Dec 26, 2013

Windows Unzip sucks - Double Click to Unzip in Windows fails

If you have ever used a Mac OS, you could experience the difference between how a zip file gets uncompressed/unzipped.

In MacOS by default you double-click a zip file and the unzipped files gets created in the same folder - pretty easy and simple. The other advanced options come up if you right click which is not necessary 99 pct of times.

In Windows when you download a zip file and double click on it in the browser window (or in Explorer) we would like it to automatically open the unzip program, instead of letting us enter the directory. There is no option to change the default double-click action from 'open directory' to 'unzip if zipped'

In Windows you have to right click and hit 'Extract All', which brings up a dialog box asking too many questions where I want to extract to yada yada.  The easiest way is to right click and perform cumbersome tasks to get it unzipped/uncompressed. This is a big problem when you are using a laptop ( especially without a mouse ) . Millions of man hours are wasted in this process. It is sad to see that Microsoft has not imitated Apple on this task.

Here is a close solution. Visit ExtractNow.com and install it. Then select auto-uncompress files in watched folders. See images below.


Nov 10, 2013

How to get a list of installed apps iPhone/iPad/iPod ?

How to get a list of installed apps iPhone/iPad/iPod ?
Look in your iTunes Apps folder. Right click on any application in iTunes.
Right click and select "Show in Finder"

MacMini:Mobile Applications arun$ pwd
/Users/arun/music/itunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications
MacMini:Mobile Applications arun$ ls | sort

Thats it, you will now get the sorted list of apps.

Nov 5, 2013

How to buy 5kg LPG cylinder from petrol pumps?

How to buy 5kg LPG cylinder from petrol pumps? and at what price. These are the questions people have in their mind when news media reported that Sale of 5-kg LPG cylinders allowed at petrol pumps across India ( except election declared states ). Here are some of my predictions.

  1. This facility will be linked to a consumer card/id card.
  2. Cost of these cylinders will be very high since no subsidy will be given.
  3. Only company owned outlets will be selling these initially.( Prediction )
  4. Cost of 5 kg LPG cylinder will be Rs. 500. There will be a security deposit.
  5. This facility could help us if there is an urgent need .
  6. You could soon hear more accident reports. For example -   gas cylinder exploded inside vehicle.  Since people will be taking the  cylinder  in their private vehicle.
  7. This could serve as a rehearsal for upcoming rationing of diesel and petrol

Nov 1, 2013

Get Google Hangout messages as SMS in Mobile

Add your phone number to receive your conversation messages as SMS, when you don't use Hangouts elsewhere. To enable this option.
1. Visit Google Account settings.
2.Click Edit Settings.
3. Give your phone number and validate the number by putting the secure code you receive
4. Tick the option "When I am idle, send messages to my phone as SMS."


Oct 31, 2013

Visit google.com to see Halloween Witch doodle

Google celebrates "Halloween witch" a Halloween witch this time. This doodle is hosted in India too where Halloween is not so popular like that in US. 
It is fun to watch. Happy Halloween. Visit google.com today.  

Oct 30, 2013

Useful iPhone-iPad apps for Indians in India

Magazines: Magsonwink and Local Newspaper Apps, India today and other world news apps.
Magsonwink is Digital Magzine store focussing on Indian Magazines for readers around the Globe. The Magazines can be purchased and read on P.C, Mac , iPad, iPhone and on selected Android devices.
2016 Winner - Magzter

Maps: Google Maps - To roam around India efficiently. This app is not just for Indians but everyone in the globe.
Google Search ( has voice support ) - It is easy to search without typing.

Movies: PVR, BookMyShow - The interface to understand which movie is playing at your nearest locations is better if you have these apps . You get to know the latest deals too.
2016 Winner - BookMyShow

Pizza: Dominos , CCD , Pizzahut - These apps provide coupons and offers. It also help us to understand the Menu and cost of each items beforehand.
2016 Winner - Dominos

Foodspotting. - This app show images of dishes of hotels around you. Use with Location service ON.

Online Shopping: Flipkart , Snapdeal , Lenskart Mobile apps for hassle free online shopping in India.
2016 Winner - Amazon.

Mobile Recharge/Payment: Airtel/BSNL/Paytm/Mobikwik - To recharge mobile. Paytm has good deals too. You could browse m.paytm.com too. BSNL official app is only for Android now. Also checkout Airtel Money.
2016 Winner PayTm

Quikr - To sell used items.

AutoCare - To keep track of how much you are paying for Petrol/Diesel and to create alerts/reminders on vehicle service including tyre pressure checkup.

Stocks , Geojit App or equivalent  to keep track of your equity investments.

Finance: Toshl Finance or Wally or Splitwise are free apps to keep track of your expenses in iOS devices.
2016 Winner- Splitwise

Music: Listen to Music via Saavn if you have internet connection.
2016 Winner- Gaana

Banking Apps SBI/HDFC/HSBC/ICICI all have mobile apps. SBI Credit has a neat separate iPhone App too... Banks are now giving deals via separate Apps like SBI Buddy,
 
You need calculators and convertors too. I will update on this one later.
CalcConvertor is the winner for 2016

ToDo: Travel/Tourism related Apps. - Uber , Ola, Train Ticket booking apps.
2016 Winner : Uber

Any recommendation on iOS apps that give Cricket score ?
CricInfo

Live TV : Jio , Hotstar

Indians also use applications popular worldwide like Whatsapp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, Skype, Prisma


Sep 25, 2013

Security Issues in new iOS 7

Update : the latest update solves these iphone ios7 glitches. 

The security issues in latest version of Apple's mobile phone operating system is easy to recreate. 

1. You can make emergency call to any number from locked screen. 
2. You can see all photos and could share it too via Facebook / Email ; though  the phone is in locked state. 

Will you update when fix for this arrive or will you continue to use the buggy device ?

Sep 24, 2013

Co-operative Banks deposits to be taxed

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has started Project UCB. The aim is to understand the details of deposits for which interest is  more than 10000 and no tax is deducted. 
2664 bank branches will come under the purview of this operation. 
This was reported by Malayalam newspapers today. 

Sep 14, 2013

BSNL Onam Offer 2016-2017

BSNL has made calls from 9pm to 7am free to all network in India from all its landlines . The trend now is to make all calls free including local and STD.
Reliance Jio is launching with free calls from April 1.

Sep 11, 2013

Price of new iPhone-5s iPhone-5c in India

UPDATE May 2015: iPhone 5C 8GB now avaiable on Amazon.in for 20000 Rs.
Update : Reliance Communication offers an expensive EMI offer for iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S targeted at fools.The offer of iPhone 5S for Rs.72000 with whatever bundle is too expensive considering the advantages. Moreover Reliance don't have 3G speed everywhere, they may apply fair value ( reduce speed after X GB). It remains to be seen that Personal Hotspot option will be enabled or not or charged separately. If Personal Hotspot for iPhone is disabled then you won't be able to share the data connection with other devices. SMS is capped by TRAI. How many calls can a busy person make in a month ?


Update:apple iphone 5c and 5s will be sold in India from November 1 2013. Apple Imagine Shop at Lulu Mall Kochi has confirmed it.

@Macworld: Oh, one more thing, from Apple's site: Unlocked prices for 5s: $649/$749/$849 (16/32/64GB); 5c: $549/$649 (16/32GB)

m.twitter.com/Macworld

Therefore in India the unlocked prices for 5S will be Rs.42834/Rs.49434/Rs. 56034 ( 16/32/64 GB ); 5C : Rs. 36234/Rs. 42834. ( 16/32 GB)
This calculation is based on the currency conversion rate of 1 USD = 66 Rupees. Due to tax and duty the price will be more than this. 
Apple Inc. has not announced the India launch date. 

Note: Apple Inc. today announced that iPhone 5s goes on sale Friday, 9/20. 5c available for preorder on 9/13, but ships on 9/20.

Meanwhile Apple retail stores in the US are selling iPhone 5 at a discount till the new models are out. Apple’s retail stores are offering their remaining iPhone 5  for 16/32/64GB models with $549/$649/$749 off-contract. 

Sep 3, 2013

Hyundai-i10-Grand bigger than i10 smaller than i20

Today Hyundai is launching i10 grand. The design is a plus , the rear seat holds three.

Jul 29, 2013

Sensex crashes 769 points Rupee hits 62

Update Aug 16: Changed the title of the post from "Indian Economy crashed on Q1 2013" to

Indian companies reported its worst results in five quarters.
After Suzlon energy, Lanco Infratech Ltd.  to go for a major loan restructuring.
NPA growing in quarterly reports filed by banks like Vijaya Bank, Allahabad Bank.
Profit of Cement and  Infrastructure companies are taking a toll. See the performance of Larsen , JP Associates etc.

Jaiprakash Associates tumbles over 20% in four sessions. Jaiprakash Associates hits 52-week low on Q1 earnings
Jaiprakash Associates fell 2.16% to Rs 40.85 at 12:53 IST on BSE as the company's Q1 June 2013 result was boosted by an exceptional non-recurring income.
-Business Standard says

India’s largest engineering and construction conglomerate was the worst Sensex performer of the week, with its shares losing 13.2 percent after June-quarter results disappointed markets.

The company warned of a tough road ahead when it reported a 12.5 percent fall in net profit on July 22, as a slowing economy continues to hurt. Shares in L&T fell more than 7 percent on results day and ended in the red in all but one trading session this week.
-reports Reuters.com

The sector that is showing good performance now is IT as the business is outside India? or due to Mutual Fund's interest or due to weak rupee?

Jul 17, 2013

Today in Tech - Whatsapp Paypal and Amazon

These are the top stories today.

0. PayPal accidently made a Pennsylvania man, Chris Reynolds the richest person in the world after transferring $92,233,720,368,547,800 (or $92 quadrillion) into his account, the Daily Mail reports.

1. Whatsapp mobile messenger simplified their business model so that all users on all platforms will enjoy their first year of WhatsApp service for free, and only pay $.99 per year after that. The good news for all current iPhone users is that WhatsApp will be free of charge for the rest of your life.
Source :Whatsapp Blog

2. Foreign investors can now invest up to 100 percent in the courier services sector in India and will not need Indian government approval. This is boon for Amazon.com which plan to start courier service in India.

3. Google Glass Hacked With QR Code

4. Large file sharing site yousendit.com is now hightail.com Even the apps are ready...

Jul 14, 2013

How to book IRCTC Train Tickets via mobile

* The services will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs. However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in
 
Indian Railway e-ticket now on mobile

IRCTC introduces for the first time a non-internet based ticketing system that will empower masses even in remote areas to use the omnipresent mobile device to make reservations.
Millions of rail travellers can now use their mobile phones to book tickets in a simple, convenient and secured manner.
It uses simple SMS or menu-based USSD technology which works on all mobile phones and involves no internet and costs very little.
The services can be currently availed by IRCTC registered users only.

Advantages of booking IRCTC tickets via mobile

  • No need to stand in long queues or log onto the internet.
  • Simple, reliable and secured.
  • Accessible to any mobile user.
  • Very little charges for accessing the service.
  • Works on all handsets.
  • Simple user guided menu - book tickets, search for stations, trains, availability.

1. USSD based booking through Airtel*

Registration

Register for Airtel money by dialing USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) number *400#.
Load cash on this or recharge from any Airtel money outlet.

Booking Flow

Dial *400# and select book tickets option.
Select Reservation.
Enter your IRCTC User ID.
Enter the details of ticket (station, train no. date of journey, class etc.).
Enter mPIN for authorizing payment through Airtel money.
Booking confirmation SMS is sent by IRCTC and same can be used during journey along with valid ID proof..
Fare & service charges are debited from your Airtel money account.
PG Charges: Currently NIL
Agent Service Charges: Currently NIL
Helpline No.: 121
Helpline Email : 121@airtelmoney.in

2. SMS based booking through 139*

Registration

Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with your bank.
Bank provides MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) & OTP (One Time Password) through IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) option.
More than 25 banks are providing IMPS facility. For generating MMID & OTP, visit website: http://www.npci.org.in/impsmerpay10.aspx.)

Booking Flow

Generate OTP through your Bank for authorization of payment.
Send SMS, in the following syntax, to 139 BOOK
You will receive Transaction ID alongwith other details.
Make payment through sending an SMS, in the following syntax, to 139 PAY and your ticket is booked; confirmation SMS is received on your mobile and same can be used during journey along with valid ID proof.
Service is available to all mobile subscribers.
SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
PG charges Rs 5/- for ticket amount < Rs 5000/ and Rs 10/- for ticket amount >= Rs 5000/- (as applicable by bank).
Agent Service Charges: NIL
Helpline No.: 139
Helpline Email : smsticket139@bharatbpo.in

3. SMS based booking through 5676714*

Registration



Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with m-wallet (http://www.zipcash.in/user/nlogin.aspx)
Send SMS, to 5676714, in the following syntax START < irctc user Id > for user authentication (first time only)

Booking Flow

Send an SMS to 5676714 to book a ticket in the following syntax: BOOK ,, , ,,,,
1. "PAY , MPAY, < m-PIN >" for authorizing payment through MPAY
OR
2. "Send ,,, ," to your Bank IMPS number.
After payment is made booking confirmation is sent to your mobile.
SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
PG Charges: Currently NIL
Agent Service Charges: As applicable.
Helpline No. : 8882001001
Helpline Email : support@saarthii.com

4. SMS based booking through BSNL*

User should have the following:

1. BSNL SIM card installed.
2. Java enabled mobile phone.
3. Andhra Bank Prepaid card.
This is a menu driven application where user has to enter the details asked for in simple step-by-step process to get the ticket.

Registration

Install the application.
Select the Register option to get the mPIN.

Booking

Click the icon BSNL Prepaid Card
Select Ticketing > Train (IRCTC)
Fill up the journey details such as From stn, To Stn, Train No, DOJ, Class, Quota, passenger details.
Enter the mPIN to get the ticket information.
SMSes: without charges.
PG Charges: Currently NIL
Agent Service Charges: As applicable.
Helpline No. : 040-39849644
Helpline Email : bsnl.support@pyrogroup.com

E-ticketing through IRCTC website, www.irctc.co.in, has revolutionized the way the common man deals with the railways and has been the biggest success story of e-governance in India. Taking this further, keeping an eye on growing mobile phone market in India, IRCTC now launched two other modes of ticket booking through SMS and USSD... and you don`t need an Internet connection in your mobile for this.
So, next time you book a rail ticket, take out your mobile.

Apr 18, 2013

Latest TATA DoCoMo GSM Offers for Kerala

TATA DoCoMo GSM Offer for the month of April 2013
Here are some of the gems that I prefer.

Recharge for Rs. 41. Here is what you get
# Validity of offer 90 days
# Local and STD mobile calls at 1.2ps/2 sec.
# Local and STD landline calls at 2ps/sec
# 1st 60 mobile sec of the day @1.5ps /sec


The blockbuster 250 Rs Recharge. Here is what you get
# Recharge which gives you 222.5 Rs everlasting talktime
# 1 GB 3G speeds for 30 days.
# If 1 GB is used up before 30 days speed will be 64kbps but the core balance won't be eaten up unlike other providers :)
# Even if you finish the 1GB 3G in 10 days you could recharge again the same offer before 30 days.

The complete offers are here.

Mar 30, 2013

Vodafone unlimited 199 pack is for 2G

Vodafone unlimited prepaid Internet pack Rs199 is for 30 days that too only for 2G.
You might have seen the ad by Vodafone in which people are watching YouTube video of a weird stick dance and copying it.

According to Vodafone fine print the internet speed will be 40Kbps after 2GB usage. Pathetic
It will be foolish for the customer to go for it.

I recommend going for TATADOCOMO 250 3G recharge.

Feb 26, 2013

Railway Budget 2013 Kerala Highlights in Focus

These are some of  the updates in Railway Budget 2013-14 for Kerala . It is disappointing.

New Express trains

Visakhapatnam – Kollam Express (Weekly)


Extension of Trains
12507/12508 Guwahati-Ernakulam Express to
Thiruvananthapuram
66611/66612 Ernakulam-Thrisur MEMU to Palakkad
66304/66305 Kollam-Nagarcoil MEMU to Kanniyakumari

Increase in frequency
12217/12218 Kochuveli – Chandigarh Express 1 to 2 days

Passenger Trains
Shoranur – Kozhikode Passenger (Daily)
Thrisur-Guruvayur Passenger (Daily)

Sections proposed to be doubled in 2013-14
Mulanturutti-Piravom
Piravom Road-Kuruppantara

There is proposal to increase in supplementary charge for superfast trains, reservation fee, clerkage
charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge

Mandatory carrying of ID cards by passengers with reserved tickets;
1800 111 321 TollFree for railway catering services monitoring cell

Source : Speech of Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal introducing the Railway Budget, 2013-14 on 26th February 2013

Lulu Mall Kochi Opens 10th March 2013

UPDATE: Sundays are too crowded these days at Lulu Mall. It could be because the kids are having their vacations now

Lulu Mall Kochi Opens 10th March 2013.
The wait is over ! The grand Opening of Lulu Mall is scheduled on Sunday , 10th March 2013.
It is open to public from 4PM.
Large parking area.
Nine Screen Multiplex
Gaming Zone
Bowling Alley
Food Court for 2000 people.
2000 vehicle car park
Bank Counters and Forex Counters
First premium Indian bridalshowroom of the Lulu group







Wifi at Lulu Mall Edapally


UPDATE: The multiplex is yet to start. Lulu Mall has got Lulu shops like Lulu connect for electronics, Lulu Hypermart for provisions, fish n meat and read-to eat items. A LuLu shop to purchase clothing is also present. A food court and childrens' play area at the 3rd level. The other players are just starting to set shops.

Feb 24, 2013

Kerala College Campuses are Real Estate Goldmines

The Arts and Science Colleges need to have only a minimum of 5 acres. Government has agreed to the UGC decision. This means real estate gold mines are up for grabs to build shopping complexes and multiplexes near colleges.

Have a look at some of the campuses . The college managements has really hit a jackpot . Some colleges have even 50 acres campuses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Arts_and_Science_colleges_in_Kerala
Mar Ivanios College Trivandrum

 "‘Truth shall Liberate You’." , 

Feb 18, 2013

BroadBand Wireless Access in India to have Voice Service

"India will allow wireless broadband airwave holders to provide voice services if they pay an additional $306 million, a senior government official said on Monday, a move likely to boost billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd." reports Reuters.

The problem is a person who has a broadband Wi-Fi could use softwares like skype, viber , wechat to make calls. There is absolutely no need to get a voice plan as in Voice over LTE. If Reliance Industries pay a fees of 16.58 billion rupees, then it will have a hard time to get that money back.

Jan 26, 2013

Income Tax 80C to 80CCG Save TAX 2012 13


Life Insurance
(Section 80C)

With tax savings, Life Insurance purchase becomes an effective long term savings cum protection option. Maximum tax saving through Life Insurance is 30,900.
Know More
Health Insurance
(Section 80D)

Health Insurance is a cost effective way to protect your family against medical exigencies. You can get Health Insurance for self, immediate family or parents. It can save you 10,815 on Income Tax.
Know More
Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)
(Section 80C)

ELSS is a category of Mutual Fund schemes that invest primarily in stocks and are eligible for Section 80C benefits. Here too, you can save up to 30,900 on Income Tax.
Know More
Tax Saver Fixed Deposits
(Section 80C)

Tax Saver Fixed Deposits is another investment option introduced by the Government of India. Investments in these up to 1 lakh can save you upto 30,900 in Income Tax.
Know More
Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS)
(Section 80CCG)

RGESS allows new retail investors to avail additional tax benefit (over and above Section 80C) on 25,000 for equity investment of 50,000. It can save you up to 5150 on Income Tax.
Know More

Watch Mathrubhumi TV online at http://mathrubhuminews.in/

After waiting for quite sometime, the TV channel ( specifically Mathrubhumi News) of Mathrubhumi is on air .
Mathrubhumi is one of the front-runners among the Malayalam newspapers. The company entered the world of television and telecasting with a significant production house, MBTV (Mathrubhumi Television)

Expect some scoops . You could watch it online at http://mathrubhuminews.in/
Hope it helps while you are away from the TV set.

Update ( Nov 6 2013 ) Checkout the Kappa TV youtube channel here
http://www.youtube.com/user/MBIkappatv



There is no information on when the Mathrubhumi Music Channel "Kappa" will be launched.
BROADCAST DETAILS of Mathrubhumi TV

Satellite : IS -17
Symbol Rate : 14400Ksps
Format : MPEG-4
Modulation : 8 PSK SEC: 3/4
Orbit Location :66 E
Downlink Pol: Horizontal
Downlink Frequency : 4006 MHZ
Carrier :DVB S2

Jan 6, 2013

Nano sim iPhone Tata Docomo how to

The idea sim is cut into Nano Sim to hold in iPhone 5

The golden area of TataDocomo sim is more and can't be cut, duplicate n cut
This article is for iPhone 5 users and not for iPhone 4 users who need micro SIM.
Nano sim required for iPhone 5 is not available for Tata Docomo subscribers in India. The option for them is as follows

1. Visit care center and ask for duplicate SIM card. You have to pay 30 rupees for this. This will be activated in minutes and the old sim will be deactivated.
2. You have to provide original proof
3. Make sure the golden area for new sim is less than that of the old sim
4. Take it to any shop that sells iPhone. They have sim cutters to do the task
5. They might first cut the sim to micro and then to nano

Note :I heard from shop that Bsnl and airtel already provide nano sims.

The Postpay TataDocomo Nano Sims are available in – source:Twitter Tatadocomo id
  
  1) TEC, Marine Drive, Cochin
  2)TVH Alwaye



iPhone apps for India

I think these are some of the iPhone apps every Indians should install

Banking apps
SBI, HDFC , icici, axis bank all have iOS apps

Messenger apps
Facebook messenger , whatsapp, wechat are must have
Facebook is used by many
Whatsapp is cross platform SMS app
Wechat is more than whatsapp. It has support for voice and video
Between iOS you have FaceTime for video and iMessage for messaging
Cross platform performance i.e.,between iPhone and android is poor for Skype

Expense manager
Toshl

Google maps for navigation

All your favorite newspapers and magazines have app editions

Cinemax, PVR app to book movies
YouTube app to watch videos

You could also test apps that convert. Images to text
Apps that help you to blog eg. Blogger
Apps that help you to tweet/fb

Jan 4, 2013

80C Tax Saving 5 yr Fixed Deposit Rates comparison

Note : This info is for assessment year 2013-14 only ( financial year 2012-13 ).
Tax Saving 5 yr Fixed Deposit have 5 year locking period. You could invest Rs. 1 lakhs in this under 80 C of Indian Income Tax . The comparison is here.

HDFC - 8.75 pct
Federal Bank - 8.75 pct
SBT - 8.5 pct
ICICI - 8.5 pct
Axis Bank - 9 pct

These rates are not for Senior Citizens who might get a +.25 or +.5 pct more. You don't have to open a savings account for investing in the tax saving deposit scheme.