My Search for a New Phone

Girl Dreaming of Phone

The other day when a friend called me, it was so difficult for me to hear her and vice-versa, that instead of cursing my phone (as I usually do), I decided to take pro-active action. Sell my phone and get a new one.

I had taken a firm resolve that I would buy a phone only after I sold my current one. So, I put up an EBay ad for my used phone. Phone Sold

And to make the offer more enticing, I decided to throw in a mobile charm too – an unused one I had lying around the place.

Within 10 days of posting, the ad found a buyer. In the meantime, I had researched the phones I wanted as a replacement. I started off in the Rs-1000-1500 bracket in Flipkart. And had finally settled on the Salora SM401. Then began to reconsider my decision – I wanted something unique in my phone – dual sim, QWERTY would be nice to have (as I have never used one), large screen. But since I wasn’t very comfortable with QWERTY phones and didn’t want to shell out more than Rs 3500 for such a phone. I definitely didn’t want Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and such brands (you know the kind) – because I’d already had a very bad experience with a Micromax QWERTY phone which put me off the brand completely.

Though uncomfortable with QWERTY, it still kept calling to me. I started researching the QWERTY phones available – Nokia Asha 200, Nokia X2-01, Samsung Chat C322, Motorola EX109 were the few on my radar. A site was excellent at helping me arrive at these choices. It has a Phone Finder option, and lists the lowest prices available for a phone online. Then I came across the Alcatel OT-802Y, and was enchanted with the purple and black colurs of the phone. And it was only Rs 2600. However, since it had just a single sim option, and did not have a 3.5mm jack for earphones, I left.Alcatel OT802

Then came my affair with the Alcatel OT-806, which was another QWERTY dual-sim phone, with an added feature – this one had a touch screen! And the screen was large – 2.8″ – looked like I had found the phone of my dreams. Added to that, this was a phone which had the lowest SAR and had won awards in Europe. Looking better and better.

Alcatel OT806

But once again, I was disappointed. As you can see in the picture on the right, it lacked a very crucial feature – the central navigation key we take for granted on most phones. Without that central key, I knew life would be a misery every time I wanted to navigate on the phone’s menu. Sadly, I vetoed this one too.

The search was on again. Especially since my phone had found a buyer and I was expected to courier it to him in the next 7 days, and time was running out.

This time, Flipkart came to my rescue and got me the Alcatel OT-813D. Now, here was a phone which was QWERTY with touch screen, dual-sim, had a central navigation button and the 3.5 mm jack for headphones. In other words, the phone of my dreams. And it costed Rs 3875,  a bit over my budget, but well worth it.

Without wasting any time, I put in my order. And here is my beautiful phone, which arrived within the next 4 days.

Coming Soon – A review of the Alcatel OT-813D.

Who invented the ‘Pause’ icon?

The other day as I was going to the office, I saw a billboard – with a huge red Pause icon.

The moment I say ‘Pause’ , most of us have a clear symbol in mind – But, how did this symbol come to be associated with the Pause in our MP3 players, iPods, DVD Players, VCRs and so on?

Electronic gadgets began carrying the Pause button sometime around the 1960s.

Continue reading

My Life Changing Device

I was all of 5 years when I fell in love for the first time. She was with my Grandma, glancing shyly around, and that was when I caught sight of her. Her beautiful diamond-shaped face and golden ringlets had me enthralled.  I wanted her as my best friend at that very instant.

Imagine my delight when I found her all alone one day, looking lonely and forlorn. I couldn’t wait to play with her and fulfill my heart’s desire. But alas! The moment my grandma found us together, she took her away and banished me forever from my friend. I was heartbroken. I didn’t think I could live without seeing her ever. I consoled myself by trying to get a peek at her every time my Grandma went out with her.

Fast forward 3 years….I still hadn’t forgotten my friend and longed for her. That was when I fell in love for the second time. My Mom had brought me a friend of my own, with a perfect round face in pretty brown garb. And she has been my best friend ever since, supporting me through thick and thin, during stress and strain and especially at exam times. Countless times she has warned me when I was running late for an appointment. Often, my days have revolved around her.

She is my very own…………….TITAN.



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Ebook Heaven

Here is a great place to get all those technical books you have always wanted, and that too for free, in digital format.

Xpressionsz is a great place to get all that your heart desired in tutorials, engineering books, comics, programming , web design and what not.

Come and take a look at this treasure trove.

The Ebook Reader War

Barnes & Noble NOOK ebook reader (WiFi + 3G)

Last month, I decided that I wanted an ebook reader and started browsing online stores to find a suitable one. And I found quite a few –  Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s very own Kindle, Sony’s Digital Reader were among the top contenders in my search. At the time of my search, the Sony Pocket edition had a price tag of $169, while the Digital Reader edition was priced @ $199. With a touch screen and extensible memory, I thought I was getting a pretty good deal. The Nook, though, had better features (such as a colour touch screen), and in consequence, a larger price tag as well – $ 249 – which was well beyond what I was willing to pay for. As for the Kindle, it simply didn’t make much sense to buy something which was proprietary to Amazon, had no extensible memory and could not be used in India. So, finally I decided to go with Sony.

Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition – Black (PRS600BC)

Now, when I finally came around to actually buying the gizmo, I found something very odd – Sony had slashed their prices to $149 and $169 for the Pocket and Digital editions respectively. The very next day, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook’s availability at two flavours and prices – WiFi Nook at $149 and 3G Nook @ $199. How can Amazon possibly be left behind in the Ebook Reader rat-race? The next day, Amazon came up with a counter offer – again in 2 flavours – Kindle 3G at $189 and the WiFi at $139 (note the $10 difference in pricing).

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6

I can understand that the price of electronic gadgets are generally steep when first introduced in the market, and then slowly taper down as their production costs decrease. What I do not understand is this – Why does it require a price-slash by a competitor to get all others on the very same bandwagon? Do all the other companies suddenly open their eyes and see that they don’t need to sell it at such a high price, or is it that they acquire a – ‘If you are selling it at that rate, then I will sell mine at this rate or lower.’ – mentality, even if it results in a loss?

And think of the poor consumer who went out and bought the gizmo when it was announced with all the fanfare? What kind of a deal do they get when they buy the stuff at the highest price and don’t even know whether it will live up to all the raves? Aren’t they supposed to have some sort of a privilege (like a free or almost free upgrade to the next version) since they actually believe in a company’s product and go buy it? But here they are, looking like fools, when they buy the product at launch, and find that their neighbour gets the same thing at half price 6 months later (and that too with all the bugs fixed!).