Category Archives: Fun

Some Amusing Stuff

The iPad Experience

There has been so many posts on discussing the various aspects of the iPad interjection in our lives. Many such observations have been made in the comfort of information available on the net or hearsay.

There is no doubt that the slate based computing is here to stay and redefine how we do things. But a lot rides on what our expectations are from a personal computing device and how we intend to use it. If all we need to surf the net, play solitaire, read books, probably any device could do it. But why do we need to have a slate based device.

Last night, I had the opportunity to see and play on this device at a friend’s place. Must say, I was very impressed and can agree with the awe factor associated with it.. Ok here goes my two cents on the Ipad

The Plus factors

  • Form factor is superb and amazing. So thin and sleek.
  • Display and font readability. The bright display really stands out and the readability of the Lucida font is the hallmark of all Apple products.
  • Navigation is very easy although some basic learning is required.
  • Connectivity to 3G and wifi was seamless
  • Sound and speaker were delectable just like the iPods.
  • Some interesting Apps; The talkback cat was great, the newpaper app was equally good. BubbleBreaker has an interesting change. Gmaps interface was radically different though the pan motion was amazingly fluid. The Bloomberg Stock App was delicious.
  • The screen tilting orientation was very sweet as well

The Minus factors

  • The sleek factor is also its nemesis as well. One fall and you can kiss your 500 dollars goodbye.
  • Single button. I never understand why Jobs insists everything in the world should be done with just one finger! The single button, is the center of the ipad universe. Figuring out how to use it for many purposes, will require some learning. However, it would be worrisome, to many, who are used to seeing familiar interfaces.
  • Videos were good but lacks the HD capability. Simple thing like playback of recorded/downloaded HD content is a no-no without any conversion.
  • Flash is also on the prohibited list.
  • Downloads only from the app store and nothing else. Downloading files or even from email attachments is not permitted. you can only view them but not save them.
  • Extensibility is in short supply.The standard apple connector is the only way in. Moreover, even with that you can only do limited things  dictated by the iTunes. This means, no uploading files and apps that you may need, but iTunes does not like.
  • 3G but no webcam! Strange but true..

In a nutshell, hats off to Steve Jobs for creating a wonderful slate device which succeeds in stimulating the conventional computing paradigm. But its usefulness will well be defined by how average you are and how easy you find Apple’s marketing pitches.There are thousands of apps but what do you really want it to do? You could have a fancy dice roller, or you could also have a language translator. What I do find seriously short is that, why isn’t there a Transcriber app that lets you write in freehand for taking notes. Also, something like a Dragon app, by which you can dictate to the device and it will create the text.It could be useful for graphic processing type uses like image processing or videos.

But the thing that really irks me, is at a very conceptual level. The whole Apple’s Secret Garden thinktank, that they know better than what you want and what you should be doing with a device that you bought with your money, is in a sense like the Truman Show movie. It may be a perfect world as per Jobs, but real life and freedom have different meanings. You may have factored in a million considerations, but why do you not let the customer decide on his freedoms. This debate will live on endlesslessly.

For me, I will continue to wait for a tablet like device, feature richness and dollops of usability. Besides, being a firm believer in cloud computing and a very active user of Google products, I would be more inclined to open systems like Android. Perhaps the Adam can bring that change. Only time will tell.

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AAADD – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

This hilarious story was sent to me earlier this week, don’t know who wrote it, but see if you can relate to any of it…if you can remember!!

Recently,  I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D.

Age Activated Attention Deficit  Disorder This is how it  manifests:

I  decide to water my garden. As  I turn on the hose in the driveway, I  look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As  I start toward my car, I  notice mail on the porch table that I  had brought up from the mailbox earlier.

I decide to go  through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car  keys on the table, put  the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and  notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the  bills back on  the table and take out the garbage first.

But  then I think, since  I’m going to be right next to the mailbox when  I take out the garbage, I  may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check  book off the table, and  see that there is only one check left.

My extra  checks are in my desk in the study, so  I go inside the house to my desk where find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking – pleased I found it.

Now I’m  going to look for my checks, but  first I need to push the  Pepsi aside so  that I don’t accidentally knock it  over.

The Pepsi is now quite  warm, so  I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it  cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the  Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches  my eye – they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the  counter and discover  my reading glasses that I’ve  been searching for all morning. Glad I have found them.

I decide I better  put them back on my desk, but  first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the  glasses back down on the counter, fill  a container with water and suddenly spot the TV  remote. Aah, so that’s where it is, pleased I have found it.

I realize that tonight  when we go to watch TV, I’ll  be looking for the remote, but  I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so  I decide to put it back in the den where it  belongs, but  first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some of the water in  the flowers, but  quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the  remote back on the table, get  some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down  the hall trying to remember  what I was planning to do.

At  the end of my day:

  • the  car isn’t washed
  • the  bills aren’t paid
  • there  is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the  counter
  • the  flowers don’t have enough water
  • there  is still only 1 check in my check book
  • I  can’t find the remote
  • I  can’t find my glasses
  • and  I don’t remember what I did with the car keys

Then,  when I try to figure out why nothing got done  today, I’m  really baffled because I know I was busy all damn  day, and  I’m also really tired.

I realize this is a serious  problem, and  I’ll try to get some help for it, but  first I’ll check my e-mail…

Do me a  favor. Let me know if I have already send this pathetic tale of my day to you, because I don’t remember who the hell I’ve sent it to.

Don’t  laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!

A new dawn awakens the soul

Wishing  you all an exciting new year.  May you live the rest of your lives reminiscing the moments that you experienced in the coming year.

The year has started off on a very interesting note with some very intriguing thoughts. After a lull in the past few years, there have been some renewed convictions to change the future course of our lives. IT has to happen this year. The signs are all there.

Yesterday, as I embarked upon making the 2 hour bus trip from CBD Belapur to the in-laws castle in Juhu, I left work around 6 pm. reaching the bus depot; I was fraught with a dilemma. The bus was just pulling out of the depot and taking the next bus would mean waiting for another 20 odd minutes. To cross the road and request the driver to let me in, or should I respect my hunger pangs by having a snack. It was a typical to-be-or-not-to-be kind of a situation. 3 seconds of confusion and I ran inside the store to pick up my samosa sandwich. As I grabbed the snack and came to the main road, I noticed that there was an intersection on the highway which the bus was struggling to get past. On the split of the moment, like Arjuna’s focus on the fish eye, I dashed across to the highway point some 200 mts away in a bid to get to the bus and beg the driver to let me in. My single-minded conviction paid off, while I did get in front of the driver’s view, he signaled me to go ahead about 100 mts where he could stop his monstrous AC bus. That was a good start where I did follow my heart and belief and it worked. Moral of the story: Focus and devotion yield results. You CAN have your samosa and eat it too 😉

This morning, reading the papers, it was quite depressing to comprehend the article detailing modern day depression cycles. The writer outlined the many factors which kind of puts a person through a series of events leading to a depressive state. Putting it aside, I left home for a walk on the beach. The sea was silent; numbing my skull and choking my nostrils. The low tide was draining my thoughts away. After some 20 minutes of leisurely strolling, I sat on the beach sands gaping at the cloudless sky and the endless sea horizon. Just then, I noticed a black furry dog settling itself down close to where I was sitting. The dog was quite a good looking dog and had a collar on its neck. It was obvious from the red band around its neck that it was somebody’s pet and now in a state of homelessness. The dog made me think of humans and animals. This dog had obviously seen some human affections and must have definitely also reciprocated the same. One look at the timid creature, and you would want to pet it. Yet in all its aged state, it found itself lying on a beach with no outlook whatsoever. It would watch the other walkers on the beach with their pet Labradors, poodles, Alsatians et al, loving tendered upon by their masters. The pain was very evident on the pooch’s face and it was clear that it was depressed to the core. Ironically, humans when subjected to a similar fate of homelessness, lack of love, zilch prospects of the future, resort to radical steps of alcoholism, drugs and even suicide. Animals, as I learnt this morning, learn that life has its ups and downs and the Lord will take care of them nevertheless. You don’t find monkeys, dogs and cats running off a cliff and throwing themselves down from the highest perch atop a tree. They know that times have changed; food and sustenance will be a struggle and that they must keep trying to survive till the Lord’s calling comes. As I left the seashore, the mind was stronger with the experience.

As I walked back from the sea, my mind also drifted on the similarities of the human and animal lives. Like the dog, there are numerous folk out there, who are no longer zippy and youthful. There is a mother out there who stayed back home to look after every need of her young hearts. There is a father out there breaking his hump day after day, sacrificing his time with his kids, in the hope that he will be able to afford his children a far better financially stable life than he lives in today. A time comes when these folks get a grip on reality that their youthful days are far behind, lost in their single minded pursuits of their goals for their children. That is the time they feel the vulnerabilities; older age, lesser incomes, insecurities of career, compromises on lifestyle due to affordability and more. Very similar to the dog’s experience, they are both swayed by the times and circumstances. But as humans, we are a very unique lot.

Parents are often relegated to the fringes and new fascinations take over. So much is our fetish with all things new, that these folks who have given their best to the children, often find themselves with uncertain future, despair and in many cultures, land up in old age homes as well. This year, let us not forget these wonderful people who silently gave you all that you ever wanted and more. Yes, they will not be always cheerful and agreeable, but remember, neither were you when they took pains to workaround your needs and keep you happy. Let them not have the dog’s fate in their golden years; give them the gift of your time and attention this year, and not those expensive gifts.

As I write these, I am told of unfortunate happenings to a friend of ours. She has been having the most trying times of her life. With a career in dwindles, income is a trickle. Fate has quite a humor and often plays ballet with her. Couple of months ago, her mother has been in and out of hospital due to illness and heart attack. Just when she found herself coming out of that shock, she finds herself confronted by a heart attack condition to her father. With severely impacted finances, such emotional turmoil can only play havoc with the mind. Like the dog, I would advise her to be strong and keep her faith alive. Times are tough but nothing that will not pass. There will be different times and different experiences. Hang in there, lady.

As I said the signs are all over and God speaks to us in many ways. My only wish to God this year is to help make me alive; alive to every thing happening; alive to not take any moment for granted.  May you have the most wonderful of experiences in your lives. Like the movie “August Rush” ends – “Music is all around; all you have to do is listen!”. Happy New Year.

How are you following your dream?

I received this the other day from Mark Baker (www.markbakerint.com) and thought I would share it.

The Dream

A man lay on his bed at the end of his life waiting to die.
His dream came to pay his last respects
and bid farewell to the man who had never used it.

As it entered the room the man looked down in shame.
“Why did you not realise me ?” the dream asked.
“Because I was afraid,” the man said.
“Afraid of what,” said the dream.
“I was afraid I would fail.”

“But haven’t you failed by not attempting to use me?”.
“Yes I did, but I always thought there would be tomorrow.”
“You Fool!” said the dream” Did it never occur to you
that there was only ever today? the moment that you are in right now?

Do you think that now that death is here
that you can put it off until tomorrow?”.
“No”. said the man, a tear gently rolling down his cheek.
The dream was softer now, because it knew that there were two types of pain,
the pain of discipline and the pain of regret,
and while discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs pounds.

Then the dream leant forward to gently wipe away the tear and said,
” You need only have taken the first step
and I would have taken one to meet you,
for the only thing that ever separated us
was the belief in your mind that you couldn’t have me”.

Then they said goodbye and they both died. (copyright Mark Baker 2000)

So, where are you with your dreams?? Do write in and share your thrills, anguish and frustrations.

Nice starter

Dummies’ Guide to Blogger:

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