iPhone review, my first thoughts

Friday, 14 March 2008, 21:38 | Category : Baby Steps to iPhone
Tags : , , ,


Ok It’s time to start tapping the iPhone icons. Mine is a factory made 1.1.3 16 GB :-), no upgrades till date. The first things you should not miss on iPhone are the built in apps.Like a gentleman apple expects you to use these apps, and not any other from the so called untrusted sources:-

1. Youtube – Aaah!!! who didnt want youtube on their phone, i wish we had wi-fi everywhere i went in India.

2. iPod – This is great, I guess now it’s time for me to get the FM transmitter/adapter for iPhone so that i can use the iPod in my car/home over any speakers. Will have to get it from US now.

3. Google Maps – Great to see maps of India on your mobile, not pretty precise but considering the mughals never planned Delhi thinking we would tap our phone and use a map, so it’s kinna ok to get a fair idea. I am sure it will be much better in month’s to come. No driving instructions though but you can definitely spot the road in front of your house at least if you are in Delhi. The pin drop is great.

4. Safari – Oh this is killer, but no flash support :-(.

5. Mail – Looks good, but i would prefer this app to be password protected, what if i lose my phone or someone steals it (it happens too often in India), he enjoys my mail too so this is a security issue according to me.

6. Stocks – Good if you are into the bourses. The yahoo finance widget a true copy of the kanfabulator desktop widgets but it’s worth it. By default you see NYSE but can add BSE, NSE scrips too.

7. Photos – ok, not much impressed.

8. Camera – The software looks like as if it was developed before someone even thought of iPhone :-).

9. Weather – Good, again the yahoo widget, you can add indian cities too.

10. Itunes – I never use it because i fear something may get updated and my phone may be bricked.

Some more default apps but these were worth mentioning.

But one things which sucks is the iTunes sync. This is why i hate it, and where they lock you into the apple world. How can ppl so blindly say that only Microsoft blocks other software and plug-ins, I guess iPhone is one the most locked in products.

The negatives as per initial usage:-

1. The phone charger is horrible, two piece device. Maybe guys using iPod wouldn’t feel so but normal mobile phone user would. It’s so difficult to carry the charger in pieces. Bad design.

2. The battery life isn’t so great, but considering it’s a full fledged mini PC, so there would be battery limitations.

3. The earphones socket is non standard one so you plug any regular male speaker or earphone plugs into the phone, so it becomes useless in your car until i buy a kinna converter now.

4. Ooooops iTunes sync sucks. Steve Job’s expects you to buy everything from videos to ringtones 🙂 on the iTunes store.

5. Using the speaker phone is an issue because of the volume.

But, still i must say i am impressed.

Trust me if iPhone could read and write vis-a-vis USB drive, it would have been a hit among the females too 🙂 (Am i doubting their geek quotient, nope). I mean iTunes really blocks it’s use as an external hard disk or USB drive but we will use it that way through FTP, SSH or something else.

Now it’s time to load the real apps which make this phone rock, yup the servers, the clients, the games and the etc’s. It wouldn’t a be mobile anymore now.

Internet radio / Online Music

Thursday, 27 December 2007, 14:38 | Category : My review on...
Tags : , , , , ,

CD’s, disks, memory cards full of music but still there is something missing… It’s not dynamic. I usually know what’s in there and what will play next. So, we usually look forward to a countdown or radio. Radio has always been entertaining especially if you are alone for some time of day, week, month or year :-). Some voices are so so pretty or they at least make you feel so.

My recent passion has been listening to radio or music on the internet and that too for free. I tried Yahoo music (too much ads and pretty heavy), Youtube(but you gotta search) and many more radio stations both underground and overground until i stumbled upon live365.com

Yeah i love www.live365.com – there is always scope for better on earth and there may be one but i have been listening to it for quite sometime and i am pretty satisfied by the mix, the quality and the ads too, they aren’t too intrusive. And for someone like me who is always interested in being connected to US… I don’t know for what? this is the best medium, you hear american voices, ads and some good music :-). So if you are one those who likes online radio i suggest give live365 a sip, maybe you like it and there is so much in there to listen to. Get Live365, Get Live.

The Google Story

Thursday, 8 November 2007, 18:15 | Category : My review on...
Tags : ,

An apt title says it all. So you know what you will end up with, when you finish reading the book – The Google Story. It’s a must read for my generation for whom testing an internet connectivity meant hitting the google page too. Trust me till date I and so many many others are always trying to hit the google homepage when they want to see if they are really connected to the internet or not. What could be a more practical example for a internet company, that the very existence of internet is checked by seeing it. 🙂

I wouldn’t say that it’s a great book or the writing style is great, but it’s kinna okay if you are really serious about knowing how google came into being. Although i feel the author has magnified some things at junctures, but all in all it seems to be a fair narration, but i really don’t like the unintentional intent of the author  of weighing Google above Microsoft. Every company which has been successful has been described as great as Google, so it’s nothing new, and that’s the way America runs.

So, if you are really curious as to where Larry and Sergey came from, how they started it, how they were just focussed on search and not on earning money at all (I felt this was echoed too much), how a company hired a Chef to have custom food prepared everyday for it’s employees and how the Google guys got into the habit of doing everything differently from the name to fame, to the doodle on the homepage, the IPO etc, then you should read it.

It’s interesting really, if you wanna own a company and hire some employees, you will get some nice ideas and phrases to talk to those prospective employees. 🙂

Why no iPhone in India ?

Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 14:23 | Category : My review on...
Tags : , ,

iPhone – Did any mobile ever seduce so many people on earth at a time? Yeah, it does looks pretty. You see it and and you turn back to see it. It’s like you’ve just  spot a new model in a TV ad. And it’s an iPOD too, wow. Apple seems to be the branded tag for some time now, unleashing sleek gadgets that redefine lifestyle.  They do it through technology, marketing, pricing and what not and everything seems to go in their favor because Apple is earning more. Apple seems to be a cult not a company.

Although the iPhone is not sold in India by Apple but it seems to be popping out of pockets now. Almost 10 guys in my office own an iPhone and none of them bought it from the grey market. But, why is it that Apple is not launching it in India, they think they will be too smart doing that. All MBA’s in Apple will devise models and strategies for an India launch sometime next year. Jesus, i can’t stop laughing at them.  Wish there were some Indian guys up the ladder there. This is the time, guys trust me… we are buying and by the time you launch in India, almost all of us who want to own it would have almost used it for an year.
iPhone costing 440$ with taxes i suppose is not a big deal for any Indian, A 300$ phone is a middle class purchase in India now. So I think if I am gonna buy an iPhone and I am getting pretty close to it… I am gonna buy it straight from the US and have one my friends carry it over to India and enjoy it. If Apple does not launch it soon, it will face the same history that iPOD did in India. Everyone who could, bought an iPOD long before Apple launched it in India. I don’t even remember when they launched it in India. Every damn Indian owns a mobile, they wouldn’t know how to put their signatures on paper, but they all know what Nokia stands for. Apple is not known that well in India but they could be the most visible company with iPhone but i think they think otherwise. So, while they keep thinking and get paid to do their homework for an India launch next year, i am thinking of owning it now seriously. Apple could be a cult in India too with iPhone but now.

Yahoo photos closing

Saturday, 8 September 2007, 19:39 | Category : Uncategorized
Tags : , , ,

As Yahoo puts on it’s post – All good things come to an end… Yeah Yahoo photos is shutting down. Until Web 2.0 banged us Yahoo photos was the place for showing off your pics. I have never liked googles photo sharing site, somehow it never kicked me.

Flickr is good, its jazzy, it’s sexy but still i would miss Yahoo photos for its simplicity, for being the one which made photo sharing a big trend in india at least. I will move onto Flickr, but still Yahoo photos is [soon to be was], a simple classical photo sharing site. It looks like a IT consulting company telling its 50 year old Manager, dude we longer find you that energetic, sexy and fitting into our offerings, you have done a lot for us but the new guy on the bench is the one who will hold the baton. Thank You. We think he will drive the next generation.

Thank you Yahoo Photos !.

I have seen products evolving, enhancing but very few of the big ones totally dying. So, will every online app too have an age, If yes what ?

So if you are on Yahoo photos, please move on and decide whether you wanna flickr or upload all the stuff to a new site…

Email Marketing Tool Application

Friday, 7 September 2007, 2:10 | Category : Internet, Java, Technology
Tags : , , ,

Read the documentation Here

Opensource Flex api / Actionscript api

Friday, 10 August 2007, 22:21 | Category : Flex
Tags :

List of some additional functions i have written for the flex project. Will keep on updating my api, regularly with reusable functions.

/** Determines if a string is upper case */                              
public function isUpperCase(value : String) : Boolean {
return isValidCode(value, 65, 90);


/** Determines if a string is lower case */
public function isLowerCase(value : String) : Boolean {
return isValidCode(value, 97, 122);

/** Determines if a string is digit */
private function isDigit(value : String) : Boolean {
return isValidCode(value, 48, 57);

/** Determines if a string is letter */
public function isLetter(value : String) : Boolean {
return (isLowerCase(value) || isUpperCase(value));

/** The meat of the functions which checks the values */
private function isValidCode(value : String, minCode : Number, maxCode : Number) : Boolean {
if ((value == null) || (StringUtil.trim(value).length < 1))
return false;
 for (var i : int=value.length-1;i >= 0; i--) {
var code : Number = value.charCodeAt(i);
if ((code < minCode) || (code > maxCode))
return false;
return true;

Expanding Flex Tree Control / Tree in Flex 2.0

Friday, 10 August 2007, 21:58 | Category : Flex
Tags :

It’s been some time since i have been writing code for displaying trees for different modules in my project. A tree is a very useful component as it its fast to navigate, hierarchical, can be sorted, expands/collapses so requires less space and what not. Over this period of time i have come across some code snippets which may definitely prove to be useful for any Flex developer working with trees. Let me kick them one by one.

Expanding the complete tree from the root node and select a particular node – This is one of the common requirements and can be easily established by using the following snippet. Once you have done whatever you want to do with the tree just put a call to the function –

expandTree - is a function which will expand the root node
[newNode] - is an array of arguments which will be passed to the expandTree().
callLater(expandTree, [newNode]);

A sample expandTree function is –

private function expandTree(childNode : Object) : void {
treeID.expandChildrenOf(treeID.getChildAt(0), true);        
treeID.selectedItem = childNode;

The assignment of expandTree to callLater sets the data provider properly and then trigger a call for expanding the tree.

Expo9 – Free Ad Server, for publishers

Friday, 10 August 2007, 20:01 | Category : Uncategorized
Tags : , , ,

Exponential has released a Free Adserver for publishers. Backed by one of the best Ad Networks – Tribal Fusion, Expo9 will provide great services to publishers. Gotta look at the Ad Server interface, worth a watch.




A very feature rich Ad Server.

Expo9 preview

Fix for the Datefield issue in flex 2.0

Sunday, 22 July 2007, 12:09 | Category : Flex
Tags :

There seems to be an issue with the <mx:DateField> component in Flex 2.0. The issue is that when you choose todays date i.e. the current date which is highlighted grey in the DateChooser again the selected date clears out and you get a null as the selected date. Even if you select any other date two times in the chooser its becomes null and the text clears out. I am not sure why on earth Adobe is clearing out the date. Let the user select any date he wants to and let programmer’s brain do the rest 😉 . This is an issue and the workaround i coded for the above is as follows.

Let’s take an example:

<mx:DateField id=”dfStartDate” selectedDate=”{DateRange.getDate(xxx)}”
editable=”true” change=”updateStartDate(event)”/>

private function updateStartDate(event : CalendarLayoutChangeEvent) : void {
if (event.newDate != null) {
var dateNew : Date = new Date(event.newDate.getFullYear(), event.newDate.month, event.newDate.date);
dfStartDate.selectedDate = event.newDate;

This function gets the changed date and sets it back to the dateField so that we do not get null on getting the selectedDate and also the datefield does not clear out.flex date field

But the problem i am facing now is whenever the user changes the date the text in the datefield shifts left for no good reason and the date text is not readable. i have to again focus in the field to make it readable. Please suggest a workaround.

Aaah !!! i finally managed to fix the date field width issue by setting the width to 75 i.e. just set the width=”75″ or greater and the value will not shift to left.