Looking to upgrade the phone hardware

With my phone hardware refresh cycle coming up I am looking out for an Android device.

Currently I am using an e71 and while it has been an excellent handset – rugged (it has survived falls from around three and a half feet on to concrete and emerged without a scratch, has fallen with the screen hitting the floor and didn’t even blink and once it has dropped from my pocket on to gravel and bounced about a bit), good battery life (although I’ve read about folks talking about the battery life it hasn’t caused my much grief) and, nicely balanced it is beginning to be a bit long in the tooth. That and the atrocity that is the Ovi app store convinces me to not have a Symbian device.

The predominant use of the handset has been in:

  • checking email (both corp and Gmail)
  • synchronizing calendars (both corp and personal)
  • browsing (mainly using Opera Mobile)
  • IM (Mundu IM provides me enough to get online and they responded to the issue I had – big yay ! there)
  • shell login (putty works nicely)
  • social networking (primarily Gravity and sometimes Snaptu)
  • miscellaneous stuff (viz. Skype, Podcasts, Internet Radio, bit of photography and some bookmarking)

So, while I need to keep the above in mind, I am kind of looking forward to moving to a touch-screen based experience rather than menu based one. And, I need a better set of apps (and perhaps a better App Store).

Which brings us to the meat of this post – what are the Android devices that are coming up in the next 4 months which I should be looking forward to ? And, they should be Android 2.2 based (not the 2.1 or, lesser upgrade to 2.2 path for me). Of course once I’ve decided on a device the next step would be to figure whether there is an RSA soft token available for it. The lack of it could be the reason to choose another path.

Movies over the weekend

Unstoppable (link has spoilers) is a reasonably well executed film. And although it is “inspired by true events” the watchable nature of the movie originates from having a well edited package that doesn’t rely too heavily on sappy moments or, bet-the-farm on hugely adrenaline rush moments. Denzel Washington is, Denzel Washington – competent as always. Although I have a sneaky feeling that his mannerisms and twitches are becoming a bit more familiar (was it because I watched Taking of Pelham 123  recently ?). Rosario Dawson was a good choice as was probably Chris Pine.

And, yesterday I watched Baran. What a wonderful movie it is. I waiting to watch The Band’s Visit again. It is a must watch if you have never watched it.

Can anyone help me obtain the link of the car review show that is shown on Times Now ?

Can anyone help me obtain the link of the car review show that is shown on Times Now ?

I managed to catch a small glimpse of the review of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X and it seemed that the host (Joel Perreira) uses the word retard while describing the folks who would object to the lack of manual transmission.

The link would be another in the collection of excruciatingly bad review programs that I keep handy.

That old sad feeling

By now a whole lot of good folks have written up about the banning of “Such a Long Journey” (this is being one of those) and of course the point of view of the author himself. Having read the book a bit in the past I decided to pick up a copy to read it again. And, of course try and figure what can make it into a ban-worthy object of political acrobatics. Turns out that the actual content is sparse and certainly isn’t authored with an intent to actually be a forceful denunciation of the political organization. Guess this is just puerile tamasha that keeps on happening on and off.

Sadly enough it reminded me of Jatin Chakrabarty’s famous tirade against the clubs at Park Street and, some of the “Hope” shows terming them as “aposanskriti”. And, if one tries to look a bit more deeply from that time to now, the various instances of where political and quasi political/religious organizations have taken it upon themselves to be the “guardians of morality” and, the crusader for public conscience. The annoying part is that while this is a standard form of claiming an ounce of twisted political legitimacy, it does ensure that the books and content don’t get read or become part of the discourse. There is a substantial disconnect between the reading habits of the youth of today (averaged across the nation) and, the youth of yesteryears. I used to smirk when I heard my parents lament about it. I guess it is my turn to do the lament.

The other part that is worrisome is the lack of reading habits around the classics. Especially in the local/regional languages. I wonder why it is so. It isn’t that the books are not available or, they are outrageously priced. For example, it has always been a standing joke that a Bengali household needed a set of Tagore books (printed by who else but Viswa Bharati) to grace the shelves to give a sense of a household that reads. Add to that the collections from Saratchandra Chatterjee or, BankimChandra and, the mandatory Ramayana and Mahabharata and you’d have a fair idea about the bookshelf. This was when I was young and, it was somewhat tacitly encouraged to read all of these (it is another aspect that my personal reading habits in Bengali literature have been far to skewed and awkward to be part of a sample set). The same cannot be said now. And, this is during the time when the lifting of copyright restrictions on the works of various authors should have encouraged greater availability of their works. And, I don’t even desire to wade into the waters of being unaware of the Greek classics.

Availability doesn’t necessary equal consumption I guess. In the world of books.

I wish my image management application had these…

Over the years that I’ve been using a Linux desktop I have gone through nearly all the photograph/image management applications there are available. And, curiously enough I haven’t seen an application that seems to get all the features together in a simple easy to use package. While others would and do have different workflows, being a hobbyist allows me some freedom in talking about features that I’d like to see. Some of these features would be easily recognizable – I/we seem them on flickr or, any other web-based gallery service that is popular. The photograph/image management features do not include any photograph/image editing features. More on that later. Here’s a laundry list of things I’d like to see:

  • Ability to handle external/removable media in a graceful manner : I store my photographs on an external drive. I’d like to see the application being able to recognize my image store once it is plugged in without having to go through the click-through process of letting the application figure out
  • Ability to tag/group/categorize and create collections : In real life we are more attuned to flip through photographs which are ‘in albums’ that are thematically linked. An application that allows all of that to happen while not mucking around with the EXIF and other meta data of the image is a nice one to have
  • Ability to create an album on a removable media : If the application allows the creation of an album on a removable media (viz. think ‘photographs from recent trip made into a DVD’) that is a nice thing to have
  • Ability to handle RAW images : I don’t do much of RAW but the couple of times I did shoot it was painful enough to have jump through multiple applications and do basic processing
  • Ability to browse through photographs based on EXIF data : An image contains lots of meta data points to allow various kinds of slicing and dicing. Enabling that does help in checking for basic flaws or even checking trends, spotting most used parameters
  • Ability to suggest rotation : Flickr does this reasonably well. And, a local application should be able to that too
  • Ability to resize using percentage/ratio : This would be nice to have rather than what is available now
  • Ability to export tags while publishing : Comes in real handy when publishing to Flickr

Shotwell, which I currently use, does a couple of the above very nicely. However, the desire is to see an application that is feature-packaged a bit better than what is currently available.