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					                              FEBRUARY 2012 • Volume 9 • Issue 3 • Rs 150




                                                                              FR
                                                                            GAMEE
                                                                             SUPP ING
                                                                                 LEME
                                                                                     NT




NEvER RUN OUT OF                                                                 Browser Hacks




Power
                                                                                 Tweak Chrome, IE and
                                                                                 Firefox for super speeds

                                                                                 TrouBle online
                                                                                 Your Facebook page could be
                                                                                 breaking the law

                                                                                 superfasT sTorage:
                                                                                 How far can today’s solid-
Frustrated about charging your phone twice a day?                                state drives be pushed?
The batteries of the future will last for weeks!
                                                                                 online acTivism
                                                                                 The best and the worst
                                                                                 examples on the Web

                                                                                 iiT TecHfesT
                                                                                 Spectacular talent on show at
                                                                                 the annual festival




 TesTed                       COMPARIsON TesTs
 Samsung Galaxy Note          10 X79 Motherboards for                            8 Superzoom
 Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet       Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme                         cameras:
 Dell XPs 14z
                                                                                 Capture every
 Asus Zenbook uX31
 Sony Tablet s                                                                   distant object
 Nokia lumia 800
 HTC sensation Xl
 Micromax A85
 Panasonic lumix DmC-GF3W
                                                                                EDITORIAL




Uncertain times
             he news this past month has been filled with stories of clashes between law


 T           enforcement officials and common citizens. Some of these people have
             been involved in activities that are illegal (or that exist only in grey areas of
             the law), while others have been caught unawares as they just go about
living their everyday lives. Some have been blindsided by foreign cultural expectations,
and some have gone rogue in deciding to enforce their own standards of justice.
Governments and establishment bodies are fighting back by passing heavy-handed
laws and granting themselves more power to crack down on criminals, often
steamrolling everyone else in the bargain.

   These are uncertain times—many of the things we unknowingly take for granted
could soon change in significant ways. The Internet as we know it today is slowly being
replaced by something quite different—its long held role as a preserve of free speech
and expression could soon be a distant memory. Concepts of privacy, anonymity, the
freedom of movement, and the ownership of digital assets are being challenged and
reformulated. The interests of a powerful few are beginning to overshadow the greater
common good: the SOPA story, crackdowns on websites, the persecution of political
dissidents, the painting of casual criminals as terrorists, the identification and hunting
down of civil protestors, and various other attempts to muffle political criticism and
impose specific moral values are but a few examples of this. A less immediately
obvious (but not unrelated) trend is the gradual erosion of users’ rights and
expectations when it comes to privacy and anonymity online.

    But perhaps this was only to be expected in the normal course of events. Things
that once existed in states of joyous anarchy have become regulated and policed over
time—the societies we live in, for example. Like all societies, power will shift between
individuals, be passed down through legacies, or be snatched away by rebels. The
Internet was instrumental in enabling revolutions and overthrowing dictators in 2011—
and has also not been enough to do so in some cases. In 2012, it’s already being used to
 fight all-out war. Loosely organized groups are beginning to assert themselves, with
     peaceful campaigns and educational drives such as the undeniably successful
       January 18 blackout. Unfortunately, there are also those who believe in guerrilla
          tactics such as attacking and disrupting the operations of governments and
            corporate entities in retaliation to perceived wrongdoings. Other hackers (to
            use the term in a non-pejorative sense) are discussing plans to launch their
            own underground, unregulated Internet and possibly even launch satellites to
             help achieve this goal—no matter how unlikely it would be in the long term
             for any of these efforts to succeed where the current Internet falls short.
             Noble intentions aside, actions such as these are already being used by
             governments to justify even tighter regulations on Internet use.

                Many will just go with the flow for lack of an alternative, and many will
              remain unaffected by the changes. There will also be those for whom
               such luxuries aren't afforded. The silver lining here, as SOPA protestors
               so ably demonstrated in January, is that there's nothing stopping any of
               us from fighting back.



                Jamshed Avari
                editor@chip.in




                                                       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012      3
Contents
82 COVER STORY


NEVER RUN OUT OF

POWER

    NEWSWIRE                                              TEST CENTER                                          FEATURED
12 In the News...                                      34 Product Spotlight                                82 Never Run Out of Power
    A look at what's making news in the world of          Is there a market for a device that's part-          Batteries of the future will charge in seconds
    technology.                                           smartphone and part-tablet?                          for 20 times more performance.


24 Enriching Lives in Rural India                      36 Hardware Tested                                  88 The Best Browser Hacks
    Eureka Forbes' initiative to provide clean            The latest PC hardware, mobile phones, digital       Dozens of hidden functions are lying around in
    drinking water in remote villages.                    cameras and more, tested and rated.                  Firefox, Explorer and Chrome.


26 Intel Tech-Mom                                      58 XX Motherboard comparison                        92 Legal Trouble with Social
    The new program aims to expose urban                  We compare ten X79 chipset-based
    housewives to the possibilities of the Internet.      motherboards from various brands.
                                                                                                              Networks
                                                                                                               Copyright organizations are going after naive
                                                                                                               users. Could you be the next target?
27 Curbing Carbon Emissions                            64 Shoot Like a Pro
    A unique green tech project that landed its           Eight super-zoom cameras compete each other
    creator on Forbes' ‘30 under 30’ list.                in this roundup.
                                                                                                           96 The Fastest Hard Disk
                                                                                                               New solid-state drives are too fast for the SATA
                                                                                                               connection.
28 CES 2012                                            70 Software Spotlight
    This year's event was tame despite loads of           One of the best applications for adding HDR
    pre-show hype.                                        effects to your photographs.
                                                                                                           100 3D Printing
                                                                                                               With a suitable 3D graphic, these printers can
                                                                                                               create convincing 3D results.
32 IIT Bombay Techfest 2012                            72 Software Tested
    The three-day annual event lived up to its            Everything from recovery tools and system
    name.                                                 utilities to video and image editors.



4   02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
FEBRUARY 2012                                                                                                SU CRIBE NOW!
                                                                                                              UBSC   E OW!
                                                                                                             SUBSCRIBE NO
                                                                                                             Turn to page 42

                                                                                                      BEFORE
 34 TEST CENTER
 HARDWARE
 The latest hardware reviewed
                                                                                                                                           AFTER




                                                                                                    70 TEST CENTER
                                                                                                    SOFTWARE SPOTLIGHT
                                                                                                    Dynamic Photo HDR

 112 HANDSON
 SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE                                                                                                   TOOLS DVD
                                                                                                   POWER tools for everyday life
                                                                                                   8.5 GB of essential
 Underclock for longer battery life




102 Shedding the Slacktivist Tag
    Sites like Facebook and Twitter are the new
                                                          REGULARS                                  DVD HIGHLIGHTS
    mediums for social activism.
                                                        03 Editorial, 06 Colophon, 08 Letters,      RED HOT APPLICATIONS
                                                                                                    Software Autodesk Softimage 2012
     HANDS ON                                           12 In the News..., 18 The Buzz List,
                                                        20 New Products Launched, 78 PC Configs,    FULL SOFTWARE
                                                                                                    Linux Mint 12 and more...
106 Dr CHIP                                             104 Web Watch, 106 Dr CHIP, 114 Tips &
     Our in-house expert helps you with your            Tricks, 122 Market Watch, 135 Contests,
     hardware and software woes.                                                                    FULL GAMES
                                                        138 Personal Tech                           Grand Prix Racing and more...

110 Root Your Galaxy Note
     Enable your new smartphone to accommodate                                                      GAME DEMOS
     custom built ROMs and kernels.                                                                 Final Fantasy VII Remake

112 Underclock Your Galaxy Note                                                                     GAME TRAILERS
     Increase the Note's battery life in a few simple                                               The Darkness II and more...
     steps.


114 Tips N Tricks
     Some cool Windows and application tips you
     may not be aware of.




                                                                                                    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         02/2012     5
    COLOPHON


                                                                 FOUNDER & EDITOR, NETWORK18                                     GROUP CEO, NETWORK18
                                                                                    Raghav Bahl                                  Haresh Chawla
                                                    PRESIDENT & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, TV18                                         GROUP COO, NETWORK18
                                                                      Senthil Chengalvarayan                                     B. Sai Kumar
                                                                                MANAGING EDITOR                                  CEO - PUBLISHING, INFOMEDIA18
                                                                                   Hatim Kantawalla                              Sandeep Khosla
                                                                hatim.kantawalla@network18online.com                             EVP - HUMAN RESOURCES
                                                                                             DEPUTY EDITOR                       Sanjeev Kumar Singh
                                                                                                 Jamshed Avari                   ADVERTISING SALES
                                                                                          jamshed.avari@chip.in                  SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - SALES
                                                                        DEPUTY EDITOR - TECHNICAL                                Siddhartha Chatterjee
                                                                                        Anand Tuliani                            NATIONAL SALES HEAD
                                                                                 anand.tuliani@chip.in                           Badri Narayan (badri.narayan@infomedia18.in)
                                                                                                       COPY DESK                 SALES SUPPORT HEAD
                                                                                                       Sameer Desai              Sagar Salunkhe (sagars@infomedia18.in)
                                                                  ASSISTANT HEAD - TEST CENTER                                   MUMBAI: Amit Dhotre (amit.dhotre@infomedia18.in)
                                                                                     Francis D’Sa                                BANGALORE: Milan Abraham (milan.abraham@infomedia18.in)
                                                                                                                                 HYDERABAD: Rocky Joseph (rocky.joseph@infomedia18.in
                                                                            SENIOR FEATURES WRITER                               NEW DELHI: Vivek Ojha (vivek.ojha@infomedia18.in)
                                                                                        Priyanka Tilve                           CHENNAI: Madhivaanan (madhivaanan@infomedia18.in)
                                                                           MULTIMEDIA COORDINATOR                                MARKETING
                                                                                     Sachin Haldankar                            HEAD - MARKETING
                                                                          TEST CENTER COORDINATOR                                Amit Seth
                                                                                      Gautami Chalke                             SENIOR MANAGER - MARKETING
                                                                                    SENIOR ART DIRECTOR                          Nikhil Sharma
                                                                                          Ashwin R Boricha                       NEWSSTAND AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
                                                                              ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR                             HEAD (COPY SALES)
                                                                                      Jagdish Limbachiya                         Sunil Nair
                                                                                           SENIOR DESIGNER                       DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER
                                                                                            Hemali Limbachiya                    Manoj Palsay
                                                                                                                                 West: Mumbai: Soorendra Desai, Sanjay Bhujle, Yeshwant Gotpagar, Dinesh Devadiga;
                                                                                                      DESIGNER
                                                                                                                                 Pune: Sachin Kamble, Nitin Agre; Ahmedabad: Pranav Dave; Nagpur: Abhijeet Roy.
                                                                                                   Harshad Gujare                North: Delhi: Ashish Chakravorty, Kamal Bisht, Sanjay Sharma, Kamakhya
                                                                                          ILLUSTRATORS                           Pandey; Lucknow: Amit Singh.
                                                                           Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur                       East: Kolkatta: Debraj Sur.
                                                                                                                                 South: Chennai: Kripanand S, Balaji G; Bangalore: Devaraju Gowda;
                                                                          TECH2.0 TEAM                                           Hyderabad: G.S. Mahesh, Ratnaprasad Choppara; Cochin: A.K.Shihabuddin.
                                  Shayne Rana, Rossi Fernandes, Roydon Cerejo, Avinash Bali,
                                          Padmini Harchandrai, Aaron Almeida, Karan Shah,
                                                                                                                                 CORPORATE (SUBSCRIPTIONS)
                                                            Anuradha Shetty, Rajesh Dsouza                                       ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
                                                                                                                                 Rajiv Mani
                                                                                            HEAD - INTERNET
                                                                                               Tushar Burman                     ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
                                                                                                                                 Sanjay Elisha
                                                                                   CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER
                                                                                                                                 SENIOR MANAGER (SUBSCRIPTIONS)
                                                                                             Mexy Xavier
                                                                                                                                 Sheetal Kotawdekar
                                                                                   PHOTOGRAPHERS
                                                                                                                                 COORDINATORS
                                                                       Neha Mithbawkar, Joshua Navalkar                          Sarita Quadros, Chaitali Parkar, Kamlesh Mathkar, Vaibhav Ghavale, Meena Katta
                                                                               IMAGE PROCESSING
                                                                                                                                 LOGISTICS TEAM
                                                         Sanjay Shelar, Ravi Salian, Ravikumar Potdar                            Percy Palkhiwala, Anant Shirke
                                                                                                       PRINTING                  SERVICES
                                                                          EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT                               CIRCULATION SERVICES: If Intelligent Computing CHIP is not available at your
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                                                          Surekha Karmarkar, Dnyaneshwar Goythale                                Computing CHIP, write to editor@chip.in
    CHIP INTERNATIONAL: Editorial Consultant International - Thomas Pyczak, Poccistrabe 11, 80336 Munchen
    CHIP is also published in the following countries: China, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine
    Copyright 2004 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
               is an internationally protected trademark owned by CHIP Communications GmbH
    Views and opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Infomedia18 Ltd., its publisher and/or editors. We at Infomedia18 do our best to verify the information published but do not take any responsibility for the absolute
    accuracy of the information. Infomedia18 does not accept the responsibility for any investment or other decision taken by readers on the basis of information provided herein. Infomedia18 Ltd. does not take responsibility for returning unsolicited
    material sent without due postal stamps for return postage. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher. Infomedia18 Ltd. reserves the right to use the information published herein in any
    manner whatsoever.

                                                       Published by Lakshmi Narasimhan and printed by Mohan Gajria on behalf of Infomedia18 Ltd.
                                                       Editor: Lakshmi Narasimhan
                                                       Printed at Infomedia18 Ltd., Plot No. 3, Sector No. 7,
                                                       Off Sion-Panvel Road, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 706
                                                       & published at Infomedia18 Ltd., ‘A’ Wing, Ruby House, J.K. Sawant Marg, Dadar (W), Mumbai 28.
                                                       For all international subscription enquiries, contact the Subscription Department, Intelligent Computing CHIP
    Infomedia18 Ltd. is the                            All editorial queries must be directed to the Editor, Intelligent Computing CHIP, Infomedia18 Ltd, Special Interest Publications Division,
    publishing arm of Network18.                       ‘A’ Wing, Ruby House, JK Sawant Marg, Dadar West, Mumbai 28 Tel: (91 22) 30034631-35; Fax: (91 22) 30034499, Email: editor@chip.in


6    02/2012              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
      LETTERS



                                                                                                                                    STAR
                                                                                                                                   LETT'sEinR
INBOX
Next month's Star Letter wins
                                                                                                                                      th w ner
                                                                                                                                    This mon cool
                                                                                                                                         gets a set
                                                                                                                                       accessories

accessories set (worth Rs 5,000)
                                                                              R d
                                                                              Radiation Blues
                                      H ll CHIP,
                                      Hello CHIP
                                          I have just subscribed to your magazine and I am loving it. I really appreciate the collection of
                                                 j
                                             artic
                                             articles. I am a big fan of your reviews and I take into consideration every detail you mention
                                               be
                                               before buying my gadgets. I am a 15 year old student who is studying in Mahatma Gandhi
                                                 I
                                                 International School (MGIS), Ahmedabad. I have recently been working on a project that is
                                                   related to creating awareness about mobile radiation. I am working really hard on this and I
                                                   have also bought a microwave leakage detector which can calculate EMF radiation. It is a
                                                    very useful device as it shows us how much a mobile phone radiates and, taking that into
                                                    consideration, which one is the best to buy. I am planning to measure all possible models
                                                    from different companies to check their radiation level. I would really love to spread
                                                   awareness through CHIP, which is indeed the most trusted tech magazine in India.
                                                   Thanking you,
                                                                                                                                    – ZAID MANIAR


                                            Hi Za
                                                a
                                            Hi Zaid,
                                         Your pro
                                          our
                                         Your project sounds quite promising. The problem of cellphone radiation has been debated for years,
                                               ha
                                     and there has been no conclusion yet as to the exact nature of its effects. India is all set to make prominent
                                        mandat
                             SAR labels mandatory on mobile phone boxes, but the unregulated mushrooming of mobile phone towers might
           Pandit
    Sachin Pand
            andit                              Th
                             be a bigger risk. The project you've undertaken is certainly timely and relevant to all of us. We're curious to know
                                            equ
                             more about the equipment you have purchased and the conditions under which you intend to test mobile phones,
                             so please do write back to us with more details and any preliminary findings you might have. We'd be glad to
                             help out and also to discuss the results in a future issue. Best of luck!
                                                                                                                                       – TEAM CHIP




                          Gadget crazy                                and that you enjoy the rest of the        Dear Abhishek
                          Hello CHIP,                                 magazine as well. Thanks for the          It's our pleasure to provide you with
                          I have been a regular CHIP reader           good wishes too.                          all the latest tech news and analysis
                          for years. I would like to thank the                                 - TEAM CHIP      in one convenient magazine! With
                          entire CHIP team for bringing us                                                      regards to last month's CHIP Insider,
                          such a nice magazine loaded with            XPS thoughts                              the article in question covered one
                          tons of information regarding the           Hello CHIP,                               suitable model from each major
                          widest range of consumer                    I am a new reader of your magazine        manufacturer. Dell's gaming efforts
                          electronics, and of course for the          and I appreciate your efforts to          are now focused on their Alienware
                          DVD. I hope it will be continued            provide us with latest tech news. I       line, and you'll find that the M14x is
                          forever! In next month’s magazine           used to surf the net to satisfy my        quite highly recommended. The
                          (February), I and millions of CHIP          tech hunger but you guys have             current models in the XPS and XPS Z
                          readers would like to see the entire        satiated it. The Top Gaming Laptops       series are more focused on good
                          CES 2012 covered, with all the new          article was decent, but I found the       looks and general HD entertainment.
                          smartphones, tablets, cameras etc.          Dell XPS 15 missing from the list. I      You'll still be able to play today's
    CONTACT INFO
                          Regards,                                    have a huge crush on it and I             games at fairly high quality settings,
Please send your                               – SHADAB MEHDI         expected it to find place in your         so unless you demand the absolute
letters to:                                                           article, but I was disappointed.          cutting edge (and are willing to pay
editor@chip.in            Dear Shadab,                                Please tell me your thoughts as I am      for an Alienware model), go ahead
with "LETTERS" in         Consider your wish granted! We hope         planning to buy it for myself.            and enjoy your purchase.
the subject line          you find the CES coverage suitable,                                   - ABHISHEK                                – TEAM CHIP




8        02/2012    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
      LETTERS


   SMS US                        Unfair pricing                                                                        I am a tech junkie. Is it wrong to be
Since we like knowing what’s     Dear CHIP,                                                                            a tech addict? I am always with my
on your mind and what you        Why is it that everything that’s                                                      laptop and iPhone wherever I go
think about our magazine,
we bring you another way         involved with electronics is so                                                       and always tweet and chat. I read
to get in touch. Do you have     expensive in India, and is cheaper in                                                 Tech Detox in the December issue,
something to say about a test
                                 the US? I lived in the US for ten                                                     but I can’t follow anything
or review? Liked a feature
story? Was the workshop          years after I was born, after which I                                                 suggested in it. If I follow that
useful? SMS us your feedback!    moved to India. I believe I’m an                                                      advice, I might become less

For general comments, create     Indian and feel proud to be so. But                                                   interested in tech and that could
the following message:           there’s always a snag. I went to                                                      lead me to stop buying CHIP in the
ICCO <Your comments here>        Croma around two years ago and                                                        future. I like what I am doing and
Example: ICCO The cover story
was very useful                  saw my one and only true love, the                                                    what you guys are doing. Keep it up!
                                 Wii. I just stood there, marveling at                                                 Thank you.
To rate a story, product         it. That’s when my eyes landed on                                                                                      – AATHI
review, etc look out for the
story tag at the base of each    the price sign: Rs 26,999! Can you                                                    Dear Aathi
article and type:                believe it? My mouth hung open. In                                                    Thank you for your praise! All of us
ICCO <Story tag> <Rating>
                                 the US, it was selling like hot cakes     product categories is as high as 27         here are tech junkies to some extent,
Example: ICCO PWS 5
                                 for roughly Rs 15,000. I understand       percent. In rare cases, companies           but we do have other things going
The “Story tag” is mentioned     that duties and taxes are applied,        might need to keep the prices of            on in our lives. In fact, we'd go quite
at the base of every story in
the magazine and the “Rating”    but Rs 12,000 extra? That’s               some types of products high to              insane if we spent all our time
is on a scale of 1 to 5.         definitely not helping us buy. People     compensate for low volumes. On the          obsessing only about speeds and
                                 resorted to buying Wiis from the US       bright side, things are getting better,     specifications. Start slowly—make
Finally, send your messages to
51818. Cheers!                   on their own, leading to voltage          for example, laptops are now exempt         sure your gadgets aren't distracting
                                 conversion problems.                      from import duty if you bring them          you when you're at work and when
Please keep comments to
                                    I had a chat with my friend who        into the country when you travel.           you're supposed to be sleeping. Resist
160 characters per message!
Include your email address       resides in US, through Skype. I           The issue of Internet speed is more         the urge to pick them up when
to help us reply or check out    casually posed this question to him:      to do with the cost of creating and         you're momentarily idle. Try a sport
the SMS Feedback thread at
                                 “What’s your Internet speed?” He          maintaining infrastructure. Speeds          or musical instrument. Develop skills
www.chip.in/forums
                                 replied 48 MB/second, and laughed         have increased dramatically over the        and hobbies beyond tech, even if
                                 at my disbelief. We are living with       past few years, but we're also              they are related—photography,
                                 America’s decades-old web speed of        saddled with ridiculous data transfer       reading books (physical books!) and
                                 20 KBps. Maybe it’s because of            limits in the guise of "fair usage          writing, for example. Socialize with
                                 ignorance between megabytes per           caps". It's going to take new players       friends and enjoy their company. You
                                 second and megabits per second.           in the market to stir up competition,       might discover things you enjoy
                                 BSNL is a clear example: my dad           which is why we're looking forward          doing, and none of them can force
                                 signed up for 4 MBps plan, and            to the introduction of 4G/LTE               you to fall out of touch with tech.
                                 obviously, we get 20 KBps. We need        services in India, hopefully this year.                                 – TEAM CHIP
                                 India to progress technologically.                                 – TEAM CHIP
                                 Otherwise we will stay in the                                                         Bad habits
                                 shadow of other nations. We need          Saying no, no, no                           Dear Priyanka,
                                 for India to innovate and create an       Dear CHIP,                                  The article on the usage of chat
                                 Anna for the tech-inclined                This is my first letter to you. I can’t     words in daily life was very good. I
                                 community.                                say how much I love CHIP. I have to         agree that such words should be
                                 Thanks for your time,                     admit that I shower with you, brush         restricted to chats only. There is no
                                                       – RAVI KAWADE       with you, eat with you, travel with         way to control this habit, and what's
                                                                           you and even dream with you. I              worse is that it is growing. I guess
                                 Dear Ravi,                                have been reading CHIP since 2005           people now accept "gn & tc" in place
                                 We feel the pinch of prices too, but      and have never dropped an issue.            of "good night and take care".
                                 these really aren't the worst in the      You always come up with innovative          Thanks for the nice article.
                                 world. The import duty on some            things with every bit of your effort.                                       - ADITYA




WRITE TO US!                                                                                         CUSTOMER CARE
Readers' letters, feedback and suggestions: editor@chip.in (Subject: LETTERS)                        Late delivery, DVD malfunctions, and all subsciption
Industry representatives: editor@chip.in                                                             related enquiries

Marketing and sponsorship enquiries: marketing@chip.in                                               E-mail: customercell@infomedia18.in
                                                                                                     Tel: +91 22 3003 4633 / 31 / 30
Dr CHIP: drchip@chip.in                                                                              Fax: +91 22 3003 4499
Tips and Tricks: tnt@chip.in                                                                         Subscribe online at eshop.infomedia18.in




10      02/2012           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
               NEWSWIRE
        NEWS SNIPPETS


          DANGER PREDICTION                                              IN THE NEWS...
     Individuals aren't                                                  COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI
     much at risk from
         criminals, who
     seem to be taking
          a post-holiday                                                 LEGAL ISSUES
          season break.
           However civil
     liberties continue                                                  Megaupload taken down by US law enforcement;
       to be challenged
       in many parts of
              the world.
                                                                         Anonymous responds with mass DDoS attacks



     LOCATIONS OF MALWARE


                                                                         Lawmakers and federal officers in the             to the US for trial on charges of racketeering
                                                                         United States created fresh controversy          and money laundering, amongst others.
                                                                         just hours after the end of Web blackouts           Meanwhile, other file hosting sites are
                                                                         organized on January 18. Megaupload, the         suddenly running scared. Industry blog
                                                                         popular online file locker site often accused     TorrentFreak reports that Filesonic and
         USA             29.27 %           Ukraine               4.60%
                                                                         of facilitating piracy had its domains seized,   Fileserve have stopped allowing files to be
         Russia          16.46 %           Virgin Islands        2.84%   and four of its top managers were arrested.      downloaded by anyone other than the user
         Germany          12.72%
                                           Canada                1.99%   Local officers swooped down into the New          who uploaded them. Uploaded.to has blocked
         Netherlands          7.82%
                                           Romania               1.99%   Zealand compound owned by notorious              all IP addresses originating from the USA.
         Great Britain        5.93%
         China                5.10%        Others            11.28%      Megaupload CEO Kim Dotcom, arresting             Users are reporting mass deletion of files and
                                                                         him and confiscating millions of dollars'         blockage of accounts at other sites, and at
Malware programs are most often hosted
                                                                         worth of items including luxury sports cars,     least two other popular sites have shut down
on web servers in USA and Russia
                                                Source: Kaspersky        electronics, and server equipment. After         entirely, fearing long, expensive legal battles
                                                                         being denied bail, Dotcom is to be extradited    that they don't have the resources to handle.
DISTRIBUTION OF A SUPERWORM
                                                                         WEB
      DATA IN MILLIONS
5
                                                                         Fresh controversy as Google promotes G+ in search
0                                                                        Google is in danger of attracting fresh             Google chiefs have committed to this
    12 01 02 03          04    05     06   07   08    09    10    11
                                                                         antitrust attention after introducing a new      vision of unifying a user's experiences across
     MONTHS 2010/2011
                                                                         search feature and dramatically reducing         Google products by further changing their
The Conficker worm was active on 11 million                              users' control over their own privacy. The       privacy policy to allow a user's activities
computers in 2008. Three years on and 3.25                               new Search Plus Your World (SPYW) feature        on one site to affect their experiences on
million PCs are still infected.
                                                                         customizes Google search results with            another, for example your YouTube history
                                                      Source: Sophos
                                                                         photos, posts and other content from users'      could play a role in determining the ads
       FIGURE OF THE MONTH                                               own Google+ histories as well as from their      you see in Gmail. Google promotes this as
                                                                         friends' accounts. A user's search history       a "seamless experience" across a unified



4 billion
                                                                         and social networking behavior will also         Google, whereas it has previously held back
                                                                         influence their customized results. Apart         from doing so. Pointing out Google's U-turn
                                                                         from de-emphasizing objective search results     on its famous "Don't be evil" policy now,
                                                                         online, the reinvention of Google Search         engineers at Facebook, Twitter and other
YouTube videos are viewed per day. Over
                                                                         has serious privacy implications, and also       sites have launched www.focusontheuser.org,
an hour of video is uploaded per second.                                 excludes search history from competing           which replaces SPYW results with often more
                                                     Source: YouTube
                                                                         services including Facebook and Twitter.         useful old-style Web search results.


         12         02/2012            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                    SMS us!   Story code: NSN to 51818
   NEWSWIRE
NEWS SNIPPETS


LEGAL ISSUES                         LEGAL ISSUES                       LEGAL ISSUES                         LEGAL ISSUES

Court orders FB,                     Bahrain deports Death for Iranian UK extradites
Google filtering                     outspoken teacher SW developer    "pirate" for trial
The Delhi High Court has             An Australian teacher in           Canadian software developer          Richard O'Dwyer, currently 23
ordered 21 websites including        Bahrain has been deported for      Saeed Malekpour, a resident          years old, will be extradited
Facebook and Google to               his Facebook posts describing      of Canada detained in                to the US for a trial for
appear in court on March             recent political turmoil in the    Iran since 2008, has been            allegedly facilitating copyright
13. The sites are accused of         nation. Tony Mitchell claims his   handed a death sentence for          infringement. O'Dwyer
playing a role in allowing           posts were deliberately non        creating a program which the         was a teenager when he
religious and political figures       critical of the ruling family      government alleges was used          launched the site TVShack.
to be insulted, as a result of       and government, but the            for spreading pornography.           net, which contained links
user-posted satirical content.       Bahraini authorities cracked       Malekpour was also allegedly         to downloadable copies of
The government has previously        down to suppress any form          tortured into recording a            popular TV shows and movies.
attempted to hold such               of implied dissent. Students       confession. He is also charged       The site itself did not host
websites responsible for pre-        and staff of the polytechnic       with acting against national         any of the allegedly infringing
screening all content posted         university he was working at       security by moderating               material, but US authorities
to them, an undertaking that         have been beaten, arrested         adult websites. His wife has         contend that he made
would be nearly impossible           and expelled for participating     stressed that the websites           hundreds of thousands of
considering the billions of          in anti-government protests.       used Malekpour's software            dollars in advertising revenue
posts made every day. Google         Mitchell was initially given       without his knowledge. Despite       from the site. Activists are
and Facebook have responded          a few weeks to leave, but          international outcry, he has         protesting the UK citizen's
by pointing out that they            instead had to flee within          continued to be in custody           extradition, pointing to the
already have mechanisms in           days, after posting a comment      since then, held accountable         sweeping powers granted to
place to deal with offensive or      on Facebook promising to           for unknown strangers' use of        private interests, in this case,
illegal content.                     share details of his experience.   his software.                        foreign copyright holders.



SOFTWARE                             INFRASTRUCTURE                     WEB

FreeDOS updated IPv6 will launch                                        Registration opens for Custom TLDs;
after five years for good in June                                       experts debate effect on Web
                                     The world has already run
                                     out of IPv4 addresses, but the
                                     IPv6 scheme which would add
                                     billions more addresses to the
                                     pool is yet to be supported
FreeDOS, the open source OS          by major websites and ISPs.
best known for appearing on          After a flawless field run in
budget computers sold without        June last year, major websites
Windows, has been updated            including Google, Bing, Yahoo
after nearly five years. Version      and Facebook have committed        ICANN, the authority overseeing top-level domains on the
1.1 includes support for FAT21       to turning on their IPv6           Internet, has decided to allow companies to claim their own
filesystems, UDMA for optical         support and leaving it on          custom TLDs. In addition to .com, .org, and various country-
drives, basic USB connectivity,      permanently from the 6th of        specific TLDs, users can now set up registries for any word
sound drivers, a media player,       June 2012. Users who cannot        or phrase, potentially including .shop, .cool, or .site, and sell
text and graphics utilities,         default to IPv6 will continue      websites using them to anyone. To avoid a massive flood of
and even a BitTorrent client         experiencing service over          demand, potential registry owners will have to fill in a ___ page
and virus scanner. Work              IPv4. Beyond websites several      application form detailing their reasons for wanting the name
on FreeDOS began as early            ISPs, equipment manufacturers      and their plans for it. The fee, over US$ 100,000, is intended
as 1994, in response to              and web hosting companies          to deter squatters and troublemakers. Still, companies afraid
Microsoft's move towards the         have also committed to             of having their brands associated with competitors, pranksters,
fully graphical Windows 95. It       begin transitioning significant     or criminal enterprises will find themselves having to pay for
is still used for PC diagnostic      numbers of users and products      several alternative TLDs in addition to the recently introduced
and recovery purposes.               to pure IPv6.                      .xxx, .biz, and potentially .theirownname.


14    02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
      NEWSWIRE
  NEWS SNIPPETS


                                            SECURITY                                                       SECURITY
SECURITY
                                            Chaos Congress: HP printers leave Mobile recharge
NEW SECURITY                                networks open to outside attacks scam steals info
RISKS DETECTED
AND PATCHED
                                            Rumors that certain HP
                                            printers can be remotely
                                            manipulated into setting
                                            themselves on fire have
                                            been quashed by the
                                            researcher credited
                                            with discovering such a
                                            flaw in their firmware.                                          Symantec is reporting that
                                            However, the vulnerability in question could still leave       malware authors are targeting
                                            entire office networks open to outside attackers. Speaking      prepaid mobile subscribers
                                            at the annual Chaos Communications Congress, hacker Ang        in India and other countries
                                            Cui demonstrated how a firmware update routine could be         by masquerading as popular
                                            subverted into allowing any arbitrary code to be loaded        websites and promising free
ANDROID
                                            and executed, for example emailing a manipulated document      airtime. A fake Facebook login
An intentional design decision in the
                                            which would modify a printer when the recipient tries          page with several brands'
way apps are granted permissions
allows for third-party advertising          printing it. Such printers could thus be modified to send       logos promises users free
modules to piggyback on the                 copies of all printed documents to a remote Web server,        recharges when they "sign
permissions of the host app. A              open backdoors through corporate firewalls, scan the office      in". This however involves
malicious third-party module can then       network for vulnerable PCs, carry out attacks, and even        disclosing a fair amount of
steal private user data and pass it to a    thwart subsequent attempts to clean such malware from the      personal information, most
remote server.                              printers. Cui gave HP a month to fix the issue before going     notably their Facebook login
SOLUTION: Users should check the            public, and the company has responded with a patch.            credentials.
origins of apps they download, and
developers of free apps should be
very sure of the ad modules they use.
                                            LEGAL ISSUES                                                   SOFTWARE
AJAX
Web surfers are at risk from a new
                                            Pirate Bay to offer 3D "physibles", Visual Studio now
attack method that loads exploits in
small increments on seemingly
                                            new headaches for law enforcers offers rewards
innocuous pages, through the use of
Asynchronous JavaScript And XML.
SOLUTION: Users are advised to keep
their Web browsers and security
suites updated at all times.


WINDOWS
A vulnerability in the kernel allows                                                                       Microsoft has reignited the
attackers to bypass built-in security                                                                      debate on "gamification" of
mechanisms and execute arbitrary                                                                           common activities with a
code. The bug affects Windows XP,
                                            The rapidly declining prices of 3D printers and scanners       Visual Studio plugin that offers
Vista, 7, Server 2003 and 2008/R2
                                            are raising all sorts of questions regarding the duplication   programmers "achievements"
SOLUTION: An automatic update fixes
the issue.                                  of commercial products, creating to the potential to pirate    for completing milestones
                                            many kinds of inventions and possibly even works of            such as using certain features
                                            art. The Pirate Bay, already one of the industry's worst       or working late into the
WINDOWS
                                            headaches, has decided to pioneer a category of "physibles",   night. Badges can be shared
Specially crafted TrueType Font Files
                                            or physically reproducible objects, for download. On-demand    across blogs and social
(TTF) embedded within documents
could force malicious code to be            manufacturing of physical objects could one day obviate        networks, purportedly to let
executed on a Windows PC. The flaw          the need for warehousing and shipping, but the notorious       programmers display proof of
has been rated as critical, with            website and others like won't emerge into a legal vacuum       their skills (or in some cases,
potential payloads including the            much like file sharing did in the late '90s—manufacturers of    lack of them). The idea came
extremely dangerous Duqu worm.              memorabilia items, patented tools and mechanical objects       from a satirical discussion on
SOLUTION: An automatic update will
                                            such as spare parts for cars, are reportedly already trying    a community website, which
soon be available.
                                            to establish legal precendents against 3D object piracy.       Microsoft seems to have liked.


   16    02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
   NEWSWIRE
     BUZZ LIST



BUSINESS                                                                     WEB

Suicide threats at Foxconn                                                  Twitter fooled by prank
Even after claiming to                                                      An online prankster who created a parody account in the name of
have raised salaries                                                        Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch's wife, claims was just as surprised
and improved working                                                        as anyone else when Twitter decided to mark it with the "verified"
conditions at its China                                                     stamp that it reserves for celebrities and public figures. The
factories, Foxconn is                                                       London-based man who created the account shortly after
being called out by                                                         Murdoch's own highly publicized Twitter debut says he did not
workers who claim                                                           apply for any sort of recognition, and merely went along with the
their situation is so                                                       misunderstanding for a while. The account was noticed by blogs
bad that they literally have nothing to lose. Over 200 staffers on          and the press after a number of cheerful, sassy, and often
an Xbox production line threatened to commit suicide demands                irreverent tweets went out to fans and celebrities including
for salary raises were not met. More than 15 workers have jumped            Murdoch. Twitter apologized once the mistake was discovered,
off Foxconn buildings in the past two years due to high levels of           but the incident has thrown its verification process into
stress and inhumane working conditions. It                                                         question—as well as that of Murdoch's News




                                                  BUZZ
is widely reported that staffers as young as                                                       International Corp, which itself initially
12 years old live in insufferably cramped                                                          confirmed to the media that the account was
conditions and perform menial repetitive                                                           Deng's own. Twitter's "verified" seal was
tasks over 16+ hour shifts. Labor law                                                              originally introduced to differentiate




                                                LIST
enforcement is especially lax, with                                                                celebrities' accounts from spoofs.
vacations, healthcare and insurance
practically unheard of. Microsoft and
Apple, whose products are amongst those
manufactured by Foxconn, say they insist
on fair employment practices, but the fact
remains that it's cheap Chinese labor that               COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI
allows them to produce their widely selling           The simple lowdown on
gadgets in large quantities at low cost and           what everyone's talking
sell them at high prices, which gives them
                                                         about this month
their wide profit margins.



POLITICS                                                                                     1                                                  2
SOPA support
shrinks after Web
blackout protests
A series of coordinated blackouts,
unprecedented in the history of the Web, is
directly responsible for at least a dozen US
                                                                                             3                                                  4
lawmakers withdrawing their support of the
controverisal SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)
and PIPA (Protection of Intellectual
Property Act) which are still being
considered in Washington DC. The bills have
been criticized for their inclusion of
provisions that would allow copyright
holders to make Websites disappear from
the Internet without notice or trial, using      criminals, leading to the huge social media        order to persuade people to rethink their
means that would potentially undermine           campaign in which website operators took           stands. These included Wikipedia (1), Wired
the foundations of the Web itself. Critics of    the desperate measure of taking down their         (2), Mozilla's Firefox start page (3), Reddit
the bill have dismissed as pirates and           websites or altering their looks drastically in    (4), BoingBoing, Google, and many more.




18    02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                               SMS us!     Story code: NBL to 51818
     NEWSWIRE
NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED




   NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED
   COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI




   WESTERN DIGITAL                                 curves, and dimensions are all designed      PRICE: TBA
                                                   to feel great in your hand. The unique       WEBSITE: www.zotac.com
   Home Media Streamer                             twist on HTC Sense includes an all-new
                                                   home screen that provides a clean and        IBALL
                                                          uncluttered way to interact with
                                                              the essentials. The home screen   Convenient scanner
                                                              enables quick previews of your
                                                              appointments, messages or         iBall ClickScan is
                                                         whatever is important to you. HTC      re-defining the
                                                   selected custom wallpapers to offer a        scanner experience—
                                                   variety of original art to complement the    it’s quicker, easier, and
                                                   HTC Rhyme experience. With a 3.7-inch        portable. Furthermore it increases
   Western Digital has introduced the next         WVGA super LCD display and high-quality                              ng
                                                                                                productivity by digitizing and
   generation of its WD TV Live, an easy to        stereo sound, HTC Rhyme also offers a        organizing documents. The foldable
   use Wi-Fi enabled media player. WD TV           5-megapixel camera that includes auto                               ny
                                                                                                ClickScan can capture any document or
   Live features an intuitive user interface       focus, power LED flash and instant                                ects.
                                                                                                even images of 3D objects. It can scan up
   that delivers the latest hit movies, TV         shutter.                                                            esolution
                                                                                                to A4/A3 size at high resolution in about
   shows, music and the best of Internet           PRICE: TBA                                                         oject
                                                                                                one second. One can project a paper
   content from companies like Vimeo,              WEBSITE: www.htc.com/in                                            ect
                                                                                                document or a real object to the large
   Playjam, Deezer, TuneIn, SnagFlims, and                                                                             op
                                                                                                screen using PC or laptop and projector.
   Comedy Time directly to your TV in Full         ZOTAC                                                               ction
                                                                                                Its video recording function can record
   HD 1080p resolution. The new streaming                                                                             eration
                                                                                                the progress of any operation or
   media player easily connects to the             Powerful compact PC                                               R
                                                                                                demo. Its powerful OCR function
   Internet wirelessly or through an Ethernet                                                                     (Optical Character
   connection, with high performance                                ed
                                                   ZOTAC has announced a 2nd                                         Recognition) enables
   802.11n wireless connectivity. In addition,     generation ZBOX mini-PC for all your
                                                                    ini-PC                                           conversion of image of
   WD TV Live allows users to enjoy photos,                          he
                                                   computing needs. The new                                          text into characters
   video and music on their home                   ZOTAC AD04 series delivers                                        which can be edited.
   entertainment systems by supporting a                              nd
                                                   energy efficiency and                                             iBall ClickScan has 2
   wide range of file formats for streaming        high-definition                                                   models available with
   content from any connected USB drive,           video playback                                                    A3 and A4 size
   digital camcorder, camera or network            in a compact                                                   scanning options. The
   drive.                                          form factor. The                                           use
                                                                                                              user friendly Click-scan is
   PRICE: Rs 7,900                                 2nd generation                                         USB po
                                                                                                              powered (no adapter
   WEBSITE: www.wdc.com                                                    t
                                                   ZBOX platform enhancements                              i d)
                                                                                                       required).
                                                   debuting with the AD04 series include an       PRICE: TBA
   HTC                                             external WiFi antenna, integrated            WEBSITE: NA
                                                   Bluetooth 3.0 and a bundled Media
   Smartphone for                                  Remote with USB IR receiver for use with     ASUS

   women                                           Microsoft Windows Media Center, XBMC
                                                   and other applications. The ZOTAC ZBOX       Extreme graphics card
                                                   AD04 series packs the latest AMD E-450
   HTC has announced the                           APU that combines dual-core CPU              An efficient and powerful 28nm GPU
   Rhyme, a women-centric                          processing and AMD Radeon HD 6320            coupled with 3GB of GDDR5 delivers
   handset that integrates                         graphics processing that provide snappy      gamers and video enthusiasts with the
   hardware, software and                          system performance and responsiveness        most capable graphics card yet. The ASUS
   accessories in a unique                         for everyday computing needs. The AD04       HD 7970 ships with the exclusive GPU
   way. HTC Rhyme offers a                         ships as an easily customizable barebones    Tweak utility for real time and intuitive
   smart, elegant unibody                          system—simply add memory and hard            tuning and overclocking. It offers the best
   design with every detail                        drive—while the AD04 Plus ships with         platform for enhanced DirectX 11 gaming
   carefully crafted to deliver a unique           2GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB hard          and genuine next generation PC graphics
   sensory experience. The materials,              drive preinstalled.                          output, enhanced by the inclusion of new


   20       02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                        SMS us!      Story code: NPL to 51818
     NEWSWIRE
NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED

                                                                                    The products and services listed here have not been reviewed by IC-CHIP.
                                                                                   These are not endorsements or recommendations. All prices, specifications
                                                                                     and claims are as stated by the respective manufacturers and publicists.




                                                  COREL                                                 controller that supports SATA 6GB/s for the
                                                                                                        best performance and delivers read speed
                                                  Photo workflow                                        up to 550 MB/s and write speed at

                                                  manager                                               520MB/s. Supporting fault-tolerant
                                                                                                        technology and ECC error correction, the
   PCI Express 3.0 and AMD Eyefinity multi-                                                             SSD strengthens data security and upgrades
   screen technology. The latest graphics         Corel has announced the expansion of                  computing performance. All Kingmax SSD
   processor design from AMD uses an all-new      its digital                                           products adopt highly reliable MLC NAND
   28nm fabrication process, resulting in         photography                                           flash, Global Wear Leveling features and
   components that are more efficient, cooler,    portfolio with the                                    NCQ/TRIM commands to ensure flawless
   and more powerful. The ASUS HD 7970            introduction of Corel                                 performance and improve reliability.
   graphics card ships with 3GB of GDDR5          AfterShot Pro, a                                      Kingmax SSD SATA III Client series is
   video memory, expanding gaming and             total photographic                                    extremely quiet in operation, stable and
   visual experiences with more detailed          workflow solution                                     reliable. It helps save electricity and
   textures and faster frame rates. The 384-      for professional and                                  reduces the chance of a breakdown.
   bit bus expedites data transfer between the    enthusiast                                            PRICE: TBA
   card and the motherboard.                      photographers with                                    WEBSITE: www.kingmax.com
   PRICE: Rs 38,000                               complete RAW
   WEBSITE: www.asus.in                           workflow, flexible photo management,                  RAZER
                                                  advanced, non-destructive editing and
   THERMALTAKE                                    breakthrough performance. AfterShot                   Flexible
   Cooler for enthusiasts
                                                  offers fully multithreaded and optimized
                                                  for multi-core and multi-CPU computers.               gaming
   Thermaltake has released the Frio Extreme
                                                  Corel AfterShot Pro delivers fast RAW
                                                  processing and incredibly color-accurate
                                                                                                        mouse
   CPU air cooler, with a maximum cooling         images with support for an ever-increasing            Razer takes your intense
   capacity of up to 250W. Frio Extreme is        number of major camera manufacturers                  arena battling and frenzied
   structured with six 6mm high-efficiency        and models. Unlike current competitors,               hack and slash gaming to the
   copper heatpipes to speed up heat              AfterShot Pro offers workflow capabilities            next level with the Naga Hex
   conductivity. A mirror-finished copper base    that enable you to work with photos                   action-RPG gaming mouse
   provides absolute contact to the CPU, dual     virtually any way you want, such as quickly           featuring six large thumb buttons
   specialized heat-sink towers enhance           accessing images from existing file folders           optimized for the user interfaces
   airflow, and 0.4mm aluminum fins and a         or memory cards or importing them into                found in action-RPG games. With a
   pair of 140mm blue-blade fans allow rapid      searchable catalogs. AfterShot Pro’s                  mechanical structure that requires less
   thermal dissipation. The Frio Extreme is       powerful tools let you make your photos               force to actuate, you gain the edge in speed
   built to have high performance with            look their best, while unique selective               over enemies, attacking before they can
   controlled noise level. A combination of VR    editing capabilities provide incredible               react. The Naga Hex is perfect for obsessive
   and PWM is able to control both of the         control over image adjustments.                       clicking in hack and slash games. The Naga
   140mm fans’ speed between 1200RPM and          PRICE: Rs 5,900                                       Hex is designed with an ergonomic
   1800RPM upon enthusiasts’ preferences.         WEBSITE: www.corel.com                                curvature that fits your hand comfortably.
   Furthermore, the tool-less and easy                                                                  The placement of the six thumb buttons has
   installation fan module design allows          KINGMAX                                                             also been perfected over
   instant disassembly and assembly of the                                                                            countless design iterations to
                   fans. Th universal all-in-
                         The                      Performance SSD                                                     ensure you’re getting the best
                           one designed back-                                                                         game control and grip. Three
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                             all Intel and AMD    latest 2.5-inch SATA III 6Gb/s                                      are included so you get the best
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                             PRICE: TBA           performance users. The                                              PRICE: Rs 4,999
                             WEBSITE: www.        Kingmax SMP32 Client and                                            WEBSITE: www.razerzone.
                            thermaltake.com       SMU32 Client Pro SSD feature a                                      com
                                                  new generation SandForce                                                             – jamshed.avari@chip.in



   22    02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




Enriching Lives in Rural India
Eureka Forbes has been instrumental in providing clean drinking water to many remote
villages in India. BY PRIYANKA TILVE



L
      iving by their maxim ‘True Friend for
      Life’, over the years, Eureka Forbes
      has - as a part of their responsibility
towards the community - headed several
welfare projects. Chief amongst them
has been the initiative of providing clean
drinking water, which, though one of
the necessities, is not easily accessible
to a large section of the population in
our country. With a view to addressing
this problem, Eureka Forbes established
community dirking water plants in several
remote villages.
   Speaking about the need for an
initiative of this kind, Dr Rajesh Roy,
head of community fulfillment, Eureka
Forbes Limited, says, “The global water
crisis takes the lives of more than 14,000
people each day, 11,000 of them children
under age 5. Women and girls spend              Consuming RO water has reduced the number of Diarrhoeal cases, body pains, joint pains and swelling that
many hours every day walking to collect         are assumed to be the aftermath of the high Fluoride intake.

water from distant, often polluted sources.     objective to remove the dangerous levels              production of potable water. Membrane
This time they could have instead spent in      of fluoride in the water in Manikyapuram               technology is advanced and physical
education and generating incomes for their      was successful by building up the relation            separation techniques are most reliable
households. To address such issues, we          and collaboration of the community,                   and economical. Reverse osmosis removes
have the vision of working with corporates,     local government and non-governmental                 bacteria, salts, sugars, proteins, particles,
NGOs and likeminded partners to build           organizations such as World Vision. Many              dyes, and other constituents that have
a relationship with every individual who        of the 1,300 villagers had suffered for               a molecular weight of greater than
thrives to bring a holistic makeover to this    years from anemia, weak teeth, sore joints            150-250 Daltons. The separation of ions
need of the hour.”                              and even birth defects because their                  with reverse osmosis is aided by charged
   He states further, “One such example         drinking water had a high level of total              particles. Any dissolved ions that carry a
is the successful establishment of the          dissolved solids (TDS), including fluoride.”           charge, such as salts, are more likely to
community water plants in Manikyapuram,            To treat the water, Eureka Forbes used             be rejected by the membrane than those
a small village in Andhra Pradesh. The          the reverse osmosis system. Explaining                that are not charged, such as organics.
project was driven through a cross-sector       the process, Dr Roy says, “In the RO                  The larger the charge and the larger the
partnership model, where organizations          systems, the contaminated water passes                particle, the more likely it will be rejected.”
from different sectors came together            through sand and carbon filters and                        Apart from Andhra Pradesh, these
and offered an opportunity to leverage          finally passes through the RO membrane.                community water treatment plants have
skills, knowledge and resources to              The RO membrane pores retain the                      been implemented in states like Gujarat,
accomplish things that each partner, on         dissolved chemical and suspended                      Orissa and West Bengal. The unique
its own, would not have achieved. The           molecules from the water leading to the               feature of these water plants is that
                                                                                                      the village community is involved in its


The global water crisis takes lives of
                                                                                                      building, working and even its upkeep.
                                                                                                      This not only ensures their involvement,
                                                                                                      but also empowers them. “The key to


more than 14,000 people each day,
                                                                                                      the Eureka Forbes rural approach is
                                                                                                      involving the community. All Eureka
                                                                                                      Forbes rural projects are designed to


11,000 of them children under age 5.                                                                  empower communities, with local water
                                                                                                      committees overseeing construction and
                                                                                                      ongoing maintenance of the projects.


24    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                     SMS us!      Story code: FGT to 51818
                                                                                                                              NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                                FEATURE


Since the people who benefit have a real                                                           unlike other solar-powered light resources,
stake in the outcome, it helps to ensure
that the projects are sustainable over
                                                  In India around                                 it is completely lead-free. Dr Roy explains,
                                                                                                  “Currently in India, the problem is that


                                                95,000 villages are
the long term. All of our projects have a                                                         we cannot connect the power generated
health education component, which is                                                              from solar panel to the existing grid for
vital because many of the people in the                                                           several technical reasons and so a lead
project areas lack a good understanding of
                                     ology
sanitary practices. Appropriate technology
                                                without electricity                               acid battery is used as a storage tool. The
                                                                                                  battery life is short and we do not have
options in water treatment including                                                              a system to collect old batteries for eco-
                                 d-
both community-scale and household-            finan
                                               financially empower the women and                   friendly recycling. So it all started with the
scale point-of-use (POU) designs               also impart health education.                      question, 'can we can make a difference'?
have helped the rural community to                    Eureka Forbes is also involved in           Can we have a lead free environment,
tackle some of the dreaded water                    several other community projects,             where every child would be breathing in
related diseases which otherwise                                                m
                                                     most noteworthy amongst them                    lea
                                                                                                   a lead-free atmosphere? Eurodiya is
were ignored for generations,” says                b                               ses
                                                   being the ‘Eurodiya’ that harnesses              the fi
                                                                                                        first technology that works without
Dr Roy. When it comes to delivering               so                                n
                                                  solar energy to light up homes. “In               the lead acid battery. The solar bulbs
this purified water, Eureka Forbes has a       India, around 95,000 villages are                       ru
                                                                                                      run with the NiMH battery, which
unique system in place. “We have in place     without electricity. Out of these,                        is completely lead acid free and
an advanced and automatic prepaid card        18,000 villages are unlikely to                            ensures a completely non poisonous
based dispensing system for quick and         ever have access to the national                          atmosphere.”
easy access to purified drinking water.        grid due to their remote location.                          Eurodiya is the foot print of their
Consumers can get water from ADU              We have introduced the renewable                      “green energy” initiative and it uses
(Automatic Dispensing Units) available at     energy technologies as viable options to            high-efficiency solar panels, which makes
the RO purification plant at any time. We      such communities by providing them the              it light and easy to carry. The bulbs need
would also be developing the extended         sustainable energy services to meet their           to be exposed in sunlight during the day
dispensing stations gradually at various      energy needs. What we observed was that             time that allows it to run uninterrupted for
places for better access. Purified water                                                           6 to 8 hours in the absence of day light.
would be delivered to these units by                                                              The bulb comes in various capacities to
truck at regular intervals. The quality                                                           provide light of varied intensities. Also,
of the water would be as per the WHO                                                              it is sturdy, rainproof and made-up of
drinking water standard and would be                                                              blended ABS plastic to withstand extreme
available for everyone. Buyers can get the                                                        temperatures. The wires are made of
drinking water 24x7 without any operator                                                          high-carbon steel, while the globes are
dependency. Such high end automation of                                                           shatter-resistant polycarbonate. Its custom
the plant ensures efficient operation with                                                        NiMH recyclable battery can withstand
minimum cost using remote monitoring,                                                             heat up to 55˚C. The Eurodiya has gained
minimal downtime for the plant with                                                               immense popularity and has been adopted
quality service 24x7, and most importantly,                                                       enthusiastically. It not only provides light,
minimal or no water wastage during                                                                but more importantly, it has done away
production and dispensing.”                                                                       with the use of kerosene lamps. These
   Speaking about its success and the                                                             kerosene lamps were not only expensive,
changes it has resulted, Dr. Roy says,                                                            but also quite unsafe to handle and a
“There was clear evidence of overall          The lead free Eurodiya uses high-efficiency solar   cause of several burn incidents in villages.
                                              panels and run uninterruptedly for 6-8 hours.
improvement in the health of the                                                                  It’s not only been adopted in the houses,
community consuming the RO water              due to the proximity to the equator, India          but has been used by street vendors as
leading to the positive impact on their       receives an annual average of 4-7KWh per            well as shopkeepers. Dr Roy says, “We
socio economic conditions. For instance,      day for every square meter, which means             strongly believe that in the years to come,
in Andhra Pradesh, the important health       that certain parts of the country receive           these eco-friendly and sustainable energy
indices considered were the reduction in      a lot more sunlight than what it can use            sources would help to meet the energy
the diarrhoeal cases, body pains, knee        in a year, making it an abundant source             requirements of the rural population of
and joint pains and swelling, which are       of power. However, the challenge was to             India. Our 'go green' initiatives have got
assumed to be the aftermath of the high       make the technology reachable to the                the fillip when India’s first solar bulbs with
fluoride intake.” In rural parts of Gujarat,   common people and make it inexpensive.              the inbuilt solar panels were launched by
they have set up ‘water shops’, which not     Eurodiya’s novel technology and model               Eureka Forbes. That’s just a drop in the
only generate income for the people, but      design allow storing the solar energy for a         ocean. We hope to take our initiative to
also are the hub for several community        longer duration. The technology is critical         every household in India and would lead
developmental programs. Overseen by a         for such locations where the exposure to            the green energy concept to a sustainable
core team from Eureka Forbes, such water      sunlight is limited,” says Dr Roy.                  future ahead.”
shops encourage rural entrepreneurs,             What makes ‘Eurodiya’ unique is that                                          – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    02/2012        25
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




Intel Tech-Mom: Empowering
the Housewives
It's a sad fact that most housewives in our country are at the bottom of the Internet literacy
spectrum, and this holds true not only for the rural areas, but also in the metros. The Intel
Tech-Mom initiative hopes to change this. BY PRIYANKA TILVE



T
       oday, having a PC at home                   been developed and approved by Intel.                   this activity, as it is seen as empowering
       is commonplace. In fact, we                 It typically begins with familiarizing them             women, not just a standard sales activity.
       are increasingly moving on to               with the various parts of the PC and its                The feedback we’ve received from women
more portable computing media like                 functions. Then moving ahead, they are                  who’ve attended these trainings has been
smartphones and tablets. The younger               introduced to the Internet and in what                  by and large positive. They were curious
generation and the working class are               ways it can help them in their daily lives.             and surprised to know about online
the main drivers of these trends. But              Right from looking for the best prices                  usages like bank transactions, utilities bill
sadly there is still a huge segment of the         for commodities online to shopping                      payment, school search, etc.”
populace that has not caught up with               for cosmetics, searching for recipes to                    Bhavna Tiwari, a trainer from
the trend. This segment comprises largely          looking for hobby activities, from travel               JustmyNeighbour.com who has conducted
of housewives. This is a fact not only             bookings to paying utility bills, from                  several training sessions in Mumbai,
applicable in the rural areas, but in                                                                           agrees. “Initially, they are a bit
urban India as well. In an attempt                                                                              apprehensive about what it is that
to change this, industry giant Intel                                                                            they will be taught, but at the same
has launched its Tech-Mom training                                                                              time, they are also very curious to
initiative. Talking about this new                                                                              find out more. Most of them have
endeavor, Suryanarayan B, director,                                                                             a PC at home, but they have barely
sales and marketing, Intel South                                                                                used it. When we introduce them to
Asia, says, “The woman are the                                                                                  all that they can achieve through the
backbone of the household; she                                                                                  Internet, they are truly amazed and
is a key influencer in adoption of                                                                               are keen to find out more. They now
new technology by the household.                                                                                know what they can do and that
Enabling her to understand and use                                                                              knowledge is empowering. Of course,
technology in a way that is beneficial                                                                           we don’t expect them to be Internet
to her will go a long way in PC                                                                                 savvy after a one-day training
                                             The Tech-Mom initiative has opened up a whole new world for
adoption within households.”                                                                                    session, but it definitely helps to
                                             housewives by making them Internet savvy.
   Under this initiative, Intel has                                                                             boost their confidence and they will
tied up with JustMyNeighbour.com, an               entertainment to looking up information                 no longer be scared of using the PC.”
online platform for housing societies,             to help their children with assignments.                   Rashmi, a housewife from Mumbai,
to provide training to housewives.                 Also, a part of the training is information             who has attended a workshop says, “I
Elaborating on this tie-up, Suryanarayan           about how to set up your email as well                  am really glad that someone thought of
says, “JustMyNeighbour.com has tie-ups             as social networking account. To generate               a workshop of this kind. We have a PC
with over 800 residential societies in the         interest and also promote learning, the                 at home, which is mostly used by my
country. They create and manage Web                training also includes a quiz on the topics             husband and my children. While I had
portals for societies, thereby furthering the      discussed and prizes like movie tickets are             some idea about the Internet in general,
use and relevance of technology amongst            given to those who answer correctly.                    I didn’t know how easy it could be to use
RWAs. They are a good means to reach                   This training has been well received                the Internet to get information on just
into mid to large sized societies. The 1st         with positive response from the                         about anything. Now, having seen it, I will
phase plan has been rolled out to three            participants, says Suryanarayan. “An                    definitely try it on my own.”
cities- Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.                average of 30-35 women per society have                    She is not alone; almost all the women
Depending on the success in these three            been attending the Tech-Mom trainings.                  who attended these workshops express
cities, we will evaluate and scale into more       Only about 50% of the women we’ve                       similar opinions. While most agree that
cities across the country.”                        reached have ever used a computer, and                  they will require help, they say the training
   The training usually takes place during         20% of them use the computer frequently.                has made them realize that the Internet
the weekend and is held in the premises            In many societies, the president of the                 holds something for them as well.
of the society. The training material has          residents' association is keenly driving                                              – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



26    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                         SMS us!     Story code: FIT to 51818
                                                                                                                                NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                                   FEATURE




Green Tech: Curbing Carbon Emissions
Vivek Nair has found a place in Forbes' ‘30 under 30’ list for his system of converting carbon
emissions into carbon filaments, which are then put to various uses. BY PRIYANKA TILVE


T
       here is not a single person living in
       Mumbai or in any other metro city
       who is not affected by pollution.
But while we complain, we don’t think
about what we can do to change the
situation. Vivek Nair grew up in Navi
Mumbai on the outskirts of Mumbai that
houses many industrial plants. Heavy
pollution here is not uncommon and that’s
what fueled his interest in this area. He
was looking for ways to capture the carbon
emissions from vehicles, and one of his
earliest projects was the production of a
bio diesel form rice husk and barn.
   Passionate about nanotechnology
and material science, he attended
many conferences and seminars. It was
during one of these seminars that he
first learnt about the traditional way of       Through his company Damascuz Fortune he wants to make a major impact on the environment by reducing
                                               the global warming and provide employment to many.
making carbon nanotubes in laboratories
called CVD (carbon vapour deposition).         of composites. They are used in solar               projects like these are the need of the
Speaking about his innovation, Vivek says,     cells, energy storage devices, sensors,             hour.
“I found many similarities in the conditions   nano-electronics, and much more. But                   Little wonder then that Vivek’s
required for CVD and conditions available      his journey was not free of challenges.             efforts were lauded by all and have won
in industrial exhaust. So I decided to try     From inadequate lab facilities to rising            him several prestigious national and
my experiments and did it in a rice mill       costs, Vivek faced many roadblocks. “I              international awards. Speaking about the
called Maruthi Modern Rice Mill in Trichy.     didn't have adequate lab facilities to              advantages of the technology, he says,
The experiment worked wonderfully and          make the catalyst, so I had to devise my            “It helps reduce green house emissions,
I got the results I was looking for. We        own way. The traditional inert substrate            as carbon emissions are converted into
used a catalyst, which is a combination of     in laboratories were quartz, Silicon and            carbon filaments. If this technology is
metal and metal oxide porous magnetic          Alumina, which were not available to                used to its fullest potential, it can reduce
nanoparticles, to achieve results.”            me, so I prepared my own, which was a               industrial emission by more than 30%.
   Explaining the process, he says that the    cement base with sand layer that acted              (this can be further improvised to 60% by
technology can be applied in industries        as a inert base to coat the catalyst. The           treating the emissions using adsorbents.)
and automobiles that emit flue gas. He          analysis was costly and I had to struggle a         Additionally, the self-regeneration of the
explains the conditions required for it        lot to get it done in my college.”                  catalyst makes it usable for five cycles,
to work. “Firstly, the temperature of the         What makes his innovation really                 and by further chemical methods, it can be
boiler and flue gas emission needs to be        noteworthy is the fact that it tackles              regained. Also, this technology makes use
above 100 degrees C. Further, it requires      the problem of carbon emissions, which              of the waste heat from the boilers.”
inert or inbuilt vacuum atmosphere in          is one of the main causes of global                    A number of companies around the
the furnaces or boilers. Then, a catalyst      warming. Research points out that every             world have shown a keen interest in the
composed of metal and metal oxide              tonne of carbon dioxide released into the           technology. “If I could get Government
porous magnetic nanoparticles is coated        atmosphere leads to 0.0000000000015                 support, then I can easily install it in
over an inert substrate to be exposed in       degrees of global temperature change.               all industries in India to make a major
the flow path of the flue gas emission           Rising global temperatures can have                 environmental impact by reducing green
from industries and automobiles. After         adverse effects and according to the UN’s           house emissions on a large scale. I want to
this, the purification is done according to     weather agency report, 2011 was amongst             spread this technology through the world. I
the standard protocol for carbon nanotube      the hottest years since the records began           want to see my technology making a major
purification and functionalization.”            in 1850. With the dangers of global                 impact on the environment by reducing
   The resulting carbon nanotubes              warming looming large, there is a need to           global warming and providing employment
that are 25 times stronger than steel          address the issue of carbon emissions and           to many.”
have numerous applications in the field         other greenhouse gases. At such times,                                             – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



SMS us!    Story code: FGT to 51818                                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      02/2012        27
   NEWSWIRE




CES 2012
                                                                                 This year's Consumer Electronics Show was
                                                                                 quite tame, despite loads of pre-show hype
                                                                                 over new laptops, phones and TVs BY JAMSHED AVARI




Acer Aspire S5
A slim, sober followup to the S3,
Acer distinguishes itself with a
motorized platform popping up at the                                                                                      Toshiba Excite X10
back to allow access to the USB 3.0,                                                                                      Made of brushed aluminum and just
Thunderbolt, and video ports.                                                                                             7.7 mm thin, the Excite X10 packs
                                                                                                                          a dual-core CPU and will ship with
                                                                                                                          Android 4.0. You also get a microHDMI
                                                                                                                          port and stereo speakers.




                                                                                                                      Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga
                                                                        Lenovo ThinkPad U410                          The aptly named Yoga is trying to be the
     HP Envy 14 Spectre                                                 Intel is heavily pushing its                  best of both worlds, offering laptop features
     Everyone took notice of the Spectre, with its glass                "Ultrabook" concept of lightweight            with tablet convenience. It won't be out until
     lid and palmrest. This baby has an HD screen, Beats                super-slim laptops. The 14-inch               the formal launch of Windows 8.
     Audio, solid-state hard drive and backlit keyboard,                U410 stretches this definition a
     and is still only 20mm thin.                                       bit, but will debut with the latest
                                                                        Ivy Bridge generation CPUs later
                                                                        this year.




                                                           Intel Nikiski
                                                           This promising vision of the
                                                              future was first shown
                                                                   off at Computex.
                                                                       CES attendees
                                                                        got to see how
                                                                        its transparent
                                                                                                Toshiba Qosmio F755
                                                                    panel allows a user
                                                                                                Glasses-free 3D technology makes its way
                                                           to interact with Windows
                                                                                                to laptops, freeing users of their active
                                                           8's live even when the lid
                                                                                                shutter glasses. This bulky laptop will be
                                                           of the device is closed.
                                                                                                out in mid 2012.


28      02/2012    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                             SMS us!      Story code: NCE to 51818
                                                                                                                                  NEWSWIRE



                                         Polaroid SC1630
                                         Here's an oddity: this isn't a phone, it's actually a camera that runs Android! The SC1630 packs a 16-
                                         megapixel sensor with 720p video capability and 3x optical zoom lens. You also get to play music or
                                         video files and run a variety of Android apps and connect to the Internet via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. There's
                                         huge potential for future upgradability, but for now you'll get geotagging, direct uploads to social
                                         networking sites, face recognition, and editing capabilities such as cropping and red-eye reduction.




                                                                                                    Canon PowerShot G1x
                                                                                                    This beast now sits right at the top of Canon's
                                                                                                    prosumer range. With a sensor nearly the size of
                                                                                                    a DSLR's, the G1x is a worthy alternative to the
                                                                                                    mirrorless models now growing in popularity.
                                                                                                    Full 1080p video, RAW mode, customizable
                                                                                                    controls, ISO values of up to 12800, and a
                                                                                                    twisting LCD screen complete the package.




                                               Samsung WB150F
                                               Consumer cameras are
                                               getting Wi-Fi friendly, and
                                               this model is no exception.
                                               You can upload photos
                                               directly to social networks
                                               or online storage sites,
                                               and even use your Android
                                               smartphone as a remote
                                               shutter release.




                                                                                                        Seagate GoFlex
                                                                                                        Seagate showed off
                                      Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock                                   Thunderbolt adapters which
                                                                                                        Th d b lt d t           hi h
                                      MacBook Air owners who are itching for a                          will work perfectly with its existing GoFlex
                                      few extra ports will love this. With a single                     desktop and portable hard drives. Cables
                                      Thunderbolt connection, you'll get three USB 2.0                  and adapters will be available soon, but don't
                                      ports, FireWire 800, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and a                expect them to be cheap—the desktop adapter
                                      pass-through Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining                  alone will cost US$ 189 (approx Rs 9,490) and
                                      a display panel or more storage devices.                          the cables are US$ 50 each (approx Rs 2,510).




                                                                                                      WikiPad
                                                                                                      The Wikipad, from the hitherto-unknown
                                                                                                      company of the same name, claims to be the
                                                                                                      world's first glasses-free 3D Android tablet,
LaCie 2big Thunderbolt                                                                                and comes with a game controller dock for
Thunderbolt is finally taking off.                                                                    better control. Gamers can hook up to casual,
The insanely fast data transfer                                                                       mobile or "high-end" games via cloud-based
standard will be seen on non-Mac                                                                      services, as per the company's release notes.
PCs this year, and CES saw plenty                                                                     Alternatively, the 8-inch HD screen can be
of compatible devices. LaCie's 2big                                                                   used for watching movies or surfing the Web.
external RAID array will make PC
enthusiasts very happy indeed.




                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         02/2012       29
   NEWSWIRE




                                                                                              LG 84LM9600
Sharp Aquos LC-80LE844U                                                                       Stepping it up a notch, LG showed off its 84-inch 3D TV with
Is 80 inches big enough for you? Though it might be a behemoth,                               4K resolution. There's also a voice-controlled remote, library of
the panel tops out at 1080p HD, so you'll have to sit at least 10 feet                        1,200 apps for download, and passive 3D system with comfy
away from it to get a clear picture. You'll get SD card, USB, HDMI                            lightweight glasses. No price is available yet.
and Ethernet connections. There's a built in Web browser and a few
streaming media apps, and you can even connect to a service rep
live online.
                                                                                                             Razer Project Fiona
                                                                                                             Razer's Windows 8 tablet concept with built-in game
                                                                                                             controllers aims to redefine mobile gaming. The device will
                                                                                                             be powered by a "next-generation" Intel Core i7 CPU and will
                                                                                                             feature force-feedback controls and Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
                                                                   Toshiba L7200                             We can't wait!
                                                                   There might not have
                                                                   been any record-
                                                                   breaking 100-inch-plus
                                                                   TVs at CES this year,
                                                                   but Toshiba showed off
                                                                   its new flagship with
                                                                   a respectable 55-inch
                                                                   screen. The "smart"
                                                                   functions include a
                                                                   searchable TV schedule,
                                                                   passive 3D, Wi-Fi
                                                                   with DLNA, 2D-to-3D
                                                                   conversion, and instant
                                                                   media sharing from
                                                                   Toshiba tablets.




                                                                                                                              HTC Titan II
  Sony Xperia S                                                                                                               Would you like a 16-
  Sony and Ericsson are                                                                                                       megapixel camera
  officially parting ways,                                                                                                    on your phone? Well
  and the models shown                                                                                                        then, you're in luck.
  off at CES carried only                                                                                                     HTC's new flagship
  Sony's name. The Xperia                                                                                                     Windows phone
  S has a 4.3-inch screen,                                                                                                    shares its basic
  dual core 1.5 GHz CPU,                                                                                                      specs with most of
  and 12-megapixel                                                                                                            the other high-end
  camera with 1080p                                                                                                           models from various
  video capture. Sadly, it                                                                                                    manufacturers, but
  runs Android 2.3, though                                         Nokia Lumia 900                                            the camera truly sets
  an upgrade to ICS is                                             Possibly the worst kept secret of the                      it apart. You also get
  promised for soon after                                          entire show, Nokia's new Windows 7.5                       720p video recording
  its early 2012 launch.                                           flagship is US-only for now. Enraging                      and excellent low-
                                                                   N800 buyers, it fills in every gap left                    light stills. Preloaded
                                                                   by the lesser Lumia, including 4G LTE                      apps for photo editing
                                                                   network support, a 4.3-inch AMOLED                         and effects round out
                                                                   screen, front-facing camera and 7 hours                    the package.
                                                                   of talk time on a single charge.




30     02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                    NEWSWIRE




Griffin Twenty
Apple's AirPlay wireless streaming system hasn't been
licensed by many home stereo equipment makers,
prompting Griffin to launch the Twenty. By plugging an
Airport Express router into the unit and then hooking it up
to your speakers or home theater receiver, you'll be able to
stream tunes wirelessly from an iPad, iPhone or Mac.




                                                                            Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH
                                                                            This is not just your average car stereo! In addition to music, Web radio and streaming
                                                                            services, you get an advanced navigation system, voice control, Bluetooth integration for
                                                                            hands-free calling, and the ability to use iPhone/iPod apps on the large 7-inch screen.




                                                               iTwin
                                                               iTwin, another single-product
                                                               company, wants to make file
                                                               sharing between PCs a no-brainer.
                                                               Plug the USB dongle into a PC, mark
                                                               the files and folders you want to
                                                               share, and then detach the rear half
                                                               and plug that into the second PC.
                                                               Files transfer via the Internet—not
                                                               the fastest or most convenient, but
                                                               simple enough for most.




                                                                                                                         Nest Learning Thermostat
      Victorinox SSD                                                                                                     Envisioned by former Apple design
      Want a terabyte of storage space in                                                                                experts, Nest thermostats in a home
      your pocket at all times? This oddity                                                                              communicate with each other and
      from Victorinox is more SSD than                                                                                   learn about their environment and
      pen drive, and uses a hybrid eSATA/                                                                                their users' behavior patterns in order
      USB 3.0 plug for practicality. Besides                                                                             to anticipate when minor adjustments
      the graphical capacity readout and                                                                                 to home temperature controls might be
      256-bit encryption, you also get an                                                                                likely to save huge amounts of energy.
      airport-friendly case that dispenses
      with the usual array of blades.




Switch Lighting 75                                                                                                          Logitech Cube
These might be the devices that finally                                                                                     More of a block than a cube, this little
convince people to dump their traditional                                                                                   device is only as tall as your thumb,
lightbulbs. Switch Lighting says its LED                                                                                    but works as a laser mouse when flat
bulbs emit the same warm pleasant glow                                                                                      on a surface or a presentation remote
as incandescents, work with common                                                                                          when held in the air. Touch the top to
home dimmers, last 25,000 hours, and                                                                                        click, or swipe down the middle to scroll.
can save hundreds of dollars in energy                                                                                      Flip it upside down and tap to go to the
costs over their lifetimes. The metal base                                                                                  previous side. It's a bit pricey, at US$ 70
dissipates heat, and a microprocessor                                                                                       (approx Rs 3,515), but will slip into any
prevents overheating no matter how long  g                                                                                  backpack pocket or laptop sleeve.
they're left on.




                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          02/2012         31
 NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




IIT Bombay Techfest 2012
The three-day event lived up to its name and showcased some spectacular talent. BY PRIYANKA TILVE

                                            1                                       2




     3                                                               4                                                5




                                                      3A




                                                                     1 ROBOT LAND: Robots ruled the three days of the
                                                                    fest. Teams battled it out, pitching their robots in
                                                                    various competitions like Cricbot, Robowars and a
                                                                    variety of other games at the Robotic Gaming Arena.

                                                                     2 BUILDING BRIDGES: In Canyon Cross,
                                                                    participants were required to build bridges using
                                                                    tooth-picks, ice-cream sticks, glue and thread. The
                                                                    bridge design that could sustain maximum load was
                                                                    adjudged the winner.
                     6                           7
                                                                     3 NEED FOR SPEED: Wireless remote controlled
                                                                    machines powered by an IC engine raced against
                                                                    each other, passing through many obstacles on an
                                                                    off-road track.

                                                                    3A One of the major contenders for the prize at
                                                                    Full Throttle.

                                                                     4 & 5 KNOWLEDGE SESSIONS: Probably the most
                                                                    anticipated lecture was that of Prof. David J Griffith,
                                                                    who explained concepts of quantum mechanics.
                                                                    This was followed by an equally awaited lecture
                                                                    by the 2009 Nobel Prize (Chemistry) winner Venki
                                                                    Ramakrishnan, who spoke about antibiotics.

                                                                     6 & 7 SPINNING WHEELS: Moving on the roads of IIT
                                                                    Bombay were Micycle, a self balancing unicycle and
                                                                    an electric Diwheel named EDWARD that employs
                                                                    the latest drive-by-wire technology used in modern
                                                                    aircrafts.



32   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                      Mexy Xavier                   SMS us!     Story code: FIIT to 51818
                                                                                                                    NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                     FEATURE


       8                                                                                  8 & 9 DESIGN & MORE: A special enclave
                                                                                         within the exhibition hall displayed
                                                                                         prototypes of ideas created by the
                                                                                         masterminds at the prestigious Industrial
                                                                                         Design Centre (IDC) of IIT Bombay.




                                                                                                                9




                                                                              10                                             11




                                                                                         11 FLYING ROBOT: Buzzing around like flies
                                                                                         were the quadcopter, which is a prototype
10 JAPANESE DESIGN: Also part of the Techfest was a display of Japanese designs by The   of the CrazyCopter project. Controlled by a
Japan Foundation. This display included products from post-war Japanese design to the    PS2 joystick, it can also be mounted with a
more contemporary ones.                                                                  camera and used for surveillance.




 12 HUMANOID ROBOT: Nao, the
                        T:                 12                                                           13
humanoid robot, was
quite a show stealer.
Built to mimic human
behavior, it can
express emotions
like fear, joy, pride,
happiness, anger,
and sadness,
amongst others.
It can also recognize
                       ow
face, shapes, and follow
your sound. With 25 degrees of
freedom, there is lots he can do, from a
                       ncing!
hand that grips to dancing!

                      lso
13 MADE IN INDIA: Also on display
at the exhibition were the robots
                     e
built by Indian manufacturers.
                     acturers.
These included 5 DOF Robotic
ARM, Duct Inspection Robot,
and Self Balancing Bot,
                      t,
amongst others.
                      ka.tilve@chip.in
              – priyanka.tilve@chip.in




                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012       33
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE
                                    PRODUCT
                                     SPOTLIGHT
   VERDICT

XXXXX
SMARTPHONE



SAMSUNG
GALAXY NOTE
VERDICT: Beats all the Android smartphones on the planet
FOR: Excellent display, stylus input, sleek design, lightning fast.
AGAINST: TouchWiz UI holds it back.




                         V
                                 ery few smartphones deserve the attribution         screen and the protective glass that covers it, the
                                 “courageous.” The Samsung Galaxy Note
                                                LAPTOP                               front looks typically like an overgrown iPhone, except
                                 unequivocally does. It is courageous                the minor differences in the home button shape and


                                                 XXXX
                         because it is a valiant attempt at breaking down the
                         smartphone-computing device-tablet conundrum
                         that so many of us have faced over the last year or
                                                                                     size. The standard back cover is a flimsy paper-thin
                                                                                     piece of plastic, which leaves the protective glass
                                                                                     over the camera lens jutting out. It will get scratched
                         so. But their gamble has paid off handsomely. The           the very first time you place it flat on its back. But
                                                FOR: XXX                             if you install the Samsung-supplied Flip Cover, then
                         Note will go down in history as odd and polarizing,
                                                AGAINST: XXXX
                         but successful at the same time because it was              it gives the Note a professional look and a sturdier,
                         the first to deal forthrightly with a widely abused          thicker back that has a recess area for the camera.



                                                 X
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                         word of our times - convergence, by trying to
                                                      XXXXXX                            The Flip Cover serves no real purpose, other than
                         bridge the gap between a phone XXXx
                                                        and tablet.                  to provide the 5.3-inch display with a little more
                                                                                       protection. The quality of the Flip Cover though
                                                                      - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
                         Form Factor and Design                                      leaves a lot to be desired, and within a few days
                         Don’t let first appearances fool you. While the              of use you will see it fray along the edges, with the
                         Galaxy Note is no doubt large and looks huge,               rubberized coating coming off. The Note is designed
                         when placed next to the slimmer Galaxy S II, it             with a two-handed approach; try using it with one
                         is most certainly not ungainly. There is clearly no         hand and you’ll struggle to do basic things. You
                         evolutionary theme evident in the jump from the             could try using Samsung’s Voice Talk, but it never
                         Galaxy S II to the Galaxy Note, except that Samsung         worked for us with the Galaxy S II and it wasn’t a
                         took a more mature and practical approach while             great experience with the Note either.
                         conceptualizing the Note. The phone is about 9.7               The placement of the volume and power buttons
                         mm thick, and weighs around 178 g. It’s not a thick         is a pain; you will keep hitting the volume buttons
                         phone, but it is definitely on the heavier side. Coming      with your index finger when you press the power
                         from the Galaxy S II, which weighs an anorexic 116 g,       button with your thumb. Moving them just a couple
  SPECIFICATIONS         the Note’s near-200 grams is noticeably heavy.              of centimeters off each other would’ve solved this.
Rs XXX                      You will notice its heft the most when you’re on         The buttons themselves are too narrow, and the
www.XXXX.XXXX
                         longer calls. We suggest you get a good Bluetooth           feedback is weak. We also found the main Home key
XXXXX: XXXXXX;
                         headset to negate its weight and size issues. Even          a bit too thin; it tends to see-saw instead of giving
CONTACT           XXX
PHONE             XXX    with its large size, Samsung has done well by               you firm feedback.
EMAIL             XXX    keeping the device relatively slim and portable.
  RATINGS                It’ll slip right into your pocket without making it         Features and Performance
BUILD QUALITY            uncomfortable. The rounded borders make holding             Halfway through the first month of usage, we got
ERGONOMICS
FEATURES
                         and gripping easy, and using gun-metal on the               a pretty good picture of the Note’s strengths. The
PERFORMANCE              borders makes sense, because those areas will be            large, vibrant 5.3-inch WXGA screen and 1.4 GHz
OVERALL RATING
                         the most frequent hand contact points.                      of dual core goodness have clearly enhanced its
VALUE FOR MONEY
                            Because such a large portion of the phone is the         usability, and a more accommodative 2500mah


34      02/2012    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                           SMS us!    Story code: HCI to 51818
                                                                                                                                                   TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                       HARDWARE



                                                                                                                                 VERDICT


battery makes it more open to use for extended                           its performance is identical too.
                                                                                                                             XXXXX
periods of time. It is this troika of power, battery-life,                  The Note comes equipped with the S Pen; S
and screen size that makes the Galaxy Note really                        meaning Smart. The stylus works seamlessly on
leap ahead into a league of its own.                                     the capacitive touchscreen and allows you to take
   The phone shows no hiccups during its initial                         screenshots by clicking on the button/pressing the
usage, but as is the nature of Android, it will bloat up                 nib down on the screen. The device is also loaded
and show signs of impending slow-down. There have                        with image editing applications that allow you to
been instances when the OS has stuck itself into                         create new images, notes etc. with the S Pen like
a loop, and a hard reset was required. These and                         you would on paper. The pen itself is quite slim and
other Android and Samsung TouchWiz UI problems                           proved to be a handy tool in some instances. It takes
do occur from time to time. It will sometimes lag                        a while to get used to, and the button on it is often
behind your clicks, and sometimes start typing after                     hard to find and press, but spend enough time with
you’ve finished the sentence. The delay from getting                      it, and it does help in taking quick notes.
a phone call and the screen lighting up is discernible,                     The phone is now on par with the iPhone 4S in
as is the delay when you want to disconnect the call.                    terms of its GPS capabilities, and now supports
As a pure phone-messaging interface, Samsung’s                           GLONASS (the Russian alternative to the American
TouchWiz really leaves a lot to be desired.                              GPS system). GPS locks are faster and more
   But as a content consumption device, the Note is                      accurate. We tested it several times on NH8 and
unstoppably fast. The Dolphin HD browser rips out                        found that even when you turn the GPS manually
pages from the Web. Twitter and Facebook apps
 LAPTOP                                                                  off and back on, it locks onto your position within a
work without scroll hiccups, and jumping from app                        second or two, which is impressive.


XXXX
to app is a pretty smooth experience. In terms of
sheer performance, its dual-core 1.4 GHz processor
doesn’t disappoint. Churning out 90.341 MFLOPs in
                                                                         Battery Life
                                                                         The phone will last you an average of 14 hours of
the Linpack benchmark for Android, it demolishes                         regular use. Our continuous video loop test lasted for
FOR: XXX
its competition. Higher priced products like the HTC                     9 hours 15 minutes, which is quite a record. However,
AGAINST: XXXXleft trailing behind. It’s no different
Sensation XL are                                                         even in deep sleep mode, the phone discharges
with the AnTuTu benchmark. The Note scores an                            battery at a steady rate. The drain from 30 percent



X
impressive 6320 points compared to the 4,500-odd
       XXXXXX                                                            to 1 percent can happen in as little as 6 hours with
                                                                                                                   XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
points of some of the other dual-core processor-
           XXXx                                                          absolutely no active screen use.
powered devices. So, it’s very clear that the Galaxy
                  - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
Note is more than just marginally faster.                                Verdict
                                                                         Do yourself a favor and go get the Galaxy Note.
Media Playback                                                           It’s a powerful tablet, that’s very thinly disguised
With regards to video playback, Samsung has been                         as a smartphone. Samsung TouchWiz’s calling and
always known for infusing their devices with plenty                      general telecommunication functionality leaves
of codecs. The Galaxy Note is capable of reading                         a lot to be desired, but there are tweaks and
MP4, DivX, XviD, WMV, H.264, H.263 file formats                           apps available to give you your desired phone or
and even supports video playback of up to 1080p,                         messaging launcher. Its 2500 mAh battery ensures
if coded correctly. The Note is also provisioned with                    that it will keep going for at least a full working
5.1 surround sound. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with                     day. It is also the fastest around, and it will never
MHL (Mobile HI-Def Link) AV connectivity rather than                     stumble or stutter as you move happily between
                                                     HDMI, which         e-mail, media playback and photography. All of
   SPECIFICATIONS                                    would have been                                              SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                         these together are the best arguments possible for
Rs 31,750                                            a better option     having one device to do it all.                      Rs XXX
www.samsung.com                                                                                                               www.XXXX.XXXX
                                                     in this case. The
Dimensions (WxHxD):83 x 147 x 9.7 mm; Weight:                                                                                 XXXXX: XXXXXX;
178 g; OS: Android v2.3.5 ; CPU:Dual-core 1.4 GHz,   audio player also
                                                                                                                              CONTACT            XXX
ARM Cortex-A9; RAM: 1 GB; Display: 5.3-inch, 800 x   includes features                                                        PHONE              XXX
1280 Super AMOLED; Camera:8 MP; storage: 16 GB.                                                                               EMAIL              XXX
                                                     like EQ presets
CONTACT              Samsung India
PHONE                1800-3000-8282
                                                     and an eight                                                               RATINGS
EMAIL                NA                              band graphic                                                             BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                                              ERGONOMICS
   RATINGS                                           EQ. The camera                                                           FEATURES
FEATURES                                             is exactly like                                                          PERFORMANCE
PERFORMANCE                                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                     the one in the
OVERALL RATING                                                                                                                VALUE FOR MONEY
                                                     Galaxy S II, and    The Galaxy Note is almost as slim as the Galaxy SII, but wider due to the large display size.
VALUE FOR MONEY



                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          02/2012        35
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                           TABLET


                                                          LENOVO THINKPAD
                                                          FOR: Excellent keyboard folio, useful hotkeys and widgets, good build quality,
                                                          USB host and SD card slot.
                                                             AGAINST: Bulky design, stylus shouldn’t have been optional.




                                                                 A
                                                                          in the case of their          the layout is standard with a row of keys
                                                                          laptops, the Lenovo           on the top for commonly used functions
                                                                          IdeaPad is targeted           such as volume, home, zoom, media
                                                          at the general audience while the             playback, back and delete. The keyboard
                                                          ThinkPad is skewed more towards office        is definitely more comfortable than using
                                                          productivity. The design of this 10.1-inch    the on-screen keyboard and the feel of
                                                          tablet is reminiscent of the Thinkpad         the keyboard is good.
                                                          laptops. The all-black shell with a soft         The ThinkPad runs Android
                                                          matte finish on the back panel exudes          Honeycomb 3.1 and the hardware that it
                                                          class and lends a sturdy feel. However,       uses is similar to that in other 10.1-inch
                                                          it’s quite bulky and not svelte like the      tablets – 1 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB
                                                          Galaxy Tab 750, which makes it a bit          RAM and Nvidia Tegra 2 graphics. This
                                                          uncomfortable to use when in hand.            tablet is available in two capacities – 32
                                                             What makes this tablet stand out are       GB and 64 GB. The user interface is pretty
                                                          the accessories, a slew of ports lined up     standard with very little customization
                                                          on the sides, and a few extra hot keys.       and a few widgets. A useful feature is
                                                          You have a mini HDMI port, a docking          that you can view and close applications
                                                          connector, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a          using the icon next to the Home icon.
                                                          micro USB slot on the right side. A SIM       Also handy is the large Lenovo Launch
                                                          card slot and an SD card slot are also        Zone widget at the centre of the home
                                                          present, hidden behind a plastic flap. On      screen. It has zones for watching, email,
                                                          the opposite side you have the volume         listening and reading. You have the option
                                                          rocker and a hollow compartment to            to associate the programs of your choice
                                                          holf the digitizer pen. The pen uses a        to the zones and there’s also a Settings
                                                          single AAA battery and comes with two         shortcut. Along with Wi-fi connectivity,
                                                          additional tips. The opposite side features   the ThinkPad supports 3G. After charging
The digitizer pen can be neatly housed inside the         a full size USB 2.0 port which supports       the device, we put it through the battery
tablet itself.                                            USB host function and doubles up as an        test in which we looped playback of a
                                                          interface for the keyboard folio.             standard definition video. The battery
                                                             The keyboard folio adds value to the       lasted a good eight hours.
    SPECIFICATIONS                                        tablet, but it’s an optional accessory that      The Lenovo ThinkPad is a little
Rs 44,871                                                 costs Rs 6,129. It serves the same purpose    more expensive than the Asus EeePad
 www.lenovo.com
                                                          as the dock which the Asus EeePad             Transformer. Go for it if the digitizer pen is
Dimensions (WxHxD): 58.4 x 181.7 x 14 mm; Weight:         Transformer uses, but this one neither        of importance to you (for digital art, note
0.75 Kg; Processor: 1 GHz; RAM: 1 GB; Display: 10.1-
                                                          features a battery pack nor a USB port.       taking, etc). Otherwise, the Transformer is
inch IPS, 1280x800; Camera: 5 MP rear and 2 MP
front; Graphics: Nvidia Tegra 2; Interfaces: mini HDMI,   The tablet snugly fits into the housing        better value for money with the provision
USB 2.0, micro USB, and SD card; OS: Android 3.1          and you can incline it at one of three        of an extra battery pack and USB port.
Honeycomb.
                                                          angles. The keyboard has large keys and                                       - Anand Tuliani
CONTACT                 Lenovo India Pvt. Ltd.
PHONE                   1800 3002 9929
EMAIL                   eservice@lenovowarranty.co.in        VERDICT
    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS
                                                          AN EXCELLENT TABLET FOR THE
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                          OFFICE DESK.
VALUE FOR MONEY




36       02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                 HARDWARE




 SMARTPHONE


NOKIA LUMIA 800
                                                                              anaged.
FOR: Great sturdy design, fluid UI, Nokia Drive with free maps, SN is easily managed.
AGAINST: No external storage support, must use Zune for media transfer, no audio
                                                                             o
enhancements, no Flash/Sliverlight support, no 1080p video shooting.




N
        okia’s “Piece de resistance”– the                                       ory
                                              and has also left out external memory
        Lumia 800 is out. It’s the first, of   support. What we also noticed with the
        course in the series and is based     otherwise crystal clear 3.7-inch (480 x
on their MeeGo running N9 device only but     800 pixel) AMOLED display was that
                                                                               t
this one runs Windows Phone 7, Mango.                                              amish
                                              whites usually took on a slightly creamish
   The Lumia 800 is built out of a single     tone. Other than that, visibility in broad
                                                                                     oad
block of Polycarbonate plastic. Don’t                                           tch
                                              daylight from any angle was top-notch
let the ‘plastic’ part sway you as the        thanks to the Clear Black display engine.
                                                                                  gine.
handset is quite durable. The 3.7-inch,          With the as-bad-as-if-not-worse-
slightly raised gorilla glass display,        than-iTunes Zune software forming
although quite a fingerprint magnet,           the basis of media transfer you’re
survived quite a bit of torture without       left with video conversions for
giving in to scratches. On the whole the      playback on the device. There are no
design and color options available make       audio enhancements offered at all and
it a very funky handset even if it is a tad   although clear, the decibel level was a bit
slippery. The lack of removable battery       low even via the speakerphone. Internet
and no expandable memory option other         radio TuneIn and FM radio options worked
than the built in 16GB of space could be      well. The connectivity domain, the Lumia
construed as an issue for some.               800 comes across as a very capable
   The Lumia 800 is Powered by a 1.4          smartphone. Packing 3G and Wi-Fi
GHz Scorpion processor. When it comes         capabilities under its belt. The IE browser
to functionality, as limited as the OS        lacks Flash and Silverlight support.
itself may be, the Lumia 800 manages to       Speed-wise, the browser functions very
do everything it’s capable of, extremely      well. Social networking, chatting, posting
well. WP7’s stripped down; visually           messages is a real easy task on the 800.
simplistic user interface is what keeps       The Lumia 800 includes Nokia Drive,
most of their handsets, irrespective of       Nokia Maps and Bing Maps (overkill).It
processing power, running quite smoothly.     has an 8MP AF camera with a dual LEDs
Unfortunately for Nokia though, this          flash but no 1080P video recording. Image
fantastic piece of hardware can’t live up     focus was a problem in most areas in
to its true potential that’s curtailed by     slightly low lit outdoor conditions. Video
the OS. Although WP7 is a user-friendly       recording was much better. The 1450mAh
system, it’s still in its nascent stage       battery sits will provide users with a fairly
and will require a considerable amount        decent battery life, which will reduce if
                                                                                                         SPECIFICATIONS
of tweaking before it can really give         you’re using 3G that’s constantly active.               Rs 29,000
                                                                                                      www.nokia.co.in
Android or iOS a run for their money.            It’s slightly expensive at Rs 29,990, and
                                                                                                      Diensions (WxHxD): 62 x 116.5 x 12 mm;
The few things about the Lumia 800 we         although well built, it could have used                 Weight: 142 g; OS: Windows Phone v7.5 Mango;
took issue with, included the fact that       more software features.                                 CPU: 1.4 GHz Scorpion; RAM: 512 MB; Storage: 16 GB;
                                                                                                      Display: 3.7-inch AMOLED, 480 x 800; Camera: 8 MP.
Nokia has decided to go Micro SIM on us                                         - Shayne Rana
                                                                                                      CONTACT                Nokia India
                                                                                                      PHONE                  022-30303838
   VERDICT                                                                                            EMAIL                  NA



EXPENSIVE FOR A GOOD LOOKING                                                                             RATINGS
                                                                                                      BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                      ERGONOMICS


PHONE WITH VERY LIMITED FEATURES.                                                                     FEATURES
                                                                                                      PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                      OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                      VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              02/2012        37
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                          PHONE


                                                         HTC SENSATION XL
                                                         FOR: Good screen, Decent quality earphones, Decent battery life.
                                                         AGAINST: No memory expansion slot, Expensive, Under-spec’d.




                                                         T
                                                                he HTC Sensation with its 4.7-inch          The camera on the HTC Sensation XL
                                                                screen is larger than the Sensation      is a large 8MP one. There are two LEDs at
                                                                XE, by quite a bit. It uses a slightly   the rear that act as the flash. The camera
                                                         less denser S-LCD, 480x800 resolution           outputs images with resolution spanning
                                                         screen as compared to the XE. The look          3264x1952. The quality of the images
                                                         and the feel of the phone is very sleek         is good in outdoor conditions - Despite,
                                                         with its bright bright white panel with         some visible noise, there was a good bit
                                                         the light grey complementing panels at          of detail. Exposure metering is a little off
                                                         the back. On the inside, the battery sits       and images with bright and dark regions
                                                         beside the SIM card and there’s no way          can appear very contrasting. Colours are
                                                         to pull out the SIM without removing the        fairly natural. The forward facing 1.3MP
                                                         battery. There’s no sign of a memory card       camera produces average quality images,
                                                         slot, either. A little more than 12GB of        especially in low light areas.
                                                         memory is available to the user, but the           The battery on the Sensation XL is a
                                                         entire device has 16GB of memory, which         1600mAh one. It lasts 6 hrs 6 mis with
                                                         is shared with the operating system.            only video playback. With a mix of voice
                                                            The Sensation XL runs Android 2.3.5          calls, streaming music and video playback,
                                                         (Gingerbread) and features HTC’s own            it lasts around 8 hours, which is pretty
                                                         custom Sense UI 3.5 interface. ICS should       good. Under everyday use conditions,
                                                         be hitting the phone as well. The phone         this phone will last you for roughly a day,
                                                         runs a 1.5GHz processor with 768 MB             before you’ll need to recharge it.
                                                         of RAM. Animations and the transition              The HTC Sensation XL is both good,
                                                         effects are smooth. File transfer rates         yet disappointing. On one hand, it’s
                                                         to the phone are decent at around 8             a great looking device, which does
                                                         MB/s - this was using a simple file copy         everything you want it to. The issue is with
                                                         operation. AnTuTu recorded a write speed        its price and what it offers for that price.
                                                         of 7.1 MB/s. Read speeds are way more           HTC sells the Sensation XL in the market
                                                         impressive reaching 34.5 MB/s - reaching        for around Rs.38,799 (MRP of Rs. 39,990).
                                                         the peak performance limit of USB 2.0.The          The cheaper Sensation XE offers a
                                                         main apps menu shifts in pages, instead         smaller screen, but it’s denser, which
The HTC Sensation XL features an 8 MP camera with        of a non-stop flowing interface. Press           means more workspace. It has a memory
dual-LED flash.
                                                         the back key and you’re back to the app         card slot, so one can upgrade the
                                                         menu, instead of the home menu.                 storage capacity by a lot and it has a
                                                            Media playback is good - using a             lot more power - a dual-core processor.
    SPECIFICATIONS                                       third-party media player, you can play          You get all this for roughly Rs 5,000
Rs 39,990                                                back HD content on it. HTC bundles a pair       less. If you’re looking for a large screen,
www.htc.com
                                                         of Beats Audio earphones with the phone.        we’d recommend the Samsung Note. If
Dimensions (WxHxD):71 x 132.5 x 10 mm; Weight:
162.5 g; OS: Android v2.3; CPU: 1.5 GHz, Scorpion;       The quality of these earphones is decent        you’re looking for something smaller and
RAM: 768 MB; Display: 4.7-inch, 480 x 800 S-LCD;         - they emphasize the bass a bit and the         affordable, the XE is an excellent buy.
Camera: 8 MP; Storage: 16 GB.
                                                         highs aren’t too bright.                                                      - Rossi Fernandes
CONTACT                HTC India
PHONE                  9811428765
EMAIL                  shaurya.vedvyas@brightpoint.com      VERDICT
    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS
                                                         THE SENSATION XL IS OVERPRICED FOR
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                         WHAT IT OFFERS, THE CHEAPER
VALUE FOR MONEY




38      02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 TABLET

SONY TABLET S
VERDICT: A decent yet expensive Android tablet.
FOR: Display quality, wedge-shaped design.
AGAINST: No expandable storage, poor camera, expensive.




T
           he stylish Tablet S features a                32 GB), but you cannot use the external
           distinct wedge shaped design that             memory card as expandable storage.
           resembles a folded paperback.                 Photos taken outdoors with the 5 MP
It embeds a 9.4-inch 800x1280 TFT                        camera seemed washed out and the front
capacitive touch screen and runs on                      VGA camera is grainy and noisy. Video
Android 3.2. Sony has added its own                      recording at 720p/30fps was decent but
                                                                                                                     SPECIFICATIONS
touch with the Favorites icon and a row                  the lack of a flash hurts. At moderate use,
                                                                                                                  Rs 29,990
of quick launch buttons. The display                     you won’t need to charge the battery on                  www.sony.co.in
quality and touch response is good, but                  a daily basis. The Tablet S supports MP4/                Dimensions (WxHxD):241 x 174 x 10 mm; Weight:
there were instances of lag. Navigation                  H.264/H.263 video and MP3/WAV/eAAC+/                     598 g; OS: Android v3.1 ; CPU: Dual-Core 1 GHz ARM
                                                                                                                  Cortex-A9; RAM: 1 GB; Display: 9.4-inch, 800 x 1280
is just about fine with Nvidia Tegra 2                    OGG audio formats. Connectivity options                  TFT; Camera:5 MP; storage: 16 GB.
processor and 1 GB RAM. Playstation                      include HSDPA, HSUPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth                   CONTACT                Sony India
certification brings with it bundled games                and Infrared. However, you won’t find NFC,                PHONE                  1800-103-7799
                                                                                                                  EMAIL                  sonyindia.care@ap.sony.com
like Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes.                 HDMI, or voice functionality. Astonishingly,
The game interface lets you hold it like a               the tablet does not bundle a USB cable                      RATINGS
game controller with the physical buttons                or earphones. At Rs. 29,990, it’s a decent,              BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                                  ERGONOMICS
replicated on screen. It has built-in 16                 but expensive Android tablet.                            FEATURES
GB memory and an SD card slot (up to                                                   - Naina Khedekar           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                  OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                  VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                          PHONE

                                                         HTC RHYME
                                                         VERDICT: A great phone, but badly priced.
                                                         FOR: Sense 3.5, very good camera, good multimedia features, compact design.
                                                         AGAINST: Expensive, color scheme may not be for everyone, Charm indicator is
                                                         mostly a gimmick.



                                                         T
                                                                he Rhyme features a unibody               The bundled Charm indicator lights up
                                                                design with plastic bits near the         when you get an incoming call or message
                                                                camera and the battery cover. The         and blinks when you miss them. The 5
                                                         build is excellent and the plastics used are     MP shooter works brilliantly in almost
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                         durable. It’s fairly slim and light and the      any lighting conditions. The new camera
Rs 27,500
www.htc.com                                              buttons are ergonomically placed. It runs        interface is amazingly slick, with plenty of
Dimensions (WxHxD):61 x 119 x 11 mm; Weight: 130         on Gingerbread 2.3.5 and Sense v3.5 and          option for customization. Video recording
g; OS: Android v2.3.4 ; CPU: 1 GHz, Scorpion; RAM: 768   is powered by a 1 GHz Scorpion CPU. The          does not disappoint either as 720p mode
MB; Display: 3.7-inch, 480 x 800 S-LCD; Camera:5 MP;
                                                         revamped music player is nothing short           works well with very slight stutter present
storage: 4 GB.
                                                         of brilliant. Sound enhancements include         intermittently. Optionally, you can choose
CONTACT                HTC India
PHONE                  9811428765                        SRS and Equalizer presets. The Rhyme is          to upload the captured pictures directly
EMAIL                  shaurya.vedvyas@brightpoint.com
                                                         quad-band GSM phone with full HSDPA              to Facebook or Flickr. It also has a really
   RATINGS                                               and HSUPA support. It also packs in Wi-Fi        good battery life to boot. At a street price
BUILD QUALITY                                            n and Bluetooth 3.0. Other apps include          of Rs 26,000, it’s a little expensive and
ERGONOMICS
FEATURES
                                                         Facebook, Dropbox, HTC Sense apps,               would make a better buy under 20K.
PERFORMANCE                                              Polaris Office and Reader, to name a few.                                                  - Roydon Cerejo
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




40      02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                 HARDWARE




 PHONE

MICROMAX A85
VERDICT: You get what you pay for!
FOR: Cheapest dual-core phone in the market, well built, cool UI tweaks
AGAINST: Stuck on Froyo, not user friendly, average camera and battery life,
doesn’t offer very good value.




T
           agged as a ‘Superfone’, Micromax’s               usable). The A85 is a quad-band phone
           A85 is the first dual-core phone                  with full 3G HSDPA and HSUPA support.
           in the sub-20K price bracket. The                Along with this, there’s also Wi-Fi ‘n’
design is tasteful, with a decently large                   and Bluetooth, so you’re well catered
3.8-inch capacitive touchscreen. It is a                    for. There are plenty of Internet-ready
                                                                                                                         SPECIFICATIONS
little heavy and not very slim, but it’s                    apps like Opera Mini, Facebook, Nimbuzz
                                                                                                                      Rs 15,290
manageable. Micromax has decided to                         and WhatsApp as well as productivity                      www.micromaxinfo.com
use Froyo instead of Gingerbread and has                    apps like Polaris Office and M!Trim.                      Dimensions (WxHxD):60 x 119 x 14 mm; Weight: NA;
added some nice touches to the UI. The                      The 5MP autofocus shooter is a bit of                     OS: Android v2.2; CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz, ARM Cortex-
                                                                                                                      A9; RAM: 512 MB; Display: 3.8-inch, 480 x 800 TFT;
quality of the display is good and images                   a letdown as it lacks an LED flash, so
                                                                                                                      Camera:5 MP; storage: 8 GB.
and videos look sharp and crisp. The                        photos under ambient light is very poor.                  CONTACT                Micromax Informatics
sensitivity of the screen is not the best                   Video recording is the same story. The                    PHONE                  1860 500 8266
                                                                                                                      EMAIL                  info@micromaxinfo.com
though, and at times it refuses to respond                  battery life is also strictly average. At Rs
to your input. The highly advertised                        19,500, it is cheap for a Tegra 2 device,                    RATINGS
‘gesture control’ leaves a lot to be desired.               but the overall experience is disappointing               BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                                      ERGONOMICS
The media player is stock Froyo but you                     so it isn’t a very good buy.                              FEATURES
do get 8 GB of internal storage (5.7 GB                                                     - Roydon Cerejo           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                      OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                      VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                             DIGICAM

                                                            CANON POWERSHOT A3300IS
                                                            VERDICT: An average performer and an average buy.
                                                            FOR: Simple UI, Good Macro shots, Nice build quality.
                                                            AGAINST: Image stabilization is poor, High noise levels in some pictures, Poor
                                                            video recording.




                                                            T
                                                                   he A3300IS looks quite classy              high at ISO 1600. At 5x optical zoom, the
                                                                   and has enough oomph to hold               image would focus on the object clearly,
                                                                   its own amongst its competitors.           but even a slight movement of the hand
                                                            At 149 grams, it’s both lightweight and           would result in blurring. While video
   SPECIFICATIONS                                           compact. It features a 16 megapixel               shooting at 720p resolution, we noticed
Rs 7,199                                                    CCD with 5x optical zoom and a 28mm               that a lot of colour fringing was observed
www.canon.co.in
                                                            lens. Powered by a DIGIC 4 processor,             during transitions between light and dark
Dimensions (WxHxD): 95 x 57 x 24 mm; Weight: 149 g;
Resolution: 16 MP; Zoom: Optical 5x; CCD: 1/2.3-inch;       the camera is capable of quick snaps.             surroundings. However, it captures detail
Aperture: F2.8 - F5.9; ISO: 80 - 1600; Focal length: 28 -   For the first time, Canon has got 720p             and macro shots impressively. The ideal
140 mm; Shutter speed: 15 - 1/1600 sec.
                                                            recording to an A series camera. It’s got         target audience for this camera is people
CONTACT                  Canon India
PHONE                    0124-4160000                       the customary optical image stabilizer            who require a camera for casual snaps
EMAIL                    info@canon.co.in                   for clear and steady shots. The interface         because it will be ideal for use at family
                                                            is easy to use and if you’re a newbie, all        functions and parties. The A3300 does
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                               you will require is ten minutes to figure          what it has to do; it doesn’t impress too
ERGONOMICS
                                                            it out. In our tests, we saw little to no         much, but it doesn’t disappoint either.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                                 noise at ISO 80, but noise levels are quite                                                    - Karan Shah
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              02/2012        43
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 DIGICAM

PANASONIC DMC-GF3W
VERDICT: One of the smallest Micro Four Thirds comes at a high price.
FOR: Compact and stylish, touchscreen, lightweight, great image quality.
AGAINST: Expensive, interface is not that great.




T
           he DMC-GF3W is one of the                   in the market but it is easy to use once
           world’s smallest and lightest               one gets acquainted with it. Semi-manual
           interchangeable lens system                 and manual functions are found making
cameras making it quite small for a Micro              it a good option for one who is willing to
Four Thirds compact. It can easily fit in               upgrade from a compact camera. ISO
a pocket or a purse. A 14mm pancake                    ranges from 160 – 6400 with next to no
                                                                                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
lens comes with the camera and one can                 noise seen in sensitivity up to ISO 400.
                                                                                                               Rs 38,799
opt for the package that contains the                  Images can be stored in JPEG as well                    www.panasonic.co.in
14-42mm lens as well. The rear has very                as RAW format giving more tangibility                   Dimensions (WxHxD): 108 x 32.5 x 67 mm;
few buttons located at the side of the                 while post processing. It fared well                    Weight: 222 g; Resolution: 12.1 MP; Zoom: Optical 4x;
                                                                                                               Aperture: F3.5 - F5.6; ISO: 160 - 6400; Focal length:
3-inch resistive touchscreen. A proprietary            while capturing images in most lighting
                                                                                                               14 - 42 mm; Shutter speed: 60 - 1/4000 sec.
USB port and a HDMI port make up for the               conditions and in macro photographs,                    CONTACT                 Panasonic India
camera’s connectivity options. The build               there was a lot of detail noticed. Videos               PHONE                   0124-4596600
                                                                                                               EMAIL                   prdesk@npi.panasonic.co.in
quality of the camera and the pop-up                   recorded well and can be played back on
flash is good and the overall design is                 a HDTV in full HD 1080p in the AVCHD                       RATINGS
stylish. It features a 12.1MP Live MOS                 format. At Rs 38,799, it’s quite expensive              BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                               ERGONOMICS
sensor, which helps in reducing the noise              for a Micro Four Third compact camera.                  FEATURES
in images. The interface is not the best                                             - Aaron Almeida           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                               OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                               VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                        CAMCORDER

                                                       GENIUS G-SHOT DV800
                                                       VERDICT: Not meant for prese.
                                                       FOR: Very easy to use, LED light improves exposure to some extent.
                                                       AGAINST: Poor photo and video quality, average build, low resolution LCD, uses
                                                       four AAA batteries.


                                                       G
                                                               oing by the specifications and           of optical zoom and 4 AAA batteries as
                                                               performance, it seems like the          power source. The performance is below
                                                               DV800 has been built for casual         average. The resolution of the LCD is low
                                                       shooting. It’s about as large as a box of       and the viewing angle is poor, so it’s hazy
                                                       visiting cards and with the strap fastened,     and difficult to gauge the exposure. We
   SPECIFICATIONS                                      it fits snugly in hand. It can capture up to     shot a couple of photos and videos, and
Rs 5,200                                               8 megapixel photos and videos at 720p.          the results weren’t impressive. Photos had
www.geniusnet.com
                                                       The 2.7-inch LCD is flip-out type and the        too much noise and the details weren’t
Dimensions (WxHxD): 38 x 63 x 108 mm; Weight: 258g
(with batteries); Video resolution: 1280x720 pixels;   controls lie on the sides. The feature          up to the mark. Videos were also grainy
Zoom: 16x digital; Photo resolution: 8 megapixel;      set is quite limited. You select the white      with average reproduction of colors and
LCD display: 2.4-inch; Battery: 4x AAA.
                                                       balance, quality, effect and resolution         poor dynamic range. The device struggled
CONTACT                Genius India
PHONE                  044-42088250                    for video capture and the camera mode           shooting scenes with bright backgrounds,
EMAIL                  ho@inspaninfotech.com           additionally offers face detection, burst       which would get overexposed. The
                                                       mode, EV and self-timer. The device has         G-Shot DV800 is only good for low res
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                          only 20 MB of built in memory and it can        photos and videos you’d like to upload
ERGONOMICS
                                                       be expanded by up to 32 GB using an             on social networking websites.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                            SD card. The biggest drawbacks are lack                                                     - Anand Tuliani
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




44      02/2012         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
   TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                                              ULTRABOOK


                                                                             ASUS
                                                                             ZENBOOK UX31
                                                                             FOR: Sexy design, Ultra thin, Good specs.
                                                                             AGAINST: Glitchy keyboard, Super expensive,Fragile.




                                                                  T
                                                                          he UX31 looks quite stunning         The trackpad is the biggest flaw of
                                                                          with the all metal finish. It’s    this notebook. The keys are normal-
                                                                          thin, tapering, stylish and can   sized, but the feedback is extremely
                                                            be easily mistaken for a laptop sleeve.         poor. More often that not, key presses
                                                            The right consists of the power slot, USB       weren’t registered and as compared to
                                                            3.0 port, micro HDMI slot and the mini          most other laptops, we just couldn’t type
                                                            VGA slot, whereas the SD card reader,           quickly on the keyboard without making
                                                            second USB slot and the headphone               errors. That said, probably it could be
                                                            jack are located to the left. The heatsink      just an issue with our test unit, but the
                                                            is located at the back. We have mixed           trackpad did leave a lot to be desired. The
                                                            feelings about the build, though. The           trackpad isn’t as bad as the keyboard,
                                                            power slot is extremely delicate and            but it isn’t one of the smoothest ones,
                                                            wobbly when the charger is connected.           either. It borders a little on the erratic side
                                                            The hinge, however, is surprisingly sturdy.     and maneuvering using the trackpad isn’t
                                                                The 13.3-inch Zenbook has a high            exactly quick. Also, it’s placed bang in the
                                                            resolution of 1600x900 and is powered by        centre, so you’ll have to be careful to not
                                                            an Intel Core i7 2677M CPU running at 1.8       accidentally register touches, while typing.
                                                            GHz. There’s 4 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD             The biggest problem with ultra thin
                                                            and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 3000         laptops is heating. However, the Zenbook
                                                            onboard. All this runs the 64 bit Windows       does a brilliant job at managing that. The
                                                            7 Home basic OS. The UX31 comes with            Zenbook UX31 comes with a powerful
                                                            the latest Bluetooth Radio 4.0 + HS, Wi-Fi      50Whrs non-removable battery. Under
                                                            b/g/n, a webcam and Bang and Olufsen            normal usage, you will easily be able to
                                                            ICE power speakers.                             get around six and a half hours of usage
                                                               The bundled adapter is quite miniscule       from this notebook.
                                                            and compact, unlike the bulkier ones we            The Zenbook UX31 is priced at Rs.
                                                            often see. Also, Asus bundles along a           89,999 (MRP). The biggest drawback
 With a slimness of just 1.7 cm, the ASUS Zenbook is        LAN port and a VGA port along with the          the UX31 has is the glitchy keyboard and
light-weight and easy to carry.
                                                            device. Boot up times are exceptionally         trackpad. If you’re paying big bucks for
                                                            quick, averaging at 16 seconds, so you’ll       a notebook, you’d pretty much get at
    SPECIFICATIONS                                          be off with your work in no time. The           least a decent keyboard. In comparison
 Rs 89,999                                                  brightness levels are brilliant; infact,        to the Lenovo U300s, this one definitely
 www.asus.in
                                                            they’re almost blinding even if you’re in       has better looks and performance. But,
 Dimensions (WxHxD): 32.5 x 1.7 x 22.3 cm;
                                                            a low light environment.. The Bang and          simply for the want of a better keyboard
 Weight: 1.3 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i7-2677M; Chipset: Intel
 HM67; GPU: Integrated Intel HD 3000; RAM: 4 GB 1333        Olufsen ICE power speakers are quite            and trackpad, we would recommend the
 MHz; Storage: 256 GB; Display: 13.3-inch 1600x900;         loud and are ideal for extensive media          U300s over the Zenbook UX31.
 OS: Windows 7 Professional SP1.
                                                            playback.                                                                          - Karan Shah
 CONTACT                 ASUS Technology
 PHONE                   022–67668800
 EMAIL                   reachus@asus.com                      VERDICT
    RATINGS
 BUILD QUALITY
 ERGONOMICS
                                                            A POOR KEYBOARD IS THE DEAL-
 FEATURES
 PERFORMANCE
 OVERALL RATING
                                                            BREAKER FOR THE SUPER SEXY UX31.
 VALUE FOR MONEY




46        02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




                                                         LAPTOP


                                                        ASUS X53SC
                                                        FOR: Good bang for the buck, very powerful,
                                                        AGAINST: The keyboard layout could have been better.




                                                                        T
                                                                                he latest addition to   gloss on the keyboard and the LCD frame.
                                                                                Asus’ X series is the   The hinges have good stiffness and
                                                                                X53SC, which packs      prevent the screen from wobbling. The
                                                                       in plenty of muscle under its    underside of the chassis has a removable
                                                        hood. It’s powered by the quad-coreIntel        panel, which lets you access the memory
                                                        Core i7-2670QM processor, 4 GB of RAM           and hard drive should you need to replace
                                                        and Nvidia Geforce GT 520MX discrete            or upgrade them.
                                                        graphics with 1GB of video memory.                 With a quad-core processor, plenty
                                                        Gamers and entertainment buffs will             of RAM and discrete graphics, it can be
                                                        be pleased with the 750 GB hard drive;          easily said that the X53SC is more than
                                                        enough for media files and lots of games         twice as fast than a laptop powered by
                                                        and applications. The 2.6 kg mass and           a Core i5 processor, and our scores show
                                                        15.6-inch display restricts portability to      just that. The MSI CR640 (Core i5-2410M,
                                                        some extent, but it can easily replace          3 GB RAM and integrated graphics)
                                                        your desktop PC. The large display offers       took 70 seconds to compress 100 MB
                                                        comfortable viewing and allows squeezing        of multiple files to 7.zip format using
                                                        in a numeric keypad. The keyboard is            ‘Ultra’ mode and 90 seconds to encode
                                                        chiclet type and typing is comfortable,         an MPEG video to H.264 format. This
                                                        except when it comes to using the arrow         laptop took 40 seconds and 33 seconds,
                                                        keys and the numeric pad. The number            respectively for the same tasks.
                                                        keys are narrower, which makes typing              Despite a discrete graphics processor
                                                        a tad difficult. Also, the area around the      and 1 GB of dedicated video memory, the
                                                        keys is glossy and prone to smudges.            gaming performance isn’t too impressive
                                                           The core components that heat                as the graphics processor is too weak.
                                                        up are placed on the underside of the           It’s more suited for accelerating video
                                                        motherboard, so that the palm rest stays        playback and media transcoding.
                                                        cool. Asus calls this feature IceCool              With stellar processing power, one has
                                                        technology and highlights it as one of          to compromise on the battery life. The
                                                        the key features. The rest of the laptop’s      average battery life of a Core i5 laptop is
                                                        features are pretty standard. A Gigabit         around 1.5 hours with medium to heavy
                                                        Ethernet port, D-sub and HDMI video             load. This one lasted for about an hour.
                                                        outputs and a USB 3.0 port are placed           You should get about an hour more if you
                                                        on the left side. The right side houses         switch to Battery Saving mode and use
                                                        the tray-loading DVD writer, two USB 2.0        just the basic applications, such as Web
   SPECIFICATIONS                                       ports and jacks for headphones and mic.         browser and word processor.
Rs 37,999                                                  The overall build quality of the laptop         If sheer processing power is what
www.asus.in
                                                        isn’t top notch, but quite good. The            you’re looking at, and you don’t mind
Dimensions (WxHxD): 378x 3.4 x 253 mm; Weight: 2.6
Kg; CPU: Intel Core i7-2670QM; RAM: 4 GB DDR3; Hard     quality of the chassis, palm rest, keyboard     a simple design, this laptop deserves
disk: 750 GB; Display: 15.6-inch; GPU: Nvidia GeForce   and the lid are good, but Asus should           serious consideration.
GT 520MX; USB ports: 2x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0.
                                                        have completely done away with the                                             - Anand Tuliani
CONTACT                ASUS Technology
PHONE                  022–67668813
EMAIL                  helpline_west@asus.com              VERDICT
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS
                                                        PLENTY OF POWER FOR A VERY SWEET
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                        PRICE.
VALUE FOR MONEY




48      02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                                     LAPTOP


                                                                    DELL XPS 14Z
                                                                    FOR: Good performance, great design and build, compact.
                                                                    AGAINST: Expensive, no USB 3.0, average battery life.




                                                                  D
                                                                          ell’s new XPS ‘Z’ series     and accessories. Despite this being a
                                                                          brings the mighty            dual-core CPU, single threaded apps
                                                                          performance of the           really benefit from the high default clock
                                                          traditional XPS legacy, but does it          speed. The graphics card is the only weak
                                                        with flair. The notebook is quite slim          link here, as it just about manages to
                                                        and compact for a 14-incher thanks to          deliver playable framerates in games. The
                                                        the edge-to-edge display. Made from            GT 520M is an entry-level GPU, so we
                                                        anodised aluminium, the notebook is            weren’t expecting miracles anyway. The
                                                        full of sweeping curves and chrome             XPS 14z is very comfortable to use on a
                                                        accents that give it a stunning look, no       daily basis. The keyboard is comfortable
                                                        matter which angle you look at it from.        even for extended typing sessions
                                                        Connectivity includes microphone and           and even though the intake vents are
                                                        headphone jacks and memory card                placed underneath, the notebook never
                                                        reader, while on the right we have the         overheated over the course of the review.
                                                        slot-loading DVD drive and battery             The speakers feature Waves MaxxAudio
                                                        charge indicator. We also have a power         preset, which helps boost the sound. The
                                                        port, DisplayPort, HDMI, two USB               quality is pretty good and the speakers
                                                        ports and a LAN jack. Sadly, there’s           located on the either side of the keyboard
                                                        no USB 3.0, which is a downer.                 are quite loud for watching a movie or
                                                           The backlit chiclet keyboard is             listening to music.
                                                        comfortable to use, but we wish Dell              The XPS 14z comes with an 8-cell
                                                        had thrown in an ambient light sensor to       battery, which gives you about 3.5 hrs of
                                                        automatically activate the backlight. The      battery life, which is strictly average. At
                                                        trackpad, for a change, works well and         Rs 78,900, the Dell XPS 14z is quite an
                                                        we didn’t face any issues whatsoever.          expensive 14-inch notebook, but then it
                                                        Powering it is an Intel Core i7-2640M, a       does justify that price to an extent. The
                                                        dual-core multi-threaded CPU running           price jump seems to be related to the
                                                        at 2.8 Ghz and with Turbo up to 3.5            3-year warranty that comes as standard.
                                                        Ghz. Other components include 8 GB of          Also, the notebook packs an impeccable
                                                        DDR3 RAM, a 750 GB hard drive and an           build and finish and the attention to detail
The design is sleek but we wish Dell had added a few    Nvidia GT 520M GPU with 1 GB dedicated         is pretty darn good. More importantly, it
USB 3.0 ports.
                                                        memory. The 14-inch screen has a semi-         feels like a premium product and it also
                                                        gloss finish with a resolution of 1366 x        has the goods to back it up. If portability
    SPECIFICATIONS                                      768, which is good enough for a 14-inch        and style is your criteria, then the XPS 14z
Rs 78,900                                               screen. Also, at 2kg, it’s not too heavy, so   is a good buy. However, just keep in mind
www.dell.co.in
                                                        you can easily carry it around. Our main       that you’ll have to compromise on the
Dimensions (WxHxD): 335 x 23 x 234 mm;
                                                        gripe here is that Dell doesn’t give you       lack of USB 3.0, a non–removable battery
Weight: 1.98 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i7-2640M;
Chipset: Intel HM67; GPU: Nvidia GeForce GT520 M 1      the liberty to customize the notebook,         and the fact that you’re pretty much
GB; RAM: 8 GB 1333 MHz; Storage: 750 GB; Display: 14-   so you just have a choice between two          stuck to the two configurations that Dell
inch 1366 x 768; OS: Windows 7 Professional SP1.
                                                        pre-set configurations and at the most,         has whipped up.
CONTACT                Dell India Pvt Ltd
PHONE                  1800 425 4026                    you can customize the software package                                        - Roydon Cerejo
EMAIL                  NA

    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                              VERDICT
ERGONOMICS
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                        BRILLIANTLY ELEGANT!
VALUE FOR MONEY




50       02/2012         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                    TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                    HARDWARE




                                                              MOTHERBOARD

                                                             GIGABYTE 990XA-UD3
                                                             VERDICT: An excellent mid-range motherboard.
                                                             FOR: Excellent performance, good feature set, very good layout.
                                                             AGAINST: None.




                                                             T
                                                                    he Gigabyte 990XA-UD3                 clearance for large coolers. The SATA
                                                                    motherboard is based on the           6 Gb/s ports are oriented outward for
                                                                    AMD 990X chipset. With multi-         easy cable routing and headers for
                                                             GPU support and a few other interesting      USB, FireWire, and front audio are lined
   SPECIFICATIONS                                            features, it comes under the mid-range       up at the base. Both the synthetic and
                                                             segment. The chipset supports up to          real world scores were similar to those
Rs 10,920
www.gigabyte.in                                              32 GB of DDR3 memory and the SB950           reported by other 990FX boards. It scored
Socket: AM3+; Chipset: AMD 990FX + SB950; Memory:            southbridge natively supports six SATA       14511 points in PCMark Vantage and 4225
Up to DDR3-1866 (32 GB max); Expansion slots: 2x             6 Gb/s ports. Support for USB 3.0 is via     points in 3DMark 11. At 1920x1080, Crysis
PCIE x16, 1x PCIE x4, 2x PCIE x1 and 2x PCI; SATA 6
Gb/s ports: 6; USB 2.0 | 3.0 ports: 14 (6 via headers) | 4   discrete controllers – there are two ports   Warhead and Mafia II logged 35.8 fps
(2 via headers).                                             on the rear panel and two via an on-board    and 48.3 fps respectively. This board is
CONTACT                  GigabyteTechnology                  header. Also present are eight USB 2.0       a good package if you’re going in for a
PHONE                    022-40633222
EMAIL                    sales@gigabyte.in
                                                             ports, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet   multi-GPU setup. If not, then the 970
                                                             port, a PS/2 port, optical S/PDIF output     chipset would suffice. If you’re on a low
   RATINGS                                                   and jacks for 7.1 channel audio. With        budget, you can settle for an 8-series
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES                                                     smaller heatsinks and other components       chipset with integrated graphics.
PERFORMANCE                                                  around the CPU socket, there’s ample                                        - Anand Tuliani
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 BLUETOOTH HEADSET                                                   WIRELESS ROUTER                                              USB SPEAKERS

JABRA SUPREME                                                       DIGISOL DG-BR4000N                                           iBALL USB DRUM
VERDICT: A good looking Bluetooth                                   VERDICT: A cost effective energy saving                      VERDICT: A good set of USB powered
3.0 headset with smart features and                                 wireless router for homes and small                          stereo speakers for laptops and portable
excellent build quality.                                            offices.                                                      media players.
FOR: Voice control, noise cancellation,                             FOR: Power saving features, physical                         FOR: Above average audio quality, good
quick access, ease of use.                                          radio switch, cheap price.                                   build, built-in audio card.
AGAINST: Tacky USB port flap.                                        AGAINST: High-gloss surface, non                             AGAINST: Bulky in size, low audio
                                                                    replaceable antenna.                                         output, weak bass.

   SPECIFICATIONS                                                      SPECIFICATIONS                                               SPECIFICATIONS
Rs 7,999                                                            Rs 1,426                                                     Rs 990
www.jabra.com                                                       www.digisol.com                                              www.iball.co.in

Dimensions (WxHxD): 88 x 30 x 22 mm; Weight: 18 g; Bluetooth        Dimensions (WxHxD): 122 x 29 x 181 mm; Weight: 220 g;        Dimensions (WxHxD) 70 x 80 x 70 MM; Weight: 380 g; Power
compliance: 3.0; Operating range: 33 ft; Battery life: 6 hrs talk   Network standards: 802.11 b/g/n @ 150 Mbps, Ethernet: 1 x    output: 2 x 2 W RMS; Driver: 2-inch full range; Interface: 1 x
time, 15 days standby.                                              WAN, 4 x LAN, 10/100 Mbps.                                   mini USB, 1 x 3.5-mm AUX-in.
CONTACT                  GN Netcom Pte Ltd                          CONTACT               Smartlink Network Systems              CONTACT                  Best IT World
PHONE                    NA                                         PHONE                 1800-209-3444                          PHONE                    1800 300 42255
EMAIL                    agoh@jabra.com                             EMAIL                 helpdesk@digisol.com                   EMAIL                    sales@iball.co.in

   RATINGS                                                             RATINGS                                                      RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                                       BUILD QUALITY                                                BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES                                                            FEATURES                                                     FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                                         PERFORMANCE                                                  PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING                                                      OVERALL RATING                                               OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY                                                     VALUE FOR MONEY                                              VALUE FOR MONEY




D     espite the Jabra Supreme’s bulky
      earpiece and extended boom arm,
it is a smart business-like device with a
                                                                    T    he DG-BR4000NG router is a cost
                                                                         effective solution for wireless
                                                                    networking for homes and small
                                                                                                                                 D     esigned for laptops, this USB
                                                                                                                                       speaker set features a built-in USB
                                                                                                                                 audio card, which does not need any
grey and black theme. It features active                            offices. The device uses an embedded                         drivers. The speakers feature a set
noise cancellation and voice control                                power amplifier for power saving. The                         of 2-inch full range drivers powered
onboard which can access the phone                                  Smart Tx Power Control mechanism                             by an onboard 4 watt RMS power
book to inform the user of the caller’s                             transmits optimum power depending                            amplifier. They can also be connected
name. A2DP support allows it to be                                  on the distance of the wireless clients                      to any USB power brick or charger
paired with eight phones or Bluetooth-                              and reduces the load on the CPU. The                         for use with media players using the
enabled devices and connected to two                                rear panel consists of one WAN and                           3.5-mm jack. The speakers have just
simultaneously. The voice commands                                  four LAN ports, a WPS switch, a radio                        three buttons - volume up, down and
can be used to make or reject calls or                              switch and the power socket, while the                       mute. They are designed to self lock
to know the remaining battery at the                                front has indicators for power, WLAN,                        using two spring-loaded levers for easy
push of a button. The battery charges                               WAN and LAN each. Besides standard                           portability. The performance is not
in just two hours and can give you six                              router features, the radio switch on                         overwhelming, but the mids and highs
hours of talk time. The headset can                                 the rear panel cuts off the wireless                         are decent. The bass was quite low,
be used at a distance of 10 meters.                                 sugnal when not in use. However, the                         but when using an equalizer, it tends to
Bundled along with the Jabra Supreme                                average build quality, glossy surface                        rumble out of tune. The volume does
is an AC wall charger, a car charger,                               and non-replaceable 3 dBi dipole                             not sound as high as it should. They’re
a micro USB cable and a extra pair                                  antenna detract from this otherwise                          a good buy for the price, the weight
of ear cushions and ear hook.                                       useful and well priced router.                               and size aren’t conducive portability.
                                               - Francis D’sa                                                   - Francis D’sa                                                  - Francis D’sa




52       02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 STORAGE                                                         INTERNAL STORAGE                                                POWER SUPPLY

SANDISK MEMORY                                                  WD SCORPIO BLUE 1 TB                                            COOLER MASTER GX
VAULT                                                           VERDICT: A high performance, high
                                                                                                                                450 WATT
                                                                capacity and low power consumption
VERDICT: Preserve your photos and                               storage upgrade for portable computers.                         VERDICT: Great for moderate gaming
videos for a lifetime.                                          FOR: Low power consumption, high                                PCs and workstations.
FOR: Rock solid build, storage pouch                            performance, notebook compatible.                               FOR: 80 PLUS certification, 5-year
included.                                                       AGAINST: None.                                                  warranty.
AGAINST: Below average transfer speed.                                                                                          AGAINST: No modular design.

   SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
Rs 3,499                                                        Rs 10,650                                                       Rs 4,500
www.sandisk.com                                                 www.wdc.com                                                     www.cmstorm.com

Dimensions (WxHxD): 80 x 11 x 49 mm; Weight: 90 g; Interface:   Capacity: 1 TB; Spindle speed: 5200 RPM; SATA interface: 3      Power rating: 450 watts, Security: VOP, UVP, OPP, OTP and SCP
USB 2.0; Connector type: Micro USB.                             GB/s; Buffer size: 8 MB.                                        Connectors: 1 x 20+4 pin M/B, 1 x 4 + 4 pin 12 V, 1 x 6-pin
CONTACT                SanDisk                                  CONTACT                 Western Digital                         PCIe, 5 x SATA, 3 x peripheral, 1 x FDD.
PHONE                  022-67090886                             PHONE                   9873437221                              CONTACT                Acro Engineering Company
EMAIL                  wendy.sept@sandisk.com                   EMAIL                   rishi.prasad@wdc.com                    PHONE                  9820207871
                                                                                                                                EMAIL                  sanket.naik@coolermaster.com
   RATINGS                                                         RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                                   FEATURES                                                           RATINGS
FEATURES                                                        PERFORMANCE                                                     BUILD QUALITY
PERFORMANCE                                                     OVERALL RATING                                                  FEATURES
OVERALL RATING                                                  VALUE FOR MONEY                                                 PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY                                                                                                                 OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                                VALUE FOR MONEY




T    he Memory Vault is essentially a
     USB flash drive with the ability to
preserve data for up to 100 years (as
                                                                W         estern Digital’s colossal 1
                                                                          TB storage for laptops and
                                                                netbooks is finally here. The drive is
                                                                                                                                A       imed for use in moderate gaming
                                                                                                                                        rigs and workstations, the GX
                                                                                                                                series 450 Watt PSU was released by
per SanDisk’s claim). With its chunky                           just 9 mm thick and incorporates a                              Cooler Master after their 550 W, 650
design, it doesn’t look a lot like a USB                        two 500 GB platter deign, a spindle                             W and 750 W models respectively. The
flash drive. When held, it feels like a                          speed of 5200 RPM, and 8 MB buffer                              unit is all-black and has a powder-finish
solid block of metal.It’s designed this                         cache memory with a 3 GB/s SATA                                 exterior. A 120 mm internal exhaust fan
way so that the flash memory and the                             interface. The drive is optimized for                           makes for superior cooling and better
controller are protected from external                          low noise and low power consumption                             efficiency. The connectors available are
factors such as humidity and high                               (1.4 watts in full access, 0.59 watts                           a 20+4 pin for motherboard power, a
temperatures. It features a USB 2.0                             when idle). We tested the drive using                           4 + 4 pin for CPU 12V, a 6 pin for PCIe,
interface, so we didn’t expect steroidal                        Crystal Diskmark, SiSoft Sandra and                             five SATA, three 4 pin peripheral and a
speeds. Our tests revealed read and                             IOMeter which delivered average                                 4 pin for floppy. The cables are neatly
write speeds of 16 MB/s and 5.7 MB/s                            read and write speeds of 117 MB/s in                            sleeved in a nylon mesh but sadly they
respectively. You’ll find this device way                        sequential tests. Random read and                               are not modular. The product carries
too expensive if you compare its price                          write tests resulted in an average                              a five-year warranty. The GX 450W
to those of portable hard drives, but                           70 MB/s. This drive, sporting a high                            PSU features active PFC apart from
it commands a premium for its ability                           capacity, low noise and power                                   standard protection modes such as
to preserve data for 100 years. Go in                           consumption and compact size is a                               VOP, UVP, OPP, OTP and SCP. It sports
for it if this parameter is critical for                        good replacement drive for extensive                            an efficiency of up to 85 percent and
you, or just take multiple backups.                             notebook and netbook users.                                     has a certification of 80 PLUS.
                                          - Anand Tuliani                                                      - Francis D’sa                                                - Francis D’sa




54      02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
    TEST CENTER
MOTHERBOARD COMPARISON




   Super
   Boards
   Competing here are 10 enthusiast-class
   motherboards for building super-powerful rigs.
   BY ANAND TULIANI AND FRANCIS D'SA




   T
          he Intel Core i7 processors that
          came in the socket LGA 1366
          package ruled the enthusiast and
   workstation segments for a long time.
   The final releases were the six-core Core
   i7-970 and 980X, which presented power
   users a great upgrade option. Despite
   being a generation old, these processors
   and compatible motherboards based
   on the Intel X58 chipset are still going
   strong in the market because they offer
   incredible value for money.
      Those who are looking forward to
   building powerful workstations or desktop
   PCs for extremely intensive workloads
   now have an option to go in for the Intel    TEST PROCESS                                   of S/PDIF port. Finally, we examined
   Core i7-3960X, which boasts a whopping       Our evalution is based on the following        the BIOS and noted the presence of a
   8 cores. Those on a lower budget can         parameters:                                    few more features such as automatic
   opt for the six-core Core i7-3930k. The      Features: Here, we log the specifications       overclocking (OC), profile backups, UEFI
   new processors pack more punch and are       of each subsystem (memory, graphics            type BIOS, graphical interface in the
   more energy-efficient than the previous      and storage). The number of DIMM slots,        BIOS and BIOS flashing facilities. These
   generation models. However, they use         the maximum overclock speed of the             also include the presence of a physical
   a new socket design (LGA 2011) and           memory and the total capacity of the           overclocking switch. We overlooked the
   chipset (Intel X79), which calls for new     RAM supported by the motherboard               package contents while calculating the
   motherboards. Some of the key features       was noted. Motherboards with a higher          overall score of this parameter since most
   of the latest chipset are support for        number of expansion slots (PCIe x16,           boards came with more or less the same
   quad-channel memory, 3-way SLI and           PCIe x4, PCIe x1 and PCI) score higher.        bundled package. Some manufacturers
   CrossFireX, and SATA 6 Gb/s. Support for     Also considered was the multi-GPU              only bundle SATA data cables, while
   USB 3.0 is still via discrete controllers.   technology support and speeds in               many others supply USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
   Some motherboards boast eight RAM            dual-card and triple card modes. Few           brackets too.
   slots that can take up to 128 GB of          motherboards also featured on-board            Performance: This is considered the
   memory, whereas a few other more             Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules and scored         most important factor when it comes
   affordable models have four slots. All the   higher points. The number of networking        to tasks such as file compression, video
   leading motherboard brands are already       ports (Ethernet) was noted. We also            encoding, and gaming. If performance
   out with their latest offerings, albeit in   checked the number of USB 2.0, USB 3.0         is what you crave, take a look at the
   limited numbers.                             and FireWire ports available, both on the      performance scores in the comparisons
      In this roundup of X79 chipset-based      rear panel and in the form of on-board         tables that have details pertaining to
   motherboards, we compared 10 models          headers. Other standard features, such         the specified fields. Boards that can
   from various brands. We used a battery of    as the presence of all-solid capacitors,       handle jobs like file compression, ray
   synthetic and real world tests to evaluate   and the number of CPU power phases             tracing, and video encoding in a shorter
   the performance of each motherboard.         were noted and points were distributed         time have a better chance of bagging
   Our test process explains how we             accordingly. We also examined the type         our Best Performance award. To ensure
   calculated the scores and arrived at the     of audio format available on the rear          that the boards are given a fair chance,
   winners of the roundup.                      panel, which also includes the type            the speed and timings of the RAM


   58    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP           Jagdish Limbachiya   Joshua Navalkar          SMS us!    Story code: TMC to 51818
on all motherboards were set to 2133               simulates real-world scenarios to           Layout: As placement of the RAM
MHz and 11-11-11-30 respectively with              evaluate the performance and overall        slots, SATA ports, on-board headers
everything else kept at default values in          productivity of the chipset, processor,     and power connectors is vital for cable
the BIOS. We tested the performance of             memory and graphics. We then ran SiSoft     management and airflow, these are
each motherboard using the following               Sandra version 2011 to extract the values   crucial points each board earns. Higher
hardware: Intel Core i7-3960X, G.Skill             of the processor multimedia, memory         points were granted to boards that had
RipJawsX DDR3-2133, 8 GB RAM,                      bandwidth and HD video transcoding.         neatly placed SATA and RAM ports, which
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, AMD Radeon                  Finally, MSI Kombustor evaluated the        do not get in the way of large graphics
HD6870, Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold              graphics performance, and the Cinebench     cards or power cables. Boards with SATA
800W PSU.                                          R11.5 test for processor performance were   ports placed horizontally earned extra
   The performance parameter comprises             performed on each board.                    points. Clearance around the CPU socket
of three main sections.                            Real World Tests: Real world tests give     was also taken into consideration, since
Synthetic Tests: To evaluate system                you an exact idea of how the rig performs   the CPU fan should have ample room.
performance, each board was tested                 various tasks. In these tests, we look at   We also looked into the overall space
using PCMark Vantage, 3DMark Vantage               the overall time taken to perform the       taken after the CPU fan is fit to see if
and 3DMark 11. Each of these tests                 following tasks.                            the default processor fan gets too close
                                                   File compression: Time taken to             to the memory banks. Additional points
                                                   compress 100 MB of multiple files to 7zip    were given to boards that came with
                                                   format using the Ultra preset 256-bit       all-solid capacitors. Lastly, the quality of
                                                   encryption.                                 the heatsinks provided for the voltage
                                                   Video encoding: Time taken to convert a     regulators and chipset were examined.
                                                   1 minute MPEG video to H.264 format.        Warranty: As this is the most important
                                                   Ray tracing: Time taken to ray trace an     component and tends to fail more
                                                   800x600 scene with a bit of AA.             often than any other, robust warranty
                                                   Gaming: We ran the built-in benchmarks      and support is essential. Here, all
                                                   in Crysis Warhead, Mafia II and Unigine      manufacturers offered similar warranty,
                                                   Heaven at a full HD resolution of           so all boards scored the same.
Maximum number of PCIe slots can help create the   1920x1080 and noted the frame rate             Flip over to the next page for the
powerful gaming PC or workstation.
                                                   (fps) accordingly.                          scores and winners of this roundup.


                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012   59
    TEST CENTER
MOTHERBOARD COMPARISON



   ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME
   VERDICT: Everything to the extreme – an overclocker’s dream!
   FOR: Excellent feature set, great layout, plenty of overclocking features.
   AGAINST: None.




  N
                   o other motherboard comes                 slots run at full x16 speed and the other
                   close to the Rampage IV                   two red slots and the black slot run at x8
                   Extreme when it comes to                                                         d
                                                             speed. 4-way SLI/CrossFireX is supported
                   features. It sports a black and           in x16/x8/x8/x8 mode thanks to 40 PCIE
   red theme which is typical of the ROG                     lanes integrated into the processor. As
   brand. You get support for up to 64 GB of                 for overclocking, we’ve seen 7-segment
   RAM, four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, two SATA 6                   debugger and voltage check points before.
   Gb/s ports and 12 USB 2.0 ports (four via                 The new features OC Key - a small device                     SPECIFICATIONS
   headers). There are discrete controllers                  that gives users the ability to monitor and               Rs 29,780
                                                                                                                       www.asus.com
   for two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports and                  tweak values without consuming system
                                                                                                                       Chipset: Intel X79; Memory support: DDR3-2133, 64 GB
   two eSATA ports on the rear panel. Eight                  resources; Subzero Sense - on-board
                                                                                                                       max; Multi-GPU support: 4-way SLI and CrossFireX; PCIe
   USB 3.0 ports (four via headers) are also                 digital thermometer that reads out values                 slots: x16 x 5; USB: USB 2.0 x 12, USB 3.0 x 8; Audio:
   courtesy discrete controllers. The rear                   via an on-board connector (requires a                     Realtec ALC 898, 8-channel; BIOS: Graphical UEFI.
   panel also features a Bluetooth adapter,                  separate cable to check values); and VGA                  CONTACT                ASUS Technology
                                                                                                                       PHONE                  022-67668800
   Gigabit Ethernet port, audio jacks and                    Hotwire - for tweaking the graphics card’s                EMAIL                  reachus@asus.com
   buttons for BIOS reset and ROG connect.                   voltage directly from the BIOS. The overall
                                                                                                                          RATINGS
   Asus has gone in with five PCIE x16 slots                  performance is top notch, as is the layout                LAYOUT
   to provide support for up to 4-way SLI and                of the components.                                        FEATURES
                                                                                                                       PERFORMANCE
   CrossFireX. The first and third red PCIE                                                   - Anand Tuliani
                                                                                                                       OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                       VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                             MSI X79A-GD45 (8D)
                                                             M
                                                             MS
                                                               VE
                                                               VERDICT: Great performance capabilities and a good price tag.
                                                               V
                                                                FOR: High RAM capacity, good component layout, great performance.
                                                                FO
                                                                FO
                                                             AGAINST: Slightly low on features such as missing Bluetooth, Wi-fi and eSATA.
                                                              GAIN
                                                             AG




                                                             T
                                                                       he X79A-GD45 is a powerful              CPU socket and well placed headers,
                                                                       motherboard at a reason-                power sockets and SATA ports. The layout
                                                                       able price. It may not be very          allows neat cabling and good air-flow
                                                                       feature-rich, but it performs with      inside the case. The X79A-GD45 per-
                                                             excellence. It is based around Intel’s X79        formed quite well; the real-world scores,
                                                             chipset, which features eight DIM slots,          when compared to the Asus Rampage
                                                             that support up to 128 GB of RAM. Three           IV Extreme, show that the motherboard
                                                             x16 PCIe slots supporting CrossFireX and          is almost at par. Even the Synthetic
      SPECIFICATIONS
                                                             SLI can run at x16, x8 and x8 modes.              tests show the motherboard lagging the
   Rs 18,900
   www.msi.com                                               These two features can help make a pow-           best performer by barely a few points.
   Chipset: Intel X79; Memory support: 128 GB, 1866 MHz;     erful gaming rig or workstation. There's no       Considering the overall layout and great
   Multi-GPU support: CrossFireX and SLI; PCIe slots: x16    support for eSATA or built-in Bluetooth or        performance, while ignoring a few basic
   x 3; USB: USB 2.0 x 10; USB 3.0 x 4; Audio: Realtec ALC   Wi-Fi. Other features include an 8-channel        and almost unnecessary features, the
   892, 8-channel; BIOS: Graphical UEFI.
                                                             audio output driven by the Realtec ALC            MSI X79A-GD45 motherboard easily bags
   CONTACT                 MSI Computer India
   PHONE                   011-41758808                      892 audio codec, 14 USB ports (of which           the best value title in this roundup. This
   EMAIL                   marketingindia@msi.com            four are USB 3.0), UEFI graphical BIOS,           motherboard is ideal for those wanting
      RATINGS                                                and automatic overclocking. On the layout         to build a good gaming rig or a powerful
   LAYOUT                                                    front, the board scores a full 5 on 5 with        workstation.
   FEATURES
   PERFORMANCE
                                                             good spacing around the RAM slots and                                                          - Francis D'sa
   OVERALL RATING
   VALUE FOR MONEY




   60       02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                     Joshua Navalkar
                                                                                                                                                                      TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                            MOTHERBOARD COMPARISON


                                                           1                                               2                                              3
 SpecScan

 NAME                                                      ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME                         ASUS P9X79 PRO                                 GIGABYTE X79-UD5
 Contact                                                   ASUS Technology                                 ASUS Technology                                GIGABYTE Technology
 Phone                                                     022-67668800                                    022-67668800                                   022-40633222
 E-mail                                                    reachus@asus.com                                reachus@asus.com                               sales@gigabyte.in
Price*                                                     Rs. 29,780                                      Rs. 21,287                                     Rs. 20,750
OVERALL
 Features (40%)                                                                           65                                         62                                                  66

 Layout (15%)                                                                                      100                                            100                                              100

 Performance (40%)                                                                                 99                                             98                                             93

                                                                                     60                                              60                                             60
 Warranty (5%)
                                                             0                  50                   100     0                  50                  100     0                  50                     100


Overall (out of 100)                                       84                                              82                                             82
Value For Money
FEATURES
Memory support: Capacity | Slots | Speed                   64 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz                            64 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz                           64 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz
Expansion slots: PCIe x16 | PCIe x4 | PCIe x1 | PCI        5|0|1|0                                         4|0|2|0                                        3|0|2|1
Multi-GPU support: Technology | Dual card | Triple card    CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x16           CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8           CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8
Audio: Codec | Channel                                     Realtec ALC 898 | 7.1-channel                   Realtec ALC 892 | 7.1-channel                  Realtec ALC 898 | 7.1-channel
S/PDIF | Gigabit LAN | FireWire 400                        Optical | 1 | None                              Optical | 1 | None                             Optical | 1 | 2
USB 2.0 | USB 3.0 (rear/onboard)                           8/4|4/4                                         6/6|4/2                                        8/6|2/2
SATA 3 | SATA 6 | eSATA | IDE                              4|4|2|0                                         4|4|2|0                                        4|6|2|0
Bluetooth | OC button | LED debugger                          | |                                             | |                                         Wi-Fi card | |
BIOS: UEFI | Graphical | Auto OC | Profiles | Flash tool      | | | |                                         | | | |                                        | | | |
Package contents                                           8 x SATA cables                                 6 x SATA cables                                8 x SATA cables, USB 3.0 bracket
LAYOUT (OUT OF 5)
 Placement: DIMM | 12 V | Main power | SATA | Headers      5|5|5|5|5                                       5|5|5|5|5                                      5|5|5|5|5
 Clearance around the CPU socket                           5                                               5                                              5
Heatsink: Quality | Available for voltage regulators       5|                                              5|                                             5|
PERFORMANCE
 Synthetic tests:
  PCMark Vantage:
    Overall | Mem | Game | Productivity                    16989 | 10464 | 18855 | 19146                   15392 | 9149 | 22080 | 19847                   14957 | 10201 | 20685 | 14498
  3DMark Vantage:
    Overall | GPU | CPU                                    19907 | 17053 | 39976                           19980 | 17129 | 39912                          19430 | 16794 | 36724
  3DMark 11:
    Overall | Graphics | Physics | Combined                4509 | 4037 | 12920 | 4102                      4511 | 4038 | 12966 | 4108                     4421 | 3973 | 12133 | 3996
  MSI Kombustor:
     Kmark | Graphics | Physics                            1685 | 1146 | 6329                              1685 | 1146 | 6322                             1668 | 1141 | 6002
  SiSoft Sandra 2011:
     Proc Multimedia | Mem bandwidth | Media Transcode     292 Mpix/s | 28.38 GB/s | 1.14 MB/s             292.34 Mpix/s | 28.38 GB/s | 1.16 MB/s         270 Mpix/s | 28.22 GB/s | 1 MB/s
  Cinebench R11.5                                          11.47 Pts                                       11.42 Pts                                      10.6 Pts
 Real World tests:
  POV-Ray                                                  10.27 sec                                       10.33 sec                                      11.1 sec
    File Compression                                       16 sec                                          16 sec                                         18 sec
    Video Compression                                      36 sec                                          36 sec                                         38 sec
  Gaming:
    Unigine Heaven                                         27.9 fps                                        27.9 fps                                       27 fps
    Crysis Warhead (1920x1080, Enthusiast, No AA)          36.39 fps                                       36.47 fps                                      35.91 fps
  Mafia II (High, AA, No PhysX)                            51.7 fps                                        51.5 fps                                       51.2 fps
WARRANTY
 Warranty period                                           3 years                                         3 years                                        3 years
Scores out of 5                 * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra

                                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP            02/2012           61
      TEST CENTER
MOTHERBOARD COMPARISON


         PERSONAL TAKE                                                                                               4                                         5
                                                           SpecScan

                                                          NAME                                                       ASUS SABERTOOTH X79                       ASUS RAMPAGE IV FORMULA
                                                          Contact                                                    ASUS Technology                           ASUS Technology
                    ANAND TULIANI
                   anand.tuliani@chip.in
                                                          Phone                                                      022-67668800                              022-67668800
                                                          E-mail                                                     reachus@asus.com                          reachus@asus.com
Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge-E platform is an              Price*                                                     Rs. 22,966                                Rs. 24,380
expensive investment and you would want to get            OVERALL
the most out of it. So it’s recommended to spend a        Features (40%)                                                                56                                       53

few thousand Rupees more and get something that           Layout (15%)                                                                               100                                       100

offers a good blend of features and performance.          Performance (40%)                                                                         96                                         99

The MSI X79A-GD45 is good value for money, but it         Warranty (5%)                                                                              100                             60

would be wiser to spend Rs 2,000 more and settle                                                                      0                 50               100    0               50                  100

for the Asus P9X79 Pro or the Gigabyte X79-UD5.           Overall (out of 100)                                       81                                        79
These motherboards scored the second highest in           Value For Money
pure performance and the feature set you get is also
                                                          FEATURES
impressive. The Asus Rampage IV series is the top of
                                                          Memory support: Capacity | Slots | Speed                   64 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz                      32 GB | 4 | 1866 MHz
the line. The Rampage IV Gene is good for building
                                                          Expansion slots: PCIe x16 | PCIe x4 | PCIe x1 | PCI        3|0|2|1                                   4|0|2|0
gaming PCs using smaller cabinets. The Rampage IV
                                                          Multi-GPU support: Technology | Dual card | Triple card    CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8      CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8
Formula is designed for gaming and you get the full
                                                          Audio: Codec | Channel                                     Realtec ALC 892 | 7.1-channel             Supreme FX III | 7.1-channel
version of Battlefield 3 with it. The array of red
                                                          S/PDIF | Gigabit LAN | FireWire 400                        Optical | 1 | 1                           Optical | 1 | None
LEDs that light up the ROG logo at the bottom looks
                                                          USB 2.0 | USB 3.0 (rear/onboard)                           6/8|4/2                                   6/6|4/2
really cool. It comes next in rank after the
                                                          SATA 3 | SATA 6 | eSATA | IDE                              4|4|2|0                                   4|4|2|0
Sabertooth X79 only because of the shorter
                                                          Bluetooth | OC button | LED debugger                          | |                                       | |
warranty period.
                                                          BIOS: UEFI | Graphical | Auto OC | Profiles | Flash tool      | | | |                                   | | | |
                                                          Package contents                                           6 x SATA cables                           8 x SATA cables
                                                          LAYOUT (OUT OF 5)
                                                          Placement: DIMM | 12 V | Main power | SATA | Headers       5|5|5|5|5                                 5|5|5|5|5
                                                          Clearance around the CPU socket                            5                                         5
                                                          Heatsink: Quality | Available for voltage regulators       5|                                        5|
                       FRANCIS D'SA
                     francis.dsa@chip.in                  PERFORMANCE
                                                          Synthetic tests:
Considering the performance and features of the            PCMark Vantage:
motherboards in this roundup, picking the                    Overall | Mem | Game | Productivity                     Fail | 10175 | Fail | 18216               18245 | 11289 | 21681 | 18745
motherboard with the best performance may not              3DMark Vantage:
make much of a difference. If you look at the scores,        Overall | GPU | CPU                                     19854 | 17022 | 39631                     19813 | 16993 | 39462
they all have scored high points, but if you put these     3DMark 11:
scores in your daily practical usage of the rig, you         Overall | Graphics | Physics | Combined                 4507 | 4035 | 12897 | 4109                4507 | 4037 | 12923 | 4100
would just benefit or lose out on a few seconds of         MSI Kombustor:
processing time. Therefore, spending more and                 Kmark | Graphics | Physics                             1685 | 1146 | 6327                        1685 | 1146 | 6325
choosing the best performance board here does not
                                                           SiSoft Sandra 2011:
make any sense. Opt for the motherboard that
                                                              Proc Multimedia | Mem bandwidth | Media Transcode      292.26 Mpix/s | 28.34 GB/s | 1.18 MB/s 292.35 Mpix/s | 28.3 GB/s | 1.16 MB/s
offers the best price and warranty. Also, look for the
                                                           Cinebench R11.5                                           11.32 Pts                              11.41 Pts
service station from that manufacturer to safe guard
                                                          Real World tests:
your investment. Finally, take a good look at the
                                                           POV-Ray                                                   11.12 sec                                 10.32 sec
feature set of the motherboard and decide if you
                                                             File Compression                                        16 sec                                    17 sec
actually need it all. For example, would you want to
                                                             Video Compression                                       36 sec                                    36 sec
pay more for eSATA or Wi-Fi when you may never
                                                           Gaming:
use them? The best choices are the MSI X79A-GD45
                                                             Unigine Heaven                                          27.5 fps                                  27.9 fps
and the Asus Rampage IV Gene, which are priced
lower without sacrificing on performance. If features
                                                             Crysis Warhead (1920x1080, Enthusiast, No AA)           36.25 fps                                 35.95 fps
are your main concern, then I suppose you know              Mafia II (High, AA, No PhysX)                            51.5 fps                                  51.1 fps
where to look.                                            WARRANTY
                                                          Warranty period                                            5 years                                   3 years
                                                         Scores out of 5                  * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra

    62     02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                               Joshua Navalkar
                                                                                                                                                                                          TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                                    MOTHERBOARD COMPARISON


6                                            7                                            8                                            9                                             10



ECS X79R-AX                                  MSI X79A-GD45 (8D)                           ASUS RAMPAGE IV GENE                         INTEL DX79SI                                 BIOSTAR TPOWER X79
Elitegroup Computer Systems                  MSI Computer India                           ASUS Technology                              Intel Technology                             Abacus Peripherals
886-2-21621177                               011-41758808                                 022-67668800                                 022-67137000                                 022-40914604
www.ecs.com.tw                               marketingindia@msi.com                       reachus@asus.com                             NA                                           marketing@abacusperipherals.com
Rs. 23,000                                   Rs. 18,900                                   Rs. 18,700                                   Rs. 12,500                                   Rs. 21,850

                         63                                    50                                        44                                                   49                                   44

                                 93                                             100                                       92                                             93                                              97

                                90                                            94                                               98                                        91                                         90

                        60                                           60                                            60                                               60                                        60

  0                50                  100     0                50                  100    0                  50                 100     0                     50             100     0                  50                   100


78                                           76                                           74                                           73                                           71



32 GB | 4 | 1866 MHz                         128 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz                        32 GB | 4 | 1866 MHz                         64 GB | 8 | 1866 MHz                         32 GB | 4 | 1866 MHz
4|0|2|0                                      3|0|3|0                                      3|1|0|0                                      3|0|2|1                                      3|0|2|1
CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8         CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8         CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8         CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8         CrossFireX and SLI | x16 | x16 x8 x8
Realtec ALC 892 | 7.1-channel                Realtec ALC 892 | 7.1-channel                Supreme FX III | 7.1-channel                 Realtec ALC 892 | 7.1-channel                Realtec ALC 898 | 7.1-channel
Optical | 2 | None                           Opt + Co-ax | 1 | None                       Optical | 1 | None                           Optical | 2 | 2                              Opt + Co-ax | 1 | None
6/4|4/2                                      6/4|2/2                                      8/4|2/2                                      6/8|2/2                                      2/ |6/2
4|8|2|0                                      4|2|0|0                                      3|4|1|0                                      4|2|0|0                                      4|2|0|0
BT and Wi-fi | |                                | |                                          | |                                         | |                                           | |
   | | | |                                      | | | |                                      | | | |                                     | |        |     |                            | | | |
12 x SATA cables, USB 3.0 bracket            6 x SATA cables                              6 x SATA cables                              None                                         6 x SATA cables

5|5|5|5|5                                    5|5|5|5|5                                    4|5|5|5|5                                    4|5|5|5|5                                    5|5|5|5|5
4                                            5                                            4                                            5                                            5
4|                                           5|                                           5|                                           4|                                           4|




14659 | 8798 | 16156 | 16646                 17414 | 9851 | 20981 | Fail                  17878 | 8976 | 21794 | 17625                 Fail | 11082 | Fail | 12390                  16648 | 10824 | 18954 | 18330

19490 | 16932 | 35645                        19437 | 16788 | 36900                        19894 | 17057 | 39699                        19496 | 16867 | 36619                        19136 | 16720 | 33783

4432 | 3987 | 11600 | 4069                   4430 | 3973 | 12228 | 4058                   4514 | 4040 | 12966 | 4113                   4435 | 3999 | 11249 | 4070                   4348 | 3902 | 11570 | 4037

1670 | 1146 | 5908                           1669 | 1141 | 6006                           1685 | 1146 | 6327                           1673 | 1144 | 6028                           1654 | 1142 | 5591

195.44 Mpix/s | 28.24 GB/s | 0.985 MB/s 269.82 Mpix/s | 28.47 GB/s | 1 MB/s               292.45 Mpix/s | 28.38 GB/s | 1.17 MB/s       269 Mpix/s | 21.3 GB/s | 0.98 MB/s           195.23 Mpix/s | 28.55 GB/s | 0.949 MB/s
10.17 Pts                               10.44 Pts                                         11.24 Pts                                    10.41 Pts                                    9.69 Pts

11.62 sec                                    11.08 sec                                    10.27 sec                                    11.1 sec                                     12.18 sec
18 sec                                       18 sec                                       17 sec                                       18 sec                                       19 sec
41 sec                                       36 sec                                       36 sec                                       38 sec                                       42 sec

27.7 fps                                     27.7 fps                                     27.9 fps                                     27.6 fps                                     27.2 fps
36.45 fps                                    35.38 fps                                    36.38 fps                                    36.12 fps                                    35.93 fps
51 fps                                       50.9 fps                                     51.7 fps                                     51.7 fps                                     50.2 fps

3 years                                      3 years                                      3 years                                      3 years                                      3 years


                                                                                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          02/2012          63
 TEST CENTER
CAMERA COMPARISON




Shoot Like a Pro
Eight super-zoom cameras compete each other in this roundup. Find out
which one is the best of the lot.
BY ANAND TULIANI AND FRANCIS D'SA




C
       apturing moments and the very
       essence of life; that’s what
       cameras are all about. Remember
the days when film cameras were actually
in vogue? The endless number of film
rolls that one would purchase since
they could capture just about 24 shots?
That’s not all; the reel then had to be
given for processing, which would take
two to three days before you actually
get to see the snaps. With the advent
of digital cameras, photography has
taken a whole new dimension. With a
plethora of choices from every major
brand, photography is no longer limited
to professionals. The number of options
that one gets when purchasing a camera
is so enormous that everyone from a           available in tilt and flip-out options,          Features: We assigned a decent amount
beginner to a professional can find what       which help taking shots at difficult angles     of weightage to the camera features
he/she is looking for. We can't deny the      even simpler. For example, shots can be         and allotted greater scores to those with
convenience that digital cameras have         taken from a height of more than 6 feet         better specifications. We noted down
brought. Unlike film cameras, these            by merely lifting the camera up high and        the overall resolution of the CCD, zoom,
come with added features such as face,        tilting the display screen downwards.           focal length, white balance settings,
smile and blink detection along with a        Also, some cameras offer a 180-degree           ISO speeds, shutter speed and preset
wide range of preset scenes that make         rotating and flip-out display, making self       scenes. ISO values play an important role
usability almost foolproof.                   portraits easier. But since most cameras        when it comes to capturing the perfect
   That’s not all; cameras such as            offer different feature sets, specifications     picture. This is where the resolution and
the Nikon CoolPix P500 feature wide           and performance, the most confusing             quality of the optics play a vital role
angle lenses. This basically gives you        part is to be able to choose one that suits     when it comes to capturing fine details.
a wider view of the subject(s) being          your needs and budget. With an array            Image stabilization also plays a crucial
shot. Capturing videos is another added       of cameras that list out their detailed         role, especially when using zoom. Other
advantage that digital cameras offer. And     specifications, it’s easy to get lost in a sea
you are no longer limited to capturing        of information when you need to buy a
VGA resolution videos either; you can         simple, but good one. So if you are
now get as high as Full HD 1080p at 60        looking to pick up a megazoom
fps. All cameras featured here, except        camera, read on to find out
the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the           which suits you best.
Olympus SP-810 UZ, are capable of
capturing full HD video, which translates     TEST PROCESS
to better picture quality and smoother        The testing process for
playback. Additionally, these cameras,        these cameras was based
other than offering the DSLR feel with        on five parameters –
regard to the build, weight, and usability,   features, build quality,
offer plenty of scene modes and filter         ergonomics, performance
options that can be applied similar to        and warranty. So let’s take
what compact point-and-shoot cameras          you through each of the
have to offer. Display screens are now        sections:


64    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                    Joshua Navalkar                        SMS us!    Story code: TCC to 51818
                                                                                                                                  TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                              CAMERA COMPARISON


features taken into consideration
were the display type (tilts/flip
                                                                                                          PERSONAL TAKE
out), size, viewfinder type,
mode dial type and specs,
metering modes, filters,
effects, color modes and
video modes and types.
Lastly, features such as a
                                                                                                                     ANAND TULIANI
lens hood, presence of a                                                                                            anand.tuliani@chip.in
hot shoe connector for an
external flash and GPS were                                                                        When investing in a prosumer-class digital camera,
noted. Before going ahead                                                                         one should pay close attention to the feature set
with the performance test,                         accounted for 20 percent of the overall        and ergonomics. Flip-out display, wide angle lens
we checked for the memory capacity,                test score.                                    with a good zoom ratio, shortcut buttons for the
both internal and bundled. Cameras that            Performance: To get a good idea of the         most important functions, hot shoe for external
came bundled with these were awarded               performance of each camera, we shot            flash and rugged build are some of the features that
higher points. Features accounted for 25           an indoor scene that we set up and an          you must get. If you’re meticulous about quality and
percent of the overall score.                      outdoor scene of a casual park for kids.       you don’t mind post-processing your photos to get
Build quality: Since cameras are                   To test the quality of the optics, a noise     optimal results, then you should also consider RAW
portable and delicate devices, they should         test was conducted at three different          support. My personal favorite in this roundup is the
be sturdy and ruggedly built to be able            ISO levels. To make sure that the picture      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 which won the Best
to withstand the occasional knock. Here,           remained consistent throughout the tests,      Performance award. With its outstanding feature
we evaluated the quality of construction,          we used a tripod and shot all scenes           set and incredible performance, it’s built for the
firmness of moving parts such as the                at the best settings that each camera          serious photographer. I don’t mind forgoing a bit of
battery compartment lid and port flaps.             could provide. We evaluated the overall        zoom for its capabilities. If you don’t mind the
We assigned 15 percent of the overall              replication of color, contrast and details     absence of RAW support, then the Canon PowerShot
score to this section.                             that each image produced. A macro              SX40 HS is the way to go. It’s a fun camera with
Ergonomics: A good camera is designed              range test was also carried out, where         plenty of effects to tinker with and its mammoth
with the user in mind. The camera should           we measured the least distance at which        35x zoom lens which extends way up till 840 mm
be designed in such a way that the                 the camera could focus. Points were            delivers extreme close-ups of distant objects.
user finds it easy to use and navigate              awarded to cameras that could lock in on
between various functions. Factors that            the subject at the lowest distance. Here,
were taken into account are the overall            the scores are calculated on the overall
design, button size/spacing and user               features, ergonomics and performance.
interface. The camera should offer good            Since performance is a very important
grip while the controls should also be             aspect, the overall weightage that was
easily accessible. That apart, the camera          assigned towards performance was 35
                                                                                                                         FRANCIS D'SA
should also offer an interface that is easy        percent.
                                                                                                                       francis.dsa@chip.in
to comprehend and use. The presence                Warranty: Since cameras are delicate
of navigational aids such as directional           and expensive devices, it is important for     Having spent time in handling, testing and
pads, and mode selection dial were also            them to be backed up by robust warranty        evaluating these cameras in front of me, I would
noted. Being an important parameter                and support from the manufacturer. The         definitely suggest buying the Canon PowerShot
while selecting a camera, ergonomics               warranty period each camera was noted.         SX40 HS since it scored the best in sheer
                                                   This section accounted for 5 percent of        performance. But performance aside, it also has a
                                                   the overall score.                             great feature set and ergonomics. However, this
                                                   Value for Money: The test was                  camera definitely falls within the higher price
                                                    concluded by arriving at the overall value    bracket, which could put off a few of you. But take a
                                                        of money index. This was derived by       look at what you are being offered at this price - a
                                                           pitting the features, build quality,   professional series DSLR-equivalent camera with a
                                                               ergonomics, performance and        zoom lens, scene modes and filters, and above all,
                                                               features against the price. The    full high definition (1080p) video recording. These
                                                               greater the score, the greater     cameras help bridge the gap between a feature-rich
                                                               will be the camera's value for     compact camera and a DSLR. That said, if price is
                                                               money. Depending on the scores,    the main factor here, those on a budget can instead
                                                               cameras were awarded Best          opt for the Panasonic Lumix FZ47. This camera is
                                                               Performer and Best Value titles.   superbly priced, boasts a great feature set and it
                                                               The camera that came second to     will definitely not disappoint you on the
                                                               the Best Performer was chosen      performance front.
                                                               as our Runner-up.


                                          Jagdish Limbachiya                                       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                02/2012   65
  TEST CENTER
CAMERA COMPARISON




                              PANASONIC LUMIX FZ150
                                                                      T
     VERDICT                                                                 he Canon SX40 HS is the                d-pad that can also be programmed
                                                                             clear winner when it comes to          as a shortcut. You can switch to EVF
A GREAT                                                                      pure performance. However,
                                                                      parameters such as comfortable
                                                                                                                    at the press of a button, but we wish
                                                                                                                    it had a proximity sensor for automatic

PERFORMER WITH                                                        handling, rugged build and a few other
                                                                      features such as RAW support are
                                                                                                                    switching like in the Sony HX100V. The
                                                                                                                    flip-out display is a very useful feature

A SOLID BUILD.                                                        also important, and this is where the
                                                                      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 stands
                                                                                                                    as it allows creative shooting with the
                                                                                                                    camera held over the head or at ground
                                                                      out. With nano surface coating and            level.
                                                                      rubberized grip, it looks and feels as rock      On the performance front, the
                                                                      solid as a mainstream DSLR.                   FZ150 is the second highest scorer.
                                                                         The specifications are similar to           The reproduction of details and colors
                                                                      other digital cameras in its class. It        was top notch in both indoor and
                                                                      features a 12.1 megapixel sensor with         outdoor tests. The control over noise
                                                                      full manual control and 1080p video           is very good up to ISO 400 after which
                                                                      recording. However, the zoom ratio is         the camera starts going haywire. A
                                                                      quite less as compared to most others,        good thing is that you get 1/3-step
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                      which offer at least 30x optical zoom.        ISO increments. The quality of video
Rs 24,990                                                             The focal length at the widest end is 25      recording is very good. The image
Dimensions (WxHxD): 124 x 82 x 92 mm; Weight: 528 g; CCD size:
                                                                      mm and it extends up to 600 mm. The           stabilizer does a very good job at
1/2.33 inch; Resolution: 12.1 MP; Optical zoom: 24x; Aperture: F2.8
- F5.2; Shutter speed: 60 - 1/2000 sec; ISO range: ISO 100 - 1600;    design is excellent and it goes a long        keeping the frame steady at full zoom
Display: 3-inch 460 K dots                                            way in helping you adjust the settings        while shooting videos.
CONTACT                 Panasonic India                               on-the-fly and shoot comfortably.                 If you don’t have the budget for
PHONE                   0124-4596600
EMAIL                   helpline@in.panasonic.com                     Some of the key features are an extra         a DSLR and you’re looking at pro-
                                                                      zoom lever to the left of the lens and        level features, the FZ150 is our top
   RATINGS                                                            one-touch access to focus modes, AF/          recommendation.
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES                                                              AE lock, EV, ISO, timer, burst mode, and      FOR: RAW support, robust build, flip-out
ERGONOMICS
                                                                      video capture. The extra zoom lever           LCD, excellent grip.
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING                                                        can be programmed for manual focus,           AGAINST: Proximity sensor for EVF
VALUE FOR MONEY                                                       plus there’s an ‘Fn’ button on the 5-way      would have been nice.


66        02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                     Joshua Navalkar
                                                                                                                                TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                            CAMERA COMPARISON




                    PANASONIC LUMIX FZ47
P
       anasonic’s Lumix FZ47 bagged         commonplace amongst digital cameras,
                                                                                             VERDICT
       the Best Value title because         the FZ47 features sepia, pinhole and
       of the lowest price offered on
a combination of the great features
                                            tilt-shift options which can be previewed
                                            on the screen as well as applied to
                                                                                        A GREAT CAMERA
it offers, excellent ergonomic value
it possesses, rugged build quality it
                                            photos and videos. The FZ47 also
                                            features 3D still image capturing which
                                                                                        ON A BUDGET
sports and, of course, good imaging
performance. Unlike its predecessor,
                                            can be viewed on a MPO compatible 3D
                                            television using the HDMI connection.       FOR HOBBYISTS
the FZ40, which has a 14 MP CCD, the
FZ47 features a 12.1 megapixel 1/2.3-
                                               Images for 3D are captured in a burst
                                            mode, while moving the camera by            OR PROS WHO
inch CCD with a 25 mm ultra-wide
angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens
                                            around 10 cm sideways and the camera
                                            automatically selects two photos to         ARE JUST
with an optical zoom of 24x. The ISO
sensitivity is between ISO 100 to 2000,
while the shutter speed available is
                                            generate the 3D image. The camera
                                            sports a 3-inch display that flips out and
                                            can be turned 180 degrees for angular
                                                                                        STARTING OUT.
from 60 – 1/2000 sec. The camera can        shots and self portraits. The FZ47
also record full HD video with stereo       performs with nearly 75 percent imaging
                                                                                           SPECIFICATIONS
audio and optical zoom at 60 fps. It also   quality when compared to Lumix
features a Wind Cut function whereby it     FZ150, while the video performance is
                                                                                        Rs 20,990
                                                                                        Dimensions (WxHxD): 120 x 80 x 92 mm; Weight: 498 g; CCD size:
can automatically reduce ambient noise      at par. Retailing at just Rs 20,990, it
                                                                                        1/2.33 inch; Resolution: 12.1 MP; Optical zoom; 24x; Aperture: F2.8
of the wind. Users can simultaneously       is a good choice for those looking for      - F5.2; Shutter speed: 60 - 1/2000 sec; ISO range: ISO 100 - 1600;
capture 3.5 MP still photos while           an advanced-level megazoom offering         Display: 3-inch 460 K dots.
shooting videos. The continuous auto-       almost identical features and usability     CONTACT                 Panasonic India
                                                                                        PHONE                   0124-4596600
focus and image stabilization create        of a DSLR. The package includes a 4 GB      EMAIL                   helpline@in.panasonic.com
sharp videos with just a tad amount of      SD card and carries a great warranty
jitter when panning or zooming.             period of three years.
                                                                                           RATINGS
                                                                                        BUILD QUALITY
   Unlike other cameras, users also have    FOR: Great ergonomics, HD video             FEATURES
                                                                                        ERGONOMICS
the option of manually selecting the        recording, 3D imaging capability, three
                                                                                        PERFORMANCE
shutter speed and aperture for video        year warranty.                              OVERALL RATING
modes. Since special filter effects are      AGAINST: No RAW mode shooting.              VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                      02/2012     67
  TEST CENTER
CAMERA COMPARISON


                                                                1                                                   2                                            3
  SpecScan

 NAME                                                           PANASONIC LUMIX FZ150                               CANON POWERSHOT SX40 HS                      PANASONIC LUMIX FZ47
 Contact                                                        Panasonic India                                     Canon India                                  Panasonic India
 Phone                                                          0124-4596600                                        0124-4160000                                 0124-4596600
 E-mail                                                         helpline@in.panasonic.com                           info@canon.co.in                             helpline@in.panasonic.com
 Price*                                                         Rs. 24,990                                          Rs. 28,995                                   Rs. 20,990
 OVERALL
 Features (25%)                                                                               71                                                 66                                          59

 Build quality (15%)                                                                                     97                                           88                                               97

 Ergonomics (20%)                                                                                       94                                            87                                               98

 Performance (35%)                                                                                 81                                                 87                                          65

 Warranty (5%)                                                                                           100                                     67                                                    100

                                                                  0                      50                   100     0                     50             100     0                    50                  100


 Overall (Out of 100)                                           84                                                  81                                           77
 Value For Money
 FEATURES
 Dimensions | Weight                                            124 x 82 x 92 mm | 528 g                            123 x 92 x 108 mm | 600 g                    120 x 80 x 92 mm | 498 g
 CCD Size | Effective resolution                                1/2.3-inch | 12.1 MP                                1/2.3-inch | 14.1 MP                         1/2.33-inch | 12.1 MP
 Focal length                                                   25 - 600 mm                                         24 - 840 mm                                  25 - 600 mm
 Aperture                                                       F2.8 - F5.2                                         F2.7 - F5.8                                  F2.8 - F5.2
 Optical zoom | Digital Zoom                                    24x | 4x                                            35x | 4x                                     24x | 4x
 Shutter speed                                                  30 - 1/2000 sec                                     15 - 1/3200 sec                              60 - 1/2000 sec
 ISO range                                                      ISO 100 - 3200                                      ISO 100 - 3200                               ISO 100 - 1600
 Viewfinder | Display screen                                    EVF | Flip out                                      EVF | Flip out                               EVF | None
 Display type                                                   3-inch, 460 K dots                                  2.7-inch, 230 K dots                         3-inch, 460 K dots
 Modes: Auto | Easy/Smart auto | PASM | Custom                        |   |     |                                         |   |    |                                   |   |   |
          Portrait | Landscape | Sports | Macro | Night               |   |     |   |                                     |   |    |   |                               |   |   |   |
 Metering: Evaluative | Center | Spot                                 |   |                                               |   |                                        |   |
 Total no of scene presets                                      17                                                  11                                           17
 Filters / effects: Fish-eye | Mini | Pop art | Toy | Sketch         |    |     | |                                      |     |    | |                               |    |   | |
                     Soft | High contrast | Panorama | Others        |    |     | None                                   |    |    | None                             |    |   | None
 Color modes: Vivid | Sepia | B/W | Negative | Others                |    |      | |4                                    |     |    | |7                              |    |    | |4
 Total White Balance modes | Custom White Balance               8|                                                  7|                                           8|
 Video: Resolution | Frame rate | Zoom type                     1920x1080 | 60 fps | Optical                        1920x1080 | 24 fps | Optical                 1920x1080 | 60 fps | Optical
 Memory: Built-in | Bundled                                     70 MB | 4 GB                                        0 MB | 4 GB                                  70 MB | 4 GB
 RAW mode | GPS | Hot shoe                                            |   |                                              |    |                                       |    |
 BUILD QUALITY
 Quality: Shell | Buttons | Port flaps | Batttery lid           5|5|5|5                                             4|5|4|5                                      5|5|5|5
 Aesthetic appeal                                               4.5                                                 4.5                                          4.5
 ERGONOMICS
 Grip | Rubberised grip | Ease of menu navigation               5| |5                                               4| |5                                        5| |5
 Buttons: Size | Spacing | Tactility                            4|5|5                                               5|5|5                                        4|5|5
 Shortcut buttons: ISO | Flash | Self timer | Macro                   |   |     |                                         |   |    |                                   |   |   |
                      Info | Video rec | EV | Custom                  |   |     |                                         |   |    |                                   |   |   |
 PERFORMANCE
 Macro range                                                    1 cm                                                0 cm                                         1 cm
 Overall contrast: Indoors | Outdoors                           4|4                                                 3.5 | 4.5                                    2.5 | 3
 Overall capture quality: Indoors | Outdoors                    3.8 | 4.9                                           4.7 | 3.9                                    3.3 | 3.6
 Noise test (ISO): 400 | 800 | 1600                             4 | 4.5 | 4.5                                       5 | 4.5 | 5                                  3.5 | 3.5 | 3.5
 Video: Image quality | Playback smoothness                     4.5 | 3.5                                           4.5 | 4                                      4.5 | 3.5
 WARRANTY
 Warranty period                                                3 years                                             2 years                                      3 years
Scores out of 5                    * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra

68      02/2012        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                             Joshua Navalkar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CAMERA COMPARISON


4                                                     5                                                   6                                                 7                                                8



SONY CYBER-SHOT HX100V                                NIKON COOLPIX P500                                  CANON POWERSHOT SX30 IS                           FUJIFILM FINEPIX HS20 EXR                        OLYMPUS SP-810 UZ
Sony India                                            Nikon India                                         Canon India                                       Fujifilm India                                   Olympus Imaging India
1800-103-7799                                         1800-102-7346                                       0124-4160000                                      0124-4325500                                     022-61420400
sonyindia.care@ap.sony.com                            nindsupport@nikonoa.net                             info@canon.co.in                                  contact@fujifilmindia.com                        enquiry@olympus.in
Rs. 22,990                                            Rs. 23,950                                          Rs. 24,995                                        Rs. 20,999                                       Rs. 20,999

                               65                                                  62                                                 63                                                        73                                             68

                                              100                                                 100                                            88                                                  100                                            84

                                         85                                                  88                                                  87                                                  98                                       65

                                    76                                                  71                                                  75                                            63                                             58

                 33                                                                 67                                                 67                                                  67                                                 67

    0                     50                    100       0                   50                    100     0                    50                   100       0                    50                100       0                      50               100


77                                                    76                                                  76                                                75                                               66



122 x 87 x 93 mm | 577 g                              116 x 103 x 84 mm | 494 g                           123 x 92 x 108 mm | 601 g                         131 x 91 x 126 mm | 730 g                        106 x 76 x 74 mm | 413 g
1/2.3-inch | 16.2 MP                                  1/2.3-inch | 12 MP                                  1/2.3-inch | 12.1 MP                              1/2-inch | 16 MP                                 1/2.3-inch | 14 MP
27 - 810 mm                                           23 - 810 mm                                         24 - 840 mm                                       24 - 720 mm                                      24 - 864 mm
F2.8 - F5.6                                           F3.4 - F5.7                                         F2.7 - F5.7                                       F2.8 - F5.6                                      F2.9 - F5.7
30x | 7x                                              36x | 4x                                            35x | 4x                                          30x | NA                                         36x | 4x
30 - 1/4000 sec                                       8 - 1/1500 sec                                      15 - 1/3200 sec                                   30 - 1/4000 SEC                                  1/4 - 1/1200 sec
ISO 100 - 3200                                        ISO 160 - 3200                                      ISO 80 - 1600                                     ISO 100 - 3200                                   ISO 80 - 3200
EVF | Tilting                                         EVF | Tilting                                       EVF | Flip out                                    EVF | Tilting                                    None | None
3-inch, 921 K dots                                    3-inch, 921 K dots                                  2.7-inch, 230 K dots                              3-inch, 460 K dots                               3-inch, 230 K dots
        |   |     |                                           |   |   |                                         |   |    |                                          |   |    |                                       |   |P|
        |   |     |   |                                       |   |   |   |                                     |   |    |   |                                      |   |    |   |                                   |   | |        |
        |   |                                                 |   |                                             |   |                                               |   |                                            |   |
16                                                    15                                                  11                                                17                                               16
        |   |    | |                                          |   |   | |                                       |    |    | |                                       |   |    | |                                     |    |    | |
        |   |    | None                                       |   |   | None                                    |   |    | None                                     |   |    | None                                  |   |     |4
        |    |    | |2                                        |   |    | |3                                     |    |    | |7                                      |    |    | |1                                   |   |    | | None
7|                                                    6|                                                  7|                                                6|                                               5|
1920x1080 | 60 fps | Optical                          1920x1080 | 30 fps | Optical                        1280x720 | 30 fps | Optical                       1920x1080 | 30 fps | Optical                     1280x720 | 30 fps | Optical
19 MB | 4 GB                                          102 MB | 4 GB                                       0 MB | 4 GB                                       20 MB | 4 GB                                     14 MB | 4 GB
        |   |                                                 |   |                                             |   |                                               |   |                                            |   |

5|5|5|5                                               5|5|5|5                                             4|5|4|5                                           5|5|5|5                                          4|4|5|5
5                                                     5                                                   4.5                                               5                                                4

5 | | 4.5                                             5| |5                                               4| |5                                             5| |5                                            5| |5
5|5|5                                                 4.5 | 5 | 5                                         5|5|5                                             4|5|5                                            4|4|4
        |   |     |                                           |   |   |                                         |   |    |                                          |   |    |                                       |   |     |
        |   |     |                                           |   |   |                                         |   |    |                                          |   |    |                                       |   |     |

1 cm                                                  1 cm                                                0 cm                                              1 cm                                             5 cm
3.5 | 5                                               4.5 | 2.5                                           5|4                                               3|4                                              3.5 | 4.5
4.2 | 4.1                                             3.8 | 3.6                                           4.5 | 2.9                                         3.7 | 3.1                                        3.2 | 3.1
2.5 | 2 | 3                                           2.5 | 4 | 4                                         3 | 2.5 | 2                                       3 | 3 | 2.5                                      1.5 | 1.5 | 1
4.5 | 5                                               4.5 | 4                                             4.5 | 4                                           3|3                                              3.5 | 3.5

1 years                                               2 years                                             2 years                                           2 years                                          2 years


                                                                                                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                        02/2012     69
     TEST CENTER
         TESTED                                  SOFTWARE
                                                 SPOTLIGHT
BEFORE



                                                       HDR TOOL



                                                       DYNAMIC
                                                       PHOTO HDR
AFTER




                                                      VERDICT: One of the best programs for HDR processing.
                                                      FOR: Single image processing, plenty of creative filters, delivers both realistic and surreal results.
                                                      AGAINST: None.




                                          T
                                                   he objective of HDR processing is to               can be done using exposure bracketing or by
                                                   achieve results that are closest to what           manually adjusting the shutter speed or EV.
                                                   the human eye can see. Unlike the human            As a bonus feature, the program also supports
                                          eye, digital cameras struggle to capture a vast             creating HDR with a single image. The exposure
                                          dynamic range. For example, the human eye can               levels are guessed automatically or you can
                                          perceive shadows, brightly lit areas and accurate           specify them manually. You can choose from
                                          colors, all simultaneously. But digital cameras             four processing modes – Tone mapping, Fusion
                                          fail to do so, especially in brightly lit scenarios         blending, Complex HDR fusion and HDR video.
                                          and indoors. You meter the sky’s brightness and             Tone mapping is the regular method, while
                                          the objects on the ground get underexposed                  Fusion blending uses multiple JPEG files to
                                          and vice-versa. HDR involves shooting the same              deliver realistic results in a few steps. Complex
                                          frame with increasing exposures starting from               HDR fusion further involves tone-mapping and
                                          underexposure and going way up till you get                 you get to tinker with a raft of tools. HDR video
                                          overexposed shots. The HDR application then                 mode adds HDR-like effects to videos.
                                          blends the optimal exposures in all the images                  In the next step, the program creates the
                                          and renders a single shot in which the entire               HDR image and you move on to tone-mapping
                                          scene is optimally exposed – the deepest blacks             the result to tweak the brightness, color
                                          and the brightest whites are brought under                  saturation, dynamic light strength, and so on.
                                          control while maintaining the colors. Dynamic               You can either go the manual way or choose
                                          Photo HDR by Mediachance is one of the best                 from seven presets. You also have the option
                                          HDR applications we have come across.                       to tweak the gamma, curves, colors and
                                                                                                      hue using the curve graph. The intensity and
                                          FEATURES                                                    direction of light can also be controlled by
                                          You start with loading a photo (JPEG or RAW                 simply dragging the light source around the
                                          format) taken with multiple exposures. This                 frame. If you want surreal colors and effects,




    No problem if you haven’t shot multiple exposures. It’s possible to convert a   The extracted preview frames are useful for evaluating multiple options using
    single JPG or RAW file into HDR.                                                filters and other presets.


   70     02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                      SMS us!      Story code: TSM to 51818
                                                                  ON DVD
you can use the Color Filters and Match Color
tools. Each of these has around 20 presets, which
                                                h
can be instantly applied with a click of a button.
Clicking on the work area extracts a preview of
the frame. You can have multiple preview panes
and select the one that you like best, or revert                  FEBRUARY 2012
to the original. After you’re done with all the
tinkering, the final step is saving the result. The                RED HOT APPLICATIONS
HDR Video Tonemapping is an interesting feature.
You first load a video and then you can adjust the                 Autodesk Softimage 2012
colors, dynamic light and surface smoothness to
add HDR-like effects. You can specify the audio                   FULL SOFTWARE
and video codec that should be used and change                    DrawPlus Starter Edition                                 PanoramaPlus Starter Edition
the codec parameters as needed. However, the
                                                                  MoviePlus Starter Edition                                PhotoPlus Starter Edition
choice of codecs offered depends on the codec
                                                                  PagePlus Starter Edition                                 WebPlus Starter Edition
pack that you’ve installed. Mediachance suggests
you install K-Lite codec pack which has most of
the needed audio and video codecs. The time
                                                                  FULL GAMES                            LINUX                               MOBILE
                                                                  Angry Aliens                                                              Audioro BlackBerry
                                                                                                        LINUX DISTRIBUTION                      Converter 3.00
needed to encode the video depends on the                         Assault Droid                         Linux Mint 12
kind of hardware you have and the resolution                      Grand Prix Racing 1.1                                                     Audioro BlackBerry
                                                                  Happy Note! Valentine 1.1                                                     Tour Converter 3.00
and length of the source video. The work area
                                                                  Love Ahoy! - Dating game              LINUX TOOLS                         FBReader (Symbian) 0.99.5
displays a real time preview of the frame being                   Meet My Valentine                     amaroK 2.5.0                        IP Cam Viewer Lite 4.2.4
                                                                  Meet My Valentine 2                   Android SDK Release 16              Kaspersky Mobile Security
rendered. What we would have really liked is the                                                        ATI Radeon Linux Display
                                                                  My Secret Valentine                                                           (Symbian) 9.4.104
option to select a clip from the video and support                Ultra Monster Truck 1.1                   Drivers 11.12                   MobileWitch Bluetooth Remote
for GPU-based processing. We hope Mediachance
                                            e                     Ultra Nitro Racers 1.2                BitNami Joomla! Module 1.7.3-1          Control 3.6.0 and more...
                                                                  Valentine Seeker and more...          Horde Groupware Webmail
adds these features in the next update.                                                                     Edition 4.0.5 and more...       SECURITY
                                                                                                                                            Antirun 2.4
PERFORMANCE                                                       GAME DEMOS                            TOOLS                               AntiVir Personal 12.0.0.869
                                                                  Afterfall: Insanity demo                                                  Blank And Secure 2.41
Our test rig was an average desktop PC powered                    Angry Birds Rio 1.3.2                 MULTIMEDIA                          Comodo AntiVirus
                                                                  Angry Birds Seasons Demo 2.1.0        Adobe Camera Raw 6.6 RC1
by the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor, 2 GB                                                                                                   5.8.213334.2131
                                                                  Final Fantasy VII Remake              Aneesoft Free iPod Video
of RAM, and running Windows 7 Home Premium,                                                                                                 COMODO Cleaning Essentials
                                                                      Demo 1.2 and more...                  Converter 3.0.0.0
                                                                                                                                                2.0.212902.151 Beta
32-bit. The software is extremely resource friendly                                                     A’s Video Converter 4.1.1           Efficient Password Manager 3.0
                                                                                                        Avi2Dvd 0.6.4                           Build 315 and more...
and it ran smoothly without any nags despite using                GAME ADD ONS                          Beauty Guide Lite 1.4
heavy RAW files and real time preview. The quality                 F1 2011 Patch 1.2                     Color Picker 1.0
                                                                  Gratuitous Space Battles Patch
                                                                                                                                            SYSTEM
of results completely depends on how you tweak                                                          DVD Cutter 1.7                      3DP Chip 11.11
                                                                      1.59                              FastPictureViewer 1.6 Build
the values. However, you might want to reduce the                                                                                           Desktop Calendar XP 5.05
                                                                  Solium Infernum Patch 1.08a               226 (32-bit)                    DiskBoss 2.0.16
noise and chromatic aberration using an image                     The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 4GB     FlicFlac Converter 1.01             DocPad 11.0
editing program. Videos with HDR-like effects                         Patch 1.4                         Free Mp3 Recorder 1.1               Drives Monitor 6.1
                                                                  The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings     Free Studio
added look nice. The output has better contrast                                                                                             GiMeSpace Free Edition 1.1.1.20
                                                                      Patch 2.1 and more...             Freemake Video                      GoswainthaDiary free
and the colors appear more vivid.                                                                           Converter 3.0.0.2                   personal diary software
                                                                  GAME TRAILERS                         Fun3D 1.0.4.15 Beta                     Portable 1.2.0.0 and more...
                                                                                                        HTML5 Converter for Adobe
VERDICT                                                           7554 Launch Trailer
                                                                                                            Captivate 5.5
HDR works best for high contrast scenes and
                                                                  Confrontation Teaser Trailer                                              MUST HAVES
                                                                  Dead Island: Bloodbath Arena          Kestrel GX 1.2.2
                                                                                                                                            .NET Framework Version 4.0
landscapes in broad daylight, and fluffy clouds are                    (DLC) Trailer                     Macrium Reflect Free Edition 5.0
                                                                                                                                            AMD Catalyst Drivers 11.12 XP /
                                                                  Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock            Build 4168
icing on cake. Even interiors of large cathedrals                                                                                               Vista / Win 7
                                                                      Teaser Trailer                    MOscillator 5.06 and more...
                                                                                                                                            DirectX 9.0c (Jun 10)
shot at wide angle look great with the tonal values               DragonSoul Online Trailer                                                 Java Runtime Environment
                                     at optimum levels.           Final Fantasy XIII-2 Battle in        INTERNET                                1.7.0.2 (32-bit)
                                                                      Valhalla Trailer                  μTorrent 3.1 Build 26616            NVIDIA Forceware 285.58 WHQL
 SPECIFICATIONS                      Dynamic Photo HDR                                                  Chit Chat for Facebook 1.454
                                                                  Infinity Blade 2 - Launch Trailer                                             XP / Vista / Win 7
$54 (approx Rs 2,800)                delivers both realistic      Jagged Alliance: Back in              Download Accelerator Plus 9.7.0.7   Realtek High Definition Audio
www.mediachance.com                                                                                     Firefox 9.0
                                     and surreal results              Action Trailer                                                            2.67 XP / Vista and more...
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                                                  Of Orcs and Men Teaser Trailer        GetGo Download Manager
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 2 GB;   depending on how you                                                   4.8.2.1233
Disk space: 1 GB.
                                                                  Resident Evil: Revelations -                                              ADOBE PLAYERS
                                     tweak the parameters.            Morgan and F.B.C. Trailer         Google Chrome 17.0.963.12 Beta      Adobe Air 3.2.0.1320 Beta 2
CONTACT       Mediachance
                                     If you wish to evaluate      Resistance 3 Brutality Pack           Internet Download Accelerator       Flash Player 11.2.202.95
PHONE         NA                                                                                            5.12.1.1291
                                                                      DLC Trailer                                                               Beta 2 (IE)and more...
EMAIL         Via website            other options, then                                                Internet Explorer 8.0 XP
                                                                  The Darkness II Vendettas Co-Op
                                     we suggest trying out            Experience Trailer                Internet Explorer 9.0 Vista
   RATINGS
                                     Photomatix and the           The Sims 3: Showtime                  Internet Explorer 9.0 Windows 7     E-BOOKS
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
                                                                      Announcement Trailer              Jordy Downloader 1.0.5.0            CHIP ARCHIVES
                                     HDR module in Adobe          Tink - Game Connection Europe         Opera 11.60                         September 2011 To
EASE OF USE
OVERALL RATING                       Photoshop.                       2011 3-in-1 Trailer and more...   Pidgin 2.10.1 and more...              November 2011
VALUE FOR MONEY                                               i
                                                - Anand Tuliani
  TEST CENTER
        TESTED



    VERDICT

A FEATURE RICH
POWERFUL VIDEO
EDITING TOOL
WITH GOOD
HARDWARE
ACCELERATION.



                                                       VIDEO EDITOR


                                                      CYBERLINK
                                                      POWERDIRECTOR 10
The preview window at the right as well as the
                                                      FOR: Ease of use, speedy, good format supported.
storyboard view makes it easy to work.                AGAINST: Not too many good in built effects, issues with 3D interface.



                                                      V
                                                              ideo enthusiasts are currently          also has options to enhance the picture
                                                              experiencing a Golden Age. New          in terms of brightness, contrast etc. If
                                                              camcorders record movies in             you have a video that is a bit grainy,
                                                      high quality, be it full HD, 3D or even         then you can use its ‘denoise’ feature to
                                                      Blu-ray. However, the same could not            remove visual noise. Similarly, it also has
                                                      be said about video editing tools, which        a stabilizer that will reduce shake. It also
                                                      leave much to be desired. Cyberlink             boasts of advance audio tools including
                                                      claims that its PowerDirector 10 can            an option to normalize all the audio data
                                                      leave the competition behind in terms           for a smooth audio output. If you find
                                                      of performance, which is partly true. It        these task overwhelming, you can simply
                                                      processes video with a resolution of 1920       opt for the Magic Movie Wizard that will
                                                      x 1080 at a high frame rate of 50 fps quite     create a video from the images you have
                                                      smoothly. Even after adding filters and          selected. It supports video formats like
    SPECIFICATIONS                                    effects, there is no delay in the processing.   MPEG2, AVI, MP4, AVCHD, M2TS, MVC

€75 (approx Rs 4,800)                                    It offers about 100-track timeline,          (3D) and burning on VCD, SVCD, DVD
www.cyberlink.com                                     which allow you to overlay videos,              and BD. Though you can convert 2D to
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                                      photos, object and audio to create              3D and it supports 3D editing, we found
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 512 MB
                                                      desired effects. It offers several options      that 3D is not up to the mark. So if you
CONTACT                CyberLink Corp
PHONE                  +886 2 8667 1298               to choose from right from animations            want your videos to work smoothly,
EMAIL                  NA
                                                      to text options. Plus, it allows you to         then stick with normal 2D. Exporting
    RATINGS                                           custom-create more effects. You can             videos is also a breeze, as it makes
FEATURES
                                                      record free-hand drawing on videos and          use of graphics card acceleration.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                           you can also manipulate their speed. It                                     -feedback@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




72       02/2012         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                        TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                               TESTED




                                                     SYSTEM UTILITY

                                                    ADVANCED SYSTEMCARE PRO
                                                    VERDICT: An arsenal of optimization tools in one single utility.
                                                    FOR: Good options of tweaking areas, inbuilt security feature, automatic optimization.
                                                    AGAINST: Opens every option in a new window.




                                                    I
                                                      ncreasing performance, keeping the              done manually or programmed and left
                                                      OS clean, and protecting privacy have           for the utility to do it automatically. It
                                                      always been the most important                  also has a Turbo Boost option to optimize
                                                    needs of any computer user. Advanced              system performance for gaming or work
                                                    SystemCare Pro is an all-in-one package           environments. Logs and restore points
                                                    that can do pretty much the same smartly          are maintained for advanced users to
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                    and without your intervention. The utility        check the utility’s activity or revert to old
$13 (approx Rs 700)                                 has a simple and easy to navigate and             settings in case of errors or mishaps. The
www.iobit.com
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS                                 skinnable user interface. SystemCare              free version is limited to basic PC care
OS: Windows XP or higher; Processor: 300 MHz or
                                                    cleans, repairs, optimizes and protects           and protection, while the paid version
higher; RAM: 256 MB or higher; Disk space: 30 MB.
CONTACT                IObit
                                                    your computer. It scans the registry for          has all features enabled which include
PHONE                  NA                           errors, scans the system for malware              system and Internet boost, tech support,
EMAIL                  NA
                                                    and other security threats, cleans history        advanced security threat protection,
   RATINGS                                          and surfing traces, checks and repairs             faster tweaks, popup disabling, skin and
FEATURES
                                                    storage issues, defragments drives, and           theme support, and more.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                         lots more. Processing is fast and can be                                                      - Francis D’sa
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




 SYSTEM UTILITY

WEBROOT SECUREANYWHERE
ESSENTIALS
VERDICT: A decent all-in-one system tweaking and securing utility, but for a bit steep price.
FOR: Privacy monitoring, website phishing and legitimacy detection.
AGAINST: Pricey.


W
                ebroot SecureAnywhere               apart from securing it. Identity shield
                Essentials protects you from        can be setup for verifying and analyzing
                online threats and is said to       websites to determine legitimacy and
be faster and easier than its predecessor.          phishing and also to verify DNS and IP
It also does not conflict with other                 resolutions of all websites visited to
applications and antivirus utilities. It            rule out any man-in-the-middle attacks
includes a built-in two way firewall                 for data theft and hacks. The utility is                     SPECIFICATIONS
for safe browsing and identity theft,               beneficial for those who are looking                       $40 (Approx Rs 2,100)
                                                                                                              www.webroot.com
automatic file backup and synchronization            for a high-level of online data privacy                   SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

and protection against viruses, worms,              including those who constantly shop or                    OS: Windows XP or higher; Processor: 300 MHz or
                                                                                                              higher; RAM: 256 MB or higher; Disk space: 30 MB.
Trojans, rootkits, etc, claiming to scan up         transfer money online. SecureAnywhere
                                                                                                              CONTACT                Webroot
to four times faster than Norton. A classic         can also be setup for startup scans, PC                   PHONE                  +44 (0) 870 141 7070
feature here is the active processes                idle scans or scheduled scanning. Reports                 EMAIL                  saassupport@webroot.comx

monitoring and advanced tweaking                    and logs of all activity and monitoring                      RATINGS
option. You can monitor and allow/                  by SecureAnywhere is stored for an                        FEATURES
                                                                                                              PERFORMANCE
block running processes in the memory,              advanced level of user monitoring.
                                                                                                              EASE OF USE
which can help speed up the system                                                   - Francis D’sa           OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                              VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              02/2012           73
  TEST CENTER
        TESTED



    VERDICT

SIMPLE AND
EFFECTIVE VIRUS
PROTECTION FOR
THE COMPLETE
HOME NETWORK.




                                                           INTERNET SECURITY SOFTWARE


                                                          G DATA INTERNET SECURITY
                                                          FOR HOMESERVER
The UI is easy to navigate, and controlling a connected
                                                          FOR: Ease of use, ability to detect malware.
PC via the central management console is effortless.      AGAINST: Scan process is slow.



                                                          G
                                                                  Data Internet Security for             to create independent settings and virus
                                                                  Homeserver offers you a complete       scans on individual clients. However, what
                                                                  security solution. These security      really sets this Internet security suite
                                                          features include antivirus, firewall, spam      apart is the ability to scan for malware.
                                                          filtering and even child protection. It also    The AV Test Institute of Security suite
                                                          provides mail protection for Outlook,          test result showed that it was able to
                                                          Outlook Express, Mozilla and POP3/IMAP         detect all the latest viruses, worms and
                                                          mail clients.                                  Trojans and scored a 100 percent when
                                                             It can be configured on five PCs and          compared to other Internet security suites
                                                          can be controlled from a single PC with        that give standard average of 98 percent.
                                                          the help of the central management             However, the scanning process is slightly
                                                          console. Thus, the updates and scans           slower as compared to the other security
                                                          can be remotely controlled for all the         suites. In our test process, we scanned a
    SPECIFICATIONS
                                                          PCs connected to the network via the           127 GB partition and found that it was a
€100 (approx Rs 6,500)                                    main PC. This helps save a lot of time         bit slower as it took around 43 minutes.
www.gdatasoftware.co.uk
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS                                       than having to do so for individual PCs.       Nevertheless, it is quite effective when it
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/ Microsoft Windows Home
                                                          Its interface is very basic yet easy to        comes to dealing with malware, rootkit,
Server; RAM: 1 GB
                                                          navigate. From the main PC, you can give       spam, etc. and provides overall protection
CONTACT                 G Data Software
PHONE                   +44 800 6121 962                  commands and they will be executed             with the scan process continuously
EMAIL                   hotline@gdatasoftware.co.uk
                                                          on the target PC within a few seconds.         running in the background even for those
    RATINGS                                               Even the updates will be seamlessly            computers that are not permanently
FEATURES
                                                          and automatically distributed over the         connected to the server.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                               network. Additionally, it even allows you                                  -feedback@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




74       02/2012          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                                     TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                            TESTED




 SYSTEM UTILITY                                                 SYSTEM UTILITY                                                 DVD COPIER

eSCAN RESCUE DISC                                              REGISTRY HEALER                                                DVDFAB PLATINUM
VERDICT: An essential antivirus and                            VERDICT: An great registry cleaning
                                                                                                                              EDITION
free-to-use rescue disk for Windows.                           utility for basic and advanced users.
FOR: Ease of use, clean OS booting.                            FOR: Speedy scanning and cleaning, easy                        VERDICT: An excellent DVD duplicating
AGAINST: 315 MB initial ISO download,                          to use.                                                        utility for homes and professional use.
no USB disk option.                                            AGAINST: None.                                                 FOR: CSS decryption, region code
                                                                                                                              removal, video compression.
                                                                                                                              AGAINST: None.
   SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS                                                SPECIFICATIONS
Freeware                                                       Rs 1,415                                                       $48 (approx Rs 2,500)
www.escanav.com                                                www.zoneutils.com                                              www.dvdfab.com
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS                                            SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS                                            SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
OS: Windows XP or higher.                                      OS: Windows XP or higher; Disk space: 5 MB.                    OS: Windows XP or higher; Processor: 1 GHz or higher; RAM: 1
CONTACT               MicroWorld Software Services Pvt. Ltd.   CONTACT                KsL Software                            GB or higher; Disk space: 10 GB.
PHONE                 +91-9322359065                           PHONE                  NA                                      CONTACT                Fengtao Software Inc
EMAIL                 xsales@escanav.com                       EMAIL                  NA                                      PHONE                  NA
                                                                                                                              EMAIL                  NA
   RATINGS                                                         RATINGS
FEATURES                                                       FEATURES                                                          RATINGS
PERFORMANCE                                                    PERFORMANCE                                                    FEATURES
EASE OF USE                                                    EASE OF USE                                                    PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING                                                 OVERALL RATING                                                 EASE OF USE
VALUE FOR MONEY                                                VALUE FOR MONEY                                                OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                              VALUE FOR MONEY




O       nce malware, Trojans, spyware
        and viruses are introduced
into our systems, they take over the
                                                               If you install numerous programs,
                                                                utilities and software, your registry
                                                               would be filled with junk entries such as
                                                                                                                              D    VDFab Platinum Edition is a
                                                                                                                                   powerful DVD copying and
                                                                                                                              creation utility. The Platinum Edition
entire operating system and embed                              invalid paths, references, registered file                      can easily duplicate copyrighted DVDs
themselves deep into the registry and                          types, shared DLLs, fonts, empty keys,                         and also remove region codes. It
system files. The reason is because the                         paths, and loads of unused software                            also features copying DVD9 discs to
viruses can bypass the antivirus at the                        entries. These entries cause the registry                      DVD5 by compressing the video with
startup, wreaking havoc as they are                            to unnecessarily bloat and cause either                        little noticeable difference in quality.
designed to do so. Here is where one                           system instability, errors or slowdowns.                       DVDFab also has the ability to combine
would require a clean booting operating                        Registry healer searches for these                             multiple DVDs into a single DVD5 or
system to sweep the virus attack                               types of unwanted and unused entries                           DVD9, but since the compression level
and also repair the damage caused.                             in the registry, cross-checks them with                        is high, the quality of the final videos
MicroWorld Technologies's free system                          installed applications and utilities and                       is compromised. The user interface is
rescue disc can be downloaded from                             safely removes them. This in turn helps                        pretty simple, although novice users
their website and burned onto a CD,                            create a clean registry environment and                        might stumble in the initial stages.
which can be booted from and clean                             also speeds up the PC and increases                            Copies of original movie DVDs can
the system. Once booted, the CD will                           overall performance. The utility is also                       be made while the originals can be
boot your system into a clean Windows                          a boon to advanced users to open the                           preserved. This feature makes it a
operating system environment and load                          registry editor directly to the key value                      great utility for movie collectors. It
the eScan antivirus utility to help scan                       and also points the keys to the specific                        is especially handy at home as kids
and clean the registry, system, folders                        directory for additional tweaking. Using                       tend roughly handle DVDs and risk
and drives. Virus definitions can also be                       this utility on a regular basis can ensure                     scratching them. Movie collectors can
updated from the same screen.                                  a clean and faster PC.                                         keep the original in mint condition.
                                              - Francis D’sa                                                 - Francis D’sa                                                 - Francis D’sa




                                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                   02/2012         75
  TEST CENTER
      TESTED




 ART                                                                      GAME
                                   out with a number of plain                                                to earn a higher score. The
123D Sculpt                        geometric shapes or object            Meanwhile                           game makes great use of a
                                   archetypes such as a human                                                touchscreen, though it is much
Free                               torso or a car. You can pull,         Free                                easier to play on an iPad than
iPad; iOS 4.3                      push, grab and pinch to your          iPhone, iPod touch, iPad; iOS 4.0   on an iPhone. The soundtrack
OVERALL RATING                     heart's desire. The convenient        OVERALL RATING                      deserves special mention too.
The iPad's touchscreen is          mirror mode ensures that              This simple game will test          Meanwhile is a game you'll
great for scribbling on, and       objects such as busts remain          your reflexes and spatial skills.    find yourself playing again
now Autodesk's 123D Sculpt         symmetrical (making Star              As you play, circles of various     and again, but it could do
app really lets you feel as        Trek-style aliens is undeniably       colors pop up on the screen,        with more options such as
if you're moulding clay with       cool), but you can't choose a         and you have to clear
your hands. You can start          different axis for symmetry.          them off before the
                                    You can pinch to zoom and            mass stretches to all
                                    reposition your model any            four edges. You can
                                    way you choose. When you're          only clear black circles
                                    satisfied with the model              by tapping them, but a
                                    shape, you can brush any             swipe cycles between
                                    color you choose, or pick            colors. You'll start with
                                    a texture from your own              only black and blue,
                                    photo library. Models can be         and then progress
                                    animated, and an excellent           through higher levels
                                    added feature is the ability         with yellow, green and pink         challenges or the ability to
                                    to export animations, and to         circles. The "enemeies" also        start at a higher level. Overall,
                                    create still images against a        spawn at an increasing pace,        it's a great way to while away
                                    transparent background.              which will keep you stabbing        some spare time.
                                                       - Jamshed Avari   your screen wildly as you try                          - Jamshed Avari



 GAME                              turrets is a bit difficult since       PHOTOGRAPHY

Area 51 Defense                    for some reason, the maps
                                   pan a few inches to each side
                                                                         Nostalgio
                                   when you come anywhere
$0.99                              near the edge. That said,             Free
iPad; iOS 5.0                                                            iPhone, iPod touch, iPad; iOS 3.0
                                   gameplay itself is great fun,
OVERALL RATING                                                           OVERALL RATING
                                   and you have to be quick to
Area 51 isn't the most             anticipate particularly dense         Nostalgio is one of hundreds
sophisticated tower defense        waves of enemies. Your turrets        of photo effects apps, and
game available for the iPad,       also can't reach across the           unfortunately for it, not one
but it's reasonably good fun       entire road, so you'll have to        that will stand out for any
and the price is just                                                    reason. The chief attraction
right. The sci-fi theme                                                   here is the ability to arrange
doesn't make much of                                                     multiple photos (or copies of
a difference, since your                                                 the same one) in interesting
weapons and enemies                                                      tile patterns. The best part of     and rotate photos, and there
are quite generic. What's                                                this is that you can see live       are a few frame options as
missing is a tutorial                                                    viewfinder-style previews in         well. Most other apps have
or demo of any kind.                                                     each pane and click to freeze       dozens if not hundreds of
You have to use pure                                                     it. This allows you to capture      such options, but there's also
guesswork figure out                                                      multiple perspectives of the        a bit of appeal in Nostalgio's
where to place your turrets,       place lots of them at strategic       same object to highlight            simplicity. You can always use
and there's also no way to         intervals. There are 51 levels        interesting points or create        photos that you've tweaked in
know something as simple as        in the main game, with further        diptychs. The photo effects         other apps. When you're done,
indicating which side of the       game modes available as               are strangely limited to only       save the frame or upload it to
screen your enemies are going      in-app purchases.                     monochrome, sepia and cross         your preferred Web service.
to approach from. Placing                              - Jamshed Avari   process. You can at least crop                         - Jamshed Avari



76      02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                       TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                             TESTED




 PRIVACY                                                               SYSTEM UTILITY
                                 with everyone, so Gallery Lock                                          and a login required. This
Gallery Lock Lite                Lite allows you to hide your         WiFi Web Login                     helps in two ways - no need
                                 photos and videos and restrict                                          to remember your details and
Freeware                         access to your gallery. On           Freeware                           waste time in logging in, and
Android                          launching the app, you have          Android                            keeps others from peeping
OVERALL RATING                   to key in the 4-digit password       OVERALL RATING                     into your login details. The trial
                                 or swipe the lock pattern on                                            lasts three days, while the full
You may not want to share        the screen to gain access to         If you are using a wireless        version costs around Rs 82.
your private photos and videos   the gallery. To protect a folder     network, be it at home or at                             - Francis D’sa
                                 or a file, you simply have to         the office, which needs you
                                 select it after scanning for         to punch in the username
                                 media and add it to the app’s        or password on a browser
                                 database. The app then               page, this app is for you. It
                                 moves the selected contents          automatically senses the
                                 to its private location from         network for an Internet
                                 where the hidden media is            connection and, if unavailable,
                                 invisible to any file manager or      automatically logs you in
                                 photo viewer. The time taken         using the details stored into
                                 to move and hide folders and         its macro recording. All you
                                 media files depends on the            need to do is a one-time
                                 size of the data. Gallery Lock       recording of your login steps,
                                 Lite also features a photo           which it saves as a macro.
                                 viewer with options for sorting      It then links each recording
                                 images, slide show, rotation         with the respective SSID and
                                 and pinch-to-zoom.                   runs it automatically when
                                                    - Anand Tuliani   the connection is established



 GAME                            you have to make pictures             SCREEN RECORDER                   two buttons (record and
                                 (objcts, animals, people, and                                           gallery). You can record videos
Tangram                          so on) using seven pieces            Z-ScreenRecorder                   from the media player or
                                 comprising of a square,                                                 while gaming, but it does not
Freeware                         rhomboid, and various sizes          Freeware                           record sound. The app runs
Android                          of triangles. It deviates from       Android                            in the background after a
OVERALL RATING                   the traditional game by using        OVERALL RATING                     four-second countdown and
                                 fewer or more than seven                                                shows a blinking red dot in the
Tangram is an intellectual       pieces and that too of different     This app is beneficial for          notification area.
Chinese puzzle game in which     shapes. Some pieces resemble         creating application promos                              - Francis D’sa
                                 Tetris blocks while some are         or tutorials, demos of certain
                                 pentagons and quarter circles.       apps, or to simply record
                                 The Challenge mode has 20            your gameplay. It grabs
                                 sets of puzzles, each having         the video directly from the
                                 100 levels. You have to solve        screen onto your SD card. It
                                 at least three to unlock the         is extremely simple to use
                                 Arcade mode, which has three         and runs in the background
                                 difficulty levels to choose          recording all your moves and
                                 from. You get an out-of-3            clicks without hampering the
                                 star rating depending on how         active application. Videos
                                 quickly you solve the puzzle.        are stored in MP4 format
                                 Puzzle lovers will find the           and the resolution is the
                                 game very interesting, but we        same as your display screen.
                                 think it would have been a lot       Z-ScreenRecorder requires
                                 better with traditional puzzles      root access and needs no
                                 included.                            configuration. Just run the
                                                    - Anand Tuliani   application and it pops up



                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    02/2012    77
 TEST CENTER
ANAND'S PICKS




                                                                                                                                 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20
                                                                                                                                 Rs 17,990
                                                                                                                                 www.panasonic.co.in
                                                                                                                                 verdict An excellent camera with lots
                                                                                                                                 of useful features, good ergonomics and a
                                                                                                                                 nice build.
                                                                                                                                 love Superior performance, great build
                                                                                                                                 quality, integrated GPS.
                                                                                                                                 hate A few of the buttons should have
                                                                                                                                 been larger.

                                                                                                                                     SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                                                                 Weight: 219 g; Resolution: 14.1 MP; Focal length: 24-384
                                                                                                                                 mm; Optical zoom: 16x; Aperture: F3.3-F5.9; Shutter speed:
                                                                                                                                 60-1/4000 sec; LCD: 3-in, 460K dots; Video: 1920x1080




                                                                      ANAND'S PICKS

TRAVEL COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERAS
                           Long zoom in a portable form factor for an affordable price.




                        Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V                                     Canon PowerShot SX230 HS
                        Rs 16,990                                                    Rs 17,495
                        www.sony.co.in                                               www.canon.co.in
                        verdict Good performance and feature set.                    verdict A fun camera with plenty of
                        Sweep Panorama mode is an icing on cake.                     filters to play around with and excellent
                        love Sweep Panorama mode, user-friendly                      performance.
                        interface, good build, crisp display, built-in               love Plenty of fun filters, good user
                        GPS.                                                         interface, GPS for geotagging.
                        hate Slightly heavy and chunky.                              hate Should have had support for capturing
                                                                                     Full HD videos, widest end should have
                            SPECIFICATIONS                                           been better.
                        Weight: 245 g; Resolution: 16.2 MP; Focal length: 24-384
                        mm; Optical zoom: 16x; Aperture: F3.3-F5.9; Shutter speed:       SPECIFICATIONS
                        30-1/1600 sec; LCD: 3-in, 921K dots; Video: 1920x1080        Weight: 223 g; Resolution: 12.1 MP; Focal length: 28-392
                                                                                     mm; Optical zoom: 14x; Aperture: F3.1-F5.9; Shutter speed:
                                                                                     15 - 1/3200 sec; LCD: 3-in, 461K dots; Video: 1280x720.




                        Nikon CoolPix S9100                                          FujiFilm FinePix F500 EXR
                        Rs 15,950                                                    Rs 18,999
                        www.nikon.co.in                                              www.fujifilm.in
                        verdict The most affordable option with a                    verdict Ideally suited for travellers who
                        good zoom ratio, ultra-wide angle lens and                   want good zoom in a light and compact form.
                        full HD video recording.                                     love Sleek design, color options, 24 mm
                        love Light weight and compact, 18x optical                   wide angle lens, light weight, built-in GPS.
                        zoom, crisp display.                                         hate Should have been a bit more
                        hate No GPS, no manual exposure control.                     affordable.

                            SPECIFICATIONS                                               SPECIFICATIONS
                        Weight: 214 g; Resolution: 12.1 MP; Focal length: 25-450     Weight: 215 g; Resolution: 16 MP; Focal length: 24-360 mm;
                        mm; Optical zoom: 18x; Aperture: F3.5-F5.9; Shutter speed:   Optical zoom: 15x; Aperture: F3.5-F5.3; Shutter speed: 8
                        NA; LCD: 3-in, 921K dots; Video: 1920x1080                   -1/2000 sec; LCD: 3-in, 460K dots; Video: 1920x1080.


78   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                     TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                   PC CONFIGS
                                                                                                                 ANAND'S COLUMN




                                                      BUDGET DSLR, MIRRORLESS
                                                      OR SUPERZOOM DIGITAL
                                                      CAMERA?
                                                      ANAND TULIANI, DEPUTY EDITOR - TECHNICAL




CAMERA DILEMMA
T
         here are plenty of digital cameras     system feature sensors which are smaller.
         to choose from for a budget of         Telephoto lenses for mirrorless cameras
         over Rs 20,000. Currently with         are available, but the variety isn’t as
         the prices of entry-level DSLR,        diverse as in the case of DSLRs. The good
mirrorless and super-zoom digital cameras       news is that some third party vendors
at par with each other, you have to be very     offer adapters with which you can use
sure of what you exactly need. The one          DSLR lenses on mirrorless cameras. Priced
that offers maximum shooting comfort            under Rs 25,000, the 14 megapixel Sony
and delivers the best results as well is        NEX-5k is the most affordable option.
the budget DSLR. These cameras are a bit            A super-zoom or a bridge camera is for
bulky because they house a mirror box           those who want the feel and comfort of
for the optical viewfinder. Here the user       a DSLR along with macro and telephoto
gets to see the frame through the lens          capabilities. These cameras
that would be captured by the camera’s
sensor. The grip is firm and since the body
                                                have sensors that are about
                                                the size of a fingrtnail and   “DSLRs DELIVER THE
                                                                               BEST RESULTS AND
is large, the control panel and shortcut        hence they can offer higher
buttons are well spaced out. The quality        zoom ratios with smaller

                                                                               OFFER MAXIMUM
of the image is superior because of the         optics. An 800 mm super
large size of the sensor. The noise is pretty   telephoto lens for a DSLR

                                                                               SHOOTING COMFORT.”
much under control even at ISO values as        camera would cost a few
high as 800. Most importantly, the lens is      lakh Rupees, but a bridge
interchangeable and you can choose from         camera offers that for
a multitude of available lenses for different   under Rs 30,000. Some models feature a
types of subjects/scenes. The cheapest          flip-out LCD for convenient shooting and
DSLR you can buy is the Canon EOS               support for RAW format. It goes without
1000D (with the 18-55 mm lens) which is         saying that bridge cameras offer plenty
currently retailing for Rs 23,500.              of features for a sweet price, but they
    Mirrorless cameras offer the                struggle when it comes to controlling
performance and features of DSLRs but           noise at high ISO values because of
they are much slimmer and hence lighter         smaller sensors.
and easier to carry. Here, the viewfinder is        In a nutshell, buy a DSLR if you
electronic and an optional accessory. This      need pro-quality shots and maximum
would be a bit uncomfortable for those          comfort. Mirrorless cameras compare to
who are used to DSLRs, but if you’re fine       DSLRs when it comes to image quality,
with framing subjects using the camera’s        but they’re compact and lightweight.
LCD, then settling for a mirrorless camera      Super-zoom digital cameras are extremely
is a good option. Note that some models         feature rich, but they don’t deal too well
feature APS-C sensors, which are of the         with noise and low light. Make a smart
same size as those used in DSLRs, while         choice keeping these points in mind.
cameras that use Micro Four Thirds                                       – anand.tuliani@chip.in




                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012   79
TEST CE N TE R
TE CENTER
  ES       TER
T E ST C ENT
 PC CONFIGS
    CONFIG
         GS
 PC CONFIGS




PC CONFIGS
GAMING - ENTRY-LEVEL                                         Rs 49,260      GAMING - HIGH - END                                       Rs 77,250
Processor           AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Ed, 3.3 GHz          6,100   Processor           AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, 2.8 GHz              7,500
Motherboard         Asus M5A88-M, AMD 880G                          6,000   Motherboard         Asus M5A97 Evo, AMD 970                      8,000
RAM                 2 GB Zion DDR3-1333 MHz                          900    RAM                 Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 - 2 x 2GB           2,100
Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green - 1TB              5,300   Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Black - 1 TB          7,300
Graphics card       Zotac Geforce GTX 550 Ti Amp - 1 GB GDDR5       8,100   Graphics card       Zotac GeForce GTX 560 - 1 GB GDDR5          11,100
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                      950    Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                    950
Monitor             BenQ G2222HDL- 21.5-inch LED                    7,400   Monitor             BenQ G2420 HD - 24-inch TFT                 10,850
Keyboard            Logitech G1 Gaming Desktop                      1,670   Keyboard            Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000                   950
Mouse               Included in combo                                   -   Mouse               Razer Salmosa                                1,700
Speakers            F&D FD600                                       2,990   Speakers            Altec Expressionist Ultra MX6021             7,500
Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                       -   Sound card          Asus Xonar DX 7.1-channel                    5,000
PC Case             Cooler Master Elite 311                         1,950   PC Case             Cooler Master Elite 430                      2,800
Power supply unit   Corsair GS500                                   3,600   Power supply unit   Cooler Master GX 650W                        5,300
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Basic                            4,300   Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium                       6,200
TOTAL                                                             49,260    TOTAL                                                          77,250



HOME                                                         Rs 32,375      HTPC                                                      Rs 91,550
Processor           AMD Athlon X2 260, 3.20 GHz                    3,450    Processor           AMD Phenom II X2 565, 3.40 GHz               5,750
Motherboard         Asus M5A88-M, AMD 880G                          6,100   Motherboard         Asus M5A88-M Evo, AMD 880G                   7,300
RAM                 2 GB Zion DDR3-1333 MHz                          900    RAM                 2x 2 GB Zion DDR3-1333 MHz                   1,800
Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green - 1TB             5,300    Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green - 1TB          5,300
Graphics card       Onboard graphics                                    -   Graphics card       HIS Radeon HD 6670, 1 GB GDDR5              5,350
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                      950    Optical drive       Sony BD-5300S, 12x Blu-ray Writer           11,000
Monitor             LG E2060T - 20-inch LED                         7,050   Monitor             BenQ V2400 Eco, 24-inch TFT (LED)          14,850
Keyboard and                                                                Keyboard and
                    Logitech Deluxe 250 Desktop USB                  680                        Logitech Wireless Combo MK320                1,650
mouse combo                                                                 mouse combo
Speakers            Altec Lansing VS2621                           1,895    Speakers            Creative Gigaworks T3                      15,000
Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                       -   Sound card          Asus Xonar DX 7.1-channel                   4,250
PC Case             iBall Pride                                     1,750   PC Case             Silver Stone Milo ML03                      10,700
Power supply unit   Included with the PC Case - 250 Watts               -   Power supply unit   Corsair CMPSU-430CX - 430 Watts             2,400
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Basic                           4,300    Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium                      6,200
TOTAL                                                             32,375    TOTAL                                                         91,550



80      02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                        TEST CE NTE
                                                                                                                                        T EST CEN
                                                                                                                                               CENTER
                                                                                                                                        TE S T C E T ER
                                                                                                                                   LAPTOP CONFIGS
                                                                                                                                   LAP P CONFIGS
                                                                                                                                      PTOP
                                                                                                                                   L APTOP CONFIGS




                   LAPTOP CONFIGS
BUDGET                                              MAINSTREAM                                             DESKTOP REPLACEMENT
PROCESSOR Intel Pentium P6200, Intel Core i3,       PROCESSOR Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5                 PROCESSOR Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7
Intel Core i5                                       MEMORY 2 GB or 3 GB                                    MEMORY 3 GB or more
MEMORY 1 GB or 2 GB                                                                                        HARD DRIVE 500 GB or higher
                                                    HARD DRIVE 320 GB or higher
HARD DRIVE 320 GB or higher
                                                    DISPLAY 14.1-in or 15.6-in                             DISPLAY 15.4-in to 17-in
DISPLAY 14.1-in or 15.6-in
                                                    GRAPHICS On-board or Discrete                          GRAPHICS GeForce GT 500 series,
GRAPHICS On-board
                                                    WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 3 Kg                                  Radeon HD 6000 series
WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 2.7 Kg
OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g, Webcam      OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g or n, Webcam    WEIGHT 2.5 Kg to 5 Kg
PRICE RANGE Up to Rs 35,000                         PRICE RANGE Rs 35,000 To Rs 45,000                     OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer or Blu-ray, Wi-Fi n,
                                                                                                           Webcam, TV Tuner
                                                                                                           PRICE RANGE Rs 45,000 to Rs 1,50,000




TOSHIBA SATELLITE C665-P5010                        LENOVO IDEAPAD Z570                                    TOSHIBA SATELLITE P750-X5310
Rs 19,900                                           Rs 38,990                                              Rs 47,600
CPU Intel Pentium DC P6100, 2.0 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;   CPU Intel Core i3-2310M, 2.1 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;         CPU Intel Core i7-2630QM, 2.0 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;
HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                  HARD DISK 640 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                     HARD DISK 500GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.4 Kg; OS Free DOS;      GRAPHICS Nvidia GeForce GT 520M, 1 GB;                 GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.62 Kg; OS Windows
OTHER DVD-writer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam          WEIGHT 2.6 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Basic;                7 Home Premium; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam,
                                                    OTHER Bluetooth, Webcam, Wi-Fi, HDMI                   HDMI




LENOVO G470                                         HP PAVILION G6-1201TX                                                       X
                                                                                                           HP PAVILION DV6-6165TX
Rs 28,690                                           Rs 40,950                                              Rs 58,450
CPU Intel Core i3-2330M, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;      CPU Intel Core i5-2430M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;         CPU Intel Core i7-2670QM, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;
HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 14-in;                    HARD DISK 640 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                     HARD DISK 750 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS ATI
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.2 Kg; OS Free DOS;      GRAPHICS AMD Radeon HD 6470, 1 GB;                     Radeon HD 6770M, 2 GB; WEIGHT 2.63 Kg;
OTHER Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI, Card reader              WEIGHT 2.3 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Basic;                OS Windows 7 Home Premium; OTHER Bluetooth,
                                                    OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI                   Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI




HP PAVILION G4-1117TU                               DELL INSPIRON 15R                                      DELL XPS 15
Rs 33,440                                           Rs 42,600                                              Rs 66,900
CPU Intel Core i5-2410M, 2.33 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;     CPU Intel Core i5-2450M, 2.5 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;         CPU Intel Core i7-2670QM, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;
HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                  HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                     HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in, Full HD;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.1 Kg; OS Windows 7      GRAPHICS On0board; WEIGHT 2.65 Kg;                     GRAPHICS Nvidia GeForce GT 540M, 2 GB;
Home Basic; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI    OS Windows 7 Home Premium;                             WEIGHT 2.78 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Premium;
                                                    OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI                   OTHER BD-ROM, HDMI, Bluetooth




ACER ASPIRE 5755                                    ASPIRE TIMELINEX 5830TG
                                                                          G                                SONY VAIO VPCCB17FG/B
Rs 33,474                                           Rs 44,004                                              Rs 69,990
CPU Intel Core i5-2430M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;      CPU Intel Core i5-2430M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 3 GB;         CPU Intel Core i7-2620M, 2.7 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;
HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                  HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                     HARD DISK 640 GB; DISPLAY 15.5-in, Full HD;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.6 Kg; OS Linux;         GRAPHICS Nvidia GeForce GT 540M, 1 GB;                 GRAPHICS AMD Radeon HD 6630M, 1 GB;
OTHER Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI, Card reader              WEIGHT 2.5 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Basic;                WEIGHT 2.85 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Premium;
                                                    OTHER Bluetooth, Webcam, Wi-Fi, HDMI                   OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI




                                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP           02/2012        81
     FEATURED
COVER STORY




NEVER RUN OUT OF

POWER
Today's batteries are weak, expensive and explosive.
Researchers are working on new power packs
that will our mobile world: the future will bring us
batteries that charge in seconds and offer 20 times
more performance than anything available today.
BY MANUEL SCHREIBER




ACCUMULATOR                 SPONGE CATHODE     FLUORIDE ION BATTERY         GEL BATTERY      CARBON BATTERY




REDOX FLOW CELL             NANO BATTERY       TRANSPARENT BATTERIES        SLEEPWELL WIFI   SHEET CHARGING SYSTEM




82    02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                Sachin Pandit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         FEATURED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     COVER STORY


                                                                                                                                                                                    THE PRINCIPLE OF THE ACCUMULATOR
                                                                                                               A
                                                                                                                       few years ago the battery world was doing well.
                                                                                                                       Mobile phones had to be charged only once a week,            Whether it’s a high tech experiment or a conventional
                                                                                                                       and simple AAA batteries from the supermarket were           lithium ion battery, the basic design is very similar.
                                                                                                               enough for MP3 players. Electric cars had awful performance,
                                                                                                                                                                                    BATTERY DESIGN
                                                                                                               but they weren’t supposed to be taken seriously anyway.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Energy is created when lithium ions move through the
                                                                                                               Today, however, a smartphone battery lasting through just
                                                                                                                                                                                    electrolytes from the anode to the cathode
                                                                                                               one day is a rare joy. The distance an electric car can run is
                                                                                                               approximately the same as a petrol-driven car with a full tank,
                                                                                                               but in the real world it doesn’t achieve this.
                                                                                                                   Manufacturers and researchers seem to have reached
                                                                                                               a dead end when it comes to batteries. Mobile devices are
                                                                                                               developing rapidly, whereas the battery technology can no
                                                                                                               longer keep in pace with it. While CPUs and GPUs can be
                                                                                                               made more power efficient by miniaturizing their components,
                                                                                                               battery developers have very a basic problem: the material
                                                                                                               today has reached its technological limits. Lithium ion
                                                                                                               batteries last slightly longer than previous generations used to,    Positive pole                            Insulator                             Negative
                                                                                                               but they require more space and are also expensive.                                     Electrode                and               Electrode          pole
                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Anode)             electrolyte           (Cathode)
                                                                                                                   Researchers worldwide are asking the same question:
                                                                                                               is optimizing the available technology enough, do we need
                                                                                                               new architectures, or do we have to develop a special type
                                                                                                               of battery for every different device? Different people have
                                                                                                                                                                                    SPONGE CHARGES BATTERIES FASTER
                                                                                                               adopted different approaches to this problem. Some of them           Thanks to a porous cathode with an extremely large surface,
                                                                                                               are experimenting with cheap materials; others with new
                                                                                                                                                                                    these batteries are charged in a few seconds – perfect for
                                                                                                                                                                                    smartphones. The base includes pressed polystyrene and nickel
                                                                                                               configurations, higher capacities and shorter charging times.
                                                                                                               CHIP presents a roundup of the latest and most promising
                                                                                                               technologies from laboratories around the world.

                                                                                                               Charging batteries in seconds
PHOTOS: FRAUNHOFER; DISCRETION; STANDFORD UNIVERSITY; THINKSTOCK/ISTOCKPHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS: HARALD FUCHSLOCH




                                                                                                               Batteries require much more space in comparison to the
                                                                                                               other components of a device, be it heavy-duty unit in an
                                                                                                               E-cars or a tiny sliver designed especially for smartphones.                 For                    To fill the          On heating the                Now the
                                                                                                               Unfortunately, a lot of space is left unused inside the batteries.    manufacturing                cavities, the         polystyrene, it               nickel is
                                                                                                                                                                                       the cathode,              material with            evaporates,               coated with
                                                                                                               That’s why many universities and manufacturers are carrying          the polystyrene             nickel is poured        leaving behind              electrolytic
                                                                                                               out research for optimizing regular lithium ion batteries to          is pressed first                inside             a porous nickel               material
                                                                                                               increase their performance density, which could happen quite                                                               framework
                                                                                                               quickly.
                                                                                                                   The basic principle of the battery is quite easy: Lithium
                                                                                                               ions move to and fro through an electrolyte between two
                                                                                                                                                                                     FLUORIDE IONS: PERFECT FOR E-CARS                                                        9.000

                                                                                                               electrodes, for instance while discharging, from the anode to         A new type of battery promises sufficient energy for
                                                                                                               the cathode. While doing so, the lithium atoms emit electrons.
                                                                                                                                                                                     electric cars. Thanks to the metal fluoride, several
                                                                                                                                                                                     electrons can be transferred for every metal atom
                                                                                                               Voltage is finally generated through this electron flow. One of
                                                                                                               the problems in this process is that only one electron at most
                                                                                                               is transferred per lithium atom. The idea here is to exploit                                      Anode                                             5.000
                                                                                                               more electrons per metal atom. The researchers are following
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cathode
                                                                                                               two approaches here: they want to increase the capacity
                                                                                                               and accelerate the charging current. Many projects are being
                                                                                                               directed towards this research.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fluoride ions
                                                                                                                   Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA
                                                                                                               have developed a silicon anode that performs better than                                                             Cathode
                                                                                                               a conventional battery by a factor of 10. In another project,
                                                                                                               researchers of the university presented a battery that
                                                                                                               does not offer more performance but gets charged in 10
                                                                                                               seconds—without the capacity being affected. A mobile phone             Metal       Electrolyte Metal fluoride
                                                                                                               would thus need to be plugged in for just a short while and
                                                                                                                                                                                           Fluoride ions are used to enable a
                                                                                                               its battery would last the whole day. The combination of                   significant increase in performance
                                                                                                               both technologies would mean a charging time of less than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       250
                                                                                                               2 minutes and talktime of up to 100 hours—mobile phone
                                                                                                               owners would be saved the hassle of always carrying along a
                                                                                                                                                                                    PERFORMANCE OF BATTERY TYPES                          200
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              150
                                                                                                               charger.
                                                                                                                   A very porous material is required to transfer the higher bit                                    90
                                                                                                               density into the battery in such a short time. The researchers          Performance in Wh/l
                                                                                                               are now working on a cathode with a three-dimensional                   (Watt hours per liter)
                                                                                                               nanostructure. For that, polystyrene spheres are pressed and                                        Lead       Ni-Cd     Ni-MeH         Li Io      Fluoride    Petrol
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  battery    battery    battery       battery     battery

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP             02/2012      83
   FEATURED
 COVER STORY


CHEAP MOBILE PHONE BATTERIES                                    heated together with nickel. The polystyrene evaporates and
                                                                leaves behind a type of porous nickel sponge whose holes
This gel battery can be manufactured in 10 m long strips
                                                                are enlarged by “electro polishing” and then coated with
and cut and folded into any size. The base is an electrolyte
                                                                electrolytic material.
polymer mixture that is pressed between the anode and
the cathode. The battery is non-combustible and also much
cheaper than conventional batteries.                            Almost as much power as petrol
                                                                The researchers under Dr Maximilian Fichtner at the Institute
      Electrolyte                                               for Nanotechnology at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology
      polymer                                                   (KIT) are working on optimizing lithium ion batteries. Dr
      mixture
                                                                Fichtner explains the principle: “Our system is based on iron
                                                                that is encapsulated as iron nanoparticles fixed in a carbon
                                                                shell, and which has a reaction with lithium fluoride. This
                                                                generates iron fluoride and lithium which can be saved in the
                                                                anode”. At the moment, batteries can be improved upon by a
Anode roll                                       Cathode roll
                                                                factor of two—but the goal is to have a battery that exceeds
                                                                conventional ones by at least five times.
                    Complete                                       For electric cars, this would still be not be sufficient. A
                    laminate                                    clear leap in performance would require much more than
                                                                developing current technologies further. New architectures
                                                                must be created for such heavy use. Another concept from
                                                                the Karlsruhe researchers is a type of battery in which fluoride
                                                                ions are used instead of lithium. For that, they are using metal
                                                                on the anode and metal fluoride on the cathode. The big
                                                                advantage of these materials, according to researchers, is that
                                                                an energy density of up to 5000 Wh/l (Watt hours per liter)
                                                                can definitely be reached. In comparison, petrol has an energy
                                                                density of about 9000 Wh/l whereas lithium ion batteries only
                                         The gel battery is     offer a mere 25 Wh/l. It will take several more years before we
                                         already marketable     see fluoride ion batteries in the market. “The design has not
                                         and tested in          been finalized yet. We are still researching it,” says Dr Fichtner.
                                         Smartphones
                                                                Cheap and safe batteries becoming
                                                                the norm
THE CAR BODY AS AN ENERGY SAVER                                 Researchers at British Leeds University are dealing with
Carbon mixed with super condensators is supposed to make        another problem: current-day batteries are expensive to
the car body of electric cars work like a battery. An e-car     manufacture, and thus are expensive in market. Besides that,
could go as far as 130 km with additional battery.              they are also sometimes dangerous, in that they short circuit,
                                                                catch fire, or even explode due to heat or shock.
                                                                   The researchers could overcome both weaknesses with
                                                                their new gel battery: up to 70 percent of the structure of
Carbon fiber                                                    these batteries is made up of flowing electrolytes that are
                                                                formed with polymer into a jelly-like mass. These batteries
                                                                are not combustible and are also cheaper due to a relatively
                                                                simple and fully automatic production process: the gel is
                                                                simply pressed between the anode and the cathode and
Polymer
gel and                                                         shaped into a foil.
glass fiber                                                        Another advantage of the gel battery is its flexibility: it can
                                                                be cut and folded into any size. In contrast to conventional
Carbon fiber                                                    batteries, the gel battery can also adapt quickly to a specific
                                                                device like a thin layer behind an LCD screen or a sheet under
                                                                a notebook keyboard. Unfortunately, the gel battery concept
                                                                does not have much more power than existing lithium ion
                                             Carbon serves      batteries. Apart from that, there is nothing stopping these
                                             as the car body—   batteries from entering the market in smartphones and other
                                             the material
                                                                gadgets in the near future.
                                             charges like
                                             every other
                                             battery            The device itself is the battery
                                                                Researchers at the Imperial College in London are also
                                                                working on flexible battery prototypes. Their approach is
                                                                fascinating: the casing of a smartphone, notebook or tablet
                                                                itself becomes the battery. Electric vehicles would also be
                                                                an exciting application field. “The car of the future would be
                                                                able to receive its energy from the roof, the engine hood or
                                                                the door, thanks to our composite material” explains project
                                                                                                                          FEATURED
                                                                                                                       COVER STORY


coordinator Dr Emile Greenhalgh.                                     BATTERY POWER FOR REFILLING
    The researchers would also be able to increase the range
                                                                     The Redox Flow cell has two tanks with flowing electrolytes
of cars by about 130 km in combination with conventional             that either charge normally in an empty battery, or can be
batteries. That would be double the performance of the latest        vacuumed out at a fuel station. The electrolyte tanks are re-
electric cars which normally only go up to 150 km in one             filled simultaneously, so a "refuelling" stop only needs a cou-
charge. With the new technology, it would be possible to have        ple of minutes.
smaller and simpler cars for city traffic, where one could easily                                      Membrane
afford to operate a normal battery for short distances.
    Super condensors are the basis of the research project as
                                                                                           Electrode               Electrode
they have a higher capacity compared to normal condensers;
and in comparison to batteries, can emit more energy in short
bursts, for example while accelerating a vehicle. Researchers
are using carbon fiber as an electrode material. The electrolyte
is a polymer gel and its isolator is glass fiber. The major
advantage is that battery behaves like normal carbon and can                                             Cell
be used in the exact same way. As of now there are already a
                                                                          Electrolyte                                            Electrolyte
couple of prototypes, but the researchers cannot predict when
the material will be released in the market.

A full car battery in five minutes
For vehicles, an interesting new type of battery called Redox
Flow is being researched in Pfinztal at the Fraunhof Institute
for Chemical Technology (ICT). The idea is to be able to
                                                                                    Pump                                    Pump
charge not only small batteries but any large ones just as
quickly. This is not possible with conventional batteries: if                                                       The batteries can be
you want to charge big batteries in a short time, the charging                                                      used flexibly like
                                                                                                                    industrial systems (left)
station requires a lot of energy. On the other hand, the battery
                                                                                                                    or mobile cells (below)
would overheat without a cooling system.
    The Redox Flow battery is a type of mixture of a fuel cell
and an accumulator. A car designed using this technology can
be charged in 5 to 10 minutes, but with an energy density that
is lower than that of a lithium ion battery. The trick to charge
quickly lies in the fluid electrolytes that are stored in two
tanks. A pump rinses the electrolyte in the converter cell, and
ions in both liquids are exchanged through the membrane. If
the electrolyte does not generate any more energy, the tanks         NANO BATTERY IN THE BODY
can be simply by evacuated and refilled.
                                                                     This battery is barely visible to a naked eye, as each
    A waste product is not created while doing so because
                                                                     individual nanowire made from anode and cathode is only
fuel stations will able to charge the electrolyte with minimal
                                                                     150 nanometers wide. The total battery is 50,000
trouble. Concepts for gigantic charging tanks that work on           nanometers small and half the thickness of a single hair
solar power are also being developed. In big industries such
batteries have been used as energy reserves for windmills                                                                           Copper
for quite some time. However, at the Fraunhof ICT, there are
already prototypes of very small Redox Flow batteries not
much larger than a notebook battery.

Nano batteries in blood circulation
Researchers at the Rice University in Houston, Texas are            Anode
                                                                                                                                               50.000 nm
also working on energy supply to electric vehicles, but their       (Nickel/tin)
research project is a lot smaller. Nano robots have been            Cathode
                                                                    (Polyaniline)
studied in medical fields for many years. They were created
to search for diseases autonomously in the human body and
can contain medicines to specifically locate and cure these
diseases. Although such robots are not yet available, the
Texans have been developing a suitable power supply for
them. Their nano batteries would also be useful beyond the                                                                          Polyethylene
                                                                                                                                    oxide
medical field. Due to their size, they can be applied on every
                                                                                                                                   Aluminium
surface—even on paper.
    The tiny hybrid memory from the super condensors and
batteries consists of thousands of nano wires. A single wire
                                                                                                                The nano battery
is not thicker than 150 nanometers. The total battery is only
50,000 nanometers thick: still almost invisible to the human                                     100.000 nm compared with a human
                                                                                                                hair. In the future, the
eye. A human hair, with its 100,000 nanometer width, is                                                         battery could control
gigantic in comparison.                                                                                         nano-scale robots in
                                                                                        50.000 nm               the bloodstream.
     FEATURED
 COVER STORY


TRANSPARENT SILICON BATTERIES                                                       The anode of this battery is made from nickel and tin and
                                                                                the cathode from polyanilin. A gel-type polyethylene oxide
This battery remains pervious to light and flexible due to
                                                                                (PEO) is used as a conductor that also insulates nano wires.
the grill structure. That is how it becomes suitable for
                                                                                Aluminum and copper are put in wires to close the current
completely new application fields as well as translucent
                                                                                circulation. At the moment, researchers are working on the
OLEDs. The base is silicon (PDMS) that is also used in the
                                                                                stability of the battery because even the latest versions
cosmetic industry
                                                                                diminish in energy capacity after roughly 20 charging cycles.
Electrodes
                                                                                Transparent batteries for new devices
                                                                                Batteries are not only performing better, but are also getting
                                                                                smaller and more flexible. Researchers have been doing
                                                                                work even on their visual appearance. As a rule, today’s
                                                                                ugly batteries disappear somewhere inside the chasses of
                                                                                devices, which is fine because the devices are not transparent.
                                                                                However prototypes of transparent displays are already being
                                                                                researched and researchers are also working on transparent
                                                                                tablets that can curl up like a newspaper. A research team
                                                                                of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford
                                                             Separator          University in California has manufactured the first transparent
                                                             and                lithium ion battery, so that the user does not have to stare
                                                             Electrolyte        at a battery block. As none of the existing materials can be
                                                                                made transparent nor are transparent alternatives available,
                                                                                the designers are trying to reinvent the battery and make its
                                              Lab prototype: The                elements smaller. For the electrodes, a latticed framework
                                              transparent
                                                                                was developed for which every rod is only 35 micrometers
                                              battery is meant
                                              for completely new                long “Something smaller than 50 micrometers is not visible
                                              device classes, like              to the naked eye” explains researcher Yuan Yung. The base
                                              transparent tablets               material is PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane), a silicone that is
                                              and smartphones                   used among other things in cosmetic products. According to
                                                                                the researchers, the battery should be close to 60 percent
                                              Battery                           transparent and very flexible, even when layers are placed
                                                                                over one another to increase the capacity. This is necessary
                                                                                because at the moment, the concept battery has only half the
                                                                                power of a lithium ion battery. Although the manufacturing
                                                                                process is complicated, the costs should not be much higher
INTELLIGENT Wi-Fi SAVES ENERGY                                                  than that of today’s lithium ion batteries.
Battery time doubles With the Wi-fi optimization
"SleepWell". The technology prevents clients from asking for                    Wi-Fi upgrades prolong battery life
packet data simultaneously. Instead, the router distributes                     Researchers are not only working on batteries but also
data to each client in turn. If a client does not receive data,                 on energy-efficient technologies. One of the large energy
it goes into sleep mode.                                                        consumers in mobile devices is Wi-Fi, for which Duke
                                                                                University in Durham, USA has found a solution which could
ENERGY CONSUMPTION                   mW    STANDARD Wi-Fi, 2 CLIENTS            as much as double a device’s battery capacity. Especially in
(IN WATT SECONDS)                    800
                                                                                networks with many users, the connection consumes a lot
40                                   600                                        of energy as the devices compete with each other for data
              Ohne SleepWell         400                                        transfer, and that too for prolonged periods. “SleepWell”
35                                   200                                        technology developed at the university helps manage the
              Mit SleepWell
                                                                                devices’ communications not only with the router but also
                                       0
                                                                                amongst each other. The clients observe whether or not
30
                                     mW    SLEEPWELL Wi-Fi                      another device is loading data: if that is the case, the client
                                     800                             Client 1   takes a break. The data is distributed in small packets so that
25                                                                              the transfer capacity splits up equally. The process helps only
                                     600
                                                                                in networks which are used frequently—someone who does
                                     400
20                                                                              not use Wi-Fi much does not benefit from it.
                                     200
                                                                                   As “Sleepwell” does not require any change in Wi-Fi
                                       0                                        standards, the technology can be integrated in all
15                                   800
                                                                  Client 2      devices immediately via a simple firmware upgrade. The
                                     600                                        developers hope to demonstrate these capabilities to device
10                                   400                                        manufacturers as soon as the test phase is completed.
                                     200
5
                                       0
                                                                                Longer performance through normal
                                                                                usage
                                      When a client receives packet             A larger application field offers a technology is one which
0                                     data, the other one goes into
      Iperf    YouTube     Pandora                                              aims to help the battery charge when keys on the keyboard of
                                      sleep mode to save energy.

86     02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                       FEATURED
                                                                                                                    COVER STORY


a notebook or the touch screen of a tablet are pressed. The            CHARGE THE BATTERY BY PRESSING KEYS
faster and more frequently the user taps at his device, the
                                                                       The piezoelectric sheet converts mechanical energy into
faster the battery could charge. What sounds like a paradox
                                                                       electrical energy. The more intensively the user uses the
should soon become a reality thanks to a pressure-sensitive            keyboard, the faster is the battery charged. In spite of that the
sheet. The idea is that when a user types a text on his/her            device must be charged as the sheet increases the life by only
notebook, the released kinetic energy while typing should              about 10%.
generate small amounts of electricity for the battery. This
piezoelectric effect develops when crystals like quartz are
formed—at least in theory. The practical implementation in of
such a technique is not easy at all. Researchers at the Royal
Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia have
succeeded in measuring the pressure and voltage arising out
of normal typing activity in field of 10 to 100 nanometers. For
comparison, a blood corpuscle is about 8,400 nanometers.
    The electricity produced by pressing keys could increase the
life of a charged battery by up to 10 percent. The researchers
want to accommodate such sheets in mobile devices but also
in medical applications. Pacemakers, for example, could be
charged solely by harnessing the patient’s blood pressure.

Taste of the future
Industry veterans and researchers are working intensively
                                                                                Display
on solutions to the battery problem. This is, after all, the                 protection
weakest and oldest technology inside many of our gadgets.
Everything is shrinking today, but batteries are in fact becoming
disproportionate large. When even a single one of these                   LCD-Panel
techniques it is good for mass production and adoption, mobile
                                                                           Charging
technology will be much more free and easy—without the
                                                                             sheet
annoying need to search for another power point!
                                                                            Battery
                                                  - feedback@chip.in




THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS FOR LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
Ensure accurate display of battery life:                               continues to receive current. Therefore, a modern battery
The myth is widely spread that a battery lasts longer after            manager empties the battery by a few percent as soon as
several charges. Only the accuracy of the display improves             it is full. The system shows 100% charged after being
because the device and the battery must be coordinated                 unplugged so that the user has the feeling that the battery
with each other. In this calibration, the system misses out            is charged completely, but just 5 minutes later it shows the
on the energy and calibrates the battery display. If it is             right status, mostly around 95%.
not calibrated, then for instance, it may show an empty
                                                                       Bump-charge the battery to 115 percent:
battery although the device can still last a couple of hours.
                                                                       A battery charged up to 100% can be charged further by
   This is how calibration works ideally: Charge the
                                                                       10 to 15% via Bump charging. The trick is: Switch off the
battery completely and then plug it in again only when it
                                                                       phone and charge it fully. Remove the charger
is almost empty. Do not completely drain the battery while
                                                                       immediately and plug it in again. When you repeat this
doing this. As a habit, calibrate the system once a month.
                                                                       process a couple of times the charge increases. We
Which batteries you must discharge completely and                      strongly advise you against this technique. It damages the
which you mustn’t:                                                     cells and the battery’s performance reduces.
Nickel batteries have the so-called memory effect in which
                                                                       The difference between charging and charging cycles:
the battery drains more quickly when it is not completely
                                                                       The shelf life of a battery is given in charging cycles—
discharged. For lithium ion batteries it's the exact
                                                                       mostly about 1000. But that does not mean that you can
opposite: completely draining a battery damages it. In the
                                                                       charge your battery only 1000 times, because a charge is
simplest case, it loses about 20 percent energy and in the
                                                                       not a full cycle. When you charge a mobile phone twice
worst case, it becomes completely unusable. Shut down
                                                                       after reaching 50% capacity, those are two processes but
devices at the right time despite energy reserves.
                                                                       one charging cycle.
Chargers will empty full batteries:                                    Increase battery life by storing it in a cool place:
After charging a smartphone, the battery display quickly               When lithium ion batteries lie unused it life span shortens.
sinks to 90 percent. This is the battery management's fault            Someone who wants to prevent this should store the
and not the battery’s: If a lithium ion battery is completely          battery at about 15 degree Celsius and at a charging status
charged it would be susceptible to damage. It is true that             of about 40 percent. The battery needs to be charged
the life would reduce when a fully charged battery                     occasionally even though it is completely drained.

                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012   87
     FEATURED
BROWSER HACKS




The Best
Browser Hacks
Dozens of hidden functions are lying around in Firefox, Explorer and Chrome—we show you
how you can find and use these the best of these treasures.
BY MICHAEL ECKSTEIN


                                             Firefox
                                             Load pages faster
                                             Shorten waiting times
                                             Run scripts for longer




                                                                      Chrome
                                                                      Activate Flash on demand
                                                                      Use more profiles
                                                                      Use plug-ins incognito




                                              In
                                              Internet Explorer
                                              Us
                                              Use full-screen mode as standard
                                              En
                                              Enable multiple parallel downloads
                                              Show more popular websites
                                              Sh




88    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                         SMS us!   Story code: FBH to 51818
                                MOZILLA FIREFOX
                               The open-source browser is valued for its enormous flexibility. You can easily speed
                               up page downloads, shorten waiting time while installing add-ons, and suppress
                               unnecessary virus scans

                                                                              Turn Off Tab Animation
                               U
                                        ncover a paradise for tuning
                                        fans by typing the command            [+] about:config
                                        ‘about:config’ in the Firefox             [-] browser.tabs.animate
                               address bar. Over 1,500 settings can be        VALUE: False
                               adjusted to your liking—and many more
                               adju                                           Modern program interfaces have a lot of
                               instructions can be added. With these
                               inst                                           animations. The same is true in Firefox:
                               settings, you can easily personalize your
                               set                                            while shifting, tabs move softly to the
                               browser. Here is a selection of the most
                               bro                                            side and new ones open smoothly. That
                               useful settings.
                               use                                            requires a certain amount of power
                                                                              that could be used for better purposes
                               Shorter page download
                               Sh                                             especially in older PCs. If necessary, you       Caution You should pay attention to this warning,
                               tim
                               times                                          can turn off the animations with the             and only change settings you are familiar with.
                               [+] about:config                                setting ‘browser.tabs.animate’. Simply
                                  [-] nglayout.initialpaint.delay             double-click on it to set the Boolean
                               VAL
                               VALUE: 100                                     value to ‘false’.
                               Firefox is set up in such a manner that
                               Fire
                               dow
                               downloaded webpages are displayed              Install Add-Ons Instantly
                               within milliseconds. You can instruct the
                               wit                                            [+] about:config
                               browser to show content even faster.
                               bro                                               [-] security.dialog_enable_delay
                               Type
                               Typ ‘nglayout’ in the filter bar of the         VALUE: 0
                               ‘about:config’ page. Then right click
                               ‘abo                                           Firefox stops every installation of an
                               under
                               und it on a free space and select ‘New         add-on with an annoying dialogue box.
                                 Integer’. Firefox will ask for the name
                               | Int                                          Only after waiting a few seconds can the
                               and the value for the new setting one          setup be started with a click on ‘Install
                               after
                               afte the other—answer with ‘nglayout.          now’. There is an important security
                               initialpaint.delay’ and ‘100’. Now, Firefox
                               init                                           reason for this: you might be accidentally
                               will start building the webpage after 100      allowing malware to run. If you are very
                               milliseconds instead of the standard
                               mil                                            confident, disable the compulsory pauses
                               250 milliseconds. Moreover, you can set        with the setting ‘security.dialog_enable_        True or false: You can easily toggle Boolean
                               ‘network.http.pipelining’ and ‘network.
                               ‘net                                           delay’. Replace the default value ‘2000’         values via the context menu or by double-clicking

                               pipelining.maxrequests’ to ‘true’ and ‘8’.
                               pip                                            with ‘0’. Now every add-on installation
                               The also help display pages faster.
                               These                                          will begin immediately.                          Recommend More
                                                                                                                               Websites
                               Tu
                               Turn off unnecessary scans                     Run scripts for longer                           [+] about:config
                               [+] about:config                                [+] about:config                                     [-] browser.urlbar.maxRichResults
                                  [-] browser.download.manager.                  [-] dom.max _ script _ run _ time             VALUE: according to choice
                                  scanWhenDone                                VALUE: 20                                        As soon as you enter text in the address
                               VALUE: False                                   Firefox grants server scripts 10 seconds         bar, Firefox recommends other Web
                               By default, Firefox takes care that files are   to answer a query. After that, a warning         addresses from the accumulated URL
                               scanned for malware while downloading.         message appears that the script is no            results. By default, twelve items will
                               This can demonstrably slow down the            longer responding. That may be fine               be displayed. This number however is
                               download of larger files. Usually, this step    for fast broadband connections, but              not carved in stone; you can shorten or
                               is superfluous since the security software      for slower ones that are much more               elongate the recommended list of the
                               scans your files as soon as they are            common, the messages can be a bit                browser according to your liking. For this,
FOTO: THINKSTOCK/ISTOCKPHOTO




                               finished downloading anyway. Therefore,         irritating. Just instruct Firefox to wait for    double-click in ‘about:config’ on ‘browser.
                               you can do away with the double                an answer from a script for longer. For          urlbar.maxRichResults’ and enter the
                               scanning if you are sure you want to.          this, double-click on the configuration           desired number of recommended results
                               For this, search for the setting ‘browser.     page of the browser on ‘dom.max_script_          as the value. However, you can also
                               download.manager.scanWhenDone’ in the          run_time’. In the dialogue, enter a number       completely turn off this recommendation
                               configuration page and change the value         higher than the default setting ‘10’. Finally,   function by simply typing in ‘-1’ and
                               from ‘true’ to ‘false’.                        confirm with ‘OK’.                                confirming with ‘OK’.


                                                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      02/2012     89
     FEATURED
BROWSER HACKS



 GOOGLE CHROME
This browser conceals interesting configuration options in the settings page ‘about:flags’.
For example, activate the in-built Flash stopper and use different profiles simultaneously.



Even Google’s own browser can be             even Acrobat are installed. It is not a
adjusted to a large extent. Chrome hides     problem, since the Chrome Viewer loads
a huge number of additional config            the documents at lightening fast speed.
options in a total of 15 hidden pages,       But it does have one disadvantage: its
and allows experienced users to change       functionality does not compare to that of
numerous minute settings.                    the Acrobat Reader, for example it does
                                             not display a table of contents. That can
Play Flash Only On Request                   be irritating with large PDF documents.
[+] about:flags                               This problem can be easily solved: search
   [-] Click-to-Play                         for the entry ‘Chrome PDF Viewer’ in the
VALUE: Enable                                ‘chrome://plugins’ page and there click
The first thing that you get to see on        under ‘Deactivate’. Now, without having
                                                                                              Rebuffed Activate 'Click to Play' so that Chrome
many websites is an irritating Flash         to restart, PDF files opened on the Web           blocks all Flash videos till you approve of them.
advertising banner. These increase the       will directly be opened in the default
download time and make even newer            external Reader.
computers sweat. It is better if you
yourself control what Flash content you      Use More Profiles
want to see. For this, the browser has a     [+] about:flags
function called ‘Click-to-Play’ which you       [-] More profiles
can activate on the ‘about:flags’ page. To    VALUE: Enable
bring the changes into effect, you have      There is no dedicated provision for using
to re-start the browser. Now open the        several website profiles at the same time.
page ‘chrome://settings/content’ through     However it would be useful to be able
the address bar and activate the option      to do so: this way you can open different
‘Click-to-Play’ under ‘Plug-ins’. Chrome     Google accounts at the same time and
then immediately makes the necessary         use the respective features the way you          Incognito power With one tick, you can use
changes.                                     need them.                                       add-ons in the incognito mode.
                                                For turning on this function, click on
Determine Tab Focus                          the settings page ‘about:flags’ under           Use Incognito Lightly
[+] about:flags                               ‘More profiles’ on ‘Enable’. Now you can        [+] chrome://extensions
  [-] Focus existing tab on                  determine which profile to use for every           [-] Allow in incognito mode
open                                         single tab. The change takes place on the      VALUE: Activate
VALUE: Enable                                website google.com through the button          In the incognito mode in Chrome, you
When several tabs are open, you often        ‘Sign in’.                                     can surf without leaving behind traces.
lose sight of things. Many a times, you                                                     You can separately define whether
type in a web address and open it just       Block Suspicious Links                         each plug-in should also be available in
to find it is already open in another tab.    [+] about:flags                                 incognito mode. For this, open ‘chrome://
Now, instead of opening a new tab,              [-] Disable hyperlink auditing              extensions’. Under every plug-in, there
Chrome can recognize the double entry        After clicking, some hyperlinks do not         is the option ‘Allow in incognito mode’.
and simply jump to the available tab. For    just open the target webpage, but also         According to your need, mark the add-
this, in the ‘about:flags’ page, navigate     inform an additional server about the link     ons that you want. These functions will
to the option ‘While opening, focus on       being clicked. Scripts, for example, can       immediately become available to you in
available tabs’ and click on the link        be hidden behind them which collect user       the private surfing mode.
‘Activate’.                                  tracking information—that is, information      NOTE: Chrome cannot supervise the
                                             about your activities on the web. That         function of the add-ons. If a plug-in
Use Other PDF Readers                        is not how it should be. Scroll on the         collects your web history or similar data,
As a standard setting, Chrome opens          page ‘about:flags’ to the point ‘Disable        it will also be visible in the normal surfing
files in the widely popular Adobe PDF         hyperlink auditing’ and click on ‘Activate’.   mode. That is why this feature is disabled
format with the help of its integrated       In the future, your privacy is better          by default, and you should be careful
PDF reader, even if Acrobat Reader or        protected.                                     with it.


90    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 MS INTERNET EXPLORER
                                                                                   e,
Microsoft has hidden many tools for its browser in the Windows registry. For example,
you can start Explorer automatically in full-screen mode and download more files
simultaneously than seems possible.


Internet Explorer is anchored deep in the        As a standard setting, Internet Explorer
system: so deep, that it writes its settings     allows only two parallel downloads from
directly into the Windows registry. For          a website. You can change this in the
editing the registry, type ‘regedit’ in the      key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
text field of the Start menu and press            Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
[Enter]. In the Registry editor, you can         Internet Settings’:
navigate through the Windows Explorer-              Right click on ‘Internet Settings’ and
like tree structure of sub-keys. However,        enter a new ‘DWORD (32-Bit)’-value with
you have to save the registry settings           the name ‘MaxConnectionsPerServer’
before they can be put into effect. To           with the value ‘4’. In the same manner,
back up a key before modifying it, directly      you can then also create the entry
export the key from Regedit. This will           ‘MaxConnectionsPerServer’ and type in
create a small backup file, which you can         ‘6’ as the value. To roll back to the earlier   Simplistic With this value, you can determine that
simply double-click at any time to roll          settings, just remove both the keys again.      Internet Explorer starts in full screen mode.
back to the earlier settings.
                                                 Use More Popular Sites
Starting in Full Screen                          [+] HKEY _ Current _ User
Mode                                                [-] Software
[+] HKEY _ Current _ User                              [-] Microsoft
   [-] Software                                           [-] Internet Explorer
      [-] Microsoft                                          [-] TabbedBrowsing
         [-] Internet Explorer                                  [-] NewTabPage
            [-] Main                             VALUE: NumRow = 4
VALUE: FullScreen = yes                          After opening a new tab, Explorer shows
Internet Explorer can use the entire screen      a selection of sites you visit often. If
for its window. To activate the ‘Full Screen     the eight choices are not enough for
Mode’, press the [F11] key. Unfortunately,       you, you can add more links. In the
this practical setting cannot be saved as a      registry editor, navigate to the key ‘HKEY_
default mode—at least not directly through       CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\                Constant access A registry value determines that
                                                                                                 the menu bar is always visible.
the regular channels. But it is absolutely       InternetExplorer\TabbedBrowsing\
possible to do this through the Windows          NewTabPage’. Now look at the right side         only when you press the [Alt] key. That
registry. Navigate to the key ‘HKEY_             of the page if the entry ‘NumRows’ can          gets irritating if want to constantly access
CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\                 be seen. If yes, double click on it. If it is   the settings there. By tinkering a bit in
Internet Explorer\Main’ and double click         not available, then you have to create it.      the registry you can make the program
on the right side of the window on the           For this, right click on the ‘NewTabPage’       display the menu bar at all times. For this,
entry ‘FullScreen’. In the dialog box, set the   and select ‘New’ and ‘DWORD-Value               change in the directory list of the editor
value to ‘yes’. After confirming with ‘OK’,       (32 Bit)’ in the context menu. Enter            to the path ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
the browser will from then on start in the       ‘NumRows’ as the name and click on              Software\Policies\Microsoft’ and right
full screen mode.                                ‘OK’. This value will double the number of      click on ‘Microsoft’. In the context menu,
                                                 pages in the preview.                           select ‘New’ and ‘Key’. This time, type
More Downloads At The                                                                            the name as ‘Main’. In the same way, put
Same Time                                        Show Menu Bar Always                            an entry ‘AlwaysShowMenus’ through
[+]HKEY _ Current _ User                         [+] HKEY _ Current _ User                       ‘New DWORD-Value (32 Bit)’ under ‘Main’.
   [-] Software                                     [-] Software                                 Double click on it and enter the value
      [-] Microsoft                                    [-] Policies                              as ‘1’. Now, when you restart Internet
         [-] Windows                                      [-] Microsoft                          Explorer and press the [Alt] key, the menu
            [-] CurrentVersion                               [-] Internet Explorer               will be visible at all times. For rolling back
               [-] Internet Settings                            [-] Main                         to the earlier settings, set the value of
VALUE: MaxConnectionsPerServer = 4               VALUE: AlwaysShowMenus = 1                      ‘AlwaysShowMenus’ back to ‘0’.
                                                 Internet Explorer displays the menu bar                                              – feedback@chip.in



                                                                                                    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        02/2012      91
          FEATURED
LEGALITIES IN SOCIAL MEDIA




    Legal Trouble
    with Social Networks
     From file sharing networks to social networks, copyright organizations are going after naive
     users. Could you be the lawyers’ next target?
     BY CLAUDIO MÜLLER




     Y
            our mobile phone is always with       online. On any typical Facebook profile,    which has grown powerful by winning
            you, and uploading photos of a        there will be party photos, YouTube        cases against file sharers, will now
            party to Facebook is effortless.      videos, or text quoted from the web.       extend their efforts to social networks.
     It’s only later that some people face        These can earn a user warning fines of      Users of Facebook and the like are also
     the nasty shock of legal notices, fines,      up to 15,000 Euros, says German media      spreading copyright-protected content
     and expensive lawyers’ fees. People in       rights lawyer Christian Solmecke. He       without agreement of the copyright
     countries around the world are waking        agrees that the feared wave of warnings    holder—even if they don’t know it. If your
     up to a whole new side effect of using       has not really hit yet, something even     profile is visible to everyone on the Web,
     Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other         other legal experts confirm. However, the   it could become an expensive liability, as
     networks. So far, there has not been         danger—and this is where all specialist    millions of people might be able to see a
     any reason to think about the legal and      lawyers agree—is that the industry of      music video, photo or song you post.
     financial consequences of posting things      lawyers and copyright organizations


     92    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                     SMS us!   Story code: FFH to 51818
                                                                                                                                                                                            FEATURED
                                                                                                                                                                                 LEGALITIES IN SOCIAL MEDIA



                                                                                          THE WARNING SIGNS ON FACEBOOK
                                                                                              If you believe that you can post anything on social networks, then think
                                                                                              again. Sharp lawyers can find things in a typical profile which are illegal.
                                                                                                               Take a look at the most common cases:



                                                       Stolen images
                                                       If you use protected
                                                           comic images or                                                                                                                       Insults
                                                     promotional photos as                                                                                                                       Hostilities against
                                                      your display picture,                                                                                                                      persons and
                                                        you might be fined.                                                                                                                      companies are the
                                                                                                                                                                                                 most common cases
                                                                                                                                                                                                 in which legal notices
                                                Party photos                                                                                                                                     have been served.
                                               Snapshots of others
                                              cannot be published
                                            without their approval
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Personal details
                                                                                                                                                                                                 If you give away mail
                                                                                                                                                                                                 addresses of others
                                                                                                                                                                                                 without permission
                                   Video links                                                                                                                                                   on Facebook through
                               If you are breaching                                                                                                                                              the address book
                                     YouTube video                                                                                                                                               search feature, you
                              copyrights, then you                                                                                                                                               could be violating data
                            should not post videos.                                                                                                                                              protection laws
                            Doing so will make you
                                   guilty and liable




                                                             Comic heroes and their                           clauses that the rights for these photos           embarrassing photos of others which
                                                             dedicated fans                                   are not to be given to a third party.              are not removed even on request. This
                                                             One ongoing trend is that of Facebook            Facebook reserves exactly this right for           could happen to anyone, anytime: you
                                                             users replacing their profile pictures with       itself in its terms of use, which would            might take photos of your colleagues
                                                             those of comic heroes, thus provoking            then violate the photo databases’ terms            drinking at a party. If the people in the
                                                             the outbreak of copyright warnings.              and conditions. Users are complacent               photo object, they have the right to ask
                                                             So far, nothing has happened. Lawyer             because in most cases, copyright holders           you to take down the photos. Ideally, you
                                                             Guido Kluck of K&W Legal confirms that            do not take legal action against personal          should not post any pictures without the
                                                             copyright holders have been very tolerant        use, only against commercial use of their          express approval of the subjects. “Just
                                                             of such behaviour till now. Still, it is not     pictures.                                          taking photos at a party does not give
                                                             technically permitted for users to copy                                                             you the right to publish them later”, says
                                                             pictures from anyone else’s Websites to          Posting responsibly                                Christian Solmecke.
                                                             decorate their own profiles. Publishers           Actual warnings that Facebook users                   However, if the party photographer
                                                             like DC Comics and Marvel own the                have received usually involve posts with           informs all guests in advance that he
                                                             copyright for these images, and only they
                                                             can decide about allowing their use.
                                                                Even photos of real people can be
PHOTOS: DISNEY ENTERPRISES FROM "LION KING", MARTIN MILLER




                                                             expensive. Lawyer Hagen Hild tells us of
                                                             a case in which a female Facebook user
                                                             used the photo of a model. On being                                                                                           Safe circle
                                                             contacted, she showed some sense and                                                                                          If you publically
                                                                                                                                                                                           post on Google+,
                                                             removed the picture. You can publish
                                                                                                                                                                                           you can be warned
                                                             images of celebrities if you are reporting                                                                                    in the same way.
                                                             about a current event—but this sort of                                                                                        But that can be
                                                                                                                                                                                           avoided with the
                                                             reporting is not usually done via social                                                                                      circles function.
                                                             networks. A post or a comment does not
                                                             fulfil the criteria.
                                                                A good source for less dangerous
                                                             images is databases like Pixelio or
                                                             Fotolia. Here too you have to look closely
                                                             since often it is written in their fair use


                                                                                                                                                                    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012     93
          FEATURED
LEGALITIES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
                                                                                                                      3, 2, 1 ... eBay shops are
                                                                                                                      warned the most often,
                                                                                                                      now Facebook shops are
     will post their pictures later on Facebook                                                                       threatened with the same.

     and nobody protests, then legal experts
     say that it is implicit consent. In case of
     any doubt, the person who is posting the
     photos on to the Web should be able to
     prove that all the photographed people
     agreed to be published and that he has
     the rights to these pictures.


     Stricter data protection
     The same goes for other personal data,
     including email addresses and telephone
     numbers. You can allow Facebook
     to access these details from your
     smartphone or email account, in order
     to help it find you other acquaintances                 Dangerous links
                                                     If you are unsure whether
     for you. This is allowed in most countries      a YouTube video is safe in
     including the USA, but some countries              terms of copyright, then
                                                              better not post it.
     such as Germany have stricter data
     protection laws under which this is
     illegal.
        A comparatively newer risk is that of
     sharing Web videos, which are usually
     in the form of embedded YouTube clips.
     YouTube’s terms of use allow videos to
                                                                                            "You must consider
     be embedded, appearing exactly like you
     have embedded them directly on your
     own website or blog. But if the content
                                                                                         the rights of the artist
     of the videos itself is illegal, could will
     be trouble. Anyone who posts a link to a
                                                                                            even on Facebook"
     copyright protected video is considered                                                     Guido Kluck, LLM (Information Law), lawyer, K & W Legal
     to have infringed the law and is liable as
     an abettor.
        The legal position here is not very
     user friendly, since the law considers
     it unimportant whether you yourself
     have uploaded the videos on YouTube.          How to avoid unnecessary legal trouble
     Additionally, it might not matter in court
                                                   The legal regulations for the rights of an   This way, your posts and images will
     whether you as a user recognized that
                                                   artist or personality apply on social        remain private. That does not protect you
     the video violated copyrights—something
                                                   networks too. Follow the tips given below    from legal infringements, but from being
     that is not often possible or reasonable.     to be on the safer side.                     discovered. In Google+, you can use the
     In case of doubt, since the copyright                                                      option of sharing your posts only with
     holders can initiate an injunction, ask       THE LICENCE FOR SHARING                      your “circles”, that is only with people
     for compensation, and even claim              If you want to share content from the        with whom you are directly connected. If
     damages—which could amount to a lot           web, for example images or texts, search     you post it publically, everyone will be
                                                   for the concerned website for licences. In   able to see it.
     of money.
                                                   case of Creative Common licences (CC), it
                                                   is easy to understand whether and how
     User tracking on Facebook                     the image or text can be used. But be
     Before sending a warning to your postal
                                                   careful to credit the appropriate source
     address, the copyright holder has to          (name of the author).
     find the user. The ingenious methods
     used to spy on file sharing networks and       MAKE YOURSELF INVISIBLE
     identify IP addresses of file sharers do       Adjust the basic settings of the social
     not work on Facebook. Instead, they have      networks. In the default settings,
     to turn directly to the company. In many      Facebook publishes all your images and
     countries, Facebook can be required to        posts for the entire web. That makes it
                                                   easy for the lawyers to discover misuses.
     hand over the names and addresses
                                                   Therefore, change the settings under
     of anonymous users in case they have                                                       Privacy In this menu, you can determine who can
                                                   'Account | Privacy settings | Sharing        see your Facebook posts—and thus save yourself
     broken the law.                               content on Facebook' to 'Only friends'.      from the lawyers


     94     02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                       FEATURED
                                                                                                            LEGALITIES IN SOCIAL MEDIA


                                                                                              Got one? What now!
                                                                                              1. Control is better
                                                                                              Check if you have actually posted the
                                                                                              content. If not, reply to the warning in
                                                                                              writing within the stipulated time.

                                                                                              2. Don't sign anything
                                                                                              Don’t sign a warning letter in a hurry.
                                                                                              It can put you at a disadvantage since
                                                                                              it is a legally binding admission of
                                                                                              guilt and cannot be terminated.

                                                                                              3. Take the advice of a
                                                                                              specialist lawyer
                                                                                              Take heed of the time limit given in
                                                                                              the warning letter and get the
                                                                                              demands checked by a specialist
      Greedy for money Warning
   letters against infringements will
                                                                                              lawyer. He or shee will mostly be able
          soon reach Facebook users.                                                          to negotiate the fines down.


   But while rightsholders have been          sending warnings out for years now.           to give the same information as other
quick to clamp down on suspected              Lawyers set the value of quotes from          web shops: complete contact details,
pirates in the past, they are less            Valentin (such as the well-known “A           correct instructions about returns and
aggressive when it comes to networks          stranger is only a stranger in a strange      guarantees, information about long-
like Facebook. They are usually satisfied      land”) at 10,000 Euros. This value, a part    distance shipping, and assurances of
if Facebook deletes the data in question,     of every such warning, depends on the         data protection as well as the right
and do not press the company to reveal        commercial interest of the claimant. But      prices and delivery times. Warning letters
the identity of the user. Facebook has        the actual costs according to a judicial      between competing online shops are
already received many such takedown           process are much lower. You are safe          quite regular but experts believe that this
notices, but did not want to reveal the       using quotes if the quoted person has         will increase on Facebook also. However,
name of the requesting party to us.           been dead for 70 years or more—then           this concerns mostly commercial vendors.
   This does not imply that Facebook          his copyright expires. Thus, Karl Valentin       It is uncertain at the moment if a
users should not consider themselves          fans will have to wait till 2018. Protected   wave of warning letters will start hitting
safe, since there have been cases that        quotes or text passages can generally         private users of Facebook, Google+ and
only a few know of. For example, if           be used only if you characterize them         other similar services. Christian Solmecke
all the members of an amateur band            as quotes, cite the source and put in a       believes that it is only a matter of time
upload a self-recorded video of a song        context—like an academic work. Whether        before the legal industry makes social
cover and share it with their friends and     a status message on Facebook fulfils this      networks its next hunting ground. His
family on Facebook, it will probably be       condition is one of several unclear legal     theory is supported by the fact that
seen by a few hundred people. Thus, the       questions regarding social networks. But      obsolete legal regulations do not serve
consumption of the song is no longer          if you use the quote only as decoration       current scenarios and thus leave quite a
private; it becomes a public broadcast—       for your profile or website, then you are      few loopholes open. Guido Kluck believes
and that costs money. If you post a video     definitely infringing on the copyright of      that warning letters will be posted only if
of yourself singing or dancing along to       the late artist’s estate.                     people increasingly publish copyrighted
a song, or use it as background music                                                       content, and if the copyright holder can
for a video clip, you could be confronted     Small businesses are                          get user data even from profiles that are
with licence claims. If you want to cover     vulnerable                                    not open to the public more easily. Then
a song or use it in any other way, you        If you are allowed to share content on        it might be completely possible “that a
should ideally obtain permission from         Facebook only to a limited extent, then       few organizations will discover this area
the rightsholder as well as the relevant      can you sell something? If you have           as a business model for their legal teams
broadcast licensing bodies.                   bought yourself a new digital camera          to capitalize on”. It took roughly five
   Apart from music and videos in             and want to offer your old one in your        years from the launch of Napster in 1999
posts on Facebook profiles, you will also      friends circle, you are already moving in     for opportunists to start hunting down
find extracts from books and articles,         grey areas. As a private citizen you can      file sharers, a practice which really took
or witty comments from websites or            certainly sell something if you want. But     of around 2004. Today, thousands of
speeches. Even these can turn out to          as soon as you offer several units of the     cases are being filed in order to flood the
be extremely expensive, as a few cases        same object or many similar objects at        courts and force financial settlements.
from the past prove. Anneliese Kühn,          once, then you are legally a businessman.     With such a precedent, Web users should
heiress of the artist Karl Valentin, is one      In this case—especially when dealing       start taking precautions right now.
of a number of people who have been           with strangers as customers—you have                                          – feedback@chip.in



                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012      95
       FEATURED
FASTEST HARD DISK




                                                                                                             SATA 6 Gbps: 523 MBps
                                                                                                             The OCZ Vertex 3 gets the
                                                                                                             most out of the SATA
                                                                                                             6Gbps connection standard




                                                                               Hard Drive: 122 MBps
                                                                               Traditional magnetic hard disks
                                                                               don't stand a chance against the others.
                                                                               The upside is their enormous capacity




 The Fastest
 Hard Disk
  New solid-state drives are too fast for the SATA connection. Now, super SSDs and better
  connections can overcome this problem with RAID connections or PCI Express.
  BY CHRISTOPH SCHMIDT




  T
         he fastest SATA SSD is four           They increase the reaction speed of a            SSDs and connecting them to the system
         times faster than a conventional      computer much more dramatically than a           in the most efficient manner. In the search
         hard disk. Instead of 7 minutes,      new CPU or more RAM of equivalent cost.          for the fastest drive, we did not only try
  it needs only 100 seconds to write 50           However, one factor is hindering them:        out various RAID variants with several
  GB. But that can be made even faster,        the serial ATA connection, which offered         SSDs, but also the RevoDrive3 X2 from
  as we found in our experiment with 10        more than enough capacity for traditional
  of the fastest drives. It was also clearly
  proven that many different aspects of
                                               magnetic hard disks, is too slow for SSDs.
                                               The widely used SATA 3 Gbps standard
                                                                                                          VERDICT
  performance are important depending on       transfers just 300 MBps in reality. The            The fastest drive that we have measured
                                                                                                  in the CHIP Test center is the OCZ
  your purposes. The transfer rate can vary    newest motherboards have SATA 6 Gbps
                                                                                                  RevoDrive3. Even expensive home-made
  for compressed and uncompressed files;        ports which have double this capacity
                                                                                                  RAID arrays cannot beat its performance.
  moreover, response time also plays an        and enable transfer rates of more than             The RAID-0 system with two Patriot Pyro
  important role. From every perspective,      500 MBps for SSDs, but there is still              SSDs impresses as a very fast,
  solid state drives are faster than hard      room for improvement. In order to achieve          reasonably-priced system drive for PCs.
  disks. Since their commercial debut in       even better performance, you have to               Notebooks that are hindered by slow
  2007, they have become the strongest         circumvent the SATA bottleneck. This can           SATA 3 Gbps ports get the biggest speed
                                                                                                  jump with the SSD 320.
  growing segment of all PC components.        be achieved by coupling together several


  96    02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                             SMS us!          Story code: FFH to 51818
                                                                                                                                              FEATURED
                                                                                                                                     FASTEST HARD DISK
                                                                                                                  PCI Express: 1,378 MBps
                                                                                                                  The PCIe OCZ RevoDrive 3 SSD is the
                                                                                                                  fastest thanks to its direct connetion




                                                        RAID 0: 1,142 MBps
                                                        The RAID array with four Intel
                                                        510 SSDs is hindered
                                                        only by its controller

OCZ. In addition, we have also measured
how current SSDs perform in spite of the                                THE BEST CONNECTION
SATA bottleneck. The practical value of
investing in extremely fast drives depends                  Fast SSDs can be connected with SATA 6 Gbps RAID-0 connections
on the purpose of their use. As a primary                or directly through PCI Express. The advantages and disadvantages are:
boot drive, any relatively affordable SSD
                                                         Port                 SATA 6 Gb/s        RAID-0                    PCI Express
will speed up the computer visibly in
                                                         Availability         Still rare         All recent PCs            Most recent PCs
comparison to a hard disk. Extremely
                                                         Costs                None (onboard)     None (onboard)            Expensive (mit SSD)
fast and expensive hard disks are also
available, but have an advantage only                    Transfer rate        Up to 600 MB/s     Up to 1,200 MB/s          Up to 4,000 MB/s
when dealing with huge amounts of data,                  Reaction time        Optimal            With limitations          Optimal
as compared to such standard SSDs.                       Compatibility        No problems        No problems               Certain motherboards
Therefore, only power users will actually                TRIM command         Yes                No                        Only with RevoDrive 3
need fast “super SSDs” or expensive SSD                  OS Installation      No problems        Might require drivers     No problems
RAID systems.                                            Possible in laptop   With new devices   No                        No

All-rounder for notebooks
and PCs: The SATA-SSDs                        and cannot be compressed.                                connection. Different capacities are
are so fast                                      If the SSD is going to be used only                   available at different price points, but
Today’s SATA SSDs are reasonably              as the system drive, the most important                  even the low priced ones achieved similar
affordable, trouble-free, and easy to         thing then is the writing speed, and                     speeds.
install. With a 2.5-inch (or sometimes        the Sandforce effect is hardly of any
1.8-inch) form factor, they can fit into any   benefit. For this reason, SSDs like the                   Break through the limits
notebook or PC housing. Models from the       Corsair Force F120 (120 GB) offer a good                 of SATA
year 2009 onwards, such as the 240 GB         price-performance ratio– while reading                   If you want speeds of more than 500
OCZ Vertex 3, usually use the fast SATA       it achieves very good values throughout,                 MBps, you will be faced with a problem:
6 Gbps connection, for data transfer          however, its speed decreases with files                   a single SATA 6Gbps connection will not
rates of about 500 MBps for reading and       that cannot be compressed—even more                      be enough. Therefore, we use a trick and
writing—with one limitation. This SSD can     so than the OCZ Vertex 3.                                combine two SSDs on two SATA ports
reach its full writing capacity only with        For users who want to work with such                  such that the resulting array has twice the
data that can be compressed, such as          files—for example those who regularly                     capacity and speed of a single SSD. Such
text and data files. If, instead, you write    edit video—a slower but “truer” Intel 510                a RAID 0 configuration can be used on all
video files that cannot be compressed          SSD would be more suitable; especially if                modern motherboards.
further, then the performance level           you are going to combine several of them                     We started the first test with two
collapses from 500 MBps to 290 MBps.          into one RAID 0 array, as we will soon                   Patriot Pyro SSDs on the two SATA
The reason for this is the Sandforce 2        see. Still, transfer rate is not everything.             6Gbps connections on an Asus Maximus
controller of this particular model, which    The Intel SSD 320 shows that in spite of                 IV board. The Pyro offers 120 GB of
compresses data before writing it on          its slow 3 GBps SATA connection, it is the               space– and buying two of these would
the memory modules. This reduces the          second fastest in the test. It managed to                still cost less than a single super-fast SSD
amount of data to be written and the          do this with its very good IOPS values. the              with double that capacity. Added to that,
number of writing accesses subsequently       value of the “Input/Output operations per                it uses two SATA ports, and therefore
required, resulting in increased speed.       second” test tells you how fast the drive                breaks the SATA 6GBps limit and beats
If the data is already compressed, the        reacts to requests sent by the operating                 all the other SSDs in the experiment. As
Sandforce trick does not work, and the        system, and it is especially important for               far as transfer rates go, this affordable
maximum achievable speed reduces. In          the overall speed of the system installed                RAID array plays in the big leagues—more
order to fairly compare Sandforce-based       on an SSD.                                               than 900 MBps—but only as long as it
SSDs with the rest, we adjusted our              Reaction speed makes the Intel                        deals with data that can be compressed.
SSD test procedures and assessed the          SSD 320 the first choice for notebooks                    The Pyro pins a lot of its hopes on the
performance with a mix of files that can       or PCs which have a SATA 2 (3 GBps)                      Sandforce trick; its speed decreases


                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              02/2012   97
        FEATURED
FASTEST HARD DISK
                                                                          The fastest external drive:
  considerably with data that cannot be                                   Thunderbolt breaks all records
  compressed. The Pyro RAID hack is not
  suited for video editing rigs, but as a
                                                                          The speed of external drives is hampered             like a lightweight MacBook Air.
                                                                          by the types of ports available, as opposed
  system drive it is excellent, and the IOPS
                                                                          to internal drives which usually use one or          THE CONTROLLER HINDERS
  values were the best of all the RAID                                    more SATA ports. In order to remove this             As with our self-made RAID, the Promise
  configurations that we tested.                                           limitation, Intel and Apple have developed           Pegasus array is also prevented from
       In the next stage, we eliminated the                               the Thunderbolt interface that can                   getting higher performance by its in-built
  weaknesses of the Pyro RAID array for                                   theoretically transfer up to 1,250 MBps.             RAID controller. In reality the six SSDs
  data that can be compressed. For this, we                               The first Thunderbolt drives are now                 should make the most of the transfer
                                                                          available with the Pegasus drives from               capability of Thunderbolt. However, the
  connected two Intel 510 SSDs together
                                                                          Promise, but they only work on the newest            Promise Pegasus still remains the fastest
  on our Sandy Bridge motherboard to get
                                                                          Apple computers with Mac OS 10.6.8                   external drive available in the market now.
  a RAID 0 array. The Intel 510 impressed                                 onwards.
  with certain standout scores rather than
  with constant good performance. This                                    VERY FAST, BUT NO RECORD
  can also be seen in the RAID configuration
                                                                          A 6-bay array that we recently tested was
  which reads data at more than 900                                       equipped with 1-Terabyte hard disks,
  MBps and writes it at more than 600                                     which we replaced with Intel SSDs. With
  MBps, irrespective of whether it can be                                 benchmark tools that copied data from the
  compressed or not. The Intel model in                                   test PC’s RAM to the drive, we achieved a
  RAID delivers much lower IOPS values                                    data transfer rate of around 760 MB/s.
                                                                          While copying files onto the drive, the
  while writing as compared to a single
                                                                          speed fell to about 350 MB/s which was
  SSD. Possibly, the coordination between
                                                                          logical, since the RAID connection is then
  the drives slows their reaction speed.                                  reading and writing simultaneously, even
       Around 900 MBps is impressive, but                                 though the Thunderbolt cable is able to
  still not enough if you are on the search                               transport data in both directions
                                                                                                                              760 MBps The Promise Pegasus delivers six times
  for the fastest drive. So, we double the                                independently. It is still impressive to see        the performance of a HDD, thanks to Thunderbolt.
  number of Intel 510 SSDs to four. Since                                 such quick file operations on something
  our motherboard with Intel P67 chipset
  has only two native SATA 6 Gbps ports,                                mark, but just by a small amount. The                the best option for file operations that
  we connect the four SSDs to an Adaptec                                controller cannot manage more than                   involve non-compressible data. Video
  6805 RAID Controller, which should                                    1,162 MBps while reading, which is in                editors would be more than happy with
  be able to transfer up to 4,000 MBps                                  fact good enough for handling any                    this performance. A further experiment
  through an eight lane PCI Express 2.0                                 reasonable amount of data. However, it               with another motherboard with an AMD
  connection. The fourfold RAID setup                                   bagged the title of the most expensive               chipset and five native SATA 6Gbps ports
  actually breaks through the 1,000 MBps                                setup in the test, and turned out to be              did not give any better values, but there




                                                         OCZ               RAID-0 4x Intel 510   RAID-0 4x Intel 510   RAID-0 2x Intel 510   RAID-0 2x Patriot Pyro       OCZ Vertex 3
                                                    RevoDrive 3 X21         @ Adaptec 6805       @ AMD-Mainboard       @ Intel-Mainboard      @ Intel-Mainboard1      (VTX3-25SAT3-240G)1

  Price (approximate, in Euros)                            1,350                 2,400                 2,000                 1,000                    340                     420
  Total rating                                              77.6                  70.6                  65.2                  64.4                   59.3                    58.9
  Transfer rate (40%)                                        92                   100                    83                    82                     60                      45
  Access time/IOPS (25%)                                     64                    26                    28                    32                     47                      65
  Practical test (25%)                                       99                    96                   100                    95                     95                      98
  TEST RESULTS
  Capacity (nominal)/port                                480 GB/PCIe           1 TB/RAID-0           1 TB/RAID-0         500 GB/RAID-0           240 GB/RAID-0         240 GB/SATA 6 Gbps
  Reading/writing
  (compressible data, MBps)
                                                         1,378/1,300           1,142/969              994/483               992/601                 963/937                 523/501
  Reading/writing
  (uncompressible data, MBps)
                                                          731/492              1,162/897              961/919               970/590                 390/266                 520/290

  Average IOPS (reading)                                   9,854.5               3,643.7               3,922.9               5,009.0                7,037.5                10,174.0
  Average IOPS (writing)                                   6,984.0               4,729.4               4,494.6               3,159.5                6,150.5                 7,024.5
  Average power consumption (W)                             7.9 2                  9.1                   4.1                   2.0                    2.3                     1.3
  1 Sandforce controller      2 Manufacturer’s figures
                                                                       Top class (100-90.0)            Upper class (89.9-75.0)      Average class (74.9-45.0)
                                                                       Not recommended (44.9-0)        All scores in points (max. 100)
                                                                                                                               FEATURED
                                                                                                                       FASTEST HARD DISK
 SSD ports of the future:
 SATA Express
 The SATA port was sufficient for magnetic
 hard disks, but the performance explosion
 of SSDs in the last four years has become
 too much for it. That is why the
 manufacturers of SATA devices are                                                                                    Cable mess: Each of the
 planning new ports with two main                                                                                     four SSDs in RAID needs its
                                                                                                                      own SATA and power cable.
 improvements: miniaturization and speed.

 SATA EXPRESS WITH 2 GB/S
 The next standard will be called SATA
 Express and will achieve up to 2 GB per
 second. In its infrastructure, the plugs will
 be compatible with SATA for conventional
 hard disks, while faster SSDs will be able
 to take advantage of an enhanced PCI-
 Express channel in the same architecture.
                                                 One option beats all                             driver problems, it tricks the motherboard
 MORE PERFORMANCE IN SMALLER                     the others                                       into believing that it is a SCSI drive—which
 PACKAGE                                         SSD specialists OCZ have been offering           requires the motherboard itself to play
 In order to be able to integrate fast SSDs      the RevoDrive series since the early days        along. Thus, OCZ guarantees the RevoDrive
 in mobile devices, there is the standard        of SATA 2, to circumvent the bottleneck          3 to work only with a few new and tested
 SATA μSSD. This makes it possible to            by putting an SSD RAID module with a             boards (see ocztechnology.com).
 install SSDs as small as 1 cm2 directly onto    controller directly onto a PCIe expansion
 a motherboard, which will simply be             board. The newest model, the RevoDrive           Exotic problems
 recognized as a standard SATA device by
                                                 3 (480 GB) achieved very good transfer           SATA SSDs might not be the fastest, but
 any PC BIOS and operating system. That
                                                 rates in our test and the highest IOPS           they make it extremely pleasant to boot
 will notebooks faster and even more
                                                 values. In terms of performance, the             up and use your PC. The computer treats
                                                 Sandforce controlled RevoDrive had               it like a hard disk on which Windows can
 were greater variances between reading          to accept defeat at the hands of RAID            be installed normally. RAID solutions
 and writing speeds, making the discrete         arrays with Intel SSDs, but this too was         mean more work: you have to set up
 controller a better option. The best            only in case of reading and writing of           the drive connections and configure
 values were achieved in PCMark 7, which         non-compressible data. The performance           the BIOS in such a manner that the
 replicates standard use scenarios like          of the RevoDrive is so strong that it can        computer can boot from it. In case of a
 booting up Windows, loading programs            also prove to be a drawback. In order to         PCIe controller, you have to install a driver
 and opening files.                               install an operating system and avoid            from the manufacturer of the controller
                                                                                                  during the Windows installation. When
                                                                                                  the RAID system is up and running,
                                                                                                  there is always a disadvantage against
                                                                                                  conventional SATA SSDs: the TRIM
                                                                                                  command does not work. This is an
                                                                                                  SSD-specific tool that Windows uses
                                                                                                  to make the drive delete files from its
   Intel SSD 320           Corsair Force GT          Intel SSD 510     Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000   memory cells when they are deleted in
(SSDSA2CW600G3)          CSSD-F120GBGT-BK1       (SSDSC2MH250A2K5)      (HUA723030ALA640)
                                                                                                  the file system, helping it to maintain
       940                       190                     500                     290              its performance in the long run. Current
      55.5                      51.7                    48.9                    14.7              SSDs have internal so-called “garbage

       23                        44                      41                      12               collection routines” which perform this
                                                                                                  function to a large extent, but the TRIM
       100                       40                      35                       1
                                                                                                  command is more effective. Only the
       85                        97                      95                      38
                                                                                                  RevoDrive 3 can accept and process
                                                                                                  TRIM commands with its SATA emulation
600 GB/SATA 3 Gbps        120 GB/SATA 6 Gbps      250 GB/SATA 6 Gbps       3 TB/SATA 6 Gbps       design. In spite of such difficulties,
     267/214                   521/497                 482/322                 122/122            fast SSDs give your PC a considerable
                                                                                                  performance boost. Thanks to newer,
     267/224                   523/161                 495/315                 152/150            even faster ports, the speed of data
                                                                                                  transfer will increase further—and there
    16,420.5                   5,880.5                 4,736.0                   76.0
                                                                                                  will soon be a computer architecture
     7,289.0                   5,665.0                 6,715.0                  170.0
                                                                                                  that has no delays whatsoever.
       1.0                       1.2                     1.0                     9.6                                               – feedback@chip.in



                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    02/2012      99
   FEATURED
 3D PRINTING




                      3D Printing
        Fed with a suitable 3D graphic, these printers can create three dimensional objects
                          with the help of lasers and synthetic materials.
                                                             BY JÖRG GEIGER




W
           hen investigators on the crime        Printers such as these use different         stereo lithography, one must create
           series CSI chase down a            methods to print out 3D objects. The two        a support structure in 3D, which
           criminal, they have the most       most important are stereo lithography           makes the modeling more complex.
fantastical technology on their side.         and laser sintering. In stereo lithography         Models with movable parts cannot
Even tire track impressions at the scene      the basic material is liquid. In the printer,   be printed at all using the first method.
of a crime can be transformed into a          there is a bowl with epoxy resin and            Laser sintering, the second most
synthetic model, which the investigators      a hydraulic lift that is just under 0.05        important method in 3D printing, makes
then compare with a suspect’s tire            millimeter from the surface. A UV laser         this easier. Here also a laser is used just
tracks. This particular example, though,      is brought above the surface of the             like in stereo lithography; but this time
is not a fantasy created by television        bowl. For the first layer, the laser is fired     it is not UV, but either CO2, Yttrium-
authors—the technology actually exists.       at the liquid and hardens the synthetic         Aluminum or fiber laser, depending on
Unlike the usual printed pages that a         material of the 3D model in a pattern           the machine. In this kind of 3D printer,
"normal" printer produces, 3D printers        as per the design. When the first layer          there is not one but two hydraulic lifts.
instead create three-dimensional objects.     is done, the platform sinks minimally           One works from below and delivers the
These are normally fabricated from            (usually only 0.05 to 0.25 millimeters          base material, usually Polyamide-12
synthetic materials; many printers also       lower). A new layer of synthetic resin          powder. It is also optional to use
use metal, plaster of paris, glass and        comes, and the laser then hardens the           synthetic-material-coated molding sand
of course paper. Multiple methods are         second layer on top of the first. This           like metal or ceramic powder as the
used but the fundamental principles           process is repeated until the model             base material. The other hydraulic lift
however are the same. The 3D model            is complete. Stereo lithography can             moves in the opposite direction, i.e. from
is always constructed from its base           create objects with a smooth surface;           above downwards. A cylinder pushes
upwards in horizontal layers. If the object   however it has a deciding weakness:             the powder from a storage tank onto
for example is a small model house,           the liquid synthetic resin cannot handle        the printing table. The laser heats up the
the printer starts from the base of the       hardened, overhanging parts as these            spots where the layer must be created,
ground floor and builds the structure          might break later. In spite of this, to         and fuses the powder there. Once the
layer by layer, right up to the rooftop.      be able to create such objects with             lowermost layer is constructed, the
In order for this to work, one naturally                                                      cylinder pushes a new, wafer-thin layer
needs a suitable model (see graphic on
the right) to be fed into the printer.         Cheap 3D prints from                           of powder over it; the laser is readjusted,
                                                                                              and the second layer of powder is


Affordable 3D printers for
                                               web service providers                          melted and fused. Thus also with laser
                                                                                              sintering, the object develops from the
home use                                       Those who don’t need to invest in a 3D         bottom upwards.
                                               printer for frequent print jobs can fall
3D printers are mostly used for research
                                               back on printing service providers on
and industrial fabrication, to allow           the web such as i.materialise. You can         Free 3D model
researchers to quickly create a prototype      upload your own 3D model to the site           construction
or model for examination, for example a        and let it be printed and then shipped to      3D printing needs a three dimensional
panel for a new car or hinges for kitchen      you. Prefabricated models can be found         object model as input. One can
cabinets. The smallest 3D printers on          on sites like Sculpteo and Shapeways;          construct these using expensive CAD
                                               you can adjust these online according to
the market used to be as big as some                                                          programs, but free tools such as Google
                                               your requirements. Before an online
vending machines, but recently, the                                                           SketchUp also suffice (sketchup.google.
                                               provider completes the order process
technology has been able to scale down         and begins the printing, they usually          com). For 3D printing, there are various
into affordable models which can sit on        check the uploaded 3D model for errors.        standard graphic formats of models.
a desk just like a conventional printer.       Objects of various sizes and materials         STL (Standard Triangulation Language)
A good beginner model like the Solido          can be ordered; the palette of articles        is by far the most common. SketchUp
SD300Pro costs just under 3,000 Euros          ranges from a few centimeters to many          internally uses its own file format
                                               meters in length. Accordingly the costs
(approx Rs 1,95,000). Two years ago,                                                          (SKP). Using a plug-in, SKP files can be
                                               vary, starting from around Rs 2,000
when the model fist came on the market,                                                        converted into the STL format.
                                               (plus shipping).
it cost around 8,000 Euros.                                                                                                  – feedback@chip.in



100   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                           SMS us!    Story code: F3P to 51818
                                                                                                                                                         FEATURED
                                                                                                                                                     3D PRINTING


                               3D Printing: From planning to completing a model
                           In the beginning, a sketch is created in the form of a 3D model.
               After that there are two printing methods available to turn it into a real-world object.

PLANNING: 3D GRAPHICS                                                                                                               3D formats: The printer accepts different
A 3D printer needs to be fed with suitable                                                                                          input formats.
models. One can either sketch these oneself                                                                                         STL uses triangulation to describe the
using CAD software such as Google Sketchup,                                                                                         surface coordinates of a model
or you can fetch an appropriate model from
internet and let the 3D print service provider                                                                                      VRML also uses triangulation along with
adjust it to an existing model.                                                                                                     details of color, texture, and lighting.
                                                                                                                                    X3D is based on the well-known XML
                                                                                                                                    standard and expands upon VRML with
                                                                                                                                    support for multistage rendering.




              METHOD 1: LASER SINTERING                                                          METHOD 2: STEREO LITHOGRAPHY
             Two platforms function                                                             The hydraulic lift is at the
             simultaneously: one 1 delivers                                                     uppermost position at the beginning
             the raw material in powder                                                         so that the platform is covered with
             form; the object is constructed                                                    a wafer-thin layer of liquid (0.05
             on the other 2 . First the                                                         millimeter). Now the UV laser 1
             cylinder 3 wheels out a wafer-                                                     shoots onto the surface and hardens
             thin powder layer on the work                                                      the synthetic material on it 2 . Then
             surface. The powder gets                                                           the hydraulic lift 3 sinks by a
             liquefied by the laser 4 and                                                       small fraction of a millimeter
             hardens 5 . Then the platform                                                      (0.05 to 0.25 millimeter) so
              2 moves one step lower and                                                        that the liquid again gathers
             the process repeats.                                                               over the first layer.




              Laser                                                                                            Laser

                                                 4                                                                                                   1


                   3


                                                                                                                                           2
                                                 5



                                             2
               1
                                                                                                                                3




                                                            RESULT: PRINTED 3D MODELS
                                (Almost) everything is possible: 3D modeling enthusiasts print any object in 3D, from napkin rings to shoes
                                  and even gearshift knobs. The only limits are with respect to the size of the models produced. For most
                                                        service providers, around two meters in length is the limit.




                                                                                                                        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          02/2012    101
    FEATURED
SOCIAL ACTIVISM




 Social Activism:
 Shedding the
 Slacktivist Tag
 Social networking has changed a lot, from the way we
 communicate to the way we consume news. And last year,
 a new face of social networking emerged; that of bringing
 about change.
 BY PRIYANKA TILVE




 S
         ocial media and social networking    message urging women to list the color
         are the new buzz words. It’s         of their bra as their status update.
         a phenomenon that has quite             Come October, which is the Cancer
 literally swept the world. A social          Awareness month, and we will again see
 platform to connect with people, it was      an onslaught of such status updates.
 lapped up by the masses as it allowed        Every year, its something different. This,   networks have evolved from being just
 them to connect with the world through       they say, is to keep the men guessing!       a platform to connect with people
 a digital medium. Smartphones gave           But how many women who updated               to something more meaningful. The
 it a further fillip and social networking     their status actually went ahead to get      world watched as the mass non-violent
 scaled new heights. Everyday, we             themselves tested or even cared to read      protest in Egypt successfully overthrew
 witness innovative uses of social            about breast cancer remains largely          the tyrannical Egyptian President Hosni
 networking sites and one that seems to       unanswered. The same goes for the            Mubarak and further paved the way
 have become hugely popular is online         numerous ‘likes’ or #hashtags about          for what is now known as the Arab
 activism or social activism. But the         certain causes. Ruben Mascarenhas,           Spring. As the civilians in Tunisia, Egypt,
 question is how effective it really is.      who handles social media for Anna            Libya, Syria, Yemen and other such
 Does this online chatter translate into      Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC),     countries fought for their rights social
 ground realities or is it just symbolism?    says, “I think people underestimate          networking sites became their weapon.
                                              the social network as a place where             In Egypt while Tahrir Square was
 Activism or Slacktivism?                     young people are wasting their time in       the epicenter of the revolution, it was
 Critics of online activism have coined       frivolous activities like updating status,   the social networking sites that guided
 the word slacktivism, as they opine that     like, hashtags, commenting on pictures       people there. For the first time, people
 online activism is nothing but a feel-good   etc. But I think it’s also their way of      realized the full potential of these sites;
 factor and one which doesn’t translate       interacting with a large number of people    that they could connect people was well
 into anything concrete on-ground. An         whom it is impossible for them to meet       know, but the fact that they could go
 example of this can be the breast cancer     in a personal sphere. I know there is a      largely undetected was something that
 awareness campaign on Facebook. A            lot of criticism, but we should at least     came to the rescue of the protesters. It
 couple of years ago, a particular status     appreciate the fact that people are doing    also provided them with the safety of
 update saw female users updating their       something, even if they as much as 'like'    anonymity. A little later in the revolution,
 status with the name of a colour. And the    a page. This reflects that people are         the authorities did try to unsuccessfully
 fact that the reason behind the status       entering the thought process and though      block the Internet, but it was too little too
 update had to be kept a secret from          it isn’t enough, it’s definitely good.”       late, and the damage was already done.
 men only added fuel to the fire, so much                                                      Closer to home, Anna Hazare’s
 so that it garnered media attention and      Slacktivism making                           campaign against corruption has
 what it turned out to be was a breast        way for activism                             employed social networking quite
 cancer awareness campaign. It hoped to       If we ignore a couple of these misgivings,   effectively. Ruben admits that it is very
 create awareness amongst the women           we have also witnessed the power of          easy to get people to like something
 and they chose the social networking         social networks, and a great example         online, but beyond that, you need offer
 medium, where they started a chain           of this is the Egyptian revolution. Social   people with tangible results that they


 102   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                       SMS us!    Story code: FSA to 51818
can work towards. Citing the example                 is that the youth today is very much        There is talk of putting a censorship
of the IAC campaign, he says, “Social                aware of this fact. This is validated by    in place and if reinforced, then this
networking is good to actually start off             a survey conducted by Indiabiznews          move by the Government can even
something, as you can reach a large                  to understand youth behaviour in            affect many of these causes online,
number of people in a very short period              these times of social media.                sspecially campaigns like the one
of time, and it’s also financially viable.                Rohit Sharma, Indiabiznews &            against corruption as there are bound
We used Facebook to the hilt during                  Research Services, says, “The survey        to be anti-government sentiments.
the August round of Anna’s campaign                  found that social media has given a            Ruben, who believes in freedom of
and got more than 4 lakh people on the               strong platform to the youth of India       speech and expression, is against any
streets from Bandra to Juhu. And that                to voice their choices and opinions,        such meddling by the Government and
was on the 11th day of Anna’s fast. If you           which in a way, empowers them to            believes that it can only have adverse
have got people excited over an issue,               bring a change in the world they live in.   effects. He says, “The Internet was made
then they will come once and they will               The survey findings informed us that         to survive the nuclear attack and I think
come twice, but they really want to see              the youth is aware that merely joining      it’s working brilliantly. And any attempt
a result. People need to understand                  a 'page' of the cause will not help on      by the Government to censor it or get
how they are making a difference in                  a larger scale. What is interesting and     some sort of regulatory mechanism is
a tangible way that makes sense.”                    in many ways rebukes those that think       first of all is impractical. And secondly,
   He explains, “If you are looking at               that the youth believe only in symbolism    a large number of young people will be
activism via the Internet, then it is not            best described by clicking on the 'like'    isolated from the Government because
an end in itself, but it’s actually a means          button of a Facebook group, is that         they are completely for Internet. Even
to communicate about what you feel                   about 70 per cent believe that ground       though we encourage debate, at times
towards a particular cause. Secondly,                realities cannot change by merely           we find that people tend to go overboard
you need to create awareness amongst                 being part of a group. A lot more on        and make objectionable comments. We
people, get their attention and initiate             ground is needed, they have inferred.”      moderate our page and remove any such
some sort of discussion. Thirdly, there                                                          content. Having said that, I believe that
should be a point of convergence,                    Road -‘blocks’ ahead?                       people have the right to say things, but
which should actually boil down to the               After the Egypt uprising, many              at the same time, they need to keep in
real world because everything can’t                  governments around the world started        mind that it can be said in ways that are
be virtual. The virtual world can be a               taking steps to control the online          not objectionable to others. We need to
trigger or a spark, but it can’t be an end           medium. In India, we already have           take responsibility and ensure that we
in itself. It has to ultimately culminate            witnessed Government issuing warnings       do not upload something that will hurt
into something tangible on the ground.”              to social networking sites and even         the sentiments or offend others.”
   And what’s heartening to know                     Google to remove objectionable content.                                – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                            Jagdish Limbachiya                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012    103
    FEATURED
 WEB WATCH




Web Watch                                                Here are some interesting websites you might want to visit.
                                                         COMPILED BY PRIYANKA TILVE




 FONTSTRUCT.COM                                  WARRANTIFY.COM                                FETISE.COM

I                                               I                                             F
  f you are tired of seeing the same old          f you face a problem a couple of               etise.com, founded by a bunch
  fonts or you need to create a font for          months after buying an electronic              of young entrepreneurs, aims to
  a project, you can easily do so online.         product, then the warranty will ensure         transform the way Indian men shop.
Amongst the many sites online that allow        that you do not have to pay for the           The site claims to have about 7,50,000
you to create fonts, the most popular is        repairs. In some cases, you may also get      registered users.
Fontstruct.com.                                 your product replaced. But the key here          Fetise.com offers exclusive discounts
    To make it easier for you to create         is that you need to have the warranty         on apparels, footwear, accessories,
fonts, you have the grids to guide you.         card with you. If you misplace it, then       fragrances, personal care products and
You can then select from the several            you will end up paying for the repairs        designer clothes. The discount offered
geometrical figures on the left to create        and you won’t get a replacement either.       to members is as high as 80% and
your fonts. First you have to select                Coming to your rescue is Warrantify.      targets men in the age group of 25-40
the script; you can choose from Latin,          com, which is an award-winning                years. It offers international brands like
Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. It also             European start-up that has made a foray       Alexander McQueen, Converse, Jil Sander,
includes script for Indian languages like       into digitization of paper warranties and     CK, Christian Audigier, Fila, Kenneth Cole,
Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Telgu, etc.      receipt management. You can scan and          Carrera, Esprit, Gossuin, Armani, Hugo
After selecting a script, you can start         upload all your receipts and warranties       Boss, and many others.
creating the fonts with the help of the         online for safe-keeping. These can be            It is a by-invite site and the only way
bricks. You can also change the width of        then accessed whenever required and           you can be on it is if you have been
the font by selecting ‘Filters’ from menu       even from your mobile phone. You also         invited by Fetise.com, by someone who
option ‘View’. If you select the ‘Expert        have the option to print or forward it        is already a member, or you will have to
Mode’, you will see additional features         via email. This service is free of charge     request a membership. After signing-in,
like ‘Pen Type’ and ‘Advanced’.                 and there is no limit to the number of        you will get a welcome bonus, which will
    Pen Type provides three options -           receipts that you can save. Apart from        be credited to your account. You can
‘Cycle’, ‘Simple’ and ‘Stack’. If you select    individual consumers, this service can        then invite your friends by importing
‘Cycle’ when using the pencil, then on          also be used by corporate clients to keep     your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo or
repeatedly clicking, it will move through       a track of their invoices etc; this service   Rediffmail. For every friend who
the bricks that you have used. If you           will however be a paid one.                   registers, you will get a referral bonus
select ‘Simple’, it will repeat the currently       Currently, they are in the process of     of Rs 250, but this can be used only on
selected brick. ‘Stack’ will stack the          tying up with Indian retail merchants         a purchase of Rs 1500 or more. For the
bricks over each other. You will have to        as well as several e-commerce sites           first purchase made by your friend, you
work through creating alphabets in upper        to directly send digitized receipts and       will get Rs 1,000, which will be split into
case, lower case, numbers and special           warranties to customers’ Warrantify           two vouchers of Rs 500 each.
characters. However, if you do not wish         accounts. They also plan to launch an            Fetise.com introduces new sales every
you go through the entire exercise, you         app for iPhone and Android, which will        morning and the members are notified
can simply create the alphabets and             allow customers to simply scan the            via email, SMS or social networking
numbers of your choice and download             receipts and upload them using their          sites. Each sale lasts one to three days.
it. Then simply install and start using it.     phones. Warrantify.com also aims to           If you make a purchase, then you have
From the ‘Gallery’ tab, you can see the         provide customers with additional offers      several payment options. Apart from the
fonts that have been created by others,         and other value-added services like           standard payment options, you can also
download them, and even modify them.            accessories, coupons etc.                     convert your purchases into easy EMI’s.


104   02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                       SMS us!    Story code: FWW to 51818
                                                                                                                   FEATURED
                                                                                                                 WEB WATCH




                                                                                         SHARING
                                                                                         INFORMATION
                                                                                         WITHOUT VERIFYING
                                                                                         FACTS CAN LEAD TO
                                                                                         LOTS OF CONFUSION.
                                                                                         PRIYANKA TILVE,
                                                                                         SENIOR FEATURES WRITER




T
 FREERICE.COM
    here are millions around the world
    who die of hunger, and there are
    sites where you can either donate
                                                THINK, THEN SHARE
                                              T
money or help in some other way.                         hanks to social networking,      this went on for many days. Only when
Freerice.com is a non-profit site run by                  news now travels faster          a counter message with a news report of
the UN World Food Programme.                             than one could have ever         her being found was posted, appealing
   Since its launch, Freerice.com has                    imagined. Take for instance      to people to stop spreading the earlier
been instrumental in feeding millions         the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hide-out      request did the whole thing fizzle out.
of people in poorer nations. It’s an          in Pakistan, which was chronicled by        But during the whole time, the family
interesting concept wherein people who        tweets by a user in the vicinity. In his    had to face the music as their phone
visit the site answer questions and for       tweets, he expressed concern about          numbers were included in the appeal.
every correct answer, 10 grains of rice       the sound of helicopters hovering               This brings to mind a similar
is donated.                                   above and explosions nearby. That           scenario during the Mumbai bomb
   For those playing, they can choose         the raid was on Osama Bin Laden’s           blasts. I distinctly remember the case
subjects like Languages (German, French,      hide-out, probably the most dreaded         of 25 year-old Varsha Karia, who was
Spanish & Italian), Humanities (literature    terrorist in the world, was clear only      one of the blast victims admitted to
& famous paintings), Geography (flags,         later. But by then Sohaib Athar, a          KEM Hospital. Somehow a message
capitals, countries), English (vocabulary &   resident of Abbottabad, Pakistan, went      went viral that she is battling alone in
grammar), Math (basic & multiplication)       down in history as the person who           the hospital with no family by her side.
and Chemistry. The level of difficulty         first broke the news about the raid.        This despite the fact that her family
increases in accordance to the number             There are many more such instances      was very much with her at all times.
of correct answers given by you, which        when it was social media that first             However, thanks to the message,
means more the number of correct              broke a news story. While there is          which was even tweeted by celebrities,
answers you give, the more difficult           no harm in it per say, at times it can      there were many who demanded that
the questions will get. Alternatively, you    go a bit out of hand. In recent times,      the hospital authorities allow them
also have the option of selecting the         you must have come across an appeal         to meet her. Her family, on the other
difficulty level. So while on one hand,        about help to find a 5-year old girl        hand, was flooded with phone calls
you are donating grains of rice, on the       who was missing from near her school        from supposed well-wishers offering
other hand, you are enhancing your            in Mumbai. There was a Facebook             their help. And this went on for
knowledge. If you answer incorrectly,         page created with her picture and           days, causing them much agony.
then it will show you the correct answer,     contact details of her family requesting        The thing with the digital medium
and to reinforce learning, it will repeat     information on her whereabouts.             is that we have access to so much
the question a little later. It will keep         Luckily for the family, the police      information that we don’t usually give
doing so till you get it correct.             were able to find the missing girl the      it a thought before sharing it. And that’s
   If you are wondering how they              same evening and she was re-united          where the trouble lies. Even though
manage to turn this virtual rice into         with her family. However, this did not      done with good intentions, at times it
real rice, then the answer lies in the        deter those sharing, liking the Facebook    may just create unwanted hassles. So
advertisements. The money received            page or those on Twitter spreading          next time, before you share something,
from the sponsors is spent to buy rice,       the word. According to reports, it was      take a moment to verify the details.
which in turn is donated.                     shared more than 2,00,000 times and                                 - priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    02/2012    105
                   HANDS ON
                    DR CHIP




                                                                                                      Dr CHIP
Sachin Pandit




                                                                                                                      SEND YOUR QUERIES TO: drchip@chip.in




                [Q] Hi Dr CHIP. All of a sudden, when               the bootloader utility and there should         [A] Hello Suyash. The minimum
                I started my PC, it wouldn’t boot. After            be ways of repairing/restoring the              requirements for running Aero in
                the main boot screen, there comes                   bootloader. If you have not installed any       Windows 7 are : at least a 1 GHz 32-bit
                an error ‘Chainloader/bootmgr Error                 utility and are using just one operating        (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1 GB of
                13: Invalid or unsupported executable               system then you will need to boot from          RAM and a graphics card with 1280 MB of
                format Press any key to continue...’                the original bootable operating system          video memory.
                After continuing, I get some options                disc and run the Startup Repair option.
                which I can’t figure out what to do. Sir             If you are using Windows XP, then               [Q] Hi Dr CHIP, I have been an avid
                I know that you will definitely find a                enter the command prompt from the               reader of CHIP magazine for over a
                solution for me. Please help me as I                Recovery Mode after booting from the            year now. I wanted an expert advice
                just can’t work without my PC. Thanks               disc and run the commands ‘fixmbr’               from you guys. I have been hearing a
                in advance. My PC configuration is:                  and ‘fixboot’ one after the other. In            harsh noise from my PC which wasn’t
                Intel Dual Core e2180 processor, Asus               order to run the fixboot and fixmbr               there earlier. After a lot of observation,
                P5kpl-am/ps motherboard, 2 GB of                    commands, I would recommend that                I found that my PSU was making
                RAM, Nvidia GT210 graphics card.                    you first read through the Microsoft             the noise. I replaced it with another
                                                    – Arpit Lakra   online help page for more details.              working PSU. It was alright for some
                                                                    Simply search for the two commands              days but again it started making
                                                                    on Google or on the Microsoft website.          the noise. My brother applied one of
                                                                                                                    the traditional methods without my
                                                                    [Q] Hello Dr CHIP. I am a regular               consent. He knocked the PC once and
                                                                    reader of CHIP Magazine. Sir I need             the noise went away for a while. I have
                                                                    to know the minimum hardware                    tried and observed all mechanical
                                                                    requirements to enable Aero in                  parts in the PC case and I still find
                                                                    Windows 7. Thanks in advance.                   the PSU making the same noise. What
                                                                                                    – Suyash Kant   should I do? My PC’s configuration
                This is a bootloader corruption error. Boot from                                                    is Core 2 Duo E7500 2.936 GHz
                the OS disc and run the Startup Repair option.                                                      processor, 2 x 2 GB of RAM, 512 MB
                                                                                                                    GeForce 8600gt graphics card, 1 TB
                [A] Hello Arpit. You have not stated the                                                            WD hard drive, 360 GB Seagate hard
                operating system you are working on.                                                                drive, Sony optical DVD-RW drive, Asus
                As far as the errors you have mentioned                                                             P5qpl-AM motherboard, and a local
                in the mail, it seems a corruption of the                                                           450 PSU unit. Also please can you
                bootloader or the master boot record. Are                                                           update me over local PSU vs. Trusted
                you using multiple operating systems?                                                               PSU vendors? Regards.
                Did you install a third-party bootloader                                                                                           – Abhishek
                utility for multiple operating system
                booting? If yes, you will need to repair                                                            [A] Hello Abhishek. As per your troubles,
                the bootloader using the same utility.              Windows 7 can analyze your PC hardware          the problem is with the PSU fan. It is
                Check the website or forum concerning               components to make sure they are suitable.      a usual phenomenon with older power


                106   02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                             SMS us!    Story code: HDC to 51818
                                                                                                                                     HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                      DR CHIP


                                                 using Windows disk management
                                                 utility, but my existing windows drive
                                                 (F) also got accidentally deleted.
                                                 Then I tried to allocate a new partition
                                                 but Windows shows this message
                                                 “An unexpected error has occurred,
                                                 check the system event log for more
                                                 information on the error, close the
                                                 disk management console, and then
                                                 restart disk management”. I then tried
                                                 restarting a few times but I cannot
                                                 allocate a new partition. Please help to
Carefully open the PSU, clean all dust using a                                                      The USB 3.0 connector has nine contacts compared
blower and lubricate the fan with machine oil.
                                                 allocate the new partition which I had             to a USB 2.0 connector which has just four.
                                                 deleted earlier. Eagerly waiting for your
supplies and unbranded ones to have              earliest reply.                                    into an eSATA port. If you manage to
an exhaust fan failure. Usually, the fan                                                 – Unaise   do so, you will end up damaging the
looses the lubrication, due to which the                                                            port and the motherboard as the pin
fan shaft starts deteriorating and hence                                                            configurations are completely different
begins to wobble. Dust particles can                                                                and can short within the connector
also cause fans to lose their lubrication.                                                          causing serious damage to the other
Nothing much can be done in this case,                                                              hardware components including the
but you can try lubricating the fan by                                                              USB 3.0 device. At present, eSATA is still
carefully opening the PSU, cleaning all                                                             faster than USB 3.0.
dust using a brush, cleaning all the dust
from inside using a good blower (The                                                                [Q] Hi CHIP. I just needed to ask that
vacuum cleaner blowing end works                                                                    how can I save resources like images
just fine) and adding a few drops of                                                                 and videos from the browser’s cache
lubricating machine oil to the fan. Else                                                            database. I visit so many sites that
the best option is to clean the PSU and          MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is a free   have built-in flash videos and have
replace the fan with a new one. Using            utility for creating and resizing partitions.      lots of photos are embedded in the
traditional methods like your brother did                                                           SWF container. To save all of them by
(pounding the PC case) actually helps            [A] Hello Unaise. I am afraid you might            visiting the browser cache and save
stabilize the fan wobbling to an extent          have accidentally corrupted the partition          them one by one is a very tedious
and for a certain period of time. But this       table. If you have any important data              task. Is there any add-on available for
procedure can cause serious harm to the          on the drive, I would advise taking a              Firefox 8.0 that allow me to save all
hard drive and you can lose your data            backup immediately and redo the entire             the JPG files whose links are stored in
due to hard drive hemorrhage. Avoid              partition structure from start. Delete all         browser’s cache memory? Thanks in
doing so. Replace the PSU with a new             partitions and reboot the system. After            advance.
one if possible. Local power supply units        rebooting, make new partitions and                                                          – Vaibhav
should be avoided as they can cause              reload all programs and data back to
serious damage to the motherboard and            the hard drive. If you are not a novice in
hard drives. These power supplies are not        using partition management utilities and
well certified and do not have a proper           are willing to experiment, I would advise
voltage regulation and filtering circuits         using MiniTool Partition Wizard Home
which helps reduce their costs. Opting           Edition which is free to use and repair or
for a trusted power supply safeguards            create the partitions accordingly. Data
your investments of other expensive              backup in any case is a must.
hardware parts and the quality of the
product makes it last longer. No doubt           [Q] Hello Dr CHIP. Is the data transfer
they are far expensive than local ones,          speed of e-SATA greater than USB 3.0?
but it is definitely wise to opt for quality      If yes, then can I insert a USB 3.0 pen-
over price.                                      drive or external HDD in the e-SATA                ‘CacheViewer’ is available for Firefox, while
                                                 port and gain the full speed of the USB            ‘IECache View’ is available for Internet Explorer.

[Q] Dear Sir, I am regular CHIP reader           3.0 pen-drive or external HDD?
and I am very satisfied your recent                                       – Rajshekhar Sirimala      [A] Hello Vaibhav. In order to easily view
replay to my problem. Now I am facing                                                               images and flash videos that get saved
some problem with partition. My                  [A] Hello Rajshekhar. USB 3.0 and                  in the cache folders of the browsers,
Ubuntu 10.04 Linux OS unfortunately              eSATA ports are completely different and           you can use third party utilities. ‘Mozilla
crashed. Then I deleted the partition            you cannot insert a USB 3.0 connector              Cache View’ is a utility, while an add-on


                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         02/2012    107
   HANDS ON
    DR CHIP


Called ‘CacheViewer’ are available for              Windows without removing Linux, you
Mozilla Firefox. For Internet Explorer you          can hunt for some online solutions on
can use ‘IECache View’. These utilities             the Linux forums.
can be downloaded from ‘www.nirsoft.
net’ and are free of cost. You can search           [Q] Hi Dr. CHIP, I read your section
for similar utilities for Opera and Chrome          in every single issue and find it very
browsers on Google.                                 helpful. I want to ask you if there is
                                                    any way by which I can connect my
[Q] Hello Dr CHIP. I have a Compaq                  Sony Play Station PS2 to my Lenovo
CQ 40 laptop. The specifications                     Z 570 Laptop or to my desktop
are as follows: 2 GB of RAM, 250 GB                 computer’s monitor? Thanks.
of HDD storage, DVD-R ROM drive                                                         – Sagar Goel
                                                                                                           Carefully open the external HDD, extract the drive,
and a 14-inch display screen. It had                                                                       and plug it into a SATA port to get to your data.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 earlier.
It crashed due to a virus and I had                                                                        [A] Hello Anuj. Since you witnessed
to re-install the operating system                                                                         some power fluctuations, it is quite
and hence installed Linux OS. I have                                                                       possible that the USB hardware
Linux Mint 12 and Bharat Operating                                                                         controller of the external hard drive
System Solutions (BOSS-an Indian                                                                           or the hard drive in the case itself has
Linux OS) on my laptop currently                                                                           been damaged. To simplify the process
which are on two different partitions.                                                                     and try getting your data back, I would
When I try to install Windows XP SP3,                                                                      advice carefully opening the external
the installation of Windows remains                                                                        hard drive case and extract the hard
incomplete as the Linux OS does not                                                                        drive from within and install it directly
allow Windows XP to be installed on                 Use an external TV tuner which can convert analog      to the SATA ports on your motherboard.
my laptop. Can you please tell me                   video signals from the PS2 into digital VGA signals.   If the PC detects the hard drive and you
how to format my hard disk and install                                                                     can access the data, then your hard
Windows XP on it?                                   [A] Hello Sagar. If you want to connect                drive seems safe and the USB to SATA
                                          – Tejas   your Sony PS2 to your computer, the                    controller of the case is damaged. You
                                                    best and cheapest possible method is                   can buy an external hard drive case and
                                                    to use a TV tuner card. If you want to                 install the drive in it. If, the drive does
                                                    connect the PS2 to your monitor, you                   not get detected or if you cannot read
                                                    can use an external TV tuner box which                 the data from it then the drive is possibly
                                                    converts the analog video signals from                 damaged.
                                                    the PS2 into digital VGA signals for the                  You will have to give it for repairs
                                                    monitor. The TV tuner or TV box can cost               to get your data back. As you stated
                                                    you from Rs 1,500 onwards depending on                 that there was a power fluctuation
                                                    the quality and brand.                                 which turned off the PC while you were
                                                                                                           scanning your drive for errors, there are
                                                    [Q] Hi Dr CHIP. I am a big fan of your                 also possible chances of the FAT area
                                                    magazine and this is my first time                      being damaged. This can be repaired
Resize your existing Windows partition to create    writing to you. I have got an external                 and your data can be recovered using
space for installing Linux.                         Seagate FreeAgent Go 500 GB hard                       any data recovery utility. Please note
                                                    disk which I purchased few years ago.                  that if you open the external drive case,
[A] Hello Tejas. It is not impossible, but          I had put that hard disk on scan mode                  you will void any existing warranty on
pretty cumbersome to install Windows                to find if any errors exist by using Tune               the product. If you have any warranty
over a PC that is already running a Linux           up Utilities. The scan was unable to                   remaining on the drive and want to claim
operating system because Linux will                 complete as electricity fluctuations at                 for a new hard drive, you will not be able
not allow Windows easily. You would                 my place turned off my PC. Now when I                  to get the data back as data recovery is
have to tweak the Linux GRUB and the                see my hard disk in My Computer, I can                 not included in the warranty terms and
process is tedious. In order to have a              see the icon boot when I open it, I get                conditions. Therefore you should take a
dual operating system involving Windows             an error “I:\ is not accessible. Access                call and finally decide if you prefer the
and Linux on the same PC, you will need             is denied”. The space occupied by the                  data or the hard drive replacement. If
to install Windows first and then Linux.             hard disk shows zero bytes. I cannot                   your data is not as important and can be
If you don’t have any important data                format it because it contains critical                 reproduced, I would advise opting for a
on your PC, I would advice cleaning the             data important to me. Is there any way                 warranty exchange.
entre hard drive of its data and partitions         I can repair the damaged partition table
and installing Windows first. If your                without formatting? Please reply soon.                 [Q] Hello Sir, I have an old computer
data is important or you want to install                                            – Anuj Chandra.        with a P-IV processor and a Gigabyte


108   02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                         HANDS ON
                                                                                                                          DR CHIP


GA8I865GME-775rh motherboard                     for which I would request you to throw
(which is not more than five years                some light on this.
old). Recently the onboard audio chip              I downloaded a new boot screen
was damaged and hence I bought a                   from the internet but instead found
low-cost Intex sound card for now                  that it has a series of pictures in
till I get myself a new PC. I installed            the archive. When I played these
the card and the drivers. The sound                pictures as a slideshow, it makes
output is normal but a very irritating             an excellent bootscreen image
background distortion sound is always              animation. I am attaching the file in
present whether any audio is played                this e-mail for your reference. Can
or not on the PC. I replaced it with a             you please tell me how to make a
new one but even the second one is                 bootscreen out of it?
                                                                                            Pirated software and operating systems can
having the same problem. Is it because             I downloaded an image of a               damage your data. Always buy genuine software.
the motherboard is old or is there any             customized version of Windows 7
power supply unit problem? I even                  (also known as Windows 8 xTreme            bootanimation is not for Windows
tried the sound card out on different              edition). The file is around 4.29 GB        or a desktop PC. It is for an Android
PCI slots, but the same result crept in.           in size. But when I try to write it on     OS based phone where the phone
Please give me a solution for this.                a DVD (my 16x writer) an error pops        displays the animation while the
                                     – Chinmay     out that there is not enough space         operating system is booting. If you
                                                   on the disc. Please help me out.           need to know how to create a boot
                                                   I own a Numeric Digital 600 AX             animation for your Android phone, you
                                                   UPS. When I switch on the power,           can refer to my workshop featured in
                                                   an orange LED lights up (showing           the August 2011 issue of CHIP.
                                                   that the battery is charging). But         Firstly, downloading pirated operating
                                                   when I press the power button on it        systems and software is illegal. If the
                                                   to turn my PC on, a red LED starts         file is an ISO file, you will need to burn
                                                   blinking and the beeping starts            the file using an ISO burner such as
                                                   (which means there is no power             Nero or alike.
                                                   input and the power is being drawn         As for your UPS, you should check
                                                   from UPS). What should I do?               the manual for the fault indicators
                                                   There is a feature in Windows Media        readings. Usually a red LED indication
Avoid buying cheap sound cards to eliminate        Player according to which when             means a faulty battery, dead battery
disturbances due to EMI from nearby wires.         we right click on the WMP shortcut         or overload on the output.
                                                   on taskbar it displays an option to        VLC or MPC does not have any
[A] Hello Chinmay. A sound card                    resume the previous playlist. Can I        resume playlist feature as it does not
would not cause unwanted distortions               somehow have this feature with any         store the playlist in a library database
unless it is has a fault in it. Since you          other player (with reference to VLC        like WMP does. You will have to save
have tried another card and observed               or MPC)?                                   the playlist information to a file and
similar problems, the problem might be             I installed Tune Up 2012 as                reload it again when needed. The
with the speakers or the power supply.             suggested by your magazine and             option of playing your recently opened
There could be some sort of electrical             in the fix problems section it give         media files is available though.
disturbance induced by the surrounding             a notification that the device              ‘Mscank.sys’ is associated with
wiring, adapters, or a faulty power line.          ‘mscank’ is not working properly           particular hardware drivers and can
To completely analyze the problem,                 and to resolve this problem in             also possibly be a potential virus or
I would advise you to try the card on              Windows Device Manager. I could            Trojan. Do scan your system properly
another PC to confirm if the card is                not resolve the problem as I could         using a good antivirus tool to rule
working properly. If not, try another              not find any such device named              out any virus or malware. The error
brand. If the card works fine on the other          ‘mscank’. Please help.                     is usually because of a faulty device
PC, then you should have your speakers           I would be grateful if you could reply       driver which needs to be updated
and PSU checked. Make sure that                  the solutions to mail.                       or reloaded. Check in the device
nothing was dislodged when you opened                                            – Sachin     manager and see if there are any
your PC to install the new card. Ensure                                                       devices that are marked with errors.
that the drivers for the sound card are          [A] Hello Sachin. Let me answer the          You can follow this simple guide in
properly installed and are the latest.           problems in the order of the queries         case you are unable to get rid of the
                                                 themselves.                                  error. Check the site http://www.
[Q] Hello Dr CHIP, I read your                     I have reviewed the attachment             advancedPCtweaker.com/exe-errors/
magazine every month and it rocks.                 and found a series of .PNG image           mscank.sys.html
Especially your column and the Tips                files which when animated forms a            — Send your queries to Francis D’Sa
and Tricks section. I have five queries             bootanimation sequence. But this                                   at drchip@chip.in


                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      02/2012   109
   HANDS ON
   WORKSHOP




Root: Samsung Galaxy Note
Learn how to root your Samsung Galaxy Note in a few simple steps and enable your handheld
to accommodate custom built ROMs and kernels. BY FRANCIS D’SA



R
        ooting a mobile phone is not            ready to get root access to the Samsung          above and download the file that
        for everyone, but is also not too       Galaxy Note.                                     corresponds to your firmware which
        difficult. While some Android             A fully charged Samsung Galaxy                 has the characters you are looking
handsets can be rooted in a single click,         Note: Not necessary that it should be          for (for example “CF-Root-SGN_XX_
others need a tedious procedure. Still,           charged to 10 %, but around 60 %               XEN_KJ4-v5.0-CWM5.zip”). Download
it is worth the trouble. Why root an              and above should do fine.                       the file and extract the contents to a
Android mobile? The answer is pretty              The device set to USB debugging                folder on your desktop.
simple—rooting Android is a method                enabled: you can do this by going to
which allows you to gain Administrative           the following section on your phone’s
rights to the main operating system,              settings: Settings -> Applications ->
folders and files, and to allow you to             Development.
tweak, delete, replace or add custom              The Micro USB cable of the phone:
files. This helps to increase productivity,        This cable should be bundled with
performance and also taps into hidden             your device. If you don’t have one, any
areas of the phone to reveal additional           other Micro USB cable would do.
features that the manufacturer does not           A PC with Windows installed: We
disclose. In short, take an example of            don’t think this needs any explanation,
the PC as the Android phone. If you have          do we?
Administrator or super user rights, you           Drivers for your Samsung Galaxy
can install software, replace operating           Note: you can download the latest           Now that you have kept ready what you
systems with the one of your choice,              version of Samsung Kies and install it.     require, let’s get started. Make sure your
tweak the performance, add or delete              Another method is to simply connect         phone is not connected to the PC at
files and applications and a lot more.             the phone to the USB port after USB         this time. We shall inform you when it is
   The one good thing about Samsung               debugging is enabled and Windows            needed.
Android devices is that they never have           should automatically install the            STEP 1: Open the folder which contains
locked bootloaders, which is the key to           drivers. But Kies is a safer alternative.   the kernel. You should see a .tar file
gaining root access. Usually, the root            The flashing utility: you will need the      there. Unzip that too and you should fine
method is online almost immediately               latest version of the Chain Fire Root       a Zimage file. Right-click on the file and
after the release of the product. This            Flasher (CFRootflasher.zip) which can        select ‘Copy’
helps amateur developers create custom            be downloaded from http://tinyurl.
ROMs (Android operating system) for               com/7k9p8ro. This utility will do                                                      1
the device. Installing custom ROMs can            the necessary flashing of the phone.
actually be a good option as you can              Download the file and extract the
have a very light operating system—               contents to a folder on your desktop.
useless applications and eye-candy                The Kernel: In order to root the SGN,
removed, tweaked kernels for faster               the correct Chain Fire Root Kernel
processing, additional applications for           is needed. Download it from http://
better tweaking and productivity and a            tinyurl.com/d5hhg39. Now this is
list of other possibilities. In this section,     where you need to carefully download
we shall show you how you can go about            the exact kernel for your phone.
rooting your Samsung Galaxy Note in a             Got to Settings -> About Phone
few steps.                                        on the Note and check the kernel            STEP 2: Now open the folder which
   This method does not increase the              version. It should be something like        contains the Chain Fire Root Flasher
flash counter in the phone’s firmware and           ‘2.6.34.7-N7000XXKJ4-CL641703’. The         utility and browse to the folder ‘Zimage’.
you can switch back to the stock ROM if           important area here is after the two        Right-click in this folder and click ‘Paste’.
you need to claim for warranty. Here is a         ‘X’ characters (in this case “KJ4”). Note   This should create a copy of the kernel
list of all the tools you will need to keep       this down, go to the URL mentioned          file in this folder.

DISCLAIMER: Rooting the phone involves hacking into the firmware and operating system of the phone. As these procedures are risky
and can permanently brick or damage your phone, we will not be responsible for any damage caused to your phone. A bricked phone
can result in warranty issues. Root your phone at your own risk.


110   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                            SMS us!       Story code: HRG to 51818
                                                                                                                                  HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                  WORKSHOP



                                            2                                                         6

                                                                                                                                                            7




STEP 3: Now hit the backspace key and
you should go back to the parent folder.
Here you should find the file ‘Not-rooted-
yet.bat’. Double-click this file to execute it
and the flashing process will begin.

                                            3
                                                scrolling across the window. Let the           be rebooted.
                                                utility do the needful while you wait and         Once the reboot happens, you
                                                watch.                                         can disconnect the phone from the
                                                STEP 7: This is an optional step which         PC and check if you have a new icon
                                                you need to manually do in case it             (application) installed on the phone in
                                                is needed. If you look at the process          the application drawer called ‘Superuser’.
STEP 4: Now make sure your phone                carefully, you will come to a stage where      If this exists, then you should have a
is charged, switched on, has USB                the utility will highlight a text which        successful rooted phone. If not, you can
debugging enabled and then connect              states “if the process gets stuck here         try the entire process again.
USB cable to the phone and to the PC.           for a long time . . .BLAH!! . . .BLAH!!! .”.      To check if you have root access,
Warning: Don’t do anything else as yet.         if the process continues further, nothing      you can download any application from
STEP 5: Next, take a look the PC screen         is needed to be done. But if the screen        the Android Market that requires root
where the application window is running.        is stuck there for a long time, you need       privileges and test it. Titanium Backup,
You will find a list of steps displayed          to go to the Settings -> Applications ->       Root Manager, ROM Manager are a few
there that you need to do confirm you            Development section of the phone (do           example apps that require root access.
have ready. Make sure you have done             not disconnect the phone) and disable             Since this utility also pushes or installs
all of it as stated and do not ignore or        and re-enable USB debugging. The utility       Clockwork Mod recovery on your phone
skip any step there. Double check again         will find the device and proceed further.       you can start installing your favorite
and once done, you can proceed further.         If you did not need to do this, ignore this    custom ROMs immediately. To check if
Finally, only if you are satisfied with the      step.                                          CWM has installed on your SGN, power
necessary requirements you should press         STEP 8: If the above was successful,           off the phone and press the combination
any key to continue.                            you should see a message stating that          keys ‘Volume up + Home + Power’ to
STEP 6: Now, on the PC screen, you              temporary root has been obtained and           enter the recovery mode.
will find the utility doing a load of jobs       the new kernel will be flashed. You can                                              – francis.dsa@chip.in
                                                                            now press any
                                                                      5     key to continue.    TIP
                                                                            Next you shall      Since CWM is already installed now, it is
                                                                            see the new         recommended that you initially take a backup of the
                                                                            kernel being        phone and store a copy of the backup on your PC for
                                                                                                safety. This can be restored back to your phone in
                                                                            pushed to the
                                                                                                case there are any mishaps while installing custom
                                                                            phone.              ROMs or if you want to simply revert back to your
                                                                            STEP 9: If all      previous ROM.
                                                                            goes well in
                                                                            the above step,     ALTERNATIVE
                                                                            you should get      There is another procedure for rooting the SGN
                                                                            the message         using a simple one-click utility for Windows. Check
                                                                            stating that the    out the site at ‘http://tinyurl.com/7cy4fls’. Since this
                                                                            procedure is        procedure and utility are not completely tested by a
                                                                            complete and
                                                                                                lot of users, you can try it if you want, but at your
                                                                                                own risk.
                                                                            the phone will


                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP            02/2012    111
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  WORKSHOP




Underclock your Galaxy Note?



                                                     Here’s a very simple guide on how to underclock your
                                                     Samsung Galaxy Note in a few basic steps. BY FRANCIS D’SA



                                                                M
                                                                          ost users would prefer     needs such as browsing the internet,
                                                                          overclocking their         watching a movie, composing an SMS
                                                                          mobile phones to           or email or listening to music, need an
                                                                gain better performance. But         overclocked processor?
                                                                underclocking has its benefits           Definitely not—the internet speed
                                                                which most would agree with.         will be the same, videos and music
                                                                The Samsung Galaxy Note              won’t play any faster or better, and
                                                                features a dual core 1.4 GHz         composing a message would be limited
                                                                processor and has a battery          to your typing speed and so on. So why
                                                                specification of 2500 mAh which       overclock and lose precious battery life?
                                                                can give you a maximum talk          If this does not make sense to you, I
                                                                time of approximately 13 hours.      suppose you should be happy in carrying
                                                                But since the Galaxy Note is         along your charger wherever you go.
                                                                designed to be your personal         Others can read on.
                                                                portable computer assistant             Underclocking your smartphone can
                                                                while on the continuous move,        save you loads of battery juice that
                                                                making calls, taking notes,          can be highly beneficial when you are
                                                                surfing the web and a load            constantly outdoors or travelling on a
                                                                of features being used on the        long journey. There are a lot of options,
                                                                spectacularly large 5.3-inch         that after tweaking, can help you reduce
                                                                Super AMOLED display can run         the power consumption and increase
                                                                your battery down to less than       battery life. For example, switching
                                                                half its expected time. And if you   off the Bluetooth, GPS and wireless
                                                                want to overclock your phone         radio when not needed, lowering the
                                                                just to get higher performance       brightness levels of the display when in a
                                                                from it, think twice—how will you    darker environment, switching the phone
                                                                really benefit?                       to flight mode when it is not needed,
                                                                   Overclocking your phone           and underclocking your processor. Most
                                                                simply allows a few tasks such       Android based smartphones which
                                                                as starting an application, and      have stock operating systems installed
First make a nandroid backup so that you can undo all changes   displaying or scrolling through      from their manufacturer, lack the
in case you make a mistake somewhere or if something goes       the home screens or photos, a        ability of overclocking or underclocking
wrong while flashing the kernel.
                                                                bit quicker. But do your basic       their processor to save on power


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                                                                                                                                             HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                             WORKSHOP


consumption. There are a few that might                       free.
allow you to do so, but have limitations                      ABYSSNOTE KERNEL 1.5 OR
to overclocking or underclocking around                       HIGHER: This is the Android
20 percent and the Galaxy Note is no                          kernel which will be replacing the
outsider to this fact. In this workshop, we                   present kernel on your phone. The
shall show you how you can underclock                         kernel is tweaked and designed
your Galaxy note to as low as 100 MHz                         for loads of features including
to help save on battery life. The only                        underclocking and overclocking.
one who can command the processor to                          Download the latest kernel from
underclock or overclock is the kernel and                     here (http://www.multiupload.
a properly tweaked one can definitely put                      com/01PAF6M0BO)
a smile on your face when you see your                  So why waste time? Let’s get
battery icon still in green.                            started already. Download the
   Here is a list of requirements that                  latest AbyssNote Kernel from the
you would need to get your Galaxy Note                  above mentioned website and save
saving on battery life.                                 it to your computer desktop. Next,
   A ROOTED GALAXY NOTE: We                             connect your Galaxy Note to your PC
   assume you already have a rooted                     or laptop using the USB cable as a
   one, and if you don’t, you can follow                mass storage. After a few seconds,
   the procedures mentioned here.                       your PC should be able to see the
   (http://forum.xda-developers.com/                    SD card of the Note in My Computer.
   showthread.php?t=1329360)                            Now copy the Kernel (zip file), you just
   CLOCKWORKMOD RECOVERY                                downloaded, from the desktop to the
   ALREADY INSTALLED ON THE                             root or parent folder of the SD card.
   PHONE: If you do not have it yet,                    To ensure that you can find it easily,
   you can get it done by installing ROM                make sure you don’t save it anywhere
   Manager from the Android Market, its                 deep inside any other sub folders.
                                                                      Once done, disconnect the
                                                                      phone from the PC and
                                                                                                          You can install SetCPU (Paid) or AnTUTU CPU Master (free)
                                                                      reboot it into recovery mode        from the Android Market and set your Galaxy Note’s Clock
                                                                      (Volume Up + Home + Power           speed to whatever you need.

                                                                      Button). Once in recovery
                                                                      mode, you will need to first            continuously being made and updates
                                                                      make a nandroid backup so that         for the kernel to eliminate bugs and
                                                                      you can undo all changes in case       new features are constantly being
                                                                      you mess up somewhere or if            implemented. Do have a look at the
                                                                      something goes wrong while             changelog to keep yourself updates on
                                                                      flashing the kernel. After doing        the latest development of this kernel.
                                                                      the backup, you will need to               Now to underclock your processor,
                                                                      clear the cache (Wipe Cache)           you can install SetCPU (not free) or
                                                                      and Dalvik cache (Wipe Dalvik          AnTUTU CPU Master (free) from the
                                                                      Cache) to clean out the old            Android Market and set your Galaxy
                                                                      system cache junk and make way         Note’s Clock speed to whatever you
                                                                      for the new kernel. Next simply        need. You can overclock your processor
                                                                      choose the option to install ZIP       up to around 1.7 GHz or underclock it
                                                                      from SD card and choose the .zip       below 100 MHz, choose your level. Do
                                                                      file of the AbyssNote kernel you        note that underclocking your processor
                                                                      just copied to the SD card. Let        will make your entire operating system
                                                                      the flashing process complete           feel a little sluggish, but it is the best
                                                                      (approximately 5 – 10 minutes).        way to keep your battery from being
                                                                      Once done, reboot the phone.           drained unnecessarily. In either of the
                                                                      That’s it!                             programs mentioned above, you can
                                                                         The new kernel does have a          set the processor’s low and high speed
                                                                      lot or tweaks and tricks under         thresholds to ONDEMAND to be scaled
                                                                      its sleeve which can benefit you        by the governor. This setting will set the
                                                                      in a lot of ways. It comprises of      processor speed to only the required
                                                                      bugs and fixes for applications         amount and lower it to the minimal set
                                                                      and drivers too. But do note,          value when not in use.
CPU Spy shows the processor's activity at different speeds.
                                                                      the kernel development is                                               – francis.dsa@chip.in



                                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP       02/2012   113
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TIPS & TRICKS




                                                                                  Tips &
                                                                                   Tricks                         FEBRUARY 2012
                                                                                               SHARE YOUR TIPS. Write to: tnt@chip.in




  Sachin Pandit



                                                  Program using the command ‘Start | All           menu, for instance ‘Turn off the computer’,
WINDOWS
                                                  programs | Start Menu 7 | Start Menu 7’.         and define the period for action in a
         WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7                      Now, when you click on ‘Start’ you will       simple and an intuitive dialog. Finally, click
  1      Set up the start menu in such a          not see the usual start menu provided            the ‘Start’ button to save the settings.
         way that you have everything             by Windows, but instead, a menu that
                                                  has an extensive collection of links: It                  WINDOWS 7
         at hand
                                                  has a different visual effect and enables          2      Open the control panel option
The shareware tool Start Menu 7 offers            direct access to all the programs and                     you want directly
a good alternative to the standard                files on your system in an alphabetically
start menu; this can be downloaded                sorted sub-menu format, for instance             With the number of possible options
from startmenu7.com.                              ‘Programs’, ‘My Documents’ or ‘Computer’.        increasing exponentially, it is becoming
                                                  In addition to this, the various entries         difficult to find exactly what you need
                                              1   use additional sorting and display tools.        in the Control Panel.
                                                  Thus, for instance ‘Program’ offers the
                                                  structure known as ‘All programs’ as seen                                                         2
                                                  in the usual Windows Start menu and on
                                                  the other hand, the ‘Program’ links can
                                                  be found under headings such as ‘Quick
                                                  start’ and ‘Autorun’. You can add your
                                                  own menus and commands using the
                                                  option ‘Add entries to the menu’.
                                                     Click on ‘Options’ and ‘Configuration’
Replace the standard Start Menu with a more       so as to complete the experience as per
flexible and useful version.
                                                  your own taste. Use the option ‘System
                                                  integration’ and remove the tick in front         This view gives you quick access to a huge variety
                                                                                                    of options buried within the Control Panel
        According to the developers,              of ‘Start the Start Menu 7 with Windows’
Start Menu 7 runs on both XP and Vista            if you do not wish to activate the tool
in addition to Windows 7 as its name              automatically at every system start.                     Instead of clicking several icons
suggests. For installation, double-click on       You can add more power management                and buttons to find the option you need,
the downloaded file in Windows Explorer            buttons in Start Menu 7 using the option         simply go to ‘Start’ and then type in a
and follow the instructions given by the          ‘Buttons’; this is done to turn off the          small C (‘c’) in the ‘Search program and
setup wizard. You have to have a user             computer, to restart it, or to enable the        files’ field. Windows will immediately
account with administrator rights during          use of power management commands in              present the results of your search query
the process as the setup routine involves         a time-controlled fashion. For this, click       in the start menu, subdivided into various
accessing important system files. Once             on the corresponding button in the Start         categories. Now click on the category
the installation is complete start the            menu, select the desired function in a           name, ie Control panel’. With this,


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                                                                                                                                     TIPS & TRICKS


Windows will open a window which offers             of each region, called ‘Theme’.                      on ‘OK’. This is how the defined rule will
you more than 250 options in the Control            NOTE: As soon as you have activated                  be applied even manually on other drives
Canel—you can have direct access to any             a theme once, it will be available                   and folders of your computer or even
one of these from here. The operating               for future use in the ‘Customize’                    your home network.
system further categorizes this list in             dialog described earlier.
different groups for instance ‘Windows                                                                           WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7
Firewall’ and ‘Maintenance Center’.                         WINDOWS XP/ VISTA / 7                          5
                                                      4     Automatically clean the waste
                                                                                                                 Enforce a password change for
                                                                                                                 user accounts
        WINDOWS 7
  3     Give your PC a new look with a
                                                            from USB sticks in Windows
                                                                                                         Force users on your computer or
        secret windows theme                        Automate the process of cleaning out                 network to adopt stronger security
                                                    your pen drives, and you might end up                policies.
Microsoft includes a number of local                liberaing quite a bit of space.
touches which are also interesting for                                                                                                                    5
people in other parts of the world.                                                                  4

                                                3




                                                                                                         All the settings you need are contained within this
                                                                                                         dialog box.
                                                    Plenty of junk files accumulate on pen drives,
                                                    especially if they are used on multiple computers.

Type in the name manually to navigate to this                                                                   The process for changing the
hidden folder.
                                                           You can leave the task of regular             password is available in the ‘Computer
                                                    repeated cleaning of your USB sticks to              management’ option. You can change
       Surprisingly, Windows 7 does not             the free tool USBDriveFresher: the tool              this from the Control Panel where you
show all the themes in the ‘Customize’              can run comfortably as a background                  will need to go to ‘System and security’
dialog (which can be reached by right-              process. You can find this tool at www.               and ‘Administrator’. In the tree structure
clicking on any point on the desktop)               affinity-tools.com/usbfresher/. Download             in the left hand pane, click on the triangle
that Microsoft offers with its operating            the program for there onto your PC.                  in front of ‘Local user and groups’, then
system. There are various themes for                The tool can be started and configured                on ‘User’. Now, right-click on that user
specific geographic regions hidden                   immediately after a short installation               account option for which you wish to
in the file system. You just need to                 process. In addition to this check the               change the password. Now, select the
play a small trick to be able to use                list of ‘Cleanup rules’. Here, you could             context command ‘Properties’. In the
these anywhere else. For this, start                for instance add the ‘*.tmp’ as well as              ‘General’ tab you will find all the relevant
the Windows Explorer and go to the                  ‘~*.*’ entries after clicking on the ‘Add’           options, some of which cause others
‘Globalization’ folder available under              option. Later on you even have the option            to become available. Thus, first of all
the Windows installation directory. At              available to load the tool automatically             activate the setting ‘Never show the
first glance you might think that this               when the system is started and even to               password’. Only then can you activate the
directory contains only two folders                 automate the cleaning process. At first,              option ‘User must change the password
called ‘ELS’ and ‘Sorting’. But when you            you should let this option be disabled               during the next login’. Confirm this with
click in the address field and manually              and then test the correct functions.                 ‘Accept’ as well as the ‘OK’ button. The
type in the ‘\MCT’ path—the whole path              For this, save your settings with the                user now receives a relevant message
for instance would be ‘C:\Windows\                  help of the ‘Save’ option and select the             after clicking for the login and must
Globalization\MCT’—you will see a hidden            ‘Cleanup USB Memory Drive Now’ option.               enter the current password once in the
directory that will remain visible in the           Select the USB drive in the subsequent               following dialog and the new one twice
customary Explorer only if you activate             dialog with the help of a checkbox and               in the same dialog. The corresponding
the option for displaying hidden files               start the process by clicking on the                 option is removed again from the
and folders. The folder ‘MCT’ contains              ‘Cleanup’ option. A message then pops                Computer management tab after this
folders for Australia (‘MCT-AU’), Canada            up informing the user about the success              process—thus the administrator can
(‘MCT-CA’), Great Britain (‘MCT-GB’),               in the scanning and cleaning work. In                conclude that the password has been
USA (‘MCT-US’) and South Africa                     addition to this, you will also find the              changed successfully.
(‘MCT-ZA’). You will find all the additional         option ‘Custom Cleanup’ in the program               NOTE: Even an administrator cannot read
themes, which can be activated by                   window. Now, select a desired folder and             other users’ passwords. However, in case
double-clicking on them, in the subfolder           start the process immediately by clicking            of an emergency at the most he or she


                                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         02/2012   115
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can access the unencrypted data of the                  Save yourself the trouble of minimizing
                                                                                                                                                                  8
user or can reset the password.                         windows and searching for the icon.


        WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7                                                                             7
  6     Locate the biggest file on the
        drive within a split second

You can't tell how your hard drive has
suddenly become full. There must be
some large files somewhere, but how
do you find them?                                        The handy tray icon is always visible and offers
                                                                                                               Use a photo on your folder icon to make it stand
                                                        some information without any effort.
                                                                                                               out against a sea of similar yellow icons.
                                                    6
                                                               The Recycle Bin cannot easily be                For this, right-click on the desired folder
                                                        shifted into the taskbar, since trying this            icon in the relevant view and select the
                                                        only pins it to the Windows Explorer icon,             context command ‘Properties’. Go to the
                                                        which is not all that helpful. However,                ‘Customize’ tab. Now, click on the ‘Select
                                                        with the free tool MiniBin (www.e-sushi.               file’ option in the ‘Folder picture’ area.
                                                        net/minibin/) linking and functioning                  Mark the desired field and then click on
                                                        from there can be made possible. For                   ‘Open’. Confirm this change using the
                                                        installing, unzip the ZIP archive and click            ‘Yes’ button and then the ‘OK’ button.
                                                        and start the EXE file. The option ‘Start               Windows saves these individual settings
This handy list will help you clean out oversized       Mini-Bin at system boot’ option must be                for the respective folder in a file called
files and quickly free up hard drive space.
                                                        activated so that the tool remains active              ‘desktop.ini’ located in the row beginning
                                                        on a permanent basis. You can directly                 with ‘Logo=‘. The change can even be
       Instead of a manual and                          start the program once the installation is             cancelled in the same dialog by clicking
slow search through each and every                      complete. The tool is not a replacement                on the ‘Restore’ option.
folder and folder properties box, use                   for the Windows Recycle Bin but just                   NOTE: Do not mistake this setting with
the comfortable portable free tool                      an additional access method; the usual                 the ‘Folder icon’ option. This will change
Top100Files. You can find it at www.                     system Recycle Bin is always available                 the icon permanently and then will not
file.net/freeware/largest-files-finder.                    and can be used even now. With this tool               allow any dynamic image for the folders.
html. It is a small program that can be                 you can simply open the ‘old Recycle
managed without any installation hassle                 Bin’ directly by double-clicking, or empty                     WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7
or settings. Your task is completed                     it immediately using the context menu.                   9     Connect Microsoft SkyDrive
immediately. It is quite simple to operate,             Configuration is not really necessary: you                      as a network drive under
just click and start the EXE file. During                must just adjust the icon in the info area
                                                                                                                       Windows
the search procedure you will see an                    in such a way that the small recycle bin
automatically generated and updated                     is always visible. The tool tip message                You use a SkyDrive account to back up
list of the largest files on the system                  even shows the current filling status and               your files and share them with friends,
drive. The only clickable element is the                informs about when the next automatic                  and the process be made even easier.
icon ‘Browse’. You can select the drive                 emptying cycle is expected. You can
or folder to be tested from the folder                  uninstall the tool at any time from the                                                                   9
dialog by clicking here. This is how you                Software dialog in the Control Panel.
can conduct a search for a specific folder
or a different drive. Check the result list                     WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7
and delete superfluous files or move                        8     Use a picture of your choice as
incorrectly placed files via the Explorer.                       the folder preview
However, system files like ‘pagefile.sys’
and ‘hyberfil.sys’ must be retained for                  You need to access the same folders
system restoring and standby. You can                   fairly regularly, but waste lots of time
be rest assured that it is safe to delete               scanning lists to find them.
temporarily formed installation files                                                                           Mount your SkyDrive account as a drive in your
                                                                                                               Windows Explorer for quick access.
which litter your PC after extensive use.                      You can replace the images
                                                        assigned at random by Windows Explorer
        WINDOWS XP/ VISTA / 7                           to visualize various folders’ contents with                   SkyDrive is offering all those
  7     Set up the Recycle Bin in the                   an appropriate association of your own.                who have registered themselves for
        notification tray so it is always               However, you can select only one image                 Windows Live a free 25 GB online
                                                        file and not many thumbnails at a time—                 memory space as a part of Windows
        within reach
                                                        and that too must be done manually.                    Live; you can simply call it up in the


116   02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
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                                                                                                                             TIPS & TRICKS


browser and can even manage it by                                                                   Reporter”, is better suited for this job.
                                                                                               10
yourself. It is even better if you connect                                                          This way, you can release older add-ons
the memory space as a network drive                                                                 for testing through a dialog. If this works
in the system. For this, all you need is                                                            successfully, you will have an option of
the correct identification of your own                                                               sending a feedback to Mozilla so that
account, which can be copied from the                                                               the add-on can be okayed as compatible
URL indicated in the browser. Open                                                                  for everyone. You can download the tool
your SkyDrive account in the browser                                                                by searching for it from Add-ons. For
after getting yourself registered there.                                                            installing it, open the XPI file through the
The URL in the address bar looks                                                                    browser. Click “Install now” and give your
somewhat like ‘https://skydrive.live.          You can integrate variable formulae using indirect   permission for installing the software.
com/?cid=1234567890abcdef’. Mark and           references to see discounts and graduated prices.    Finally, you must click “Restart now” to
copy the part after ‘cid=‘ or make a note                                                           restart Firefox.
of the 16-digit ‘cid’. Now, you can start      formula =INDIRECT("'"&A2&"'!"&B2)                       When it restarts, you will see a page
the Windows Explorer. Right-click to the       in the cell “B2”.                                    that gives information on using the
left of the structure on ‘Computer’ and           Here, “A2” is the variable part, which            Add-on Compatibility Reporter. The tool
select the context command ‘Connect            refers to the table name of the sheet                will have turned off the compatibility
with the network’ or ‘Assign network’. To      from where you need the data. It is                  check and marked all relevant add-ons
begin with, define the desired alphabet         followed by the double quotation marks               for activation. They get activated when
for the SkyDrive like maybe ‘Z:’ in the list   that also contain normal quotation mark;             you restart the browser. However, you
field. You should take any alphabet that        this is important for the reference to               should first check the settings using
comes later in the series of alphabets so      another table. Evaluating the formula                the command “Tools | Add-ons”. The
as to avoid any conflicts with other drives     puts together the elements of the                    entries marked in green in the list are
or memory cards. Enter the ‘Folder’ in the     character string in a variable manner                activated test-wise. Other grey marked
form of ‘\Server\SharedFolder’, where          and gets the value from the respective               entries have already been manually
‘\\docs.live.net@SSL\’ is the server and       table using the function “INDIRECT”.                 deactivated and will not get activated
then the CID is the share name. Activate       The formula can be copied and                        automatically. You can change the
the option ‘Restore connection in case of      modified so that you can quickly build a              status for every add-on using the
disconnection’ for automatic access. You       comprehensive overview tables using this             button “Activate” or “Deactivate”.
have to sign in again for Windows Live         principle.                                           Moreover, there is one more button
using your access data after clicking on                                                            called “Compatibility”. This helps you
‘Finish’. The new drive should now appear              Firefox 4-7                                  send the result of your tests to Mozilla.
in the Explorer.                                11     Checking older add-ons and                   If everything is OK, select the setting
                                                       making them compatible again                 “This add-on still works”. Otherwise,
APPLICATIONS                                                                                        select “This add-on no longer works”.
                                               When changing the version up to                      Then, in the dialog that appears, you can
        Excel 2003, 2007, 2010                 Firefox 7, some of your add-ons have                 enter further details and decide whether
 10     Putting together cell values of        been deactivated. Though updates                     you want to actually send the report
        several sheets                         are not available everywhere, you                    using “Submit report”. No data is sent
                                               still want to be able to use your older              without your confirmation and approval.
A work group uses sheets that are              add-ons.
subdivided into months. In an annual                                                                        Outlook 2007, 2010
overview, you need to put together                                                             11    12     Cleaning the inbox such that
data in such a way that the same fields                                                                      there’s more free space in it
from different sheets are always listed.
                                                                                                    You have used the tools offered in the
       The reference to different sheets                                                            “File” menu for cleaning the inbox.
cannot be accessed directly with an                                                                 Yet the size of the PST file has not
Auto Fill function. Hence, you need to                                                              reduced. You want to free more space.
create suitable references by using a
formula and then using the “INDIRECT”                                                                      All deletion and cleaning
function. If, for instance, the workbook                                                            processes only remove entries from
has twelve month sheets, enter the             You can individually check the compatibility of      the database; the data itself remains
                                               your older add-ons with the new browser version.
exact names of the twelve sheets in                                                                 in the PST file and continues to take
the thirteenth sheet for an overview                                                                up memory space. Like in the previous
in the first column starting from “A2”,                Although there have always                    versions, you need to compress the PST
which will then be used as reference. In       been tricks and methods to test if older             file to actually get some free space.
column “B”, you would now like to have         add-ons can be used in new versions,                    However, it is not possible to access
a cumulative value, for that, enter the        the new add-on, “Add-on Compatibility                the settings of the data file from


                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    02/2012   117
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


                                                                Google Chrome
                                                   12    14     Arranging browser tabs to the
                                                                                                                                                                     15
                                                                side of the screen to save space

                                                        You like to surf with several tabs
                                                        open, but want to use your widescreen
                                                        monitor optimally. You can arrange the
                                                        tabs to the side of the screen instead.

                                                                                                            14
Space that is no longer in use is actually freed                                                                 In the link to a YouTube video, you can specify a
through “Compact”.                                                                                               tiem from which the video should start playing.


their expected location. Instead, open                                                                           right-click in the video and select the
the normal Outlook view and select                                                                               context command “Copy video URL at
“Mail” or “Folder List” on the left in the                                                                       current time”. With the shortcut keys
navigation area. In Outlook 2007, the                                                                            [Ctrl] + [V], you can now attach the
topmost level of the structure is called                                                                         special link to a mail. These direct links
“Personal Folder’. Here, do not right-click                                                                      can also be manually compiled or edited.
a single folder. Instead, click the entry               In case of wide screens, a tab bar on the side is        For this, add the text “&feature=player_
                                                        often more practical.
“Outlook” at the top. If more than one                                                                           detailpage#t=55s” to the normal link of
PST files are open, you will find the                                                                              the required video. Here, enter the stop
required links, which carry the names of                       Chrome can display the tabs on                    time in seconds the end after “t=”. You
the respective PST files, at the topmost                 one side. However, the setting required                  can also make an entry such as “1m50s”
level. In the context menu, select the                  for this is somewhat hidden. First, enter                also for time in minutes and seconds.
command “Data file properties”. Now                      “about:flags” in the address bar.
go to “Advanced” in the “General” tab.                     The dialog that appears gives you                             Firefox 7
Click “Compact Now” and wait for the                    access to experimental settings, which                    16     Easy securing and transferring
process to complete – it can take a                     may not function reliably. The first                              of passwords
few minutes. In Outlook 2010, right click               entry there will be “Side Tabs”. Click the
on the “Outlook Data File” in the left                  respective link “Enable”. The change                     You can to create backups of your
navigation area and then select “Data                   takes effect after you restart the browser.              saved passwords and use your simple
File Properties”. Here in the “General”                 You can do so by pressing the “Relaunch                  master password on another PC.
tab click on “Advanced” and select the                  Now” button at the end of the dialog.
option “Compact Now”. You should                        Now, you can right-click any tab of your                                                                     16
carry out this step from time to time, for              choice and arrange the bar to the left
example once every month, depending                     using the new context command “Use
on the amount of incoming data.                         Side Tabs”. In the same manner, you can
                                                        again bring back the tabs to the top.
        RIM BlackBerry Bold
 13                                                             YouTube
        Customizing Blackberry quick
        start bar
                                                         15     Generating links such that
                                                                videos start at a specific point
The BlackBerry Bold screen has
shortcuts for directly starting some                    You often find an interesting point in a                  By securing saved passwords, you can have your
                                                                                                                 data ready in case you forget something.
important applications. You would                       video on YouTube, which you want to
like to customize this to suit your                     send to a friend as a link. You want to
requirements.                                           omit the part before that.                                      Even password protected
                                                                                                                 synchronization only provides partial
       You don’t require a special menu                        By default, the link to a YouTube                 security and should not be used for
to customize the toolbar on the start                   video always leads you to its starting                   passwords. Plus, this method does
screen. First press the BlackBerry button.              point. In a mail, you have to then                       not even create a backup copy for
Then select the desired icon and open                   separately mention the part with the                     system failures. It is more practical to
the context menu, again using the                       interesting portion, so that the recipient               create local backups of data and to
BlackBerry button.                                      can forward the video till that point.                   transfer them yourself. The free add-on,
   Activate the “Move” command. Then                    However, you can also integrate the                      Password Exporter, is suitable for this
move the icon to the desired position in                exact point in the link. To do so, first                  job. It can be downloaded from https://
the first tool line because BlackBerry then              play the video up to the desired point                   addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
uses these icons for the quick start.                   and interrupt it with the Pause key. Now,                addon/password-exporter/?src=api.


118   02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                      HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                   TIPS & TRICKS


To install it, click the button “Add to               as before and you can continue to use all                   LibreOffice
Firefox” on the website or open the XPI               your previous settings.                            19       Use the alternative to the
file from the browser. Grant the required                                                                          Microsoft Office suite
permission by clicking “Install now”. You                    Word 2007, 2010
now need to restart Firefox by clicking                18    Copy text into Word without                If you were used to OpenOffice then
“Restart now”. The add-on does not                           having to reformat it                      you will find LibreOffice quite useful.
require any further settings; it integrates
itself in the Firefox menus. To open it,              When you copy text from a document                                                               19
you can simply go to “Tools | Options”                or website, the formatting is wrong.
and select the “Security” tab. In the
“Passwords” area, you can now access                                                               18
the tool with the new button “Import/
export passwords”. Then click “Export
passwords” and select a suitable target
folder, for example a USB stick. The
automatically generated name with the
date can be retained. Clicking “Save”
saves the data in an XML file. The import                                                                A complete MS office-compatible Office suite can
                                                                                                        be made available with LibreOffice.
of previously secured files also takes
place in the same manner. You also have
the option to export/import password of               In Word 2007 and 2010 the user can define what           LibreOffice is gaining popularity,
                                                      has to be copied and added from the text.
even those site where password cannot                                                                   as the most popular and free Microsoft
be stored.                                                                                              Office alternative OpenOffice is no
                                                             In order to be able to take over the       longer being developed further. As
        Firefox 7                                     text passages without the information in          the name suggests LibreOffice is also
 17     Repairing Fast Dial                           a font or paragraph format click on the           a freeware and the most suitable
                                                      “File” tab provided in the Microsoft Office       alternative for the Microsoft package.
The Fast Dial add-on no longer                        or in the ribbon for Office 2010. Now you         Rather than just reading about it give
functions after updating Firefox to                   can use the “Word options” or simply              it a try. For installation start the EXE
version 7. You want to use it again.                  the “Options”. Now, select the option             file and then allow the wizard to guide
                                                      “Advance” that you will see to the left of        you through the process step by step.
                                                 17   the entry in the subsequent dialog and            If it is quite sometime that you have
                                                      then search for “Cut, Copy and Paste”             been using OpenOffice and are quite
                                                      options to the right side of this field. Here,     satisfied with its performance then it is
                                                      you will find a number of options for the          absolutely worthwhile that you switch to
                                                      text editing for cut, copy and pasting            LibreOffice. Now, for instance, you can
                                                      the text content. The text editing can            make all your documents write-protected
                                                      be done in two ways; an action can be             using a password in the Writer such
                                                      carried out within a document or among            that they can be opened, but will not
                                                      two different documents.                          accept any changes without a password.
                                                         Moreover, you can even define how               For doing so go to the Save dialog and
Fast Dial 3.4 no longer works directly with Firefox   Word should react if the format guideline         select the option “Save with password”
7. However, it can be updated manually .
                                                      definitions of the source and target do            at the bottom and click “Save”. Now, you
                                                      not match or if the text is from some             can set a password. This password will
       The previous version Fast Dial                 other program. You can define the desired          only be used to ‘Open’ the document. If
3.4 was not tested on Firefox 6. Even                 objective for each of these individual            you wish to restrict editing then click on
the Mozilla sites no longer list it as                cases by selecting the corresponding              “More options” and activate the “Open
a compatible download. However,                       entry in a separate combination field.             file read-only” option, you can give in an
userlogos.org/extensions/fastdial has                 While doing so you must decide whether            “Editing password” and can then save
come up with an updated version 3.5.x,                the Word should retain the original               by clicking on “OK”. This protection will
which works with Firefox 7 without any                format, should consolidate the formatting         restrict editing and is surely practical,
problems. Click the link to “fast_dial-               or should just take over the text. In             but copying data and saving the data
3.5.1.xpi” at the end of the site. To install         addition to this, you can also select the         under a different name is still possible.
it, open the XPI file through Firefox. Don’t           option “Match Destination Formatting”             Additionally, the current MS Office files
delete the previous version of Fast Dial              when switching between documents                  in the DOCX or XLSX format can be
in order to retain your settings. Grant the           whose formatting guideline definitions do          opened and edited for free in the Office
required permission by clicking “Install              not match. Select the option “Keep Text           packet.
now” and restart the browser. This should             Only” so as to instruct Word to copy only                              – Compiled by Team CHIP
update the add-on and make it function                the text without the formatting.                                   send your tips to tnt@chip.in


                                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP       02/2012   119
 MARKET WATCH



                                MARKET WATCH
PROCESSORS: Intel
                                                                                           NUMBER OF
 NAME                                                         PRICE (Rs)      CPU SOCKET                      CLOCK SPEED   MFG PROCESS               TDP
                                                                                             CORES
 Intel E5700 Dual-Core                                            3,525          LGA 775     2 Core             3.00 GHz        32 nm                 65 W
 Intel E5800 Dual-Core                                            3,700          LGA 775     2 Core             3.20 GHz        45 nm                 65 W
 Intel E7500 Core 2 Duo                                           3,850          LGA 775     2 Core             2.93 GHz        45 nm                 65 W
 Intel Core i3-2100 (Sandy Bridge)                                6,850         LGA 1155     2 Core             3.10 GHz        32 nm                 65 W
 Intel Core i5-2310 (Sandy Bridge)                                9,000         LGA 1155     4 Core             2.90 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i5-2300 (Sandy Bridge)                                9,700         LGA 1155     4 Core             2.80 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge)                               11,300         LGA 1155     4 Core             3.10 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i5-2500 (Sandy Bridge)                               12,300         LGA 1155     4 Core             3.30 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)                              12,900         LGA 1155     4 Core             3.30 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i7-2600 (Sandy Bridge)                               17,900         LGA 1155     4 Core             3.40 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge)                              18,900         LGA 1155     4 Core             3.40 GHz        32 nm                 95 W
 Intel Core i7-990X                                              62,260         LGA 1366     6 Core             3.46 GHz        32 nm                130 W




PROCESSORS: AMD
                                                                                           NUMBER OF
 NAME                                                         PRICE (Rs)    CPU SOCKET                        CLOCK SPEED   MFG PROCESS        TDP
                                                                                             CORES
 AMD Sempron 145                                                  1,950       AM3              1                2.80 GHz        45 nm          45 W
 AMD Athlon II X3 425                                             3,350       AM3              3                2.70 GHz        45 nm          95 W
 AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition                               6,100       AM3              4                3.20 GHz        45 nm         125 W
 AMD A6-3650                                                      6,300        FM1             4                2.60 GHz        32nm          100W
 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition                               6,800       AM3              4                3.40 GHz        45 nm         125 W
 AMD FX-4100 Black Edition                                        7,250       AM3+             4                3.60 GHz        32 nm          95 W
 AMD A8-3850                                                      7,300        FM1             4                2.90 GHz        32nm          100W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1055T                                           8,100       AM3              6                2.80 GHz        45 nm         125 W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition                             8,900       AM3              6                3.20 GHz        45 nm         125 W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T                                          11,175       AM3              6                3.30 GHz        45 nm         125 W
 AMD FX-6100 Black Edition                                       11,199       AM3+             6                3.30 GHz        32 nm          95 W
 AMD FX-8120 Black Edition                                       12,500       AM3+             8                3.10 GHz        32 nm         125 W




MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - IGP
                                           PRICE        CPU                                                                               PCI X16 | PCI |
                               NAME                                        CHIPSET             MEMORY SUPPORT               DVI | HDMI
                                             (Rs)    SOCKET                                                                                SATA | USB
 Asus M4A78LT-M LE                         2,725        AM3           AMD 760G + SB710                 DDR3                     |          1 | 1 | 6 | 10
 Biostar TA880GB+                          3,650        AM3           AMD 880G + SB710                 DDR3                     |          1 | 2 | 6 | 10
 Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3                    4,800        AM3           AMD 880G + SB710                 DDR3                      |         1 | 2 | 5 | 14
 MSI 880GMA-E35                            5,150        AM3          AMD 880G + SB850                  DDR3                      |         1 | 1 | 6 | 12
 Gigabyte GA-A75M-D2H                      5,400        FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                 |        |     2 | 1 | 6 | 10
 Asus M5A88-M                              5,999        AM3           AMD 880G + SB850                 DDR3                 |        |     1 | 1 | 6 | 14
 Gigabyte GA-A75-D3H                       6,100        FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                 |        |     2 | 3 | 5 | 14
 Biostar TA890GXE                          6,300        AM3          AMD 890GX + SB850                 DDR3                     |          1 | 2 | 5 | 10
 Asus F1A75-M LE                           6,350        FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                     |          2 | 1 | 6 | 14
 MSI A75A-G55                              6,425    AMD FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                 |        |     2 | 2 | 6 | 10
 Asus F1A75-M                              6,900        FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                     |          2 | 1 | 6 | 14
 Asus M5A88-M EVO                           7,375       AM3           AMD 880G + SB850                 DDR3                 |        |     1 | 1 | 5 | 14
 Asus F1A75-V PRO                          8,800        FM1               AMD A75                      DDR3                     |          2 | 1 | 6 | 16
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


122     02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.


MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - Non-IGP
 NAME                          PRICE (RS)      CPU SOCKET                      CHIPSET    MEMORY SUPPORT          PCIE X16 SLOTS             PCI | SATA | USB
 Asus M5A97                         6,750         AM3+                AMD 970 + SB950             DDR3                  2                       2 | 6 | 14
 Asus M5A97 EVO                     8,000         AM3+                AMD 970 + SB950             DDR3                  2                       2 | 6 | 14
 MSI 990FXA-GD65                   10,500         AM3+              AMD 990FX + SB950             DDR3                  2                       1 | 6 | 14
 Asus Sabertooth 990FX             14,425         AM3+              AMD 990FX + SB950             DDR3                  3                       1 | 8 | 18
 Asus Crosshair V Formula          16,075         AM3+              AMD 990FX + SB950             DDR3                  3                        1 | 7 |18




MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - IGP
                                                                                                                                             PCIE X16 | PCI | SATA
 6AME                             PRICE (Rs)       CPU SOCKET            CHIPSET               MEMORY SUPPORT       D-SUB | DVI | HDMI
                                                                                                                                                    | USB
 Asus P5G41T-M LX                     2,700          LGA 775          Intel G41 + ICH7              DDR3                     |   |                1|2|6|6
 Intel BOXDH67BL                      5,350         LGA 1155              Intel H67                 DDR3                    |    |                1|1|3|6
 MSI H67MA-E35                        5,675         LGA 1155              Intel H67                 DDR3                    |    |                1|1|4|4
 Gigabyte H67MA-USB3                  6,425         LGA 1155              Intel H67                 DDR3                    |    |                1|1|4|4
 Asus P8H67-M                         7,225         LGA 1155              Intel H67                 DDR3                    |    |                2|1|4|6
 Asus P7H55-M/USB 3.0                 7,375         LGA 1156              Intel H55                 DDR3                    |    |                1|1|6|6
 Asus P8H67-M EVO                     9,200         LGA 1155              Intel H67                 DDR3                    |    |                2|1|4|4
 MSI Z68A-G45                         9,650         LGA 1155           Intel Z68 + No               DDR3                    |    |                2|2|4|4
 Gigabyte Z68X-UD3R                  10,175         LGA 1155              Intel Z68                 DDR3                     |   |                1|2|4|3
 ASUS P8Z68-V                        12,300         LGA 1155              Intel Z68                 DDR3                    |    |                2|2|4|6
 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO                    14,550         LGA 1155              Intel Z68                 DDR3                    |    |                2|2|4|6




MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - Non-IGP
 NAME                                PRICE (Rs)       CPU SOCKET               CHIPSET               MEMORY SUPPORT         PCIE X16 SLOTS         PCI | SATA | USB

 Gigabyte GA-P67-DS3-B3                   6,425          LGA 1155               Intel P67                  DDR3                      3              1 | 6 | 14
 MSI P67A-GD55                            8,900          LGA 1155               Intel P67                  DDR3                      2              2 | 6 | 14
 Asus P8P67-M Pro                         9,175          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              0 | 7 | 16
 MSI X58 Pro-E                           10,500          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              2 | 7 | 13
 Asus P8P67                              10,650          LGA 1155               Intel P67                  DDR3                      2              3 | 8 | 16
 Asus Sabertooth X58                     10,800          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              1 | 8 | 14
 Asus P6X58D-E                           12,600          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              2 | 8 | 10
 Asus Sabertooth P67                     14,175          LGA 1155               Intel P67                  DDR3                      2              1 | 4 | 18
 Asus Rampage III Gene                   14,775          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      2              1 | 8 | 13
 MSI P67A-GD80                           14,775          LGA 1366               Intel P67                  DDR3                      3              2 | 6 | 10
 Gigabyte G1.Guerrilla                   20,350          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              1 | 8 | 16
 Asus Rampage III Extreme                22,475          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      4              1 | 9 | 11
 Gigabyte G1.Sniper                      23,550          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      3              1 | 8 | 16
 MSI Big Bang Marshal                    25,150          LGA 1155               Intel P67                  DDR3                      8              0 | 8 | 12
 Gigabyte G1.Assassin                    26,225          LGA 1366         Intel X58 + ICH10R               DDR3                      4              1 | 8 | 16
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          02/2012      123
 MARKET WATCH



                                MARKET WATCH
GRAPHICS CARDS: ATI
                                                   PRICE                                      MEMORY MEMORY | BUS           STREAM             CORE | MEMORY
 NAME                                                    RADEON GPU           DIRECT X
                                                    (Rs)                                        TYPE      WIDTH          PROCESSORS                     SPEED

 Asus EAH5450 SILENT/DI/512MD2                      1,900         HD 5450         11.0           DDR3    1 GB | 64-bit            80        650 MHz | 800 MHz
 Asus EAH5670/DI/1GD3                               4,200         HD 5670         11.0          GDDR3   1 GB | 128-bit           400        775 MHz | 800 MHz
 Powercolor AX5750 1GBD5-H                          6,000         HD 5750         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit           720       700 MHz | 1150 MHz
 HIS H677FN1GD                                      6,975         HD 6770         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit           800       850 MHz | 1200 MHz
 Sapphire HD 6750 Vapor-X                           7,200         HD 6750         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit           720       700 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Powercolor AX6850 1GBD5-DH                         9,575         HD 6850         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit           960       775 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Sapphire Radeon HD 6850                            9,825         HD 6850         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 256 bit           960       775 MHz | 1000 MHz
 XFX HD-685X-ZDFC                                  10,225         HD 6850         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit           960       775 MHz | 1000 MHz
 HIS H687QN1G2M IceQ                               11,900         HD 6870         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit          1120       900 MHz | 1050 MHz
 Powercolor AX6870 1GBD5-2DH                       12,100         HD 6870         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit          1120       900 MHz | 1050 MHz
 Sapphire HD 6950                                  14,650         HD 6950         11.0          GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit          1408       800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 XFX Radeon HD 6950                                15,000         HD 6950         11.0          GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit          1408       800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Powercolor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH                       15,625         HD 6950         11.0          GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit          1408       800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Asus EAH6950 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5                      18,775         HD 6950         11.0          GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit          1408       810 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Sapphire HD 6970                                  21,725         HD 6970         11.0          GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit          1536       880 MHz | 1375 MHz
 MSI HD 6970 Lightning                             23,650         HD 6970         11.0          GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit          1536       940 MHz | 1375 MHz




GRAPHICS CARDS: Nvidia
                                                                                                                                 STREAM        CORE | MEMORY
 NAME                                      PRICE (Rs)                 GPU DIRECT X       MEMORY TYPE MEMORY | BUS WIDTH
                                                                                                                              PROCESSORS                SPEED
 Sparkle GT 520                                 2,625       GeForce GT 520     11.0             DDR3          2 GB | 64-bit           96    810 MHz | 450 MHz
 Sparkle GeForce GT 220                         2,950       GeForce GT 220     10.1             DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit            48    625 MHz | 700 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GT 240                           3,425       GeForce GT 240     10.1             DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit            96    550 MHz | 400 MHz
 POV GeForce GT 220                             3,550       GeForce GT 220     10.1             DDR2        1 GB | 128-bit            48    625 MHz | 400 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GT 240                           4,625       GeForce GT 240     10.1            GDDR5        1 GB | 128-bit            96    550 MHz | 850 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti Amp                   8,075    GeForce GTX 550 Ti    11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 192-bit           192   900 MHz | 1025 MHz
 ASUS GeForce GTX 550                           8,275      GeForce GTX 550     11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 192-bit           192   900 MHz | 1025 MHz
 Sparkle GeForce GTX 460                        9,000      GeForce GTX 460     11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit           336    700 MHz | 900 MHz
 Palit GeForce GTX560 OC                       10,075      GeForce GTX 560     11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit           336   810 MHz | 1005 MHz
 Zotac Geforce GTX 560                         12,350      GeForce GTX 560     11.0            GDDR5        2 GB | 256-bit           336   820 MHz | 4008 MHz
 Sparkle GeForce GTX 560 Ti                    13,925    GeForce GTX 560 Ti    11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit           384   822 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Palit GeForce GTX560 Ti                       14,750    GeForce GTX 560 Ti    11.0             DDR5        2 GB | 256-bit           384   822 MHz | 1000 MHz
 MSI Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti          14,775    GeForce GTX 560 Ti    11.0            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit           384   822 MHz | 1000 MHz
 EVGA GeForce GTX 560                          15,250      GeForce GTX 560     11.0             DDR5        1 GB | 256-bit           336   810 MHz | 1002 MHz
 EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD                       19,575      GeForce GTX 570     11.0             DDR5     1280 MB | 320-bit           480    732 MHz | 950 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GTX 570                         20,150      GeForce GTX 570     11.0             DDR5     1280 MB | 320-bit           480    732 MHz | 950 MHz
 Sparkle GTX 570                               20,550      GeForce GTX 570     11.0            GDDR5     1280 MB | 320-bit           480    752 MHz | 950 MHz
 MSI Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 570             23,000      GeForce GTX 570     11.0            GDDR5     1280 MB | 320-bit           480   770 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GTX 580                         29,875      GeForce GTX 580     11.0            GDDR5     1536 MB | 384-bit           512   772 MHz | 1002 MHz
 MSI Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 580             30,825      GeForce GTX 580     11.0            GDDR5     1536 MB | 384-bit           512   800 MHz | 1024 MHz
 Zotac Geforce GTX 590                         45,000      Geforce GTX 590     11.0            GDDR5        3 GB | 768-bit          1024    607 MHz | 853 MHz

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


124     02/2012     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



EXTERNAL DRIVE
 NAME                                                             PRICE (Rs)                 CAPACITY                   INTERFACE              FORM FACTOR
 Silicon Power Diamond D05                                            3,500                    500 GB                        USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 A-Data ANH13-500GU3-CBK                                              3,800                    500 GB                        USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 Hitachi X Mobile Series HDD-X320                                     4,375                    320 GB                        USB 2.0                2.5-inch
 A-Data ACH94-500GU-CBK                                               4,925                    500 GB                        USB 2.0                2.5-inch
 Hitachi X Mobile Series HDD-X500                                     5,000                    500 GB                        USB 2.0                2.5-inch
 Western Digital My Passport Essential                                5,125                    500 GB                        USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 Transcend StoreJet 25M3                                              5,325                    500 GB                        USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 Western Digital Elements Series                                      5,450                       1 TB                       USB 2.0                2.5-inch
 Verbatim 53018 Portable                                              5,850                       1 TB                       USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 Western Digital My Book Essential Series                             5,925                       1 TB                       USB 3.0                2.5-inch
 Buffalo HD-PXTU2 Series HD-PXT1TU2/B                                 7,300                       1 TB                       USB 2.0                3.5-inch
 Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex                                              7,325                      1 TB                       USB 3.0                3.5-inch
 Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex                                            10,975                     1.5 TB                       USB 2.0                3.5-inch
 Western Digital My Book Studio II Series                            22,425                       4 TB             USB 2.0 / FW 400                 3.5-inch




USB FLASH DRIVE                                                           CAMCORDERS
 NAME                                   CAPACITY    PRICE (Rs)            NAME                    PRICE (Rs)       STORAGE         RESOLUTION OPTICAL ZOOM
 iball Ultra Strong                         4 GB          300             Sony DCR-SX45               15,175     Memory card          720 x 480         60x
 Transcend JetFlash 300                     8 GB           425            Samsung HMX-300BP          21,000      Memory card        1920 x 1080         30x
 Transcend JetFlash V70                     8 GB           625            Sony HDR-CX130E            22,450      Memory card        1920 x 1080         30x
 Transcend JetFlash 300                    16 GB          950             Canon Legria HF R17        24,825        8 GB Flash       1920 x 1080         20x
 iball Ultra Strong                        16 GB        1,050             Sony HDR-XR160E            36,350      160 GB HDD         1920 x 1080         30x
 Sandisk Ultra Backup                      16 GB        1,150             Canon Legria HF R18        38,100      Memory card        1920 x 1080         20x
 Corsair Voyager USB 3.0                    8 GB        1,175             Canon Legria HF M300       41,300      Memory card        1920 x 1080         15x
 Corsair Voyager USB 3.0                   16 GB        1,600             Canon Legria HF M31        50,475       32 GB Flash       1920 x 1080         15x
 Transcend JetFlash 500                    32 GB        2,050             Sony HDR-PJ50E             54,350      220 GB HDD         1920 x 1080         12x
 Corsair Survivor                          16 GB        2,100             Canon Legria HF S200        57,575     Memory card        1920 x 1080         10x




PROJECTORS
 NAME                                                        PRICE (Rs)        TYPE              BRIGHTNESS         NATIVE RESOLUTION        CONTRAST RATIO
 Viewsonic PJD5152                                              29,825          DLP              2600 Lumens                  800 x 600              3000:1
 LG BS275                                                       30,250          DLP              2700 Lumens                  800 x 600              2200:1
 Mitsubishi EX200U                                              33,850          DLP              2300 Lumens                 1024 x 768              1250:1
 Sony VPL-EX100                                                 34,350          LCD              2300 Lumens                 1024 x 768              2200:1
 LG HS201 G                                                     40,250          DLP              2000 Lumens                  800 x 600              2000:1
 Viewsonic PJD5352                                              42,750          DLP              2600 Lumens                 1024 x 768              2600:1
 Sony VPL-EX120                                                 48,775          LCD              2600 Lumens                 1024 x 768              2500:1
 Viewsonic PJD6531W                                             50,075          DLP              3300 Lumens                 1280 x 800              2800:1
 Mitsubishi HC4000                                              81,100          DLP              1300 Lumens                1920 x 1080              3600:1
 Mitsubishi XD600U                                              82,225          DLP              4500 Lumens                 1024 x 768              2000:1


NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


                                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      02/2012   125
 MARKET WATCH



                               MARKET WATCH
LAPTOPS
                                      PRICE                                                                          OPTICAL
NAME                                        WEIGHT          PROCESSOR            SPEED    RAM    DISPLAY       HDD                 OS
                                       (Rs)                                                                           DRIVE
Asus Eee PC 1011PX                   12,100 1.25 Kg          Intel Atom        1.66 GHz   1 GB    10.1-in   250 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-N100-MA03IN               13,000    1.21 Kg       Intel Atom        1.66 GHz   1 GB    10.1-in   320 GB   DVD±RW          Meego
Asus R051                             14,700      2 Kg       Intel Atom        1.66 GHz   2 GB    10.1-in   320 GB     Any     Win 7 Starter
Samsung NP-NC110-A02IN               16,300    1.45 Kg     Intel Atom DC       1.66 GHz   1 GB    10.1-in   320 GB   DVD±RW    Win 7 Starter
Lenovo S100 59-300427                 17,100 2.44 Kg         Intel Atom        1.66 GHz   2 GB    10.1-in   320 GB   DVD±RW    Win 7 Starter
HP Mini 210-2103TU                    17,900    1.4 Kg     Intel Atom DC       1.50 GHz   1 GB    10.1-in   320 GB     No      Win 7 Starter
Asus X52F-EX1408D                    19,000 2.44 Kg       Intel Pentium DC     2.13 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite C665-P5010         19,900     2.4 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.00 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus X53E-SX997D                     20,400 2.44 Kg       Intel Celeron DC     1.50 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus X54H-SX136D                     20,400 2.44 Kg       Intel Pentium DC     2.10 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-RV409-A02IN               20,500     2.2 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.13 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite C600-P4012         20,550     2.1 Kg        Intel DC         2.30 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-RV509-A0FIN               21,700     2.4 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.13 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-300E5Z-A01IN              22,700     2.1 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.00 GHz   2 GB    15.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Lenovo B570 59-306815                23,000 2.44 Kg       Intel Pentium DC     2.00 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus X52F-EX1258D                    23,250 2.44 Kg         Intel Core i3      2.40 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD-RW              DOS
Asus X42JY-VX312D                    23,500 2.44 Kg       Intel Pentium DC     2.13 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD-RW              DOS
HP Compaq Presario CQ43-300TU        24,200     2.2 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.00 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
LG ED530-L                            24,250 2.66 Kg        Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Compaq Presario CQ57-300TU         24,700    2.5 Kg    Intel Pentium DC     2.00 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-RV509-A0GIN               25,200     2.4 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.40 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus X54H-SX137D                     25,250 2.44 Kg         Intel Core i3      2.20 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite C640-I4015         25,750     2.1 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Acer Aspire 4755                     26,200 2.30 Kg      Intel Core i3-2310M   2.10 GHz   2 GB    14.1-in   500 GB   DVD±RW             Linux
Lenovo G560 59-063899                 27,700 2.44 Kg        Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   3 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Sony Vaio VPCEG25EN                  28,125     2.3 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.20 GHz   2 GB      14-in   320 GB   DVD±RW     Win 7 Basic
Acer Aspire AS5755                   28,850 2.60 Kg      Intel Core i3-2310M   2.10 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD-RW             Linux
Toshiba Satellite C640-X4014         30,400     2.1 Kg      Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   2 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-RV518-S01IN               30,500     2.4 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   3 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Lenovo G570 59-315902                32,000 2.44 Kg         Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
LG S530-G                            32,000     2.6 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Samsung NP-300E5Z-A08IN              32,150     2.3 Kg      Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Pavilion G4-1008TU                33,250     2.1 Kg      Intel Core i5      2.66 GHz   3 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Dell Inspiron 15R                    33,750 2.52 Kg         Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   3 GB   15.6-in    320 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Sony Vaio VPCEH26EN                  33,950     2.7 Kg      Intel Core i3      2.20 GHz   4 GB   15.5-in    500 GB   DVD±RW     Win 7 Basic
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


126    02/2012       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



LAPTOPS
                                    PRICE                                                                            OPTICAL
              NAME                            WEIGHT        PROCESSOR          SPEED      RAM    DISPLAY     HDD                       OS
                                     (Rs)                                                                             DRIVE
LG S530-G                            34,500    2.6 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Acer Aspire 5755G                    34,850   2.60 Kg    Intel Core i5-2410M   2.30 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Lenovo Z370 59-313716                35,000   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.20 GHz   2 GB    13.3-in   320 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Toshiba Satellite L740-X4210         35,535    2.1 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.30 GHz   4 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Toshiba Satellite C665-X5010         35,750    2.4 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   2 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW                  DOS
Sony Vaio VPCEG2AEN                  35,900    2.3 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   4 GB    14-in     320 GB   DVD±RW          Win 7 Basic
Lenovo Z570 59-304237                36,700   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Lenovo Z570 59-304317                37,000   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.30 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW                  DOS
HP Pavilion G4-1201TU                37,950    2.1 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   4 GB    14.0-in   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 Starter
LG P420-N                            39,000   1.99 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.3 GHz    2 GB    14-in     500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-6164tx               40,300   2.54 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Acer Aspire AS 4820TG                40,850   2.11 Kg    Intel Core i5-460M    2.60 GHz   3 GB    14.0-in   500 GB    DVD-RW            Win 7 HP
Samsung NP-300V5A-S0BIN              40,900   2.45 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   6 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
LG P430-G                            41,000    1.9 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.3 GHz    4 GB    14-in     500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Acer Aspire 5830TG                   41,350   2.49 Kg    Intel Core i5-2410M   2.30 GHz   3 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCEH28FN                  42,675    2.7 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   4 GB    15.5-in   500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Samsung NP-RC510-S07IN               42,799   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.66 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Lenovo Z570 59-304310                45,250   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.30 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB      No              Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-6155tx               45,450   2.54 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.30 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 HB
Sony Vaio VPCSB25FG/B                46,550   1.72 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   2 GB    13.3-in   500 GB    DVD-RW            Win 7 HP
Asus K53SV-SX521D                    47,000    2.6 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.30 GHz   8 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW                  DOS
Sony Vaio VPCF135FG/B                48,500    3.1 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.66 GHz   4 GB    16.4-in   500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Toshiba Satellite P750-X5310         48,925   2.62 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.90 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Toshiba Tecra R850-I5430             52,250   2.40 Kg       Intel Core i3      2.10 GHz   3 GB    15.6-in   320 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 Pro
MSI GE620DX                          52,790    2.4 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.20 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Dell XPS 15                          53,100   2.44 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.90 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Samsung NP-RC530-S03IN Notebook      57,750   2.45 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.20 GHz   8 GB    15.6-in   750 GB    Blu Ray           Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-6165tx               58,925   2.63 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.00 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Dell XPS 15                          59,500   2.70 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.90 GHz   6 GB    15.6-in   750 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCSB37GG                  61,100   1.72 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.50 GHz   4 GB    13.3-in   750 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 Pro
Toshiba Qosmio F750-X5311            66,450   3.15 Kg       Intel Core i5      2.40 GHz   4 GB    15.6-in   500 GB   Blu Ray 6X         Win 7 HP
Dell Alienware 11X                   67,000   2.99 Kg       Intel Core i3      1.30 GHz   4 GB    11.6-in   500 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCCB38FN                  67,900   2.85 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.80 GHz   6 GB    15.5-in   640 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCSE17GG                  77,600   1.96 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.80 GHz   4 GB    15.5-in   640 GB   DVD±RW            Win 7 Pro
MSI GX683                           106,000    3.5 Kg       Intel Core i7      2.20 GHz   8 GB    15.6-in   640 GB   DVD±RW             Win 7 HP
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP       02/2012   127
 MARKET WATCH



                               MARKET WATCH
DIGITAL CAMERAS
 NAME                                      PRICE (Rs)    RESOLUTION OPTICAL ZOOM    WIDE ANGLE   APERTURE      LCD SIZE    SHUTTER SPEED

 Fujifilm FinePix AV200                         4,075         14 MP           3x      32 mm      F2.9 - F5.2    2.7-inch     8 - 1/1400 sec
 Nikon Coolpix L23                              4,125         10 MP           5x      28 mm      F2.7 - F6.8    2.7-inch                NA
 Canon PowerShot A800                           4,175         10 MP         3.3x      37 mm       F3 - F5.8    2.5-inch    15 - 1/2000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC S3000                      4,300         10.1 MP          4x      28 mm      F3.0 - F5.7    2.7-inch     2 - 1/2000 sec
 Kodak Easyshare M532                           5,750         14 MP           4x      28 mm              NA     2.7-inch     8 - 1/1600 sec
 Olympus VG140                                  5,850         14 MP           5x      26 mm      F2.8 - F6.5   3.0-inch      4 - 1/2000 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S3100                           6,200          14 MP           5x      26 mm      F3.2 - F6.5    2.7-inch     4 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Digital IXUS 105 IS                      6,450         12 MP           4x      28 mm      F2.8 - F5.9    2.7-inch     1 - 1/1500 sec
 Canon Powershot A3200 IS                       6,450           14.1          5x      28 mm      F2.8 - F5.9    2.7-inch   15 - 1/1600 sec
 Canon PowerShot A3300 IS                       7,550         16 MP           5x      28 mm      F2.8 - F5.9   3.0-inch    15 - 1/1600 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-T99                         9,425        14.1 MP          4x      25 mm      F3.5 - F4.6   3.0-inch      2 - 1/1250 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-W570                        9,575        16.2 MP          5x      28 mm      F2.6 - F6.3    2.7-inch     2 - 1/1600 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-WX7                       11,225         16.2 MP          5x      25 mm      F2.6 - F6.3   2.8-inch      2 - 1/1600 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S1100pj                        11,350         14.1 MP          5x      28 mm      F3.9 - F5.8   3.0-inch                 NA
 Olympus SP-610 UZ                            11,500          14 MP          22x      28 mm      F3.3 - F5.7   3.0-inch      4 - 1/2000 sec
 Samsung EC-ST6500                             11,775        16.1 MP          5x      26 mm      F3.3 - F5.9   3.0-inch      2 - 1/2000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-H70                       12,475         16.2 MP         10x      25 mm      F3.5 - F5.5   3.0-inch    30 - 1/1600 sec
 Canon PowerShot SX150 IS                     12,800         14.1 MP         12x      28 mm      F3.4 - F5.6   3.0-inch    15 - 1/2500 sec
 Samsung EC-WB700                              14,025         14 MP          18x      24 mm      F3.2 - F5.8   3.0-inch    16 - 1/2000 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S8000                           14,075        14.2 MP         10x      35 mm       F3.5 - F7    3.0-inch      4 - 1/1000 sec
 Kodak EasyShare Max Z990                     15,775          12 MP          30x      28 mm      F2.8 - F5.6   3.0-inch    16 - 1/2000 sec
 Fujifilm FinePix F500EXR                     15,950          16 MP          15x      24 mm      F3.5 - F5.3   3.0-inch      8 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Powershot SX230 HS                      15,975        12.1 MP         14x      28 mm      F3.1 - F5.9   3.0-inch    15 - 1/3200 sec
 Sony DSC-HX9V                                16,200         16.2 MP         16x      24 mm      F3.3 - F5.9   3.0-inch    30 - 1/1600 sec
 Olympus SP-810 UZ                             17,600         14 MP          36x      24 mm      F2.9 - F5.7   3.0-inch     1/4 - 1/850 sec
 Canon IXUS 310 HS                            18,225         12.1 MP         4.4x     24 mm      F2.0 - F5.8    3.2-inch    15 - 1/1600 sec
 Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR                     20,350          16 MP          30x      24 mm      F2.8 - F5.6   3.0-inch    30 - 1/4000 sec
 Olympus XZ-1                                 21,950          10 MP           4x      28 mm      F1.8 - F2.5   3.0-inch    60 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Powershot SX30 IS                      21,996          14 MP          35x      24 mm      F2.7 - F5.8    2.7-inch   15 - 1/3200 sec
 Fujiflim FinePix Real 3D W3                  22,100          10 MP           3x      35 mm      F3.7 - F4.2   3.5-inch      3 - 1/1000 sec
 Canon Powershot S95                           24,575         10 MP         3.8x      28 mm      F2.0 - F4.9   3.0-inch     15 - 1/1600 sec
 Canon PowerShot SX40 HS                      26,400          12 MP          35x      24 mm      F2.7 - F5.8    2.7-inch   15 - 1/3200 sec
 Canon Powershot G12                           29,125         10 MP           5x      28 mm      F2.8 - F4.5   2.8-inch    15 - 1/4000 sec

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


128     02/2012      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



MONITORS
                                                      PRICE        SCREEN                     NATIVE
 NAME                                                                       WIDESCREEN                    RESPONSE TIME   D-SUB       DVI        HDMI
                                                       (Rs)           SIZE               RESOLUTION
 LG E2060T                                            7,050        20-inch                 1600 x 900        5 ms
 Asus VW227D                                          7,300       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 BenQ G2222HDL                                        7,325       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Samsung SyncMaster B2230N                            7,900       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Dell ST2220M                                         8,150       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Acer S231HL                                          9,400         23-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 LG E2360V                                           10,100         23-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 BenQ G2420HD                                        10,825         24-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Samsung S23A350H                                    11,125        23-inch                1920 x 1080        2 ms
 ViewSonic VA2448M                                   11,200         24-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 ViewSonic VX2439wm                                  11,775         24-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 LG E2290V                                           12,150       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 BenQ LED V2200 Eco                                  12,375       21.5-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Acer D240H                                          12,500         24-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 Acer H243H                                          13,950         24-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 BenQ LED V2400 Eco                                  14,950         24-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Asus ML248H LED                                     15,000         24-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 Samsung S24A350H                                    15,350         24-inch               1920 x 1080        5 ms
 Asus PA238Q LED                                     17,425        23-inch                1920 x 1080        6 ms
 Asus VG236HE 3D LCD                                 20,700        23-inch                1920 x 1080        2 ms
 BenQ M2700                                          21,650         27-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 ViewSonic VX2753MH                                  21,750         27-inch               1920 x 1080        1 ms
 BenQ XL2410T LED                                    26,800       23.6-inch               1920 x 1080        2 ms
 ViewSonic VP2655WB                                  38,525        26-inch                1920 x 1200        5 ms
 Dell U2711                                          44,625         27-inch               2560 x 1440        6 ms




CABINETS
                                                                                              5.25-INCH               3.5-INCH
 NAME                                                PRICE (Rs)      POWER SUPPLY                                                      NUMBER OF FANS
                                                                                                BAYS                    BAYS
 Circle Cosmo                                            1,700                                    3                       6                  2
 Circle CC Stick                                         1,775                                    1                       1                  2
 iBall Work Horse                                        1,950                                    2                       5                  1
 Cooler Master Elite 334                                 2,325                                    4                       6                  1
 Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus                            3,400                                    3                       2                  1
 Lian Li Lancool Dragon Lord PC-K56                      3,400                                    5                       0                  2
 Cooler Master Gladiator 600                             3,800                                    5                       5                  2
 Antec Three Hundred                                     3,850                                    3                       6                  2
 Thermaltake M9 VI1000BWS                                4,450                                    6                       3                  2
 Antec Dark Fleet DF-10                                  5,025                                    3                       6                  2
 Antec Six Hundred                                       5,500                                    3                       6                  2
 Thermaltake V9 VJ400G1N2Z                               5,950                                    4                       5                  4
 Cooler Master CM 690 II Advance                         6,475                                    4                       6                  3
 Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced                          6,475                                    4                       6                  3
 NZXT Phantom                                            7,300                                    5                       7                  4
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 January 2012.


                                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   02/2012   129
PERSONAL TECH




                ONE OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE INTERNET
                ARGUES AGAINST MAKING ACCESS A FUNDAMENTAL
                HUMAN RIGHT. HE'S ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
                JAMSHED AVARI, DEPUTY EDITOR




            RIGHT OF WAY
                S
                          hould Internet access be a human right?    government has made. Would giving Internet
                          A number of European countries have        access the status of a human right (or a civil
                          formally decided that it should be, with   right, as Cerf suggests), improve anything
                          the intention of ensuring that service     about the connectivity in India today? Would
                providers find a way to offer citizens in even       it give us access to magical broadband lines
                the most far-flung regions a decent broadband        on par with the best in the world? Would
                connection. Vint Cerf, however, disagrees.           it suddenly put Wi-Fi enabled tablets in the
                Widely considered to be one of the founding          hands of every rural schoolchild? Would it
                fathers of the Internet, Cerf has had a hand in      make prices fall and fair usage caps disappear?
                developing the foundations of things we take for     Not anytime soon, for sure. We have a long
                granted today, including email and the TCP/IP        way to go before every Indian can fully enjoy
                protocol. His current work includes evangelizing     the benefit of even our existing human rights.
                technology and Internet development for various          On a broader note, would Internet access as
                corporates, governments, and even the United         a global fundamental right magically motivate
                Nations—so he really does have a pretty good         authorities to crack down on spammers, virus
                idea of what he’s talking about.                     writers and anyone who pulls of a DDoS?
                    In a recent New York Times op-ed (go.            Existing laws and regulations should be able to
                chip.in/cerf), he argues that the Internet is        take care of this anyway. Would it guarantee
                an enabler of free speech, and as such is            us access to anything on the Web, and prevent
                merely the means to an end, not the end              governments from censoring sites no matter
                itself. Human rights include the things we           how offensive or dangerous they might be to
                need to survive and prosper: food in general,        any philosophy? The freedoms of speech and
                not a particular food; dignity in general, not a     expressions ought to encompass this already,
                particular sort of behavior. No other product        but if they can be applied selectively, so would
                or service has been given the status of a            our shiny new Internet right. Would we be
                “human right”, and it shouldn’t be, because it       guaranteed access to potentially copyright-
                will eventually be replaced by or subsumed by        infringing works? No, it’s much more likely
                something quite different, and the right will        that the fundamental nature of the Internet
                then become meaningless.                             would change—we’d still be guaranteed access,
                    Still, declaring something a human right         but all its content would just be forcibly
                does compel governments to do everything             sanitized so that it wouldn’t matter anymore.
                they possibly can to ensure it is met. Several       The moral police, already a nuisance, could
                state and central government initiatives exist       also just as easily claim that their right to
                to ensure that Indians can buy affordable            a “safe” Web necessitates the blocking of
                foodgrains, can be employed, and will not            anything unpalatable to them.
                be discriminated against based on caste or               As it stands, I'm with Cerf. We only need
                any other factor. Whether or not, or to what         to be more respectful of our primary rights,
                extent these have been successful, is another        and to ensure that the Internet is kept as free
                discussion entirely—but the fact remains that        and useful as it is today.
                when most of these schemes are announced,                                          - jamshed.avari@chip.in
                it is with reference to some guarantee the                                             - twitter.com/ja140


138   02/2012   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP

				
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Description: CHIP INDIA 2012 ARCHIVE