Friday, August 21, 2015

What's Worse: No Net or Slow Net?

What’s the one thing standing between India and Modi ji’s dream of #DigitalIndia?

We all know the answer to that one, don’t we? It is “affordable high-speed internet connection”!

Every time I go for stock purchasing for my store, I have to make a list on paper, despite the fact that I maintain a complete up-to-date inventory in an Excel spreadsheet, and that spreadsheet is saved in my Dropbox folder, which makes it accessible via my phone from anywhere. Regardless of that, I cannot use that spreadsheet directly for ordering, because it just doesn’t download fast enough when I’m at the market!


Every internet user's worst nightmare... that dotted circle in the center!
(Screenshot captured from http://www.zeetv.com)

And the one TV show that I like to watch – Dance India Dance – starts from 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays are okay, as it is my weekly off that day, but on Sundays, I always get held up at the shop. Schools reopen on Monday, so naturally the kids have last-minute stationery shopping to do on Sunday! As a result, I always miss at least two dance performances every Sunday. I try to catch up later on Zee TV’s website, but again, it takes AGES to stream the video!

Oh and Google Maps! It is of absolutely no use without a high-speed internet connection! So many times, I have failed to give correct navigation instructions to Dad, just because the app wouldn’t update my current location on a real-time basis! One missed left-turn, and we’re forced to take a U-turn after another kilometer or so. What does that translate to? A grumbling Dad! (Naturally!)

Recently I saw this new Airtel 4G TV ad... (embedded below)



I am so impressed by this Ad! Looks like FINALLY there might be a solution to my internet woes! Ever since I’ve seen this Ad, I can’t stop dreaming…

What will it be like to have that kind of internet speed at my fingertips?


  • No more list-making for sure! I will smartly produce my smartphone from my handbag, and rattle off the names of all the items marked in red.

  • No more getting lost either and being scolded by Dad!

  • And missing part of Dance India Dance won’t be so painful anymore either.

  • I’ll be able to watch all those speeches of Modi Ji, on Youtube, that I miss when I’m at my shop!

  • I’ll also be able to watch all those Pakistani TV serials on Youtube, that my sister is so crazy about these days!

  • Online shopping would be so much cooler. No more waiting for product images to show up. No more repeated refreshing of the screen.

  • Online banking would be a piece of cake, with no more “Session Timeouts” and “Please login again” messages.

  • I’ll be able to actually see all those videos my friends share with me on whatsapp. (Right now, I don’t even bother clicking on them!)

  • I’ll be able to have proper voice conversations with them on whatsapp or viber, without having to repeat everything at least 3 times!

  • Oh and video calls on phone! That’s one thing I haven’t even tried yet because of the pathetic internet speeds in most parts of our country! How awesome it will be to actually use the front camera of my cell phone for something other than taking a selfie!

Ahhhh! So many beautiful dreams…. all seem possible now because of Airtel – the first ever company to roll out 4G services in India… and that too at 3G prices!

I wonder if it’s available in my city already…

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Windows Downgrade: Old Really Is Gold!

Last month, my work laptop got severely infected with virus from a pen-drive that belonged to one of my kiddie customers at store. After spending more than a day in trying all possible ways to remove the virus manually, I realized that I would have to go for a complete format-reinstall.

Sighhhhh! That meant one more unproductive and eye-strenuous day of continuous long hours with the laptop. I didn't look forward to it, though Dad was very pleased. This is his laptop actually, and I'd been holding off this format-reinstall for over 2 years. He was glad I couldn't hold it off any longer.

So I backed up all the data and then thought maybe I should try an upgraded version of Windows finally. This laptop came with Windows Vista and I never bothered to change it in all these years. On Dad's persuasion, I installed Windows 7 on it this time.

First thing I noticed after the installation... I had at least 3 GB less free space in the hard drive partition, as compared to a Vista installation. I said to myself - "Okay, it's just 3GB. That doesn't amount to much these days. Small price to pay for the extra features that I'll get with Windows 7."

So I decided to look for those promising "extra features". I spent that entire day exploring the Operating System in depth, setting it up to my liking, and checking out what new stuff it brought to the table.

I did find one new feature that I really liked - the Desktop Utility called "Snipping Tool". Up until now, I had been taking screenshots by using the "Prnt Scrn" button on the keyboard and then cropping the required screen area in Photoshop. But with the "Snipping Tool", I could simply drag my mouse around the required area and save it as an image file. It was very cool.

So I thought to myself - "Maybe I'll upgrade my PC at home to Windows 7 too." (I'm still running XP on it!)

Alas... it wasn't meant to happen! My relationship with Windows 7 couldn't last for more than a few hours!

Why?

Because of these Desktop Toolbars!




You see those toolbars on the top of the first image and on the left of the second? They were the "deal breakers" with Windows 7.

I have been using these toolbars since 2001. (I had Windows ME back then.) The one on the top has all the icons from the "My Computer" folder. All the immovable drives show up here, as well as any removable storage devices connected to the computer at any time. The one on the left has shortcuts for all my frequently used folders, files and programs.

These toolbars make ALL these things just one-click away. LITERALLY ONE-CLICK AWAY! I could have any number of windows/applications/files open... I just need to move my mouse to the specific edge of the screen (top or left) and then click on the required icon. (Both the toolbars are set to "Always on top" and "Auto Hide".) Not only that, but they also leave my desktop totally uncluttered from icons. So you can actually SEE the wallpaper I've set on it!

These toolbars have been just classic. Revolutionary, even! They completely changed the way I worked on my computer, ever since I came to know about them in 2001! I have owned and used so many different computers in the last 14 years, but these toolbars have ALWAYS been there, making life that little bit easier for me.

Unfortunately, this Desktop Toolbar feature has been discontinued by Microsoft after Vista. There is no way you can get these toolbars back. Sure, there are other "dockable gadgets" available now, mostly third-party, but none of them are as sleek, unobtrusive and easy-to-use as this. :(

I realized that I could live without the 3GB disk space, but I couldn't live without my precious desktop toolbars! Windows 7 had to go.

And what about that "Snipping Tool"?

LOL! You won't believe this, but it was there in Vista all along... hidden in the Accessories folder of the Start Menu! Talk about having your cake and eating it too! :D


Monday, August 3, 2015

Quote Challenge - Day 3 of 3

Thirty posts in June, and then only three posts in July! What can I say? Erratic blogging at its best?

Sighhh!

I'm afraid I'm going to be this irregular here for some more time. I'm a bit tied-up with my body's needs at the moment. A whole lot of deficiencies are cropping up one after the other, and it is making me cranky and very asocial. Thankfully, the shop is keeping me busy, at least on days when it's not raining! And for those idleness induced blues, I'm glad to have the company of my childhood best friends -- books!

As Amitabh Bachchan said in the TV commercial for Reid & Taylor in 2009... "A book is really a machine for time-travel."


This quote, while it is not from a book or an author, or even one of mine, is, nevertheless, among my most favorite.

Losing yourself in the pages of a good book is perhaps the second best thing you can do when you wish to take a break from reality. Traveling is, of course, the best thing, but, it might not always be possible due to financial constraints, time constraints, health constraints or various other responsibilities.

Books, on the other hand, are always the cheapest and least demanding mode of travel... not just across distance, but, also across time. Movies are good too, but, for the more imaginative minds, books offer a greater freedom of visualization.

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With this quote, I've finally completed your tag, Princess! On Day 3, I pass this challenge on to Sheethal, Mayuri, and Shilpa Gupte.

3-Day Quote Challenge : Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

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This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.

1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

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