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Chip Magazine - August 2009 Issue

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                                                                                                    AUGUST 2009 • VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 9 • Rs 125            MP wo
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     www.chip.in




                                                                                                                                                   THE MMS MENACE
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                                                                                                                                                      show y h to outsmart
                                                                                                                                                        o you how u ma
                                                                                                                                                   We show you how to outsmart
                                                                                                                                                        vs with camera phones
                                                                                                                                                           wit a e hone
                                                                                                                                                    pervs with camera phones
 10 Tech Career Boosters




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                                                                                                      EDITORIAL




                When technology enables, it does so democratically—without discrimination or moral
                judgment. Whether you want to use a tiny cellphone camera to beam images of violent
                political oppression through a wall of government censorship or to take nudie shots of
                unsuspecting girls in public changing rooms, you can now do so with relative ease and
                relative anonymity. The camera itself isn’t evil or malicious, but the fact that it won’t stop
                you from doing whatever you want with it leads to all kinds of questions about ethics,
                laws, rights and responsibilities.

                Easy access to cameras, instantaneous media distribution platforms, and ubiquitous
                Internet connectivity can turn one private moment, a sad incident, or anything at all into
                a public spectacle. Entire lives can be destroyed in the feeding frenzy of that ensues
                when scandalous images are beamed out around the world. People love to see others
                fall, a fact which has long been abused by sensationalist news media and but is now
                increasingly being exploited by individuals who simply enjoy the spectacle.

                This is real. It happens on almost a daily basis. Innocuous-looking strangers now wield
                the power of the electronic eye, and within minutes can make a single instant a defining
                moment in your life. Sexually explicit amateur video clips are sold or shared everywhere:
                in high-school classrooms, at neighborhood paanwalas and chaiwalas, in the slightly-
                higher-on-the-food-chain video rental stores, and even by mobile phone retailers. In this
                issue, well-known psychologist Varkha Chulani helps us unravel how the mind of a
                pornographer operates, and we also explore how the misuse of technology can be
                contained by internalizing a few simple rules. If we were setting the school curricula, we'd
                make a session with her mandatory—not for the kids, but for the parents.




The camera itself isn’t evil or malicious, but it
won't stop you from doing whatever you want.
               INTRODUCING OUR NEW CONTESTS SECTION!
               Amongst the many improvements we’ve made to the magazine this month, you’ll notice
               a brand-new contests section beginning on page 137. We’ve got over Rs 1.5 lakh worth of
               prizes up for grabs, so you could stand to win some amazing laptops, MP3 players, digital
               photo frames, movies, games, software and books. So head on over and send in your
               entries today!




                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009   3
         CONTENTS 08 / 2009
     NEWSWIRE
18   The Mind of a Pornographer
     Why do people take sneaky photos
     and videos with their camera phones?
     And how can you keep yourself safe?

16   New Products Launched
     New hardware, software and gadgets
     for you to buy and enjoy.


     TEST CENTER
24   Product of the Month
     The Dell Adamo thirteen is touted as
     one of the slimmest laptops on the
     planet. Is that good enough for us?
                                              86 FEATURED
52   The Laser Edge
     Multi-function devices can save time,    MOBILE SERVICE HEADACHES
     money and space. They're affordable      Navigate through the murky waters of mobile service tariff plans.
     to buy and maintain too!

58   I Have The Power
     You need an uninterrupted supply of
     electricity to keep your home or
     office PC running smoothly.

62   Software of the Month
     Check out what we loved about Xara
     Web Designer as well as the best of
     this month's CHIP DVD.

70   PC Configs
     Test Center Head Anand Tuliani gives
     you the best parts to buld your dream
     PC with, and tells you what hardware
     he's chosen to show off this month.


     FEATURED                                 16       NEWSWIRE
74   10 Tech Career Boosters                  NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED
                                              The latest gadgets you can pick up right away in the Indian market.
     Slumping economy got you down? All
     isn't lost—a few tips will give you an
     edge in the job market.

80   Safeguarding Private Data
     All you ever wanted to know about
     personal data encryption, and
     possibly loads more.

86   Mobile Service Headaches
     Operators sure don't make it easy to
     figure out their tariff plans. We take
     you through a small selection.

92   Microsoft's New Online Frontier
     With the launch of Bing, Microsoft is
     one step closer to successfully taking
     on archrival Google on its home turf.

94   Web Watch
     See what the coolest things on the
                                              26 TEST CENTER
     Web are this month, and peep into        HARDWARE TESTED and loads more gadgets rated and reviewed
     the world of downloading ebooks.         Laptops, netbooks, MP3 players, digital cameras,


4    08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
         CONTENTS 08 / 2009
     HANDS ON
98   Dr CHIP
     Let our resident in-house genius solve
     all your tech related problems. No
     virus infection is too severe!

102 Superior Blocking: OpenDNS
    Restrict access to all the unsafe web
    content you want to without installing
    any additional software.

104 Get That Mail Back!
    Damaged your Outlook PST file or
    accidentally deleted an important
    message? We'll show you how to              64 TEST CENTER
                                                   TEST CENTER
    maximize your chances of recovery.
                                                SOFTWARE TESTED main focus areas this month.
                                                Web design, PC security and multimedia are our
106 Work @ Night
    All you hardware modding fans out
    there can now let your families sleep
    peacefully at night while you clack
    away on your lighted keyboards.

108 Tips & Tricks
    Our monthly compilation of awesome
    shortcuts and techniques that can
    help you work faster and smarter.


     UNWIND
118 Infamous
    High-voltage gameplay and a cool
    system of variable morality make this
    one a standout. You're stuck in a dirty
    city, but it's cool as long as you've got
    enough ammo to expend.

120 Prototype
                                                108 HANDS ON
                                                        S
    Bust all your stress with this all-out,                  D
                                                           AND speed up your
                                                TIPS cool things toTRICKSwork and make life easier
    no-holds-barred gore fest. Slaughter        A bunch of    gs                                e
                                                                                            easier.
    helpless citizens and enjoy the
    cathartic Parkour action.

122 Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
    Think your family feud is something?
    You ain't got nothing on these guys. A
    desert, a girl, and hidden treasure are
    a deadly combination.

124 Fight Night Round 4
    One of the most fun and realistic
    boxing games we've had the pleasure
    of playing.


     REGULARS
 03 Editorial, 08 Colophon, 10 In the
 News..., 16 New Products Launched,
 22 Personal Technology, 70 PC Configs,
 94 Web Watch, 98 Dr CHIP, 108 Tips &
                                                124 UNWIND
 Tricks, 116 Unwind, 127 Classifieds,                        NIGHT ROUND 4
                                                FIGHTthe hell out of your opponent and watch every bead of sweat fall from his brow.
 136 Readers' Letters, 137 CHIP Contests,       You can beat
 146 Last Word


6     08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                  AUGUST 2009 | VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 9                                                            www.chip.in

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8       08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
          NEWSWIRE
    NEWS SNIPPETS


       DANGER BAROMETER                             IN THE NEWS...
                                HIGH RISK           COMPILED BY DUSHYANT KHILNANI AND JAMSHED AVARI




     Attackers are                                  SECURITY
       increasingly
  exploiting social
        networking
                                MEDIUM RISK
                                                    Kaspersky Lab: 10th Virus Analysts Summit
    sites to spread
 viruses and other                                  As technology advances at lightning speed,
           malware                                  malicious coders and crackers are on a
                                LOW RISK
                                                    constant lookout for security loopholes.
                                                    To educate users around the globe
                                                    about threats and ways to counter them,
                                                    Kaspersky Lab held its 10th Virus Analysts’
                                                    Summit on 25th June in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
                                                    CHIP India met with Eugene Kaspersky, CEO
   THE HOME OF PHISHING                             and Founder of Kaspersky Lab, and virus
                                                    analysts who shed light on topics such as
 USA
                                          44%       vulnerabilities in software, mobile malware,
                                                    social networking threats and ways in which
 GERMANY
                                                    cyber-criminals interact anonymously.
      5%
                                                       It’s well known that viruses spread
 CHINA                                              stealthily via files, email and infected
          5%
                                                    storage media. Since these are easily              be links on such websites that redirect
 RUSSIA                                             detectable, coders are now adopting                you to a website with malicious content.
          5%                                        smarter routes such as loopholes in web            “The growth in spread of malicious content
 ENGLAND                                            browser plug-ins, PDF files and office              has been exponential—its more than 100
      3%                                            documents. For instance, installing a plug-in      percent from 2007 to 2008” said Stefan
                                                    that pops up while browsing a website can          Tanase, Regional Researcher, EEMEA. Such
The majority of phishing sites are actually
hosted in the USA even though China has             open doors to your private data.                   vulnerabilities can be minimized if software
the worst reputation.                                  Apple QuickTime, Sun Java JDK/SRE,              vendors release patches from time to
                                 Source: Symantec   MS Office PPT and Adobe Flash Player top           time. Also, users should keep away from
                                                    the list of Top 20 vulnerable applications.        pirated software. “Countries where users
WHAT SPAMMERS EXPLOIT                               Hence, it’s very important that users patch        use pirated software exhibit a faster rate of
Attacks 2009                                        software installed on their machines to            virus spread” Stefan said.
                                                    the latest versions in order to prevent               In a one-on-one interaction with Eugene
  25%                                               attacks. “Not only the end users, but even         Kaspersky, he said that one of the key
                                                    software developers should be made aware           features of Kaspersky Internet Security 2010
  20%
                                                    of vulnerabilities if found” said Senior AV        is the new “Sandbox” mode which creates
  15%                                               Researcher Roel Schouwenberg.                      a secure virtual environment to protect the
  10%
                                                       Web 2.0 technology which is the                 user from threats. On being questioned
                                                    backbone of most web-based communities             about the biggest challenge for Kaspersky,
   5%                                               is the latest targeted medium. There can           he said “To save the world!” with a grin.
   0%
         JAN     FEB     MAR   APR                  Total number of malicious software samples spreading via social networks
Most filters are not good at identifying
spam delivered as image attachments.
                                 Source: Symantec

   FIGURE OF THE MONTH

               90%
   of all email is scam, with most
    unsolicited advertisements
  delivered between 9 and 10 am.


       10      08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                             SMS us!       Story code: NPL to 57007
                                                                                                                      NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                   NEWS SNIPPETS


TECH LIFE                                                                                               LEGAL ISSUES

Cellphone-triggered irrigation project for farmers                                                      Lost iPhone drives
Farmers in India might no longer have to                                                                worker to suicide
walk for long distances through their fields
to turn on or off their irrigation pumps                                                                A worker at a Chinese factory
located kilometers away. Mobile service                                                                 operated by OEM major
provider Tata Teleservices aims to help                                                                 Foxconn killed himself in mid
farmers with its new scheme, called Nano                                                                July after allegedly being
Ganesh, currently being tested in Gujarat. By                                                           tortured for losing a prototype
sending a code via a cell phone, farmers will                                                           iPhone. Foxconn security staff
be able to trigger a wireless device attached                                                           are reported to have searched
to the pumps which can jumpstart them                                                                   his residence, detained him,
with no further manual intervention. This       wireless device which will actually trigger             and used force to determine
would ease productivity and save long walks     the machinery. The actual service and the               whether he was lying.
in poor weather or late at night when power     phone that will send the code will cost                    Apple usually imposes
is available.                                   another Rs 2,000. This phone will of course             strict secrecy standards
   Due to the erratic nature of electricity     have many of the features of a regular cell             on its manufacturing
supply, it might be difficult in some cases      phone as well.                                          partners, which might have
to keep track of whether the pumps are             Apart from farming, which was the pilot              contributed to the pressure.
on or off, and also to monitor whether or       project for the technology, it can be used              Investigations by Chinese
not power is available at the remote site.      for remotely operating any kind of devices              authorities are currently on. In
These issues will also be addressed by the      and machinery, for example in factories and             a statement, Apple said they
technology.                                     small-scale units, rather than leaving them             are " to ensuring that working
   Developed and manufactured by Ossian         running throughout the day.                             conditions in our supply chain
Agro Automation in Pune, the facility will         If successful, the scheme will be rolled             are safe, workers are treated
cost anyone who wants it Rs 2,700 for the       out across the country soon.                            with respect and dignity".




                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009     11
      NEWSWIRE
  NEWS SNIPPETS


SECURITY                                    SECURITY                                                    SECURITY

                                            Image spam making a huge                                    Indian Govt
NEW SECURITY                                comeback                                                    websites hacked
RISKS DETECTED                              After a relatively long
                                            hiatus, image spam
AND PATCHED                                 is making a massive
                                            comeback in newer and
                                            improved forms that
                                            can evade antispam                                          At least two top Indian
                                            filters. Rather than                                         government websites have
                                            clickable links, these                                      recently been compromised,
                                            messages now have                                           according to security firm
                                            obfuscated URLs hidden                                      Finjan. The Union Public
                                            as images or text, with                                     Services Commission, upsc.
                                            random white spaces                                         gov.in, was modified with an
                                            and masking characters                                      iframe that redirected users
                                            inserted in them.                                           to downloadable malicious
WINDOWS
                                            The images even instruct users to type a URL into their     content hosted on a Polish
Hackers can use manipulated
                                            browser's address bar.                                      server. Later, India’s Institute
multimedia files to access a computer.
Another loophole helps third parties              Subject lines as usual rely on deliberately           of Remote Sensing website,
access any site on the web without the      misspelled phrases promising sex enhancers and cheap        iirs-nrsa.gov.in, was similarly
user knowing.                               pharmaceuticals to tempt users to click on them. Multiple   attacked. After being alerted,
SOLUTION: You can get bug fixes for         similar subject lines from IP addresses spread across       CERT, which maintains
these weaknesses already via the            many countries indicate a botnet of compromised PCs is      the Indian government
Windows Update function.                    at work here. Globally, threats including spam have risen   departments' websites, has
                                            dramatically in the year 2009.                              taken the necessary action.
ITUNES
Apple’s music software iTunes contains
two security holes, which hackers can       SECURITY                                                    SECURITY
use to read user information and to
cause the program and computer to
crash.
                                            Emerging SMS phishing scams                                 Fake "Sex Orkut"
SOLUTION: Install version 8.1 which
fixes the problems.
                                            target users' bank accounts                                 steals passwords
                                            A new form of phishing that uses SMS
MOZILLA FIREFOX                             as the medium of propagation has been
                                            reported by Symantec. Text messages
Hackers have 11 loopholes to use to
make the browser crash and to thus          appearing to be from reputable sources
feed damaged code to the computer.          including mobile banking providers trick
One of the loopholes is in the SSL          users into replying with account details
processing mechanisms.                      including PIN numbers and passwords.
SOLUTION: Version 3.0.11 prevents           These SMS messages can also falsely                         Surfers are warned to stay
memory errors and stops the browser
                                            warn users of unusual bank account                          away from websites claiming
from crashing.
                                            activity, telling them to call a number                     to be adult versions of Orkut
                                            to report it. The call is rerouted to an                    where adult hookups take
KASPERSKY ANTIVIRUS
                                            IVR system which asks them to punch                         place. Your Google username
An error in the way PDF files are           in their account and PIN numbers, which                     and password will be
scanned allows documents with
                                            are then used to withdraw money from                        harvested to collect personal
malicious code outside the file's
                                            their accounts almost instantly.                            information.
content beginning and ending markers
to remain undetected.
SOLUTION: Kaspersky has responded             CHIP.in poll result              High-end cellphone                  Mega-zoom
quickly and an update is available.                                                       17.99%                   19.05%
                                              What type of digital
WEBSITE URLS                                  camera will you buy              Budget point-
                                                                                  and-shoot
URL shortening services like cli.gs are       next?                                 11.39%

being used to mask phishing sites.                                               Compact, stylish                      DSLR
                                                                                 point-and-shoot                       28.99%
SOLUTION: Manually check the browser                                                     22.58%
address bar when clicking links.


   12    08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
   NEWSWIRE
NEWS SNIPPETS


SOFTWARE                              DIGITAL RIGHTS

Windows 7 all set Amazon remotely deletes content from Kindles
for October 22                        Amazon has used a barely-publicized                     domain The titles, including classics
                                      feature of its WhisperNet distribution                  such as 1984 and Animal Farm, were
Windows 7, the                        platform for its Kindle ebook readers                   however not in the public domain.
long-anticipated                      to remotely wipe out ebooks that                        The main point of contention now is
successor                             customers had downloaded, without                       whether Amazon should have stopped
to Windows                            any prior notice.                                       at pulling the ebooks from its store,
Vista, will be                           The issue came about because of                      rather than forcibly recalling users'
officially launched on October         a publishing partner who distributed                    purchases. CEO Jeff Bezos later
22 this year. Microsoft has           books for $1 claiming they had the right         issued a personal apology over the handling
announced that the OS has             to do so as the books fell in the public         of the incident.
reached its RTM (Release To
Manufacturing) milestone.
It is now in the hands of             BUSINESS
OEMs who need to get their
PCs ready, and IHV/ISVs               Microsoft surprises world, releases open source code
(independed hardware and
software vendors) who need            In a move that Microsoft itself admitted         If this code makes its way into the Linux
to prepare their new hardware         would surprise many people, the company          kernel itself, distributions would be able
and applications.                     has released around 20,000 lines of code to      to take advantage of improved Hyper-V
   The final build, numb               the Linux community. The code in question        virtualization out of the box.
ered 7600.16385, will                 will allow the Linux kernel to run with             The move will undoubtedly help adoption
be available to MSDN                  enhanced permissions and device access           of Hyper-V, which is being seen as the main
subscribers as early as the           when used with Hyper-V virtualization            motivation for contributing to the Linux
first week of August.                  technology on a Windows-based host.              kernel rather than altruism.



WEB                                   WEB                                                 WEB

MS goes after IM KaZaA makes a comeback                                                   Codec-free Web video
spammers         with legal rental scheme                                                 concept in trouble
Microsoft                                                          Once-notorious                             Streaming video that
has filed                                                           P2P file-sharing                            doesn't need proprietary
suit against                                                       service KaZaA is                           codecs such as Flash and
a Hong                                                             all set to make                            QuickTime has been an
Kong based                                                         a comeback as a                            ambitious target of the
company                                                            legitimate online                          groups responsible for
called                                music store. After being sued by music and                              crafting the next version
Funmobile for allegedly               movie companies a few years ago, KaZaA              of HTML, but recent developments have cast
abusing its Windows Live              has not been heard from. Now, Sharman               a shadow over this possibility. The proposed
Messenger platform to spread          Networks, its parent company, has settled           <VIDEO> tag would require HTML 5 compliant
spam and links to phishing            its lawsuits and will soon offer a monthly          browsers to include the free Ogg Theora
sites that look deceptively           subscription of US$ 20 for unlimited                codec by default, and use this to interpret
similar to official Microsoft          downloads. The downloaded or streamed               compatible video streams. However, online
web pages. Funmobile's                music will be playable on up to three               video giants including Google, the owners of
activities also allegedly             Windows PCs, and will come with a digital           YouTube, are currently unwilling to support it.
compromise users' privacy by          copy protection scheme, which means no                 While Ogg Theora is acknowledged to be
repeating the spam messages           portable players will be able to work with          weaker than several proprietary standards,
to everyone in a victim's             it. However, KaZaA plans to offer unlimited         it is the only capable free codec available.
contact list.                         ringtone downloads for your cell phone.             Google argues that its compression is not
   Microsoft says the suit               As a subscription service, all your              good enough to support the millions of
was filed to protect its users         downloaded music will stop working if you           videos streamed by YouTube users each day,
in addition to eliminating the        choose to stop paying the monthly fee at            and a switch would drastically increase its
burden on its own servers.            any point.                                          bandwidth requirements.


14       08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
     NEWSWIRE
NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED




   NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED
   COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI




   COREL                                                                                   VIEWSONIC

   Netbook-ready office                                                                    Stylish Full HD monitor
   suite                                                                                   ViewSonic has announced the launch
                                                                                           of its 22-inch Full HD 1080p monitor,
   Corel has announced Corel Home                                                          the VX2233wm. With a stylish slim-
   Office, a new office suite designed                                                     bezel design and a glossy piano
   specifically to address the needs
   of consumers and home-based                   directions and a 4.3-inch touch-
   businesses. With its low memory               screen for better user interface to its
   requirements and small footprint, Corel       consumers. Loaded with the latest
   Home Office is also ideally suited for        SatGuide maps, the new attributes
   netbooks. It includes Corel Write for         of the device like GPS navigator,
   word processing, Corel Calculate for          calculator and digital entertainment
                         spreadsheets and        features- audio & video player
                         Corel Show for          make it a multi-functionality gadget
                         presentations.          ideal to carry while traveling. The
                         The sleek and           comprehensive SatGuide Maps include
                         simple interface        detailed road maps of 200+ cities and
                         lets users easily       more than 15 lakh points of interest.
                         access the tools        PRICE: Rs 16,990
                         and features            WEBSITE: www.satguide.in                  black finish, this monitor offers an
                         they use most.                                                    ultra-high 18,000:1 dynamic contrast
                         With extensive          SPICE MOBILES                             ratio that produces greater detail
                         file format                                                        and definition especially in darker
                         support (including      Entertainment                             images, resulting in richer colors and
                         Microsoft Office)
   and the ability to create PDFs in all         mobile phone                              vivid graphics. Elevating work, play
                                                                                           and entertainment, the innovative
   three applications, it’s easier than ever                                               22-inch VX2233wm has high brightness
   to communicate and share materials            Spice Mobiles has                         and 5ms video response time. The
   with others. You can quickly toggle           announced the Spice                       display features automatic aspect
   between 13 available languages to             M-5252, a multi-SIM                       ratio adjustment that ensures a full,
   work in the language of your choice.          GSM phone with                            undistorted screen image as well as
   Delivery on a USB stick makes Corel           innovative features.                      invisible stereo speakers and Optisync
   Home Office easy to install on the            The M-5252 is loaded                      digital/analog inputs for sound clarity
   go—even on netbooks without an                with a wireless radio                     compatibility and configuration
   optical drive.                                to relieve you from the                   flexibility.
   PRICE: US$ 69.99 (approx Rs 3,400)            hassle of carrying headsets for music,    PRICE: Rs 11,000
   WEBSITE: www.corelhomeoffice.com              a motion sensor to just shake and         WEBSITE: in.viewsonic.com
                                                 play your music, and intelligent quick
   SATNAV TECHNOLOGIES                           search. The first phone launched           LENOVO
                                                 under Spice Mobiles’ BIG series, Spice
   Multifunction GPS                             M-5252 comes fully loaded with a          Entry-level multimedia
   device                                        Big Screen so users can enjoy their
                                                 pictures and videos better, promises      notebook
                                                 great Big Sound via its dual speakers,
   SatNav Technologies has launched              Big Memory expandable up to 8GB, Big      Lenovo has introduced its aggressively
   the new SatGuide PND Moov 300. The            Battery with 10 days’ standby time and    priced Lenovo G Series notebooks
   new personal navigation device (PND)          a Torch that is powered by Dual LED.      for value conscious consumers. The
   will provide hassle free road navigation      PRICE: Rs 3,499                           Lenovo G430 and G550 are thin, light
   with features like voice-prompted             WEBSITE: www.spice-mobile.com             and affordable entry-level 14-inch and


   16    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                     SMS us!   Story code: NPL to 57007
                                                                                                                              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.




                                           D-LINK                                              USB connector
                                                                                               and shields the
                                           SOHO KVM Switch                                     connector. The
                                                                                               glossy, metallic
                                           D-Link has introduced its KVM switch                casing gives the
                                           DKVM-4U for cost effective control of               C903 an elegant
                                                     several servers in a computer             look, making it
                                                      room, allowing an engineer               an eye-catching
                                                      to handily manipulate all                accessory when
                                               connected computers from a                      strapped to
                                           single monitor, keyboard and mouse.                 cellphones, bags
15-inch notebooks with DVD burners         You can switch quickly between the                  or key chains. With
and optional HDMI ports. Small on the      individual client computers by pushing              capacities up to
wallet and big on value, the G Series      a button on the D-Link KVM switch                   32GB and two vivid
are entry-level notebooks that provide     or by pressing the hot keys on your                 colors to choose from, the C903 USB
consumers and home office or SMB           keyboard. The KVM switch confirms                    flash drive lets you carry data in style.
users the key processing, graphics and                                                         PRICE: TBA
connectivity features they need to                                                             WEBSITE: www.adata-group.com
stay productive at work and at home.
The G550 is lighter and thinner than
other affordable notebooks and offers                                                          BOOK REVIEW
a sleek design with choices of silver or
glossy slate finish. A 16:9 aspect ratio    the switchover with an acoustic signal,             Official GMAT Study
panel, DVD burner/player and optional
HDMI port make it ideal for displaying
                                           and has LEDs indicating which PC is
                                           currently being served by the console.              Guide
multimedia presentations or watching       The DKVM-4U offers VGA/SVGA
movies.                                    monitor support, USB connection                     The 12th edition of The Official Guide
PRICE: TBA                                 to the keyboard and mouse, up to                    for GMAT Review is now on sale in
WEBSITE: www.lenovo.com                    4 servers/PCs, PC/server selection                  bookstores and online at www.mba.
                                           through push buttons or hot key                     com. This is the only study guide that
TREK                                       commands, and automatic scanning of                 includes past questions from the exam.
                                           PCs every 10 seconds.                               Thoroughly revised and updated, The
Smallest                                   PRICE: Rs 4,620                                     Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th

external                                   WEBSITE: www.dlink.co.in                            Edition, includes 300 GMAT questions
                                                                                               never before available to the public.

hard drive                                 A-DATA                                              The newly released practice questions
                                                                                               are among 800 verbal and quantitative
Trek has launched                          Designer flash                                                         questions from the
the new 1.8-inch
external DivaDrive. Claimed to be          drive                                                                   GMAT that appear only
                                                                                                                   in this guidwe. The
the smallest external hard drive, it is                                                                            Official Guide for GMAT
available in 60 GB, 120 GB and 160         A-DATA has unveiled the new                                             Review, 12th Edition,
GB capacities. No drivers are required,    swivel-designed C903 USB                                                features a diagnostic
making it easy and convenient to use.      flash drive. Accentuated by                                              section to help people
You can simply plug and play via the       its glossy, metallic swivel                                             determine where to
USB port. The DivaDrive is compact         casing with distinctive                                                 concentrate their
and light, with low power consumption      asymmetric contours, C903                                               efforts.
under both active and suspend modes.       is delicately designed to                                               PRICE: US$ 30.95
Additionally, no external power supply     bring out the minimalist style                                          (approx Rs 1,500)
required.                                  with an innovative touch.                                               WEBSITE: www.mba.
PRICE: TBA                                 The unique outer casing                                                 com
WEBSITE: www.trek2000.com.sg               of the C903 protects its                                                        – jamshed.avari@chip.in



                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         08/2009     17
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




The Mind of a Pornographer
Is technology to blame for the recent spate of high-profile sex scandals, or are we losing sight
of the actual root of the problem?
BY DUSHYANT KHILNANI AND FRANCIS D'SA




P
          ornographic clips have probably             around pornographic clips. It has                      video sharing (just like it’s helping to
          been around since video was                 become so easy to shoot and share                      enable everything else), the deeper
          first invented, but it’s only in             video via MMS or email that you can                    truth is that nothing in recent years
recent years that cellphones and the                  now never be sure where a private                      has really changed about the motives
Internet have made it so easy to watch                recording will spread to. Even underage                of the people who actually record
and spread them. These days, there                    children are “sexting” each other for                  and spread videos with malicious
are news reports almost every day                     amusement, without realizing that lost                 or lascivious intent. As renowned
about pornographic clips being shot,                  phones are often found by opportunistic                clinical psychologist Varkha Chulani
distributed via MMS and even sold                     strangers and even trusted friends can                 told us, those who take video clips
openly. Many of these videos are shot                 play nasty pranks by making these clips                clandestinely usually do so to gain
without the knowledge of the subjects,                public.                                                power over the victim and emotionally
but quite a few are also voluntary                       While technology is certainly                       blackmail them, or because they fear
performances that were never intended                 helping to enable the murkier side of                  rejection during regular socialization, or
to leak out to the general public. There
have even been instances of rapes
being filmed by the perpetrators.
   Video-enabled cellphones, being
quite inexpensive and easy to conceal,
                                                        Spy camera                             Standard USB interface                 Working pen
are now at the center of the storm



          Interview
                                                      A                                                      Q
 Based out of Mumbai, Ms Chulani is also a                 It could be a combination of a genetic                 What goes into curing such patients? Can
 psychotherapist and practices independently as            disorder plus very faulty ways of living, but          you tell us about anyone who has come to
 well as in hospitals such as Lilavati. She is an     usually you would see that it’s a genetic              you for help?


                                                                                                             A
 Associate Fellow & Supervisor of the Albert Ellis    predisposition to this kind of illness. Sometimes          Patients have to undergo a reconstruction
 Institute, New York, and is only the second          we don’t go so far and say that they suffer from           of attitude through the combination of
 recognized and accredited practitioner in Asia.      bipolar disorder, but there is definitely a            psychotherapy and proper medication. People
                                                      personality disorder.                                  who flash obscenely in public places are scared


 Q
      Some people might blame technology to                                                                  that they will never be accepted by the opposite


                                                      Q
      some extent for the spread of porn clips,            Do people try to ape cases that involve           sex if he or she really approaches or initiates
 would you too?                                            celebrities?                                      any interaction. As a therapist, I would never


 A                                                    A
      I don’t blame technology itself because it           Yes, and this is mainly because aping a           condemn the person for his or her acts. The very
      has been brought in to simplify our lives. It        favorite celebrity and then becoming              fact that he or she is coming to seek help shows
 is we who have tried to complicate it by             known, gives the doer a sense of satisfaction          his discontent about the way he’s conducting
 misusing what otherwise could be advantageous        about being one with the celebrity. He feels that      himself or herself. In one case, a young 12th
 to us.                                               he’s at par with and is as famous as his favorite      standard girl was brought in by her mother. This
                                                      actor or actress.                                      girl stood nude in front of her webcam and


 Q
      Is it mainly teenagers and young adults                                                                showed herself to her boyfriend based in


                                                      D
      who record and spread these clips?                   o you think that gadgets, especially camera       London, and then started feeling extremely


 A
      Yes, in teens you will see a need for                phones, should be banned in schools and           guilty about it. Now I wouldn’t want this girl to
      excitement and impulsiveness to be very         colleges?                                              feel so ashamed that she decides to end her life.


                                                      A
 high. Often, you’ll see people racing like crazy          Yes, good schools have already disallowed         Instead, I want her to see the reasons for her
 on a highway. So, it’s just a thrill to get away          the usage of mobile phones on campus. If          actions and help her to re-question them. Was it
 from a mundane and routine life which is so          discipline is unfortunately not enforced at home,      because of her need for sexual gratification, or
 boring and unexciting.                               we have to enforce it in institutions. It’s not        was it her fear of being rejected by the boy? In
                                                      about schools and colleges. It is us, the parents      this case it was the latter. If she was mentally


 Q
      Does spreading porn clips mean a person         that need to be sensible enough not to buy these       solid and did not mind being rejected, she would
      has some kind of disease?                       things for our children.                               never have done it.




18    08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                          SMS us!    Story code: NCC to 57007
                                                                                             NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                  FEATURE


simply for the thrill of doing something     Varkha Chulani
illicit and arousing (and possibly getting   Clinical Psychologist
                                             and Psychotherapist
caught in the act). “We first need to get
to the bottom of the attitudinal reasons
for peoples’ actions and help them
reconstruct their faulty philosophies or
ideas which lead them to do such things
in the first place. We believe that every
action has a predecessor in thought, for
instance, what was this man or woman
thinking?”


Why do people do it?
One of the major reasons that people
commit sex crimes is that they have
severe feelings of inadequacy—rather
than a sexual perversion. Their feelings
of self-loathing ad their inability to
make regular channels of socialization
and communication work could compel
them to believe that doing something
drastic is the only way to be recognized.
   Mentally, they feel so useless that
their only escape comes when they’re
able to conquer, and succeeding in
sexual conquest is what makes them
feel worthy. By extension, shooting
videos of unsuspecting victims in
changing rooms, for example, is an
easier way of gaining such conquest
without actually requiring physical
contact with the victim. On the other
hand, someone taping themselves
committing rape would likely be to
satisfy a constant need for attention.
   In many cases these videos have
been used to exercise continuing power
over a victim through blackmail and
exploiting their natural fear of earning
a bad reputation should the videos leak
out in public. Some victims have given
in because they were scared of being
rejected by their boyfriends. Of course,
there are also those who simply take
these videos for profit—people pay
good money for videos that satisfy their
various fetishes, and there is always
demand for fresh material.
   It’s also possible that videos are
taken to settle scores with the victims,




       HEALTHY AND
   SENSIBLE LOVING WILL
                                                                                                                  Shiresh Karrale




   NEVER LEAD TO MISUSE
   OF TECHNOLOGY.


                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009   19
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE


most typically because of spurned
romantic advances.
   In all these cases, the existence of
technology is simply a means to an
end, not the reason for committing the
crimes in the first place. The motive
for recording a porn clip is unlikely to
be just that it’s possible. Such videos
aren’t just restricted to MMS messages
on mobile phones. They were circulated
on VHS long before even DVDs and
CDs made it easy, and were screened in
private viewing halls or distributed as
printed stills even before that.
   Nevertheless, mobile phones and
even high-tech spy cams are making
it easier to capture people unawares
in even the most innocent seeming
situations, which means that everyone              Miniature spycams can be
                                                   concealed very smartly.
needs to be aware of the dangers of                The only thing visible is a
hidden recording devices.                          tiny pin-hole, which again,
                                                   is very hard to notice.

Detecting a spy cam
There might not be any 100-percent             Follow any wires that run from the       etiquette. Point 5 clearly states “Mobile
foolproof way to know whether you are       furniture under a carpet or behind a        phones should not be used to capture
being recorded by a hidden spy camera,      curtain.                                    photographs of individuals without their
but there are a few precautions you can        A slight whirring noise could be         knowledge and consent. They should not
take even if you are with someone you       caused by the pan-and-zoom functions        be used to take photographs in public
trust.                                      of a motion-sensing camera.                 places deemed private like swimming
   Run your eye over the typical hiding        If you see a dot on any object that      pools, gyms etc. The privacy of
places such as the frames of paintings      you suspect is a camera, turn on your       persons around the user of the camera
and mirrors, flower pots, air conditioning   mobile phone’s camera and point it at       phone should be respected. However
vents, smoke detectors, light fixtures,      the dot. If you see a bright flare on the    these are just points, not laws that
stuffed toys, pens, buttons, etc.           screen, you’re looking at an IR spy cam.    can be enforced in a court leading to
   Don’t ignore unusual dots of light in       Some spy cams could be hidden in         punishment for offenders. Laws already
unlikely places (such as speaker grills),   plain sight! A webcam next to a PC or       exist to protect victims or harassment
since these could be the power LEDs of      embedded in a laptop’s lid could be         and rape, which can be strengthened
hidden cameras.                             recording you even if it appears to be      by our cyber crime laws which prohibit
                                            switched off. To be extra safe, turn it     the electronic transmission of illegal
                                            away, cover it, or pull the plug.           material. These laws exist to protect all
                                                                                        of us, and can be used whether or not
                                            Official involvement                        technology is involved in the crime. So
                                            The Department of Telecom has recently      the DoT’s guidelines can be interpreted
                                            laid down norms on the usage of             more as a self-enforceable code of
                                            mobile phones in public places. On their    moral conduct, but it’s up to us to use
                                            official website, www.dot.gov.in, there’s   technology responsibly.
                                            a downloadable PDF file which lists                                      - francis.dsa@chip.in
                                            several pointers regarding mobile phone                            dushyant.khilnani@chip.in




                                                    IT’S NOT ABOUT SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES.
                                               IT IS THE PARENTS THAT NEED TO BE SENSIBLE
                                                     ENOUGH NOT TO BUY THESE THINGS
                                                            FOR THEIR CHILDREN.


20
     NEWSWIRE
PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY




                                               IF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE IS STORED
                                               ON ONE COMPUTER, YOU'D
                                               BETTER HAVE A BACKUP
                                               STRATEGY IN PLACE.
                                               JAMSHED AVARI, ASSISTANT EDITOR - TECHNICAL




          BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
                                           I
                                                t's true. No one really bothers to back      in my PC's life: the infamous Chernobyl virus
                                                up their data until they lose everything.    knocked out over a year's worth of fi les. Ever
                                                Friends and coworkers often share horror     since then, I've been making mostly-regular
                                                stories of viruses or power surges knock-    backups on CDs, DVDs, online services and
                                           ing out their hard drives, but it takes a per-    now an external hard drive. My phone's
                                           sonal tragedy to really drive the point home:     contacts and messages are synced regularly
                                           your entire digital life can be wiped out in      and my email is automatically forwarded to a
                                           a second. A good friend had been putting          Web-based account. I don't currently use any
                                           off the purchase of an external hard drive        dedicated software for scheduled incremental
                                           for nearly a year, unable to decide between       backups, but given the increasing number of
                                           brands and never quite motivated enough to        PCs and devices I now use and store data on
                                           make the trip to Lamington Road to buy it.        (and my remarkable ability to lose track of
                                           Last week he was hit by a particularly nasty      DVDs and other removable media), a central-
                                           virus that left his computer unbootable,          ized, networked storage and backup system
                                           trapping all his documents and several years'     is currently in the works. Data recovery soft-
                                           worth of downloaded music and movies in           ware has saved my skin on many occasions,
                                           addition to an irreplaceable collection of        but it's only good for when you accidentally
                                           rare graphic novels collected painstakingly       delete something or format a disk, not if the
                                           over the years. Unwilling to format his drive     medium is physically damaged or lost.
                                           and unable to boot from it too, he decided             In one way or another, computers will fail,
                                           to take it to another friend's place to try and   DVDs will develop errors, cellphones will get
                                           copy data off it there. All might have gone       stolen and pen drives will be lost. Hopefully
                                           according to plan had a screwdriver not           these won't happen at the worst possible
                                           slipped and grazed the drive's circuit board      moment and you won't need to learn the hard
                                                                while removing it from       way. Take this as a friendly reminder: make

    MAKE A NOTE OF ALL THE                                      a rather tightly packed
                                                                cabinet. It wouldn't
                                                                                             backups a habit. Set a day aside every month
                                                                                             or consciously end each project with a simple

   FILES YOU HAVE THAT CAN                                      even spin up after that.
                                                                Tortured by the thought
                                                                                             backup routine. It's totally painless and
                                                                                             barely consumes any time.

   NEVER BE REPLACED, SUCH                                      that his data is all still
                                                                on the drive but can't be
                                                                                                  More importantly, make a note of all the
                                                                                             fi les you have that can never be replaced or

   AS YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS.                                      accessed, he's currently
                                                                scouring second-hand
                                                                                             recreated, such as your digital camera photos
                                                                                             and anything you've typed or recorded
                                                                shops and scrap dealers      yourself. You can always download new cop-
                                           for an identical drive from which he can          ies of your music and movies, but if you lose
                                           swap the circuit board to attempt some sort       several years' worth of digital photos, there
                                           of recovery. Forget about backup copies, he       are no negatives to make fresh prints from. If
                                           doesn't even have a list of all the fi les he     you have only one copy of your photos folder,
                                           stands to lose.                                   you're really tempting fate.
                                              My own tragedy happened relatively early                                    - jamshed.avari@chip.in




   22   08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                           SMS us!    Story code: NJC to 57007
TEST CENTER
 HARDWARE                         PRODUCT
                                  OF THE
                                         MONTH


DELL
ADAMO
THIRTEEN
     VERDICT: Form clearly wins out over
     function with this one, but if you only want
     a laptop to be seen with in public, nothing
     quite beats it.
     FOR: Beautiful construction,
     undeniable style.
     AGAINST: Weak performance,
     extremely high price.




                       A
                               d
                               damo is Dell’s name for a new line of slim,
                                    i D ll’        f                            drag along the right
                               stylish, price-no-bar laptops. The first of       or bottom edges and
                               these is the Adamo thirteen, a sculpted          continue to run your
                       rectangular slab no more than 0.65 inches thick and      finger in a circle to keep
                       available in either Onyx black or Pearl white. The       scrolling. We found the
                       looks are unlike anything Dell has produced before,      gesture detection a bit too sensitive, and had to
                       with a strong industrial feel and textured etched        adjust it in the software settings.
                       aluminum incorporating multiple patterns and                The metal and glass lid is sturdy and solid, and
                       textures which make it feel minimalist, yet indulgent.   is hinged about an inch lower than the rear edge in
                       The materials are top-notch and even the showy           order to accommodate the laptop’s power, Ethernet,
                       transparent box it comes in and the slim power           and expansion ports. It’s an unusual design, but
                       brick are nicely thought out. The whole point is to      helps keep things thin all around. The two USB
                       look good and stand out from the crowd, which is         and one combo USB/eSATA ports at the back (in
                       something the Adamo line should do very well. The        addition to a headphones socket on the side) are
                       price of such style? A cool Rs 1,20,000 onwards.         a pleasant surprise for a laptop of this size. Also in
                          Opening the lid you’ll first see the 13.4-inch         the back are the stereo speakers, resulting in pretty
                       screen which is bright and sharp, but surrounded         hollow-sounding audio playback. Strangely, there’s
                       by a rather thick black border. It’s also completely     no Kensington lock slot to be found, but there is
                       glossy, which looks great but isn’t the most usable      a SIM card slot for cellular data access, once that
                       indoors. The unique scalloped keyboard with its          becomes available here. In the absence of an optical
                       slightly concave flat keys and white backlighting is      drive, at least an SD card reader would have come in
                       mostly comfortable to use, except for the lowest         handy, but one hasn’t been included.
                       row of keys which is somewhat obstructed by the             Other than that, little design touches are
                       rim of the main body. The trackpad boasts a single       everywhere. Another glass strip above the keyboard
                       multi-touch gesture: pinch-and-spread zooming.           houses a row of touch-sensitive volume and media
                       You also have circular scrolling, which lets you         control buttons while the power button itself



24     08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                        SMS us!    Story code: HCI to 57007
                                                                                                                                             TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                              HARDWARE




                                                                         More ports than a Macbook Air, including a
                                                                         cool USB/eSATA combo.




changes from white to orange when the battery is                        to let you add special effects on the
running low.                                                            fly (at the cost of some serious lag) or
   The Adamo thirteen’s main shortcomings can be                        video chat via common IM protocols.
found inside its beautiful body. For starters, the CPU                     Battery life is claimed to be five hours,
is an anemic 1.2 GHz ultra-low voltage Intel Core                       but we only managed this by leaving the
2 Duo U9300, which is good enough for common                            Adamo thirteen on and doing nothing. Moderate
tasks but actually struggles quite a bit when it                        usage including Web surfing and a bit of movie
comes to playing high-def and even some standard                        playback gave us less than three hours in testing.
resolution videos. Even with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM,                          Not only is the battery non-removable and non-user
playing recent games is simply out of the question                      replaceable, but there is also no LED indicator to
thanks to the weak CPU and onboard graphics. Wi-Fi                      tell you whether it’s charging or not. Benchmark
N, Bluetooth 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, a 1.3-megpixel                      scores were also quite underwhelming, with only
webcam and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit                            2448 points in our CineBench test. The audio
are standard, though not exactly thrilling. The only                    compression, video transcoding and file archiving
really cool piece of hardware inside it is the non-                     tests took 223 seconds, 127 seconds and 133
optional 128 GB solid-state hard drive. You can                         seconds respectively; nearly twice the time taken by
choose a Pearl Adamo thirteen with a 1.4 GHz CPU                        most of the mainstream notebooks we’ve recently
and 4 GB of RAM for an additional Rs 20,000 and                         tested. In fact the test scores veer dangerously close
also outfit it with a matching external hard drive or                    to netbook territory.
DVD-RW, but there are no configuration options for                          You could easily get performance like this in a
the graphics, memory, storage, or anything else.                        sub-Rs 40,000 laptop today. Dell is betting rather
   Dell has also attempted to pretty up the                             heavily that there
software. Windows Vista sports a custom login                           are enough people
screen background and all desktop icons are by                          who have no budget
default hidden in favor of a dock-like launcher bar
on the top of the screen. The launcher seemed
                                                                        constraints and who
                                                                        care only about looks.
                                                                                                             The whole point is
needlessly intrusive, with programs like Windows                        While there’s nothing                to look good and
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                      Media Player
                                                      listed under
                                                                        stopping you from
                                                                        buying an Adamo if                   stand out from the
Rs. 1,20,000
www.dell.co.in
                                                      “Music” as well
                                                      as “Videos”
                                                                        you like it, you should
                                                                        know that a whole lot
                                                                                                             crowd.
Dimensions (WxHxD): 331 x 16.39 x 242 mm;             and some          better can be had for
Weight: 1.83 kg; Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo U9300,
                                                      truly ghastly     half the price.
1.2 GHz; RAM: 2 GB 800 MHz DDR3; Storage: 128 GB
solid-state drive; Screen: 13.4 inches; OS: Windows   animation                  - jamshed.avari
Vista Home Premium; Warranty: 1 Year                  effects. Dell                       @chip.in
   RATINGS                                            also bundles a
BUILD QUALITY                                         few webcam-
FEATURES
                                                      related
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING                                        applications
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009   25
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

THE D725 IS
GREAT FOR
PORTABLE
BUDGET
COMPUTING.




                                                          LAPTOP


                                                         ACER EMACHINES D725
                                                         FOR: Rugged, good performance and price point.
                                                         AGAINST: A little low on features.




                                                         T
                                                                   he eMachines D725 is               Intel GM 45 chipset and is powered by
                                                                   affordable, utilitarian and        an Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor.
                                                                   performs well too. It has a        Although the scores corroborate that
                                                                   standard form factor but is        this laptop is a tad low on resources—in
                                                         almost as cheap as a premium netbook.        comparison with other laptops—its target
                                                         With regard to hardware, the RAM is          audience will be satisfied. Most office
                                                         a mere 1 GB, the hard drive is only 160      applications such as the Microsoft Office
                                                         GB and there’s no discrete graphics.         2007 suite will run smoothly.
                                                         Nevertheless, the core component—the            On a side note, it’s worth mentioning
                                                         processor—is quite good.                     that netbook manufactures have already
                                                            Considering its performance, the          come up with netbooks that are almost
                                                         professional design and the price point,     as big as laptops, but feature hardware
                                                         this laptop is ideal for a home or SOHO      that is common to netbooks, not to
   SPECIFICATIONS                                        environment. Pre-loaded with Windows         mention the attractive price points.
Rs 27,121                                                Home Basic, it has most of the standard         This laptop has an all-black body with
www.acer.co.in
                                                         features. There 2 USB and a VGA port,        a textured and glossy lid, and a matte
Dimensions (WxHxD): 337 x 38 x 228 mm; Weight:
2.18 kg; Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, 2.00         audio jacks, a multi-card reader, Ethernet   bezel. This theme makes it look quite
GHz; Memory: 1 GB DDR2; Hard disk: 160 GB; Screen        jack, a webcam and a DVD writer. The         business or office-like. The rugged build,
size: 14-inch; Connectivity: gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N   onboard graphics and the 14-inch screen      strong hinges and the top notch quality
and Bluetooth.
                                                         suffice for entertainment. The built-in      of the plastic complement the overall
   RATINGS                                               speakers are quite loud.                     design. If you like a simple looking laptop,
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES
                                                            Its price justifies the hardware           this will interest you.
PERFORMANCE                                              configuration used. It is built around the                    - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




26      08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                              TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                              HARDWARE




                                                                                                      VERDICT

                                                                                                  BUY IT IF
                                                                                                  STYLE, AND
                                                                                                  GOOD
                                                                                                  PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                  ARE WHAT
                                                                                                  YOU'RE
                                                                                                  LOOKING FOR.


 LAPTOP


WIPRO EGO BM 2700
FOR: Rugged build and good performance.
AGAINST: No eSATA, a little heavy for an ultra-portable laptop.




T
          he Wipro Ego will mostly attract     This laptop is built around the Intel IGP
          business personnel and profes-     chipset - GM 45 - and is powered by an
          sionals that require powerful      Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor. This
          computing on the go. This          configuration, along with 4 GB DDR2 RAM
laptop not only offers the latest features   and a roomy 250 GB hard drive makes this
but performs very well in most applica-      laptop quite powerful and functional.
tions and looks pretty stylish.                Considering that it’s a business laptop,
  Considering that it is mainly intended     we weren’t expecting a flamboyant design.
for business, the Ego will suffice for       Despite the straight-line design, this
mainstream and even some high-end            laptop sports stylish looks, an all-black
applications. The onboard graphics and       shell and a sturdy body. Quality-wise, the
the crisp and glossy screen are great        chassis and lid are strong, thanks to the
for watching movies and light gaming.        heavy gauge plastic and the hinges. The
Connectivity is offered via Wi-Fi N,         keyboard is quite comfortable to use, with               SPECIFICATIONS
Gigabit Ethernet and a dial-up modem for     large and well spaced keys. The touch                 Rs 55,000
                                                                                                   www.egobywipro.com
faxing—which is rare amongst the latest      pad is responsive but it should have had a
                                                                                                   Dimensions (WxHxD): 298 x 33 x 250 mm; Weight:
laptops. Other features include 3 USB,       larger surface area to work with.                     2.16 kg; Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 2.40
1 FireWire, an RJ45 and an RJ11 port. The      Considering the hardware configuration               GHz; Memory: 4 GB DDR2; Hard disk: 250 GB; Screen
standard ones include a DVD writer, a card   and the feature set, this laptop is great.            size: 12-inch; Connectivity: gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N
                                                                                                   and Bluetooth.
reader, a webcam and a VGA port. Since       Since the built-in speakers aren’t very loud,
the laptop has a hard drive with very good   you’ll have to enjoy your movies and music               RATINGS
                                                                                                   BUILD QUALITY
storage capacity, the absence of an eSATA    wearing headphones.                                   FEATURES
port can be considered a downside.                           - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                   VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               08/2009        27
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

THE ACER WILL
WIN HEARTS
WITH ITS SLIM
DESIGN, LARGER
SCREEN AND
AMAZING
BATTERY LIFE.


                                                       NETBOOK


                                                      ACER ASPIRE ONE 751H
                                                      FOR: Excellent build quality, HD playback, excellent battery life.
                                                      AGAINST: Outdated processor.




                                                      W
                                                                      ith companies like Asus,        keys. The netbook has a 1366x768 display
                                                                      Acer, MSI and others            resolution, is capable of playing HD movies
                                                                      bombarding the market           at 720p and has support for high definition
                                                                      with these portable,            audio. Like its predecessor the Acer 751H
                                                      affordable machines, netbooks are               features a multi-gesture touchpad, while
                                                      here to stay. Having changed the face           slightly angular VGA and Ethernet ports
                                                      of “Mobile Computing”, they are better          sets it apart from other netbooks.
                                                      than the average laptop when it comes             The Acer 751H is based on the older
                                                      to portability and battery life and are an      Atom Z520 which operates at 1.3 GHz.
                                                      advantage to those who need it for basic        Nevertheless, the 751H will suffice if you
                                                      requirements such as MS Office Applica-         don’t plan to run demanding applications.
                                                      tions and connecting to the Internet.           The netbook is also equipped with a
                                                        The sleek Acer 751H with a glossy black       160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, three USB
                                                      finish is ergonomically designed, is not         ports, a multi-card reader, Bluetooth
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                      more than an inch thick and weighs just         and Wi-Fi. It can deliver an amazing eight
Rs 26,332                                             about 1.35 kilograms. Though the unit is        hours of battery backup when working on
www.acer.co.in
                                                      prone to finger prints one can overlook          applications such as MS Office and Paint.
Dimensions (WxHxD): 284x25.4x198 mm; Weight:
1.35 kg; Processor: Z520; Chipset: US15W; Memory: 1   this for its robust build quality. The glossy     The Acer 715H is a great laptop
GB DDR2; Hard Disk: 160 GB; Screen Size: 11.6-inch.   screen tends to attract a lot of glare in a     alternative with its wide 11.6-inch screen
   RATINGS                                            brightly lit room and can be a distraction      and full sized keyboard. But that’s only
BUILD QUALITY                                         while typing or watching a movie.               applicable if you are ready to sacrifice
FEATURES
ERGONOMICS
                                                        Under the 11.6-inch screen lid is a           performance over portability.
PERFORMANCE                                           full-sized keyboard with well spaced                      - sandeep.balachandran@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




28      08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

IF YOU WANT
SOMETHING
ULTRA-SLIM
AND VERY
STYLISH, JUST
BUY THIS.



                                                        NETBOOK


                                                       ASUS EEEPC 1008HA
                                                       FOR: Ultra-light in weight, elegant looks, smart design and good performance.
                                                       AGAINST: Slightly overpriced, battery is not user-replaceable.




                                                       N
                                                                  icknamed Seashell, the EeePC        netbook one of the most attractive ones
                                                                  1008 HA is a cut above the          out there. Underneath these flaps are 2
                                                                  previous models, mainly             USB ports, audio jacks and an Ethernet
                                                                  because of its looks and            jack. Only two things are without flaps,
                                                       design. It is sleek, sexy, and very stylish.   a multi-card reader and a power jack.
                                                       So far netbook manufacturers have paid         Asus has bundled a USB-to-VGA dongle,
                                                       most of their attention to features and        which connects to a tiny USB port,
                                                       convenience, but this baby is sure to win      and this dongle is smartly nestled in a
                                                       a lot of hearts.                               compartment underneath the unit.
                                                         Since the Seashell has hardware                In addition to the looks and design,
                                                       and features that are common to most           even its build quality is worth the praise.
                                                       netbooks, there isn’t much to speak in         The combination of qualities such as
                                                       this regard. The closest match to its          strong hinges, light weight and overall
   SPECIFICATIONS                                      configuration is the 1000HE. Built around       ruggedness is usually hard to find in
Rs 29,620                                              the Intel 945 chipset, this netbook is         netbooks and laptops.
www.asus.com
                                                       powered by an Atom N280 processor, has           Performance-wise, the Seashell will
Dimensions (WxHxD): 262 x 34 x 179 mm; Weight:
1.05 kg; Processor: Intel Atom N280 1.66 GHz;          1 GB RAM and a 160 GB hard drive.              suffice for most office applications,
Memory: 1 GB DDR2; Hard disk: 160 GB; Screen size:       What caught our attention the most           Internet surfing, video conferencing,
10-inch; Connectivity: gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N and   was the slim design—it is as thin as           chatting, watching movies, light gaming,
Bluetooth.
                                                       a thumb and is the lightest netbook            emails and so on. Even the battery runtime
   RATINGS                                             available. The all-black glossy body,          of this netbook is quite impressive - up to
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES
                                                       attractive touchpad, great keyboard and        6 hours.
PERFORMANCE                                            an overall slick finish is what makes this                      - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




30      08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                 HARDWARE




                                                  NETTOP

                                                 PANACHE PO-ECO
                                                 VERDICT: If you need a compact, basic and ready-to-use PC, it's a good option.
                                                 FOR: Good performance, very convenient, installation is quick and very easy.
                                                 AGAINST: Presence of a Windows OS would have added value.




                                                 H
                                                            ere’s a nettop that sports a       of this nettop is as good as that of an
                                                            compact form factor—unlike its     entry-level desktop PC.
                                                            predecessor, the Mini Thin PC.       With regard to features, the back panel
                                                                The only differentiating       has a VGA and 4 USB ports, a parallel
                                                 element is the form factor as the nettop      and a COM port for peripherals. The front
                                                 features the same hardware - Intel Atom       panel has 2 USB ports and audio jacks.
                                                 330 with 1 MB L2 Cache and 1 GB RAM.          While light entertainment will be handled
                                                 However, the hard drive is 160 GB as          by this PC with ease, you can even connect
   SPECIFICATIONS                                opposed to 80 GB in the previous model.       your TV or monitor via S-Video and enjoy
Rs 9,990                                           It's a great option for an office or SOHO   movies on a larger screen. Since the
www.panache.in
                                                 environment. Considering its target           machine doesn’t come pre-installed with
Dimensions (WxHxD): 63 x 245 x 207 mm; Weight:
1.55 kg; Processor: Intel Atom 330, 1.60 GHz;    audience, the hardware will suffice. It       Windows and has no optical drive, you’ll
Memory: 1 GB; Hard disk: 160 GB.                 trounces all nettops that feature Intel’s     have to install the OS via a USB port. The
   RATINGS                                       single core Atom processors. Internet         overall design is above average and the
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES
                                                 surfing, chatting and office suites will run   build is quite sturdy too.
PERFORMANCE                                      very smoothly. Basically the performance                         - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




 MONITOR

VIEWSONIC VX2433M
VERDICT: It's a good entry level 24-inch screen with very good motion rendering.
FOR: Good looking, minimal design, Reasonably priced, Deep blacks
AGAINST: Navigation not easy, Deficient in brightness, light shades affected.




T
             his 24-inch Viewsonic full HD       HD 1920 x 1080, response time is ms (grey
             LCD monitor - VX2433M - has         to grey), with 1000:1 contrast ratio and
             a very smoothly contoured           20,000:1 dynamic ratio and brightness is
             design, slightly curved bottom      300 cd/m².
panel, with a black glossy, shiny bezel.           We plugged the monitor into our
   The connections offered are a DVI-D,          HTPC via the HDMI input, and started
HDMI and VGA in, besides EP (3.5 mm)             off. The dynamic contrast setting gives
input for audio and headphone out. The in        good results but there is white blooming
built speakers are hidden from view as are       on high contrast levels. Manually the
the buttons on the right hand side panel.        brightness can be reduced, but then                      SPECIFICATIONS
   Though setting up is simple with an oval      vividness will be lost. Blacks are deep but           Rs 22,499
                                                 not spectacular. Red, blue and green were             www.viewsonic.com
click on stand, the screen does not swivel
as the overall joint is slightly wobbly.         in good neutrality, but not bang on target.           Dimensions: 572×418×231 mm; Screen size:
                                                                                                       23.6-inches; Response time: 2ms; Optimal resolution:
The monitor does tilt up and down a 20           The brightness is a little patchy while               1920×1080 WUXGA; Aspect ratio: 16:9; Contrast ratio:
degrees or so.                                   the motion video and cleanliness in its               1000:1; Brightness: 300 cd/m2.
   The screen size is actually 23.6 inches,      rendering is good. Noise in the video too                RATINGS
                                                                                                       FEATURES
with a true 16:9 aspect ratio, making this       was minimal.
                                                                                                       ERGONOMICS
one a widescreen. The resolution is full                              - siddharth@tech2.com            PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                       OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                       VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP             08/2009        31
 TEST CENTER




   VERDICT

A PHONE JUST
FOR SOCIAL
NETWORKING
IS NOT WORTH
THIS PRICE.




                                                         MOBILE PHONE


                                                        NOKIA N97
                                                        FOR: Well designed, Superb audio, battery life, very responsive touchscreen.
                                                        AGAINST: Camera is average, has less features, rear panel didn't sit properly




                                                        T
                                                                  he N97 is not sleek and is just       Aside from being able to support Mail
                                                                  a bit on the hefty side, but its    for Exchange POP or IMAP accounts can
                                                                  weight seems well adjusted for      be configured.
                                                                  comfort and portability. The          The browser is very well designed with
                                                        slide out QWERTY keypad and screen            full flash support and is pretty easy to
                                                        angle are great and so is the 3.5-inch        navigate and use with no issues.
                                                        resistive touchscreen. The rear panel           The N97's business features are
                                                        though had a problem sitting back into        limited to a limited edition of QuickOffice
                                                        the grooves and stuck out awkwardly.          wherein documents can't be created,
                                                          The Symbian OS version 9.4 with an          only existing files can be opened. Nokia's
                                                        S60 UI coupled with an ARM 11 434MHz          Zip application and PDF reader are also
                                                        processor makes for speedy usage and          present as is the Active Notes apps.
                                                        multi-tasking. Equipped with one of the         The 5 megapixel camera is really quite
                                                        better music players in Nokia's multimedia    average with features including scene
                                                        range of handsets the N97 does not            modes, exposure, white balance and
   SPECIFICATIONS                                       include codecs like DivX and XviD for video   others. No smile or even face detection.
Rs 36,119                                               playback. Podcasting, a voice recorder and      On a single charge the handset can be
www.nokia.com
                                                        a quick link to YouTube are available but     used for a little over a day with it being
Dimensions (WxHxD): 117.2x55.3x15.9 mm; Weight:
150 g; Display: 3.5 inches, 16M colors; Camera: 5 MP,   the games are not impressive.                 logged in to Facebook and Twitter all the
autofocus, flash; Memory: 32 GB.    RATINGS               The N97 comes loaded with Wi-Fi,            time, one hour's worth of calls, lots of
BUILD QUALITY                                           3G with HSDPA, EDGE/GPRS, Bluetooth           messages, 40 minutes of video and some
FEATURES
ERGONOMICS
                                                        v2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0, Nokia                navigation and music .
PERFORMANCE                                             Maps,vWavesecure OVI ,Hi5 and YouTube.                                -shayne@tech2.com
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




32      08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

PRICEY, BUT A
GOOD CHOICE
FOR WINDOWS
MOBILE
TOUCHSCREEN
FANS



                                                       MOBILE PHONE


                                                      HTC TOUCH DIAMOND 2
                                                      FOR: Good design, good camera, great battery life, audio quality is great
                                                      AGAINST: No GPS software included, the stylus is required in certain places




                                                      T
                                                                 his handset is better designed     Popular mobile video format playback like
                                                                 than its predecessor. Slimmer      3GP or MPEG4 files is supported and other
                                                                 and sleeker the resolution is      video options include a quick access to
                                                                 480 x 800 pixels with 65K          YouTube and an app for Streaming media.
                                                      colors. The screen is not scratch resistant     The Diamond 2 is 3G (with HSDPA)
                                                      so a screen protector would be handy.         ready, has EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
                                                      Full QWERTY keypad, alphanumeric              2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0 and can be used
                                                      mobile keypad, WinMob QWERTY keypad           as a modem. It supports Push mail (via
                                                      and handwriting recognition options are       Exchange) and IMAP and POP3 accounts
                                                      all available.                                can be configured. IE and Opera for mobile
                                                        With Microsoft Windows Mobile               are default. A GPS antenna is also in-built
                                                      6.1 Professional as the OS along with         but no software has been provided. Pocket
                                                      a Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz                   Office, Adobe Reader OneNote Mobile and
                                                      processor, the handset is quite quick even    an RSS feed reader are present.
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                      with apps running in the background.            The 5 megapixel autofocus camera is
Rs 29,990                                               The Default Windows Media Player for        sans any flash so low light pictures are not
www.htc.com
                                                      the TouchFLO player is present and the        too great. It employs a touch focus feature
Dimensions (WxHxD): 107.9x53.1x13.7 mm; Weight:
117.5 g; Display: 3.2 inches, 65K colors; Camera: 5   audio capacity is pretty good from volume     similar to the iPhone 3G S.
megapixel autofocus, touch focus; Memory: 512 MB      to tone. An MP3 trimmer is available for        On a single charge 2 full days of usage
   RATINGS                                            making ringtones.                             is possible, unless Push Mail or Wi-Fi is
BUILD QUALITY                                           The FM radio reception is quite decent      active constantly. Talk time averaged at
FEATURES
ERGONOMICS
                                                      and there’s no recording option but there     almost 4 hours.
PERFORMANCE                                           is a standalone voice recorder for memos.                            - shayne@tech2.com
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




34      08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                        TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                         HARDWARE




 IPOD DOCK                                                               MP3 PLAYER

ALTEC LANSING       MOBIBLU C5 DAP
INMOTION MAX IMT702                                                     VERDICT: Good sound quality but bad battery life.
                                                                        FOR: Good design and portability
VERDICT: The Rs 11,999 price tag is quite steep. It sounds              AGAINST: It’s a pretty good player overall but the
good but there are other choices for quite a bit less.                  battery life is bad and the audio quality could have
FOR: Well designed, FM reception is decent                              been better.
AGAINST: Only 4 FM presets, audio distorts at peak volume




T                                                                       D
             he latest to make it to our labs from the seasoned                    APs seem to be shrinking in size and the mobiBLU
             Altec Lansing is the inMotion MAX or iMT702 iPod                      C5 MP3 player is tiny—just a little larger than a
             dock that's equipped with four speakers—one set                       sugar cube—with a small single color LCD display.
             of two 2-inch (50 mm) full-range drivers and one                          On one side are a set of two buttons, for
set of two 2-inch (50 mm) passive radiators. The system is              activating the menu and to lock the keys. On the opposite
equipped with a 1.5-inch LCD display, touch sensitive controls,         side is a five way navigation system to control the volume and
a docking port, a little pop out stand with a cut off switch, an        scanning of tracks with a play/pause button dead center.
RCA port for the FM antenna (wire included), a DC adapter                 Sound quality is not too bad but there is a constant hollow
port and 3.5mm axial input. The company has also provided               tone that it emits. 6 EQ presets are available including an
dock converters to suit all the iPods that are supported.               option called Microsoft Sound FX. It did make the music sound
  The Xdb bass enhancement technology gives the iMT702 a                much better. Changing the earphones to a good set can also
pleasant and resounding bass level. The highs tend to be a bit          make a difference.
shrill and on peak volume most tracks sound a bit distorted.              There’s no Playlist option, but Repeat and Shuffle modes
The incorporated ESS (Expanded Sound Stage) technology                  are both present. The radio took quite a while in auto scan
gives the sound a surround feel. There's room for only 4 FM             mode while trying to locate all the available stations.
radio stations as presets. It also supports the iPod's alarm.             The C5 comes with voice recorder
                                The remote has rather limited           and a TXT file reader, which seems
   SPECIFICATIONS             features but a range of 30 feet.          pointless as the screen is too small to       SPECIFICATIONS
Rs 11,999                       When connected via DC, the dock         read anything off.                         Rs 3,200
www.alteclansing.com          will charge the iPod. If left to run on     The battery life of the C5 drags         www.importstuff.co.in

Dimensions (WxHxD):           its own power source the player will      this player down. On a single charge       Dimensions (WxHxD): 24x24x24
310x193x52 mm; Total power:   also do the same. With a full charge,     it ran non stop for just five and a half    mm; Weight: 17.9g; Capacity:
120 Watts RMS; Frequency                                                                                           1GB; Functions: MP3 player, FM
response: 90Hz – 20kHz        the iMT702 provided with just about       hours. It could have been something        radio; Audio formats: MP3/WMA
   RATINGS                    3 hours and 10 minutes of juice; not      with the particular piece we reviewed         RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                 too bad. The overall experience was       but then again it might just be the        BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES                                                                                                           FEATURES
                              pretty good.                              tiny design.
ERGONOMICS                                                                                                         ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE                                     - shayne@tech2.com                        - shayne@tech2.com       PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING                                                                                                     OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY                                                                                                    VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      08/2009      37
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE                                                                                                                                     HARDWARE




 MP3 PLAYER                                              MP3 PLAYER                                               BLUETOOTH

MOSER BAER - 2GB DAP                                    NU DOLPHIN TOUCH                                         HCL IPOD BLUETOOTH
VERDICT: At Rs. 1,490 for 2GB, it’s not a               VERDICT: The Nu Dolphin TOUCH is good
                                                                                                                 ADAPTER
bad deal.                                               as just a basic MP3 player.
FOR: Good audio quality and FM                          FOR: Sleek form factor, good FM                          VERDICT: A handy accessory that could
reception                                               reception, plenty of accessories.                        have been much more.
AGAINST: Bad earphones and battery                      AGAINST: Uncomfortable earphones,                        FOR: 3.5-mm audio in, AVRCP support
life                                                    battery life could have been better.                     AGAINST: Limited range and utility




T                                                       T                                                        H
            he Moser Baer MP565 is a                              he cylindrical design of the                               CL’s Universal Bluetooth
            slim USB styled player with                           Nu Dolphin Touch is quite                                  Adapter is a simple way
            a metal clip attached to the                          appealing and it has touch                                 to wirelessly stream audio
            rear making it portable and                           sensitive keys apart from                                  from an iPod, though the
comfortable to wear. It’s not great                     the Power/Play & Pause button.                           high cost and low availability of good
looking but has a simple light weight,                  The device itself is fully water proof                   Bluetooth headphones result in limited
compact design.                                         (International certified IPX7).                           scope for this device. It plugs into any
   The bundled earphones are                              The sound quality under the water                      iPod with a dock connector and has
comfortable to wear but are not up to                   is just so-so. The player needs to be                    a 3.5-mm audio input for other audio
par. The overall clarity of music is not                strapped to your goggles just above the                  sources. A matching receiver with a
too bad with the higher frequencies just                ear making it quite uncomfortable.                       standard audio output, would have
a little brighter                                         The bundled                                            made this a
                           SPECIFICATIONS                                         SPECIFICATIONS                                           SPECIFICATIONS
than the others.                                        normal                                                   killer accessory
It reads MP3 and
                        Rs 1,490                        earphones
                                                                              Rs 5,250                           for home audio
                                                                                                                                        Rs 2,275
                        www.moserbaer.com                                     www.nu-global.com                                         www.hcl.com
WMA formats.            Capacity: 2GB, Audio formats:   are neither           Dimensions (WxHxD): 66.4x21x21     systems.               Dimensions (WxHxD):
   The radio's          MP3/WMA; Radio: FM;             comfortable nor       mm; Weight: 25g; Capacity: 4 GB;     No passcode          40x33x11.5mm; Weight: 12.2g;
reception was           Connectivity: USB 2.0           do they provide       Functions: MP3 player, FM radio;   is required and        Bluetooth version: 1.2; Profiles
                                                                              Audio formats: MP3/WMA.                                   supported: A2DP, AVRCP; Range:
pretty good. It                                         good sound                                               pairing with           up to 10m
                           RATINGS
took 17 seconds         BUILD QUALITY                   quality. Use your         RATINGS                        Bluetooth                 RATINGS
to locate and           FEATURES                        own set. FM           BUILD QUALITY                      headphones             FEATURES
                        ERGONOMICS                                            FEATURES                                                  ERGONOMICS
preset all nine         PERFORMANCE
                                                        reception and         ERGONOMICS
                                                                                                                 takes a few            PERFORMANCE
channels. The           OVERALL RATING                  clarity was great.    PERFORMANCE                        seconds. You can       OVERALL RATING
                        VALUE FOR MONEY                                       OVERALL RATING                                            VALUE FOR MONEY
player is devoid                                          It comes with                                          control playback
                                                                              VALUE FOR MONEY
of any other                                            interchangeable                                          if the headset
features.                                               in-ear plugs                                             has play/pause/
   The battery life is the player's major               for swimming and normal use in other                     skip/rewind buttons. Its biggest failing
flaw. On an average it ran for just about                wet conditions. The player clocked in                    is its less-than-5-meters range. It will
7 hours and change of non-stop audio                    at about 7 hours and 50 minutes or so                    do for stashing your iPod in a backpack
playback.                                               which is not too great.                                  while you walk, but not much else.
                      - shayne@tech2.com                                     - shayne@tech2.com                                     - jamshed.avari@chip.in




38    08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

A QUALITY
POINT-AND-
SHOOT THAT
DOESN'T DENT
YOUR POCKET.




                                                         CAMERA


                                                        PANASONIC LUMIX FS42
                                                        FOR: Good ISO performance, great night mode, accurate AWB/color reproduction
                                                        AGAINST: Image quality is not that great, auto-ISO tends to overshoot sensitivity




                                                        T
                                                                  he Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42          light w/flash, profile shots or landscape
                                                                  is a sleek looking camera that       shots. It did tend to under-expose a few
                                                                  weighs a mere 132-grams, and         pictures every now and then.
                                                                  measures just 98 x 55 x 22 mm.         The camera's Normal Mode is basically
                                                        It's small enough to fit in a pocket and        a completely stripped down manual
                                                        big to be gripped comfortably. The body's      mode, that's not even worth mentioning.
                                                        made up of matte finish plastic parts,            The i.Auto-ISO mode on the other hand
                                                        with a nice balance between gray and           tends to overshoot the ISO sensitivity a bit,
                                                        black parts. The camera's also available       making shots more grainy than required.
                                                        in Silver and Pink and doesn't falter in       It's better to adjust ISO sensitivity
                                                        both aesthetics and sturdiness.                manually and for that you have access
                                                          Button placement's good and at 2.5",         to ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000. ISO
                                                        the camera's LCD screen is slightly smaller    performance was slightly above average,
   SPECIFICATIONS                                       than most others, but its pixel count is       and ISO 200 shots were very low and
Rs 8,990                                                standard at 230,000.                           grainy, which is fantastic.
www.panasonic.com
                                                          The camera comes with a CCD sensor             Overall image quality was a bit iff y and
Dimensions (WxHxD): 98x55x22 mm; Weight: 132g;
                                                        that takes pictures up to 10.1 megapixels      the camera didn't capture details too well.
Resolution: 10.1 megapixel; Focal Length (35 mm
equiv): 33-132 mm; Aperture range: f2.8-f5.9; Shutter   and a 3x optical zoom. The lens can go up      Auto-white balance, on the other hand,
range: 60 – 1/2000 sec.                                 to 33mm for wide shots.                        was spot on and color reproduction was
   RATINGS                                                The FS series is known for its intelligent   vivid. The FS42 impressed in night shots
BUILD QUALITY                                           modes. The Auto Scene Mode works just          and kept colors vivid. Macro performance
FEATURES
ERGONOMICS
                                                        perfectly and always picked the right          was satisfactory too.
PERFORMANCE                                             mode for the right shot, be it night, low                               - nikhil@tech2.com
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




40      08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                             TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                              HARDWARE




                                                                                                      VERDICT

                                                                                                  THE UNIQUE
                                                                                                  SET OF
                                                                                                  FEATURES
                                                                                                  DOESN'T
                                                                                                  JUSTIFY THE
                                                                                                  PRICE.



 CAMERA


CASIO EXILIM EX-FH20
FOR: High speed burst mode, low-light mode and HD video recording work great
AGAINST: Quality of image, stabilization and video at 1000 FPS is low, high price




I
    n a market saturated with super-            low light shots and yields blur-free low
    zooms, the Casio EXILIM EX-FH20             light shots without a tripod.
    manages to stand out with its high            The camera's HD video (1280x720)
    speed still photography, slow-motion        recording modes, include high speed that
video capture, and plethora of features.        lets you take slow motion video of up to
  With a solid body made of smooth,             1000 FPS and standard video. At slightly
hard plastic with ample rubber around           lower FPS, the video recorder yielded
the handgrip, the digicam's button              really good results.
placement's spot on and the mode dial             Image quality was decent; color
doesn't have the standard modes. It             reproduction was good and auto-white
has only one still camera setting. Other        balance was spot-on. The ISO sensitivity
settings include Burst mode with flash,          was also average for a superzoom.
40 FPS burst mode, High Speed video and           The camera's night mode (the High-
standard video. The Macro mode button           speed Low Light mode is awesome) was                  SPECIFICATIONS
is on the left side of the lens, making it      just about ok, and reproduced pictures             Rs 39,995
                                                                                                   www.casio.com
convenient to switch in and out of it easily.   that were average on details but high on
                                                                                                   Dimensions (WxHxD): 123x81x85 mm; Weight: 513g;
  The camera's CMOS sensor takes                artifacts.
                                                                                                   Resolution: 9.1 megapixel; Focal Length (35 mm
shots of up to 9 megapixels in all still shot     Image stabilization isn't the best so            equiv): 26-520 mm; Aperture range: f2.8-f4.5; Shutter
modes, other than the camera's scene            great shots at full zoom cannot be taken           range: 60 – 1/2000 sec.
or "Best Shot" mode that includes all           without a tripod, Macro performance was               RATINGS
the basic scene modes, along with an            impressive with the lens focussing on              BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                   FEATURES
extremely useful "High-speed Low Light"         objects as close as 1.5-inches.                    ERGONOMICS
mode, that allows consecutive multiple                                  - nikhil@tech2.com         PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                   VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              08/2009        41
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




   VERDICT

FOR THOSE
WHO PREFER
EASE-OF-USE
TO
IMAGE
QUALITY.



                                                      CAMERA


                                                     SAMSUNG ST50
                                                     FOR: Compact/portable frame, Easy-to-use smart mode, interface, AWB is spot on
                                                     AGAINST: Displeasing ISO performance, Images are low on quality




                                                     T
                                                               he ST50 is a real looker - petite   detail levels were a little iff y but
                                                               at 105 x 61 x 37 mm and 219         autowhite balance was spot on and color
                                                               grams. Available in Silver, Black   reproduction was great, but a little on the
                                                               and Red with a handsome and         vivid side.
                                                     neat brush metal finish, the camera's             To help counteract the slightly
                                                     smooth, slender profile allows it to slide     saturated colors, the camera offers a
                                                     into the pockets of the tightest jeans.       plethora of pre-shot "Photo Style" options
                                                       The buttons are perfectly positioned        allowing you to play around with color
                                                     with the 'smart' mode button placed on        saturation, sharpness levels, etc.
                                                     the top that activates an auto-detect            ISO performance was disheartening
                                                     scene mode, and a video/still toggle          and pictures showed artifacts and
                                                     button for those that wish to have easy       lost details post ISO 200. The Night
                                                     access between both modes.                    performance was good but detail levels
   SPECIFICATIONS                                      The camera's 2.7-inch LCD screen            were slightly low. Flash illumination was
Rs 15,900                                            features 230,000 pixels and performed         a bit on the overexposed side and the
www.samsung.com
                                                     adequately in sunlit conditions. Equipped     'Smart mode' always picked the right
Dimensions (WxHxD): 94.2x55.7x16.6 mm; Weight:
                                                     with only 3x zoom and wide-angle              scene mode, making up for you not being
121.4g; Resolution: 12.2 megapixel; Focal Length
(35 mm equiv): 35-105mm; Aperture range: f3-f5.6;    capability of just 35mm the small size        able to choose the mode manually. For
Shutter range: 8 – 1/1500 sec                        of the camera doesn't allow mechanical        exposure, you don't gain access to shutter
   RATINGS                                           image stabilization.                          speed and aperture priority, instead you
BUILD QUALITY                                          The CCD sensor can go up to 12.2            have exposure settings and ISO settings to
FEATURES
ERGONOMICS
                                                     megapixels, which would be impressive         deal with.
PERFORMANCE                                          if detail levels were high. The camera's                                 - nikhil@tech2.com
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




42      08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 KEYBOARD                                                     HEADPHONE                                              USB TO VGA/HDMI

TECH-COM SSD KB-810                                          TECH-COM SSD-HP-209                                    GRAND MULTI VIEW
VERDICT: Offers decent value for money                       VERDICT: If it weren’t for the badly                   VERDICT: A great device for those
but there are better options available.                      designed microphone the SSD-HP-209                     looking to add additional monitors
FOR: Good layout.                                            would have been a better buy.                          FOR: Easy and quick installation
AGAINST: Keys are a stiff for prolonged                      FOR: Good for voice chats.                             AGAINST: HDMI cable not supplied.
usage, PS2 connector.                                        AGAINST: Awkwardly placed
                                                             microphone.




T                                                            W                                                      T
        he KB-810 is a full-fledged mul-                                 hether it be listening to rock,                    he Grand Multi View is an
        timedia keyboard with shortcut                                  pop or even chatting over                          awesome device that lets you
        buttons neatly placed above                                     VoIP, choosing the right pair                      add additional monitors to your
the function keys. They function just                        of headphones is important. Apart from                 computer and extend your desktop
as any other shortcut keys would, such                       the listening pleasure, the headphones                 view. The device is a simple USB-to-
as bringing up the Media Player or                           also need to feel comfortable when                     VGA/HDMI convertor and is directly
going back and forth on a web page.                          worn for a long time. Tech-Com has                     powered via the USB port of a desktop
The KB-810 has a decent carved out                           launched a multimedia headset called                   PC or laptop. Installation and usage is
body but nothing extraordinary. The                          the SSD-HP-209 that comes with                         effortless and can be done in a matter
overall feel of the keyboard while typ-                      a padded surface and feels quite                       of minutes. All you need to do is con-
ing is acceptable but there are issues.                      comfortable even after prolonged                       nect a monitor or HDTV to the D-sub
The problem                                                  wear. The sad                                          (VGA) or HDMI
                            SPECIFICATIONS                                            SPECIFICATIONS                                        SPECIFICATIONS
here is that the                                             part is that the                                       connector of the
                         Rs 249                                                    Rs 299                                                 Rs 9,000
keys don’t quite         www.techcomindia.com                headphones            www.techcomindia.com             device and plug       www.accessinfoworld.com
sink in when             Dimensions (WxHxD): 468x28x82       don’t do justice      Frequency response: 20-20 KHz;   in the USB cable      Dimensions (WxHxD): 55x33x100
tapped, which            mm; I/O interface: PS2;             when listening        Cord length: 2 meters; Weight:   to the computer       mm; Display: VGA, HDMI, up to
                         Multimedia and Internet keys: Yes                         200 g.                                                 1600 x 1200 resolutions.
make you miss a                                              to music since                                         and install the
character while                                              it has been                                            drivers. The
                            RATINGS                                                   RATINGS                                               RATINGS
typing. That             BUILD QUALITY                       designed              BUILD QUALITY                    additional display    BUILD QUALITY
                         FEATURES                                                  PERFORMANCE                                            FEATURES
said the keys                                                exclusively for                                        is automatically
                         ERGONOMICS                                                OVERALL RATING                                         PERFORMANCE
also feel a little       OVERALL RATING                      voice chatting.       VALUE FOR MONEY                  detected by the       OVERALL RATING
stiff when used          VALUE FOR MONEY                     But then again                                         OS and it is ready    VALUE FOR MONEY

for typing long                                              with the microphone awkwardly placed                   to use. Create a
documents. Alternatively you could                           and with no way of adjusting, you will                 video wall for parties and presenta-
choose the KB-840 where the keys are                         literally have to scream to get your voice             tions or have mirrored desktop screens
a tad better. Keep in mind that both                         across. If voice chatting is all that you’re           for meetings or training institutes using
the KB-810/KB-840 keyboards power                            looking for, the SSD-HP-206 will make                  this simple device. Those interested in
up through a PS2 socket and not a                            a better buy since the microphone can                  investing in this device for gaming and
USB port.                                                    be adjusted to your liking.                            heavy graphics should stay away.
       - sandeep.balachandran@chip.in                                - sandeep.balachandran@chip.in                                      - francis.dsa@chip.in




44    08/2009        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                   TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                    HARDWARE




 PROCESSOR

INTEL CORE I7-975 EXTREME EDITION
VERDICT: Want to build the world's fastest desktop PC? Buy this CPU!
FOR: The fastest desktop processor in the world!
AGAINST: None.




T
              he Core i7-975 Extreme is           x.264 format in 13 seconds which is just
              Intel’s new speed demon that        3 seconds faster than the Core i7-965.
              has set a new benchmark in          To give you an idea about its immense
              the desktop computing space.        processing power—it’s twice as fast as the
Clocked at 3.33 GHz, this CPU is a notch          Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400!
higher than the former most powerful                Extremely demanding applications such
model, the Core i7-965, thanks to a               as 3D modeling, imaging, page layout, and
bumped up multiplier (from x24 to x25).           video editing will make best use of this
Intel has also applied a few minor tweaks         processor’s immense potential—ideal for                   SPECIFICATIONS
which include improved thermals and               heavy-duty workstations. But it hardly                 Rs 59,940
better memory overclocking.                       impacts gaming performance. Go in for                  www.intel.com

   We installed the CPU on the Intel              this CPU if you’re ready to spend another              Package type: LGA 1366; Speed: 3.33 GHz; Cores: 4;
                                                                                                         Fab process: 45 nm; L3 cache: 8 MB.
DX58SO along with 4 GB DDR3-1066 RAM              Rs 25,000 for a decent X58 motherboard
                                                                                                            RATINGS
and threw a couple of rigorous tests at it.       and 6 GB DDR3 RAM.                                     FEATURES
It encoded a one minute MPEG video to                                 - anand.tuliani@chip.in            PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                         OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                         VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                   MOTHERBOARD

                                                  BIOSTAR G41D-M7
                                                  VERDICT: We strongly recommend this board for an entry-level home or office PC.
                                                  FOR: Good cooling, serial and parallel ports on the rear panel.
                                                  AGAINST: None.




                                                  T
                                                            he Biostar G41D-M7 is a notch        USB ports (four via onboard headers).
                                                            better than its counterparts         A PCIe x16 slot and two PCI slots are
                                                            with regard to design. Most          provided for adding a graphics card and
                                                            G41-based motherboards don’t         other expansion cards such as a TV tuner
                                                  have a heatsink for the southbridge and        card and sound card.
                                                  the parallel port is usually provided in the     The G41D-M7 also sports a good layout
                                                  form of a header that requires a separate      apart from good looks. The area around
                                                  header cable. Biostar has paid close           the CPU socket is unobstructed and the
                                                  attention to the design of this board and      RAM slots are well-spaced. So there’s a lot
                                                  as a result it’s flawless. Apart from these     of room for air circulation around the top
                                                  two plus points, the G41D-M7 is like any       and center of the board where the core
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                  other entry-level G41-based motherboard.       components lie.
Rs 2,700
www.abacusperipherals.com                         It supports all Intel processors in the          The G41D-M7 performs as well as any
CPU Socket: LGA 775; Chipset: Intel G41+ICH 7;    LGA 775 package and the maximum                other G41 or G43 motherboard. Though
Memory: Up to 8 GB DDR2-800; SATA | USB: 4 | 8;   installable memory is 8 GB. The chipset        its feature set is limited, you can build an
Expansion slots: 1x PCIe x16, 2x PCI.             features GMA X4500 integrated graphics         entry-level, mid-range or a high-end PC
   RATINGS                                        and interconnects with ICH7 southbridge,       depending on the applications you use.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                       which offers four SATA ports and eight                                   - anand.tuliani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              08/2009        45
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




                                                        MOTHERBOARD

                                                       ECS G43T-M3
                                                       VERDICT: The ECS G43T-M3 is slightly better off than an average G41 board.
                                                       FOR: Very good layout, DVI output.
                                                       AGAINST: The southbridge should have had a heatsink.




                                                       T
                                                                 he ECS G43T-M3 is slightly bet-       heatsink on the ICH10 southbridge. It’s
                                                                 ter off than most entry-level G41     placed between the PCIe x16 and PCI slot
                                                                 chipset-based boards in terms         and tends to heat up with a graphics card
                                                                 of features—it offers DVI output,     installed.
                                                       gigabit Ethernet and six SATA ports.              The rear panel of the ECS G43T-M3
                                                         Like most other motherboards based            comprises eight USB ports and 5.1-channel
                                                       on the same chipset, the ECS G43T-M3            audio jacks in addition to the gigabit
                                                       is well-designed keeping in mind good           Ethernet port and DVI output. However, it
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                       airflow and ease of installation. The areas      lacks a parallel port and PS/2 port for the
Rs 4,925                                               around the core components are very tidy        mouse.
www.sesindia.com
                                                       so that the air blown by the CPU cooler           We tested this board with the Intel Core
CPU socket: LGA 775; Chipset: Intel G43 + ICH10;
Memory: Up to 8 GB DDR2-800; LAN: Gigabit; SATA |      also cools the memory and northbridge.          2 Duo E8400, 2 GB DDR2-800 RAM and
USB: 6 | 8; Expansion slots: 1x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1   The SATA ports and headers for USB,             500 GB hard drive. It didn’t give us any
and 1x PCI.
                                                       parallel port and front panel are placed        problems and the power was just sufficient
   RATINGS
FEATURES
                                                       very thoughtfully at the edge of the board.     handling home and office applications.
PERFORMANCE                                            The only quirk in design is the lack of                                    - anand.tuliani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




 MOTHERBOARD

SIMMTRONICS G41T-M
VERDICT: A worthwhile option for building a low-cost PC for home or office.
FOR: Budget friendly, good layout and performance.
AGAINST: The southbridge should have had a heatsink.




T
              he Intel G41 chipset is the least        of components. There’s ample breathing
              you should consider while                space around the CPU socket, RAM slots
              buying a motherboard for an              and northbridge. With front audio, USB
              entry-level PC. The Simmtron-            and front panel headers placed right at
ics G41T-M is one such motherboard                     the bottom of the board, there won’t be
that won’t pinch your pocket. It’s built               any wires causing clutter over the board.
around the G41 chipset with Intel GMA                  The rear panel of the board also isn’t too
X4500 onboard graphics. The board                      cluttered as there are very few ports. Out
supports all Intel processors in the LGA               of eight USB ports in total, four are present
775 package. The two RAM slots can                     along with a serial port, VGA output and
accommodate up to 8 GB DDR2 memory,                    5.1-channel audio jacks.
                                                                                                                    SPECIFICATIONS
plus there’s a PCIe x16 slot and four SATA               Add an Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200,
                                                                                                                Rs 4,200
ports. Although this board is most ideal               2 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and a DVD                   www.simmtronicssemi.com
for budget PCs, you can spruce it up                   writer, and you have a decent PC for less                CPU Socket: LGA 775; Chipset: Intel G41+ICH 7;
with mid-range or high-end components                  than Rs. 20,000 for basic applications                   Memory: Up to 8 GB DDR2-800; SATA | USB: 4 | 8;
should you need more processing power.                 such as office productivity suite, Internet              Expansion slots: 1x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1 and 1 PCI.

   The G41T-M features a good layout to                browsing, email, and entertainment.                          RATINGS
                                                                                                                FEATURES
facilitate cooling and ease installation                                   - anand.tuliani@chip.in              PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                VALUE FOR MONEY




46      08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 GRAPHICS CARD

PALIT GTX 260 SONIC 216 SP
VERDICT: This card is just a tad faster than the regular GTX 260.
FOR: Very good cooling, high-definition gaming.
AGAINST: The fan is a bit noisy at full speed.




T
             he factory-overclocked Palit           fps which is a tad faster than the GTX
             GTX 260 Sonic 216 SP runs              260 at stock speed and almost as fast
             7.5 percent faster than its            as the GTX 275. At 1920x1080 it was still
             counterparts with reference            playable at slightly above 30 fps. The
design. Its GPU is clocked at 725 MHz               most visually appealing Enthusiast mode
which is 50 MHz faster than the stock               was a bit heavy on the GPU. Race Driver
speed while the memory is clocked 100               Grid was a cakewalk for the card—65
MHz higher at 1100 MHz. Although the                fps at 1680x1050 with 8xAA and 55 fps
                                                                                                               SPECIFICATIONS
reference cooler would have been able to            at 1920x1200 with 8xAA. Left 4 Dead
keep the temperature levels at bay, Palit           also ran stutter-free at over 50 fps at                 Rs 15,500
                                                                                                            www.mediamangroup.com
has outfitted this card with their own               1920x1200 with 8xAA. After more than an
                                                                                                            GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260; Core | Memory speed:
cooling system.                                     hour of gaming, the temperature of the                  725 MHz | 1100 MHz; Video memory: 896 MB GDDR3;
   We installed this card on a mid-range            card was less than 65 degrees C proving                 Memory bus width: 448-bit; Stream processors: 216;
                                                                                                            Video output: Dual-link DVI and S-video.
rig running on the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400           how good the cooler is. The whirring of
                                                                                                               RATINGS
and 4 GB DDR2 RAM. At 1680x1050 and                 the twin fans is a bit distracting.                     FEATURES
2xAA Crysis Warhead ran smooth at 37                                    - anand.tuliani@chip.in             PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                            OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                            VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                     PROJECTOR

                                                    ACER P1166 DLP PROJECTOR
                                                    VERDICT: Brightness, contrast is not spectacular neither is sharpness.
                                                    FOR: Colors look natural and neutral, Decently bright, nice for a full dark room.
                                                    AGAINST: Could have been cheaper, fine details suffer, as too low a resolution.




                                                    T
                                                               he Acer P1166 DLP Projector has     minimum – 300 inches maximum and
                                                               quite a typical mid end projec-     projection distance is 3.3 feet - 32.0 feet.
                                                               tor design. It has a 6 segment         The menu is comprehensive with
                                                               color wheel and the connec-         enough controls for achieving a nice
                                                    tions offered are impressive and make it       sweet spot in the image after calibrating.
                                                    viable to use as a multimedia projector. It    There is contrast, brightness, individual
                                                    has one VGA in (D-sub), one Composite          RGB, gamma and color temp settings.
                                                    Video (RCA), one S-Video and mainly one        We got an image of about 130 inches
                                                    HDMI in.                                       from a distance of 11 feet. The brightness
   SPECIFICATIONS                                     There is also a USB (type B) input, VGA      is decent, not striking or spectacular.
Rs 53,029                                           output and an audio in (Stereo mini jack).     Contrast performance is average to
www.acer.co.in                                      It weighs 6 kgs and the contrast ratio is      decent, as black levels could be discerned
Dimensions (WxHxD): 269.4x96.52x205.74 mm;          2000:1 native, while the brightness is at      but the difference between light and dark
Weight: 2.5 kg; Resolution: 800x600/1680x1050;
Brightness: 2500 Lumens; Colors: 16.7M
                                                    2500 ANSI lumens. The native resolution        colors was not as vibrant. Colors can
                                                    is 800 x 600 and maximum resolution is         be notched up in saturation through the
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                       1600 x 1200. There is a 2X digital zoom        menu. Motion was smooth. Minute clarity
FEATURES
                                                    feature and the throw ratio is about 1.60:1.   suffers a bit.
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE                                         Screen sizes attainable are 26 inches                                    - siddharth@tech2.com
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




48     08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 POWER SUPPLY UNIT                                          EXTERNAL TV BOX                                         PORTABLE USB TV/FM TUNER

TAGAN STONEROCK                                            AVERMEDIA AVERTV                                        AVERMEDIA AVERTV
TG600-U37                                                  BOX GENIE I                                             VOLAR GO / AX
VERDICT: Sufficient for basic gaming rigs                   VERDICT: Good for game consoles and                     VERDICT: Excellent TV viewing.
and SOHO servers.                                          DVD players.                                            FOR: Small and compact device.
FOR: Temperature controlled fan.                           FOR: Resolutions of up to 1600 x 1050.                  AGAINST: Bulky remote.
AGAINST: Could have been modular.                          AGAINST: Slightly over-priced.




T                                                          S                                                       A
        he Tagan StoneRock TG600-                                 mall offices, shops, office cabins                       verMedia has been making
        U37 can easily power-up around                            and other similar places where                           TV compact tuner products,
        nine SATA/PATA hard drives                                the computer desk space is                               which can be carried around
using the SATA and Moles power                             limited have a problem installing an                    in a pocket. The USB-based TV tuner
connectors and up to two mid-range                         additional television unit. BOX Genie                   cards named AverTV Volar AX and
graphics cards using the 6-pin and                         I is a great external TV box that can                   GO are unbelievably small and require
8-pin PCIE connectors. This PSU is of                      display TV on your monitor without the                  no external power whatsoever. The
value to those building SLI or Crossfire                    need of switching on the computer.                      device is actually half the size of its
rigs using entry-level to mainstream                       The device is a standalone television                   own remote. Both the Volar AX and GO
graphics cards. Small offices and orga-                    tuner box which directly connects to                    have a good and easy to use interface,
nizations opting for SOHO servers can                      the monitor and a set of speakers. The                  except that they are a little sluggish
take advantage                                             box features                                            — switching
                           SPECIFICATIONS                                          SPECIFICATIONS                                           SPECIFICATIONS
of this PSU.                                               PIP (Picture in                                         between inputs
                        Rs 4,750                                                Rs 3,950                                                 Rs 5,550
With half meter         www.tirupati.net                   Picture) where       www.accessinfoworld.com            (radio/TV/S-          www.accessinfoworld.com
cables wrapped          Power rating: 600 W; Power         you can watch        Dimensions (WxHxD):14.5x3x10       Video/Compos-         Weight: 25 g; Features: TV, FM,
in nylon sleeves,       connectors: 6 x SATA, 3 x Molex,   television in a      mm; Resolution: up to 1680x1050;   ite) and between      TimeShift; Recording formats:
                        1 x FDD, 1 x 6-pin PCIE, 1 x                            Inputs: S-video, composite, VGA                          MPEG 1/2/4
the cables are                                             small window                                            preset stations is
                        8-pin PCIE.
lengthy enough                                             on the monitor,                                         very slow. They
                                                                                   RATINGS                                                  RATINGS
for rigs built             RATINGS                         while the main       BUILD QUALITY                      contain all the       BUILD QUALITY
                        BUILD QUALITY                                           FEATURES                                                 FEATURES
using mid-tower                                            computer display                                        features required
                        OVERALL RATING                                          PERFORMANCE                                              PERFORMANCE
and full-tower          VALUE FOR MONEY                    is the primary       OVERALL RATING                     for tuning and        OVERALL RATING
chassis. The 120                                           full display. The    VALUE FOR MONEY                    recording televi-     VALUE FOR MONEY

mm built-in cooling thermal fan is at                      Genie I is best                                         sion and FM radio
the bottom and is designed to provide                      suited for wide-screen LCD monitors                     stations. A very useful feature is the
sufficient cooling to both the PSU and                     as it can support a resolution of 1600                  TimeShift feature — pause the radio or
the system. An internal heat sensing                       x 1050 pixels. One can even use the                     television whenever you need. Addi-
circuit detects the PSU temperature                        Genie I as a display for game consoles,                 tionally, you can save the TimeShift
accordingly regulates the speed of the                     DVD player or handycam by using the                     files on your system and watch them
fan to provide efficient cooling.                          S-video or Composite inputs.                            whenever you want.
                      - francis.dsa@chip.in                                    - francis.dsa@chip.in                                    - francis.dsa@chip.in




50    08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  TEST C E N TE R
  T E S T EN T E
  TE ST CENTER
MFD COMP RISON
MFD COMPARISON
    COMPARISON
MF COMPAR




The Laser Edge
 A laser based MFDs is an ideal choice for both small and large office setups due to the low
 maintenance and running costs involved. Check which one is most suitable for your office.
 BY CHIP TEST CENTER




 M
           ost offices require                high at the time of purchase, the cost       can help those who need to create
           monochrome prints for their        of running and maintaining it is close       presentations. Offices can benefit
           day-to-day documents. These        to negligible when compared to inkjet        from fax functionality, and an ADF
 laser printers are well known for their      printers. There are no risks of the toner    incorporated in some models. An ADF
 efficiency in terms of speed, quality and    cartridge drying up when not in use for a    is a bonus when multiple pages of
 low running costs. Offices also require      long period because the toner/ink used       a document (not books) need to be
 scanners and copiers for their daily         here is in a powder form as compared         scanned. It automatically picks up
 productivity, and so invest in scanners      to an inkjet cartridge. Also the prints      documents and scans them without the
 and copier machines separately.              are waterproof and much clearer when         need for manually feeding pages. School
 Small offices and homes that cannot          compared to an inkjet printout. The cost     and college students, teachers, sales/
 accommodate all three can benefit from        of printing a monochrome page on a           marketing executives, and many more
 multi-function devices (MFDs) which          laser printer is cheaper (around Rs 0.80     can immensely benefit from an MFD’s
 incorporate a printer, scanner and copier    to Rs 2.00, depending upon the quality       features, while small offices and homes
 in a single unit. Some MFDs also include     and quantity of the text) as compared        can profit from its multi-function and
 a built-in plain paper fax machine.          to prints on an inkjet printer (around       space saving features.
    MFDs are available in color and           Rs 2.00 to Rs 4.00), which illustrates         Well enough about what the qualities
 monochrome and both inkjet and laser         that a laser printer is more efficient and   and perks of owning an MFD are. Let’s
 variants. In this roundup, we have           cheaper than an inkjet one.                  take a look at the next few pages
 featured and compared laser MFDs for            Having the copier function in the         which not only explain how we tested
 small offices and home offices (SOHO)        MFD eliminates running around for            each MFD, but show the specifications,
 with a budget of Rs 20,000. Though           urgent photo copies. A laser MFD can         features, build quality and performance
 the cost of the equipment might seem         also print on transparencies which           of each model tested.


 52    08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                          Jagdish Limbachiya          SMS us!   Story code: HMP to 57007
                                                                                                                                        TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                   MFD COMPARISON


TEST PROCESS
This was a roundup for laser MFDs that             scores were awarded.
could only do monochrome printing.                 Finally, to test the speed
                                                                                              WEIGHTAGES USED FOR EVALUATING
The evaluations of these printers                  of the printer, we used an
                                                                                              MFD
were done purely on the basis of their             average everyday printing
features, performance, build quality,              document in both text and                                                           20 % FEATURES
ergonomics and warranty and support.               image combinations and
                                                                                                                                       5 % WARRANTY
Let’s take a look at how we went about             noted the number of pages
assessing each of these printers and               each printer could churn out                                                        50 % PERFORMANCE
what tests were incorporated to give               per minute for an extended
                                                                                                                                       15 % BUILD QUALITY
each one of them their scores.                     period. The performance
                                                   section also involved speed
                                                                                                                                       20 % ERGONOMICS
Features                                           and quality tests of the
When buying a mono laser MFD, you                  scanner where we analyzed
would need to consider a whole lot of              the speed of the scanner
things. Features are especially important          using an A4 document scanned at 300
for convenient use of the device. We               dpi and the copier’s speed and quality
checked each printer for its features              test using a color magazine page as the
like printing resolution and buffer size.          main sample.
Other features noted included sheet
feeder capacity and manual feed                    Build Quality
options. Additionally, we looked into              We looked at the quality of the body
specifications of the scanner resolution            and paper trays of each MFD and rated
and copier functions.                              them as per its sturdiness. We checked
                                                   out if each printer’s body is resistant to
Performance                                        scratches.
Apart from the features, price and
ergonomics, the performance is also                Ergonomics                                            Plastic buttons offer better tactile feel and
a vital factor. We first printed a line of          Ergonomics scores were awarded on the                 ergonomics than rubber.
text in sizes ranging from 1 point to 10           basis of a few features of each model.
points in draft, normal and best modes             We noted if each printer has foldable                 on each printer along with the number
if the printer supported these. Then we            paper trays for both input and output                 of service centers in the country and
printed a few images which would be                sections. The size of the buttons is also             the number of cities in which they are
very difficult to reproduce accurately.            of equal importance for points related                present. We concluded the test by
These were images for grayscale                    to ergonomics.                                        calculating the Value for Money (VFM)
reproduction, resolution and image                                                                       index, which was derived by stacking the
reproduction tests images each. Then               Warranty and support                                  features, performance, build quality and
after finely inspecting each of these               Here the points were awarded on the                   ergonomics of each printer against its
test charts printed from each printer,             basis of the warranty period offered                  selling price.




This page helped us evaluate the contrast levels   This page was printed to test the capability of the   Cartridges with seperate drum and toner
and the accuracy in printing diagonal lines.       printer to reproduce smooth gradients of grey.        compartments cost less than single units.



                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          08/2009   53
  TEST CENTER
MFD COMPARISON


  SAMSUNG SCX-4300                                                   HP LASERJET M1005                                                   SAMSUNG SCX-4521F




      SPECIFICATIONS                                                    SPECIFICATIONS                                                      SPECIFICATIONS
  Rs 9, 000                                                          Rs 10,500                                                           Rs 13,000
  Dimensions (WxHxD):15.9 x 9 x 14.7 inch; Weight: 9.5 Kg; Buffer    Dimensions (WxHxD):13.6 x 7.6 x 8.8 inch; Weight: 8.5 Kg; Buffer    Dimensions (WxHxD):17.2x14.4x14.7 inch; Weight: 10 Kg; Buffer
  size: 8 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x2400 dpi           size: 32 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x1200 dpi           size: 16 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x600 dpi

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




 T    o call the Samsung SCX-4300 the
      best looking MFD in the roundup
 wouldn’t be an exaggeration, but whilst
                                                                    T    he HP LaserJet M1005 MFD is an
                                                                         average performer. The scanner
                                                                    scanned our reference page in 17
                                                                                                                                        T    he Samsung SCX-4521f is by far
                                                                                                                                             the biggest printer of the lot and
                                                                                                                                        is the only one to have a parallel port.
 it excels in looks, it lacks in performance.                       seconds, almost twice as fast as some                               The input tray has support for a total
 In our tests, the printer failed to produce                        of the other MFDs, but copy speed                                   of 150 pages and folds in neatly. Sadly,
 any visible difference between darker                              was timed at 16.25 seconds and lacked                               the output paper tray is quite fragile and
 shades, and produced illegible text in                             distinction between lighter shades with                             doesn’t really feel sturdy enough to hold
 some sections.                                                     the copy far darker than the original.                              50 sheets.
    But the SCX-4300 isn’t a complete                                  This MFD failed to reproduce lighter                                 The SCX-4521f scores high on its
 failure when it comes to performance. It                           shades and had problems printing lines,                             ergonomics but loses out considerably
 excels in showing the contrast between                             with most of them being jagged. It                                  on its overall build quality. But that’s
 lighter shades and takes an easy lead                              printed pure text pages at 15ppm, which                             not all that will make you want to stay
 over most of the competition in the                                is again lower than other MFDs. There                               away from this MFD. With a scan speed
 diagonal line test. But there seems to be                          isn’t much difference between Normal                                of 56 seconds the SCX-4521f was the
 little else going for the SCX-4300. Copy                           and High quality prints, but with Draft                             slowest of the lot but scored pretty well
 time was clocked at 11 seconds, which is                           mode, the shortcomings of the printer                               in the overall scan quality. On the other
 pretty average, and while the scan test                            become apparent, with lighter colors                                hand the copy test blazed through at 9
 took 28 seconds, the quality was nothing                           such as yellow almost invisible.                                    seconds only to come out with the worst
 to write home about. The SCX-4300                                     The build quality is decent and the                              scores in its category.
 comes with a feature called ID Card                                control panel has few buttons and is                                   The control panel is packed with
 Copy in which users can simply copy the                            simple to use. The unit does not support                            buttons but surprisingly doesn’t feel
 front and the back of the ID card into                             duplex printing, but has a smaller                                  cramped to use.
 memory and print it out on paper. The                              footprint and is light. The absence of                                 Adding to the overall frustration, of
 advantage is that there won’t be any                               a removable drum is a downside, as                                  using this MFD, the power switch of the
 alignment problems or any need to feed                             replacing the cartridge means the toner                             SCX-4521f is placed towards the rear of
 the paper back into the MFD. While the                             and the drum need to be replaced,                                   the unit which makes reaching behind to
 ID Card Copy feature is a nice gimmick, a                          pushing the price per page higher and                               access it a pain.
 laser MFD will primarily be used to print                          costing more in the long run. Overall,                                 Taking the overall performance, build
 out text, and the lack of performance of                           the HP LaserJet M1005 performs below                                quality and price tag into consideration
 the printer in this section be enough to                           average, and is only suitable for those on                          all we can say is the Samsung SCX-4521f
 keep any home or office user away.                                 a tight budget.                                                     is not the best choice.




 54      08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                                 TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                           MFD COMPARISON


 BROTHER DCP-7030                                               CANON IMAGECLASS MF 4320D                                       BROTHER MFC-7340




    SPECIFICATIONS                                                 SPECIFICATIONS                                               SPECIFICATIONS
 Rs 11,900                                                      Rs 14,495                                                       Rs 17,990
 Dimensions (WxHxD):16.8x10x15.5 inch; Weight: 10 Kg; Buffer    Dimensions (WxHxD):15.3x11.6x17 inch; Weight: 12 Kg; Buffer     Dimensions (WxHxD):16.9x12x15.5 inch; Weight: 11 Kg; Buffer
 size: 16 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x2400 dpi      size: 32 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x1200 dpi       size: 11 MB; Resolution: Print-600 dpi, scan-600x2400 dpi

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




T    he Brother DCP-7030 is a simple,
     easy-to-use budget MFD that is a
good performer and is well suited to the
                                                               D     esigned mainly for home or office
                                                                     users, the Canon MF 4320d is a
                                                               printer, scanner and copier built into one
                                                                                                                              A    part from being the most expensive
                                                                                                                                   of the lot, the Brother MFC-7340
                                                                                                                              tears the competition apart with its
home or home office segments. Copy                             single unit. The only thing it lacks is a fax                  superior performance and overall build
speed clocked in at 11.6 seconds and the                       that is essential for most offices.                            quality. With a print speed of 20 pages
quality is good for a monochrome copier.                          Build quality is the best when                              per minute the MFC-7430 is a tad slower
However, an absence of a fax might keep                        compared to the other products. The                            than the DCP-7030 but produces fine
corporates away from it.                                       overall design is quite compact as                             results in the overall print quality. The
   The build quality of the DCP-7030                           compared to a normal multifunctional                           MFC-7340 makes a great buy for office
is average. Although the control panel                         printer. The control panel is neatly laid                      use since it has everything that the DCP-
is simple enough to use, the buttons                           out with all the necessary buttons. The                        7030 has plus it also includes a fax.
themselves have a rubbery texture                              MF 4320d comes with a two line LCD                                A great design feature that most
and feel tacky. Also, while the scanner                        display placed towards the center along                        MFP manufacturers are including is
lid hinges up to cope with books and                           with the scan and copy buttons placed                          the scanner lid that can be adjusted
other thick documents, it is not easily                        just above. Sadly they are the only                            according to the thickness of the
removable. However, the cartridge bay is                       buttons that are backlit making it rather                      document or book that needs to be
easily accessible and changing cartridges                      difficult for the user to navigate between                     scanned. Button placement is good,
is a breeze. The drum and toner are                            other buttons in low light conditions.                         though they lose a point on quality when
separate units within the cartridge, which                         Print quality is average and doesn’t                       compared to other MFDs. On the other
is a bonus as the drum does not need to                        quite do justice to the money you                              hand, cartridge installation is a breeze.
be replaced when the toner runs out and                        would be spending. However, the MF                             The cartridge in itself includes a separate
this reduces the cost per page.                                4320d surpassed all other MFDs in the                          drum and toner reducing printing costs in
   Our tests revealed the DCP-7030                             scanner and copier quality tests. Just                         the long run.
performs as advertised at 23 ppm.                              like the Brother DCP-7030, the hinge of                           The MFC-7340 does miserably in the
Print quality was good, and it was                             the scanner lid moves upwards, which                           grayscale quality test but surpasses all
able to print diagonal lines with very                         allows you to place books for scanning.                        expectations in draft and normal print
little jaggies. The quality of the printed                        A closer look at the scores reveals                         modes. In other words, it's definitely
gradients showed a good registration of                        diagonal lines produced by the Canon                           not what you should look out for if the
blacks over grey, and even the off-white                       Imageclass MF 4320f were the best                              majority of your prints contain graphics,
gradients were smooth. At its price this                       among the others. Opt for this MFD if                          but it's a great all-in-one printer for
MFD 7030 hits a very sweet spot.                               graphics are printed more often.                               small offices.




                                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               08/2009       55
  TEST CENTER
MFD COMPARISON


          PERSONAL TAKE
                                                     SpecScan
                                                                                                             1                                       2
                                                     NAME                                                    BROTHER MFC-7340                        CANON IMAGECLASS MF 4320D
                                                     Name                                                    Rs 17,990                               Rs 14,495
                     FRANCIS D'SA
                                                     Price*                                                  Brother International                   Canon India Pvt Ltd
                     francis.dsa@chip.in
                                                     Contact                                                 022-40988900                            1800-1803-366
  As the toner used in laser printers is powder      Phone                                                   info@brother.in                         ashok.jangra@canon.co.in
  based, there are few chances of drying and         EMAIL
  leakage, and smudging is almost negligible.        Features                                                                             85                                58
  This results in rich quality and longer lasting    Build quality                                                                        96                                      88
  prints. Although laser printers are slightly       Ergonomics                                                                            90                                    100
  more expensive when compared to inkjet             Performance                                                                          86                                     94
  printers, the cost of running and maintaining      Warranty and support                                                            57                               44
  them in the longer run is comparatively a                                                                   0                50              100    0                50              100

  whole lot lower.                                   Overall                                                 86                                      84
      A black inkjet cartridge can yield around      Value for money
  100 to 200 pages and the cost of prints per        FEATURES
  page can be anywhere between Rs 2 to Rs 4.         Dimensions (WxHxD) (30%)                                16.92 x 12 x 15.59 inch                 15.35 x 11.69 x 17 inch
  On the other hand a laser toner cartridge          Weight                                                  11 Kg                                   12 Kg
  yields around 1,500 to 3,000 pages with a          Buffer size                                             16 MB                                   32 MB
  cost of print per page barely between Rs 0.80      Functions
  to Rs 1.50. Hence, if printing large volumes of      Print, scan and copy                                  ✔                                       ✔
  pages in a month is necessary, opting for a          Fax                                                   ✔                                       ✖
  laser printer over an inkjet printer is a wise     Connectivity                                            USB                                     USB
  decision.                                          Media handling
      MFDs can save space and money                    Tray capacity: Input | Output                         250 sheets | 100 sheets                 250 sheets | 100 sheets
  immensely, as they are cheaper than three          Resolution
  different units brought individually—printer,        Printer and copier                                    600 dpi                                 600 dpi
  scanner and copier. When opting for an MFD,          Scanner                                               600 x 2400 dpi                          600 x 1200 dpi
  always consider some very important factors.       BUILD QUALITY
  Check for features such as the print speed,        Quality: Body | Paper trays | Buttons (out of 5)        5|5|4                                   5|4|5
  print resolution, fax (if needed) and most         Resistant to scratches                                  ✔                                       ✔
  importantly the quality of the prints. Some        Aesthetic appeal (out of 5)                                                                     3
  printers are not capable of printing sharp
                                                     ERGONOMICS
  diagonal lines, while others cannot reproduce
                                                     Size of buttons (out of 3)                              2                                       3
  gradients and grayscale quality. Check out
                                                     Ease of cartride installation (out of 5)                5                                       5
  the samples of each printer before purchase
                                                     Tray available for manual feed                          ✖                                       ✔
  — ask for a demo if possible. Other factors
                                                     PERFORMANCE
  also to be considered are the quality of the
                                                     Printing speed                                          20 ppm                                  23 ppm
  body, buttons, etc. and the ergonomics for a
                                                     Print quality (out of 5)
  better productivity in an office area.
                                                       Font size test - Readability (2 point)                4.5                                     2.5
      Out of all the MFDs we tested, I would
                                                       Combi document - Print quality
  recommend the Brother MFC-7340. It has
                                                         Draft | Normal                                      4|5                                     1.5 | 3.5
  proved to be the best of the lot in terms of
                                                         Gradient reproduction                               5                                       4
  features, performance and quality even
                                                         Greyscale quality (average)                         2.5                                     3.0
  though the cost of the printer is a bit on the
                                                     Scanner test
  higher side.
                                                       Speed (A4 size photo @ 300 DPI)                       36 sec                                  25 sec
      If you are on a shoestring budget and
                                                       Quality (out of 5)                                    2.5                                     4.5
  need a printer for basic usage, the Samsung
                                                     Copier test
  SCX-4300 should do just fine. This black,
                                                       Speed (A4 size magazine page)                         11 sec                                  10 sec
  glossy MFD looks great and is small and
                                                       Quality (out of 5)                                    3                                       4.5
  compact . The only drawback is it is
  susceptible to fingerprints, dust and
                                                     WARRANTY AND SUPPORT
  scratches.
                                                     Number of authorised service centres | cities present   195 | 122                               130 | 105
                                                     Period of warranty (years)                              1 year                                  1 year
                                                    * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra.

 56    08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                             TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                        MFD COMPARISON




3                                                4                                         5                                                6
BROTHER DCP-7030                                 SAMSUNG SCX-4521F                         HP LASERJET M1005                                SAMSUNG SCX-4300
Rs 11,990                                        Rs 13,000                                 Rs 10,500                                        Rs 9,000
Brother International                            Samsung India                             HP India                                         Samsung India
022-40988900                                     1800-1100-11                              1800-425-4999                                    1800-1100-11
info@brother.in                                  support.india@samsung.com                 ajay.rawal@hp.com                                support.india@samsung.com

                          45                                                    80                                    50                                        39
                                    80                                          80                                              80                                             68
                                         100                                    80                                                   90                                              80
                                     94                                        75                                           76                                                      80
                               57                                              77                                          73                                                       80
    0                     50               100       0                    50         100     0                       50               100       0                    50                   100

81                                               77                                        72                                               68



16.88 x 10 x 15.59 inch                          17.24 x 14.48 x 14.72 inch                13.66 x 7.63 x 8.8 inch                          15.98 x 9 x 14.76 inch
10 Kg                                            10 Kg                                     8.5 Kg                                           9.5 Kg
16 MB                                            16 MB                                     32 MB                                            8 MB

✔                                                ✔                                         ✔                                                ✔
✖                                                ✔                                         ✖                                                ✖
USB                                              USB and parallel                          USB                                              USB

250 sheets | 100 sheets                          150 sheets | 50 sheets                    150 sheets | 100 sheets                          250 sheets | 50 sheets

600 dpi                                          600 dpi                                   600 dpi                                          600 dpi
600 x 2400 dpi                                   600 x 600 dpi                             600 x 1200 dpi                                   600 x 2400 dpi

3|5|4                                            3|3|5                                     4|4|4                                            3|5|5
✔                                                ✔                                         ✔                                                ✖
3                                                4                                         3                                                4

3                                                3                                         3                                                3
5                                                5                                         5                                                5
✖                                                ✖                                         ✔                                                ✖

23 ppm                                           20 ppm                                    15 ppm                                           17 ppm

5                                                3.5                                       2.5                                              3

4 | 4.5                                          2|2                                       5|4                                              1.5 | 1.5
4.5                                              3                                         2.5                                              1.5
3.5                                              3.0                                       2.0                                              3.5

36 sec                                           56 sec                                    25 sec                                           28 sec
2.5                                              4                                         5                                                3

12 sec                                           9 sec                                     16 sec                                           11 sec
3                                                2                                         4                                                3.5

195 | 122                                        200 | 200                                 368 | 90                                         200 | 200
1 year                                           1 year                                    1 year                                           1 year


                                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                08/2009        57
  TE ST CENTER
         ENTE R
  TEST C EN TER
UPS COMPARISON
    COMPARISON
UPS COMPARISON




 I Have The Power



These UPSes can power four to five average desktops for around half an hour. Let's see which
one outperforms the others.
 BY CHIP TEST CENTER




 P
         ower shortages are all too             power failures, ensuring clean power
         common, and stable electricity
         is a major necessity. Power
                                                reaches the equipment and there is
                                                enough time to shut down the system.
                                                                                            SpecScan
 conditioning is essential for electronic         Online, Offline and Line-interactive
 equipment like TVs and refrigerators and       UPSes are available in capacities from
 more importantly computers as they             500 VA to 10 KVA and beyond. Online         MODEL
 are most affected by low voltages, high        UPSes are cost the most as they supply      Price
 voltages, surges, spikes and black-outs.       the purest form of power. An entry-level
                                                                                            Contact
                                                                                            Phone
    Metros like Mumbai experience               office PC uses around 150 Watts, while
                                                                                            E-mail
 minimal power failures, due to which an        mid-range to high-end gaming machines
                                                                                            FEATURES
 uninterrupted power supply unit (UPS)          can use 450–1,500 Watts. A 600 VA
                                                                                            Dimensions (WxHxD) unit
 is not really required. A voltage stabilizer   UPS can power an entry-level system
                                                                                            Dimensions (WxHxD) battery
 can take care of small instabilities and       for around 15–20 minutes.
                                                                                            Type
 surges but is of no use when there is            If the connected load is similar to the
                                                                                            Batteries
 a power failure that can ruin a day’s          power rating of the UPS, the maximum
                                                                                            Add-on batteries
 work on the computer, cause system             time available will be about five
                                                                                            Control and monitoring
 crashes and hardware failures resulting        minutes. The power consumption should
                                                                                            Indicator
 in permanent damage and corruption to          be calculated before the UPS is bought.     Online mode
 data. Deploying a UPS will give the user       Always opt for a UPS with at least          Battery mode
 the five minutes of emergency power             100–150 VA more than the power rating       Bypass
 he or she needs to save data and shut          of the connected load. Extra batteries,     Battery fault
 down the system.                               if supported, can be added externally to    Overload
    A UPS functions like an inverter—           the UPS to increase the backup time.        Number of plug points
 converting DC voltage (stored in                 An average SOHO setup would               PC Connectivity
 rechargeable batteries) to AC voltage.         have three to four PCs, a printer and       Ethernet filter
 These batteries are charged when input         an Ethernet switch, making the power        PERFORMANCE
 power is available and are kept ready in       consumption not more than 900–1,000         Run time (250 W load)
 case of a power failure. A basic inverter      Watts. We've chosen to test 2,000 VA (2     Critical backup time (250 W load)
 supplies unfiltered power, which can            KVA) uninterrupted power supplies which     WARRANTY AND SUPPORT
 damage electronic equipment. A UPS             are sufficient for these types of SOHO      No of service center in India
 can filter out spikes and surges and            setups with additional room to add one      No of cities with service centers
 supply refined stable power during              or two more computers.                      Warranty period


 58    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              Jagdish Limbachiya                       SMS us!       Story code: HUP to 57007
                                                                                                                                                         TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                   UPS COMPARISON


         TEST PROCESS

         UPS testing involves stringent                              and controlling software informs users                   The machines were run with
         parameters—power filtering, protection,                      about the condition of the input and                 standard test software to simulate an
         power output condition, backup time,                        output voltages, the internal circuit                environment in a usual work area. The
         etc. But we have used more basic                            condition of the UPS and the amount of               amount of time the machines were
         methods of testing and the parameters                       charge held in the batteries by which the            powered up with the UPS running on the
         we considered are Features and                              backup time can be calculated.                       batteries was calculated.
         Performance.                                                     Some UPS manufacturers design                       We also calculated the emergency
                                                                     monitoring software so that the                      shutdown time of each UPS. This is
         Features                                                    administrator can be notified either by               when the UPS starts beeping rapidly,
         We noted each UPS's important                               email or a phone call in case of a power             indicating that the battery charge
         characteristics—its type, power rating,                     failure. Additional features such as line            level is dipping and the balance power
         the number of batteries used, the control                   filtering for Ethernet networks embedded              remaining in the batteries would be
         panel, and software features. The power                     in the UPS itself can reduce damage to               sufficient for about only 2-5 minutes
         rating of the UPS indicates the capacity                    network cards and switches, keeping the              more. This emergency time should be
         of load it can handle, while the backup                     network safe from dangerous spikes.                  enough for saving all work and shutting
         time depends on the number of batteries                                                                          down the systems before the batteries
         connected to it. Another feature noted                      Performance                                          finally die. A detailed table and review on
         here is if the batteries are connected                      The performance is tested by calculating             each UPS tested in this roundup is in the
         internally or externally as that shows the                  the amount of backup time a UPS can                  next few pages.
         amount of space occupied by the whole                       deliver. We connected two standard                        So read on to find out what each of
         unit. The control panel on the unit and                     entry-level machines (consuming 250                  these UPSes have to offer so you can
         the ability of the UPS to be handled by                     Watts in total) and simulated a power                make your well-informed decision.
         the computer system using monitoring                        failure by cutting off the power input.                                               – feedback@chip.in




1                                      2                                      3                              4                                      5
POWERCOM KAL2000AP                     POWERSAFE UPS 2000L                    POWERCOM VGD-2000L             EATON POWERWARE 9130                   POWERSAFE PS-2000 ONL
Rs 14,300 + Rs 3,000 for 4 batteries   Rs 14,000 + Rs 5,276 for 2 batteries   Rs 25,000 with batteries       Rs 44,000 with batteries               Rs 25,000 + Rs 10,552 for 4 batteries
Asia Powercom Pvt Ltd                  Kunhar Peripherals Pvt Ltd             Asia Powercom Pvt Ltd           Eaton Power Quality Pvt Ltd           Kunhar Peripherals Pvt Ltd
022-43332222                           022-66345758                           022-43332222                   011-42232300                           022-66345758
sales@asiapowercom.com                 mail@kunhar.com                        sales@asiapowercom.com         EatonPowerQualityIndia@eaton.com       mail@kunhar.com

170 x 220 x 440 mm                     100 x 225 x 380 mm                     225 x 360 x 410 mm             215 x 345 x 410 mm                     190 x 335 x 370 mm
410 x 11 x 16.5 mm                     190 x 170 x 160 mm                     Built-in                       Built-in                               190 x 170 x 160 mm
Line interactive                       Line interactive                       Online                         Online                                 Online
4-cell unit (external)                 2 batteries (external)                 6-cell built-in                6-cell built-in                        4 batteries (external)
✔                                      ✔                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
Software only                          None                                   Control panel and software     Control panel and software             None

✔                                      ✔                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
✔                                      ✔                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
✔                                      ✖                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
✔                                      ✔                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
✔                                      ✔                                      ✔                              ✔                                      ✔
6                                      4                                      6                              9                                      3
RS 232                                 NA                                     RS 232                         RS 232                                 NA
✔                                      ✖                                      ✔                              ✖                                      ✖

33 minutes                             150 minutes                            62 minutes                     93 minutes                             300 minutes
4 minutes                              30 seconds                             2 minutes                      4 minutes                              25 minutes

300                                    11                                     300                            121                                    11
41                                     11                                     41                             43                                     11
1 year                                 2 years                                1 year                         2 years                                2 years
                                                                                                                       * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra.

                                                                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP            08/2009     59
  TEST CENTER
UPS COMPARISON



         MAINTAINENCE TIPS                            POWERCOM KAL2000AP                                              POWERSAFE UPS 2000L
      Keep your UPS clean at all times. Don't
      let dust settle on the external battery,
      terminals and the vents of the main unit.
      Don’t install, place or stock a UPS under
      stairs, in AC ducts, lofts, meter rooms,
      sealed cabinets, etc. Allow air to circulate
      around it to keep its internal temperature
      lower.
      Don't expose the UPS or the batteries to
      direct sunlight or subject them to
      excessive heat, water, flammable or
                                                         SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
      corrosive agents.
                                                      Rs 17,300                                                       Rs 19,276
      The life of the batteries will be extended
      if they and the UPS/inverter unit are kept      Number of batteries: 4 external; PC connectivity: RS232;        Number of batteries: 2 external; PC connectivity: none; Control
                                                      Control and monitoring: Software only; No of plug points: 6;    and monitoring: none; No of plug points: 4; Approx battery
      below 25 degrees.                               Approx battery backup time (250 W load): 37 mins.               backup time (250 W load): 150 mins.
      Draining the batteries completely once
                                                         RATINGS                                                         RATINGS
      every 15 days will also extend their life.
                                                      FEATURES                                                        FEATURES
      This can be done by running the UPS on          BUILD QUALITY                                                   BUILD QUALITY

      battery by switching off the main supply,
      creating a fake power failure.
      Ensure that no are items kept on
      the UPS or the batteries to avoid any
                                                     T    he Powercom KAL2000AP is a
                                                          straightforward line interactive UPS,
                                                     which does not need any type of user
                                                                                                                     A     long lasting UPS in a small package,
                                                                                                                           this line-interactive model from
                                                                                                                     Powersafe is as small as a net-top PC
      fire hazards.                                  intervention. The front panel has one                           and runs off two external batteries.
      Inspect the external batteries for any         power switch and five LED indicators                             This small unit along with two 40 AH
      leakage/ damage at least every 15 days.        that show at a glance the present                               batteries hooked up to two entry-level
      Charge a new UPS for 12–14 hours before        condition of the UPS . These LEDs reveal                        computers with LCD monitors gave us a
      its first use.                                 the status of the UPS (AC mode or                               good 130 minutes of runtime in our tests.
      Don't connect equipment to the UPS in          battery mode), Buck and Boost or the                            The unit is comparatively small and
      excess of its rated load capacity.             power condition (over/under voltage),                           light and can be placed on a desktop
      When power fails, disconnect unwanted          battery mode and battery fault. The                             along with the computer, but that would
      or unused equipment like printers,             buck and boost feature automatically                            completely depend upon the size of
      modems, chargers, scanners, etc. The less      activates the built-in automatic voltage                        the batteries installed as the batteries
      there is connected to the UPS the more         regulator (AVR) to correct input voltage                        would take up a lot of space with their
      battery backup time.                           (from the AC or battery) ensuring that                          cluttered wires coming in the way.
      LCD monitors and energy efficient              the load receives a constant voltage                               The UPS 2000L does not have any
      components and peripherals can increase        supply. The batteries are not in-built,                         control panel on the front bezel, nor can
      battery backup time.                           and have to be connected externally.                            it be controlled or monitored via any
      Don't use equipment like fans,                 The battery unit comprises of four 12 V,                        software as it lacks an RS232 interface.
      refrigerators, air conditioners, etc on a      7 AH maintenance-free dry batteries.                            The front panel of the Powersafe UPS
      UPS designed for computers.                    Additional batteries can be connected if                        2000L features just one single power
      Use proper earthing and check for any          the required battery operation time for                         switch and three LED indicators for
      loose contacts before using a UPS. If you      the load needs to be higher in case of a                        online, battery and fault/overload
      find anything abnormal in the UPS in           power failure.                                                  modes. The UPS 2000L is used with
      terms of excessive sound, heat or                 This UPS features an RS323 interface                         two 40 AH batteries and can effortlessly
      vibrations, switch it off and contact the      and is bundled with a program called                            power up to 12 machines for as long
      UPS service technician immediately.            ‘UPSMON’ which allows the user to                               as 5–7 minutes, which is sufficient
      Learn the beep codes as per the user           monitor and control the UPS from the                            enough for saving and shutting down
      manual. This will help you detect faults in    computer itself. The features of the                            the machines in the event of a power
      the UPS.                                       software include maintenance of the                             failure. The compact UPS 2000L from
      Do not try to connect/disconnect any           batteries which can be automated once                           Powersafe is great as an emergency
      battery terminals yourself. Contact a          a week for longer life. The UPS also                            power unit and can be considered for
      service engineer only.                         features an Ethernet line filter to prevent                      small environments such as shops,
      Have a maintenance engineer inspect and        surges. This simple UPS can be deployed                         offices and cybercafés as it can easily
      service the UPS once every six months or       for small servers and home computers.                           sustain up to an hour of power for
      as per the UPS manufacturer’s advice.          With higher capacity batteries, one can                         around two to three machines to finish
                                                     get greater battery backup time.                                work and shut down.


 60    08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                                     TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                UPS COMPARISON



 POWERCOM VGD-2000L                                              EATON POWERWARE 9130                                            POWERSAFE PS-2000 ONL




    SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
 Rs 25,000                                                       Rs 44,000                                                       Rs 35,552
 Number of batteries: 6 internal; PC connectivity: RS232;        Number of batteries: 6 internal; PC connectivity: RS232;        Number of batteries: 4 external; PC connectivity: none; Control
 Control and monitoring: Control panel + software; No of plug    Control and monitoring: Control panel + software; No of plug    and monitoring: none; No of plug points: 3; Approx battery
 points: 9; Approx battery backup time (250 W load): 64 mins.    points: 9; Approx battery backup time (250 W load): 97 mins.    backup time (250 W load): 325 mins.

    RATINGS                                                         RATINGS                                                         RATINGS
 FEATURES                                                        FEATURES                                                        FEATURES
 BUILD QUALITY                                                   BUILD QUALITY                                                   BUILD QUALITY




A     n online UPS from Powercom,
      the VGD-2000L is rugged and is a
single unit with built-in batteries. It can
                                                                T    he heaviest UPS of the lot, the Eaton
                                                                     Powerware 9130 is an online UPS
                                                                and is quite similar to the Powercom
                                                                                                                                P     roviding great value for money,
                                                                                                                                      we would suggest investing in the
                                                                                                                                Powersafe PS 2000 ONL UPS. Cost
be monitored and controlled via the                             VGD-2000L. It is almost the same size                           effectiveness and maximum battery
bundled software and the front digital                          as a regular ATX computer cabinet. It                           run time are what a UPS should offer,
control panel which features an LCD                             has built-in batteries for backup which                         and this one left all the competition
display indicating input/output voltage,                        can be extended (externally) by adding                          way behind in the tests with almost five
frequency levels, etc. The control panel                        an internal charger unit for larger                             hours of power. This Powersafe UPS
also has the usual LED indicators for the                       capacity batteries. The control panel                           unit is an online device with four 40
overload, power and battery status. Six                         here features complete control and                              AH external batteries connected to it.
12 V, 7 AH maintenance-free dry batteries                       monitoring of the UPS, which eliminates                         The batteries are fairly large and heavy,
make up the battery pack inside the                             the need for the software, (which is                            but when maximum power time is of a
unit, but if you need additional power,                         not bundled anyway). If you do get the                          higher priority, the space occupied by the
you would need to connect higher rated                          software, you would get more stringent                          UPS unit can be justified.
batteries to the unit externally. In this                       security features to help turn off the                          This model is a simple straightforward
case, the internal batteries should be                          connected computer when the power in                            unit with just a single power switch
replaced by a high capacity battery                             the batteries is almost drained.                                present on the front panel. Six LEDs
charging unit, which would be needed                               The VGD-2000L can be monitored                               additionally make up the front panel
to charge the external batteries. The                           and controlled using an RS232 or                                which inform the user about the status
UPS also features an Ethernet line                              a USB interface. The control panel                              of the UPS—online, battery and fault
filter to safeguard your internal LAN                            features a dot matrix LCD display which                         modes. The other three LED indicators
from possible surges from an external                           indicates battery charging time, power                          inform users about the battery power
WAN. The back panel has eight 5 A                               level, amount of load connected, input                          level when in battery mode. The UPS
power outputs to connect computers                              power condition, automatic battery                              does not feature a computer interface
or peripherals and one 15 A connection                          maintenance, approximate battery                                (RS232/USB), and so it cannot be
to route the power to external power                            backup time on connected load, and a                            controlled via software. The Powersafe
strips in case the computers are not                            lot more. The UPS employs a couple                              PS 2000 ONL can be best deployed
close to the UPS unit. Other features                           of intake and exhaust fans to keep the                          for computers being used in shops and
are an emergency power off and a                                internal components cool, but these fans                        small office environments in areas more
circuit breaker to prevent damage from                          are quite noisy and can be disturbing.                          prone to power cuts. It would have
extreme over-voltages. A slot on the rear                       The rear panel also features a slot for                         been great had the company added
can accommodate an optional SNMP                                an optional SNMP interface to control                           an RS232 interface. It would only bring
interface circuit to control and monitor                        the UPS from a remote location using                            additional value to their UPS. The
the UPS via the local network. This UPS                         Ethernet. This UPS could be deployed                            Powersafe PS-2000 ONL is meant for
is great for servers and small offices as                       for unattended servers if the control                           small environments and for unattended
it can be automatically controlled via the                      software and interface cable are                                servers. The superb battery power time
software control panel.                                         installed, and is good for small offices.                       is sure to impress.


                                                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                   08/2009        61
 TEST CENTER
     TESTED                                  SOFTWARE
                                             SPOTLIGHT


                                                                                  XARA WEB
                                                                                  DESIGNER
                                                                                  VERDICT: If you aren’t very keen on the HTML coding and CSS,
                                                                                  but you want to make stunning websites the quick and dirty
                                                                                  way, this software is definitely for you.
                                                                                  FOR: Good user interface, feature packed and good value for
                                                                                  money.
                                                                                  AGAINST: The option to edit code would have been great.




                                 T
                                          raditionally, constructing and hosting a                   most importantly, the price tag is impressive.
                                          website involved working with various web                  For a little over Rs 2,000, you can make good
                                          technologies and standards. Technically                    websites quickly and seamlessly. Also, the various
                                 speaking, since HTML and CSS are the backbone                       templates are quite intuitive and easy to use. Just
                                 of any website, having some knowledge about                         sift through the ‘templates’ section, make your
                                 them is a prerequisite. However, applications                       choice and get started in a matter of minutes.
                                 such as Xara Web Designer make construction of                          Basically, this application manipulates the
                                 websites super-easy and quick.                                      CSS at the back end and allows the user to
                                     This program is designed primarily for people                   make changes via the front end. Each element
                                 who want to make websites without having any                        in the templates is replaceable and can also be
                                 knowledge of web technologies. The three most                       manipulated or edited. Adding and replacing
                                 striking points of this application are the presence                images, text and other elements is a piece of
                                 of ready-to-use web templates, being able to                        cake. Just drag and drop. You don’t need to
                                 edit elements from within the application, and                      worry about the code being prepared in the




While you can create hyperlinks to external websites, the 'Link to page' option      You can select a complete theme along with all its elements. Alternatively you
will let you create a link for pages within the website (inter-linking).             can also select individual elements from a theme to match your own theme.



62    08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                           SMS us!       Story code: ASM to 57007
                                                                              ON DVD                                                  DUAL LAYER 8.5GB




                                                                              RED HOT APPLICATIONS
                                                                              WebSite X5 SMART 8
                                                                              Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1.3.6605
                                                                              DAZ Studio 3 Advanced Beta
                                                                              Adobe Flash Builder 4 Beta
                                                                              Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.4




The host address will be the domain name and the username
will be the one provided by your file hosting server.

background—which doesn’t show itself in the
forefront while you’re working. Although the
intention was to perhaps have a purely graphical
user interface environment, an option to edit
the code would have added tremendous value—
especially for advanced users. The absence of this                            FULL SOFTWARE
option deprives a user from making fine tweaks to                              Pinnacle VideoSpin 2.0.0.669
the code. Nonetheless this software will be highly                            Corel WordPerfect Lightning 1.0.0.465 Beta
appreciated by novice users and by people who                                 ShiVa 1.7.0.1.PLE
want good results quickly.                                                    Vue 7.5 Infinite/xStream PLE
   The functionality of Xara Web Designer is                                  Windows Vista Service Pack 2 FINAL
similar to that of both image editing and page
layout programs such as Adobe Photoshop and
                                                                                                                                                GAME TRAILERS
InDesign. Changes to design elements and images
can be made on-the-fly, so you won’t need to
                                                                                                 TOYS                                           Prototype
                                                                                                                                                Wolfenstein Exclusive Assassin
swap between different applications. Some of the
                                                                                                 GAME DEMOS                                     Dragon Ball: Raging Blast
                                                                                                 Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs               Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo
features include, resizing and rescaling images,                                                 Up The Video Game                              America's Army 3
cloning elements, creating hyperlinks for images                                                 Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare           Need for Speed SHIFT
and text and so on. Basically it has most of the                                                                                                Overlord: Raising Hell
standard features that are required to design a
website. You can preview the functioning of the                                                             JAlbum 8.3.5                       AVG Free Edition 8.5.374
ready website or webpage in the built-in browser
                                                                              TOYS                          HyperSnap-DX 6.61.02               NOD32 AntiVirus 4.0.314
                                                                              FULL GAMES                    Retouch Pilot Lite 3.0.4           a-squared Free 4.5.0.1
interface. Once you’re satisfied, Web Designer—like                            Yo Frankie! Apricot Open      FinalBurner Free 2.12.0.158
                                                                                                                                               Spybot Search & Destroy
other similar applications—lets you upload your                               Source 3D Game                ImgBurn 2.4.4.0
                                                                                                            Portable Wavosaur 1.0.5.0          WinPatrol 16.0.2009.6
website via FTP. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that                          Dragon Ball Arcade
                                                                                                            Blender 2.49                       Panda USB Vaccine 1.0.0.19
                                                                              Cobblebot Caper 1.0
if you need assistance, their website has many                                                              B/W Styler for Windows 1.01        PREDATOR 1.0.5.2
                                                                              Gravity Master
tutorial videos. Some of them are ‘beginner’s guide                                                         Kantaris Media Player 0.5.3
                                                                              Draw Your Own Cartoon
                                                                                                            iPhone Player 2                    SYSTEM
to Web Designer’, ‘resizing pages’, ‘photo rollover                                                         VLC Media Player 1.0.0 RC2
effects’, ‘flow text around’ and so on. All-in-all,                            LINUX                                                            Avanquest Perfect Image 12
                                                                              LINUX DISTROS                                                    Norton Ghost 14.0.0.24815
at this modest price, Web Designer is a great                                 Fedora 11
                                                                                                            INTERNET                           NovaBACKUP 10
                                                                              TurnKey Joomla Live CD        Microsoft Photosynth 2.01          Paragon Drive Backup
application to have.
                                                                              2009.06-hardy-x86             K9 Web Protection 4.0.288          Professional 9.0 Build 5541
                                                - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in   Tiny Core Linux 2.1 RC1       IncrediMail 5.86 Build 4189
                                                                                                            Opera 10.0 Beta                    MUST HAVES
                                                                              LINUX TOOLS                   Firefox 3.5 Beta 99                Nvidia Forceware 186.48
   SPECIFICATIONS                                                             Armagetron Advanced 0.3.0
                                                                                                                                               WHQL XP / Vista
US$ 49 (approx Rs 2,450)                                                      Util-linux 2.15.1             MOBILE
www.xara.com/us/products/webdesigner/                                         Guayadeque Music Player                                          ATI Catalyst Drivers 9.6
                                                                                                            ImTOO Windows Mobile
                                                                              Me TV 0.9.1                                                      XP / Vista
OS: XP/Vista; RAM: 256 MB; Disk space: 100 MB                                                               Ringtone Maker
                                                                              Comix 4.0.4
                                                                                                            Smart recovery 4.5
   RATINGS
                                                                              WordPress 2.8
                                                                                                            Nokia PC Suite 7.1.26.1            E-BOOKS
EASE OF USE
                                                                              TOOLS                                                            CHIP ARCHIVES
FEATURES
                                                                              MULTIMEDIA                    SECURITY                           March 2009 to
PERFORMANCE
                                                                              Xara Web Designer 5.0         Norton Utilities 1.0               May 2009
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY
  TEST CENTER
       TESTED




    VERDICT

THOUGH A BIT
EXPENSIVE, IT
HAS A
STUNNING
FEATURE SET,
SO WE'D SAY
BUY IT.


                                                        WEBSITE DESIGN


                                                       WEBSITE X5 EVOLUTION 8
                                                       FOR: Excellent feature set and usability for novice and advanced users.
                                                       AGAINST: The option of editing HTML code would add value to the product.




                                                       E
                                                                volution 8 is an extremely            choose the layout of menus—horizontal
                                                                easy-to-use and feature-              or vertical. A plethora of design templates
                                                                rich application that makes           follow and you can even change the look
                                                                stunningly usable and attractive      of a template or make one from scratch.
You can modify the layout by resizing and
                                                       websites. On installing and completing         The ‘Test’ button allows you to preview
relocating cells. You can also add hyperlinks here.
                                                       the online registration process, you’re        how the website would look. Designing the
                                                       offered a menu from where you can              header and logo are made easy with the
                                                       either start working directly or browse        built-in editor that lets you add effects and
                                                       the galleries, templates and tutorials that    modify images and other design elements
                                                       are very well explained and the process        from within the application.
                                                       of building a website is nicely divided into     Post-structuring, the allotment of
                                                       steps such as general settings, planning       content begins. The cells in the flexible
                                                       the website, creating pages, advances          grid or canvas accommodate text, images,
                                                       settings and finally exporting the website.     email forms, flash content, multimedia
                                                       You won't come across a single piece           files and other elements, that can be
    SPECIFICATIONS                                     of HTML code or CSS, unless you opt to         dragged and dropped on the grid. It’s that
Rs 4,466 approx.                                       insert or write code while developing.         simple. Content can be added by double-
www.websitex5.com
                                                         The ‘Start Evolution’ button starts the      clicking on the object and selecting the
System Requirements: OS: Windows (all versions);       process and the first stage lets you create     source.
Processor: 400 MHz processor or higher; RAM:
128 MB RAM                                             a new project or work on an existing one.        Upload the website via the built-in FTP
                                                       Basic details like website address, title,     client, enter the details and it’s ready to be
    RATINGS
FEATURES
                                                       description etc. can be added and then         published.
PERFORMANCE                                            starts the actual designing, where you                         - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




64       08/2009          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                            TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                 TESTED




                                                                                                      VERDICT

                                                                                                  AN EASY-TO-
                                                                                                  USE SUITE WITH
                                                                                                  MINIMAL
                                                                                                  TOOLS FOR
                                                                                                  OPTIMIZING
                                                                                                  YOUR SYSTEM'S
                                                                                                  PERFORMANCE.


 SYSTEM MAINTENANCE SUITE


NORTON UTILITIES 14
FOR: Very good for beginners, easy to use.
AGAINST: Too basic, lacks tools and tweaks for power users.




M
             aintenance tasks like            optimization which makes changes to the
             managing startup programs,       Registry to improve boot time and system
             deleting temporary files,         performance. You can also assess the
             cleaning the registry, and       performance of your system. The process
                                                                                                  You can even run a few tests to see whether your
defragmenting the hard drive help keep        viewer displays process ID, memory usage
                                                                                                  PC's performance is deteriorating over time.
Windows running smoothly. There are           and path, and allows killing tasks and
built-in tools for these in Windows but       setting CPU priority/affinity.
they aren't grouped together so you             The Windows Tools section has
have to know where each one is located.       shortcuts to built-in tools in Windows
Norton Utilities presents these and many      which is a good thing to have for beginners.
more in one interface.                          Norton Utilities will appeal more to
  The suite starts up in the Optimize         those who are new to Windows. Advanced
section with tools for managing startup       users will find a lot lacking. We expected
items and optimizing the registry. The        more from Norton Utilities, but it didn't
Registry cleaner and defragmenter scan        impress us much. We liked Norton System
the registry for invalid and redundant        Works because it had more features.                     SPECIFICATIONS
entries and rectify them at the click of a    Also, the Premier Edition of System Works            Rs TBA
                                                                                                   www.symantec.com
button. Other tools are startup and service   which included AntiVirus and Ghost was a
management tools which are not very           good all-round suite. Since has Symantec             System Requirements: OS: Windows XP/Vista; RAM:
                                                                                                   256 MB; Disk space: 90 MB.
different from System Configuration Utility    discontinued System Works, you now have
in Windows. The Monitor section has           to combine individual products as per your              RATINGS
                                                                                                   EASE OF USE
tools for monitoring the system, Registry     preferences.                                         FEATURES
and processes. It offers one-click system                          - anand.tuliani@chip.in         PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                   VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP             08/2009          65
 TEST CENTER
      TESTED




                                                      PHOTO TOOL

                                                     MICROSOFT PHOTOSYNTH 2.01
                                                     VERDICT: Create great 3D views of a single subject using multiple photos.
                                                     FOR: 3-D views.
                                                     AGAINST: Photos need to be uploaded using the Internet.




                                                     P
                                                               hotosynth is an application by      the 3D photograph from. The files are
                                                               Microsoft which can create a 3D     uploaded to the Photosynth website and
                                                               view from multiple photographs      you can view the final collage online or
                                                               or a similar subject or scene. It   share it and let your friends and family
                                                     analyzes digital photographs to generate      view the individual photographs. The
                                                     a 3D model of the subject. If you have        software requires the Silverlight2 plug-in
                                                     taken multiple shots of a monument or         for your browser which automatically
                                                     place from different angles, the software     downloads if it is not detected. Once
                                                     analyzes the similarity between all the       the photograph is viewed, the different
                                                     photographs and then recreates the            angles of the same photo can be viewed
   SPECIFICATIONS                                    environment to give it a complete 3D          by simply clicking on it or you can view
Free                                                 effect. Download the software for free,       it in automatic mode where it shows all
www.livelabs.com/photosynth                          run it and log in using your Hotmail or       the photos automatically. Try it out on
Operating system: Windows All; Disk space: 20 MB     Windows Live account. You will then need      www.photosynth.net. The website is best

   RATINGS                                           to create a free Photosynth account and       viewed with Internet Explorer.
FEATURES                                             upload the photos you want to create                                     - francis.dsa@chip.in
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING




 MEDIA PLAYER

KANTARIS MEDIA PLAYER
VERDICT: A versatile player that lacks features that GOM, VLC and WinAMP offer.
FOR: Playback of most audio/video files
AGAINST: No file management, buggy media player




B
              uilt around the source code            includes a 10-band equalizer which can
              of the popular VLC media               be configured to your liking and can also
              player, Kantaris offers to play        be exported for later use. You can also
              almost any file that you throw          choose between 12 predefined equalizers.
at it. A notable feature about the player            Kantaris also has visualizations but is
is its ability to handle both video and              limited to a total of five.
audio. Apart from integrating a few good               The player fails miserably on the
aspects of VLC, the overall look will                file management front. While there is
remind you of Windows Media Player.                  absolutely no support for managing audio,
The top left of the player includes                  adding multiple video files to its video
tabs for playback, movie trailers and a              library makes the player unresponsive.
video library. You can also bring up the             Even manually adding files doesn’t quite                  SPECIFICATIONS
playlist, music info and player settings by          solve the problem since only the last file             Free
                                                                                                           www.kantaris.org
clicking on their respective icons found             added can be viewed. The shortcut keys
                                                                                                           OS: Windows 98SE and above; RAM: 128 MB; Disk
towards the bottom right of the player.              do not work forcing you to use the mouse              Space: 20
Apart from this, Kantaris is devoid of               to navigate back and forth when listening
any kind of enhancement, be it for video             to music or when watching a movie.                       RATINGS
                                                                                                           EASE OF USE
or audio. But all is not lost, the player                      - sandeep.balachandran@chip.in              FEATURES
                                                                                                           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                           OVERALL RATING




66      08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                              TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                   TESTED




 SECURITY SUITE

ESCAN INTERNET SECURITY
VERDICT: Detection rates, parental control and memory usage need work
FOR: Fast scan speeds, endpoint security
AGAINST: Too many false positives, resource hog




T
              he eScan Security Suite is        quarantine option has been excluded. It
              built with a set of tools that    doesn’t generate a detailed info on the
              are meant to provide all-round    virus detected. It also consumes over
              protection. The main interface    150MB when idle.
provides a quick view of all the protection       Endpoint Protection handles USB
layers that are currently enabled and           drives and applications. Password
disabled.                                       protection prevents external storage
   The firewall does its job well and has        devices from starting thus preventing
four settings—allow all, limited, interactive   data theft and infection. Autoplay can                  SPECIFICATIONS
and block all. For advanced users there is      be disabled, USB devices opened in read              Rs 1,250 approx.
                                                                                                     www.msspl.co.in
a Settings menu that allows to add and          only mode and scanned for viruses upon
remove various options. Web Protection          insertion. Application control can block             OS: Windows XP SP2 / Vista; RAM: 1 GB (Vista);
                                                                                                     Disk space:150 MB
(parental control) is present but it also       particular programs from starting. Games,
tends to block legitimate websites.             messengers, video players and P2P                       RATINGS
                                                                                                     EASE OF USE
   The Antivirus detection rate is average      applications are also included.                      FEATURES
with a high level of false positives. The                - sandeep.balachandran@chip.in              PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                     OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                     VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                 CLOUD COMPUTING

                                                AIRTEL ONLINE DESKTOP
                                                VERDICT: A neat service with good add-on features, but broadband remains a
                                                problem.
                                                FOR: Accessible anywhere, works with proxies.




                                                A
                                                           irtel’s Online Desktop is a       resolution. It manages to tunnel through
                                                           cloud computing service           most types of proxies and firewalls, but
                                                           which aims to host your           can take a while to do so. In practice, it’s
                                                           entire computing experience       easy to get things done, but we found
                                                online. You can log in from anywhere         it laggy and cumbersome to use even
                                                in the world and access your programs        with a 1 Mbps Internet connection; even
                                                and data. The online desktop looks and       minimizing a window looked like a bad
                                                behaves exactly like Windows, with a few     PowerPoint slide transition. That aside, it
                                                components such as the Control Panel         could really come in handy for people who
                                                disabled. You can choose from a catalog      want to synchronize their PCs between
                                                of free and subscription-driven programs     home and work, or those who can’t pay
                                                to add to your desktop, including all the    upfront for expensive software.
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                popular Microsoft Office applications. You     Airtel's Online Desktop is a neat
Rs 199 per month onwards                        can even download common programs            concept that could become very
www.airtel.in/onlinedesktop

OS: Any; Browser: IE/Firefox with Java plugin
                                                from the Web and install them on your        interesting if used with a cheap, low-
                                                virtual desktop just like on any PC.         configuration mobile computer and fast
   RATINGS                                        The online desktop runs in a Java          broadband connection.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                     window which has a very limited                                      - jamshed.avari@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP             08/2009         67
 TEST CENTER
     TESTED




 PHOTOSHOP PLUGIN                                        SCREEN CAPTURE UTILITY                                DEFRAGMENTING TOOL

B/W STYLER                                              HYPERSNAP 6                                           VOPTXP 9.12
VERDICT: Great for beginners and                        VERDICT: A handy tool for                             VERDICT: A great alternative
professionals                                           presentations, marketing materials, web               defragmentation tool for Windows.
FOR: Terrific black and white results, lots              pages, email and other applications.                  FOR: Verbose, pagefile, batch
of options to manipulate images.                        FOR: Very easy and customizable user-                 defragmentation can be done.
AGAINST: None.                                          interface, very powerful feature-set.                 AGAINST: Slightly expensive.
                                                        AGAINST: A little too expensive.




T                                                       W                                                     A
       he simplest method of                                       ith support for 32-bit and                         n alternative defragmentation
       transforming a color image to                               64-bit versions of Windows                         tool for Windows, VoptXP has
       black and white is converting it                            7, HyperSnap 6 is one of the                       excellent features built into it.
to grayscale with the click of a button                 most powerful screen capture utilities                The defragmenting tool looks similar
in an image viewer. But using dedicated                 available. New feature in this version,               to that of Windows 98, but is more
software or a plug-in gives you very                    TextSnap can perform OCR from the                     powerful. VoptXP is more visual and
fine grained control over parameters                     screen directly into a text/RTF format.               the work efficiency by this software
such as shadows, highlights, tint, color                Copying text from a fairly large or                   can actually be observed. You can
channels, and so on. B/W Styler is                      lengthy web page can be done with a                   program the utility to perform batch
one such plug-in for Photoshop which                    single click by simply using the auto-                defragmentation on all drives and shut
can change the mood of your shot.                       scroll function along with TextSnap.                  down after the process. The built-in
Depending on                                            One can capture                                       cleanup function
                         SPECIFICATIONS                                         SPECIFICATIONS                                        SPECIFICATIONS
the amount                                              images from                                           is a great
of control you
                      US$ 49.95                         games and
                                                                             US$ 35 (approx                   security feature
                                                                                                                                   US$ 40 (approx
want over the
                      (approx Rs 2,500)                 movie players.
                                                                             Rs 1,750)                        which can
                                                                                                                                   Rs 2,000)
                      www.theplugsite.com                                    www.hyperionics.com                                   www.vopt.com
parameters,           Also compatible with Paint Shop   The new              OS: Windows (all); Disk space:   clear internet       OS: Windows (all)
you can work          Pro, IrfanView and PhotoImpact    version also         10 MB                            cookies, history
                                                                                                                                      RATINGS
in Photography,       under Windows and Mac OS X        supports built-in                                     and cache files,
                                                                                RATINGS                                            FEATURES

B/W quick or             RATINGS                        image editing,       FEATURES
                                                                                                              the Recycle Bin      PERFORMANCE
                      FEATURES                                               PERFORMANCE                                           OVERALL RATING
Expert mode.          OVERALL RATING                    annotation and       OVERALL RATING                   and temp files.       VALUE FOR MONEY

The plug-in can       VALUE FOR MONEY                   manipulation         VALUE FOR MONEY                  The drives can
emulate various                                         tools.                                                be analyzed for fragmentation before
film types, filters, paper grades, color                  HyperSnap also doubles as an                          the defragmenting is done and you
tones, and photo lab effects. Each of                   image viewer and format convertor.                    can also view the file content of each
these sections has numerous presets                     Customize it in any way—rearrange                     block on the hard drive by just clicking
which can be fine-tuned. With more                       menus/toolbars, assign keyboard                       on the block. Additional features
interesting features, B/W Styler is                     shortcuts, break off menus to create                  include defragmenting of the pagefile,
great for beginners and professional                    instant toolbars, or control HyperSnap                scheduling, disk health checking and
photographers.                                          with voice commands too.                              secure erasing of deleted data.
                  - anand.tuliani@chip.in                                   -francis.dsa@chip.in                                  -francis.dsa@chip.in




68    08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
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    CONFIGS
         GS
 PC CONFIGS



                                                                                                                                           Sony Cyber-shot W180
                                                                                                                                           Rs 8,800
                                                                                                                                           www.sony.co.in
                                                                                                                                           performance Too early to tell
                                                                                                                                           but judging by its predecessors,
                                                                                                                                           it looks promising. The colour
                                                                                                                                           accents fetch it brownie points
                                                                                                                                           though.
                                                                                                                                           love Built-in SteadyShot (optical
                                                                                                                                           image stabilisation) for sharp
                                                                                                                                           results.
                                                                                                                                           hate Uses Memory Stick Pro (and
                                                                                                                                           not SDHC)

                                                                                                                                               SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                                                                           Resolution: 10 MP; Optical zoom: 3.7x
                                                                                                                                           (35 - 105 mm); Display: 2.7-inch; Modes: Auto,
                                                                                                                                           Program, Scenes; Weight: 118 g




                                                                    ANAND'S PICKS

     COMPACT CAMERAS           Small enough to carry along everywhere you go.

                        Canon PowerShot A480                                       Nikon Coolpix L19
                        Rs 8,500                                                   Rs 6,700
                        www.canon.co.in                                            www.nikon.co.in
                        performance Decent results for its price.                  performance Competent auto mode takes
                        It performs nicely in low light.                           care of everything for you.
                        love Good variety of shooting modes and                    love Two auto modes and a dramatic flash
                        rock-bottom pricing!                                       make it perfect for budding shooters.
                        hate Build quality leaves a lot to be                      hate Image quality is nowhere professional,
                        desired. Low battery life.                                 and the camera is a bit too basic

                            SPECIFICATIONS                                             SPECIFICATIONS
                        Resolution: 10 MP; Optical zoom: 3.3x (37 - 122 mm);       Resolution: 8 MP; Optical zoom: 3.6x (41 - 145 mm);
                        Display: 2.5-inch; Modes: Auto, Program, Scenes;           Display: 2.7-inch; Modes: Auto, Scenes; Weight: 135 g
                        Weight: 140 g




                        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10                                   Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S930
                        Rs 8,500                                                   Rs 7,800
                        lumix.panasonic.co.in                                      www.sony.co.in
                        performance Very good photo quality                        performance Great for everyday
                        with accurate exposures and minimal purple                 photography. Photos back in good quality and
                        fringing.                                                  the camera is well-priced.
                        love Wide angle 5x zoom lens with optical                  love Great looks and compact size. Easy to
                        IS. Metal body is delightful too.                          use as well.
                        hate Built-in memory is a joke. Camera is                  hate Considerable shutter lag. No option to
                        only ‘Full Speed’ USB 2.0 compliant.                       imprint dates on photos.

                            SPECIFICATIONS                                             SPECIFICATIONS
                        Resolution: 10 MP; Optical zoom: 5x (30 - 150 mm);         Resolution: 10 MP; Optical zoom: 3x (36 - 108 mm);
                        Display: 2.5-inch; Modes: Auto, Program, AV, TV, Manual,   Display: 2.4-inch; Modes: Auto, Program, Scenes;
                        Scenes; Weight: 141 g                                      Weight: 118 g




70   08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                  TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                 PC CONFIGS
                                                                                                                                ANAND'S PICKS




                                                     YOU DON'T NEED POTS OF
                                                     MONEY TO BUILD A FULLY
                                                     CAPABLE HD HTPC
                                                     ANAND TULIANI, HEAD—TEST CENTER




AFFORDABLE HD BLISS
W
               atching a Blu-ray movie on a   decoding full HD content. Since I wanted
               large 52-inch full HD plasma   to do away with a discrete graphics card,
               TV with surround sound         I chose the Zotac GeForce 8200 which is
               is bliss. But not anyone       an affordable motherboard whose IGP
can afford such a setup. A home theater       supports PureVideo HD codec. So even if
PC with a full HD monitor is a cheaper        you install an entry-level dual-core CPU
alternative to a full-fledged home theater    and 2 GB of RAM, the system resources
setup. But again a good HTPC case costs       will be free for other tasks while a Blu-ray
nothing less than Rs 10,000, which is a       movie is playing. However, note that
significant chunk of the overall cost of      you need a player (such as CyberLink
the PC. On an average, it costs around Rs     Power DVD or Corel WinDVD) that
90,000 to build a fully-loaded HTPC with      supports hardware decoding using
good speakers, TV tuner card, discrete        PureVideo HD. The AMD
graphics and a 24-inch LCD monitor.           Athlon 64 X2 7750+ is a              Processor          AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750+, 2.70 GHz               3,300
However, if you don’t want to go all out      good entry-level dual-core
                                                                                   Motherboard        Zotac GeForce 8200                             3,500
and splurge in an HTPC, then building a       processor that complements
                                                                                   RAM                2 GB Zion DDR2-800                             1,400
PC that can play Blu-ray movies at 1080p      the motherboard. Next, a
with surround sound becomes quite             capacious hard drive to store        Hard disk          Western Digital Caviar GP, 500 GB              2,900
challenging.                                  all your data and media fi les.      Optical drive      Sony BC-5100S-OB, 24x Blu-ray combo            8,700
   After experimenting with the hardware      Settle for at least a 500 GB         Monitor            BenQ E2200 HD, 22-inch                        11,800
in our Test Center and trying numerous        hard drive—there’s no point
                                                                                   Input device       Microsoft Wired Desktop 500                     800
combinations, I formulated an affordable      opting for a 320 GB hard
configuration for a full HD HTPC that         drive since it costs only Rs         Speakers           Artis S-5555, 5.1-channel                      3,350
costs less than Rs 45,000. The most           500 less. And last but not           PC Case            Cooler Master Elite 340                        2,100
essential components of an entertainment      the least, invest in a decent        Operating system   Cooler Master Extreme Power 390W               2,200
PC are a full HD monitor, Blu-ray combo       cabinet and power supply.            Office suite        Windows Vista Home Basic                       4,150
drive and surround sound speakers—these       Examine whether the case is
                                                                                   Total                                                        44,200
are mainly responsible for the overall        built sturdily and has a front
multimedia experience. I’ve selected          as well as a rear fan to expel
components that offer good value for          the heat from within. If the case comes
money, but it’s up to you to extend your      fitted with only a single fan, buy an extra
budget if you want a bigger display or        fan and fit it on front / rear grille. A decent
better sound or both.                         490 watt power supply unit should suffice
   Next up, the heart of the PC. Full         to handle this PC without any stress.
HD videos and Blu-ray videos are very             Note the difference when using a media
resource hungry and require lots of           player that supports PureVideo HD instead
headroom for decoding. But Nvidia’s           of a one that doesn’t—the CPU utilization
PureVideo HD technology which makes           doesn’t go beyond 15 to 20 percent while a
the use of the graphics processor instead     Blu-ray movie is playing.
of the CPU is a smart workaround for                                        – anand.tuliani@chip.in


                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               08/2009      71
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PC CONFIGS
GAMING (ENTRY LEVEL)                                                Rs 38,900 GAMING (HIGH-END)                                                   Rs 1,43,400
Processor           Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200, 2.50 GHz                3,450   Processor           Intel Core 2 Duo Q9400, 2.66 GHz                   12,500
Motherboard         Biostar G41D-M7, Intel G41                             2,700   Motherboard         Asus Striker II Formula, nForce 780i SLI           19,000
RAM                 2x 1 GB Zion DDR2-800 MHz                              1,700   RAM                 Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX - 4 GB                 5,100
Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green - 320 GB SATA             2,300   Hard disk           Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - 1 TB SATA               4,500
Graphics card       Zotac 9800 GT - 512 MB DDR3                            6,300   Graphics card       Zotac GeForce GTX 295 - 1792 MB DDR3               31,000
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                            1,200   Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                         1,200
Network Card        Onboard 10/100/1000 GbE                                   —    Network Card        Onboard 10/100/1000 GbE                                —
Monitor             Dell 1909W - 19-inch TFT                               7,300   Monitor             Dell E248WFP - 24-inch TFT                         22,000
Keyboard            Microsoft Desktop 500                                   800    Keyboard            Microsoft Sidewinder X6                             4,200
Mouse               Included in Combo                                         —    Mouse               Logitech G9 Laser                                   4,900
Speakers            Umax PowerBeatsUPB 3200                                1,200   Speakers            Creative Gigaworks T3                              16,000
Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                             —    Sound card          Bundled X-Fi Soundcard                                 —
PC Case             Cooler Master Elite 340                                2,100   PC Case             Thermaltake M9 VI1000BWS                            4,500
Power supply unit   Power Safe 500W Silver                                 1,800   Power supply unit   Tagan BZ800                                         8,300
Operating system    Windows Vista Home Basic                               4,150   Operating system    Windows Vista Home Premium                          6,300
Office suite        Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student                 3,900   Office suite        Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student              3,900
TOTAL                                                                  38,900      TOTAL                                                              1,43,400


WORKSTATION                                                      Rs 1,92,100       HOME THEATRE PC                                                 Rs 96,800
Processor           Intel Core i7-920, 2.66 GHz                           15,400   Processor           AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750+ BE, 2.70 GHz                 3,300
Motherboard         Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R, Intel X58                      14,500   Motherboard         Asus M3N78-EM, GeForce 8300                         5,200
RAM                 Corsair XMS3 TR3X6G1333C9 - 3 x 2 GB DDR3              8,800   RAM                 2x 2 GB Kingston DDR2-800 MHz                       2,700
Hard disk           2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - 1 TB in RAID 0          9,000   Hard disk           Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - 1 TB SATA               4,500
Graphics card       Leadtek Quadro FX 560 - 128 MB                        11,500   Graphics card       Zotac GeForce 9400 GT Zone, 512 MB                  2,600
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                            1,200   Optical drive       Sony BC-5100S-OB, 24x SATA Blu-ray combo            8,700
Network Card        Onboard 10/100/1000 GbE                                   —    Network card        Onboard 10/100/1000 GbE                                —
Monitor             Dell 2408WFP UltraSharp - 24-inch TFT                 37,000   Monitor             BenQ E2400 HD - 24-inch TFT                        22,000
Keyboard            Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000                            950    Keyboard            Logitech Cordless Desktop EX100                     1,600
Mouse               Logitech MX518                                         1,400   Mouse               Included with keyboard                                  -
Speakers            Logitech Z-5500 Digital                               21,000   Speakers            Logitech Z-5500 Digital                            21,000
Sound card          Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3                                   15,500   Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                          —
PC Case             Cooler Master Centurion 590                            3,800   PC Case             GlacialTech Altair A381                            10,600
Power supply unit   Tagan BZ 700                                           7,650   Power supply unit   Included with the PC Case                              —
Input Device        Wacom Intuos 3 tablet 6-in x 8-in                     17,000   TV tuner card       Leadtek WinFast PVR3000 Deluxe                      4,400
Operating system    Windows Vista Ultimate                                10,900   Operating system    Windows Vista Home Premium                          6,300
Office suite        Microsoft Office 2007 Professional                    16,500   Office suite        Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student              3,900
TOTAL                                                                 1,92,100     TOTAL                                                                96,800


72      08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                       TEST CE NTE
                                                                                                                                       T EST C E
                                                                                                                                              CENTER
                                                                                                                                       TE S T CEN T ER
                                                                                                                                          CONFIGS
                                                                                                                                          CONF S
                                                                                                                                            NFIGS
                                                                                                                                       PC CON GS




                  LAPTOP CONFIGS
DESKTOP REPLACEMENT                                 THIN AND LIGHT                                        NETBOOK
PROCESSOR Intel Core 2 Duo,                         PROCESSOR Intel Pentium Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo,        PROCESSOR Intel Atom N270 / N280 / Z530
2.26 GHz to 2.8 GHz                                 Core 2 Solo, AMD Neo
MEMORY 3 GB to 6 GB                                 MEMORY 2 GB to 4 GB                                   MEMORY 1 GB
HARD DRIVE 250 GB to 500 GB                         HARD DRIVE 250 GB or 320 GB                           HARD DRIVE 80 GB to 160 GB
DISPLAY 15.4-inch to 17-inch                        DISPLAY 12.1-inch to 13.3 inch                        DISPLAY 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch or higher
GRAPHICS GeForce 9300M or higher,                   GRAPHICS On-board or discrete                         GRAPHICS On-board
Radeon HD 4650 or higher
WEIGHT 2.5 Kg to 3 Kg                               WEIGHT Up to 2 Kg                                     WEIGHT Up to 1.5 Kg
OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer or Blu-ray              OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer,                          OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g or n,
Wi-fi n, Webcam, TV Tuner                            Wi-Fi b/g or n, Webcam                                Webcam
PRICE RANGE Rs 45,000 to Rs 1,50,000                PRICE RANGE Rs 30,000 to Rs 1,50,000                  PRICE RANGE Rs 17,000 to Rs 35,000




HP PAVILION DV5-1221TX                              ACER TRAVELMATE 6292                                  ZENITH Z BOOK
Rs 67,740                                           Rs 40,000                                             Rs 16,900
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 2.0 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;   CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, 2.2 GHz                   CPU Intel Atom N270, 1.60 GHz; MEMORY 1 GB;
HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 15.4inch;                 MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 160 GB;                        HARD DISK 160 GB; DISPLAY 10.1-inch;
GRAPHICS GeForce 9600M; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg;              DISPLAY 12.1-inch; GRAPHICS On-board;                 GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.4 Kg;
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n, DVD-writer                WEIGHT 2 Kg; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DVD-writer       OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g, card reader




DELL STUDIO XPS 16                                  ACER ASPIRE 2920NWTMI                                 ACER ASPIRE ONE D250
Rs 74,169 + taxes                                   Rs 42,000                                             Rs 19,900
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8800, 2.66 GHz;     CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T5450, 1.66 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;    CPU Intel Atom N270, 1.60 GHz; MEMORY 1 GB;
MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 500 GB;                      HARD DISK 160 GB; DISPLAY 12.1-inch;                  HARD DISK 160 GB; DISPLAY 10.1-inch;
DISPLAY 15.6-inch, 1920x1080;                       GRAPHICS On-board WEIGHT 2 Kg;                        GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.1 Kg;
GRAPHICS Radeon HD 3670; WEIGHT 2.9 Kg;             OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DVD-writer                    OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g, card reader
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n, DVD-writer




SONY VAIO VGN-FW45GJ/B                              DELL STUDIO XPS 13                                    ASUS EEE PC 1000 HE
Rs 79,900                                           Rs 61,899 + taxes                                     Rs 23,500
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 2.53 GHz                CPU Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;     CPU Intel Atom N270, 1.66 GHz; MEMORY 1 GB;
MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 400 GB;                      HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 13.3-inch, 1280x800;        HARD DISK 160 GB; DISPLAY 10.1-inch;
DISPLAY 16.4-inch, 1440x900; GRAPHICS Radeon        GRAPHICS GeForce 9400M; WEIGHT 2.2 Kg;                GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.4 Kg;
HD 4650; WEIGHT 3.1 Kg; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n,   OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n, DVD-writer                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n, card reader
DVD-writer




APPLE MACBOOK PRO                                   SONY VAIO Z48 GD                                      DELL INSPIRON MINI 10
Rs 1,48,800                                         Rs 1,49,000                                           Rs 23,500
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo P9600, 2.66 GHz                CPU Intel Core 2 Duo P9700, 2.8 GHz; MEMORY 6 GB;     CPU Intel Atom Z520, 1.33 GHz; MEMORY 1 GB;
MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 17-inch,     HARD DISK 256 GB SSD; DISPLAY 13.1-inch;              HARD DISK 160 GB; DISPLAY 10.1-inch;
1440x900; GRAPHICS GeForce 9600M; WEIGHT 3 Kg;      GRAPHICS GeForce 9300M; WEIGHT 1.4 Kg;                GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.2 Kg;
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DVD-writer                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi n, DVD-writer                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g, card reader


                                                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP            08/2009   73
COVER STORY
TECH CAREERS




74   08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   Nirmal Biswas
                                                            SMS us!   Story code: CTC to 57007
                                                                                         COVER STORY
                                                                                        TECH CAREERS




This guide is for students just starting out in the IT industry, but could
just as well apply to anyone who wants to set themselves apart in a
competitive global environment.
BY JAMSHED AVARI




G
        oing by most media and industry                prepared for jobs in the real world. A random
        reports, technology industries in India        sampling of students and recently employed
        are starting to bounce back from the           workers CHIP spoke to expressed the common
global slowdown. Our country might not be              concern that their specializations, usually Java
faring as badly as others are right now, but that      and C, aren’t exactly the best tools to take them
still doesn’t mean all is well on the job search       beyond entry-level jobs in coding. Recruiters
front. Many of the workers laid off earlier this       shared the same concern, but rationalized that
year are still finding it hard to get new jobs, since   by saying that tech companies usually hire
companies are only just starting to recover and        freshers for very specific jobs such as data
aren’t looking at expansion opportunities yet.         entry or a single type of programming, and
With so many experienced workers and so few            will put them through a few weeks or months
job openings, things don’t look very good at all       of training in that field. This illustrates the
for the lakhs of freshers who will be graduating       difference between an IT job and an IT career:
six or eight months from now and entering the          students who don’t know exactly what they
job market for the first time.                          want to pursue will end up being molded by the
   “IT” as a career option is a fairly vague,          immediate requirements of the industry. Those
nebulous idea. Everyone knows that IT is hot and       who find themselves surrounded by hundreds
there’s lots of money to be made if you’re young       of others doing exactly the same work will
and well educated, but no one can actually             quickly find things repetitive and stifling. Worse,
pin down a single, specific path to follow that         those who don’t have the aptitude for whatever
guarantees you’ll make it big. IT encompasses          they’ve been pushed into won’t do very well,
careers in hardware administration, networking,        won’t rise in the company’s hierarchy, and might
chip design, coding or programming, software           even get put off by the industry as a whole.
development, testing and validation, database             Some students who find themselves unaware
management, business analysis, security, visual        of what options lie ahead of them because of
design, animation, and dozens of other avenues.        this vagueness s only wind up following the herd
Additionally, each of those can encompass              and joining large companies en masse in the
multiple potential careers, each of which would        hope of picking up some skills along the way, an
require additional specialized knowledge, such         attitude that doesn’t necessarily go down well
as game development for mobile devices or              with HR managers or bosses. Employees who
enterprise-level data center security.                 have a well thought out growth plan or at least
   Added to this, many graduating computer             some specific goals and understanding of their
science and IT students don’t feel very well           own aptitudes will always stand out.


                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009   75
 COVER STORY
TECH CAREERS



                Take charge of your future with
  10                  PARALLEL COURSES
                      P             ES
                       c
If you’ve just entered college and are        commitment. On the other
wondering how to make the most of             hand, short term courses
a course that isn’t really keeping you        are a great way to pick up
interested or engaged, find something          secondary skills that will not
to do alongside. College won’t take up        only help to pad your resume
every single waking moment you have,          but also give you an edge in your
                                                                            our
and there are dozens of institutes in         college work. A few months with
every city offering part-time morning,        Photoshop and Illustrator will help
evening and weekend courses. Sure, it         you create high-quality graphics for your
might cut down on your social life a bit,     college Web design projects, and some            You could also opt for something
                                                                                                                t
but it’s the kind of move that will really    hands-on experience with hardware             completely offbeat. Several institutes
set you apart when a recruiter is flooded      assembling and troubleshooting will be        are beginning to offer courses in ethical
with hundreds of resumes with identical       a nice balance to a software engineering      hacking, typography, game development,
college degree qualifications.                 degree. Everything extra you do will          jewelry design, and other things that
   There are dozens of choices available.     result in a more rounded application and      might not only interest you, but also give
Several major institutes with hundreds        personality, which could work to your         you a unique skill that could come in
of branches across the country offer          advantage in the future.                      handy later.
career-focused multi-year diploma                Such courses are also great for               Any additional qualification will help
courses that allow you to pick and            students who feel that their colleges         you in your career. With the downtun
choose from various modules, include          aren't really preparing them for the          casting long shadows, many students
training in soft skills, and even promise     careers they are interested in, or who        are even thinking about putting off work
job placements. These courses, however,       didn't manage to get into exactly the         for a year or two more in favor of a full-
are fairly expensive and require serious      course of their choice.                       time higher education.




                Exp
                Exploit your
  09                  I
                      INTERNSHIPS TO THE MAX
If your college doesn’t make it               incomparable to just classroom                Take every opportunity you have to chat
compulsory to do an internship, do one        experience and college projects. Not only     with everyone from senior managers to
anyway. In fact, try to do more than one!     will you get an idea of how the industry      fresh staffers. You’ll learn tons about the
Of course it’s nice to relax and wake up      works, but you’ll have a glimpse of your      job, the industry, competing companies,
late every day, but summer vacations can      own potential future. As an intern you        plans and expectations, and the kind of
also be used productively to enhance          might get stuck doing menial tasks for        lifestyle you’ll have if you make this your
your career prospects. On-the-job             a while, but if you show good aptitude,       career. It’s important to make friends
training is invaluable and is completely      you’ll almost certainly be trusted with       and stay in touch with them. If they
                                                               regular, more important      remember you, joining the company as a
                                                               work as well. If you         permanent staffer a year down the line
                                                               intern at a smaller          will be a whole lot easier. And because
                                                               company, chances are         churn is fairly high and people change
                                                               you’ll become one of         jobs often, you’ll end up with friends in a
                                                               the team and share in        whole host of companies who can alert
                                                               their work. At the end       you to job openings and put in a good
                                                               of your time there, you’ll   word for you with their recruiters.
                                                               have something you can          Finally, remember that interning is
                                                               really show off to future    like auditioning companies: you get to
                                                               potential employers.         try them out and see if they will suit you
                                                                  Interning is about        when you’re ready to start a full-time
                                                               more than just               job. At the very least, if you hate the
                                                               showing up at an             experience, you’ll know for sure that this
                                                               office and earning a         kind of career isn’t for you before it’s too
                                                               recommendation letter.       late to change.


76    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                    COVER STORY
                                                                                                                   TECH CAREERS



                 Wor
                 Work at a
  08                    N
                        NON-IT OUTFIT
 t                      world if all the big
It isn’t the end of the w                                                           s
                                               within the company because your bosses
IT houses have frozen hiring. There are        will recognize your skill in areas they
hundreds of other companies that can           don’t fully understand!
use your skills if you’re talented enough.        Media houses, ad agencies, law firms,
Every company has IT infrastructure that       hospitality establishments, logistics
needs to be maintained, so hardware            operations, and pretty much all types
and networking skills are sought after.        of small/medium enterprises and
In-house Web developers can be found           even family business need staff with         do with technically-oriented staff
in diverse fields, as can database              tech skills. You can help them save          until the potential for improvement is
architects and experts in many verticals.      money on infrastructure, Web hosting,        demonstrated to them. So don’t scoff
As always, you could get noticed and           replacing outsourced skills, information     at an offer for a boring-sounding job at
later be pushed to work on bigger and          security, new media strategies, SAP          a non-IT firm; chances are once you’re
better projects, or you could even wind        implementation, etc. Many companies          inside, you’ll be able to spread your
up influencing all tech-related decisions       just don’t know how badly they could         wings.



                 Netw
                 Network, network, network—
  07                    ONLINE AND OFFLINE
                        O
With all the regular channels of
                     ch                           One great way to do this is through       your drunken party photos: these might
interaction such as placement                  specialized online social networks such      work against you when it comes to
agencies and HR recruiters drying              as SiliconIndia, LinkedIn and                                      finding someone
up, it’s important to have your own                         Ryze. Regularly                                       suitable for a job.
connections. Well-                                          updating your profile                                  Offline networking
placed friends and                                          and whereabouts                                       is also important.
colleagues can alert                                        ensures that you’ll be          Friends, family, visiting faculty—anyone
you to positions that                                        seen in your contacts’         at all could become a valuable resource.
need to be filled                                             news feeds, keeping you        Check out communities in your town
and recommend you                              visible and relevant to them. You can        or college such as linux user groups,
to their superiors. Stay in touch with         also use Facebook and other regular          barcamps, and other places where those
your classmates and seniors as well as         social networks,                             with common techie interests meet. You
anyone else in the industry you meet           but remember to                              could end up impressing someone in a
along the way.                                 restrict access to                           high position.



                 Lear
                 Learn to make
  06                    JOB SITES WORK FOR YOU
                        J                   O
                                         R YOU
Job sites are widely used by recruiters        strategies, tips for negotiating salaries,
to select a few promising candidates           and even pointers on the kind of brain
for any vacancy that might arise. Make         teasers software companies like to
sure your profile is visible and relevant       surprise interviewees with.
by exploiting all the features of the sites,
such as supplying the right keywords
to make you show up in searches.
Regularly updated profiles with as much
information as possible will help you get
noticed. You can even pay a small fee for
preferred listings in many cases.
   Job sites also offer plenty of
additional help, including articles about
proper interview etiquette, job search


                                                                                                                                     77
 COVER STORY
TECH CAREERS



                Brus
                Brush up on your
  05                   INTERVIEW SKILLS
                       I
 his             genera
This is a pretty general tip, but it’s         much you’re expecting. Sit up straight,      can engage the interviewer by asking
important nonetheless. First impressions       speak clearly, and don’t fidget with pens     questions about the work environment,
count, so make sure you’re on time for         or papers. If you get the chance, you        expected projects and clients, and any
your interview, study a bit about the                                                       concerns you might have.
company’s profile and background, and                                                           You might have to go through
rehearse answers for common questions.                                                      multiple rounds of interviews, first with
Take very opportunity to say something                                                      the people you hope to be working for
positive about yourself, even when asked                                                    and then with the HR representative in
“What do people say your worst trait is?”                                                   charge of recruitment. It's important to
   Carry copies of your resume and                                                          remain formal and focused, since every
recommendation letters, in case                                                             impression counts. Your interviewer
they’re required. Don’t jump into salary                                                    might have you do some tests on the
negotiations or make demands if you                                                         spot as well, so be prepared. Talk to your
aren’t specifically asked what how                                                           seniors for specific tips.



                Don
                Don't underestimate your
  04                   P
                       PORTFOLIO
Just like a recruiter wil scrutinize your
 ust                  will                     interactive Flash demonstration that you
                                                                                      u
resume without needing to be technically       can host online as well. Even a simple
minded, your potential bosses might            slideshow of photos could be impressive
                                                            p                 p      e
not care at all about academic marks.          if done well.
In this case, they’re trying to see how
good you are at what you do, and how
well you’ll fit in. A slick portfolio or
showreel will go a long way in showing
off your previous work, even if it’s only
academic assignments. Make liberal
use of screenshots and captions to
highlight any particularly innovative
approach to problem solving. If possible
(and if suitable to your work), create an



                Kno         sics
                Know your basics,
  03                   K
                       KNOW YOUR TRIVIA
It might not sound important, but a
                   imp                                                                      talking about and laughing along with
lot of interviewers will quiz you on                                                        the inside jokes. After all, you are in the
trivia such as Cobol concepts or legacy                                                     company of geeks!
networking architectures and protocols.                                                        On the other hand, some interviewers
This is actually quite a good sign, since                                                   (and even some written tests) love
it is more likely to occur with smaller                                                     asking brain teasers, a concept popularly
companies where you're expected to                                                          attributed to Microsoft's hiring practices
have more of an individual personality                                                      in the early 90s. Don't get flustered
and be less of a code-writing zombie.          It shouldn't be a negative thing to say      and don't dismiss the question without
   The questions asked might be to             you aren’t familiar with these things, but   thinking about it and giving it your best
throw you off, to see what you’ve              actually knowing them will give you an       shot. You're almost never expected to
learnt on your own, or to check your           edge. Besides, if your interviewer is an     get the answer, but what matters is your
background and the kind of context             old timer who likes sharing war stories,     ability to handle the unexpected in a
you have while working on problems.            you’ll score points by knowing what he’s     pressure-heavy situation.


78    08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                    COVER STORY
                                                                                                                   TECH CAREERS



                 Pay attention to
  02                  I
                      INDUSTRY TRENDS
This one really should go without saying,       Combining your research with
but it’s one of the most important           specialized courses could additionally
things you can do. You need to follow        work to your advantage because you’ll
magazines, websites, job portals,            give yourself a unique set of talents and
business newspapers, trade publications      you’ll be able to present this to recruiters
                                             y                 p
and any sources you have within the
                              n                       with confidence. Especially if
industry to keep your finger on the
                                he                            you’re undecided about
                                                              you
pulse of the industry. Do all this for                        what to pursue, you’ll get
                                                              wh
a few months and you’ll be able to                             lot
                                                             a lo of insight and might
predict which niches and verticals
                               als                           come across something
                                                             com
                 taff
require skilled staff and                                   that really captures you
               r
which ones offer                                            interests.
                                                            inter
the maximum                                                    You could even find
                                                               Yo
potential for                                              yours
                                                           yourself looking at              the crunch that the IT industry is now
growth. Are there
               re                                          an extremely fulfilling
                                                              ex                            facing. Again, it all comes down to being
any specializations
                ons                                        career outside of                an intelligent, informed person with a
that are always in                                        mainstream IT, such as
                                                          mainst                            well-rounded personality—exactly the
demand? Are there
             here                                        technology journalism,
                                                         techno                             kind of thing that impresses recruiters
any fields with a                             legal consultation, PR and corporate
                                             le                                             and bosses.
dearth of qualified                           communications, teaching, or loads of
                                             co                                                Continuing to keep abreast of the
candidates? The
              e                              other areas in which your knowledge
                                             ot                                             industry and economy will always help
answers to these questions evolve over
                     ti       l              and background will give you an edge,          you grow, long after you've landed a job
time, so you’d do well to track them.        while simultaneously letting you avoid         and have embarked upon your career.




                 Blaze
                 Blaz your own
  01                  CAREER PATH
                      C
Most important of all, don’t just follow
 ost              all                        evaluated the risk with the
the herd! Even at the best of times, you     present economic scenario, you
could be hired to just sit behind a desk     can make your jump—although
and churn out hundreds of lines of code      this becomes a lot easier if you
everyday alongside a thousand other          have a lot of work experience.
sheep doing exactly the same thing. If          Even if you didn’t graduate
you really want to set yourself apart, you   in a specific stream or
have to rise above the herd and do your      specialization, there’s nothing
own thing. All the tips outlined here will   stopping you from switching
help you become unique and valuable,         paths later on if you really want
both inside and outside a tech company.      to. A few people have grown
Don’t be afraid to take a lesser-known       to become CTOs without any
path; many of the sectors which are still    formal education in technology
booming today were unheard of niches a       at all, and some have left
few years ago.                               engineering careers to be
   If at any point you begin to feel         perfectly happy and well paid
burnt out (like thousands of formerly        in other peripheral or even
enthusiastic graduates who joined the        unrelated fields. Your future is
BPO industry for its glamor and fat pay      in your own hands, so don’t be
packets have been), you can always           afraid to spend time exploring
make a change and switch streams.            different things before you
Once you have your basics in place and       finally settle on what’s right for
you understand how the job market            you.
functions, and if you have carefullyl                        – jamshed.avari@chip.in



                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009     79
     FEATURED
 ENCRYPTION




Safeguarding private data
Modern ENCRYPTION PROCEDURES are considered to be secure – and they still don’t always
protect you from data theft. CHIP shows you how encryption works and where the flaws lie.
BY CLAUDIO MULLER




T
       here is no end to data theft and
       the menace of spyware is also                              The principles of hybrid encryption
       on the rise: an increasing number
                                                 1 Hybrid procedures consist of a symmetric part with only one key (session key) and an
of passwords, account and credit card
                                                asymmetric part with a pair of keys (public/private keys). 2 The sender encrypts text with
numbers are being spied on. Therefore,          the session key and the session key with the public key. 3 The receiver decodes the session
many people are worried about the               key with the private key and then 4 the text with the session key.
safety of their personal data, which they
save on the PC or reveal over the Internet                          Sender                                          Receiver
and via email. An up-to-date security
suite protects against spyware and                                              1                                    4
                                                     Plain text                              8m5&gt                                        Plain text
encrypting sensitive information protects            Plain text          Symmetric           g$9dt8i            Symmetric                  Plain text
against data theft from a hard disk as               Plain text          encryption          im?=3rö            encryption                 Plain text
well as during communication over the
Internet.
   But just like antivirus programs,                       Session Key                                                         Session Key
encryption procedures do not offer 100
percent protection even though you
need great effort in terms of time and                                          2                                        3




                                                                                                                                                        ILLUSTRATION: HARALD FUCHSLOCH
technology to crack encoded data. The                                           Asymmetric                     Asymmetric
developers of encryption procedures                                             encryption                     encryption
and "code crackers" are competing
against each other even here. Methods
considered secure ten years ago have
                                                                   Public Key                                                Private Key
already been cracked and thus pose a
risk today. Whoever wants to appraise
the safety of an encryption method
needs to understand how it works and
how it is employed.                            symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric                although servers allocate a new,
                                               means the same key encodes and                     random key (session key) for every
Keys: the clues to your text                   decodes data. As opposed to that,                  session in the case of a secure Internet
The biggest weak point in encoding is          asymmetric encryption uses different               connection, the sender and receiver of
the key. Kerckhoff's principle, the basic      keys for encryption and decryption (just           the communication must also exchange
principle of cryptography, says “the           like a lock and its matching key).                 the key to be able to use it. If an attacker
safety of an encryption procedure is                                                              intercepts this key, he can easily decode
solely based on the concealment of             Hybrid: encoding in two                            the communication.
the key and not on the concealment             stages                                                  Asymmetric procedures solve this
of the encryption algorithm”. Thus,            Symmetric encryption is secure as long             problem by working with a pair of
developers nowadays publish their              as the user saves the encoded data                 keys. The sender encodes the data
algorithms so that cryptanalysts can           only on his hard disk and does not                 with a public key, which the receiver
test the procedures thoroughly. Digital        send it anywhere. Common symmetric                 needs to have previously shared with
Rights Management (DRM) schemes,               procedures work very quickly due to                his communication partner. But only
for instance, are exceptions – these           algorithms that are mathematically less            the private key, which the receiver has,
algorithms are usually not public - but        intricate and keys that are shorter in             can decode the data. Thus, the key for
they have still not been able to withstand     length. The tool TrueCrypt (on the CHIP            decoding does not fall into the wrong
hacker attacks.                                DVD) for instance, encodes about 175 MB            hands. On the other hand, releasing
   A key is the pattern that encodes the       per second.                                        the public key is not a problem since it
original data. The algorithm specifies             The disadvantage of symmetric                   does not decode any encrypted data
the form in which this happens. There          procedures is that they are not suitable           and the private key cannot be derived
are two basic encryption methods -             for data transmission. For example,                from it. The public key is like a padlock


80    08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                              SMS us!    Story code: ADS to 57007
                                                                                                                                      FEATURED
                                                                                                                                    ENCRYPTION


                                                                                                         from the key. RC4 then links these series
                                                                                                         of numbers bit by bit with the original
                                                                                                         data. The procedure is considered to be
                                                                                                         secure as long as it uses the key and thus
                                                                                                         the generated number series only once.
                                                                                                            The WEP protocol does not
                                                                                                         completely adhere to this prerequisite.
                                                                                                         The one-time key includes a fixed WEP
                                                                                                         key (saved in the router configuration)
                                                                                                         and a random session key (initialization
                                                                                                         vector). But WEP transmits this
Original and cryptic text: There are also numerous web services that encode texts and secure them with   initialization vector (24 bit) unencrypted
passwords You cannot draw any conclusions about the original text from the encoded one                   along with every data packet. The
                                                                                                         computing time for deriving the fixed key
with which you can close a door but                    is especially suitable for realtime               (mostly 40 or 104 bit) from the encoded
not reopen it. However, this method                    transmissions in radio networks or                data package and the known initialization
has a major disadvantage: asymmetric                   streams. Since the encryption starts right        vector is minimal, even for simple
procedures encrypt about 1,000 times                   from the first bit and does not have to            computers with an appropriate tool
slower than symmetric procedures due to                wait for a complete block, this technique         such as Aircrack. In addition to that, the
the higher computing time required, and                encodes and transmits without any time            tool needs to intercept and analyze only
are thus hardly suited for larger amounts              lag. Moreover, errors do not affect the           about 5,000 data packets in the case of
of data. Thus, hybrid procedures are used              entire block but only the individual bits.        a 40 bit key – a matter of minutes.
in practice, e.g. for data transmission in             However, stream ciphers do not work                  Block ciphers normally offer more
the web, in email traffic or during online             with complex algorithms; \safety mainly           safety for encoding that is less time-
banking (see the picture to the left).                 depends on the implementation in the              critical (like hard disk data, mail traffic,
This method encodes the actual data                    software environment.                             web connections). Such procedures
symmetrically and the key for the data                    The old WEP (Wired Equivalent                  divide the data into blocks and use
asymmetrically. Such a hybrid procedure                Privacy) standard for Wi-Fi networks is           complex algorithms for each block.
combines safe key exchange and quick                   an example for the problems of stream
encoding of the data.                                  ciphering. The WEP protocol controls              DES: the pathbreaking
                                                       encrypted transmission in Wi-Fi networks          algorithm
Bit or block: a matter of time                         and uses the stream cipher RC4 for                The US government established the
Another basic difference is that between               this purpose. The principle: RC4 first             block cipher DES (Data Encryption
block and stream encryption. The bitwise               generates a series of random numbers              Standard) in 1977, which is based on
encoding of data (stream encryption)                   between 0 and 255 (each 8 bits long)              the Lucifer algorithm, as the first public



        ENCRYPTION IN PRACTICE
 While you have to actively encrypt the data on the hard disk or while mailing, it often happens automati-
 cally on the Internet or in the network.

 LOCAL ENCRYPTION                                      asymmetrically. The free standard                 WI-FI NETWORKS
 Programs for data security on the local               OpenPGP uses IDEA or RSA as an                    The old standard WEP used a badly
 hard disk use a quick symmetric process               algorithm for this purpose. Email                 implemented RC4 algorithm for encrypted
 with only one key, since only one user                encryption allows for secure online work          transmission. The newest standard WPA2
 accesses the data. The popular TrueCrypt              transactions.                                     uses an improved encryption protocol
 (find it on the CHIP DVD) for instance,                                                                 (CCMP) with the secure AES algorithm. The
 uses the three algorithms (AES, Twofish               SSL CONNECTION                                    key is freely selectable and stored in the
 and Serpent) individually or in a cascading           The SSL protocol (or its successor TLS)           router configuration.
 form for the data. Depending on your                  establishes a secure Internet connection
 choice, the tool encrypts entire drives or            to the bank or the online shop. An                HOMEBANKING THROUGH HBCI
 individual files.                                     authenticity check of the provider is a           Programs which support HBCI (or the
                                                       deciding factor here If the website passes        successor standard FinTS) encode
 EMAIL TRAFFIC                                         this authenticity check, the protocol starts      messages using a symmetric 2-key 3DES
 The encryption of mail traffic works with             the hybrid encrypted transmission and             procedure (a fixed and a randomly
 a hybrid process. Programs such as                    encodes the data symmetrically (AES, DES          generated 3DES key). The programs
 Gpg4win (on the DVD) encode the email                 and RC4 are common) and the key                   encrypt the keys asymmetrically with RSA
 contents symmetrically and the key itself             asymmetrically (with RSA).                        for safe transmission.



                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     08/2009   81
       FEATURED
    ENCRYPTION


                                                                                                     standard for symmetric encryption. DES
This is how the AES algorithm functions                                                              encodes 64 bit blocks with a 56-bit
AES is the latest standard for symmetric encryption. The data (left column) is encrypted in a        key. The cipher used here divides the
multi-stage procedure, using the stored tools (right). In the case of the 128 bit key length (dis-   blocks into two halves for this purpose
played here), the data runs through a total of 10 rounds.                                            (L and R block), each block being 32
                                                                                                     bits. It extends the R-block to 48 bits
          Plaintext                                                    128-Bit-AES-Key
                                                                                                     and connects it bit by bit with a 48-bit
          Plaintext            1 AES divides the                      2 Key expansion: an
                                                                                                     session key generated from the actual
          Plaintext          original data into 128-                algorithm calculates 11
                             bit blocks and arranges                round keys that are also         key. DES again reduces the resultant
          Plaintext          every block as a 4 x 4 ma-             128 bits long each, from         R-block to 32 bits using a substitution
                             trix. Each of the 16 matrix            the 128-bit AES key.             box and connects it bit by bit to the
                             cells thus contains 8 bits
                             or 1 byte, equivalent to                                                L-block. Every block runs through a total
     19
                             a two-digit hexadecimal                                                 of 16 rounds of this algorithm.
     3D                      number.                                                                    DES was considered to be secure till
     BE                                                                                              1998, when the supercomputer “Deep
                                                                                                     Crack” became the first to crack a DES
                                                                                                     key through brute force (trying out all
                                                                                                     possible keys) – in only 56 hours! Thus,
                                                                       128-Bit-AES-Key               the further developed 3DES (or triple
     A5                      XOR
                                                                                                     DES), which uses three 56 bit keys, is
                             XOR-Links                          3 Initialization: AES links
                             0    +   0=0                     the data of the block bit by bit       now used for online banking or SSL
                             0    +   1=1                     (XOR) with the first round key.        connections. The three keys encode the
                             1    +   0=1                                                            data blocks one after the other, where
                             1    +   1=0
                                                                                                     the second key uses the algorithm
                          Rounds 1 to 10 with the other 10 round keys                                the other way round, somewhat like a
                                                                                                     decoding. This procedure is thus called
                                  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B       4 SubBytes: every byte of            EDE (Encrypt-Decrypt-Encrypt).
                              0                                the block is replaced by a byte
                              1                                from a fixed lookup table (S-
                              2
                                                               box). The two hex digits of the
                                                                                                     AES: the pervasive
                              3
                              4                                old byte decide the row and           standard
                              5                                column of the new byte in the         Though 3DES is still secure today
                              6                                S-box.
                              7                                                                      because of the upgraded key and the
                              8                                                                      modified algorithm, it is also considerably
                              9
                              A                                                                      slower. Due to this reason, the AES
                                                               5 ShiftRows: the rows of the
                                            S-Box             block are cyclically shifted to        (Advanced Encryption Standard)
                                                              the left by 0, 1, 2 or 3 posi-         procedure replaced the older DES in
                                                              tions. At the same time, the           2002 and has been the encryption
                                                              overrun rows continue to the           standard till date.
                                                              right.
                                                                                                        AES is based on the Rijndael
                                                                                                     algorithm and encodes 128-bit data
                                                               6 MixColumns: AES calcu-              blocks using keys with a length of 128,
                                                              lates new cell values from the         192 or 256 bits. Every block runs through
                                                              columns of the block and from
                                                              the lines of a fixed matrix (so-       10, 12 or 14 rounds of the algorithm,
                                                              called matrix multiplication).         depending on the key length (see box).
                                                              This step is omitted from the          The huge advantages as compared
                                                              last round.
                                       Fixed Matrix                                                  to DES is the easy implementation
                                                                                                     in software or hardware and its high
                               XOR                                     128-Bit-AES-Key               speed. The minimum key length of 128
                                                                                                     bits guarantees safety from brute force
                                                                7 KeyAddition: it is now
                                                                                                     attacks—there are 2128 possible keys; a
                                                               that the respective round key
                                                               is used, whereby it changes           number with 39 digits! It is too much
                                                               the block data bit by bit             even for present day supercomputers to
                                                               (XOR).                                try in a realistic span of time.
                                                                                                        Thus, AES is the first choice in
         ri5kenfs                                                                                    practice, for instance for hard disk
        &usje3do                                                                                     encryption, SSL connections or in the

        suj?nmle        8 Finally, AES puts the encrypted blocks together into one piece             new WLAN standard WPA2—even the
                       of text. Decoding involves the same steps in the reverse order.               US intelligence service NSA encrypts
        wunst7kw
                                                                                                     top-secret data with AES.


  82      08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                             FEATURED
                                                                                                                            ENCRYPTION


RSA: secure key exchange                         Algorithmus
Only asymmetric procedures that encrypt           In TrueCrypt,
                                                   the user can
the symmetric key guarantee secure                   encode his
transfer of keys for the symmetrically          data with up to
                                                three methods
encoded data. The standard RSA (named
                                                    at the same
after the developers Rivest, Shamir and                     time
Adleman) secures the key exchange for
data transmission on the Internet (SSL),
online banking or encrypted mail traffic.
The safety of RSA is based on the fact
that there is no known computational
algorithm till date that can factorize a
number efficiently in its prime factors.
The user, who is to receive the encoded
data, creates the key pair (public and          as independent programs, but are                 simply tries out character combinations.
private key). The public key comprises          implemented in the software (data                The number of possible character
a pair of figures (e, N), and so does the        encryption on the hard disk) or the              strings (the key space) is so limited
private key (d, N). N is the product of         transmission protocol (Internet, mail,           in the case of short passwords that
two randomly selected prime numbers, e          WLAN, online-banking) for the respective         even normal desktop computers can
(encryption key), a whole number freely         purpose. Most of the times, the user             test all combinations in a few minutes.
selected with limits and d (decryption          cannot select the algorithm on his               This means: if the user saves the key
key) is calculated using the prime factors      own and has to rest assured that the             and thus the encoded data on the
of e and N. The original data is then           procedures are safe.                             hard disk with a weak password, even
encoded as a mathematical operation                                                              the strongest algorithm is of no use.
(modular involution) on the bit level. An       Passwords: poor safety                           Particularly easy-to-guess terms such as
attacker needs the number d and thus            nets                                             names, “Password” or “12345” are bad
the prime factors of N for decoding; but        What are the actual tools that an                passwords. A hacker can easily discover
he cannot calculate these without more          attacker has at his disposal for cracking        these through a dictionary attack,
information (factorization problem).            the data? Basically, there are three             where he first tests the most probable
The attacker could get the prime                points of attack: the key, which encodes         character combinations before trying
factors using trial and error and mental        the data, the environment (software,             random strings. Therefore, encryption
arithmetic for smaller values of N; for N       protocols), in which the algorithm is            programs such as TrueCrypt recommend
= 143, the factors would be 11 and 13. But      integrated and the password, that                using passwords that are 15 to 20
RSA uses 1,024- or 2,048 bit numbers            secures the key (for instance, in                characters long and are a combination of
(309 or 617 digits respectively), which         encryption programs on the hard disk).           alphabets, figures and special characters.
makes this practically impossible.                 The brute force attack is the easiest         Even supercomputers cannot find such
   Whether RSA, AES or DES; the                 way of cracking passwords, as far as             passwords using brute force in a realistic
encryption procedures do not work               the principle is concerned. The attacker         time span.



       DIGITAL FINGERPRINT
 Signatures prove the reputability of websites – and give the user a certain security when it comes to transactions
 on the web
 A digital signature has three functions: it    authorities (Trustcenters) into a hash           decodes the hash value using the public
 safeguards the identity of the                 value. Hash codes are quasi fingerprints:        key, builds the hash value from the original
 communication partner, guarantees data         they are practically unmistakable; the           certificate and compares the two with
 integrity and protects it from unauthorized    original data cannot be reconstructed from       each other. If the values are identical, the
 access by a third person. Apart from           the hash value and every code is of the          authenticity of the certificate is confirmed.
 encrypted email traffic, signatures are        same size, irrespective of the size of the          The fact whether the source of the
 most frequently used to authenticate           data package. This hash value is                 certificate is reliable is also a decisive
 certificates from websites (online banking,    asymmetrically encoded with the private          factor for the safety of this procedure. If
 Internet shops). This process runs             key of the trust center – the result is the      the user accepts a certificate from an
 automatically in line with the SSl protocol;   signature of the certificate.                    unreliable supplier, he can easily read the
 the data transmission starts only after the       The protocol then links this signature        sensitive data legally and without any
 server is authenticated successfully.          along with the public key of the                 problems. Therefore: if the web browser
    First, the protocol coverts a certificate   trustcenter to its certificate and sends it to   does not know the certificate, do not
 that is issued by acknowledged certificate     the user. On the user side, the SSL protocol     accept it.



                                                                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009    83
     FEATURED
 ENCRYPTION


Brute force: calculating                        to calculate the key
forever                                         from the original and        HOW SAFE ARE KEYS AND PASSWORDS?
                                                                             The security of the encryption algorithms depend on the length of the
Brute force attacks on the encryption           the encoded data.            passwords and the keys. The supercomputer Copacabana, for instance,
keys themselves are futile. Since almost           Chosen plaintext          tries out 65 billion combinations per second.
all procedures today use key lengths of         attacks also run on
at least 128 bits, the key spaces are so        the same principle.           PASSWORD                      CRACKED IN
large that even supercomputers that             Probable text                 Zjovned                       0.12 seconds
try out up to 80 billion keys per second        passages in emails, for
                                                                              Pzg1/9}gh87&gtv               33 years
would need trillions of years to try out        instance, are forms of
                                                                              ENCRYPTION                    CRACKED IN
all combinations. But brute force can           address or salutations.
be compared with a lottery. Although            The attacker encrypts         56 bit key (e.g. DES)         12.4 days
the huge key space makes it practically         the possible plaintext        128 bit key (e.g. AES)        166,000,000,000,000,000,000 years
impossible to find the key quickly,              with different keys and
theoretically you might even find it in the      compares the result to
first attempt itself. Thus, even a long key      the encrypted text. In the case of such                practice in an acceptable time span.
does not offer 100 percent security.            short plaintext blocks, similarities do not               However, even this has only a limited
                                                necessarily mean having found the right                half life. Every year, the number of
Plaintext: a puzzle game                        key, but they do limit the key space. The              computers that are powerful enough to
A more effective way of cracking                DES algorithm, for instance, has a small               significantly reduce the time required for
encoded data is a plaintext attack. Here,       flaw – a certain attribute in the relation              attacks is increasing, facilitating the need
the hacker selects any plaintext he likes,      between the key and the encrypted                      for ever longer keys for security. Cracking
compares it to the encrypted text of            plaintext – that allows a chosen plaintext             an RSA key, which is used for secure key
the victim and calculates the required          attack to halve the key space (255 instead             exchange in data transmissions, needs
key from it. The attacker only needs to         of 256 possible combinations).                         even more computing power. Determining
intercept the encrypted text and know its                                                              the prime factors of a 1,024-bit number
encoding algorithm. What seems like the         Keys: the length counts                                takes much more effort than cracking a
famous search for a needle in a haystack        The computing time for these attacks is                128-bit AES key.
makes sense if the attacker knows a part        considerably less as compared to brute
of the original text (known plaintext)          force but still very high. Procedures with             Certificates: unsafe
or if he takes a very probable original         small key spaces (RC4 with 40 bit or DES               websites
text (chosen plaintext). You can attack         with 56 bit) are particularly susceptible.             The greatest danger in the case of key
encrypted data archives, for instance,          As opposed to that, hackers cannot                     exchange lurks is authentication of the
with known plaintext attacks. The hacker        crack the latest standards such as AES                 communication partner (see the “Digital
simply needs to find an unencrypted              using such methods; even theoretically                 fingerprint” box). If the browser does not
file from the archive (on the web or in          developed attacks against the present                  recognize the certificate of a website
another, non-encoded archive), in order         algorithms can hardly be implemented in                and the user still accepts it, the browser
                                                                                                       establishes a connection and transmits
                                                                                                       data. That can be a fraudulent site, which
       QUANTUM ENCRYPTION                                                                              accesses the user data “legally” in this
 There are no encryption procedures that are absolutely secure –yet.                                   way. Here, the problem is not necessarily
 Quantum cryptography could soon change this.                                                          an unsafe browser, but the fact that the
                                                                                                       user does not take its warning seriously.
 The safety of conventional procedures de-          Here, user A sends photons with a ran-                According to the present state
 pends first of all on the key length – which   dom polarization to user B. User B mea-                of technology, the latest encryption
 can be cracked by high-capacity comput-        sures these photons also with random po-               algorithms are considered to be safe. The
 ers sooner or later. However, the safety of    larization filters. Subsequently, both users           sore spot is the encoding “environment”.
 quantum cryptography is based on physi-        notify which photons have been received                Thus, the safety of the encrypted data
 cal laws. Because, the common BB84 pro-        in the same state, in which they were sent.            always depends on the user, who should
 tocol uses individual photons (particles of    The states of these photons (0 or 1, de-               keep the following basic rules in mind:
 light), which have a specific state (polar-    pending on the polarization) build the key.            use only long passwords that cannot
 ization), as databits. An attacker cannot      In the next step, the protocol attaches the            be guessed, constantly update router
 read or copy this state without changing it    actual data bit by bit to this key and sends           firmware, home banking software and
 (no cloning theorem). This elementary          it to the receiver. The initial test attempts          browsers to the latest versions, and
 property of quantum mechanics makes            worked well; but presently, the high tech-             never accept certificates of unknown
 this procedure practically tap-proof.          nological efforts required and the low                 websites when surfing on the Internet.
     In the first step, both communication      maximum distance covered (below 200 ki-                This is because even the most secure
 partners determine a key made of random        lometers) are preventing it from being                 encryption is of no use if the key falls
 figures.                                       used in practice.                                      into the wrong hands.
                                                                                                                                           – feedback@chip.in



84    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
     FEATURED
MOBILE TARIFFS




Mobile Service Headaches
Confused about the dozens of options available for mobile tariff plans? We find out just how
badly mixed up the market really is.
BY SHAYNE RANA




W
           hen it comes to                                                                            you’re a first time mobile user;
           mobile phone                                                                                although we seriously doubt
           service providers,                                                                             that would be the case, not
in this country, we’re spoilt                                                                                   in this day and age of
for choice. In fact it can be                                                                                   mobile communication
a little overwhelming when                                                                                        where someone can
contemplating a change or                                                                                             say – ‘baby’s first
selection in a mobile service.                                                                                         BlackBerry’ with a
Most of the time we’d simply                                                                                           straight face, but you
head on over to a store and                                                                                            never know.
not specifically a dedicated                                                                                             In our examples of
service operator's store, to be                                                                                   the few plans available,
bombarded with spiel on which                                                                                     which of course don’t
provider offers the cheapest, no,                                                                                 include usage, the rates
‘Best’ plan available. It all sounds                                                                            are accurate to the best of
great of course but there’s a lot                                                                                    our knowledge. Believe
more to it than just the cost per                                                                                      us; it was a rather
call or message charge. There                                                                                          painful journey to
                                                                                                Sachin Pandit
are features and VAS (Value                                                                                        obtain just this simple
Added Services) to take into account as        a plan to your needs or at least find one     information as most times we found out
well. If you’re interested in making the       that best fits them. In colloquial terms      that rates mentioned on the websites
best possible choice keeping in mind all       we refer to this is as ‘Paisa Vasool’. The   contradicted with a few rates that
possible contingencies perhaps this could      idea is to keep your basic monthly bills     customer service reps provided. Plans
be of some help.                               as low as possible making sure that          had gone stale and been replaced with
   What we have included here is               it doesn’t end up looking like a phone       newer ones that only the reps knew
essentially some simple advice on how          number with all the various charges like     about.
to go about selecting the best plan by         taxes, advance charges etc.                     The individual PR companies as well
illustrating a few examples that are              The first thing to take into account       as the service providers themselves
available. These are just a few simple         is the kind of requirement you’d have        were of no help at all and gave me
tips on what to look for when you’re           before deciding on a plan. In fact that’s    nothing more than the royal run around.
cornered with all the various operators        the very first question any customer          The oddest thing was they didn’t seem
standing with outstretched arms holding        service rep/shop keeper would ask you        to have a single individual with the
out a plethora of pamphlets with nothing       – ‘What’s your usage going to be?’ This      knowledge to provide me with just
more than tables and numbers on it. It’s       is a bit of an odd question especially if    the tariff rates. To them it appeared
all a matter of asking the right questions                                                  as if this were some sort of expose on
and forcing a direct answer. It’s always                                                    marketing as I kept being sidelined to
better to know what you’re getting into                                                     that department in general. We finally
before making a commitment. I asked a                                                       decided to hit the streets only to find a
few people if they could understand the                                                     few discrepancies there too. A few stores
information provided on the websites                                                        had a variety of rates which was actually
and the Tariff plans sheets available at                                                    beyond us as to how that would be
outlets and the general consensus was                                                       possible considering it’s a presumed fact
that they did make sense, but only to a                                                     that all rates should be standard across
certain extent and in most cases they                                                       the board. Turns out... not so much. Plans
would need to speak to a person to                                                          are specific to the State and city you live
clarify certain bits of information to avoid                                                in and it seems like they’re also specific
being charged “hidden costs” etc.                                                           to shop-keepers in those areas increasing
   There are plenty of choices, but                                                         the complication. A few of the plans
there’s also enough room to customize                                                       that surfaced baffled even the customer


86    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                     Jagdish Limbachiya
                                                                                                     SMS us!        Story code: ACT to 57007
                                                                                                                                       FEATURED
                                                                                                                                 MOBILE TARIFFS


service representatives that we called to        To make this selection, go to the                    scheme to unlimited surfing plans with
verify the information.                       Settings menu in your mobile, and opt                   PC/Laptop connectivity via mobile and
   Naturally it seemed just easier            for Manual Selection under the Network                  even a yearly flat fee, there’s something
to make the painstaking decision of           option. When activated the handset                      for everyone. Unlimited Plans that don’t
staying on unnecessary long holds,            will locate all the available carriers in               charge per KB of usage usually mean
dealing with the ‘Press 1 for this and 2      and around the area you’re in and you’ll                that you can surf for free but you could
for that’ and let’s not forget listening      be free to make a personal selection.                   be charged per download if the website
to the excruciatingly painful IVR voices      You can switch the handset back to                      you’re accessing has a fee for files
and elevator/Hold music to deal with          Automatic Selection when you return to                  downloaded.
Customer Service representatives.             your home area.                                             If you’re constantly downloading
   So we came up with a few examples             International Roaming requires you to                emails and you’re not a BlackBerry user,
of plans that are available and a few         pay a hefty deposit which is refundable.                an unlimited plan would be a good idea
important questions that you should ask       This will enable you to use your own                    but carriers that provide BlackBerry
when speaking with a representative to        SIM card while traveling abroad and                     services have specific plans for the same.
help you select the right plan, or you’ll     all you’ll have to worry about are the                  Just like GPRS plans BIS – BlackBerry
be just wasting time listening to the         rates for incoming and outgoing calls                   Internet Service ranges from Rs. 249 to
highlights and won’t know what hit you        and messages which will depend on                       Rs. 1,100 and also incorporates pay per
till the bill comes a-knocking. Although      the country you’re traveling to. This                   KB or unlimited offers.
the reps themselves try their level best to
be helpful and service your needs as best
as they can, it always helps to ask the
right questions to get the right answer
and avoid a sales pitch.
   These are a few of the very generic
questions you should either ask yourself
or the representative when enquiring
about the plans available and rates for
the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s Prepaid
or Post Paid; these questions should
remain the same.


What is the Pulse rate at
which calls are charged?
Most companies charge you at a 60
second pulse rate. However there are a
couple of providers that charge per 30
seconds or less so it’s important to know     Every service provider has a website that specifies various tariffs that you could choose from though that
not just how much you’re being charged        might not be easiest and most comprehensive option.
per call but at what pulse rate the calls
is being charged at. You can set certain      information will also be prevalent with all                 Basic WAP users can opt for the
handsets to let you know just how long        carriers.                                               Zero Rental schemes as they charge a
each call takes by activating the call                                                                minimum rate per KB. If your handset’s
summary option.                               Would you be checking                                   browser supports just WAP you can
                                              mail or just surfing the net?                           access WAP sites that don’t have hi-res
Will you be traveling a                       If you’re a business person who                         images and those which are specifically
lot? And where do you                         frequently checks emails while on the                   designed for these handsets as well to
frequently travel to?                         go, you’ll require a data plan that allows              minimize your phone bill when it comes
This will enable you to decide on roaming     activating GPRS. From the information                   to data usage. Social Networking is
costs for messaging as well as calling.       we received via the customer service                    in and if you’ll be accessing sites like
Do remember that when roaming,                centers, GPRS and WAP plans are pretty                  Facebook, MySpace or Orkut that have
incoming calls will also be charged.          consistent irrespective of location, but                options for uploading and downloading
The rates may again vary depending on         there are a few oddities. You can take a                images etc. it could result in high data
where you’re going and the carrier you        look at the table on the following page                 usage, and thus higher bills. A plan that
choose. They don’t stay the same but          for the various kinds that exist with a                 offers free data usage with lower rates
you can always get the best rates before      number of carriers. There are also a                    per KB would be something to consider.
you leave as your own carrier will be         variable amount of special offers that                      With the dawn of 3G almost, if not
able to provide you with the same. This       keep popping up every now and again                     already upon us and companies like
way you’ll know which provider to select      so keep a look out for those. From                      MTNL and their 3G service ‘Jadoo’ already
when you arrive at your destination.          Zero rental plans with a pay per usage                  up and running in parts of Mumbai and


                                                                                                        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         08/2009     87
     FEATURED
MOBILE TARIFFS


possibly other areas too, all internet                           message or you’ll be charged for two                             Most carriers do not charge a separate
plans will be making a few changes I’m                           messages, just like SMS charges can                              activation fee for activating MMS, so
sure. Features like Video calling will soon                      vary and each message can contain                                make sure you inquire about the same
become available and we are positive                             a maximum of up to 160 characters.                               when requesting for GPRS with MMS
there would be separate rates for that.                          Any more would be considered to be                               settings.
Number portability is also something                             two separate messages. Initially, we
we’re looking forward too.                                       ware informed by a couple of obviously                           What are the activation
                                                                 misinformed representatives, of two                              fees and security deposits?
What is the cost per MMS?                                        separate carriers, that we could send                            Activation fees are one time charges that
Is there an activation fee?                                      "100 MB" per message which struck                                carriers levy to get you started. Security
MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service                              us as... AMAZING, to put it mildly. After                        deposits are a lot higher and are usually
rates seemed pretty standard as we                               reconfirming it with one, we called                               fully refundable when you return your
discovered, at Rs. 3 per message but                             another and were once again told the                             SIM card if you’re switching carriers. In
there are exceptions wherein you’d be                            same thing. Just goes to show the                                some cases you won’t get a monetary
charged Rs. 5 per message by some                                amount of training they get. You get the                         refund but the amount will be divided
carriers. You’re allowed to send a                               feeling they just want to get you off the                        and credited towards your bill for the first
maximum of about 100KB-150KB per                                 phone and continue sipping their coffee?                         couple of months.



        SAMPLE ENTRY-LEVEL PLANS FROM MUMBAI SERVICE PROVIDERS
                                       LOOP MOBILE
 THE BASICS                                                                VODAFONE                          AIRTEL                    MTNL DOLPHIN                             IDEA
                                      (only for Mumbai)
 Plan                           Simple 90 Plan                   GK199                            199 Plus                       Rs. 199                       Rs. 149
 Activation Fee                 Rs. 400 MRP (One time fee        Rs. 299 One Time (security       Rs. 599 One Time               Rs. 500 (Rs. 250 activation   Rs. 399 (RS. 99 activation
                                non-refundable)                  Deposit Rs. 150 refundable,      (Refundable Security Deposit   and Rs. 250 security deposit) and Rs.300 plan enrollment
                                                                 Rs. 149 activation)              Rs. 500 and                                                  100 discounted for 3 months)
                                                                                                  Rs. 99 activation)
 Rental                         Rs. 90                           Rs. 199                          Rs. 199                        Rs. 199                         Rs. 149
 Call rates (Mobile)            90p                              50p                              50p                            Rs. 0.80p to Dolhin,            60p
                                                                                                                                 Rs.0.90p to other operators
 Call rates (Local Landline)    90p                              50p                              50p, Rs. 1.50 outside          Rs. 0.90p                       60p
                                                                                                  Mumbai and Maharashtra
 STD Rates                      90p                              Rs. 1.50p (outside of            Rs. 1.51                       Rs. 1.30p                       Rs. 1.50
                                                                 Maharashtra and Goa)
 ISD Rates                      Location Specific                Location Specific                Location Specific              Location specific               Location specific
 Text message rates             30p                              Rs. 1                            Rs. 1                          50p, 25p to MTNL                50p
 National SMS                   30p                              Rs. 1.50                         Rs. 1                          Rs. 1                           50p
 Internaltional SMS             Rs. 5                            Rs. 5                            Rs. 5                          Rs. 2.50                        Rs. 5
 Roaming Costs/rental           Location specific                Location specific                Location specific              Location specific               Location specific
 In-Coming                      Location specific                Location specific                Location specific              Location specific               Location specific
 Out-Going                      Location specific                Location specific                Location specific              Location specific               Location specific
 ADDITIONAL FEATURES
 CLIP (Calling line             Rs. 0 Rental                     Rs. 0 Rental                     Rs. 0 Rental                   Rs. 0 Rental                    Rs. 0 Rental
 identification presentation)
 3G Ready                       NA                               NA                               NA                             Yes                             NA
 Night calling                  NA                               Rs. 30 (50% call rate            NA                             NA                              NA
                                                                 between 11.00pm - 8.00am)
 Itemized billing               Rs. 75 (hard copy, free for      Free for 3 bill cycles, Rs. 50   Rs. 75 (hard copy three        Rs. 50 (hard copy)              50 hard copy - ebill free
                                first two months) Rs. 25 (ebill) (hard copy), Free from the web   months), Free via web
 Call waiting/Forwarding/       NA                               NA                               NA                             NA                              NA
 Diverting/Barring
 FREEBIES
 Free minutes                   NA                               199 Local mins (Only for         199 Local mins                 199 Local mins (MTNL ALL)       150 Local mins
                                                                 Maharashtra and Goa)
 Free messages                  NA                               350 messages @ Rs. 35.00         NA                             100 (MTNL Mumbai or Delhi)      NA
                                                                 PM
 Approx. charges per month      Rs. 115 (Rs. 0 rental GPRS +     Rs. 199 (Rs. 0 rental GPRS/      Rs. 199 (Rs. 0 rental GPRS),   Rs. 199 (Rs. 0 rental GPRS/     Rs. 149 (Rs. 0 rental GPRS/
 (not including usage)          ebill); Rs. 214 (Itemized Bill   WAP); Rs. 373 (Night Calling +   Rs. 274 (Itemized Bill Bill    WAP); Rs. 149 (Itimized bill    WAP); Rs. 199 (Itemized Bill
                                Bill hard copy + Rs. 0 Rental    Itemized Bill hard copy + 350    hard copy + Rs. 0 Rental       Bill hard copy + Rs. 0 rental   Bill hard copy + Rs. 0 Rental
                                GPRS)                            SMS + Rs. 49 rental GPRS)        GPRS)                          GPRS)                           GPRS)


88      08/2009        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
Are there charges for CLIP,                    2.1, 2.2. We asked a
call waiting, etc?                             couple of existing
Caller ID (CLIP) is a free service although    Vodafone iPhone
there was a time we paid for it. But           users to help explain
what’s the point in having a mobile            the break up, but
handset with so much technology                were simply told that
literally at your finger tips and paying just   all that mattered is
to know who's calling you. Call Waiting,       having the handset to
Forward etc. are handset specific and           speak, send messages,
there’s no additional charge for these         download email, surf       Call Waiting, Forward etc. are handset specific so make sure you set your
services as it is handset dependant.           the internet and flaunt     handset accordingly.

   For those who are not particularly          it. The bill seemed
concerned with how high their mobile bill      rather irrelevant to them. If the customer         CDMA
is every month, you can simply go all out      service guys don’t know the score, how             CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)
and choose any plan that you want with         would they provide customers with                  technology implies that you can use only
the highest rentals and all possible offers    accurate information?                              specific mobile handsets designed for
and add-ons, like Night Calling, the extra        For the corporate users, special                CDMA technology. Postpaid and Prepaid
fees for free minutes and or messages          corporate schemes are made available               are also prevalent here with a variety of
and of course the highest possible GPRS        through individual companies. They’re              plans. Each operator will have a range of
plan. This would increase your standard        specifically designed for those who use             handsets you can choose from available
monthly fee, and there’s quite a lot of        company accounts.                                  through them. Technology these days
advantages that come along as well.               Just to reiterate, all the information          has made things a little more convenient
   For the BlackBerry business class           we’ve collected for this feature has been          with Dual SIM handsets that are capable
mobile user, your usage is more or less        straight off of the Customer Service help          of handling both GSM and CDMA signals
predetermined. The specifications for           lines. The information in the examples             with some even allowing for both to be
these plans are more rigid. All providers      and plans mentioned in this feature                simultaneously active.
do not offer BlackBerry services as it’s       are exactly what a customer service
a little more of a niche segment but           representative would provide you with.             The Bottom Line
that appears to be changing now as             Of course there are plenty of additional           The choice one has to make when
BlackBerry handsets are easily available.      offers that are periodically updated and           choosing a mobile carrier isn’t as easy
   The iPhone is still currently available     altered all the time and as we mentioned           as it may seem. It does require a certain
only via Vodafone and Airtel. Plans            earlier, the plans will vary according to          amount of research if you want to get
have also been customized for these            your location in the country.                      the best possible advantage out of
users. You can walk into any Vodafone                                                             every carrier and keep your bills within
or Airtel store and pick one. Existing         Prepaid                                            a reasonable limit. There are over seven
Airtel customers can simply buy the            When it comes to prepaid, once again               carriers only in the GSM arena in Mumbai,
handset use their existing SIM cards and       there are plans that one could opt for but         with a few more options if you throw in
choose to remain on their existing plans       these are a little more straight forward.          CDMA providers, so the choices available
or change if they wish. The data plan          Prepaid is actually the best option for            are plenty. If you know what you’re
however will have to be changed to one         those with a limited amount of usage.              looking for, the decision is quite simple
that Airtel has specifically for iPhone         One can simply opt to ‘Refill’ their credit         as what we noticed is that most plans,
users. It’s a simpler way to go honestly       with cards easily available. An activation         across the bar, are quite similar with only
with zero rental and 500 MB free per           fee and security deposit are also charged          very slight variations in the rates per call
month with 30 p per 50 KB after that’s         here. You can also choose to switch                and message. Ultimately it would depend
over. The 500MB free per month offer           between post paid and prepaid but                  on personal preference and what travels
expires after 12 months.                       there will be a charge for the same. Your          via word of mouth or which plan or
   It’s not the same for Vodafone              number will not change.                            carrier is advertised best.
customers. Although you won’t have                Speaking of changing numbers,                       As a recommendation, opt for a plan
to change your phone number you will           the only time your number could change             that offers the most in terms of local
have to alter your entire plan and switch      is if you switch between operators.                usage. The overall bill will be quite
to an ‘iPhone friendly’ plan. The rates        Number Portability, it seems, is still             feasible in the long run and if you are
and charges for both data and calls            quite far away from becoming a reality,            simply using a mobile phone to call
are not too dissimilar to some of the          so till then, you’re pretty much glued             and message with not too much usage
plans that exist but it’s not as clear cut     to the same number unless you don’t                intended, a prepaid card is a pretty good
as Airtel. From what we could gather,          mind spending money on sending out                 idea. However, the addons and value
from an extremely confused Vodafone            SMSes to your entire contact book with             additions can also be dealbreakers, so
representative who finally decided to           the update, not to mention the change              watch out for good deals on STD, ISD,
hang up on us is that Vodafone has three       you’ll have to make on business cards              and calls to friends.
variations of iPhone’s with plans - 2.0,       and alike.                                                                           – shayne@tech2.com
        FEATURED
    INFOGRAPHIC




    Uninterrupted Power
   UPSes are usually left in dark corners, where they quietly work to keep our computers safe
   and healthy. But do you know what lies inside them? BY FRANCIS D'SA



                                                                                      Controller Card

                                           UPS Monitor


                      MAIN CIRCUITS

              Inverter Circuit
          (DC to AC from battery)




 Ethernet filter                                                                                                 Power supply
                                                                                                                 and fan control




Battery fuse

                                                                                                                 Internal Battery
                                                                                                                 Charger (1.2 A)
Cooling fans




                                                                                                                 Main fuse




Reset switch




                   P.F.C. (Power Factor Control)
                                                                                                   DC to DC converter
                        AC to DC converter,
                                                                                                   (battery mode) [±370 V DC]
                     mains mode [±370 V DC]




   Note: Specifications and appearances will vary between manufacturers and models.


   90     08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                             SMS us!   Story code: HUP to 57007
                                                                                                         FEATURED
                                                                                                      INFOGRAPHIC



              BATTERIES
                                                            Output filter for
                                                            sine wave




                                                                                                          Circuit breaker




                                                                                                          AC input EMI
                                                                                                          (Electromagnetic
                                                                                                          interference) filter




                                                                                                          Batteries




                     Circuit breaker   EPO (Emergency Power Off)
                                       E                                           FRONT CONTROL PANEL


 Optional SNMP                                          RS232 serial port
       interface
                                                        Ethernet filter

    P     i   t
    Power input
      230 V AC


External battery
     connnector



                                                        Cooling fans             The front control panel differs from
   Power output
  for computers                                                                  UPS to UPS. This model has an LCD
                                                                                 display which shows the status of
                                                                                 the device and the current power
                                                                                 condition (both input and output).
                                                                                 The other LEDs indicate whether
                                                                                 the UPS is running on mains power
                                                                                 or batteries, and if there are any
                                                          REAR VIEW              fault or overload conditions.
                                                                                                     – francis.dsa@chip.in




                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009        91
     FEATURED
MICROSOFT BING




 Microsoft’s
 new online
 frontier
In the lucrative Web search market, Google’s
competitors usually have no chance. Now,
Microsoft wants to challenge it.
BY JULIA FRÖHLICH




W
           ith its previous search              user experience
           engines MSN and Live Search,         is good, but for
           Microsoft hasn’t exactly found       the new engine
itself much glory. For many years, the          to really make
company's offerings have been lagging           a breakthrough,
far behind as compared to others in             Microsoft will need
the Web search market, in third place           to support it with
after giant Google (62 percent) and             a huge publicity
competitor Yahoo (10 percent). Bing             campaign, the type
will be its third attempt: “Now we want         that costs millions of
to perform better”, said Microsoft head         dollars.
Steve Ballmer during the “All Things
Digital” conference in Carlsbad, California     Bing should
earlier this year as he introduced the          understand the user’s aim
new search engine, Bing. Bing is not            Before starting with Bing, Microsoft                    SPECIALIZATIONS
supposed to be a substitute for Live, but       first went on a shopping tour. After the
                                                                                                  Ask is practical for blogs and news. It
a real further development of the search        acquisition of Yahoo went horribly wrong,
                                                                                                  can naturally also be used for classic
concept. “Bing is not a search engine,          the software company managed to                   information searches.
but a decision machine”, as Microsoft           snag a set of very promising start-ups
Manager Dorothee Ritz explains. Live            last year, which specialized in semantic          Blinx is great for video searches.
was generally found to be lacking, as           searches on the Internet. These teams             Different categories like TV shows, news
                                                                                                  or fashion help in limiting the search.
about 30 percent of all search queries          now work for Microsoft. In reality, a few
didn't bring up satisfactory results.           ideas of semantic searching have been             Linguee.de searches for websites using
Before one found the desired Web site,          integrated into Bing as against Google,           pre-translated words in German-English.
two thirds of queries had to be refined          which delivers all possible links suitable        A diagram shows how often a particular
further. Thus there was clearly a lot of        to the search query,                              word translation appears on the Web.
potential in improving the search. The             Bing is supposed to identify the


       THE HISTORY OF SEARCH ENGINES
 Search engines have been
 around far longer than
                                           1990                                     1993                           1994
 Google. In the beginning only       “Archie” is created                   "The Wanderer“, the              The launch of
 file names could be searched        at McGill                             first Web crawler is             Lycos. This
 for; full text searching and        University. This                      programmed. It                   engine searches
 page rankings were possible         engine searches for                   catalogs Internet                for the frequency
 only later.                         file names, but no                    pages.                           of a term within a
                                     text.                                                                  document.




92    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                        Jagdish Limbachiya
                                                                                                        SMS us!    Story code: AMB to 57007
                                                                                                                                  FEATURED
                                                                                                                            MICROSOFT BING


           With new challenger Bing, Microsoft           SEARCH ENGINE MARKET SHARE
           could finally catch up with Google. But
                                                         SUPERIORITY
           the knowledge service WolframAlpha
                                                         The search market shares of
           scores for its ability to handle natural
                                                         Microsoft and Yahoo pale in                                 7 % MSN LIVE SEARCH
           science related questions.
                                                         comparison against the market
                                                         leader, Google.
                                                         Source: Comscore                                            3 % YAHOO

                                                                                                                     1 % ASK

                                                               86 % GOOGLE
                                                                                                                     3 % OTHERS




                                                      However, Microsoft Bing is also equipped
                                                      Ho                                              to concrete questions. Links are not to
                                                      w
                                                      with thoroughly practical functions.            be found in a results list; this search
                                                      A preview window, for instance, gives           engine gives out simple facts. It uses a
                                                      an insight of what is expected in the           set of independent data banks which
                                                      sh
                                                       h
                                                      shown web link. However, localized,             are constantly updated by the Wolfram
                                                      non-US versions of Bing are quite poor in
                                                       o
                                                      no                                              employees. A lot of questions are
                                                      fu
                                                       u
                                                      functionality at the moment. In order to        answered by the knowledge service
                                                      be able to use all the functions, like for
                                                       e                                              accurately—others, less accurately.
                                                      example help in searching for an airline,
                                                      ex                                              Mathematical formulae, for example, are
                                                      one must switch over to the US settings.
                                                      on                                              not only calculated by the machine, but
                                                         Above all, the picture and video             also represented graphically.
                                                      search options are are really good in
                                                      se
                                                      Bing with the results much clearer as
                                                      Bi                                              Microsoft is capable of
                                                      compared to. By rolling the mouse over
                                                      co                                              competition with Bing
                                                      a thumbnail, information like image size        The classic engines à la Google are still
                                                      an
                                                      and the original address is displayed           more suitable for regular search queries.
                                                      in a small window for images and a              Whether Bing knocks down Google or
                                                      film preview starts playing in the video
                                                       l                                              remains an underdog forever can be
                                                      search. Moreover, the user can comment
                                                      se                                              evaluated at www.blackdog.ie/google-
                               terms.
aim of the user from the given terms                  on the pictures and can tell the search         bing. Here, you can compare both the
Experts seem to be impressed: “Bing is                engine where they are completely off            search engines directly along with the
an enormous improvement as compared                   the mark, thus helping to improve future        results they show for any search term.
to the Live.com search”, says Internet                search results.                                    As compared to its predecessor, Bing
analyst Greg Sterling. In many senses,                   Considering this variety, Shar Van           is a completely useful search engine.
it is in fact more user friendly than                 Boskirk, search engine expert with the          It is however only the first step on a
Google. An example for semantic search:               market research firm Forrester Research,         long journey with the aim of achieving
if one enters the term “Cancer”, Bing                 thinks that others will follow the example      Google’s market shares, says Ballmer.
differentiates between links for the                  of Microsoft: “Sorting beforehand and           This seems to be possible in the US
disease and those for the zodiac sign.                the number of search results are really         soon; Bing jumped to the second
Besides, it suggests related search terms,            exemplary.” What has been integrated            position shortly after its launch, a
for example, skin or lung cancer. These               in Bing should also function with the           remarkable success. The name itself was
are displayed on the left side—near the               knowledge engine WolframAlpha: the              designed to catch on, but pranksters are
actual search results.                                semantic search. This engine, created           already saying Bing only means “But It’s
   Even Google can do that. It displays               by mathematician inventor Stephen               Not Google”.
related terms under the search results.               Wolfram, calculates concrete answers                                           – feedback@chip.in




             1994                                     1995                               1998                                        2009
Yahoo goes online the same                With its “Scooter” bot, Altavista     Google                                         Bing and
year. Right from its launch, it is        enables full text search in           revolutionalizes                               WolframAlpha grab
a navigational help for the               relevant Websites on the              Web search with its                            attention for
Internet, through which the               Internet for the first time.          ranking technology.                            promising to be
thousands of links can be                                                       This rates the                                 viable alternatives
managed.                                                                        relevance of each                              to the Google
                                                                                Website.                                       behemoth.



                                                                                                        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009     93
     FEATURED
WEB WATCH




Web Watch
KNOWLEDGE BANK                                 ENTERTAINMENT

W                                             W
         ww.helium.com is                             ww.Nautanki.tv is where various        The accessibility to watch
         a great platform                             TV channels’ content can be         various TV channels online has
         where one gets to learn a                    viewed online. While there          been available for while and in addition
lot about various things and also             are pre-recorded episodes of soaps          to websites that host different channels,
share information and expertise from          and shows that are aired on various         there are TV channels that are now
various fields. From the origins of            channels, it’s a great way to catch up      independently airing original and fresh
modern dance to cyborgs, this sea             with whatever you miss out on TV. The       online content on their official websites.
of information will engulf you before         website has a partnership with channels     One such website is www.Startv.in. The
you even realize it. What's exciting          such as Zoom TV, Channel V, Hungama.        most popular channels under the Star
is that there’s information for people
from all walks of life. The main page




lists a number of channels such as
arts and humanities, automobiles,
business, computers and technology,
education, personal finance, parenting,
pets and animals, politics, religion,
society and lifestyle, and many               com and Fashion TV. Also there are          network such as Star Plus, Star One,
more. Each channel has sections and           other TV channels that can be viewed        Star World, Star News, Channel V, can be
subsections that are further divided          such as MTV India, UTVi, Colors, Zee        viewed for free in the Star Player. You
into a number of levels. So if you            News, Live India TV, Star Plus and many     can opt to view the video feed in full
select Computers and technology,              more.                                       screen mode or window mode, and even
you’ll find Internet amongst other                Design-wise, the layout and navigation   opt for a higher resolution of video if
sections and under Internet, you’ll           of the site is very minimalist and          your Internet Bandwidth permits.
see Hacking, email threats, spamming          straight forward. All you have to do           As Aditya at WATblog rightly put
etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg.     is select the channel and the episode       it, the line between television and
All the channels have sub-divisions           you want to watch, the video starts         computers is becoming thinner and
that are ultra-rich in content. You can       streaming soon after. Monetization of       thinner and the day is not far off, when
even contribute to the content or get         the site involves joint ad sales with       there will be very little to differentiate
paid to write for the website. There          content providers and even promotions       the two mediums.
are also contests held where visitors         online. You’ll notice that each video          Online radios have gained significant
write on various topics.                      clip is preceded by a short audio visual    popularity. But now, live bands are
     News, reviews, articles, tips and        advertisement. Nonetheless, watching        gaining ground. Myband.co.in is a very
tricks, DIY workshops, you name               videos online at www.nautanki.tv was a      good platform for budding musicians,
it and it’s all here. Considering the         good experience.                            for those who already have independent
amount of quality content available              According to a recent report by          music bands and for those who want
on this site, we’d say that the tagline,      Aditya Rao at www.watblog.com,              to be a part of a band. It’s worth
‘Learn what you need, share what              Nautanki.tv had partnered with Facebook     mentioning that Myband on Facebook
you know’, is quite justified.                 to stream the 2009 Budget live on the       has over 18,000 fans, so you can
                                              Internet too.                               imagine its popularity and stardom.


94    08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                     SMS us!    Story code: AWR to 57007
                                                                                                                          FEATURED
                                                                                                                       WEB WATCH




Our roundup of the coolest things to do on the Web.             COMPILED BY DUSHYANT KHILNANI




 ONLINE BOOKINGS                                                                                NEWS

J                                                                                               W
    umping the queue with online              www.kyazoonga.com. You can                               ww.burrp.com is
    transactions and airline ticket-booking   book tickets online and send them as                     a great one-stop
    has been common for a while now.          gifts. You can even read reviews of the                  shop to get the latest news
But online booking for other services         latest movies.                                    updates and happenings regarding
is on the rise and is now becoming a             Another business where online ticket           restaurants, discotheques, cinemas,
way of life. Booking tickets for movies,      booking has grown is intercity and                shopping malls, lounges, gyms, salons
live events, concerts, workshops, travel,     interstate travel. If you plan to travel to       and so on. You will also find updates
hotels, transportation are a few good         an Indian destination and rent a vehicle          and news on hot venues to be at,
examples. Also, there are websites            there, or if the rented vehicle is your           upcoming live concerts and events in
that let you know if you’ll find Wi-Fi         mode of travel, just logon to www.                the city. This website topographically
hot spots at the destination you plan         onlinecarrentalindia.com. You can rent a          covers a wide area in the country,
to reach. Let’s start with online movie
tickets. www.bookmyshow.com lets you
book online tickets for plays, concerts,
movies and parties. If you’d like catch
the ‘first-day-first-show’ of the latest
block buster, opt for the pre-book
feature. Here, you can actually block
your preferred seats for the upcoming
movies almost one month prior to the
release date. As soon as the bookings
open, your pre-booked seats are given         car, bus, van, SUV or even a luxurious
preference. Be it a sports event or a live    limousine. Finally, here’s the website
concert, you can book seats for most          that you can use to check whether the             for instance you’ll get information
upcoming events in your city. If you’re       holiday spot you’ve chosen has a Wi-Fi            on cities such as Delhi, Mumbai,
reading this right now and if you don’t       hotspot around or not. Logon to www.              Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad,
have access to your computer, you can         wi-fihotspotlist.com and enter a few               Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
even book tickets on the phone, just call     details such as the street address, city,            So if you want to get a review
39895050. There’s a website which also        state and country and click on ‘find a             of the latest movie screening in a
allows you to gift tickets to a friend,       hotspot’.                                         cinema close by, or you want to
                                                                                                know about the specialties of a
                                                                                                restaurant before you visit, you know
                                                                                                where to look. Also, if you logon to
 BLOGS                                                                                          tv.burrp.com, you’ll get the latest



W
       ww.thetechzone.com is                                                                    updates on TV and movies that are
       a technology blog that                                                                   currently being aired on TV, and you
       covers pretty much everything                                                            get to sift through channels such as
related to consumer hardware, software,                                                         documentary, reality, sports and so
complete PCs, laptops, gadgets and                                                              on. If you want to know what’s the
portables, technology events and so                                                             most hyped soap on TV or which
on. You’ll find news, reviews, articles,                                                         movie got the highest votes or you
pictures and also get to compare                                                                want to see a list of 1000 exotic
the latest prices acquired from other                                                           places that are a must-visit, tv.burrp.
websites over here. Rich in content,          caught our attention such as www.                 com is a cool place to be at. Another
easy to navigate, and well-updated, The       linuxhardware.org, www.hothardware.               very interesting offshoot of this site
Tech Zone is quite a useful bookmark          com, www.techwarelabs.com, www.                   is www.blah.burrp.com where you'll
to have, especially if you’re an avid         atruereview.com and so on.                        find sections such as My City, Arts
technology fan. Speaking of which, you           The forums section has over 10,000             and Entertainment, Food Drink &
must take a look at the ‘links’ section.      members, so you can imagine the                   nightlife, Health and Living, Fashion
Out of the many technology-centric            amount of traffic this site attracts and           and Style and so on.
links out here, there are a few that          interactivity with viewers.


                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009     95
     FEATURED
 WEB WATCH




Learning from ebooks
This story explains how ebooks came about and how interesting and useful they've become.
Also, check out some websites where you can download ebooks. BY DUSHYANT KHILNANI


I
     n today’s world most ebooks are               database dates back to the really olden
     made in the PDF format (Portable              times. You can download comic books
     Document Format). This format was             and fairy tales that you might have read
created in the early 1990s by Adobe                in your childhood. So imagine how old-
Systems. As Adobe gained popularity                school these books are!
with their ever-growing range of                      But now let’s quickly transition into
products, so did the PDF file format. This          the current ebook forms of today, and
format is the milestone in the ebook               logon to www.myebook.com. Websites
business. There are other ways in which            such as MyEbook let you read ebooks
ebooks were and still are distributed              straight from a browser using a Flash
and downloaded, such as plain text                 interface. You can actually flip pages
files, Word documents and such. Even                with the click of a button. There’s no
CHM—Microsoft’s proprietary file format             third party software needed, apart         Advanced Search lets you search books by their
                                                                                              subject, category, file type and by language.
which is used for help files—is often               from the flash plug-in for the browser
                                                                 plug in         browser.
                            t
used for ebooks. CHM and most other                                                           computing, aeronautics, geography,
formats are mainly used to avoid
                              id                                                              health, humor, you name it and ebooks
incompatibility. Reading them is                                                              for all subjects are available online.
not limited to the confinement of                                                              Just enter the relevant keywords in a
                              e
a desktop PC or a laptop. There                                                               search engine, such as Google, and you’ll
are physical portable readers                                                                 certainly find what you’re looking for.
available such as the Amazon                                                                            beauty of ebooks is that be
                                                                                                    The be
Kindle—developed by Amazon for
                            or                                                                          domestic or international, you
                                                                                                     it dom
reading ebooks and other digital
                              al                                                                         read matter from anywhere
                                                                                                     can re
documents. Even smart phone                                                                          in the world and on any subject.
users aren’t deprived, just install
                                 ll                                                                  Magazines, tutorials, user manuals,
                                                                                                     Magaz
compatible software such as a                                                                       guides,
                                                                                                    guides research and study
PDF reader—Kindle For iPhone is
                              s                                                                     material,
                                                                                                    materia case studies, the list goes
available—download ebooks on your                                                                  on and on.
phone, and you’re set.                                                                                 But there are some websites that
   Today, while tons of websites offer
                               s                                                                   misuse this wonderful medium and
free ebooks, some books need to                                                                    distribute
                                                                                                   distribut ebooks of copyrighted
be bought. The oldest ebook project
                              oject                                                               material illegally such as torrent
is www.gutenberg.org. From the
                             e                                                                    sites. We strongly recommend you
overwhelming riches of content on this                                                             through
                                                                                                go throug legal channels when
website, you can download any ebook                                                           downloading anything, as illegal websites
                              nd
for free. You name a subject and you’ll                                             your
                                                   Furthermore, you can even create you       can con you and you may even fall prey
find books pertaining to it, and their              own ebooks for others to read. We’d        to virus attacks and hacking.
                                                   recommend you to visit both these must-       Education is one of the main reasons
                                                   see websites, especially if you want to    ebooks have become so popular.
                                                   see how far the ebook-craze has come.      We’d say that being literate and being
                                                   Most of us might be aware that the term    educated are two sides of the same coin.
                                                   ebook stands for electronic book or        Schools and colleges make you literate
                                                   eco book—as one of the online articles     and impart education in limits. But the
                                                   suggested. But if you want to know the     completion of your academic career
                                                   history and popularity of ebooks, read     limits your education unless you choose
                                                   the entire article at www.articlesbase.    to educate yourself through books or
                                                   com/ebooks-articles/the-history-and-       practicalities. And in this fast-paced
                                                   popularity-of-ebooks-481506.html.          world of ours, ebooks are simply an
                                                      Speaking of history be it any field,     excellent way achieving that higher
Being a part of the community, you can read what   mathematics, science, entertainment,       education.
others have published and share your work too.
                                                   arts and literature, business, comics,                              - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in



96     08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                     FEATURED
                                                                                                                   WEB WATCH




                    IT'LL BE GREAT TO HAVE ALL
                 GOOGLE WEB APPS ON A SINGLE
                      PLATFORM, BUT WILL THIS
                             ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
                                DUSHYANT KHILNANI, TECHNOLOGY WRITER




CHROME OR WINDOWS
G
           oogle recently announced that they     has a dominant position in the web apps and
           will soon launch their browser         search business. So I’m forced to imagine
           operating system, Chrome OS, which     Google Apps, Gmail, Google Analytics,
           will be the fi rst of a new breed.     Google AdPlanner, Google Search, Google
It’s built on the Linux kernel and Google’s       News, Google Ad Manager and many more
existing browser, Chrome. The company             taking hold in Chrome OS. If my guess turns
now has two operating systems, Android—           out to be even remotely true, then this OS
intended for smartphones and other handheld       will exploit one of the strongest points of
computing devices and Chrome OS which             netbooks: connectivity. Web applications
targets netbooks—for now. Since the future        require good Internet connectivity more than
of portable computing is in the convergence       powerful hardware.
of handheld computing and telecom devices,            So, my guess is that in addition to
anticipating the same for Google Android and      gaining ground in the OS business, Google
the Chrome OS is justified. However, in this      would increase its consumer base for its
case, Google clarified that the purposes of       web applications. Consumers who favor
both operating systems differ. At some stage      convergence will be happy with the single-
competition between the two might set in          window approach.
right? Well, considering the varying niches           As far as the industry is concerned, Intel
that portable computing devices cater to and      has not only known about Google’s new
also going with Google's views, I’d say that      project but has been party to it for a while
both have the potential to co-exist.              now and perhaps still is. While Intel’s Moblin
    Google’s endeavor is to have a lighter        division might not be pleased, Atom chips will
OS to suit the modest hardware featured in        sell regardless of the OS being used. Also Intel
netbooks, and it makes sense. Currently a         seems happy about
majority of netbooks come with Windows
XP, and considering the OS’s popularity, I
                                                  Google’s venture
                                                  because it’s an      INTEL SEEMS TO BE HAPPY
wonder whether or not Chrome OS will match
it in functionality. However, it’s too early to
                                                  opportunity to sell
                                                  more hardware.       ABOUT GOOGLE’S NEW
comment. As Bill Gates himself said in an
interview, it’s hard to say much about Chrome
                                                      Another
                                                  competitor           VENTURE
OS because even Google hasn’t said much           commented that
about how it will work.                           Google’s intention isn’t to make computers
    It’s tempting to make assumptions as to       simpler or operating systems lighter. Instead,
what the OS will be like. Maybe in addition       it’s trying to distract potential competitors
to its native features, it might include an       from Google’s core search business.
amalgamation of all the web applications and          But for a consumer business, the real
services that Google offers. Recently, Rajiv      challenge is to be accepted by the people who
Dhingra at WATBlog.com talked abotu how           use the product. If netbook users are happy
dependent people have become on Google,           with it, it’s a win-win situation.
and I won’t differ because Google certainly                                 - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in



                                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009   97
   HANDS ON
      DR CHIP




                                                                                       Dr CHIP          SEND YOUR QUERIES TO: drchip@chip.in




                                              Sachin Pandit



[Q] Hello Dr CHIP, I have a few                     LCD TV is a better choice when your                     ‘Effective Search’ or ‘Mnogosearch for
questions:                                          criteria are power consumption and                      Windows’. Try out some more software
   My family is planning to buy a TV.               price. Opt for a full HD LCD TV if you                  available at ‘http://www.hsinlin.com/
Which is better, a plasma or an LCD                 have the budget, for example TVs                        software/search_engines.html’.
TV? I could not clearly decide reading              manufactured by Samsung, LG or Sony.                      Opting for a graphics card for your
your previous issue.                                Check for specifications such as a wider                 system would purely depend on your
   I have recently installed Windows 7              viewing angle, higher contrast ratio                    budget. We could always recommend
Beta on my computer. Please tell me                 and higher resolution. The higher these                 the fastest and latest ones, but the
the method to search for hidden files                specifications, the better the quality                   cost would possibly be higher than
on the machine (as it was in Windows                of the display. Check for lower power                   your budget. Check the PC Configs
XP), because the option in Windows 7                consumption of the televisions too, if you              and Market Watch sections featured
(Organize | Folder and Search options               are concerned about high electricity bills.             every month in CHIP and you will be
| View | Show hidden files) is not                        The hidden files not being seen might               able to see the approximate prices
working properly.                                   be an issue if your system has a virus.                 of graphics cards in the market. Our
   I want to buy a graphics card to play            Secondly, I would recommend using a                     recommendation is an Nvidia 98xx
all the recent games. My PC config                   third party tool for search in Windows                  or ATI HD 47xx series card for a mid-
is as follows: GIGABYTE 945GCM-                     Vista and Windows 7. The built-in search                range budget. But as you have a lower
S2L-RH motherboard, 2 GB DDR2                       is very slow and preference is given to                 end processor, do not expect great
RAM, Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80 GHz.                  those files and folders which have been                  performance while gaming.
So please suggest a graphic cards                   indexed. ‘Google Desktop Search’ is a                     For recording TV channels, you would
and let me know if you need any other               free application that can speed up your                 definitely need a TV tuner. Choose from
information.                                        searches. Other paid ones available are                 Pinnacle or AverMedia's internal PCI or
   If one has a graphics card, is a TV                                                                      external USB TV tuners for your purpose.
tuner card required to play/record TV
serials? Thank you.                                                                                         [Q] Hello Dr CHIP. I have a dual
                      – Akshay Ramdharne                                                                    booting system with Windows XP and
                                                                                                            Turbolinux (similar to Mandriva Linux).
[A]   Hello Akshay. A plasma TV will                                                                        Due to space constraints I decided to
have crisper color as it has a good                                                                         remove the Linux partition completely
contrast ratio. This is because the                                                                         from my machine as I had allocated
display panel consists of multiple                                                                          more that 10 GB of space for it. To
miniature tubes similar to that in a                                                                        do this I logged into Windows XP
CRT TV. Each pixel is one tube. But the                                                                     and from the disk management tool I
viewing angle is lower as compared to an                                                                    simply deleted the Linux partition and
LCD or CRT and the power consumption                 The panel of a plasma TV consists of multiple          formatted it with the NTFS file system.
is also higher than an LCD panel. An                 miniature tubes similar to CRTs (cathode ray tubes).   I got the disk space back but after


98     08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                       SMS us!   Story code: HDC to 57007
                                                                                                                                 HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                   DR CHIP


                                                                                                    If you have a partition other than the C
                                                                                                    drive, then boot from the Windows XP
                                                                                                    Media Center Edition disc and choose to
                                                                                                    install a new version of Windows on the
                                                                                                    D drive after installing Windows XP SP3
                                                                                                    first. If you do not have another partition,
                                                                                                    you can either partition your hard drive
                                                                                                    using Easeus Partition Manager or
                                                                                                    Partition Magic to split the C drive into
                                                                                                    two without formatting and losing data
                                                                                                    or use another hard drive in your machine
                                                                                                    and install the Media Center Edition on
Using the commands Fixboot and FixMBR will      Faulty memory modules or motherboards will          that drive. Before you use any type of
override the Linux GRUB boot loader.            cause system crashes and memory dumping.
                                                                                                    partition manager software, ensure that
restarting my system it failed to boot          Windows XP once again, or else have the             you take a data backup of your system.
as it could not find the GRUB loader             laptop inspected by a Dell service center.
since I had deleted the Linux partition!        To make sure, also try using another                [Q] Respected sir, my name is
Please tell me if it was the right way to       copy of Windows XP by borrowing the                 Avinash. I have a 19-inch LG monitor
uninstall Linux? If not, please specify         original Windows XP CD from a friend                for my desktop PC. The problem is that
the proper way to do it. And how can I          and using the serial key of your copy.              there are a few spots on the screen
get Windows XP working on my system                                                                 that look like dust but I can’t clean
again now?                                      [Q] Dear sir, my machine configuration               them. Please suggest a solution. I have
                         – Rohan Gonsalves      is as follows: Intel Celeron M CPU 1.86             tried cleaning it using a cotton cloth
                                                GHz, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB hard drive,                  too, but the spots are still not going
[A]   Hello Rohan. The way you removed          Windows XP Professional with SP3,                   away. Thanks.
Linux from the system was not                   and a 256 Kbps Internet connection.                                                     – Avinash
completely right even though there is           My problem is with Windows XP
no set procedure to remove Linux. What          Professional SP3. I have a bootable                 [A]   Hello Avinash. Look closely at
you did was partially right, but you left       disk of Windows Media Center SP3                    the screen and find out whether the
it half way through. You have to reinstall      and I want to install only the Media                spots are stains or scratches. If they
the boot loader of Windows and override         Center feature from the disk without                are scratches, then nothing much can
the Linux GRUB boot loader. To do this,         formatting my computer and continue                 be done. You can try applying a very
boot from the Windows CD and choose             running Windows XP Professional SP3.                thin coat of Vaseline or any kind of
the command prompt mode for repairing           Can I install only the Windows Media                transparent gel used in cosmetics.
the current installation. Then type in the      Center feature? Please assist me in                 Ensure that the gel is sufficient enough
following commands one after the other          doing so. Regards.                                  to fill the scratch only and not overflow
at the command prompt:                                                        – Avinash Chand       out of the required area or else it will
FIXMBR (press the [Enter] key)                                                                      cause a greasy smudge which will
FIXBOOT (press the [Enter] key)                 [A]   Hello Avinash. You cannot install the         blur the visibility of that area. This will
Once this is done, reboot the system and        Windows Media Center feature from the               smooth out the scratch and will make
Windows should boot normally.                   MCE CD on a Windows XP Professional                 it less noticeable. If the scratch is too
                                                installation. But, you can install two              big, it might still be noticeable. If it is
[Q] Hello Dr CHIP. I am facing a                versions of Windows XP on one                       a stain, try using a clean soft cotton
problem installing Windows XP on                computer. The two operating systems                 cloth dampened with a little Colin glass
my Dell laptop. After the Windows               need to reside on different partitions.             cleaner or Isopropyl alcohol (IPA). The
XP setup copies the system files and                                                                 stain should be wiped carefully, and
then restarts, I immediately see a blue                                                             you should take care to avoid damage
screen telling me it is dumping memory                                                              to the delicate LCD panel. If the stain
files. How can I install Windows XP on                                                               is stubborn, place the monitor flat on
the laptop? Please help me with this                                                                a table (face up), put a drop of the
problem. Thanks.                                                                                    cleaning liquid or alcohol on the stain,
                                     – Rakesh                                                       and let it lie for a few minutes. Try
                                                                                                    wiping it off later.
[A]   Hello Rakesh. There seems to be
a hardware problem with your laptop.                                                                [Q] Please help me upgrade my BIOS.
Either the memory or motherboard is                                                                                            – Tanu Mukherjee
faulty or there is a faulty connection
between the two. Carefully remove and           You can use Easeus partition manager or Partition
                                                                                                    [A]   Hello Tanu. You would need
clean the RAM sticks and try installing         Magic to split the C drive without losing data.     to find the model number of your


                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     08/2009      99
   HANDS ON
    DR CHIP


                                                   motherboard. I have the latest drivers               and if not you would need to purchase
                                                   installed and I am using Windows                     one. Secondly, you will not be able to
                                                   XP SP3 32-bit. My question is, how                   achieve resolutions higher than 1024 x
                                                   do I enable PureVideo HD? Does my                    768 on your 14-inch CRT monitor. Some
                                                   graphics card support it in the first                 high-end and expensive models might
                                                   place? When I play any HD videos,                    be able to do so, but the chances are
                                                   they don't run smoothly. Secondly, is                remote. You will need to change your
                                                   PV HD supported in Windows XP? Do                    monitor if you want to use your system
                                                   I need any special media players for                 with higher resolutions and make use of
                                                   PV? If yes, then please suggest a good               the actual capabilities of your computer.
                                                   free player. How about VLC? Does it                  Opt for at least a 19-inch or a 22-inch
                                                   support PV HD? Thanks.                               LCD monitor if you are on a low budget,
BIOS updater software automatically searches the                                      – Subhankar       else a 24-inch LCD monitor would make
internet and installs the latest BIOS updates.
                                                                                                        the best use of your graphics card. The
motherboard for downloading the                    [A]   Hi Subhankar. Firstly, PureVideo               BenQ E2200HD is an excellent monitor
appropriate BIOS file from the respective           is supported by all Nvidia GeForce 8x                which supports Full HD resolutions of
manufacturer’s Web site. To do this,               series and higher graphics cards. So your            up to 1920 x 1080. LCD monitor prices
check the motherboard’s manual or                  GeForce 8400 GS graphics card will                   are also pretty reasonable just now,
check on the motherboard itself for a              definitely support PureVideo. Yes, you do             compared to a year or so ago.
printed model number. Then accordingly,            require a supporting compatible media
refer to the manufacturer’s website for            player that takes advantage of the                   [Q] Dear Dr CHIP, I am a regular CHIP
the model number and download the                  hardware (GPU) to decode HD videos.                  reader and the part I like best is its
latest BIOS firmware from the support               Some of the compatible media players                 latest updates on gadgets. I would like
area. Download the file and read the                that support PureVideo are Cyberlink                 you to include some more information
instructions given on the website or in            PowerDVD and Corel WinDVD. You have                  on products launched in India.
the "readme" document downloaded                   to enable the option that specifies using                Sir I am writing to you about a
along with the BIOS update file. Usually,           PureVideo for hardware video decoding                problem while installing Adobe Reader
there are three ways to update the BIOS:           in the software.                                     version 8. I own a Dell Inspiron 1520
   Automatic BIOS updater software                                                                      laptop and its configuration is as
provided on the driver CD can be used.             [Q] Hello Dr CHIP. My name is Saif.                  follows: Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, 1.50
This software searches for BIOS updates            I want to know if my Nvidia GTS 250                  GHz; 1 GB RAM; and the operating
on the internet and automatically installs         graphics card will be compatible with                system is Windows Vista Home
the latest ones it finds.                           my older CRT monitor. It is a HCL                    Premium 32-bit. Whenever I try to
   A BIOS flashing utility for Windows              14-inch CRT monitor with only a D-sub                install Adobe Reader 8, it extracts
can be found on the driver CD or the               connector and does not have any DVI                  the necessary files first and then
manufacturer’s website and can also be             connectors. The maximum resolution                   when system is ready for installation
used for flashing the BIOS. Download                of the monitor is 1024x768 pixels.                   it shoots a windows installer error
the latest BIOS file and flash it using this         Please reply soon. It’s a little urgent.             and displays the message "The temp
software utility.                                                                              – Saif   folder is on a drive that is full or is
   Using the DOS prompt and the DOS                                                                     inaccessible. Free up the space on
based EXE file downloaded from the                  [A]   Hello Saif. Yes, the graphics card             the drive or verify that you have write
Internet (both the BIOS file and the DOS            will support your monitor. You will need             permission on the temp folder". I
utility will need to be downloaded). Boot          to use the DVI to D-sub convertor for                would also want to state that I am
your machine using a DOS bootable                  this monitor. The convertor should be                using Tune Up Utilities 09 and I freed
CD or floppy and run the utility with               bundled with the graphics card itself,               up space on the drives, which now
the required parameters/switches for
flashing the BIOS.
   Flashing the BIOS is risky and can be
tedious. One wrong move can render
your motherboard useless. Do this at
your own risk or have it done by a service
center or service engineer. Ensure that
there will be no power failure when the
BIOS is being flashed.


[Q] Hello CHIP. I have a Geforce
8400 GS installed in my system with
an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ CPU and 1                   24-inch LCD monitors support the 1920x1200 HD        Try running the installer in Compatibility Mode by
GB RAM on a Asus A8N-SLI Premium                   resolution and are great for gaming and graphics.    choosing ‘Windows XP (Service Pack 2)’.


100   08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                              HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                               DR CHIP


have around 15 GB free space. I am                     [A]   Hello Amit. The problem with your                you could also opt for a 9800 GT card
expecting a solution from your reputed                 laptop is with the ribbon cable inside the             with 512MB of DDR3 RAM from Palit at
experts.                                               laptop or a loose contact with the cable               around Rs 7,500. The same card with 1
                          – Ajith Kumar Shetty         itself. This ribbon cable connects the                 GB of DDR3 RAM (Super edition) would
                                                       LCD panel to the motherboard. There is                 cost around Rs 8,800. Check with your
[A]   Hello Ajith. It could be possibile that          little that you can do to repair it yourself.          local dealers for more recent prices and
either the account privileges or software              I would suggest you have it serviced                   brand availability.
compatibility are the cause. Try one of                if it is still under warranty or get it                   Your choice of motherboard definitely
the solutions given below:                             serviced by an authorized laptop service               isn't too lame to support a graphics card
   Enable ‘User Account Control (UAC)’                 personnel or at a service center                       for decent gaming performance.
if it is disabled. To do this, in the ‘Control
Panel’, choose ‘User Accounts’ and click               [Q] Dear Dr CHIP, I have been a                        [Q] I am an engineering student and
‘Turn User Account Control on or off’.                 hardcore fan of CHIP since the first                    want to buy a new laptop, which must
Check the box ‘Use User Account Control                issue that I read. I bought myself a                   be good for gaming and other study
(UAC) to help protect your computer’                   PC in August last year. My choice                      related utilities. Which one should I
and then click ‘OK’. Restart your                      of motherboard was lame, I must                        buy? My budget is Rs. 40,000.
computer and try the installer again. You              admit with all the shame in the world.                                               – Avneesh Gupta
can turn off ‘User Account Control’ after              I bought the Intel DG31PR classic
that if you are able to install the Adobe              motherboard. After going through
Reader software successfully.                          the graphics card shootout in your
   Try running the Adobe reader installer              magazine, I decided to buy the Sparkle
in Windows XP Compatibility Mode.                      9600 GSO. However you guys said
Right-click the Adobe Reader installer                 that the card was dual-slot. My
file and then click ‘Properties’. Click the             motherboard has just one PCIex16 slot
‘Compatibility’ tab. Under ‘Compatibility’             and two PCI slots. Does that mean
Mode, select ‘Run this program in                      that I cannot use the Sparkle graphics
compatibility mode for’ and choose                     card with it? If not, please tell me
‘Windows XP (Service Pack 2)’ from the                 which is the best graphics card which
drop down list given there. Click ‘Apply’              I can get in the Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000
and ‘OK’ and then close the ‘Properties’               range? Please reply soon. Thanks in                    Log on to the Dell website and configure a laptop
window. Now try installing it again.                   advance.                                               according to your needs to get an idea of prices.
                                                                                          – Anonymous
[Q] Hi CHIP. We purchased an Acer                                                                             [A]   Hello Avneesh. In a budget of Rs.
Aspire 4710 laptop last year. For a                                                                           40,000, a gaming laptop would be
couple of months now, all of a sudden                                                                         almost impossible. Your budget for a
the screen becomes completely white.                                                                          gaming laptop should start from Rs
Sometimes tilting the LCD screen fixes                                                                         70,000 at least. Anyway, there are
it and the display is normal after that.                                                                      plenty of models that have a blend of
Sometimes tilting the screen to adjust                                                                        gaming performance features (not for
for a better view causes it to become                                                                         extreme gaming, but for entry-level
white again. I believe it is because of                                                                       gaming) and can also handle other
some loose contact inside the panel.                                                                          work. The Dell Studio 1555 is a good
Can you guys give me any pointers on                                                                          choice and costs around Rs. 56,000. For
fixing/repairing the LCD panel?                                                                                your budget, the Zenith Director Plus
                                   – Amit Hegde        Dual-slot means that the card works with a single      Ultra costing around Rs. 43,000 would
                                                       PCIe slot but needs the physical space of two slots.   also suffice.
                                                                                                                 Gaming performance would not
                                                       [A]   Hello. The term "dual-slot" card                 be guaranteed though. Why don’t you
                                                       that we used in the shootout was the                   check out the laptops yourself at any
                                                       generally accepted way of describing                   dealer or store? If you need a gaming
                                                       a card that occupies the space of two                  laptop, make sure it has a good discrete
                                                       cards due to a large cooling fan. But                  graphics card from ATI or Nvidia and at
                                                       dual-slot cards still actually connect                 least 2 GB of system RAM. You could
                                                       to only one PCIe slot. This means the                  also look up the Dell website and build
                                                       card when installed on the motherboard                 yourself a configuration to suit your
                                                       would take the space of two physical                   purpose, which will give you a good idea
                                                       cards in two adjacent slots. You can use               of prices at any point of time.
The ribbon cable is not usually user-serviceable, so
                                                       the Sparkle card on your motherboard                                      — Send your queries to Francis D'Sa
it's always better to contact the service center.      without any problem. In your budget,                                                       at drchip@chip.in



                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         08/2009   101
   HANDS ON
  WORKSHOP




Superior blocking:
                                                              ng                    hom
CHIP shows you how to employ OpenDNS for blocking/filtering unwanted web content at home
or office instead of using expensive firewalls and web filtering software.
BY FRANCIS D'SA




B
        locking, filtering and controlling                software can take care of these                       rest to the OpenDNS servers to filter
        the types of web content                         problems, but they are usually expensive.             your office/home Internet connection.
        accessed by Internet surfers                     OpenDNS is a free-to-use service, which               You can monitor the website traffic,
in both public and private zones is                      is very simple to configure and deploy                 usage, etc by viewing the stats reports
essential. Office employees and kids                     and yet very powerful. All one needs to               on the OpenDNS website from any
at home must be monitored to prevent                     do is register once, register your Internet           location on earth. Let’s show you how
them from accessing porn, social                         IP address (static or dynamic), configure              OpenDNS can work for you at home
networking, or malicious phishing                        the level of filtering and enter the DNS               or at the office by simply following the
websites. Deploying web filtering                         settings on your system. Then leave the               procedure given below.



       CONFIGURING OPENDNS
                                                                        STEP 1                                                                             STEP 2




Connect to the internet and log on to www.opendns.com. Click on the 'Create        Write down the OpenDNS server addresses shown in the extreme bottom right
account' link and register yourself once—it is free. Check your registered email   of the webpage. These DNS IP addresses would need to be entered in your
account for an email from OpenDNS to confirm the account and log in .              network card settings. Also shown on the page is your IP address.


                                                                        STEP 3                                                                             STEP 4




Once logged in, the main webpage would look like this. The options available       Enter the IP address of your Internet connection and click on ‘Add this network’.
are Statistics, Settings, Networks, and Shortcuts. Next, click on ‘Networks’.      If you have multiple IP addresses at home or at workthat you require to be
These settings will be in your dashboard for future changes and monitoring.        filtered by the OpenDNS service, you may add them too.



102   08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                          SMS us!      Story code: HOD to 57007
                                                                                                                                                    HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                                   WORKSHOP



       CONFIGURING OPENDNS (CONTD...)
                                                                         STEP 5                                                                                 STEP 6




Once you have added the IP addresses, click on the settings tab. Click on             Choose the ‘Custom’ level if you need to alter the filtration levels according to
‘Content Filtering’ from the group in the left column. Choose the filter level you    your preferences. Finally, once you have chosen the level of filtration, you can
need for your network—High, Moderate, Low, Minimal or None.                           either apply it to a particular registered IP address or all your networks at once.


                                                                         STEP 7                                                                                 STEP 8




The ‘Customization’ option can be set up to create the warning message window         Save all the settings on the webpage and log out. Your OpenDNS is ready for
for the blocked site to display. You can also write your custom messages and          use. Finally, open the TCP/IP protocol settings in the network card configuration
insert your own logo too.                                                             window and insert/replace the DNS addresses you noted before.




         OPENDNS UPDATER (Dynamic IP address auto-updater tool for Windows)
If you are using a dynamic IP address
(in cases such as dial-up or DHCP
based networks), you would need
to download the OpenDNS Updater
software from the website (or find
it on the CHIP DVD) and install it as
a service on the computer using the
dynamic IP address. Download and
install the software, enter the required
authorization details and click on ‘OK’.
Set up the service accordingly—IP
                                                           Enter your OpenDNS authorization details and an       Enter the IP check interval to sense changes in
check interval, auto start, logging, etc.                  optional network label for the tool.                  dynamic IP addresses.
This software service will run in the
background and will update the new                        system is secured.                                     home on office laptops or for students
IP addresses to the OpenDNS website                       This tool is very useful for offices that              using USB modems.
automatically and ensure that your                        allow employees to take their work                                                       – francis.dsa@chip.in



                                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          08/2009    103
   HANDS ON
  WORKSHOP




Get that mail back!
Deleted an important email? Outlook doesn’t open due to a
damaged PST file? Read on to find out how to recover deleted
mail and repair a damaged PST file.
BY SANDEEP BALACHANDRAN




M
           icrosoft Outlook has been a                  especially when the PST file crosses                 installed, you should be able to locate
           part of the Office family for                a size limit of 2GB. This has given rise            the PST file in the following folder.
           generations now. It is used                  to programs that can back up, restore                  For Windows XP – [disk drive]:\
mainly for downloading mail from                        and recover damaged files. You might                 Documents and Settings\[username]\
various servers thereby freeing users                   wonder where these files go when                     Local Settings\Application Data\
from logging into their accounts time                   deleted. When a message is deleted in               Microsoft\Outlook
and again. If you are a regular user of                 Outlook, the mail is not actually deleted              For Windows Vista – [disk drive]:\
Microsoft Outlook you would know that                   but marked for deletion. The mail is not            Users\[username]\AppData\Local\
all email, schedules and contacts are                   permanently deleted until you actually              Microsoft\Outlook
stored in a file named “Outlook.pst”.                    compact the PST file or save data.                      Follow these steps if you are unable
These files are mainly used for archiving                Therefore, it is always advisable to                to locate the PST file using the path
and storing email, contacts, calendars                  recover deleted mails first before going             mentioned: Open Outlook and click on
etc for future reference.                               further.                                            “Tools | Account Settings” and select
   We all delete unwanted mail on                           Before we start you will need to                “Data Files”. Double click on the file and
a regular basis but there are times                     download a program called ‘Recover my               copy the full location of the PST file. To
when an important mail gets deleted                     Email’ from “www.recover-my-email.                  make things easier omit the file with the
unknowingly. You could still retrieve it                com”. Keep in mind that since this is a             PST extension. Open Notepad, paste the
by checking the POP server but then                     trial version you will only have the option         link and exit Outlook. (Fig. 1)
again that is only possible if Outlook is               of viewing the data. The steps shown
configured to leave a copy on the server.                below show you how to recover deleted               Step 1
Other than accidently deleting mails,                   mails from an existing PST file.                     Start the program and click on ‘Open
Outlook is prone to quite a number of                       You will first need to unhide hidden             email data file’ and navigate to the
problems that lead to data corruption.                  folders by clicking on ‘Tools | folder              location mentioned above. You could
This can be due to several reasons, such                options’. Click on ‘View’, scroll down              click your way to the PST folder or copy-
as conflicting email programs, version                   to ‘Hidden files and folders’ and select             paste the link into the 'Open' dialog box.
upgrades, or virus infections. There                    ‘Show hidden files and folders’. Now,                Select the file “Outlook.pst” and click
are also other instances of corruption,                 depending on the version of Windows                 on open. Keep in mind that the overall


                                                                        Fig. 1                                                                         Fig. 2




If you are unable to locate the PST file, follow the method shown above to       The above message signifies a corrupt PST file which can only be recovered
identify its exact path and location on your hard drive.                         using external applications or by using Outlook's built-in 'Scanpst.exe'.



104   08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                        SMS us!     Story code: HOR to 57007
                                                                                                                       HANDS ON
                                                                                                                      WORKSHOP



      STEPS TO RECOVER OUTLOOK EMAILS
                                                           STEP 1                                                                 STEP 2




                                                           STEP 3                                                                 STEP 4




speed depends on the size of the PST         “Next” after every completed step.           first need to search for an application
file. So it is normal to find the progress        Click on “File |Import and Export”        called “SCANPST.exe”. Make sure that
bar stuck at any point in the scan.             Select “Import from another program       the “Show hidden files and folders” is
                                             or file”                                      enabled within the folder options. If the
Step 2                                          Scroll down and choose “Personal          search was unable to locate the file,
Now click on “Search” and select “From”      folder file”                                  search for it manually by entering the
in the search menu and type in the              Click on browse and go to the             link shown below:
name of the sender that needs to be          location where the file was saved. Select        For Office 12: C:\Program Files\
recovered. If you want to recover files for   the file and choose “Replace duplicates       Microsoft Office\Office12
a particular period, select “Dates” and      with items imported”.                           For Outlook Express: C:\Program
specify the date range in “from” and “to”.      Check “Include subfolders” and            Files\Common Files\System\
                                             choose “Import items into the same           MSMAPI\1033
Step 3                                       folder in:”, finally click on “Finish”.          Start the application and navigate
Select the messages that need to be                                                       to the folder where the “Outlook.PST”
restored and click on “Save message(s)       Damaged files                                is located and click on “Start” to being
as PST”. Choose a location where the         You can use the application not only         checking for errors. The next option will
file needs to be stored. It is advisable to   to retrieve deleted mails but to also        allow you to repair the damaged PST
choose a different location to save the      recover mails from a damaged PST             file. Before you precede make sure that
restored PST file.                            file. In the case of a damaged PST file,       “Make backup of scanned file before
                                             Outlook will simply refuse to start and      repairing” is checked, finally click on
Step 4                                       show up with an error (Fig. 2). Here you     “Repair”. You should now be able to send
To be able to import the new file, open       can make use of a tool within Outlook        and receive mails using Outlook.
Outlook and follow these steps. Click on     itself to repair the damaged file. You will                       – sandeep.balachandran@chip.in



                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP       08/2009   105
   HANDS ON
  WORKSHOP




Work @ Night
Working at home late into the night can
keep your family members awake too. We
show you a simple hack to illuminate your
keyboard at night.
BY FRANCIS D'SA




W
            orking, gaming or surfing                   Lock] key is used for this trick as it is
            the Internet can actually                  rarely used in any software applications.
            keep the rest of your family               The Scroll Lock LED is usually switched
members awake through the night.                       off as it is never used.
Leaving the lights on would be sure to
disturb everyone around. But if the lights             Method
are switched off, you can't see what                   Carefully open the keyboard by removing
you are typing, which causes eye strain                all the screws. Locate the Scroll
and frustration. A small dim light can                 Lock LED (usually found on the small




                                                                                                                 Locate the Scroll Lock LED and remove it. solder
                                                                                                                 two pairs of the stiff wire to the terminals.




You would need an old keyboard, two bright white LEDs, some stiff wire, soldering iron and soldering wire.


illuminate the keyboard while keeping                  circuit board on one corner inside the
the lights of the room switched off.                   keyboard). De-solder the existing LED
   One way is to buy a USB light, but                  and connect four wires (two each to
you would need to have front USB ports                 one terminal) Drill holes at the two top
which isn't possible if the cabinet isn't              corners of the keyboard. These holes
placed on your desk. It also has another               should be wide enough for the wires to
disadvantage—uselessly blocking a                      snugly pass through. Now pass each
                                                                                                                 Drill holes at the two extreme top ends of the
valuable USB port. Another alternative                 pair of wires through the two holes and                   keyboard and pass each pair of wire through them.
is a small hack to your keyboard and                   neatly conceal the internal wires inside
spending as little as Rs 20. All you would             the keyboard. Solder the other ends of
need is two bright white LEDs, some stiff              the wire to the LEDs. Check the positive
wire, a soldering iron, a drill machine and            and negative terminals and carefully
definitely, your keyboard.                              solder the LEDs to the wires. Finally
Note: we would not advise you to try                   close the keyboard again.
this workshop on a keyboard with an                        Your keyboard is now ready for use
existing warranty. Do this hack at your                at night. Connect it to the computer
own risk.                                              and power up the system. You will now
   Let’s show you how you can hack                     be able to switch on or off the LEDs by
your keyboard to power two white LEDs                  simply tapping the [Scroll Lock] key. The
enough to sufficiently light up your desk              workshop demonstrated here is very
and keyboard. The trick here is to draw                crude, and you can make it neater by
power from the keyboard’s [Scroll Lock]                using LED sockets and other materials to
                                                                                                                 Solder the LEDs to each pair. Use a housing or heat
LED and use the Scroll Lock key to                     give it a more professional look.                         shinkable shielding tubes over the LED if required.
switch the LEDs on and off. The [Scroll                                                  – francis.dsa@chip.in



106   08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                            SMS us!      Story code: HWN to 57007
                                                                                  Tips &
                                                                                    Tricks                          AUGUST 2009

                                                                                                  SHARE YOUR TIPS. Write to: tnt@chip.in




  Sachin Pandit



                                                     WINDOWS                                                                              109
                        H
         TIP OF THE MONTH                            1.   Windows Vista           Fixing problems with the integrated Snipping Tool
 Windows
    do     , Vista
               sta
 Windows XP, Vista                                   2.   Windows XP, Vista       Using Flickr pictures as desktop backgrounds
 INSTALLING PROGRAMS FASTER
 BY RESTARTING THE EXPLORER                          3.   Windows XP              Deleting NTFS partition quickly and safely
 Some installations and system settings              4.   Windows Vista           Starting Windows and other applications faster
 require you to reboot the computer.
 Most of the time, it is sufficient to               5.   Windows XP, Vista       Automatically clearing up the desktop to store a file
 restart just Explorer.
                                                     6.   Windows XP, Vista       Accommodating more open programs on the taskbar

          The Explorer reboot ensures that the       7.   Windows XP, Vista       Hiding the Control Panel from unauthorized access
 registry is re-read so that most of the newly
                                                     8.   Windows XP              Making hidden system components visible and removing them
 installed programs accept it. An “actual"
 restart is required only for hardware or            9.   Windows XP, Vista       Displaying the licenses of the installed programs
 system-level software changes like driver
 updates and service packs for Windows. To           10. Windows XP, Vista        Saving and transferring your power scheme
 restart the Windows interface, open the task        11. Windows XP, Vista        Starting Specific Programs as an Administrator
 manager using [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del], mark the
 "explorer.exe" entry in the "process" tab and       12. Windows XP               Reactivating a boot section after a dual installation
 press [Del] – the program is stopped and            13. Windows Vista            Displaying an empty Recycle Bin as empty
 automatically restarted. It is even easier if
 you store the required commands in a batch
 file, thus making it easily accessible. For this,   APPLICATIONS                                                                         113
 create a new text file using an editor and
 type:                                               14. Internet Explorer 7      Using tabbed browsing again without restrictions
 @echo off                                           15. Excel 2003, 2007         Filtering the data columns of a table with two conditions
 taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
 explorer.exe                                        16. Excel 2002, 2003, 2007   Sorting the data of a work folder in columns
 Save the file under any name with the
 ending “.bat” in the Windows folder and
                                                     17. iTunes 7.x, 8.x          Tracking and deleting songs that no longer exist
 create a shortcut on the desktop or in the          18. Outlook XP, 2003, 2007   Automatically finding and deleting old superfluous messages
 quick launch bar. The script ends the
 “explorer.exe” process with the “taskkill”          19. Digital photography      Making an interesting group photo using individual photos
 system command and “f” parameter, and
                                                     20. Digital photography      Photographing plants and flowers more abstractly
 restarts it immediately. The “/IM” parameter
 makes sure that the program to be ended             21. Home Network             Creating IP addresses to access devices on the Internet
 can be addressed in cleartext.
                                                     22. Sound card               Making sound output for certain applications


108   08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                             SMS us!     Story code: HTT to 57007
                                                                                                                                        HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                     TIPS & TRICKS


WINDOWS                                                the image as a GIF, JPG, PNG or HTML                  select a very short changing time, as all
                                                       file with ‘File | Save As’. Besides, the               the pictures used are stored in a sub-
        Windows Vista                                  contents are also stored on the clipboard             folder of the program. Alternatively you
  1     Fixing problems with the                       for you to paste into applications such               can also make use of ‘John’s Background
        integrated Snipping Tool                       as Photoshop.                                         Switcher’ (Find it on our CHIP DVD). This
                                                                                                             little application not only allows you to
A picture is worth a thousand words,                                                                         download pictures from Flickr but also
so it would be nice to take a screenshot                       Windows XP, Vista                             from various other photo sharing sites.
of a certain desktop area. Vista offers                  2     Using Flickr pictures as                      Just make sure you use any one of the
the Snipping Tool for that. However, if                        desktop backgrounds                           applications.
you try to start it, you get a message                                                                       NOTE: If you are using the tool
asking you to restart the computer                     Instead of a plain static background                  regularly, create a new shortcut to the
first. Even after a restart, the problem                picture, you want to decorate your                    ‘WallpaperFlickr.exe’ program file in the
still persists.                                        desktop with alternating photos. As                   Startup folder of the Start menu.
                                                       you save many of your photos in Flickr,
                                                  1    it would be nice to have access to this                      Windows XP
                                                       database.                                               3    Deleting NTFS partition
                                                                                                                    quickly and safely
                                                                                                        2
                                                                                                             It is going to happen sooner or later:
                                                                                                             your old computer will be scrapped.
                                                                                                             Obviously, you want to make the data
                                                                                                             on the old hard disk unreadable before
                                                                                                             letting it into someone else's hands.


                                                                                                                    What many of us don’t know is
                                                                                                             that deleting or formatting a partition
Activate the screenshot function in Vista using this                                                         alone is not really sufficient to delete
option, which is actually intended for tablet PCs.                                                           the data on a hard disk entirely. Play it
                                                                                                             safe with the free ‘KillDisk’ program from
       The Windows component                           The Flickr Wallpaper Rotator tool ensures a regular
                                                                                                             Active@, which you can download from
responsible for the Snipping Tool is                   change of the desktop wallpaper                       ‘www.killdisk.com’. Follow ‘Download
deactivated on your system. In order                                                                         Free Version’ on the website and click
to capture screenshots, you must                              This is precisely what the free tool           ‘Download KillDisk Suite’. This packet
first activate the component in the                     Flickr Wallpaper Rotator from ‘www.                   contains a support program to create a
Control Panel. Open the Control Panel                  rushfrisby.com/apps/flickr_wallpaper_                  boot floppy. Alternatively, an ISO image
and then the sub-item ‘Programs and                    rotator.aspx’ does. Extract the ZIP                   is also available on the website, with
Features’. Now follow the link ‘Turn                   archive in a blank folder and start the               which you can create a start CD. Boot
Windows features on or off’ in the left                program. A new icon is displayed in                   the computer from the floppy or CD.
pane and confirm the User Account                       the notification area. Right click the                 As soon as the DOS prompt appears,
Control request with ‘Continue’. In                    icon and select the context command                   type ‘killdisk’ and press Enter. The
the subsequent list, check the box                     ‘Show Window’. In the first cell, that is,             DOS program starts after that. Using
corresponding to ‘Tablet PC Optional                   ‘Rotate every’, set the interval at which             the arrow keys, select the hard disk as
Components’. Confirm the dialog                         the picture is supposed to change.                    well as the partition in it, which has to
with ‘OK’. Finally, you need to restart                The default setting is two hours. In                  be deleted permanently. The [F10] key
the computer. You will now find the                     the ‘Search Options’ area, define the                  opens a dialog for selecting the deletion
Snipping Tool in the Start Menu under                  properties for the picture selection. You             method. Start destroying all data with
‘All Programs | Accessories’. On starting              can type any number of search terms in                ‘Confirm and Erase’ and by confirming
the tool for the first time, Windows asks               the ‘tags’ field, all separated by commas.             the security query.
if you want to add the tool to the Quick               If you want to use only a few pictures or
Launch bar. Select ‘Yes’ if you always                 photos of a particular person, put in the                    Windows Vista
want quick access to the tool. Click                   corresponding user name in the ‘User                    4    Starting Windows and other
on the arrow next to the ‘New’ icon in                 Name’ field.                                                  applications faster
the program's dialog. Here, determine                     Test the setting by clicking on the
the area that you want to capture; for                 ‘Rotate Now’ link, and view the first                  Windows XP can start up the operating
example, ‘Window Snip’. A red frame                    background change. As long as the tool                system faster with its Prefetch
marks the current selection. Move the                  does not get any hits, the previous image             function. Unfortunately it has no
cursor till the desired window is marked               remains intact. Also the tool is quite                such similar effects on the installed
and click the same. You can now save                   light on the system. Nevertheless, do not             applications.


                                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   08/2009   109
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


       Microsoft has developed the                                                                    a click on “OK”. In Vista, you can instead
Prefetch function for Vista. The new                         QUICK TIPS                               directly type “regedit” in the search
Superfetch also considers frequently                                                                  field of the Start menu and hit enter.
used applications and loads them                       CANCELING THE PRINT ORDER                         In the tree structure on the left side
                                                      By double clicking on the printer icon in the
automatically in the working memory                                                                   of the editor, navigate to the “HKEY_
                                                      taskbar, you get access to the running jobs
during startup, thus making them                                                                      CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\Desktop\
                                                      and can thus ‘Cancel a print job’.
available faster if required.                                                                         WindowMetrics” key and create the entry
                                                       STARTING VISTA GADGETS                         “MinWidth” with “Edit | New | Character
                                                4     Gadgets from the sidebar can be easily          string”. Then open it by double clicking
                                                      dragged using drag & drop to any space on       and in the “Edit character string” dialog,
                                                      the desktop. They also function normally        enter “-270” as the “Value”. Confirm with
                                                      from this location.
                                                                                                      “OK”. Close the registry editor with “File |
                                                                                                      Exit”. The taskbar is now more lucid and
                                                       OPENING EXPLORER SELECTIVELY
                                                      The ‘explorer /n’ switch opens a new            offers more space for icons. Contrary to
                                                      Explorer window, even if an existing            Vista, XP leaves a small remainder of the
                                                      window is open.                                 name visible which cannot be removed.
                                                                                                      Information such as the name of a Word
                                                       ADDING FAVORITES TO EXPLORER                   document is displayed by Windows as
                                                      Frequently required favorite folders can be
                                                                                                      soon as place the mouse cursor hovers
                                                      saved with ‘Favorites | Add to Favorites’ and
                                                      you can call them again through this menu.
                                                                                                      over the relevant application's button on
In the Registry, you can decide whether Superfetch                                                    the taskbar.
should accelerate applications, Windows or both
                                                       OPENING FOLDERS IN A NEW
   Superfetch is supposed to be                        WINDOW                                                 Windows XP, Vista
installed right after a standard Windows              You can open folders in a new window by           7     Hiding the Control Panel from
                                                      double clicking the required folder while
installation. Despite that, verification                                                                       unauthorized access
                                                      keeping the [Ctrl] key pressed.
never hurts, because tuning tools love to
play around with such features. For that,                                                             As a small company, you use many
open the start menu and enter ‘regedit’              the desktop free. Now, you can move the          computers. Due to a dearth of IT
in the search line. In the registry editor,          icon to the desktop, let go of the mouse         experts, you also take care of these
navigate to the ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\                 button and thus drop the file to save it.         computers independently. To prevent
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\                    On the other hand, if you drag an icon           anyone changing anything in the
SessionManager\MemoryManagement\                     onto the button of an open application in        configuration, you want to restrict
PrefetchParameters’ key. There, you                  the taskbar, it will automatically bring it      access to the control panel.
will find the entry ‘EnableSuperfetch’.               to the foreground.
Double-click on it. If the value is ‘3’,                Additionally by letting go of or                     For that, open the Registry Editor
everything is fine. Superfetch starts                 pressing the [Ctrl] key, you can choose          by typing “regedit" after clicking
Windows and the applications faster.                 whether to move or copy. When the                “Start | Run”, and “OK”. In Vista, type
‘2’ would consider only Windows and ‘1’              operating system copies the files a small         “regedit” directly in the search field
would work only for the applications.                plus sign appears towards the corner of          in the start menu. Navigate to the key
                                                     the icon(s).                                     “HKEY_CURRENT_ USER\Software\
        Windows XP, Vista                                                                             Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
  5     Automatically clearing up the                       Windows XP, Vista                         Explorer\Advanced”. Search for the value
        desktop to store a file
                                                       6    Accommodating more open                   “Start_ ShowControlPanel” in the right
                                                            programs on the taskbar                   hand pane.
Usually, a host of program windows
                                                                                                                                                          7
cover up the desktop when you wish                   Space on the taskbar is very limited. If
to drag a file on it using drag and drop.             you open too many programs, Windows
So that means first moving all the                    forces you to scroll inconveniently to
windows aside to make space. That is                 see all the buttons. To switch between
annoying and costs time.                             applications, you must then click your
                                                     way through with small arrows to the
       Windows has a not-so-known                    correct page.
automatic function for this very situation.
Click on the icon of the file which you                      If you know the icons belonging
wish to save on the desktop and drag                 to the program anyway, you can do
it to a free spot on the taskbar. Keep               away with the plain text descriptions
the mouse button held down. After a                  and shrink the buttons to a minimum
moment, the operating system minimizes               width. For that, open the registry editor        At this point, the control panel usually opens. A
                                                                                                      registry entry hides the command instead.
all open program windows and makes                   in XP with “Start | Run”, “regedit” and


110   08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                HANDS ON
                                                                                                                             TIPS & TRICKS


   If it does not exist, you can create           disturb the commas. Repeat this action
                                                                                                                                                 9
it with “Edit| New | DWORD-value”.                for all other entries to be removed. Then
In Windows Vista use “Edit | New |                save “sysoc.inf”.
DWORD-value (32-Bit)”. Then double-                  Open ‘Add or Remove Programs’
click on “Start_ShowControlPanel”.                in the Control Panel and click on the
In the ensuing Dialog “Edit DWORD-                icon for “Add or remove Windows
value” or “Edit DWORD-value (32-Bit)”,            Components”. Here, under “Accessories
enter “0" as the “value”. Confirm the              and Utilities | Details | Games | Details”,
change with “OK”. After restarting the            you will now also find an entry to
computer, the Control Panel entry is              uninstall the game Pinball.
gone from the Start menu. If you want
to access it later, change the value of                  Windows XP, Vista
“Start_ShowControlPanel” to “1” or                  9    Displaying the licenses of the
simply remove the complete string again                                                          The tool KeyFinder Thing lists the license numbers
                                                         installed programs                      of installed applications in a lucid manner.
from the registry.
                                                  The PC is so full of trash that only a         find all license numbers on your system.
        Windows XP                                Windows re-installation can help. Since        The tool tracks the license number of
  8     Making hidden system                      you have installed a lot of applications       around 90 applications. A list is available
        components visible and                    on the computer over the course of             under “View | Software List”. According
                                                  time, an overview including all license        to reports, KeyFinder Thing 3.1.6 works
        removing them
                                                  numbers would be very helpful.                 with Windows NT, 2000 and XP.
During setup, Windows installs
numerous software components                             The tool ‘KeyFinder Thing’ is what              Windows XP, Vista
without asking, which are not used by             you are looking for. You can download           10     Saving and transferring your
you at all, for example, the games. So,           it from ‘www.download.com’. Under                      power scheme
out with them! But how?                           “Search” enter the program name
                                                  “KeyFinder Thing” and click on the red         You have customized the energy saving
       Windows hides the entries for the          button with the zoom icon. In the results      schemes on your notebook. Now, on
additional components in the Control              list, you will see the link “KeyFinder Thing   one side, you want to transfer this
Panel. In order to make these visible, you        3.1.6”. Then click on the current and the      configuration on another computer,
must change the system file “sysoc.inf”.           next page on “Download now”. Save the          and on the other side, save it for a later
It is found in different folders depending        zip file “keyfinderthing3.zip” in any folder     re-installation.
on the installation, within the Windows           you wish on your system. Extract the file
directories. The best thing to do is to           and start the tool by double clicking on              The service program powercfg.
use the Windows search function to                the “KeyfinderThing3.exe”-program entry.        exe enables not only settings with the
track it down. Before you edit the file,           A separate installation is not required.       energy schems, but is also suitable for
create a backup copy of it to be on the              The tool shows a selection of all           the import and export of the respective
safe side, for example, name it “sysoc.           important programs with the relevant           configuration. The exact command
old”. Then, open “sysoc.inf” in the text          license numbers. Right-click on the icon       for the tool depends on the operating
editor. There, search, for example the            of an application whose license number         system used. A scheme can be imported
entry, the line for which starts with             you require. Using the command “Copy           to a new computer with the same OS.
"Pinball”. At its end, you will see the           Key” from the context menu, copy the              The operation takes place from the
parameter “HIDE”. Remove these four               license number to the clipboard. Through       command line, which is in the start
letters, but make sure that you do not            “File | Export Keys | Text File” and “File     menu under “All Programs | Accessories
                                                  | Export Keys | HTML”, you can write
                                              8                                                                                                  10
                                                  data in a text or HTML file. Important to
                                                  know: KeyFinder Thing stores only the
                                                  program names with their license keys in
                                                  the text file, while the application adds
                                                  more information when you export it as
                                                  an HTML file.
                                                     If you are unable to find the required
                                                  license number on the main window of
                                                  the tool, go to “Tools | Search”, to list
                                                  further programs. In the results list of
                                                  this search, you can mark the required
                                                  entries, by setting a checkmark in front
This parameter tells Windows not to display       of the relevant entry.                         Even customized energy schemas can be saved and
Pinball in the dialog for uninstallation.                                                        transferred with the help of a service program
                                                  NOTE: KeyFinder Thing 3.1.6 does not

                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        08/2009   111
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


| Command Prompt”. In Vista, you can                                                                 command prompt. Alternatively, right-
also type “cmd” in the search field of                   QUICK TIPS                                   click on an executable file in Windows
the start menu and press [Enter]. Under                                                              Explorer. Then you can start the context
Windows XP, you need the name of the            QUICKLY CHANGING THE ENTRY                           command “Run as” in XP and “Run as
                                                With [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[M], you can quickly switch
relevant schemes. In Vista, the process                                                              administrator” in Vista. In Vista, also
                                                from regular text input to annotation input.
is somewhat more complicated, here you                                                               confirm the user account control with
need the relevant GUID (Globally Unique         STARTING IE8 IN PRIVATE MODE                         “Continue”. In the dialog, select the
Identifier) in the form of a 32-digit Hex        To start the Microsoft browser directly in           admin account and identify yourself
value. In both cases, you will determine        private mode, right click on the icon, choose        by entering the relevant password. If
the right name by running “powercfg/            Properties and add the following after the           the command does not work, and if
list”. In XP, use the following command:        quotes ‘-private’ (without quotes).                  it delivers an error message, then the
Powercfg /export [Scheme Name]                                                                       responsible service has probably stopped
                                                WORD TRAINING FOR FREE
/file “C:\scheme.pow”                                                                                 on the computer or is deactivated.
                                                At this website, you will find free Word
(Put in the scheme name that needs to           tutorials: ‘http://office.microsoft.com/en-             To correct this, open “Administration”
be exported without the brackets)               us/training/default.aspx’.                           in the Control Panel and then “Services”.
   In that, the “/file” parameter is                                                                  Search the entry “Secondary Login” in
optional. If that is missing, the tool uses     GET A LIST OF CD TITLES IN                           the list. Check in the adjacent columns
the default value “scheme.pow”. In Vista,       ITUNES                                               that the status is “Started” and the auto
                                                You can get the list of track names on the CD
the file name is obligatory and is in a                                                               start type is “Automatic”. In case of
                                                by selecting ‘Advanced | Get CD track
different position in the command. There,       names’. When after creating a CD, the title
                                                                                                     deviating settings, double click on the
enter the following:                            does not appear automatically, usually, the          service to edit and change the setting
Powercfg -export <C:\scheme.pow>                command prompt of the manual command                 in the combination field “Start type”
<GUID>                                          helps ‘Open Advanced | CD-Title’.                    to “Automatic”. Confirm with “Accept”.
In this, the file name can be chosen                                                                  Now you can directly “Start” the service.
freely, but the GUID must be available.         DIRCTLY OPENING A FIREFOX TAB                        Finally, confirm the configuration by
                                                In order to directly open a tab in the open
Later import the settings in the same                                                                clicking “OK”.
                                                browser window, press [Ctrl]+T, wherein the
fashion from the command line. For that,        tabs continuously increase from left to right.
use the following command                                                                                   Windows XP
Powercfg -import /file <C:\
                                                The shortcut [Ctrl]+[N] opens a new browser
                                                window with a new tab in it.                          12    Reactivating a boot section
schema.pow>                                                                                                 after a dual installation
   The file name must be specified. In
Vista, you can additionally also enter the    use the option “/user:” and followed by                Apart from Windows XP, you have an
GUID optionally at the end as another         the user name in the format “Domains\                  additional operating system installed.
parameter. With that you can overwrite        Users”.                                                Since then, the new one starts
the values of an existing scheme with            As long as it is an independent                     automatically, but you can no longer
this GUID. If you do not specify the          computer without a domain connection,                  access Windows XP. However, you
GUID, Windows creates a new entry and         specifying the details of the respective               would rather do away with the new
generates a new identification for that.       user account is sufficient. Finally, enter             system.
                                              the name of the desired program with
       Windows XP, Vista                      the complete path. The command would                          The setup of the additional
 11    Starting Specific Programs as          look like:                                             operating system has overwritten
       an Administrator                       Runas /user:Administrator cmd.                         the start sector and the Windows
                                              exe                                                    Bootloader. Therefore, you must restore
Owing to security reasons, working               Then enter the password in the                      the Master Boot Record (MBR) of
with a user account with restricted                                                                  Windows XP. Keep the Windows XP
                                                                                               11
rights is advisable. However,                                                                        installation CD ready. Start your system
sometimes you must carry out some                                                                    with it and switch to the restoration
tasks as an administrator, e.g. setting                                                              console with [R]. There use the following
up a new tool.                                                                                       commands one after the other:
                                                                                                     fi xmbr C:
       You can gain higher rights using                                                              fi xboot C:
the command “runas” or with the context                                                              copy [CD]:\I386\NTLDR C:\
command “run as” in XP or “run as                                                                    copy [CD]:\I386\NTDETECTCOM C:\
administrator” in Vista.                                                                             Replace the entry ‘[CD]’ with the drive
   For that, open the “Run” command in                                                               letter of your CD drive. With these
XP in the start menu and type in the next                                                            actions, you can reset the settings of the
“runas” dialog followed by the required                                                              Bootloader of XP. Individual settings are
parameters. What is decisive here is the      When the start type of the service “seclogon” is set   lost in this process, but with a restart of
                                              to “Automatic”, the “run as” command works.
specification of the desired user. For that,                                                          the system, XP is at your service again.


112   08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                          HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                       TIPS & TRICKS


                                                  13                                                  14           Excel 2003, 2007
                                                                                                            15     Filtering the data columns of a
                                                                                                                   table with two conditions

                                                                                                           Some work folders contains larger
                                                                                                           data quantities. In order to get used
                                                                                                           to these faster or to execute selective
                                                                                                           evaluations, you can restrict the display
                                                                                                           of data with the AutoFilter function.
                                                                                                           However, it is often insufficient that
                                                                                                           this function can filter the data per
                                                                                                           column only for one value at a time.

If Vista displays the recycle bin as full even though   Tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer can be               You can thus expand the table
it is empty, reallocate its icon in this dialog box.    activated or deactivated in this dialog.
                                                                                                           calculation to include the desired
The parallel system can however, can no                                                                    functionality: select the data area
longer be started—but at least access to                       It is perhaps other system settings         concerned including the existing titles
Windows partition works.                                that are blocking tabbed browsing with             and in Excel 2003, select the menu
                                                        Internet Explorer. In XP Professional, you         command ‘Data | Filter | AutoFilter’. In
        Windows Vista                                   can solve the problem with the Group               the 2007 Version, click on the ‘Data’ tab
 13     Displaying an empty Recycle                     Policy Editor. For that, select ‘Run’ in           in the area ‘Sort and Filter’ on ‘Filters’.
        Bin as empty                                    the Start menu, enter ‘gpedit.msc’ and                Now, in order to define a data area
                                                        press Enter. Navigate to the left pane             for the filter selection, click on the arrow
The contents of the Recycle Bin have                    of the structure to ‘User configuration             symbol on top and open combination
been disposed of consciously. Despite                   | Administrative Templates | Windows
that, Vista shows it to be full on the                  Components | Windows Explorer’. On                                                                    15
desktop.                                                the right pane of the window, search for
                                                        ‘turn on Classic Shell’. If this guideline
       The cause is very simple: when                   is activated, it blocks the display of
you delete data from an external data                   tabs in Internet Explorer. To correct,
carrier such as a USB stick or an SD card               double-click on it and change the setting
and do not empty the recycle bin before                 in ‘Deactivated’ or ‘Not configured’.
the connection of the device to the                     Navigate further in the structure to
computer is disconnected, Vista displays                ‘User Configuration | Administrative
the recycle bin as full. You can take care              Templates | Windows Components |
of the problem by reassigning the recycle               Internet Explorer’. On the bottom right
bin icon.                                               of the list, search for the guideline ‘Turn
   For that, right-click on some                        off tabbed browsing’. Set this as well to
                                                                                                           The user-defined AutoFilter allows two logically
free space on the desktop, select                       ‘Deactivated’ or ‘Not configured’.                  linked conditions per table column
“Personalize” and “Change Desktop                          In XP Home, you must look for the
Icons”. In the following dialog, in                     corresponding registry entries and                 field in the desired column. In that,
“Desktop Symbol Settings” remove                        change them. For that, select ‘Run’ in             choose the entry ‘(Top 10 …)’ or ‘(User
the checkmark from the entry “Recycle                   the Start menu, enter ‘regedit’ and                defined…)’. In Excel 2007, click first on
Bin” and click on “Accept”. Then set the                click ‘OK’. Then navigate in the Registry          ‘Number filter’. In the ensuing dialog, you
checkmark for the option “Recycle Bin”                  Editor to the key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\              can then choose to display the ‘Highest’
again and click “OK”.                                   Software\Microsoft\Windows\                        or ‘Lowest’ top-values for ‘Elements’ or
                                                        CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer’. Search          in ‘Percent’. The specification of the Top
APPLICATIONS                                            for the DWORD value ‘ClassicShell’ on              10 in the command is confusing; you
                                                        the right side. If it is available, remove         can also select the Top 2, Top 100 or
        Internet Explorer 7                             it with ‘Edit | Delete’ and confirm the             higher values. In the dialog ‘User-defined
 14     Using tabbed browsing again                     security query with ‘Yes’. Then navigate           AutoFilter’, in fact, two conditions can be
        without restrictions                            further to the key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_                  selected and connected logically using
                                                        USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\’.                ‘And’ or ‘Or’.
In the browser, several websites can                    Check here, whether the sub-key                    Attention: Consider that while filtering,
be managed at a time using tabs.                        ‘Internet Explorer\TabbedBrowsing’ is              the data in the individual columns shows
Although you have not changed the                       available. If that is the case, delete the         the same type. Thus, for example, it is
settings at all, the command ‘New tab’                  key ‘TabbedBrowsing’. Then close the               not possible to connect text in a column
is nowhere to be seen in the File menu                  registry. After restarting, IE should work         with digits or digits in a column with
and cannot be used.                                     properly again.                                    date values.


                                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        08/2009   113
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


        Excel 2002, 2003, 2007                                                                                 all and deleting the displayed elements
 16     Sorting the data of a work                              QUICK TIPS                                     after confirming a security query.
        folder in columns
                                                         WINDOWS EXPLORER COLUMNS                                      Outlook XP, 2003, 2007
Occasionally, data must not be sorted
                                                         Press [Ctrl]+[+] on the number pad to
                                                         automatically resize all columns in Details
                                                                                                                18     Automatically finding and
row-wise but instead as per columns.                                                                                   deleting old superfluous
                                                         view. You can see all information in a list
That is very easy.                                       without manually adjusting column widths.                     messages

       Even when the sorting takes place                 QUICKLY CHANGE TEXT CASE                              As time passes, ‘Deleted objects’ and
as per rows by default, the direction                    Microsoft Word 2007 makes it difficult to             ‘Junk mail’ tend to grow in size. While
can be changed in the program options.                   find the Change Case command. The simple              you can always manually delete them,
                                                         keyboard shortcut is [Shift]+[F3]. Highlight
For that, mark the respective data area.                                                                       you would prefer the method to be
                                                         the text you want to change before using
In older versions, also start ‘Data |                                                                          automated.
                                                         this shortcut.
Sort’. In Excel 2007, select ‘Data’ in the
multifunction bar and click in the ‘Sort                 FOCUS THE ADDRESS BAR                                        For this task, you can use the
and Filter’ area on ‘Sort’.                              To jump to the address bar in Opera, hit [F2].        program function ‘AutoArchive’. Since
   Then click on the ‘Options’ button.                   The same command in Firefox is [Ctrl]+[L]             you do not wish to delete all messages
Change the preset orientation to                                                                               in other folders automatically, regulate
‘Sort top to bottom’ and confirm your                   the following rule’ selected. Under that,               the setting specifically for the given
selection with ‘OK’. Now set the criteria              select the ‘is not’ option from the drop                folder. For that, right-click, for example
for individual columns and click on ‘OK’               down menu. Then enter a new name                        on the left in the folder list on ‘Deleted
                                                       such as ‘xyz’ and confirm with ‘OK’. On                  Objects’ and select the context
                                                  16   the left, change the name of the new                    command ‘Properties’. Switch to the tab
                                                       playlist to ‘All Files’.                                ‘AutoArchive’. There, the option ‘Archive
                                                          Go to ‘File | New Playlist’ and create               the folder using these settings’ must be
                                                       a normal list and name it, for example,                 active. In the next row, set the time after
                                                       ‘Active Title’. Now click on, ‘File | New               which the elements must be deleted.
                                                       smart playlist’, create a new list and                  Here, for example, ‘5 Days’ is enough.
                                                       define two rules for it. In the options,                 With that, you always have the option,
                                                       select ‘Playlist’, ‘is’ and ‘All Files’. Add            to retrieve a file deleted by mistake
                                                       another rule by clicking on the plus sign               or marked as junk in the following
                                                       and select ‘Playlist’, ‘is not’ and ‘Active             days. A longer retention period only
                                                       title’. Confirm this with ‘OK’ and name                  unnecessarily increases the size of the
                                                       this list as ‘Missing titles’. Now click on             PST file (Personal Store). You can also
                                                       ‘All files’ and select the entire list by                delete items permanently by selecting
Through this dialog, you can determine that the
table calculation data is sorted column-wise.          pressing [Ctrl]+[A]. Drag the contents                  ‘Permanently delete old items’, but this is
                                                       to the playlist ‘Active Titles’. In that, the           not advisable. Confirm the configuration
to sort the data.                                      links that are no longer working and                    with ‘Accept’ and ‘OK’. If required, you
NOTE: The setting for the sorting                      which are marked with an exclamation                    can repeat the process for other folders
direction remains specific for this sheet               mark are not included. The automatically                such as ‘Junk Mail’ that you want to
and is saved with it.                                  updated playlist ‘Missing Titles’ then                  compact.
                                                       contains exactly these elements. You                    NOTE: Since the space of the deleted
        iTunes 7.x, 8.x                                can now delete the ones that are missing                mails is not available immediately, you
 17     Tracking and deleting songs                    from the ‘Missing titles’ list by selecting             must compress the PST file from time
        that no longer exist
                                                                                                          17                                                  18
After the manual deletion or moving of
titles from the music library, iTunes no
longer finds them and marks them with
a preceding exclamation mark. The
dead file entries only get in the way.


       With a few tricks, cleaning the
iTunes library with the program's own
functions is an easy job. You can create
an aid list that would help you find
songs that need your attention. Click
on ‘File | New smart playlist’, to create
                                                       Intelligent play lists help determine and delete        Here, you can decide when the archiving function
such an aid list. Leave the option ‘Match              dead links in the media library                         should delete messages automatically.


114   08/2009       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                     HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                 TIPS & TRICKS


to time. For that, start ‘File | Data file              aid lamps and diffusers. A brighter           enter an additional IP address. It is best
management’. Then select the entry                     background also helps later during            to select an address which is different
of the desired data file and click on                   the image editing, in case you wish to        only in the last block from the given
‘Settings’. In the following dialog, now               completely remove the person from a           IP of the new device. If the window is
click on ‘Compress now’. Finally, close all            shot and recompose it.                        blocked with the entry ‘DHCP activated’,
open dialogs.                                                                                        you must go back a step and deactivate
                                                              Digital photography                    the entry ‘Get IP Address automatically’.
        Digital photography                             20    Photographing plants and               Optimal results can be seen if you enter
 19     Making an interesting group                           flowers more abstractly                the address that has been received
        photo using individual photos                                                                previously from the DHCP server (router)
                                                       In summers, many flowers and plants            in the field. This address is available
Move a little closer together; the                     blossom. Pictures of these often              when you click on ‘Status/ Details’ in
small ones in the front, please smile,                 look boring, since the photographer           the context menu of the active network
flash! Photos of weddings, reunions or                  visualizes the subject from top to            connection.
vacation groups are just as alike as two               down. Sometimes in fact, even his
peas in a pod and are just as boring.                  shoes are visible in the photographs!                 Sound card
                                                       There are better ways of doing it.             22     Making sound output for
       Tread new paths for once: instead                                                                     certain applications
of everyone standing together for a group                     Classic subjects must not always
photo, capture each one individually.                  be reproduced in a classic manner! Look       You were so excited about the big
Later you can make a great photo collage               for unusual angles. Thus, from a tilt-        collection of classic arcade games, but
on the computer. So, a group photo is                  shot, individual flowers can be isolated       you can hardly enjoy these memory-
something special in any case and this                 against the sky as the background. If it      guzzling games, because you cannot
one stands out. Naturally, the process                 is nice and deep blue, the photo gets a       hear any blips from your speakers.
is more tedious and requires a certain                 completely different appeal. The viewer
measure and planning.                                  is not distracted because of too many
                                                                                                                                                        22
   Ideally, it is best to decide a place and           details and elements in the photo, but
time where you can go and have a good                  instead can concentrate on the beauty of
look at the place. Look for a suitable                 the blossoms.
place where you can position yourself, for
example at the end of a narrow alley, and                     Home Network
make all the people of the group tread                  21    Creating IP addresses to
down this alley. It becomes all the more                      access devices on the Internet
interesting, when you choose an unusual
angle. If you call the person's name as                You have just bought a new WLAN
they are walking, they look back. When                 access point or a network-enabled
you click right at that moment, you will               printer and connected it—however, you
get interesting, unusual pictures.                     are still unable to access the preset IP      The DirectX diagnosis tool lists information and
   The essence is good lighting. Avoid                 of the device through your browser.           offers useful test options.

taking pictures with the flash at
maximum. The results are pale faces,                          Many network-enabled devices                  Most probably, you have a driver
shadowy backgrounds and very intense                   can be configured through a web                problem, which you had not realized till
cast shadows. Even better, soft focus                  interface. There is always a default IP       now, since such types of sounds were
the scenes and brighten them up using                  address that needs to be entered in the       never played by your speakers. With a
                                                       Browser, to access the configurations          simple test program, which is usually to
                                                  19   interface. The difficulty arises when you     be found in every XP and Vista computer,
                                                       use a different IP subnet on your home        you can not only test your sound
                                                       network. The preset IP address of the         hardware to your heart’s content, you
                                                       new device is then inaccessible for your      can also get to know everything about
                                                       browser.                                      the installed driver and known problems.
                                                          Before you switch your entire network      Call ‘dxdiag’ – which is the name of the
                                                       to the IP subnet of the new device, you       tool – through the ‘Run’ window. The tool
                                                       can set up a kind of bridge from your         checks all DirectX devices for marked
                                                       computer. Through the properties of the       drivers and functions and lists the results
                                                       active network connection, you can reach      clearly. Under the ‘Sound’ tab, you will
                                                       the TCP/IP-protocol (v4). Select the entry    find the ‘Test Sound’ button for the
                                                       and click ‘Properties’. In the next window,   diagnosed problems.
                                                       through ‘Advanced’, you will reach a                                      – Compiled by Team CHIP
Several approaches to group shots are possible,
just use your imagination.                             configuration window, in which you can                                  send your tips to tnt@chip.in



                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         08/2009    115
  UNWIND
GAME REVIEWS


                                             THIS MONTH
                                             118 Infamous
                                                 Avinash Bali

                                             120 Prototype
                                                 Avinash Bali

                                             122 Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
                                                 Avinash Bali

                                             124 Fight Night Round 4
                                                 Nikhil Singh




118
Infamous

116   08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                           UNWIND
                                                                                           COLUMN




       PS3, XBOX 360 OR WII?
       DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU
         REALLY WANT TO DO.
        AVINASH BALI, CHANNEL EDITOR—GAMING




  WHAT SHOULD I BUY ?
           E
                    ven though it's been a while since          Of course it isn’t all black and white and
                    our “next-gen” consoles became          there are tons of variables to consider as
                    “current gen” consoles, I’m asked       well. If you’re a movie buff and plan on
                    to recommend the best one by tons       going to town on your local Blu-ray library
           of readers. By “next-gen” consoles I mean        then the PS3 would be the way to go while
           the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 since         the Xbox 360 reigns supreme as far as
           Nintendo’s family-friendly Wii is not a          software (games) is concerned. Or at least
           viable option in India because of its absurd     it used to since it looks like the PS3 will be
           pricing. At retail outlets like Croma, the       kicking some serious butt in both 2009 and
           Wii will set you back by anything between        2010 as far as exclusives are concerned.
           Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 as opposed to its        Also most multi-platform games look and
           US$250 MRP that translates to around Rs          play better on the Xbox360 right now.
           12,500. If you’re the adventurous kind you           If you’re the competitive kind of guy
           could venture deep into the annals of the        who likes playing online a lot, Xbox
           grey market for a cheaper rate.                  Live offers a far superior service to the
              Even then why pay so much for a               PlayStation Network. Sure it's not free like
           console that offers horrendous third party       the PSN (which by the way has still not
           ports and last gen graphics? If you’re           “officially’ launched in India) but there’s
           going to go in for something that offers         no denying that its interface, accessibility
           SD visuals you may as well pick up the           and functionality are miles ahead.
           PlayStation 2 that’s available for Rs 5,990          The main issue plaguing the Xbox 360 is
           and still has hundreds of awesome games.         the dreaded Red Ring of Death. In case that
           Plus you don’t need a fancy HDTV or              term’s new to you, its basically your Xbox
                                                            360 overheating and dying from extreme
       EVERYONE HAS A CERTAIN                               usage. The PlayStation 3 on the other hand
                                                            is a tad more stable and problems like the
 BUDGET TO ADHERE TO, SO THAT                               Spin of Death (which is when your Blu-Ray

FACTOR WILL IN ALL PROBABILITY                              drive stops functioning properly) are rare.
                                                                So the console you should go in for
  SORT YOUR ISSUE STRAIGHT UP.                              depends on you as a gamer. If you’re not
                                                            into the latest games and don’t know Halo
           a swanky monitor to enjoy it in all its          from Resistance I would recommend going
           standard defi nition glory.                      in for the PS3 since it ships with a Blu-ray
              Now as far as the answer to that              player making it top contender for an
           perennial question is concerned, the             overall media player. If gaming’s in your
           answer lies within you. No this isn’t some       blood and you can’t wait to frag the crap
           deep, mystical BS; it’s plain simple logic.      out of your friends online, the Xbox 360 is
              Everyone has a certain budget to adhere       the only way to go. And if you have piles of
           to so that factor will in all probability sort   dough and are more fascinated by a motion
           your issue straight up since the PlayStation     sensor than actual quality graphics, the
           3 is nearly Rs. 10,000 more expensive than       Wii is still an option.
           the Xbox 360 as of today.                                                  - avinash@tech2.com


                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    08/2009   117
     UNWIND
GAME REVIEWS




Ride the wires and restore power to a fallen city. You have to
choose your own path.
BY AVINASH BALI




M
            eet Cole McGrath, a citizen of            an awesome way to travel in this game.            Crucial to inFamous is a morality
            Empire City who’s skilled in              Anytime Cole comes across a live wire             system that ties in with the above-
            the art of urban exploration              or railway track, he can merely jump and          mentioned abilities. You could choose
or Le Parkour as it’s more commonly                   grind on it for miles on end. This ability        to be the knight in shining armor your
known. His love for urban exploration                 can only be used on wires and tracks              mom always wanted you to be or you
lands him with a courier gig—or so we                 that have an electric surge running               could be a selfish, heartless and evil
presume—and during one of his delivery                through them so restoring electricity             bastard who really doesn’t care about
runs, the package he’s transporting                   to a particular area should be your first          anyone but himself. Your actions, be
explodes destroying half of his beloved               priority. Of course you don’t start off           they good or evil will eventually affect
city in the process. By some weird                    the game with this ability; you’ll have to        your physical appearance so if you
miracle Cole does not die from that                   unlock it the way you’ll unlock all your          go around doing social deeds, you’ll
explosion. Instead he wakes up with                   other abilities too.                              look real pretty with blue electricity
electric super powers and no memory                      After the explosion, most of Empire            shooting out from your hands. On
of the fateful day that changed his life              City is without electricity and since             the other hand, if you’re a nasty fella,
forever.                                              that very same element now courses                you’ll start looking the part as well and
   Enter developer Sucker Punch’s                     through your veins, it’s up to you to             your electric powers will be bathed in
latest PS3 exclusive, inFamous. In case               head down into the sewers and power               the color red. Your morality will also
you haven’t been following this game,                 up all the dormant generators in there.           determine how close friends react to
allow me to break some knowledge on                   Every time you successfully restore               you and how certain cut-scenes play
ya; electricity is the name of the game               power to a particular area you’ll be              out. Steal food for yourself and your
in this, umm, game. You can’t wield                   rewarded with a special ability. Once             girlfriend will give you grief while if you
weapons or drive any cars, but you can                unlocked, most of these abilities can             help the needy, she’ll really appreciate
explore the entire city at ease. That’s               be upgraded with the XP (experience)              your efforts. Towards the end of the
partly because of the parkour skills I                points you earn through the game be               game you’ll have some major moral
mentioned earlier but also because                    it by killing enemies, helping people             choices to make that affect its course
developers Sucker Punch have devised                  or just playing through the campaign.             significantly. Taking all that into




 Plenty of visual treats can be seen along the way.                           Action-packed fight sequences could leave you hurting quite badly.




118    08/2009      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                Jagdish Limbachiya                 SMS us!      Story code: UIF to 57007
                                                                                                                                     UNWIND
                                                                                                                              GAME REVIEWS


consideration, you could actually play
the entire game several times.
                                             as well so after a while you may lose
                                             interest pretty fast. The only reason
                                                                                                     RATINGS
   Even though there aren’t any              I suggest you keep going is because           ACTION
weapons in inFamous, your electric           they’ll earn you a good amount of XP
powers are variations of clichéd third       points that’ll allow you to upgrade your
                                                                                           Infamous
person shooter weaponry. You have a          powers even faster and every time you         PRICE                   Rs 2,499
single lightning bolt that acts like your    successfully complete a side quest,           PUBLISHER               Sony Computer Entertainment
basic pistol, you have electric grenades     that particular area becomes free of          DEVELOPER               Sucker Punch Productions
and something called a hammer burst          enemies permanently. This means you           DISTRIBUTOR             Milestone Interactive

that basically doubles up as your            can explore it to your heart’s content        PHONE                   022-28203319

electric rocket launcher. There’s more       without worrying about catching a             EMAIL                   info@milestoneinteractive.com

stuff in there as well but I’d rather you    bullet.                                       PLATFORM                PS3

discovered it on your own. The morality         And that should interest you because       RATINGS
system also ties into powers you’ll          spread throughout Empire City are tons        GAMEPLAY
unlock. They’re not radically different      of collectables like metal shards that        ENVIRONMENT
from each other but it’s a nice touch        will slowly but surely increase your          OVERALL RATING
that allows you to try out the artillery     health bar and Dead Drops, audio logs
                                                                                           FOR
available on both sides of the moral         that shed some light on the game’s
                                                                                           Enjoyable combat, killer electric powers. Grinding is one
spectrum.                                    plot. Searching for these with a hundred      liberating experience! Morals allow for great replayability.
   Besides zapping and rescuing/             bad dudes shooting at you isn’t very
                                                                                           AGAINST
tormenting people, you’ll also spend         pleasant but once you liberate that
                                                                                           Platforming is a bit underwhelming, serious clipping issues.
a significant amount of time exploring        area, you can search from them in
Empire City. Initially you’ll be confined     peace.
to one district (there are 3 in total) but      Enemies in inFamous are terribly          a hit during scenes of intense action but
as you progress through the game, the        aggressive and attack in huge numbers        it never renders the game unplayable.
other two gradually get unlocked. You’ll     most of the time. Each of the three             I did come across a number of bugs
also have to make your way around            districts has its own brand of enemies       in the game as well. For starters I fell
Empire City on foot before you unlock        that gradually get tougher so you do         through a bridge towards a watery
the grinding ability I spoke of earlier.     get a decent amount of variety through       death but just kept walking on it. In
While grinding on rails is an exhilarating   the game. You have your run-of-the           addition to this freaky clipping issue,
experience, the platforming aspects          mill grunts, run-of-the mill grunts with     numerous smaller ones reared their
are a mixed bag. On one hand they’re         shields and armor, exploding grunts,         heads from time to time. Later on in the
responsive enough that you’ll never get      mini-bosses and bosses. By the time          game you’ll unlock a power called Bio
frustrated like you did in Tomb Raider.      you’re nearly done with the second           Leech that basically allows Cole to suck
Cole can grab any surface out there so       district the game goes into Serious          the life out of a fallen enemy. To do so
maneuvering horizontally or vertically       Sam mode throwing tons of enemies            Cole has to move in really close to an
isn’t a problem. On the flip side, the        at you at any point of time. Of course       enemy and there were times when he
platforming is a bit too easy so you         finishing them off with your powers is        just gets stuck between their feet.
don’t get that satisfaction of scaling       satisfying, but remember, Cole can’t            So yeah, inFamous isn’t exactly a
even the highest of buildings. Also Cole     absorb a lot of damage so you’ll have        system seller but if you own a PS3, it
has the annoying habit of just sticking      to play sensibly. Health will regenerate     deserves a spot in your collection. I
to surfaces. It works well most of the       automatically after quite a long period      really didn’t think too much of the game
time but it can prove to be a real pain      of time so look out for power sources to     at first but then I warmed up to all the
in the backside when you want to move        speed things up.                             electric powers, the parkour abilities,
downwards or from side to side. And             Visually the game’s improved a lot        the urban exploration, the satisfying
then there were times when I’d jump          since I previewed it a few months ago.       rail/wire grinding and the repetitive
up to avoid enemy fire but ended up           It’s not the best looking game on the        yet entertaining side quests. It doesn’t
grabbing a ledge or a lamp post I really     PS3, but it still does an admirable job of   have a multiplayer component but
didn’t want to in the first place.            recreating a gritty city to roam around      the moral system present in the game
   As newer districts get unlocked so        in. What stands out the most in this         helps in increasing replayability since
will more of the game’s side quests,         game are the awesome hand painted            you can play the entire game all over
which are spread throughout these            Okami/Street fighter-esque still visuals      again. It does suffer from a few issues
districts. Now most of these are             that help you shed some light on Cole’s      like annoying bugs, frame rate dips and
variants of story missions so you’ll be      story. Voice acting is pretty decent and     unsatisfying platforming but overall it’s
playing babysitter to a bunch of people,     you’ll end up sympathizing with some         a damn enjoyable game and I whole
locating stolen medical supplies and         characters, while some, like Cole’s best     heartedly recommend it to anyone who
just killing enemies. More than half of      friend Zeke may just end up annoying         owns a PStriple.
these quests are repeated really often       the crap out of you. Frame rates do take                                               – avinash@tech2.com




                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                      08/2009        119
    UNWIND
GAME REVIEWS




So much mindless havok to wreak, so little time...
BY AVINASH BALI




P
        rototype is awesome. Yes it can
        get ridiculously tough and a bit
        repetitive along the way but
it’s one of the most cathartic gaming
experiences I’ve had in recent times. I
mean which game out there lets you
surf on human bodies or elbow slam a
tank to oblivion or even better lift up a
tank and throw it into a chopper? Yeah,
think about that!
   If for some weird reason the
paragraph above hasn’t convinced you
to jump out of your window and pick
up the game yet, step this way for the
entire review.
   In Prototype you’ll step into the
boots of Alex Mercer, a regular New             The city is ravaged, but still looks like you could have a lot of fun here. The world is your playground...
Yorker who happens to get infected
with a deadly virus that grants him killer        This keeps things fresh as you’ll have                      To combat enemies in vehicles such
(pun intended) super powers. Not that          a new upgrade to look forward to every                     as tanks or choppers you’re granted
he doesn’t appreciate them but it turns        few missions. Completing missions or                       a hijacking ability that allows you to
out he needs to find out more about             just causing random mayhem (more on                        hijack vehicles in a mercenary-esque
his past and in doing so he doesn’t            that in a bit) grants you Evolution points                 quick time fashion. After that you can
mind killing a few hundred thousand            AKA experience that can be used to                         use those vehicles against them or just
people. Simultaneously, that very same         upgrade Alex and the above mentioned                       roam around the city killing civilians and
virus somehow gets leaked into the             mutated abilities. You can jump higher,                    infected to your heart’s content. In fact
city gradually infecting all its citizens      run faster, throw further and kill easier                  there was a time when I hijacked a tank
transforming them into mindless,               (and bloodier) making Alex a serious                       and for nearly twenty minutes went
bloodthirsty mutants. Of course they all       force to reckon with.                                      around killing the infected and humans
don’t become as bad-ass as you or this            Of course allowing you to become                        alike without any serious repercussions.
would be one insanely tough game.              this powerful without any significant                       I did feel bad for slaughtering helpless
   Prototype’s USPs—besides the                challenge or threat would be no fun                        citizens but there was a part of me that
gratuitous violence—are the shape              either and so the game throws in an                        just couldn’t stop.
shifting abilities Alex has access to.         insane amount of enemies at you at                             Besides vehicles you can travel on
Throughout the game you’ll acquire             a time. You have the infected hunters                      foot or air thanks to the game’s intuitive
various powers and upgrades that               that are basically stronger and faster                     Parkour system. Keeping the Right
mutate your hands to become variations         infected, as well as the US army on                        Trigger (RT) pressed will allow Alex to
of claws, whips, swords, hammers etc.          foot, in tanks and choppers and finally                     automatically leap across any obstacle
The very first mission (that doubles            the Blackwatch soldiers along with                         that comes in his way. Mix this up with
up as a tutorial) grants you all these         some super Blackwatch soldiers. So                         the ability to run up vertical surfaces,
powers at once giving you a small taste        yeah, most missions in the game can                        jump higher than certain buildings, and
of the mayhem to come. In a matter of          get a bit overwhelming, which is why I                     glide in the air and you’re looking at a
minutes these powers get taken away            strongly suggest you try the game out                      very fluid way of traversing New York’s
from you but you’ll slowly re-acquire          on the Easy difficulty during the first                     horizontal as well as vertical space,
them during the course of the game.            playthrough to avoid frustration.                          freeing you from typical game confines.


120   08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               Jagdish Limbachiya                                       SMS us!      Story code: UPT to 57007
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                                                                                                                                         GAME REVIEWS


                                                               Prototype has no multiplayer mode
                                                           but its single player campaign spans
                                                                                                                RATINGS
                                                           well over eight hours. Over and above      ACTION
                                                           that you also have tons of side quests
                                                           that’ll take you hours to complete.
                                                                                                      Prototype
                                                           These side quests are timed variations     PRICE                    Rs 999
                                                           of the story missions but unlike other     PUBLISHER                Activision
                                                           free roaming games, they’re actually       DEVELOPER                Radical Entertainment
                                                           fun since most of them involve killing     DISTRIBUTOR              World Wide CD ROM

                                                           hundreds of enemies using unlimited        PHONE                    022 26731313

                                                           resources while some are pretty            EMAIL                    manoj@wwcdrom.com

                                                           similar to Crackdown’s rooftop races.      PLATFORM                 PC, PS3, Xbox 360

 There's enough action to keep you playing!                Sometimes you’ll be helping the            RATINGS
                                                           infected masses repel a military attack    GAMEPLAY
   To provide a certain amount of                          while sometimes you’ll put on a uniform    ENVIRONMENT
respite from all the mayhem on-screen                      yourself and gun down anyone who           OVERALL RATING
there are times when the game will                         shows signs of a virus infection in a
                                                                                                      FOR
allow you to try out a stealthy option as                  particular area using a tank, a grenade
                                                                                                      Over the top but satisfying gameplay, fluid Parkour system. The
well. No, this doesn’t involve sneaking                    launcher (with unlimited ammo) or just     best stress buster of a game in recent times!
around a la Sam Fisher during the night;                   your badass powers.
                                                                                                      AGAINST
instead you’ll be consuming people in                          Like I mentioned in my introduction
                                                                                                      Doesn't look too hot. Can get a bit tough. Plot is pretty generic.
a pretty violent way thus absorbing                        Prototype can be a bit repetitive and
their energy and their physical forms                      is a bit on the tougher side. New York
in the process. Consuming certain key                      isn’t half as detailed as Liberty City    repetitive. Environmental destruction is
personnel roaming around the city                          and apart from a few well-known           limited to breaking vehicles, trees, water
also grants Alex a quick peek into their                   monuments, pretty much every building     tanks or satellite dishes (go figure). Plus
memories thus shedding some light on                       looks the same. Alex and his powers       the story is pretty clichéd and revolves
his past as well as the origins of the                     look tight but other than that enemy as   around "generic government conspiracy
deadly virus.                                              well as pedestrian models get insanely    theories" you’ve seen and heard of a
                                                                                                     thousand times by now.
                                                                                                        At the same time Prototype is also
                                                                                                     one insanely liberating experience
                                                                                                     that grants you a ginormous amount
                                                                                                     of power, the likes of which you’ve
                                                                                                     probably never experienced in a game
                                                                                                     till date. And best of all it encourages
                                                                                                     you to run wild with them not penalizing
                                                                                                     you for indulging the sadistic asshole
                                                                                                     within. In that respect Prototype
                                                                                                     triumphs above most of the action
                                                                                                     games I’ve played in the recent past
                                                                                                     with its sheer brutality and over the top
                                                                                                     gameplay. In fact I really can’t think
                                                                                                     of a better stress buster of a game in
                                                                                                     recent times. So in case you do want
                                                                                                     me to spell it out for you, B-U-Y T-H-I-S
                                                                                                     G-A-M-E N-O-W-!
 Violence is cathartic, and there's plenty of it to be had in Prototype.                                                                        – avinash@tech2.com




                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                      08/2009      121
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You're back in the wild west with guns, duels, and one hell of a family feud.
BY AVINASH BALI




C
        all of Juarez: Bound in Blood          appeals to both Thomas and Ray               by moving the mouse over them, after
        (BiB) is a sequel that actually        causing a rift between two brothers.         which you can sit back and watch in
        serves as a prequel to 2007’s          Finding himself in the middle of all         glee as he cuts them down with a
Call of Juarez. It tells the tale of two       this depravity is Thomas and Ray’s           hailstorm of bullets. For Thomas it’s a
brothers Ray and Thomas McCall on the          younger brother, a man of God who            bit different as you’ll have to activate
run from the law after they abandon            believes in non violence and the path of     Bullet Time and then move your mouse
the Confederate army to protect their          righteousness. This plot unfolds really      (or analogue stick) up and down to
family. Of course their General treats         well thanks to some stellar voice acting     mimic the action of a pistol’s hammer.
this as an act of treason and is hell          by all the lead characters.                     In between certain levels you’ll be
bent on wiping them off of the face               Gameplay in BiB is pretty much            granted a bit of free roaming, which
of the earth. During this period they          your standard first person shooter fare       actually comes as a breath of fresh
happen to meet up with a Mexican               with a bit of variety sprinkled in as        air from all the on-rails shooting.
outlaw called Juarez who appeals               both characters have their distinctive       During this time you can earn money
to their greedy side with stories of           play styles. Ray is the more aggressive      by apprehending outlaws or by, umm...
the legendary God of Juarez. If greed          one of the lot so his segments mainly        herding cattle. Money earned by
wasn’t bad enough you even have lust           involve killing everything that can pretty   completing such missions can be used
coming into the picture with the arrival       much move. He can also absorb more           to purchase faster and more powerful
of Juarez’s girlfriend who somehow             damage and carry heavy weapons               weapons. The game also has a few
                                               making him an ideal choice for your first     boss fights scattered around the place
                                               play through. Thomas on the other hand       and since this is the Wild West you
                                               relies on stealth to a certain extent and    can only take them out in a fair duel.
                                               is equipped with throwing knives and a       The dueling system has been vastly
                                               bow and arrow (among other weapons)          improved from the first one and is sure
                                               that help him kill silently. He’s also a     to test your reflexes since it takes only
                                               better shot than Ray and that allows         one shot to kill or be killed in this mode.
                                               him to wield scoped rifles.                      Unlike the previous game, you
                                                    Both characters even have their         can actually select which brother to
                                                   own versions of special moves            play as before every mission begins.
                                                    that can be activated after killing     Unfortunately the game does not
                                                     a certain number of enemies            support co-operative play so when
                                                      in succession. During Ray’s           you play as Ray or Thomas, you’re left
                                                       Concentration Mode all you           with the enemy AI controlling the other
                                                       have to do is paint your targets     one. Friendly AI isn’t too bright but it




122   08/2009     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                           Jagdish Limbachiya          SMS us!    Story code: UCJ to 57007
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                                                                                                                                           GAME REVIEWS




                                                                                                                  RATINGS
                                                                                                         FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER

                                                                                                         Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
                                                                                                         PRICE                  Rs 999
                                                                                                         PUBLISHER              Ubisoft
                                                                                                         DEVELOPER              Techland
                                                                                                         DISTRIBUTOR            Express Interactive
                                                                                                         PHONE                  022-29661017
                                                                                                         EMAIL                  info@expressgames.in
                                                                                                         PLATFORM               PC, Xbox 360, PS3

                                                                                                         RATINGS
                                                                                                         GAMEPLAY
                                                                                                         ENVIRONMENT
 The graphical details and gameplay are all improvements upn the original CoJ.                           OVERALL RATING

                                                                                                         FOR
doesn’t get on your nerves either. The                     Like I mentioned earlier, voice acting        Looks awesome. Is an enjoyable shooter. Atmospheric.
only stupid aspect over here is that                   is pretty stellar and I really like the           Interesting plot backed by stellar voice acting

you can’t stray too far away from your                 chemistry between Thomas and Ray.                 AGAINST
brother or the mission gets terminated                 They love each other like brothers                No co-op mode. A bit more mission variety would have been
immediately. Thankfully the excessive                  should but at the same time they also             appreciated.
amount of platforming that plagued                     rag on each other like two brothers
the first game has been cut down                        would. The banter exchanged between
drastically and unless you’re playing                  them during the game is also pretty
as Thomas, you have nothing to worry                   entertaining.
about here. Visually the game is very                      Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is
impressive and even though Techland                    a marked improvement over the first
axed DirectX 10 support from BiB, you                  game. Techland has fine tuned many
never really miss it. The game packs in                gameplay aspects to make this game
a ton of detail and variety into existing              thoroughly entertaining. They’ve axed
locales. Enemy models tend to get a                    the annoying bits and replaced it with
bit repetitive but both Thomas and                     high production values and balls to the
Ray are well detailed. Weapon detail is                wall gunplay. Its a solid shooter backed
pretty stunning as well and if you’re a                by solid production values, high octane
fan of American history or weapons in                  gameplay, stellar voice acting and an
general you’ll appreciate the effort put               interesting plot. Buy it now!
into them.                                                                         – avinash@tech2.com




                                                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                   08/2009   123
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GAME REVIEWS




                                              W
                                                        ith the high standards EA         phantom punches every now and then -
                                                        set with Fight Night Round        have been ironed out to a large extent.
                                                        3 almost three years ago,         Overall the game looks and feels far
                                              it's hard to imagine how they could         tighter than the last.
      Get ready for a real
                                              one-up themselves. In essence, the             Even the gameplay's ultra-crisp, and
      showdown in the ring                    predecessor of Fight Night Round            the acclaimed 'total punch control'
      BY NIKHIL SINGH                         4 is its biggest competitor, but the        system has become notably more
                                              new champ manages to one-up its             responsive than Round 3. For those
                                              lineage in almost all areas, which is       of you who've been knocked on the
                                              no small feat considering the near-         head one too many times, or have not
                                              perfection of the last game. The high       played the last game, let me re-iterate
                                              production values, stunning visuals         what the system's all about. Total
                                              and deep-yet-accessible gameplay            punch control, as the name suggests,
                                              have all been taken a step further,         gives you control of your character to a
                                              making the game almost an overall           very large extent, allowing you to use
                                              improvement. To start off, the visuals      the two analog sticks in conjunction
                                              are absolutely spellbinding—character       with the Left and Right Triggers to
                                              models of each boxer are much more          do everything from punch with each
                                              detailed, animations are far more fluid,     arm, dodge incoming blows, parry and
                                              and our biggest gripe with the last         counter, and shuffle around the ring.
                                              game—clipping issues where you'd see        The system worked brilliantly in the last




124   08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                          Jagdish Limbachiya          SMS us!   Story code: UFN to 57007
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                                                                                                                            GAME REVIEWS


game, as it does in this one.
   The one major flaw in design in
                                            you feel the need to, you can even pick
                                            from preset boxing legends such as
                                                                                                  RATINGS
Round 4, is that the game's button          Mohammad Ali or Mike Tyson and start         BOXING
punch control has been completely           a career for them from their rookie days.
scrapped. In the last game, those who       Once your character's up and running,
                                                                                         Fight Night Round 4
weren't fond of total punch control         you can use the game's Virtua Tennis         PRICE                   Rs 2,499
could use the face buttons of the           3 styled calender to pick what events,       PUBLISHER               EA
controller to exchange blows - you          exhibition matches or training you           DEVELOPER               EA
cannot do that in Fight Night Round         wish to attend depending on the dates        DISTRIBUTOR             Milestone Interactive

4 and are pretty much restricted to         they're on and your time management          PHONE                   022-28203319

total punch control. Why EA would           skills. You can even take your custom        EMAIL                   info@milestoneinteractive.com

scrap such a fundamental feature and        champ online to face others via the          PLATFORM                Xbox 360, PS3

alienate heaps of fans is beyond me,        career mode, in the most seamless way.       RATINGS
but all I can say is that it's a terrible      Speaking of training, there are           GAMEPLAY
decision and I sure hope they manage        six minigames you can play to build          ENVIRONMENT
to fix it via an update. What makes          on different stats of your champ.            OVERALL RATING
matters worse is the gameplay can           These minigames might be some fun
                                                                                         FOR
get really tough right from the start,      initially, but they get old all too soon;
                                                                                         Detailed models. Smoother Animations. Better customization.
since each opponent offers a significant     thankfully, the game allows you to           Career mode overhauled. Total punch control tweaked.
challenge. No pushovers here!               train automatically too for an average
                                                                                         AGAINST
   Enemy AI has improved                    number of points, which becomes
                                                                                         No face-button control for punches. Could be too challenging
considerably and the enemy is far more      almost a habit after you play the career     new players.
unpredictable, making each match a          mode for a while.
true challenge right from the early days       There's a new system that lets you       would have been very close to perfect.
of your champ's career. This can be a       allocate points between rounds, unlike      As it stands, it improves upon Round 3
daunting thing for those who prefer         the last game where you had to heal in      in almost all areas, and delivers one of
button control, since not only do they      auto or manual mode. Here, depending        the best experiences in sports gaming.
have to cope with the challenge of using    on how well you perform during a            The game's scaled difficulty might be
the dual analog sticks for punching, but    round, you get to decide whether you        too much for new players to handle, but
they have to work their way up the rank.    want to replenish your fighter's energy,     veterans will love the challenge. If you
   The game's career mode has been          whether you want to fix his stamina, or      wish to take the dive and buy yourself
given a large dose of steroids, and it's    regenerate his strength.                    a copy (we recommend this one) the
bigger and better than before. You have        As you can see, Fight Night Round 4      game costs Rs. 2,499 and is available at
many more options where character           isn't low on innovation and if it weren't   most major retailers.
customization is concerned, and should      for the exclusion of button control, it                                                – nikhil@tech2.com




                                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                      08/2009   125
 MARKET WATCH



                              MARKET WATCH                                                                    CHIP brings you a roundup of


PROCESSORS: Intel
                                                                          NUMBER OF
 NAME                                    PRICE (RS.)     CPU SOCKET                            CLOCK SPEED     MFG PROCESS         BUS SPEED            L2 CACHE
                                                                            CORES
 Intel Celeron 430                             2,076           LGA 775        1                     1.8 GHz            65 nm          800 MHz              512 KB
 Intel Core 2 Duo E5200                        3,837           LGA 775        2                     2.5 GHz            45 nm          800 MHz                2 MB
 Intel Core 2 Duo E7500                        8,009           LGA 775        2                    2.93 GHz            65 nm         1066 MHz                3 MB
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200                       9,296           LGA 775        4                    2.33 GHz            45 nm         1333 MHz                4 MB
 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400                       10,360           LGA 775        2                     3.0 GHz            45 nm         1333 MHz                6 MB
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400                      10,360           LGA 775        4                    2.66 GHz            45 nm         1333 MHz                4 MB
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600                      11,299           LGA 775        4                     2.4 GHz            65 nm         1066 MHz                8 MB
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550                      12,601           LGA 775        4                    2.83 GHz            45 nm         1333 MHz               12 MB
 Intel Core i7-920                            15,999          LGA1366         4                    2.66 GHz            45 nm           4.8 GT/s           8 MB L3
 Intel Core 2 Extreme Q9650                   18,818           LGA 775        4                     3.0 GHz            45 nm         1333 MHz               12 MB
 Intel Core i7-940                            32,259          LGA1366         4                    2.93 GHz            45 nm           4.8 GT/s           8 MB L3




PROCESSORS: AMD
                                                                          NUMBER OF
 NAME                                     PRICE (RS)     CPU SOCKET                            CLOCK SPEED     MFG PROCESS         BUS SPEED            L2 CACHE
                                                                            CORES
 AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 BE                      3,999             AM2+         2                     2.7 GHz            65 nm         3600 MHz             2 MB L3
 AMD Athlon II X2 250                          5,041              AM3         2                     3.0 GHz            45 nm         4000 MHz             2 MB L2
 AMD Phenom X3 8450                            5,264             AM2+         3                     2.1 GHz            65 nm         3600 MHz             2 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X2 550                          6,049              AM3         2                     3.1 GHz            45 nm         4000 MHz             6 MB L3
 AMD Phenom X4 9650                            7,169             AM2+         4                     2.3 GHz            65 nm         3600 MHz             2 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Ed.                8,401              AM3         3                     2.8 GHz            45 nm         4000 MHz             6 MB L3
 AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black Ed.                  8,961             AM2+         4                     2.6 GHz            65 nm         4000 MHz             2 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X4 810                          9,999              AM3         4                     2.6 GHz            45 nm         4000 MHz             4 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X4 920                         10,699             AM2+         4                     2.8 GHz            45 nm         3600 MHz             6 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Ed.               11,201             AM2+         4                     3.0 GHz            45 nm         3600 MHz             6 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X4 945                         13,217              AM3         4                     3.0 GHz            45 nm         3600 MHz             6 MB L3
 AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Ed.               14,225              AM3         4                    3.20 GHz            45 nm         3600 MHz             6 MB L3




MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - IGP
                                                     CPU                                                                                          PCIE X16 | PCI |
 NAME                                 PRICE (RS.)                                   CHIPSET           MEMORY SUPPORT       D-SUB | DVI | HDMI
                                                    SOCKET                                                                                            SATA | USB
 Zotac GF8200-A-E                          3,933       AM2+                    GeForce 8200          DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✔|✖                 1 | 2 | 6 | 12
 MSI K9A2GM-FIH                            4,480       AM2+                       AMD 780G           DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✖|✔                 1 | 2 | 4 | 10
 Zotac GF8300-A-E                          5,050       AM2+                    GeForce 8300          DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✔|✖                 1 | 2 | 6 | 12
 Biostar TA790GX 128M                      5,699       AM2+              AMD 790GX + SB 750         DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✔|✔                 2 | 2 | 6 | 10
 Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H                  5,199       AM2+                       AMD 780G         DDR2-1066 (Max 16 GB)       ✔|✔|✔                 1 | 2 | 5 | 12
 Asus M3N-H/HDMI                           7,282       AM2+                    GeForce 8300         DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✖|✔                 1 | 3 | 6 | 12
 Asus M3A-H/HDMI                           7,952       AM2+                       AMD 780G          DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✖|✔                 1 | 3 | 6 | 12
 MSI K9N2 SLI Platinum                     9,801       AM2+                  nForce 780a SLI        DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✖|✔|✖                 2 | 2 | 6 | 10
 MSI DKA790GX Platinum                    10,025       AM2+              AMD 790GX + SB 750         DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✔|✔                 2 | 2 | 5 | 12
 MSI K9N2 Diamond                         15,233       AM2+                  nForce 780a SLI        DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✖|✔|✖                 3 | 2 | 6 | 10
 Asus M3N-HT Deluxe/Mempipe               15,319       AM2+                  nForce 780a SLI        DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✖|✔                 3 | 2 | 6 | 10
 Asus Crosshair II Formula                20,230       AM2+                  nForce 780a SLI        DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       ✔|✖|✔                 3 | 2 | 6 | 12
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT and credit card charges) by www.techshop.in as on 10 July 2009.


132     08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
all the latest and greatest products on the market.                                                                                    by
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    MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - Non-IGP
                                                    CPU                                                                                            PCIE X16 | PCI |
     NAME                          PRICE (RS)                                          CHIPSET        MEMORY SUPPORT         MULTI-GPU MODE
                                                 SOCKET                                                                                                SATA | USB
     MSI K9N Ultra-2F                   5,152       AM2                 Nvidia nForce 570 Ultra      DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)            NA                1 | 3 | 6 | 10
     MSI K9A2 CF-F                      5,936      AM2+                    AMD 790X + SB 600        DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)    CrossFireX dual x8        2 | 2 | 4 | 10
     MSI K9A2 Platinum v2               9,297      AM2+                             AMD 790FX       DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)    CrossFireX dual x8        4 | 2 | 6 | 10
     Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5            9,599      AM2+                   AMD 790FX + SB 600       DDR2-1066 (Max 16 GB)    CrossFireX dual x8        2 | 2 | 6 | 10
     Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P          11,999       AM3                    AMD 790X + SB 750       DDR3-1333 (Max 16 GB)    CrossFireX dual x8        2 | 2 | 8 | 12
     Asus M4A79-T Deluxe               15,147       AM3                   AMD 790FX + SB 750       DDR3-1600 (Max 16 GB)   CrossFireX dual x16        4 | 2 | 6 | 12




    MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - IGP
                                                    CPU                                                                                            PCIE X16 | PCI |
     NAME                          PRICE (RS)                                          CHIPSET        MEMORY SUPPORT       D-SUB | DVI | HDMI
                                                 SOCKET                                                                                                SATA | USB
     Zotac NF610I-C-E                   2,512    LGA 775             GeForce 7050 / nForce 610i      DDR2-667 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✖                     1|2|4|8
     Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L               2,593    LGA 775                        Intel G31 + ICH7     DDR2-800 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✖                     1|2|4|8
     Gigabyte GA-EG31MF-S2              3,536    LGA 775                        Intel G31 + ICH7     DDR2-800 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✖                     1|2|4|8
     Abit I-N73HD                       4,256    LGA 775      Nvidia GeForce 7100 / nForce 630i      DDR2-800 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✔                     1|2|4|8
     Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L              4,500    LGA 775                        Intel G41 + ICH7     DDR2-800 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✔                     1|2|4|8
     Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2L               5,344    LGA 775                        Intel G33 + ICH9     DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)      ✔|✖|✖                   1 | 2 | 4 | 12
     Gigabyte GA-EG45M-DS2H             7,169    LGA 775                     Intel G45 + ICH10R      DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)      ✔|✔|✔                   1 | 2 | 5 | 12
     Zotac GF9300-A-E                   7,001    LGA 775                   Nvidia GeForce 9300       DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)      ✔|✔|✔                   1 | 2 | 6 | 12
     MSI P7NGM-Digital                  7,113    LGA 775                   Nvidia GeForce 9300       DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)      ✔|✔|✔                   1 | 2 | 6 | 10
     Intel BOXDG45FC                    7,282    LGA 775                       Intel G45 + ICH10     DDR2-800 (Max 4 GB)      ✔|✖|✔                   0 | 0 | 4 | 10




    MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - Non-IGP
                                                 CPU                                                                                               PCIE X16 | PCI |
     NAME                          PRICE (RS)                                          CHIPSET        MEMORY SUPPORT         MULTI-GPU MODE
                                                SOCKET                                                                                                 SATA | USB
     Gigabyte GA-P35-S3G                4,929    LGA 775                          Intel P35+ICH9     DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)                      NA      1 | 5 | 4 | 12
     Abit IP35-E                        5,320    LGA 775                          Intel P35+ICH9     DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)                      NA        1|3|4|8
     MSI P45 Neo3-FR                    7,281    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R     DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)                      NA      1 | 4 | 8 | 12
     Biostar TPower I45                 8,591    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R     DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)                      NA      1 | 2 | 6 | 12
     EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1                9,241    LGA 775                 Nvidia nForce 750i SLI      DDR2-800 (Max 8 GB)            SLI dual x16      2 | 3 | 4 | 10
     Asus P5Q Pro                      10,626    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R     DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       CrossFire dual x8      2 | 2 | 8 | 12
     MSI P45 Platinum                  10,641    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R    DDR2-1066 (Max 16 GB)       CrossFire dual x8      2 | 2 | 8 | 10
     MSI P45 Zilent                    11,761    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R     DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)       CrossFire dual x8      2 | 2 | 8 | 12
     Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R             14,000    LGA 775                       Intel P45+ICH10R    DDR2-1333 (Max 16 GB)                      NA      1 | 2 | 6 | 12
     EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1               15,625    LGA 775                 Nvidia nForce 780i SLI     DDR2-1200 (Max 8 GB)           SLI 3-way x8       3 | 2 | 6 | 10
     Intel BOXDX58SO                   16,800   LGA 1366                       Intel X58+ICH10R     DDR3-1600 (Max 8 GB)       CrossFire dual x8      2 | 1 | 6 | 12
     EVGA 132-CK-NF79-A1               21,170    LGA 775                Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra    DDR2-1066 (Max 8 GB)           SLI 3-way x8       3 | 2 | 7 | 10
     MSI Eclipse SLI                   21,170   LGA 1366                       Intel X58+ICH10R    DDR3-1600 (Max 24 GB)         CrossFire + SLI     3 | 2 | 10 | 12
     Gigabyte GA-EX58 Extreme          21,999    LGA 775                       Intel X58+ICH10R    DDR3-1600 (Max 24 GB)         CrossFire + SLI     3 | 2 | 10 | 12
     Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R             14,785   LGA 1366                       Intel X58+ICH10R    DDR3-1600 (Max 16 GB)         CrossFire + SLI      2 | 2 | 8 | 12
     eVGA 132-BL-E758-A1               22,290   LGA 1366                       Intel X58+ICH10R    DDR3-1600 (Max 24 GB)         CrossFire + SLI     3 | 2 | 10 | 12
    NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT and credit card charges) by www.techshop.in as on 10 July 2009.


                                                                                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP      08/2009    133
 MARKET WATCH



                              MARKET WATCH                                                                  CHIP brings you a roundup of



GRAPHICS CARDS: Nvidia
                                                                                                                     STREAM
 NAME                              PRICE (RS)                GPU      PCIE DIRECTX      MEMORY | BUS WIDTH                     CORE | MEMORY SPEED VIDEO OUTPUT
                                                                                                                  PROCESSORS
 Point of View GeForce 8400 GS         1,952      GeForce 8400 GS      x16     DX 10      256 MB DDR2 | 64-bit            16     460 MHz | 300 MHz    D-sub + DVI
 Palit GeForce 9500 GT                 3,685      GeForce 9500 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     256 MB DDR3 | 128-bit            32     550 MHz | 800 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce 9500 GT                 3,752      GeForce 9500 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 128-bit            32     550 MHz | 500 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce 9600 GSO Sonic          6,000     GeForce 9600 GS0   x16 2.0    DX 10     768 MB DDR3 | 192-bit            48     600 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce 9600 GT                 6,160      GeForce 9600 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit            64     675 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI N9600GT-T2D1G                     6,384      GeForce 9600 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 256-bit           64     650 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce 9600 GT Amp             7,393      GeForce 9600 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit            64   725 MHz | 1000 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce 9800 GT                 7,561      GeForce 9800 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           112     650 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic           7,561      GeForce 9600 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 256-bit           64   700 MHz | 1000 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce 9800 GT                 8,680      GeForce 9800 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           112     700 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI N9800GTX-Plus-T2D512-OC           9,185    GeForce 9800 GTX+   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           128   760 MHz | 1150 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 EVGA GeForce 9800 GT SC               9,521      GeForce 9800 GT   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           112     650 MHz | 950 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce GTS 250                10,641      GeForce GTS 250   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           128     740 MHz | 918 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce 9800 GTX+              10,753    GeForce 9800 GTX+   x16 2.0    DX 10     512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit           128   750 MHz | 1000 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce GTS 250                12,097      GeForce GTS 250   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 256-bit          128     740 MHz | 918 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce GTX 275                18,257      GeForce GTX 275   x16 2.0    DX 10     896 MB DDR3 | 448-bit           240    633 MHz | 1134 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Ed.      19,041      GeForce GTX 260   x16 2.0    DX 10    1792 MB DDR3 | 512-bit           216   655 MHz | 1050 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce GTX 275 Amp!           19,875      GeForce GTX 275   x16 2.0    DX 10     896 MB DDR3 | 448-bit           240   702 MHz | 1260 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Point of View GTX 260                20,106      GeForce GTX 260   x16 2.0    DX 10     896 MB DDR3 | 512-bit           216    602 MHz | 1107 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 EVGA GTX 280 SC                      23,522      GeForce GTX 280   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 512-bit          240    621 MHz | 1134 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce GTX 285                26,882      GeForce GTX 285   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 512-bit          240   648 MHz | 1242 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce GTX 285                28,079      GeForce GTX 285   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 512-bit          240   648 MHz | 1242 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce GTX 285 AMP!           30,159      GeForce GTX 285   x16 2.0    DX 10        1 GB DDR3 | 512-bit          240   702 MHz | 1296 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 MSI N295GTX-M2D                      32,482      GeForce GTX 295   x16 2.0    DX 10      1.8 GB DDR3 | 512-bit         480      576 MHz | 999 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit GeForce GTX 295                33,042      GeForce GTX 295   x16 2.0    DX 10      1.8 GB DDR3 | 512-bit         480      576 MHz | 999 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Zotac GeForce GTX 295                36,977      GeForce GTX 295   x16 2.0    DX 10      1.8 GB DDR3 | 512-bit         480      576 MHz | 999 MHz   Dual-link DVI




GRAPHICS CARDS: AMD
                                                                                                                     STREAM
 NAME                              PRICE (RS)                GPU      PCIE DIRECTX      MEMORY | BUS WIDTH                     CORE | MEMORY SPEED VIDEO OUTPUT
                                                                                                                  PROCESSORS
 Powercolor AX4350 512MD2-H            2,259       Radeon HD 4350   x16 2.0   DX 10.1     512 MB DDR2 | 64-bit            80     600 MHz | 400 MHz    D-sub + DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4350               2,392       Radeon HD 4350   x16 2.0   DX 10.1     512 MB DDR2 | 64-bit            80     600 MHz | 400 MHz    D-sub + DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4650               4,132       Radeon HD 4650   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 128-bit           320    600 MHz | 500 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4670               5,144       Radeon HD 4670   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 128-bit           320    750 MHz | 1000 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI R4650-D512                        5,169       Radeon HD 4650   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR2 | 128-bit           320    600 MHz | 500 MHz    Dual-link DVI
 Powercolor AX4670 1GBK3-P             5,218       Radeon HD 4670   x16 2.0   DX 10.1      1 GB DDR3 | 128-bit           320     750 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI R4670-2D512/D3                    5,936       Radeon HD 4670   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 128-bit           320    750 MHz | 1000 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4830               8,737       Radeon HD 4830   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit          640      575 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Powercolor AX4850 512MD3-HV2          8,845       Radeon HD 4850   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit          800      625 MHz | 993 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI R4850-T2D512                     11,307       Radeon HD 4850   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR3 | 256-bit          800      625 MHz | 993 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Palit HD 4870 Sonic Dual Ed          14,001       Radeon HD 4870   x16 2.0   DX 10.1    512 MB DDR5 | 256-bit          800      750 MHz | 950 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Powercolor AX4870 1GBD5              14,258       Radeon HD 4870   x16 2.0   DX 10.1      1 GB DDR5 | 256-bit          800      750 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI R4870-MD1G-OC                    14,561       Radeon HD 4870   x16 2.0   DX 10.1      1 GB DDR5 | 256-bit          800     780 MHz | 1000 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Powercolor AX4890 1GBD5-HM           16,801       Radeon HD 4890   x16 2.0   DX 10.1      1 GB DDR5 | 256-bit          800      850 MHz | 975 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2           20,721    Radeon HD 4850 X2   x16 2.0   DX 10.1      1 GB DDR3 | 256-bit         1600      625 MHz | 993 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 MSI R4870X2-T2D2G-OC                 33,399    Radeon HD 4870 X2   x16 2.0   DX 10.1       2 GB DDR5 | 512-bit        1600      780 MHz | 900 MHz   Dual-link DVI
 Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2           33,602    Radeon HD 4870 X2   x16 2.0   DX 10.1       2 GB DDR5 | 512-bit        1600      750 MHz | 800 MHz   Dual-link DVI

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT and credit card charges) by www.techshop.in as on 10 July 2009.


134     08/2009    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
all the latest and greatest products on the market.                                                                                    by
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    LAPTOPS
                                        PRICE    WEIGHT                                            MEMORY                   DISPLAY               OPTICAL
     NAME                                                            PROCESSOR                                  CHIPSET                   HDD             BLUETOOTH
                                         (RS)      (KG.)                                            (DDR2)                  (INCHES)                DRIVE
     Acer Aspire One D250               19,999    1.1 Kg        Intel Atom N270, 1.6 GHz              1 GB    Intel 945G    10.1-inch   160 GB          NA      ✔
     HP Mini-1129TU                     22,310    1.2 Kg        Intel Atom N270, 1.6 GHz              1 GB    Intel 945G    10.1-inch    80 GB          NA      ✔
     HP Compaq Presario CQ40-427TU      27,300    2.3 Kg        Intel Celeron C900, 2.2 GHz           1 GB     Intel GL40   14.1-inch   160 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Acer Aspire 4736z Linux            27,999    2.5 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T4200, 2.0 GHz       2 GB     Intel GL40   14.1-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Toshiba Satellite L300-P5011       30,685    2.7 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T3400, 2.16 GHz      2 GB     Intel GL40   15.4-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✖
     Acer Aspire 5738z (VHP) Linux      30,999    2.8 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T4200, 2.0 GHz       2 GB     Intel GL40   15.6-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Compaq Presario CQ40-425TU      31,501    2.3 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T4200, 2.0 GHz       2 GB     Intel GL40   14.1-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Dell Vostro A860 R521076IN9        32,118    2.4 Kg Intel Celeron Dual-Core T1400, 1.73 GHz      1 GB   Intel 965GM    15.6-inch   160 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Acer Aspire 5738 Linux             33,649    2.8 Kg      Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 2.0 GHz         3 GB    Intel GM45    15.6-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Compaq Presario CQ60-313AU      33,865    2.9 Kg    AMD Turion 64 X2 QL64, 2.1 GHz            3 GB            NA    15.6-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Dell Vostro A840 R520972IN9        34,358    2.1 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390, 1.86 GHz      1 GB   Intel 965GM    14.1-inch   120 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Compaq Presario CQ60-209TU      34,915    2.9 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T3400, 2.16 GHz      2 GB     Intel GL40    16-inch    250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Acer Aspire 4736 (VHP) Linux       35,649    2.4 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 2.0 GHz           3 GB    Intel GM45     14-inch    320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-NW13GH               37,990    2.7 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T4200, 2.0 GHz       2 GB    Intel GM45    15.5-inch   160 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T         38,999    1.9 Kg Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500, 1.4 GHz            2 GB    Intel GM45     14-inch    250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Compaq Presario CQ40-423TU      39,379    2.4 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 2.1 GHz           3 GB     Intel GL40   14.1-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Pavilion DV2-1002AU             39,379    1.6 Kg        AMD Neo MV-40, 1.6 GHz                2 GB    ATI M690G     12.1-inch   250 GB          NA      ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-CS32GH               39,990    2.6 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T4200, 2.0 GHz       2 GB    Intel GM45    14.1-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Acer Aspire Timeline 5810T         40,999    2.4 Kg Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500, 1.4 GHz            3 GB    Intel GM45    15.6-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Toshiba Satellite L500-D621A       41,539    2.7 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 2.1 GHz           3 GB    Intel GM45     16-inch    320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Pavilion DV4-1204TU             42,530    2.2 Kg Intel Pentium Dual-core T3400, 2.16 GHz      3 GB    Intel GM45    14.1-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Pavilion DV2-1003AX             44,631    1.7 Kg        AMD Neo MV-40, 1.6 GHz                2 GB   AMD RS690e     12.1-inch   320 GB          NA      ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-CS34GH               44,990    2.6 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 2.1 GHz           2 GB    Intel GM45    14.1-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN- P23G                49,990     620 g        Intel Atom Z530, 1.6 GHz              1 GB   Intel US15W       8-inch    80 GB          NA      ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-CS17                 59,990    2.6 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 2.26 GHz             3 GB    Intel PM45    14.1-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-BZ16GN               64,990    2.7 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 2.53 GHz             3 GB    Intel GM45    15.4-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Pavilion DV6-1154TX             67,215    2.9 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 2.4 GHz           4 GB    Intel GM45    15.6-inch   500 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     HP Pavilion DV5-1221TX             67,740    2.7 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6400, 2.0 GHz           4 GB    Intel PM45    15.4-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGC-JS35GJ               74,990    2.7 Kg    Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 2.1 GHz           3 GB    Intel GM45     16-inch    320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-FW45GJ               79,990    3.1 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 2.53 GHz             4 GB    Intel PM45    16.4-inch   400 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-Z46GD                99,990   1.48 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P9700, 2.80 GHz             6 GB    Intel PM45    13.1-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Apple MacBook Pro MB991ZP/A       104,900    2.0 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P9300, 2.26 GHz             4 GB    Intel PM45    13.3-inch   250 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Apple MacBook Pro MB985ZP/A       119,600    2.5 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P9600, 2.66 GHz             4 GB    Intel PM45    15.4-inch   320 GB DVD-writer       ✔
     Sony Vaio VGN-Z48GD               149,900   1.47 Kg Intel Core 2 Duo P9600, 2.66 GHz             6 GB    Intel PM45    13.1-inch 256 GB SSD DVD-writer     ✔

    NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT and credit card charges) by www.techshop.in as on 10 July 2009.


                                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          08/2009   135
      LETTERS



                                                                                                                                        STAR
                                                                                                                                             R
                                                                                                                                       LETTE
INBOX
                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                               onth win
                                                                Open Source                                                                          r ea ch m
                                                                                                                                             st lette l photo frame
                                                                                                                                      The be l digita
                                                                                                                                        t is coo
                                                                                                                                        th

Write to us for a chance to win a
Kodak P720 digital photo frame
                                                                Imaging
Sponsored by: J.J. Mehta & Sons
                                                                Dear Editor,
                                                                The article on how to make one picture out of
                                                                three pictures with the subject in three different places within the same
                                                                scene was good. However had it been explained using open source
                                                                software such as GIMP or Inkscape it would have been much better.
                                                                One reason is that not all have or can afford Photoshop, and the second
                                                                reason is that it will promote the use of open source software as well
                                                                as freeware. Also Linux users with Ubuntu/Knoppix/DSL can also try the
                                                                techniques you write about. Hope you will consider my suggestion.
                                                                                                                                            – DANISH LALA




    CONTACT INFO                  More software!                           thing I would like to tell you all is    coverage of PC components and
Please send your letters to:      Hi Team CHIP,                            that the Software Tested section in      Windows software.
editor@chip.in
                                  I wanted to let you know that I am       the magazine is too good! I want                                       – BHASKAR
                                  a regular reader of CHIP and I have      you to please maintain the number
                                  been thinking of writing this mail to    of programs tested or even if            Dear Bhaskar,
                                  you from a very long time. But the       possible increase it. The Q&A            Thanks for the compliments. We had
                                  issue on Ethical Hacking was just        section is also very good. That's all!   a great time putting the issue
                                  outstanding and the most important       Other than this you all are simply       together! You can specify any
                                                                           amazing. Keep it up!!                    username and password you like
                                                                                        – SARTHAK SRIVASTAVA        while installing OpenSolaris from the
                                                                                                                    Live CD.
                                                                           Great coverage                                                       – TEAM CHIP
                                                                           Dear Editor,
                                                                           I just wanted to congratulate you        Built a PC with CHIP
                                                                           on the excellent July issue of CHIP.     Dear CHIP,
                                                                           Please convey my best wishes to          I am Ayush Verma from
                                                                           whoever worked on the articles           Surendranagar, Gujarat. I am a
                                                                           related to photography and the           regular reader of your magazine.
                                                                           camera shootouts.                        When I had read your magazine for
                                                                              Also, the booklet on OpenSolaris      the first time, I was almost stunned
                                                                           accompanying the Live CD was a           to see the information in it. I left all
                                                                           thoughtful gesture. The booklet          the other magazines I used to read.
                                                                           made for nice reading. As an aside,      The market Watch and CPU-GPU
                                                                           the Live CD asked for <username>         Guide are very informative. Thanks
                                                                           and <password> on first boot,            to you guys I was able to get the
                                                                           which I couldn't find in the booklet.    prices and specs of all the
                                                                           It would have been better if the         components I needed, which helped
                                                                           login information had been               me to buy my new entry-level
                                                                           provided there.                          gaming rig. I really appreciate your
                                                                              I hope you will continue the          work and all the cool things you are
                                                                           trend of covering these technology       doing.
                                                                           areas in addition to the regular                                            – AYUSH
                                                           Sachin Pandit




136     08/2009         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                              LETTERS


Dear Ayush,                                 and found it to be the best among            Cybercrime policing                              SMS US
thanks so much for your words of            all magazines which i have read so           Dear Sir,                                     Since we like knowing what’s
                                                                                                                                       on your mind and what you
encouragement. We’re thrilled that          far. It satisfies all types of readers. i    Thanks for a great July edition. The          think about our magazine,
our articles helped you buy your PC         liked the July edition containing            story on Keeping India Safe was an            we bring you another way
and hope we continue to keep you            features about different                     eye opener when you consider how              to get in touch. Do you have
                                                                                                                                       something to say about a test
informed and entertained!                   photographic techniques and modes            many youngsters play pranks on                or review? Liked a feature
                          – TEAM CHIP       that can be used. I request the team         Orkut and other sites. A strong               story? Was the workshop
                                                                                                                                       useful? SMS us your feedback!
                                            to please include LightScribe                message should be sent out in
Photo tips for all                          software in one of your upcoming             schools about the responsible use             For comments on a story,
Hello, Team CHIP,                           issues. Thank you.                           of the Internet.                              create the following message:
                                                                                                                                       ICCO <Your comments here>
i started reading CHIP last month                                 – MUDASIR SYED                                       – MEGHA T       Example: ICCO The cover story
                                                                                                                                       was very useful

  SMS REPLIES TO OUR STORIES                                                                                                           To rate a story, product
From: BSNL, Kerala                          From: Vodafone, Karnataka                    From: BSNL, Assam                             review, etc look out for the
Sent: Tuesday, 21 July, 2009                Sent: Sunday, 19 July, 2009                  Sent: Sunday, 12 July, 2009                   story tag at the base of each
SMS: hi chip,arjun here. d 'covr story' &   SMS: wow! cybercrime article was             SMS: hi!! outstnding covr story-helpd         article and type:
'news snippets' in d last edition wz        awesome. 5*s. i expect more articles         me a lot!thanks 4 da full-softwares.          ICCP <Story tag> <Rating>
gr8!u guyz totally rk. i want 2 kno abt     like this, related to cybercrimes.                                                         Example: ICCP PWS 5
micromax celphons.cn u help me? keep        avinash sajjanshetty frm glb.                From: Airtel,Maharashtra/Goa
rokin                                                                                    Sent: Sunday, 12 July, 2009                   The “Story tag” is mentioned
                                            From: Vodafone, Mumbai                       SMS: hi, excllnt. info. on photography &
                                                                                                                                       at the base of every story in
From: Airtel, Assam                         Sent: Wednesday, 15 July, 2009               new games...in july issue :) plz. hlp out
Sent: Monday, 20 July, 2009                 SMS: hi chip thanks for urr exclusive        with options for wireless broadband.          the magazine and the “Rating”
SMS: frankie here luv chip plus n dr chip   review on sony z48 gd !it was much                                                         is on a scale of 1 to 5.
d mst..d review on netbuks kept me          better than any other youtube videos         From: Vodafone, Mumbai
wantn mor so pls3 do hv a cvr stry on       ..finally made my mind and purchased         Sent: Saturday, 11 July, 2009                 Finally, send your messages to
dm2...fan4life                              it!!                                         SMS: hey, wn r u giving us bootable dvd       57007. Cheers!
                                                                                         of windows 7? kip up d gud work!
From: BSNL,Assam                            From: Aircel, North East                                                                   Please keep comments to
Sent: Monday, 20 July, 2009                 Sent: Monday, 13 July, 2009                  From: BSNL, Assam
                                                                                                                                       160 characters per message!
SMS: hi !everybdy i m aaron i really        SMS: hai dudes m sazo.da july issue ws       Sent: Friday, 10 July, 2009
liked your game reviews.could u pls put     fntstic i learn a lot 4 dat issue. thnks 4   SMS: awesome issue.. game demos vry           Include your email address
naruto team arena in your nxt months        dat hop u guys brng out more beter           good. pls give more racing game demos         to help us reply or check out
dvd. keep up the good job!                  issue den dat kip up da gudwrks              likd burnout, nfs... tnx 4 open solaris os.   the SMS Feedback thread at
                                                                                                                                       www.chip.in/forums




                                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          08/2009      137
 LAST WORD




Ride Away the Blues
BY SANDEEP BALACHANDRAN




                                  W
                                             orking six days a week can really         getaway! But apart from the excitement of
                                             drain the hell out of you. This holds     the three-hour bike ride, there was a certain
                                             true even when you are working            level of fear creeping in. After all, I would
                                  for a tech magazine such as CHIP. With so            be riding alone and calling out for help isn't
                                  many products coming in for review almost            much of an option on many of the less busy
                                  every day, there are times when a break is           stretches of the NH4 highway. With vehicles
                                  sorely needed. Reviewing and testing gadgets         speeding at over 100 Km/h, one wrong move
                                  is fun, but it also involves a lot of hard           could have fatal consequences.
                                  work, repetitive benchmarks, and intensive              The guys in the Test Center were more
                                  calculations of scores. The work environment         than helpful in making my fear worse. On one
                                  is pretty chilled out, but a word count is a         hand, I had Francis' constant advice about
                                  word count, and it has to be met!                    things like looking out for puncture shops
                                      Nevertheless, at some point in time we           in case I have a flat tyre, and on the other
                                  all need to break free from our office jobs.         there was Anand telling me exactly what
                                  My weekends usually consist of meeting               was wrong with my bike that would definitely
                                  friends at malls, where they inevitably want to      cause a breakdown or overheating. What
                                  window shop through the stores selling cool          more can I ask for before leaving?!
                                  new gadgets. It's pretty funny to see shops             It was however nice of them to stop the
                                  selling cellphones and laptops that are sitting      pranks after seeing the nervousness grow
                                  on my desk at work at that very moment!              within on the day of my departure. But I
                                      I know how it feels to get your hands on a       wasn't ready to tempt fate anymore, and
                                  completely new device. The very first touch           the tech-free weekend started out with
                                                          makes you want to own        several hours scouring Google Earth and
                                                          it that very moment.         other websites for information about road
                                                          I remember the days          conditions and emergency measures! The
                                                          when I used to visit         guys and I were able to trace the route on
                                                          electronics stores every     Google's satellite maps for quite a way, which
                                                          second day just to gawk      restored most of my confidence, but by the
                                                          at the products. But         time we were done with the Web searches,
                                                          after getting into CHIP,     the clock was touching 6:00 pm—almost two
                                                          that's a part of my life     hours after I had originally planned to set out.
                                                          every moment in the             Well, there was no backing out! The guys
                                                          Test Center. Now each        in the TC said bye and put on a big show
                                                          time I venture into a mall   of emotions, as if they would never see
                                                          I ask myself, “Is there      me again! Of course at that moment their
                                                          something new that I         kindness ran out, and before I had even one
                                                          haven’t seen?" and "Isn’t    foot out of the TC, Francis shouted out “Call
                                                          that the same model          if you need any help. But we won’t be able
                                                          that was reviewed a          to come find you anyway!” Jeez, what more
                                                          week ago?”                   could a guy ask for!
                                                              I had finally had just       But all it took for the excitement to return
                                                          about enough of the          was to get on the road. In next to no time,
                                                          city, and when a long        the fear that was residing within me melted
                                                          weekend came up a little     away as the heavy rainclouds rolled across
                                                          while ago, I decided on      the evening sky. I did, however, stop and fill a
                                                          a road trip to Pune. It      few extra liters of petrol—just in case.
                                                          seemed like forever since       The ride and weekend were both great fun,
                                                          I'd last had some time       more so because they had been long overdue.
                                                          away, and I devided quite    And as for tech-free? Well, that didn't last
                                                          ambitiously to make          very long, but I didn't mind that at all.
                                                          it a totally tech-free                               – sandeep.balachandran@chip.in



146   08/2009   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        Sachin Pandit                                    SMS us!    Story code: BLW to 57007

				
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Description: Chip Magazine - August 2009 Issue