Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Arnab Goswamy, you are messing up our lives !

Well, Arnab is only an euphemism. Not just Arnab Goswamy, also Rahul Kanwal, Burkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and other major and mini-celebrities of the 24-hour TV channel world ! There used to be a time when we, the Aam Admi types, worried only about our jobs, the bosses, the salary cheques, the taxes and the domestic servants. But look at today's situation. When the clock strikes nine, Arnab Goswamy , the Assam-born Bengali babu with a boyish face peeps into our drawing room. His eyes are already red. His nostrils grow wider by the minute. His lips quiver with emotion. His voice thunders. He is the new angry young man of the decade.From the TV screen , he looks at you intensely through his bifocals, exactly as Amitabh 'Vijay' did 40 years ago, but without spectacles, in 'Zanzeer'and delivers his lines in a steadily rising pitch. Amitabh used his fists to beat up the villains, this Goswamy chap lashes at the netas with his sharp tongue.Amitabh at least used to take a few blows before he decided 'enough is enough' and went about breaking the bones of the villains. But Goswamy never gives a chance to any of the discussion panel members to as much as even open their mouths. The moment some one dares to do so, he shouts the poor man down, accusing him of being a friend of scam-infested A.Raja or Kalmadi.The panel members become speechless; after all, who would like to be thought of, by the National TV-viewers as being in the company of the 2G Rajas and CWG Kalmadis? I have heard that even Mani Shankar Iyer known as Cyanide-tongued Iyer is powerless in front of Goswamy. To emit cyanide, Iyer should be able to open his mouth but Arnab has already sealed it for the duration of the debate ! Your blood boils when Shri Goswamy , without the slightest trace of Rosha Golla in his accent, exposes the various misdeeds of the politicians. You want to join Goswamy in rooting out the society's ills by doing whatever you can, though you realize that all that you can do is to send an sms to Times Now expressing your support. Goswamy goes home happily and Times Now laughs all the way to the bank, but what about you? You retire to your bed worrying about what to do to to prevent the female infaniticide, to pass the Lok Pal bill, to stem the menace of the Maoists, to tackle across-the-border terrorists etc. etc. You have lost your sleep and you would soon your hair. If you close your eyes, Babu Moshai Goswamy is back with a vengence, talking about some scam or the other in your nightmare. What has happened to your life? Did you ask what has happened to your life? Well, it has been taken over by the TV. These 24x7 news channels have succeeded in convincing you that life is not worth living. After watching them, you suspect a dead rat in every corner.You start suspecting every one, be it the courier boy, the newspaper vendor, the neighbourhood kirana store annachi, the coconut vendor or the Kulfiwala and even his uncle. There has to be a scam. There has to be a misdeed. Lurking somewhere. Well-hidden and white-washed. Soon, Goswamy will expose it. If not Goswamy, the Punjabi lad Rahul Kanwal will do it gladly. Or the good old ( no pun intended) Burkha. All that you have to do to learn about it is to become a couch potato at 9 every night. And watch in horror the Goswamys, the Kanwals and the Dutts in blood-churning action ! Phew ! Life was a lot better in the pre-cable days !

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Laptop 'bye bye', Tablet 'come hither' ?

Till a couple of years ago, there were predictions that the desk-top computers were a vanishing breed and the Laptop computers were the future. Part of the prediction has already come true. Desk-tops are being bought less and less. But the other half of the prediction is increasingly being questioned. The arrival of the sleek Tablet computer has queered the pitch for the Laptops.

People graduating from a desk-top face the formidable question. Graduate to what? Laptop? Or, Tablet? What is the difference between the two, Laptop and Tablet?

A laptop is a mobile computing device. But the Tablet is even more mobile since it is far lighter than a Laptop. But this extra mobility of the Tablet comes with a disadvantage. A Tablet can have roughly one-tenth of the storage capability of a Laptop. So, there is a limitation with regard to what it can process. Some one with needs for business computing would find the Tablet grossly inadequate. He has to depend on a Laptop for the heavier tasks.

But every one does not use a computer for business. Many use it for sending e-mails and surfing the net. They want to play music. They want to watch videos. These people account for the bulk of Computer users. For these, Tablet is ideal. Its storage capacity is sufficient. Besides, the Tablet battery lasts far longer, almost 10 hours before needing a recharge. A Laptop battery lasts half this duration. So, if some one's use of computer is more while travelling, then the Tablet with its powerful battery is more suited. Besides, while the Laptop can be used for surfing the net only through Wi-fi during travel,the Tablet can have 3G connectivity. Finding a Wi-fi connection while on-the-go (except in Hotels and Airports)is not easy in India.So,3G on Tablet is a boon.

If you have a lot to type, then Tablet is not for you. It does not have a physical keyboard. It has only a virtual keyboard.With such a keyboard,your finger often hits the character adjacent to what you had instructed it to. You are better off with a Laptop, if you want to write pages and pages. If you are a Twitter user, Tablet is just fine.

There is no simple printing solution available for Tablets. Laptops are just like desk-tops and any printer can be used.

Many wonder whether the term 'Apps' refer only to applications developed specially for Tablets. Of course, since the adevent of smartphones, the word 'Apps' has come to mean application softwares developed for smartphones and tablets. Originally, apps meant any piece of application software. For example, Word, Excel, Skype etc. But since these softwares suitable for desk-tops and laptops can not be used for Tablets or Smartphones because of the difference in the system software, special versions had to be developed so that they could be used in the ambience of the mobile operating systems such as Android.These softwares developed specially for mobile operating systems began to be called Apps. The Android apps can be used only in Tablets that have Android operating system and Apple apps can be used only for iPads manufactured by Apple.

Laptops permit only Skype video chats. But many Tablets permit net-independent video-calling since they have front cameras and phoning facility.

With Tablets, you can have GPS navigation just as in smartphones. This feature has excellent practical value.

You can use Tablets to read e-books. 7" or 10" inch screen is good enough for strain-free reading.

To sum up, if you use a computer for fun and entertainment rather than for heavy information processing and business applications, then the Tablet computer is ideal for you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Tamil Lingo, its amusing side

The Tamils (including yours sincerely) are proud of the fact (?) that their language can survive without Sanskrit words, unlike the North Indian languages and even other South Indian languages. But without intending to offend the die-hard extremists of the linguistic kind, let me show you some examples of the Northern words infiltrating the Tamil language over the centuries ; the Tamils, of course, can argue in a face-saving way that they have avoided the linguistic pollution through assigning totally different meanings to such imported words.

SAWAL: This is obviously a Hindi word. In Hindi, it is used to mean a question. The Tamils freely use this word in their every day speech. But they use it to mean ' challenge'. In Hindi, there is the word Chunauti for challenge. But the Tamils have made a simple sawal into a formidable challenge. Did you see how cleverly the Tamils have tackled the challenge of the Hindi offensive?

KHAALI: This Hindi word means 'Empty' or 'Free'. Do you know how the Tamils handle this khaali stuff? They have made two words, one Khaali and then Ghaali. While I was a kid, I did hear people using the word Khaali to mean empty or free, in the same way the word is used in Hindi. But in the recent years, I have been noticing the Tamil people saying Ghaali to mean empty . And a person with bad character has always been referred to as a Khaali in Tamilnadu. Now this Khaali with 'K'......does it not have a similarity to the Hindi word Ghaali which means abuse or use of foul language? So, Tamil Khaali is Hindi Ghaali and Tamil Ghaali is Hindi Khaali. Now no one can tell us that we are using foreign words. We have distorted them sufficienly so that they have lost their original meaning.

KHILADI: This Hindi word simply means a player. But the Tamils do not call their sportsmen as Khiladi. For that they use the word 'veeran'. It means some one exhibiting heroism. Cricket veerar, Kabadi veerar etc. And what do the Tamils mean when they say Khiladi? They use it to mean some one with negative traits.

There are several such Hindi words ( or words of Sanskrit lineage) which have been accommodated in the Tamil language. This was done at a time or during an age when love for a language did not connote fanaticism.

Now, let me shock the non-Tamils by saying this. Do you know that the Tamils never drink coffee? Oh no, not even Tea. Why so? They do love coffee, tea and other beverages. But they do not drink them. They eat them. Yes, they use the word ' sappidu ' which means 'eat'.They do not use the word ' kudi' for consuming coffee, tea etc. which is the correct word for 'drink'.They say 'Coffee sappidu' (eat coffee), not 'coffee kudi' (drink coffee). As far as I know, the Tamils use 'kudi'or 'kudithal' (drink) only when they refer to water and liquor.But why bother about such puzzles? Let us say 'Cheers!' to the Tamils and drink a tumbler of STRONG Kappi.