Posted by Praneel

Toshiba R15 Tablet PC / Laptop Fan Sound Problem – Solution

My Toshiba R15 Tablet is making a lot of noise and the Fan is running at full speed almost all the time. In addition to this the laptop is overheating. Usually this is caused by clogging of the heat-sink or fan blades with dust.
My options were –

1) Send it to service (1200km away)
2) Replace the fan and heat sink by my self
3) Try a simple repair. Though risky I took the third option and proceeded with the cleaning.

[Caution: This procedure is not tested thoroughly and any harm caused to the equipment is unknown. Proceed at your own risk.]

Procedure:
1) Turnoff the laptop, remove battery and Remove all connectors.
2) Use suction to remove easy dirt.
3) Use fine nozzle attachment to blow away hard dirt.
4) Use suction again to remove any dirt residue. (If the cleaning is complete, you will hear a whistle during suction- this indicates the vents and fan blades are dirt free.)
5) Plug-in all connectors, replace battery and plug-in power.
*Extra Caution: Some suggest removing Ram modules and Hard Disk also during this procedure. I did not remove them and there seems to be no problem.

After the cleaning my Laptop is cooler and more silent than before. I might need to change the fan later, but this cleaning bought me more time and less noise.
Toshiba Satellite R15 Tablet PC /Laptop Fan Cleaning

Jan 8

This is a real inspiration for me. Lee and Sachi are doing a great work in a simple yet powerful way.

Dec 29

CMS : Vivvo
Problem: mod_rewrite not working/enabled on 1and1 hosting.
The main problem for implementing Vivvo CMS News Publishing system on 1and1’s non server packages is the confusion about mod_rewrite. Well it is enabled by default, according to 1and1. The problem we see while installing Vivvo is the pre-install page that checks and gives us a “?” after mod_rewrite. If we proceed ignoring the problem the installation will end up in a 500 error or 404 error.
Solution:
Just add this one line in .htaccess file in the Vivvo root directory (before starting installation). After the line RewriteEngine On just add

Rewritebase /

. The .htaccess file might look like this before the change

Options All -Indexes
ErrorDocument 404 /404.php

FileETag MTime Size


RewriteEngine On

RewriteRule ^sitemap\.xml$ feed.php?output_type=sitemap [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*)(\.html|\.htm)$ index.php [L]

..ofcourse there are more lines of code after this.

And after the change-

Options All -Indexes
ErrorDocument 404 /404.php

FileETag MTime Size


RewriteEngine On
Rewritebase /
RewriteRule ^sitemap\.xml$ feed.php?output_type=sitemap [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*)(\.html|\.htm)$ index.php [L]

That’s all. You will see that installation pre-check detects mod_rewrite this time and you can start tasting the flavor of Vivvo.

Dec 29

Tringme ideas !

Posted by Praneel

I just got these ideas about how tringme can be used.

-If you have a tringme widget at your homepage you can receive wedding/birthday wishes as voice greetings, even when people don’t know your number.

-When someone wants to complement you, but they are shy, they can use tringme. 🙂

-Anonymity and accessibility are the best features of tringme. But you might get some unwanted threats/messages also if you don’t protect it. Any calls for me 🙂

Dec 5

Cool 3D Animation

Posted by Praneel

I love this animation. Simple and brilliant.

Esc - Animatior Vs Animation In 3D - Click here for the funniest movie of the week

Dec 4

Got my tringme! account

Posted by Praneel

Just now I received my tingme invitation. Now anyone can leave me a voice message right on this blog.