Category Archives: Et al.

Technology

5 Symptoms to Diagnose If You Need a Tablet

  1. You get called to meetings you never knew had been organised -Before you substantiate your I-am-being-framed theory further, you might like to get some help with planning your day (read here for how). In the crazy life we lead, it is entirely possible to muddle up your dinner date with your appraisal meeting.
  1. Your laptop has started crumbling at the edges from being pushed around in public transport -They didn’t make laptops to be carried around in arms or kept on the floor of Delhi Metro coaches. For that matter, editing, restructuring and commenting on intricate work documents on a phone is creepy, if you’re like me on this. And sigh, this elementary situation is what the boss chooses to be ignorant of.
  1. You haven’t been able to go to the cinema in an era and disbelieve the jazz about “visual magnificence” – You rarely have hours to spend at the cinema and long to utilize commute and in-between minutes to catch up on popular culture. Sadly, those movies they claim are visual treats look drab to you on your phone. As for the television, you need to catch up on news at the end of the day.
  1. Your desk is cluttered with electronic devices and you think integration is just a term – Your desk has a large phone forever plugged into a power supply, a laptop, a camera, a pager – yeah, you still have one of those, a calculator, a music player, a video player, a Kindle and a coffee mug. Who said it’s a small world when your desk is a world in itself?
  1. Your smart kid grumbles about the learning app his competitor in class has mastered -You are wary of letting your kid handle electronic devices but the other smart children are mastering science, mathematics, trivia, educational videos, the piano and tying a tie online. You are considering a cusp between a laptop which the junior will have when he is older, and a phone, which scares you with its infinite possibilities of invasion of privacy. Simple and subtle – that’s how you like things.

Checked three or more? A tablet, such as the Dell Venue series, might just be what the doctor ordered. In a variety of models from basic to pro, the tablet fits in perfectly with a simple yet effective ask.

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The Dell Venue series has a splendid array of inbuilt features such as organizers, location trackers, A/V support and all-access from anywhere thanks to PocketCloud 2.0. Further, a sturdy base built for portability, decent performance and effective battery backup make it quite a catch.

Invest in one, use its services to your advantage and make sure you keep it away from water for best results.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

Bottle-Green Plans

Bottle Green Diary
*Picture from http://www.amazon.com

I had a bottle-green diary in school. The first few pages had the national anthem, the school anthem, and good thoughts to see us through the day. As the school term progressed, the subsequent pages would fill up with time-tables, exam date-sheets and assignments. Mom and I would highlight key portions in fluorescent colours, and make mnemonics and symbols in the margins. The bottle-green diary is now all full. Of writing…of memories. Though good old paper and pen can never cease being endearing, let me tell you how my Dell Venue is pretty neat when it comes to planning my day. Even though it’s black.

The Corporate Fallback: I hate being an e-mail addict. But I also hate unread mails in my inbox. Especially if they come up in monotonous meetings where you’re lost in the beauty of a rain-washed Delhi…until you’re called. On my way to work, I make it a point to read/reply to work e-mails and mentally divide my time as per the day’s calendar. It saves me precious minutes at work – minutes I can then utilize to ensure I leave on time. Moreover, a second screen is a great help on server/system down days to ensure technology doesn’t interfere with my err, work-life balance.

The Tour Guide: There are days when public transport fails me. Or gets to my nerves. Especially in the light of how I am a lost soul in Gurgaon, the tablet’s location and navigation guide is a Godsend. No longer can I be fooled by cries of “Madam, take my auto!” or need to look miserable at road dead-ends.

The Social Consultant: I continue to get skeptical glances about being a Delhi-ite for 1. Some people assume all Bengalis are born in West Bengal and 2. I am bad with “social hangouts” in the capital. I needn’t worry anymore for lo and behold, applications on my Dell Venue are my new consultants. I can suggest a nearby restaurant for a surprise lunch with a friend, checkout what movies are playing in the nearest theatre, book flight tickets for an urgent trip out, and even video-chat with a friend I haven’t caught up with in ages. All without the risk of running out of space and memory on a teeny-weeny phone and giving myself the peace of mind that comes with being clutter-free.

The De-stresser: After a long day with a variety of demons, I appreciate a quiet evening, with a lilting tune and friendly weather. While the latter is never in my control, the tablet ensures I never run out of music, movies and books. Even when on the go to a boring social do I am dragged into. And no, I hardly mind glances that scream “why come to a party when your nose is deep into a screen.” It’s better than having my nose into things that interest me not, I say.

Come to think of it, the Dell Venue has rapidly assumed the role of a planner and companion in my life. I have half a mind to buy it a bottle green cover.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

Calvin and Hobbes

5 Lessons by Calvin and Hobbes on Tablets et al

Let me start by giving you some context for this lesson. I would urge you to please bear with the madness that the monster of a Delhi summer is driving into me. It so happens that in this relentless heat, with rain nowhere in sight, Calvin and Hobbes playing with snowmen is my best bet at relief. Each morning, when I tune into music on my Dell Venue and slip into the artificial cool of the Delhi Metro, I visualize a snow world. The trees topped with white icing, the courtyard windy and chilled, and a cup of hot chocolate the closest thing to heaven. Gradually, my favourite music attempts to soothe my frayed nerves, and the air conditioning pats me comfortingly on the back. I am drawn deeper into this wonderful world – of snow, music and interestingly, a non-intrusive electronic device. It is then that I wake up to a spate of interesting things about my new tablet. Here goes.

1. The world has really learnt to entertain. For all our cribbing about contemporary television, there continue to be a host of good movies, documentaries, games and songs. What’s more, there’s no need to hunt around in a ram-shackled video-tape store in a sultry afternoon to access them. For instance, you could go here. Delve into the HD graphics and have a fun time being a critic.

Calvin and Hobbes

2. No one need be cursed for being dis-organized anymore. The world has moved beyond sticky-notes and chits of paper that are prone to being blown away in the capital’s heat wave. Aside from basic organizer facilities, the tablet is compatible with several other apps that let you manage your time better. That aside, the battery backup rarely catches you unaware, storage space is ample (and extendable), and notifications ring out loudly enough. Yeah, it works great even if you micro-manage.

Calvin and Hobbes

3. Sometimes, it is essential to actually walk to the other side to see how green the grass is. The neighbour’s lawn-mower could be fancier or you could be in a rain-shadow area. It helps to slip into the other side’s skin, viewpoint and language to understand the scenario. Dell Venue, for instance, lets you pick the language you prefer most. It also offers neat customization settings and an intelligent playlist.

Calvin and Hobbes

4. There’s an optimal time to philosophize. When all your work worries are attended to, say you have no fear of missing an important e-mail, or can steal an early evening out since you can work on the go, you turn philosophical. This is the juncture when you can observe a fellow passenger, click pictures of the faraway skies, debate a new route to take using the GPS location tracker, pull together the courage to browse through a new recipe on the internet, and wonder where your life is headed in general. Finally, you can address issues more pressing than extending a deadline at work.

Calvin and Hobbes

5. Role-play and make-believe can be your best fall-backs in life. It’s good to believe you have a great deal of strength and walk into the world with a song on your lips. It’s okay to conjure up some happiness – some comfort food, a childhood book – and pretend you’ve been just told God is in his heaven. For instance, I feel all charged up to wrap my Dell Venue in its waterproof case, venture out into the front porch and play raindrops-are-falling-on-my-head in full steam. Bring it on!

Calvin and Hobbes

While I am out looking for rain, you might like to check out Dell’s Facebook Page. Or, you could also tweet tagging @DELL_In and use #DellVenue. Last thing I heard, people love getting surprise gifts at their door.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

 © Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Dwelling on Dell

Closet

While sifting through some stuff in my closet the other day, I came across the thinnest phone mankind has ever known. Okay, that may not be entirely correct, but the mere sight of the malnourished phone took me back to an era when slim was completely in. Companies vied with each other to produce a phone thinner, yet packed with more features, than the adversary. We eventually moved to larger screens till they became so large they ceased fitting into pockets, purses, handbags and suitcases. We are still confused; the markets abound in all shapes and sizes of cellular devices. And then we have tablets, phablets and goblets. Do we really need a tablet? What can it achieve that a phone today can’t? Is it wise to introduce kids to electronically manufactured delight early in life? In the light of recent queries I have received on my new Dell Venue 7, I intend to dwell on some answers.

Okay, for starters, I find there are certain things a tablet can do that a phone simply cannot. It is simply not the same experience watching a film or playing a game or video-talking on a phone. It may be the bigger screen, the superior graphics, the better sound, or, it may be just me. I infinitely enjoy tuning in to my favourite music or watching a much-loved film on my Dell Venue, the noisy world around gradually dissolving into nothingness.

It isn’t just that of course – I end up saving much-needed phone battery by delegating my mail sync, random internet browsing and note making to the Dell champ. It is like a walking-talking desk computer, cozy in my arms, comfortable with its identity. While I am comfortable with the touch-induced typing, the tablet does come with an external keyboard that can make the process smoother. On its part, the tablet does a great job of running on battery. Considering the innumerable tasks I end up using it for – not to forget, the incessant looking up of documents, and the battery consuming Wi-Fi surfing – it lasts me a good couple of days.

Now, this easy-peasy access to delight is a key incentive that pushes several parents into buying a tablet for their little ones. Indeed, I see billboards around town advocating the need to buy a new tablet in the new school season. Well, there is plenty that the Dell Venue has to offer in this department – hordes of educational apps on the Play Store, an easy-to-use user interface with intuitive navigation and decent reception to touch, efficient streaming and playback of AV content, and the sturdiness to blend in well with clumsy little hands. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend acquiring one of these in place of a nice collection of books, a fun movie once in a while and a good bout of fooling around in the evening dust.

That being said, I think this can be a terrific gifting idea for, say, parents. My Mom, for instance, would be spared the pain of typing long messages to me on her small phone. Friends too – especially at its value-for-money price.

I had my little cousin over the other day. She gave my phone – and me – a dirty look. “Why don’t you get a new one? You’ve had that for a whole year!” I rushed to seal my closet lest she catch sight of the malnourished phone. This was before she spotted the new tablet. I instantly rose in her estimation. Dell Venue saved the day.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

Welcoming a new Blogging Assistant

Armchair
*Picture from http://writerzblock.wordpress.com

I remember having a little do-it-yourself kit for furniture. The set, if used properly, would produce a neat pair of tiny chairs and a round-table. It’s another matter that the toy furniture would be too small to use (I remember having tried). As I grew older, watching the furniture kept neatly on the windowsill, I would visualize a large armchair I could keep in my balcony. I could then make myself comfortable, listen to the birds singing in the evening, serenade a keyboard and lo and behold, the words would flow! Except that the proposition had one major problem.

While I possess a fairly loyal laptop (it hasn’t fallen off my hands/been stolen once in all these years), it doesn’t fit in with the scheme of things in this hallowed balcony I am referring to. I mean, imagine lush green trees and imagine a big, bulky laptop on my lap. Moreover, much can’t be said about my internet data-card or my laptop’s battery backup. I guess I would look a funny sight rushing in and out to charge my batteries. Or the laptop’s. You get the idea.

This is where the Dell Venue tablet comes in. You probably remember this new companion of mine, the one who helps me tune out noise. In this mission, it goes one step ahead. It helps me attune to the very sounds this noisy city suppresses in her fist. With the Dell Venue, I can now get on to Wi-Fi (no nonsense to be taken anymore from the data-card), logon to my WordPress application and bingo. I have it all in front of me – the dashboard, the posts, the blogosphere. The tablet is just the right size and lets me be comfortable in my armchair (yes, I now have one). Far from the maddening crowd, I am free to be keyed in to all my thoughts, to key in all my thoughts. The tablet has decent battery backup and this is considering I also use it extensively for A/V content. To be charged once (and not plugged out in between!) in a couple of days and we are done.

While the Dell Venue is proving to be a capable companion to me as a blogger, this is a competence that is extremely malleable. I have a feeling it could come in handy for me as a social-networker, an information-seeker and a reader. Enjoying other blog posts and commenting on the same, for instance, is enhanced manifold due to the portability and efficiency the tablet provides. Akin to rides on the Delhi Metro, this could come in handy at all sticky locations – a boring party, a sickly meeting, and an incessantly chattering acquaintance.

I still have the furniture set on the windowsill. There’s an umbrella too, which can be pinned onto the top of the table. The umbrella reminds me of the impending rains. I will sit in my balcony then, with a bowl of pakoras and a cup of coffee. Guess what I will capture then? The rhymes the raindrops compose.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program