Monday, December 31, 2012

Hands on with Lumia 710

I should have probably waited till the end of December or January for the launch of Nokia’s Lumia 920 which is going to be a Win8 phone. My Superpartner thinks that I’m a little impatient to have not waited and that’s true because I bought a Lumia 710 which has Windows 7.5 Mango OS upgradable to Windows 7.8.

I removed the ordinary SIM from my old phone to transfer to this one. I noticed that this one required a mini chip. I told myself that there were 2 options available – either go to the nearest Vodafone store and request a mini SIM (who knows how many days they take to give us one for the same number) or do the necessary bit myself which is cutting (literally cutting it with scissors) the original one on all sides (just ensuring that the little circuitry on the chip is not disturbed). I did the latter and after I inserted the short chip into the ‘Chip holder’ and saw ‘Vodafone In’ on the phone, it seemed like a little accomplishment.

I started playing with the camera of the phone then. This one has a 5 MP camera and there is a key in the right hand side of the phone which activates the camera at one go. And the second press of the same enables one to shoot pictures. On the other hand, one can also touch the screen for a few seconds and get the picture captured. The picture quality is too good and now I understand as to why the Lumias are marketed more as Photography instruments than anything else.

Now let me talk about the most exciting features, which seem to be Nokia’s promoters. Nokia Drive is nothing but ‘fantastic’. You need to turn on your ‘Location identifier’ and this Drive shows you the road you are riding on and when you fix up the destination, it would show you the shortest route to reach the place. One can do intelligent things like fixing up the everyday destination (say, your workplace) and every morning the in-built app would compare the congestion which is there on the different routes and suggest you the best route to take that fine morning. While I was travelling to my hometown last Wednesday, I started comparing the shortest route the App showed me and the route the Auto driver was taking. To my amusement, he took the shortest route possible. So, yes we still have good auto drivers who don’t cheat people by taking circular routes and if we come across such, we have now our own sweet systems to make them take the right routes for us. No wonder people can travel from anywhere to nowhere using this technology (well… “if” you have the right charge points and know how to use your battery efficiently). I also looked at Nokia Maps while I was using Nokia Drive which showed me the speed at which the auto was moving and the route it was taking. This map shows the aerial view of places (one can turn it on or off), traffic conditions on roads, etc. The sensor is too good that any deviation from 0 degree is well captured. Nokia City lens (the application that is bragged by the Mobile stores) on the other hand is like ‘Google Mini Maps’. It shows us a variety of information in the next whatever-radius that we are interested in, like food joints, hotels, shopping places, famous areas, fun elements, sight-seeing, transport and anything that we would like to search for. For example, I can type “Nokia Priority Center” and all the centers in the city would feature in the list, sorted by their nearness to you.

There are 100’s of applications one can download seamlessly from the Marketplace. They have got categories like ‘New and Impressive apps of the week’, ‘Top apps and Games’, ‘New’, etc. I have downloaded two photo-editing softwares inspired by my Superpartner’s extensive use of Photofunia. One is called a 3D photomaker and if you try editing any picture through this maker, it gives you a 3D image. The other one is called a ‘Creative Studio’ and it is quite creative as it works on the photos to create different effects and there are interesting face warps like mega mouth, pinochia, superchia, twister, etc.

There is this Gchat which is primarily created for staying connected to our Google friends. The free version of which reads “It’s not limited or anything because we love you”. If you go to the ‘Related’ section in there, it shows you some 10 other apps one of which is ‘Talk to Girls’. I guess there could not have been a more straight-forward name . There is the current favorite – Watsapp – the free messaging, audio & video sharing software, Youtube to search and look for all kinds of videos, Tunein radio which connects to radio channels all over the world. There is the very colorful timespoynt which gives you weather updates, shows you nearby restaurants, movies and the theatres, latest events happening and even nightlife.

There are all the important MS Office tools – Excel, Word and Powerpoint. There is even Skydrive and Xbox live. We have the MSN India for Online shopping. The phone is complete touch, however there are three buttons at the bottom – one is the back button, one is the ‘Windows’ button and one is the search button, the default search browser is of course Bing and the Bing photos change even when you turn the screen and are updated from day to day.

There is Nokia Music where you can listen to your stored lists or listen to different radio stations or hear unlimited scores from the store. The store names its playlists as ‘Party on your mind’, so if party is in your mind and you don’t have anyone to party around with, turn it on :). I just glanced through some of the apps and found the details of a few quite interesting… Read them while you can.

Jet Set Go: Welcome aboard the next generation of time management. Help April build her budding travel agency empire and fly.

Photobeamer: It’s a new, innovative and easy way to show your pictures on any screen. Just point your Nokia Lumia at any screen.

Impossible Shoota: You are the last survivor of your race, the elite pilot known as Starboxer. Your last and only mission is to take out as many Sho-dan ships as possible before crumbling to their relentless march.

Turn and Run: The world has turned… (what does this even mean). Twist the world around you in order to find a pathway to the cute, big-eared alien’s crashed ship.

Farm frenzy: If you think life in the big city is crazy, wait until you get a load of the country life in Farm frenzy, while managing a wild and wacky farm.

Insects killer: It’s a game where the objective is to kill as many insects as you can while avoiding scorpions.

Make-up girls: The Girls are finally here and they need your sense of style and fashion to get the perfect look.

His&Hers: Find out how much you really know about your nearest and dearest while finding out if they know the real you.

Enjoy! Have a Cheerful New year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Enlightenment

That is what has been brought by the recent release of 2 more Sketchbook chapters! First of all, we get to know that Ooba also dreams dreams as weird as Hazuki or Natsumi:

Second of all, Daichi is still trying to teach Kate correct pronunciation but somehow they end up being tongue-twisters for them:

We are also shown that opening a candy wrapper is not as easy as it looks and I agree with that. It has happened too many time to me too to ignore laughing at that:

Finally, the enlightening bit… I almost fainted after seeing Juju-senpai’s fully open eyes for the first time:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I recently upgraded from Win7 to Win8. On both of my laptops (I’m going to point out what doesn’t work because they are more interesting to recount than saying that my MATLAB programs work without any fuss!):

Acer Aspire 5610Z

The ‘new’ apps Photos, Music, and Video don’t find files in the respective libraries, which they are supposed to do by default!

It’s not that these are the primary apps that I have to use so am not much bothered about their dis-functionality. But I liked the Music app in Win8’s Release Preview and if they worked in Win8RP, why the hell don’t they work in Win8?

The shutdown seems to proceed all right but a message always pops up on restart: “Your PC ran into a problem…”:

I just hit “Send Details” and get on with my life.

Fujitsu LifeBook T4410

Fujitsu Shock Sensor and OmniPass Fingerprint Reader are not compatible with Win8. Also mentioned on that page is the fact that the automatic rotation of screen from notebook to tablet mode won’t happen anymore due to Fujitsu (Tablet Controls) settings. That will be taken care by Win8… But in my case, it doesn’t and I have to hit the relevant physical button (see below) to change the screen orientation every time I change modes.

All drivers work fine but the driver for Security Panel Buttons needed to be uninstalled & reinstalled while having UAC settings turned off for the buttons (incl. the one for changing screen orientation) to work. Also doing a few restarts may not hurt before you try to tweak the drivers.

Advice: Suspend BitLocker Encryption & Turn Off TPM before upgrading and be damn sure those panel buttons work after upgrade before you shut off the laptop or you could be in a hell lot of trouble.
Catch: TPM has to be turned on through BIOS after upgrade so if you’ve forgotten that password, leave it alone. It took me 7 tries to get the password right and you do know that the computer locks after 3 wrong tries, don’t you? Thankfully, the button panel was working and I could get on after entering the security code. Anyway, resuming encryption is no hassle after the TPM is turned on.

The webcam doesn’t work in the ‘Modern UI’ apps. It works fine on the Desktop apps. This is when you have Fj Camera (drivers provided by Fujitsu) installed. If you install Microsoft’s USB Video Device driver instead, the webcam works everywhere but the image is flipped! So back to square 1.

I like to think of these as ‘hardware’ issues… Nothing much Win8 can do about them but let me bring to your notice 3 ‘major’ Win8 dum-bass-ery:

1. Win8 sets the maximum brightness level of the screen depending on who knows what. That means you can’t increase the brightness if you want / need to but just decrease it, which is infuriating at times!

2. There is some issue with ‘Personalization’. First of all, the Bing Dynamic theme doesn’t ‘install’ properly. Secondly, the background chooser screen is too slow to load (it was so even in Win7) and then the ‘default’ Windows Desktop Background folder doesn’t show subfolders. [Well, these are issues related to restart I guess so your mileage may vary… as I can now see subfolders when choosing the WDB folder.]

3. The on-screen keyboard doesn’t appear on its own in desktop apps. Let me be precise: In Win7, when you clicked / focused on a text field, a small keyboard icon would pop up near the blinking cursor and you could bring forth the OSK by clicking on that icon. Even if there was no icon (like for gtalk), there would always be a floating edge of the keyboard at the screen’s edge that you could click and get the OSK back. But now in Win8 there are no such visual cues to make it appear on-screen. The keyboard’s icon just sits there on the taskbar and if you’re like me who likes to hide the taskbar to get more screen-space then it is frustrating to click on the text field, go to the task bar, and then click the keyboard icon to make it slide-up on the screen!

This is taking a step backward from the better functionality that was provided in the previous OS version, very much like the Live Mesh & SkyDrive debacle. I can not add much to whatever has been said about LM vs. SD already but let me rant away anyway. Why would you go from a ‘generic framework of sharing solutions’ (LM) to a ‘specific partial solution to a sharing problem, which was already taken care by the generic framework’ (SD)? In LM, arbitrary folders could be synced arbitrarily to arbitrary (compatible) devices (SD was just another ‘device’) and shared & synced with arbitrary (≤10) people. This is what I mean by ‘generic’. In SD, only folders in the SkyDrive folder can be synced to ‘arbitrary’ devices with SD now being a permanent device (not that it’s bad but let’s leave that for others to discuss) and they can be shared (just shared and not synced) with arbitrary (?) people. That’s all I have to say for someone to be able to compare what has happened during the transition from LM to SD. [Well… thanks for making things clear. (umm… ‘confusing’ really! )]

With the recent update to SD, now at least you can choose which folders (the folders still need to be in SkyDrive folder) sync to which devices (the web storage is still a permanent ‘device’ but that’s expected) but still no syncing of shared folders.

How can you write “Everything but files shared with you will sync” as an option and not have a thought: “You know what, there should be another option before this saying that Everything including files shared with you will sync”? Anyway, that’s that. [Yeah… and don’t worry if you did not get the head and tail of any of it, I did not either and after enjoying being called dum-bass by him, I figured out that he is trying to state the fact that only your folders are visible in the SD location. Makes complete sense, yes. But if he had shared 3 GB of data with me and I already had 2 GB, I would be losing 5 GB of the 25 GB available to me whereas currently it’s just 2 GB. It is meant to work in a more efficient way, or No? – No. Ideally (efficiently), the folder shared by me showing up in your SD would be more like a placeholder (that links to my SD) and so shouldn’t cost you any storage space. And on top of that, it gives you a choice to sync it to your laptop(s) too if you like (provided your HDD permits)!]

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moon-shots

I remember to have taken really pathetic photographs of the moon. The samples are below.

Your immediate question then is ‘Why are you showing me such samples?’. Well… from there I get to tell you how not to click bad photographs. I was using Canon’s Powershot SX220. And definitely it was not the fault of the camera for the shots to have come out poor, the settings were such. I had set the ISO to 1600 in these pictures and always believed that higher ISO is to be used in dark settings but I realized that it is only partially true, i.e., when you are in low-lit rooms or closed spaces. My Superpartner told me that “Moon is not dark and hence it is very obvious that good pictures won’t come out when I set the ISO to the maximum”. (He talks louder than his normal voice when he is discussing technical stuff!)

Anyway, ignoring him, I was in my native place last fortnight and I tried playing with the manual mode of my Panasonic camera DMC-ZS20. And one picture came out to be interesting. But before I go into showing you the nice one, I will share with you the steps that I followed to get it.

Having learnt about ISO, I started working with Exposure and tried controlling the amount of light reaching the sensors. I fixed up the ISO to 100 and changed the Exposure. As you can see in the pictures below, when the exposure was half a sec, I got a very shaky picture and it appears like two half-moons. It is a bad click from any angle but I have some reasons for liking it too . So ½s seems to be too long as the moon is not only a white spot but the hand-shake has been captured too! Then I reduced the exposure time and saw the shakiness disappearing as well as the brightness reducing till at 1/30s, things seemed just about right. It’s still dim as you can notice and to correct that ISO could have been increased but perhaps zooming was a better option at that point.

The following .gif file will show you the improvements as Exposure is being changed in the four pictures above.

My next plan then was to increase the Zoom (the above are shot at a modest 25.9mm focal length). Higher zoom resulted in blurred photographs too because of the camera shakes. But you want the lens zoomed out to max focal length so that you get the best possible close-up of the Moon. So the real issue is to deal with the Aperture settings along with the Exposure. The following shots (as you can tell) are from a different night.

Well, so I put my knowledge through first-hand experience of ISO (keep it low), Zoom (as much as possible), Exposure (low to the extent that the details are sharp), Aperture (let as much light to fall on the sensors as possible but avoid over-exposure) together and finally, here is the self-proclaimed nice image.

I’m still an amateur and currently wondering if there could have been the best picture that I could have shared with you with a setting of say, ISO: 200; Focal Length: 41.3 mm; Exposure: 1/60s; Aperture: f/5.4. Who knows?

Acknowledgements: My Superpartner for creating the .gif file, for teaching me all these technical details and for the beautiful Cherry-red Panasonic camera itself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shers She Shared

People search weird things and land up here. Here’s another example:

Someone wants to hear Surendra Sharma’s interview. Well, Don’t search in Google; search in YouTube already! And then someone wants to introduce oneself with the help of shers… WOW! What an ambition. I just want to be able to utter one simple sentence without any stammering and stuttering and hesitation in contrast to what I seem to do most of the time: “Oh… Hi! ya… umm… I’m Dharmesh.”!

Anyway, here are some shers courtesy of my superpartner’s pen but without any translations (to fill-up this month’s posts quota):

When Her relatives bug Her with questions about me:

ये जो इलज़ाम हम पर हर दिन लगते हैं काश उन्हें भी तो पता चले
दिल का धडकना, मुस्कुराके सहम जाना काबिले-तारीफ नहीं तो और क्या है

When She was surrounded by the mesmerizing weather at Kolkata:

बारिश का समा है, बहारें नौजवाँ हैं
ऐसे में तुम कहाँ हो और हम कहाँ हैं

When I suggested I have never uttered harsh words to Her:

प्यार मोहब्बत कि बातें वो किसी और से सीखने जा रहे थे
पास बैठे थे हम और वो अपनी किस्मत पे रोये जा रहे थे

इज़हार जब किया हमने, तब उन्हें ये समझ में आया
कितने नादान थे वो, जो अकेले जिंदगी जिए जा रहे थे

When I doubted that the above shers were Her original creations:

दिल दुखाया है मैंने तुम्हारा ऐसे ही कई बार
दी है इजाज़त इसकी तुमने ये है अच्छी बात

फायदा उठाने का मुझे कोई शौक़ नहीं है
ये गलतफ़हमी नहीं रखना कभी अपने पास

When She thought of being philosophical without me provoking Her, which has also led the length of the two lines to not quite match [;)]:

ज़िंदगी में कई ठोकरें खाई हैं हमने
वो आए हैं तो उनसे जूंझकर निकलने की हिम्मत आई है

When She was in the mood of bugging me:

बड़े बेमिसाल लग रहे हैं आज
क्या कुछ चटपटा छुपा रहे हैं आप?

कभी लगता है हमारा इम्तिहान लिया जा रहा है
प्यार में अब क्यूँ ये भी नहीं सहा जा रहा है

I poked my nose in between just like that:

मेरे तो जी भर कर बहुत इम्तिहान लिए
जब देने का वक़्त आया तो शायरी कर लिए?

She continued:

काश आप ऐसे ही लिखते रहें
हमारे दिल को खुश करते रहें

हम जी यूँ ही बहलाते रहें
आपकी यादों में आते रहें

When I said I’m going to sleep instead of talking to Her:

वैसे तो आपसे तू-तू मैं-मैं करना बड़ा अच्छा लगता है
लेकिन आज जो आप नहीं हैं सोचे चैन की नींद लेते हैं

When I shared some shers with Her from Anubhuti:

दिन की थकान झट में दूर हो गयी
आपने सुनाई जो शायरी, शाम रंगीन हो गयी।

–Snehil Sethia (स्नेहिल सेठिया)

Well, that’s too much of the so-called & well-hated ‘romantic’ poetry. Such close proximity to it makes my head twitch, my eyes droop, my ears dry up, and my hands ache so I need to rest now. You may continue with

something Else

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kitchens from India

Remember that post I wrote ages ago? No, you say! I mean this one, where I reviewed Amy’s Mattar Paneer.

Well, I thought I’d do a similar thing for this week’s post! I had bought Bombay Kitchen’s Mattar Paneer a few weeks back. This (cheaper than Amy’s) product had the following packaging with a dumb serving suggestion:

Who the hell eats mattar paneer with rice and that also with the former just poured over the latter? Anyway, the actual setting of the material inside was more ridiculous:

Put some more rice in there, dammit! I had to slurp the gravy at the end of this meal with no rice left to soak in it! I didn’t count the pieces of paneer cubes this time but at least half a dozen should have been there. The dish overall was good, especially its smell but the taste was quite bland. Well, bland is a strong word so let me rephrase it to say that though it felt nice to eat, something felt amiss.

That’s all I want to rant right now… I mean what’s the point of life if your superpartner doesn’t eat paneer, anyway? So fast forwarding to ratings:

• Aroma – 1
• Flavour – ½
• Texture – 1
• Bliss – ½

I’d give it a rating of 4/5. Check out

another Kitchen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Freeze…

… NOT you! The OTHERS.

That may give you a vision of some robbery/heist-comedy movie like this but here I’m talking about MS Research’s new endeavour with photos: Cliplets.

Look at this video to see what it does.

Cliplets Tutorial

Watching these tutorials is sort of crucial because the GUI itself is not so user-friendly i.e. self-explanatory (unless I guess you’re into non-trivial video editing) but once you watch these videos you will feel at the top of the world!

So who, in their sane minds, wouldn’t want to give this ‘app’ a try themselves? That’s what I thought, so I downloaded it and started to make a cliplet. But I was stuck at that point because I don’t have any good videos from which something even remotely interesting could be made.

After searching through 3-4 highly shaky videos, I settled on this one (the video below is no longer shaky because YouTube asked me if I wanted to stabilize the video and I agreed):

Pigeons at KTM

After 5 minutes of trying to choose a suitable portion in the video to animate (you can import only 10 seconds of a video into this app) and another 10 minutes to get the mask right, I finally had the following cliplet in my hands (metaphorically) to call my own! [Points or well-wishes or phone call(s) from me if you can figure out the animated interval of the cliplet correctly in the video above…]

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jam-packed

That’s what Sketchbook’s just-released 2 chapters are… Jam-packed with jocular situations! Though Sora doesn’t appear till the very end of the second chapter, other club members along with Minamo take a great jab at the job of delivering endless jokes!

Here are 3 sample strips from those 2 chapters (it was very hard picking these out of the equally hilarious other strips):

I wish I could take compliments as well as Juju Sasaki!

Hahaha… “that person!” This strip made my day!

Considering I now own a tripod too, this strip has hit more than one spot!

When my superpartner first read this strip, She thought Nagisa was trying to click some shots in the air. When I heard of that, I could hardly contain my contempt-filled-laughter and told Her so: “Sketchbook is not your cup of tea”!

She didn’t like that… She Really didn’t like that! So I thought I would give Her some space in this post to make up for my bragging (which I even do on my G+ profile). She says, “I particularly like this strip:

because it reminded me of the Engineering days, when students who were not part of any Club or Department were called something similar to the ‘Going Home Club’. The beauty of this strip is the expression in the last panel.”

Anyway, care for some more

JAM

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dandelions

It’s been a while since I posted anything about photography. So this is the perfect time to post something on that topic because I bought a tripod (this one) last week… even if (not) just to show my new tripod! Here’s me shooting a mirror image of myself with the camera stabilized on the tripod:

Let me show you one dandelion that survived the summer and made it to the fall. This one was in the lawn just outside my current apartment. I wanted to capture the silky / puffy nature of the cotton-like threads or to be more philosophical: the ‘fragility of existence’.

These two photos are shot in macro mode. And although the focus is not that sharp over the full whiteness of the head, I think they’re quite acceptable. At least I’ve accepted them!

These two shots were shot in iAuto mode where I set the Live Guide’s ‘Express Motions’ setting to the minimum at ‘Stop Motion’. So this setting basically does a freeze frame when the flower is rocking back & forth in the wind, which also explains the slight blurring in the photos shot in the macro mode above. But so what, I hear you say? These 2 shots are more interesting because the top shot is highly crisp at the center of the flower-head and the bottom one is crystal clear at its periphery. I guess that is because I messed up by being too close so that the focus area was small. This slight error in judgment made me wish I could have done ‘Focus Bracketing’ and then I could have stacked those photos such that the whole flower-head was crisp & crystal clear! That’s wishful thinking on so many levels (as in I don’t have any software that is able to do that, for starters) but most importantly because the camera’s battery ran out…

Power Outages

Real vs. Virtual

It’s sometimes unnerving to work as an offshore partner and when you visit a Real branch, you realize how far you are from the actual world and reading data is just a small part of the whole game. The customer representative asked me to show her my account details on one of the fancy screens she had in the branch. I saw people picking up the phones and directly contacting the call centre guys. The representatives could speak decent English and most importantly, knew whom to ask about the problems at hand.

The customer representative took me to the cabin of the Branch manager. He asked me why was I not primarily banking with them and shared some investment ideas he had for me. He laughed and giggled at the current Political affairs. I saw that he read Economic Times and was comfortable discussing his opinions. May be because I was sitting in the Branch Manager’s office that people served me with drinks (I realized that later). Something astonishing happened as I was planning to leave the room along with the representative. An old man walked in without permission, looked at the representative, gave a stare which meant something like “Get lost while I'm talking here” and announced to the manager ‘I have great news for you’. He talked about his selection as a health minister, how he stood second in the elections and how difficult it was fighting the cut-throat competition. The Branch manager was delighted, his face started glowing all of a sudden. He preferred ignoring us, the existing inhabitants of the room and continued the conversation with the old man. While they were talking, I noticed that there were a few awards given to the branch for their great service, for customer experience, for crossing 1000 crores in deposits, for being one of the best in a quarter, etc. I felt that the old man must be one of those ‘Big-shots’ as people call them here. I sneaked out and as expected, no one noticed.

May be he was the guy whom I like analyzing when he makes an entry into the dataset – huge Asset balance, some n-number of Savings and Current accounts, Investable balance greater than XX INR, attended by a relationship manager or an Independent Financial Advisory, Mortgages in the best parts of the country, a perfect Credit history, brilliant behaviour Score and high Lifetime Economic Profit. Maybe I should re-think about this incident when I get excited about studying them from next time.

The bank’s punch line means that they understand a customer’s world. In a way, I think they do!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Witty…

… or at wit’s end. The following two scribbles at YITP’s B&W-boards illustrate the two concepts in a fairly humorous manner:

And while we are here, let me inform you that QI’s 10th series (Series J) has started and what a start with Victoria Coren as one of the panelists alongside Bill Bailey and Jimmy Carr. Well, this episode takes innuendos, minced oaths and rude/dirty/naughty words to a whole another level with VC getting visibly ‘irritated’ at least twice, Stephen Fry ‘facepalm-ing’ (is that even a word) himself more than that, BB & Alan Davies ‘indulging’ half-heartedly and JC having the most fun he has ever had on this show (as he himself confessed)!

To keep with the ‘witty’ theme, let me leave you with one of the most-uttered word in this series’ first QI episode with the intended meaning being the first one in the list of possible definitions:

ejaculate

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hilarity

Android marketplace offers a bunch of applications, most of which are free, at least the basic versions. Apart from the very popular Watsapp, the one that I’m currently amused with is the “very funny Talking-Tom”. It repeats whatever you say and reminds you of the neighbourhood parrot of your childhood. And there is the latest version of the same where the cat Tom tries to impress the cat Angela. As I look into the created videos, I see that Tom has the capability to perform the following: Gifting, Blinking, Poking, Falling, Regaining, Singing, Listening, Staring, Reacting, etc. Lets watch a few glimpses of these acts.

This is where Tom tries gifting something and faces unimaginable repercussions:

This is where Tom tries to shower Angela with a flying kiss:

In the air

This is where Tom’s attempt at gifting is successful:

Success finally!

This is where Tom is trying to show chivalry:

Yoohoo

Can you guess what Tom is trying to say in the video? I’m not sure myself – though I was the one who recorded it … Well all I wanted to say was ‘You are so cute, appreciable, etc.’ and see Tom goofed it up!

This is where Tom and Angela are singing together:

Merry with Music

and these are the lyrics:

You get me and I get you,
Together there’s really nothing we can’t do,
I got your back and I got yours too,
You get me and am pretty sure that I get you.

This is where their eyes get locked:

Words unnecessary

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happiness…

… is recognizing the fact that you’ve SuzuKaze Combo around you to cheer you up!

As always, here’s that page to compare the above sketches.

If you are sort of wondering why the two faces look so similar, let me remind you of this strip:

But still I think my sketch of Fuu is much better than Ryou’s because Ryou’s sketch feels a bit unbalanced… Anyway, they both look much better than some of my earlier sketches so I’m satisfied with the hours I spent. I’ll leave you with some random link on

Sketching

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Essence

Second scanlation of Sketchbook’s Volume 8 has arrived and they don’t disappoint apart from typo(s) (once again). Here’s a corrected strip:

Sketchbook & Physics… Well, it’s just a mention of a name but exciting enough! As exciting as Nagisa being upset after accidentally dropping discharged & charged batteries (for her camera) and being unable to sort them out!

The title of this post is due to the following strip, where our most beloved Sora does what she does best – get shocked by her own thoughts:

This strip is the epitome of the simplicity that Sketchbook is so keen on demonstrating without being so relentlessly forceful about it! What the hell does that mean? No idea but it is supposed to mean something good about this manga.

Anyway, how can one miss our most least-appearing Ooba! By that definition, one can surely guess that her entry is not as entertaining as her exit:

Definitely, a brilliant exit… As brilliant as the famous Cartoon character uttering that unforgettable phrase:

Exit – Stage Left

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bitter-sweet

It is an oxymoron, a Great one and the following is what I could interpret of the lyrics after listening to the very wonderful song by Spencer Schmidt.

It is, kind of bittersweet,
Like the smile one would have,
When they know they've given it their all,
But the smile can't change,
The game has been lost,
That smile is the only thing you've got,
But it's enough, to move on.
And I could spend forever in your eyes,
I could spend forever here tonight,
And even if you never care for me,
I will share wish cherish every memory,
I spend with you.

It is, kind of bittersweet,
Like the fire-flies five lines previous,
And the fire-flies feeling felt right now,
Like if you heard, that a loved one had been lost,
But their last words were,
I know this is my time,
I am strong.
And I could spend forever in your eyes,
I could spend forever here tonight,
And even if you never care for me,
I will cherish every memory,
That I spend with you.
That I spend with you.

And I could spend forever in your eyes,
I could spend forever here tonight,
And even if you never care for me,
I will cherish every memory,
And though I know it's kind of bittersweet,
Sometimes we have to accept the feat defeat,
Then ensues the peace like falling snow,
Take a deep breath in and let it go,
I am free.
I am free.
And I could spend forever in your eyes.

And you might like to listen to it here.
Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Comeback

Rahat Indori

This post celebrates the pretty dense yet porous shayari (read the similarly titled tab located above first) of Rahat Indori. For example:

ये सहारा जो नहीं हो तो परेशान हो जाएँ
मुश्किलें जान ही ले लें अगर आसान हो जाएँ

Ye sahaara jo na ho to pareshaan ho jaaen
Mushkilein jaan hi le lein agar aasaan ho jaaen

The absence of such support can make anyone anxious
The problems may even take one’s life, if they get any simpler

ये जो कुछ लोग फरिश्तों से बने फिरते हैं
मेरे हत्ते कभी चढ़ जाएँ तो इंसान हो जाएँ

Ye jo kuch log farishton se bane firte hain
Mere hatte kabhi chadh jaaen to insaan ho jaaen

These few people who roam around being angels
If they ever confront me, they’ll become humans

-राहत इंदौरी (Rahat Indori)

Now time for his two ‘teaser’ shers (I apologize to Hindi-illiterate crowd for not offering any translations of the two shers that follow. That’s just because they sound dumb-in-translation!):

राज़ जो कुछ हो इशारों में बता भी देना
हाथ जब उससे मिलाना तो दबा भी देना

Raaz jo kuch ho ishaaron mein bata bhi dena
Haath jab usse milaana to daba bhi dena

-राहत इंदौरी (Rahat Indori)

When I shared this sher with my superpartner, she instantly replied with a comeback:

इशारों में जब बताएं तो समझ भी जाना
हाथ की बात चेहरे से बयां करा भी देना

Ishaaron mein jab bataaen to samajh bhi jaana
Haath ki baat chehre se bayaan kara bhi dena

Well, this sher has been edited slightly by removing spurious pronouns from her original version but the feelings are all intact (I hope). But I guess this sher coming from her most probably means she still hasn’t forgotten that time during our engagement ceremony when I squeezed her ring finger a little too hard in a futile attempt to slide THE ring over it. Anyway, no hard feelings then and / or now so lets continue to the next sher:

जागने की भी, जगाने की भी आदत हो जाये
काश तुझको किसी शायर से मोहब्बत हो जाये

Jaagne ki bhi, jagaane ki bhi aadat ho jaaye
Kaash tujhko kisi shaayar se mohabbat ho jaaye

-राहत इंदौरी (Rahat Indori)

She shared her thoughts after reading the above sher:

रातें तो कई आयीं और कई गयीं, पर आज कि रात कुछ सुहानी है
किसी के आने कि खबर इसको भी है, इतनी हलचल ऐसे ही नहीं है

Raatein to kai aaeen aur kai gaeen, par aaj ki raat kuch suhaani hai
Kisi ke aane ki khabar isko bhi hai, itni halchal aise hi nahin hai

Well, it’s not quite a comeback but feels great to read it, anyway. It also feels like I’ve heard / read it or something similar before but am not 100% sure. So I’ll consider this sher of hers to be an original one till proven wrong (which I hope never happens as that could involve an awkward confrontation). That’s it for today… If you’ve some more time to waste, head over to the freshly prepared

Her Page

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Re-Acer-ing

Man, did I scare my Acer or did it scare me? Well, it didn’t quite scare me as much as it made me furious. It shut down on me twice in a span of 2 hours due to over-heating during early morning hours of 11th July. I’ve known for nearly a year that there is a problem with its fan such that the cooling of the CPU & the Motherboard is not that efficient and over time over-heating occurs and then BLIP, the laptop goes blank. But that could be prevented till now by invoking CPU / Memory / Graphics-intensive jobs less frequently; like watching YouTube videos continuously for less than an hour or so. That made my Acer work more or less for roughly 12 hours a day with occasional blips now & then. No big deal for both of us!

Then 7/11 came and changed all that. (For the reason, read the above paragraph again!) In my rage, I decided that I’m going to literally break the back cover and rip out the fan and do whatever is necessary to get my Acer working longer shifts again. I need to tell you now that why I hadn’t done anything about the fan till now if I knew about the problem since last year. Well, you see… One of the screws of the back cover got chipped when I tried to open it last year and just wouldn’t budge! So I left it at that because it was working fine as long as I did my part. But now it was way past doing my part! I’ll tell you why: I’ve installed Windows 8 Release Preview (apart from full-fledged Win7) on it and Win8 can barely run for ½ an hour on it even when no programs / apps are running! I don’t know what Win8 does in background but if that’s enough to over-heat my laptop, it needs to learn something! That something is that Win8 is staying whether or not Acer likes it.

So, where were we? Yes, I was determined to break the back cover of my Acer. But just in case, I brought out my trusty ‘+’-headed screwdriver, pressed it hard against that chipped screw and gave a mighty twist to it. Lo & behold, that chipped screw loosened! My joy knew no bounds and I like to believe my Acer was in similar situation. From then on, there was nothing stopping me. Out came all the other screws, out came the back cover to reveal:

Then out came more screws holding the fan (the pictures are anachronistic and you can guess the reason… I mean who thinks of writing a post while thinking about breaking through a laptop!) and then the fan itself:

I dislodged the fan as you can see above and do you see that horizontal vent below in the case housing the fan:

Inside which you will also see the blades of the fan… Well, you couldn’t see those blades before. That view was obstructed by the strip of lint (consisting mainly of dust, dirt, hairs, webs, spiders, bugs, etc.) of thickness ~3-4mm seen below:

The pattern you see is because of the metallic mesh that can be seen on the right side of the second photo above.

Ignore the poor focus in this photo and don’t ask me about the pattern of the strip. So this strip was obstructing the air-flow completely and making my poor Acer heat up so much that it could barely operate for an hour. I also need to make a special mention of an important tool, which helped me clean the fan:

The very versatile blower that I got for my E-PL1… Well, now that my Acer is cleaned, it has never shut down again due to over-heating. It has shut down twice since 7/11 but that’s definitely not due to over-heating. That must be Win7’s problem because now I’ve been running Win8 also a lot and watching videos for more than an hour continuously and the temperature of CPU & motherboard never even reaches 60°C! Earlier it used to hover around 70°C even when my Acer was idle! To prove that, here’s a snapshot of Speccy while Mathematica is running a CPU / RAM-intensive program (in W7, obviously!):

So, Random Shutdown score for Win7 - $2$ vs. Win8 - $0$. I was lucky to know the problem beforehand but in general how do you

Troubleshoot PC Problems