Archive for July, 2006

ASUS India Notebook Service

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Asus India had organized a laptop service camp for all brands of laptop in Mumbai for 2 days. I wanted to get some things sorted out in my laptop, so I decided to check out the Asus Service. I finally got some company at the last minute to make a trip all the way to Andheri on a lazy Sunday morning.

The Service Center was a well-furnished place with nice aesthetics, appealing environment and a polite staff. It was completely in contrast to that of Acer’s. The Receptionist was kind enough to ask me for some beverages, after I filled up the guest book. As luck may have it, not many people had turned up for the service. I had my ticket to a session with the engineer within no time. It didn’t take me long to explain him the issues with my laptop. Next up, I was handed over a small feedback form to be filled up while the issues were rectified.

The lobby had a sleek 19” widescreen LCD display powered by an ASUS Small Form Factor PC, which looked quite cool on the counter. When I made my way in there, I caught the last 15 minutes of the movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. Just when I was done with the feedback form, I was informed that my laptop had been taken care of. I was shocked to see everything done in less than 30 minutes:
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Adapter Cooler?

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

When you buy things that you do not really need, you need to have an ingenious brain. I was crazy enough in the first place to get a Notebook Cooler for my laptop. After being cool using it and making my laptop receive that extra cooling which it really did not need, I soon realized it was undiluted non-sense. I couldn’t just trash it and had it on my desk – just lying in there for days.

Out of nowhere, a thought clicked to have its outlet blow air on the AC adaptor of the laptop. Honestly speaking, the adaptor was the only component of the laptop that really used to heat up and I mean REALLY like bread straight out of the oven. The original Acer adaptor had blown up once in the past, I was extra careful with it. I had cut down my continuous laptop runtimes for the same. Hell, I even used to give the adaptor a 10 min rest by utilizing the last bit of the laptop batteries and then switching on the main supply.

Surprisingly, using the Notebook Cooler for cooling the Adaptor worked out well. Now even after 8-10 hours of continuous usage, it doesn’t turn too hot to raise any fears for me. So, the whole thing turned out to be actually working pretty well. Nice.

How does an AC Adapter Cooler sound? Yes, I think the same – Stupid. Well, who knows someone might have it patented too! I hope no ones listening :)

PS: Makes me wonderm what is right – adapter or adaptor?. I guess both must be right- have seen both of them being used. Too sleepy to do any google on this!

A Nice Feeling

Friday, July 28th, 2006

I had been working for a while with LaptopLogic in my spare time. A couple of months have passed since I first started, and I must admit it has been an interesting experience. I was completely unaware what online publishing was all about and how professional things could go.

One of my first works with them involved etching out a TV tuner guide for the laptops. I have always tweaked and fiddled with TV tuners from the day I got my first PC for my own use some years back. I couldn’t have thought of a better topic for my first guide at LaptopLogic. Pinnacle India was kind enough to provide the Pinnacle PCTV100e for the review and the guide in general. But as things turned out, due to some reasons the guide could only be published last night. You can have a look at it here.

However, it is not my first guide/review, but I really like how it really shaped up well, with inputs from Thai and Dan from the team. There is this immense satisfaction after going through with the different sections on the guide, which made me scribble this down :)

The wait is killing me

Friday, July 28th, 2006

I am just running out of things to do in my spare time. Only a few things to cheer about is the fact that Lost and Prison Break would soon be on air again. It is something that I am looking forward to. I find these shows pretty interesting.

I am more anxious about Prison Break rather than Lost. I think it has more to do with the fact that Prison Break would resume in it’s Season two in a little over three weeks time. Lost Season 3 is yet a long way away – more than 2 long months. I just cant wait for them to resume back.

This time around I would be saved from the burden of downloading these shows myself. Within the last few months, I have given the Lost and Prison Break chaska to a few of my friends. I have literally watched the entire seasons again in the last few weeks. Well, almost. I hope they stick to their words, and I dont have to download the new episodes. I can channelize my bandwidth to something else.

Lost Season 2 In India

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Finally, Lost Season 2 would be aired from August on Star Movies. Its really sad to see that the second season is broadcasted so late in India. Not to mention, even the entire season one has enjoyed a complete re-run on Star World. Better late than never. All those who havent checked out Lost’s second season, here is your chance. Season 2 has a lot more in store and personally I found it more interesting than the first installment. The finale of the same is just awesome. Unarguably, the best 90 minutes of the show so far. Dont miss it.

There is no confirmation for the Season 2 dates from Indya.com and the promos only suggested an August start.

The Season 3 will begin in less than three months time, starting from 4th of October. Lost Season 3 is gonna bid adieu to the reruns. The whole season would be aired in two parts – an initial six episodes combo with a second run of seventeen consecutive episodes beginning in February 2007. Eagerly looking forward to it. Cant wait!

Yes, I did it

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Finally gathered all my courage to go in for a BIOS update for my laptop. Stupid Acer’s default BIOS didnt have any options for allocating more than 64MB for video memory. This issue shouldnt have been there in the first place, because they marketed their laptop saying max 128MB of shared video memory.

The BIOS files were extinct on all the Acer websites worldwide. The one which had the BIOS, didnt have any mention whether it supports the different variants of the series. But almost after 2 months when I got hold of the BIOS, curiosity got the best of me and i was itching to flash the bios. Without fearing the consequences, went ahead with the BIOS upgrade and it went smoothly. No issues whatsoever.

Looking at the bright side, I can now try out Windows Vista Beta 2 minus the Aero on my laptop. Well, something is always better than nothing. I had been eyeing on the same for a long time, but now its time to actually do it.

While I hit the Publish button for this post, I am making a 15GB room for the next Windows edition install and persuading a friend to download the Beta 2 iso.

What the …..

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Just got the shock of my life. While I was just packing my things and getting all ready to dooz off, I tripped on the telephone wire (was connected on dialup) and the whole laptop came down -screen first on the marble flooring! Three feet almost. I was preparing myself mentally for the worst, as I cleaned the mess around the laptop including the likes of the notebook cooler, the mouse and the AC adaptor.

Broken LCD is the least I could expect from it. And when I turned it over and placed it on the desk, I could see the display working pretty fine. Yes, the laptop is working. Truth be told, the fibre panel which holds the LCD had ruffled and made its way out at several sections. Pressing hard making it to hold up the LCD as before, I was successful in bringint the laptop to the original state – well , almost.

There are apparently no physical defects on the laptop. Thank God! Just the lid mechanism which is required to pack the laptop down is twisted. After some efforts, tried the best I could to straighten it. And now it atleast closes down minus the spring effect.

If it wasn’t my day, I cant imagine myself without a broken laptop. Saved my ass, literally.

Way to go Tata!

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Its almost 20 days since my net is down – yes! from the great Tata Indicom Broadband! The customer care is pathetic who just sweet talk to solve the problem. Anyways, I wont whine upon it again.

The number of hits I get from fellow Tata Indicom Broadband users to my blog here are endless. Everyone seems to be more frustrated and hopeless than I am. So I just decided to tinker with the idea of possibly a site to let the tata executives know that the service they provice is downright pathetic and what an average subscriber of their service thinks about them. Out of curiousity, I checked out the whois records of websites to verify for the availability of a nice domain. What could be better than www.tatasucks.com ? and Guess what its owned by someone related with Tata since 1999. Awesome! Probably it was one of their long term plans which they have finally fulfilled. Check the whois records of the same here

How about a www.tatacrapband.com ? :p

PC World debuts in India

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

When an international publication like PC World set foot on the Indian turf and come up with their dedicated magazine aimed at the Indian masses, it’s kind of a warning sign for existing mags. Competition does a lot of funny things, and I kinda expect the same to be happening here.

I got hold of the first issue of PC World Indian edition yesterday. Inaugural price of the issue was a descent 60 Rs. This didn’t make me think twice about buying the issue. I have been a reader of their international issues for long via e-books. A couple of things which I liked about PC world distinctly were their unique rating system and column based articles by writers. I expected the same in the Indian issue, and I was not wrong. The layout and other details were parallel to their international publication. Majority of the articles featured came from global writers for their big brothers probably. I do expect a lot more to lend it an Indian touch. The issue comes with a free dual layer DVD which boasts Ubuntu Dapper, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Fedora Core 5 64bit edition ( the last three don’t mean much to me) – I don’t mind – especially when I wanted to try Ubuntu 6 for long and my net connection has been down for well over a few weeks to download it.

The PC World DVD has been a blessing in disguise. The optical drive in my laptop had been dead for more than a couple of months and barely managed to read burnt cd’s. But when I popped in the PC World DVD, My drive rejuvenated and for my surprise – not only did it read the DVD also burnt the Ubuntu image perfectly (nevermind if took 12 minutes to write it)

All in all, it is nice to have more choices/options which can resort to quench your thirst for technology when you buy the magazine. There are a lot more choices at the newsstand than ever before by the likes of Digit, Chip, Computer Act!ve, PC Quest, Linux for You, Skoar! and now the PC World. I am sure there would be a few more but these are all I recollect now.

As for first PC World July 2006 issue, it is a nice beginning. I hope they pack in more volume in their mag in the next issue – 110 odd pages is too less. I wonder how long they would stick to the inaugural 60 Rs. I would be happy to see their Indian website to be on similar lines to their main portal @ www.pcworld.com offering more than just some info about their mag and offer some interactivity. I have never been in favor of subscribing to limit yourself to a single magazine. There are better options available every month- so its worth buying from the news stand and getting the issue which appeals you the most. All these magazines are throwing attractive subscription offers to cement their subscribed reader base. So lets see how game all these computer magazines are in this competition. In the end, readers are the only one who will benefit when they try to be better than their counterparts with better content, offers and deals.