Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My UPSC experience

Indian Engineering Services examination for the year 2008 was held on June 7th, 8th and 9th. I wrote the exam at a centre named The Hindu Higher Secondary school in Triplicane Chennai. It was a grueling experience attending all the exams over the three days in the scorching heat of summer in Chennai. The response to the exam in my centre was not encouraging. Only one-third of the total number of candidates turned up on the first day and the numbers reduced in the next couple of days. Many candidates came from other districts of Tamilnadu and some of them were from Kerala, Andhra and Karnataka.

On the first day I had General Ability Test for two hours. Half of the questions were from English and the remaining are general Knowledge questions. The next day was composed of two sessions with technical objective questions. I'm from Electronics and communication branch and there were lots of questions from circuits, electron basics, devices, DSP, microwaves and controls systems. I was a bit surprised that there was very few questions from antenna and virtually no questions from networking, mobile communications and wireless systems. The next day was very boring and tiresome. Two sessions of three hours each consisted of theory questions which could never be answered without good preparation. At the end of the exams I felt I could have done better but I knew I didn't prepare well. Next time may be I will put up a better show.

3G iphone - Dream Machine

Apple has unveiled its new brand of iphones which will work on third generation mobile technology. 3G technology will change the way we look at mobile phones. From high speed internet browsing, music, gaming and multimedia to real time true GPS data availability the Apple 3G iphones will be a big deal in the near future.

Apple has reduced the price of the equipment substantially relative to the 2G model phones but they will be available for sale only in Apple and AT&T outlets..These phones are the perfect blend of a phone, ipod and a fast internet device. The phone supports several features like MS Exchange, App Store and email services. The phone has the capability to get GPS information directly from the satellites and this information is very useful for routing and calculating the distances. The phone will be compatible for some third party applications and will also be available in white color this time.

As far as we in India are concerned things are looking bleak. The 3G auction has to be completed first and then the necessary infrastructure has to be developed. 3G phones bought from other countries will have most of their applications not working at all. Even the original 2G model iphones will be officially released in India by September only. Apple has signed a deal with Vodafone and Airtel to land in India smoothly. The Indians might feel left out of the technology race unless the government comes up with something special.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Its time for Nokia N78

Nokia has launched its brand new model of the Nseries multimedia specific phones the N78 in India. The N78 is an all-rounder with a fusion of some amazing features like navigational capability, photography and music.

What makes it different from the other models of Nseries is that it has a "location Tagger" application which will enable the users to tag both the time and place to a picture. The N78 works with the integration of Assisted-GPS and Nokia Maps to identify the geographic position of the phone. The phone has a 3.2 Megapixel camera which has lens from Carl Zeiss optics. The phone comes with a 8GB microSD card for adequate memory. The sound is good with both the mp3 and FM. The phone has support for both wireless LANs and the 3G technology - High Speed Downlink Packet Access which enables high speed browsing. The N78 also has access to online support like Nokia Music Store, Internet Radio etc.. The phone has no IR port but has a microUSB 2.0 port and runs on Symbian OS. N78 weighs about 101.8 grams and has the dimensions of 113 x 49 x 15.1 mm, 76.5 cc. The phone supports both GPRS and EDGE technologies.The phone is priced at at a cost of twenty thousand rupees in Indian market. The next model N96 is also expected to hit the markets soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Opera Mobile 9.5

The new HTC Touch Diamond phone has Opera Mobile 9.5 as the web browser which has attracted several people. The company believes that the Opera browser will do much better than Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Opera Mobile 9.5 gives you a browsing experience which is very close to browsing on your desktop.

Many believe that the browser has more features than the Safari browser used in iphones. The Safari browser was lauded initially but it had its own downside which had difficulty in downloading files and didn't support certain file types on the web. The new Opera mobile browser has the capability to display the full version of web pages rather than the compressed WAP pages. The browser allows you to zoom in and out by taping on the particular portion of the web page and lets you scroll up and down the page with the help of your fingers. It allows you to open new pages as tabs within a single browser window. The browser lets you store web pages enabling you to work off line and reduce your GPRS bills. It has an inherent downloader software and enables you to cut and paste text from web pages to text editor. Some additional features are MMS and dialing any phone number on a web page.

Despite all these features the browser is not the fastest and it is designed for touch screen devices which run on Windows Mobile 6. We would have to wait and see whether it will be available for older model phones and symbian phones. This software is not a freeware unlike Opera Mini and is still not commercially available. This little genius could well be released in a few weeks time.

Bill Gates says no more mouse

Microsoft Corporation is working on a system that will eliminate the usage of the computer mouse inorder to interact with the computer. The genius believes that the way we interact any electronic system will change radically over the next couple of years. Input devices like the keyboard and mouse will no longer be necessary to control your system.

The future computers will be equipped with voice recognition systems and touch sensitive screens making it more user-friendly and time conserving. All these new systems will be embedded in the Microsoft Windows 7 software which will be released in 2010. Windows 7 users can input commands to the system by touching the screen with their fingers rather than using the mouse or the keyboard which is the predominant practice since the seventies. Microsoft is keen on moving towards the touch screen technology after the success of the technology with Apple's iphones. The number of touch screen devices is going up day by day such as in mobile phones, satellite navigators, PDAs and in remote control. Recently Microsoft has also introduced a few touch screen products and also has successfully demonstrated the "Touchable Paint" application.

Both voice recognition and touch screen technologies require precision and accuracy which are complex to develop. But the technology has grown and capable to predict and detect the correct input and neglect the accidental ones. For a person like me who types at the speed of a snail these advancements will be more than useful.

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