Digit October 2010 by sourabha9

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Don’t talk to strangers...
               emember when we were kids and our         to college, it’s the group you hang out with that
               parents warned us not to talk to stran-   defines how cool you are. Later at work you jostle
               gers? I wonder what parents tell their    amongst your over-eager colleagues to find a niche
               kids these days. It’s bad enough in the   you can make a name for yourself in, and will do
crowded towns we’re living in, where sometimes           anything to get promoted, or even noticed. The
even our neighbours are strangers, but if Earth          bar can never be set too high.
wasn’t tough enough, we’re now dealing with                  At first, the net was a way to escape all that
everyday worries in the virtual one as well.             and that’s what fuelled its initial surge. It was
     I’m not trying to suggest that social media or      anonymous, it was free of guilt, and you didn’t
technology in general is this big bad tool that’s        really care about one another’s opinions. That
killing us all… that’s so last month...                  hasn’t changed of course, and if you want to, you
     This month, after reading media hype about the      can still choose to be anonymous online.
stuff people do online – tweeting through child-             Do you?
birth, their own wedding ceremony, and various               Hasn’t the whole web experience become just
other events in life that really should be private,      another clone of your offline life? Sure the people
I can’t seem to fathom what drives people to do          you meet are different, but the needs are the same.
such things. It’s not just twitter – on Facebook,        You want to be popular, but so does everyone else;
Orkut, YouTube, any virtual public gathering, or         you want to express yourself uninhibitedly, but               “we seem to
anywhere there’s an audience, the court jesters          fear that your boss or family might read what you             interact with
show up screaming “Look at me now!”. But who             said – it’s the same rat race all over again.
are these people we’re all trying to please?                 As CEO, MD and financer of brand You, you
                                                                                                                       strangers or
     Honestly, we seem to interact with strangers or     know that you’re nothing if Google doesn’t love               acquaintances
acquaintances more often than “friends” on social        you, or if people don’t follow/like/poke/message/             more often than
media platforms these days. But then that’s the          friend/<insert favourite social activity here> you.           “friends” on social
point, isn’t it? Unless it’s someone you’re wooing,      So you tweet no matter what you’re doing, you Like
how boring is it to interact with the same people,       everything and add everyone as a friend on Face-
                                                                                                                       media platforms
both offline and online? The devil is in the details     book, and eventually… you’re stampeding through               these days. But
though – I use the word “interact”, which so many        life with the rest of the e-cattle. A few lucky ones          then that’s the
of us just don’t do any more. It’s more about trying     get their 15 seconds of fame, might even make some            point, isn’t it?”
to define oneself in the eyes of strangers. It’s the     money, and then are forgotten as everyone moves
school or college canteen all over again – we all        on to the next net sensation. It gets harder each time         Robert Sovereign-Smith
want to be popular, and will do anything to try          though. No one wants to see a me-too, so you do                Executive Editor
and gain that acceptance.                                something crazy and unique to be noticed.
     Of course people will cry foul, and claim “Not          Real life is hard enough to deal with, without get-
me.” Of course not you; you’re special – just like       ting carried away in the virtual one. Use the net as a
the other 1 billion.                                     tool, and it can help you succeed at work, college, or
     Why not abandon your current avatar and start       whatever you do. Start taking e-popularity too seri-
from scratch? Ask yourself if you’d continue to do       ously, and you might end up hurting your chances
it if no one else ever read any of it or responded?      of success. You don’t want to be the person who eve-
     Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m some          ryone watches on YouTube, but only to make fun of…
prude who’s advocating an end to the net or                  Do you?
anything else that’s ludicrous. I’m just trying to
understand our psychology in the virtual world,
because understanding something is the key to
using it wisely and safely.
     It is, after all, a very human need for us to try
and rise above the crowds and make a name for            PS: Food for thought – Mark Zuckerberg is one of the
ourselves. It’s what’s drilled into us from the time     most private people around, yet we flock to his site and
we’re able to comprehend our first words. We             give up our own privacy to play the “I have more Face-
have to get better grades than the neighbour’s           book friends than you” game...
kid, or behave like he or she does. When we go           Also read this: http://bit.ly/c7GBNr

                                                                                                                    Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 1
October 2010 • Volume 10 • Issue 10
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Samyukta Bharadwaj, Vinay Kondalkar                                                                                                                           LG Cookie Zip
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Sr Visualisers PC Anoop, Santosh Kushwaha                                                                                                                     Moserbaer MBIK42FHD
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Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay                Gigabyte........................................................................................43          Philips SHQ3000
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Asst Mgr Vijay Menon                                                                                                                                          Philips SQH1000
Mgmt Trainee Omkar Tarde                          LIC...................................................................................................47
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Executives.M P Singh, Mohd. Nadeem Ansari         Abacus...........................................................................................49         Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket
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Mgr - Product Marketing Chandan Singh             Strontium.....................................................................................61            Smart SH-11
Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh                                                                                                                        Sony Ericsson Zylo
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             october 2010                                     volume 10 \ issue 10

004 EntEr

010 mobile Watch
      Web Watch

016 CoVEr storY
    World view - tech
      from around the world
      stop! before you shop

085 toolbox
    tips and tricks

100 Digital lifE
    Drool maal
      Are ebooks the future?

      of reading

104 strEEt smart
    Agent 001
      Price Watch
      Killer rigs

 111 tECh@Work
     careers in Flash

 116 EsC
                                                                bazaar mini
                                                                 New section featuring the
      Digit 101
                                                             latest products in the market!

trieD &
   testeD                      065
                               PhiliPs hts5550
                               Great sound, but no support
                                                                    htc WilDFire
                                                                    Android weds Sense,
                                                                                               Asus nx90
                                                                                               Massive in size, featuring two trackpads
                               for Blu-ray                          yet again                  and a shiny aluminium exterior
     Digital life                                 102
                                                        Reading redefined
                                                        Are ebook readers here to transform
                                                        the way we read? We look at what the
                                                        future holds

                                                                                           Icon A5
                                                                                                     3D mirror on the wall...
                                                                                                     German TV maker Ad Notam’s 46-inch
                                                                                                     mirror monitor converts 2D content into
                                                                                                     Above & Below or side-by-side 3D format
                                                                                                                                               Sleek Schulte
                                                                                                                                               The EVOline Vertical speaker lookalike docking station
                                                                                                                                               from Schulte Elektrotechnik features international
                                                                                                                                               sockets and a movable design
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Compute bling!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Computer Choppers now offer you the option of plating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                your iPad with 24kt gold, studding it with diamonds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                among many other precious stones and metals                       Drool maal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       On the DVD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       minDWarE                        PlaYWarE
                                                                                           A personal aircraft that runs on both auto and
                                                                                           aviation gas, does not require a professional                                                                                                                    Vusix iWear VR920
                                                                                           commercial pilot license, is capable of landing                                                                                                                  Don’t just stare at the screen
                                                                                           on both land and water, its consoles and meters                                                                                                                  be a part of it...and with the
                                                                                           are designed like any sports car interiors for                                                                                                                   iWearVR 920 that’s exactly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Videos                          kidszone
                                                                                           ease of use. What more can you ask for? Not a                                                                                                                    what you can do. This device
                                                                                           lot perhaps, since you’re only paying $139,000!                                                                                                                  is capable of showing 3D
                                                                                           Start saving...                                                                                                                                                  content on a 62-inch screen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            at a perceived distance of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 feet, and also supports
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NVIDIA’s stereo drivers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just $400 too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Top 10 Things You Must Have     • Ebooks
                                                                                                                                                                            Ryobi Tek4 4V 8 MP Digital Camera
                                                                                                                                                                            Meet the big daddy of all durable and rugged cameras.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to Start a Business             • Gaming
                                                                                                                                                                            The Ryobi TEK4 has some cool features – steel lens

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Startups that Fail: Netek     • Animations
                                                                                                                                                                            protection that protects its 3x lens, even when it’s
                                                                                                                                                                            extended, it’s dust- and water-proof, impact resistant,
                                                                                                                                                                                                         and also sports a flash light
                                                                    Roth MC4                                                                                                                             that can light-up objects
                                                                    The MC4 is a tube amp for Apple iPod / iPhone.                                                                                       up to 15 feet away. It shoots
                                                                    You can pop in any other MP3 player apart
                                                                    from the iPod as well. This dock produces pure
                                                                    hi-fi tube sound, and can be connected to your
                                                                                                                                                                                                         in 8 megapixel and comes
                                                                                                                                                                                                         with a 1GB SD card. But the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         coolest thing in the price, a                                                                 • 10 Must Have For a Start-up
                                                                    PC or laptop too. Its main USP is the vacuum                                                                                         mere $199.
                                                                    tubes that amplify never-before-heard sounds,
                                                                    giving you a new listening experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Invest in Great People and
      Hasselblad H3DII-50
                 An ideal camera for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Great Equipment               Demos
       professionals, the Hasselblad
        houses a 50 megapixel CCD
      sensor and is a multi-shot full
       colour camera. It can capture
     four shots in a row, records full
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Naming Your Company: Put      • FPS Terminator Alpha
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cabestan’s Nostromo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Up a Sign
        RGB values at each position
          by moving the sensor one
         pixel between shots. Go out
        and start shooting with this
       high-end camera for $52,128.
                                                                                                                                                                        A look at this watch and you would probably think –
                                                                                                                                                                       but how do I tell time? The catch is that the Cabestan’s
                                                                                                                                                                            Nostromo doesn’t work and look like your normal
                                                                                                                                                                        watch. A series of gears power up this watch and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Lost Horizon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • You need little capital       • RUSE
                                                                                                                                                                     current time is displayed in the top left corner. It’s made
                                                                                                                                                                       of titanium with a coating of phosphorescence on top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yours for only $1,41,400!

  100 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com                                                                                                                                                                                                        Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 101

 100                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   software                        trailers

 Drool maal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By Demand                       • Blade Kitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Audacity 1.3                  • Lylian
 Drool over some of the coolest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • NetMeter 1.1.4                • NBA Elite 11
  gadgets and gizmos                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   • Orb 2.0                       • The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff

016 build your own                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     internet                        Walkthroughs

                               supercomputer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           • Scrapboy 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • TweetDeck 0.34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Assassins Creed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Brink
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • WiPeer 0.72                   • Dead Rising 2

094 DiY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • SmVDC++ 1.05
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Dropbox 0.8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Duke Nukem Forever
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Gears of War 3
                               build your own lAser surveillance system                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Seesmic Desktop               • Halo Reach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Gladinet Cloud Desktop        • Killzone 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • IDrive Online Backup 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Yoono Desktop                 speedruns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Halo 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Work                            • The Terminator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       •Desktop Secretary 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • OpenOffice.org 3.3            Patches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Floppy Office 4.0             • BioShock 2
                                                                                                    085                                            104                                                                                                                                                 • Powerpoint Backgrounds 1.0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • IBM Lotus Symphony 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Unreal Tournament

                                    tips Agent 001                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     • Efficient Calendar Free       mods

                                 &tricks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               • Essential PIM                 • GTA Vice City
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Address Book Standard 2       • Half-Life 2
                                                                                                                                                   Agent 001 guides you
                                                                                                                                                   through Wi-Fi routers                                                                                                                               • RoboForm2Go 6                 • Perfected Doom 3
 gmail, Yahoo! inquisitor,
         usbwebserver...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               • Open Contacts 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Mozilla Sunbird

                                                  WorK tools
DvD                                               corner

                                                                                                                                                             2 gb of ViDEos

070                                                                                                                                                073
lenovo iDeAPAD Y560                                                                                                                                goDrej eon gAming tv
An affordable yet stylish laptop                                                                                                                   LCD TV with a dash of gaming
                                                   Buzz                                     Windows Phone 7
     Enter                                    06   News and happenings from around
                                                   the web
                                                                                            Microsoft is expected to launch its Windows Phone 7
                                                                                            on October 11, with phones shipping by October 21

                                                                                                                     September 2010
) I am Gopinath from Mettur in Tamil
Nadu. I was quite impressed by the
September issue of Digit and the amazing
articles in it. I have just started reading
Digit and would like to know how I can
purchase the back issues of Digit and
Fast Tracks. Please let me know. Thanks
in advance.
                       Gopinath Venkatarajulu

   We are glad that you discovered Digit and
were impressed by it. If you want to pur-
chase the back issues of the magazine along
with the Fast Tracks you can log on to www.
thinkdigit.com/cart and select which issue
you want to buy and make a purchase.

) I am an avid reader of Digit. Your June
issue really was inspiring in the sense that    tise as far as the tech world is concerned.        Hope you will consider my request
you spread awareness about using renew-         But from the past few issues I have been         and do the needful.
able energy sources such as solar energy        noticing many typing flaws which raise                                 Upendra Wanmali
and wind energy. I read the article and         the question of copy checking. In the
an advertisement in Digit and purchased         September issue there is a serious flaw on          As far as softwares like AutoCAD go,
three solar lanterns this month. They are       page 40, third column, 4th para, which           we can at best provide trial versions
working quite excellently. I am sure to         says “<text before this is missing>”.            on our DVD, as these are professional
save at least 20% of my electricity bill each   This kind of error cannot be expected            softwares. If you want to request any
month and recover the cost. In fact I urge      from a reputed magazine like Digit. Even         softwares for the DVD section you can
you to spread awareness amongst Digit           in many places ‘r’ is replaced by the new        drop in a mail to dvd@thinkdigit.com We
readers to use these solar lanterns this        Rs. symbol. Please take care of such             will try providing you with softwares that
Diwali instead of conventional ‘kandils’.       errors in future.                                you request. It’s good to know that you
This will really help us in saving power                                       Vikash Kandoi     found the Fast Tracks to Maya, Facebook
and we all will help our planet go green.                                                        Apps etc useful and we hope you are
Thanks Digit.                                     We apologise for the typo errors that          trying to build your own apps by now.
                        Dr. Niranjan M Wagh     you have pointed out. We will try our            We will certainly consider your Fast
                                                best to avoid such silly typos in our            Track suggestion.
   It’s encouraging to know that our            magazine in the future. Thank you for                                              Sambhav
articles on alternative sources of energy       your continued patronage of Digit.
in Digit prodded you to buy a solar lantern.                                          Nash       ) I remember going to the stationary shop
Our main objective behind the green arti-                                                        and asking “bhaiya wo cd wali magzine aa
cles is to inform readers that going green      ) I am a regular reader of Digit                 gayi kya...” that was Digit in its inception
will not just save cash but even the planet.    magazine. I especially like all the              days. I didn’t care what the name of the
We also have an active community of over        various software, operating systems              magazine was, but I surely knew how
5,000 members on Facebook to keep the           and entertainment content bundled in             it looked on outside. The CD usually
green movement going. You can join the          the DVDs and the knowledge provided              had a few flash games, freewares like
group at www.facebook.com/ithinkgreen           in the Fast Track supplements. Being             Winamp, Winzip, updates etc and small
and share your experience with the solar        an engineering student, I feel the need          stuff which would take hours to down-
lantern on the group.                           to acquaint myself with Autodesk and             load on dial-up connections. ISDN was
                                     Nimish     Autocad for my college assignments.              quite expensive. 9.9 Media acquired it
                                                    Hence I would like to request for a          much later but they have kept the spirit
) I have been reading Digit since its           Fast Track issue dedicated to the ‘Basics        alive and Digit is now the most read
inception. As I stay in Nepal, I was never      of AutoCAD’. I found the Fast Track to           technology magazine in India. Mindware
able to subscribe to it but I love the          Maya, Facebook Apps, Open Solaris etc            and Playware grew from a single CD to
magazine and always trust your exper-           very useful.                                     2 DVDs. Articles are catching up with

4 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                       Tata DoCoMo                                                       1.5TB Portable Drive
                       Cellular mobile operator Tata DoCoMo has launched its first       Seagate claims to have launched the world’s first portable
enter                  mobile phone, the co-branded One TouchNet from Alcatel            2.5-inch hard drive; price is stated to be $249.99

the most recent technological develop-                                               Letter of the month
ments. Products comparisons help you
buy whats best for you than what’s                  ) I have been a regular reader of Digit         green were very helpful. I force people
best for the shopkeepers. Every time                since September 2006. I have never              to replace incandescent bulbs by CFLs.
you turn to Q&A, Tips n Tricks there is             missed a single issue since. I totally love     I even made a local store owner under-
always something you don’t know. Digit              the changes you have made in the maga-          stand the benefits of using a CFL and
has been the best guide for every tech              zine but there are a few suggestions that       he replaced all the bulbs by CFLs the
enthusiast almost for a decade now and              I’d like to make :                              next day. Thank you and keep the good
I hope it’ll always be so. Good luck.               1)What happened to the Crossword?               work going.
                             Naman Bansal           Please restart it. I don’t mind the exclu-                                     Kislay Joshi
                                                    sion of a prize but please restart it.
  It is all thanks to loyal readers like you,       2) An online archive of the articles in            We really feel proud to have people like
that we are India’s No. 1 technology mag-           the magazineswould be nice. We often            you among our readers. You did the right
azine. We will continue to work harder              need to refer to an article or tips and         thing by switching from a pirated copy to
and give you the very best in the tech              tricks, but just cannot find it quickly.        a licensed one. What also impressed us
world, latest softwares and games on                3) An article on the different editions of      was the fact that you convinced your local
our DVDs and best product reviews. And              Windows 7 and their usability would             store owner to switch from incandescent
thanks also for taking us down memory               be welcome. For instance, why should            bulbs to CFL lamps. The whole idea
lane. We feel immense joy in knowing that           someone spend Rs. 12,000 for the ulti-          behind our green initiatives is to make the
you have stayed with us this long.                  mate edition when he won’t be using the         readers aware of ways in which you can
                                       Rossi        features?                                       make a difference to society by adopting
                                                    4) A Fast Track on Overclocking would           techniques which apart from saving your
) Digit has been one of the biggest                 be great.                                       money also help you in making our planet
motivators in my career growth as I have            5) A lot of us use BitTorrent clients and       a better place to live. We will continue to
learned a lot from it. But now it’s taking          leave the computer running overnight,           give you the best of content. As regards
part in all these marketing activities, pro-        you could do an article on minimising           the pointers you suggested, we will surely
moting anything and everything, seems               power wastage in such situations. Is            discuss them in our edit meets. We had
like the people at Digit have lost the              there some way to turn off GPUs and             done a DIY on Overclocking in the June
motive. India’s biggest technology maga-            extra HDDs in such conditions?                  2010 DIY Fast Track. You can refer to that
zine, kindly wake up. I understand that                 Lastly, I want to congratulate Team         article, which will give you enough infor-
being a magazine, you have to be a part of          Digit on its persistent efforts to fight        mation on how to go about overclocking
such activities too, but as per my knowl-           piracy and educate the masses. I person-        and what all precautions you need to
edge, Digit used to give details of why to          ally ditched the pirated XP I was using         consider. Also, you can find the crossword
buy a product and why not. It was totally           and bought an original Windows 7 home           you requested in the World View section.
unbiased and was my ultimate guide to               premium. Also , the articles on going                                                 Nimish
technology. Frankly speaking, it is losing
its credibility by promoting these kind
of courses, products through its posts in         ously need to tie-up with other compa-            They are succintly and lucidly written
Facebook. I hope you publishing ads in            nies from time-to-time, and this is done          and are largely jargon-free. The fact that
the magazine is good enough for Digit to          to provide you, our readers, with much            a technologically challenged person like
make its profits.                                 more goodies than ever before.                    me could make sense of them is a huge
                           Ankit Srivastava          As for the posts on Facebook, I didn’t         testamament to the articles. I liked the
          (via www.facebook.com/thinkdigit)       quite understand that part. Are you               new Bazaar design, but at the same time
                                                  talking about the occasional spammers             I also missed the comparison tests.
   First up: All tests, reviews, features         that advertise themselves on this page?           Keep up the good work.
and other content of Digit is completely                                              Robert                             Aashray Hariharan
unbiased, and devoid of any advertiser
interference. We still give details of            ) I am a long time reader, first time                We try to write our articles in such a
which products are good, and which are            letter writer. What I like most about             way that anyone can read and benefit
bad, and these results are arrived at             Digit magazine is the reader friendliness         from them. Also now that you are a Digit
after rigorous testing. Come visit                of the articles. I would initially buy it         you shouldn’t call yourself technically
our Test Centre yourself, if you don’t            only for the DVDs and not bother much             challenged, right? We are glad you liked
believe me!                                       with the articles. But upon reading them          the new Bazaar format. We have incorpo-
    If you’re referring to the Anniversary        gradually, I realised that the articles           rated a comparison test this time around.
special free gifts we gave out, we obvi-          aren’t as jargon heavy as I presumed.                                              Siddharth
                2 million IE9 downloads                                                    Google white space
                Microsoft recorded over 2 million downloads of the                         Google is currently testing broadband using white space spectrum
Buzz            new Internet Explorer 9 Beta                                               in Ohio, USA; white space are unused radio frequency ranges

HP incubating 'memristors' with Hynix

      f you are familiar with any of the terms resistance, capacitance             to be announced)
      or inductance, you will know that there are three properties                 other than Hynix,
      which an electric circuit is bound to have. In the late 1960s, a             HP says they'll
      prediction was made for yet another circuital property, then                 keep the intellec-
dubbed as Memristance. IEEE confirmed the property renaming                        tual property to
to memristance (and the circuital element showing this property                    themselves, and
is called memristor) in 1971.                                                      make it a licens-
    Though it is not a grand revelation, the mem of the term mem-                  able standard to
ristor comes from memory. This property allows a circuit element to                be used by other
memorise its state – even after it is switched off and then switched               chip manufac-
back on. This made research labs try and work out the feasibility to               turers.
use it as a memory solution. The good news is, of late – the fruit is                 We will have to see how interesting the race between flash
about to ripen. Scientists at HP Labs have confirmed the possibility               and memristor memories gets, but in the race of S/DRAMs and
to make storage chips based on memristors for sometime now, and                    ReRAM, the legacy will fall flat without a doubt. As you already
now they have taken a real big step forward, collaborating with                    know, no matter how speedy it gets, once switched off, a DDR
Hynix to produce RAM for the new generation.                                       module is as good as a breadboard. On the other hand, a ReRAM
    Hynix is an old player in memory solutions, and HP found them                  module will be completely able to retain its state even after the
good to work with to take the technology further, and to show us                   PC is turned off. Hang on, is that supposed to mean we'll have
a glimpse of the new era. The new system memory solutions are                      faster boot-up? Yes, a lot faster – a restart will be much like
primarily dubbed as Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM).                        Windows Sleep Mode.
    The possibilities of memristors are endless, as HP explains                       Let's see where HP-Hynix leads us; the future is promising
it. Even though they are open to work with other companies (yet                    enough to be brighter – but the question is, how much?

AMD showcases Bulldozer and Bobcat

              MD      sh owe d                                                     ture is that it will support a       such a way that buffer entries
              off its next-gen                                                     new sort of SMT (simultaneous        don’t remain empty when
              processor tech-                                                      multithreading) and not the          there’s no second thread.
              nology at the                                                        traditional CMP (chip multi-            Not many definitive state-
Hot Chips 2010 conference                                                          processing). This will finally       ments can be made about the
in Silicon Valley, detailing                                                       allow two or more threads to         Bulldozer family of processors,
the evolved nature of its                                                          run on a single core, working        but you can safely expect some
upcoming Bulldozer and                                                             simultaneously.                      rather fantastic floating-point
Bobcat lineup of chips.                                                                How this technology com-         performance, especially if there’s
    "The new cores, codenamed                 the first time since the original    pares to Intel’s Hyper-threading     sufficient memory bandwidth.
'Bulldozer' for high-perform-                 Opteron x86 and K7 processors.       is not yet known, though it has         Meanwhile, the Bobcat
ance PC and server markets,                   To highlight this new ground-        been noted that with AMD’s           lineup, while great for lap-
and 'Bobcat' for low-power                    up approach, Akrout went on to       novel SMT approach, two              tops and tablets, might just
notebook and small form-                      say: "x86 architecture lies at the   threads will share a single front-   be AMD’s best bet to take on
factor desktop markets, were                  very heart of computing and          end, but, use separate integer       ARM’s Eagle lineup in the
designed from the ground-up                   AMD has continuously evolved         execution resources.                 high-density cloud server
to address specific require-                  and improved its core designs.           According to Ars Technica’s      market, the wave of the future.
ments and compute work-                       The Bulldozer and Bobcat cores       Jon Stokes, for this type of SMT        It really does seem as if
loads," said Chekib Akrout, a                 continue that evolutionary path      to work, all shared code and         AMD has all future bases
senior VP at AMD.                             and are designed to change           data storage components of the       covered, from desktop, server,
    AMD has apparently taken                  the user's experience with the       processor must be “either rep-       and laptop to tablet markets,
its x86 processor technology                  resulting products."                 licated or partitioned”, giving      especially if you include the
to the next level, radically                      One of the biggest features      equal priority to each thread        Fusion Accelerated Proces-
evolving its core designs from                of the new Bulldozer architec-       when sharing resources, in           sion Unit (APU).

6 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                   Instant for Mobile                                                         HP’s dual destroyer
                   Google will be launching their Instant search                              HP has launched the PhotoSmart eStation E510 which has
Buzz               feature for mobile phones by the end of this year                          a detachable 7-inch Android tablet as its display

  Another Indian                                                                  Wink e-reader
  tablet; this time $50                                                           lanched at `11,490

O                                                                                 B
            ut to make tech-                  screen that’s built for stylus                angalore-based
            nology afford-                    action, perfect for the class-                EC Media Interna-
            able, India has got               room. It apparently costs $50                 tional announced
            another low-cost                  to manufacture, and can also be               the release of its
Android tablet up its sleeve,                 priced at the level with a min-     e-reader tablet, a device
made by Allgo, who have been                  imum of 10,000 units ordered,       we covered on Digit TV
showing off their technology                  which if you think about it, is     (youtube.com/digit) a while
for a while. You can see the                  more resourcefully made than        back. Starting at `11,490 for
platform for the new $50 pro-                 a $35 government-subsidized         the Wi-Fi only device (Wink
totype, called the Stamp, in a                one million units minimum           XTS), the e-reader will get
video on thinkdigit.com.                      tablet – accordingly, expect        a running start with more
   The Allgo Stamp tablet                     the specs to be less impressive     than 2,00,000 titles from
is supposedly full-featured                   than the amply-proportioned         inked content deals with            play at 800x600 resolution,
device, sporting a 7-inch dis-                $35 tablet. At one million units    publishing houses such as           400MHz ARM9 processor,
play with an 800x480 reso-                    ordered though, the Stamp can       Harper Collins, Oxford Uni-         2 GB onboard memory
lution, and a resistive touch-                cost as low as $40.                 versity Press, Penguin, Per-        (expandable up to 16 GB),
                                                                                  manent Black, and Roli.             WiFi, microSIM card slot,

ATI no more?                                                                         The Wink 3G will cost
                                                                                  `14,990. The e-reader sup-
                                                                                                                      GPRS, 3.5mm audio jack, USB
                                                                                                                      2.0, audio/video playback

                                                                                  ports up to 15 modern Indian        support, and a 10 hour bat-
              MD is simpli-                   is, as AMD has certainly been       languages, and has a 6-inch         tery life (10,000 pages and
              fying things and                busy this past year, wresting       16-level grayscale e-ink dis-       10 hours music).
              plans to retire                 the crown from NVIDIA, and,
              ATI brand by
2011. It’s been four years since
                                              also trying to simplify its brand
                                              structure in the form of AMD        Google TV to launch
                                                                                  globally in 2011
AMD bought ATI. While many                    Vision, which is a logo a PC
industry experts felt $5.4 bil-               gets if the CPU and GPU are

lion was simply too much to                   manufactured by AMD. Vision,
invest in a graphics company                  Vision Premium, Vision Ulti-                     oogle’s      CEO,      its future televisions sporting
when with a similar amount of                 mate, and Vision Black are the                   Eric    Schmidt,       Google TV embedded in them,
money AMD could have built                    price progressions, from entry-                  announced the          other TV manufacturers, such
its own, the popularity of the                level to top-end.                                release date of        as Samsung, are also looking to
ATI brand was perhaps the                         AMD says it has some solid      Google TV at the IFA show in        get their hands in the pie.
number one factor in favour                   market research to show why it      Berlin. More than just internet         So while Google and Apple
of an acquisition over internal               has taken the decision to phase     TV, it will apparently go live in   have been going head to head
development. Things are dif-                  out the ATI brand by Q1 2011,       the United States this October,     for a while with Android
ferent now – ATI is at the top                and retain only the Radeon/         and will be launched globally       versus the iPhone, very soon,
of its game, it has even edged                FirePro brands.                     early next year.                    their war will have some new
out NVIDIA as the                                                                    Diverging from the Apple         battle fronts, with TV versus
market leader in                                                                  TV pricing scheme, Eric             TV, and tablet versus tablet
discrete GPU ship-                                                                Schmidt also announced that         (ChromeOS and Android). It’s
ments. Things will                                                                the service would be available      also been reported on several
apparently change                                                                 free of cost. Google TV would       different occasions that Google
some more soon, as                                                                rely on shows produced by con-      is mobilising forces against
AMD has revealed                                                                  tent providers, and Google has      Apple’s iTunes music platform
it will soon be                                                                   no intention to “get into actual    as well, with its own Google
doing away with                                                                   content production”.                music platform. However,
the ATI brand.                                                                       While Sony has already           Schmidt refused to comment/
    Surprised?                                                                    struck a partnership with           confirm the official existence
Well, not everyone                                                                Google that will see many of        of this front for the moment.

8 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                    Talk to charge
                                                                                                                    South Korean scientists are working on
                                                          Web Watch                                                 using sound waves to charge the battery

Connections                                    12         Your fix of the latest buzz from the
                                                          world of the web
                                                                                                                    of your phone,so next time you are running
                                                                                                                    low on juice, just talk to charge

 Nokia’s first dual SIM phone                                                                                                again managed this juggling
                                                                                                                             act. In related news, Nokia has

 arrives with latest X series entrant
                                                                                                                             released the Nokia X2 officially
                                                                                                                             in India, for `5,999. Representing

                                                                                                                             the low-end of the new Nokia X
               okia has released its           MP3 player, microSD                                 so, that Nokia wishes     Series, the entertainment phone
               first dual SIM phone,           expandability up to                                 to call these emerging    runs on the Nokia S40 operating
               and is launching it             32GB, FM radio with                                 markets “blossoming       system. While it does not offer 3G
               first into the Indian           recording, 3.5-mm                                   markets” instead.         capabilities, the 2-2-inch screen
 market. While Nokia introduced                audio jack, Blue-                                       Lloyd went on         device is still quite feature-rich,
 the Nokia C2-00 as well, the                  tooth, MMS and a                                    to speak about how        with dual speakers, stereo FM
 Nokia C1-00 will hit the streets              VGA camera. Most                                    Nokia has a place         radio with RDS, Bluetooth 2.1
 first, and already has a price of             notably, the phone                                  in every price seg-       with A2DP, USB-on-the-Go sup-
 `1,999. While this is bit higher              will also come with                                 ment in India, and        port, Nokia Messaging, native
 than we expected earlier (`1,700),            Nokia Ovi Life Tools.                               its massive pres-         Facebook app and expandable
 this low-priced dual SIM phone                    Present at the                                  ence in the country       microSD memory up to 16GB.
 is definitely a milestone for the             India-exclusive                                     is unique, especially         The X2’s 5MP camera is one
 company. The Nokia C1-00 is a                 launch was Mary                                     with its “hyper-local”    of its strongest selling points
 very basic Series 30 phone that               Lloyd, Executive Vice                               approach to sales and     and the phone’s battery life is
 offers only voice and SMS capa-               President of Nokia’s                                Nokia Care, as well as    said to be very good as well,
 bilities, along with FM radio,                mobile phone divi-            Nokia’s X2            dedicated research        allowing for up to 27 hours of
 and a flashlight. Some of the                 sion, who spoke at length                      and testing centres within     music playback and 13.5 hours
 phone’s unique features for its               of the importance of India and         the country. Her division concen-      of talk time. Though it is slightly
 price include a speaking alarm                other emerging markets for             trates on sub-$125 phones and          more expensive than previously
 clock in local Indian languages,              Nokia and how they accounted           at that segment, what becomes          indicated and arrived later than
 call tracker, and multiple phone              for a significant percentage of        more important than making the         expected, we feel Nokia may just
 books (one per SIM).                          the 360 million Nokia phones           phone inexpensive is ensuring          have a strong contender on its
     The Nokia C2-00 however,                  sold in 2009. In fact, according       that it contains the “relevant         hands, offering many features
 is a Series 40 dual SIM that                  to Lloyd, these markets have           innovation” or relevant features       at a decent price point and a very
 attempts to cater to those who                become such major players in           for its demographic. She believes      trendy form factor. Whether or
 want a little more from their                 the global scene, that its hard to     that with the Nokia C1-00 and          not the lack of 3G and Wi-Fi will
 phone, offering GPRS facilities,              “ignore” them anymore, so much         Nokia C2-00, they have once            seal its fate remains to be seen.

 Samsung launches two new Android
 smartphones in India - Galaxy 3 and 5

          amsung has launched                     The Galaxy 3 has a 3.2-inch          tronics, commented on
          two new Android                      screen, a 3.2MP camera with             the launch of the two
          2.1-based 3G-enabled                 geo-tagging and face/smile              phones in India: “In
          smartphones in India,                detection, microSD expand-              the open OS area, our
 the Galaxy 3 (I5801) and Galaxy               ability up to 32 GB, Wi-Fi 802.11       strategy is to offer con-
 5 (I5503), priced at `12,300 and              b/g/n, DNSe, Bluetooth v3.0             sumers with whatever
 `10,200 respectively.                         with A2DP, GPS and A-GPS,               they want. As a result
     Out of the two, the Galaxy                and loads more.                         we are offering mobiles
 3 is the higher-end device,                      The Galaxy 5 has a 2.8-inch          based on the Android, Samsung Galaxy 3 and 5
 though both phones fea-                       screen, a 2 MP camera with              Windows and our
 ture Samsung’s TouchWIZ                       geo-tagging, microSD expand-            own proprietary OS Bada in       range of `10,200 – `31,500. By
 3.0 UI, 3G connectivity, the                  ability up to 16GB, Wi-Fi 802.11        the Indian market. With the      the end of 2010, we plan to a
 Layar Reality Browser, Social                 b/g, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP,          launch of these two smart-       have a portfolio of 8-9 smart-
 Hub and Allshare social net-                  GPS and A-GPS, and more.                phones, Samsung’s smart-         phone models and expect to
 working tools, as well as                        Ranjit Yadav, Director,              phone portfolio now boasts of    notch up a 20% market share
 Swype text input.                             Mobile & IT, Samsung Elec-              4 feature-rich models at a price in the smartphone market.”

10 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                 Android’s wet pants                                        Touch without touchscreen?
                 OEM’s using Android on their phones have been              A British company has devised a way of letting
                 compared to boys who “pee in their pants” for              phones without touchscreens respond to touch
                 warmth in winter by Nokia’s outgoing exec                  using sound waves                                        Mobile watch

                                                                          A look at the Toshiba
                                                                          Folio 100 tablet -
                                                                          running Android 2.2
                                                                          on NVIDIA Tegra 2

                                                                                      oshiba recently showed cent web browsing, 10 per
                                                                                      off its Google Android cent video playback, 25 per cent
                                                                                      2.2 and NVIDIA Tegra   standby)
                                                                                      2 based Folio 100      Weight: 760g
                                                                          tablet at IFA. Though the device   Size: 281 x 181 x 14mm
                                                                          certainly seems well-specced (it   Software: Opera Mobile,

ARM flexes its                                                            also supports Flash 10.1), some
                                                                          of those who’ve had a hands-
                                                                                                             Toshiba Media Player,
                                                                                                             FBReader, Fring, Document to

muscle: quad-core
                                                                          on with the device are not very    Go and Evernote.
                                                                          impressed with the build quality       Another feature of the Folio
                                                                          or the apparently drab UI cus-     100 tablet includes an instant-

2.5 GHz processor                                                         tomisation. Let us
                                                                          hope that Toshiba

                                                                          decides to do some-
               RM is certainly        eager for a piece of the pie, and   thing about this
               making some            have been named as “lead licen-     criticism before
               major headlines.       sees”. Thus, you can definitely     they release the
               Just as soon as        expect a whole range of devices     tablet in the last
Samsung announced its Orion           featuring the Cortex A15 MPcore     quarter of this
application processor based on        to head your way and also power     year in the initial
the Cortex A9 design, and Glo-        many cloud-based services you       launch markets of
balFoundries is open for 28nm         will soon be taking for granted.    Europe, Middle
orders, ARM has decided to                If you are wondering about      East, and Asia.
show off its latest processor         the memory capacity and vir-        Here’s a look at Folio features Android 2.2 and NVIDIA Tegra 2
design: the Cortex A15 MPcore.        tualization capabilities of the     the specifications
    Though dual-core mobile           processor and just how well it      of the Toshiba Folio 100 tablet:   on functionality. The tablet will
processors are definitely not a       would fit in the high-density       CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 2                also have access to Toshiba
thing of the past (hell, people are   server rack environment, you        Display: 10.1-inch capacitive      Market Place, which features
still coming to terms with that       will find the answer reveals        multitouch display with 1,024      such platforms as Music Place,
much power under the hood),           server applications were exactly    x 600 pixels resolution and        Radio Place, and App Place.
ARM has developed a processor         what ARM was thinking about         UI auto-rotate with acceler-       This unfortunately means it will
that is certainly ahead of its time   when designing the Cortex A15.      ometer support.                    have no access to the Android
– a quad-core 2.5GHz mobile           It is very evident when you see     OS: Customized Android 2.2         Market, at least until Google
processor. Codenamed Eagle, the       the processors have embedded        Storage: 16 GB onboard with        gives it, and the numerous other
ARM Cortex-A15 MPcore proc-           hardware virtualization and sup-    SD expandability (no word on       Android tablets waiting in the
essors might one day make their       port for nearly 1TB of memory.      the limit yet)                     wings, this access. Toshiba’s
way into smartphones, but for             The Eagle lineup of ARM         Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1        suggested retail price for the
now it will be best suited for net-   processors will feature a whole     +EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,          non-3G version of the Folio 100
book/tablet applications, and as      range of designs, from single-      Mobile Broadband (for certain      is £329, including VAT, which
designed, for high-density cloud      core (with speeds up to 1.5GHz)     models & countries), DLNA          is £100 less than the 16GB Wi-
server racks. So while the proc-      to quad-core (with speeds up        compatible, 1 x miniHDMI, 1 x      Fi-only iPad, and it might have
essor has already been snapped        to 2.5GHz), and from 32nm to        USB 2.0 (client and hub), SD/      really have a chance to give the
up by Texas Instruments, the          28nm. Expect the parts to be        MMC Card Reader                    iPad a run for its money, espe-
wide-reaching hands of ST-            mass-produced and shipped           Camera: 1.3MP webcam               cially if the Android Market is
Ericsson and Samsung are also         only by 2013.                       Battery life: 7 hours (65 per      added to the mix.

                                                                                                             Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 11
                            Multiple sign-in for Gmail                                                    Filter spam
                            Google officially announced multiple sign-in feature for Gmail.               Blogger gets a brand new comment system that lets
 Connections                You can now sign-in with up to three accounts simultaneously                  you filter spam with ease

 Gmail’s VoIP and Priority Inbox
 Priority Inbox                                tions, important unread email,
 Ever faced this scenario? You                 starred email and everything
 check your inbox, only to find                else after that — these sections
 dozens of unread emails. You                  can be customized. Just like
 scan through them and decide                  Gmail’s spam system, this too
 to archive them all rather than               can be trained over time, by
 read them. Unfortunately, in                  marking an email as less or
 the process you archive a rather              more important.
 important email.                                 This reminds us of Mozilla
     Gmail’s new “Priority                     Messaging’s Raindrop project
 Inbox” aims to tackle that                    which had a similar noble

                                                                                     — which can aggregate details          video chatting and was recently
                                                                                     from multiple social networks          released for Linux too, Google
                                                                                     to figure out which email is           now also offers the ability to
                                                                                     more important to you.                 make calls to phone numbers
                                                                                        This feature will be rolled         from the Gmail interface. Avail-
                                                                                     out over a week for both Gmail         able only in the US for now, it
                                                                                     and Google Apps mail users,            will work with your Google
                                                                                     so keep an eye out. You can try        Voice number and you will be
                                                                                     “Priority Inbox” by visiting its       able to not only make calls but
 problem. Gmail will learn over                goal. While Gmail will obvi-          new home at Google.                    also receive any calls made to
 time which emails you open,                   ously provide these features                                                 this number.
 read and reply to and accord-                 in their web interface, Mozilla       Gmail VoIP                                Google’s been testing the
 ingly automatically sort your                 Messaging’s Raindrop is a mail        Finally some good is coming of         Google Voice service for a while
 email to display relevant,                    client application — although         Google’s acquisition of Gizmo5.        now, which is a very handy fea-
 important emails first. Email                 it runs its own server and has        Though Gmail’s chat applica-           ture and we cant wait for it to
 is then put into different sec-               to be accessed via a browser          tion already supports voice and        roll out here in India.

 Geolocation comes                                                                     Cisco’s “Skype”
 to Facebook, finally                                                                  call for VoIP

            he web, especially the             posts from users around you as a           Less than a week after Google     the VoIP services market and an
            social web, is getting             layer in its Google Maps.              announced their new voice calling     investment as large as $5 billion
            increasingly interested                Facebook’s take on geoloca-        feature from Gmail, Skype, a com-     is not out of reach for them by any
            in your wherea-                          tion is called “Places”. You     pany providing similar VoIP serv-     means. In 2005, Cisco had spent
 bouts. After “What are                                  can use the feature with     ices for years now, is in the head-   $6.5 billion on cable set-top box
 you doing?” it has                                        the iPhone via the         lines. Apparently                                        maker Scientific
 now come to “What                                          Facebook iPhone app,      Cisco Systems                                            Atlanta.
 are you doing, and                                         or the http://touch.      is showing an                                               Whether
 where are you                                              facebook.com website      interest in buying                                       this rumoured
 doing it?”                                                if you have an HTML5       Skype.                                                   Skype purchase
     Twitter added sup-                                  and geolocation capable          According to a popular weblog,    is intended to expand Cisco’s
 port for geolocation meta-                           phone and as we’ve come to      Skype is hoping for a valuation of    products and services to set it
 data in its tweets quite a while              expect, you need to be in the USA.     about $5 billion with its IPO. It     apart from other VoIP competi-
 back, which would allow people                    Essentially, the feature allows    means this is the minimum price       tors, or to become a venture that
 to see tweets from people in areas            you to make a Facebook post            that Cisco needs to offer to make     will strengthen Cisco’s strategic
 around them. Google’s Buzz also               which can include your geoloca-        the offer even seem attractive.       value as an acquisition target itself,
 supports metadata information in              tion data and also allows tagging      Cisco is already a big player in      remains to be seen.
 its messages, and can show Buzz               of friends who are with you.

12 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                  Cloud OS                                                     Age of Empires for Windows
                                  Jolicloud 1.0, a free HTML5-based web-centric                Robot Entertainment announces Age of Empires
 Connections                      Linux OS, releases to public                                 MMO game for Windows

                                                                                   "Wave in a Box" at a
                                                                                   server near you

                                                                                               oogle Wave has been     run it on their own server, and
                                                                                               sentenced to death      have real-time communication.
                                                                                               and that must have      Google Wave in a Box users
                                                                                               hurt Google, aban-      will also be able to configure
                                                                                   doning a product which they         their “boxes” to federate across
                                                                                   launched with so much pomp          instances! So you could use your
                                                                                   and promise. So now Google          Wave setup to communicate with
                                                                                   has taken a step which is sure to   other Wave setups, just like email.

 Apple releases
                                                                                   delight developers and ensure           Enterprises could always
                                                                                   that Google Wave                                  implement their own
                                                                                   lives on, even if it                              Wave servers based

 iTunes 10 Ping!                                                                   isn’t on Google’s own
                                                                                   servers. Dubbed as
                                                                                                                                     on the open source
                                                                                                                                     clients, servers and

                                                                                   ‘Wave in a Box’, the                              protocols Google had
             pple just launched                around music will let people        new venture will                                  developed. Novell
             iTunes 10 and                     follow artists and get updates      expand on the existing 2,00,000     Pulse, for example is a Google
             will offer its users              as they post their opinions, pic-   lines of open-source code from      Wave-based solution. Despite
             many new fea-                     tures and release music. iTunes     the Wave project and it will let    Google Wave’s closure, Novell
 tures, including Apple TV                     10 will also feature HDTV           developers continue developing      will continue developing Pulse
 playback synchronization                      show rentals which form a           it. Google will be opening up a     as intended. Google will also pro-
 (playback across iOS devices                  big part of the new Apple TV.       significant portion of their pre-   vide a means to import the cur-
 using the cloud). The big-                    Rented television show epi-         viously closed parts of Wave,       rent Google Wave conversations
 gest new feature in iTunes 10                 sodes will be available up to 30    including a lot of the server and   to the users own server, so they
 would have to be Ping, a new                  days after purchase, and will       client code that forms the front-   will be able to find a new place for
 social network. The new social                expire 48 hours after you start     end of the project. Those running   the data once Google Wave shuts
 networking service, oriented                  watching it.                        Wave in the Box will be able to     down at the end of this year.

 Mozilla furthers Open Web Gaming
              new initiative by                as it is standards compliant.       can perhaps make best use of            WebGL is another browser
              Mozilla Labs has                 The new Canvas element can          hardware acceleration. Mozilla      standard technology which will
              been unveiled                    be used for advanced applica-       has started shipping Firefox        revolutionize 3D content, such
              which aims to                    tions from image editing and        with hardware acceleration          as games, on the web. With
 make the web a better envi-                   video processing application        turned on since Beta 5 of the       WebGL browsers will be able to
 ronment for gaming. Whether                   and even a full-fledged NES         browser, and Internet Explorer      render full-fledged interactive
 it is by using Flash Player or                emulator called JsNES which         9 has also showcased hardware       3D content in the browser as a
 other plugins and add-ons in                  downloads NES roms and              acceleration. If you’re having      part of the web page itself. Since
 the browser — as in the case of               plays the game straight from        doubts about how much this          WebGL is based on OpenGL
 Quake Live — gaming is some-                  the browser.                        can affect rendering perform-       ES, which is used on mobile
 thing that had until recently                    The future lies in hardware      ance of a browser, consider this,   devices, even portable devices
 been out of the purview of web                accelerated web browsers.           Chrome which is the fastest         can support the standard.
 browsers, requiring additional                Browsers in the time to come        browser in terms of Javascript          To kick off this venture they
 assistance of in some form.                   will render content using           performance, gains a score          have announced the “Game On
     Recent additions to web                   the graphics hardware of the        which is in the mere 60s to 80s     2010 Competition“open to all
 standards have made it quite                  system, meaning richer, faster,     in IE9’s Psychedelic Browser        developers. The future is bright
 possible to have a platform                   smoother animated content on        test, while both Firefox 4 and      for browser-based gaming, and
 agnostic game now, which will                 the web. This also translated       IE9 have scores upwards             it seems Mozilla has taken a
 run on any platform as long                   favorably for games which           of 1500!                            hold of its reins.

14 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               Everything’s embedded                                                       3D printers
   Sci-tech                             22     We’re surrounded by computers of all sorts in our busy lives. We
                                               take a look at some computing marvels from everyday life           26       Explore the possibility of
                                                                                                                           three dimensional printing

   Build your own
   Supercomputer for                                                                                                              0
 …with the hardware you already have
 Rudresh Jariwala                                    but if you’re in a college, or in a company          Why?
 rudresh.j@thinkdigit.com                            with relaxed IT rules, you can easily                Why not? If the looks of awe you

                                                     touch Gigaflop territory; Teraflops if it’s          will get from friends aren’t reason
                supercomputer is something           a corporate office, and you’d probably               enough, consider these uses:
                that is awe-inspiring; the           be able to break world records if you
                stuff of dreams. We all want         happen to be network admin at Google                 1.Render
                to see one, and sit and work         or Microsoft. The beauty of it all is that           If you’re a 3ds Max junkie, a supercom-
 on one. Why? What a silly question to ask           we’ll show you how you can use idle PCs,             puter would save you hours of boredom
 a Digit reader. Now you could break into            without changing any of the contents on              as you wait for renders to complete.
 some defence lab and try playing chess              the hard drives, or “ruining” anyone’s               You can use Autodesk Backburner in
 against one – you’d lose the game and your          work, or any such nonsense. All you                  Windows to speed up your rendering
 right to live, but it might be worth it… you        need is a CD-drive on the server PC and              over a cluster of home PCs. Those of you
 could also choose to save 10 years of your          network cards that are capable of booting            looking to do Maya rendering are also
 salary to blow up on 3 minutes with a               from LAN, which basically any current                in luck, as there are render managers
 supercomputer… or you could just whack              generation LAN card / chip is capable of.            available – http://bit.ly/dok3IZ. If you are
 your friends over the head with this book,                                                               looking to do 3D content creation on
 quieten them down and read this article.                                                                 your cluster, you have the option of using
                                                       A short history lesson
    If you really want a supercomputing                                                                   Blender (http://www.blender.org) which
 experience, all you need is a local area              Seymour Cray led the way in the 1960’s and         is a free and open source suite that is
 network, as many PCs as you can get                   was at the forefront of design and develop-        available for all major operating systems.
                                                       ment of supercomputers. We have come a
 your hands on, and this issue of Digit (yes
                                                       long way since then, and supercomputers
 the DVD too), and you’re on your way.                 today perform calculation intensive tasks          2.Donning a white hat
    So how super a computer can you                    such as quantum physics, weather fore-             Brute-force hacking of passwords usu-
 throw together? If you’re doing this at               casting, wind tunnel research, simulation          ally involves a large amount of com-
                                                       of detonation of nuclear bombs and many
 home, with say, two or three PCs, then                more such compute intensive tasks.                 putational power, or years of regular
 you can set up something pretty decent,                                                                  PC time. Not for you, right? Software

16 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                     World’s First
          World View                                                 ENIAC was the world’s first supercomputer. It weighed in

33        Global content, presented to you
          by Digit
                                                                     at nearly 3 tons, used 19,000 vacuum tubes and took up a
                                                                     whopping 15,000 square feet of floor space                         Feature

such as John the Ripper and Cisilia           Light speed - World’s top 3                       computer on the grid as the primary to
can be used to crack passwords much           supercomputers                                    prevent even tiny amounts of latency.
quicker than a single computer. Check                                                              Although it would be quite possible to
                                               #3 IBM BladeCenter QS22/LS21
out http://bit.ly/b4zvfI for complete         “Roadrunner”, country : USA                       build a cluster composed of both Linux
documentation on password security.           Clocking in at 1.04 petaflops per second,         and Windows PCs, for the purpose of this
                                              this former world no.1 occupies a staggering      article, we’ll be using a Linux distro called
                                              6,000 sq. ft! When compared to the 100 sq.
3.Cure cancer                                 ft. per capita space that the average Indian
                                                                                                PelicanHPC (High Performance Cluster).
You may want to consider joining the          has, this monstrosity simulates the ageing        The latest release of PelicanHPC is on the
Folding@home project which is a distrib-      of nuclear materials to check the viability of    Mindware DVD, along with a PDF docu-
uted computing project run by the good        USA’s nuclear arsenal.                            ment that has loads of advanced infor-
folk at Stanford University and managed        #2 Dawning TC3600 Blade “Nebulae”,               mation – how to save your work, how to
by Professor Vijay Pande. Their aim is        country : China                                   create customised PelicanHPCs, etc.
to understand protein-folding, which is       This 1.27 petaflops per second beast is
related to diseases such as Alzheimer’s,      theoretically capable of running at almost 3      Getting started
                                              petaflops per second, the fastest ever!
Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and many                                                              PelicanHPC is a Live CD image that
cancers. All you have to do is download        #1 Cray XT5 “Jaguar”, country : USA              allows you to get a cluster up and running
and install the software, and contribute      As of May 2010, the Cray Jaguar is the            in a matter of minutes. It allows you to do
                                              fastest supercomputer in the world.
your computer resources. Go to http://                                                          parallel computing using what’s known
                                              Delivering a knock out punch to the IBM
folding.stanford.edu for more details.        Roadrunner’s 18 month tyranny as world’s          as a Message Passing Interface (MPI). It’s
                                              no.1, this 1.75 petaflops per second              this MPI that makes it possible to split
4.Little green men                            supercomputer boasts 2,24,000 cores which         tasks up into smaller sub-tasks which are
                                              would make it the equivalent of 56,000
If you believe that life exists out there,                                                      transmitted to and fro as “messages”. You
                                              quad core PC’s!
you can help scan all the radio noise in                                                        can run Pelican on a single, multiple-core
space by dedicating computing power to                                                          machine, or just network as many PCs
finding broadcasts from other planets.       standard Ethernet cables, and it’s obvious         as you can together to make a cluster.
The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intel-      that Gigabit networks are preferred.                   While it’s possible to boot the primary
ligence is what you can contribute to,           However, if you think you can do               system from a pen drive, we strongly
by visiting their SETI@home project          anything on a cluster that you can on a            recommend burning the ISO to a CD
at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/.          PC, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s          and using that instead. Since it’s a Live
                                             a software problem. Most software we               CD, you don’t have to worry about
                                             use these days are not even optimised              formatting or rearranging your parti-
                                             to run on multiple CPU core PCs,
                                             let alone a cluster of multiple PCs.
                                             We can hope that this will change
                                             soon, what with everyone leaning
                                             towards multi-core computing.
                                                                                       ‘Digit’ised cluster : An example of cluster scalability.
                                             Grease up those elbows
To boldly go where no man has gone before!   Now it’s time to start building your               tions, and when PelicanHPC is turned
                                             cluster. A cluster can be architecture             off, all the PCs go back to their original
5.Video transcoding                          independent as long as all the com-                states. Of course you can also choose
Transcoding HD (Blu-ray) video takes         puters on the cluster run the same                 to install PelicanHPC on the primary’s
up to seven times longer than SD video.      SSI (Single System Image). So even if              hard drive which would allow you to
With open source tools such as the           you have PCs with different operating              always continue where you left off from.
Media Encoding Cluster Project (http://      systems and hardware configurations, a
www.codegrid.de/trac), you can effec-        cluster centric Linux distribution such            Requirements
tively utilise your Windows or Linux         as CHAOS, ROCKS or PelicanHPC                      Obviously, all PCs that are part of the
cluster to rip your favourite flicks.        can be booted into memory of a server,             cluster should be networked. Use a
                                             and then all the others can do a LAN
General cluster?                             boot, using the SSI from the primary.               India’s top number crunchers
A cluster is essentially a group of          The primary is the one that splits up               #3 IBM eServer BlueGene/L, location:
computers linked together and per-           tasks into chunks and offsets it to the             IISC, Bangalore
forming their duties as one powerful         nodes to be computed, and then re-                   #2 PARAM cluster, location: C-DAC, Pune
(and power hungry) computer. The             assembles it all and displays the results.          #1 HP Cluster Platform 3000, location:
computers are usually linked using           Thus, it’s best to use the most powerful            Computational Research Laboratories, Pune.

                                                                                                         Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 17
                                                                                                                   Home grown muscle
                               Your very own Sony supercomputer                                                    India’s first supercomputer was the
                               Scientists in the US have built a supercomputer using nothing                       PARAM 8000. PARAM stands for Parallel
                               more than the computing power of PS3 consoles! Check out                            Machine. The computer was developed by
 Sci-tech                      http://www.ps3cluster.umassd.edu                                                    the government run C-DAC in 1991

   Super-jargon busting                                  Be-aware the “Beowulf”                                       Example
     “FLOPS” or Floating point Operations Per           Open Source Cluster Application Resources              For instance, if you were to create a
     Second (fractional values in short) is the         (OSCAR) is a Linux-based software installation         cluster at home using one dual core
     standard measure that’s used to gauge the          for high-performance cluster computing. OSCAR          AMD system running Windows 7 and
     performance of supercomputers.Commonly             allows users to install a Beowulf type high            one single core Intel system running
     used with SI prefixes such as tera- (1012) or      performance computing cluster. Beowulf Clusters        Ubuntu (yes it is possible since clusters
     peta- (1015),teraflops and petaflops can be        are scalable performance clusters based on com-        are platform independant), theoreti-
     used in shorthand as TFLOPS and PFLOPS             modity hardware, on a private system network,          cally, the total resource pool available
     respectively. “Petascale” supercomputers           with an open source software (Linux) infrastruc-       to the computer will be 3 cores. But
     can process one quadrillion (1015 or 1000          ture. The OSCAR project aims to support as many        as explained, bottlenecks are caused
     trillion) FLOPS. Exascale is computing             different Linux distributions as possible. Supported   due to varying factors such as limited
     performance in the exaflops range.An exa-          Linux distributions as mentioned on the OSCAR          bandwidth over the LAN and varying
     flop is one quintillion (1018) FLOPS, or one       website are Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Red Hat          hardware (slower RAM, processors on
     million teraflops!                                 Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu (http://bit.ly/p4vur).     other nodes etc.).

 cross cable for two PCs that are con-                  sticking to “ram1”, so choose that.
 nected directly, or regular patch cables               On the next screen, you will probably
 to hook them all up to a switch. The                   want to move the cursor over to “Yes”
 Primary acts as a DHCP server, so                      and press enter unless you are running
 you’re going to have to make sure that                 a customised version of PelicanHPC.
 you don’t mess with any other DHCP                     Customised versions are relatively
 servers running on the network (like                   easy to create, and you should read
 at work, or in a college). For those who               the PDF to learn how you can bundle
 don’t know, a Dynamic Host Configura-                  all the packages you find necessary                    Change the password
 tion Protocol server is one that gives
 PCs on the network the IP configuration                                                                       interface by typing “startx” or continue to
 information such as their own IP, the                                                                         use the console. The console is the default
 subnet mask and gateway information.                                                                          mode in PelicanHPC to avoid problems
     You could either copy the ISO file                                                                        with unusual graphics hardware.
 off the Mindware DVD on your local                                                                                If you boot into the Xfce graph-
 machine and boot it up using virtu-                                                                           ical interface, you will have to start
 albox or burn the image onto a CD                                                                             terminal and then proceed.
 (like we did). The advantage is that                                                                              Now, time to setup your cluster.
 booting the live image will offer better               Boot into ram1 to prevent any damage to                In terminal type “pelican_setup”.
 performance than a virtual machine.                    the OS on the primary PC                                   When you arrive at the screen
                                                                                                               where the instructions state “Time
                                                        into an image so that all packages                     to bring the compute nodes into the
                                                        are consistent across your cluster.                    cluster”, hit [Enter] on “Yes” and
                                                           Ok, almost done! Now change                         boot up the compute nodes making
                                                        the default password and enter your                    sure that the computers are connected
                                                        own password. Hit [Enter].                             via ethernet cable(s) and that their
                                                           Now you are in the PelicanHPC ter-                  first boot device is set to Network.
                                                        minal. Enter your username as “user” (no                   Tip: For those of you having trouble
                                                        quotes) and then type the password you                 netbooting your old PC’s, check out http://
 Select “Live” to boot the image into RAM               entered. You are now logged in. You can                www.rom-o-matic.net for help on how
                                                        now choose to enter the graphical user                 to get your netboot up and running.
 Let’s begin                                                                                                       The compute nodes will net-
 When the PC boots up, press [Enter],                                                                          boot and stop at prompt.
 or whatever you’re asked to, in order to                                                                          Now, keep hitting “No” till the
 boot from the CD. Select “Live” when                    The administration of your cluster will               complete count of the compute nodes is
 PelicanHPC asks you for a boot method.                  require you to keep 2 commands in mind.               available on the screen. Once all com-
                                                         They are “pelican_setup” for configuring the
     You will eventually be greeted                                                                            pute nodes are connected and accounted
                                                         frontend as a server (so that all other com-
 by a screen that gives you the option                   pute nodes can LAN boot off the frontend)             for, hit “Yes”. Your compute cluster is
 of booting from your permanent                          and “pelican_restart_hpc” which is used to            now successfully up and running!
 storage. If you wish to do so, you’ll                   add/remove nodes from your cluster after                  Tip: When you are done
                                                         initial setup. These commands need to be
 have to assign drives accordingly                       run in terminal.
                                                                                                               with the compute nodes, hit
 (sda1, sda3 etc.). For our article, we’re                                                                     Alt+Ctrl+Del to restart your PC.

18 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                            Supercomputer drivers?                              Long road ahead                         Did you know?
                            A new supercomputer called NeuFlow is               India owns a measly 1% in the           A single modern desktop PC is
                            capable of driving a car efficiently through        share of the world’s top 500            now more powerful than a ten
 Sci-tech                   the use of a human based visual system              supercomputers                          year old supercomputer

 Does it work?!?                                         all the compute nodes and hit “Yes”, just        Food for thought
 Now to test your cluster using some                     wait in terminal to get an overview of
                                                                                                          Gaming on clusters though not possible right
 regression calculations. Start terminal                 what speeds you are achieving and how            now, is a very mouth watering prospect
 and type in “octave” and press enter.                   much each compute node is contributing.          wherein old PC’s with legacy onboard
 Now type “kernel_example” and press                         Bear in mind that the speed shown            graphics would theoretically be able to use
                                                                                                          the graphics rendering from another system
 enter (drumroll please) to see some                     here to you is not optimised for your
                                                                                                          on the cluster. This would mean LAN parties
 really cool econometrics curves gen-                    particular cluster since all the compute         for everyone, provided some of the systems
 erated by your cluster. You may also                    nodes (irrespective of the number of             on the cluster have a powerful enough GPU.
 want to try other examples such as                      cores you have) will only receive one MPI        This would also mean that games need to be
                                                                                                          designed to use what is known as MPI such
 “pea_example”, “bfgsmin_example”,                       rank, hence limiting the work of each
                                                                                                          that GPU resources can be offloaded and
                                                         compute node to one core. This can be            shared with other systems in the cluster.
                                                         optimised to properly balance the load
                                                         of an application, but the optimisation is        Hook, line and sinker!
                                                         left to the user. You can find help on the
                                                                                                          When James Cameron was filming. The
                                                         PelicanHPC forum with regard to this if          Titanic (remember Kate Winslet?), his
                                                         you are really serious about getting max-        special effects crew could not afford a
                                                         imum compute power out of your cluster.          supercomputer to do the rendering. Hence, a
                                                                                                          massive cluster was setup and all the water
                                                             Problem with measuring cluster               related critical rendering was performed
                                                         performances is that there is no general         on that cluster because as the saying goes,
 Hit “No” till all compute nodes are                     purpose tool available for testing all           many hands make for light work.
 accounted for.                                          components. Currently, the LINPACK

 “mle_example”, “gmm_                                                                                    cation programming interface in their
 example”, “mc_example1”                                                                                 software development process, cluster
 and “mc_example2”.                                                                                      variants of our favourite software and
     You also get a time                                                                                 games seem possible in the not so distant
 taken to generate as one                                                                                future. Look to cluster computing as
 of the outputs in the       Screen after completion of netboot
 terminal. This can serve
 as your first benchmark for how much           tool is used for cluster benchmarking, but
 faster your new cluster is performing.         it does not measure all cluster features.
                                                Head over to http://bit.ly/9QyPU6
 How much faster is your new                    to get your fix of all the cluster bench-
 Super rig?                                     marks you need to know about.
 Alright, so now you are the new cool kid
 on the block with loads of super com-          Three finger salute                                      ksysguard monitoring cpu load on the
 puting power at your disposal. But what        Though clusters are not popular in the                   cluster
 speeds are you really touching? Well, a        home environment these days, the light at
 simple way of knowing how much faster          the end of the tunnel seems very bright.                 an opportunity to innovate and come
 you are going will show up right in the        With ongoing research on sharing GPU                     up with your own implementation of
 terminal where you ran the pelican_setup       load within the cluster and software                     load balancing over the network.
 command. Once you are done connecting          developers using the OpenMPI appli-                         With all the information required
                                                                                                                      freely available on the
                                                                                                                      internet (Open Source),
                                                                                                                      students can use this as
                                                                                                                      a research subject and
                                                                                                                      base their projects on
                                                                                                                      this new world of parallel
                                                                                                                      computing. Quoting the
                                                                                                                      father of our nation, “Be
                                                                                                                      the change you want to
                                                                                                                      see in the World” and look
                                                                                                                      to the horizon to make
                                                                                                                      the world of computing
 4 computers on a cluster with the switch highlighted                                                                 a faster, better place.

20 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

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                                Penguin’s Market                                                        IBM’s ASCI white supercomputer weighs as much
                                Linux OS has close to 90% of the                                        as 17 elephants and can do in one second what a
 Sci-tech                       supercomputer market in its grip                                        calculator would take 10 million years to do

                                                                                                                  Totally unaware of the
                                                                                                                  rapid development
                                                                                                                  around us, we don’t
                                                                                                                  realise the importance
                                                                                                                  of embedded systems
                                                                                                                  in our lives
                                                                                                                  Jasnoor Gill

                    hen was the last time               we have indeed come a long way today.              And this is the primary reason for their
                    you paid attention to the           Technology has kept advancing, resulting           pervasiveness.
                    electronics behind the              in increasingly powerful processors,                   The second reason is our paucity
                    devices you interact with           while becoming even smaller at the same            of time. We want assistants, intelligent
 and use every single day of your lives? Over           time. Beginning with some very special-            assistants. Our microwave oven should
 the last few decades, embedded technology              ised applications, embedded technology             not overheat my food even if we’re not
 has taken over our homes, being present                today is prevalent in every field imagi-           around. Our washing machine should
 today in almost every aspect of our lives.             nable. Today’s automobiles are one of the          know how much detergent to use for
 Most devices, from the humble electronic               best examples of the advances made in              our clothes, depending upon the type of
 wristwatch to your car have one or even                embedded technology. From the single               clothes without us having to intervene.
 more embedded microprocessors in them.                 microprocessor present in the ‘trip-com-           This “intervention-less” behaviour cannot
    These devices do all the work behind                puter’ of the 1978 Cadillac Seville, we have       be achieved without a microprocessor.
 the scenes, silently and reliably. They                come a long way to today’s high end Mer-               The third and most potent reason
 work so well, in fact, that we rarely stop to          cedes S-class and BMW 7-series models,             is connectivity. The “On Star” systems,
 even think of the mini-computer running                boasting around 100 microprocessors.               installed in Ford vehicles in the US, can
 inside the smallest and simplest (suppos-              These control everything from the engine           inform emergency services should the car
 edly!) of devices. As a result, every house            to the one present in each headlight! The          meet with an accident. The BMW customer
 has dozens of embedded devices and                     electronics and related wiring is in fact a        service can unlock and start your 7-series
 microprocessors running in the back-                   major part of the total cost of any car being      remotely if an emergency occurs. Closer to
 ground. For some, it may in fact even run              manufactured today.                                home, you can tell your Airtel set-top box
 into the hundreds.                                         “How did we survive before the micro-          to record your favourite program while
    Starting from the first true micro-                 processors took control of almost every            you are stuck in a meeting. So in effect, you
 processor invented in the early 1970s,                 machine we operate?” The answer lies in            not only pay for the device which you have
                                                        the demanding “we”. We want a car which            bought, you also pay for the connectivity
  Microprocessors – everywhere                          can do 0-100 kmph in 5 secs, yet it should         and the associated ecosystem.
  and in everything                                     give an economy of 15 kmpl. We want a
   Here is some equipment which functions
                                                        phone which should have push mail, yet
   because of embedded technology:
   l	Multi-function electronic watches                  give 100 hours of talk time and give off
   l	 computers/ATMs
     All                                                minimum radiation. Such feats cannot
   l	mobile phones, pagers and other                    be achieved by mere mechanical and
     communication devices
                                                        electronic designs alone. The replacement
   l	Engine controllers, anti-lock brake (ABS)
     systems in cars                                    of a carburettor with direct fuel injection
   l	Home appliances like microwave ovens,              would not have been possible without a
     washing machines, televisions, air                 microprocessor, because a carburettor is
     conditioners etc.
                                                        the best precision a mechanical design can
   l	 aircraft systems
   l	Safety systems like fire alarms, sprinklers        achieve. Embedded designs help overcome
                                                        such engineering and material limitations.         Embedded systems and controllers

22 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

                                                  Is Wi-Fi safe?                                                 Did you know?
                                                  The WPA and WPA2 encryption has been broken by                 Modern day automobiles have more
                                                  Russians using a brute force attack coupled with massively     computational power than there was
 Sci-tech                                         parallel computational power of NVIDIA’s GPUs                  on the Apollo 13 moonlander

   What goes on in your                              reliability and functionality of life-critical
   television set?                                   systems. With the increasing usage of
   At a lower level, every embedded device is        embedded technology, we need these sys-
   basically the same. It consists of:               tems to be up and running, always.
   l	 microprocessor which is designed for
                                                         An aircraft while landing cannot
      low power consumption                          afford the infamous blue screen of death
    Memory – meant for storing both the
   l	                                                (BSOD) during touchdown. A pacemaker
    original program (‘firmware’) and for            planted inside a patient cannot afford to
    processing of data
   l	 reliable, real-time Operating System or
    A                                                hang. That is why the operating systems
    ‘firmware’ designed to give instant results      which run inside these embedded devices
    while running without any errors for years       are not standard operating systems. They
    at a time.                                       are designed with special requirements
                                                     like no hang issues, to always respond             Advances in fabrication mean that the chips
     Perhaps the most significant use of             within a time limit, and to have a very high       only get smaller
 the embedded microprocessor has been                degree of reliability. The usual ones are
 in making this world a safer place to live.         QNX Neutrino (used in Cisco Equipment),            this is only going to increase as we move
 A plane armed with an anti-collision                VxWorks (one of the oldest), Integrity             to a more and more automated future.
 device can warn the pilot if another plane          (used in USAF F-22 Raptor fighter jets),           With the rise of networking, the number
 comes too close. A modern ICU monitors              and its lighter version, the VelOSity. The         of devices connected to the internet
 all the vital signs of a patient and informs        most common open-source RTOS avail-                is increasing, so much so that this is
 the medics should a parameter cross                 able is RTLinux.                                   acknowledged as a factor in the coming
 some dangerous threshold. The airbag                                                                   exhaustion of IP addresses, and the
 controller in a car is so finely tuned that          Programming Embedded systems                      resulting move to IPv6 from the current
 it can activate the safety bag before you             More on vehicle ECU modifications: http://
                                                      l	                                                IPv4. The day is not far off when most of
 hit the steering column. Most of the vital            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_control_            the internet will consist of such devices
 safety devices today contain some or the                                                               talking to each other or sending updates
 other form of computing support, because              embedded                                         on their status.
 by nature, a computer cannot commit                   Embedded Linux forum:
                                                      l	                                                    What was once considered the domain
 “human error”.                                        http://www.ucdot.org/                            of some crazy programmers a few years
     The Spanair crash, which occurred                                                                  ago is already here. You can, with some
 on August 20th 2008 and cost 154 lives,                                                                effort, put the technology in place to
 is one of the examples of what happens                  The most common hardware for                   control your home appliances and other
 when safety systems go wrong. This crash            embedded systems today are usually                 devices from a remote location. The
 occurred because the pilots did not verify          SOCs or System-On-Chip (example:                   smart home is not far away, when all such
 flap positions, and ground system that was          Nvidia Tegra). This is a special chip which        operations will be performed automati-
 supposed to verify this, was shut down              contains everything a system needs,                cally using sensors to detect events, and
 due to a malware attack.                            including a CPU, memory, and other                 react accordingly.
     Another example is that of Therac-25,           required controllers (graphics, input                  Cyborgs, once considered the fantasy
 a radiation therapy machine which gave              output, etc). The most common CPU                  of science fiction writers, are now a
 its patients severe burns and radiation             used in such systems is either an ARM              reality with humans increasingly being
 poisoning. The reason was a software bug.           or an MIPS based CPU. Intel has recently           given artificial electronic implants to
 This bug had been present in previous ver-          released an Atom SoC as well. Unfortu-             restore damaged body functions, from
 sions of the machines as well, but was never        nately, most of the embedded systems               prosthetic implants to pacemakers, all
 seen before due to mechanical locks. In the         available today cannot be reprogrammed             with the help of embedded technology.
 Therac-25 design, these locks were removed,         without specialized equipment. This is                 Embedded technology is definitely
 but the software was not tested thoroughly.         both good and bad. Good because we may             here to stay in our lives for the long term,
     These and many such instances depict            inadvertently change a mission-critical            but like most technologies, it is a double-
 how we have started placing the most                parameter. Bad because we won’t be able            edged sword. While making life easier for
 precious thing in the hands of machines,            to customize our equipment. While some             everyone involved and automating
 human life. While casualties due to self-           ECUs (Electronic Control Unit) used in             multiple tasks, it is still up to the designers
 aware systems like the Skynet may still be          vehicles can be modified for aftermarket           to ensure that all such designs perform as
 in the future, a machine not following the          modifications, the best way is usually to          expected. A good embedded design is
 proper safety standards has been around             swap out the complete unit.                        always the one where the user does not
 already. Hence the need for extensive                   Embedded devices already dwarf com-            have to think about the complexities
 safety norms like Do-178B, that ensure the          puters many times over in numbers, and             working behind the scenes.

24 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                 3D fabricators                                                     Rapid prototyping
                                 Public schools in the US, Japan and China have come                HP, in collaboration with Stratasys are finally
                                 together to launch the Fab@School Project to ensure that 3-D       entered the Rapid Prototyping market with the
 Sci-tech                        fabricators are available to children in their own classrooms      Designjet 3D in April this year

                                                                                                    wherein a nondescript block of material
                                                                                                    (typically, of metal or wood) is taken
                                                                                                    and the unnecessary parts removed
                                                                                                    (subtracted) to attain the required form.
                                                                                                    This is a really long process and could
                                                                                                    take several days or months, depending
                                                                                                    on the size of your prototype.
                                                                                                        Rapid Prototyping, on the other hand,
                                                                                                    works somewhat in the reverse manner
                                                                                                    – an ‘additive’ process (but don’t take
                                                                                                    the word ‘rapid’ too seriously). All RP
                                                                                                    machines use the same working prin-
                                                                                                    ciples: basically, the machine receives
                                                                                                    parameters of the object from a computer
                                                                                                    generated image and, splitting it into
                                                                                                    layers, proceeds to create these layers
                                                                                                    bottom first, adding one upon the other,
                                                                                                    until the object is formed. Instead of
                                                                                                    cutting, they heap. In short, it’s a five
                                                                                                    stage process:
                                                                                                    1. Make a virtual model using CAD

 In the depth
                                                                                                       software - anything from SolidWorks to
                                                                                                       SketchUp would suffice.
                                                                                                    2. Convert it into an STL format. Since
                                                                                                       every CAD package uses different

 of the matter....
                                                                                                       algorithms, the STL (stereolithography)
                                                                                                       file format has been accepted as the
                                                                                                       standard for all 3D printers universally
                                                                                                       to maintain consistency. Exporting
                                                                                                       the design file to STL transforms the
 Everything you wanted to know about 3D printers                                                       object’s image into a triangulated
 but were too busy to ask                                                                              network so that the flat surfaces are
                                                                                                       represented in 3D. This conversion
                                                                                                       entails the introduction of the Z-axis.
 Madhusudan Mukerjee                                    further use a conven-                          The greater the Z-value, the longer the
 readersletters@thinkdigit.com                          ient cliché, when it                           production process. The same goes for

                                                        comes to 21st Century                          the number of surfaces – and curved
           lame it on that German genius,               technology, tomorrow                           surfaces mean a lot of triangles, and
           Gutenberg. Around 1440,                      is today.                                      thus, heavier files.
           Johannes Gutenberg created                                                               3. Use the proprietary software (usu-
           the movable type machine                     RP Machines                                    ally provided by the manufacturers
 and changed the world, exploding into                  ‘Rapid Prototyping’ is This 1954 German        of the ‘printer’) to slice the model up
 a googol effect that Marshall McLuhan,                 an umbrella term that stamp shows              into layers of minimal thickness. This
 the popular media theorist, called the                 refers to a category     Gutenberg at his      allows you to control the build orienta-
                                                                                 printing press
 ‘Gutenberg Galaxy’.                                    of technologies that                           tion keeping in mind the smallest
     From the first press, printing tech-               automatically build actual physical            detail. The program may also be used
 nology has gone through several changes,               ‘prototypes’ – or models based on the          to set up support structures during the
 including the rotary press, the screen                 data provided by a CAD (Computer               building process, allowing you to make
 printer and the dot-matrix to culminate                Aided Design) software. 3D printing            partitions, nooks and crannies.
 in today’s compact and efficient inkjet                is one such technology. Engineers and       4. Construct the model using a chosen
 and laser printers. But if you thought that            designers have always needed prototypes        material. Typically, the machines use
 this was the end of the line it’s time for             to check out whether their concepts are        polymers (liquid or powdered), paper,
 a serious rethink. Tomorrows printers                  viable in the real world or not. Most of       or powdered metal. Almost any metal
 don’t just print text and images. They give            these technologies were ‘subtractive’ –        (Cobalt Chromium, Stainless Steel, etc.)
 you the real thing – the thing itself. To              ‘Machining’, for example, is a technology      would do. Photopolymers based on

26 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                     Ancient methods                                                                         Movable type
                     Egyptians had developed a glass-casting method similar to Vitraglyphic thousands        Bing Shen(China) is often credited for
                     of years ago in which finely crushed glass was mixed with a binding material such       having invented the movable type printing
 Sci-tech            as gum arabic and water, deposited on a negative mould to form a coating                technology much before Gutenberg

    acrylics are more commonly used.
 5. Clean up the final product and finish.
    This may involve removal of support
    structures, curing, sanding, blowing
    or breaking away excess material or
    painting the finished product.
     The process is quicker, cheaper and
 more precise than the earlier develop-
 mental process. The similarity in process,
 however, ends here. There are several                What lies beneath
 major variations that are in vogue (more
 than six are easily available today), so             styrene) kind or moulded polypro-
 let’s take a good look at some of them and           pylene – clear polymers that can
 how they work.                                       withstand very high temperatures.                  Sticky sinters
     Charles Hull was the first to shake the              Finally, the solid object is taken out
 world awake to the idea of 3D printing               of the tank, the extra polymer washed                  The powder that is in excess - or has
 with his patented process of ‘Stere-                 off and the support portions broken off            failed to sinter - functions as a support
 olithography’ (Greek for ‘solid-stone-               and put into an ultraviolet oven to be             material during the process and can be
 writing’) in 1986. The machine primarily             completely cured. However, the size of the         brushed or blown off later.
 consists of an ultraviolet laser, a set of           model you make must be restricted to the
 mirrors (X/Y) and a platform immersed                size of the tank and the build platform.           Fused Deposition Modelling
 in a vat full of liquid photopolymer – a             To make very large objects, typically, the         FDM was developed by S. Scott Crump,
 fluid plastic. Once the machine gets going,          object must be divided into parts which            this technology came into the limelight
 the ultraviolet laser (bouncing off the              must be put together later.                        in the 1990s. The unique thing about this
 mirrors) ‘draws’ on the polymer that is on                                                              technique is that the building material
 the platform. The material, being sensi-             Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)                    is actually a thin solid filament to begin
 tive to light hardens into a flat rigid layer        Sintering is, basically, the process of            with. The solid material (usually ABS,
 when exposed to the laser. This becomes              heating a powdered material in a sin-              polycarbonates, polyphenylsufones, or
 the bottom of the prototype. The thick-              tering furnace to a little below its melting       waxes) is extruded from a spool to a mov-
 ness of the layer is usually about 0.004 to          point so that the constituents stick to            able head that can be manipulated by ser-
 0.006 of an inch but you could manipu-               one another and an object forms. Carl              vomotors (and this is probably the only
 late this as per your requirements. The              Deckard patented the Selective Laser               thing about 3D printing that can justify
 platform then descends into the tank and             Sintering technology in 1989 based on
 the polymer that spreads over it is then             his master’s thesis at the University of
 given the same treatment by the laser,               Texas. Like SLA, SLS uses a laser beam
 hardening the next cross section of                  – but instead of working to cure a liquid
 the model. While there are plenty of                 polymer, it uses materials like nylon,
 resins that could be used, they’re usu-              metal (alloys), elastomer, thermoplastics
 ally the ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-               (filled with either glass, aluminium or
                                                      polyamide) etc., in a powdered form.
                                                           The platform rests on a bin of the
                                                      powder. An extremely hot laser draws
                                                      the two-dimensional bitmap on the first
                                                      layer of the powder that’s on the build
                                                      platform. As the laser moves over the
                                                      powder, the particles fuse to form a solid         Today’s FDS printers are aesthetically
                                                      layer. A roller moves over it to level it flat.    designed
                                                      The platform is then lowered, the powder
                                                      deposited on the first layer and the               the use of the word ‘print’ when we aren’t
                                                      process repeated to make a new layer on            really printing anything at all). Another
                                                      top of the first. The technique has several        secondary nozzle squeezes out a strand of
                                                      advantages when it comes to building               material which could serve as a support
                                                      smaller models and companies like EOS              structure for the model. The temperature
                                                      have exploited these to make dental                of the platform is much lower than the
 Charles Hull’s breakthrough invention                implants like crowns and bridges.                  material’s melting point so it hardens on

28 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                 DARPA                                               HP’s history
                                                 3D printers are being used by Pentagon’s            In 1939, Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett established
                                                 DARPA to create insect-like wings for very          Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard’s garage with an
 Feature                                         small spy aircrafts – or ‘robot-insects’            initial capital investment of US$538

 contact. Once the entire cross section of           the manufacturer, a whole lot of powders            fresh layer of plastic is glued to the mag-
 the build platform is covered, it lowers to         are available – starch based, ceramic,              netic bed and a layer of glue spread over
 allow the second layer to be formed in the          thermoplastic or even wax. An ink-jet               it. The build platform is usually con-
 same fashion. At the end of the process,            head deposits a binder onto the powder              structed from paper and a double-sided
 the support parts – which are usually               to solidify the region of the layer as speci-       foam tape but this varies from one printer
 made of soluble materials – are dissolved           fied by the CAD. This fuses the powder              to the other.
 in a chemical bath.                                 together to create the bottom layer of                  Since the entire space is not required
                                                     the model. The platform is lowered and              to create the prototype, the machine
                                                     the process repeated until the model is             spreads anti-glue over the excess material
                                                     finished. Extra powder serves to support            surrounding the object so that they can
                                                     the model and is blown or sucked off                be removed later. Another layer of plastic
                                                     by vacuuming it. The excess powder is               is rolled out onto the first one. The glue
                                                     pneumatically removed and recycled for              binds them together. The excess material
                                                     use in the next project. Then commences             is cut usually using a blade or a laser ( a
                                                     a process called ‘infiltration’. Any gaps in        process called ‘cross-hatching’), as per the
                                                     the material are flaws and must be filled           data of the design programme. The roller
                                                     up. The ZCorp machine, for example,                 presses the two layers together and the
                                                     treats the model with a secondary resin             process repeats until the object is created.
 RepRap’s FDM printers can be used to                material – usually a binder or epoxy - that             One of the most popular 3D printing
 print themselves                                    is sprinkled or brushed on the faces of             machines is the FabLab project that pro-
                                                     the model. This seeps into the miniscule            vides equipment and support to enable
     Layer thickness is typically 0.005 to           nooks and crannies, driving the air out             students in universities to create proto-
 0.013 of an inch and usually, the platform          of them and sealing the model to give               types from their designs. The size of the
 size is limited to a 10x10” or a 14x16” size.       it a stronger and improved finish as it             build platform (or ‘bed-size’) is typically
 The process allows for complex parts                cures. Models can also be coloured, using           limited to 160 x 200 mm so the models
 to be made and is used by the famous                technology similar to document printers             must be divided into smaller parts for
 RepRap project which specialises in                 by converting the PC’s RGB space to a               greater efficiency.
 making open-source 3D printers – ena-
 bling each and every person to make the                                                                 Fore-casting
 printers themselves. What the Walkman                                                                   While the technology is still in a nas-
 did to the stereo music player, RepRap                                                                  cent stage, estimates predict a market of
 is quietly doing to the manufacturing                                                                   hundreds of millions of dollars for 3D
 industry. In fact, RepRap machines                                                                      printers by the end of 2013. Rapid Pro-
 (like RepRap's ‘Darwin’ and MakerBot’s                                                                  totyping has quickly jumped ahead over
 ‘CupCake CNC’) are replicators – in the                                                                 the last few years and several new buz-
 sense that you can use them to make the                                                                 zwords and exciting new applications are
 machine parts of the printer itself and put         ZCorporation’s 3D printers are priced at            already making the news. Rapid tooling,
 them together to make another one to sell           less than 15,000 dollars                            for example, is a process that uses CAD
 to your friends. While they don’t look all                                                              data to create tools using polymer-coated
 that great (apparently, only a bare skeletal        CMYK colour value. Unfortunately, the               steel, plastic or a mixture of powdered
 frame), it’s the ultimate in personalised           STL format doesn’t support colour and               metal to create tools. Sand-moulding
 production and has found its way into a             you’ll have to resort to others if you want
 lot of homes and academic institutions all          your model painted. Besides, only the
 over the world.                                     outer surfaces can be coloured as the
                                                     machines are still not that advanced.
 3D printing
 While all of the above could be classi-             Laminated Object Manufac-
 fied as 3D printers, the one that comes             turing (LOM)
 closest to our idea of ‘printing’ is the            Helisys Inc. (now Cubic Technologies)
 ink-jet technology, first created at MIT            came up with – and patented - a tech-
 and currently one of the most popular               nique similar to lamination as another
 commercial products in this category (eg.           way of layering a model into shape. The
 ZCorp, 3D Systems, Solidscape inc., etc.) .         machine contains spools of paper or
 Like the FDM system, a platform is set in           plastic, laminated with heat-activated
 a bin of powder material – depending on             glue. The build process starts when a               Laying it on thick

30 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               First ever                                               More than ink
                                               The 42-line Bible was the first book to be               Printing technology has gone way beyond
                                               printed by Guttenberg with his movable                   just inking text and images on flat sheets
 Feature                                       type printing                                            of paper

 is another off-shoot that can construct                                                               cells of any kind in a 3D shape. It uses two
 large size models by sintering sand-like                                                              heads – one for the cells and the other to
 materials into moulds. Of all the exciting                                                            set up support cells as a scaffold. The tech-
 innovations in the field, the following need                                                          nology is likely to culminate in machines
 special mention:                                                                                      that could allow surgeons to make human
                                                                                                       body parts and organs whenever needed.
 If you’re really hungry and too tired to                                                              Glass printing
 cook (or too broke to take-away) here,                                                                ‘Vitraglyphic’ is a technique that makes
 finally, is ‘Cornucopia’ - a printer that               Large scale printing with Dani’s D-Shape      glass objects from fine glass powder using
 prints food. Scientist of the Fluid Inter-                                                            CAD software and a 3D printer. The
 faces Group Media Lab at MIT actually                   based binder to glue the sand into a hard,    brain child of the Solheim Rapid Manu-
 stores and refrigerates ingredients, mixes              solid layer of stone, harder than even        facturing Laboratory at the University
 them and ‘prints’ the final product onto a              concrete. This process then works from        of Washington, the printer uses inkjet
 serving tray. Though this is at the concept             bottom up to create an entire structure.      printing technology to spread drops
 stage, it is an incredible innovation that’s            The invention has been used to create
 going to transform household spaces and                 a large, 9-cubic meter structure for a
                                                         roundabout in Pontedera, Italy.

                                                         Second skin
                                                         Scientists and researchers at Wake Forest
                                                         University in North Carolina have devel-
                                                         oped a bio-printer that that sprays skin
                                                         cells on the wounds of a burn victim. The
                                                         ‘printer’ is mounted on a frame and set to
                                                         hover above the patient’s bed. It then uses
                                                         a laser to figure out the extend, width and
                                                         depth of the burn and sprays out a layer
                                                         of skin cells. This speeds up the recovery     Figure it out
                                                         and helps the skin to grow back in about
 Digital gastronomy                                      three weeks. Successfully tested on mice,     of glass powder and fuse them using a
                                                         it is an ideal alternative to other, more     binder solution. Glass isn’t very good at
 family interaction patterns once it does                painful processes like skin grafting and      absorbing water and so must be heated
 hit the market. Amit Zoran and Marcel                   chemical-based medication for burns.          past its fusion point. This is ideal for
 Coelho’s machine’s algorithm works by                                                                 architects, designers or artists who wish
 first selecting the relevant canisters of               Tissue culture                                to build scale prototypes in glass.
 stored constituents on top of the machine,              3D bio-printers can print more than just
 feeding them into a mixing chamber and                  skin. Invetech (Australia) and Organovo       Figuring it all out
 then extruding them in layers of pre-set                (USA) have joined forces to construct         It’s no pipe dream that 3D printers of
 combinations. A touch-screen interface                  organs, arteries and almost any body          various types are likely to hit the world
 and internet connectivity augments the                  tissue by placing cells in a computer gen-    markets at affordable rate really soon.
 cooking process, and allows the user to                 erated pattern using laser-calibrated print   Which one of us can resist the ability
 keep track of the nutritive value and other             heads. The printer lets scientists arrange    to visualise an object and actually hold
 such details of the recipe. Elementary, my                                                            it in our hands within a few hours of
 dear Watson.                                                                                          the thought. It’s amazing that a simple
                                                                                                       layering process could be developed to the
 Builder’s lobby                                                                                       extent that everything from tools to build-
 Enrico Dini – inventor and chairman of                                                                ings, sculptures to subcutaneous tissues
 Monlite UK Ltd. Has created a massive                                                                 could be ‘printed’ out by machines in our
 3D printer that can make entire buildings                                                             own homes. Three-dimensional printers
 out of sand – and we’re not talking about                                                             are a sign that the future is one of greater
 beach castles here. ‘D-Shape’ is a printer                                                            personalisation, greater power and
 that sprays a layer of sand (about 5 to 10                                                            perhaps even, the end of oligopolies and
 mm each) and, through hundreds of little                                                              an equitable distribution of knowledge,
 nozzles underneath, uses a magnesium-                   Raise your glass to Vitraglyphic              resources and capital.

32 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                     Our pick Of the best tech articles frOm arOund the glObe

(Must reads)                          (O’reillycorner)                        Extracting information
Mark Zuckerberg expose                                                        through Data SciEncE

close on the heels of the new
facebook movie about to hit
the theatres next month, new
Yorker profiled its founder
mark Zuckerberg. the profile
gives insight on the allegations
levelled against Zuckerberg and
the formation of facebook

                                      There is a lot of data around us on the web. Extracting informa-
Digg or bury?
a new York times article
                                      tion out of this infinite data, is what Data Science is all about.
discussing the rise and fall of       Merging data visualization and art, you can come up with
social bookmarking site digg          brilliant visuals which make sense of the data. Read more on
and what it needs to do to get
back in the game, which it is
                                      the qualities required to be a Data Scientist...
slowly but surely loosing to
twitter and facebook.

How to relax at work
honestly, no one needs to
teach us this skill. but if you’re
stressed out and your “stomach
metamorphoses from a digestive
organ into a pit of anxiety”, or
your “ears start jangling with        Predict natural disasters with           Building on top of Google Maps              Network Neutrality for dummies
nerves”, here’s a hilarious piece     sensors                                  An interesting piece on the state of        For all those who were confused with
                                      A case for using environmental           mapping APIs discussing the various         the whole Net Neutrality debate, here
on relaxing at work. p.s. it’s a      sensor networks, to predict climatic     mashups that have been attempted            is a complete article which explains
Wired wiki so anyone can edit it,     conditions and prevent future natural    with the Maps application. Features         the concept of Network Neutrality.
making it all the more fun.           disasters.                               examples of data layered on maps            Down with draconian ISPs!
                                      http://oreil.ly/9uRolE                   http://oreil.ly/cR6xbg                      http://bit.ly/9Qo7EQ

                                                                                                                      Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 33

                 tHe blogger granny                      speeD test: pigeon v/s            keyless keyboarDs                   google eMployees can
                 phyllis greene can hardly               broaDbanD                         snapkeys believes that              snoop on your eMails!
                 take care of herself but at             a showdown between                screens were not meant to           if you’ve ever had this nagging

                 the age of 90, she decided to           the juxtaposed                    take inputs. so instead of          doubt while using the service,
                 start a blog. she talks about           modes of                          trying to port qwerty to the        it’s not paranoia. a story on
                 her near addiction and how              communication                     screen, they’ve come up with a      the independent reports
                 technology has brought a                highlighted the                   system that involves has four       how a google engineer was
                 new dimension to her life.              pathetically low                  invisible keys – two on each        accessing several accounts
                 Worth a read to try and                 speeds of rural                   side of the device’s screen.        including that of a 15 yr old
                 understand the elderly.                 broadband in the uk.              Worth a look.                       boy. pervert!
                 http://bbc.in/ddebD8                    http://bbc.in/9wcTXu              http://bit.ly/dfahfk                http://bit.ly/ca6g3p

         sandy Bridge: Intel’s Next-Generation
         Microarchitecture revealed                                                         by Matthew Murray

                                     Copyright © 2010          ment strategy: the latest iteration of the       sary, as Intel released the first consumer-
                                     Ziff Davis Publishing     Westmere-based, 32nm die-shrink of the           oriented six-core processor earlier this year),
                                     Holdings Inc.
                                                               Nehalem microarchitecture that Intel             and use less power to do everything.

                   t this week’s Intel Developer Forum         released at the beginning of the year. They         Most users won’t notice these changes,
                   in San Francisco, Intel wasted no           won’t fit the LGA1156 socket those chips use,    but many of them are substantial ones that
                   time revealing the most anticipated         however—they’ll need a new one, LGA1155,         could be setting the ground for even more
         technology of the three-day conference: its           which will be released on motherboards           exciting developments to come. Read on for
         second-generation Core microarchitecture,             using the new Series 6 chipset at the same       our look at what’s going on in Sandy Bridge,
         code-named Sandy Bridge. It’s due for both            time Sandy Bridge CPUs are released.             and what benefits it may hold for computer
         desktop and laptop release at the first part of          But beyond all that, Sandy Bridge is really   users and builders starting in 2011.
         next year, but has been generating buzz for           about unity. Yes, it finally brings the memory
         months as tantalizing little details have slowly      controller, PCI Express (PCIe) controller,       Front end features
         leaked out. When it came to Sandy Bridge,             and video functions within the processor         Two of the major changes that Sandy Bridge
         we wanted to know two things: What exactly            die, which by itself is an enormous change       introduces come right at the front end: a new
         was it, and was it worth all the hype? The first      that has major performance repercussions.        decoded micro-operation (uop) cache and
         question has been definitively answered—and           But it also strikes up a much clearer parity     revamped branch prediction.
         we think we’ve got a good start on the second.        with the modern computing world: finding
            At its most basic, Sandy Bridge is the             new ways, for example, to take advantage of      Micro-operations and aVX
         latest “tock” in Intel’s tick-tock develop-           large numbers of processing cores (neces-        Sandy Bridge now treats where you want to
                                                                                                                store data and what data you want to store
                                                                                                                as separate functions. (Intel began imple-
                                                                                                                menting this idea in Nehalem.) When an
                                                                                                                instruction is decoded, the uop cache checks
                                                                                                                to see whether it’s already cached. If the
                                                                                                                instruction is, the cache shuts down the
                                                                                                                rest of the pipeline and the front end. If it’s
                                                                                                                not, the instruction is cached; the cache can
                                                                                                                store up to 1,500 instructions, and is direct-
                                                                                                                mapped for easier access. If an instruction
                                                                                                                hasn’t been used in a while, it’s discarded
                                                                                                                once additional space is needed. Because the
                                                                                                                uop cache has marginally higher and more
                                                                                                                consistent bandwidth than the instruction
                                                                                                                cache, this one-two punch has a significant
                                                                                                                impact on both power and performance.
                                                                                                                   In addition, the use of a new physical
                                                                                                                register file instead of a centralized retire-

     34 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

                poop power!                                   anDroiD gaining grounD                         boeing follows virgin
                matthew mazzotta is using dog poop            according to comscore, android gained          galactic into space
                to power the lights in a massachusetts        5 per cent market share in the us for          “please ensure your spine is in the

                city park. since dog owners anyway            the period of april to July 2010, while all    stiffened position and your fears of
                have to pick up after their pets, all they    other smartphone platforms declined.           hurtling towards the stars are stowed for
                have to do is dump it in the the digester     even after the recent launch of iphone         take-off. any passengers not planning
                – an air-tight cylindrical container,         4 the iOs market share declined 1.3 per        to visit the space station today should
                where the dog faeces are broken down          cent. Where have all the fanboys gone?         disembark now.” full coverage -
                by anaerobic bacteria, and then used to       One crappy antenna and you desert your         newZeland herald. still not affordable for
                give back to the grid.                        favourite fruit?                               any of us though.
                http://t.co/9fjkkSM                           http://usat.ly/cqdw89                          http://bit.ly/cnSPec

         ment register file reduces the need for large,      “weak” confidence. Intel representatives
         complex out-of-order execution hardware.            say they discovered that most branches
         The physical register stores operands, so           predicted using that method, however,
         that uops only carry the pointers to the            were marked with “strong” confidence,
         operands they need—a much lighter load.             which diminished the accuracy of those
         The savings here enable the use of Advanced         predictions. With Sandy Bridge, Intel
         Vector Extensions (AVX) instructions, which         is moving to using one confidence bit
         can use operands up to 256 bits in size and         for multiple branches, thus increasing
         borrow 128 bits of the now&ndash256-                the potential accuracy of any given one.
         bit integer SIMD path, enabling twice the              Second, branch targets were also
         floating point throughput. (A look at the specs     changed, so that it’s no longer a “one
         of the new physical register file is below.)        size fits all” situation. Instead there is
             Because this increase in floating point         support for multiple target sizes so that
         performance introduces new demands, the             less space is wasted, the CPU can track
         memory cluster has been changed as well.            more targets, and prediction speed can
         There are now two load/store ports, and Sandy       increase.
         Bridge uses symmetric address ports so that            Third is the increase in the use of his-
         each port can service a load or store address,      tory bits, so that branches that need to
         resulting in double the load bandwidth.             look at long patterns of instructions and
         According to a presentation held Monday at          those that need to only look at shorter
         IDF, this is the Sandy Bridge change that most      branches won’t be grouped together.
         increased performance: It results in a total of
         48 bytes per cycle internal memory bandwidth.       One ring to unite them all
                                                             Zooming out, it’s much easier to see one
         Branch prediction                                   of Sandy Bridge’s biggest innovations:             In Nehalem and Westmere, all cores
         According to Intel, branch prediction is            uniting almost all of the major subsystems      had their own private path to the L3 cache.
         one of the most effective ways to increase          within the processor die itself. That’s where   Sandy Bridge uses a ring-based intercon-
         processor performance, which is one of              you’ll find the memory controller, the PCIe     nect, similar to the one used in Nehalem-
         the reasons it’s tweaked with almost every          controller, and the graphics controller         EX and Westmere-EX, to link the cores,
         new CPU release. Sandy Bridge introduces a          (which also use 32nm transistors—but            graphics, last level cache (see below), and
         few changes that improve its accuracy even          more on them later). Because everything is      System Agent. It contains four rings: the
         above the 5 percent usual increase.                 snuggled so closely together, the processor     32-byte data ring, the request ring, the
            First, it offers more targets. In a standard     needs a way to make sure everything gets        acknowledge ring, and the snoop ring.
         branch predictor, branches are marked as            along, using the available resources without    They’re all fully pipelined, so as the core
         “taken” or “not taken” with either “strong” or      utilizing too much power.                       count and cache size increase, so will the
                                                                                                             bandwidth to the cache. (This means it can
          Element                             Nehalem                          Sandy Bridge                  also scale to servers using large numbers
          Load Buffers                        48                               64                            of processors.) As it’s passing around the
          Store Buffers                       32                               36                            ring, data will always take the shortest
          RS - Scheduler Entries              36                               54                            path to minimize latency. Distributed
          PRF Integer                         N/A                              160                           arbitration and a sophisticated ring pro-
          PRF float-point                     160                              144                           tocol handle coherency, ordering, and core
                                                                                                             interface issues.
          ROB Entries                         128                              168

     36 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

      ipaD v2.0 coMing soon?              HealtH packs now                    farMville: twisteD                   wireless cHarging now
      going by orders and shipping        a reality                           eDition                              a reality
      schedules that taiwanese            how often have we used health       say hello to meet eater a plant      a while ago we’d covered
      component manufacturers are         packs in games and cribbed                          on facebook that     wireless power transmission in
      receiving, there could soon be      about how unrealistic they are.                     gets wattered        its experimental stages – non
      a new version of the segment        not any more! fabrican an                           only when people     practical things like charging
      defining ipad in the offing.        instant, sprayable, non-woven                       ‘like’ its page.     mats and the like. fujitsu has
      these ipads are likely to be        fabric will be used in the future   its first two incarnations died      taken this to a whole new level
      even thinner, with ultra-thin,      to create instant, sprayable,       from water overdoses. people         where even city-wide wireless
      glass-based touch panels            bandages.                           come up with weirdest things!        networks can be envisioned.
      http://bit.ly/aP2C6v                http://bit.ly/bhLOy4                http://bit.ly/9rgcZy                 http://bit.ly/c6W7Qx

Last level cache
The last level cache (LLC) is shared by the
GPU and a special video transcoding engine,
and has less latency than we saw in West-
mere. It also runs at the core clock speed,
which means it’s going to be a lot faster than
it’s been previously. (At least under most
circumstances. If the processor cores are
downclocked for whatever reason, the LLC
will be as well.)
    Each core gets its own portion of the LLC         The LLC is logically shared among cores,
(although each core is capable of addressing      graphics, and media, with the graphics driver    system agent
the entire cache as well), with each por-         controlling which graphic streams are cached     The System Agent (formerly known as the
tion having its own stop on the ring and a        and are coherent. (There are mechanisms in       uncore) offers a number of features and pro-
full cache pipeline. This is different from       place to prevent thrashing between the core      viding extensive power and thermal manage-
Westmere, in which one cache pipeline was         and graphics, and multiple coherency domains     ment for the PCIe and DDR controllers. The
shared by all the cores. According to Intel,      for power optimization and anti-snooping pur-    PCIe x16 lane may be split into two x8s, if
the multibanked LLC cache can deliver up to       poses.) Because this reduces DRAM accesses,      desired. There’s a redesigned dual-channel
384 Gbps on a four-core system or 192 Gbps        this frees up DRAM bandwidth for the cores       DDR3 memory controller. And the System
with two cores, with short access latency.        and lets the DRAM utilize less power.            Agent also contains a Power Control Unit
                                                                                                   (PCU), a programmable uController that
                                                                                                   handles all the power management and
                                                                                                   reset functions within the chip. The System
                                                                                                   Agent is fully integrated with the ring, and
                                                                                                   helps provide the cores, video, and media
                                                                                                   processing with higher bandwidth and lower
                                                                                                   latency. It also handles IO-to-cache coher-
                                                                                                   ency, and operates on a separate voltage and
                                                                                                   frequency from the ring, cores, and display.

                                                                                                   Improved integrated graphics
                                                                                                   One of the Sandy Bridge changes that
                                                                                                   received the most discussion at IDF was
                                                                                                   its new graphics hardware. Intel says its
                                                                                                   goal was to increase the performance of the
                                                                                                   graphics while maintaining the same socket
                                                                                                   power, and in order to make that happen the
                                                                                                   company had to make a “radical departure”
                                                                                                   from what it was doing before. One Intel
                                                                                                   rep even said that the change in graphics
                                                                                                   approach was responsible for the biggest
                                                                                                   power savings in any part of Sandy Bridge.

                                                                                                             Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 37

                                                    all pirates aboarD tHe ipaD!                    twitter is only for news anD
                                                    With the new Vlc player app now available       content please...
                                                    for the ipad, you can play all your media       kevin thau, Vp business and corporate
                                                    content on it. it can be anything from an aVi   development for twitter has acknowledged
                                                    to an mkV file format, giving you the freedom   that the micro blogging site should not be
                                                    to watch all your downloaded stuff, yes even    considered as a social networking place.
                                                    the illegal ones. the ipad supported the        rather its meant for breaking news and
  tHe pain of watcHing non geeks                    Quicktime format (.mOV) till now, until the     other useful content posted through tweets.
  use a coMputer…                                   Vlc app came into the picture rescuing all      point taken, but then what about all the
  a must see comic for any geek                     the .XVid and .dViX files.                      idiotic minute to minute nonsense?
  http://bit.ly/9GzlBw                              http://bit.ly/byDxAh                            http://rww.to/bxx9bi

      The majority of Intel’s changes come from                                                                      tion of Intel HD Graphics—
  the philosophy that anything that could be                                                                         four to 20 times as much,
  done as a more efficient fixed function would                                                                      by Intel’s reckoning. Also,
  be. So at every point in the 3D pipe where a                                                                       whereas previous graphics
  fixed function is assumed, there is an explicit                                                                    architectures repartitioned
  fixed function—this improves throughput                                                                            the register file as needed to
  per watt, reduces latency, reduces complexity                                                                      make the most out of smaller
  in the driver programming model, and “lets                                                                         numbers of registers, Sandy
  the shaders do shaders” (in Intel speak). Intel                                                                    Bridge’s GPU has a fixed 120
  says it has found the optimal balance of fixed                                                                     registers per thread. Intel
  function to compute within the GPU.                                                                                estimates that with all of
      Everything being on the same chip has                                                                          these changes, each shader
  made it possible to dynamically shift power                                                                        unit will be able to deliver
  around as it’s required—and that benefits the                                                                      double the throughput of
  graphics as well. (This helps deal with the                                                                        those currently used.
  problem of some programs swallowing up                                                                                 Driver overload has
  CPU cycles, and others pegging the graphics.)                                                                      been reduced as well. All
      The GPU is constructed of the same                                                                             orthogonal states, re-jit,
  32nm process as the CPU cores themselves,                                                                          and shader management
  which gives it a performance boost right                                                                           have been removed by the
  away. It’s also got its own power and clock                                                                        use of fixed functions. This
  planes: It can be powered down or clocked                                                                          all has the side benefit of
  up independently of the GPU depending                                                                              freeing up CPU load to
  on the demands of the workload, and it                                                                             redirect power to the
  can Turbo Boost on its own as well. Per-                                                                           graphics.
  haps most importantly, the video has equal                                                                             Two versions of Sandy
  access to the LLC, and it’s all controlled by                                                                      Bridge’s graphics will be
  the video driver. (One Intel rep said that                                                                         available when the hard-
  putting the video system behind the LLC                                                                            ware launches next year:
  was the single biggest change in Sandy                                                                             one with 12 EUs (for all lap-
  Bridge.) This reduces the number of trips to                                                                       tops and high-performance
  the main system memory, which put greater                                                                          desktops), and one with 6
  demands on both power and performance.                                                                             EUs (for lower-end models).
      The programmable shader hardware                                                                                   Sandy Bridge graphics
  (shaders, cores, and execution units) are                                                                          will support OpenGL 3.1
  composed of execution units (EUs). They                                                                            and DirectX 10.1 – not DX11.
  contain larger register files for increased
  parallelism and efficient complex shader          ISA (CISC) and higher throughput at same        Future-focused media
  execution, a second generation parallel           clock rate.                                     processing
  branch for efficient parallelization in the          The EUs also handle transcendental           In separate recognition of how important
  face of deeply nested conditionals, and           math using hardware that’s been updated for     media consumption has become, even to (or
  new instructions to reach 1-to-1 with API         improved performance over the last-genera-      perhaps especially to) those in the mainstream

38 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

                 univiteD guests froM               beHinD tHe scenes                   tHe nuMber gaMe                       explore tHe oceans witH
                 facebook                           of newsy.coM                        gamers around the world               google eartH
                 putting doubts on                  a 2-part story behind the           have spent 2,000 years playing        google earth has come with its

                 facebook’s privacy settings        formation of newsy.com, a           bungie’s latest installation          new app for the latest iOs. built
                 once again is a birthday           multi-source online video           halo: reach. all this even            with the apple retina display in
                 story of a 14 year old from        news site that monitors,            before bungie celebrates the          mind, browsing google earth on
                 hertfordshire. she posted an       analyzes and presents the           one week anniversary of the           the iphone 4 is pure joy. apart
                 invite, 21,000 said, “see you      world’s news coverage. also         launch of the game. Wish              from surfing the planet’s terrain
                 there...” don’t check “anyone      talks about newsy apps for          people would spend that time          now you can dive into the oceans,
                 can view” next time.               mobile internet devices.            trying to cure aids or cancer!        and experience the marine life.
                 http://bbc.in/97yjEa               http://rww.to/bpAn0m                http://bit.ly/9PluiO                  http://bit.ly/96k5eT

         market at whom Sandy Bridge is aimed, Intel       you will lose all these added media capabili-      but it also expands into directions we hadn’t
         will be packing the processors with an array      ties. In some ways, that makes sense—after         previously considered. Intel’s techniques for
         of new media capabilities implemented with        all, you generally lose access to integrated       dealing with the on-board graphics (particu-
         what the company calls a more easily pro-         graphics capabilities when you’re using a          larly media processing) and the revamped
         grammable and flexible architecture.              video card. But if the card you choose doesn’t     Turbo Boost strike us as particularly exciting
             These include dedicated hardware              offer comparable media-management capa-            changes, and we can’t wait to see how—if?—
         accelerators for tasks like high-quality          bilities, you may want to seriously consider       they pan out in the real world.
         video scaling, denoise filtering, deinter-        your own needs before you upgrade.                     We want to reserve most of our judgments
         lacing, and film-mode detecting; the ability                                                         until Sandy Bridge is released, but we have
         to hand more computes for processing              turbo boost: boosted                               a few qualms. First, we find it a bit odd that
         high-definition workloads; high-quality           One of the smarter innovations of recent Intel     the CPUs will support only DX10.1 graphics
         enhancement techniques and filters for            processors was Turbo Boost, which automati-        and not DX11 out of the gate. Considering that
         detail and adaptive contrast enhancement,         cally increased the performance of certain         DX11 will have been out for over a year when
         and for total color control; native support of    cores by turning off others that weren’t in use,   Sandy Bridge is released, this seems like a
         mainstream codecs like MPEG-2, VC1, and           assuming the electrical and thermal head-          significant oversight—and it’s one Intel can
         AVC, and technologies like stereoscopic 3D        room were available. There’s just one problem      count on AMD hammering at every oppor-
         Blu-ray; and parallel engines that deliver        with this way of doing it: It assumes that the     tunity, especially given that its own Fusion
         high-throughput video rendering.                  CPU reaches its maximum TDP immediately            APUs will be out around the same time.
             The EUs (shader units) are being opti-        once turbo is enabled, while in actuality the          It’s also a little disappointing that, in order
         mized for the types of media expected to drive    CPU takes a little while to heat up.               to take advantage of all of Sandy Bridge’s
         the next generation, and Sandy Bridge devel-          So in Sandy Bridge, the PCU turbos active      enhancements, owners of computers with the
         opers have worked to attain “parallel compute     cores above the TDP for very short periods         previous mainstream next-generation socket,
         synergy” with the graphics processing hard-       of time (up to about 25 seconds, according         the LGA1156, will have to upgrade yet again, to
         ware. This was done by more efficient media       to Intel), stepping down gradually as the          the LGA1155. So much of what Sandy Bridge
         computation through low-power integer             processor heats up until it finally reaches the    brings to the table has the potential of really
         operations, more efficient vector/matrix ISA,     real TDP. Because the PCU also tracks the          benefiting mainstream users—it’s too bad
         and cooperation with the hardware accel-          available thermal budget when the system           owners of current (and, let’s face it, recently
         erators. There’s also language support for        is idling, it can spend it once CPU demand         purchased or build systems) won’t just be able
         explicit parallel programming.                    increases. (Like current Turbo Boosting,           to pop in the new chips.
             The result, says Intel, is that you can       however, the PCU will not allow the chip to            Of course, these could all be moot points
         do all this faster while using lower power        exceed any hard reliability limits.)               if Sandy Bridge proves to be so spectacular as
         (and thus saving battery life on a laptop—an                                                         to be worth the upgrade. And for that, again,
         increasingly vital concern in a laptop-heavy      Conclusion: a bridge to the                        we have to wait—as do enthusiasts, who won’t
         computing world). Intel says processor            future?                                            be reaping the benefits of early adoption this
         power is cut in half for HD video playback,       It’s impossible to say right now whether           time around. Intel is taking a lot of surprising
         that most media applications consume about        Sandy Bridge will live up to Intel’s extrava-      chances, and making a lot of daring choices,
         30 percent less power at full rate than if they   gant claims for it—we still have a few months      with Sandy Bridge, and seeing whether they
         were using typical 3D, and that CPU-style         left until it’s released, and a lot can happen     pay off—and how they compare to AMD’s
         power management achieves faster transi-          in that time.                                      own ideas about uniting formerly disparate
         tion between power states                             But based on what we’ve seen and heard so      technologies on the same processor die—is
             There’s one potential down side to this: If   far, we’re intrigued. It looks like Sandy Bridge   already poised to be one of the most exciting
         you add a discrete video card to computer,        doesn’t just build on Nehalem’s innovations,       tech events of early 2011.

     40 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com

     In one of our aimless wan-                     (prOduCt LauNChes)
     dering across the vast land-
              scapes of cyber space                 Htc Desire Z                          nikon D7000                        ipoD toucH
                 we came across
                  this nice picture
                    gallery. A 100
                    plus minimal-
                    istic movie
                    poster redesigns
                   were showcased.
                 Some of the most
               famous movies
                                                     the htc desire Z now                    nikon d7000 is the new            september 1 saw the
          ever were revealed in                      sports an innovative                    upgrade to the d90 and            launch of the new ipod
     the most simple yet attractive                  pull-out keyboard beneath               d5000 cameras. it features        touch featuring a 5mp
     manner. Most of the posters                     an impressive 3.7-inch                  a 16.2 mp cmOs sensor,            camera capable of doing
     are so innately clever you                      capacitive touchscreen,                 1080p video recording, a new      facetime over Wifi and
     can’t help but smile. Make                      and that’s not all, it also             eXpeed 2 image processing         iphone4’s retina display.
                                                     features new additions to               engine among other                almost a smartphone
     sure to check them out by
                                                     the sense ui.                           features.                         isn’t it?
     pointing your browser to:                       http://bit.ly/aYik06                    http://bit.ly/8YjQCj              http://bit.ly/bKFW7P

                                                    C r O S SWOr D                                                 Across
                   With our new                                              1                                     1.	 What	is	this?	
                                                                                                                   2.	 	 dobe’s	browser	compatibility	
                     World View
Do you                section,
                                                                                                                        testing	service

                                                                                                                   4.	 	 unning	a	computer	component	at	a	
                                                                                                                        higher	clock	rate
                       we’re trying

                                                                                                    3              5.	 successor	to	Nehalem
                       to expose                             4
                                                                                                                   7.	 	 n	HTML5	element	that	
                                                                                                                        allows	scriptable	rendering
the wOrLd VIew         you to more                                                                                 8.		 India’s	$35	tablet
seCtION?              interna-                        5                               6                                 T
                                                                                                                   9.	 	 he	once	P2P	music	sharing	
                                                                                                                        service	that	turned	paid
                    tional stories
                   and culture.

                                                                                                                   1.	 	 t’s	a	browser	and	a	netbook	os	
               Instead of just a                                                 8
                                                                                                                        bearing	the	same	name
                                                                                                                   3.		 Picture	Element
    list, we hand-pick the stories                                                                                      G
                                                                                                                   5.				 oogle	Labs	feature	gives	auto	
    we think you’d like. However,                                            9                                          suggestions	as	you	type
                                                                                                                   6.	 	 oogle’s	search	service	designed	to	
    in order to ensure that we’re                     EclipseCrossword.com                                              shave	2-5	seconds	off	your	search
    doing a good enough job,
    we’d love to hear your feed-
    back and comments.                              Top 3                            Picks         make sure your boss doesn’t catch you goofing off with
                                                                                                   one of these playing on your pc screen

     IF yOu LIke,
     hate, skIp Or
     aBsOLuteLy LOVe
     thIs seCtION,
     Let us kNOw.                                   http://bit.ly/a0B5lX                  http://bit.ly/9gsCo6                http://bit.ly/9ayaJv
                                                    2 min 18 sec                          2 min 0 sec                         7 min 56 sec
     Send in your feedback to                       Nokia introduces N8, also             Yonder biology is turning DNA       This android does more than
     editor@thinkdigit.com                          has three new touchscreen             into a works of art, along with     just fighting crime. check out
                                                    phones c6, c7 and e7.                 a picture of your choice.           his moves and be amazed.

   42 Digit October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   42 Digit ||September 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                     HD media players                                   Go shopping!
Tried & tested                                  60   A look at the newest HD media players
                                                     available in the market                      64    We’ve tested the latest products the
                                                                                                        past month across several categories

  Team Digit

              confounDeD                              This festive season, we’re going to help you spend
              pHones                                  your money wisely. Whether you’re buying a little cell

                   lthough India entered
                   the cell phone party
                                                      phone or a massive HDTV, be sure to spend wisely,
                   late, figures by the               and arm yourself with the information on these pages.
                   Telecom Regulatory
                   Authority of India                 THe TecHnoloGy: 3G                           Operating systems
  (TRAI) peg the number of mobile                     BSNL and MTNL have already started 3G        The other technical aspect of cell
  subscribers at a whopping 653.92                    services whereas the other players have      phones that has gained prominence in
  million users (as of May 2010).                     given a January 2011 launch date. We         recent months is the underlying oper-
      Also, mobile devices sales in the               wouldn’t suggest you wait for 3G services    ating system. A couple of years ago,
  country is expected to reach 138.6 million          to roll out and then consider buying a       very few people knew what operating
  in 2010 which is an 18.5 per cent increase          handset. Go ahead, buy a 3G enabled          system their cell phone was running.
  over 2009 sales, according to market                phone. The services provided will            Every third person was buying either
  research firm Gartner. You can purchase             have nothing to do with your handset.        the Symbian-based Nokia phones or
  a phone for as low as `2,000 to as high             And may we add, according to Bharti          other phones running a firmware.
  as `40,000. Then, how do you go about               Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor, 3G services        Then there were the proprietary
  making the right purchase decision?                 will not be cheap by any standards.          OSes from iPhone and BlackBerry.

 44 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Fujifilm FinePix X100
  FujiFilm Finepix X100 to launch by March 2011 with an
  approximate price of Rs. 48,000 ($1,000); the camera includes a
  23mm f/2 fixed lens                                                             Cover feature

    The mobile OS game changed forever          towards the iPhones and Android based
with the launch of Google’s Android.            phones. bada being relatively new, still
These days, mobile operating systems            has a lot of catching up to do as far as
play an important role in mobile pur-           number of applications go. With time
chasing decisions. Right now we                            the applications segment
have Android, iOS, Symbian,                                will just grow. With MeeGo
bada, WinMo and BlackBerry                                 and Windows Phone 7 OS
                                                                                                       CCNA Rs. 5,000/-
with Windows Phone 7 and                                   coming up, it will be party
                                                                                                       CCNP Rs.30,000/-
MeeGo to arrive soon. So which                             time for app developers with                CCSP Rs.30,000/-
is the best operating system?                              so many operating systems, for
    There can’t be one answer to                           which apps can be written.
that question, as the user expe-
                                                                                                              Congrats to our Latest CCIEs
rience with each OS is com-          Android Mascot        The hyPe: Dual SIM                         Mr. Jitendra Siyag        CCIE Security # 27022
pletely different. According                               entry-level phones                         Mr. Mahesh A              CCIE # 26985 (v4.0)
                                                                                                      Mr. Mohammad Saud Reyaz   CCIE # 26899 (v4.0)
to Gartner, as of August 2010, by the           The entry level dual-SIM market in                    Mr. Suresh Kumar K.       CCIE Security # 26621
                                                                                                      Mr. Solomon S             CCIE Security # 26508
numbers Symbian leads with a 41.2 per           India is exploding at an unprecedented                Mr. Ashis Kumar J         CCIE Security # 26299
cent global market share, followed by           rate. These phones come in a range of                 Mr. Louis Kalliath        CCIE # 26271 (v4.0)
                                                                                                      Mr. Akram El-Samiri       CCIE # 26163 (v4.0)
Research In Motion’s 18.2 per cent with         form factors and pretty much most                     Mr. Divin Mathew John     CCIE # 25905 (v4.0)
                                                                                                      Mr. Renash Chandran       CCIE # 25904 (v4.0)
Android at third spot with a 17.2 per           of the phones come with the same
cent share. In comparison, Apple iOS            feature-set that high-end phones from
has a market share of 14.2 per cent. If         big manufacturers usually ship with.
you compare these market shares with            Quality, however, is questionable at
last year’s, a surprise winner emerges.         times. If you’re looking for a phone that
Symbian market share has dropped by             can play music, take OK pictures and
10 per cent, whereas Android’s share            video and is priced at under `5,000, you
has increased by a whopping 15 per cent.        may find these phones irresistible.
Android is the hot seller right now and it          Companies such as Micromax,
makes sense to purchase a phone having          Karbonn, Lava among others who
this OS. Frequent updates on the Android        comprise the crème de la crème of the
OS may keep some users away from it,            entry-level dual-SIM market have a
but anything above Android 1.6 is quite         combined market share of 14 per cent
good. You have to be very sure which            according to a Voice and Data survey.
version of Android your phone will                  But before hurrying up to book that
support, whether updating to the newest         dual-SIM phone, sit back and ponder on
version is easy. bada is the new kid on         these points : Am I really going to use two
the block from Samsung and is pres-             separate numbers? What about the cost
ently available on the Samsung Wave.            incurred on two separate phone plans?
                                                    Dual SIMs make sense for individuals
Applications                                    who travel a lot. Say for instance, you
One of the main considerations while            are working in Delhi, but your home-
opting for a smartphone based on its            town is in Hyderabad. Also your work
OS, is the number of                                          requires you to be in these
applications the OS                                           cities for longer durations.
supports. Apple leads                                         Then having a Delhi SIM
with its App Store                                            and a Hyderabad SIM in one              We have Graduated over 67 CCIEs.
having over 2,50,000                                          phone makes sense as you
apps followed by                                              will be able to receive calls
Android’s marketplace                                         from both regions and won’t
having over 2,00,000.                                         have to carry two phones or
As compared to these                                          keep switching SIMs. Also
two behemoths, other                                          dual-SIM phones make sense
operating systems have                                        for individuals who plan to
comparatively lesser                                          have two separate numbers
apps, which is another                                        for personal and office use.
factor pushing people        Rise of Apps

                                                       Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 45
                                                                                                            Panasonic Lumix gh2
                                               15.3MP Sigma SD1                                             Panasonic Lumix GH2 features 16 MP, LiveMOS
                                               Sigma launches 15.3 MP CMOS sensor camera                    sensor, 3-inch LCD, 3D interchangeable lens and
 Tried & tested                                which lacks video shooting capability                        also 1080p video recording

 Touchscreen                                            smartphone the processor                                                   Samsung Wave sports
 Touchscreen phones are flooding the                    should have a minimum                                                        the Super AMOLED
 cell phone market like never before.                   of 800MHz rating – 1 GHz                                                                screen
 Thanks to the rise of smartphones, the                 is ideal. This also makes
 importance of touchscreens has ampli-                  your handset future proof.
 fied. Samsung Corby series broke the
 glass ceiling of `10,000 with its afford-              Display technologies
 able touchscreen phones paving the                     Phone displays also add a dimension
 way for more handset manufacturers to                  to the overall user experience. Off late,
 come out with their version of affordable              AMOLED and Super AMOLED displays                      provides
 touchscreen phones. LG’s Cookie series                 seen in Samsung phones are the talk of                push mail
 also have a range of touchscreen options.              the town. Samsung Wave sports a Super                 services for
 However, do not confuse these phones                   AMOLED screen which really enhances                   BlackBerry me-toos.
 with smartphones as they are not. These                the quality of the display. Since AMOLED                  Opt for push mail only if you are
 phones are feature-rich phones. It’s safe              technology does not use backlighting,                 a professional and constantly need to
 to say that you should opt for capacitive              the blacks are jet black, thus giving more            access your mail accounts. Not a fea-
 touchscreens over resistive ones. Resis-               vivid images and better contrast than                 ture for leisure use. BlackBerry is the
 tive touch response will deteriorate over              standard LCD technology. HTC which                    undisputed leader in this category,
 time and reach a point where you will                  had the AMOLED screen in some of its                  but recent government rulings have
 actually have to press the phone screen                handsets (HTC Desire for instance) will               got people thinking. We’re not wor-
 hard to register a response. If the phone              soon switch to Sony’s Super LCD (SLCD)                ried though, because India is too big
 requires the use of a stylus, we would                 display technology due to shortage of                 a market for BlackBerry to lose. Sure,
 recommend that you avoid it altogether.                AMOLED screens from Samsung (which                    you might lose out on some privacy,
     HTC and Apple phones have                          is understandable considering Samsung                 but you will still enjoy all the features.
 amazing touch response. It is high                     will give first priority to its handsets).            Even after the matter is settled, you will
 time Nokia also switched to this tech-                 Comparing these two technologies, it                  still have the same amount of privacy
 nology as we really don’t know how it                  is not easy to pick a winner. AMOLED                  that you can expect from other services.
 expects to compete on user experience                  has a headstart with many phones                      Nokia is also aggressively marketing
 with resistive touch screen phones.                    using this technology available in India.             its service as a mass-based option.
 As of date, Nokia just has the X6 with                 SLCD is yet to make an entry here.
 a 3.2 inch capacitive touch screen.                        As of now, the phones sporting                    Wi-Fi: This is a desirable feature, but
     A lot of the entry-level phones                    AMOLED and Super AMOLED                               there are some points to be noted. You’re
 also come with touchscreens, but the                   technology are expensive. For sub-                    most likely only going to use this feature
 experience leaves a lot to be desired.                 `15,000 phones you will still have                    at home, in office, or at the occasional
     Those of you who are used to a                     to stick with LCD technology. The                     coffee shop or airport. It’s not like we have
 QWERTY keypad, be careful before                       newer display technologies are                        an India-wide, or even city-wide network
 opting for a touchscreen phone without                 ideal if you consume a lot of multi-                  that you can rely on. Unless absolutely
 a keypad. Expect your typing speeds to                 media on your phone and want the                      essential to you, don’t pay extra for this
 take a hit. Look for slide out keypads                 best visual experience possible.                      feature when choosing a phone.
 instead. The Motorola Milestone is a good
                    phone in that respect,              BuSTing MyThS                                         A-GPS: Another desirable feature if you are
                     so is Sony Ericsson                Marketers are known to use a lot of jargon            going to use a lot of apps which need you to
                      Xperia X10 Mini Pro .             to sell their products. So let us try to see just     share your location or find your way. Make
                                                        how important some of these really are.               sure your mobile provider supports this.
                           These days, you’ve           Push mail: Using this feature allows                  Front-facing camera: This is a
                            started expecting           the service provider to push emails                   completely useless feature if either you or
                             your phone to              directly to you, without you having to                the person you’re calling are not on a 3G
                             do things that             poll the email provider each time to                  network that supports video calling. You
                             only your PC               check if new mail has arrived. Currently,             could use it to set your hair, but it’s not
                             used to. Thus the          BlackBerry, Nokia Messaging Service                   something you should pay extra for.
                             importance of the          and MobileMe for the iPhone are ways
                             processor perform-
                                        perform         in which you can avail this service.                  ebook readers: Only makes sense if
                             ance increases.            Recently, a Bangalore-based firm came                 the screen is large – tablet sized almost.
                             For a high-end             up with BlacMail, which basically                     Otherwise, it’s just another feature

46 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               JVC eX-S1 dock                                    Leaf Aptus-ii 12
                                               JVC launched its EX-S1 iDevice dock which         The Leaf Aptus-II 12 priced at $31,387 clicks
                                               is part of the Wood Cone lineup, it includes a    80 million pixels images; it also has a 3.5-inch
 Tried & tested                                USB port and auxiliary inputs                     touchscreen and click photos as large as 480MB in size

 that doesn’t really work too well, and is               (`16,000) is a decent buy.                                    at the Samsung Galaxy S.
 more likely to drive you batty than be                  At the higher-end segment                                     Although we’d all but
 any fun.                                                you have the HTC Desire,                                      forgotten about Windows
                                                         Sony Ericsson Xperia                                          Mobile phones, Windows
 Social network integration: This is                     X10, Motorola Milestone                                       Phone 7 OS has sparked
 very popular now, and makes complete                    and Samsung Galaxy S.                                         our interest again. With
 sense if you have a mobile internet plan.               Waiting a few months is                                       features such as Xbox Live
 For those of you who don’t use GPRS or                  not going to drastically                                      allowing you to sync your
 EDGE, completely pointless.                             affect the price points as                                    Xbox 360 with the phone,
                                                         each handset manufac-                                         there’s some promise there.
 ReCoMMenDATionS                                         turer has stripped down                                       However, since the OS has
 Entry-level, dual-SIM phones which are                  versions of phones (HTC                                       only been seen on proto-
 all the rage nowadays are meant for users               Wildfire for HTC Desire                                       types, we don’t recommend
 looking at extremely budget friendly                    or Sony Ericsson Xperia                                       that you hold your breath
 phones with a decent feature set. Vide-                 X10 Mini Pro for Xperia                                       or halt your buying for it.
 ocon Qruz V1430, Intex IN 6633, g-Fone                  X10). But before buying the         HTC Desire
 565 (The Digit Best Buy winner) are some                phones, check the Android
 of the phones we would recommend.                       version. Most higher-end                                    LASCiViouS
     Rising above the entry-level market                 offerings should have Android 2.2 and a 1                   LAP-MATeS
 come the feature-rich phones meant                      GHz processor. Look for a higher internal
 for budget buyers, which include the                    memory capacity, as some phones do not           Get that mind out of the gutter, this is Digit.
 range of teeny bopper phones such as                    allow storage of apps on the memory card.        When we use lecherous language, we’re
 the Samsung Corby Pro or LG Cookie                          BlackBerry phones are ideal for              almost always talking about gadgets.
 series phones. They are available under                 business use, but do not expect a wide               This holiday season, thousands of you
 `10,000 but they have resistive touch-                  variety of apps. For first time users the        will set forth into the markets, drooling
 screens which will deteriorate over time.               BlackBerry 8520 is quite affordable at           over laptops with a wad of cash (or plastic)
     Operating system considerations make                around `12,000. BlackBerry is the gold           in your hands. The problem is, if there’s
 sense in the case of smartphones as here                standard as far as QWERTY keypads                one category where you’re completely
 apart from productivity the feature set is              are concerned, so it is best to stick with       spoilt for choice, it’s this one. There are
 also of prime importance. But with sub-                 that. BlackBerry has acquired Cellmania          so many brands and so many models
                                                         recently, so if you are a heavy applications     to choose from that you’re bound to go
                                                         user and want to switch to BlackBerry, it        crazy. We should know, we can barely
                                                         would make sense to wait a bit to see how        keep up with testing one generation when
                                                         the new apps come along. Also, prices            another is launched. Only cell phones
                                                         may come down by 10 per cent or so.              are more confusing to buy, but since
                                                             Apple iPhone users or aspiring iPhone        you’re spending considerably more on a
                                                         users are eagerly awaiting the launch            notebook or netbook, making the right
                                                         of iPhone4 in India. Expect to shell             choice becomes all the more critical here.
                                                         out in excess of `40,000 for it though.
                                                         There’s a lot of hype around iPhones,            Note or net
                                                         but we expect Android phones to cut              To start with, one of the most common
                                                         this down to size. Unless you absolutely         questions readers ask us is “netbook
                                                         must have an iPhone4 at all costs, we’d          or notebook?” It’s a very hard question
 Samsung Corby Pro                                       recommend that you take a good look              to answer if we don’t know you. It all

 `10,000 Android phones starting to flood
 the market we would advise you to wait for
 a couple of months. As of this date if you
 want a good Android phone, you will have
 to increase your budget to around `15,000
 to `25,000. HTC has great offerings in the
 form of Legend (`24,000), Hero (`21,000),
 Wildfire (` 16,000). Samsung recently
 came out with Galaxy 3 (around `12,000).
 Also the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro

48 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               TerreStar genus                                                Blue Mickey
                                               TerreStar launches a $799 Windows Mobile based                 Blue Mickey is a condenser mic which is powered by
                                               phone called Genus; the phone has GSM backed with              AAA batteries which can charge cameras as well; it
 Tried & tested                                satellite capability                                           will hit the market next year at a price of $69

 depends on your daily usage scenarios,                   either, keep your options open by looking             high processing powers on your laptop,
 and what it is you’re looking for. If a                  at the offerings of at least three brands             but if you can’t get through a presenta-
 smaller screen and keyboard don’t                        whose products you like and trust.                    tion or a long email without hooking
 bother you, and if you’re looking for                        Also remember that certain PC and                 it up to the mains, what is the point?
 longer battery life and more portability,                notebook versions of CPUs have the same
 a netbook should suffice. If you need a                  model numbers – with just an “M” or                   Ooh, shiny!
 larger screen, and care more about PC                    some letter added somewhere to denote                 A lot of the laptops you’ll see in malls
 performance than battery life, opt for a                 the notebook version, which actually                  have lovely shiny screens that can double
 notebook. However, it’s also a question of               consumes much less power, and performs                as a mirror when they’re off, but unfortu-
 budget more often than not, and some-                    much slower too. So watch out for that                nately, sometimes they can do the same
 times, all you can afford is a netbook!                  when looking up benchmarks online, and                when they’re on as well. The advantage
     Understanding the Atom CPU will                      always make like-to-like comparisons.                 of a glossy screen over a matte one is that
 help you make the choice if budget is not                    As for GPUs, just re-read everything              the glossy one, in the right conditions,
 the major problem. The Atom may be                       above and mentally replace CPU with GPU.              will offer a better contrast ratio. This is
 capable of playing HD video (720p), but                                                                        usually good for when you’re watching a
 the screens on a netbook rarely support                  Out damned spot!                                      video, but not when you try and do it in
 the resolutions you want. So forget about                The bane of our existence, batteries have             brightly lit conditions. You’d be lucky to
 all that and think simplicity. If all you do             improved over the years, but barely                   see a thing if you’re outdoors under direct
 is work on the occasional presentation                   enough to keep up with everything else.               sunlight if you have a glossy screen.
 or office document, and surf the net, you                These are the proverbial spoil-sports, and            What you need to do is decide based on
 might not need anything more than a net-                 honestly, take it from us, if you’re plan-            your own usage, and if it’s mainly indoors
 book. Forget about gaming, forget about                  ning long trips away from plug-points,                in dimly-lit conditions, choose a glossy
 anything more than DVD-quality video,                    and need to compute, get yourself some                screen, if it’s mainly outdoors in the day,
 and forget about being able to use optical               extra battery packs – netbooks, note-                 choose a matte-finished screen. Also,
 media (DVDs/CDs). If you rarely use                      books, tablets, smart phones, whatever,               remember to check the resolution of the
 any of those anyway, get a netbook. For                  nothing is safe from the low battery                  screen – very often you might be asked to
 everyone else, a notebook is the solution.               monster when you’re travelling. How-                  pay more for a 13-inch screen that has the
                                                          ever, make sure to check rated battery                same resolution as a 12-inch. It’s impor-
 The TeCh: AMD, Core i, Core 2                            times from reviews of the same model                  tant that you get the highest possible
 – confused, aren’t you?                                  before you buy. It’s always nice to boast of          resolution for your desired screen-size.
 When it comes to laptops, the most                                                                             Think HD! Trust us, you won’t regret it.
 hyped of all components are usually the                  SeRieS unLinkeD
 CPU and the GPU – with good reason of                                                                          RAM? HDD?
 course, since these are the star per-                        Let’s say Digit sold laptops, and we had          A lot of people ask us why their PCs
 formers in every PC; portable or other-                   a dGt 1000 series notebook. Now although             are running slowly despite having 4
 wise. However, just because a laptop has a                we may have three actual models under this           GB of RAM. Well, honestly, your laptop
 CPU brand you’ve seen advertisements of                   series – the dGt 1001, 1010 and 1100, we             is only as fast as the slowest compo-
 on TV doesn’t mean you’re getting a good                  might choose to follow in all other manu-            nent. With a slow hard drive, there’s
 deal. The smartest thing to do is to find                 facturer’s footsteps and sell them all as the        only so much RAM can do to help
 out which Core i, Core 2 or AMD CPU                       “dGt 1000” series. Of course we’d only ever          speed things up. If you’re not really
 the laptop you’re considering has. Never,                 advertise the features of the most powerful          bothered about battery-life, choose a
 and we repeat with emphasis, NEVER, go                    one – the dGt 1100 – and make sure all three         7200 rpm HDD, and at least 2 GB of
 out and buy a laptop on your first outing.                models look identical to the untrained eye.          RAM for your configuration. SSDs
 With so many model numbers and                            Now, if you were to mistake our lowest model         are also recommended for those who
 series from every manufacturer, it can                    (the dGt 1001) for the 1100, that’s hardly our       don’t want loads of storage space. More
 all be very confusing. Just a letter extra                fault, is it? So what if you thought you were        than 4 GB of RAM has rarely shown us
 at the end of a model number, or a series                 getting a Blu-ray ROM drive and ended up             any significant performance improve-
 name being used instead of an actual                      with a DVD-writer? It’s not like we didn’t           ments, so there’s no need to go there,
 model number could see you end up                         write the specs in fine print, and we can hardly     especially if you’re running a 32-bit OS!
 with something you’re not happy with.                     be blamed for your poor eyesight and bad
 Window shop, carry pen and paper, write                   decision-making!                                     Keyboards and track-pads
 down what you see, note exact model                       Although we were just having a bit of fun in the     The most important and yet the most
 numbers and do your research on the                       previous paragraph, you will not be if you cough     over-looked parts of a laptop are the key-
 model before you spend a single Rupee.                    up in excess of thirty thousand and end up with      board and track-pad. Cramped keyboards
 Don’t just look at models from one brand                  something other than what you paid for.              or those who have decided to be innova-

50 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                               Mercedes-Benz go green
                                            Samsung galaxy S Femme                                             Mercedes-Benz launches 95 horsepower A-class
                                            Samsung Galaxy S Femme is a variation of the Galaxy S              electric car that has a top speed of 93 mph with
  Tried & tested                            phone which is designed specifically for women                     its 70kW motor

                                                          fancy designs mean that more attention
                                                          was paid to the innards of the machine –
                                                          better hardware, or sturdier chassis, etc.

                                                          What’s in a name?
                                                          Just like we all want flashy racing cars,
                                                          and own designer wear, a lot of us want
                                                          our laptops to be fashion statements.
                                                          Named after big car makers, or designed
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Z460 is an affordable laptop             by famous folk, there are laptop models
                                                          that exist purely for flaunt value. If you
  tive, and put function keys where Ctrl                  have the money to spend on them, you
  should be are a strict no-no. The thumb-                can choose to show-off to your friends.
  rule is to use the keypad on the demo                   However, if you’re taking an EMI-
                                                                                                                 Sony’s CW series are an affordable yet
  piece for at least a few minutes, and do                scheme, and buying one to increase                     stylish line of laptops
  some regular tasks, and write out some-                 your productivity, don’t consider these
  thing. If you struggle, then the keyboard               designer brands. For the same price                    laptops we’ve used which had fingerprint
  (and laptop model) is not for you. Some-                you would be able to buy a much more                   readers suspiciously developed some
  thing you should look out for is multi-                 powerful laptop that would keep you                    hardware problem just after warranty
  touch track-pads. These are just great                  future-proofed for at least a year more.               expired. It’s no big deal, but the track
  to use once you get the hang of things,                                                                        record of such things is barely passable.
  and you will never be able to go back to                Are we dead yet?                                       These days, manufacturers are busy
  regular track-pads later. If you like huge              Some of the technologies people were                   upgrading their laptops. Intel’s Core 2
  screen laptops, make sure you find one                  raving about just a couple of years ago                processors are being phased out and
  that has a number pad inbuilt into the                  are not really popular today. However,                 being replaced by Core i3 proces-
  keyboard – you’ll be able to work much                  this will not stop manufacturers from                  sors. The base of the pyramid
  faster with a dedicated number-pad.                     throwing them in to some of their models.              has seen a lot of activity in
                                                          We’re talking about stuff like biometrics.             the recent past. The Core
  The hyPe                                                Although a good concept, bad imple-                    i3 350M processor is
  You’re going to be bombarded with                       mentation means that the webcam or                     a commonly used
  advertisements, special offers and                      fingerprint reader doesn’t always work                 processor now.
  more this Diwali, and it’s important to                 as advertised. We’ve bought a couple of                For a really low
  know what’s just hype, and what isn’t.                  such laptops ourselves, which is why we                budget, it’s
                                                          speak from experience. Sometimes face-                 advisable to
  The categories                                          recognition doesn’t work after a haircut,              go with an
  When it comes to laptops, you’re often                  or if you haven’t shaved, and all six of the           entry-level
  told that some models are Ultra-compact,
  or business series, gaming, etc. What
  you need to remember is that, just like
                                                          SeRieS unLinkeD
  desktops, you should always try to get the
  most powerful hardware for your budget.                  The most important thing you should do, even before you choose a model, is to research the brands.
  Buy based on usage, and not on looks                     Look for abundant service centres in your area and the type and duration of the warranty offered. For
  alone, and you will always buy smart. If                 example, a model that carries two-year doorstep warranty is preferred to one that offers two-year
  you don’t plan on computing on the move                  carry in warranty. You’d rather have someone come to your house to fix something rather than have
  very often, buying an ultra-compact for                  to make time to go to the service centre. You should also find out how many service centres are in
  a lot more money doesn’t make sense.                     your area, and try and do some online research to read about other people’s experiences with that
  If you hardly game, and buy a gaming                     brand. Remember to keep the searches local, because although a brand might have great service in
  laptop, that won’t make much sense                       Delhi or Mumbai, it may not in your city, just as a brand may have a terrible reputation in some other
  either. The business series from most                    city, but can have a strong base in yours. Lastly, we recommend that ALL of you shell out a little
  manufacturers are usually filled with                    more but purchase an extended warranty. At least 3 total years of warranty is what we recommend
  security features, and are more sober-                   for laptops. Also remember to insist that the dealer fill out the warranty card with all of the required
  looking than their lifestyle cousins. How-               information, and keep these documents safely. As soon as you reach home after your purchase, go
  ever, we’ve often found that the lower-end               to the manufacturer’s web site and register yourself and your laptop. This will help you in case there
  business series are decent buys, even if                 are any problems in the future.
  you’re still a student, because the less

 52 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  nokia n8
  Nokia N8 is in popular demand; the phone has
  been delayed for a couple of weeks to make
  some final changes

Lenovo such as the IdeaPad Z460 or IdeaPad Z560. These af-
fordable laptops with their fairly sturdy frames and upgraded
processing power are good for most activities. It’s wrong to ex-
pect gaming class performance from them. Prices should be well
under the `35,000 mark. With laptops, it’s important to check
what kind of system configurations you’re being sold. Most
product models are available in different variants – the proces-
sor, graphics solution, memory and disk drive often change. If
you want something cheaper, the Acer Aspire 4736z might be
better suited. It’s priced at around `23,000.

To buy, or not to buy?
When you go higher up the price ladder, expect entry-level Core
i5 processors to show up in the specifications. The configura-
tions of the Acer Aspire 4820TG for example come with a Core
i5 450M processor, an AMD Mobility Radeon 5600 or 5700
GPU. The gaming performance from this kind of configura-
tion is good enough for some occasional gaming. Don’t expect
high-end games such as Crysis Warhead to run though. Similarly,
you also have the Dell Studio line of products to choose from.
The Dell Studio 14 and 15 lineups are a good place to build on.
Dell offers easy customisations, so you can soup up the stock
`45,000 model to the specs you’d like. A decent Core i7 configu-
ration with a 1920x1080 display can be achieved for `65,000.
    Sony’s VAIO CS series are also a good range to consider if
you’re looking for something in the `37,000 range. They feature
somewhat older Intel Core 2 Duo 8500 processor, but with an
entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GT210. When we reviewed it, it
had a decent build quality and aesthetics.
    If you want battery power, the ASUS EeePC 1215N is
surely an attractive contraption. Powered by a dual-core
Atom processor, and NVIDIA’s Ion graphics solution, it’s a
big step up on any of the other netbooks in the market. Price
for the ASUS EeePC 1215N will be as much as a cheap laptop,
but not as powerful.

          DeSiReABLe TVS
The urge to go HD is unbearable. The thought has been on most
people’s minds, and every year, more and more Indians make
the transition from traditional CRT TV sets to LCD, Plasma, and
recently, LED LCD TVs. CRTs have been around in the Indian
living room for a very long time. We’ve already talked about
HDTVs in the past, about them being power efficient and better
than CRT TVs in almost every aspect.
    We noticed that sales of these new technology displays
weren’t hampered by the recent recession either. In fact, statis-
tics show that prices of TVs went up by a bit for a while during
the period, without too much of a change in sales.

The TeCh: LED TVs (or LED-backlit TVs)
One of key terms used these days is LED TV. While the name
suggests that the display is powered by LEDs, it’s only a way
to illuminate the screen instead of displaying the image itself.

                               Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 53
                                                                                                                Casio eX-Z2300
                                               ubuntu Prototype                                                 Casio’s new Exilim EX-Z2300 camera comes with
                                               Ubuntu Prototypes is a new feature which will have               a 14.1 MP sensor, a 3-inch LCD, 5x optical zoom
 Tried & tested                                face detection like on many Windows laptops                      and can also record 720p videos

 The correct terminology should be
                                                         oPTiCAL LighT                                                LCD/Plasma to 3D, and not stuck with
 LED-backlit TVs, or LED LCD TVs.
                                                         eMiTTing DioDe TeCh                                          a 3DTV that your friends make fun of.
 True LED TVs are yet to arrive. What’s                   OLED is an upcoming technology and it’s
 important to note is that these LED-                     impressive because you can now have a really                The Hz wars
 backlit TVs offer slightly better contrast               thin display with excellent performance.                    You’ve probably also seen 120Hz and
 ratios. It’s not an essential feature that               Unfortunately, it’s still far from replacing LCDs.          200Hz refresh rate TVs being adver-
 every TV ought to have. The other                        So if you’re waiting for the next big thing, it’s still     tised. Apparently, these let you enjoy
 benefit of LED TVs is that they can be                   going to take a couple of years before you can go           smooth video playback. Different
 slim. Buying a slim TV is great if you                   out and buy one for say, `50,000 or so. The only            manufacturers use different terms for
 have plans of wall mounting the TV.                      decent OLED demonstrations have come from                   this. Since the TV broadcasts and video
     The only problem here is the price of                LG and Sony in the last couple of months. LG’s              content you will usually watch are 24fps
 the product. Like with any new tech-                     prototype shown at IFA 2010 is expected to be               or 30fps (60fps in rare cases), all this
 nology, there is a premium you pay.                      around £6000 (approximately `430,000)                       Hz business is of little consequence.
 Today, you can buy an LED-backlit                                                                                    There is re-sampling required in most
 TV for 30 to 40 per cent more than a                                                                                 cases to play 24 and 30 fps video on
 traditional LCD. You can buy a decent                   hyPe: 3DTVs                                                  a 120Hz and 200Hz TV. If anything,
 40-inch LED-backlit TV for around                       3D-anything is a catchphrase these days.                     you might actually notice ghosting and
 `60,000. As time progresses, LED                        With the arrival of 3D movies in cinemas,                    other artifacts as all this sampling is
 TVs are bound to get a little cheaper                   it’s only normal to expect 3D movies                         done by hardware and software. Actu-
 like with any other technology.                         at home. Some brands have been seen                          ally, when we test TVs, these are some
     For the moment though, most                         selling these TVs, but the fact remains                      of the features we choose to turn off.
 of us do not absolutely need a thin                     that there are very few, or almost no 3D
 display and there isn’t much of a                       movies in the market. In India, it’s far                     Visual enhancements
 performance improvement over                            worse. Here, we’re still to see very afford-                 Many manufacturers boast of their image
 the early line of LED TVs.                              able Blu-ray HD movies. 3D TVs might                         processors which are capable of making
                                                         be interesting for the future, but for now,                  picture crisper, and noise-free. Contrast
 S-IPS panels                                                                                                         and colour enhancements are common
 S-IPS panels are considered to be the                                                                                examples. What you should look for is a
 best when it comes to colour rendition                                                                               very natural image that hasn’t been tam-
 and viewing angles. However, most                                                                                    pered with. Most TVs with these settings
 popular brands use IPS or S-IPS panels.                                                                              turned on make colours look gaudier
 Some brands don’t advertise the IPS                                                                                  and the image quality harsh. Sharpening
 panel bit enough, so only if you don’t                                                                               is also only useful if you’re sitting the
 see the term used, enquire about the                                                                                 required distance away from the TV, if
 nature of the panel. You’re more likely                                                                              you’re too close, this will make the edges
 to find that it’s an IPS panel anyway.                                                                               of objects look jagged. Again, we turn
 And don’t think of it as a “standard”                                                                                all such features off when testing, and
 either! You should check image quality                                                                               you should do the same when looking
 regardless, because you get both                                                                                     at the TV on display in the showroom.
 bad SIPS and good SPIS panels.
                                                        Sony’s NX900 LED-backlit TVs support 3D                       WhAT’S FoR SALe?
 Media playback                                         content playback                                              Everyone complains about how we have
 Most TVs these days have an inbuilt                                                                                  so little choice and how they’d like to get
 media player. You can connect a portable                we’d like to see more HD content to begin                    what was available in the US. So what can
 hard drive or flash drive, and play your                with. Brands are also working frantically                    you really buy in
 favorite movies and music directly from                 on developing 3DTVs that
 the TV. In almost all cases, however, the               will not require you
 hardware on the TV isn’t designed to play               to use those stupid
 high-definition content, so you’re left with            glasses. Unless
 a player that only plays limited formats                you have money
 and resolutions. The performance in the                 to burn, three or
 menus is also usually slow and painful.                 four years hence,
 Eventually, you’re going to want to buy                 you want to be
 an HTPC or a media player, so don’t                     able to upgrade
 give this feature too much importance.                  from a regular

54 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                   new Phenoms
                     fuRo Bipedal robot                                            AMD launched several processors
                     fuRo’s latest robotic bipedal robot weighs 230kg,             including a high-end 6-core Phenom
                     and can lift 100kgs of load                                   II X6 1075T                                  Cover feature

India? The fact remains that almost all           to spend a little more and purchase a
of the popular brands have setup shop             TV that can handle 1080i/p resolutions.
here. All the popular LCD and Plasma              Last year, around this time, 32-inch TV
TVs are still available here. LED TVs             were priced at a minimum of around
have only recently entered the market. If         `32,000. This included TVs from brands
you have the money, today, you can buy            such as Philips, Hitachi and Panasonic.
anything from a 26-inch LCD TV priced             Full HD (1080p) sets on the other hand
at as little as `25,000 to something priced       were still close to `40,000. Brands such
at around `20,00,000 if you’re looking            as Sony were still priced higher. Their
for absolute performance and style.               768p TVs were close to `38,000 and the
    We’ve seen through popular searches           full HD 32-inch TVs around `42,000.            LG 47LG50HR - the 47-inch giant
and questions over the years, that most               Today, 768p TVs are available for
people look for 32-inch TVs. A lot of             around `23,000 – that’s close to a 40          32-inch LED-backlit TVs start at around
people are used to 21-inch CRT TVs, so            per cent drop! Similarly, 32-inch 1080p        `40,000. The slimmer TVs can go up to
an upgrade to a 32-inch LCD TV seems              TVs too have dropped drastically. The          `60,000 even for 32-inch TVs. Malls are
like light years ahead, and they’re right.        additional benefit is the festival season      not the cheapest places to buy LCD TVs,
    What about the popularity of the dif-         which means you will see good discounts        from what we’ve discovered. Look for
ferent technologies of TVs? LCD TVs have          or freebies being given away with them.        other retail showrooms and shops which
been the most popular of all the terms used                                                      sell TVs and other home appliances. You
on Google. LED TVs have only recently             42-inch TVs                                    can actually get TVs for up to 10 to 15 per
picked up and are as popular as Plasma TVs.       42-inch TV prices too have plummeted           cent cheaper there.
Many more people are looking for 32-inch          but not as much as the 32-inchers. Prices          If you’re looking for a good 32-inch TV,
TVs over 42-inch and 26-inch TVs. Clearly,        start from around `40,000, and have            then you should spend time investigating
budget is a concern. The only confusing bit       dropped by around 15 to 20 per cent.           Sony’s KLV-32NX500 priced at `42,500.
about 32-inch LCD TVs is the two options          Prices might drop even further during          It was one of the best performers in our
available. A few years ago, the only option       Diwali. If they do touch the `35,000           last LCD TV test. Prices have dropped
was to go for a 768p (1366x768) 32-inch TV  ,     mark this Diwali, grab the opportunity.        a lot since then, and it makes even more
while 42-inch TVs had full HD resolutions         Features such as 200Hz refresh rate            sense to buy it now.
(1920x1080). Recently however, full 1080p         might not be available, but then again,            LG’s Jazz (42LG80FR) is a slightly
resolution has arrived on the smaller 32-inch     as we’ve said before, they don’t really        older model but apart from good colour
format. 1080p is more popular than ever           matter that much to most people.               reproduction and fancy design, you also
before now. Market prices of these 32-inch                                                       get a pair of excellent sliding speakers.
full HD TVs start from around `27,000.            To Buy, oR noT To Buy?                         If you’re thinking of something larger –
                                                  The market is bubbling with activity.          something in the 47-inch category, the
What are people looking for?                      Almost every popular manufacturer such         LG 47LG50HR should grab your atten-
Having bought and used CRT TVs for                as LG, Samsung and Sony are going ga-ga        tion. The price for this model is around
real long periods of time, most of them           over LED TVs. Market prices of most            `48,000 in the market.
have got the money’s worth. CRT TVs
have run for close to 10 years or more
in some cases without any problem.
They were also a lot cheaper than                                                                          ConFuSion
LCD TVs. CRT TVs are still available                                                             Panasonic DMC – TZ10 or Sony DSC
but for a fraction of price of popular                                                           – TX5? Canon 550D or Nikon D3000?
LCD and Plasma TVs. Spending                                                                     DSLR or Prosumer? 10 MP or 15 MP?
power has improved dramatically and                                                              3X optical zoom or 12 X optical zoom?
people are fine with spending more                                                               Touchscreen or buttons? These are just
and settling for a cheap LCD TV. The                                                             some of the questions you might come
largest number of buyers seems to be                                                             across when looking at cameras.
in the sub-`30,000 range with either
a 26-inch or 32-inch TV in mind.                                                                 Be Sure
                                                                                                 Digital cameras are divided into three
CATegoRieS: 32-inch TVs                                                                          main segments, the point and shoot;
If you’re buying a 32-inch TV, you will                                                          ultrazooms and DSLRs. But nowa-
be spending at least `23,000 on it.                                                              days, with ultrazooms also coming in a
That’s a lot of money, and it makes sense       Samsung’s brand new Series 9000 LED TV           compact form factor, the lines between

                                                                                                         Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 55
                                               napster reborn
                                               Popular music downloading service Napster           SATA 6 SSD
                                               launches app for Apple iPhone, iPad and             PhotoFast to launch 470MB/s SATA 6.0
 Tried & tested                                iPod Touch                                          SSD drive in October

 traditional compact cameras is blurring.               way, and are more
 DSLRs, which were considered the do-                   of a gimmick.
 main of professionals, a few years back,                   Like touch-
 are now also targeting first time users                screens, geo-
 with entry level offerings.                            tagging is another
    To cut a long story short, you have to              feature that found
 be very sure of why you want the cam-                  its way from cell
 era. If you are just buying a camera for               phones into cam-
 casual use, then the hassle free point                 eras. Although
 and shoots are enough. For the more                    many high-end cam- The Micro Four Thirds sensor based Olympus PEN E-P1
 adventurous types, who are willing to                  eras had this func-
 play around with the settings and want to              tionality some years back, you can find        which allows wireless image transfer, but
 shoot outdoors, or those who aim to buy                it in quite a few compact cameras today.       it is expensive.
 DSLR in the future, but want to acquaint               If you travel a lot, this is a good feature to      Olympus and Panasonic came out
 themselves with the basics first, the ultra-           have, `15,000 to `20,000 is the ideal price    with the micro four thirds image sensor
 zooms are the answer.                                  point for ultrazooms with geo tagging.         which allows you have a more compact
    DSLR cameras are ideal for people                       Although this is not exactly a new         DSLR. The micro four third image sensor
 who will invest a lot of time in photog-               trend as such, but we are seeing new           reduces the space between the lens mount
 raphy. Higher-end DSLRs are meant for                  card formats like SDXC, Eye Fi cards           and the sensor alongwith doing away
 professionals, and are priced accordingly.             flooding the market. So when you buy a         with the mirror box which reflects light to
 Only buy them if you know what you’re                  camera be doubly sure of what memory           the viewfinder. The result is a much com-
 doing, and will use all the features.                  format it supports. Ideally we would not       pact DSLR with interchangable lenses.
                                                        recommend cameras that only support            The lens diameter opening is reduced
 The TeChnoLogy                                         proprietary formats (read Sony’s memory        somewhat but you can use normal lenses
 Touchscreens are seen on many com-                     stick). It is best to stick to standard SD     with the help of an adapter.
 pact cameras recently and the trend is                 and SDHC cards and buy a camera which               Many cameras are slowly but surely
 definitely on the rise if the interest level on        is compatible with future SDXC card for-       adopting this technology. It is aimed at
 Google is any indication to go by. But hav-            mats. For DSLRs the standard is the CF         photographers who want the quality of
 ing tested many touchscreen cameras, we                card, but a lot of higher-end DSLRs also       a DSLR but in a compact form factor. We
 feel that actual button feedback is better             support CF and SD cards. Eye-Fi cards          have used such cameras in out compari-
 – touchscreens do not really help in any-              have a Wi-Fi adapter inbuilt,                  son tests, and they were good in certain

  BRAnD BuSTing
   The eternal war of Canon vs. Nikon continues as always, but a Google         across the entry level and prosumer category. Other brands like
   Insight for search threw up some interesting results. To be fair to all      Olympus and Fujifilm had a very low interest level so we did not
   cameras, we just put in a term with                                                                            include them in the top 5.
   the brand name like Canon, Nikon,                                                                                  In the compact camera
   Sony, Samsung and Panasonic.                                                                                   market, Sony leads with a 45
   As can be seen in the graphs, the                                                                              per cent share whereas Canon
   interest around Canon and Sony                                                                                 has a 20% share whereas in the
   in India was very comparable in                                                                                DSLR segment Canon is the
   2008 and 2009, but in 2010, Nikon                                                                              leader with a 55 per cent share
   is catching up thanks to its range                                                                             followed by Nikon which covers
   of entry-level cameras, a segment                                                                              around 40 per cent. Having
   which was dominated by Canon                                                                                   mentioned the leaders, it is also
   and Sony all these years. In com-                                                                              important to know that other
   parison to these three behemoths,                                                                              manufacturers like Samsung,
   Samsung and Panasonic attract                                                                                  Panasonic etc are also ramping
   lesser search terms. But one look                                                                              up their camera production and
   at the growth relative to industry                                                                              marketing in India. According
   throws up Samsung as the winner                                                                                 to industry figures, camera unit
   with its curiosity level rising way                                                                             sales is expected to touch 1.8
                                               Graphs comparing the popularity and growth of
   above the others thanks to the                                                                                  million pieces by year end.
                                               camera companies
   aggressive shipment of cameras

56 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               More Core                                                 Sony PSP2
                                               AMD claims their server customers prefer                  Game developers have got their hands on
 Tried & tested                                processors with more cores in them                        the new PSP2

 aspects. But it cannot compare with a            Otherwise using traditional methods                    lenses, flash guns and other accesso-
 standard DSLR camera. Also the variety           like saving the images on the system                   ries. So be doubly sure before buying a
 of lens available for the micro four thirds      then uploading manually suffice. Price                 DSLR about all these external factors.
 is limited as of this day. Price-wise they       points to look at should be `15,000.
 are more expensive than entry-level                 A lot of manufacturers are coming out               Latest or Slightly older?
 DSLRs. The main advantage they have              with cameras with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth                  Also while purchasing a DSLR, it is all
 is compact size and a major disappoint-          capability. These cameras not only allow               right to opt for models that are a genera-
 ment is the                                                         you to transfer images              tion older, as long as you get after-sales
 absence of a view                                                   to your system over                 service. Unless newer models have
 finder. Lets face                                                   a Wi-Fi connection,                 some drastic changes in the features,
 it, it is unusual                                                   but also allow you to               you can save money by buying an older
 to look through a                                                   upload images directly              camera that offers you 90 per cent of
 screen and adjust                                                   to Flickr, Facebook and             the features, and often comparable
 the lens.                                                           videos to YouTube.                  performance at a bigger drop in price.
      Should you                                                         This is the way                 For instance, it makes sense to buy
 buy this now? If                                                    to go. But again we                 a Canon 550D over its predecessor
 you want a com-                                                     would advise you                    the Canon EOS40D, since the 550D
 pact DSLR and         3D Cameras like FujiFilm Finepix Real 3D      to wait and let more                has significantly improved the image
 are not going to      W1 should be avoided as of now                players come out with               sensor, added HD recording, higher ISO
 use many lenses                                                            these type of cam-           range, higher exposure ratings, etc.
 in the near future then yes, go for it. If             eras. However, expect to pay more as             In the ultrazooms, however, the
 you already have a standard DSLR with a                this is currently a premium feature.             newer models are priced substan-
 range of lenses, then unless you are look-                Fujifilm had come out with a 3D               tially higher than older models,
 ing at a compact form factor, avoid it.                camera called the FinePix Real 3-D W1,           but the additions are minimal.
     Only Olympus (three) and Panasonic                 that shoots 3D images and videos. We
 (five) have camera models in this segment.             think it’s too early to invest in a 3D digital
                                                        camera, as the 3D eco system (displays
 The hyPe                                               especially) are hard to come by. Nikon
 Social network tagging is a new feature                Coolpix S1100pj is a compact camera
 which allows user to tag photos and                    with a mini projector inbuilt. These
 videos and upload to sites like Facebook               niche features are welcome innovations,
 or YouTube, such that while transfer-                  but we would advise waiting for at least
 ring images to the system, the tagged                  a year before buying anything like this.
 images and videos will be optimised to                 Two reasons: let more manufacturers               Sony DSC TX-1 for Entry level compact
 be uploaded to the sites. The software                 start adding these, to see if it’s a viable
 bundled along with the camera will                     trend, and secondly, prices will fall.           ReCoMMenDATionS
 automatically ask if you want to upload                                                                 We will only be recommending cam-
 the photos and videos. This definitely                 DSLR and Lens                                    eras that we’ve tested previously, so
 saves a lot of time, but it makes sense to             Buying a DSLR requires some homework             although not comprehensive of the
 spend additional bucks on this feature                 on your end. Apart from the present cost         market reality, we prefer to be sure
 only if you are a heavy user of these sites.           of purchasing a DSLR body with the               when talking about cameras.
                                                        standard lens, you will also have to ask         Entry level point and shoot: Sam-
                                                        yourself if you are willing to invest in         sung ST550, Sony DSC TX1.
                                                        lenses in the near future. Camera lenses         Ultrazooms : Panasonic DMC-TZ10,
                                                        are expensive, so if you plan on doing           Canon IXUS 130IS, Nikon P100,
                                                        wildlife or sports photography, then you         Micro Four Thirds : Samsung
                                                        will not only have to buy a DSLR body,           NX11 and Olympus PEN E-P1
                                                        but also invest substantial amount of            Entry level DSLRs : Canon
                                                                            money in a compat-           550D and Nikon D3000
                                                                            ible lens. Buying a          High-end DSLRS : Canon 7D and
                                                                            DSLR is not just a           Nikon D300S, Nikon D90
                                                                            one-time purchase.           Ultra High-end DSLR : Nikon D3s
                                                                            You are also buying
                                                                            into a whole eco               To read on PMPs and Home Entertain-
                                                                            system of compatible           ment systems go to Thinkdigit.com

58 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
         ulse2010, this year’s annual                                                             robotics. This workshop shed light on
         tech-fest of D. J. Sanghvi                                                               the crafting of bots like Strider and Bris-
         College of Engineering, was                                                              tlebot at level one and Frogbot at level
         a brilliant amalgamation of                                                              two. This seminar was informative and
technology and fun, which enthralled                                                              focused on unique creative ability of the
everyone who was a part of it. This                                                               participants to bring bots, that resem-
year’s Pulse, as promised, put stu-                                                               bled insects, to life.
dents of diverse engineering branches                                                                 Accelerometer, based on the con-
under the common flag of participation                                                            cept of motion sensing, represented
and showcased a whole new arena of                                                                techboom. In this event, one had to
technological genius. Pulse2010, like                                                             navigate a robot just by standing on a
its previous versions, endeavoured for                                                            wooden plank kept on a tyre, leaning in
the appreciation and assimilation of                                                              the intended direction to clear a maze as
science through the ages, thereby per-                                                            quickly as possible. It involved sensors
fectly blending technology and enter-                                                             in the tyre which were programmed to
tainment in a wholesome package of a                                                              direct the robot along the maze. Laser
euphoric tech-fest.                                                                               CS, which had the feel of a real war
    This year’s theme captured the                                                                arena had taken cues from the popular
essence of evolution of science from the                                                          FPS, CounterStrike. Participants were
glorious past to the imminent future in                                                           given programmed laser guns, which
three eloquent words -‘Genesis, Revo-                                                             had features like life counters, reloading
lution and Techboom!’ The theme por-                                                              ammunition and provision for headshots.
trayed the journey of pure sciences                                                               The game promised an action packed, 3
culminating into present day cutting                                                              on 3 battle and took the virtual version
edge technology. In a world that has                                                              out in the real world. And the best part?
experienced a fairytale transformation;                                                           It was lit up with UV lights!
the role of technology in altering human                                                              This time the robotic tracks were
lives has been substantial. This was                                                              based on unique themes and displayed
aptly represented by the Mega Events                                                              the creative genius of the students. The
of Pulse 2010.                                                                                    Texas Countdown incorporated the look
    Pulse2010 kick-started with a state                                                           of the Wild West replete with cowboy
level technical paper presentation                                                                hats and guns. PacMan was a UV lights
which saw participation from the state’s                                                          illuminated maze that reminded the
elite minds. Genesis was manifested through T.P.P. in a way that it   participants of the popular vintage PC game. Myst-o-Maze was
provided a platform for ingenious ideas conceived by the students     a dimly illuminated maze where the robot had to be controlled
based on weeks of intensive research. The event received a whop-      by viewing the maze through a cam. 5 mazes 5 secrets was a
ping 150+ abstracts from all over the state out of which 57 were      multi maze track in which four mazes, based on life aspects, were
selected and 50% of the selected entries were outhouse. Among         encrypted into a fifth one. For instance, the love track had two
the few winning entries were Zigbee, Audio Frequency track circuit,   robots designed to be controlled by a single remote. F1 Singapore,
Visual Cortex Implant and Image Processing Authentication using       another major attraction, for all those racing fans out there, exactly
Digital Water.                                                        resembled the Marina Bay F1 circuit in Singapore. Only lit by LEDs,
    Next in line was TechExpo, a remarkable exhibition of projects    it had two high powered RC cars racing down the entire circuit.
made by the students all over Mumbai. The projects exhibited were         A tech fest is incomplete without RoboWars and this year they
based on creativity, rational thinking and a perseverance to become   had their own desi version aptly named RoboAkhada. It was a
an instrument of change. This signified Revolution as some of the     head on battle between two bots in a closed arena, supervised by
entries we received were one of their kinds. For instance, enhanced   a controller robot, Pahalwan, built by the students themselves.
ATM security, HandSpeaks(wireless glove controlling wheelchair        Pahalwan had an 1800 rpm blade which pounded the participating
and home appliances), clap based home automation and wireless         robots entering its territory. In the finale, the arena was blacked
power transmission.                                                   out, save for the lights of a motorcycle.
    Apart from the regular workshops for wired and wireless               To conclude, this tech fest brought to light new innovations in
robots; the college also held a workshop for Insectobotics, which     the field of technical knowledge and set a new benchmark in the
was an ideal step for those who were uninitiated in the field of      history of tech festivals of the college. π
                                                       Radeon 6700?                                            Google Video Chat
                                                       Chinese site claims to have leaked details              Google tweaks its video chat to provide
 Tried & tested                                        about AMD’s upcoming graphics card                      improved image quality

 have arrived…                                                                                               A look at the advancements
                                                                                                             in HD media players in the
                                                                                                             last few months

 By Team Digit                                 been added or have become the              The chassis is well built. A   Youtube are some of the other
 feedback@thinkdigit.com                       norm for these players. We’ve         metal front panel instead of the    features available. Streaming

                                               tested some of these new players      plastic one would have made it      performance is good with both
                     atching                   over the last couple of months.       look even more attractive. There    wired and wireless connec-
                     movies is a               We tested them to see if there        is a USB port and an eSATA port     tions. Video quality is good, and
                     great pass-               were any new features and             in line with the status LEDs at the we experienced absolutely no
                     time activity,            performance benefits that are         front. The rear end of the product  lag while trying playback of all
 but broadcasted television                    worth your money. Here’s what         has an additional USB 2.0 port to   formats. Format support is still
 does not interest the audience as             we thought.                           connect external drives and one     excellent when compared to most
 much, especially with the choice                                                    to connect the player to a PC. The  of the other players.
 of channels. Many people prefer               Xtreamer Pro                          player has HDMI, and Composite          Costing `13,500 for just the
 watching movies over TV shows                 The Xtreamer was one of our           but no Component. For ideal res-    player and an additional `1,000
 on their large LCD and Plasma                 favorite HD players in the last       olutions, you absolutely need a     for the USB Wi-Fi adapter, it’s
 TVs. Blu-ray content looks like               test. When you go looking for         display supporting HDMI.            definitely much more expensive
 the only way out.                             the Xtreamer Pro on the web,               Bootup time is somewhat        than the older Xtreamer player.
     This is where HD media                    you find a fancy web site that        long at 19 seconds. The interface   At `8,990, the older Xtreamer
 players come in. They’re afford-              resembles a game. It looks            has changed a little bit.                   product gives you most
 able media playback devices                   like they’re pushing the new          The use of background                       of the feature.
 which can playback high-defi-                 product even more.                    wallpapers is new, but
 nition movies from a connected                    The new player is somewhat        not something everyone oCToBER 2010
 storage drive smoothly. HTPCs                 taller and wider than the older       will like. Content is
 and Blu-ray players are either                Xtreamer. The old one could           sorted well. Navigating
 expensive or just plain compli-               only accommodate a 2.5-inch           the menus is a breeze. The use
 cated to set up, so a lot of people           internal hard drive, which then       of space on the remote is good.
 probably don’t bother with one.               seemed like a neat feature. This           One of the features is the
     We tested HD media players                new one can hold two 3.5-inch         NAS mode which allows other
 in May this year, and there were              drives easily. This makes the         devices on the network to
 some clear winners. Since then,               product slightly bulkier than         access drives connected to the
 there have been many new                      most of the media players in          player. Live internet streaming,
 contenders. New features have                 the market today.                     RSS feeds support, Picasa and                          Xtreamer Pro

60 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  IE9 Beta launched
  IE 9 Beta launched with a fresh look and
  improved usability and security features             HD Media Players

                                                     Buffalo LT V-1005000

Buffalo LT V-100                          work connectivity and storage
Buffalo is a brand that’s digging         options. It comes in an all black
deeper into storage and net-              body and has a nice brush metal
working devices. The LT-V100              finish. The front panel is made
is their latest product. It is a com-     of plastic with a USB port posi-
pact looking, jet black HD player         tioned in the bottom left hand
with a smooth upper surface.              corner. There is a string of LED
    The build quality of the              indicators as well. The body is
product is not impressive. The            somewhat bulkier to accommo-
body made of cheap plastic. The           date either a 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch
remote control bundled with               SATA hard drives.
the player is dull colored, flimsy            VideoMate 950 comes with
and unimpressive.                         a range of connectivity options
    There are two USB 2.0 ports           like an HDMI port, a compo-
and a HDMI connection on the              nent, composite audio and
back panel. We wish they had              video ports, two USB ports, a
provided us with an HDMI                  mini USB port and a LAN port
cable though. The nice part is,           for network connectivity. The
the remote control, works from            player can be opened up to to
any angle. It has a LAN port              attach the HDD within. The
for home network connection.              interiors are pretty compact in
However, it does not feature              the sense - there is no noticeable
Wi-Fi. The user interface is user         gap once you plug in the drive in
friendly, but it does not segre-          the chassis. Provisions are made
gate according to their format.           for a 2.5 inch drive - there are
    The noise reduction feature           some clips provided to hold it
is not very effective in reducing         in place.
the amount of noise in the image              The GUI is one of the most
rendered on screen. An impor-             impressive user interfaces we
tant thing to note is the ability         have seen among all the media
to play almost the file formats           players tested up until now. The
including MP4, MPG, RMVB,                 main home screen shows three
MOV, MKV, AVI, but it fails               options like File Copy - which
to play FLV. When connected               allows you to copy files among
to the network, playback lags             your network, HDD and USB
and files take time to open. File         drive; Browser - which segre-
transferring is quite slow.               gates the various input media
    At 12,000, it is highly over-         like HDD, USB, Network etc and
priced for its build quality and          finally Settings which allows
features. You are better off              you to tweak the audio, video,
putting in an additional Rs.              network settings.
1,500 and getting the Xtreamer                It takes 11 seconds to startup,
Pro with media streaming and              but movie loading time is a
other outstanding features.               quick 4 seconds. Navigating
                                          through the menus is quite intu-         Strontium Technology India Pvt. Ltd
Compro VideoMate                          itive. It does not segregate media       805,Madhuban Building building no-55
                                                                                   Nehru Place New Delhi-110019
950                                       though. The bundled in remote            Phone No-+91 11 40568675
                                                                                   sales enquiry-indiasales@strontium.biz
The Compro VideoMate 950 is a             is decent but the navigation pad         technical support-techsupport@strontium.biz
                                                                                   Service locations: http://www.strontium.biz/company/Smartlink.htm
full HD media player with net-            in the centre requires a hard

                                    Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 61
                                               HP Arcsight
                                               Hewlett-Packard to buy ArcSight, a security solutions
 Tried & tested                                company for $1.5 billion
                                                                                                                                               oCToBER 2010

  Brand                     Amkette             ASUS            ASUS          Buffalo          Compro             Iomega       Seagate          WD            WD
  Model                     Flash TV            O!Play Air      O!Play HDP-R1 Link Theatre     Videomate          ScreenPlay   FreeAgent        TV            TV Live
                                                HDP-R3                        LT -V100         NMC950             Director     Theater+
  Price (`)                 `2,995              `10,000         `9,000         `12,000         `7,000             `12,000      `9,500           `6,500        `8,500

  Overall (On 100)          27.23               60.00           57.16          53.47           64.41              69.97        67.86            49.43         62.01
  Features (On 50)          7.15                24.40           22.40          21.25           31.15              36.50        32.50            15.90         28.05
  Performance (On 50)       20.08               35.60           34.76          32.22           33.26              33.47        35.36            33.53         33.96
  Max resolution sup-       1080p (upscaled) 1080p              1080p          1080p           1080p              1080p        1080p            1080p         1080p
  Ports (USB / eSATA)       1/0                 2/1             2/1            2/0             2/0                3/0          2/0              2/0           2/0
  Network support (Wired/   N/N                 Y/Y             Y/N            Y/N             Y/N                Y/N          Y/N              N/N           Y/N
  Video (MKV / FLV / Real   N/N/Y/N/Y           Y/Y/Y/Y/Y       Y/Y/Y/Y/Y      Y/Y/N/Y/Y       Y/ Y / Y / Y / Y   Y/Y/Y/       Y/Y/Y/Y/Y        Y/N/N/Y/Y Y/Y/N/Y/Y
  video / MOV / MP4)                                                                                              Y/Y
  Audio (FLAC, WMA /        N/Y/Y               Y/Y/Y           Y/Y/Y          Y/Y/Y           Y/Y/N              Y/Y/N        Y/Y/Y            Y/Y/Y         Y/Y/Y
  Web content support
  Youtube / Google Videos   N/N                 N/N             N/N            N/N             N/N                Y/N          Y/N              N/N           Y/N
  Flickr / Picasaweb        N/N                 N/N             N/N            N/N             N/N                Y/N          Y/Y              N/N           Y/N
  RSS feeds / Weather /     N/N/N               N/N/N           N/N/N          N/N/N           N/N/N              Y/Y/N        Y/Y/Y            N/N/N         N/N/N
  Windows shares / FTP      N/N                 Y/N             Y/N            Y/N             Y/N                Y/N          Y/N              Y/N           Y/N
  Remote web access         N                   N               N              N               Y                  N            N                N             N
  Bittorrent / NAS          N/N                 N/N             N/N            N/N             Y/Y                Y/Y          N/Y              N/N           N/Y

  HDMI / Component /      N/Y/Y                 Y/N/Y           Y/N/Y          Y/N/Y           Y/Y/Y              Y/Y/Y        Y/Y/Y            Y/N/Y         Y/Y/Y
  Performance (Out of 10)
  Startup time (sec)      6.5                   8.1             9.6            10              11.62              114          9.03             5.12          7.09
  AVI (480p) (Perform-    8                     8               8              6.5             6                  8            8                8             8
  AVI (480p) (Quality)    6                     7               7              6.5             6.5                7            7                6             6
  MKV (720p) (Perform-    NA                    8               8              5.5             7.5                8            8                8             8
  MKV (720p) (Quality)    NA                    7               7              6               7.5                7            7                6.5           6.5
  MKV (1080p) (Perform- NA                      8               8              5.5             7                  7            7.5              7             8
  MKV (1080p) (Quality)   NA                    7.5             7              5.5             7.5                6.5          6.5              6.5           6.5
  Build and Aesthetics 6.5                      6.5             6.5            5.5             5                  6            6.5              6.5           6

 press since the entire control                We would definitely recom-                  Component and composite                 videos pretty well but loading
 is made of poor quality plastic.              mend this player.                       video ports are on the side                 images takes very long.
 The location of the Return key                                                        whereas the USB and HDMI                        This player is ideal if you
 is also unconventional.                       Zebronics ZEB-                          port are on the rear side. The              have a huge collection of
     This player is quite versatile            MP1000HDMI                              main menu comprises of options              standard Xvid and DivX AVI
 in the sense that it plays anything           Zebronics is somewhat of a              like photos, videos, music and              files. The player does not sup-
 you throw at it. It played 720p               local brand in comparison to all        settings. User interface is quite           port many formats such as
 and 1080p videos brilliantly.                 the other big names or popular          intuitive and straight forward.             MKV and WMV. However, it is
 DVD quality videos appeared                   devices on the internet. Their              Media is not segregated                 one of the cheapest players at
 stretched on the big screen, but              player comes in a compact form          according to its type and you have          just Rs. 2,600, but the lack of
 setting the TV system to 480p                 factor with black plastic body. The     to go to individual folders, which          video format support makes it
 gave a good output. But then, this            buttons on the front panel are of       makes it a pain to use. It takes 10         hard to recommend.
 player is meant for HD videos.                poor quality.                           seconds to start up, while movie
 Connecting to the network does                                                        loading took a mere 6 seconds.              Is there a new winner?
 not take much time, but you will                                                      It can play DVD quality movies              Yes, there is. We liked the
 need an external computer for                                                         flawlessly. We encountered prob-            Xtreamer the last time we
 activating the BitTorrent client                                                      lems while paying back 720p                 tested HD Media players. This
 in the player.                                                                        videos. As it does not support              time around, the Xtreamer
     At a price point of `9,000 we                                                     all the video formats, you will             Pro beats the last winner – the
 feel it’s a tad over priced, but it                                                   have to convert non compatible              Iomega Screenplay Director.
 is completely worth the cost.                            Compro VideoMate 950         files beforehand. It plays RMVB             It’s much better built, and the

62 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                           HD Media Players
                        oCToBER 2010

WD            Xtreamer     Xtreamer Zebronics
                                                       TV market. Some of
TV Mini       Xtreamer     Xtreamer ZEB –
                           Pro      MP1000HDMI         the features although
`4,500         `8,990     `14,500     `2,600           considered forbidden
               (WiFi)     (WiFi)
                                                       (when you consider
31.08          69.13      79.35       27.75
10.15          33.15      41.30       9.00
                                                       the legality issue) are
20.93          35.98      38.05       18.75            making their way to
                                                       players. We’re talking
1080p (up-     1080p      1080p       720p             about the Bittorrent fea-
1/0            2/0        2/1         1/1
                                                       ture. It’s there to make
N/N            Y/Y        Y/N         N/N              downloading of media
                                                       simpler and remove the
Y/N/Y/         Y/Y/Y/     Y / Y /Y /  N/N/Y/Y/Y
Y/Y            Y/Y        Y/Y
                                                       need of having a PC or
Y/Y/Y          Y/Y/Y      Y/Y/Y       N/Y/N            a download box to do
                                                       it for you. The ability
                                                       to stream media from
N/N            Y/N        Y/N         N/N
N/N            N/N        N/Y         N/N
                                                       sites on the internet is a
N/N/N          Y/N/N      Y/Y/Y       N/N/N            nice feature to have. One
                                                       of the things we noticed
                                                       on the Xtreamer Pro site
N/N            Y/N        Y/N         N/N
                                                       was that Youtube func-
N              Y          Y           N
N/N            N/Y        Y/Y         N/N              tionality was going to
                                                       be dropped sometime
N/Y/Y          Y/N/Y      Y / N /Y    N/Y/Y
                                                       in the future. Google
                                                       plans to launch Google
7.8            50.5       19          10               TV really soon, maybe
8              8          6.5         6.5              it’s got something to do
4              7.5        6           6.5
                                                       with that.
NA             8          6.5         NA                    While HD transmis-
                                                       sions have been started
NA             7.5        6.5         NA
                                                       by popular DTH pro-
NA             8          6           NA
                                                       viders, the content avail-
NA             8          6           NA               able is still at a bare min-
6.5            6.5        6           5.5              imal. Till the time you
                                                       get at least 10-15 chan-
    ability to connect two internal          nels across all genres, users will
    drives totaling up to 4 TB is a          have to depend on locally available
    nice feature to have. The product        digital content. Being able to play
    becomes much more than just              any movie from your collection
    a media player, and for a little         without having to change discs is
    more than the Iomega player, it          a very convenient to have.
    makes good sense. If you’re just             There are still some features
    looking a player that can play HD        we’d like to see. For example, get-
    videos from a drive connected,           ting e-mail alerts and updates
    then look no further than the first      on your Twitter and Facebook
    WD TV. It’s priced at Rs. 6,500          accounts would be nice. Audio
    (MRP), and it plays all of the com-      and video conferencing could
    monly used formats. It also gets         be another great possibility.
    our Best Buy award. If you can           Now that internet connectivity
    spend a little more, then the first      is getting more popular, manu-
    Xtreamer model is the one you            facturers ought to plug in a fully-
    should spend your money on.              functional browser as well. All
        We’ve seen all kinds of              these things are bound to happen
    players over the last year, and          sometime or the other. It’s defi-
    it looks like manufacturers are          nitely not the last we’ve seen of
    watching the growth of the HD            the HD players.

                                         Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 63
                                               Finally ‘surface’-ing                                      First person shooter
                                               Microsoft’s gigantic coffee table sized touchscreen        The Looxcie is a wearable video camera that can
                                               computer aka “Surface” is set to transition into our       upload the last 30 seconds of your life directly to
 Bazaar                                        living rooms three years from now                          Youtube at the push of a button

 NVIDIA GeForce GTS450
 Forcing their way into the crowded space

                                                             VIDIA’s GeForce              All the cards ran cool in all          As a gaming card, all of these
                                                             GTS450 fits into          the tests. On idle, the ASUS           cards are capable of providing
                                                             the lower mid-            and MSI card dropped to under          very playable frame rates at
                                                             range bracket.            40°C whereas under maximum             resolutions up to 1920 x 1200.
                                               There have been some drastic            load, they stayed under 50°C           It’s only when you run games
                                               changes in the ingredients of           in a moderately air-condi-             such as Crysis Warhead that
                                               the recipe – a big drop to 192          tioned room. The MSI was the           you notice the performance
  MSI NGTS450 Cyclone                          CUDA cores as compared to               coolest at just 46°C under load        dropping well under the 30 fps
                                               the 336 of the GTX460 GPU,              which was very impressive for          mark, even with the resolution
                                               but a somewhat faster core.             graphics cards.                        set at 1280 x 1024. You’ll defi-
                                               The cards come with 1 GB of                Just the overclocked GPUs           nitely have to reduce quality set-
                                               GDDR5 memory with a 128-bit             aren’t enough to make up               tings drastically to get playable
                                               memory interface.                       for the drop in CUDA cores.            frame rates in Crysis Warhead.
                                                  Each one of the three cards          We noticed a drop of some                 If you are looking for a cheap
                                               came factory overclocked with           15 to 20 per cent in frame             gaming card in the range of
                                               custom coolers.                         rates in games such as Crysis          `8,000 to `9,000, this should
                                                  The Galaxy GTS450 GC ver-            Warhead. The fastest of the            be the card to go for. The cards
 Galaxy GTS450 GC version                      sion came with a removable fan          overclocked cards was the              are priced and perform like the
                                               design which makes cleaning             ASUS ENGTS450 Top. The                 AMD Radeon 5750 cards. The
                                               the card simpler. The same              MSI NGTS450 Cyclone was                Galaxy GTS450 GC version
                                               design can be found on some of          just a couple of frames per            maybe the cheapest but the
                                               the other Galaxy cards. The MSI         second slower than the ASUS            frame rates in the demanding
                                               N450GTS Cyclone card came               ENGTS450 in almost all of              games is marginally lower. If
                                               with a fancier heatsink design          the benchmarks.                        you want every bit of perform-
                                               but with nothing covering most             The ASUS is the most                ance, and don’t mind spending
                                               of the card. Even the ASUS card         expensive at `9,500, the MSI           that little more, then the ASUS
                                               had a similar design but with a         card `8,900 and the Galaxy             ENGTS450 TOP is undoubt-
 ASUS ENGTS450 Top                             hood covering the heatsink.             card at `8,500.                        edly the one for you.

                                                               Scores and contact details
   Brand                                               ASUS                                Galaxy                                  MSI
   Model                                               ENGTS450 Top                        GTS450 GC version                       NGTS450 Cyclone
   Price                                               `9,500                              `8,500 / `7,500 (MOP)                   Rs. 8,900
   3DMark Vantage (GPU)                                9944                                8940                                    9335
   Crysis Warhead (1680 x 1050)                        22                                  19                                      20
   Company Of Heroes: ToV (1680 x 1050)                77.4                                73.33                                   78.3
   STALKER Clear Sky (Day, 1680 x 1050)                28.9                                25.9                                    26.8
   Features                                            7.5                                 7.5                                     7.5
   Performance                                         7.5                                 7                                       7
   Build Quality                                       7.5                                 7                                       7
   Value for Money                                     7                                   7.5                                     7.5
   Overall                                             7.5                                 7.5                                     7.5
   Company                                             ASUS India                          Technology and Gadgets                  MSI India
   Phone                                               +91-22-6766 8800                    +91-22-2382 3331                        +91-11-4175 8808
   E-mail                                              reachus@asus.com                    mumbai@technologyandgadgets.com         sanyam@msi-in.com
   Web site                                            www.asus.in                         www.galaxytech.com                      http://in.msi.com

64 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Market for MeeGo?
   Intel and Nokia’s latest linux project, MeeGo will run on           Samsung Galaxy Tab
   the upcoming WeTab tablet. The WeTab will also have                 Samsung has announced the availability of their
   access to the Android Market for apps                               7-inch tablet in time for this year’s holiday season                                    Bazaar

MSI Big Bang XPower
Power unlimited

                    SI’s new Big Bang          It doesn’t have                                                                Socket: LGA 1366
                    XPower shares its       integrated audio                                                                  Chipset: Intel X58 chipset
                    name with the Big       controllers. How-                                                                 6 x PCIex16 slots
                    Bang Fusion P55         ever, there is a                                                                  Automatic Overclocking
board. This one however is an               Quantum Wave
Intel X58 chipset based moth-               Audio Card pro-                                                                   Contact
erboard designed for extreme                vided for sound.                                                                  MSI India
gamers which is clear when                  There are a set                                                                   Phone: +91-11-4175 8808
you see the six PCIe x16 slots. It          of voltage check-                                                                 E-mail: sanyam@msi-in.com
is possible to have CrossFire and           point for voltage                                                                 Web site: www.in.msi.com
SLI multi GPU support at the                measurement.                                                                      Price: `18,500
same time.                                     The      most

   The build is sturdy and the              stunning feature
layout is impressive. There is ample        of this motherboard is that it        of 9139 which is pretty decent.
space to fit large coolers like the Cor-    has an OC Genie button which          The XPower is a versatile board,
sair A50. Instead of having clips on        overclocks the system without         however it’s price makes it only            	Features ...........................7.5
both the sides, the DIMM slots here         booting into the BIOS.                feasible for high-end gamers or              Performance....................7.0
have them only on the outer side,              Performance wise, 3D mark          overclockers who want to setup               Build ...................................6.5
for easy removal of RAM without             gave a CPU score of 48,705 and        SLI and CrossFire setups for their           Value for money............5.5
having to remove the graphic card.          PC mark gave an overall score         gaming systems.

  Frequency Response : 20Hz
      to 20kHz; Total output
                                            Philips HTS 5550
 power : 1200W; four satellite              Great sound but supports limited file formats

   speakers; Satellite speaker
    impedance : 4 Ohm; Com-                               he first sight of
      pression formats : DivX                             Philips Home The-
      Ultra, MPEG1, MPEG2,                                atre HTS 5550 will
    WMV, avi, MPEG4, XviD;                                keep your atten-
                                            tion arrested for quite a while.
                           Contact          Unboxing took more than three
   Philips Electronics India                people to segregate the satellite
                          Ltd               speakers and the towers. The
      Phone: 1800 102 2929                  glossy black colour combina-
E-mail: customercare.india@                 tion is followed throughout. The
                 philips.com                player occupies a considerable
Web site: www.india.philips.                footprint and has a glossy front
                         com                panel surrounded by a metal              Dolby Digital and 5-channel              video formats. User interface
              Price: `26,990                body. There are a few touch sen-      stereo mode sounded wonderful               could have certainly been
                                            sitive controls on the sawed off      while watching movies and it                spruced up.
                 7.5                        top edge.                             was very responsive to the low                 At `26,990 we felt that it is
                10                             The 3D angled speakers are
                                            aesthetically pleasing. The angled
                                                                                  frequencies. The night mode
                                                                                  dynamically controls sound suit-
                                                                                                                              pricey for a DVD and full HD
                                                                                                                              home theatre system. Experience
 	Features ...........................7.0   drivers deliver sound not only        able for watching movies at night.          is wonderful no doubt, but when
  Performance ..................7.5         towards the front but also to the     You can also sync your audio with           buying at that price you should
  Build Quality...................8.0       sides, creating a wider sweet spot    video in case they are not in sync          rather invest in a home theatre
  Value for money............7.0            so you can enjoy more immersive       by adding or subtracting a delay.           that supports Blu ray format. like
                                            and cinematic surround sound.            HTS 5550 supports limited                the Philips HTS3560.

                                                                                                                       Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 65
                                                  The planets have aligned                                Calling all gamers
                                                  Acer and Ferrari have partnered to release the          Microsoft’s latest installment in their Halo series,
                                                  Acer Liquid E Ferrari special edition phone in India.   “Halo:Reach” raked in a staggering $200M within 24
 Tried &tested                                    Price? `29,999                                          hours of its worldwide release

 ASUS Sabertooth X58
 Power and strength

            he first thing that                the memory is                                                                  Specifications
            comes to your mind                 easy. The PCI slots                                                            Socket: LGA 1366, Chipset:
            when you hear Sab-                 are well spaced but                                                            Intel X58 Express, RAM: 6 x
            ertooth is the movie               it would be diffi-                                                             DIMM slots (max 24 Gb), 2
 Ice Age. Similar to the character             cult to set up SLI                                                             x PCIe x16 slots, 1 x PCIe x16
 in the movie the ASUS Saber-                  or CrossFire with                                                              (at x4 mode), 2 x PCIe x1, 1 x
 tooth X58 is sturdy and full of               big cards.                                                                     PCI. 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x SATA 3.0
 raw power.                                        Cinebench
     The ASUS Sabertooth is                    gives a score of                                                               Contact
 based on Intel X58 chipset and                15,545 with mul-                                                               Vinay Shetty
 supports LGA1366 Intel Core i7                tiple CPU and                                                                  Phone: +91-22-6766 8800
 processors. The ceramic coated                Crysis runs at 95                                                              E-mail: reachus@asus.com
 heat sinks and all solid state                fps at a resolution                                                            Web site: www.asus.in
 capacitors give it a sturdy look.             of 1024x768 using                       frame rate of 104 fps. The scores      Price: `13,450.
 ASUS claims the onboard com-                  the CPU benchmark. So in terms          indicate a 10 – 15 per cent rise in
 ponents are military grade.                   of performance, it is similar to        performance without changing
     The layout is pretty spaced               Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R.                  too many settings                                        7.5
 out. The area around the proc-                    We effortlessly overclocked             Priced at `13,450 the               	                10
 essor is covered with heat sinks,             our Core i7 965 3.2 GHz to run          board is for those who spend            	
 but we could easily mount a                   at 3.77 GHz and the board was           `70,000 – `80,000 on their
                                                                                                                               	Features ...........................7.5
                                                                                                                                Performance ......................8
 huge cooler on the processor.                 very stable. With the overclocked       system or are looking to buy
                                                                                                                                Build Quality...................7.5
 The memory slots are spaced out               setup, Cinebench gave a score of        a performance gaming rig in              Value for Money ............7.5
 evenly and installing or removing             17,693 and Crysis gave an average       a similar price range.

     Socket : LGA 1156, Chipset:
               Intel P55 Express
               Support for Dual
                                               ECS P55H-AK
                    Gigabit LAN                A class apart!

           Support for USB 3.0
                  and eSATA 6.0                            ased on the Intel P55           There are dedi-
                 3 x PCIe x16, 2 x                         Express chipset, ECS        cated buttons for
                 PCIe x1, 1 x PCI                          P55H-AK, the new            power and reset.
                                                           Black series mother-        There is also a dedi-
                              Contact          board, supports unlocked Intel          cated button for
                Rashi Peripheral               Core i7 and Core i5 processors          clearing the CMOS as
            Phone: +91-22-4047 0811            which lets you overclock the            well which saves us
               Email: response@                CPU. Though the layout is good,         the need to open up                    a score of 14,211 for the multi-
                 rptechindia.com               the board tends to flex in parts.       the cabinet and use a jumper           player CPU. Real life tests were
              Web site: www.rpt-               The PCI slots are well spaced           for doing so. There is an extra        almost same as GA-X58-UD3R,
                     echindia.com              except for the first PCIe x1 slot       heat sink for PLX PEX 8608             Video encoding took about
                   Price: `18,000              which is placed just below one          PCIe Gen 2 switch which offers         33.02 seconds and the sequen-
                   7.0                         of the CPU heat sinks which             PCI express switching capa-            tial and random file transfers

                  10                           might block insertion of graphic
                                               cards into that slot. The region
                                                                                       bility which enables high speed
                                                                                       networking along with mini-
                                                                                                                              took about 181.81 and 191.22
                                                                                                                              seconds respectively.
  	Performance ..................7.5           around the CPU is covered with          mizing bandwidth wastage.                  Overall, at `18,000, it is a
   Build Quality...................7.0         three heat sinks. We managed                We used Intel Core i7 870          wee bit overpriced but its over-
   Value for money............6.0              to fit the Corsair A50, but with        while running the benchmarks.          clocking abilities and feature
   Overall ..............................7.0   some difficulty as the heat sinks       3D mark gave an overall score          rich property makes it perfect
                                               are elevated.                           of 25,935 while Cinebench gave         for home users.

66 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Viewsonic’s dual boot                                                         Nikon D7000
  Viewsonic has launched an NVIDIA Tegra 2 based tablet that                    Camera giant Nikon debuted its 16.2MP D7000 D-SLR
  runs both Windows 7 and Android                                               which can record 1080p video                                                 Bazaar

Videocon D2h Service
Slight improvement over cable

             ideocon D2h is
             the latest entrant                                                                                              Specifications
             in the satellite tel-                                                                                           Picture capability: MPEG 4
             evision market.                                                                                                 DVBS 2, Dimensions: 262 x
We got a basic set top box from                                                                                              200 x 51 mm, Weight: 1.2 kg
Videocon. The build quality of
the box is not very good. The                                                                                                Contact
quality of plastic used for                                                                                                  Videocon DTH
remote is also poor. Overall, the                                                                                            Phone: +91-90765 98116
quality is average.The menu is                                                                                               E-mail: V.Shyamal@d2h.com
feature rich and the interface is                                                                                            Web site: videocond2h.com
also good. There is a noticable                                                                                              Price: Set top box `1,390
lag while scrolling through                                                                                                  `300 Installation Charges
the channels. There are active
services like Active Darshan,        The picture is not sharp and                  There are three free Hindi movie
Active Games, Active Puzzles.        looks pixelated when used with                channels which keep playing the
There are tickers for various        large screen. Obviously this is an            same movie for the entire week.
categories of news. Features         entry level product with a com-               There is movie on demand but
like program reminder and            posite output so can’t be used at             the offerings aren’t impressive.
parental lock work well.             higher resolutions.                              Though it is economical at              	Features ...........................6.5
                                                                                                                               Performance ..................5.5
   The set top box uses MPEG            The package bouquets are                   `1,390, we would recommend
                                                                                                                               Build Quality...................5.0
4 DVBS 2 compression. The            very economical. The list of                  opting for other services or till sat-
                                                                                                                              Value for money .............6.0
picture quality is not very good.    channels is also pretty good.                 ellite services improve in India.

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                                             Wide angle shooting                                           Symbian^3 x 3
                                             Canon has unveiled the SX30 IS camera                         The mobile phone giant has announced three new
                                             which features the world’s first wide angle                   smartphones, the E7, C6-01 and C7 which will be in
 Tried &tested                               35x zoom lens                                                 the market by year’s end

 HTC Wildfire
 Android weds Sense, yet again

               TC Wildfire can                 the Wildfire’s display                             of the darker colours       Specifications
               be thought of as                looks pretty pixellated                            blend, while shades of      CPU: 528 MHz Qualcomm
               HTC Desire’s little             and there is a marked                              grey are missed – not       MSM 7225; Display: 3.2-
               brother. Anyone                 loss of fine detail in                             exactly for the portable    inches, 240 x 320 pixels, 16
 who has seen the HTC Desire will              the text, menus and                                videophile would be a       million colours; Camera:
 immediately recognise brushed                 this is also visible in                            gross understatement.       5-megapixel; Battery: 1300
 metal trim around the extended                the home screens. The                              Call clarity is good per    mAh; Weight: 118 grams
 glass section of the display. At              on-screen QWERTY                                   se, with a few reserva-
 the bottom, the trim takes on a               keypad is pretty good                              tions. We didn’t have       Contact
 curved look. The feel of Wildfire is          despite its rather basic                           any serious issues in       Bright Point India
 pretty good, though it isn’t exactly          look. In portrait mode                             any of the zones, and       Phone: +91-99108 21100
 compact and will feel most at                 things look cramped,                               even in zone three, dis-    E - m a i l : n i t i n .p a n d i t a @
 home in larger hands. Despite the             but thanks to good                                 tortion was minimum,        brightpoint.com
 seemingly unnecessary bulk, it                screen sensitivity typos were           with some continuous noise and         Web site: www.htc.com/in
 doesn’t make an unseemly bulge                a rarity. The capacitive touch-         an occasional loss of coherence        Price: `16,590
 in ones pocket.                               screen as with all HTC phones           but no dropped calls.
    The 3.2-inch Wildfire runs                 was quite fluid.                           Priced at `16,590 (MRP), the
 on Android 2.1 and has a 5 MP                   Audio quality via earphones is        Wildfire isn’t cheap, but it’s good
 camera. The display resolution                good – good clarity, nice bass and      value – Android, good touch-
 is extremely poor – at 240 x 320              pretty good volume levels. Video        screen with decent hardware             	Features ...........................7.5
 pixels – an archaic resolution                playback is snappy, although            and good performance. If the lack       Performance ......................7
 that, (as far as we know), only               the display would benefit with          lustre display resolution and con-      Build Quality ...................7.5
 Nokia persists with. With a pixel             a higher resolution and a better        trast aren’t deterrents for you, the    Value for money ............7.0
 density of 125 pixels per inch,               contrast ratio. Basically, some         Wildfire will satisfy.

                                               Sony Ericsson Zylo
               Display: 2.6-inches,            Slick Walkman                                             For a detailed review, check
                                                                                                           out http://bit.ly/boQmjd

          2,56,000 colours, 240 x
          320 pixels; Camera: 3.15                           he Zylo is a sim-         vision and                                             settings, no expo-
           MP; Battery: 930 mAh                              plistic, yet slick        exude good, firm                                   sure compensation
                                                             looking handset.          feedback.                                          or autofocus.
                            Contact                          The front is domi-            The Zylo is a very                                In zone one, we
              Sony Ericsson                    nated by a 2.6-inch display, and        satisfactory music                                 had no issues with
          Phone:1800 111 800                   the large, attention drawing            player. The loud-                                  dropped calls and
  Web site: www.sonyericsson.                  chrome ring that serves as a            speaker, owing to                                  voice clarity was
                         com                   joypad. The middle button               the slightly curved                                good. In zone three,
               Price: `9,000                   doubles as the play/pause key           rear works fine even                               we had a problem
                                               within while in walkman mode.           if the phone is laid on                            with static on the line,
                  7.5                          The call buttons are well placed,       a table. Audio quality                             when the number of

                 10                            and sufficiently delineated. The
                                               slider mechanism is a strong
                                                                                       is pretty good, and the volume is
                                                                                       quite loud. Plug in the supplied
                                                                                                                              available antennas fluctuated
                                                                                                                              between one and zero. There was
  	Features ...........................6.5     plus. The number keypad looks           earphones, and prepare to be           a marked loss of clarity.
   Performance ..................7.5           pretty normal though its usability      impressed further. Music flows            The MRP is `9,000, but we’ve
   Build Quality.......................8       quotient is actually excellent. The     pretty effortlessly, with good         spotted the Zylo selling at around
   Value for money............7.0              keys have sufficient bevelling to       clarity and volume levels.             `7,800 on the street. A fair price
                                               be used without visual super-               The camera offers very basic       for what you get.

68 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Octacore mobile CPU                                                             Windows Phone 7
  ARM has announced Cortex A15 for mobile devices. It features                    Microsoft’s much awaited smartphone OS,
  8 cores and achieves speeds of up to 2.5 GHz                                    Windows Phone 7 is set to launch in October                         Bazaar

The Goliath yells, “Lend me your ears!”
                                                                                    it a mirror like appearance and             ASUS could have easily incor-
                                                                                    is very aesthetically pleasing         porated a numberpad which is
                                                                                    but it’s a fingerprint magnet          missing thanks to the extra
                                                                                    and 15 mins of handling the            trackpad. The keyboard itself is
                                                                                    laptop is all it took to tarnish its   not very nice to use and lacks a
                                                                                    pristine exterior.                     tactile feel, though the open space
                                                                                        It’s vibrant 18.4-inch screen      under the keyboard serves as a
                                                                                    with a 16:9 aspect ratio is a Full     good palm rest while typing.
                                                                                    HD (1920x1080) LED backlit                  Since the laptop has been built
                                                                                    display. The audio solution            for home entertainment and not
                                                                                    selected features speakers by          for office use, the graphics solu-
                                                                                    Bang & Olufsen ICEpower. Two           tion, NVIDIA GeForce GT335M
                                                                                    uniquely positioned speakers           (1 GB DDR3) leaves something to
                                                                                    on either side of the screen have      be desired if you plan on playing
                                                                                    been placed as far apart as pos-       the latest games.
                                                                                    sible to help improve resonance             When looking around the
                                                                                    and sound quality. The speakers        laptop at the available ports,

                                                                                    sounded exceptionally breath-          the standard set of interfaces
Specifications                                                 hen we first         taking when compared to any            were seen along with some new
Intel Core i7 720QM, Win-                                      laid eyes on the     other laptop. This is by far one of    improvements such as 2 USB 3.0
dows 7 Ultimate, 4 GB DDR3                                     ASUS NX90,           the best performing audio solu-        ports and 1 e-SATA combo port.
RAM, 18.4-inch display,                                        we were taken        tions we have come across on any            As expected, the NX90 fared
Nvidia GeForce GT335M                      aback by the sheer size of the           laptop. The vertical towers project    very well on all the benchmarks
                                           laptop that lay in front of us. The      the audio at ear level.                such as PCMark Vantage, SiSoft
Contact                                    mirror finish, reflective enough             Yet another first, this laptop     Sandra and Maxxon CineBench.
Alex Huang                                 to stop anyone in their tracks           features two trackpads. Placed         Doom 3 showed a frame rate of
Phone: + 91-22–6766 8800                   and make them look is a one of a         on either side of the keyboard         187.6 fps. Battery life clocked in at
E-mail: media_india@asus.com               kind concept seen in any laptop          instead of the usual up front and      almost 3 hours and it lasted 2 hrs
Web site: www.asus.in                      these days. Then again, pretty           centre arrangement, the track-         in our multimedia tests.
Price: `1,30,999                           much every design aspect of this         pads initially took a lot of getting      It will set you back by `1,30,999
                                           laptop sets it apart from what the       used to and were annoyingly            which suggests that it is a product

                 7.0                       lay man’s definition of a laptop         inconvenient at first. Each indi-      meant for the niche market and

                 10                        would be.                                vidual trackpad features multi         not for someone looking for a
                                              One of two laptops in the             touch support (pinch to zoom),         common multimedia laptop. It
	Features ...........................7.5
                                           NX90 series, the ASUS NX90Jq             along with ASUS’s nifty two            is a solid performer with its minor
 Performance ..................7.5
 Build Quality.......................8     has dimensions that pretty much          finger scrolling capability but        shortcomings but could be your
 Value for money............5.5            nullify its portability. The pol-        the trackpad usage was not as          pride and joy should you have
                                           ished aluminum exterior gives            smooth as we hoped.                    some money lying around.
                                             Google Instant                                                  Happy Birthday Chrome
                                             Google’s new instant search service will save you 2-5           Google’s Chrome browser celebrated its second birthday
                                             seconds per search. Go to www.google.com (not “.co.in”)         on September 3rd with the release of v6.0 which now
 Tried &tested                               and you will be served!                                         syncs extensions among many other things

 Asus U43JC Bamboo                                                                                                            Specifications
                                                                                                                              Intel Core i7 processor
                                                                                                                              620M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
 Is wood good?                                                                          For a detailed review, check          (1066 MHz); NVIDIA
                                                                                          out http://bit.ly/980VrG

                                                                                                                              GeForce 310M; Intel GMA
            he Asus U43JC poses                  distortion at volumes higher                                                 HD integrated graphics;
            a stylish and elegant                than 70 per cent and also very                                               Windows 7 Ultimate
            design with a pre-                   ordinary sound clarity. How-                                                 64-bit; Weight: 2.4Kg
            dominant bamboo                      ever, the high definition video
 finish on the outer surface of the              playback delivered crisp col-                                                Contact
 screen cover-lid. The bamboo                    ours and high image clarity                                                  ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd.
 finish extends to the palmrest and              with consistent frame rates.                                                 Phone: +91-22-6766 8800
 touchpad surface adding a hint                  Asus U43JC delivered                                                         E-mail: media_india@asus.
 of charm to the attractive keypad               average frame                                                                com
 layout. A thin steel lining deco-               rate of just                                                                 Web site: www.asus.in
 rates the delicate body contours of             23.67 fps,                                                                   Price: `61,999
 the laptop, while the steel coated              running
 power button and power mode                     Far Cry 2 in medium                                       reveals to
 modifier, add beauty to the fine                detail and the resolution set to a                     be a good mid-
 human body curve design at the                  modest 1024x768. We were a bit        range multimedia laptop with
 top of the keypad. The highlight                disappointed with the gaming          the potential to play graphics
 of the product is the impressive                performance of the laptop, and        intensive games at low detail or
 battery life, extending about 4                 would have appreciated a decent       a non-resource hungry 3D game           	Features ...........................7.0
 and half hours. It also had a good              frame rate of around 30fps in         in medium detail. It is priced at        Performance ..................7.5
 outing in the Wi-Fi test with satis-            medium detail with AA and AF          `61,999 and we feel it offers good       Build Quality...................7.0
 factory results. In the speaker test,           turned off.                           value for money considering it is        Value for money ............7.0
 we noticed considerable sound                      Overall, the ASUS U43JC            a Core-i7 based laptop.

                                                 Lenovo Ideapad Y560
                                                 Cannot be ignored

                Specifications                             enovo has come up           graphics and ATI Radeon
 Processor: Intel Core i7, RAM:                            with a small upgrade        HD5730 1 GB dedicated
   4 GB DDR3, HDD: 640 GB.                                 to Ideapad Y550             graphics. It has only 3 USB ports.
                                                           series laptops with         It comes with a DVD RW. It also
                            Contact              the Ideapad Y560. The stylish         has an eSATA port.
                 Lenovo India                    looking Ideapad sports a classy          Its 3D Mark Score was
        Phone: 1800 425 2666                     look with designer front cover.       7824 and Doom 3 runs
      Email: pmatthan@lenovo.                    The full black colour with an         at 139.8 fps.
                           com                   orange border looks good.             During
      Website: www.lenovo.com                    Weighing 2.7 kg it is a bit on        file
                  Price: `51,127                 the heavier side.                     transfer we
                                                   The Lenovo Ideapad comes            got 39.34 MBps for
                                                 with a Core i5 processor and          sequential and 32.48 MBps                                trackpad is
                                                 4 GB DDR3 RAM. The Y560               for assorted file. Wi-fi perform-                     decent but the
                  6.5                            does not get very hot. The 15.6       ance test revealed speed of 38.16      click    buttons are really
                 10                              inch HD capable screen is good
                                                 and bright. Also provided are
                                                                                       MBps. Battery life test revealed
                                                                                       a battery life of 100 minutes.
                                                                                                                                  Priced at `51,127, Y560 is
  	Features ...........................7.0       two JBL speakers whose sound             The Y560 is not compact but         a good performer but has a
   Performance ..................7.0             quality is top notch. The web-        the keyboard is very cramped.          few small glitches. If you are
   Build Quality ...................6.5          camera is also pretty decent.         A lot of space is wasted around        looking for a stylish laptop
   Value for money ............6.0                 The Ideapad Y560 has                the sides which could have             that performs well you can
                                                 switchable graphics: integrated       been utilized for keyboard. The        check it out.

70 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Sony’s triad
   Sony has dished out three new touch screen                      Biofuel powered navy
   eBook readers, the PRS-350, RS-650 and the                      The US navy buys 200,000 gallons of algae
   PRS-950                                                         biofuel from a company called Solazyme                                         Bazaar

Cooler Master 690 II                                                                                               Specifications
                                                                                                                   Mid-tower chassis, 4 x

Advanced                                                                                                           5.25-inch drive bays, 6
                                                                                                                   x 3.5-inch drive bays
Has advanced quite a bit                                                                                           214.5 x 511.8 x 528.8

                                                                                                                   mm, Weight: 9.56 kg,
            he Cooler Master 690      and sliding trays for installation.
            II Advanced is a mid      The top drive bay has provision                                              Contact
            tower chassis which       for 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch drives.                                            Acro Engineering Company
            comes in two variants-    The maximum length allowed                                                   Phone: +91-98919 92406
one with and one without the          for graphic card is 11.96-inch, so                                           E-mail: marcom_in@
transparent side window. The          a 12.2-inch Radeon HD is going                                               coolermaster.com
CM 690 II Advanced like the old       to be too long to fit.                                                       Website: www.cool-
690 is stylish and has retained its      SATA drives can be connected        For a detailed review, check          ermaster.co.in
tough look.                           externally using the dock. The           out http://bit.ly/boZxP2            Price: `5,833
  The front face is made of steel
and is easily detachable for
                                      VGA holder arm helps in pro-
                                      viding support if you set up mul-      overall build quality is good.
plugging in DVD drives. The           tiple graphic cards in a Cross-        At a market price of around
top panel contains two USB 2.0        Fire or SLI setup. The chassis is      `5,833, it’s a good option for
                                                                                                                   	Features ...........................7.5
ports, the eSATA and audio con-       well ventilated with a net which       those looking for a base to build      Performance ..................7.5
nects jacks along with the power      helps keep away dust. Rear             their new system, and a great          Build Quality...................7.5
and reset button. The interiors       holes for water cooling outlet         option for those investing at least    Value for money............7.0
are clean and spacious. The           make it ideal for those going in       `50,000 on a decent mid-range
drive bays have simple locks          for water cooling solutions. The       gaming system.
                                             3D on PS3                                                 3.0 finally!
                                             PS3 update 3.5 to add 3D Blu-ray movie                    Kingston has finally launched Data Traveler
 Tried &tested                               capability                                                Ultimate its first USB 3.0 compatible device

 Godrej Eon Game LCD TV
 Motion gaming inside a TV

             CD TVs are dime a                 options on the side. Placement                                               Specifications
             dozen in the market,              of connectors is facing down-                                                Screen size : 32 inch; Resolu-
             but Godrej has come               wards, so it is some task con-                                               tion : 1368 x 768; 25 in-built
             out with an added                 necting the ports.                                                           motion sensing games;
 incentive to the humble category                 Spyder 3 Elite gave a con-                                                Connectors : 2 x HDMI; 2
 with motion sensing gaming                    trast ratio of 355.67 : 1 which is                                           x USB; 2 x Component
 a la Nintendo Wii. The 32-inch                quite decent. Displaymate tests
 Eon Game LCD TV comes with                    revealed backlight bleeding                                                  Contact
 25 in-built games which can be                but the 256 intensity colour                                                 Godrej Appliances
 played using the wireless joystick            and BW ramps did not throw                                                   Phone: 1800 209 5511
 which comes bundled too. Some                 any unwanted colour tinges.                                                  Web site: www.godrej.com
 of the games that impressed us                Movie viewing experience                                                     Price: `40,000
 were Dart, Bowling, Table Tennis              was good in terms of video
 among others. Response of the                 quality, but sound leaves a lot
 wireless joystick was good in                 to be desired. It scales down
 most games, but do not expect                 HD quality videos conviniently.
 impressive graphics.                          Playing off the USB was easy as          This innovative LCD TV is
    Build quality is quite impres-             well and one interesting aspect is     priced at `40,000. Although
                                                                                                                             	Features ...........................7.0
                                                                                                                              Performance ..................6.5
 sive. It has a piano black glossy             that it can read text files. Viewing   for a 32-inch the price is a bit on
                                                                                                                              Build Quality...................7.0
 bezel, with a somewhat thicker                photographs off the USB was also       the higher side, but not much for       Value for money............6.0
 rear side. There are no connection            quite quick.                           casual gamers.

                                               Croma CREL 3127
                                               Average performance at an economical price

                Specifications                           REL 3127 is a 42
    Screen size : 42-inch LCD;                           inch LCD TV from
      Resolution : 1920x1080;                            the electronics retail
 Response time : 5 ms; Viewing                           chain Croma, which
  angle : 178 degrees (H and V)                is a part of their ‘Handpicked
                                               by Croma’ series. The LCD TV
                            Contact            comes with a glossy black bezel
             Infiniti Retail Ltd.              and a pre-attached TV stand,
        Phone: +91-22-6761 3600                which eases the TV setup. The
               E-mail: service@                build quality of the TV is quite
                cromaretail.com                sturdy with a strong plastic rear.
           Web site: www.cro-                  The connectors on the CREL
                   maretail.com                3127 are not overwhelming like
                  Price: `49,990               we see on most LCD TVs. It has
                                               two SCART connectors which
                  5.5                          are rarely used in India. It has       has 12 sources to choose from.        viewing experience was decent,

                 10                            three HDMI ports and a VGA
                                               port alongwith a component port.
                                                                                        CREL 3127 gave a contrast
                                                                                      ratio of 312.11 : 1 (at 50 per cent
                                                                                                                            although darker scenes did show
                                                                                                                            a lot of graining. Gaming was a
  	Features ...........................5.0        User interface is ugly. There       brightness / contrast levels) in      joy on this monitor, with excellent
   Performance ..................6.5           aren’t many options to play            the Spyder 3 Elite tests which is     rendering of images and there
   Build Quality...................6.5         around with for the discerning         quite decent. Prominent screen        was no lag in the mouse response.
   Value for money............5.0              viewer. The bundled in remote          burning at higher brightness          This LCD TV comes at an eco-
                                               control has stiff buttons. The TV      and contrast levels is bad. Movie     nomical price point of `49,990.

72 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Classy entertainment
  Greensound recently launched stunning                                       VLC for iPad
  looking glass speakers                                                      VLC app for iPad approved by Apple                                      Bazaar

HTC Desire
Highly Desirable

               lthough the Desire          The Desire features HTC                 Call clarity is good. But the
               doesn’t share the       Sense. Although Android has a            antenna is not. In zone three,
               metal construction      fairly good menu system, and the         we faced disconnected calls on
               of the HTC Nexus        Sense UI is not as omnipresent           more than one occasion, accom-
One, it’s a beautiful looking device   as it was on the HTC Touch               panied by a loss in vocal clarity.
– slim and sleek. The keys have a      HD2, it’s still welcome, if not          In zone two there were sporadic
matte chrome finish that oozes         totally necessary. The icons, the        periods of silence, but this wasn’t
suave sex appeal. The earpiece         interface itself and the beautiful       happening with any regularity,
consists of twin slits with a          display add to a highly usable           that made us suspect a service
chrome trim, and this is, perhaps,     experience that is gimmicky yet          provider issue. The loudspeaker
the sexiest part of the phone.         practical and satisfying.                is loud on-call, but a maximum
   Incidentally, the microSD card         The browser is lightning fast,        volume there is jarring and the
isn’t hot swappable. The power         supports pinch zooming which             voice distorts. The earpiece is also
and screen lock button is on the       is quite useful.                         pretty loud, but doesn’t distort.
top and is designed to merge with         With the Froyo update, the            When using the loudspeaker, the        Specifications
the body. The 3.5mm handsfree          camera records videos up to a            battery cover vibrates.                OS: Android 2.1; Display: size:
jack also sits on the top. On the      resolution of 720p. The videos are          As desirable as the, err…           3.7-inch; resolution: 480x800
bottom, a slight protrusion marks      clear, although there is blur when       Desire is, it’s not without the        pixels; CPU: Qualcomm
the micro USB port for data and        moving due to the lack of a proper       odd annoying hiccup. There’s           QSD8250 (1 GHz); RAM: 576
charging. Even the rocker-type         image stabilisation system. Col-         the mediocre battery and               MB; ROM: 512 MB; expan-
volume key on the left side fits       ours are rich, and in bright light,      antenna performance .                  sion: microSD; Camera:
nearly flush but is very usable.       you won’t complain. Indoors the             The price we got for the Desire     5-megapixel; battery: 1400
   The Desire’s display lives up       quality drops considerably.              was an MOP of `28,900. This is         mAh; weight: 135 grams
to the hype. It’s huge – 3.7-inches,      The five-megapixel clicker            the price being offered by Tata
though not as large as the 4.3-        provides decent clarity for a cell-      Docomo, who is bundling the            Contact
inch display on the Touch HD2.         phone camera, but it’s not the best      device with a data plan that           Bright Point India
Even better, the Indian market         around. The flash unit is very           offers 500 MB of free data             Phone: +91-99108 21100
gets a super LCD in lieu of the        intense, and illuminates a dark          usage every month for the first        E m a i l : n i t i n .p a n d i t a @
AMOLED that the Desire was             room, up to a distance of eight feet     six months. If only the handful        brightpoint.com
supposed to ship with. Colours         pretty well.                             of quirks were ironed out we’d be      Web site: www.htc.com/in
are crisp without being over              HTC endowed the Desire with           pleased to live with it. HTC has       Price: `28,900
saturated and the display has          a loud, but tiny loudspeaker.            just announced the Desire HD
a great contrast and blackness         While at maximum volume it’s             and the Desire Z, though, and                           7.5
level. Equally wonderful is the        pretty loud, it distorts a bit. The      these might be worth looking           	                10
sensitivity of the display – the       earphones sound a lot better.            at. We recommend waiting and           	
capacitive technology used is          Although the bass is lacking             watching, unless you have to
                                                                                                                       	Features ...........................8.0
                                                                                                                        Performance ..................8.0
of the highest quality – swipes,       and the treble is rolled off, this       buy a high-end handset now – in
                                                                                                                        Build Quality...................7.0
gestures, the on-screen keypad –       is pretty much on par with the           which case the Desire, will make,       Value for money............7.0
everything works very well.            headsets of most handsets.               (most of), yours come true.
                                                                                                          Olympus E-5
                                               Bulldozer coming                                           Olympus launches its latest E-5 DSLR
                                               AMD to review first samples of the upcoming Bulldozer      camera model which features a 12.3MP
 Tried &tested                                 process which is slated to launch in early 2011            LiveMOS sensor

 Moserbaer MBIK42FHD
 Low price, poor performance HD TV

            he     Moserbaer                                                                          gave a very high
            MBIK42FHD is a                                                                            white luminance
            42-inch full HD LCD                                                                       at 370.8 cd/m^2
            TV coming in an all-                                                                      and poor blacks.        Specifications
 black glossy body supported                                                                          HD        movie         Panel : TFT LCD; Screen
 on an oval black glossy stand.                                                                       viewing really          size : 42-inch; Resolution :
 Looks wise there is nothing                                                                          brings out the          1920x1080p; 2 HDMI ports; 1
 striking about the TV as it has                                                                      poor blacks in the      USB port; Weight : 19 kg
 a very standard design with                                                                          TV. We noticed
 glossy bevel running around                                                                          a high amount
 the edges and the speaker sec-                                                                       of     backlight        Contact
 tion spread out on the lower                                                                         bleeding in com-        Moserbaer India Ltd.
 side. It has a range of connec-                                                                      pletely darkness.       Phone : +91-11-459 4500
 tivity options like two HDMI                                                                         Low light scenes        E-mail : shilpi.kapoor@
 ports, two S-video ports, one                 which is annoying. Remote                              tended to be very       moserbaer.in
 USB port, one VGA port etc.                   control is of very poor quality,        grainy. There is prominent             Website : www.moserbaer.in
 Also the USB port can only                    infact it has two extra but-            banding in dark scenes. Text           Price: `49,990
 play images and music off a                   tons which serve no purpose.            readability was quite poor.
 pen drive, no video.                          The DisplayMate tests gave              The panel also tends to heat
     User interface of the TV                  poor results. 256-bit black to          up within 20-30 mins of TV                               5.5
 is really bad with very lim-                  white ramp showed a definite            viewing, which is not desirable.       	                10
 ited functionalities. USB                     greenish and yellowish tinge            It is available at an economical       	
 mode does not segregate the                   towards the black end. Reverse          price point of `49,990. Ideally        	Features ...............................5
                                                                                                                               Performance ......................5
 images and music, and you                     text test was poor. Only the 256-       we would not recommend
                                                                                                                               Build Quality...................... 6
 have to use the remote to go                  bit colour ramp was somewhat            this TV as its output is not up
                                                                                                                               Value for money............... 6
 individually to the folder,                   better to look at. Spyder3Elite         to the mark.

                                               Kodak PlaySport Jx3
         Resolution: 5 MP, Sensor              Playfully sporty

         type: CMOS, Sensor size:                                                                                          For a detailed review, check
             1/2.5, Movie formats:                       he Kodak PlaySport            buttons are hard but of good          out http://bit.ly/9pMBGg
           H.264 (MOV), ACC LC                           Jx3 is a compact              quality. A lot of space
                                                         camcorder capable             is wasted around button
                              Contact                    of recording HD               area which could have                         sensitive and of good
          Kodak India Pvt. Ltd.                videos at 1080p. The stylish            been used for a larger                        quality. The PlaySport
           Phone: 1800 22 4949                 looking PlaySport comes with a          screen.                                       can take still photos but
 E-mail: in-feedback@kodak.com                 5 megapixel CMOS sensor for                 The video clarify                         the quality is average.
 Web site: www.kodakindia.com                  video quality.                          under brigt conditions                            The compression
                   Price: `8,999                   The PlaySport looks sturdy          is good. In a well lit                        on it is not very good
                                               and seems it can take shocks            room the video quality                        and to be able to record

                                               due to accidental falls. It’s also      is decent but with                            1080p videos for three
                                               waterproof up to three meters           dim lights, the video                         hours you will need a
  	                10                          under water. There is a menu for        becomes grainy. The                           16 GB card which is not
  	Features ...............................7   settings but is not well defined.       PlaySport performs well                       included in the package.
   Performance ..................7.5               The PlaySport has a 2-inch          under water.                                      At `7,999 it is a good
   Build Quality...................7.5         screen. There are buttons on                The PlaySport has a 4x             buy but to be able to use it you
   Value for Money ............6.5             front panel for recording, menu,        digital zoom which is better           will have to spend `2,500 on a
                                               delete and a navigation key. The        avoided. The microphone is             SD card.

74 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                Next Big Thing in TV

                                                                                        Graphics cards

                                            Palit Sonic GeForce                                          Zotac GeForce GTX460
                                            GTX460                                                       AMP edition
                                            Price: `16,700                                               Price: `15,999

                                            GPU Core Clock ...................... 700 Mhz                GPU Core Clock .......................810 Mhz
                                            No. of cores ...................................... 336      No. of cores ....................................... 336
                                            Memory Size ...........................2048 MB               Memory Size ............................1024 MB
                                            Memory Type..............................GDDR5               Memory Type..............................GDDR5

                  Quick                                        TeST.CenTre.rATInGS.(All.Scores.out.of.10)
                  inSiGhTS                  Features.............................. 6.0                   Features...............................6.5
                  FroM indePTh              Overclocked by 25 MHz, DirectX                               Overclocked, DirectX 11
                  TeSTS                     11 compatible, NVIDIA 3D Vision                              compatible, NVIDIA 3D Vision
                                            ready                                                        ready, Zotac firestorm to
                                                                                                         overclock GPU, 2-way SLI

                                            Performance......................6.5                         Performance......................7.5
                                            Crysis Warhead: 28 fps                                       Crysis Warhead: 30 fps
                                            Stalker Clear Skies: 30.5 fps                                Stalker Clear Skies: 35 fps
                                            Far Cry 2: 75 fps                                            Far Cry 2: 88.84 fps

                                            Build.quality.......................5.0                      Build.quality.......................6.0
                                            Average quality, fan looks cheap,                            Plastic body not of good quality,
                                            power cables of poor quality                                 fan looks cheap

                                                           .                                             Value.for.money............... 5.5
                                            Performance does not justify                                 Priced in the range of GTX 465
                                            pricing.                                                     cards - somewhat expensive


The Digit Test Centre receives and tests
                                                              5.5                                                          6.5
enough products on a monthly basis          The.Palit.Sonic.card.doesn’t.run.                            The.Zotac.GeForce.GTX.460.
to fill hundreds of pages with reviews.     as.fast.as.the.Zotac.GeForce.                                outperforms.GTX.465.in.two.
Each and every one of the products          GTX460..The.Zotac.GeForce.                                   benchmarks.out.of.four,.so.it.
                                            GTX460.Amp!.is.the.clear.winner.                             makes.sense.to.go.for.it.rather.
reviewed in Digit is tested thoroughly,
                                            among.the.two..2.GB.memory.                                  than.the.GTX.465.series.if.you.
and put through the same rigour as          doesn’t.help.in.performance..                                are.not.into.overclocking..If.you.
you’re used to seeing in our comparison     Price.asked.for.the.card.is.too.                             are.the.kind.who.knows.how.
tests. Bazaar mini is our way of ensuring   high.                                                        to.overclock.GPU.and.has.tried.
that you get the results of our extensive                                                                it.before.than.go.for.GTX.465.
testing in a more timely manner, and in a                                                                which.can.be.overclocked.
compact and easy-to-read format. Send
feedback and suggestions on this new
section to testcenter@thinkdigit.com.         AlSo See:
                                              1) Zotac GeForce GTX465
                                                                                                            AlSo See:
                                                                                                            1) Zotac GeForce GTX465
                                              	 Digit	Sept	2010                                             	 Digit	Sept	2010
                                              2) Sparkle GeForce GTX465                                     2) Sparkle GeForce GTX465
                                                 Digit	Sept	2010                                               Digit	Sept	2010
                                              3) Asus GeForce GTX465                                        3) Asus GeForce GTX465
                                                 Digit	Sept	2010                                               Digit	Sept	2010
                                                                                          Seesmic Desktop 2
                       Tablet Printer                                                     Seesmic has released an update which has
                       HP Photosmart eStation printer has a                               immediate support for Twitter, Facebook,
                       dock to print directly off a tablet                                LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and Ping.fm                                               bazaar mini


Micromax X510 (PIKE)                         lG Cookie Zip (lG510)                        Micromax Gravity X600                                           Micromax X550 (QUBE) 
Price: `5,499                                Price: `8,399                                Price: `5,999                                                   Price: `5,999 

Dual-SIM (GSM); 2.8-inch TFT resistive       CDMA EVDO Rev 1; 3-inch display,             SIM card................Dual SIM                                SIM card....................................Dual-SIM
touchscreen (240x400); microSD up to         240x400 pixels, 262K colours; 70 MB          Display.....................3.2-inches resistive                Display..............3.2-inch TFT resistive
16GB; 2MP (1600x1200); Battery: 8 hrs        inbuilt, microSD expandable; Camera:         touchscreen (240 x 320)                                         touchscreen (240x400)
talk, 384 hrs standby;                       2 MP; weight: 90 grams                       Camera................................................2MP       Memory.........expandable up to 16GB

                                                           TEST CEnTrE rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)

Features ............................. 6.0   Features ............................. 6.0   Features ..............................7.0                      Features ..............................6.5
Micromax X510 (PIKE) has similar             LG510 has a poor touch                       Motion sensor based dual-SIM                                    The Micromax X550 (QUBE) is a
features to the X550 (QUBE). Dual            interface. Ability to drag widgets           phone. Dual microphones and                                     feature-rich social-networking,
SIM touchscreen phone.                       on to your main screen is nice.              speakerphones add the extra                                     touchscreen phone, with a 3D
                                                                                          zing.                                                           Cube UI.

Performance .....................5.5         Performance ................... 5.5          Performance .....................6.5                            Performance .....................7.0
Modest performance across all                In zone three we had issues with             An average performance overall.                                 It performed decently across all
the tests. Poor captured video               clarity and at times there was               Bluetooth transfer rate was                                     the tests with an average score
quality. Device loudspeaker                  static on the line. In zone one and          ordinary at a paltry 111 KB/s.                                  in the loudspeaker audio and
clarity also bad.                            zone two we had no issues.                                                                                   photo colour tests.

Build quality ....................6.5        Build quality .....................7.0       Build quality ......................7.5                         Build quality ......................7.0
Built with an all - plastic body             Build quality is decent, but for             Sleek, stylish, made of plastic with                            It is built tough and looks quite
and is slightly bulkier than X550.           the price, we expected more.                 brushed aluminium finish.                                       attractive.

Value for money .............6.0             Value for money............... 5.5           Value for money............... 8.0                              Value for money............... 7.0
Expensive when compared to                   MRP of `8,399 seems excessive                It is a feature-rich handset and                                A bit expensive but great
others in its category.                      for this device.                             offers good value for money.                                    features for the price.

                                                                                     WE SAy

             6.0                                          6.0                                                7.0                                                           7.0
The Micromax X510 (PIKE) lost                At that price, you get a decent              At `5,999, the X600 is a feature                                The Micromax X550 (QUBE)
out both in terms of performance             set of features, but nothing that            rich handset that offers a lot                                  truly holds an edge in its price
and ergonomics in comparison to              is not spectacular value for                 of functionality at a good price.                               category, with the innovative 3D
the X550 (QUBE). Lack of a hard-             money. In fact, the major selling            The dual GSM SIM support is a                                   Cube UI and a rich assortment
ware keypad, does not help its               point of this phone isn’t its fea-           nice plus and the gravity sensor                                of features.  It is priced a bit high
cause with unfriendly and ageing             ture set but its touch interface.            based SIM swapping is the real                                  but the pricing does complete
touch-screen interface. Hence,               And in our opinion, its interface            icing on the cake. It gives a hefty                             justice for whats on offer.
we would not recommend it for                is the major deterrent – it’s not            bang for buck at `5,999. 
a best buy or value for money                intuitive and fluid and using this                                                                              Also sEE
option.                                      phone is at times a frustrating                                                                                 1) g-Fone 345
                                                                                                                                                                Digit April ’10
                                             experience. So zip it – this is one                                                                             2) Fly E106
                                             cookie you can skip.                                                                                               Digit April ’10
  Also sEE:                                                                                   Also sEE                                                       3)Intex IN 4410
  1) Fly B430                                                                                 1) g-Fone 345                                                     Digit April ’10
     Digit April ’10                                                                             Digit April ’10                                             4) lG GW 620
  2) Intex IN 2020E                                                                           2) Fly E106                                                       Digit May ’10
     Digit April ’10                           Also sEE:                                         Digit April ’10                                             5) lG GM 200
  3) Wyncomm Y50                               1) lG Cookie Fresh                             3)Intex IN 4410                                                   Digit May ’10
     Digit September ’10                          Digit September ’10                            Digit April ’10                                             6) lG GC900 Viewty smart
                                               2) lG Cookie Plus                                                                                                Digit June ’10
                                                  Digit September ’10

                                                                                                                                                      Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 77
                                                                                   SDXC card readers                                                                       microtek’s mobile dreams
                                                                                   XElecom have come out with Mr-A005 and                                                  Microtek, a producer of energy saving
  bazaar mini                                                                      Mr-A006 memory card readers which can read                                              equipment has decided to manufacture mobile
  Quick insights from indepth tests                                                SDXC cards                                                                              handsets later this year

                                                                PorTable harD DriveS                                                                                                              memory

   Iomega skin Hard Drive                                       Transcend storeJet 25D2-W                                 Apacer AC203 500GB                                        Kingston HyperX H2o
   Price: `5,900                                                Price: `6,300                                             Price: `4,250                                             Price: `6,550


  Capacity.............................................500 GB   Capacity.........................................500 GB   Capacity..........................................500GB   Memory capacity........................2 x 2 GB
  Interface...........................................USB 2.0   Interface ......................................USB 2.0   Interface.......................................USB 2.0   Memory Type...................................DDR3
  Dimensions...................124 x 84 x 18 mm                 Dimensions...............129.9 x 82 x 17.3mm              Dimensions...............124 x 80 x 14mm                  Frequency..................................2000MHz

                                                                                  TEST CEnTrE rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)

  Features ..............................6.5                    Features ..............................5.5                Features ..............................7.5                Features ..............................7.0
  Impressive skin design, backup                                Bundled backup software helps                             Rubberized strip on the body                              Cool and good looking metal
  software can be downloaded                                    in backing up and synchronizing                           adds nice grip and appeal.                                body. Metal tube for water to
  from web site.                                                data easily.                                                                                                        pass through.

  Performance .....................6.5                          Performance .....................6.5                      Performance .....................6.5                      Performance .....................6.5
  Speeds are pretty decent,                                     Real world tests single 4GB file:                         Real world tests: 23.57MBps                               Good for overclocking. Setting
  sequential read speed is 32.01                                28 MBps write and 30 MBps read                            write and 30.14 read speeds.                              up liquid cooling is easy. Low
  MBps , sequential write speed is                              speed. Performance comparable                             Photoshop CS2: 39                                         operating temperatures even
  27.61 MBps.                                                   with other drives.                                        seconds. Average performer.                               without liquid cooling.

  Build quality ......................6.0                       Build quality ......................7.0                   Build quality ......................7.0                   Build quality .................... 6.5
  Build quality is good. Decent                                 The drive comes in an all-white                           Sturdy, sleek and stylish build,                          Light weight but sturdy. Good
  grade plastic used for panels                                 glossy finish with rubber feet.                           weighing just 143grams.                                   finish with rounded edges.

  Value for money...............5.0                             Value for money...............6.0                         Value for money............... 7.5                        Value for money...............3.0
  For this price, one can buy a                                 Quite economical for the price                            At `4,250, it’s pretty cheap and                          A bit on the higher side as far as
  larger capacity drive.                                        point of `6,300.                                          affordable. Recommended                                   pricing goes.

                                                                                                                   WE SAy

                     6.0                                                         6.0                                                        7.0                                                     7.0
  If looks and style matter to you,                             If you’re a Mac enthusiast and                            The Apacer AC203 external hard                            The Kingston HyperX H2O makes
  certainly this is a product for                               looking for a good peforming                              drive is reasonably sleek and                             sense for high-end gaming en-
  you. The performance is good                                  portable drive this one is for                            stylish.  The 500 GB capacity                             thusiasts. It is a lot cheaper than
  and design is small and sturdy.                               you. Transcend bundles a travel                           is sufficient, and provides good                          Corsair Dominator GT DDr3 kit
  A USB 3.0 interface would have                                pouch which is well design to fit                         value for money. At `4,250, it                            and gives an overclocking option.
  been nice to see in this produce.                             in pockets enables user for easy                          makes a decent buy.                                       Kingston on its website does not
  Pricing does not seem fair but                                carry option. It is an average                                                                                      recommend overclocking but
  the stylish looks make it one of a                            performer with good looks com-                                                                                      with liquid cooling it should do
  kind product.                                                 pared to other in makets.                                   Also sEE:
                                                                                                                                                                                    just fine.
                                                                                                                            1) WD My Passport studio 640
    Also sEE:                                                                                                               GB
                                                                  Also sEE:
    1) WD My Passport studio 640                                                                                               Digit June ’10
                                                                  1) Iomega Prestige lPHD-UP                                                                                          Also sEE:
    GB                                                                                                                      2) Hitachi simple Tough 500 GB
                                                                      Digit February ’10                                                                                              1) Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2
       Digit June ’10                                                                                                          Digit July ’10
                                                                  2) Buffalo Mini station HD                                                                                             Digit September ’10
    2) Hitachi simple Tough 500 GB                                                                                          3) WD My Book 3.0(march)
                                                                  PX320                                                                                                               2) Corsair Dominator GT DDR3
       Digit July ’10                                                                                                          Digit March ’10
                                                                     Digit February ’10                                                                                               6GB
    3) WD My Book 3.0(march)                                                                                                4) Iomega Prestige lPHD-UP
                                                                  3) A-Data Nobility NH-92                                                                                               Digit September ’10
       Digit March ’10                                                                                                          Digit February ’10
                                                                      Digit February ’10                                                                                              3) Zion 4GB DDR3(april)
    4) Iomega Prestige lPHD-UP                                                                                              5) Buffalo Mini station HD
                                                                  4) Iomega eGo RPHD - TG                                                                                                Digit April ’10
        Digit February ’10                                                                                                  PX320
                                                                     Digit February ’10
                                                                                                                               Digit February ’10

78 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
    Privacy charter from Google
    German government has asked Google and its competitors in
    online map services to come up with their own guidelines on
    data protection by December                                                                                                                        bazaar mini

                                        Power SuPPlieS                                                                                   miCe

                                                          Cooler Master silent
Corsair AX1200                                            PRo Gold                                                    Verbatim Rapier V1
Price: `18,000                                                                                                        Price: `5,400
                                                          Price: `14,000

Type....Intel Form Factor ATX 12V                         Type....Intel Form Factor ATX 12V                           Frame Rate..................................7800fps
V2.31, SSI Form Factor EPS 12V V2.92                      V2.3 SSI Form Factor EPS 12V V2.92                          Modes.......Standard and Gaming mode
Dimension....................150 x 86 x 200 mm            Dimension...............150 X 160 X 86 mm                   Weight.................................................162 g
Output Power......................................1200W   Output Power...................................800W

                                                                            TEST CEnTrE rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)

Features ..................................7              Features ..................................7                Features ..............................7.0
Top of the line product - voltage                         Similar to AX1200 but the 24-pin                            The mouse has 9 buttons out of
and short circuit protection and                          connectors are not detachable                               which 7 are programmable. Hot-
modular design.                                           like on the AX1200.                                         key performs triple-click action.

Performance .........................8                    Performance .....................7.5                        Performance .....................5.5
Low operating temperature,                                Operating temperature are very                              Gaming performance is good,
Fan does not make much                                    low, Even on faster rotation, fan                           there is no lag. However, the side
noise. Twelve cables should be                            makes no noise                                              buttons are tough to use and the
enough.                                                                                                               click wheel is a little loose.

Build quality ......................... 8                 Build quality ......................... 8                   Build quality ..................... 6.0
Solid metal body, cable quality                           Black metal body is very strong,                            Not very impressive. Sides have
also very good.                                           Cables are of good quality.                                 a sticky rubbery texture.

Value for money ............... 7                         Value for money............... 7.5                          Value for money...............4.0
Quality comes at a price and so                           This is a product which justifies                           Overpriced. You get better ones
does Corsair AX1200                                       the pricing.                                                with more features, for cheaper.

                                                                             WE SAy

                  7.5                                                      7.5                                                              6.0
An 80plus Gold 1200W power                                For those who want to stick to                             Verbatim rapier V1 is used for
supply is only for those who want                         2-way SLI/CrossFire, the Cooler                            playing games and normal us-
to setup a 3 way SLI or Cross-                            Master Silent PrO Gold is a                                age. In standard mode the side
fire. The AX1200 comes bundled                            good option. With the 80plus                               buttons can be used for web
with 16 SATA cables, 6 PCIe                               Gold rating it is a stable power                           navigation. In gaming mode, it
cables, 12 peripheral cables                              supply. It comes bundled with                              can emulate the entire keyboard.
which is more than sufficient. For                        9 SATA cables, 4 PCIe cables,                              It is perfect for playing first
the price AX1200 is a good stable                         4 peripheral cables which might                            person shooting games. It is
power supply. For those who                               just be enough. If you dont plan                           highly overpriced considering the
constantly upgrade graphics it is                         to upgrade your to 3 way SLI                               build quality and discomfort to
a good investment.                                        this is the product for you.                               the user. There are cheaper mice
                                                                                                                     with more functionalities.

                                                            Also sEE:
  Also sEE:
                                                            1) Cooler Master silent Pro                                 Also sEE:
  1) Corsair HX 850W
                                                            1000M                                                       1) logitech G5
     Digit January ’10
                                                               Digit September ’10                                         Digit July ’10
  2) Cooler Master GX550
                                                            2) Corsair HX 850W                                          2) Razer Deathadder
      Digit March’10
                                                                Digit January ’10                                          Digit July ’10

                                                                                                                Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 79
                                                                                  mobile internet traffic                                                                GPS on exilim
                                                                                  According to Zokem, a Finnish mobile analytics                                         Casio’s Exilim is GPS enabled
  bazaar mini                                                                     company, native apps drive 50% of all mobile                                           megazoom that can record location
  Quick insights from indepth tests                                               data volume                                                                            data even when the camera is off

              moTherboarD                                                     SofTware
                                                                              PrinTerS                                       DvD Player                             meDia STreamer

  Gigabyte G41m-Combo                                              Emsisoft Anti-malware 5.0                      Intex Premium N-322                          iRadioPoP Plus
  Price: `2,900                                                    Price: `560                                    Price: `2,629                                Price: `1,500


   Socket.................................................LGA775   OS supported.....Windows XP / Vista, 7         5.1 channel, Dolby Digital Decoder,          USB 2.0 Plug & Play.
   North Bridge.................Intel G41 Chipset                  System requirement................100 MB       USB Port, Formats supported : DVD,
   South Bridge..............................Intel ICH7            disk space, 512 MB memory, 1 GB                ACD, VCD2.0, CD-R, CD-RW, USB,
   Slots............................1 x PCI Express slot           recommended                                    MP3, MP4, JPEG, DivX

                                                                                 TEST CEnTrE rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)

   Features ............................. 6.0                      Features ..................................7   Features ..............................5.5   Features ..............................6.5
   Has support for both DDR3 and                                   Complete scanning features                     Range of connectivity options                Access to counless internet
   DDR2 memory in dual channel                                     like scheduled scan, browser                   User interface is not impressive.            radio and TV stations. Features
   configuration.                                                  integration, etc.                                                                           Recording supported.

   Performance .................... 6.0                            Performance .....................6.5           Performance .....................4.5         Performance .....................5.0
   3Dmark06 CPU score: 4094                                        Does not affect startup time,                  Performance is poor.Video                    Offers good quality and the clear
   Doom 3 FPS(800 x 600):31.4                                      runs parallel to other antivirus.              quality isn’t upto the mark                  sound with proper streaming for
   Overall performance is okay but                                 CPU usage 1 per cent on startup                Output on large screen shows lot             radio station, but noise obvious in
   the gaming performance is poor.                                 and 85 per cent during scans.                  of noise.                                    full screen.

   Build quality ..................... 6.0                         Build quality ..........................7      Build quality ......................5.5      Build quality .................... 6.0
   Crowded layout on a compact -                                   Clean interface with a separate                Buttons on remote are of poor                Design and build quality is
   not very impressive.                                            menu for advanced controls.                    quality                                      similar to flash drives

   Value for money...............7.0                               Value for money...................7            Value for money............... 6.0           Value for money............... 7.0
   The G41m is priced very                                         Anti-malware cum Anti-virus for                Economically priced but not up               At `1,500, it’s pretty inexpensive.
   economically at `2,900.                                         one price is a good buy.                       to the mark on quality                       bandwidth to play with.

                                                                                                            WE SAy

                      6.0                                                        7.0                                            5.5                                         6.0
   Installation of hardware com-                                   Considering the cost ($12 or rs                Go for this DVD player only if you           It’s a small USB device helps
   ponents is time consuming. The                                  560 approx) and the features                   are short on cash and want a no              you in streaming TV/ radio
   chipset gets heated up while run-                               (realtime protection, pretty                   frills basic DVD player that can             station over internet at free
   ning benchmarks on integrated                                   large database, scanning and                   also play MP3 songs and read off             of cost. not great if you’re
   graphics. It is economically                                    cleaning your computer of                      a USB drive. It takes a lot of time          expecting high quality and
   priced but performance is me-                                   malware, scheduled scans and                   to load. The quality of video is not         performance on low bandwidth
   diocre. Moreover, there is hardly                               updates, etc.) the Anti-Malware                upto the mark. There are a lot of            connections. require 2Mbps
   any price difference in DDr3 and                                is definitely worth a try. you can             grains visible when video played             for good video streaming.
   DDr2 rAM. Gop for the board                                     download a 30-day trial version                on large screen.                             Some stations work in the
   if you have purchased a really                                  from its website and after using                                                            default player while some use
   expensive rAM or processor and                                  it decide for yourself.                                                                     a browser. If you are a person
   want an economical board.                                                                                         Also sEE:                                 who travels a lot and want
                                                                     Also sEE:                                       1)soyer 338MC                             portable TV/radio with you, the
                                                                     1) McAfee Total Protection 2010                     Digit July’10
                                                                                                                     2) Philips DVP 3588                       iradioPOP Plus can prove to
     Also sEE:                                                          Digit July ’10
                                                                     2) AVG Internet security 9.0                        Digit July’10                         be handy.
     1) Gigabyte GA P55A UD7                                                                                         3) onida DFX 5979
        Digit June ’10                                                  Digit February ’10
                                                                     3) K7 Total security 10                             Digit July’10
     2) Gigabyte GA 510 UD                                                                                           4) Moserbaer MBI K666AMU
        Digit May ’10                                                   Digit February ’10
                                                                                                                         Digit July’10

80 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
     apple’s acquisition
     Apple has acquired Polar rose, a Swedish company                                                             ibm acquires analytics firm
     specialising in face recognition technology and                                                              IBM has announced its plans to acquire the analytics
     software                                                                                                     company netezza for around $1.7 billion in cash                                      bazaar mini

                                                   DeSkToP PCS                                                                                 PrinTerS                heaDSeTS

lenovo Ideacentre B300                                             simmtronics sDC2711s                                            logitech UsB Headset H530                    logitech laptop H555
Price: `38,200                                                     Price: ` 13,490                                                 Price: `3,245                                Price: `3,295


Processor..........................Intel Core 2 Duo                Processor.........................Intel Pentium                 USB Connection, Frequency                    USB Connection, Driver 31mm
RAM...............................................4 GB DDR2        Dual-Core E5400 processor                                       response: Headset: 20 Hz-20,000 Hz,          diameter, Frequency response:
HDD.......................................................640 GB   RAM.......................................................4GB   Microphone: 100Hz – 10,000 Hz                Headset: 20 Hz-20,000 Hz,
                                                                   HDD........................................500GB SATA                                                        Microphone:100Hz –10,000 Hz,

                                                                                        TEST CEnTrE rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)

Features ................................. 6                       Features ..............................5.5                      Features ..............................7.0   Features ..............................7.0
Not very feature rich, Comes                                       It comes with the basic                                         Enables noise cancellation and               USB connection, microphone
with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,                                          configuration with compact                                      full stereo sound. Equalizer                 supports noise cancellation.
bundled software for camera.                                       design.                                                         switch for changing music style.

Performance .....................6.5                               Performance .....................4.5                            Performance .................... 6.0         Performance .................... 6.0
PC Mark score: 5,196 , Cinebench                                   PC Mark Vantage score of 4023,                                  The sound quality is decent.                 Test tracks gave satisfactory
gave a score of 6101 using multi-                                  3D Mark 06 gives overall 266                                    The headset performs well with               performance. Microphone mute
CPU configuration. Doom ran at                                     points while 4 GB assorted file                                 internet calls but not so great              switch doesn’t work well while
a decent 89.7 fps.                                                 take 133 seconds.                                               with music.                                  using it on voice call.

Build quality ......................5.5                            Build quality ......................... 5                       Build quality ....................,,7.0      Build quality ..................... 6.0
Cheap plastic body and keyboard                                    Glossy finish, compact design                                   Over the head design, cable is               Neck strap design and adjustable
                                                                   but not the best built chassis.                                 thick and sturdy.                            ear pieces are quite clumsy.

Value for money ...............4                                   Value for money...................6                             Value for money...............6.0            Value for money...............6.0
Performance does not justify the                                   Well priced but could be priced                                 At `3,245, it’s somewhat                     While it has a decent feature set,
pricing.                                                           much economically.                                              expensive.                                   it could have been cheaper.

                                                                                                                             WE SAy

                     5.5                                                              5.0                                                       6.5                                            6.0
The Lenovo Ideacentre looks                                        The PC is sufficient for desktop                                The build quality for the head-              not well isolated so those around
good on desk. It is a somewhat                                     applications, but not for gaming.                               phones is good. It is an average             you can easily hear your music.
expensive product. It does not                                     The pricing of `13,490 is not                                   performer. Great for internet                Ideal for chatting on Skype. We
make sense to buy for a product                                    justified without an LCD. It’s a                                calls but not so much for music.             would not recommend these for
just for the looks when it is expen-                               good buy for people who do not                                  It’s not a portable headset. Suit-           heavy music listeners.
sive and does not perform well.                                    want to assemble their PC.                                      able for home or office use.
 Bazaar mini
                                                                   Steam drivers                                                              Cuil.com falls
                                                                   Steam introduces feature which allows updating                             Cuil, the search engine started by ex-
 Quick insights from indepth tests                                 of graphics card drivers                                                   Google employees recently shut down


 Philips SHQ 1000                                Philips SHQ 3000                                   Philips SHQ 4000                                  Skullcandy Titan
 Price: `645                                     Price: `1,999                                      Price: `2,499                                     Price: `2,099
 Sensitivity: 110dB; Impedance: 16               Sensitivity: 102dB; Impedance: 16                  Sensitivity: 102dB; Impedance: 16                 Impedance: 16 ohms; In-ear;
 ohms; Cable length : 1.2m; Sweat                ohms; Cable length: 1.2m; Sweat                    ohms; Cable length: 1.2m; Sweat                   Cable length: 1.3m; Frequency
 proof                                           proof                                              proof                                             Response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz

                                                                  TeST CenTre rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)
 Features ................................ 6.5   Features ................................... 6     Features ................................... 6    Features ................................... 6
 Performance ............................ 6      Performance ............................ 6         Performance ............................ 7        Performance ......................... 7.5
 Build Quality ............................ 7    Build Quality ............................ 7       Build Quality ............................ 6      Build Quality ......................... 6.5
 Value for money ................... 7.5         Value for money ...................4.5             Value for money ................... 6.5           Value for money ................... 5.5

                                                                                               We SAy
 The sound output is                             Sound quality is good.                             Build quality of the                              Beautifully designed.
 quite good, but not an
                              7.0                Mids are crisp but bass       6.0                  headphones is strong
                                                                                                                                6.0                   Wire starts from             6.5
 audiophile grade good.                          is mild. Sound separa-                             as far as the in-ears                             driver section without
 Mids were very crisp and                        tion isn’t great at high                           are concerned, but the                            sheathing - can cause
 there is no distortion on medium                volume. We did not experience                      flexible neckband is not as strong                loosening. Sound signature was
 volumes. Sound separation does                  any distortion. At a price point of                as we would have liked. Sound                     quite good, mids were vivid. Most
 get affected at higher volumes.                 `1,999, we felt that SHQ 3000 is                   signature is decent. Good at                      music genres sound good on
 Bass is mild and not very boomy.                a bit overpriced.                                  mids, but bass is subdued. A bit                  these. The price of `2,099 is ideal
 At `645, this is a decent buy.                                                                     expensive at `2,499.                              for this set of earphones.

            earPhoneS                                                                    FlaSh drive                                                             CPU Cooler

 Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket                    Transcend JetFlash V90 Classic                     IQ Pro 4GB                                        GlacialTech Alaska
 Price: `3,559                                   Price: `3,000                                      Price: `625                                       Price: `2,333

 Impedance : 16 ohms; In-ear;                    Capacity: 16 GB                                Capacity: 4 GB, USB 2.0                               CPU sockets: Intel LGA775/
 Cable length : 1.3m; Frequency                  Dimensions: 13.1 x 33.8 x 4.8mm                compatible                                            1156/ 1366, AMD AM2/AMD AM3
 Response : 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz                   Weight: 7g                                                                                           Fan Speed: 700 – 1600 RPM

                                                                  TeST CenTre rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)
 Features ................................ 6.5   Features ................................ 7.0      Features ................................... 5    Features ................................6.0
 Performance ......................... 6.5       Performance .........................6.0           Performance .........................6.0          Performance .........................8.0
 Build Quality ............................ 7    Build ...................................... 7.0   Build Quality ......................... 5.5       Build Quality .........................6.0
 Value for Money.................... 5.5         Value for money ...................5.0             Value for money ...................4.0            Value for money ...................8.0

                                                                                               We SAy

 The performance is good                         Comes with a fold-up                               Looks are simple and the                          Installation is a little
 and build is sturdy. At       6.5               design that keeps the       6.0                    build quality is average.       5.0               troublesome. Involves        7.0
 the price, Skullcandy                           drive safe within the                              In synthetic tests, it                            the overhead of tighten-
 Full Metal Jacket is definitely not             metal body. Can be used as a                       gives an average read speed of                    ing of screws at the base within
 a steal, but if you are a Skullcan-             keychain. Bundled software ena-                    13.2 MBps. Although at par with                   a very limited area. However, you
 dy fan or the kind of person who                bles features such as PC locking                   the Trascend JetFlash V90 Clas-                   can have it installed and running
 likes stylish products you should               and data backup. Average per-                      sic, it’s not as sturdy. At the price             in about 25 to 30 minutes. Highly
 definitely check it out.                        former. Price is more than other                   `625, it’s somewhat high for its                  recommended - performance
                                                 16 GB flash drives products.                       features.                                         delivered is pretty amazing.

82 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
   Canon eoS60d                                                             22nm soon
   Canon’s new eOS 60D DSLr expected to start                               Intel has disclosed plans of moving to 22 nm fabrication
   selling soon                                                             process for upcoming Atom processors                                                             Bazaar mini

                                       headSetS                                                             SoFtware                                            SPeakerS

Smart SH11                                      Smartinfocomm SH-04                             Mundu IM for iPhone                                 F&D A111
Price: `915                                     Price: `895                                     Price: Free                                         Price: `1,990
Operation Distance: 30 m;                       Impedance: 32 Ohms;                             Supports open source protocols                      Power output 18W RMS output,
Frequency Response: 30 - 20,000                 Sensitivity: 108dB; Cable length:               like Facebook, Gtalk and XMPP.                      USB/SD cards,frequency:
Hz, Modulation : FM/Mono                        2.5 m                                                                                               65Hz~20KHz

                                                                TeST CenTre rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)
Features ................................ 7.0   Features ................................ 6.5   Features ................................ 6.5       Features ................................ 5.5
Performance .........................5.0        Performance ......................... 6.5       Performance .........................8.0            Performance ......................... 5.5
Build Quality .........................5.0      Build Quality .........................6.0      Build Quality ......................... 7.0         Build Quality .........................6.0
Value for money ...................5.0          Value for money ................... 7.0         Value for money .................. N.A              Value for money ................... 5.5

                                                                                           We SAy
Overall build quality is                        not the cheapest pair                           It is a handy IM app                                Audio quality is decent –
poor. Sound quality is
                              5.5               of headphone in the           6.5               to have but it does not
                                                                                                                           6.5                      some distortion at high       5.5
okay but needs adjust-                          market but is among the                         support proprietary pro-                            volumes. not having dis-
ing using the scan and                          best in the price band.                         tocols like yahoo, MSn,                             play makes navigation
reset buttons on one of the ear                 If you are looking for a pair of                ICQ and AOL. Better alterna-                        problematic while playing with
pads. FM sound quality is good.                 headphones and are on a tight                   tives such as nimbuzz (free) are                    USB. Poor low frequency repro-
Cheaper alternatives are avail-                 budget you should definitely                    available.                                          duction. Built quality is good. For
able and for a little more, there               check them out.                                                                                     the price, one would expect more
are better quality products.                                                                                                                        powerful speakers.


F&D F700U                                       Tech-Com SSD 5700R                              Tech-Com SSD 5900R                                  Tech-Com SSD 6100R
Price: `3,990                                   Price: `4,100                                   Price: `3,889                                       Price: `4,900

Power output: 80W ouput, FM                     Power output: 8W x 5 + 25W        Power output: 8W x 5 + 25W                                        Power Audio: 8W x 5 + 25W (RMS)
Radio, frequency: 28 Hz - 20KHz                 (RMS)                             (RMS)

                                                                TeST CenTre rATInGS (All Scores out of 10)
Features ................................6.0    Features ................................ 5.5   Features ................................ 5.5       Features ................................ 5.5
Performance .........................6.0        Performance ......................... 5.5       Performance ......................... 3.5           Performance .........................4.5
Build Quality ......................... 5.5     Build Quality .........................5.0      Build Quality .........................4.5          Build Quality ......................... 5.5
Value for money ...................6.0          Value for money ...................4.5          Value for money ...................4.0              Value for money ...................4.0

                                                                                           We SAy

Sound quality is good                           Very similar to the                             Build quality is not very                           These 5.1 speakers
with clear bass. Has        6.0                 Tech-Com SSD 6100r.           5.0               good. At low volumes,         4.0                   might appeal to some           5.0
external storage options                        Performance wise,                               it’s average at best. At                            with its cool dial on the
such as USB/ SD memory cards.                   sound quality is better than the                higher volumes however, it it                       front. However, the dial is made
Good buy for its performance                    SSD 6100r and SSD 5900r.                        loses all detail and it get some-                   of poor quality without markings
but we wish the price was lower.                Compared to the F&D’s F900U,                    what irritating. These have better                  on it. Clarity is good, unless bass
At `3990, it’s a decent buy with                these lag far behind. It is a wee               bass than the other SSD 6100r                       is switched on. Bass distorts. At
a good feature set, build quality               bit overpriced, nonetheless, you                model. you really want to think                     this price, we suggest keeping
and performance.                                can put this on your list.                      before getting one of these.                        this off your shopping list.

                                                                                                                                                Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 83
                                                                                                                                                                                          Tips & Tricks

Gmail                                                                                                                                                                   Search queries
Eversince Google began its                                                                                                                                              Say, you have postponed
Gmail service, it has trans-                                                                                                                                            reading a lot of mail and have
formed the way we have inter-                                                                                                                                           read a few in between and left
acted. Within a span of two                                                                                                                                             many unread. Gmail only has
years, Google has enhanced                                                                                                                                              100 conversations per page but
its customer base to over 170                                                                                                                                           your unread items are scat-
million users. Its user inter-                                                                                                                                          tered in subsequent pages. To
face is mostly self-descriptive                                                                                                                                         be able to view all your unread
and you’ll find yourself at ease                                                                                                                                        mail at once, use the search
with most functions, but there                                                                                                                                          query label:unread in the
are several other features that                                                                                                                                         search box on top of the Gmail
improve functionality to a very                                                                                                                                         page. Similarly, appending
large extent.                                                                                                                                                           queries such as is:starred,
                                                                                                                                                                        is:unread, is:read and
Priority Inbox                                                                                                                                                          is:chat can be used within
The latest feature Gmail has                .
                                       Gmail.....................................................................................................................73     Gmail to sort through starred,
introduced is the new Priority         Yahoo.Inquisitor................................................................................................75               unread, read and chat message
Inbox. It targeted and incorpo-        Orb.........................................................................................................................75   respectively. For example a
rated multiple features from                                                                                                                                            search query like in:trash
Google Labs into the primary                                                                                                                                            is:unread searches for all
Gmail UI. We recommend                              .
                                       USB.WebServer.................................................................................................78                 unread mail presently in the
this new feature, especially if                                                                                                                                         trash folder.
you receive large volume of                                                                                                                                                 You can also search mes-
incoming mail.                       sections under Priority Inbox.                                        mails, consistent mail content                               sages with tags like from,
    Priority Inbox promises          Google employees report that                                          and predefined filters                                       to, subject and folder. Use
to segregate your email into         such an interface saved about                                            The Priority Inbox has a                                  of operators such as OR is
important and not so impor-          13 per cent of their time.                                            certain degree of flexibility.                               also allowed. For example
tant, so that you don’t have to         For Priority Inbox to func-                                        After a user chooses to enable                               from:digit OR to:digit
waste unnecessary time.              tion efficiently it has to learn                                      the Priority Inbox, an addi-                                 after:2010/04/02 searches
    The Priority Inbox works         your preferences initially                                            tional tab appears in the                                    for all mail sent to, and
off algorithms that keep track       where you have to mark your                                           Google settings panel. The                                   received from digit after April
of user choices and deciphers        mail either as important or                                           user is given the option to:                                 2, 2010. The | character can
a relevant pattern in terms of       not important. This is carried                                                                                                     also be used in place of OR.
importance in all incoming           out by the two buttons that get                                                                                                    The search term followed by
email. Based on this data and        added to the Gmail tool panel                                                                                                      in:foldername will search
existing trends, it fixes priority   after enabling Priority Inbox.                                                                                                     for your search term only
for each incoming email. The         The yellow button with a ‘+’                                                                                                       within the folder specified.
                                                                                                           Mark your email as Important                                 Default folders include Inbox,
                                                                                                           by clicking on the + sign                                    Trash, Spam, and Sent Folder.

One of Gmail’s most efficient functions is its search                                                      select Priority Mailbox as the                               Security options
                                                                                                           default mailbox, disable pri-                                Gmail always keeps a log of
important mails are tagged           sign marks a mail as impor-                                           ority inbox completely, over-                                your activity. So if you are sus-
and occupy the uppermost             tant. The white button with a                                         ride filters, or include all mails                           pecting somebody of hacking
segment of your mailbox. Mail        ‘-‘ sign deselects an important                                       under a single label.                                        into or logging into your
gets segregated into Important       mail. The algorithm’s efficiency
and unread, Starred and Eve-         is dependent on the usage of
rything else. Apart from these       this feature. The degree of rele-
three default sections, you also     vance shall get better only with
have the ability to customise        a larger number of incoming

Priority Inbox saves you a lot of valuable time                                                            Make alterations to your Priority Inbox from the Settings page

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                                            | vol 10: 73                                                                           Digit | October 2010
Tips & Tricks

account without your knowl-           the group name in the To field
edge, you can keep track of           while composing a new mail,
this through the ‘Last Account        the auto-complete feature of
Activity’ feature. You will find      gmail will pick it up and give
this feature at the bottom of         the group name under the sug-
the Gmail page, in the footer         gested list of names. You can
region. By clicking on details        select the group from the list           If you’re low on disk space, add some space from Google
option present at the end of          and the mail will be sent to all
the ‘Last Account Activity’           contacts added to the group.             Google Labs                        Wrong Bob
line you can check the exact                                                   Gmail has managed to give          If you accidentally sent a mail
date, time, IP and type of            Hard disk full?                          a cushion couch feel to its        to Tara instead of Taran, ena-
access (browser, mobile,              Gmail changed the game for               users with many Google labs        bling this Labs feature auto-
POP3) etc. used to log in into        free email services by intro-            features that save time and        matically could save you from
your account                          ducing high storage inboxes.             increase functionality. They       near disaster. It verifies similar
   While you are accessing            Now Gmail gives its users                enhance interactivity and          names in your sent lists. If
your Gmail account if it is           more than 7GB of storage.                handiness and are always a         there are several people with
simultaneously being accessed         Most of the users never avail
from another location, the Last       most of this space though.
Account Activity will show            You can use up any vegetating
its details on the ‘Concur-           space in your Gmail account
rent Session Information’ list.       with the Gmail Drive shell
From here you can choose to           extension. Download this app             An often ignored feature is web clips

                                                                               respite from the conventional      similar names in the list, it
                                                                               ways of mailbox management.        gives a prompt before sending
                                                                               All the Labs features can be       out your email allowing the
                                                                               enabled or disabled from the       user to verify, and if required
                                                                               ‘Settings’ menu under the          change the sender address.
                                                                               ‘Labs’ tab. Following is a list
                                                                               of a few important Lab features    Mouse gestures
                                                                               worth mentioning.                  Mouse Gestures is a time
                                                                                                                  saving and efficient feature
                                                                               Canned responses                   added into Gmail. To go to
Gmail multiple login information
                                                                               If you are used to typing sim-     the next mail after reading
terminate the other sessions          at http://www.softpedia.com/             ilar replies to certain incoming   a mail, a user has to navi-
by selecting the option ‘Sign         get/Internet/E-mail/Mail-Util-           mails, this added feature to       gate to the “Older” tab at
out of all other sessions’.           ities/GMail-Drive-shell-exten-           the Compose page enables a         the corner of the page, or go
                                      sion.shtml. It is a Shell Name-          person to reuse a previously       back to Inbox and select the
Send an email to a                    space extension that creates a           saved response. Just create a      particular mail. This feature
Group in one shot                     virtual filesystem using your            response, save it, and use it as   enables you to do the same by
There might be instances where        Gmail inbox, letting you use             and when required.                 just the combination of clicks
you keep mailing to a common          your Gmail account as a local                                               and gestures. First right-click
list of people. It is a tedious job   storage medium. The free                 Undo send                          your mouse, and with the key
to remember each and every            space available on your Gmail            Very often we end up with a        pressed, drag it towards the
name and keep adding them             account appears as a drive in            big ‘oops’ moment right after      left. Similarly, if you hover to
every time you write a new            My Computer of your system.              hitting that send button. If       the right, you go to the next
mail. Gmail allows you to             Any file copied into this drive          you accidentally sent a mes-       mail. If you hover to the left,
group a list of email addresses       is sent as a mail attachment to          sage you that you didn’t mean      you go to the previous mail.
into a single group.                  the mailbox.                             to, Google Labs provides you       If you hover upwards, you go
    Click on “Contacts” on the                                                 with an Undo feature with          to the inbox.
left of your Gmail inbox, and         Irritated by ads?                        the option to retrieve your
then click on New group to            If you get annoyed by ads                mail and cancel sending for        Inserting images
create your new group. You            appearing at the top above the tool      about 30 seconds after you         Normally with Gmail you
can add new contacts into this        panel of your Gmail account, they        have sent your email. A few        can only attach images if
group or just include existing        can be turned off by disabling the       seconds after the appearance       you format it as an HTML
contacts in this group. When          “Web Clips” option from Set-             of the “Your message has been      email. Google Labs lets you
you want to send a mail to the        tings > Web Clips. These                 sent” line, the retrieval of the   activate another feature to
particular group, start typing        ads are Google sponsored links.          message is possible.               incorporate graphics in the

Digit | October 2010                                                    | vol 10: 74                                           | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                     Tips & Tricks

main body itself. After ena-                                               your search suggestions get.            in less than four seconds after
bling this feature all you have                                            Favicons and two lines of con-          launching the app on your
to do is just drag the picture                                             tent are also presented along           iPhone making it faster than
from a folder and drop it in                                               with the search results to give         starting a cold search on the
the body of the mail while it’s                                            you more details regarding the          native Safari browser. You can
being composed.                                                            page. Abbreviated news results          view the presented results in
                                                                           from two different sources also         an integrated Webkit browser
Yahoo! Inquisitor                                                          appear at the very top, as and
The Yahoo! Inquisitor is a free                                            when applicable. Apart from
search plugin now available for                                            showing you the results while
three major internet browsers                                              keeping track of your history,
Internet Explorer, Firefox and                                             you can use it to find previ-
Safari. It is also available as a   Auto suggest at its best               ously visited websites. It shows
free search app for the iPhone                                             the link to previously visited
platform. Originally a search       learning and modifying your            websites, the number of times
technology for the Safari           results as you search.                 you have visited it and the time
browser before being acquired           Inquisitor by default uses         when you did it.
by Yahoo!, it now has two addi-     Yahoo search for acquiring its
tional beta versions of search      results, but you can change            Configuring
plugins for both IE and Firefox.    your default search engine or          Inquisitor Settings
   Yahoo! Inquisitor lets you       use a different search engine          To configure the setting for
simply type your query into         entirely. You can also assign          Inquisitor, in Safari go to Pref-
the search box. Apart from          customised keyboard shortcuts          erences and click the Inquisitor
assisting you with the regular      for each of them. The latest ver-      logo on the right. In Firefox,          Inquisitor is lightning fast on
auto complete feature and sug-      sion of Inquisitor also points to      select Add-ons from the tools           the iPhone
gestions, its search technology     alternative relevant links from        menu and locate Inquisitor
uses a system of just in-time       Amazon and Flickr based on             on the list. Click on Options to        without having to switch back
searching to show probable          the user preferences.                  change its settings. In Internet        to Safari.
results for your query, related                                            Explorer after starting a search             After going through the
websites as well as sugges-         UI design                              using the plugin, an option for         results if you choose to go
tions for refining your search      The most appealing part of             “Search Options…” will appear           through to a particular web-
while you are typing in your        the inquisitor plugin is its           at the bottom of the drop down          page or article by clicking on
search term. It personalises the    user interface design. The UI          list containing the results. Click      it, it will then be framed by the
results based on your search        presents results in large easy         on it to access the settings. Using     app. A toolbar is present at the
behaviour and keeps track of        to read grey boxes directly in         the settings you can change the         top of the app which allows
your search history and book-       your browser below the search          number of results displayed             you to go back to your search
marks to display results from       field where you type in your           and the default search engine.          results making the process
your browsing history as well.      query rather than opening a                                                    of navigation very fluid.
Inquisitor try’s to understand      new web page. The more let-            The Inquisitor                          You can always go out of the
your usage and preferences,         ters you type the more refined         iPhone App                              app into the iPhone’s regular
                                                                                   Inquisitor also comes in the    Safari browser to view the
                                                                                   form of an iPhone App. The      page. You can also choose to
                                                                                   App more or less works          email yourself or anyone else
                                                                                   like the browser plugin         the links for later viewing on
                                                                                   while the search results        your computer.
                                                                                   come streaming in without
                                                                                   being heavy on the iPhone       Orb
                                                                                   processor, or slowing           Orb is a freeware (though not
                                                                                   down your key strokes. It       open source) utility which
                                                                                   is worth mentioning that        empowers users to stream
                                                                                   the application is actually     their media to any Internet
                                                                                   ridiculously fast and effi-     connected device, be it a mobile
                                                                                   cient. You can see results      phone, a laptop or gaming con-
                                                                                   in the drop down being          soles like Xbox 360 or Nintendo
                                                                                   refined as you are typing       Wii. For the purpose of dem-
                                                                                   in your search term. More       onstration we shall be using
                                                                                   importantly it’s so fast that   a laptop as the media server
Search suggestions popout inside your browser                                      you can type in your query      and a Symbian 60v5 mobile

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                | vol 10: 75                                                  Digit | October 2010
Tips & Tricks

                                              to find the option for        is very intuitive. Whenever           list. In this tips and tricks sec-
                                              registering online.           you will first try to stream it       tion we’ll look at some of the
                                              The next step during          will do a self speed test, and        basics and touch upon some
                                              installation will be to       the results will be displayed         of the new features; such as
                                              select directories you        to you in Kilobits per second         version control through Snap-
                                              want Orb to index             on the bottom right. Just below       shots, multi-track mixing,
                                              in order to stream            that in the bottom center, there      extract audio feature and a
                                              your media. You can           is streaming quality selection        whole lot more.
                                              add multiple paths            bar, just click on any speed              For the purpose of this tuto-
                                              and it automatically          under or nearest to your net-         rial we played around with a
                                              searches for all kinds        work speeds, 80 might be a            few stock sounds downloaded
Search suggestions popout on iPhone           of media it supports,         good compromise. The top              from www.freesound.org – a
                                              recursively within            navigation bar lets you select        great resource for getting your
phone as the remote internet       the directories.                         between Photographs, Audio,           hands on different sound sam-
connected device.                       Once it has finished                Video, TV (Only if you have a         ples such as loops, bass lines,
    Orb has a Windows/Mac          indexing Orb will minimize to            TV tuner card, else you would         synths and riffs.
only client on the server side     an icon in your notification tray,       have to skip this option during
but on the remote device side      from where the Orb Control               installation) and File Browser        Customising
any device with a Web Browser      Panel can always be invoked to           mode, under each of them there        Workspace
and a streaming media player       change indexed media settings            is a similar interface with smart     Soundbooth’s default work-
will do. Hopefully Orb will        and other modifications. It is           selections like most played and       space is full of panels and each
come up with a Linux Client        recommended to have a decent             recently added.                       panel has several tabs such as
soon (your mileage with WINE       processor and ample RAM for                  One neat use we found of          Effects, Markers, History, Prop-
may vary) and then it can          smooth on the fly encoding.              Orb was its ability to access         erties etc. To the uninitiated it
proudly call itself completely                                              the integrated web cam of your        can all be a bit overwhelming.
platform independent.              On your mobile                           laptop if it has one, this can very   Thankfully Soundbooth allows
                                   For the handset, we used a               easily be used as basic surveil-      you to customise and save your
On your laptop                     Nokia 5800 (running Symbian              lance system. On a closing note       Workspace. There are three
As enunciated above, the           S60v5) as our remote device              we would like to point out that       main panels on the screen apart
laptop in this case will act       over an EDGE connection for              Orb enables the file browser          from the main Editor window
like the streaming server via      accessing the media. Point your          function by default, so you are       that shows your timelines. You
Orb. Orb can stream almost         web browser to http://mycast.            effectively streaming all your        can simply drag any of the
all kind of media including        orb.com/ and authenticate your-          files (not just in the indexed        tabs in the right panels into
photographs, audio and video.      self with the login credentials.         directories) over the internet,       whichever section you desire.
It is assumed that the laptop      It is important to note, that you        so tread carefully.                   On dragging a tab you get a 3d
has access to all the media you    should try and use the default                                                 box like indicator of where the
want to stream. The laptop is      web browser of your device and           Soundbooth CS4                        tab will be placed. Dropping
connected to a broadband           not a third-party application            Adobe Soundbooth has always           the tab when the central section
Internet connection, prefer-       such as Opera Mini or Opera              been the tool of choice for both      of the box is highlighted will
ably a proxy less line.            Mobile, the reason behind this           amateur and semi-profes-              add it as a new tab in the same
    Your first step would be to    is that Opera won’t be able to           sional sound editing enthusi-         panel. Many of the tabs such as
obtain the Orb Client suitable     launch your device’s media               asts and now in its CS4 edition       Properties, Video, Scores are
for your system, you can get it    player and instead will give             Soundbooth has added a whole          not really required for quick
either from http://www.orb.com/    you a ‘sdp’ link to download.            lot more of functionality to an       access and you can simply close
en/download_orb or if you are on        Past this point, the interface      already impressive features           them by clicking on the X in the
Windows then you can find a
copy of the latest setup (2.50+)
on the Mindware DVD.
    Installation has two major
steps, the first being regis-
tering for your Orb account,
if you already have one switch
to the ‘Login’ tab at the prompt
for registration and enter your
‘Login Name’ and ‘Password’.
If you don’t have an account,      You can change your
it is important to register at     streaming settings from the
this point as it will be difficult Control Panel                            Orb’s Interface on your remote device

Digit | October 2010                                                 | vol 10: 76                                              | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                              Tips & Tricks

tab name. Once you’ve cus-        more tracks from the same                The in and out points basi-
tomised the Workspace, click      dropdown by clicking Add              cally crop the clip. If you hover
on Window > Workspace >           Audio track.                          your mouse at the edges of the
New Workspace to save your                                              clip, the points will appear
workspace. If you want to go      On screen options                     automatically. You simple
back to the default workspace,    If you select a particular sound      drag left or right to crop. The
select Default from the drop-     clip on the timeline you will         edit button will open the clip
down menu at the top-right of     notice controls that allow you        in zoomed view. This allows
the screen.                       to add fades, adjust volume,          you to finely change certain ele-
                                  adjust panning, and edit in/          ments of the waveform. Once
Mixing multi-track                                                                                          On-Clip option to edit, change
files                                                                                                       volume and panning
Now this is one of the most
long-awaited features in                                                                                    if you were to save the project.
Soundbooth. This feature                                                                                    Which is why the new Snap-
                                                                                                            shot feature comes in handy. To
                                                                                                            save a particular state that your
                                                                                                            work is in, click the Snapshot
                                                                                                            button in the History panel. To
                                  Creating a multitrack file
                                                                                                            restore a Snapshot, click on the
                                                                                                            button and click the name of the
                                                                                                            Snapshot. This feature is very
                                                                                                            useful to get back to different
                                                                                                            states and try out different
                                                                                                            approaches to the processing
                                                                                                            that you’re doing.

                                                                                                            Adding Effects
                                                                                                            To add particular effects to a
                                                                                                            clip all you need to do is select
                                                                                                            the clip, and go into the edit
                                                                                                            function. Here you will find the
                                                                                                            effects panel consisting of the
                                  Mixing multiple tracks                                                    effects rack on the right hand
                                                                                                            side. You can click on Stereo
                                                                        you’re done with the edits you      Rack Preset to get a full list
Dragging the effects tab to the                                         can return to the main window       of effects presets that you can
middle panel                                                            by clicking on back.                apply. Once you’ve selected a
                                                                                                            preset, say a special effect called
allows you to layer one track                                           Versioning and                      Ethereal, the various sound
over another to create multi-                                           history                             processes component acting
instrument compositions. You                                            There are two ways to con-          upon the effect will be shown
can either play around with                                             trol versioning and history in      in the rack. You can click the
loops of different instruments                                          Soundbooth. The appli-
such as drums, bass and guitar                                          cation will keep a track
riffs or work on a simpler                                              of each and every step
project such as adding a back-    Adding fade                           you take while you’re
ground score to a voiceover.                                            working on your project.
The process is pretty simple.     out points. To add fades simply       The steps are displayed
When you first drag a file into   drag the boxes at the top right       in the history panel at
your editing workspace, you       or left hand corners of the           the bottom left corner
will instantly see its waveform   sound clip. A yellow line will        of the screen. You can
for the different channels. To    appear that reduces the volume        click on any of the steps
insert multiple tracks click on   of the clip along its slope. You      to go back to that pre-
the Tracks dropdown in the        will also notice buttons to           vious state. But the his-
editor and click Insert Wave-     adjust volume and panning i.e.        tory has a limitation – it
form into new Multitrack file.    spreading the sound signal into       will not be saved if you
After that you can add many       the left or right channel.            quit Soundbooth, even Adding effects

| www.thinkdigit.com                                             | vol 10: 77                                              Digit | October 2010
Tips & Tricks

green power button to acti-           variations are common. To
vate or deactivate a particular       match volume levels of two or
component. You can even cus-          more separate clips you need
tomise the effect by clicking on      to go to the Tasks tab in the left
the settings button for each of       panel and click on Volume Cor-
the effects components. Once          rection. Now drag and drop the
you’re done with it, simply click     files that you wish to process,
                                             into the given space. To
                                             get stats on the files such      The Autoheal feature in Soundbooth at work
                                             as Volume, Perceived
                                             Volume and Peak click            way in Soundbooth you will              as possible by hitting [Z] and
                                             on the little magnifying         feel the need for more short-           selecting the bit that you want
                                             glass button right next to       cuts. For a complete list of            to get rid of. Then hit the Auto
                                             the Match Volume button.         shortcuts, go to Edit > Key-            Heal button. What this will do
                                             Now, you can match the           board Shortcuts.                        is edit the pop or noise to blend
                                             volume to a specified                                                    in with the surrounding audio.
                                             RMS value such as say            Extract Audio
                                             -10 dB or match it to the        Sound booth allows you to               Normalising audio
                                             average volume of one            extract the audio from a video file     Normalisation takes the
                                             particular file. Tick the        and then work on it with the full       highest peak points of the
                                             relevant option and hit          range of editing options; not just      waveform and accordingly
                                             the Match Volume button.         volume etc. This is one of the new      raises the entire wave form pro-
                                             You will see a summary of        features introduced in CS4. To do       portionately. This doesn’t nec-
                                             the changes in dB levels         this first import the video file into   essarily make the clip louder
                                             that were made to the            Soundbooth but in a multitrack          but more uniform sounding. To
                                             various files.                   file [Ctrl]+Shift+[N]. In the           normalise a clip go into the edit
                                                                              Editor panel, click Extract Audio       view for that clip, hit Process
                                            Recording voice                   in the upper right of the video         > Normalize. Alternatively
Adjust and match your file’s volume         Once you launch Sound-            clip. Soundbooth will create an         you can use the shortcut
                                            booth you will see an             audio clip on a new track.              [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [N].
on Apply to File or Apply to          empty editing area. To start
Selection, whichever might be         recording a voice clip simply           Using Auto Heal                         USBWebserver
the case. Some of the effects are     click on the red button at the          The Auto Heal function allows           If you’re managing multiple
actually post production pre-         bottom of this empty editing            you to get rid of unwanted dis-         domains using Drupal with
sets to fix audio such as Remove      area. Alternatively you can             turbances that occur in your            USBWebserver and WinSCP,
Hiss. To find some of the most        also go to File > Record or             clips such as a loud noise or           imagine a scenario where you
standard effects, head to the         hit [Ctrl] + [R]. This will
Effects menu on the top menu          launch the recording dialog.
of the application.                   Here you just specify the
                                      source ie. Microphone device
Matching Volume                       and click record. Once done
Very often we need to work            name the file and click save.
with files or clips that vary
greatly in loudness. The varia-       Important shortcuts
tion can be within the clip itself    Since Soundbooth is an editing
or when compared to another           application it is of course more
clip. To be able to mix such files,   mouse friendly. Still, there
we have to make them sound            are a few keyboard shortcuts
the same volume level. There          that can help you get by in the
are two quick ways of doing           interface very quickly. The first       USBWebserver enables you to have all your site’s files on your
this - Volume Equalisation and        one every editing enthusiast            pen drive
Volume Matching. To equalise          should know is - [Space] for
volume within a clip select the       start and stop playing clip.            a pop. To use this function go          wouldn’t need to have your
Clip. Go to the edit view and         Switching quickly between               into the Remove a Sound option          web server in one static loca-
click on Processes>Equalize           the Time Selection tool [T], the        under the Tasks tab in the left         tion or computer. What if you
Volume Levels. This is espe-          Move tool [M], the Hand tool            panel. For removing a short             are a web developer on the fly
cially useful when working            [H], and the Zoom tool [Z] is           burst type noise from your              who works across multiple
with voice recordings where           important. As you make your             waveform zoom in as much                computers which are either

Digit | October 2010                                                   | vol 10: 78                                               | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                                                                   Tips & Tricks

not connected to each other, or                                                                                    should unpack into a drupal-
not on a web server connected                                                                                      x.x folder. You might have to
to the internet. What if you are                                                                                   change the permissions for
a developer who is testing out                                                                                     this particular site so that the
various versions of his site and                                                                                   installation file will automati-
just needs to present his plat-                                                                                    cally create a new configura-
form or web site to a client or                                                                                    tion file for drupal. Make sure
a friend and show how the site                                                                                     that writing is allowed onto
would look before it actually                                                                                      this directory by the web
goes live? It is all possible to                                                                                   server. The easiest way to set
do this by having a web server                                                                                     permissions to make it wri-
and the site installed on a USB                                                                                    table is by chmod o+w sites/
Drive and if you have the ability    Install the latest version of Drupal                                          default on the web server.
to launch a web server on any                                                                                         Next up is creating a data-
computer. All this can be done       you can take your work any-             PHP My Admin and MySQL              base specifically for Drupal.
without having to install any        where you go and not have               services. So basically all you      Create a new database through
software onto that computer or       to install any software on the          have to do is copy this folder      MySQLadmin by using the fol-
host your web site online.           computer you are presenting             onto a USB device like a pen        lowing command
                                             or temporarily working          drive or an external hard disk          mysqladmin –u db_user
                                             on. But it is important to      and run USBWebserver.               –p create drupaldb
                                             keep in mind that while
                                             a USB stick increases           Installing
                                             portability and con-            Drupal
                                             venience but is not the        Now let us look at
                                             fastest way to run a web       installing Drupal
                                             server.                        onto this port-
                                                                            able web server.
                                             Web Server on                  Drupal is one of
                                             USB                            the leading open
                                             USBWebserver is                source content
                                             a bundle of major              management
                                             web software like              systems prima-
Setting up USB webserver                     Apache,       MySQL,           rily based to run
                                             and PHP with addi-             on an Apache
    Traditionally to be able         tional features to help you            server running
to launch a dynamic web site         run them from a USB device             PHP. Download
you would have to install a          or simply a CD if necessary.           the most recent
web server bundle onto a com-        Since it supports PHP, you             non development Setting up site preferences
puter on which you would be          can install popular software           version of Drupal
working on. For this work-           platforms like WordPress and           from www.drupal.org. Drupal             Now login to MySQL and
shop we shall be considering         Drupal onto it. We will be using       comes with a net web inter-         set all permissions to allow the
the popular Apache, MySQL,           Drupal later on in this work-          face for easy quick installation    drupal installation to make the
PHP bundle. The bundle lets          shop to illustrate the manage-         of the package. Just unpack the     necessary changes to complete
you host your pages and data-        ment of multiple domains. You          contents of the downloaded file     its installation
bases required by your web           can install the latest version         and place the contents of the           Mysql –u db_user –p
site on a local server. Similarly,   of USBWebserver from www.              file into the root directory of         GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES
while deploying your site on         usbwebserver.net.                      your USB web server. The file       ON drupaldb.* TO nobody@
the internet you would need             Once you have downloaded                                                    localhost IDENTIFIED
to lease or setup your own           the file, all you need to do is                                                BY ‘password’;
physical web server and the site     unzip the file to extract the                                                       flush privileges;
would be accessible through a        folder with the necessary files.                                                    Note that here the
unique domain.                       Note that there is no actual                                                   drupaldb is the database
    To make any changes to           installation required. To run                                                  Drupal will be using to store
the site you would need to use       the server it’s as simple as                                                   its tables and ‘nobody@local-
an FTP client like File Zilla or     executing the usbwebserver.                                                    host’ will be your database
WinSCP. With the convenience         exe file present in this folder.                                               account and the password
of being able to setup a web         Executing the file will launch       Follow the on screen instructions for     for this database user will
server on a USB stick though,        the Apache server along with         installing Drupal                         be ‘password’. Make use of

| www.thinkdigit.com                                                  | vol 10: 79                                              Digit | October 2010
Tips & Tricks

your own username password                                                                                     uses the SSH protocol for secu-
as required.                                                                                                   rity and the FTP protocol same
    Now you are all set to run the                                                                             as FileZilla. WinSCP is also avail-
Drupal installation program by                                                                                 able as a portable stand-alone
running your web server and                                                                                    executable removing the neces-
accessing the localhost. Open                                                                                  sity for installing it on a machine.
the Drupal installation from         Edit directories to make correct database information                         WinSCP acts as a remote
the root of your web server                                                                                    editor where a user just has to
and the installation will run        php file from the default sites        second domain to follow the        click on a file on the web server
automatically through your           folder in the Drupal directory         instructions to install your new   and it is transferred to their local
web browser. You just have           into each of these individual          domain. Multiple domains are       integrated text editor where he
to follow the instructions on        domain directories you will be         also possible.                     can make the necessary changes.
screen to complete the installa-     administering using Drupal.                                               Whenever the document is saved,
tion. When asked to setup your       You have to edit each of these         Secure transfer                    the changes are committed to the
database connection, use the         directories so that they have the      WinSCP which stands for Win-       remote server automatically.
same settings you used above.        correct database information           dows Secure Copy is a free open
Since we are planning to use         in them. In most cases you just        source SFTP client which can       Connecting to
similar databases for other          have to make a unique prefix           be used on Windows for secure      remote server
future Drupal installations, be      for each of the databases linked       transfer of files using the SSH    WinSCP can be downloaded
sure to change the prefix in the     to each domain to make main-           protocol. Using WinSCP you can     for free from www.winscp.net.
“Advanced” options. Make sure        tenance easier. If not already         securely transfer files between    While installing WinSCP the
you choose the “multi-domain”        done just point your second            your local and any remote com-     installer gives you an option
option during the Drupal                                                                                       between a Norton Commander
installation process.                                                                                          like interface and a Windows
    After you have completed                                                                                   Explorer like interface. The
the process of installation and                                                                                Norton Commander like inter-
setup your administrative                                                                                      face has two panels one with the
details go to the root folder                                                                                  local computer directory and the
again and login to configure                                                                                   other with the remote computer
your settings. There are five                                                                                  directory while the explorer like
sections you should be going                                                                                   interface shows only the remote
through and setting up. These                                                                                  directory information. Once you
include content management,                                                                                    are done with the installation
user management, reports, site                                                                                 you need to set up a secure con-
building and site configuration.                                                                               nection with the remote server.
                                                                                                                  Open the WinSCP client and
Using Drupal to                                                                                                navigate through the menu to
manage multiple                        Secure login for file transfer                                          expand the sessions tab. Enter
Domains                                                                                                        the ost name, port number,
To setup Drupal to manage            domain to the Drupal direc-            puter. WinSCP also has file        user name and password of the
multiple domains proceed to          tory on your server and go to          managing and automated file        remote server, generally an IP of
the root directory of the web        the install.php page on your           synchronisation capabilities. It   the computer the web server is
server and in the Drupal direc-                                                                                running on if you are connected
tory under the sites folder make                                                                               through your local LAN. Finally
a new folder and rename it to                                                                                  pick your preferred protocol.
match the second domain you                                                                                    While you establish your con-
are going to manage using                                                                                      nection you will be prompted for
Drupal apart from your pri-                                                                                    a pass phrase which is created
mary domain. You can follow                                                                                    during the ssh key pair gen-
structures like sites/site.com,                                                                                eration. Once you have made a
sites/site.com.folder1, or sites/                                                                              connection and have a running
sumdomain.site.com.                                                                                            session you can perform all the
    Here site.com is the new                                                                                   basic standard FTP actions. The
domain Drupal will be man-                                                                                     only difference is that this would
aging and site.com/folder1 and                                                                                 be a highly secure connection.
subdomain.site.com also are                                                                                    You can keep your connection
part of this domain. Next you                                                                                  details saved in the Stored Ses-
will have to copy the settings.      Select the interface that best suits your style of work                   sions subsection.

Digit | October 2010                                                 | vol 10: 80                                            | www.thinkdigit.com
                                               Blackberry ban delayed                           Google Wave
                                               Blackberry ban delayed by 60 days after          Google Wave is said to completely disappear in 2011; in
 Toolbox                                       RIM proposes a plan                              the meantime, an export feature is expected

 Networking queries, software problems
 and the same old virus or two...
 Just another day for Digit QnA…..

      Will Mac OS X run fine on                          sure that the disk is properly inserted or        Internet Explorer. Try another browser
      my PC?                                             that you are connected to the Internet or         to see if it works. Also, update Internet
 I wanted to know whether my system is                   your network, and then try again. If it still     Explorer to the latest version.
 compatible with Mac OS X Leopard.                       cannot be located the information might
 I’ve attached a log report generated by                 have been moved to a different location."             Monitor trouble
 HWiNFO32 for my system. Please check                    There were also no icons on my desktop            I have an LG LCD 17-inch monitor
 and tell me about the compatibility.                    with the exception of the recycle bin. It         (L177WSB). I think it’s over a couple of
                                   Abhishek              happens within 5 or 10 days, but not daily.       years old. Several horizontal lines and some
                                                         My K7 Total Security Antivirus is up to           black spots have started appearing on the
     It's hard to say whether your system                date. The Sony Service Centre says it’s a         screen. The monitor is under its warranty
 is compatible with Mac OS X. Mac OS                     virus problem.                                    period, but the problem is I have lost my
 X officially doesn’t support components                                               Ranjeet Kumar       warranty card and purchasing receipt,
 most PCs are built on. Also, those who                                                                    please suggest how I can replace or repair
 run Mac OS X use hacked and modded                          The problem could be due to a worm,           my monitor. I’m from Guwahati, is there
 copies that have to use custom drivers                  virus or even corrupted hard drive. Use           any servicing center in Guwahati?
 to work.                                                the SFC or SCANNOW command in the                                                    Tallo Kano
                                                         command prompt to fix the problem.
      Windows 7 theme                                    You can also try restoring the Windows                It's definitely a problem with your
      won’t go                                           installation to a previous time using             display. You can try contacting LG's Cus-
 I recently loaded a new Windows 7 theme.                System Restore. The Repair mode in the            tomer Care at 1860 180 9999. Also, we
 It showed up during startup, but I deleted              Windows installation will also work.              suggest you retain your bill of purchase,
 it because I didn’t like it. However, I still           Sony might have provided a recovery               in the future so that you can present a
 see it. What should I do? The configura-                system which can be used to restore the           copy of it when required. In case you
 tion of my Dell PC is as follows:                       drive to its initial state. Just remember         don’t have a bill, we recommend you get
 1. Intel Core2duo E7500(2.93 GHz)                       that you might lose data while doing so.          a duplicate copy from the seller. If none
 2. 3 GB RAM                                                                                               of these help, please go through our
 3. 320 GB hard disk space                                    Error while browsing                         monthly Consumer Protection section
                             Kushal Maheswari                 the web                                      that talks on the steps you need to take to
                                                         Recently when browsing the web page               safeguard your interests as a consumer.
     The theme may not have been unin-                   Hummaa.com, I started getting an error
 stalled properly. Deleting the theme may                message "stack overflow at line No:1".                Will two operating
 not fix it. Try reinstalling it, and then                 My PC is an Intel Core 2 Quad with                  systems slow down my PC?
 remove the theme through the software.                  Windows 7 Home Premium. I have a 320              I want to install Windows 7 Ultimate and
 Finally, uninstall the software.                        kbps MTNL connection. Please help me              Windows XP Service Pack 3.
                                                         what I can do to stop this error message             I have the following configuration:
      Windows problems on my                                                 Krishnakumar Panicker            AMD Athlon II X4 630
      Sony VAIO laptop                                      The error could be due to a bug in                ASUS M4A785D-M PRO
 I have a Vaio VPCEB16FG LAPTOP.                         your browser. I'm assuming you’re using              4GB DDR2 RAM
 When I boot my laptop,                                                                                                   500GB Seagate Barracuda
 a “location not available                                                                                             72000.12
 C:Windowssystem32                                                                                                        Windows 7 Home Basic
 configsystemprofiledesktop”                                                                                              Will installing it slow down
 message appears. It could                                                                                             my computer? Will there be
 be on a hard drive on this                                                                                            any other problem, or can I
 computer or on a network. It                                                                                          proceed?
 further says “Check to make  Missing location errors maybe caused by a worm or virus                                                          Rahul Roy

94 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                 Fujitsu Lifebook AH530
  Cisco Skype                                                    Fujitsu launches the Lifebook AH530 with
  There are rumours that Cisco                                   an onboard Radeon HD550 graphics solution
  might be looking to buy Skype                                  and an optional Blu-ray drive                                           Q&A

    Installing two or more operating              Can you please guide me through the         that don't have the option to export to any
systems will not slow down the system          process of setting up a switch?                other format.
at all. If you own a copy of Windows 7            I have never handled a switch before,
Ultimate and Windows XP, by all means,         and dont know if it is plug and play or            Driver installation failure
install them.                                  needs to configured. And also provide          I am using a Samsung GT s3310. I want
                                               alternate options if possible.                 to access the internet on my Dell PC via
    Faster performance with                                                        Kaushik    my Phone. So I installed the PC Studio.
    flash memory?                                                                             After sometime it asked "Want to install
Is there any way I could use a pen drive            Firstly, I'm not sure what the terms      drivers?" When I select Yes, it automati-
as system memory? I had read an article        and conditions of the connection are. You      cally shows "Failed to install drivers”. My
online, but forgot about it.                   can't split up the connection at the cable     PC configuration is: RAM 4 GB, Windows 7,
                                   Jastinit    end. The easiest way is to use a router.       Core i3, 320 GB hard disc, 512 MB graphics
                                               A switch will only let you setup connec-       card. Is my PC faulty or does the problem
    What you saw might have been               tions between multiple PCs, but may not        lie with the software? Can you provide the
the ReadyBoost feature on Windows 7            let you share the internet connection.         software with your October issue?
which uses a performance flash drive to        You'll need to set up one of your PCs as                                   Aritra Chatterjee
improve performance. From what we've           a gateway, and have the other connect to
seen though, there isn't a distinguishable     it through a switch. This main PC must              The error you are facing might be
boost in performance. If you use Win-          always be on if you want internet access       because of the OS. If your PC runs 64-bit
dows 7, you can try it out for yourself.       on the other PC. Windows has an inbuilt        Windows, you might face problems with
                                               internet sharing feature that can be used      drivers. Visit Samsung's site and check
    Splitting connection                       to achieve what you're trying to do.           if there are any versions available for
    into two                                                                                  64-bit Windows 7. Also, check for any
I have a YouTelecom 512 Mbps broadband             Opening Ubuntu                             updates for 32-bit Windows 7 if your
(Password & Login Required) connection.            documents on Windows                       laptop uses it.
It uses a cable modem. I want to split the     I recently bought a Dell Laptop of follow-
connection into two - one for my desktop       ing configuration:                                 Multiple queries
and the other for my friend's laptop. A           P8700 2.57 GHz Core 2 Duo Intel             I have an Acer Aspire 5738 laptop with
router is not an option, since we are really   Processor                                      4GB DDR3 RAM with 320GB hard disk
tight on budget.                                  4 GB DDR2 RAM                               and Intel Core2duo processor. I access
   Both PCs may be used at the same               500 GB hard drive                           the internet using my Samsung mobile
time, or individually also. I’m consider-         Windows 7 operating system.                 using Samsung PC suite. I use Windows 7
ing buying a cheap 5 port switch that I           Along with Windows 7, I recently            Ultimate edition 32 bit. Whenever I remove
saw online. However, the You Telecom           installed Ubuntu on my laptop as I need it     the mobile cable from my laptop without
guys says that a switch won’t work and         in college.                                    disconnecting the internet connection,
that I need to opt for a Proxy or Router.         Is there any software that can convert      Windows 7 hangs and doesn’t shut down.
Is this true?                                  documents created in Ubuntu into the           This problem does not occur if I use XP on
                                               format that can be accessed in Windows         the same system. Why does this happen,
                                               or vice-versa?                                 and how do I avoid this?
                                                                                   Upendra        Also, Mozilla Firefox usually hangs
                                                   OpenOffice gives the user the option       while surfing the net. I even repaired
                                               to export to other formats                     and reinstalled it but in vain. Please give
                                               Windows NTFS partitions should be              me a solution.
                                               accessible from Ubuntu. Saving files on            When I use Norton Ghost Backup,
                                               the Windows partition will allow you to        it restarts my sytem in DOS mode and
                                               open them once you boot into Windows.          starts backing up. But during backup, the
                                               Being able to read those files depends on      bar doesn’t move beyond 0 per cent. Even
                                               the format and software being used.            when I leave it for hours. Why?
                                               If you are using Openoffice on Ubuntu              (iv) I have 4 GB of RAM. So should i use
                                               to create documents, you can use               64 bit? What is he difference between 32
                                               OpenOffice for Windows to open those           bit and 64 bit?
                                               files as well.                                                           Sarvesh Srivastava
                                                   The only files that won't be readable
Missing location errors maybe caused by a      would be the ones created by software             The lockups might be because of a
worm or virus                                  not available on Windows or the ones           bug or compatibility issue between the

                                                                                                      Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 95
                            Goodbye ATI                                               Nokia’s new phone
                            AMD bids farewell to the ATI brand, graphics card         Nokia India has launched the X2, its latest music
 Toolbox                    will be rebranded as AMD Radeon and AMD FireGL            phone in the Indian market for approximately `6,500

                                                                    that we can share files            Airtel broadband connection and network
                                                                    without using pen drives.          ports are:
                                                                    But now our cable is not              One Airtel Wi-Fi modem Binatone and
                                                                    working. I want to know            one dt845w with four wired ports. Two
                                                                    how can we check whether           desktop PCs with wired connection. Three
                                                                    the cross cable is fine            laptop with wireless connection.
                                                                    or not?                            100 feet apart my office, the network
                                                                       Also, I have an MTNL            without internet connection contains.
                                                                    broadband internet connec-         1 BSNL ZTE ZXDSLl 531b Wi-Fi modem
                                                                    tion with 200 MB download          with 4 wired port: 1 no.
                                                                    free. I want to know if there      2 Desktop PC wired connection: 2 no.
                                                                    is any command or method           3 Laptop with wireless connection: 2 nos.
                                                                    by which I can come to know           I want to share internet access and files
                                                                    how much I have down-              between my home and office without wires
                                                                    loaded so that I do not exeed      and if possible without any new networking
 Missing location errors maybe caused by a worm or virus            my limit.                          hardware. Wi-Fi shouldn't loose wireless
                                                                                    Rakesh Kumar       connectivity to office laptops.
                                                                                                                                        Sushil Sen
 PC and the phone. Update to the latest                   There's only one way to find out of the
 version of the software.                             cable is fine or not - connect to any other          What you need is a wireless access
    The Firefox problem might be a bug                PCs. Worst case, even if the cable is dam-       point that connects to your home router.
 with the current version. Try deleting               aged, it's not very expensive to replace.        There should be no walls or obstruc-
 the Firefox application data folder - C:\            We’re not aware of a command but you             tions between the two wireless devices
 Users\Username\AppData\Roaming                       can use a small software called Netmeter         for it to be within range. If that works,
 and C:\Users\Username\AppData\                       (http://www.metal-machine.de/read-               you should be able to connect to the
 Local. Then, try reinstalling Firefox.               error/). It shows the current upload and         Wi-Fi router in your office. If the router
    Norton Ghost’s backup time maybe                  download speeds as well as logs amount           isn't in range, you will have to setup a
 due to the size of the partitions being              of data transferred.                             Wi-Fi repeater or amplifier in between.
 backed up. If you've set the compression                                                              Then, connect to this new access point
 level as high, it takes much longer. Using                Monitor controls                            from your home and you should be able
 64-bit Windows will allow you to use the                  gone haywire                                to access the internet.
 entire 4 GB of memory. 32-bit operating              I am facing some problem with my moni-
 systems allow a little more than 3 GB                tor. My PC configuration is dual core                 Starting out
 of memory.                                           2.8 GHz, 160 GB hard disk and all other          I am regular subscriber of Digit. I am
                                                      components from HCL company. I bought            going to start a cyber cafe. I can install
      Networking problems                             my PC in 2007, and my problem is my PC           LAN using a switch for 5 computers.
 My friend and I live on different floors             monitor continuously showing contrast            But I do not know how to share single
 in same society. We have connected                   information on screen. It automatically          internet connection among 5 PCs.Will I
 our computers using a cross cable so                 increases contrast and also disturbes me         be able to use internet connection on all
                                                            while working. It continuously shows       PCs if I connect DSL cable (Cable inter-
                                                            me contrast information on screen.         net) to the switch.
                                                                                 Laxmikanth Joshi                                   Rajesh Kumar

                                                                The problem might be with                  A switch will not be able to dis-
                                                            the buttons on the display. There's        tribute internet connections to your
                                                            pretty much no other reason you            five PCs. With a switch, you’ll need to
                                                            might be facing that problem. Try          setup a primary server that receives the
                                                            pressing on all the buttons one after      internet connection and then distrib-
                                                            another in case they're jammed             utes it other PCs through the switch
                                                            in. The only solution is to take it to     using Internet sharing. You will need
                                                            HCL's service centre for repair.           two LAN cards on the primary server
                                                                                                       for this kind of setup. A easier solution
                                                                Wi-Fi problem                          would to purchase an ADSL router that
 Netmeter keeps track of the amount of data                 I want to connect my office and            has multiple wired ports to connect to
 downloaded and upload on a connection                      home wirelessly. My home has an            the different PCs directly.

96 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                     Norton reports                                                                     High-Def Hacked
                     A study conducted by Norton reports that nearly two-thirds of internet users       HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection)
                     globally and almost three-quarters in the U.S. have fallen victim to cybercrime,   keeps devices such as Blu-ray players and HD set-
 Toolbox             with even worse numbers in China, where 83 per cent have been hacked               top boxes protected, has been hacked

                                                                                                                        while growing up. You use one
                                                                                                                        of the laser pointers and direct
                                                                                                                        its beam at the laser receiver
                                                                                                                        we’re building.
                                                                                                                            The basic component that
                                                                                                                        detects the laser is a simple
                                                                                                                        light dependent resistor (LDR).
                                                                                                                        We discussed about electronic
                                                                                                                        components in this month’s
                                                                                                                        webinar on our website at www.
                                                                                                                        If you read through our pres-
                                                                                                                        entation, you’ll get a better
                                                                                                                        understanding of what a light
                                                                                                                        dependent resistor is.
                                                                                                                            The laser beam should be
                                                                                                                        incident on the LDR during
                                                                                                                        normal operation of the circuit.
                                                                                                                        In the event of an intrusion, the
                                                                                                                        laser network that you’ll create
                                                                                                                        using tiny mirrors is obstructed.
                                                                                                                        The LDR detects this obstruc-
                                                                                                                        tion and in conjunction with
                                                                                                                        the transistor interprets it as a

 Secure your
                                                                                                                        change in state. The resultant
                                                                                                                        change in electrical signals trig-
                                                                                                                        gers the buzzer to alert anyone
                                                                                                                        around you of the ongoing theft

                                                                                                                        attempt. Vigilant neighbours
                                                                                                                        and friends are all you need to
                                                                                                                        foil the intrusion attempt.

                                                                                                                        Identifying your

 the smarter way                                                                                                        The picture alongside gives
                                                                                                                        you a glimpse of the compo-
                                                                                                                        nents you are going to use for
 With every instance of shopping sprees indulge in, there is a                                                          this DIY. The buzzer has two
 higher possibility of theft that haunts us. We show you how                                                            wires – one red and the other
 you could safeguard your possesions in just `100!                                                                      blue. Connect the red wire to
                                                                                                                        the positive terminal, and the

 Nash David                                    technology that goes along         month is really simple. What is
 nash.david@thinkdigit.com                     with it. We’re talking about       critical is the set up. Although       What you will need:
                                                                                                                         Transistor 2N3904 – 1 no.

                                               you being able to safeguard        you’ll find several versions and       Capacitor: 1000uF – 1 no.
      f you’ve seen the 1999                   your valuables, so that you        alternatives available to achieve      Laser pointer
      Hollywood movie Entrap-                  can enjoy a good night’s sleep.    the same ulterior motive, we’re        LDR
                                                                                                                         Resistor: 10K
      ment starring Catherine                  If someone wants to steal from     presenting you this circuit            Breadboard
      Zeta-Jones, you’ll know                  you, they should at least have     purely for its simplicity and          Piezo buzzer (3 – 12 V)
 exactly what we’re talking                    a tough time getting past your     efficiency. It’s so simple you can     9V battery – 1 no.
                                                                                                                         Battery snap
 about here. No we’re not inter-               security shield.                   build it even if you don’t know        A pack of tiny mirrors, commonly
 ested in the attractive female                                                   anything about electronics. To         available with tailoring shops
 secret agents steering through                This is how it works               take you through its working,          specialising in embroidery work.
                                                                                                                         Fevikwik for fixing your
 laser controlled security sys-                The working principle of the       we use one of those laser key          mirror pieces
 tems! We’re excited about the                 circuit we’re building this        chains that we’re used to seeing

98 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Google Apps doubly secure                                        Phishing galore
  Google Apps is launching two-factor verification, allowing       A Spanish security firm called PandaLabs estimates 57,000 sites
  the capability to verify a person’s identity with a code         designed to look like other popular sites go up on the web each week.
  sent to the user’s mobile device                                 These phishers try to trick users into handing over personal details           DIY





Components for your new security system                                   The 10 kilo ohm resistor is connected to the base of the transistor

other wire to the negative ter-
minal. The transistor is an NPN
transistor and has three termi-
nals known as collector, base                                                                                        10k
and emitter. You can identify
the terminals from the photo or                                                                                                                LDR
you can also refer to a datasheet.
If you place the circular side of
the case to the left (resembling a                                                                                                            2N3904
C), with the flat side to the right
and the terminal facing down,
then the terminal towards you
is the emitter. The terminal in                                                                                                 0V
the middle is the base and the         Create a mesh around your belongings using LASER and mirrors     Just four components as you can see
terminal on top is the collector.                                                                       in the circuit diagram
ie. The terminal on top of your       try and recollect now, the ter-     the transistor (base ans
C is the collector, the middle is     minals from left to right are       emitter). Connect the buzzer            job. Now, you are left with
the base and the terminal on the      emitter, base and collector.        between the third terminal of           craft work literally. Strategi-
base of your C is the emitter. The       Connect the LDR between          the transistor (collector) and a        cally place the mirrors such
LDR or light dependent resistor       the two terminals to the left of    new point X on the board. To            that they are not easily visible
has two terminals with a                                                    this point, connect one ter-          and create a amesh of LASER
wavy line on it.                                                            minal of the resistor (10K).          around your valuables. We
                                                                            The other terminal of the             prefer mirrors because other
Connecting the                                                              resistor connects to the col-         reflective materials tend to
components                                                                  lector of the transistor.             dissipate or distort the beams,
together                                                                        To the common point               thereby causing problems
You can start with a bread-                                                 between the resistor and the          with the sensitivity of the
board to test this project so                                               red wire of the buzzer, con-          circuit. There’s no limit to the
that you don’t get frustrated                                               nect the red wire (positive) of       network you could form by the
if it doesn’t work. As you can                                              the battery. Similarly, connect       mirrors. All you need to do is
see, the circuit is very small                                              the black wire (negative) of          ensure that the beam finally
and simple. With just three                                                 the battery to the emitter of         falls on the LDR in normal
components in it, you should                                                the transistor.                       circumstances. This way your
be able to get it without any                                                                                     buzzer will be off in normal
prior knowledge of elec-                                                    You’re done...really!                 state. If you want a more per-
tronics. To start, place the                                                Believe it or not, half your          manent solution, solder the
transistor on the breadboard,                                               work is done. Although, by            components together and keep
as shown in the photo – the                                                 way of constructing the cir-          the LDR concealed so that the
flat side facing you. If you’d You can now relax                            cuit you’ve completed your            LASER beam is not seen.

                                                                                                              Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 99
                                                      Reading redefined                            3D mirror on the wall...
                                                      Are ebook readers here to transform          German TV maker Ad Notam’s 46-inch

   Digital life                                 102   the way we read? We look at what the
                                                      future holds
                                                                                                   mirror monitor converts 2D content into
                                                                                                   Above & Below or side-by-side 3D format

                                                                                         Icon A5
                                                                                         A personal aircraft that runs on both auto and
                                                                                         aviation gas, does not require a professional
                                                                                         commercial pilot license, is capable of landing
                                                                                         on both land and water, its consoles and meters
                                                                                         are designed like any sports car interiors for
                                                                                         ease of use. What more can you ask for? Not a
                                                                                         lot perhaps, since you’re only paying $139,000!
                                                                                         Start saving...

                                                                  Roth MC4
                                                                  The MC4 is a tube amp for Apple iPod / iPhone.
                                                                  You can pop in any other MP3 player apart
                                                                  from the iPod as well. This dock produces pure
                                                                  hi-fi tube sound, and can be connected to your
                                                                  PC or laptop too. Its main USP is the vacuum
                                                                  tubes that amplify never-before-heard sounds,
                                                                  giving you a new listening experience.

    Hasselblad H3DII-50
               An ideal camera for
     professionals, the Hasselblad
      houses a 50 megapixel CCD
    sensor and is a multi-shot full
     colour camera. It can capture
   four shots in a row, records full
      RGB values at each position
        by moving the sensor one
       pixel between shots. Go out
      and start shooting with this
     high-end camera for $52,128.

100 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
Sleek Schulte                                                    Compute bling!
The EVOline Vertical speaker lookalike docking station           Computer Choppers now offer you the option of plating
from Schulte Elektrotechnik features international               your iPad with 24kt gold, studding it with diamonds
sockets and a movable design                                     among many other precious stones and metals                       Drool maal

                                                                                                             Vusix iWear VR920
                                                                                                             Don’t just stare at the screen
                                                                                                             be a part of it...and with the
                                                                                                             iWearVR 920 that’s exactly
                                                                                                             what you can do. This device
                                                                                                             is capable of showing 3D
                                                                                                             content on a 62-inch screen
                                                                                                             at a perceived distance of
                                                                                                             9 feet, and also supports
                                                                                                             NVIDIA’s stereo drivers.
                                                                                                             Just $400 too.

                             Ryobi Tek4 4V 8 MP Digital Camera
                             Meet the big daddy of all durable and rugged cameras.
                             The Ryobi TEK4 has some cool features – steel lens
                             protection that protects its 3x lens, even when it’s
                             extended, it’s dust- and water-proof, impact resistant,
                                                          and also sports a flash light
                                                          that can light-up objects
                                                          up to 15 feet away. It shoots
                                                          in 8 megapixel and comes
                                                          with a 1GB SD card. But the
                                                          coolest thing in the price, a
                                                          mere $199.

                                                     Cabestan’s Nostromo
                         A look at this watch and you would probably think –
                        but how do I tell time? The catch is that the Cabestan’s
                             Nostromo doesn’t work and look like your normal
                         watch. A series of gears power up this watch and the
                      current time is displayed in the top left corner. It’s made
                        of titanium with a coating of phosphorescence on top.
                                                     Yours for only $1,41,400!

                                                                                                        Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 101
                                            India at work                                                 Wink
                                            India’s answer to Amazon, Infibeam also has a                 EC Media, another Indian company has also
                                            range of ebooks and an ebook reader the Pi that               launched the Wink reader that supports
  Digital life                              displays several Indian languages                             English, Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi

                                                                                                          novel or book using dedicated hardware.

read ng
                                                                                                          This concept was popularised by Amazon
                                                                                                          with its classic Kindle Reader in 2007.
                                                                                                          In the three years of its business in this
                                                                                                          product category, Amazon has revamped
                                                                                                          the Kindle through 3 generations. The

    redef ned
                                                                                                          current one being Kindle 3 announced
                                                                                                          in July this year. It’s slimmer, faster
                                                                                                          and cheaper than the earlier models.

                                                                                                          Consumer leanings
                                                                                                          E-ink is indeed pleasant to read. Digit
                                                                                                          community member Sanket Naik

                                                                                                          believes in urban India, space and
  Nash David                                                           nowledge has been regarded         storage of a book collection is a major
  nash.david@thinkdigit.com                                            as the epitome of power, for       concern. Due to space constraints, he
                                                                       as long as we can remember.        prefers eBook readers to print. Also,
                                                                       In fact, most modern day           he finds it uncomfortable to read
           “The man who                                   thinkers advocate technology for the very       more than 20 pages at one stretch on

            does not read                                 sake of advancement, with the genesis
                                                          of the idea lying in better knowledge.
                                                                                                          a laptop or LCD display. That’s one of
                                                                                                          the highlights and advantage of e-ink.
       good books has no                                  Ever since Gutenberg printed the Bible
                                                          on his press in 1439, generations have
                                                                                                              Another Digit reader, Milind Shah
                                                                                                          prefers software and apps for mobile
         advantage over                                   been transformed. The most significant          and smartphone platforms (BlackBerry,

       the man who can’t                                  one being the abolishment of slavery in
                                                          the United States owing to the advo-
                                                                                                          Android, iPhone), iPad and PC, rather
                                                                                                          than buying an eBook reader. According
             read them.”                                  cacy of freedom, liberty and equality.
                                                              Since the days of Gutenberg and his
                                                                                                          to Shah, “with these apps, you no longer
                                                                                                          need an ebook reader. This does away
                                 - Mark Twain             revolutionary press, the printing and           with the need for paper”. Effectively, is
                                                          publishing industry has witnessed a             the transition from paper to eBooks really
                                                          phenomenal growth, spiralling over              worth it? One major concern is the effect
                                                          centuries. Flipping through the ages            of paper production on the environment.
                                                          (and pages) and stepping into our era,          Another Digit reader says she doesn’t
                                                          the internet has enfolded the busi-             need another gadget to spoil her eyes and
                                                          ness of knowledge with its vast web.            rather prefers good old books with paper.
                                                              In our age, information has been
                                                          available through waves, wires and of           Market research findings
                                                          course, the all inclusive web. It’s hard to     Echoing the growing concern to the
                                                          think of a life void of these three. The love   print and publishing industry is For-
                                                          of reading while tanning has sustained a        rester Research with its report that
                                                          thriving industry now witnessing down-          recommends “strategists planning the
                                                          ward spirals in its DNA. If the w3 we           next wave of ebook readers diversify the
                                                          spoke of wasn’t enough, there’s eBooks.         portfolio of eReading devices to secure
                                                              We all know what happened to the            their ownership of the reading experi-
                                                          paging industry not too long ago. A             ence, offering devices that range from
                                                          text-only means of communication                stripped-down $49 pocket readers to
                                                          could never sustain itself with a much          full-color touch readers that erase the
                                                          better conglomerate of voice, data, text        gap between today's ebook readers and
                                                          and video at lower costs. With books,           tablet PCs.” Clearly, the single largest
                                                          we’re witnessing a similar scenario.            threat to eBook Readers appears to be in
                                                              To satiate your thirst for knowledge,       the form of tablet PCs, at least for now.
                                                          and especially reading, the latest offering     But, a `1,500 ebook reader – really?
                                                          is that of eBook readers. The idea is to be         Eventually, there’s one question that
                                                          able to read a digital copy (PDF, TXT or        still dodges us. Why use eBook readers
                                                          the rather secure ePub) of your favourite       – for convenience, cost or charm? In the

102 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  What about 35?                                                       Kindle’s selling
  India’s cheap $35 tablet could be a nice deal as a                   Amazon’s latest Kindle model, the Kindle 3 has proved
  reader, but at the cost of readability and comfort                   to be the most successful ebook reader till date                        Geek life

present market scenario, eBooks come at                                                                  advertising rose by a compound annual
a price. In emerging economies such as                                                                   growth rate (CAGR) of 4 per cent,
India, even `6,000 for an ebook reader is                                                                circulation went up by just 1.9 per cent
still on the high considering the fact that                                                              between 2003 and 2007. This does
technological penetration and consump-                                                                   speak of alternative sources for content
tion is limited to the lofty. The USP of most                                                            for the consumer. Does it mean online
ebook readers is either its display (often                                                               content, piracy, or ebook readers?
promoted as glare free or e-ink), or the                                                                     We know for sure ebook readers are
number of formats it supports. In stark                                                                   not responsible for the slow growth in
contrast, according to figures gathered                                                                    these figures. The industry picked up
by an authoritative body on the print and                                                                   only post 2007 with the launch of the
publishing industry PIRA, “Amazon has                                                                       Amazon Kindle. What is universally
been growing its digital book range since                                                                    agreed by all analysts globally is that
the launch of the Kindle in 2007 and                                                                         advertising will increase significantly
in August 2009 added 13,713 titles. In                                                                        (by double digit figures in the online
July 2009, Barnes and Noble in the US                                                                         and digital space in BRIC countries
was offering 7,00,000 titles. Putting                                                                          such as Brazil, China and India.
this growth in perspective, according                                                                              From a more practical stand-
to the Association of American                                                                                 point, PlasticLogic’s ProReader
Publishers, between 2002 and 2008,                                                                            (announced at CES 2010, but later
e-book sales grew at a compound annual                 per cent. Clearly this trend will impact          scrapped) held great potential. It’s no
rate of 58 per cent, compared to 1.6 per               paper demand. For paper producers in              coincidence these kneejerk moves are a
cent for the overall book industry. Adding             North America and Europe, the situation           result of 3 million iPads selling in just
to the woes of paper producers, Amazon                 is exacerbated by the continued growth            3 months of its launch. If you’re still
announced at the start of October 2009                 of books imported from the Far East. For          wondering what the future could be,
that for all books it sells in both print and          example, Asia exported almost $1.5 billion        the October 2008 issue of Esquire, a
e-book versions, Kindle versions now                   worth of books into the US during 2007.”          men’s magazine could hold the key. This
account for 48 per cent of unit sales. Six                 Definitely, eBook readers do pose a           issue has the world’s first e-ink cover.
months earlier the figure was around 12                threat to the paper and print industry.           Watch a video on http://is.gd/eRoLZ. With
                                                                        However, more of this            the iPad changing the market scenario,
                                                                        seems to affect the              several eBook readers are looking at
                                                                        saturated and sapped             a reduced demand for reader-only
                                                                        American market. All             devices. For the ultimate experience,
                                                                        the eBook reader activity        companies would have to offer the feel
                                                                        seems to be happening            of “touch” to their ebook readers. Flex-
                                                                        in the world’s largest           ible displays as promoted by Plastic-
                                                                        market. The Asian print          Logic did promise this. Nevertheless,
                                                                        and publishing industry          pricing is another critical factor.
                                                                        seems to be growing. A               What would hold true till the end
                                                                        trend seconded in a report       is substance. As billionaire investor
                                                                        on the Media and Enter-          Warren Buffet puts it, “Price is what you
                                                                        tainment industry by             pay. Value is what you get.” As far as the
                                                                        global auditing firm Ernst       future of eBook readers is concerned,
                                                                        & Young forecasting the          there is growing opinion among a vast
                                                                        industry trend till 2014.        section of analysts and market researchers
                                                                            According to the             that the growth for eBook readers can
                                                                        media and entertainment          only be sustained till 2015. According
                                                                        industry assessment by           to Informa Telecoms & Media, ebook
                                                                        PricewaterhouseCoopers,          reader sales are expected to peak at 14
                                                                        the global consumer              million units in 2013, before falling by
                                                                        magazine market is worth         7 per cent in 2014. Perhaps the smell of
                                                                        $80 billion, compared            paper would be the deciding factor, or a
                                                                        to $71 billion five years        perfect synergy between paper and print
                                                                        ago. However, a closer           like the Esquire cover! Write in to us and
                                                                        look shows that while            let us know your take on this matter.

                                                                                                                 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 103
                                                 Price watch                                                             Know your rights
Street smart                               112   The latest prices of all your computing accessories
                                                 and peripherals, so you can plan your purchase better      114          All your concerns as a
                                                                                                                         consumer addressed here

  Look ma no
                                                                                                         your budget you get better range and
                                                                                                         faster speeds. The other N-supported
                                                                                                         routers that was easily available over-

  wires!                                                                                                 the-counter was the Belkin N150 for Rs
                                                                                                         1850 – a decent performer in our recent
                                                                                                         Wi-Fi test. When it came to routers
  Agent 001 goes hunting for the best                                                                    with a USB port that facilitate sharing
  Wi-Fi routers in town                                                                                  content from a portable drive, the market
                                                                                                         seems to have only one option over-
  Agent 001                                        I’ve been getting                                     the-counter, the Belkin N+ for `4550.
  agent001@thinkdigit.com                          so many mails                                             If you have a higher budget, you
                                                                                                         can look at the higher-end routers in

                                                   regarding Wi-Fi
                trend I’ve been observing          routers. So I decided                                 the July issue. These are feature rich in
                for sometime now is home           to take a little trip                                 terms of the interface, design and other
                users increasingly going           down to the local                                     factors. But since they’re not easily
                in for Wi-Fi routers. This         electronics market                                    available your best bet is to look for them
  rise can be attributed to a couple of use        to check out what was available and                   in online shops or have them specifi-
  case scenarios. People now have mul-             give you a bit of gyan on choosing the                cally ordered though your local store.
  tiple browsing devices at home – most            right Wi-Fi router for your needs.                    One such router is the Asus RT-N16,
  commonly laptops, while some even                    At the first shop that I went to, I put           which is a robust performer and has
  connect via mobile phones and high end           on my poker face and did what most                    features like torrent downloading, FTP
  PMPs such as the iPod Touch. Obviously,          consumers do, “Ek Wi-Fi router dena”.                 and P2P all for `6,600. The Linksys
  connecting to the internet from any part         The shopkeeper plonked the Belkin G                   WRT610N, priced around `9,400 is
  of your home, say from the comfort of            Wireless Router and nonchalantly stated               a dual-band router, which means that
  your couch or the picturesque beauty of          the price, Rs 1350. On getting a similar              it supports the lesser used 5Ghz fre-
  your balcony, is a tempting proposition.         response at most places I went to, with               quency range. It also has options to set
  Another factor for increase in the offtake       shop guys either pushing either the                   traffic priority to certain applications for
  of this product category is that high-end        aforementioned Belkin or the Netgear                  better performance – good for gamers.
  users have started to set up purpose             G54 (`1550), I could easily deduce that                   For those looking for ADSL routers,
  specific rigs such as download or media          they’re trying to get rid of the outdated             the Linksys
  center rigs at home and don’t want the           their stock of routers based on the older             WAG160N for
  cable clutter that comes                                   and inferior 802.11g standard.              `6,500 is a good
  along with it. Besides, the                                The g routers are cheap yes,                option. It comes
  price drop and implementa-                                 but offer a maximum speed of                with an ADSL
  tion of the 802.11n make this                              54Mbps. This is fine if you’re
  perhaps the perfect time to                                sole purpose is browsing and
  go in for a Wi-Fi router.                                  the area that you require to
      That being said the world                              be covered is relatively small,
  of Wi-Fi routers is a little                               say a maximum of two small
  complex, simply because                                    rooms, seperated by a thin                  Asus RT N16
  of the various types of                                    wall. The moment you enter
  routers available; each with                               into the territory of media                 component built into it, so you can get
  a specific purpose, perform- Belkin N150                   streaming or if your home is a              rid of the ADSL modem that your ISP
  ance level and price range.                                duplex with rooms not adja-                 provides (and probably charges you
  For instance, there are routers that come        cent but one above the other, you need                rent for), plus reduce the device clutter.
  with a USB port – to share flash drives,         to go for an N router. These routers                  It also has an option to use one of the
  Dual Band, and even torrent downloading          offer a wider range and the N standard                other LAN ports as a WAN connection
  features. Buying a Wi-Fi router hence            supports speeds of upto 600Mbps.                      if you choose to move to an ISP that uses
  can be as simple as going over to the            They don’t cost a whole lot more either,              Ethernet to distribute connections.
  nearest electronics/hardware shop and            the cheapest N router I found was the                     My little trip down to Lamington Road
  announcing to the shopkeeper “Give me            Digisol DG-BR4000N for `1650 and it                   has proved useful and will definitely help
  one Wi-Fi router”, or it can be a nerve          came with a warranty. Since the brand                 out those of you who have been writing
  wracking process filled with choices and         is an offshoot of D-Link, service and                 to me with your Wi-Fi woes. Remember
  options. No self-respecting Digit reader is      quality should not be a problem. This                 you have many options, simply assess
  going to go for the first option. No wonder      mean that for just a `300 increase in                 your need and choose the right product.

104 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
              Killer rigs                              Whitespace Wi-Fi
116           Build the system to suit your needs.
              Choose from 4 configurations
                                                       The US FCC is on the verge of allowing the use of the unused spectrum or
                                                       whitespace caused in the broadcast of TV Channels for Wi-Fi improvement             Agent 001

   Graphics card around                                 PC or graphics card up-                           Further, I want to buy a graphics
   `8,000                                               grade?                                        card. My budget is `5,000. However, the
Please recommend a suitable graphics                 I need your help in selecting a graphics         monitor should have an HDMI port. I am
card in the range of 8000 on the following           card for my PC. Also suggest some game           not too much into gaming, but I need it
configuration: Pentium Dual Core, 2 GB               titles that we could play. Please do not         for movie viewing and normal stuff.
RAM and with a mainboard Acer G31T-M5                suggest gory titles. I am a doctor and my            My PC configuration is Intel Dual
                   Debadyuti Bhattacharya            son is 11 years old.                             core processor on original Intel 945 GNT
                                                         My budget is between `4,000. I can           Motherboard with 2 GB RAM.
    A graphics card in that price range              stretch it to a maximum of `6,500. I read                                    Anupam Parekh
will be overkill for your configuration.             about the Graphics cards in the July issue
It is recommended that you upgrade                   of Digit.                                            The two displays are almost identical
your system if you’re looking for a                      My PC is a low cost Zotac 610i value         to each other. The Dell ST2220 looks like
graphics card such as the GeForce                    Motherboard, with a 400W power                   a newer model with the same specifica-
GTS250 or Radeon 5750. The processor                 supply. It has one PCIe x16 slot, Pentium-       tions. For accurate prices, you should
will be somewhat of a bottleneck and                 D 2 GHz, 3 GB DDR2 533 RAM, 80 GB,               contact Dell from their web site or their
you won’t find frame rates going up                  IDE HDD, onboard NVIDIA Geforce                  customer care numbers. For under Rs.
beyond a certain point. If you have no               7050 running Windows 7 Professional.             5,000, you can find a GeForce GT240
plans of upgrading, purchase a some-                     I need to know whether my PC suit-           graphics card.
what cheaper GeForce GTS240 for the                  able for a graphics card upgrade?
time being.                                              We prefer games of the milder kind.              Laptop for around `25,000
                                                     For example, Heart of Darkness, Road Rash,       I admire your magazine and have never
   Sound card for new speakers                       NFS, and Trine to name a few.                    been let down by the Digit team. The
I recently purchased a Philips 5.1 sur-                  However, the games we have been              thing is, I want to buy a laptop that I
round speaker (Model no - MMS 5130). It              playing have been restricted due to hard-        would be using for general operations
has three pin to plug into the processor.            ware limitations in our PC.                      such as surfing the net, writing docu-
But My sound card is 2.1 channel. So                     We really loved Trine. It’s the latest       ments, watching movies and listening
please suggest me a sound card which                 game we liked, but cannot play it beyond         to music. My budget is around `25,000.
has three point which I can plug in the              640x480 resolution, and so we cannot             I am totally against using Compaq and
speakers pins. All are 3.5 mm jack. My               truly enjoy the game.                            HCL laptops. Please exclude them.
budget is within `2,000 - 3,000.                         We look forward to your suggestions.             This is urgent and it would be very
                            Subham Gartia                                       Dr. Vijay & Jacob     kind of you if you can reply via mail.
   Most sound cards on motherboards                      Considering your requirements, we
over the years have come with 5.1 audio              would suggest going in for a GeForce               Look for the Acer Aspire 4736Z
outputs. Ensure that your card isn’t                 GT240 graphics card for the gaming if            model. It should fall in the price range.
one of them. Some speakers use RCA                   you aren’t planning to upgrade anytime
connectors to input audio to the                     soon. It won’t improve performance by                Best tablet for media?
amplifier/woofer. If that’s the case, you            a whole lot because of the older                 I want to buy an Android based tablet.
can simply purchase these 3.5 mm -                   processor. An entire system overhaul             It should have Wi-Fi connectivity, 720p
RCA converters and use                               seems overdue. If that’s the plan, a             video playback (if 1080p is available then
                                                     graphics card in the price range of              I would prefer that), full Flash support,
                                                     `6,000 - `8,000 would be the way to go.          large screen at least 7-inch (10.1-inch is
                                                         Some games with little or no gore            recommended). The tablet should have
                                                     that you must try FIFA 2010, Pro Evolu-          the latest version of Android.
                                                     tion Soccer 2009/2010, Braid, World of Goo,         Basically, I just want to watch high
                                                     Sins of a Solar Empire, Spore and Overlord.      definition movies and have a rich web
AudigyValue                                                                                           experience. I am not limited by budget.
                                                        Need to purchase a                            Please suggest accordingly.
those speakers. Few or almost no                        new monitor                                                                Abhishek Kumar
sound cards come with RCA connec-                    I am planning to buy a new Full HD
tors. If you’re looking for a 5.1 sound              monitor. I have selected two Dell moni-             The OlivePad VT100 is the only one
capable sound card, look at the                      tors. These are as the Dell ST2210 and the       available in India. It’s not particularly
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Value                  Dell ST2220L.                                    great. If budget is no issue, the iPad is
7.1 card. It should be priced around                    Of these two, which one is better?            your best option. You’ll have to get it
` 1,800.                                             Also, tell me the price of these monitors.       shipped from the US.

                                                                                                               Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 105
                                                                                                                                                    Powered by

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                                                   'The Social network', a movie on social networking sites,
  Street smart                                     is about to be released on October 01, 2010

  Spend Smart
  The latest peripheral prices updated every month. Go ahead, plan your configuration today

   PC Cabinets
   Brand              Model                                  Market Price (`) Type                   5.25-inch bays 3.5-inch bays Number of
   Antec              Skeleton                               10920                 ATX               2                     2/0                  5
   Antec              Three Hundred                          4000                  ATX               3                     1                    5
   Cooler Master      Elite 360                              2160                  ATX               2                     2                    1
   Cooler Master      Gladiator RC-600-KKN1-GP               4000                  ATX               5                     1                    5
   Cooler Master      HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP ATX             9800                  Full ATX          6                     5/1                  4
   Cooler Master      RC-310-RKN1-GP                         1800                  ATX               4                     2                    2
   Cooler Master      RC-690-KWN1-GP                         4930                  ATX               5                     6                    7
   Gigabyte           GZ-AX1CBS-SNB                          3610                  ATX               4                     6/1                  2
   Gigabyte           GZ-X4BPD-500                           2270                  ATX               4                     3/1                  1
   Gigabyte           Poseidon 310 GZ-AA3CB                  8040                  Micro ATX         5                     3/2                  2
   LanCool            PC-K60W                                5980                  ATX / Micro-ATX   5                     4                    4
   LanCool            PC-K62                                 6700                  ATX / Micro-ATX   5                     4                    4
   Lian Li            PC-7FN                                 7940                  ATX / Micro-ATX   5                     4                    2
   Lian Li            Q07B                                   4120                  Mini ITX          1                     1                    1
   Thermaltake        M9 VI1000BWS                           4610                  ATX               6                     3/1                  2
   Thermaltake        VI90001W2Z                             11590                 Micro ATX         7                     6/1                  5
   Thermaltake        VJ400G1N2Z                             5980                  ATX               4                     5/2                  3
   Thermaltake        Vl60001N2Z                             3250                  ATX               4                     4/1                  1
   Zebronics          INVADER                                8240                  ATX               5                     5                    3
   Motherboards - AMD
   Brand              Model                         Market Price (`)         Socket/Interface Chipset                                  PCI/SATA/USB
   Asus               M4A785TD-V EVO                6,650                    AM3                          AMD 785G + AMD SB710         3/5/6
   Asus               M4A78T-E                      7,730                    AM3                          AMD 790GX + SB750            2/2/5
   Asus               M4A79 Deluxe                  12,550                   AM3                          AMD 790FX + SB750            2/5/12
   Biostar            TA785G3                       4,200                    AM3                          AMD 785G + SB710             1/2/4
   Biostar            TA785GE                       3,740                    AM2+                         AMD 785G + AMD SB710         2/6/7
   Biostar            TA890GXE                      7,650                    AM3                          AMD 890GX + AMD SB850        2/5/6
   Gigabyte           880GM-UD2H                    5,970                    AM3                          AMD 880G + AMD SB710         2/6/6
   Gigabyte           890FXA-UD5                    12,670                   AM3                          AMD 890FX + AMD SB850        1/6/14
   Gigabyte           GA-MA785GMT-US2H              5,570                    AM3                          AMD 785G + AMD SB710         2/5/6
   Gigabyte           GA-MA78GPM-DS2H               5,050                    AM2+                         AMD 780G + SB700             1/2/5
   MSI                785G-E53                      5,260                    AM3                          AMD 785G + AMD SB710         2/5/6
   MSI                785GM-E51                     4,100                    AM3                          AMD 785G + SB710             1/2/5
   MSI                890FXA-GD70                   10,150                   AM3                          AMD RD890 + AMD SB850        1/6/6
   MSI                890GXM-G65                    7,340                    AM3                          AMD 890GX + AMD SB850        1/5/4
   Motherboards - Intel
   Brand              Model                     Market Price (`)        Socket/Interface Chipset                                       PCI/SATA/USB
   Asus               Rampage II GENE           15,200                  LGA 1366                     Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R          1/7/6
   Biostar            TPOWER i55                11,900                  LGA 1156                     Intel P55                         2/6/8
   Biostar            TPOWER X58A               12,480                  LGA 1366                     Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R          2/6/10
   Gigabyte           GA-EP43T-UD3L             5,700                   LGA 775                      Intel P43 Express + Intel ICH10   2/6/12
   Gigabyte           GA-EP45-UD3L              7,110                   LGA 775                      Intel P45 + Intel ICH10           2/6/12
                                                                                                     Intel X58 Express + Intel
   Gigabyte           GA-EX58-UD3R              18,030                  LGA 1366                     ICH10R                            2/6/12
   Gigabyte           GA-P55A-UD4P              14,420                  LGA 1156                     Intel P55 Express                 2/6/12
   Gigabyte           GA-P55M-UD2               6,290                   LGA 1156                     Intel P55                         2/7/10
   Gigabyte           GA-P55-USB3               9,270                   LGA 1156                     Intel P55 Express                 3/6/14
                                                                                                     Intel X58 Express + Intel
   Gigabyte           X58-AUD3R                 14,450                  LGA 1366                     ICH10R                            1/2/10
   Intel              BOXDP45SG                 7,010                   LGA 775                      Intel P45 Express                 3/6/12
   MSI                MSI X58 PRO-E             10,920                  LGA 1366                     Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R          2/2/6
   MSI                P55-CD53                  6,080                   LGA 1156                     Intel P55                         3/8/10
   MSI                P55-GD65                  8,400                   LGA 1156                     Intel P55                         2/7/8
   MSI                P55M-GD45                 5,640                   LGA 1156                     Intel P55                         1/6/10

106 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
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        A malware named 'Spy rootkit' is suspected to infect most
        of the critical infrastructure systems in India and Iran                                                               Price watch

Brand             Model                     Market Price (`)        Socket/Interface     Number of cores     Clock speed
AMD               Sempron 140               2,140                   AM3                  1                   2.70 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X2 240          3,283                   AM3                  2                   2.80 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X2 245          3,310                   AM3                  2                   2.90 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X2 250          3,500                   AM3                  2                   3.00 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X2 255          3,860                   AM3                  2                   3.10 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X3 440          4,500                   AM3                  3                   3.00 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X2 550          4,940                   AM3                  2                   3.10 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X2 545          4,957                   AM3                  2                   3.00 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X2 620          5,626                   AM3                  4                   2.60 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X4 635          5,670                   AM3                  4                   2.90 GHz
AMD               Athlon II X4 630          5,842                   AM3                  4                   2.80 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X4 925          7,110                   AM3                  4                   2.80 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X4 945          7,500                   AM3                  4                   3.00 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X4 955          8,530                   AM3                  4                   3.20 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X6 1055T        11,150                  AM3                  6                   2.80 GHz
AMD               Phenom II X6 1090T        16,030                  AM3                  6                   3.20 GHz
Intel             Core E5300                3,080                   LGA 775              2                   2.60 GHz
Intel             Core E5400                3,330                   LGA 775              2                   2.70 GHz
Intel             Core i3 530               5,880                   LGA 1156             2                   2.93 GHz
Intel             Core i3 540               6,290                   LGA 1156             2                   3.06 GHz
Intel             Core 2 Duo E7500          6,610                   LGA 775              2                   2.93 GHz
Intel             Core 2 Quad Q8400         7,880                   LGA 775              4                   2.66 GHz
Intel             Core i5-650               9,270                   LGA 1156             2                   3.20 GHz
Intel             Core 2 Quad Q9400         10,000                  LGA 775              4                   2.66 GHz
Intel             Core i5-661               10,170                  LGA 1156             2                   3.33 GHz
Intel             Xeon E5405                11,690                  LGA 771              4                   2.00 GHz
Intel             Xeon E5410                14,610                  LGA 771              4                   2.33 GHz
Intel             Core i7-860               15,250                  LGA 1156             4                   2.80 GHz
Intel             Core i7-870               15,660                  LGA 1156             4                   2.93 GHz
Intel             Xeon E5420                18,570                  LGA 771              4                   2.50 GHz
Intel             Core i7-980X              55,620                  LGA 1366             6                   3.33 GHz

Point and shoot cameras
Brand                            Model                                Market Price (`)       Optical Zoom          Aperture
Canon                            120IS                                11,540                 4x                    f/2.8-8.0
Canon                            A1100 IS                             8,550                  4x                    f/2.7-5.6
Canon                            PowerShot A495                       6,030                  4x                    f/2.8-5.6
Canon                            PowerShot S90                        22,970                 3.8x                  f/2.0-4.9
Casio                            EX-Z35                               7,940                  4x                    f/3.2-5.9
Casio                            Z280                                 9,380                  4x                    f/2.8-7.8
Casio                            Z90                                  8,450                  3x                    f/3.1-5.6
Kodak                            M530                                 6,080                  3x                    f/2.8-5.6
Kodak                            M575                                 9,849                  5x                    f/2.8-5.6
Nikon                            L22                                  6,240                  3.6x                  f/3.1-5.5
Nikon                            S220                                 7,210                  3x                    f/3.1-5.9
Nikon                            S570                                 9,070                  5x                    f/2.7-6.6
Nikon                            S640                                 14,420                 5x                    f/2.7-6.6
Olympus                          FE-5030                              9,790                  5x                    f/2.8-6.5
Olympus                          MJU-7030                             11,700                 7x                    f/3.0-5.9
Panasonic                        DMC-FS4                              5,350                  4x                    f/2.8-5.9
Panasonic                        DMC-FS42                             6,700                  4x                    f/2.8-5.9
Panasonic                        DMC-TZ6                              15,450                 12x                   f/3.3-5.9
Samsung                          EC-PL80                              9,070                  5x                    f/3.4-5.9
Samsung                          EC-ST70                              10,180                 5x                    f/3.5-5.9
Samsung                          EC-WB650                             15,270                 15x                   f/3.2-5.8
Sony                             DSC H55                              14,360                 10x                   f/3.5-5.5
Sony                             DSC T90                              11,490                 4x                    f/3.5-10

                                                                                                    Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 107
                                                Nokia’s budget offering                                N8 coming soon
                                                Nokia Launches First Dual SIM Phone The C1:            Symbian 3 Powered Power House, Nokia N8 To
         Street smart                           http://bit.ly/csJzXq                                   Hit Stores Soon: http://bit.ly/9Dz8uw

                                                                                                          expecting the benefit of such condition.
                                                                                                          Another term you need to be aware of

                                                                                                          is that of express and implied guaran-
                                                                                                          tees. An express guarantee which is a
                                                                                                          clear import of the product purchased.
                                                                                                          A television is a good example. The
                                                                                                          picture and sound of television has to
                                                                                                          be good, which is an express implica-
                                                                                                          tion or warranty. However, if consumer
                                                                                                          needs to have television for his restau-

                                 UndErsTanding                                                            rant requiring a minimum continuous

                                                                                                          functioning of 13 to 14 hours a day, then
                                                                                                          it is the duty of the seller to provide
                                                                                                          accurate information regarding the
                                                                                                          consumer’s warranty rights. Another
                      for yoUr PEaCE of Mind                                                              example is if someone buys sports shoes,
                                                                                                          there is an implied warranty that it will
                                                                                                          go good for rough terrain and tough use.
                                                                                                              Unless the shopkeeper gives you

                        fter receiving his pay                 Although similar, in commercial            something in writing, do not assume
                        hike, Balvinder, a High            parlance and legal practice, especially        you have any warranty or guarantee.
                        Court employee felt it was         in the consumer law arena these are            Make sure you have in your possession
                        prudent to fulfil his wife’s       two different concepts with a slight           documents such as bill and warranty
         long standing desire for a front loading          difference. While guarantee refers to          cards. For the sake of convenience, make
         washing machine. He was quite meticu-             the post sale stand of a seller or service     it a habit to write the important dates
         lous in finding the best deal possible.           provider in the capacity of a guarantor.       when the warranty or guarantee of your
         Eventually, the shop owner persuaded              In the event of any fault or malfunction       product is to going to end. The best way
         the couple to buy a lesser known brand            with the product or service, the onus          is to call the company people to check
         with a five-year guarantee that cov-              will be on the company to sort matters         all the things a month before when it
         ered fault and damage of all sorts. A             out. Consumers can seek a replace-             actually ends. If a particular problem
         year, the product started giving way.             ment of the product or service. Gener-         recurs, then keep the details of the
             That began the game of passing the            ally, it is believed that one can get hold     complaint. One can a make a good case
         buck. The seller would say it’s                                                                         of the getting the things repaired it
         the company’s responsibility to                                                                         the problem was the recurring and
         offer guarantee and their only                                                                          inherent in the product even after
         job was to sell the product. The                                   If you’re facing a problem with      the warranty or guarantee expires.
         only help rendered by the seller
                                                                            your purchase, write to us at            Another trait which has been
         in this matter was providing                                                                            commonly found in Indian cus-
         the service centre’s helpline                                                                           tomers is that once they’ve got a
         number. To add to their woes, the couple          of their money back simply because             good deal, they don’t think about the
         realised their warranty was over as it            they have a guarantee. Warranty, on            other aspects. They generally do not get
         was only for one year! The only option            the other hand, implies the provision          the warranty document stamped and
         left was to approach the consumer court           of getting the article repaired when           signed which is very common require-
         for action against the company and the            the product is defective. However, the         ment for most products. So the next time
         seller. This is not an isolated case.             recent commercial trend is the use of          you purchase anything, grill them rather
             In recent times, guarantees and               the word limited warranty that puts            than merely concentrating on price.
         warranties have emerged as a safe-                conditions on the specifics of a product,
         guard to consumer rights. By means                the nature of damage incurred and
         of a guarantee or warranty, the seller            the time period of the validity of the
                                                                                                            Expert buying advice
         or service provider is liable to replace          document. Consequently, the pros-                Visit Consumermate.com
         or repair the product or service pro-             pect in a warranty is abridged by the            for expert buying advice and
         vided, if it is below the expectation             expression “limited”. Therefore there            comprehensive information on
         of the benchmark. Normally, this is a             is a distinction in the real meaning and         Laptops, Mobiles, TVs, Cameras
         promise made by the manufacturer to               strength of guarantee and warranty               and Camcorders
         the customer for a fixed time frame.              which consumer must appreciate before

108 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
 Touch or keypad?                                                Godrej TVs
 Best Touch Screen Phones With a Full QWERTY                     Godrej launches Game LCD TV:
 Keypad: http://bit.ly/cvq0uI                                    http://bit.ly/bSVTwn                               Consumer protection

ComplainTs ReCeiVed

Mobile Phones                                  and email has yielded no results. They           As long as the product is under warranty/
Case File #855                                 say it’s my fault for having viewed the          guarantee, you have a legitimate right
1.Subject: My Boss Mobile phone is             international site and not the Indian site,      to get it repaired. The company cannot
not working                                    and want me to sort out the problem              wash off its hand from its liability when
I purchased a Boss mobile phone recently       with the retailer. The discussions with          the complaint or any problematic issue is
from Naaptol.com. My mobile phone has          the retailer while buying the handset            raised during the guarantee period.
not been switching on for the past couple      was only oral, hence there is no proof for
of weeks. I have tried getting it checked      what they told me about the features.            Case File #969
at most shops, but none of them were of        Once, the company told me they are               Subject: Service center of HTC is not
any help. In lieu of no company service        coordinating with the retailer to sort           providing customer satisfaction
centre, I’m in a fix and feel completely       out the issue and even had asked me              I have an HTC T3320 Touch 2. My
cheated and dissatisfied. I have even          to forward a scanned copy of purchase            complaint number is 19419. I have
asked all my near and dear ones never to       proof, which I did. Is there any remedy          been to the service centre twice. First
trust any such web sites or their products.    for me?                                          the customer service advisor informed
                          Megha Aggarwal                           Sudhakar Sundersingh         me to upgrade the handset as it was
                                                                                                getting switch off. After 2-3 days I
Answer by Consumermate:                        Answer by Consumermate:                          was facing the same problem. Then
Thanks for sharing your views. Do not          Dear Customer,                                   I visited the service centre again on
feel cheated as you can always take legal      Yours is a typical case of a big company         August 24th. They asked me to submit
recourse against the company. At this          backing out once the product is sold.            the cellphone and advice to call
stage, you can write a registered letter       Any company that sells a product is duty         after 24 hours. When I contacted the
to the company about your problems             bound to provide all essential features          service centre, they asked me to wait
in shape of a legal demand notice. You         in a product that they have sold for a           for a week. I spoke to the manager
can call upon them to rectify all your         consideration. For now, you can write a          who told me to call after 24 hours.
problems with in 15 days failing which         legal demand notice to them for selling          When I contacted them, they said
you can file consumer complaint with the       a different and unwanted product. It is          that the phone is defective, and that
consumer court. I hope some sense              a case of gross misrepresentation and            they’re investigating the matter and
will prevail over them and they will sort      negligence on part of the retailer. They         would inform that they will contact
the things.                                    just cannot fool you by representing             in 48 hours. What kind of customer
                                               anything just to sell the product. In your       satisfaction is this? We either want our
Case File #872                                 notice, you can ask for the damages for          money or a replacement. Kindly reply.
HTC Tatoo mobile is provided with 2G           the loss of work incurred due to non                                         Bhupat Singh
feature instead of 3G                          function of the mobile. I hope things will
I bought an HTC Tatoo mobile in                be sorted out.                                   Answer by Consumermate:
November 2009. When I visited the HTC                                                           Dear Customer,
site, it described it as a 3G-enabled phone.   Miscellanous                                     We appreciate your stand, and even more
Also when I purchased the mobile from          Case File #963                                   the fact that you’re aware of your rights
their authorised dealer M/s Ascentel from      Nokia care is not repairing the phone            as a consumer, and have made it clear
Commercial Street branch, Bangalore,           under warranty                                   to the phone company that you will be
I was told it was a 3G mobile. Later           I have a Reliance CDMA Nokia handset.            taking action in case they don’t listen
when BSNL introduced 3G services in            It had a problem that it used to display         to you. The gravest mistake commited
Bangalore, I was surprised to note that it     CONTACT SERVICE and neither can I                by most consumers is of not pursuing
was only a 2G mobile. When, I contacted        make nor receive any calls. But instead of       matters related to rights. The only
HTC, I was told that it was a 2G mobile        repairing the mobile, they told me to take       thing that we suggest is that you write a
marketed in India, and 3G in other parts       the handset in same condition because            letter and send it to them via registered
of the world. Initially, the HTC site went     they were not able to repair the mobile          post, containing all the details of your
into the world page and now the company        in guarantee or warranty period. What            complaint. In case they don’t come up
has changed and it directs you to the          should I do?                                     with a solution, then you may go ahead
India site of the company. The retailer                             Vijay Kumar Bagaria         with your complaint in the district forum.
also says he was unaware of the features                                                        I hope some sense will prevail over
of the handset sold in India. Repeated         Answer by Consumermate:                          them at this stage itself, and that they
complaints with the company over phone         Dear Customer,                                   sort out things.

                                                                                                        Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 109
                                                                                                    Basic rig = `21,400
                                                                                                    Multimedia cum gaming rig = `31,600

  killer rigs
  everything you will ever need to build your own PC. whatever your budget.
                                                                                                    High-end multimedia / Gaming rig = `49,500
                                                                                                     High-end gaming PC = `62,350
                                                                                                    Ultra high-end PC / Gaming rig = `1,70,110

      Primary                                                                                 seCondary ComPonents
                                                 Cabinet                                        Power suPPly                          mouse

  n AMD Athlon II X2 245 / `2,950
  n AMD Athlon II X4 635 / `5,050
  n Phenom X4 945 / `6,950                                                                      n VIP 350 Watts / `850                n Logitech 3 button scroll / `300
  n Intel Core i5 750 / `10,100                                                                 n VIP 400W Gold / `850                n Logitech 3 button scroll / `300
  n Intel Core i7 960 / `31,100                                                                 n Corsair VX450 / `3,700              n Logitech MX518 / `1,300
                                                                                                n Corsair VX450 / `3,700              n Logitech MX518 / `1,300
                                                                                                n Corsair HX850W / `10,000            n Logitech G500 / `3,700

                                                 n NZXT Gamma Classic / `2,150
                                                 n NZXT Gamma Classic / `2,150
                                                 n Cooler Master 690 / `4,200
                                                 n Cooler Master 690 / `4,200
                                                 n Cooler Master HAF 922 / `6,600

                                                 sound Card
  motHerboard                                    n None
  n    ASUS NVIDIA 7025 M2N68-AM /               n None
       `2,275                                    n None                                                                               oPtiCal drive
  n    Gigabyte MA78GM-US2H /                    n None                                                                               n LG H55N / `1,100
      `4,200                                     n ASUS Xonar DX / `4,300                       sPeaker                               n LG H55N / `1,100
  n    ASUS M4A78-PRO / `5,850                                                                  n None                                n LG H55N / `1,100
  n    Biostar Tpower P55 / `6,700                                                              n None                                n LG H55N / `1,100
  n    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 / `19,300                                                             n Altec Lansing VS2421 / `2,200       n LG WH10LS30 / `11,010
                                                                                                n Altec Lansing VS2421 / `2,200
                                                                                                n Altec Lansing MX 5021 / `6,500

                                                                                                                                          n Logitech Multimedia / `400
  ram                                                                                                                                     n Logitech Multimedia / `400
  n 2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / `2,500                                                                                             n Logitech Multimedia / `500
  n 2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / `2,500                                                                                             n Logitech Multimedia / `500
  n 2 x 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Corsair) / `4,600                                                                                              n Logitech G15 / `4,400
  n 2 x 2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz (Kingston) / `4,800
  n 3 x 2 GB Kingston HyperX T1 2,000 MHz /

  GraPHiCs Card
  n None
  n Galaxy GeForce GT240                         tablet
    / `4,750
  n Powercolor Radeon HD
    5750 / `7,550
  n XFX Radeon HD 5850 / `16,200
  n ASUS GeForce GTX 470 x 2 (SLI) / `41,400

                                                 n   None                                       HeadPHones
                                                 n   iBall Design Tablet PF1209 / `8,900        n   None
                                                 n   Wacom Intuos4 Medium (PTK-640) `21,280     n   Sennheiser HD 201 / `1,500        PrintinG solutions
  Hard drive                                                                                    n   Sennheiser HD 280 Pro / `5,500    n   Canon PIXMA iP1980 / `2,695
  n Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / `1,900                                                                                                   n   Canon iP3680 / `5,595
  n Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / `1,900                                                                                                   n   Epson B-500DN / `22,999
  n Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / `3,150
  n Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / `3,150
  n WD Black Edition 1 TB x2 / `9,000

      n Dell S2009W / `6,975
      n AOC 2236Vw / `8,400
      n AOC 2236Vw / `8,400
      n AOC 2236Vw / `8,400                      mousePad
      n BenQ G2420HD / `12,000                   n   None
                                                 n   Razer Goliathus Speed (Oversized) /        GaminG Controllers                    Power ProteCtion
                                                     `1,400                                     n   MS Xbox 360 Controller / `1,350   n   None
                                                 n   Everglide Titan / `1,650                   n   Logitech Momo / `5,500            n   APC 550W / `2,400
                                                 n   Steel Series QCK Heavy / `2,000            n   Logitech G27 / `15,520            n   Numeric 1 KVA / `4,200

110 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                                                               Additional Skills
                                Did you know                                                   Understanding of browsers, C++, CSS, XML,
                                Flex applications can be written using Adobe Flash Builder     JavaScript, various APIs will help you excel
                                or by using the freely available Flex compiler from Adobe      in Flash development                                               Work@tech

                     Careers in Flash
                                                                                                                                 film, television, or even advertising who use
                                                                                                                                 Flash for storyboarding and advertising
                                                                                                                                 companies that use it for creating rich
                                                                                                                                 media interactive banners. In the current
                           The demand for good Flash developers is going                                                         scenario the digital content designer is in
                           sky high, while the scarcity is driving up salaries                                                   the next stage of evolution. Such designers
                           considerably. There couldn’t be a better time to                                                      will eventually have capabilities to create
                                                                                                                                 content in Print, Web and Mobile as well.
                           look at it as a viable career option                                                                  “In the future I don’t see companies hiring
                                                                                                                                 print, web and mobile designers separately,”
                                                                                                                                 said Himanshu. “These next generation
                                                                                                                                 designers will be able to service any of these
                                                                                                                                     Then there’s the programming-heavy
                                                                                                                                 development side of Flash that entails eve-
                                                                                                                                 rything from RIAs (Rich Internet Applica-
                                                                                                                                 tions) and Web Development to Gaming, to
                                                                                                                                 eLearing and Enterprise Level applications.
                                                                                                                                 Gaming companies leverage it for casual as
source: flash platform summit

                                                                                                                                 well as high end MMORPGs games, while
                                                                                                                                 at the enterprise level there are consulting
                                                                                                                                 companies such as Accenture and Deloitte
                                                                                                                                 besides system integration companies
                                                                                                                                 such as Wipro and Infosys that use Flex to
                                                                                                                                 build solutions for their customers. These
                                                                                                                                 streams are not mutually exclusive. There
                                                                                                                                 are a lot of overlaps and that’s where things
                            Siddharth Parwatay                                 developer workforce in India at 1.7 million       start to get interesting.
                            siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit.com                  developers and projected a growth of 25 per           When it was just Flash, good interactive

                                                                               cent by 2010. Though impressive by itself,        programmers or developers stayed a little
                                                 hen someone talks             the actual figures may have gone way above        shy off it, because the environment was
                                                 about Flash what is the       the now dated projections.                        not supportive of the best programming
                                                 first thing that comes to                                                       practices that were available in some of the
                                                 your mind? Our guess          Lay of the land                                   other tools like Java. With the inclusion of
                            would be “moving images, animation, and            At the very broad level we can classify           Adobe Flex and other tools it transformed
                            Flashy Stuff”. If your thoughts hover in           two distinct streams that Flash allows            into a true platform for creating some
                            that area, you’re not wrong but you’re not         you to pursue in terms of a career. There’s       of the most robust apps complete with
                            completely right either. In reality, Flash has     the creative side involving design, that’s        interactivity, business logic, server side
                            now grown from a mere animation tool that          now increasingly being termed as Digital          communication, data linkages et al. The
                            it was, into a platform. The word platform         Content Creation. “For a designer it’s always     best of the programmers got attracted to
                            is being thrown about loosely these days, so       Photoshop first. Then we take our design,         Flash and because everyone wanted to
                            we’ll come to that in a bit and explain what       import it in Flash and bring it to life. Flash    have rich, good looking interfaces for their
                            makes Flash a platform. But first, let’s take      gives you the ability to bring motion into        applications the natural progression was
                            a step back and understand how Flash has           still images and that’s what attracted me.        to go with Adobe Flash. The programming
                            evolved. “Initially when Flash started off as      It gives your website/animation/movie a           side evolved with time to an object oriented
                            an animation tool, people looked at it simply      sleekness. That’s how I started out”, says        approach, starting with Actionscript 1.0 to
                            as something that can help creating anima-         Abhilash Krishnan, Creative Director, UFO         now Actionscript 3.0. A lot of flexibility was
                            tions for the web – things like banners and        Digital. You have story telling mediums like      added for development of widgets as well.
                            ads. But there’s a huge interactive angle to
                            it that made the adoption of Flash so ram-                               “Though industry requires professionals
                            pant,” says Himanshu Mody, CEO Tekno                                     with certifications it also gives importance to
                            Point Multimedia, one of the leading Flash                               individuals with strong portfolios. So it would
                            Training institutes in the country. Speaking                             be good for budding enthusiasts to work on
                            of adoption, a 2008 survey by Research                                   creating their portfolios while studying Flash”
                            & Markets, Ireland pegged the software                                   Abhilash Krishnan, Creative Director, UFO Digital

                                                                                                                                        Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 111
                                                                                            Open Screen Project
                       There’s more to Flash                                                A project that aims to provide a consistent runtime
                       With Android supporting Flash 10.1 content, you will soon see        environment for open web browsing and standalone
  Work@tech            set-top boxes and maybe even Google TV running Flash content         applications built on Flash Platform on various devices

  “The recent development of Papervision 3D          from the development standpoint would               Certification Help
  (incorporates 3D into Flash) and the ability       most certainly be interested in game devel-         • Find a training partner at http://
  to simulate augmented reality in Flash gives       opment. Most of the Flash developers in               partners.adobe.com/public/
  it a lot of scope for both experience based        India are into e-learning – which is a more           partnerfinder/tp/show_find.do
                                                                                                           (Look for Product for eg “Adobe
  advertising, gaming and online availability,”      simplistic from a development standpoint.             Flex” and country as “India”)
  says Abhilash.                                     Their coding logic is very linear. In gaming        • Find info on training and
                                                     you have to use physics and more complex              certification at - http://www.adobe.
  Certifications and training                        algorithms to make a fun game.                        com/training/ and http://www.adobe.
  Both career oriented and tool specific                 There’s a lot of opportunity across             • To look at the various steps
  courses are available from various training        the gaming industry for qualified Flash               involved in ACE Certifications go
  institutes such as NIIT, Arena, Tekno Point        developers, supported by an acute shortage            to http://www.adobe.com/support/
  Multimedia, Animaster (Bangalore), etc.            resulting in a lot of competition to get the
                                                                                                         • To locate a testing center near
  Training institutes offer both design as well      best people. “The opportunities for game              you head over to http://www.
  as development/programming tailored                development are not just casual gaming                pearsonvue.com/Adobe/locate/
  courses. The Career courses are usually the        which are PC based or browser / download-
  best choice and are structured towards an          able games, there are larger scale games               As a game developer you would gener-
  objective. For instance the two new courses        such as virtual worlds and massively               ally start as a junior developer and then
  at Tekno Point offer training in two streams       multiplayer online games also being done           progress to developer, then senior devel-
  – either to help you become a Digital              in Flash. The backends often end up being          oper, next comes project lead and then a
  Content Designer or RIA Developer. So              PHP with the programming done in Java.             tech lead. A junior developer with say a year
  these kind of courses are not tool specific i.e.   But the entire front end is handled in Flash.”     and a half of experience on Flash can get
  learning either Flash or Flex or Illustrator.      says Robin Alter, CTO and Founder, Kreeda          anywhere from `3.5 to 4.5 lakhs per annum.
  Instead they will help you get familiar with       Games India Pvt. Ltd.                              It goes up considerably after each level. “I’ve
  whatever tools you need to learn to achieve            Flash and Flex make it easy to make            interviewed people that are in the 20 lakhs
  your desired skill be it Acrobat, Action-          games and applications but at the interna-         range. People with around ten years of expe-
  Script or Flex. There are also short courses
  for working professionals that last no more                                “I suggest building a two player game on any
  than 10 days. These short courses help you                                 of the multiplayer engines that exist, to see
  transition from other programming back-                                    how messages, and interactivity are done
  grounds to Flex.                                                           between two cross clients, how media can be
      As for certification, there are two main                               dynamically served into a flash file to create
  accreditations offered by Adobe in this                                    an ever changing virtual world. Learning these
  field. Adobe Certified Associate is an entry                               kinds of things is where everyone is going”
  level qualification. It’s for people who use                               Robin Alter, CTO and Founder, Kreeda Games India Pvt. Ltd.
  Adobe products, usually as students as
  part of a college curriculum, and want an          tional level, companies such as Kreeda look        rience are in the 30 lakhs range. These high
  official certification to qualify their abili-     at the quality of code, the re-usability of the    pay scales are for tech leads doing multiple
  ties. Adobe Certified Expert is for working        code, and whether a person optimises the           projects and doing very complex stuff like
  professionals who are into Adobe products          game. Emphasis is laid on the efficiency of        large scale social games” says Robin.
  already and want to enhance their career.          the code as well as the performance. Can-              One would think game designing
  While ACA is general, ACE on the other             didates are given simple tasks to ascertain        would require a high degree of creativity.
  hand is specific to a particular tool from         whether they think in an object oriented           “You know what, I don’t stress so much
  Adobe. You can become an ACE Master in             manner and see if “their code is elegant.”         on creativity from a game development
  Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator. “It gives        People who have come from Java into Flash          or programming standpoint because a
  you a distinct identity if you’ve cleared          often come with a good set of skills. The          game developer is not required to be a
  these certifications. There are several Adobe      syntax is similar and the migration is easier.     game designer. They’re separate roles. But
  training partners such as Tekno Point that         People with good Flash programming                 creativity does help”. To be a good game
  offer training for these exams, while to actu-     skills can pick up Flex more easily than vice      developer in Flash also requires you to do
  ally take the exams you have to go to any of       versa.“Apart from having a good academic           R&D. The gaming environment is ever
  the testing centers in India,” adds Mody.          record a person needs to have a good eye           changing – there’s always new technology,
                                                     for details and logical reasoning. This helps      there are always new challenges therefore
  Let the games begin                                in working on the game concept and to              you need to be constantly interacting with
  Game development in Flash is one of the            visualize the game before getting down to          the international community, constantly
  most exciting and high paying verticals in         actual development”, says Deepak Abbot,            finding out how to do new things. Gaming is
  this sector. Anyone who has learnt Flash           VP-Product, Zapak Digital Entertainment.           about new innovations.

112 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                       Best of the web
                       If you want to check out some of the best              Digit webinars
                       websites built on today’s cutting edge                 Go to www.thinkdigit.com/webinars for a
                       technologies head over to www.thefwa.com               video of a previous webinar on IT security               Work@tech

Enterprise level                                     Freshers can expect anywhere between            does so much better.” Sandeep adds.
At the enterprise level Flash and Flex are       three to five lakhs per annum. At the                    Himanshu (Tekho Point) seconds this
being used to create engaging client-server      Architect or Technology Lead level it’s             sentiment. “The kind of enterprise level
applications, web applications, CRM              even more difficult to find the right people,       apps (with security) and rapid development
applications and financial services applica-     so the premium goes as high as 50 to 100            using Adobe tools is something unique to
tions that help businesses bring a new           percent over a similar Java person. These           Flash. In the long term HTML5 and Flash
level of interactivity for their customers.      are technologies that are at the most three         will be complementary. There will be some
“Almost everyone is talking about creating       to five years old. So when you’re asking for        places where it would be beneficial to use
compelling user experiences. Companies           an Architect with 10 plus years of experi-          Flash and at others HTML5. As a designer
themselves are investing a lot in generating     ence, you’re assuming that at least five            or developer you have a freedom of choice.
this kind of a user experience for their cus-    would be spent on Flash or Flex. Not many           You keep in mind your client’s objectives
tomers – take for instance Harley Davidson       companies or individuals made the switch            and choose the technology accordingly. I
or Allen Solly – they’ve made their web          in the early days. Architects oversee design,       won’t be surprised if from a tool perspec-
experience fully in line with their brand and    program architecture, ensure code quality           tive, a Flash developer makes something
what it stands for. Flash is indeed letting      is good, and mentor programmers. The take           in Flash and in future they’re allowed to
them engage better with their customers.”        away at this level ranges from `14 lacs pa all      simply export it in HTML5, so that they
says Prabhjeet Singh, Country Marketing          the way upto `30 lacs p.a.                          can skip the learning curve completely” he
Head, Adobe Systems India.                                                                                                     goes on to add. What
     Adobe Flash is the front end for these                                   “The premise that HTML5 will about the gaming
applications while you have a lot of applica-                                 eventually replace Flash to me industry? Robin
tion logic code sitting behind the animation                                  is a myth. We’re comparing                       Alter CTO Kreeda,
or motion you see on your screen. Flex takes                                  what Flash already did some                      says, “Nurturing the
care of this server side communication and                                    time back to what HTML5                          developer commu-
loading data from databases etc. Designing                                    is only promising to do.”                        nity is important and
at the enterprise level happens at three                                      Himanshu Mody CEO Tekno Point Multimedia so is nurturing the
levels. First is the usability and interface                                                                                   publisher. Publishers
design side, which requires a person with        The HTML5 debate                                    generally support one technology for their
knowledge of data architecture on the web,       Reams have been written about this subject          games. HTML5 and Flash may actually be
someone who can create a good menu               and everyone is waiting with bated breath           pretty complimentary so you may be able to
layout and pageflow etc. The second part is      to see the outcome. If indeed HTML5 will            use both” As for the question of being able
designing the prototypes which requires          let you do many of the things Flash can, it’s       to transition the answer is pretty simple. Yes
Photoshop and Flash based animation              not a stretch of imagination to think of the        transitioning, if at all needed, is not that dif-
designers who create movable designs.            eventual questions – Will Flash be phased           ficult. Both technologies are based on sim-
The third is writing of the business code,       out? Will Flash developers be left redun-           ilar programming principles. For all these
connecting it to the server side, working        dant? If so, can they transition to the new         languages have the same object oriented
with the database logic etc which is done by     standard? – The industry opinion seems to           programming elements. If you’re coding in
the Flex developers. Different organisations     be unanimously similar. “It is a step in the        Flash you write in ActionScript and do the
use different sets of people or they use one     right direction. HTML 4 didn’t support a lot        styling in CSS. If on Flex you’ll use MXML.
person for all three. Companies, usually         of functions, you had a lot of add on com-          Similar kind of concept exists on HTML5.
outsourcing units, who are into building         ponents being done like XML, XHTML,                 Your code might contain JavaScript, and
these kinds of applications require people       XForms etc. So HTML5 is a right step                it’ll definitely contain CSS style sheet. You’ll
with an Engineering or MCA type of back-         towards taking everything back into the             still be using the same technologies in a dif-
ground with good programming ability.            standard hyper text model. Having said that         ferent way, so its not really a transition. You
“For Flex candidates, we have a written test     it is still evolving,” said Sandeep. It is still an just need to make yourself aware of newer
for assessing knowledge and programming          evolving technology standard. Besides, each         concepts like HGML where you can do 3D
ability, and we also look at previous work,      of these tools are meant for different things.      images, and you should be set.
if they have any. Then technical interviews      So in the future you’ll see a proper position            So to conclude, since so many industry
follow where problems on Business Logic          for each of these. It’s more likely to work in      experts we spoke to believe in a coexistence
are asked and candidates have to come up         conjunction. “Take for instance YouTube             perhaps it would be beneficial to dabble in
with the thought process for a solution. Sim-    - They’re thinking of HTML5, but they               both technologies. Diversification after all
ilarly we test creativity for Flash candidates   believe it’ll be five years till they completely    can only add value. Who knows, maybe in
by giving them a particular component            move to it. The kind of control you get over        five years you might be one of those rare
and ask them how they could make it look         video with flash – the way they’ve built            and sought after Flash + HTML5 profes-
better,” said Sandeep Dasgupta, Director-        it – be it full screen, scrolling, encapsulated     sionals who can slice through code with a
Engineering, Tavant Technologies.                embedding etc – is something that Flash             double edged sword.

                                                                                                             Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 113
                    Flex 4.5 code named “Hero”                               Adobe previewing Melrose SDK
                    It includes a few more Spark components, and will        This can be used for developing for-pay application using Adobe AIR
                    eventually support building mobile applications          for sale in the Adobe marketplace and Intel’s AppUp Store

                                     Extending our AIR Feed Reader
                                     application with Flash Builder 4

                                                                                                       button labelled, “Add Feed”. Our previous
               reviously we created an RSS                                                             code was simply a horizontal group
               Feed reading application in                                                             with a text input for the URL and a load
               Adobe AIR using Flash Builder                                                           button. Right after this we will now add
               4. Our previous application had                                                         the following:
    a simple UI which allowed us to enter a                                                               <s:HGroup width=”100%”>
    URL for the feed, and has two panes one                                                                  <s:ButtonBar id=”feedTabs”
    below another. One to list the items in the
    feed, and the other to display the sum-                                                            requireSelection=”true”
    mary of the selected item.                                                                                               width=”100%” />
        We assume you have completed the                The interface is rather clean                          <s:Button label=”X” />
    previous part in this series (refer to page                                                            </s:HGroup>
    104 of the September 2010 issue). Alter-            A close button                                     This is another horizontal group with
    natively, you can check out the article at          We should have some way to remove the          two components. The first is a ButtonBar
    http://www.thinkdigit.com/d/fb4_tut1_4.             currently active tab if we want. This could    which will display our tabs and let us
        Our previous application could only             be a simple button labelled “X” or if you      switch between them. We have set its
    handle a single feed at a time, which is a          wish to make it look better you can create     width to 100% so it takes us as much space
    rather huge limitation for a feed reading           an icon for it. That’s about it; this will     as is available and pushes the close button
    application. In this article we will develop        cover our needs from this application.         to the edge. The second is the button to
    our application further by adding sup-                  Now about the changes inside the           close the currently active tab, labelled
    port for reading multiple feeds. We will            application. Since we are now going to         simply “X”. The requireSelection=“true”
    make a Feed browser of sorts which will             handle multiple feeds at the same time,        bit in the code is to ensure that at least one
    display a “tab bar” for switching between           we will need to have an array holding          tab is selected at any given time (if there
    active feeds. Each “tab” will display its           data for all the feeds, so it is ready when    is at least one tab of course). This is all
    own list of feed items, and we will be able         we click on it.                                we need to add, however the old “Load”
    to select any item read the summary.                    To wire everything so that it works,       button may be renamed to “Add Feed” or
                                                        with minimal coding we will bind the           simply “+” if required.
    Understanding the changes                           array of feeds to the ButtonBar. This will
    to our application                                  automatically ensure that the feeds and        The code
    So how do we go about this exactly? Let             tabs are in sync. We will also bind the        First of all we will define a new data type
    us first take into account the visual addi-         feed data for active tab to the list showing   for the data associated with out feeds.
    tions, in the form on controls / compo-             the data items. This way the data will         For each feed tab, we will need to store a
    nents. We will need:                                automatically change as we change the          title and the feed data at least. Since this
                                                        current tab.                                   is a simple example, we will not manage
    A tab bar                                               The HTML component is already              refreshing the feeds every few minutes,
    We will simply use a button bar for this.           bound to this list, so that bit will work as   otherwise it would have been wise to
    A ButtonBar component makes it easy to              always. What we need to do is to write         store the feed URL as well.
    add multiple buttons in a row. Each but-            the code that will add tabs to this array          For this we will define a new Action-
    ton will have a label corresponding to the          of tabs and load the corresponding data.       Script 3 class. This is simple to do with
    title of the feed.                                  We also need code for closing a tab and        Flash Builder 4; simply right-click on
                                                        removing that feed from the array. The         your project, and under the “New” menu
    A button to add a new feed                          rest will work by itself!                      select ActionScript Class. This will
    Since we have to handle multiple feeds                                                             pop up a new dialog box wherein you can
    now, we need to have a button for adding            The UI                                         enter details of your new class. Here is a
    a new feed. We will re-purpose the “Load”           Our UI is not changing drastically. Our        little about some of the relevant param-
    button of our previous application for this.        load button will now transform to a            eters in the dialog:

  114 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Native installers                                       PixelBender
  Adobe Air 2.0 can be used to create native              You can develop custom custom filters for Adobe Flash
  installers for multiple operating systems               that can be used to process image and other kinds of data       Developer corner

    The first option is labelled “Package”.                public var title:String                      var
When you create a new libraries of                         public var                           feedData:XMLListCollection
code, it is a good idea to organise them         data:XMLListCollection;                                               = new
so that they can be reused later on                 public function                             XMLListCollection(rssFeed.
without problems. If you are creating            FeedTab(title:String,                          channel.item);
a new Class for retrieving stocks                   data:XMLListCollection){                            var feedTab:FeedTab
information from Yahoo! called                                this.title = title;                                      = new
“YahooStocks” for a project called “Stock                     this.data = data;                 FeedTab(rssFeed.channel.titles,
Manager”, you might want to have a                         }                                    feedData);
package such as com.stockmanager.                      }                                                feeds.addItem(feedTab);
Although it is recommended that you                 }                                                   feedTabs.selectedItem =
always place your classes inside a                  All it is doing is storing the data         feed;
package, we will do without one here             needed by our tab, which is: a title for           }
since it is a simple example.                    the feed, and the feed data itself. The            The first line remains unchanged, and
    The second option is for a name for          feed data itself contains a title, however     in the second line we are temporarily
your class. We are giving our class a name       this makes things a little bit simpler. The    storing the XMLListCollection made up of
of “FeedTab”. The convention is to have a        FeedTab function which serves as a con-        all the items in the RSS feed, in a variable
class name where each word begins with           structor for this Class takes two the two      called feedData. Then we go on to create a
a capital such as MultiTouchManager or           pieces of data this class needs and stores     new FeedTab item (which is the class we
ArrayCollection.                                 them in the public variables which make        just created), by giving it the title of the
    Superclass is used if you are extending      up this class.                                 feed (which can be found under channel.
an already existing class. Those familiar           Finally we will modify our main code.       item of the RSS feed), and the feedData.
with object-oriented programming will            First of all remove the variable feedData,     We then push this FeedTab item into our
understand what this means. Those                we will no longer need it as we handle         list of feeds, and finally make the newly
unfamiliar, should look up inheritance in        multiple feeds. Secondly, we will add a        added FeedTab the new selected tab.
object-oriented programming. You could           new variable, and array to store all our           We should now go ahead and add
use this feature for example to create           feeds’ data.                                   “feeds” as the dataProvider for the
your custom version of the “Video” class            [Bindable]                                  ButtonBar, and set the ButtonBar’s
called “SubtitledVideo” to provide sup-             private var                                 labelField attribute to “title” since
port for subtitles.                              feeds:ArrayCollection = new                    that is the name of the field where we are
    Interfaces are a way of making               ArrayCollection();                             storing the title of the feed that is to be
different classes compatible with                   Now in our onFeedLoaded function,           used as a label for the button.
each other. For example, while                   we will need to add this feed to our list of       Finally, we need to handle removing
the ArrayCollection, and                         feeds instead.                                 tabs. This is easily done by adding a click
XMLListCollection classes are                       private function                            handler for the close button with the fol-
very different — one stores data as an           onFeedLoaded(event:Event):void {               lowing simple line of code:
unstructured array, and the other as                   var rssFeed:XML =                            feeds.removeItemAt(feedTabs.
structured XML — both can be used as             XML((event.target as URLLoader).               selectedIndex);
a source for the list. This is because both      data);                                             Here feedTabs is the id of the But-
implement the IList interface. For                                                                     tonBar that lists the feed items. We
them to be part of a list they both                                                                    are removing the item at the selec-
need to provide a few features, such                                                                   tedIndex of the ButtonBar based
as moving forward and backward in                                                                      tab bar, from the feeds array. This
a list and getting the length of the                                                                   is only working as expected as the
list. If you create your own custom                                                                    order of items in the feeds array and
class which implements IList, it too                                                                   the tab bar is the same.
will be usable.                                                                                            Believe it or not, at this point
    This is the entirety of our                                                                        we have a functional multi-tab
“FeedTab” class:                                                                                       feed browser! Go ahead and test
    package                                                                                            your code.
    {                                                                                                      For an expanded version of this
        import mx.collections.                                                                         tutorial and the full code of this
XMLListCollection;                                                                                     application you can check out this
        public class FeedTab                                                                           article online at http://www.thinkdigit.
        {                                 You now have an RSS browser of your own                    com/d/fb4_tut1_5.

                                                                                                        Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 115
                                                      Playstation Move
                                                                                                          Halo Reach
                                                118                                                120
                                                      We take a first look at Sony Playstation            Our take on Bungie’s latest installment
          Esc                                         Move                                                with engaging graphics

     Minting millions, the crazy way
     There are hoards of people out there who have crazy business ideas, some of them work while the others just fail. People make
     a fortune by hosting pointless services on the web that no one ever thought of. Obviously because they are dumb in a way, yet
     they are laughing their way to the bank.
     Makes us wonder 'Gosh why didn't we think of that'?

       Million dollar homepage                           Doggles                                     Laser Monks
       If pixels are up for sale for a dollar            Well this one would just make you go...     Hallelujah! We've seen the light! We
       each, and someone thinks it’s a good              Whattt??? This team is dedicated to         mean the printed page. Monks at the
       idea for advertising on a pixel of                make your dog look cool in the sum-         Cistercian Abbey would refill your printer
       space, then we get the million dollar             mers. That's what 'Doggles' do – make       cartridge for free. Okay not for free, it’s a
       homepage. Over a million small busi-              goggles for your dog. They should be        full for-profit business with sales soaring
       nesses and brands advertise on a single           awarded the best dumb business idea of      above $2.5 million annually.
       homepage making it worth a million.               the year, which makes loads of moolah.

       Picky Domains                                     Mail from North Pole                        Buy my stupid ebook
       You've put in long hours and made your            If all your business ideas have failed,     Please guys, just go and buy this chap's
       cool web site, but that does not guar-            shift to the North Pole, pretend you’re     stupid ebook and you would be earning
       antee decent amount of traffic for it.            Santa and send postcards to little          in millions too. This is no joke. Look
       Guys at picky domains could choose                children telling them to behave and         for affiliate programs and google ads
       the best names for your site. Saleable?           be good kids. Santamail.org does this       on the site, and you’ll know its making
       It’s making a six a figure sum annually.          and makes crazy millions each year.         money.

       Antenna Balls                                     Fit Deck                                    Designer Diaper Bags
       Think you can make money by                       We all have reminiscences of playing        If your business has 120 chains across the
       selling car antennas online? Touted               WWE trump cards in our childhood.           globe, then no doubt you are a business
       to be the largest online car antenna              A gentleman has taken this simple           czar selling diaper bags! Rewind that a little
       service, this million-dollar business             idea and sells trump cards online that      bit. You read it right the first time. It’s not
       is on a roll with just a simple, effec-           showcase different exercise routines.       going to change. Diapees and Wipees is a
       tive idea. Go to antennaballs.com to              Wonder how to use them? We’re won-          global business conglomerate doing swift
       find out more.                                    dering as well!                             business online and through its stores.

116 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
                                                         HP sues ex-CEO
            Mafia II                                     HP has filed a lawsuit against its ex-CEO Mark Hurd who was part of a very public
121         Explore Empire Bay during the World
            War 2 era
                                                         sex scandal. The suit aims to prevent him from joining Oracle and leaking HP’s trade
                                                         secrets                                                                                     Unwind

Weirdest video game titles
How some game designers just run out of new ideas to base their video games on, and instead
design some really stupid plot lines and titles.

Super Columbine massacre                          Hong Kong 97                                           Communist mutants from space
Based on an unfortunate school shootout           Following in the                                       Communist mutants from the planet Rooskee
incident, Super Columbine Massacre was            league of poor                                         are searching for
released                                          game titles                                            peaceful democratic
on the sixth                                      and plot is                                            planets like ours to
anniversary                                       Hong Kong 97.                                          destroy. The title and
of the tragic                                     Set in the year                                        plot would surely
event. Why                                        1997, when the                                         make you wonder
would anyone                                      UK officially                                          what a waste of time?
develop       a                                   handed over                                            Made by a US com-
game with                                         the city of Hong Kong back to the Chinese.             pany called Starpath
such a sensitive topic? A lot of criticism and    The game’s plot revolves around killing Chi-           during the Cold War,
objections made the game so popular it has        nese who’ve moved to the city, and increasing          the game was avail-
been downloaded 4,00, 000 times.                  the crime rate ten fold.                               able on the Atari 2600.

    How we unwind

  Kickass                                         Lullabies to Paralyze                                   Mafia 2
  This superhero movie                            We delved into some                                     Critics have been calling
  ain’t about saving the                          alternative rock this                                   it a GTA rip off but we
  damsel in distress                              time. As the title sug-                                 enjoyed our time playing
  and thrashing up                                gests the tunes don’t                                   this classic mob, gangster
  the bad guys. Here                              paralyze you but they                                   rip off. Check it out for its
  the main dude gets                              sure have a numbing                                     detailed narrative drama
  hell of a beating but                           effect on your brain                                    and some 50’s style car
  doesn’t give up being                           for a while, the album is by Queens of the              and gun handling.
  a superhero                                     stone Age.

Do more with Google
Apart from being your every day search engine Google offers much more. Here’s a look at some other cool features of Google

                                                                      Google Fast Flip                              Google Goggles
(http://bit.ly/MUE2X)                                                 (http://bit.ly/3plHXw)                        (http://bit.ly/dgDrww)
Can’t figure out whether                                              Fast flip aggregates news and                 An app for smart phones, Google
your text is Japanese or                                              presents them in a pictorial format.          goggles searches for content based
Korean use the Google                                                 Trending topics are segregated under          on pictures. Users can simply click
language detector.                                                    tags such as popular, recent, etc.            a picture and get to know about it.

        The office has been buzzing with Samyukta’s speaker test noises that very well went above acceptable decibel levels
        leaving Robert in a sound frenzy. Our team has been growing by leaps and bounds for the past three months. Rudresh
        has joined us from Bangalore, he’ll be reviewing stuff for the Test centre. Speaking of Bangalore, Nash went there to
        attend FIRA (annual Robot World Cup) and came back with some awesome footage of mini mechas running around
        with the ball. Rossi has been donning an almost monk like hair style (he should seriously try changing that) for quite
        a while now. Kareena now climbs the parapet and has a tough time getting down, she says meow to all.

                                                                                                                       digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 117
                   $1 billion decline                                                               YouTube live
                   Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to be carried away by wealth.      Video hosting web site YouTube is testing the
  Esc              He recently turned down a $1-billion offer for his social networking business    possibility of live video streaming as a service

          ony Computer Entertainment (SCE)
          and Microsoft have big releases this
          winter with the launch of motion-con-
  trol peripherals for their respective consoles.
  It looks like SCE will be first among the two
  to launch its motion controller in the Indian
  market, with is expected to be already on sale
  by the time you are reading this. Microsoft’s
  Kinect is expected to follow shortly as the
  official word is that they are committed to a
  launch before the year ends. In this issue, we
  will look at PlayStation Move, its technology
  and our hands-on impressions of the system.
  In the next issue we hope you bring you a
  more detailed review of PlayStation Move
  and impressions on Microsoft’s Kinect.

  Eye on the Orb
  The basic setup required to add motion
  sensing capabilities to PlayStation 3 includes
  a PlayStation Eye camera and a PlayStation                          PlayStation Move:
                                                                      First Impression
  Move motion controller. PlayStation Eye is
  a camera that can capture images at frame
  rate of 60 hertz at 640×480 pixel resolu-
  tion, and 120 hertz at 320×240 pixels. The
  camera has been around in the market for a
  few years now, but it seemingly has not caught
  on among PlayStation 3 users. Reasons for            The gyroscope and accelerometer combine to          (circle, triangle, square and X) and the new
  this could be the device’s dismal perform-           form the controller’s inertial sensors that can     ‘Move’ button in front. The Start and Select
  ance under certain lighting conditions, the          not only track movement in all three-axis but       button are on the sides and the back of the con-
  constant need for calibration and its rudimen-       also detect subtle movements like twisting of       troller has a single trigger button with better
  tary capturing capabilities, which made for          the wrist. The magnetic field sensor (magne-        tactile feel than the standard controllers. The
  less than inspiring applications. The camera’s       tometer) tracks the controller’s orientation in     four game buttons are a little too small and are
  performance in detecting motion has been             relation to Earth’s magnetic field. This third      hard to press. Thankfully, all the game demos
  infinitely improved with the introduction of         sensor compensates for drift and allows the         we tried barely make use of these buttons and
  PlayStation Move controller. The camera is           system to keep track of the controller even         this practice is likely to continue.
  better at tracking the movements because the         when it is hidden from the camera, with
  controller has its own light source in the form      the help of dead reckoning algorithms. The          Navigation controller
  of a glowing orb on the top. The LEDs inside         information from these sensors is sent to the       The Move navigation controller is meant for
  the orb is capable of dynamically changing           console using Bluetooth.                            games that require a combination of gamepad
  color depending on rooms lighting condi-                                                                 controls and gestures. This is technically an
  tions. The orb’s dynamic lighting ability also       Move Controller                                     optional add-on since the system allows the
  allows the camera to distinguish between dif-        It is relieving to see that Sony has already        use of Dual Shock 3 or Six Axis controller
  ferent controllers when there is more than           included vibration feedback support from the        instead of the navigation controller. How-
  one in use. This has also reduced processing         start, unlike what they did with the Six Axis       ever, as you can imagine, using the game-
  latency since the camera only needs to track         controller. On the outside, the controller has      pad with one hand is easier said than done.
  the orb as opposed to the need to track entire       smaller version of all the four game buttons        This one-handed navigation controller has
  scene, before Move was introduced.

  The camera and the glowing orb are not the
  only things that are part of Move’s motion
  sensing technology. The Move controller has
  a three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerom-
  eter and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor.

118 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
  Craiglist cleanup                                                        Samsung Galaxy tab
  After being accused of promoting trafficking, Craighlist reportedly      Samsung claims its Galaxy tab is better than the iPad. It supports
  has decided to pull the plugs on its adult services section              Flash, will run Froyo and will be upgradeable to Gingerbread           Feature

a single analog stick, a D-pad,
two trigger buttons, two game
                                         SKOAR!                           calibration process which
                                                                          requires the user to point
                                                                                                          we have seen with Nintendo Wii. As it stands,
                                                                                                          the only advantage Sony has over Nintendo
buttons (X and circle) and the          Expo 2010                         the controller towards          is that PlayStation 3 console is capable of HD
PS button. This controller will                                           the camera and press a          graphics, as opposed to SD graphics on Wii.
become quite absolutely cru-                                              button. A more complex
                                         22nd to 24th October,
cial while playing first person
                                       2010, at NSIC Exhibition
                                                                          calibration process used        Games on the move
shooter games, with the naviga-                                           by some games requires          The PlayStation Move will launch alongside
                                      Center, Okhla, New Delhi.
tion controller in the left hand                                          the user to stand in front of   four games that are specifically designed for
mimicking the function of a              Play games                       the camera, such that his       the technology. Some games will be exclu-
keyboard and the motion con-                                              or hers captured image          sively available through PSN, whereas there
troller in the other hand doing
                                           Compete                        fits into a white box on the    are a few games already in the market that can
the work of a mouse.
                                           with other                     screen. Then you need to        work with Move controller after downloading
                                         fragmasters                      press a button on the con-      a patch. Here is a quick word about the games
Add-ons for an add-on                   Experience the                    troller once while holding      that were part for the PlayStation Move demo.
Sony is releasing PlayStation
                                        latest gaming                     it over the head and then
Move along with two acces-                                                again while holding it          The Shoot
sories for the controllers. A
                                          gadgets &                       to the side. This way the       This is an on-the-rail shooter where the
charging station which can                   gear...                      camera records how high         player is part of various movie shoots. The
charge two Move controllers (or                   Email                   and wide the user’s body        core game-play is pretty straightforward
one pair of Move and Naviga-             editor@thinkdigit.com            profile is.                     about shooting the bad guys and not hitting
                                             for free passes
tion controller) will be available                                            One game in particular,     civilians. This game had the best visuals of
in India for Rs. 1,999. In lieu of                                        Eye Pet Move Edition, had       the lot and was the easiest to kill time with.
the charging stations, the controllers can           a peculiar calibration process in which the
be charged by connecting them to PlaySta-            user needs to sit on the floor and hold the con-     Sports Champion
tion 3’s USB ports. However, this limits the         troller in a position outlined on the screen.        Sports Champion can best be described as
number of controllers that can be simultane-         It was hard to figure out what exactly the           Sony’s version of Wii Sports. The disc con-
ously charged to just two.                           system wanted us to do and neither we nor            tains games like Table Tennis, Beach Vol-
    The other accessory that Sony is releasing       the Sony reps were able to get it to work. This      leyball, Archery, Gladiator Duels, Bocce and
is the “Shooting Attachment” for the Play-           was a worrisome sign which reminded us               Disc Golf. Out of this lot, Table Tennis and
Station Move controller. The controller fits         of the frustration with getting the Eye Toy          Disc Golf were on demo and Table Tennis in
snugly into the attachment which appears             or the PlayStation Eye camera to cooperate           particular was impressive in terms of control.
to be the size of a hand-gun making it easy          during calibration process. We faced similar         The system was able to capture subtle move-
to operate with one hand. This attachment            issue with another game called Beat Sketcher         ment like twisting of the arm which lets the
will be available at launch for Rupees 999.          which actually had a very simple, point and          player add spin to the strokes. The game also
                                                     push calibration process. In this case, the          tracks player’s position and accordingly the
Hands-on                                             system failed to respond to button presses           character on the screen switches between
We got our hands on the PlayStation Move             on the controller, even after several attempts.      forehand and backhand. On the flipside,
Starter Pack for about two hours. This pack              Apart from these couple of setbacks, the         this game may require a pretty wide room
contains includes Move motion controller,            two hours we spent was generally a pleasant          to play—with minimum chances of col-
PlayStation Eye camera and a demo disc.              experience. The technology and its applica-          lision— particularly when there are two
The disc contains a video tutorial for setting       tions did not overwhelm us; however, at the          people playing simultaneously.
up the system, firmware update and nine              very least it reassured us. We were quite
game demos. The demo system was already              relieved to know that Sony has finally nailed        Echocrome ii [PSN Only]
updated and setup for us, so we really cannot        motion-sensing technology with PlayStation           The developers of Japan Studio have done
comment on the process. We were told that            Move, after its less than successful attempts in     it again with another brilliant game design
the game demos on the disc need to be                the past. The underlying technology may be           which uses light and shadows for some
installed on the console’s hard drive. The           more advanced than what Wii uses. However,           mind-bending puzzles. A solid structure
PlayStation Eye camera was placed under the          for all practical purposes, the overall experi-      is placed against a white background and
television and it was switched to wide-angle         ence with PlayStation Move was like Wii in the       a flashlight in front of the structure casts
mode. The motion controller can be used              early days all over again. The applications of       shadow on the background. Player controls
to navigate through the XMB by moving it             the technology that we saw at the demo were          the position of the flashlight to change the
around while holding down the trigger.               pretty straightforward and mostly predictable.       shape of the shadow and solve the puzzle.
    The motion controller needs to be cali-          We may have to wait a while longer till the          Of all the games we tried at the demo, this
brated each time you start the game. Games           developers get the hang of the technology and        one was by far the most interesting applica-
that can be played sitting down have a simple        start applying it in innovative ways, just like      tion of the motion controller.

                                                                                                                   Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com 119
  Game review

                                                                                                 Genre: First person shooter
                                                                                                 Studio: Bungie
                                                                                                 Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
                                                                                                 *Platforms: Xbox 360

            alo Reach takes the player to the
            birthplace of Spartan program
            and one of humanities most pop-
            ulous and prosperous space colo-
  nies. The story explores the last few days
  of Planet Reach’s defense against the full
  force of the mighty Covenant war-machine.
  It follows the exploits of a team of Spar-
  tans soldiers called Noble Team, and the       enemy AI is quite efficient at flanking and
  player takes on the role of Noble Six.         cornering. This mixes well with the game’s
                                                 level design which has a fair bit of variety.
  This is how we do it                           Between the arsenal of human and Cove-          unique, at least among console games.
  Halo Reach’s goodness is not just in its       nant weapons, vehicles, mounted weapons             We played Halo Reach on Xbox Live
  emotive storytelling, but the action is just   and Armor Abilities, there is a good deal of    using the free two-day Gold Access card
  as engaging. If you liked the game-play        combinations and strategies to experiment       that comes with the game, on a 1 mbps
  changes made with Halo 3 over its pred-        with. This keeps things fresh and chal-         connection. The experience was without
  ecessors, then chances are good that you       lenging right till you fire your last bullet.   glitches and completely lag-free. One
  will enjoy Reach all the more. A significant                                                   exception to an otherwise solid system is a
  and interesting addition in Halo Reach is      Reach online                                    standalone program called Halo Waypoint.
  Armor Abilities. Extending over the concept    The Halo series owes much of its fame           This is meant to serve as a hub for all
  of equipment which was introduced in Halo      to the series’ multiplayer component            Xbox 360 releases of Halo games. This
  3, Armor Abilities are reusable pick-ups       and Reach has been built well around            program consolidated Service Records
  with a cool-down timer. There are a total      that tradition. Bungie has extended the         and Achievements from Halo Wars, Halo
  of seven such abilities in the game, but       Service Record and armor customiza-             3, Halo ODST and Halo Reach into one
  the player can equip only one at any time.     tion options, along with commendation,          epic career record. Unfortunately, the
  Effective use of these abilities becomes       in a new credits-based content unlocking        system appears to be broken or reeling
  crucial during certain set-pieces in the       system. The sheer number of multi-              under a lot of traffic, as we experienced
  Campaign mode on higher difficulties.          player game types and game customiza-           constant disconnects with the server
  On ‘Heroic’ difficulty level — which hap-      tion options available in Halo Reach is         after every minute or so. There may be
  pens to be the recommended level — the         very impressive and could very well be          more to Halo Waypoint, but it’s hard to
                                                                                                 tell when the system is not playing nice.
                                                                                                     Halo Reach has earned its reputation as
                                                                                                 the killer-app for the Xbox 360 with its
                                                                                                 immersive single-player campaign,
                                                                                                 coupled with wide variety of multiplayer
                                                                                                 options. If you have ever loved a shooter,
                                                                                                 this game deserves your attention even if
                                                                                                 you not particularly a fan of the series.
  Halo 3 boasts of emotive storytelling          You’ll find the enemy’s AI quite challenging

120 SKOAR! | October 2010 | www.skoar.com
 XX Xxx    Xxxxxxxxx                          XX      Xxx
                                                      Xxxxxxxxx                       XX           Xxx
                                                                                                   Xxxxxxxxx                 Section opener name

               Czech has returned back to
               the world of organized crime
               after a hiatus of nearly eight
years. Mafia II is set during the WWII             Vito embroiled with crime
era in a fictional city called Empire Bay,
which draws its inspiration from multiple          scraps again. As a player, you are constantly
American cities. The game’s protagonist,           on the run from the law and from other
Vito Scaletta, is from a poor family of Sicilian   members of the crime world. The game’s               Drive through the streets of Empire Bay
immigrants and a decorated WWII veteran.           storyline creates an uneasy air of paranoia,
                                                                                                        Genre: Action adventure, Shooter
Vito, along with his sister and widow mother,      where you expect betrayal at every turn.
                                                                                                        Studio: 2K Czech
stays in an unsavory part of the city and
                                                                                                        Publisher: 2K Games
he quickly finds himself on the wrong side         This is not GTA                                      *Platforms: PC (Windows),
of the law while in pursuit of good times.         Mafia and GTA games may have a lot
                                                                                                        PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
                                                   in common, but they differ in some very
                                                                                                        *Reviewed on PC
An unfortunate tale                                fundamental ways. While recent releases
Mafia II stands out from all other gangland        of GTA are sandbox games, Mafia II simply            minor car customization options and also
games in its more realistic and authentic          uses an open-world system to create a                character customization by way of classy
approach to designing the game world and           more convincing world. There is no place in          suits and trousers. There is very little else to
scripting the storyline. Even though Vito          this game for a mad rampage across town              do in Mafia II besides completing the main
eventually fulfills his ambition, the journey to   with cars, tanks and choppers on your tail.          story. You can stickup stores or sell stolen
the top is wrought with betrayal, bloodshed        Mafia is about organized crime, so the law           cars in the scrap yard to earn some cash,
and even a few years in the slammer. The           is broken only when there is money to be             but the reward does not match the effort.
game takes off the sheen of glamour that is        made and not just because you feel like it.              Mafia II is highly recommended for
generally associated with gangsters in pop-            Mafia II has a very robust cover                 those that do not always look for instant
ular media and offers a hard look at life in the   system which works better than in most               and constant gratification from their games.
underworld. The effect this has on the game        other games. There is also a fair bit of             It is one of the more polished and con-
is two folds—on one hand this makes for a          close quarter combat in the game, which              vincing tribute to the era and the affairs of
very convincing and immersive world, but at        uses a fluid and responsive system of                the underworld by a game; making it fit
the same there are no long lasting rewards.        blows, blocks and counter attacks.                   for the fans of that period. Wish the game
Each time you think you can just kickback and          There is a handsome variety of cars and          had more to do after completing the Story
count your fortunes; something really drastic      weapons in the game; however, they are               Mode; however, it is not such a bad deal
happens and you find yourself working for          all specific to the era. The game also has           at a price-tag of Rupees 499 on PC.

                                                                                                                 SKOAR! | October 2010 | www.skoar.com 121
                                                       Tatkal tickets on mobile                                      WebOS community
                                                       The atom mobile payment service                               In an email to the Palm Developer
                                                       recently announced Tatkal train                               Community, HP said webOS will be used on
  Community                                            reservations booking for mobile                               “tablet-style devices similar to the iPad”

      SKOAr!                              The Open Source Challenge

                                                                                                                                                              DO iS
                                                                                                                                                                n S!
     expo 2010

                                          Calling all developers out there! It’s time for you to don your thinking
                                          caps and start cracking. Digit brings you a chance to prove your expertise

      22nd to 24th October,
                                          in Open Source Development. Take the Open Source Challenge by                         Collector’s
     2010, at NSIC Exhibition
     Center, Okhla, New Delhi.
                                          completing three steps and win exciting prizes such as Canon cameras,
                                          Sheaffer pens, 8GB iPod Nanos, bags, and more.                                        Edition
      Play games
        Compete                           Step 1: Head over to http://devworks.thinkdigit.com/tosc
        with other                        Step 2: Answer 10 simple questions.
      fragmasters                         Step 3: Fill in your personal details.

     Experience the                       Here’s a teaser question:
                                          The popular GPL license was created by:
     latest gaming                         The Open Source Licensing committee
                                                                                                  Read the e-book
                                                                                                   on Open Source
       gadgets &                           Geppetto Public Licencing                            Development found
                                                                                                  on the same link
                                                                                                                                 Book the Collector’s Edition in
          gear...                          Germal Public Library
                                                                                                                                 advance and get November issue
                                           The Free Software Foundation
                 Email                                                                                                           for just `50. Find the subscription
        editor@thinkdigit.com                                                                                                    form attached on page 84.
            for free passes

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       October 2010               Digit is taking interactivity to a new level, and will be organising events every month. You get
                                  to meet and interact with people that you wouldn’t in the normal course of your life — industry
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                                                Webinar                                  Choose your PC components
                                                 Want to build a new PC? Cant decide whether to go in for a Core i5 or Core 2 Duo? How good are the
                                                 new NVIDIA Fermi 400 series cards in comparison to the ATI 5xxx series? Attended this sequel to our
                                                 previous webinar and have all your doubts cleared. Due to the overwhelming response for our previous
                                                 webinar, here we’ll feature besides customised configs to suit your every need, an even longer question
   OCTOber 30                                    answer session. Your definitive guide to getting advice on what configuration suits your needs best.
   Time: 1700 HrS
              For details on upcoming webinars and to view past webinars, visit thinkdigit.com/webinars

122 Digit | October 2010 | www.thinkdigit.com
Digit 101

Mobile touch screens
Navigating your phone through keys is slowly going the dodo way. Touchscreen mobiles are flooding the market at an alarming rate. Here’s
a brief reference guide on the two most widely used types of touchscreens and how they work.

Resistive: Cheaper option in the touchscreen category.
Touch response lags a little bit, generally used with a stylus.     New age chat lingo
How it works: Air gap or microdots separate two
                                                                    Just when you thought you had got a hang of chat-lingo, these
resistive touch screens. Upon contact these two                     darn teenagers go and change it all over again. Here’s a quick
sheets are pressed together registering the touch, the              guide to some new-age lingo, so that you’re not left scratching
corresponding menu or function is then opened.                      that bald head of yours.
Life Span: About 35 million clicks, or about
four thumb-replacement surgeries                                    •   AAK- Alive And Kicking             In (when you intrude a
Examples: Samsung Corby series, Nokia 5800                          •   AAR - At Any Rate                  conversation)
                                                                    •   BWL - Bursting with Laughter   •   PMP - No, not portable media
Capacitive: Resistant to dust and shock, a capacitive touch         •   CRS - Can’t Remember Sh**          player, this means Peed My
screen is capable of multi-touch. Its highly touch sensitive and    •   GFN - Gone for Now                 Pants
reacts with just a flick.                                           •   GMTA - Great Minds Think       •   *poof*- (when someone leaves
How it works: Mixed signal integrated circuits are                             Alike                       a chat room)
placed on the alternative sides of the phone which are              •   IRL- In Real Life              •   SETE - Smiling Ear to Ear
connected with two highly sensitive electrodes. Touching            •   JMO - Just My Opinion          •   TNT -‘Til Next Time
the screen results in distortion of electrostatic field, the        •   LMAO Laughing My #$$ Off       •   WTGP?- Want To Go Private?
touched location is then processed to deliver outcome.              •   LHM - Lord Help Me                 (move to a private chat window
Life Span: About 225 million clicks, or simply                      •   OTW - On The Way                   with that septuagenarian
get a robot to operate it for you                                   •   PMJI Pardon Me for Jumping         who’s pretending to be a teen)
Examples: Motorola Milestone, Samsung Galaxy and Wave

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