Thursday, December 23, 2010

A window thats seen many years and a plant thats seen a few: Photograph

Some photographs are best black and white and this was one of them - This is in old Bombay near Chowpatti

A window that has seen many years
.... and a plant thats seen a few

I had just charcoaled the picture except the window/plant.

For those who want the original pic it is here

Babulnath Mumbai Blog post earlier

Subscribe to A.Karthiks blog

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My new Chinese Tablet - The A Pad Eken M002: A review and my experience

I was scouting for book reader and came across this M002 Eken A-Pad - Chinese equivalent similar to an iPAD.

This was among the many firsts for me -
1. Touch screen - I found that the screen was not as responsive as the iPod or the iPAD. In fact , it is quite hard. Fortunately, I do not use it for gaming - mostly for reading books and seeing pictures/movies
2. Android - I like it as it is free (as in Beer) and runs several apps - most of all I liked the app market
3. Book reading - I found this 500+Mhz processor more than sufficient for most book reading. I thinks its great as a book reader as the page turning effort is close to  physical paper (Not as slick as a iPAD) and the speed is just right

Top things to do when you start with your tablet
1. Install firmware upgrade from thee site - worked fine for me and really helped (1) Movies ran only after the update (The small ones ran even before but a 2 hr movie ran only after the upgrade) (2) The screen seemed more responsive after the upgrade (3) Booted faster
2. Install aldiko book reader
3. Setup the language properly and also the locale settings - this stuff comes with Chinese or some other language as default
4. Remove crappy apps to make it faster
5. The app market does not run properly - you may be better off downloading apk files and installing them
6. Get a high GB micro SD card to load once and for all
7. Switch off wifi when not browsing to improve battery life
8. Play around with the touch screen calibration to improve the touch-performance and also help in scrolling
9. Get loads of books loaded to start getting RoI on this book
10. Learn how to put a nice scratch gaurd - you will touch it with greasy hands and will need to wipe it often.

1. Screen - obviously not suited for gaming
2. Wireless - drops often and cant pick signal as well as a laptop
3. Slow - cant game - even movies and pictures take time to respond
4. Booting - sometimes reboots without info if you run crazy apps
5. Camera - sucks but who needs it anyways

1,2,3,4 - Price, Price, Price, Price
5. Good as a book reader
6. Great aspect ration and looks really sexy when carried around (until you switch it on and show of the performance on intense apps)

Here are some great videos/pics/resources
2. Firmware update -

Subscribe to A.Karthiks blog

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Read: Clue of the silken ladder - Penny Parker Mysteries - Mildred A Wirt

Reading this for the first time - though I have read Nancy Drew earlier - which is also by the same author

I was so surprised that this book is of 1941 Vintage and still interesting. Its out of copyright and is available in Project Gutenberg for free

Subscribe to A.Karthiks blog

Friday, December 3, 2010

Book: Mahabharata by Rajagopalachari

First time I seem to have enjoyed and read the Mahabharata by Rajagopalachari - what a story teller!!!

Subscribe to A.Karthiks blog

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Irrational buying behavior : Gold ornaments , Dresses and Cars (and married men!)

I recently went shopping for a gold necklace with my wife. We spent 2 days and about 8 hrs deciding what to buy (and of course 3 shops) - Rs 113000 (thats about 14000 per hour invested)

I went shopping for my car - 3~5 days of internet research ~ 48 hrs of research and test drives. Cost 5 Lakhs (Thats about an investment of 1 hr for every Rs. 10000)

I went shopping for Sarees with my mother and wife and took about 4 hrs - cost Rs. 22000 (Thats about Rs 5500 per hour)

Lets take stock after 2 years  -
gold has doubled (going by last 2 years trend) - annual depletion as % of original value - -100% per year
car is 3 lakhs or depletion is 1 lakh per year or 20% per year
saree - probably Rs 200 or 90% in 2 years but still 90% per year (as it is worth the same across years)

Lets tabulate the results
intensiveness (Rs/hr)
Value loss per
Gold 14000 -100%
Car 10000 20%
Sarees /Dresses 5500 90%

Why do people still spend so much time on Gold purchase (or house purchase) when they need not ? My case rests for ETFs - Gold is best bought as Exchange traded funds (But then... its the same as the (irrational) reason for getting married and and then they do several more irrational decisions to support their first one!!!)

Case rests...

Here is an interesting article about how men behave (like chimps) in reducing loss rather that increasing success and why it leads to irrational buying behaviour

Well this book should be re-labelled as Dummies for Dummies!


Subscribe to A.Karthiks blog