Archive for February, 2008

First look: Compaq Presario C752TU

Compaq has recently launched an upgrade to its hot selling Compaq Presario V740TU notebook. The new Compaq Presario C752TU is better in terms of configuration and a bit cheaper than its predecessor.

Here is the configuration of 752:
- Intel T5450 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo
- 1 GB Ram
- 160 GB HDD
- 15.4” screen
- 8x DVD Superdrive
- 1.3 megapixel webcam
- Windows Vista Basic

The upgrade of Ram to 1 GB in 752 from 512 MB in 740 increases the performance significantly.

The notebook is suited for casual home and basic usage. It is a good buy as a home desktop replacement and for students. The config is just enough for basic internet usage (surfing, downloading, youtube etc.) and basic multimedia stuff like watching movies, photos and listening to songs. However, it is not enough to run most latest 3D games or to run heavy multimedia applications like Adobe Photoshop, Premier or Flash.

This notebook is available at a MRP of about 36k at most compaq outlets. However, you can get it for as low as about 34k at some some shops in Nehru Place.

Here is how I rate it:

Performance: 3.5
Features: 4
Value for money: 4
Build quality: 3.5
Looks: 3

Overall: 3.5

NEW: Check out details about the latest Compaq Presario V3780TU laptop on woikr .

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Lost is Lost

I watched S04E04 of Lost today and was very disappointed. I was expecting that atleast they will reveal something in this episode. But instead, they are continuously adding to the list of suspenses related to the island and the people.

Apparently, team Lost is completly Lost and have no idea where to take the series. I would not be surprised if I find out that the writers are now writing more mysteries to buy some time to figure out the previous ones. There might be a lot of theories on several websites online, but they are probably planning to write their own.

I remember Seth McFlaren advising HBS students not to go about creating a TV series about a plane crashing on an unknown island if you do not know where to take it.

Apparently, he was right. The director has no idea where he is going. I am not saying that I will not watch it. Of course I will keep watching it. But I will not be surprised by any theories that might come up in it.

Lost has lost its zeal.

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Touchpad for iPhone

I am not usually impressed by any software. Because I usually know (or eventually find out) how the hell is it working. I am usually impressed by the things I can’t decipher (how they are built, how they work). Buildings in Dubai is an example of such things.

However, the touchpad for iPhone is a software that left me in awe. I have an idea about how it might be working, but I really respect & commend the person who actually thought about it.

The best part is that its a small software with great usability! Especially for lazy geeks like me. Even if I do not own a plasma, I just love to control my pointer wirelessly on my iPhone. Its great to watch movies lying all day in bed when you don’t even have to get up. You do have to get up to pee and bring some food, but who knows, we might even get something for that in the future!

You will need a jailbroken iPhone with Installer to install this. Find the installation instructions at http://touchpadiphone.blogspot.com

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Buying a new Maruti

I recently bought a Maruti Suzuki Swift. I had quite an experience buying that and I would like to share some tips with everyone.

This was the biggest purchase I have done without my Dad. Of course I took all his advise on the phone, but its a completely different experience when you are the sole decision maker.

Anyways, I have a few guidelines for people going for a new Maruti. I would like to share them with everyone:

  1. Always talk to at least 2 dealers in your city so that you can make them compete to give you a better deal
  2. There is usually a discount when you finance your car. Its always better to get that discount adjusted in your loan amount. This decreases the interest you pay and in turn decreases your EMI (thanks to Mayur for this tip)
  3. All Maruti dealers have a deal sheet for the customers. The marketing guy is supposed to fill it up with whatever discounts/freebies he is giving to you and then sign it and get it approved by the owner of the store. One copy is given to the customer. This is to ensure that you are not cheated once you purchase the vehicle. Make sure that you get your deal to be put on this sheet no matter how well you know the dealer/marketing guy.
  4. All Maruti cars come with one year extended warranty. Make sure you ask for that. Negotiate for 2 years if you can.
  5. Its always best to get at least anti rust coating on the bottom of the vehicle pertaining to Indian road conditions. You can try and get it done for free. Do not forget to collect its (& Teflon coating’s) guarantee card as it is re coated for free during servicing.
  6. The accessories at dealers are overpriced. You can get the same stuff for cheap outside.
  7. The central locking system from Nippon which comes as a MGA sucks. Go for Autocop. This does NOT void your warranty.
  8. Keep at least 3 hrs. for the delivery process to complete. Even if you are not getting the accessories installed. Its always good to take a friend to inspect the vehicle.
  9. The marketing guy will try to sell you financial products related to the loan. Do not buy them unless you exactly know what they are. Ask him to fill the form in front of you.
  10. In case you have been referred by an auto card member, get the points credited during the purchase. Do NOT leave this task for later.

Remember to collect:

  1. Delivery challan
  2. Receipt of whatever amount you have paid
  3. 5 liters fuel slip
  4. Temporary number
  5. Insurance document
  6. Teflon & anti rust warranty card (if purchased)
  7. Owner’s manual with 4 blank service slips

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First look: Sony VAIO CR35

This week I got a chance to look at the latest Sony VAIO series laptops recently launched in India.

One of my friends was looking for a laptop in the sub 50k range and we were very lucky to be probably one of first owners of CR35 in India.

I usually do not like Sony’s laptops. 2 reasons. First they do not have any offerings in the budget category. And second that their laptops are usually expensive. However, my notion changed after I looked at the new CR series.

Here is the configuration of CR35:

- Intel T8100 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo
- 2 GB DDR2 RAM
- 200 GB HDD
- ATI Radeon 128 MB dedicated graphics
- 14.1” LCD screen
- DVD Superdrive
- Windows Vista Home Premium
- Apple type keyboard (not backlit though)

Some other features include:
- AV mode (no need to boot windows to watch DVDs or watch photos or listen to songs)
- Color choice
- The black one probably comes with a fingerprint reader

This model is available at a MRP of around 54k at all the Sony showrooms. You can also purchase this from some shops in Nehru Place for about 52.5k.

As is evident from the config above, this seems like a nice deal. You cannot get a similar config in any other brand for this price.

I used the laptop for a few hours and here is how I rate it (on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being poor and 5 being excellent):

Performance: 3.5 (due to vista. Install XP and you are at atleast 4)
Value for money: 4.5
Features: 4
Build quality: 4.5

Overall: 4

UPDATE: Thanks to Siddhartha for pointing this out. The above configuration is better than the existing CR23 and CR26 models in the Sony VAIO range. People considering to buy those should go for CR35 as it is considerably cheaper.

NEW: Check out details about the latest Sony Vaio SR 13 series laptop on woikr .

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Hide n Seek

Summer is approaching in Northern India. While I was in the park today doing my routine morning walk, I noticed this beautiful sky I could not resist leaving un-captured.

The photos have been taken using my Apple iPhone at around 9 AM IST at Trifala Park Sector 61 Noida.

Originally uploaded by setu_garg

   

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