I Loved Her

A decade ago, I had this stamp on me which said “Geek”. Personal computers were still new in those years. My keen interest in those machines helped me acquire a great deal of knowledge without any formal training in computing. In those days, I used to fantasize about computers talking back to me. Responding to me and my emotions. Huh..That was a geek’s fantasy.
Cut to 2014. They actually made a movie about my fantasy. It turns out, I wasn’t alone with the crazy idea of an OS with emotions. The movie I am talking about is Her.

The story is set in not so distant future. A simple guy in his mid-life crisis, Writing letters on behalf of someone, is completely alone and void of any social life. He suddenly encounters an OS which claims to have consciousness. His rather boring and very single life now gets an upgrade of romance in form of OS1.
The most interesting part in this movie is the use of voice. From the minute one, Everything revolves around voice commands. Operating systems used in the movie interact using voice, Bothways. Thirteen minutes into the movie, You hear the silky voice of Scarlett Johansson. It casts a spell on you, the effect of which remain till the end of the movie and for some, even after that. There no representation of her character whatsoever. There is no symbol or icon or picture representing her character, Samantha. 
It’s all Scarlett.

She wakes him up in the morning as if she is his real wife. She arranges date for him after going through his mails. She also sorts out his mails and actually tells him which ones to keep and which ones to delete. They go on a walk together. They have simulated sex. In one scene, A young girl plays the role of front end for Samantha. Like a bridge between OS and Human. That is the high point of this movie for me. You want more and more of Her.
The only thing I didn’t like was the end. I wasn’t disappointed. But they should have made it clear whatever happens to Her. This is my second favorite English romantic movie after Definitely Maybe. I’ll rate it 9/10.

P.S.: Please watch this movie wearing your headphones. Do not use the speakers.

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Happy New Year 2014

The first day of new year is always exciting and full of positive energy. we are greeted with happy faces almost all around. We make new year resolutions. It’s a different story we forget to work on them. We look for the new year diary, So that we can fill it up with everyday ramblings only to find it empty at the end of the year. It is also the time when we look back and go through the previous year.
That’s me actually….
Last year started on a positive note as usual but nothing happened for the first two months. I realized it was me and I had to put more effort to achieve. So I started my consultancy in the first week of March. I knew it would be difficult. I knew I won’t get much work for the year or so. But what I didn’t expect were the hurdles at the personal level. I wasn’t prepared for them. The result was a low point within the first two month of startup.
Lost and frustrated, there was only one thing that was holding me together. Hope. Tried and tested over that last decade, It always worked for me. Fighting with the difficulty to focus, I took baby steps. A couple of months of walking, I found myself on the right path. I am still struggling but now I know which way to go.
For the last six years or so, The last three months of every year, spoilt the whole year for me. I was very cautious this time. I didn’t want to make foolish mistakes, Which I had already committed during the first half of the year. I was happy with the proceedings.
In the month of November, I traveled the Northern India. I felt the change after the journey. I gained a little bit of focus to continue. Alone or with companions, Doesn’t matter. That was the moment I decided to travel every year.
There were a few things I ticked off at the end of the year. Things I always wanted to do. Silly, laughable and maybe very easy to do for some. Here’s the list
– Setup an office
– Experience a snowfall
– Visit Indo-Pak Border
– Pee from a bridge
– Dance like no one’s watching
– Take a long, quiet drive at 2am

I wish to complete some more this year. Fingers crossed.

Oh!! And Happy new year 2014 to all my readers.
Make the most out of everyday and
Think Nonsense…

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My rants about God

The subject of this post is really boring. I mean, Why would I waste my time talking about God when I could use the same to watch a movie or listen to music or party with my friends? For some it would be, My family believes in God, So do I. A bunch of them will say, My friends don’t believe in God, So I don’t. The rest remain skeptic and will choose side according to their  convenience. But there exist some like me, Who want answers. They may be theists. They may be atheists. But they search for answers. And while searching for the answers, They discover the meaning of that fourth word of the blog title.

Yes, I was an atheist once. For almost two years. The typical human being who cursed God for all the problems in his life. Because, Rather than searching for the solution of the problem, Cursing God was easy. And that blaming reached a peak where I turned into atheist. This stage was the worst stage of my life. And since I didn’t believe in God, I had no one to blame for my problems. It would have been very easy to start believing again and as a bonus, Get someone to blame for the problems. But I resisted. I wanted answers. I had to find answers. If someone asked me why I don’t believe in God, I had to answer. Being born in a Brahmin family, I was surrounded by believers who were ready to bomb me with questions.

Why so many people believe in God? Is this world filled with billions of fools who believe in something that doesn’t exist? Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Why these highly literate people believe in God? Fools they are. I am the only intelligent person who doesn’t believe in God. I am different. Am I? Or it’s the other way round. This is the stage where I became skeptic. The question started haunting me. To believe or not to believe? In the process, Two years passed. Then came the bright and sunny day on which a small incident happened. That small incident turned me into a  theist. I wish I could share that with you. It’s nothing extraordinary. But I cannot share it. Sometimes, I think I was a fool to turn theist because of that incident.

I turned theist but I couldn’t establish the definition of God. This thought process was something I cherished. I asked question to myself and Started searching for answers. It was quite fascinating that I already knew the  answers  but I hadn’t realized that these were the answers.

The first question that comes to you when you try to understand God is “Who created God?” One thing I learned while trying to find answers to the question is that, There are some questions which have answers in form of another question. Answer to the question is another question. The concept of God varies from religion to region. Hinduism has 33 types of God. Christianity believes in Jesus. Muslims have their faith in Allah. When some of them find it hard to  believe  in one concept of God, they create another concept. Thus religions were formed. In Hinduism, We believe that God exists but we cannot see God. To make it easier to worship, God was given a physical form. Human, Animal or a combination of both. Worship the form you like. I am attracted towards elephants because they are intelligent creatures and their life span is almost that of an average human. So I worship Lord Ganesh.

A bunch of people couldn’t accept this concept. They didn’t want human form but one human to  represent God. Thus Jesus was born. Then there were some who didn’t like both the concepts. They found it  convenient for God to be something without any form. Nothing should  represent  God.  This was the era of Islam and Allah. There exist many other religions. I don’t want to go any deeper. The point is, Find a concept of God which is believable according to you. 

What is God? Who is God? Two more question when I haven’t even answered the first question. I’ll answer these first. God, According to me, Is an energy. When I worship God, I find that some of the energy is transferred to me. It gives me a push. Motivates me. When I was in high school, I learned about Law of Conservation of energy. It says, Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. It can be only transformed from one form to another. If I apply this concept to my concept of God, God can neither be created, Nor be destroyed. It can only transform from one form to another. Doesn’t this answer the question “Who created god?”? 

In Hinduism, There are Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. They are the examples of this energy. Brahma is the creator. Vishnu is the caretaker and Shiva is the destroyer. You can see that the same energy can act differently. We all are made of that same energy. How we use it, Is upto us. Because we have the ability to think. What is right and what is wrong. What is good and what is bad. It’s foolishness to blame God for what we do. Use your ability to think and have faith in God. You’ll make most out of this life.

I may be right, I may be wrong. This is just my concept of God. 

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गुढीपाडव्याच्या शुभेच्छा

Gudhipadwa

असं म्हणतात, सुरुवात चांगली झाली तर शेवटही गोड होतो. चांगल्या सुरुवातीनंतर केवढिही संकटं येवो, आपण यशस्वीपणे त्यातुन बाहेर पडतो. आज नवीन वर्ष. नवीन सुरुवात. स्वच्छ मनाने व चांगल्या विचारांनी नवीन वर्षाचा शुभारंभ करू. फक्त स्वतःसाठी नव्हे तर इतरांसाठी काहीतरी चांगलं करण्याचा निर्धार करू. यासाठी ईश्वराचा आशिर्वाद सदैव आपल्यापाठी असो ही कामना.
नवीन वर्षाच्या शुभेच्छा

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Review

A couple of weeks back, The battery of my tab, Spice Mi 720, died. I am so used to the tablet that I had to substitute it with a new one. I was confused because of the options available unlike last time. Then I dedudced to the two best tablets avaible, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and iPad Mini. The only thing that stopped me from buying iPad Mini was the lack of calling facility. The choice left was Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. It’s been a year since it’s launch and it is still one of the most popular tablets available. Reviewing it now may be pretty useless as you’ll find hundreds of reviews of this tab. This one is written after 3 weeks of usage.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

Package content
The package contains Tablet, Charging cable with USB connector at one end. It comes with 2-pin Indian type plug with USB socket where you’ll have to attach the previously mentioned cable for charging. Standard white colored earphones with mic and buttons for receiving calls and volume. There is no cover or case provided with the package. You’ll have to buy one yourself. I bought one fron nCase which I feel is a great value for money.

Hardware
Tablet has a 7″ screen which is smooth and very responsive. It weighs around 345g without case and 400g with case. It is powered by 1 Ghz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM. 230MB of that RAM is dedicated to graphics. The one I bought has 16GB internal memory with approx 12GB usable. There is microSD slot to expand memory upto 32GB. The SIM slot is normal and you don’t have to trouble yourself to get the micro SIM. There are two mics, one each on short side. Two speakers placed at bottom, volume control and power button on one side and all of these are poorly placed. Let me tell you why.
If you are watching a video in landscape mode, Your hand will cover the speakers thus resulting in low volume. They are placed ideally for portrait video playback and gaming. Not suitable while using landscape mode. Secondly, The power and volume controls are placed such that you’ll accidentally press them while using apps in portrait mode. The only work around this problem is to hold the tab in the bottom area instead of central.
The display is crisp 1024×600 capacitive screen. It is very responsive and games and videos look great on it. There is a sensor to auto adjust brightness of the screen. It works most of the times but I highly suggest you to find your comfortable brightness and manually set it. My main problem is the touch buttons for Home, Back, Window manager and app menu. These buttons reduce the screen area by 6-7 percent and interfere while you are typing. They should have placed the buttons outside the screen. I guess it’s Jellybean to blame for this.
There are two cameras, with front camera having VGA resolution and back camera with 3.2 megapixel. Photos have decent quality. You can add some effects using the Photo editor provided or maybe use it in some video via the Video editor app.
When it comes to connectivity, this tablet has it all. GSM, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, Tethering. The big advantage is you can use the SIM calling feature. The GPS is quick in getting the location and quite accurate even without the internet and in airplane mode. What it lacks is using it as mass storage. There is media and photo transfer mode but it doesn’t let you anything to copy on device. It’s certainly convenient but I can manage without the feature.

Performance
When it comes to performance, All I want in a tablet, is a good battery life. Because most of the apps would run smoothly on any current generation tab. During the past 3 weeks, The average battery life in one charge was 22-24hrs approx. You can watch 6hrs of DVD quality video, 10hrs of 3G, 30hrs of music, 5 days of standby. 3.5hrs are required to completely charge the battery. Though it has USB cable, Tablet doesn’t charge on connecting to PC/Laptop USB socket. The purpose of USB cable for charger is a mystery.

Apps
While my previous tablet was bundled with crapware, This tablet isn’t loaded with much apps which is way better than loading with crapware. But I at least expected them to bundle Facebook and Twitter. Instead there’s an app for a zombie filled social network, Google+. It is bundled with Reader’s Hub app which allows you to read paid Newspapers, Magazines and Ebooks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support epub or mobi files stored on tab. Polaris Office is the app I liked the most. It beats QuickOffice anytime and it’s fully paid version. Also I liked the video player which supports subtitles and Music player which supports lyrics. I had to install the rest of the apps like Adobe Reader, Cool Reader, Catch Notes etc. to make it productive for my use.

To buy or not to buy?
This seems to be the best tablet and worth every penny. But a little more would have justified the price tag. Case or cover, Better rear camera (5MP or maybe 8MP) or maybe a LED flash instead and a couple of paid apps should do. Still I doubt any other tablet is available out there with the same features at lesser price.

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Posted in Techie Stuff | 2 Comments