Face to Face with Tata Nano

Tata Nano: The iconic Low-cost car from the house of Tata.

Initial impressions:

  1. Delivered as promised for 1 Lakh INR,  though the low end model would cost 1.3Lakh on road.
  2. Looks sturdy, but too small, even for a small car, but big for an autorickshaw.
  3. But spacious interiors.
  4. Looks sort of cute like jelly bean.
  5. Lost of room for customization. A pimped up version of Nano would look really sexy.

Images credit: My Bro AJ

The Integrated world of Music around me

This is how I exactly want the gadgets around me to communicate and feed me the music. Most of the music data files are stored in my home computer system.  Right now, I transfer the music to my Mobile, iPod or USB stick by connecting them to the home system, only when I am physically at home. I might want to download a new music track from the music store while on the go. Sometimes I want to listen to a classic track, which is not on the internet, but I have it archived in the Mega capacity external harddrive plugged to my home system. The scenarios are numerous, but in common, I want to sync all my music devices with one another and would like to exchange music between them. Streaming music is not a very economical option. So he is what I want to have.

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Assuming that all the devices have bluetooth capability, wifi and hi-speed Internet access. To start with, I load a few songs to my mobile from the home system. I start listening to them. Then I move on to the car. I pull out my earphones and connect my mobile to the car audio system, via bluetooth and continue with the track. Sometimes, I may carry my laptop as well.  The car audio can connect to the laptop, which I have mod’d to act as wi-fi router as well, so that I can stream music from any Internet Radio station. I reach work and the office PC instantly detects my mobile or portable audio system. I may not preffer to listen to music via my office PC. But I would like to see the track details and control the mobile music player from my Office PC. I connect my office PC to Home PC and fetch a few track and update my mobile or the iPod, without having to store anything in the office PC.

Imagination is endless… but… why not?

The country Kabadi team Rocks!

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Its not often that you come across a movie without dark villains, unrelated song sequences, death defying stunts, skimpily clad item girls, or punch dialogues. If they make such movie, the story may fail to connect with the audience most of the time and it fails. But Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu is an exception. It lacks all the usual masala ingredients and yet it connects with the movie watcher.

Its an sports underdog story. The movie is in the line with Lagaan or Chak de!. When I reviewed Chak De, I felt that more such movies can be made with sports as theme. I specifically wished for movies made out of Kabadi and like sports. But never expected that my wish would come true with lots of extra dimensions added to it. The movie talks about a team of village youngsters of various background, caste and status, united by the game of Kabadi. Kabadi is like a chess games which demands a lot of stamina and adrenaline rush. I don’t remember stepping onto the Kabadi court after school. But I enjoyed this movie as much as I enjoyed playing Kabadi at School.

The youngsters in the movie are similar to fully loaded surface to air nuclear missiles, but without guidance firmware. They have never won a match away from their home grounds. In home grounds as well, they invite weaker teams to get the satisfaction of winning. The trend of loosing was persistent in their sporting career, until they meet this magical coach. The coach takes them under his wings and teaches them the art of team work and ways to bring out the fire within them. But this is all any regular sports-underdog-winning-the-final-match kind of movie. But what makes this particular flick stand above the rest of its genre?

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Technically the movie is a clean winner. Be it the screenplay, editing, camera or lighting, the movie come out as a neat finished product. The story is minimalistic, crisp and can connect to any age group. The love story weaved into the storyline is totally awesome. The grit and determination displayed by the coach can be lauded as sheer performance. Humour is not a separate track. It merges with the story line like a smooth gradient. But its not a laughter riot all the way, as well.  So, right proportions of love, emotions, sentiments, comedy, action and realistic story adaptation makes this movie stand out.

All was well, until the final 10 minutes of the movie. I really don’t understand the need for such an anti-climax. Shock and disappointment spoiled the entire 3 hours of movie watching experience for me, towards the end.

The cast is most of the crew are debutantes. Everyone has given their best for this movie.

gRate: 3.5/5

gAdvice: Don’t miss it, but walk out of the theatre just when they win the finals.

Seagate Freeagent

My first desktop PC had an hard disk capacity of 4GB. Later on when I upgraded to 8GB, I had to pay close to 9k. Thats approximately Rs 1100 per GB. This was in 2000. Eight years later, I got an 8 GB USB pen drive for Rs 1000. Thats approximately Rs 100 per GB.

Today I got one TeraByte of Hard disk capacity for Rs 5750. That will be approximately Rs 5.6 per GB. All I can do is, just laugh at myself. Ok let me talk about this monster hard disk.

Its a Seagate Freeagent Desk 1TB external Hard disk. It connects with PC or Laptop by USB cable and powered by external power supply. The SATA hard disk (7200rpm) inside the housing is capable of transfer speeds upto 480Mbps. But in real time, I get a transfer speed of 11-15mbps. Transfer speed also depends on the source system speed. So I don’t complain and still happy with 11 mbps when I transfer from laptop HD. When I transfer from DVD to Freeagent, I get a speed of 2-5mbps, which is still within the acceptable levels.

The external housing is aesthetically designed as seen in the images attached. I particularly liked the breathing effect in the LED when the disk is being read or written. The slots behind the HD are quite straight forward. One for USB port and another for the power adapter. Nothing complicated and thats what makes such minimalistic design a success.

Though there are Freeagent disks available (xTreme) with firewire ports and eSata ports, they dont fit in my requirement and budget. The package contains the disk drive, Quick start guide, Base stand, attachable feet, USB cable and power supply. The power supply adapter comes with 4 types of plugs to suit international power sockets. This sleek silver color paneled disk weighs exactly 1 kg and its not really bulky. The software that comes bundled with the disk is good for auto-backup and synchronizing selected folders. The encryption feature is neither effective nor usable. Seagate also provides a generous 5 years warranty for the product. This is a plug and play device. I plugged it onto my Windows Vista machine and it was operational withing seconds. No need to install any drivers.

Other brands which supply a similar product are Maxtor and Western Digital. Maxtor has Seagate hard disk in it and its priced at Rs 5250 plus taxes. Western Digital 1TB would cost around Rs 6000 plus taxes. There are also external storage products from small market players like Buffalo, Moser Baer, etc… You could also assemble your own external storage. But I wanted a reliable product and hence I choose Seagate and am happy with it so far.

Check out the Pictures and Unboxing Video:

Unboxing Seagate Freeagent Desk 1TB:
[vimeo 3359059]

mad scientist IGOR is not all bad

igorI am developing a habit of watching all animated movies that are getting released. I stumbled into this movie IGOR. It is set in a fictional land called “Malaria”. Its a land where everyone believes that, if you have to survive, you ought to be evil. Evil science is the most happening fields and Mad scientists are the celebrities. IGORs are hunchback monsters who are by default enrolled as lab assistants to these Mad Scientists. Our IGOR is slightly different from the rest. He can think rationally and he is intelligent. He has an ambition. He wants to become an evil scientist one day. Once while preparing for the annual mad scientists show, his master is toasted in his own invention and our IGOR gets a chance to try out his invention. He sets to invent life. Along with his friends, he creates a monstrous female Frankenstein. His invention would get him the fame, only if its evil. Unfortunately, the monster female is not quite an evil monster. She can’t hurt even a fly. Instead she assumes that she is an actress. IGOR tries a lot to make her evil, but she refuses to budge in. Finally IGOR decides to play along. He tells her that there is going to be an audition for a role in a play and she have to play evil in that. Eva, the monster believes him and they rehearse for the role. But another mad scientist steal Eva and claims her to be his creation. He activates the evil bone in her and Eva turns Evil.

Finally, IGOR rescues her and tells her that, we are all born with evil bone, but some of us decides not to activate it and that, We need not be evil to survive. Things fall in place and the curtains fall. The message was very clear and much relevant to the current state of affairs.

Though the movie had no great story, animation or any competitive marketing, the message was delivered.

gRate: 3/5

gAdvice: Get a copy at home and watch it along with the next generation and explain the message to them.