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Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

List of Gadgets purchased in 2012/13/14

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I have been on a gadget buying binge for the past few years! I have personally made huge investments to spruce up my study room – as I choose to call it – my mission control! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

March 30, 2014 at 10:56 am

amazon kindle – amazing app for iPhone 4/iPad

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I wanted to read up a few books and decided to download it wirelessly on my mobile devices namely the iPhone 4 and the iPad. It’s been about 1-year since I became a Certified Agile ScrumMaster and I am now in the Product Owner role in Product Management in a company which uses Agile methodologies heavily. It was but natural that I read up as much as I can on Agile best practices.

1. Agile Estimating and Planning – Mike Cohn

Agile estimating and planning - Mike Cohn

2. Succeeding with Agile: Software development using Scrum

Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn

It was fabulous! The ease of use of connectivity with amazon servers and the instant 1-click purchase made things so simple that I was left wondering: Why would anybody want to goto Barnes and Noble anymore when ease of use of book purchases trumps every other mechanism! This is high quality information at my fingertips within a single click!

I also was freely able to use amazon’s Manage my kindle option to send an ebook to my iPad and then because that was at home, transfer and download it on my iPhone 4 which I had in my pocket!

Awesome – amazon.com – the kindle app on the iPhone 4 and iPad rocks!

Written by Naveen Athresh

December 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Bought my Dodo iPad case from SFO

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I bought my own custom Dodo case from SFO for my iPad. This is so beautiful and I saw my colleague have a similar one so ordered one online for myself while I was at SFO.

It’s really cool and looks like a real book!

Here is the link to Dodo: http://www.dodocase.com/

Written by Naveen Athresh

December 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

MacBook Pro – review

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On my most recent trip to the USA, I bought an Apple MacBook Pro 15″ from Hillsdale, San Mateo, California!

It’s awesome!

I had recently sold my older MacBook White to my old office colleague and decided I could not live without a Mac and being an Apple fan, I immediately bought my Mac!

I got it for a great price and since the same model in India costs a lot more, did save a lot of money on this gadget! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

November 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Review: iPhone 4 with iOS4

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I bought this from the Apple store at Palo Alto, California last month and while I bought the one without contract to AT&T/Apple paying the full retail price, the experience has been worth it.

Ever since I lost my iPhone bought in India back in 2008 due to a freak incident, I was waiting to avenge the loss of the device I used to use 24*7 and kept by my side. It was therefore a natural progression that I moved to the latest iPhone4 and having good features.

However, it was not so easy getting it to work in India due to the Micro SIM but I got it to work with a pair of scissors, Internet manuals to cut it to shape to fit my iPhone4 and of course, enabling the GPRS and getting it to activate on my network locally.

I also bought a Belkin cover for my iPhone4 as my last iPhone got permanently damaged due to water damage due to a faulty cover.

I finally achieved success and am now a happy user of the iPhone4! I configured my office exchange server with this to receive office emails alongwith my personal emails of various services as well!

Features: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/

Written by Naveen Athresh

September 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

Review: Nikon SLR D 5000 with extended 55-200 mm Nikor lens

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Image courtesy: http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Digital-SLR/25452/D5000.html

I bought this gadget a month ago from BestBuy, California and have been very impressed with it so far. The one I bought also had extended lens of 55-200 mm and it’s therefore now got two focus ranges: 11-55mm and 55-200mm.

Scenery shots were simply astounding and I was truly impressed with the performance of the fast shutter speeds and multiple pictures I could click on my recent USA trip with amazing clarity. While I first need to read the primer on how to take manual pictures from my photography affectionado friends, for now, I am getting amazing resolution from my Auto focus as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

September 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

The BOSE Quietcomfort 15 – a quick review

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This is one of the best headphones reviewed over the Internet. I personally visited the BOSE stores to gauge the effectiveness and it is a blessing for frequent travelers!

Some pictures of my BOSE QC 15 are below. I would post a detailed review shortly on my personal experiences with this gadget over next few months. Yes at Rs. 17.5K it does not come cheap but then BOSE quality is well renowned. I would have gone in for a BOSE home entertainment system itself 6 months ago itself but my reviews favored ONKYO and I am not disappointed with the quality of my ONKYO home theater so far. It’s a boon for my family who can now watch a High Def movie right from the comforts of their living room and of course for me too!

Written by Naveen Athresh

July 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Aviation, Gadgets

iPad case from Apple

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I forgot to mention that about a fortnight ago, I procured this case as well. I know all too well as to the ramifications of not having proper protection for such devices (my iPhone was lost because of a faulty case that did not do it’s job well) and did not want to even chance it again.

This is Apple’s case and it’s leather and hard cover which protects the iPad. Yes, it does not obviously protect the touchscreen glass from fingerprints but then that is to be expected. You just have to wipe it with a damp cloth and the stains go away.

Written by Naveen Athresh

June 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

Garmin nuvi 215 GPS receiver/device

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I had trouble operating my BlackBerry 9000 GPS while on the go in a recent West Coast of India trip. This was something that guided me through every nook and corner during my East Coast of India trip in January earlier this year so I wanted to get a proper GPS device.

1. To solve this, I spoke to Airtel who said they had stopped providing GPS services. They had a service called Wayfinder which was their tip-up with mywayfinder.com and that used to provide the GPS navigational service for Airtel customers. This was stopped by them for unknown reasons.

2. Another pain point was that my direct subscription with mapmyindia.com for my BlackBerry 9000 for 1-year had ceased in Feb 2010 and mapmyindia.com themselves stopped supplying the maps for the BlackBerry 9000 device for some strange reason which no one in their customer support was able to answer to.

3. Also, my concern was that even the basic Google Maps through the device in-built GPS receiver was not working so we had to manually find our way through a lot of places we covered during this West Coast trip.

This was the problem statement: A need for a reliable all time multi purpose GPS device which is rock solid without bothering about other TPP (third party providers) such as Airtel or mapmyindia.com suddenly deciding to stop operating GPS/mapping services for their own whims and fancies and letting customers suffer as a result without so much as a proper notification of the service being stopped.

Solution: Who else to goto than to GARMIN – the world’s best maker of GPS navigational equipment. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

June 9, 2010 at 9:49 am

My iPad – first impressions!

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I got my iPad that I was lusting for since I saw Steve Jobs make his keynote in Jan this year.

1. The keyboard is awesome. For good measure and based on my experience from my iPhone, I had asked for the keyboard dock as well but it looks like I might not be using too much of it since I am typing this post off my iPad and it’s incredibly responsive.

2. The app store does not work at all. I am hoping with the International launch this issue will be resolved, even my old iPhone apps don’t get installed on this. This is a big letdown for now but since it’s gate controlled by Apple, it will have to wait for now.

3. The iPad for me right now is only a pretty web browser and an email device.

4. The iPhone 3 update brought with it the ability to cut/copy/paste so my old issues from my 2008  iPhone days with this are resolved for now.

5. File types such as zip etc. were not recognized on my iPad. PDF of course is also built-in natively into Mac OSX so it will work. It had worked even on my iPhone.

6. Enough things have been said on the iPad minimalistic design approach which is Apple philosophy as even Jack Sculley had remarked about this as one of Steve’s main strengths from the 80’s in his presentation talk at a TiE forum I attended some months back.

The iPad is a style statement – period. No questions asked.

7. I have the Wi-Fi only version since I had to look at the real value the 3G version had to offer in India. The 3G case is what I gave as my verdict but my cousin who bought this for me did not find the 3G version at the Apple store at Leawood in Kansas last week. I spoke to their store rep as well who confirmed a waiting list for the 3G version and I did not want to lose this opportunity to procure it legit without paying duty on it.

8. 3G card for the iPad is a micro card so I have to tweak the BSNL data card for 3G and there is no guarantee it will work with HSDPA connectivity. Also, the base issues of using this device in a market where it has not been officially launched yet remain such as lack of 3G, lack of the App store access which limits the usage of the device whose real power is in it’s apps aka my iPhone.

9. There is no file system here as well in virtual access terms though the iPad runs the stripped down version of the Mac OSX.

10. YouTube videos run flawlessly on my iPad.

11. Obviously no Flash after Steve Jobs made his intentions public here. This means even my wordpress photo upload did not work in addition to Flash enabled websites so I had to switch back to my desktop to upload the pics of my iPad. So, HTML5, here we come!

12. The iPhone 4.0 update should resolve many issues of the current iPad including the famous ‘multi tasking’ feature or lack of it right now on the iPad but it is a revolutionary device alright. Magical – not sure.

13. Learning for me was minimal since the user interface is a copy/paste of my iPhone of yesteryears!

14. I tried to download the famous iBooks amazon kindle killer app every which way but to no avail. Apple chopped me off saying I am in a country where I can’t download it’s apps – even the free ones. Well, this is legit for now since they also are busy tying up with publishers to make the iBooks app a real kindle killer. Let’s see. Till then, my amazon kindle is going strong and this iPad will not be my kindle replacement.

15. The color on the iPad is amazing – in Steve Jobs’ words. It uses LED-backlit with In-Plane Switching (IPS) found on LCD TV’s than on notebooks. It is also really sharp with the oleophobic coating to prevent hand grease/is fingerprint resistant and the capacitive touch screen multi touch technology making it really immersive. Yes, even this screen has the accelerometer so it switches from landscape to potrait.

Overall, I am happy! This is a very addictive device.

Written by Naveen Athresh

May 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm