Archive for category Tech

iCopy – Copy/Paste in iPhone

All iPhone users want copy and paste functionality in the iPhone. Still, folks at Apple have not done anything. It seems Preston Monroe has finally answered our prayers. A new bookmark – iCopy enables you to copy and paste text or URL in your iPhone.

You have to first add it as a bookmark in your iPhone’s safari browser. Here are the installation instructions: http://www.biocow.com/iCopy/install.php

The installation is a bit cruel on your index finger. If you are too lazy to do it, wait for some time till it comes to the Installer app for jailbroken iPhones.

After installation, just use the bookmark to copy/paste a paragraph or url. You currently cannot select what you copy. It probably copies the text within a <p></p> or <div></div> or some other enveloping tags on a page.  But who cares! I can delete the unwanted text once I paste it.

Paste currently involves 2 clicks. First to set the copied content in a cookie and other to actually paste it in a text box or area. Well, it might not be the best way, but given that this works in a browser, I can live with that.

Note that the stuff you copy is sent over the internet. So refrain from copying secure data.

Here are the links to videos to demonstrate how this works:

  1. Copy & Paste Text
  2. Copy Text to Email

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Upgrade 1.0.2 unlocked iPhone to 1.1.3

I recently upgraded my unlocked 1.0.2 version iPhone to 1.1.3 using Zibri’s Ziphone .

I tried looking for a guide for the same on the Internet. However all I got were comments from experts about the procedure and certain comments from people who had done this.

Here is what I did to upgrade. Note that these steps are meant for Windows users having 1.0.2 iPhone unlocked using the iUnlock method (prior to anySim ):

DISCLAIMER: The following steps worked fine for my iPhone. Try them at your own risk. I cannot guarantee that the process will always be successful.

  1. Back up your contacts and phone’s content in iTunes.
  2. Set auto lock to "Never" in Settings -> General -> Auto Lock
  3. Add "http://i.unlock.no" to Installer sources and refresh
  4. Go to Unlocking Tools in Installer and install Virginizer. This step will take about 15 minutes. Your phone will not recognize your Sim after this step.
  5. Download 1.1.3 firmware file from the link on http://iphone.unlock.no/#restore-firmware-files
  6. Connect your iPhone to the computer & start iTunes.  Once the phone is detected by iTunes, hold "Shift" key and click on the Restore button on the Summary page in iTunes. Select the file you just downloaded. iTunes will start restoring (read upgrading ) your iPhone to 1.1.3 firmware. This process will again take around 15 minutes to complete. Close iTunes after this step.
  7. Download Ziphone from http://www.downloadziphone.org/
  8. Install .Net Framework 2.0
  9. Start Ziphone & click on "Do it All" button. It will detect the phone and start the activate, jailbreak & unlock process. This will take approx. 5 minutes to complete. Close Ziphone after this step. The phone is now upgraded to 1.1.3 and is unlocked. It will have Installer installed. You can test by making a call.
  10. Once you are done, start iTunes. Set up the phone using the backup you took in step 1.

I had a small problem with wifi after this process. I used ad-hoc wifi at my home to connect to the internet from the iPhone. However, after this process, the iPhone wasn’t able to keep the ad-hoc connection. I reached out to the folks at the official Ziphone channel (#ziphone) on irc.ziphone.org and they helped me out. The solution is to connect the iPhone to a proper router based wifi hotspot. Once it is connected to the hotspot, it will be able to connect to ad-hoc networks as well. I was anyways looking for an excuse to get a wifi router. So I utilized this opportunity. The iPhone works perfectly fine with the router wifi.

In case you have any queries regarding the unlock process or Ziphone, I guess its best to reach out to the experts on the IRC channel. I do not have much expertise in this. I am posting the above steps to help out people looking for a guide.

Thanks to Zibri, Geohot & iphone.unlock team for coming with this.

Update: Thanks to Mr. Farooqi for the discussion. You can use the above process to upgrade to 1.1.4 as well. Just download the 1.1.4 firmware file in step 5 above. Rest of the steps remain the same. Enjoy!

NEW: Steps to upgrade & unlock iPhone 2G to firmware 2.0 on woikr .

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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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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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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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The death of the scrapbook :(

I have been receiving a lot of new year wishes in my scrapbook lately. Usually I like such wishes, however, most of my friends are using 3rd party scripts to send such wishes to every person in in their friends’ list. I do not think its a good idea.

Maybe I am being judgemental, but I think this defeats the purpose of the scrapbook. The whole idea of the scrapbook is to leave teasers or one liners for your friends while you are visiting their profiles. And maybe for people you do not know yet but want to know more. Its a great way to start a conversation with a total stranger on orkut.

With these 3rd party scripts (in which their own link supersedes the scrap), I am afraid that the charm of the orkut scrapbook is dead. I do not feel like checking my scrapbook when I see that I have a new scrap. Whats the use of wasting time when I will only end up deleting that scrap?

Google will have to definitly take some action for this. Else this will soon become another medium for spam and useless forwards.

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WTF

 Check out the broadband plans offered by Reliance in India:

Reliance Broadband Tariff

Image source: http://www.reliancecommunications.co.in/Communications/rcom/broadband/broadband_con_postpaid.html

Hmm. 600 Mbps for INR 1799 pm? Sounds like a pretty good deal? It 75 MBPS at just 45$ a month? Hey, this is not justified to Americans. I mean they only got a maximum of 40 MBPS in some households that too extremely costly!

Mr. Ambani, are you in for another Monsoon hungama? This time in the broadband regime?

Thank god I changed my carrier. I am never gonna switch back to Reliance. If these guys cannot maintain a good website, what should we expect from them in terms of services & customer care?

Seriously people, wake up.

UPDATE: Seems like Reliance guys corrected the problem. Do not know how they found out, but hey, glad to be of help :).

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Where are we going?

Sometimes I just wonder where are we all heading ?

Now I am obviously not thinking in philosophical terms and talking about tech here. When I turn around and look back at the year which has almost passed away, I see:

  1. A top notch software giant release a newer version of its operating system which is inferior to its own predecessor.
  2. Another software & hardware giant announce & release the invention of the year but soon become defensive about it and is now indulged in a cat & mouse game with a handful of god sent angels.
  3. A company ubiquitously called the synonym of the web releases an open source mobile platform which might make the mobile industry a little less “evil” but is certainly not a breakthrough (as expected from it).
  4. The Indian guy which gave a software giant the then invention for the web is challenging the same giant (now a copy-cat) with his another breakthrough invention.

These were the major news in the tech world which managed to stick in the feed xmls for the longest amount of time. I do not think that the motivation behind all the above was pure innovation. I see the 2 frogs in a well story going on here. Everyone is concerned about the competition so much that much of their resources are wasted in keeping pace with their competitors. Imagine what it would be like if all their resources went into pure innovation !

This reminds me of my first ever blog post :). Why do we compete ? Why can’t we just go our own way and do whatever we are supposed to and want to? This this this & this will tell you what I am talking about.

C’mon guys ! Its high time wake up ! Rise above the obvious stuff & make us feel proud that we were born in this time !

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Stupid Outlook

Have you ever replied all to a mail in Outlook? It is so stupid! If your email address is there in the recepients list, it will add it in the To: field! Now even a class II student understands the meaning of reply all.

I have used many other mail programs like Thunderbird, Gmail etc. They all are intelligent enough to remove you from the list! Even the awesome mail app in my iPhone beats Mr. Outlook in this regard.

I am thinking that I so hate this company and its products. I have hated them so much that no matter what they do, I am gonna keep hating them.

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Amazon’s iphone site

Just went to amazon.com from my iPhone to search for a bluetooth headset and was greeted with an iPhone version of the world’s biggest online marketplace!

Its good to see more and more websites developing an iPhone version.

I am just thinking about the future. Being a software developer, I have used quite a few CMS and frameworks which automatically deliver different versions of a page based on the user agent of the browser. Usually they have templates for kiosks, wml and flash/non flash versions of pages. I see another category getting added there. With the much anticipated launch of the Amazon’s kindle and Google’s android, the list is bound to expand as more and more buyers go mobile.

I would like for this process to be automated. I mean the app should be intelligent enough to detect the client’s profile and render the page without using a template.

Thats flexible :).

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