Worst Ad Ever – Powered by Acer, Inspired by Intel ?

I have nothing against Intel – It’s a great company that has given us processors that have powered our desktops and laptops for many many years, and done extremely well at it. I also think that if they thought of the ultra-book, then it is a pretty neat idea, (Sure, calling it Windows air would have meant Apple took to the courts before you could say sue.) although with some of the laptops Dell claims to be Ultrabooks, one wonders what an Ultrabook really is.

But see, when someone [Acer] makes an advertisement [attaching the Ultrabook name to it] which is so dumb, that even the dumb will find it hard not to think of it as dumb, it’s just very sad.

In this particular advertisement, Megan Fox (yes, Megan Fox) apparently uses an ‘Ultrabook’ to inspire herself ? and a bunch of other scientists to hear a Dolphin talk.

There are so many things that are not right with the advertisement, that you find yourself shaking your head, twisting your mouth, wrinkling your nose, doing strange things with your eyebrows, while it plays out. Here are some irritants,

  • I Googled on Megan Fox (no no, not images 😀 ), and did not find any place, where it said she was involved in any kind of research, leave alone with dolphins. Her Wikipedia article doesn’t carry any such information either.
  • When you want to do a lot of research, and let’s say you want to crunch a lot of numbers, or run complex programs, what kind of computer do you use ? A server ? A server farm ? Vector Processors ? (aha, you know your Computer Architecture) Of course not – you use a sleek laptop, or wait, Ultrabook. Right ?
  • I am sure loads of people that have been researching Dolphins, and have dedicated their lives to it must be going – ‘Duh! I should have bought an Ultrabook’. Oh, and have Megan Fox read stories to the Dolphins.
  • There are at least 6 other researchers in the video, but it has to be Megan Fox that has to do the ‘adjusting’ before the Dolphin’s voice can be deciphered. That’s how inspired you can be with an Ultrabook, you can go to NASA mission control, and say, “ok, thrusters full power”, and all the scientists who spent the better part of their lives giving to the program will go, “Oooh, let’s clap and hug other scientists”
  • Oh, and on day 103, Intel announced their next processor. 😀

So, she asks ‘How’s it going’, and suggests something like ‘Let’s increase the high frequency by 10%’. All of you guys and girls out there, who want to sound intelligent in team meetings, take note. That’s all you need to sound/seem like a researcher. Oh, that and you always have to wear a white coat to seem like a researcher. 😀

I think one Youtube comment (and not even a mean or nasty one) sums it up for me, “All I got from this ad is that Megan Fox owes some poor restaurant two lobsters.

Edit:

Youtube does some justice, by blocking Megan off the video 🙂 Life is fair after all. 😀

youtube

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Everyone’s moving to the Cloud

Everyone is moving to the cloud. With the release of Google Drive, everybody else there is pulling up their socks, and real fast. Having worked a little on Cloud technologies, and having used different services for more than a couple of years, I thought it might not be a bad idea to write a short write-up on some popular services that I use/used to use,

MobileMe – Apple’s service that the fan-boys lapped up even if it meant you had to pay 100$ a year. (Not that it was a bad service at all. I think it was pretty good at what it was meant for.) I had a MobileMe account till recently, but if you follow your Apple news, you know that it is going away, replaced by the iCloud.

The two services I particularly liked about MobileMe were the Gallery and the iDisk. I never needed the Contacts or the Calendar, since I do not own an Apple device like and iPod/iPad/iPhone. (I did have a iPod touch briefly, but that didn’t really warrant having my contacts or calendars on it.) The password protect feature of the Gallery was rather nice, and the share files feature of the iDisk, I found to be useful. I could also mount the iDisk on my Windows machine as a network drive, so it was pretty neat. I used to use iWeb also briefly, to host web-pages – that was pretty decent I would say. Quick publishing, and hosting on your disk quota. Nice things to have.

Now, both the Gallery and iDisk will go away in June, and I was looking for an alternative to put that data somewhere.I don’t know how Photo Stream on the iCloud works just yet – as I mentioned before, I don’t have an iOS device to test this out. Also, I am not sure if you have to be locked in to Pages, Numbers and Keynote (iWork) to upload documents to the iCloud.

Dropbox
Ever since I started with my Masters degree, I knew all my documents like assignments, lab reports had to go on the cloud. If I was ever to lose my laptop, or if my hard disk was to die on me, I did not want to data to disappear with it. iDisk would have been my first choice, but, on Windows, I cannot really “Sync” content unlike a Mac, and on top of that I knew it was going away as well. No point in putting your data there. I was already using Skydrive at that point, even if it was called Live Mesh or something like that. (I don’t recollect it that well.)

Skydrive didn’t really hold up to iDisk at that time. iDisk almost allowed you to do things you would do on your desktop, on the browser, by using Sproutcore, and using it very well. At times, it could irritate you, but most times it was pleasing. In comparison, Skydrive had very limited options, and still worked the old world way of going through menus to move stuff around, create folders, using check-boxes …etc, which is the shittiest thing when you want to manage files.

Coming to Dropbox, it is a very neat service, which I plan to continue using. All my academic documents will remain on Dropbox, and I can sleep peacefully at night, that my report will not disappear. I had my hard disk pull a fast one on me a few weeks back, when I tried dual booting Ubuntu, and Windows complained. Thankfully, I could work on another computer and still access all of my files. Life saver!

Dropbox has also increased the free storage, and they offer some cool new features. I like the fact that on my Android phone, I can access the documents. I can sit in my classroom, and look at the lecture slides in class, without having to carry (lug is a more appropriate word) my laptop around. The new version of Adobe Reader, on Android even allows you to annotate your pdf’s right from your phone – talk about cool. I really wanted this feature on the phone, even if the Reader keeps hanging from time to time when you load large pdf’s on it.

The Camera Upload option is pretty neat as well. I mean, I lost a few pictures sometime back, and these were important pictures – drawings on the white board which I was supposed to share with a larger set of people. I had moved the photos out of my memory card and on to my Computer, only to lose the partition due to some dumb&%%$ fault of mine. Well, once bitten, I appreciate the auto-upload feature.

Looks like Dropbox is coming up with even more features. I may not readily use everything new that they implement, but it is still nice to see they are innovating.

Skydrive

Skydrive has improved a bunch since the last time I used it. And for having joined Skydrive early, I got 20Gig worth of storage space. Now, I read somewhere that this is for a limited period, so I don’t intend on filling the space up, only to delete them later. Also, the interface has improved quite a bit on the web. The desktop app is a welcome sign. It works just like Dropbox now. But I shall not switch from Dropbox just yet. For now, my academic documents stay on Dropbox, and my personal stuff that needs backing up shall stay on Skydrive – basically everything that used to be on MobileMe.

As an Android user, Skydrive is not available on it. But I don’t know, I might not really switch or even try out Google Drive – maybe except to have a redundant copy just for the rainy day when something in Dropbox goes horribly wrong, or they have a downtime.

Demonoid is Back!! Yippe Kay Yay

Demonoid

What better news for a post, when you haven’t posted in a while ?

Demonoid is back!! Yeah baby.

Well, the first signs that the sight was going to be up, (IMHO), was when the torrents which were stuck for quite some time now, started showing some progress. That these torrents had stopped for sometime was a heartbreak, considering I was stuck on 90-odd % on some of them. But the wait I am sure will definitely be worth it!!

Here are some links about demonoid being back in business

Demonoid is Back

Demonoid Returns

If you ask me, this is even bigger news than Google coming up with Wave 😀

Don’t be surprised if you aren’t able to login immediately. After all, you do expect a mad rush!! And there might still be soem chinks in the new  code.

Here’s an interesting comment I read on Demonoid being back: “Damn it!!, They didn’t lose enough data. I am still banned.” 😛

Dell XPS M1330 and M1530 have been Dicontinued ?

Looks Like the Good Old Dell XPS M1330 and M1530 have been Dicontinued. I was looking for a laptop for sometime now, and was able to see the M1330 and the M150 listed on both the US and the Indian Dell websites. Last I saw them was arond the 10th of this month (10-Jul-2009). Looks like since then, Dell has pulled these two models and you will no longer get them.

Dell XPS
Dell XPS

What does this mean to loads of people who simply fell in love with the XPS the first time they saw it ? Well, I don’t no really. XPS marked a new era for Dell, in terms of style and performance.

My brother bought a M1330 I think around a year back and my friend Vibushan bought a M1530 around the same time. I have seen and used both laptops and I must say both are fantastic.

With Studio XPS 13″ and 16″ coming into the scene, looks like, Dell thought its time they EOLifed the M1330 and M1530. But will people miss anything from these models ? For one, I hear that the new Studio XPS have heat issues. Next is that, leather or not, the new models have a glossy look and easily attract finger prints. If I remember right, the XPS models had a matte finish that didn’t attract finger prints all that much.

Next are two other aspects that maybe people don’t pay too much attention to. One is the beautiful sleeve that the XPS M1330 and M1530 came with. The second is the remote control that comes in the PCI slot. They were great add ons. You know what ? The sleeve in the Studio XPS looks rather lame. And there is no friggin remote !!! Bloody heck!!

Remote-01Remote-02Sleeve-01Sleeve-02

I recently bought the Dell Studio 16 (also knows as XPS 1640). I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. (It’s still in New Jersery safely nestled in my sisters apartment there.) But then, Dell cheated me. They gave a shitty sleeve and there was no remote. For 1200$, thats a poor show Dell.

Next Post: Woes With DELL

New Laptop – Dell Studio XPS 16″

I have been looking to buy a laptop for quite sometime now. Last time I was seriously considering was last thanks giving, when I could get a decent HP Laptop for 600$. But then somehow, that didn’t happen. If you are wondering why I am talking about thanks giving sitting here in India, it’s because it is my sister that was to buy the laptop (in amreeka).

I have been waiting since then, looking at lots of prospective laptops. My choice was limited to HP and DELL. I would never buy a Sony Vaio simply because they are overly priced and I don’t see value for money in them. Sure, they look stunning and all, but I like substance over style. As far as Apple Mac Books are concerned, why would anyone want to buy them ? I did consider Toshiba, Lenovo, Compaq (HP) but looking at their websites gave me a mild headache.

So only HP and DELL survived the initial round of selection. I had to drop one of these two. My sister has a HP and my brother bought a DELL XPS about an year ago. Both are pretty happy with their laptops. Besides, I have used some of the HP and DELL laptops and there is very little to choose between the two. I finally decided to go with DELL, because HP has too many lines/series and that gives me a headache.

Having chosen DELL, I had Studio, XPS and Studio XPS to choose from. After initial filtering, I decided on either Studio XPS 13″ , XPS M 1330 or a customised Studio 15″. Then for some reason, I was unhappy with a 13″ . I am not someone who carries the laptop someplace everyday. For me, it’s more of a desktop replacement. I had a hard time convincing my sister that 16″ was ok. She is dead againt big laptops. I would have liked a 14″ , but 13 was too small for my liking. I am not a business executive and like my movies and games.

So it all boiled down to a Studio XPS 16″. Here are some pictures:

The configuration I chose has the following:

Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P7350 (3MB cache/2.0GHz/1066Mhz FSB)

RAM: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz

HDD: 320GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive (I did think of upgrading it to 500 GB hard disk. But I guess I might as well buy external storage later. there was no 7200 RPM 500 GB HDD available with this particular model.)

Graphics Card: ATI Mobility RADEON® HD 3670 – 512MB

Display: Edge-to-Edge HD Widescreen 16.0 inch WLED LCD (1366×768) W/2.0 MP

I also get a free upgrade to Windows 7 and a 50$ coupon. Sadly , I had to upgrade with an additional 20$ for bluetooth.

Eagerly awaiting to get my hands on it. (Sometime in August, when I go home to Chennai and my sister comes back from US)

New Apple Mac

We got a few new macs at office some days back and I was expecting to get one. Turns out there were quite a few people who managed to pull some strings or they thought I don’t deserve the new mac. (They would be right on that count.) But man, I wouldn’t mind one bit to get these macs as long as I don’t have to pay for them. I am not really a big mac fan, but then you got to give it to them, they have some wonderful features built in. (even if you have to pay through your nose.) I am sure you can buy some other brand running Windows that would match and probably even exceed the mac’s performance and looks,  and still be cheaper but then you need to computer literate. That’s where the mac’s have an advantage. For someone who has a lot of money and doesn’t have time enough to sit and compare specs and then decide which desktop to go ahead and buy, Apple gives you the mac. 🙂

Some cool features:

  • 8 core processor (how do you like that ?) (2 Quad core Nehalem processors)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB Hard Disk

Only, the lowest configuration will set you back by some 2500 $ ( 1.5 lakh Indian Rupees), without a display mind you. I tried personalising the configuration and the price came to 18,000 $ Whoa!!! That’s more money than I can Imagine. 9 Lakh rupees ? That’s going straight in my Birthday wishlist. (At least now people will have an excuse why you didn’t get me whats on my wish list. 😛 )

I work on a shitty old mac in office.( seen below)

macg4

I used to have this mac before, but then they took it away from me. 😦

Mac

I also get to work from an old MacBook Pro from home at times. As I said, not so bad as long as you don’t have to pay for it and don’t want to run games on it either.

Of Vernacular and National Newspapers

In other news, my friend Vibushan appeared in a couple of newspapers. His project apparently is path breaking stuff. ( Talk about redifining the definition of path breaking.) 😉 But that’s not what we are going to discuss here. Here I present a couple of pictures one of which appeared in a vernacular newspaper and another which appeared in a national newspaper. Spot (just one) difference(s):

That’s the difference between vernacular and English newspapers. (If you could identify it that is.) That’s the difference you are subjected to when you choose a vernacular newspaper or a news channel in favour of a English news channel. (Not all though. Some English news channels are just as bad.) 

Oh, and congrats Vibu. It’s a huge deal and all of us (who know you and am sure who don’t know you (yet) are proud of you). 🙂