Saturday, June 30, 2012

4 things you should not and should buy preowned!!

Ebay, Amazon or any other similar site is good  for selling and buying both new and used items , but a little caution can help you save some money and even more precious time. At the same time  buying preowned item in certain cases can help you to save much money , below are  a list of 4 used things that one should not and should or can buy .

Should not buy list

1.Hard Drives
Whether it is  internal or external , buying a used hard drive is always risky.There is always a certain amount of uncertainty  whether  previous owner used it roughly , whether ever he accidentally dropped it  or not. The problem with many hard drives is ,they can stop working any time , as we are buying it to save the most important data , its always better to buy a new one with warranty.Most hard drives come with 3 years warranty , spend some extra bucks on something you do not want to see stop working the next month of purchase.






2.Cellphones
As in the case with hard drives , cellphones are also meant to be used well for better life. Most cellphones these days are "smart"phones with tons of features , so there is always a chance that some or few of the functions being functionless or the life of battery can be so low after years of usage. And the most important of them all is, phones are the devices which are easily stolen , keep an eye open for those cell phones without bills.



3.DVD players
Dvd players are one device which gets functionless in short time, how many times have you come across a Dvd player which stopped working 1 month after the expiry of warranty.It is always better and wise to buy a new one as most new ones are cheap and only marginally above the price of used ones.






          4.Helmets
           Be it bike/ motorcycle helmet ,they  are life saving accessory ,        never compromise on its quality. We cannot be  sure whether the used one has ever met with a fall/impact. Most helmets wont hold on for a second or third impact.Never risk your life for few bucks always remember "No use of money without life to use it"






Should/Can buy list






1.Books
Treasure of knowledge is to be shared , and books are easiest ones to share and buy. You can an save a lot of money buying used books , which otherwise are expensive at the time of launch .








2.Game/movie discs

Console games discs are expensive as heaven at the time of release , even within months their value drop , if you willing to wait for few  months to play a game or watch a movie , you can surely save money  to buy atleast 2 or 3 other discs. Renting a movie is another way of saving  few bucks , just think when was the last time you saw a movie in bluray which you when bought burned your hands with its price , the day you bought  right? After that it will be resting its expensive cover for ever..So be wise and buy only the most compelling ones.






3.Cars
Used cars are a good bet , if you can find the best dealer or if you can buy from a good friend.








4.Refurbished devices
Refurb devices can save you a lot of money , and the major advantage of buying a refurb item is you can be double sure of its working as it would have been tested by the company staff just like a new one and with much lower price.








Bottom line

Though there is no hard and fast rule that every item mentioned in these lists will be bad or good , but this list can help you in deciding to buy something used . And above all there is also a luck factor in every used item  purchase , choose it wisely and remember the magic line

 "Nothing in this world comes cheap or free"





Friday, June 29, 2012

5 Dos games which you can enjoy even now..

Games were an integral part of every home PC during the  90's , but the dawn of the new millennium shut the doors of PC gaming and opened up console  mobile device gaming. I got my first PC in 98 , it had a total memory of 2gb , which is now smaller even for a pendrive. Games that came with the PC were simple yet  engaging and I think I spent more time playing those games rather than  the new age console games.The fact is I will enjoy those games even now ,and it can be enjoyed the kids even now  if it is provided with some good graphics.Below is the list of 5 games which I played the most , they may not be the best games , but I chose them according to the time I spent on them.

1.Prince of Persia


Prince of Persia is a classic game of protagonist escaping from dungeons to save the princess held by greedy villain Jaffer. As the game consisted of 14 levels , which was supposed to be finished in 60 minutes , the famous cheat code"megahit" became handy later on. A classic game in all respects , Prince is the game I played the most.



2.Dangerous Dave


Dangerous Dave , featured in my school computer class PC's , so the game became a favorite and used to spend most of the time in playing Dave after the scheduled class.









3.Jones in the fast lane

Jones in the fast lane is a strategy game at the same time fun to play with family just like a board game. From getting a job to studying and acquiring degrees to stocks , Jones is a "Game of Life" on PC , features a multi-player game mode as well as challenge Jones mode , both are fun to play. I still have this game and it gives me the same feeling when I played this game some 12-13 years back.




4. Day of the tentacle




An adventure puzzle game where a Tentacle tries to take over the world , and 3 main characters time travel to prevent that from happening. A game with so many puzzles , is a  fun ride  if you enjoy solving puzzles , this game though time consuming gives you a lot  satisfaction after solving each puzzle and the characters are so hilarious.





5.Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego ( Deluxe)

A detective game , where you are assigned a case and need to travel around the world to pick clues to catch the mystery person. A fun and informative game about geography , can keep you hooked to computers for hours.


The above list is only a small bite of a big cake , you can also add to this list of wonderful games of 90's. Kindly post your favorites and much played games of that decade in the comments section.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Latest Acquisition 19/6/2012- One Rupee 1947







 Obverse : George VI Crowned Head







Reverse : Stalking Tiger











Year 1947

Nickel Coin 

Bombay Mint

Weight: 11.57g

Mintage: 118,1128,000

Why eWallet and NFC is the next big thing?

NFC ( Near Field communication) is not a new technology , build upon Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems , has a history of more than 25years. But only in 2004 it came to limelight and during the last few years , its uses in commerce attained greater relevance.

 NFC is a radio communication between two devices held in close proximity of few centimeters  or in direct contact.It is also possible between an NFC device and non powered NFC enabled "tag". In short its a much simpler method of data transfer than Wifi with security. Apart from this data transfer capability, during the last few years NFC attained importance in commerce.

eWallet is a term we began to hear recently on a regular basis , which is basically a virtual  wallet capable of storing your money,credit cards,coupons. This feature was earlier used for online transactions only , but with NFC gaining acceptance and more devices coming out with NFC , eWallet can surely replace your wallet with easy money transfer facility.What NFC and eWallet promises is easy transaction without compromising on security. The advantage of capability of using a non powered NFC device like "tags" will surely open up new doors in commerce.



Last week , Microsoft announced their Windows 8 mobile OS with features of eWallet using NFC.Windows 8 eWallet is a pure  carrier based (sim based ) wallet feature making use of device's NFC whereas Google Wallet is a phone feature  ( though capable of providing sim based ). Apple's new iOS 6 also features  eWallet called Passbook , though none of their devices at present have NFC capability which is a much awaited add on in iphone 5 , iOS 6 at present can only store coupons and passes.

So not far  are those days where we carry our smartphone  as wallet for every transaction we do, not only in an online shop but also in restaurants , your favorite local grocery shop  and so on...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google Nexus 7 Available for preorder!!

Finally all rumors turned out to be true. An hour back Google announced the much awaited tablet "Nexus 7" at Google I/O event. Here is the official look of the tablet from google play page.





Specifications


Cons
No 3G connectivity and SD card slot















Its available for pre-order in US and UK google play under devices , and for those who pre-order now will get 25$ credit to spend in google play and own copy of Transformers : Dark of the moon.


To pre-order go to http://tinyurl.com/cvtca4s

25 Foreign Coins Aquisition 18/6/2012



1.BRAZIL 5 CENTAVOS
2.JAMAICA 5 DOLLAR
3.RWANDA 1 FRANCES
4.SWEDEN 5 ORE 
5.ROMANIA 1 BAN 
6.COLUMBIA 10 CENTS
7.CHILE 50 PESOS
8.COSTA RICA 10 COLONES
9.ECUADOR 5 CENTAVOS
10.CESKOSLOVENSKA 1 KORUNA
11.YUGOSLAVIA 50 PARA
12.FIJI 5 CENTS
13.HUNGARY 20 FILLER
14.CROATIA 20 LIPA
15.MACAU 1 PATACA
16.NICARAGUA 1 CORDOBA
17.PERU 20 CENTIMOS
18.URUGUAY 10 CENTESIMOS
19.DOMINICAN REPBULIC 1 PESCO
20.POLAND 1 groszy
21.PANAMA 5 CINCO
22.CONGO 10 CENTS
23.BAHAMAS 5 CENTS
24.ISRAEL 10 AGOROT
25.TRINIDAD TOBAGO 25 CENTS 

5 things that you should never keep in wallet !

Wallets are the most common source of identity theft as well as monetary loss. A survey conducted in 2009 showed these facts






So this brings us to the question what are the things that we should never keep in a wallet.

1. Debit card pin numbers

Never keep the pin number written on a piece of paper along with debit card. This is the most common mistake committed , always keep the debit card pin number in your mind and at one more place secure inside your home , never in wallet along with debit card.


2.Original identity cards 


Never keep any original identity cards like drivers license , voters card ,   PAN card (Social security number) ,  Passport. You can keep photocopies of these , as this may help you if the wallet is lost rather than stolen. Its always better to keep  personal information to minimum in wallets .




3. Any password

Never keep any sort of internet passwords written on paper inside your wallet. Though this is less harmful than debit card pin numbers , but with suitable identity information, passwords lost can be a major danger.

4.Gift cards

Never keep any kind of  gift cards in your wallet for long periods of time. Take gift cards with you only if you plan for a purchase on that day , as gift cards lost or stolen are untraceable and highly unlikely to be returned.

5. Large amount of Cash

Like gift cards , cash lost is untraceable,  so its always better to  keep small amount of cash in wallet.



Bottom line:

Wallets as mentioned is a thing which is lost and stolen often , so we must be in caution and precautions should be taken. Debit/credit cards lost should be immediately reported , for this we need to be aware of customer helpline numbers of cards and calls should be made immediately if wallet is known to be lost . Though personal information on wallets can help you to get back wallet if lost , but its always better to keep identity information to minimum in wallet , my recommendation is to  keep your cellphone number in your wallet rather than any other contact information 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Google coming with a tablet ?


There has been rumors of Google coming with a tablet to challenge the lower end market of Kindle Fire and Nook for some time , if rumors are to be believed we will see one in the coming week in the event hosted by Google at San Francisco. Reported by Gizmodo Australia the Tablet is named as Google Nexus manufactured by Asus, with a  7 inch screen powered by a 1.3Ghz Quad core Tegra 3 processor and a GeForce 12 core graphics processor (may be only on the higher end model)and 1 Gb of RAM. CNET also reported the 7 inch screen is having  1280x 800 IPS display and the tablet will run on new Android version 4.1 Jelly Bean. Adding to the rumors , the tablet will not be having a back camera , but will come with a 1.2MP front camera. Battery life is rumored to be around 9 hours. Two versions of the tablet have been rumored a 8 Gb version priced at 199$ and 16 Gb version priced at 249$, but no word on the connectivity so far.



TechNumo is not going to speculate anything on this issue , but if this turns out to be true , then we are in for show down this fall .With Kindle coming out with Fire 2 with better specs at 199$,and drop in price for the older version (149$) Microsoft with Surface and many tablets on Windows 8 ,  Google Nexus adding  to this low end tablet market ,competition will be tough and  surely only the best will survive. The question regarding this tablet is with the price , if Google needs to stay afloat with other tablets , a 199$ price bracket is a must , anything above that for the base model will be suicidal for the Nexus tablet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

3 things to understand before buying an Android device




Android devices have been  here for the last 3 years and during the last 2 years , it gained immense popularity , with majority of smartphones running on Android and tablet share of android OS closing on the market leader Apple iOS.



Tablet Share of OS - iOS leading as of
                                 June 2012




Smart phone market with a huge leap by android during the last 2 years.










       There are several factors for this huge acceptance of android , a complete customization freedom to owners , price range, popularity of touch screen mobile devices and fall of some old giants in the mobile market like Nokia , Blackberry. But there are certain things you need to understand before jumping on to an android device.

1. Security Concerns

Android is an open source platform , with complete freedom to developers to build "apps" (applications) , what this means is any developer can develop an app for android , and can be placed in Google play . This put  users at risk of malware , loss of privacy , location data , loss of data, that necessitates the use of some back up program . In iOS there is  cloud sync and desktop sync , but android does not have a native program for that. So it is our responsibility to be cautious when downloading any app;  always secure your data , back up , install anti malware app, and above all read what you are sharing with an app when you download from Google play.

2. Firmware updates 


Android has undergone firmware updates 6 times during the last 3 years , so keeping up with the latest version is always a hassle. The last update Ice cream sandwich that came out more than 8 months is present only in 7% of Android devices .





Another update is expected in  the coming weeks named Jelly Bean.So when buying any android device which runs on an older version , it is important to make sure that you are eligible for an os update , otherwise you will be tied to an old OS forever.


3. Carrier Video Call

Most android devices do not give you the feature of carrier video calls , even if you have a front camera. We can do video calls on third party apps like Skype , fring ,Tango but regular carrier video calling facility is absent in most android smartphones except few high end Samsung Galaxy S series. So if you are buying an android smart phone for video calling on your carrier , kindly go through the specs or even contact the company before buying the phone.

Kindly post your comments regarding this  article in the comments section.









Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to upgrade skydrive to 25gb for free?

Cloud storage has been here for a while , but most cloud storage providers keep their free limit upto 5 gb. If you are finding that free limit bit low for your photos or music collection , I have one solution for you . Microsoft gave a promotional 25gb cloud storage for a short period and they called it loyalty offer as they allowed free upgrade to 25gb for their active skydrive members signed up before 21st April 2012 , and that offer expired on 24th April. But like me ,most of the skydrive users failed to upgrade before that deadline. Happy news is that you can still do it and claim that 25 gb.

Only requirements are 

1) An active Skydrive account with atleast one file upload before 21st April 2012
2) You should ask for the offer.





































https://support.live.com/eform.aspx?productKey=skydrivebilling&ct=eformts

After they review your account details , they will mail you back , I got the reply in 12 hours. 




 


 





Your account will look like this after the approval mail.











Kindly feel free to comment and ask doubts in the comments section.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Best online mobile recharge websites

Gone are the days we went to a local mobile shop to recharge our mobile , now we can do it at home from several websites, and there is also an icing on the cake most sites now give you discount coupons at various online/retail shops and services. There are a number of websites that offer online recharge , here I am trying to give you the best of them all according to me .


1.Freecharge (www.freecharge.in)







Freecharge is an online mobile recharge with excellent marketing strategy , conducted contests and free recharges during IPLmatches. Apart from their marketing, they provide fast recharges good customer support and fast refunds for failed recharges.











2.Paytm (www.paytm.com)



Paytm is a neat ,organized , easy to recharge site with good discount coupons. One thing about Paytm is the superfast recharge and fast refund for failed recharges. They also have virtual wallet like feature called Paytm Cash , which can be used for recharge, also offer unlimited discount coupons for even the smallest denomination recharge. 10/10 for Service.








3.Recharge it now (www.rechargeitnow.com)





Recharge it now is another site , but the time it takes to refund a failed recharge is sometimes a hassle, it can range from 2 days to 8 days.











4.Ezrecharge (www.ezrecharge.in)



What this recharge site offers a wallet like feature where you can recharge your account , but it will not go to your mobile until you do it manually , so what this feature promises is a quick and easy recharge at times when you are on the go to areas where it is difficult to get onto the internet or places where its difficult to find recharge agents.











Kindly share your experience with online recharge and if you know some other site that offers cool recharge discounts , kindly share it in the comments section.




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gmail introduces custom themes

Gmail introduces custom themes to the themes category . Themes in gmail were a feature most users hesitated to use as most of the themes , made visibility of mails really difficult, which made most users stick onto the classic themes.But with custom themes gmail gives users the opportunity to customize the background with either featured wallpapers or with uploaded pictures.




 Another interesting option is the pictures from phone , which enables us to upload pictures from phones directly using android app.

Windows 8 on mobile - Now a complete mobile OS


What a week it is  turning out to be  for Microsoft , a new Windows 8 device couple of days back , now an updated OS for windows platform cellphones, someone rang an alarm bell in Microsoft. Microsoft announced a 8 platform update for their windows OS on mobile devices , also called Windows 8. Lets take those 8 updates from the announcement and review what it means to the end user, after all that is what we all care about.

1.Hardware Update

Windows 8 phones will now support multi core chips , more chips of processors , faster the device. Also the screen resolutions of Windows 8 phones will come in 3 categories 400x840 , 1280x769 both 15:9 aspect ratio and also a 1280x720 16:9 aspect ratio , what this means is a better looking ,neat phone experience to the user.

One more major hardware update has been announced , and that is much cried over memory expansion slot , Windows 8 phones will now support microsd cards.

2.New Internet explorer 10

An improved browsing experience is what Microsoft promises through this new IE10 with anti-phishing filter and java updates.

3.Native code support and shared core

Windows 8 phones will start  sharing native C and C++ codes with Windows 8 , what this means to the end user is better , graphically rich 3D games and more apps.

4.NFC(Near Field Communication) sharing

Though not a new technology , Windows 8 having NFC sharing means , data transfer either by contact or close proximity. What it means to the user is they will be able to exchange/transfer/share data with other Windows 8 devices like a Microsoft Surface or PC. Windows aims to incorporate this technology in the next update we will be mentioning.

5.Wallet
Windows 8 phones will now feature a Wallet like facility for storing credit cards , debit cards and discount coupons , unlike google wallet , Windows 8 wallet is based on carrier sim and will utilize NFC sharing . But the downside is it will come to US only by next year.

6. Nokia maps

Windows 8 phones will now use Nokia mapping technology instead of Bing maps . Nokia maps support offline maps , turn by turn directions , but sadly no 3D maps.


7.Business ready

Windows 8 phones will offer better security making it more business friendly phone , with ability to run Office suite.


8.New Start screen



Called the sexiest of changes , Live tiles the heart and soul of Windows 8 OS, is becoming more customizable , with ability to change the size and position of each tile on the start screen , it will definitely make your Windows phone "your own".

Microsoft also announced all current Windows phone users on 7.5 will get an update 7.8 , which will incorporate some of the updates in Windows 8 like the new start screen. For a complete experience of Windows 8 , we need to wait for Nokia , Samsung and HTC to release hardware.


Bottom Line
                                                  8 major platform updates make Windows a "complete OS"  , is it a better OS than android and iOS ? That is something we need to wait till we get hands on with a device running on Windows 8. Microsoft is definitely moving in the right direction , though its a bit late , "its better to be late than never".. bringing Windows 8 experience to all devices , is something that will eventually ensure a success for Windows 8 , with desktop market declining Microsoft can no longer depend on OS sales on desktops alone , a  foot on the tablet market with Microsoft Surface , and Windows 8 running on smart phone will surely send some signals to the front runners.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Choosing the best economic 3G data plan !



3G has been here in India for a while , but the rates where quite high for an average Indian cellphone user to afford. But during the last few days most carriers slashed their 3G plans , though its no way comparable to 2G ( and I am sure it wont be in any time soon) yet its somewhat a reasonable tariff for a smartphone user. So what I have done is compiled all major carriers and their 3G tariffs

Vodafone:

Vodafone was the recent one to slash the tariff



Airtel:



 Idea:



 Reliance:

Right tariff plan is for USB data card




Aircel:



Tata Docomo:







Bsnl




Comparison based on 1 GB monthly usage



So based on the comparison , tariff wise , Tata Docomo , is the best plan as its a combo plan , giving data as well as voice . 

(Most of the data is from the respective carrier sites , kindly call up their customer care for special offers and ways to recharge to avail plans)

Bottom line : Most economic plan is not always the best plan , choose a service which is economical at the same time customer friendly, with a good support.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Microsoft has nothing to lose , everything to gain in this game...



Microsoft announced a new hardware today named Surface , which essentially is a tablet aimed at bridging gap between tablet and laptop. Building up to the big announcement event , there were rumors of a tablet , but Microsoft somewhat succeeded in putting in front of us a quality product that can deliver , which is my first impression of the device. Few years back a device stormed into the world of computers called Netbooks , which rather did not have the full capabilities of a laptop, but served the purpose of a casual user his main goals of browsing and checking mails on the go. But with the launch of ipad , tablets took their position , and slowly netbooks moved to the back of stage. Even with the  entry of ipad and other tabs , the major issue remained unresolved , the computing power , this is where Surface hits the nail.



Design and Specs: Flaunting a 10.6  HD display  , Surface gives us the impression of a wide photoframe at he first glance, but the interiors of the device tells a different story.

Two versions of this device launched earlier today , one runs a Windows 8 RT OS and the other Windows 8 Pro OS with Full HD display. The RT version weigh similar to iPad (676g) , but the Pro version is close to 1 kg in weight. They also differ physically in thickness also , 9.3mm to 13.5mm. That raises the question whats inside that Pro?

Microsoft is putting an ivybridge core  i5 processor inside Pro version,and ARM processor from Nvidia inside RT , RAM and GPU are all unknown at this point of time. The rest of the specs looks like this



Another major highlight of this event was launch of an accessories for this tablet ,  which includes a Touch cover , Type Cover , Pen Stylus .. Touch Cover functions as a cover as well as keyboard! and the Stylus works on the tablet like a digital ink pen.



A cute little feature of this Surface is a 0.7mm kickstand , which snaps back on to the body by magnet is a simple yet innovative design , that do not add much thickness to the whole device.

Availability and Pricing : Though no specific date has  been mentioned , a reference of it being available along with the official release of Windows 8 came during the announcement event. But the event ended without giving any remark on the price except a promise that it will be comparable to ultrabooks, so my guess is Pro version will cost somewhere between 1000 -1299$ and the RT version will be between 499-699$ ,Microsoft will be careful enough to price it near to iPad and at the same time a very aggressive pricing is not something we usually associate with the company.







Final Impression from Surface Announcement : Microsoft has been pushed to a corner during the last few years by giants like Apple , now they have entered  a territory held exclusively Apple and by some other giants like Samsung , but to me , this is a game worth playing for ,as Microsoft has nothing to lose in this.  Will this challenge iPad ? That purely depends on the pricing , but from the design and specs , what this device will do is bridge the gap between a tablet and a powerful laptop , so is this the end of road for laptops? Too early to say ,but  definitely a possibility . What this means to iPad and Apple is something what I am really excited about , for the last  3 years , they ruled the tablet world , but with Microsoft trying to set a foot on their territory, things will change and  will definitely push iPad for more innovations , after all that is all what we consumers want,     A good competition between giants with no definite monopoly. 

How close can I get with the pricing.... yes , I hit the nail on its head... 

Microsoft priced Surface at price range 499-699$, and its now available for preorder...
Microsoft Surface Preorder