...Bienvenue 5300

A few days before my Nokia 3120 gave up, I'd been looking into phones because my family had been pestering me to get a 'better' phone, considering the condition the 3120 was in. So when it did die, I wasn't completely unprepared to buy.

I didn't want to spend too much on a device I'd primarily use to make calls. But if I was going to spend and get a phone, I'd want at least some features. The principal features I was looking for were connectivity via Bluetooth and USB and a music player. Secondary were camera, radio and connectivity via IR and whatever else would come as part of the package. And I didn't need any of these to be top of the line. I was happy with a 1 megapixel camera rather than shell out for a 3 megapixel one that I wouldn't really use.

Now, I'm partial to Nokia phones. I think they've the best, most intuitive interfaces around. And most of them are very well built and the standard features are well thought out. Plus, I've been using Nokia PC Suite for years now and I think it has all basic features I'd need or want to put stuff on my phone. It's bulky but it works. Also, I wanted to be able to access my SMSs and contacts on the phone and save them on my computer. As far as I know, most other phones don't let you into the phone memory even if you can connect them to your machine.

So I finally settled on the Nokia 5300. It's price was short of the upper limit on my budget and it had a music player, FM radio, 1.3 megapixel camera and a mini USB port, Bluetooth and IR! Everything I wanted.

It's a little flimsy, the body is plastic. It's a far cry from the solid feel of my 3120. And the screen's supposed to be problematic. And the battery doesn't last very long. And the camera's image quality is not great. But so what? I'll be careful with it. And I'll carry my charger with me. And I've got a Sony digital camera anyway, so I won't be using this much. ( Who am I trying to convince again? )

All in all, it's great for me; just what I need, in the price range I can afford, with features and looks that I like. Let's see how this one works out.

Adieu 3120...

I'd got my first mobile phone in 2003; a cousin of mine was getting rid of it. When I got it, it had a cracked screen and a loose cover. But it was reason for me to get a number and those surface imperfections were easily fixed.

The phone was the Nokia 3120, apparently no longer in production. A Series 40 phone with CLDC 1.0 and MIDP 1.0 support, it was just what I needed. It had GPRS and support for MIDI files as ringtones and JPEG and GIF image support as well. I later got a DKU-5 data cable and used it a lot, putting wallpapers and ringtones on the phone and more recently, for upgrading my Java skills to include the basics of J2ME.

It was one solid piece of engineering; I must've dropped it a hundred times and it never gave. Light and durable, it gave me over five and a half years of service. But lately, it'd been acting up a bit; it wouldn't charge properly and there were problems accessing it via Nokia PC Suite. It appears the firmware was corrupted to some extent.

Last Friday, the keypad inexplicably stopped working. And it wasn't mechanical failure, because when I restarted the device, the keys would work again but stop after a while. All except for '5'. And then even that stopped. So I knew, as much as I'd been avoiding it, it was time to get a new phone.

Google Labs India

On 15th August, India’s Independence Day, Google had hinted it had something up it’s sleeves. Today Google’s announced Google Labs India, developing features and tools to provide a platform to work with Indian and South Asian languages for searching for content. Pretty neat.

Also, the Hindi transliteration feature on Blogger has now gone a step further and is now a completely independent tool and iGoogle gadget.

Awesome stuff coming from Google and loads more expected!


So. Who do I have to sue for making me spill the 'extremely hot drink I was about to enjoy', all over my lap in an attempt to read the warning?

Seriously, which genius had the flash of inspiration to slap the cautionary statement sideways?


This is my hundredth post on this blog and coincidentally, it's exactly one year since my first post. And what a year it's been! I've come a long way; from one blog and no readers, to 2 blogs, a domain name, a website and no readers! How things have changed! I've learnt much ( a fair bit of it the hard way ) and I've done much and met some very interesting people through their blogs.

And the more blogs I visit, the more I realize that my posts read like a series of essays! I can't help it though. You can blame the board exams for instilling the skill of creating an introduction, body and conclusion for virtually any subject and embedding the habit so deeply that now I'm unable to turn out anything else except for dry, straight-to-the-point articles.

And from the label count, it seems that a majority of them are about me ( Hey! You say self-obsessed, I say introspective ), but isn't that one of the many purposes of a blog? To help you sort out your thoughts and get to know yourself better? That was my intention when I started out, anyway.

I'm considering posting on short, random topics from now on. Stuff that comes into my head but about which I don't necessarily have much to say. Let's see how that works out. See you at the bicentennial post


Someone really needs to get working on a better, more ubiquitious method of authentication or at least some way of integrating existing online username/password combinations!

At last count I had:

1 Hotmail Id
1 Rediffmail Id

1 GoDaddy Id
1 hi5 Id
1 Hungama Id
1 SXC Id
1 Twitter Id

and about 10 or so assorted Ids for site's that I don't visit as frequently. Luckily, Google owns Blogger, YouTube, Picassa, AdSense, Webmaster Tools and Orkut, so that gives me 6 more sites with the same Google accounts that I use for GMail. Feedburner has also been bought by them so I'm expecting a switch to Google accounts there too.

And then there are the 'real world' Ids/passcodes I need to remember.

2 Debit Card PINs
1 Credit Card PIN
1 Mobile phone PIN
1 Mobile phone PUK
1 Mobile phone PIN2
1 Mobile phone PUK2
1 PIN to the control deck of the Death Star ( Alright so I don't have this one. What? Yes! It is real! )

How can anyone be expected to remember all of these? I'm managing fairly well right now, but I foresee the coming of the dreaded age of forgetfulness someday. And unless Google takes over everything by then, I'm afraid I'm going to have to start writing down sensitive information like this!

PS: I did try to make a simple application to encrypt and save my passwords. It uses a simple substitution algorithm so it's not very good, but it's a shade better than writing stuff down in plain text!

PPS: Quite a few people seem to be working on image based passwords; but nothing seems to ready for widespread use right now.