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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 »

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Written by Naveen Athresh

November 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

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

iPad / to go in for 3G or the Wi-Fi version

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Verdict: 3G

I heard a lot of news reports of Apple iPad being available on ebay.in and on 20north.com. Sure enough, these did stock the Wi-Fi version.

From a usability perspective, I will just as well wait for the 3G version.

BSNL does have a 3G card, iPad 3G cards are not tethered to the service provider as my iPhone was. GPS is available (even if it is assisted GPS). This means, it can be used outdoors. For $130 more, it’s surely worth going in for this.

I will go for the iPad but will wait for the 3G version in India. It’s just a wait for another month and the benefits surely outweigh the costs.

Written by Naveen Athresh

April 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Apple iPad / availability in India

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Source: http://www.apple.com

I go back to my rantings about how an iPad is not yet available in India (apple.com currently ships only to US addresses).

iPhone sales here were an absolute disaster and iPad is going to probably be slightly better.

The Wi-Fi versions of the iPad are available and right now, the only ones who seem to have it are the ones who have got it shipped it to them from USA; somehow.

The US 3G sales for the iPad are expected end of this month with the International sales from 1-month hence. India is not really on this list of countries included so we have to wait as we did for the iPhone 3G-S (to hit Indian shores by the time the iPhone 4.0 is getting ready to be launched)!

The media has covered the iPad in entirety and more so it is safe to say it’s got its pluses (rich color, great vibrant user intuitiveness) and minuses (lack of multitasking, no camera for video conferencing etc.)

However, it is a game changing device esp. for the handheld computer market where traditionally netbooks were beginning to dominate/e-book reader market where the likes of amazon.com kindle dominate.

It’s to be seen if Apple can sustain their sales but they just had another awesome mind blowing quarter!

As long as Steve Jobs is at the helm, anything’s possible!

Written by Naveen Athresh

April 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Intuit Money Manager for India

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http://www.intuit-money-manager.intuit.in/

It’s here. The Mint (http://www.mint.com/) acquisition by Intuit earlier in September 2009 (Source: Techcrunch) led the way for Intuit to launch a similar web based product in India. Intuit has its resolve to move away from the shrink-wrapped offerings to web and cloud based product line. It’s popular product line of Quicken (http://quicken.intuit.com/) and QuickBooks – http://quickbooks.intuit.com/(for SMB’s) will probably move more and more towards the cloud model. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Naveen Athresh

March 2, 2010 at 7:35 am