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Apple iPhone 4. I have always been very apprehensive about touch screen devices but the apple iPhone 4 has impressed me immensely not only by its quality of reproduction but also the confidence it commands. For machine with so many features to offer it does look very small. I would say it is the correct size. No body will be impressed by the audio quality through it speakers but connect it to a headphone things will change drastically. I opted for the white one although everybody said it will become dirty in no time but so far it has retained its colour just as good. The 32 Gb version costs a bit too much but Apple iPhone 4 is expensive all the same then why not settle for the 32 Gb version? I have been reading the reviews here on this wonderful gadget and it is great to admit most of them are fabulous and speak my mind aptly. I thought it will be a good idea to add to whatever has come out in those reviews and not surprisingly there is very little to add except some parts which made me think and there were questions up there from lot of people owning Apple iPhone 4. Most of these questions related to, someway or the other, technical aspects of performing certain task which may raise similar question to other users of this wonderful device. Some of the question frequently asked are "How to import contacts from mobiles to the iPhone?", "How do you add music and videos to the iPhone?", "How do you use more than one iPhone in a single computer?", "How do you handle issues associated with iPhone and iPod music libraries?", "Why my contacts are being replaced after syncing with my laptop" and so on. I have decided to share answers to these question with those less advanced users keeping in mind the risk of being boring and stupid. iPhone and iPod (if you have both) Music libraries of iPod and iPhone can be used by both of these, in fact some apps are compatible with the iPod too. Now let us take up the quarries one by one. The itune software is common to both iPod and iPhone. Now how do you import contacts from your mobile to the new iPhone? To begin with let me start with a specific brand of mobiles "Nokia" which is probably the most widely used mobile phones now in existence. To import contact from the Nokia mobile to the iPhone be sure to have two softwares installed in your computer 1. The Nokia PC suit (which supports a reasonable number of Nokia models) and 2. The Ms Outlook Express. Steps to import contacts from most Nokia mobiles to iPhone 4. 1. Install Nokia PC Suit on your computer. 2. Install Ms Office 2003 Suit (which in all probability you have) 3. Connect the mobile phone with the PC via the USB port 4. The Nokia PC Suit should launch automatically in few seconds if does not then open Nokia PC Suit by double clicking on the icon. 5. Click on the 'Synchronize with Outlook Express' button on the Nokia PC Suit. 6. Wait till the massage confirming synchronizing with Outlook Express. 7. Open Outlook Express and click in the 'Contacts' tab, all your contacts in the mobile should sit there and it would if things go properly. (Point of caution: Please take care to create an achieve file for any contacts that previously existed in the Outlook Express else they will be added with the recent ones.) 8. Connect the iPhone 4 with the PC and let it sync with iTune which should launch automatically. 9. After 'OK to disconnect' massage on the iTune software. Click on the 'Info' tab and chose 'Outlook Express' for syncing your contacts 10. Check with your iPhone 4 all the contacts in your mobile must be there in your iPhone. Please note that existing contacts in the iPhone will be replaced. This simple process applies to Nokia PC Suit and most Nokia mobiles. I believe for other branded mobiles such software as Nokia PC Suit exist in case it isn't the best option is the 'Datapilot' whose fully functional trial version is available for 7 days (probably if not 15 days) at the following url: http://download.cnet.com/DataPilot/3000-2074_4-10453726.html The process is more or less same only disadvantage is it is extremely slow. USING SINGLE PC FOR MORE THAN ONE iPHONE Lot of my friends and colleagues has complained that they can not use the same computer for multiple iPods and iPhones, the solution again is very simple. It can be done very easily by using playlists. Steps: 1. Connect the iPod or iPhone to the PC 2. Click on the 'music' tab of the iTunes 3. Look for the Sync with option 3. Uncheck all except 'add music from the playlist button. 4. Look for the playist down the dialogue box. Uncheck all except the playlists with which the iPhone or iPod is to be synced. (Obviously the playlist contains all the favourite music, songs and music videos) 5. Click on 'Apply' option on the right hand bottom corner of the iTune. 6. Now click on 'Sync' option and wait till the massage 'OK to disconnect'. 7. All your favourite music, songs and music videos is there in your iPhone 4 or iPod. Caution: All previous contents in this tab will be deleted and replaced by the recent once. It is obvious since the 'Sync with playlist' option is used what happens to the library is immaterial no matter how many iPhone or iPods are used with same computer. A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE Apple iPhone 4 is an extremely sophisticated device with amazing array of functional features. May be a bit slow process to begin with but once acquainted the operations are reasonably fast. The safari browser has excellent compatibility, the web with iPhone 4 is such a wonderful place. The issue of strength of signal is to be ignored because it has hardly anything to do with the device. I must say that the device gives you a feel of comfort, reliability (premature to say though) and yes it is definitely handy. The cons has to be taken care of, one of which is the automatic muting while talking on the phone with the face too close. I believe this review will come in handy for fools like me and for others although I am extremely sorry for being a bore but thanks for reading anyway. ***Also on other sites under the same user name
As far as different versions of Ms Office packages are concerned till Office 2003 there were hardly any marked differences but the Office 2007 Home and Student version has come up with quite some variations and too my mind makes working in Word, Excel and PowerPoint that much easier with some improved options. The layout of menus is a bit different and once you are accustomed to them things are pretty simple and much more user friendly. BASIC IMPROVISATIONS: Comparing other versions of Office packages the first thing that tries you is the user menu. You just have Home, Insert, Page Layout, Reference, Mailings, Review and View. Instead of drop down menus when you click one of the main menus there you get boxes. For example the Home menu gives you the basic options Font, Paragraph and styles. On the left hand side box gives you the basic cut, copy and the clipboard options. Again if you look at the clipboard options it can now remember 24 cut and copy features instead of the generally 12 features available in Office 2003 version or previous. Another improvement is the consolidation of basic menu options to one point so that you don't have to search for them all over the place. Consider the Home main menu option: Here all the fonts' options are staged up in one place and if you want more just look for the arrow beside Font, click you get all the extra options. Another addition is on the right hand side i.e. is select text with similar formatting, this is particularly useful. Another very interesting feature id available in the Page Layout Menu, the Water mark option: I would suggest you to delve into this option you will be able to water mark your documents as "Confidential", "Don't Copy" and so on. But mind you they can be removed by you. Even you can make them static and only the person creating the file can remove it. Another marked development is the paragraph spacing feature. By default Office 2007 give you auto 6pt spacing between paragraphs. In the Home main menu look at the right hand corner and click style and see the number of styles available. Again although it is agreed you can install any number of fonts in all the versions of Office but the variety of default fonts available in Office 2007 is amazing the reason is embedding fonts in Adobe Writer becomes that much easier. Another addition is the draft view which is available right at the bottom right hand corner above the notification bar. There you get another wonderful view option and brand new too, "Full screen" reading. You need not scroll the pages. Just click this option and the pages you want read in full screen view appears. On the taskbar the innovations is great. Look at the left hand side, you get an instant view of number of pages, word count and new the surprise 'proof errors'. If you have problems in spelling and basic grammars it will show a 'cross' sign, it doesn't end there, click the 'cross' make corrections. Don't worry all the required correction options are there with suggestions. When you have a document with no corrections necessary it will show a "right" symbol. Oh by the way I forgot to tell you in the water mark section you can have picture water mark also for ornamentation. The sort option has added features too, sorting by paragraph is possible! NEW IN INSERT MAIN MENU: True we are used to Word art but here there is Smart Art also. Just check the option. Previous versions had no option for Different and Footer. Now you can add different Headers and Footer for different pages, which is wonderful. The Microsoft Equation is much more improved and offers great options. Symbols are much easier to insert and there are basic symbols handy. Just at the left hand side there you can design a cover page at any point of time and it will show at the beginning of the file. TABLE: The addition is Quick table, just on example inserts a quick calendar and edits it and it is possible for all the quick table options. Now if you want to create a Curriculum Vita you need not separately insert table and then insert data, it is there as template and of course it is editable. NEW IN PAGE LAYOUT: From now on you can add line number nice and cool, you don't need word editor. REFERENCE: This is a brand new addition but there not many surprises but one feature is the Adding Bibliography, which quite hand and interesting. MAILINGS: It mostly contains what were there in the Tool menu of the previous versions, only that the Mails Merge part has improved and you can send it to recipients directly. A fabulous addition is the support of World lingo. Select the part you want to translate, click your translation language and click on the white arrow with green background (as long as World lingo supports the requested language). A Word About The Title Bar: Now The Title Bar not only shows the name of the program and file but now you can bring your shot cuts right up here. EXCEL: Remains more or less same except the additions applicable to excel. POWERPOINT: The latest addition is the photo album and believe me it is excellent. But What I did not have time to experiment is the possibility of adding mp3 files instead of .avi. If mp3 format is supported it is something of an achievement. JUST IN CASE: If you are looking for short cuts just bang on the Logo right on top at the left hand corner. Best works in XP and Vista Maximum disk space required: 525MB '''IMPORTANT NOTE: Though not particularly relevant but I think it is pertinent to warn you to protect your files with passwords exceeding 18 characters, otherwise it becomes very easy for the hackers. © roktimdutta November, 2009
"I AM BEING SPECIFIC" I think it will be a great idea to get on with this review after considering what you expect from a real quality mp3 player both in terms of sound quality, features and whether it can take your low quality mp3 files to a level when you can wonder 'I never thought it could sound so good! It is accepted that the performance of medial player depends immensely on the quality of the headphones but if the basic input is not upto the mark what would a good pair of headphones do? I am generalizing all these features because with Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman you experience them all for sure. That's why it's so impressive and probably gives Apple iPod Nano a run for the money in the media player consumer market. The first and foremost plus of a real quality mp3 player is that it should not make you feel uncomfortable at even a very high volume, which implies very little or zero distortion. Its performance across the whole gamut of the audio spectrum must be consistent. Saying technically it should be eloquent through out the 20hz-20,000hz frequency range not doing injustice to any pocket of frequencies. If the technology and its execution of the mp3 media players are perfect then you can hear the singer taking a breath in between lines. If you are listening to an orchestra there will be no problem in identifying which instrument is coming to the for, at same the others instruments that are being played along side are distinct. Although not quite an example of real orchestra music if you listen to "Go South of the boarder" by the inimitable 50 guitars arranged by the great Tommy Garret in Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman the experience is mind-blowing, at least it had been like that for me. In a typical mp3 player the background music and the voice of the singer tend to coalesce but a quality mp3 stuff like Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman will make both distinct. In a super quality mp3 player like Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman you can even hear the sound of the impact of fingers and the strings of the guitar while changing chords. I am an ardent admirer of 'Pink Floyd', they have made a habit of dishing out quality songs. Whenever I think of this group the first album that comes into my mind is the 'Dark side of the Moon', to my mind their best ever creation But believe me when I heard "Gig in the sky" in Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman, it was whole new experience. Again you hear Ian Anderson's 'Jethro Tull', you will never have realized the breathing of Ian Anderson while playing the flute. I am quite sure that every body who loves classical music rendered in flute will immediately recognize Haripasad Chaurasia, listening to him in Sony NWZ-A845 Walkman had been a whole new experience for me and I realize what amount effort he puts in while playing the instrument, you can hear him breathing. I don't think Billy Joel and especially Elton John requires any introduction to any body. They are not only class vocalist but also great pianists. "She is always a woman to me" is to my mind one of the best Billy Joel numbers. I never realized such great equalization when the bass guitar and the piano goes, none over rides the other and when you here this number in Sony NWZ-A845, it's so euphonious. Listen to Elton John and fill that he is both banging and kissing his piano with his fingers as the emotion of the lyrics and tune require and the piano felt hammers hitting the strings, absolutely amazing. The Sony NWZ-A845 has been able to incorporate the surround effect so perfectly that it stands out as one of its most outstanding qualities. In this particular media player they have that technology nearly if not absolutely perfect, which speaks volumes of the incredible quality of Sony NWZ-A845. A comparison of Apple iPod nano and Sony NWZ-A845 is bound to crop up; infact the news that is buzzing in the media player market is that Sony NWZ-A845 has been launched to counter the Apple iPod nano. That's fine since healthy competition always benefits the consumer but what must be said is their technology is not really the same. But I would definitely say, comparing the default headphones of both these superb media players, Sony NWZ-A845 stays way ahead. The noise canceling is far better, I haven't tried Nano but I have tried Shuffle air-buds in buses, you can hardly hear the sound, but shuffle gave far better performance even with cheap Panasonic over-the ear heaphone with a noise canceler. Coming to point of poor quality of music files, it's only natural that the great "Beatles" performed during the early sixties and late seventies (mostly), there is no argument that quality of gadgets used during that period was vastly inferior to what it is being used now. It is true that extreme efforts have been taken to improve the quality of those immortal creations with recently available technologies. But to what extent can they be improved? Don't you think there is a question mark on that? But sometime ago I was listening to "Hey Jude" by the 'Beatles' and believe me it sounded pretty heartening as far as the quality of reproduction was concerned, the magic of Sony NWZ-A845? Better not talk about Brian Adams and his "Summer of 69", "Straight from heart" or "I do it for you", just put them on in Sony NWZ-A845 close your eyes, promise you will get blown. SIMPLICITIES? I think I will put Apple iPod Nano ahead of Sony NWZ-A845 in terms simplicity. No doubt the Sony NWZ-A845 is probably the best, both in terms of brightness and contrast, may not be that detailed with a 400x240 pixel resolution. But both photos and videos in the unit are rescaled without any hiccups and you can not really complain about the clarity. But the Sony NWZ-A845 interface is bit of a problem compared to the simplicity of Apple iPod nano is much friendlier than Sony NWZ-A845, not that navigating with Sony NWZ-A845 is difficult, but my point of contention is that nano is simpler to use and more friendly. You can not call Sony NWZ-A845 navigating parameters brilliant. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION: Why don't you visit? http://www.tracyandmatt.co.uk/blogs/index.php/ sony-nwz-a845-walkman-unboxing-video/ They have given it nicely and in detail: WHAT I HAD WHEN I UN-WRAPPED THE BOX: I must say that Sony does everything in great style, the presentation of the box is excellent, and unwrap it you get: *First of course the Sony NWZ-A845 (Flash memory 16GB) *Docking Adapter *3.5mm Audio input cable *Headphones (Noise cancelling ones) *Large and small extra ear buds. *Sync/charge USB 2.0 *PC software And other stuffs like booklets get started (as they always do in different languages); Precaution booklet (gives you 'dos' and 'don'ts'). Then the Product Registration Info and how can they forget to give you their warranty information? MY LAST WORD: Well if video and music quality are what your priority, it's for you. Go for it blind folded but then if affordability is a factor, you may have second thoughts consider the nano: Prices: Apple iPod nano: £124 (rounded off) Sony NWZ-A845: £150 (rounded off) Thanks for reading. '''© roktimdutta, May, 2010 Also on other sides under the same user name
It's true that I have tremendous respect for Sony's audio quality but then Philips has always been synonymous with quality audio product. Nobody can deny that most us are "Apple" struck. But recently I have come across an amazingly easy to use MP3 player with awesome audio output at a very reasonable price. The Philips Go Gear Raga will leave you nothing to complain. Stuffing it with music files could not have been easier. Most will say it's a basic one to which I agree also, but very effective. Simple things done simply, no advanced software is required to perform the job of transferring music files although Philips Go Gear Raga does come with additional software but one need not worry as long as the computer has an USB port and is reasonably updated. Just drag those favourite songs into the MP3 player, create folders the way it's done in the computer right click, new and folder. It's so bloody simple. If you are finicky about trendy looks it has that too. Available in silver and black (looks sexy) but then the red one is equally attractive. The design is simple as its operations are with a very functional LCD screen. It's not really a poor man's alternative to the iPods, may be they are much more exciting but in terms of quality it matches its much more expensive peer step for step. I would go further and say that if you compare its performance with the default headphone and the iPods, well you have your money's worth. One note of caution, the reproduction depends largely on the performance of the original file. If the quality of the mother file is dubious, it audio quality does fall far short of expectation. I realized this the hard way. I'm a Beatle diehard fan but to my utter dismay John Lenon or Paul McCartney didn't sound impressive as I had put "Imagine" and "Let it be" into Philips Go Gear Raga after a conversion to MP3 format from its original flv files. Limitations are of course there in this MP3 player but nothing really insurmountable. Although it comes with some, I would say, hardly functional audio options. The quality of the original file influences Philips Go Gear Raga's performance without question. There are certain drawbacks which solves with use, like I landed up with sticky buttons but they smoothed out with use. Although navigation is very easy but I would advice new users to stay out of too many folders and sub folders when things might just become a bit dicey and require more time than you would like to manage and access them. The recording quality of its built-in microphone is enviable as you get used to it, meaning as long as you learn the art of judging proper distance of the source, closer you get it's prone to distortion and heterodyne. I would have preferred a dampener but then never mind, keep using it there are so many things to learn in this wide world of ours. The recordings save automatically to the device recoverable for later play-back or transfer onto the computer. Let's go into the technical information a little bit: * Black, Silver, Red. * LCD display. * 1in screen. * 8, 4, 2GB memory. * 20 hours battery life. * Stores up to 4000 (8 GB) songs. * Compatible with Windows 2000, XP,Vista or Windows 7. * MP3/WMA compatible. * Repeat and shuffle functions. * 2.0 USB port. * Rechargeable. * Portable solid state. * USB cable supplied. * Software included. * Includes in ear headphones. General information: * Weight 35g. * Size H4.7, W4.5, D1.5cm. * Built-in battery. * EAN/Barcode: 8712581534530. As you can understand from the above info Philips Go Gear Raga is incredibly small and lightweight but it is just big enough to allow easy access to the tracks and the controls with a very neatly and cleverly designed LCD. The battery life is the best plus of this Philip's gadget. It gives you unhindered 20 hours continuous playback. The Philips Go Gear Raga is chargeable via USM cable either through the computer's USB or mains USB adapter. In the mean time the LCD gives you most of the information as far as the charging process is concerned. The player is charged via a USB cable, which jacks in directly to your computer's USB port or a mains USB adapter to charge. It doesn't take very long at all for the player to charge completely, and a helpful LCD display will inform you of charging progress and charging completion. Since you have the option let your track title be shown for, say, 20 seconds since it is one of the factor that decides the total play-back time on one full charge. Priced at £36.5 (8GB) and £29 (4GB) what more one can expect
APPLE iPod TOUCH 64GB FOURTH GENERATION is unbelievably slim but then which apple iPod isn't? Before going into the main review I think it will be worthwhile to let you know the ten big issues for which one should go for it. 1. Front Facing camera. 2. HD camcorder 3. Video calling 4. FaceTime 5. Integrated microphone 6. Retina Display 7. Gyroscope sensor 8. Improve capabilities of Apple's iOS platform. 9. Superior playback time. 10. Full AVRCP support to its existing Bluetooth 2.1 feature. THINGS TO EXPECT: 1. GPS 2. Option for 3G data service. For those new to the Apple iPod phobia (not me, although being downright critical of Apple iPods I caught up with the apple fever when I first boarded the Apple bus with the Apple iPod shuffle and I haven't really rued owning it) I must underline the fact that intending owners must get acquainted with the iTune software. Not that any great skill is required to use it but to get the most out of this softaware does require a bit of 'getting acquainted'. A WORD OR TWO ABOUT APPLE iTUNE: Apple iTune is a software available free for both Windows and Mac users. It requires installation on to the computer just like other softwares and it takes around 6 mins to go through the whole process of installation. Unless you are running other application it not essential to re-start your machine but I would recommend a re-start of your computer after installing any software because it resolves the registry issues straight way. The software launches immediately as the iPod is connected to the computer taking just that wee bit of time for synchronization. Please keep an eye on top of the iTune software screen because it is very explicit about when to disconnect and the status of the process going on. To get your files (audio and video) iTune software is a must. It must be noted that when ever you are installing the software a unique library is created for a particular iPod, meaning you can not use the same library for two different iPods. The moment the machine is formatted or the iTune software is removed from the system, the previous library becomes non functional although there are softwares to reconstruct the old library but then they are highly unreliable. I believe there is no harm in dubbing Apple iPod Touch as the iPhone without the facilities of a phone. Agreed you can not make or take a phone call with the iPod Touch and sans the GPS feature but that's about all while comparison comes up with iPhones. Although there is no dramatic changes in the latest version but if you go by apps it is the iPad that is small enough to be tucked in your pocket. Lets us try and dig in to the latest version of iPod Touch's recent additions. IT'S CAMERA FOR STILLS: If you look into the technical specs it's clear that it has got a smaller sensor than the iPhone 4. The resolution is lower and it of course lacks the flash and its understandable why doesn't really compare favourably with iPhone 4's images. The Touch's rear facing camera shoots at a healthy 720x2592 pixel but hardly anything to mach the iPhone 4's capacity to capture still images at a breath taking 1936x2592 pixels. Simply said the iPhone 4 carries a smart 5 megapixel to iPod Touch's less than I megapixel. But am I going to use it for pro shooting? Not really. If you forget the comparison with iPhone 4 the images are reasonable satisfactory agreed not the stuff for shooting in anything but ideal conditions. May not be the ideal camera but it's an app which comes pretty handy. The iPod Touch's Video Camera: I have not really taken any video shot with the iPhone 4 video camera all from the point of view of technicalities they both have the same capability (the rear facing camera of iPod Touch) both having a resolution of 720p. The result I got with the Touch was nothing less than satisfactory but both critics and experts say the iPhone 4 captures are far better than the Touch, possible but all the same seeing is believing and the Touch justifies my faith under good and favourable conditions. The iPod Touch fourth generation supports Apple's iMovie which gives the capability of creating my own movies just as they should be, titles, soundtracks and themes. The best part is that when videos are uploaded to, say, youtube the HD quality is amazing probably the incorporation of iOS 4.1 in the Touch. FaceTime: My, my its wonderful, the moment the FaceTime app is launched on the iPod Touch you are just asked to put in the e-mail address and it sends a link to the concerned person for verification, the moment it's done the Touch launches the browser and takes you to Apple's Website, just enter your Apple ID and password and click the verify address button and the Touch ensures you receive a FaceTime call at that particular address. All you have to do now is to open your contact and there is there on the contact screen is a FaceTime button prod it to start a FaceTime call, of course you need a Wi-fi connection. It works fine and has been hassle free. Don't be worried that the mic is on the back of the set, it's sensitive enough to catch and send your conversations to the receiver and the internal speaker is as good. I must accept the fact at certain times the audio did sound a bit distorted but just for small length of time, by the time you start worrying it's all perfectly alright. RETINA DISPLAY: Retina Display's video quality is just breath-taking. The technology is fabulous and it keeps Touch ahead of it competitors miles ahead. Be it gaming, a TV show or a full length feature film the performance of Retina Display is absolutely impressive. PERFORMANCE SAYS IT ALL: The battery life is as amazing as it slim looks, a staggering 35-45 hours continuous audio playback and a good 6 and a half hours video playback, isn't it mind blowing? Considering Apple's bunny the audio is just good enough all though not offering options of customizing the Equalizer. But as long as you have a good pair of headphones or earbuds, the audio experience is just great but the default earbuds are just horrible. Available in 8GB, 32GB and 64GB, the best buy would be the 64GB at £235.25 where as a 32 GB iPhone 4 is priced at £192.50, which looks better? Well enjoy the review and initiate your thinking process. (Also at other sites with same username)
My first introduction to Vanity Fair was in my childhood when I used live in a remote village. There was an outlet called Vanity fair where all sorts of goodies were available and when ever we were in need of something which was not easily available we went to Vanity fair and lo it was there. As I grew up I came across John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and there I came know of another Vanity fair which meant "A place or scene of ostentation or empty, idle amusement and frivolity" and I thought that was impressive. On the other hand, however, William Makepeace Thackery used "Vanity Fair" to christen his very widely read satirical novel of 1948, being serialized in Punch magazine of Great Britain during that period. When I grew up a little more the "Vanity fair" of my village had its imprint on my mind. Because as far as I remember the greatest embarrassment of my life was my answer to a question about Vanity fair. One of my young buddies asked me "How do you like the Vanity fair?" I smugly said "Why? I go there on regular basis and if you feel like you can come along with me and check out, it is the most updated variety store in town, dear! Have you been there only recently?" "I didn't know you can shop in a magazine live, dear!" bang came the answer. When I came to know the Vanity Fair he was referring to my surprise had no end. At this point I delved deep into it and the more I discovered about it, more enchanted I got. If you look into the evolution of Vanity Fair it goes way back to the 1800s the magazine had three incarnations in the 1800s itself. Between 1859 to 1863 it was a Manhattan weekly meant for mostly humour, then came the Vanity Fair, U.K., periodical dubbed as the cream of society magazines between 1868 and1914 and I quote Sir Leslie "Spy" Ward, the magazine's most celebrated illustrator "when the history of the Victorian Era comes to be written in true perspective, the most faithful mirror and record of .... The spirit of the times will be sought and found in Vanity Fair" which now seems to be an apt statement. Another American weekly publication cropped up in 1890 more as a magazine catering to theatre and nakedly claimed that it reaches "the vast, luxury-loving, money spending multitude everywhere" and how correct he was! 1913, saw the advent of Condé Nast, who had already a massive success with Vogue,and said to have paid 3,000 US dollars for using the rights to use the title "Vanity Fair" in the US and introduced "Dress & Vanity Fair" which had an uncelebrated four publication run. But Frank Crowninshield was the architect of a rejuvinated, revampmeped Vanity Fair in 1914. Modern artist like Picasso, Brancusi, illustrators of the calibre of Miguel Cavarribus and Paolo Garreto were promoted. Contrubutions were published from the likes of Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein and D. H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, T. S Elliot. Probably it is the only magazine which has captured Aldous Huxlley, T. S Eliot, Ferenc Monhar, Getrude Stein, and Djuna Barnes all to appear in a single issue, July 1923. Celebrity potrayal was taken to great heights by the pioneering works of such photographers as Baron de Meyer, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton to mention a few. "Vanity Fair" reached great heights in the 20s and went through to the 30s and the brilliance and aptitude of Croninshield and Nast made their mark in Manhattan "café society" and Vanity Fair was the smartest of the smart magazines of that Era. To quote Cleveland Amory, an established social historian "Vanity Fair was as accurate a barometer of its time as exists." But in 1936 Vanity Fair had its share of the great Depresion and was suspened for being too urbane. In 1935, December Conde Nast announced that "Vanity Fair" and "Vogue" will merge into "Vanity Fair". In 1983 Vanity Fair was rsurrected half a century later by the Conde Nast Publications. Richard Locke and Leo Larmen as editors had but a limited impact. It started cracking celebrities through writers like Dominick Dunne and saw the advent of scandals of all sorts in it in Tina Browns era which started in 1984. But real success story was to come in 1992 when Graydon Carter (of the Time, Life, Spy, The New York Observer fame) took the magazine to its dizzy height both in terms quality and financial with its international edition already launched in 1991. The list of regular contributing columnist include Sebastian Junger, Michael Wolff, Chris Hitchens, Dominick Dunne, Maureen Orth and Vicky Ward. Late Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Jestino are celebrated photographers who contribute to Vanity Fair on regular basis. They have enriched this famous magazine with breath taking full-page portraits of current celebrities. The most famous or infamous was probably the August 1991 cover which featured a pregnant naked Demi Moore in "More Demi Moore" Journalist Marie Brenner exposed the tobacco industry in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and this remarkable article was adapted into a movie "The Insider" (1999) starring Al Pacino and Russel Crowe. The most famous in Vanity Fair articles is probably the one published in May 2005 revealing the identity of Deep Throat (W. Mark Felt) one of the main sources for Washington Post whose articles in it on "Watergate" led the 1974 resignation of Richard Nixon, the then U.S President It also has articles to its credit which boasts of candid interviews of celebrities like Teri Hatcher, Brad Pitt, Anderson Cooper and Martha Stewart. The highest selling issue was the one which carried the Jennifer Aniston cover after her divorce. The second highest selling was the October, 2006 issue which covered Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to their Telloride, Colorado home carrying the photo shoot of the couple and their daughter Suri Cruise repelling public anxiety about the existance of Suri. There are three international editions of Vanity Fair in United Kingdom, Spain and Italy the German edition being wounded up in 2009 with the Italian being weekly. It has its fair share of controversies with the photographs featuring Mike Myers dressed up as Hindu deity shot by David LaChapelle, published in April 1999, in fact both apologized after an international uproar. The first Vanity Fair "Art Issue" ran into controversy with a photograph of Brad Pitt wearing nothing but a pair white boxers, published in December 2006. Again they got themselves wrapped in controversy over topless depiction of 15 year old Miley Cyrus in April, 2008 preceded by the Roman Polanski libel in 2005. Ultimately Polanski was awarded a hooping £50,000 in damages by the London High Court. In January 2006 issue of Vanity Fair, Lindsay Lohan admitted drug abuse and then denied promting the magazine to say "Every word was recorded on tape. Vanity Fair stands by the story." Sometimes criticise, most of the time eulogised but always awited for its arrival on the desk with the latest and the best article on performing arts, arts, international celebrities and much more at a cost of £3.40 an issue. The formatting of the magazine is immaculate with myriad interruption of glossy and catchy advertisement, runs into generally about 200 colorful pages. You just get don't bored of it. The Vanity Fair reflects modern society, power and personality through its in depth reporting, lively profiles, keen cultural statements, apt and lively writing on the icons and budding icons of the age.
As always all Apple iPods are exceedingly smart and catchy, in spite of the aahs and oohs for the features that has been taken away the 6Gen iPod nano is a more sensible device than, may be, it's more illustrious predecessor. Let us check out what has been left and I'll try my best justify their deletion. Yet I have a gut feeling that Jobes may just be eying at the earphone or the earbud market in a big way! Ten most note able deletions: 1. The built in Video recorder 2. Video play back 3. Video rental capability 4. Physical buttons 5. Click-wheel games (like Vortex, Maze, Klondike) 6. Notes 7. Contacts 8. Calendars 9. Stopwatch 10. Alarms So the glaring cons are: a. Cheaper earbuds, smaller screen than previous nano b. Multi-Touch sometimes more gimmicky than useful c. No physical playback buttons d. No video-watching and -recording features The features which remain intact: i. VoiceOver support for announcing track information ii. FM radio with live pausing iii. Shake-to-shuffle iv. Fitness pedometer But even you even get access to voice recording, you'll need to supply your own mic-equipped earphones since the bundled pair are just plain old earbuds. A BIT ABOUT THE 6G iPod Nano size factor: If you look into the designing of the all the Apple iPods, they have all come in rectangular sizes but the recent one is a definite deviation from the norm. It has taken an immensely smaller shape, nearly square 1.5inchx1.6inch but it is thickest nano of all them at 0.35inches weighing a mere: 0.7 ounce. The reason being the built-in spring loaded clip like the shuffle and mind you it is very functional. Before I forget I think I should share the fact that I always make it a point to have my earbuds attached to the tiny device, just a precaution against losing it and it has helped. Criticisms and reservation for this latest Apple 6G iPod nano apart I liked the small screen it's gorgeous, bright with its 240x240-pixel resolution and of course easy to read. It offers excellent customization options like the ability to change the background, change the order of the icon and control the orientation of the screen. It is very user friendly in a sense that those who are accustomed to iPhones and iPads, the mechanism is more or less the same. These are available in memory capacities of 8GB and 16GB and seven new wonderful colors that will make anybody suffer from indecision (of course retains the aluminum shell): 1. Red 2. Pink 3. Yellow 4. Green 5. Blue 6. Grey and 7. Silver. For me I'll opt for the grey one any day. Now the iPod shuffle (1GB) stores around 250 songs, taking that an average file duration of 5 minutes so 8GB should be capable of well around 2000 songs but the practical experience for me is that it has no problems storing 3500 songs. JUST A DIG IN ITS TECHNICAL SPECS: Storage Type: Flash memory Capacity: 8GB or 16GB Audio File Types Supported: AAC (to 320Kbps); Protected AAC (from iTunes Store); HE-AAC; MP3 (to 320Kbps); MP3 VBR; Audible; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV Photo File Types Supported: JPEG; TIFF, PICT; GIF; PNG; JPG2000/JP2; PSD; SGI; BMP Screen Size (Diagonal): 1.5 inches FM Tuner: Yes Mfr. Rated Battery Life: 24 hours Dimensions (HWD): 1.5x1.6x0.35 inches Weight: 0.7 ounce Color Specifications Display - 1.54 color TFT display, 240 x 240 pixel resolution Input/Output - Dock connector, Earphones jack External buttons - Volume control, Sleep/Wake button Sensors - Accelerometer FM Radio - Regional settings for Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Japan, Live Pause Extra Features - Localized UI & VoiceOver (29 Languages) Audio Frequency Response - 20Hz - 20kHz INTERFACE & FUNCTIONALITY: I must say that the interface is simply and user friendly and the touch screen response is excellent. The iOS-like icons on each screen is highly intuitive lead to the noted function with ease. Then again there are always some hiccups with a new and sophisticated machine, it hardly takes time to get over them. I think it will be worthwhile to mention a bit of my opinion in a sense that it is widely accepted that Apple knows best the touch screen and it's friendly attitude but I would any day settle for Apple home button that exists in other touch-screen device from Apple and do away with some of Nano's tiny form factor! FM TUNER: The radio is fun to use and a nice option is very much functional and very useful just in case you get bored with the songs available in the library. One of the impressive feature of the FM tuner is its capability to pause the live broadcast, saving a reasonable 10-15 minutes of the air-time. It has got the facility to mark you favorite station. BATTERY: The batter life is mind-blowing 18 hours and takes about 3.5 hours for charging. A GLARING DRAWBACK: High technology, touch screen, they are all very good and definitely useful. But there are certain situations when a physical playback control becomes a necessity, suppose you have the nano in your hip-pocket and you are driving, suddenly you want to skip tracks what would you do? What did I say I in the beginning? Yes may be Apple has its eyes on the sophisticated head market. By now you will, probably, be knowing that Apple markets Earphones with Remote and Mic. They have an inline remote-control module that lets you do most of the actions remotely. As always the latest Apple 6G iPod nano comes with those disappointing earbuds. They are horrible, wear them for 15 minutes, you sure to land up with acute pain in on the surface of your ear. BROWSING: Since the latest Apple 6G iPod nano screen size is very small browsing the list requires lot more scrolling and swiping practically you can see three and half entries since there is no way to reduce the font size. THE LAST WORD: All said, done and argued my main reservation and concern regarding the 6G iPod nano boils down to its real usability. It's now a simple music and photo play back machine, after moving forward I believe in terms of functionality its taken quite some steps backwards. But then one can argue what ever the screen size, resolution and clarity be a Video player should be king size. It's Apple's credit that they had the guts to delete the video capability tag from the latest version of nano. As far as the as the audio quality is concerned I am sorry to say the same thing, with the default earbuds-it's just ordinary but with a good pair of earbuds (may be a Sony or Creative) makes nano boom. Apple 6G iPod nano's great advantage and disadvantage: 1. The size 2. Again the Size 3. The Price. Price: 8GB £124.10 16GB £157.95 (http://www.amazone.co.uk)
Before going into the main review of Sony's latest S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B, let me delve into the history, technology and the drawbacks of the Vaio series laptops. The reason why I have not mentioned the advantages is obvious. Matter of Attitude: Nobody can deny the fact that the invention of transistors revolutionized the whole world, but it is to be noted that most of the American companies were busy researching the transistor for military and logistic application but in the beginning of the 1950s Sony, in fact Morita and Ibuka insisted and convinced Bell Labs' to let them license the technology to the Japanese Company and they used it to revolutionize the communication system. It's true that (Regency) and Texas Instruments was the first to build the transistors but it was Ibuka's company who made it commercially successful. ARRIVAL OF THE VAIOS': Video Audio Integrated Operation was the original acronym for VAIO but later on since 2008 there came the alteration and VAIO got the new acronym Visual Audio Intelligence Organizer when already in its 10th year. To my mind this acronym is more appropriate than the previous one, since Timoth Hanley created the branding to differentiate items that grouped the use of consumer audio and video and being a conventional computing device as well. If you look into the Sony Vaio W series PCs, it functions both as conventional or a regular computer and a more or less miniature entertainment hub. It is widely known that Sony manufactured computers in 1980s for the national market only but withdrew from the computer scene around the end of 1990 only to comeback with global exposure under the VAIO branding with the PCV series of DTs in 1996. The logo of VAIO is the integration of analog and digital technology which the VAIO series of computers aptly demonstrate, 'VA'-for analog wave and 'IO'-for digital binary code that makes up the now famous 'VAIO'. Now let us have a look at the latest Sony S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B, it emphasizes the fact that simplicity represents beauty and as the Sony slogan goes make.believe the user is made to believe this fact. It's plain but extremely stylish in its smooth glossy black finish. Apart from the top or the lid which seems to give away under pressure but at 2kg, which is definitely light considering the fact that the VPCS12V9E/B has a built-in DVD writer. Again it doesn't breathe that much heat from underneath as most laptop does either from the sides or the bottom, more often than not it does become a source of discomfort. The first impressive part of the latest S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B that striked me, is its large and very responsive keyboard. It really feels easy to type in. I will take it as massive 'plus' for the cute machine as unless you can type in at a comfortable speed the point of a laptop being fast looses its impact and on top of that under dark conditions the backlit keys automatically illuminate. But then most people will point a finger and start saying does that only "plus" justify a price of £1,148? Well, I shall take up that part as we proceed further with this review. I have found that the S-series Vaio, the VPCS12V9E/B comfortably gives a battery support of around 6 hr plus. A Kolkata-London flight with a break at New Delhi is around 13 hrs 48 mnt which means the machine needs to be charged just once, that is fantastic. The cryptic will say "lesser priced machines gives much higher battery life", yes agreed but again they do not come any where the processing speed of the VPCS12V9E/B. Although it's boring and can be taken from any website yet I will dig into certain parts of it's technical specs: TECHNICAL SPECS-BITS & PIECES: * Dimensions (WxDxH) 31.5 cm x 22.9 cm x 3.2 cm * Weight 2 kg * Built-in Devices Stereo speakers, wireless LAN aerial, Bluetooth aerial, cellular aerial * Embedded Security Fingerprint reader * Processor Intel Core i5 520M / 2.4 GHz ( 2.93 GHz ) ( Dual-Core ) * RAM 6 GB (installed) / 8 GB (max) - DDR3 SDRAM - 1066 MHz - PC3-8500 * Card Reader Yes * Hard Drive 500 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm * Optical Storage DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - integrated * Display 13.3" TFT 1366 x 768 ( WXGA ) * Graphics Controller NVIDIA GeForce 310M * Video Memory 512 MB * Audio Output Sound card * Telecom Wireless cellular modem - 7.2 Mbps * Wireless Broadband (WWAN) 3G Mobile Broadband * Networking Network adapter - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR * Notebook Camera Integrated - 0.3 Megapixel * Input Device Touchpad, backlit keyboard * Battery Lithium Ion * Run Time (Up To) 4.5 hour(s) * Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition * Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC. * Manufacturer Warranty 2 years warranty I really wonder at the necessity of a 6GB RAM but then it does guarantee its excellence in all applications. It must be great news for those who use CS3 extended or CS4 and not forgetting those using extensively Adobe Premier Pro. The NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphics chip wouldn't eat into the RAM since it has its own memory. A WORD FOR SECURITY FREAKS The finger print reader works fine, it can be used to lock the computer instead of using login pass word. In case you land up with injured fingers the VPCS12V9E/B has BIOS option to clear stored finger prints (of course open to risk from those who are really computer savvy but then which laptop is secure from those computer freaks!). Sony's software can be used to create encrypted files and can be used to lock and unlock with finger prints rather than passwords. INTRIGUING SURFING SPEED: I was wondering why I had much less problems while surfing on the net especially with those sites which were heavy with images and videos. You may have known about it but I had faint idea that some how the processor speed and the configuration of a computer is related in getting the best out of you internet service provider and I'm was fortunate enough to come across a short but wonderful article written by Blaise Lucey (the URL is given below if you are interested in the whole article) and I can't but agree. Some excerpts: Processor speed is essentially the speed at which your computer processes information. Here are the major ways in which processor speed can affect surfing the Internet: Visiting new web sites is more dependent on connection speed, but sites you have already visited will load faster with faster processor speed. Processor speed also affects how quickly you can go back and forth between different Internet browsers or tabs. When you are surfing the Internet, processor speed also determines how fast certain videos or songs load and online games and animations are also software, your processor speed affects how fast these load, respond, and react. Flash media is affected by the processor speed, as are MMPORGs or other online video games. (http://www.mademan.com/ mm/how-does-processor-speed-affect-surfing-internet.html) SOME POINTS TO PONDER: I wish the keyboard backlit could be manually adjusted as is possible in Apple MacBook Pro laptops. Also the ExpressCard is a fabulous extra but I really can not agree with its location. The warranty issue is very disappointing considering the price tag. Sony has shown too much of professionalism in a sense that a three year extended warranty plan is available at a very high £207 that gives onsite service. As to the justification of the price, well it's debatable but does everybody need such a sophisticated machine? If you do and the brand name matters, then price should not be a factor. For me, I really don't need such a machine and even if I do I can not afford it.
A MAJOR & SERIOUS UPGRADE: Before going into the review proper I would like to make an observation which might sound intriguing and stupid to most people but honestly, how many are there, who use the Office suit (any version) on regular basis are accustomed to it so that they can get most out of it? I am sure the answer is very few. One of the reasons being till Ms. Office 2007, it was simple stuff. But very few know (please note this is my personal experience) being well versed in Office Suit is something and being capable of using it to its potential is something else. What I mean is if you know the correct options, things can be done in double quick time and that too neatly, giving your creations a real pro look. To be very honest, spending 12-14 hours in front of my computer I hardly use 75% of what Ms.Office suite has to offer and quite sure this applies to most. WHY MS SUITE 2010 FOR HOME AND BUSINESS: Before taking a look at its highs let me explore its system requirements which is quite demanding compared to its previous versions. To my mind anybody going for 2010 version of the Office Suite must first look into what he/she essentially requires to have Ms Office 2010 for Home and students installed in the machine. There is no problem for those who has a latest version of a laptop or desktop, else please go through the system requirements of the latest upgrade of the Office suite. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: First and foremost, this version of the Office Suite requires at least SP3 (32-bit)of Windows XP. Compared to SP2, SP3 is exceeding resource hungry. You'll need at the very least a 500MHz processor or higher, 256MB of RAM (512MB recommended to use more advanced features). It runs fine with both Windows 7 and Windows XP. As with most Office Suite the installation is simple and will take up to at most 12 minutes of your time. It will be worthwhile to mention that when installing this version of the Office Suite (or any version for that matter) take care go for the 'Customize' option. This gives you the opportunity to get full functionality of the Suite. Although recommended for 'Advance Users' this option hardly requires great understanding computer science. While running setup you can customize your office suite, meaning you can have all the features with full functionality or put some of off. IN CASE IT INTERESTS YOU: Double click on the set up icon. Put in the key, click on 'Custom' installation. From the ensuing option dialogue box click on the box on left hand side of the feature you require (like Word), there are four options on the drop down menu, click on the second option (Run all from my computer). This ensures that all the features of Word is installed on the system. This is especially important for this version. To put of any feature (saving you hard disk space) click on "This feature is not available" immediately you get it crossed (red) meaning the set up will not install that feature at all. What I mean to say is that it not essential that you have to install all the features. You might have just Word and Excell installed others not being available, this is what customization means, get what you want and rest remains on the CD, feel free to have them later. LET US EXAMINE THE ADDITIONS, UPDATES OR UPGRADES Word 2010: There are minor additions here as far as 'word processing' is concerned, but pots of innovations on the image editing issue. * 1) Artistic Effect * 2) Exceedingly powerful Remove Background feature. Some of these Photoshop features have been very intelligently assimilated. Both these feature require lot of 'getting used' or practice but once you get the hang of it, they are just as good. I must say the 'Remove Background' tool is a real nifty stuff, immensely useful to add or remove parts of the background when it is the issue as far as the feel and look of the document is concerned. One of the most wonderful feature of MS SUITE 2010 FOR HOME AND STUDENTS is its compatibility to edit documents in collaboration, fantastic functionality in Word and PowerPoint. But of course you have to have them stored in Windows Live SkyDrive, I'll take this up later in a bit more detail. Excel 2010: There are tons of new cheeky statistical, mathematical and financial functions, for those maths savvy geeks they are real cool upgrades. Sparkline, for examples, is one of those which stands out over other upgrades in Excel 2010. They are mini graphs that lets you see trends over a series of values, no need for strenuous hunting around a trend line on a larger excel chart, Excel 2010 shows the trend for a range of values in an adjacent cell, one glance and you know where you are heading to. Slicers are the others of some notable upgrades, you could not enjoy more the Pivot Tables and charts to visualize data. PowerPoint 2010: The image editing tools are exceptional but the headline must be granted to the video editing tools. You can edit videos, add effects and don't forget you can jolly well stop searching the net for a PowerPoint to Flash (.flv) converter to upload your presentations with audio added to sites like Youtube. Even embedding web videos in your slides from these sites are so simple, giving a real pro-look with basic editing capabilities. Another fab upgrade is the 'Broadcast Slide Show' option. Most of us would love it. One does not require a dedicated web-conferencing infrastructure, just choose 'Broadcast Slide Show' from Share & Send option of PowerPoint, you get URL. Just e-mail the URL to one of your targets. They will just have to open their browser and copy/paste the URL or just click the URL, more often than not the web-browser opens on its own. Even you can just try the broadcast on your mobile provided the GPRS connection is fast enough else don't. Outlook 2010: There are pots of innovations here. The new Conversation View with at least two cool features (a) Clean Up and (b) Ignore. Clean Up looks through the entire conversation, deleting redundant and useless massages within massages. In case you are tired of long conversation just click 'Ignore', immediately it moves all future massages from that conversation automatically to the 'Deleted Items' folder. It was an absolute necessity for Outlook 2010 to makes things attractive with new features to remain in competition, since Google's online Gmail search tools offering so much of options, probably Outlook 2010 has its way with the new Conversation View as it lets one group thread together conversations so they can be viewed in one place. With the Quick Steps option macros can be created for common every-day tasks. Forwarding specific e-mails to third parties couldn't be easier. Both Conversation View and Quick Steps may not be apparently intuitive but once the 'getting used to' process is over it will save enormous amount time spent for processing e-mails in future. Businessmen are well advised to use Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or Microsoft Windows SharePint Services for that matter for collaborating on projects, not that private users can not access their work. Private users can always have an access provided they use Windows Live and Web apps on SkyDrive. Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 have a wonderful syncing mechanism to avoid sudden and abrupt changes while working on a project. Word, for example, locks the paragraph that one person is editing will show you a contact card from them so that you can chat/mail with them through Windows Messenger. I have worked with Google Docs, it's extremely easy to share word docs or excel sheets with other users, and though not as sophisticated, One Note as it had been offered in this suite may not enough of an option. SkyDrive: It's a cloud based storage system with a good 25GB of space for docs so that it can be accessed from anywhere. Simply get a Windows Live ID, log in and start managing Word, Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations if not more. Save to SkyDrive is the new file menu capability of this version. They all can be edited using feature-complete Web apps through SkyDrive. Paste preview Another upgrade that must be mention is the paste view. It's accepted that Office suite always remembered to 12 cuts or paste on the clipboard but you had remember the order to use them. But now Paste View shows how they will look like when pasted. It is consistent across most of the applications in Office 2010. Backstage View: It an enhanced replacement for the File menu, Backstage view brings related, but separate tasks into one page for easy access. It is probably the most significant of changes to Microsoft Office Suite. VALUE FOR MONEY: Office Home & Students is priced at £68.80 and Office Home & Business (FPP) at £151.50. No doubt pricey but worth, at least to my mind. Full trial version: https://www7.buyoffice.microsoft.com/asia/shopperinfo2.aspx? cache=1890234328& culture=en-GB&wa=wsignin1.0 Also Check: http://office.microsoft.com/en-in/ buy/office-2010-which-suite-is-right-for-you-FX101812900.aspx?CTT=3 **Also on other sites under the same user name.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: THE JOHN TERRY SCANDAL No Issue. The news :"It is learned from reliable sources that John Terry was running an extra-marital affair with the wife of a teammate, who is also a lingerie model. It is reported that he even he went to the extent of being so unethical and disloyal not only to his fans but also to his family, especially to his teammate so as to go to bed with her in a hotel room (thank god not in public). It is to our great relief that the British football bosses has shown great character in degrading him from his status as the captain of the English National Football team to just a player. This has done magic in defusing public furor which of course means a predictable downward trend in his USP and fan-following. This is obvious because English football captains are role models but the players are not only role models but also idols and icons as well. As we all know football in England is next to religion and unethical (may not be illegal or a cognizable offense) practice by football players, especially captains should be dealt with firmly and with utmost care."-We come to the end of today's special news bulletin read to you by Chris Cristopherson. Here is an advertisement break: "JUSTICE UNDONE" BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORDS: The film "Justice Undone" featuring Anne Hathway and Alec Baldwin has broken all time box office revenue record for any category of films. Although this film has been awarded U/A certificate by the censor board arguing that nudity in British films is perfectly alright as long as it doesn't corrupt public morality. REVIEW OF "JUSTICE UNDONE" The story has an amazing relevance to John Terry scandal, in a sense that the lead actor Tom Jerry is an established and essential part of the England team who is also the captain of the national team. The film portrays explicit sex scenes involving Tom Jerry and Sheila Kerry wife of Shaun Kerry of the same football team. It becomes an unadulterated national scandal thanks to the omnipresence and ever-exploiting media people. Tom Jerry the captain of the national team is removed but the football bosses made the same error as they did with British football star and ex-captain John Terry who is also known for the famous "John Terry Scandal" by keeping him in the squad as a player since it's understood that he has no replacement to be found. The only difference is that this film was made after the football World Cup. It shows that defying Allan Hust sceptism that "England can not win this world cup" the British National team scored a pulsating 3-2 victory over the arch rival Germany. The winning goal was scored in the last moment of the extra time courtesy a tremendous solo effort by Tom Jerry, the defamed and degraded England captain. At the end of the film Tom Jerry is re-instated as the English captain on not only public demand but also under pressure from British Prime Minister. When referred to the previous unethical venture by the famous footballer the media said "It was a personal business though unfortunate-it's better forgotten because celebrities/role models are also human beings and prone to moments passion. The British Football Association has decided to treat the chapter closed and asked the defamed captain and the unwilling player Shaun Kerry (who ultimate could not make it to the team) to sort out the issue among themselves in consultation with the wife concerned."-(As usual at the end of the story the director regrets relevance of the story to any facts which is understandable as till the conception of the script no such incident has been reported and it is totally the imagination of the writer.) Both the stories are products of imagination. It is widely accepted that John Terry is a player of true class and his loyalty to the team concerned has never been questioned. Ethics are more hypothetical than not. What may be ethical to me may be highly unethical to some body else. Role Models: I do not really know how to define a role model. That is why I fail to understand how a captain of team can be more of a role model than other equally capable and talented player. I think when you dub somebody as a Role Model it is accepted that the general people will try to relate or emulate them as to there field of excellence. Let us try to understand why a role model becomes a Role Model. I think it is the deeds performed in his sphere of excellence. Foe example, consider the Indian cricket team. M.S. Dhoni is the national team captain. No doubt he is an excellent performer, he is a role model meaning there by budding stars will try to emulate his achievements but does that make Sachin Tendulkar a lesser role model? It is debatable how many budding players all over the world want to emulate Dhoni or for that matter Tendulkar. But both of them are role models without any hint of doubt. Now if removing John Terry dissuades budding followers from emulating him then it's a worthy decision. But does reality confirm to that. If sleeping with a co-footballers wife is a crime from ethical point of then it should dealt with exemplary punishment which is nothing less than exclusion from the team. It has not been done simply because England sagging World Cup hope lies quite largely on the performances of footballers like Terry. Football is a team game. There are eleven players, now when a player proves that he deserves to be there it means he has done his part. The issue with John Terry is to my mind is a non issue except to the media. Just check the sudden increase in circulation of, say, The Telegraph, The Morning Herald or for that matter any news paper. If you consider a star to be a national treasure than it's every body's duty to protect the treasure. The reasoning is simple there should be no effort to corrode his personality. The involvement of Bridge's wife with Terry must have been known and in fact it was known both to Terry and Bridge. I am sorry but there is no doubt in my mind that no body manages my wife. If my wife sleeps with a different man it is my shame never the less. Bridge's wife slept with Terry and he can not ask Terry, why did you sleep with my wife? Did Terry force her, did he influenced her did he cheat her? Do the media have any answer to these questions? Just think of the scenario (like in the imaginary movie), England wins the world cup by a Terry goal, what happens then? The lady will be happy that she slept with her if she is not already so. Public memory is short and nobody will remember Bridge's model wife in context of John Terry the footballer. The record books will under line his achievements and not Bridge's wife. INFLUENCE OF ROLE MODELS: If it is considered that role models are emulated for what they do in private life or some times as sources of entertainment nothing could be more misunderstood. May be out place, I am sure 'Original Sin' is a reasonably popular movie. Will you consider that a movie a pornography? The explicit scenes are a part of the movie to make the story visually entertaining and of course convey certain massages. Budding star will not emulate the nudity of Angelina Jolie but they will only emulate her skills and talent as an actress. It is possible that British sentiments and understanding of ethics are different. There is no point in writing about hooliganism and near crimes indulged into by British Premier league stars. I do not think anybody has forgotten a wizard called George Best and his antics and actions off the field. But Does That Make George Best a 'never can be role model'? Again out of British context what would call Tiger Woods, a sex maniac who can never be a roll model or is he not a role model already? This is my reaction to John Terry's removal as the captain. I strongly believe if this is a question of ethics, he should not have been in the team at all. There can not be part punishment. His non exclusion from the team itself absolves him from any charges of ethical violation. The logic of his removal from captaincy is there redundant. Captain or not a captain John Terry will to influence the English National Team, so where is the point of having a different captain or for that matter what role does a captain have as the game of football is concerned except implementing the couch's whims? THE FAMILY SPIRIT: A football team or a cricket team is like a family. A problem within the family, no matter how serious it is, should solved in its own frame work, why should anybody and above all the media have access to the secrets of a well knit family? If you can not hold your family together, it's the family head's problem my dear and you are prone attack from anywhere, why media only? When somebody doesn't try to defend himself, it means he is aware of the slip- The family members should sit down and sort things out, that is the family spirit. MORAL: "If you teach somebody a lesson, then teach him the whole bloody lesson. The two star rating is because the "John Terry Scandal" was hal enjoyable. I wanted to rate it 2 and 1/2. Can any one teach me how to do it? SOME COMMENTS BY GREAT MEN: Fabio Capello "...why do you have to speak about this for so long?" And again: "...merely by walking around with a defiant haircut that makes him look like Robert de Niro's crazed vigilante from Taxi Driver, John Terry is keeping the saga going." Where is the relevance? His manager: "It is his private life that is an issue but it is not an issue for work. I have never been interested what happens outside the pitch." SOME MUTE QUESTIONS: * Is a woman's chastity for sale? * Can a woman be used to achieve a certain goal.? * Do you feel she deserves to explain things? * Isn't she an important component in the whole issue? * Have anyone thought how does she feel about the whole issue? Thanks for reading, your comments will be highly appreciatrd. Also at other sites with the same user name.
NEVER MIND BEING SPOTTED AT MY SPACE: Why You Need a Social Network? I really never had any idea what really social networking meant. But that was until I was I was into my first year into my job as an IT professional. When I was a student even into my finals of engineering exam I was sure that 24 hours which make a day is really enough, in fact more than enough. Only thing that you must take care of is proper time management. Segregating my available time and allotting them to various tasks according to its priority and requirements. I was so happy no problems finding time for my friends, even pen-friends (I had a lot of them), my studies, my music and even then I had time left for just simple wastage. As I was growing up as a hardcore IT pro I realized I was not being able to keep up with everything Things like I wanted to or needed to do. It's not that I am a person who is too fond of sleeping I never had any doubts that a solid 3 hour sleep every 24 hours was enough. I was very excited and happy when night-shifts were introduced at our office, I though it funny the management gurus thought that extra-incentive was a must to woo us for night shifts frankly speaking that was a bonus for me. But a small problem cropped up. As I have mentioned earlier I had lots of pen-friends and used to write them long letters (confession: some of those were love letter for girl--pen-friends leaving abroad). We wrote about everything under the earth, now since we started having night-shifts (few sarcastically said we were night-workers) it started eating into the time I allotted for my world wide socializing. This where the concept social networking got me interested, to be honest one of (girl) friend in Phillipines suggested me to get registered at Friendster since I use to poke her for pictures every other week. She said she will upload her photos there since it will have much faster access and save time also (as a letter posted via air mail took at least 5 days to reach here). I must confess that her idea did appeal to me. Let me not go into detail what happened afterwards except that from Friendster I came to know about MySpace.com, and this social networking website caught my imagination and became a regular there. At this point I understood the value and requirement SNW webs. What took me seven days to complete, it was a matter of few clicks and that too at a lightning speed. I discovered a new world to be in touch with my friends and family. The most impressive part was that I could express my emotions so vividly. A BIT OF MYSPACE.COM HISTORY: It was after the launching of Friendster in 2002, MySpace.com was launched in 2003 incorporating all that Friendster had to offer plus some more exciting features. The keyman who helped the site stabilize the platform was tech expert Toan Nguyen. The very first MySpace users were the employees of eUniverse and there were regular contest as to who could sign up maximum number of users. MySpace.com soon went ahead of most of the social networking website even to the extent that MySpace became the most popular social networking site in the United States. MySpace has its headquarters in Beverly Hills, California sharing its office building with its immediate owner Fox Interactive Media which's owned by News Corporation. It will be interesting to note that basically MySpace.com domain was intended to be a leading online data storage and sharing site till 2002 owned by YourZ.com., Inc. Only in 2004 the metamorphosis of MySpace and MySpace.com to a social networking site was complete. Chris DeWolfe, a team member believed that MySpace users should be charged for using its unique services but Brad Green ensured that it remained free and open so that it evolves into a large and successful international community. The minimum age to have an account at MySoace is 13 years and profiles of those whose age ranges between 13 and 15 years are by default private. Which means their are profiles can not be accessed unless the user accepts your friends request. In other cases the user is at will to set up the privacy level for viewing their profile content. Any user can set their access level to private so that only "direct friends" can have access to it. SIGNING UP TO MY SPACE: The sign up procedure to MySpace.com is very simple: *Log on to MySpace.com *To convince yourself and get acquainted with the features of MySpace.com click on the "New to MySpace? Take tour." Which is on the top left-hand corner of the home page. * Locate the place on the top right-hand corner marked as "Sign Up" * Fill in the required fields *Take care to double check the e-mail id you will be using for MySpace.com, because as soon as you click on the "register" button you will be asked to check your mails for a confirmation and activation e-mail (auto-generated). Your MySpace.com registration will not be activated until you click on the activation link that is sent to the e-mail id you have provided while registering there. This is for security reasons and ensures the identity of the user. I think it'll be always a good idea to go through the privacy agreements at the time of registration not only at myspacve.com but for any web site that you register to. *After being confirmed as a registered user of MySpace.com you are free to use the apps and all the interesting features of the site. From last year MySpace even provide you a MySpace e-mail id and an unique URL also, like roktimdutta@MySpace.com and url like http://www.MySpace.com/roktimdutta. Please take care while choosing the URL option since once you decide on a particular URL it can not be changed later. NAVIGATION: Couldn't be easier, there are in all eight main menu items like Home, Mail, Profile, Friends, music, video, games, events and more. Mail, Profile, Friends and More have dropdown menus. PROFILE: This particular tab should in my mind dealt with a bit of caution. Most people hardly provide substantial data here. If you are seriously interested in socializing in networks I believe person visiting my page should have enough idea about me. But I would strictly advice against giving full address but no problems in providing with mobile numbers but a strict no for land numbers. The Basic Profile should be reasonably complete I have no problems or second thoughts about providing my interests. As MySpace.com suggests so would I to upload a photo in your profile, this has an instant effect on the user visiting your particulars. Going into more detail the Profile tab has the following drop down menu: * About Me * Interests * Basic Info * Details * Schools * Companies * Networking The most interesting feature to my mind id the Schools. As you open this tab you are provided with the list of all the famous schools, I accept that some really famous schools are missing. But the best part is that Myspave.com is aware of this fact and in case your school (just as my school) is not one of those mentioned, there is no problem adding it to the list. Why I am emphasizing this point is because it is more than likely you might just bump into one of long lost school chums. In my school I had e vey good friend, a young lady named Debbie Hubbard. She was with me till class IX but since her father was in some foreign service, before joining Standard X she moved out to Italy. Debbie hailed Wiscosine, USA-this much I remembered.. As usual after some frequent exchange of letters we became more or less detached. But surprises of surprises she bumped into me at MySpace.com and sent a very casual friends request after that it is fun, fun and fun only. MUSIC: This is one my favorite features of MySpace.com, here you can have the charts and the forum is a wonderful place to interact. According to the MySpace wiki Imeem was taken up by MySpace music on November 18, 2009 for an undisclosed amount but later it was known that the amount was less than US$1 million in cash. YOUTUBE: It is an wonderful idea for MySpace.com to give the users the flexibility to embed YouTube vids. In fact it became so popular among the users to embed YouTube vids in their profiles that MySpace went to the extent of banning copying those vid from other's profile but reactions was so enormous that ultimately they had to lift the ban. It is great that when you are sending a msg to your friend you can send him/her a video as well but watch out they are censored. GAMES: If you are a gaming buff then MySpace.com Games is bound to interest you. There are assortments of games which you can add. Some of them are interesting but not all. MySpaceIM: MySpace introduced MySpaceIM, an instant messenger that uses one's MySpace account as a screen name. A MySpace user logs in to the client using the same e-mail associated with his or her MySpace account. MySpaceIM is stand-alone software for Microsoft Windows. Users who use MySpaceIM get instant notification of new MySpace messages, friend requests, and comments. I must say it is a pity that quite often I get the massage at the bottom of my browser saying "Myspase IM is currently unavailable, please try later", don't you think it's funny. GROUPS MySpace has a Groups feature which allows a group of users to share a common page and message board. Groups can be created by anybody, and the moderator of the group can choose for anyone to join, or to approve or deny requests to join. IMPORTING FRIENDS: Friends from gmail, yahoo, facebook in fact most of them can be brought in just by a few clicks. STALKING: No point writing about it, I believe it's hardly a issue. CUSTOMIZING PROFILES: A great option to make your profile page special at present MySpace has 17 customized page theme and with application of a lttle bit of trial and error method you can prepare you page table to your satisfaction. I think it will be not a bad idea to tell you that you in fact can import theme from your favorite places but I can give you name of two sites where you can find superb page themes which requires no special skills at, you can try it out. 1. http://www.pyzam.com/ 2. http://www.pimp-my-profile.com/ MY COMMENTS: It's great to be here especially when you are blue but it's a sort of addiction and students should keep that in my mind. Being spotted sometime may be great but most of the time it's a bit of embarrassment especially for the fairer sex. It will be an offence not state that it's an annoyingly slow site but has improved to some extent after the introduction Mypace Lite for quick browsing. WARNING: As with every site KEEP CHANGING YOUR PASSWORDS because it's a juicy site for hackers. Thanks for reading. © roktimdutta, April, 2010. Also at other site with the same user name
DELL ADAMO XPS: What can one say? An engineering marvel? Absolutely impossibly thin? Yes it is, the Dell Adamo XPS is better than 'size zero' which will even make Jane Fonda blink. It's 9.9mm thin, skinnier than VAIOs, the Macs and the HP Envys. You must get over some shock initially which might lead one to ask "Where did the other things go, my dear?" Never mind everything is there at the right place in the look alike but even slimmer CD jewel case. DESIGN: All credit goes to Dell for designing this wonderful though very expensive machine. I really don't regret my adverse comments in my last Dell review. I believe every product has to be weighed with proper perspectives and I am very happy to have access to such an amazing note book as Dell Adamo XPS. The price is astronomical but it is really special and deserves the price tag. It looks like extra thin amazing looking silver or lush black metal tray which has all the hardware components of computer at the right location. Dell Adamo XPS is stylish to the hilt, smart and stunningly gorgeous. The Adamo is an excellent mix of technology and craftsmanship. If "first impression is last impression" is the watch word, Dell Adamo XPS would take seconds to create the right impression. The color options available are lush black and silver. When it's folded one can hardly realize the cushion that exists. There are numerous pinpricks to allow enough ventilation. One of these tiny pores will light up to warn you whether it's on or in the sleeping mode. The 13.4in screen with a 1,366x768 resolution looks splendid and nicely demarcated. Although it does look its price but never makes you uncomfortable with the thought of risk of it falling down and going into pieces. Dell has done a good job to imbued confidence making it look sturdy and solid. All the ports and connecting panels (two USB, a headphone jack, power connection, and mini DisplayPort)are conveniently located on the sides of the machine. The keyboard fits into a recess size of the 13.4-in display screen, which means that the hinges swings up to become the rear support, elevating the keyboard to make things comfortable. SOME TECHNICAL DETAILS: Dell has packed Adamo XPS with enough power so that Windows 7 runs as smoothly as you want it to. The low voltage energy efficient processor (1.4GHz Intel ULV), a 4GB RAM, 256 GB solid state hard disk with a bright 13.4-in HD display having an excellent 16:9 aspect ratio are neatly blended. The integrated graphic card guarantees movies and videos play to full satisfaction. But I think it will be advisable to a strict no as far as games are concerned. The metal keyboard and the reasonably large touchpad give more comfort while typing than the usual ones. I think the Sony Vaio X is less heavy than Dell Adamo XPS which weighs 3.2 lbs. The big Achilles Heel for Adamo is its battery life. It really depends on how one uses it. What I have found is that it lasts between 1.5 to a shade over 2 hours, which is a pity since most of the standard netbooks has 4hr+ battery life span. I would have argued in its favor to swap it out for a larger 40WHr battery, which is almost twice the current capacity had it not ruined the form factor which is very important for these kinds of machines. ACCESSORIES: * 500 GB external hard disk * External DVD writer SOME THOUGHTS: There is no denying the fact that lightweight notebooks have their own special problems. The Adamo has great performance, two USB ports, enough RAM a fabulous solid state hard drive but there are some disconcerting problems like: * It lacks a decent replicator. * More often than not the battery access lock does not work.. It's pretty difficult to recommend these kinds of things to some one, but I would do it with the warning that although it's a superb machine yet hardly perfect.In case you are interested in a detailed technical specification, just visit: http://reviews.cnet.com/ laptops/dell-adamo-xps/4507-3121_7-33853397.html?tag=rnav
I vividly remember the young and pretty Japanese lady winking at me from a picture post card, 3D picture post card so to say. As a kid I was amazed and it used to give me so much pleasure. When ever I felt blue I fell to this life-like winking lady and immediately came back to mood. When I grew up I came to know that they ware lenticular printing. So all photography-holics please rejoice the world's first 3D digital camera has been ushered in by Fujifilm which is bound to add that extra dimension to the world of photography, only time will say whether it will revolutionize the world of photography. More so it is becoming quite apparent that SLRs and DSLRs are reaching their ultimate in terms of features and accuracy. Probably the days are not so far when there will be nothing to add as feature in a DSLR. Fijifilm's FinePix REAL 3DW1 might just be the beginning or just a peep into future photography gadgets. I must say it is being really very difficult for to review a camera which has a totally new approach to photography that Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W1 do have, but could not resist the temptation when I saw it and more so when attended a demo. I wonder the W1 part of the nomenclature refers to World #1, possible. The basic idea is to convert two 2D images from two 10 mega lenses to composite stereoscopic 3D image. Scientist and the experts who have been relentless toiling to unearth, one of Gods greatest scientific achievement (if I may use the word), the intricate structure and the scientific principle of functioning of the EYES. Fujifilm's FinePix REAl 3D W1 is not just a technical marvel but an achievemt which should make the humane race proud. The simple thing is this gadget has adopted the principle of 3D vision nearly perfectly; now think how much more is in the offing! THE BASIC PRINCIPLE BEHIND THE CAMERA: It is exactly how the eye works. I wish I could draw some diagrams but since that is not possible let's do it the simple way. Images are captured by using two lenses on the front of the camera. Each taking shots from different angles, the brain of the camera then processes or overlays two images shot creating the 3D image. This is then displayed on the special lenticular LCD; it shows the two slightly different images taken from two different angles. What is the result? It creates an optical illusion as one eyes sees the image shot from an angle (first image) and the other the image shot from a slightly different angle (second image) thus creating the illusion of depth! Isn't it simple? But achieving it technically and on a commercial basis is bloody tough. HOW FUJIFILM FinePix REAL 3D W1 DOES IT? Two Fujinon lenses and two CCDs are used to capture 3D images. The two lenses taking the shot from two different angle, these two images are then processed by the Real Photo (RP) Processor 3D. RP Processors 3D is newly developed breed of processor which a are capable of evaluating all photographic factors right from focus, brightness to color tonality, it then merges the two left and right images a 3D image. You don't require those special goggles because Fujifilm FinePix 3D W1's 3D LCD Monitor System is made capable to show the 3D image all by itself. THE BUILDUP: Don't abhor it grotesque looks. Yes for some, W1 is big or even gargantuan but please make a note it has to be stuffed in with a lot more electrical circuitry and components like two full size compact camera lenses, CCD sensors compared to conventional shooters.The Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W1 is big * Measures: 123.6x68x25.6mm * Weighs: 304gm (inc. Li-ion battery & SD memory media) Sure will not fit even in those big pockets of your baggy jeans, that's alright, get a good leather bag. Just be proud it has 3D imagery functionality.The guys of R&D at Fujifilm ha s applied a lot of brains and thinking to make it user friendly, first both the lenses are protected by front sliding lens cover while idle. Just rely on ear to hear 'clunk' as they slide open and shut. The spacing of lenses is done intelligently and interestingly-they are spaced more or less same length apart as the human eye so the LCD view is as good as the actual scene. To top it all FinePix Real 3D W1 is crammed in with: * 8in 3D picture viewer, they fondly call it FinePix Real 3D V1 (very pricey photo frame, mind you) * A 3D printing service (a Fijifilm direct) HOW YOU CAN AND CAN NOT VIEW YOU CAPTURE: BEST PART: The 3D images an only is in three ways: >> Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W1's 3D/2D LCD SCREEN >> FinePix Real 3D V1 (photo frame) >> As a lenticular print WORST PART: << Not possible to get 3D in PC or TV << Not viewable in other photoframe But I was very happy to note that FinePix Real 3D W1 by default keeps standard 2D file along with it original 3D file for both stills and videos. W1 can always be used as regular camera with dual Capture shooting mode. PERFORMANCE: Since it is a totally a new concept it is not possible to draw a comparison. To tell you the truth it has impressive performance all the same but it only time and its more exposer to the professional arena will prove whether it is worth while using professionally. Since it can also be use as a conventional camera the picture quality is excellent with its 10 mega sensor producing noise free images at ISO 100, even at ISO 200 it is very much acceptable but ISO 800 it's a bit too noise and do not really get the expected result. Its audio quality is superb to say the list and the 2.8in LCD monitor performs without any hiccup. THINGS TO PONDER: A view finder is almost a necessity and it is pity that FinePix Real 3D W1 does not have one. Since the lenses are mounted horizontally, the 3D effect works in landscape format not holding it up. I am in fact annoyed and disgusted with the menu system and User Interface; it is horrible to say the least. SOME IMPORTANT TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION: * Sensor: 10 megapixel * Optical Zoom: 3x * LCD: 2.8in * Movie Resolution: 640x480 pixel at 30fps with in-movie zoom * Memory Card: SD/SDHC PRICE: At around £430 W1 camera and £360 for the V1 viewer. The last word is about is the manual provide, it is provided in PDF format written on CD rather than hard copy. (Fujifilm saving money?) Also available on other sites under the same name)
Strictly speaking I'm God-fearing but not a religious man in that sense, Hindu religion has a constellation of 33 crores i.e 330 million Gods and Goddesses, that probably is enough to give you an idea of the enormity and vastness of the religion. It is as old as Harappa and Mahenjodoro. It is highly likely that a country like India whose population is the second highest having most of it distributed in villages will have massive gathering in religious mela or fair. Hindus are mostly permissive in their religious beliefs and philosophy. The popularity and greatness of the Ganga Sagar mela can be appreciated from the single fact that it is attended by more than a million of pilgrims from all nook and corners of the country and beyond, whose languages differ, have different cultural background and having financial status of great variation. The facilities that exist in this fair are same for every body irrespective of their social and financial stature. You will be surprised to know that no particular authority has the responsibility of conducting the mela, so to attend Ganga Sagar Mela no invitation is issued and neither one is required, it is a spontaneous effort to be bereft of all your sins by having a dip in the holy confluence of the the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. The day "Makar Sankranti" or the last day of the month of Paus (December).is when the Ganga Sagar Mela is held. I think it will be pertinent to elaborate how the months relate to English ones: 1.Baishakh (April-May) 2. Jaishtha (May-June) 3. Assada (June-July) 4. Srabbon (July-August) 5. Bhadro (August-September) 6. Ashwin (September-October) 7. Kartik (Otober-November) 8. Aghrawan (November-December) 9. Paush (December January) 10. Maagh (January-February) 11. Falgun (February-March) 12. Chaitra (March-April) India is a tropical country the winter here more or less starts from November, reaches its peak in late December and it's good bye to winter by the middle of January. Sagar Mela falls when the intensity of cold at the venue of the Sagar Mela, the Sagar Island is at its peak (8 to 9.5 degrees) THE JOURNEY: The journey is tough, tiring and difficult. Devotees, pilgrims and common people come first to Calcutta, now Kolkata, in packed buses and trains from all parts of the country and I have found no dearth of foreign tourist armed with sophisticated cameras and video equipments. Yes of course you can make private journey in a luxurious car and carry a comfortable tent, but that's all. Once you reach Sagar Islands, there are no hotels, in fact no place of luxury. You have to spend the night underneath the open sky in more or less freezing cold more so because of the strong breeze that sweeps across the tenements. From Kolkata you got take another long and arduous journey to ferry_ ghats_ or jetty in the Sunderbans, this the Harwood Point till this point you can have comfortable journey (as I said you can have a private vehicles). Here all the buses, cars and other vehicles are garaged. Now begins the main and most difficult part of the journey, the last leg in the form of traversing the tidal river stretching over miles followed by an equally crowded and tiresome bus journey of at least 30 km depending on the location of the embarkation point. As I have said the journey is very difficult and tiresome but the best part of it is that you won't feel it, such is the enthusiasm, camaraderie and the spirit. In fact the religious fervor of not only the pilgrims but those going for the heck of it, it is just simple fun, enjoyment and suspense what is coming next. The deafening sounds of the motors of the ferries and buses get immersed in the din raised by the pilgrims chanting '"Kapil Muni ki jai (Hail Kapil Muni),' Saab teertha baar baar, ganga sagar ek baar (blessings you get by visiting Ganga Sagar once surpluses several pilgrimage to other pilgrim's place). I was amazed by not only the magnitude of visitors but also by these pilgrims unbounded yearning for blessing. Hunched old men and women, babies tied on their back, all these are common sights. What is bewildering is that a death at this blessed place is joy for its family, the common saying after the death here is "The guy was one the most pious man since he was lucky enough to breath his last here" and mind you there is not shred of tears, the near and dear ones are happy and proud. Never think after all this arduous journey you will land up in a cozy and comfortable place. The destination is sandy a beach where numerous temporary 'akahars' (tent) are spread all over. Of course you can carry your own tent but it will be very difficult to find a place to put it up. It is a mela (fair) as much as it is a funfair, people marching to the sound of bells, blowing conch-shells (Shaank, is the local name). Loud speakers play strains of devotional songs at a pitch which is level higher than soothing decibels. I had no end to my amazement as I discovered the array of temporary shops selling foodstuff, kitchen utensils, vermillion, rudraksha, colorful beads and so on. You even get sophisticated remote controlled toys here too. There no security checks, no gate to whisk you and there is nobody to ask your identity, this is a pilgrims place. No body will dear a Terror attack, not even al queda because they are protected by the almighty. The biggest attraction are the Naga Sadhus the naked ascetics, just think in this freezing cold they don't have a string on their body except they are powdered with ashes and smoking ganja (cannabis) relentlessly. As if they were enjoying a chillum of ganja sitting naked under the open sky enjoying the music of the vast ocean. Like enjoying Pink Floyd live! AT LAST THE DIP As these merriment continues the night is pregnant with the auspicious moment, every body waits with bated breath as it descends with the precise hour to take the holy dip. The high tide during this period at night drives the pilgrims back and back and back. The biting cold, suffocation of such massive gathering means nothing. We are full of confidence and have fire in our eyes. Never mind the bonfire lit to kick the cold out but it is still there but not a deterrent to us. It seems even after all this God is still delving into our devotion, the night is amazingly short and the stars, merciful taking time to fade. The time of reckoning arrives as the priest announces the holy time, the whole crowd surges forward taking the tide head-on and plunging in to the sea chanting "Kapil Muni Ki Jai" and immediately all are charged with achieving and acquiring sanctification. Recuperating from the dip we had to take, shivering, a slow and satisfying walk of about a kilometer leading to the blindingly and beautifully lit Kapil Muni's temple and offered our prayer with the usual coconuts, sweets, vermillion, flowers and money as "Pronamee" (I thought it s the money thanking Kapil Muni for making it a safe journey)"to the ancient sage. The pilgrims are still busy even late into the morning performing "godaan" when a calf is symbolically presented to the priest by the devotee. "Moksha" (transcendence) is attained by symbolic crossing of the river of blood "Baitarani". It is interesting to observe the people, clutching the tail of a cow and wading through a puddle a few paces. Many people shave their heads and perform the last rites of departed relatives. As an anecdote I must add after the dip, men or women, you have to change your cloth right in the middle of the crowd taking the dip. Young or old no body seems to bother and really by custom no body dares peep at a young girl changing to scanty clothing from a scantier one. The journey back is similar but with a heavy heart filled with blissful joy. UPDATE: According to Hindu mythology, joining the sea, The Ganga flowed through the mortal remains of 60,000 sons of King Sagar and thereby liberating their souls for ever. The sons of King Sagar showed the daring to stop the holly horse carrying the blessings of Lord Indra for his Ashwamedha Yogna. The captured and tied it near Kapil Muni's ashram and it was the Muni who condoned them. This is the legend which attracts millions to this remote island in West Bengal at its southern corner. Without the presence of "Naga Sadhus" (naked ascetics) the mela is incomplete. They are the main attraction to all the visitors especially to the foreigners with cameras. Although I have seen numerous temporary shrines of Hindu deities which also attracts lots of devotes for paying their homage, the temple of Kapil Muni is the focal point. The sea is so erosive here, The Kapil Muni's ashram that we visited is not the real one. The ashram where Kapil Muni meditated has been engulfed by it millions of years ago and not only that the temples that followed were also swallowed by the sea. Gangasagar Mela or also called Gangasagar Fair is the largest mela in West Bengal and the fair is held in the place where the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal form a connection together. Thus the name called Gangasagar Mela came into picture. It's in fact the largest Mela or fair in India to be held annually. Kumbha Mela is the largest fair but it is a quarterly affair. Only recently there has been a surge of security people here. Thanks for reading © roktimdutta, January, 2010 (Also available on other sites under the same user name)
Well, I should have been there not when I was only 8 years old, because after spending 24 years in cities stuffed with bricks, irons, cement,CO2, CO, lead and all but very little of what you call Oxygen. I went to Aurangabad and then to the caves of Ajanta and Elora. Amazing...amazing pieces of architecture which will make 21st century's celebrated master pieces blush, make your eyes pop out like those pop ups you get when you log on to google but there will be no ie blocking your explorations, not even warnings. "Una paloma blanka, I am a bird in the sky..." I can't but wonder at these mind-blowing pieces of architecture at a time when we think the technology was not only back dated but it was hardly there at all. Ajanta and Elora, they are awesome. AJANTA: REFLECTION ON THE PAST AND IT'S DISCOVERY: The discovery as like most of them was purely by chance. This bunch of British Officers and soldiers had no intention of poking into this thickly wooded and sloppy Sahyadri hill for discovering these caves buried under debris and hidden by green foliage. It was a hunting expedition that these British soldiers were basically in the Deccan Plateau. It was simply an accident when one of these officers, looking down from the hills noticed a rock with the shape of a horse shoe, natural instinct made them to have a closer look which they had and were bewildered when they found the entrance to the caves. Now they were looking from the Sahyadri Hill down below they have to venture across Waghur River, where the entire range of caves could be seen only to be welcome by herds of goats. They went back and informed the Government about their experience and the Government set up a group of expert archeologist for its excavation and this resulted in unearthing what is know now as the Ajanta Cave Temples. Since then 29 caves has been unearthed in Ajanta some are unfinished spanning an amazing 800 years containing numerous images of Lord Buddha depicting the essence and story of Buddhism (spanning the period 200 BC-650 BC). These 29 caves are stuffed with amazing paintings, divine sculptures and some unforgettable piece of art including probably the most well preserved wall paintings of Bodhisattvas, Padmapani and Aloketeshwara. These paintings of Ajanta in their range of times and treatment is a panorama of life in ancient India. I was overwhelmed by the flying Apsara (angel) in cave 17 which also houses images of Lord Buddha preaching. To my mind they are remarkable and unforgettable works of art and I am sure if destiny brings you here you will feel the same too, absolutely stunning creations. FOR THOSE WHO ARE STATESTICALL MINDED: Here is the Listing of the caves for you:Phase 1: Spans 2nd century AD to 1st century AD * Chaitya Halls or shrines (Caves 9 and 10) * Viharas or monasteries (Canes 12 and 13) Phase II: Spanning 5th century AD to 6th century AD * Chaitya Hall or shrines (Caves 19, 26, and 29) * Viahara or monasteries (Caves1-7, 11, 14-18, 20-25, 27 and 28) Unfortunately Caves 3, 5, 8, 23-25, 28 and 29 are unfinished.Amazing part of these caves is that they are really well furnished which stand adorned with paintings on verandahs, inner walls and ceilings. As far as the history and origin of the Ajanta Cave Temples is concerned, one can say that they were discovered in the year 1819 (19th century AD). While visiting these caves you wouldn't only stuck with awe and gape with wonder and you would wish time stood still. ELLORA: The Ellora caves are older than 300 years sitting on the lap of Chamadari Hills, the are excavated out of the vertical face of an escarpment around 26 kms north of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and rightly regarded as a world heritage. Extending in a linear arrangement to a visitor looking like an asymmetrical ridge of rock protruding vertically from the ground. HISTORY: Unlike Ajanta it is more of planned architectural construction and history has that many kings and merchants donated massive sums of money for building the cave temples during the rule of Chalukya and Rastrakuta between 7th and 10th century and in fact they were main patrons of Ellora. There is a strong beliefs among certain religious ethnicity that building temples and shrines lead to religious salvation. The rulers strongly believed that these would be something that would establish their excellence and religious sanctity. From this belief and also the craving for fulfillment of artistic desire resulted the wonderful and exotic caves of Ellora. It is an architectural history created during the period between 350 AD and 700 AD. Again unlike Ajanta mainly pertaining to Buddhism Ellora reflects the inner faiths and beauties of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The earliest excavation here is of Dhumar Lena. I was amazed at how beautifully, artistically and accurately the sculptures in Buddhist caves here convey and immortalize the nobility, grace and serenity I Lord Buddha. There are two caves (6 and 10) where images from both Hindu and Buddhist faiths co-exist. Cave 10 is dedicated to Visvakarma the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. I was particularly impressed by the Visvakarma cave which is both a Chaitya and Vihara with a serene Buddha seating in a stupa.. The two storied structure is ornamented with a colorful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music. The Kailasha temple (sanctifying Lord Shiva in cave 16) is an architectural wonder, the whole thing being created and carved out of a monolith. The gateway, pavilion, assembly hall sanctum and tower all hewn out of a single rock. Covering a distance of 1 mile from Kailasha temple I reached the Jain cave. Here there is a cave which houses a beautiful shrine adorned with fabulous carvings of a lotus flower on the roof and a yakshini on a lion under a mango tree. The other Jain caves has statues of Parasnath, Tirthankara and of course Mahavira. FOR STATISTICAL MINDS: Buddhist cave: Caves 1-12 (at the southern end) spanning from 5th century AD to 7th century AD. Hindu caves: Caves 13-29 (right in the middle) recreating 8th century AD to 10th century AD. Jain caves: Caves 30-34 (at the northern end) spanning 9th century AD to 11th century AD HOW TO REACH THERE: By Air: I think this is the best possible rout although I took the rail rout. The nearest airport is at Aurangabad, unfortunately it's a domestic air port. Take a flight to Delhi and then from their get a connecting flight to Aurangabad. Since Aurangabad is a major city of Maharashtra it's very well connected by roads. There are buses plying from Aurangabad to Ellora but the best way will be to hire a taxi or may be you can have your own vehicle. I took a taxi which are quite expensive but never mind its fun. There are plenty of Hotels with excellent accommodation but my warning is that be a bit choosy about your foods. But if you are in mood to spend money then don't worry you can have the best of everything out here. For more information you can log on to: http://www.indiasite.com/maharashtra/aurangabad/ellora.html Thanks for reading. (Also available on other sites under the same user name) © roktimdutta, January 2010