Monday, November 29, 2010

Belkin TuneFM Ipod FM


Become a radio jokey with your Ipod and Belkin!

Today, I am going to talk about a very useful gadget. The discovery of this gizmo was out of necessity. I've a Fiat Linea emotions. The car came with a company fitted stereo
from Blaukpant. But it is not so great unlike the car

First, there are no pre amp out. Yes you read it right - no pre-amps. It simply means that I can't hook a woofer to it. The story does not end there. It doesn't have a USB socket nor an aux port to connect my Ipod to it. I tried my best, went pillar to stone, but there was nothing that could fix this Italian junk.

The only option left was FM. If my Ipod could radiate those sweet n cripsy FM waves, it would redeem me from those agonies. Belkin made me happy!

Belkin TuneFm is an amazing device. It can transmit music over the FM. It plugs straight into the Ipod. There is a console on top to select the frequencies in the FM band (88- 107 Mhz) There are 2 preset memories to store favourite frequencies. It draws power from the Ipod, but does not drain it significantly. I managed to run it for 7 hours on a single charge. If you drive that long, chances are, that you will drain faster than the ipod.

Performance it decent. Reception was fair when I kept it close to the set over the dashboard. It took some time before statics disappeared completely leaving only the "sound of music". There is an option to boost power in two steps before it turns into non stereo mode where it guzzles maximum power

It is intelligent too. When I stopped playing songs on the pod; It stopped radiating. No wonder it lasted so long. Range is also decent. I managed to latch it on my home theater from virtually every corner of the room. Now where ever I go, I carry my party DJ along with me

Price can be a put off specially as compared to bluetooth transmitter. It cost me a little over 40$. But looking back at my car, it worth every single penny to me. It also comes with a car charging kit for those long drives down to the country sides.

So check it out at the local computer store near you ASAP

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nokia C6 - worth it !

When Apple announced the launch Iphone on Jan 9 2007, little did anyone know that it will change the psychy of mobile users in the generations to come. Touch screen became an instant hit. People felt their old phones were sluggish and orthodox like grandma. But Apple was not pioneering it. It never did with most of its product except MAC. There were already touch screen phones in the stable from O2 and Imate. These phones were expensive, bulky and based on slow and sulky Windows Mobile. They never caught the attention like Apple Iphone did. I too bought HTC touch soon after the Iphone was launched, only to abandon it a year later. Windows sucks !

Now there are plenty of them, and all types of them. The mother earth has suddenly woken up to touch, and to goad it further is Nokia C6. A symbian based phone, which draw its virtues from the biggie Nokia N97 - The disastrous N series from Nokia.

It has got everything you need and nothing you don't. It has 3.2" inch touch screen with an appreciative Qwerty keypad. The screen resolution is 640 x 360 (nHD) with resistive touch. It has adorns gizmos like brightness control, orientation control, proximity sensor and ambient light detector. It virtually copies everything it possibly could from the Iphone.

It works on both GSM (2G) and WCDMA (3G) networks, which is good given that the 3G launch in India is imminent. It also supports POP3 email clients and office stationerys like word, excel and pdfs. Its internal memory is 200 MB with external, hot swappable, micro SD card expandable to 16 GB. Talk time on GSM network is 7 hours and on WCDMA network is 5 hours. It has inbuilt GPS with free Nokia Ovi Maps and apps. There are two cameras on either side with 5MP resolution on the back.

It also feeds the social networking (SNS) hunger with personalise home screen that brings live updates from Facebook, Tweeter and Orkut. It would be interesting to see if Nokia has moved on from its booring UI to something innovative and fresh.

This device intends to be useful for all types of varied users. The phone is yet to be launched in India. It is expected to arrive in the last quarter of May 2010. The price is pegged at Rs 13500, which is very competitive for the features it gives.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vaio Wimax !

Couldn't believe it. Yes it is true- Finally, A good laptop with a Wimax radio in it. Sony Vaio, my fav brand, soon launching its P series (the smallest and the cutest one that also fits in the back pocket) with the wimax enabled radio. It is an smart and clever move! I mean, it has had to come from someone. I have had enough of Intel's rant of selling wimax enable laptops for years. It is smart in a way that it is future ready. The type of device P series is; It was hardly going to survive without a high speed Internet connection. I will not buy a 8 inch wide computer to watch movies or listen to music for a price tag of 999$. It would always be "Internet on the move" sort of gadget.

P model is the smallest one in Vaio series. It boast 8 inch screen and weigh only 1.8 pounds. 256 GB hard disk with 2GB RAM makes it almost as powerful as any bulky desktop. It has Intel Pentium processor which guzzles, highest in the class, 1.8 Ghz of processing power. It has in-built GPS, which is perfect for traveling.

Although wimax footprint is very small as of today, but it is rapidly expanding. Wireless technology needs some time to penetrate , which also depends upon the availability of low cost access devices in the hands of customer. GSM is a good example. Still the most successful wireless technology after AM radios on earth. This is because GSM handset are available for as low as 20$. Sony VAIOs move will pump a fresh breath of air into the Wimax ecosystem. This is good for both Sony as well as for the Wimax. I hope other laptop vendors will follow the suite. Find more information here

Monday, July 6, 2009

Will be back soon

I have been quite for a while. I will be back soon with some interesting readings.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New tools in the market

I am a Matlab programmer by heart. I prefer to code my algorithms in Matlab to quicken the development. Those who are not familiar with Matlab - It's a tool to simulate mathematical equations. The convenience of coding in matlab manifest itself in the form of floating point implementation. It is really easy to do anything that you think with out worrying about underflows and overflows of variables (DSP engineer will understand this). But then Matlab engineer are flogged with constant criticism of being "Academics". The reason for this is that matlab algorithms can't be ported directly into the target system. They have to undergo a cycle of either conversion to ANSI C, C++ or assembly. And sometimes it is impossible to convert them at all due to implicit use of square root and division operations.

Much to the relief of DSP engineers; Xlinix has introduced two tools that will enable the Matlab Engineers to convert their design directly into the HDL languages like VHDL and Verilog. These two tools are- System Generator and Accel DSP. System generator works with Simulink. The design, first, needs to be implemented with Simulink blocks. Then these blocks are replaced with Xilinx blocksets (some 90 enriched blocks are provided). The blocks are fixed point in nature. This exposes any design deficiencies in the beginning itself. That saves an enormous amount of cost in terms of design iterations. After fixing the timing issues , HDL code is generated by just press of a button. It is as easy as it sounds. This reduces the design to implementation process from months to weeks.

Accel DSP is a similar tool; Only difference is that it works on m files. It takes the raw M files and convert the instructions/commands into fixed point format. There are certain guideline that it requires to be followed, while coding, for smooth conversion.

Of course these two tools comes with a hefty price tag. System Generator costs around 1000$ and Accel DSP cost around 5000$. For more visit Xilinx website But I must say, Xilinx has worked hard to give a heavy dividend to the DSP engineers who leverage Xilinx chips in their hardware. But recently, I visited the Mathworks website and found out that Simulink has also come up with its own HDL coder, like system generator, which is independent of any target device. This is even more cool because I think simulink add on toolbox comes at a cheaper price then product like System Generator.

Neways, they are nice tools to check out !

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Internet surfing device on the streets

It's been quite a while since we have talked something about wireless. Actually today, I came across a very cool device that I can't wait to blog about. I have been searching for a wireless keyboard for my HTC Touch. I always find it difficult to write with the stylus. The keypad is too small to hit the right key in the first shot. A small wireless keyboard was always on my wishlist for quite a some time.

But not anymore;Datawind has launched a cool internet surfing device "PocketSurfer2". It is a hand held device that also fits easily into your handbag or belt. It has a transreflective 640X240 backlit display that gives an awsome surfing experiance- better than the mobile phones. Built-in GPS receiver, 4 hours active usage, 4 days standby Full QWERTY backlit keyboard and a Mouse pointer are just few of the coolest feature it has. With under 7 seconds of web page loading time, it will surely be a show stopper.

Pocketsurfer2 comes with a pre-loaded 20 hours per month internet surfing subscription. Oh, bye the way, did I tell you that it uses GPRS for the internet access? You may have to walk miles to find a Wi-Fi hot spot but finding a GPRS network- well, asking such thing is so fatous. It is ready to use right out of the box. Plus there is option for monthly subscription at a very nominal rates.

It cost 11,900 Rs in India (ca. 220 $). Check it out at

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New face of terrorism

It has been a terrible week for the Mumbaiker and for India . On the fateful night of Wednesday, coinciding with the movie on terror ‘Wednesday’, Mumbai was terrorized
by 10 outrageous terrorists. Clad with AK-47 and hand grenades, they walked freely on the streets of South Mumbai, reminding the haunting pictures of US military patrolling in Iraq.

It was uncalled for, as with any other terrorist attack, and it left the city of 18 million resident paralyzed. South Mumbai is a popular destination among the foreigners. Its active night life and star rated hotels makes it a sought after destination in India. It is also my personal favorite destination.

India has witnessed many terrorist attacks in the recent past, ranging from Islamist extremist attacks in Delhi and Ahmadabad, to the moist attack in South East India. But this time it was unusual in the way it was executed. For the first time terrorist used the sea route to penetrate India. They docked at the Gateway of India, split into a team of 2, marched toward Mumbai. They fired indiscriminately on the people, sterilizing the police and made a mockery of the Indian home land security.

They soon barged into some important places like the iconic Taj Mahal hotel at Colaba, hotel Trident Oberoi and Nariman building, a Jewish abode, showing the young and brutal face of terrorism. Soon, within 59 hours before Indian National Security commandos and marines corps could over power them, 152 people were killed including 22 foreigners and around 400 people were injured. A two year old Jewish Kid ‘Moshe’ was also left orphaned on his birthday.

Report says that they were all Pakistani’s. One captured terrorist Kazam(Inset) confessed that they were trained in Pakistan by an ex military commander. They went through rigorous training and, out of 40, 10 were handpicked for the operation. Indian investigating agencies, FBI and Israeli Mossad are investing the case. In the mean time several people have come out on the street to protest the continual negligence of security threats by Indian intelligence agencies.