Saturday, June 19, 2021

Best Tablet(s) for children doing Online classes from Home

Here are a few to consider based on your budget. Ordered from Best to OK. All of them have a 4G sim slot to suffice your needs and you can convert them into a mobile hotspot (for backup purpose). 

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab A (Rs. 21,499) 
2. Lenovo Yoga Smart Tablet (Rs. 20,999) 
3. Lenovo Tab M10 HD Tablet (Rs. 13,400) 
4. (Renewed) Lenovo Tab M10 Tablet (Rs. 11,999) 

Don't go for the much cheaper and not so well known brands - either you will suffer from battery problems or touch issues. I got one from iBall a few years back but the touch works very erratic and the service center said they no longer had stock of the screen - so it's almost useless from a tablet perspective.

Best books for Home Schooling Kids in India

 Below is a compilation of some of the best books to help Home School their children at home.

The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming the Wonder in Your Child's Education, A New Way to Homeschool by Ainsley Arment Hardcover ₹949.00

 The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart Paperback ₹950.00

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant… by Peter Gray Paperback ₹874.00 

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Home Schooling Paperback by John Holt (Author), Pat Farenga (Author) ₹181 

Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling by Sandra Dodd ₹449 

Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus ₹1449 

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn ₹449 

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King ₹229

The best 3 BP Monitors available today

With the current Covid situation & lockdowns. Also with online doctor consultation where the doc's usually want some basic info like temperature, weight, BP, etc. A home BP monitor is becoming a must.

Coming back to topic, I have been looking at BP monitors for a few weeks now and have been able to shortlist 3 of them based on functionality, reviews, etc. 

Choice 1: Beurer (BM35)
Price: Rs. 1,499 usually on Amazon Sale. 
+ Comes with 5yr warranty. 
+ Claims to be German made. - Stores only 2 profiles. 
- Has no electrical adaptor bundled. 

Choice 2: Dr Trust Atrial Fibrillation Model
Price: Rs. 2,299 on Flipkart and Amazon. 
+ Has a talking feature, though I feel that it is not very useful. 
+ Has a fuzzy Atrial Fibrillation detector (this is making me more lean towards it, though not sure how accurate it can be - experts please chime). 
+ Has an electrical adaptor bundled. 
- Says product of USA but no one in US have heard of this brand in my circle. 
- Not sure on profile storage and if it has the average BP between readings on display. 

Choice 3: Omron HEM 7156
Price: Rs. 2,999 on Flipkart and Amazon. 
+ Brand has been manufacturing medical devices for long. 
+ Claims to have Intelli Wrap for accurate readings. 
- Electrical Adaptor needs to be purchased separately (Abt Rs. 500 additional) 
 - Double the price to Choice 1 

Hope this helps to choose the right BP monitor based on your need.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Differences between Microsoft Surface RT and Surface Pro Versions - Complete Specs comparison

Microsoft has boldly entered into a very uncharted territory of tablet PCs that it has had very little interest / luck in past. The nearest were the laptops with touch screen and stylus (I have used one such device for almost a year in the past and it was both frustrating and useful at times).

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Why should NFC be switched off when not in use?

NFC or Near Field Communication that you find in almost all modern smartphones except Apple products is a set of standards for smartphones and also any other device to establish radio communication with each other by simply touching the area having the embedded NFC chip together or bringing them into close proximity, usually only a few centimeters  This is a pretty hassle free method to make two like devices communicate.

All you folks who are using Android phones or tablets have a very easy way to regulate NFC and also NFC feature can be turned off very easily. But if NFC happens to be a service you use on a routine basis then you would want to think twice before switching it off all together. Since you will end up turning it on and off all the time, although it’s a very simple process. 

For the folks who don’t actually use NFC often (like me) you can just keep it disabled for quite a few very good reasons - save a bit of battery life and also keep your Android phone or tablet free from any malicious attack in the form of NFC transfer. To have NFC disabled, click on the apps link and scroll to find the “Settings” link. Then, tap the “More” option beneath the “Wireless and Networks” section. Some of these steps may slightly vary based on the phone you use and also the version of Android operating system that your phone is running.

Friday, October 09, 2020

The all new Sony Ericsson Satio and Aino is on it's way - Releasing next week!!

Looks like the all new and one of the best Sony Ericsson's mobile phones' aptly named as Satio is gonna be released in the coming week(s) finally. This phone is very much widely watched as its design embodies one of the best Swedish and Japanese design engineers got to offer. The dates have been confirmed as for Satio to start selling from 16th October, while Aino is slated much earlier from 14 October and finally Yari should be available in stores near you in another week from then. The Satio is a very uber cool phone that sports an impressive 12-megapixel camera and also allows the user to download loads and loads of cool applications online. Aino will offer really cool high audio quality sound and also ability to play Hi-Def video. It will also allow the user to easily integrate Anio to the popular Sony's PlayStation 3 console. Finally, the Yari is going to be a glorified and very advanced gaming mobile. There are lots of rumors that the Sony Ericsson's Satio launch was apparently delayed by a few weeks, due to the engineers working on a major upgrade for the phone's software in order to fix most of its drawbacks. According to rumors circulating in the United Kingdom, the marketing of the Sony Ericsson Satio has been delayed for several weeks, to proceed with an upgrade to the software necessary to eliminate some drawbacks. Most of you folks may not be aware that the Satio prototype was released way back in February with the code name Idou. You can find really awesome Sony Ericsson Satio Deals at Omio and also check out some cool offers too. Watch this cool video on Satio.

Friday, August 07, 2020

How good is Grapefruit for you while taking medication?

The fundamental interaction between grapefruit juice and a few medicines can induce negative effects, particularly on kidney level, and occasionally it can be lethal. Grapefruit juice isn't suggested to drink while taking up anti-depressing medicinal drugs, antibiotic drugs and medication for cardio-vascular diseases. A person that consumes anti-depressives and adds up to it grapefruit in huge measures can sense that he is all at once a bit much or insufficient energy, dependent on the tablets taken. Mixing it with antibiotic drug can cause abdomen illness or can broaden the unwellness you're taking medication for since the antibiotic drugs will diminuate their consequence. Cardiac drugs do not function anymore, the blood pressure sits up and the heart beat on an irregular basis. Since those that love grapefruit juice, which is more saturated than the yield itself, a testimonial would be to limit from drinking in it while they're taking medicinal drug. Docs try to raise attention upon avoiding and combating the combination of grapefruit with medicine especially because in some diets grapefruit juice is recommended in huge quantities. Grapefruit is benefit to organism if used properly. It belongs to that class of aliments that burn calories, because it takes more calories to digest them than they've. Eating the fruit is not a problem, nor is drinking a glass of juice from time to time. The problem appears where human reasoning disappears. Wanting to loose more weight faster, people weaken their bodies and eat only grapefruits. They're efficient for a diet, but it also loosens the imunitary system. They become tenderer, more tired and nervous and if taking any medications they're risking their health in that combination. Inebriate this aliment wisely, go ask a specialist of its precise effects in your case and don’t abuse drinking grapefruit juice. Abusing something has never brought anything good, and it won’t therein case either. If you would like to carry on with your diet and keep your health find an alternative solution or make certain this does not affect your organism. I would suggest consult a DocAsap when in doubt.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Norton 360 Version 4 – The best Anti-Virus solution till date

As most of you folks already know, I have become a fan of Norton products ever since I started using Norton Internet Security about 6 months back. The new Norton products and solutions have had a radical shift in terms of performance (which I deem very important), features and even the UI. This time round I got hold of a copy of Norton 360 Version 4 – the new kid(version) in the block!!

First things first – Norton 360, as the name truly suggests is a complete 360 solutions that truly runs out of the box from the time you say go (err… install). Norton 360 takes care of all things related to security for your PC / Laptop / Netbook and also takes care of a few more mundane tasks. It is packed with a powerful Anti-Virus, a super smart Fire-Wall, a password safe storage solution and also a auto-backup feature.

Lets deep dive into each of these features separately and the significant improvements that you get with the new Version 4.

Norton 360’s Anti-Virus Solution: One of the most powerful and yet light weight anti-virus solution that I have seen for quite sometime now and it’s getting better. The most useful and exciting feature that I find is called “Live Scan” – this is switched ON by default and runs whenever it finds the computer usage to be idle or low. “Live Scan” automatically determines whether to run a ‘Quick Scan’ or a ‘Full System Scan’. The advantage that I get with this cool new feature is that it runs usually when I’ve left my comp and gone to grab a cup of coffee or catch up on dinner – so no more hassles of setting up a schedule and making sure your comp is up and running for the scheduled scan to run.

I for once have had issues running scheduled scans – missing most of the schedules all the time, setting up a schedule over the weekend or late times of the day means that your machine needs to run over that time to hit the schedule. Now all that looks passé with this very cool and intuitive option. The best part of all this is that the scan magically ends as soon as you once again start using your computer – so you never feel that any of the computer resources have been sacrificed for the scan.

Norton 360’s File Insight Feature: How often do we download .exe’s / setups and what not off the internet – but how do we know that whatever you’ve downloaded is really legitimate and free of any virus, Trojan or root-kit. The later part is taken care by the anti-virus solution but never the legitimacy of the file. You are always left to make the decision yourselves based on the site from which you have downloaded, the person/forum that recommended it, etc – but even for a seasoned internet person like me, it’s quite a daunting task to decide. That’s when you’ve got help in the form of ‘File Insight’ which checks the file against an online database and reveals some interesting facts, let alone whether the file is safe to use/install. It churns out some cool facts such as the number of users who have downloaded/installed the file, safety level of the file and from where you got it to the physical location on your hard-disk that the file resides on. That’s a lot of cool and interesting facts to consider before you make a choice.

Norton 360’s Firewall : This is a very simple and lucid fire-wall solution, nothing much to worry on and it’s so very simple that if you can use your computer for browsing you can configure the firewall too easily. But I guess the default setting that Norton 360 ships out with is more than enough and you don’t really need to tweak any of the configurations frankly speaking. Also Norton's new SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advance Response) behavioral monitoring system does a good task in combating phishing attacks and real time surveillance of your PC from attacks of the outside work over the network.

Norton 360’s Identity Safe Storage: Quite a cool option to store your usernames and passwords for the sites that you often visit. All the information is safely encrypted and stored. You now need to only remember one master password to access the safe storage.
But, I am really not a very big fan of this solution since it’s not portable really. In the sense, if I happen to use a public computer at a kiosk or over at a friend’s place – I really can’t harness this solution easily. Also, since I’ve become lazy in not typing the password’s each time to login – over a period of time one tends to forget the actual credentials. There must be a better solution for this problem but I can’t think of one that would be truly safe in all scenarios for now.

Norton 360’s BackUp feature: Looks like Norton is slowly consolidating it’s portfolio and that’s really a boon for users like me and you. The backup feature is pretty tidy and easy to setup and use. A few clicks on configuring your backup drive/media and the locations to backup – you should be ready to go. Believe me it’s a very simple process and best of all it’s right out of the box for all practical purposes.

Norton 360’s backup and recovery tool also provides you a free 2GB of online storage space that you can easily backup your important documents and photos. This free Online Backup is simply too cool if you’re out of home/office on a remote country with only a PC connected to the internet (read an airport) - viola you get access to all your backup files right there online.
Also for an extra charge you can easily increase your online backup storage up to 25GB at $69.99 per year. This is a very cool feature that the other backup / anti-virus products like McAfee currently donot do not offer today.

Performance has really been a deciding feature for me to switch over to Norton (this statement looked very very unlikely about 10 months back – if you were to ask me). There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t choose Norton 360 over the ample number of products that are out there in the market.

Norton 360 1 PC license costs INR 1795 - but the deal is with the 3 PC license at INR 3200, nowadays most of us have a desktop, laptop and netbook - so it does make sense to have a three license one - these also come with 2GB of online storage space. The premium edition includes 25GB of online storage space and a three PC license, the suggested retail price is INR 4025. Both - standard and premium editions of Norton 360 includes a one-year service subscription to use the product and receive Symantec’s protection updates. All Norton 360 users with a valid product subscription are eligible to receive the latest product updates via the subscription service model.

Norton 360 not only protects your computer but also tunes up your system for the best performance like doing a disk defragmentation or fixing driver issues and also backs up essential files – all in the background (now that’s the icing on the cake). The list of features and the great value for money that it provides is simply endless – as I started off this review, it’s truly an out-of-the-box solution where you deploy and completely let it take care of everything – all in the background.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

UnPacking the HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One Printer

HP Officejet Pro 8500 Small Last week I received a very unusual package – guess what? It was a brand new HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One printer courtesy HP Imaging and Printing Group as well as their consultants Genesis Burson-Marsteller.

I received the unit to do my very own hands on assessment on how this printer performs and also answer the burning question “Is an Office Inkjet better than a Laser?”. I will be sharing with you folks a series of reviews over the coming weeks on each of it’s vast features. But even before that, I would like to clearly state that all my reviews on this product are entirely my OWN and are in NO way influenced by HP or it’s partners.

Having said that, lets begin unpacking the unit. I have created a small video of the entire unpacking exercise. Have a look at it below.

Some of the brief specs about the HP Officejet Pro 8500 are:
  • Print capability of A4 duplex colour prints using inkjet features.
  • High resolution 4800 x 2400ppi scanner.
  • Integrated plain paper Fax.
  • Print DPI quality of an amazing 4,800 x 2,400 dpi.
  • Supports Wireless operation using WiFi.
  • USB 2.0 connectivity.
  • Computer-less copy/print operation both in B/W and color.
  • Supports direct use of multiple data cards like SD, MMC, etc.
  • Supports PictBridge operations.
  • Sports a very large 250-sheet paper tray.

During the coming days I will be posting on how I set up the printer and how well it performs in my SOHO (Small Office Home Office) setup. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Can your OS make some ice-cream for you? Well, Linux can!!

We have the OS wars raging like the Cold War down under and ready to erupt any given time. In this time, I have a question for you - Can your OS really churn out some delicious ice-cream? Most probably the answer would be in the negative. But if you happen to run Linux - the answer is YES!!
Well, a company called MooBella (what a name to Moo around with) has come up with a rather geeky invention - a Linux-powered ice cream maker which is currently undergoing demo runs in New England. This is not the size of your average PC though for home use, but a full fledged ice cream machine that reportedly churns out Fresh Dairy Ice Cream in 40 seconds and has a whooping 96 varieties. All this being 100% natural dairy stuff.
The ice cream machine sports a 15" touch screen but under the hood it is basically an off-the-shelf PC Hardware that is in use and best of all it happens to runs Redhat Linux. Well, the basic interface happens to run off Firefox too. This seems to be a cool innovation and also a great example of what Linux can do.
I am sure that in near future we will have refrigerators / TVs / ACs coming with a choice of OS like Linux / Android / Chrome / Windows. Any takers yet?