Friday, March 20, 2009


This is my new passion. For people who hav no idea, check here.

I always loved Sudoku. It is super fun. When i was in my 11th standard, i discovered sudoku. It is still interesting, but I was constantly looking for something else to replace sudoku and i found one. It is called KenKen.

New York Times crossword puzzle editor, Will shortz, introduced this puzzle in New York Times last month. He is the same guy who introduced sudoku to the world. I recently read an article in Time, titled, "Is KenKen the next Sudoku?" Then tried one 4x4 puzzle and really loved it.

Actually 4x4 is really really easy. 5x5 is also pretty easy. 6x6 can be quite tedious. Initially it took a bit longer to solve the 6x6 puzzle. But after a while, it is also manageable. I want to try the 9x9 puzzle. It is called the "Einstein puzzle". But before that, i gotta get used to other easy ones.

It adds a bit of maths to the traditional sudoku. So people who love puzzles, try this one. Warning - It is really addictive.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


While stumbling today, i found this website. It has 40 good photos from various cities in Pakistan. Have a look at the country that we (Indians) dont know and for some unknown reason hate the most. You will come to understand that not all of Pakistan is filled with terrorists and there are people struggling for everyday life, like people in India do. I cant help thinking, We(Pakistan and India) are not so different after all. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Google Android

First of all, i just have to say, i am so suprised, that few of my friends in India have no idea about the Gphone. This goes to say about the marketing power of Apple. So, for their reference, here are few links that might help understanding this post better.

1. Android OS - ,

Anyways, now to the real post. 

I recently bought the HTC dream (Gphone, T mobile G1) from the Singtel shop. It is amazingly responsive and i love the phone already. 

I had a sony Ericson k700i for the last 3.5 years and badly wanted to update the phone. Initially wanted to buy the Apple iphone, but it is way to expensive for me to afford. And quite frankly there are too many iPhones already. Whereever i see, there is an iPhone. To accept the fact, nowadays iPhone is making me sick. 

For people who dont know, Linux is a brilliant OS. I have been using Linux in the past semester and really loved it. The stability and reliability is way too awesome. You gotta use linux to see it. And i learnt that the Android OS is a linux based platform. Started doing a bit of research and understood the power of Android. Then decided to buy this phone. The following is the analysis i did before i decided to buy the Gphone. 

1. looks - Amazing looks. No other words necessary
2. Apps - iPhone came to the market first, and so obviously there are tonnes of good apps available. 
3. Usability - Brand Apple. That says it all. when people say, "It just works", yes it does work like magic. 

1. pretty wide and very slim - difficult to hold while making phone calls. 
2. No full qwerty key board and the soft keyboard sucks big time. 
3. No multi tasking.  
4. No background tasks allowed. 
5. No copy and paste. 
6. Basically no flexibility, exactly like Mac. 

1. Google Android - Complete linux based OS. The OS is too good, they are even considering to run that in the computer. It is that powerful and customizable.  
2. The OS was built from the basic linux kernel. A bottom-up approach. So it has all that u need and it is amazingly fast.
3. Multi tasking - Press and hold the home button for two seconds and you will get a similar pop-up like u get when u hold Alt+Tab in your computer
4. User interface - Quite comparable to that of the iPhone and it is about to get a lot better
5. Apps - It is an open platform, unlike Apple. So the opportunities are limitless. There is already an exponential growth in the Android Market and they have also allowed payable apps. So watchout Apple. In one year, Android Market will overtake the Apple App store. 

1. Nothing really. Even if there is any, Google will release an update and you are done. GPhone initially didnt have the soft keyboard. But they released a Cupcake update and voila, the new android has the soft keyboard as well. And even though HTC dream was released before this update hit the markets, you can just go to your phone settings and click update and that is it. Google wont charge you for any updates, now or in the future. This is the power of Open source. Actually this should be a plus.

HTC dream - Hardware:
1. Full qwerty key board - Makes mails and chats whole lot easier. 
2. Rollar ball - There is a small rollar ball, actually an idea stolen from the Blackberry. But it is amazing. It is just so easy to use. 
3. the phone is not as wide as the iphone. So a lot easier to handle. 
4. I like that new mechanism while opening the keyboard. There is a subtle twist. 

1. The design - For gods sake, who the hell designed the hardware in HTC? Why did they add that "Leno Chin"? Compared to the iPhone this doesnt even stand a chance. See this video to understand why they did this horrible design. 
2. Because of this design, it is quite difficult to simply slide in your pant pocket. 
3. Not so slim as an iphone.

I can write a seperate blog post about the Android OS. It is marvellous. check out this playlist in Youtube to get a quick idea of the OS. And also this one, to know more about the features in Android. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Review: Interpreter of Maladies

I recently read this book, Interpreter of maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. I think most people know her by her book, Namesake, which is also a successful Hollywood movie, by the same name.

This is her first novel and she won a Pulitzer prize for this one. She is one of the very few authors to win, Pulitzer for their first book. A friend of mine suggested the book and I started reading it reluctantly. I usually dont like Novels. I jus dont have the patience to read a 300 page novel. but this one was different. It was compilation of 9 short stories.

It is worth reading this book. Most of the stories are about normal people. People like you and me and things we face in our everyday life. The author is really good in explaining intricate things about day to day life in a completely new way. Most of her novels are about Indians living abroad and the challenges they face, in adjusting themselves to a completely new culture. I faced lots of issues, when i first came to Singapore. I was able to relate to many things, said in the book.

My favorite short stories among the nine are, A temporary matter, Interpreter of Maladies, Sexy, Third and final continent.