Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Premier Rio: First Drive

October 29, 2009

via

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If there was a space vacant in the Indian automotive sphere, here is a vehicle that will fit it like a glove. Adil Jal Darukhanawala grabs a first drive of the new mini-SUV from Premier Automobiles on its comeback trail


Yes that’s right, Rio is the name of the new mini-SUV which many car makers plain dumb ignored and it is here that an old venerable name from the motor manufacturing business hopes to reinvent itself. Let’s avoid the riddles and cut straight to the chase which in this case is of Premier Limited announcing its advent back as a speciality car maker in India.


Better known eons ago for its Premier Padminis and Fiat Unos plus the eminently forgettable Peugeot 304 which pulled the company down (or was it the other way around! – the jury is out on this count), Premier under the stewardship of Maitreya Doshi, grandson of Walchand Hirachand, has embarked on a whole new way to get back into a segment of industry which his family helped pioneer in this country.

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First the method behind the madness and here it seems that Maitreya Doshi after the highly publicized spat with long time partner Fiat used all his business acumen to monetize his real estate holdings in Mumbai and then re-invest this into his firm’s machine tool division at Chinchwad in Pune. This purely engineering-driven arm of the company began to specialize in cutting edge applications for heavy industry and has made not just a name for itself in its sphere of operation but has also managed to make the firm financially very sound. Apart from being shielded from the economical turmoil, the new business orientation also taught Premier to make do with less and this mantra has been put into place for a very lean automobile manufacturing unit at Chinchwad.

And the product with which Maitreya Doshi aims to get his firm rolling on our roads is unique as well. The basis of this vehicle, which will be sold under the Rio model name, is the Daihatsu Terios mini-SUV of late 1990s vintage. Built to the Japanese kei-jidosha class regulations which specify not just a maximum length but also the maximum width of a car to conform to very low tax rates, the new Premier Rio is a snug cozy compact small vehicle which with its very configuration has placed itself as the proverbial cat among the small car pigeons in the market!

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Rights to the Daihatsu Terios were sold to Chinese car maker Zotye Auto which marketed it as the Zotye Nomad and now Premier has done a deal whereby the entire car sans the drivetrain would be brought into India as a CKD unit. Premier has resurrected its old Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine, tweaked it and even changed cylinder dimensions to make it into an engine of its own making and this along with a 5-speed manual gearbox is what powers the Rio.

The Rio drives very well, is sprightly without being over the top, and can more than hold its own with all of the A-segment hatches as well as the entry level B-segmenters. While its looks may scream SUV, its makeup and delivery is more like the smaller hatches but with rear wheel drive and an upright dominating perch which is distinctive of large SUVs. In fact, as I have mentioned before as well, this was a niche there for the taking and everyone saw right through it. Of course if Premier doesn’t price the vehicle perfectly it might just score a self goal but then this was a car waiting to happen and Premier saw the opportunity.

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The Rio is decently sized and can accommodate four adults perfectly with a small child just about managing to squeeze itself on the rear bench. The seats are firm and well crafted while the trim, upholstery and dashboard are par for the course for a car obviously built to a price. The plastics are not bad either but due to the kei-jidosha regs the original Terios was designed to, the cockpit is much too snug for comfort, the driver?s right arm being pinned by the door pad which is literally breathing down on it. Even the pedals are quite close but with some adjustment and familiarity you can have the vehicle working for you quite easily.

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The performance is not shatteringly quick but is brisk provided you keep this diesel in its optimum torque band by being in the right gear as you motor through our hellish traffic situations. The ride is surprisingly good but you have to be gentle with your steering inputs for taking corners at speed is a mighty adventurous process given that the vehicle does roll somewhat thanks to its shortish wheelbase coupled to its narrow track. And yes the tyres must be mentioned. The ones on our preview vehicle were Chinese (Kenda Klever was emblazoned on the sidewalls) and Premier can do a world of good for the overall dynamics of the Rio just by the simple expedient of changing them to either MRFs or Apollos or Goodyears.

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Overall the Rio is barking mad but in an absolutely positive sense. It might be familiar to enthusiasts but to the masses it is a breath of fresh air. And yes the most important ingredient of all which a generation of Indian motorists hasn’t experienced is rear wheel drive in its truest essence. So if the ride is exhilarating and brings a flush on many faces, I wholly recommend you blame it on Premier?s Rio! In showrooms within the next month they say.

Tata Indigo Manza: First Drive

October 16, 2009

via: http://www.zigwheels.com/Reviews/Tata-Indigo-Manza-First-Drive/Manza_20091014-1-6

Sleekly styled, very well built and turned out with a poise and presence which is right up there, the new multi-faceted Indigo Manza is sure to stir up the hornet’s nest which is the present day C-segment says Adil Jal Darukhanawala after an exclusive first drive

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If ever one needs reminding as to how effectively Tata Motors has progressed as a car maker, one only needs to sense, see and experience its newest products. From the time the Indica Vista appeared on our roads, the going seems to have changed completely. The ground-breaking Nano seemed to indicate a whole new paradigm shift for the automotive world but Tata Motors didn’t seem eager to step off the throttle pedal. And while a few yet seem to look at the Indian firm somewhat disparagingly, it is this determined drive which is so very indicative of an automobile firm eager to stand up and be counted in its peer group.

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The latest Indigo Manza sedan is yet more proof of the above. And lest someone suggest that it is but an Indica Vista with a boot, it would be doing India’s largest indigenous car maker and its latest product a huge disservice. The Indigo Manza is an all new sedan which like its Indo-Italian stablemate – the Fiat Linea, oozes grace and elegance and doesn’t look at all as if the boot has been grafted on in a tacky manner.

If anything, the Indigo Manza (Manza supposedly means a little steer or a beautiful girl, chose what you want to believe), comes across as probably one of the best looking cars in a segment full of high profile machines strong on style and turnout. The Fiat Linea we have already mentioned but in the C-segment the Manza has also to battle the likes of the Honda City, the Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Verna, the Chevy Aveo and the Suzuki Swift D?Zire and in the battle for making the best first impression, the Tata product does have its nose ahead.

Design and Style

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It isn’t hard to realize this when you take in the Manza’s profile, the crisp clean lines running front to rear and with proportions of bonnet and boot strikingly elegant, the Indigo Manza is more of a handsome Indian hunk as compared to the chic Latino flair embodied by the Fiat Linea. Both these cars are built on the very same assembly line at Fiat India’s modern Ranjangaon facility (the duo share many aggregates and also reside in the same segment), so it isn’t hard to see what rubs off on each other. The Indigo Manza’s front end has a more pronounced assertion about it with a slightly more detailed grille (than on the Indica Vista) coupled to triple-barreled head lights on either side. The large air intake on the wrap around bumper is separated from the top part by a nifty chrome strip which works brilliantly with the same sort of separator strips on the sides and on the rear bumper as well.

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The crisp character streak just below the Manza’s belt line seems to hold every thing in lithe tenuous action and the sculpting around the A and C-pillars indicates a fresh characterful approach to the overall package. There is nothing tacky about the rear end of the car and the overall design is harmonious rather than contrived as in the case of many others who have grown into full blown saloons from the large hatchback originals. The Manza’s 2520mm wheelbase and its large 15-inch tyres help its stance and turnout. Credit Tata Motors’ European Technical Centre then, for the Manza’s clean yet pleasing design, making it seem ample yet agile rather than huge and unwieldy, both when stationary and also on the move.

Interiors

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However, open the doors and step into the interiors and you can sense that this car continues to pack in the “more car per car” Tata DNA. The cabin space of the Indigo Manza is abundantly huge and spacious while also being well thought out and crafted. The front seats (height adjustable for the driver with added lumbar support) are superbly sculpted and though I would have liked to see a bit more side support, the seats seem to hold a person well without tiring him out even after hours behind the wheel. Move on over to the rear seats and you have optimum rear seat comfort for a car in its class with abundant head, elbow and leg room. The ergonomics are perfect and the ease of ingress and egress at the rear will win many plaudits. The seat back angle and the H-points are areas where a great deal of thought has gone in to provide great occupant comfort.

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The Manza’s interior is simplistically done in a duo-tone shade of plastics and fabric, and for sure has the best cabin treatment of any Tata Motors’ product but the door latches are low rent in their turnout, the one jarring detail in a tastefully configured interior. The one major improvement over the Indica Vista, and a logical one at that is the instrument binnacle now being relocated at the straight ahead position in direct view of the driver’s vision and not housed in the top central console on the dashboard. The chunky four-spoke steering wheel has large horn pad and features audio controls on the top horizontal spokes. Switchgear is pretty contemporary and fantastic to feel and activate. More so the air con controls which are now electronic switches for the servo motors to actuate the flaps and not cable controlled as in earlier Tata cars. A 2-DIN music system is standard fitment even on the base Manza Aqua and overall the car comes well equipped to begin with while the top end versions (Aura, Aura (ABS) and Aura+) definitely a rung above every other car in the segment with their list of standard features.

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Engine and powertrain

While the turnout and the cabin treatment and ambiance might move many subconsciously, the get up and go department hasn’t been found wanting. Tata Motors is known for its diesel acumen and it is no different here as well. The Indigo Manza gets the next power-up treatment for the famed 1.3-litre 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder Quadrajet motor which is now rated at 90 PS of power at 4000rpm and with 200Nm of torque at its disposal in the rev band from 1750 to 3000rpm. The variable geometry turbocharger has a tendency to spool up pretty quickly and help propel this 1200kg sedan to very respectable speeds from rest in a clean unflustered manner. In fact the responsiveness of the Manza’s motor is distinctly superior to what the similarly-engined Fiat Linea is capable of. A zero to 100km/h time of 17.58 seconds is respectable as is the 163km/h top speed for this car which employs a 5-speed manual gearbox but what is truly impressive is to factor in the overall performance with fuel efficiency in view. A 13.5kmpl overall fuel efficiency in our first test indicates that the new Indigo Manza could be one hell of a performer to watch out in the C-segment.

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This isn’t to infer that Tata Motors has given up on petrol engines. Far from it, because the Indigo Manza now comes with a 90PS Safire engine having a swept volume of 1.4-litres. This unit hasn’t just got a hike in cubic capacity but comes with a couple of new technical features which include a continuous variable cam phaser which works with the new intelligent port resizing feature to help improve driveability and boost the resultant fuel efficiency. The petrol engine is peppy and responsive on its own and the five cogs are well suited to make the best of this revvy motor which develops 116Nm of torque.

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Ride quality and handling

Power, torque, driveability and fuel efficiency are nothing if they are not matched by good dynamic ability and here as well the Indigo Manza makes the smiles stay plastered on the driver’s face. It is no rabble rouser or a sports car but is a rapid all round family car with good ride quality backed up with easy neutral manners and good road holding and precise well weighted steering. Of course when on full song, the 200Nm of torque being fed through the two front wheels shod with 185/60 R15 tubeless radials is a tad too much and while the car yet handles brilliantly – credit this to optimum wheelbase to track ratio and also the weight distribution, I am sure that the car on 195/55 R15 tyres would have been even better while going on to 205s would have been the best. The Indigo Manza has phenomenal body control and even though its does tend to roll when hurled into corners at speed, the occupants do stay unruffled for the most part.

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The steering is brilliant but we would have liked it to be a tad quicker. However as a plush upmarket saloon, the steering is eminently liveable but what is truly awesome is the poise of the car under braking. The Manza always gripped and came to a halt in a straight line whenever the anchors were thrown at speed and this is a mighty confidence-inspiring aspect of the overall drive experience. For the first time on a Tata Motors product for the domestic market, we find air bags and ABS as standard fitment on the Manza, two very welcome details which would be appreciated by many.

Manza_verdict

So how does the Manza stack up after our indepth exploratory drive? Pretty impressive is what comes quickly to mind and that she sure is. This is the best sedan ever made by Tata Motors and the fit and finish is most unlike cars from this firm. However I must add a rider to this and that in this regard there is scope for even more improvement. Pricing will play a major role in the appeal of the Manza but given the price point where the Fiat Linea resides, it can clearly be understood where the Manza would be positioned. Seems the Fiestas, Vernas, D’zires and the rest have a worthy rival to contend with.

Create PDFs for Free – a List of Free PDF Creation and PDF Generation Software

July 31, 2009

via: http://www.4xpdf.com/2008/10/create-pdfs-for-free-a-list-of-free-pdf-creation-and-pdf-generation-software/

This is a list of all the really free PDF creation and PDF generation software that we could find on the web. We tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible — but we’re only human — so if we’ve missed a product that you think should be included in this list, please add a comment.

The criteria for this list is simple: the application must be free (definitely no hideous watermarks on printed pages allowed), work on the client-side and include a PDF printer driver (i.e. so you can go to File > Print and print to PDF). So here goes (ranked in order of popularity at Download.com):

  • PrimoPDF (12,168,127 downloads) – PrimoPDF comes with pre-configured settings for creating PDF files optimized for print, screen, ebook, or prepress. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.
  • doPDF Free PDF Converter (1,160,075 downloads) – Transform any printable document into PDF format. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
  • PDF ReDirect (926,486 downloads) – Create, encrypt, and append PDF files. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
  • CutePDF Writer (853,306 downloads) – Create Adobe PDF files with the push of a button. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista.
  • PDF995 Printer Driver 8.4 (464,167 downloads) – Create professional-quality documents in PDF file format. Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.
  • Bullzip PDF Printer (86, 558 downloads) – Use any MS Windows application for writing PDF documents. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server.
  • Solid PDF Creator (70,212 downloads) – Create PDF and PDF/A documents from any Windows program. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
  • PDFCreator (52,563 downloads) – Render PDF files within applications that support the print function. Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.

Cold calling

March 5, 2009

Let’s say you’re at home or at work and your cellphone rings. Someone at the other end says, “Hello, my name is Sunder. I work for XYZ cellular company. We have launched a new scheme on post-paid connections. What connection are you using right now?”

What thought will cross your mind? Probably something like: “Uh-oh, another pesky salesperson. I’m about to be sold something again. How fast can I get off the phone?” In other words, it’s basically over at ‘Hello’ and you end up rejecting the person at the other end.

Welcome to the world of cold calling. If you’ve ever felt a sense of awkwardness while picking up the phone and calling someone you don’t know, you’ll understand just how challenging making a cold call can be. Whether you are calling to confirm an appointment, asking for an interview slot or trying to sell something, mastering the art of such telephonic conversations will definitely make life easier for you.

What is a cold call?

If you are thinking ‘What in the world is a cold call’, calling absolute strangers to talk about your business and persuading them to act would be it. While the image of a telecaller selling credit cards, mobile plans etc is what comes to the mind, immediately, the knowledge of how to handle a cold call comes in handy in all walks of life.

Why is it challenging?

“Cold calling terrifies me — the phone feels like a dumbbell every time I have to make one,” says Binshri K, a call centre executive from Delhi [Images]. The person you are calling may react with hostility or choose to hang up. You face a firestorm of rejection for every spark of interest you ignite. It’s important to remember that we live in an age of information overload. The amount of information that an average 17th century person would have accumulated in his/ her entire life is what is served to you in your daily newspaper. Time is at a premium and people are stressed out. Given all this, nobody wants to attend to that unexpected call on a busy day.

Free yourself of cold calling jitters

You can turn cold calling into a fruitful and positive experience by changing your mindset and making your calls sizzle. With a little planning and preparation you can influence the decisions of people or persuade them to buy what you are selling. Here are some tips at the heart of effective cold calling:

  • Dump the fear: Feelings of rejection and fear come when we get wrapped up in our expectations and hope for an outcome when it’s too premature to even be thinking about one. Rather than obsess about the rejection you might experience calling a stranger, think about the potential business you could gain by making the call, ie the possibility of selling a product, gaining an appointment for an interview etc. Once you understand this, you can turn the adrenaline fear produces into a positive motivator.
  • Do your homework: Get your facts in place. Who are you calling? What will be the best time to call them? What’s the purpose of this call? Why should they listen to you? You have exactly one opportunity to make a great first impression and you will not make it if you are not prepared. “I get at least five calls a day and sometimes it so happens that there is more than one call from the same company, with a new person at the other end each time, trying to sell the same thing. As a consumer, I think it’s extremely irritating and they need to update their records when the offer is refused once,” says Priyanka, a chartered accountant working with a Delhi-based bank.
  • Be enthusiastic: You need to be full of positive energy about what you are doing/ asking for or selling otherwise your voice will sound dull, with no power to persuade or move the listener into action. Remember, enthusiasm is infectious. Think of it as calling a friend. Let your voice be natural, calm, relaxed and easy-going.
  • Think it, ink it and sink it: Always call with a pen and paper handy. You may be provided with some vital clues that may be worth remembering. Writing it all down will help you frame better answer sand stay in control of the situation.
  • Be specific and focused: Give the listener information that is relevant and be as specific as possible. Tell them how your service/ offering relates to their specific situation. “I have received countless phone calls from sales people hawking their companies and trying to sell me postpaid connections and credit cards. As a house-wife, I do not need any of these,” says housewife Bharti Kukreja. Don’t be vague. Tell them what they want to know.
  • Have a checklist ready: Create a checklist of the key information you will require, ie pricing, testimonials, samples, and a list of questions; review this list before you make your call. “I remember calling a prospect expecting to receive his voice mail. That meant I was completely unprepared when he answered the call himself. Instead of asking him a series of qualifying questions, I simply responded to his questions, allowing him to control the sale. Unfortunately, I didn’t progress any further than that initial call,” says Ravi Srinivasan, sales manager with an IT company. Make sure you don’t sound scripted, as that puts you into the typical ‘salesperson’ category that you want to avoid.
  • Focus on key areas: Here’s a quick example. You could start off with, “Hi, my name is Amit…Can you help me out? I just need a minute of your time.” How would you normally respond if someone said that to you?

    Probably with “Sure, what is it?” or “What do you need?” — that’s how most people would respond to a question like that. It’s very natural and instinctive. When your prospect replies, you don’t respond with a sales pitch about what you have to offer. Instead, you go right into talking about the key focus area.

  • Follow up: Make sure you follow up and call whenever you promised you would. If you are calling for a job and are asked to mail your resume first, make sure that you mail it and follow up with another call. “If I am genuinely interested in buying something but can’t spare the time listening to someone’s sales pitch, I usually ask them to call later. But so far nobody has ever called at the time I gave them,” says Ravindra Prasad, a development manager with a Bangalore-based MNC.

Cold calling is not about counting the number of people you reach; rather, it’s about reaching the people who count. That’s the missing link in the entire process. So go out there and sizzle!

Apple iPhone Nano Photos & Review

February 8, 2009

Chinese handsets have flooded the mobile phone markets with clones of all the famous brands and hot selling models/handsets. Out of these the latest handset which is getting into the top charts is the ‘iPhone Nano’ and we cannot expect this to be a product of Apple because there are no news from Apple about such a handset and this is clearly a clone which can be available for somewhere around 100USD.

Here are some photos which i had found on multiple websites which can give you a idea on the size of the handset. The original iPhone is a complete touch screen device and there are claims that this mini iphone would also have the same features but with a small size which can be easily handled by anyone especially women who look for mini devices than those bulky shaped ones. The most amazing thing is that because the official model is released, the clones are available in the market and their color silicon cases are also available.

Apple iPhone Nano Shuffle
Apple iPhone Nano Demo
Apple iPhone Nano Comparision

Google Latitude

February 7, 2009

via: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/159137-1/google_latitude_an_indepth_look.html

This Wednesday, Google launched its much-anticipated location-tracking service, Latitude, which uses the GPS hardware found in smart phones (such as Google Android phones and BlackBerry and Windows Mobile handsets) to pinpoint your position on a map and share that information with your friends. I’ve been playing with the software on my BlackBerry for a couple of days, and I’ve taken the time to explore its features. Here’s a guided tour of the Latitude experience.

Web Registration

If you already have a Google Account, you can get started simply by adding Latitude to your iGoogle page on the Web. If you take this approach, you can use your full keyboard and mouse to populate your Friends list. Alternatively, you can browse to google.com/latitude on your smart phone and download the latest version of the Google Mobile app, which has Latitude functionality built in. Once it’s on your phone, you can log in and get started.

Add Friends

Before Latitude can do you much good or harm, you’ll need to add some friends with whom you’d like to share your location. Gmail users already have a heavily populated contact list to select from, but you also have the option to enter e-mail addresses manually.

Once you’ve added some friends, their avatars will appear on your map. You’ll also be able to see how long ago they last updated their location, either by clicking their avatar in the map view or by looking at their listing in your Friends list. If your friends haven’t entered a location for themselves and haven’t enabled GPS tracking on their smart phones, you’ll just see ‘Unknown Location’ by their names. In some cases, you’ll also see a tiny icon that looks like an eyeball with a slash through it. You might think that this means your friend has chosen to hide his or her location from you, but it actually means the opposite: The friend can’t see your location. In this case, you’ll need to select that friend and enable the level of location sharing you want to confer.

Privacy

You have three options for sharing your location: You can have Latitude detect your location to the best of its ability and automatically share it; you can set your location manually by entering an address or city; or you can hide your location entirely. You select the option you want in the oddly named Privacy menu. I think that a better label would be Location Sharing, which describes what actually happens here.

This menu sets your sharing preferences universally for all of your friends. If you like, however, you can change your sharing options for each friend individually. More on this later.

Because you can enter any address you want when you set your location, it’s very easy to spoof your position with Latitude. For instance, I’m toying with the idea of telling my friends that I’m in Timbuktu, Mali, because I want them to think I’m a hip jet-setter with a taste for exotic locales. (Sure, it’s a stretch, but some of my friends are pretty gullible.)

Mobile Latitude

Unless all you want to do is track where your friends are all the time–which sounds sort of creepy, if you ask me–you’ll probably spend a lot of time using Latitude’s mobile interface. The interface varies a bit, depending on the device you’re using it on, but this walkthrough of the screens on my BlackBerry Curve will give you a good sense of what it’s like.

Google Mobile & Maps

On the BlackBerry, Latitude lives in the Google Mobile App, which you can download by browsing to www.google.com/mobile on you device. Even if you already have Google Mobile and Google Maps on your BlackBerry, you must download the latest version to get the Latitude features.

In Google Mobile, select Maps from the menu. If you have an older version of Maps on your phone, you’ll be prompted to download an update now.

Initially, Latitude won’t be enabled on your phone. Hit your menu button and then select Latitude to enable it. You’ll need to enter your Google account user name and password, but afterward you’ll have access to the features I discussed earlier in the Web interface section.

Mobile Friends List

The Friends list in the mobile version is just like the Friends list on the Web, except that it’s slightly truncated because of the smaller screen. Instead of sitting off to the left of the map window, it hovers over the map, so you can’t see what everyone’s doing while you’re looking at their position.

To add a new friend, click Press menu to add friends at the top of the Friends menu; you’ll be taken to a screen that gives you access to all of the same contact list options that you had on the Web, including the option to enter new addresses manually. The Most Contacted option is quite helpful in this context, because it saves you from having to scroll through the names of hundreds of people you don’t want to track or share your location with.

Friend Options

To customize the options for a given friend, highlight the person’s name in the Friends list, and then press Enter to bring up the person’s Options menu. Here you can get directions to the friend’s current location (which could be unhelpful in light of possible spoofing), search for things near that location, adjust the level of sharing you’d like to enable for the friend, or dump the person from your Latitude tracking group.

Satellite and Traffic Views

Because it’s built on Google Maps, Latitude has all of the same traffic reporting and satellite views you’re accustomed to working with on your phone. Simply enable these options in your menu to see the corresponding details on your maps.

The Traffic view is especially cool when you want to see whether a friend you’ve arranged to meet will be on time. Just look for any red lines between that person’s location and yours; such lines signify traffic delays. If the roads are all green, the friend will have no excuse for being tardy.

Quirks and Issues

Latitude is a brand-new service, and it’s not without issues. But it’s difficult for me to tell how many of these issues are the software’s fault and how many are the result of the phone’s underpowered GPS hardware. Mobile phones have long suffered from inaccurate GPS readings, resulting in all kinds of headaches with turn-by-turn directions and other basic location features.

It’s not surprising, then, that Latitude often reports strange and inconsistent locations for its users. In my case, it generally showed my friends that I was several blocks–and sometimes several miles–from my actual position. Furthermore, it often bounced me around from one second to the next, showing me at my house one second, five blocks east the next, and then in a field a mile to the west a few seconds after that.

So while Latitude is an impressive little tool for keeping in touch with your friends, coworkers, and employees in real time, it’s not exactly reliable if you’re hoping to track them down to within a city block. Of course, anyone who is worried about privacy probably won’t mind these little discrepancies at all.

Create customized windows installations!

January 7, 2009

via:
http://www.nliteos.com/guide/part1.html

http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

  • Create a folder somewhere on your hard drive to copy the windows source files into
  • I called mine ‘XP_Source’ but you can use whatever name you prefer. Just make sure there is adequate space on your hard drive to hold the files
  • Copy the full content from the distribution cd into this folder
  • Start nLite

– Welcome screen shows you which version of nLite you are running and allows you to choose an alternate language.
– To continue click on ‘Next’.

– We must now direct nLite to the folder which contains the windows installation files
– To do this Click on ‘Browse’.

– Select the folder you created above

– nLite recognizes the language and version of your windows installation files

– You can save your current presets for future use or load presets from the last time you used nLite

– At this screen we have the options to choose what we would like nLite to accomplish for us
– These are some of the most advanced and customizable features within nLite
– In this example all of the pages are selected, but you can pick and choose which ones to proceed with

– To Integrate a Service Pack first download the correct pack for your operating system and save it to your hard drive
– Again, you can save it anywhere you want to on your hard drive. I personally chose to save it to my desktop so that I can delete it afterwards
– As you can see, nLite makes things easy for us!
– Links to download the most recent service pack are embedded within nLite
– We must now direct nLite to the service pack file that was downloaded in the step above
– Click on the ‘Select’ tab and the following box will appear

– Use the pull down arrow at the top of the window to help choose the correct file
– When you have located it, click on it, and and then select the ‘Open’ tab
– nLite will automatically extract and integrate the service pack into your windows distribution folder

– In this window we have the option to add hotfixes and update patches into the installion
– I created a folder on my hard drive where I have downloaded all patches and updates for easy reference
– If you are using Internet Explorer, run Windows Update and look for the updates. Then download the actuall file by searching for it within Microsoft’s website

25 Must See Bollywood Movies

January 3, 2009

Via: 25 Must See Bollywood Movies
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Black (2005)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Black’ is made with astounding sensitivity and enthralling quest for perfection. It tells the story of a deaf and blind girl, Michelle McNally and her teacher, Debraj Sahai. They together embark on a journey to get Michelle out of an animalistic existence to reach a common goal; of knowledge and respectability. ‘Black’ is inspired by the life of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan. Bhansali has extracted mind-blowing performances out of his actors, whether it’s Ayesha Kapoor as a boorish young Michelle or a full-o-beans adult Michelle played by Rani Mukerji or even the alcoholic teacher superbly enacted by Amitabh Bachchan. ‘Black’ is bi-lingual set against an Anglo-Indian family living in the picturesque Shimla. The filmmaker and his actors have bettered their previous best to create a luminous piece of work called ‘Black.’

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Lagaan (2001)
’Lagaan’ was the most volatile combo of the two things that makes Indians tick- cricket and Bollywood. The result no doubt was exhilarating. The film was three hours long, but it passed in front of you in a jiffy, each ball being cheered, each shot being egged on. It’s a complete entertainer with songs that became instant hits. The film is a period drama set in the 19th century British-ruled India. Set in a small village called Champaner it tells the story of the simple village-folk struggling to pay off the annual debts (Lagaan) to the British. It had all the trappings of a blockbuster; Aamir Khan, great songs, humour, good-over evil storyline and to top it all, cricket. ‘Lagaan’ went on to be nominated as one of the five entries at the Oscars, the only film after ‘Mother India’ and ‘Salaam Bombay’. It won eight Filmfare awards in all the major categories.

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Satya (1998)
’Satya’ spawned numerous gangster flicks but it remains one of the best in its genre. The film was about the genesis of a criminal from an innocent man called Satya. Another character that made a star out of a ‘nobody’, Bhiku Mhatre was a no-frills-no-nonsense role portrayed brilliantly by Manoj Bajpai. The dreaded gangster Bhikubhai is not your regular formula baddie. He is a trigger-happy underworld don who doesn’t need a ‘get-up’ to look the part. Despite being a sadist he evokes sympathy and has a great sense of humour. Manoj Bajpai’s intensity was almost reminiscent of a certain ‘angry young man’ of yore. Bhiku Mhatre floored the audiences as an attitude ‘bhai’ with killer statements like, “Mumbai ka raja kaun? Bhiku Mhatre!”

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Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
The film that may soon make an entry into the Guinness Book Of World Records, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ has run in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir for 500 weeks. It completed 500 weeks on May 13 and will complete 10 years in October 2005. The film has won ten Filmfare awards – a record for a Hindi film. A complete entertainer, ‘DDLJ’ was a sweet love story in an NRI backdrop. Directed by Yash Chopra’s eldest son, Aditya Chopra in 1995 at the age of 23, it was a trendsetter of sorts with the lead couple being second generation Indians living in England with deep Indian values. The music of the film was superhit and so were the ‘great Indian wedding’ preparation scenes portrayed in the film. Shah Rukh – Kajol chemistry crackled on screen and they achieved the numero uno spot in Bollywood post ‘DDLJ’.

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Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Aamir Khan’s debut film, ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ made him an instant heartthrob. ‘QSQT’ is one of the landmark films of Hindi cinema. It was a welcome break from the violent 70s and 80s with all and sundry doing their ‘angry young man’ act. Even the original ‘angry young man’ was no longer angry. ‘QSQT’ was a simple youthful love story with a fresh look at doomed romance. It is about a star-crossed young couple from traditional feuding families a la ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The young lovers elope and are chased by their parents. When they find no hope for their love they decide to die and make their love immortal. The film was a blockbuster making Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla household names.

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Mr. India (1987)
Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Mr. India’ had all the ingredients required for the superhit status that it acquired. A superhero like protagonist, great plot, Sridevi at her sexiest best, catchy songs and Hindi cinema’s most adorable villain, ‘Mogambo’. Anil Kapoor as the guy who had the power to go invisible was just awesome in the film. Amrish Puri’s menacing act as Mogambo was not just a turning point in his career but also the most memorable comic-book-villain-acts in Hindi cinema. The audiences were thrilled every time Amrish Puri glared down at them with his fiercely bulbous eyes sporting an atrocious blond wig and garish knee high silver heeled boots. They came back again and again to hear him mouth possibly the most repeated line of Hindi cinema (post 80s), ‘Mogambo khush hua’. Children loved the film for its special effects and the kiddie brigade taking on the villain. The grown ups couldn’t get enough of Sridevi in one of the most erotic ‘wet saree’ (blue clingy chiffon) songs ever in Hindi films, ‘ Kaate Nahin kat te’.

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Jane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983)
You just can’t not watch this film and then once you have watched it you can’t stop talking about it. One of the most brilliant satires coming out of Hindi cinema, ‘Jane Bhi Do Yaaron’ has some of the brightest actors of Hindi cinema. The film is about two simple and honest photographer friends, Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani. By chance they witness a murder and are dragged into the corrupt real estate deals with politicians and bureaucrats. Actors like Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Shah and Satish Kaushik shared some incredibly funny scenes in the film. Like Sholay people remember the outrageously funny dialogues of the film. Naseeruddin Shah’s “Thoda khao, thoda phenko”, Om Puri’s “Oye DMello, Tu to gaya” are some of the most memorable lines from the film. Some of the funniest scenes include a drunk Om Puri trying to help Satish Shah’s dead body start his ‘car’ (coffin) and the famous Ramlila scene are side-splitting.

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Arth (1982)
One of the best films coming from the filmmaker Mahesh Bhat, ‘Arth’ was known to be based on his relationship with the late actress Parveen Babi. The film had two of the best actresses of Hindi cinema, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil pitted against each other resulting in some super-volatile performances. The soulful songs rendered by Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh were truly beautiful. The film is about the complexities of an extra-marital relationship from the points of view of the husband (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), the wife (Shabana Azmi) and the mistress (Smita Patil). Shabana excelled in the role of a wronged wife and gave the character a certain dignity hitherto absent in such roles despite the scene when in a drunken state she calls her husband’s mistress a whore publicly. But Smita walked away with the accolades as a guilt ridden, insecure ‘other woman’ and her final scene with Shabana when in a hallucination she picks up the imaginary mangalsutra beads of Shabana shakes you up completely.

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Deewaar (1975)
Yash Chopra’s ‘Deewaar’ is a classic example of a perfect Indian melodrama of the 70s –two brothers raised by a long suffering mother. One turns out to be good and the other gets strayed into the big bad world of crime. Amitabh had already made a mark with ‘Zanjeer’ as the ‘angry young man’ and with ‘Deewaar’ he enforced his image emerging as a force to reckon with. The potent dialogues written by the hit duo of Salim-Javed left a huge impact on the audiences receiving whistles and claps by the front-benchers. Who hasn’t heard “ Aaj mere paas bangla hai, gaadi hai, bank balance hai. Tumhare paas kya hai? Mere paas … Maaa Hai ”! Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor play brothers and Nirupa Roy their mother. In the climax when Amitabh is shot by his own brother to drive home the good-over-bad philosophy, he staggers into a temple where he dies in the arms of his mother. It was one of the most powerful scenes in the film. Though the entire cast including Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi and Neetu Singh did a good job but the film belonged to Amitabh Bachchan who made ‘Deewaar’ a fare to remember with his powerhouse performance.

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Sholay (1975)
It’s a tad difficult to fit ‘Sholay’ into a single paragraph. Arguably the most complete and entertaining film of all times, the film boasts of some of the biggest stars of its time-Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri. It also made a star out of a character called Gabbar Singh -the most imitated character of Hindi cinema. The legendary Gabbar’s dialogues are now folk-lore ( Pachas pachas kos door gaon mein jab bachcha raat ko rota hai to maa kahti hai beta soja ..soja nahin to Gabbar Singh aa jaayega ) peppered with his quirky vicious laughter showing his tobacco-stained teeth or the trademark ferocity ( Yeh haath mujhe de de Thakur ), Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh is a true blue cult-figure. Each and every character of Sholay is a part of the cinematic folklore, but apart from Gabbar the other most popular characters are Hindi cinema’s best-known buddies, Jai- Veeru and Veeru’s blabbermouth love interest, Basanti. The two friends singing ‘ Yeh dosti hum nahin chhodenge’ makes the most enduring image of screen friendship. Hema Malini as the chatterbox Basanti was a laugh riot. The three share some of the most memorable scenes in the film. Sholay is a classic to be watched again and again.

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Bobby (1973)
This was the launch vehicle of Raj Kapoor’s son Rishi Kapoor and a 14 year old girl who became a teen-sensation-Dimple Kapadia. One of the sweetest love stories in Hindi cinema ‘Bobby’ is about a school going girl who falls in love with a lonely, rich young boy. It’s the rich-poor formula but the freshness of the lead pair was the clincher for ‘Bobby’. The music of the film was a smash hit with songs like ‘ Hum tum ik kamre mein band ho’ and ‘Jhooth bole’ becoming anthems for the youth. Dimple Kapadia with her short dresses and knotted teeny weeny tops became the darling of the nation. The screen chemistry of the hero and heroine was so amazing that when Dimple made a comeback more than a decade after ‘Booby’, Rishi Kapoor was signed opposite her.

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Garam Hawa (1973)
’Garam Hawa’ is one of the most sensitively made films on the Indo-Pak partition. It doesn’t have the usual melodrama and Pak bashing. ‘Garam Hawa’ was based on an unpublished story by Ismat Chughtai and adapted for the film by Kaifi Azmi. Director M.S. Sathyu strayed away from the mainstream formula of the 70s to recreate the agonizing past that nobody had dared to touch. The film was about a Muslim family that decides to remain in India post-partition. It explores how partition affects them socially, emotionally and economically. The main protagonist, a middle aged shoe manufacturer in Agra was played by Balraj Sahni, one of the finest actors to have graced the Indian silver screen so far. Ustad Bahadur Khan evocative music helps lift the film even more. The film not only won accolades from the critics but was also lapped up by the common man. It also won the National Award that year.

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Pakeezah (1972)
Kamal Amrohi’s ’Pakeezah’ acquired a legendary status soon after its heroine, the ‘Tragedy Queen’ Meena Kumari passed away. The film has a larger than life feel and is grand is appearance. The story of a courtesan played by Meena Kumari in arguably her best role ever, ‘Pakeezah’ was made by her husband Amrohi and took a long time to make. The film showcases the elegant past of the privileged class of Uttar Pradesh; their refined culture and grandeur yet at the same time their hypocrisy and decadence of the bourgeois society. Ashok Kumar and Raj ‘Jaani’ Kumar play the suitors of Meena Kumari who has a double role in the film. The incredibly lyrical songs or mujras in the film are breathtaking. The costumes and sets are gorgeous. As the film took long years to make due to the differences between the husband –wife team of Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi, Meena looks young and fresh in some scenes and in some painfully haggard and sad. But she covers it all up with her stunning histrionics and dialogue delivery.

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Anand (1970)
Rajesh Khanna was the first official superstar of Hindi cinema. He gave a slew of hits in the late 60s and 70s, ’Anand’ being the most important one of them. It was a lighthearted melodramatic tale with deeply tragic undertones. Rajesh Khanna plays Anand, a man suffering from cancer, yet never seen unhappy or crying. Ironically the character is shown to be full of life and laughter. Amitabh Bachchan played his doctor in the film with whom he spends his last days. The film made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee who gave us delightful films like Gol Maal, Chupke Chupke, Mili, Abhimaan and Bawarchi is a true masterpiece. Many dialogues and scenes from the film became popular specially the way Rajesh Khanna said ‘ Babumoshai ’ . Add to all this some beautiful songs and you have a film that stays with you forever. ‘Anand’ won the Filmfare Award in 1972.

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Padosan (1968)
Arguably the best Hindi comedy of all times, the mere mention of ‘Padosan’ makes you guffaw. The two uncrowned ‘Kings of Comedy’, Kishore Kumar and Mehmood are at their best. Add to this an excellent performance by Sunil Dutt as a harebrained young man and you have a super entertainer. Bhola (Sunil Dutt) falls in love with a lovely girl, Bindu (Saira Banu), his ‘padosan’ whom he admires from his window every day. Bindu flirts with her music teacher, Master Pillai (Mehmood). Bhola, with the help of his friends Vidyapathi (Kishore Kumar) and his cronies plans to win her over. Vidyapathi runs an acting school and is a singer as well. He turns into a ‘Dr. Love’ persona for Bhola and Bindu ultimately falls for Bhola. It has some hilarious numbers like ‘ Ik chatur naar karke singaar’ and ‘Mere saamne waali khidki mein’ . Kishore Kumar with paan dripping from the side of his mouth, his hair parted at the center with the edge of his dhoti in one hand and a paan box in the other is an enduring image from the film. His impeccable comic timing and the ability to generate fun even from a simple gesture and a word, is remarkable. One simple “Bhole” uttered by him sends you rolling with laughter. If this wasn’t enough there is Mehmood too as a south Indian music teacher with a choti hanging on his clean-shaven head. The scenes where the two suitors of Bindu are competing against each other are riotous. A true masterpiece!

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TeesriManzil (1966)
’Teesri Manzil’ is a suspense thriller peppered with glamorous people, glittering sets and a lot of the swinging 60s style songs. The lead pair of Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh featured in a string of hits and this potboiler was undoubtedly their best film together. Shammi Kapoor as Rocky, a drummer at a nightclub with his Elvis Presley suits, hairdo and rock’n’roll style was a delight to watch. He is such a rock-star that you ignore his sometimes funny (read bad) enactment of a drummer. Asha Parekh with her tight churidars, the classic sixties bouffant, heavily made up eyes and fluttering eye-lashes wooed her fans dancing down the slopes in her sleeveless kurtas. And not to forget Miss Ruby played by none other than the ‘cabaret queen’, Helen who has some of the most memorable dances in the film. The sets were bizarre yet unforgettable. The matchless duo of Asha Bhonsle and RD Burman added punch to the sizzling numbers of Helen.

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Guide (1965)
A true classic based on R.K. Narayan’s novel ‘The Guide’, Vijay Anand’s ‘Guide’ starred Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. The film was pretty bold for its time as it showed a guide and a married woman in love and even living together. Rosie played by Waheeda is a dancer who is forced to get married to a middle aged man. She meets an interesting man, Raju who is a guide by profession. The two fall in love and Raju gives Rosie the life that she always craved for. Things don’t work out between them and in a cheating case Raju lands up in jail. When years later he is released he is mistaken as a holy man. He tells the villagers a story of a holy man who had kept a fast for twelve days to bring rain to a drought-hit village. Unfortunately, a drought hits the village soon after. He keeps the fast and slowly grows week and listless. The rains come on the last day of his fast and while the villagers rejoice he dies quietly. ’Guide’ is a landmark films of Indian cinema, way ahead of its time. Dev Anand gives a remarkable performance, perhaps his best winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actor that year. But, its Waheeda who brings life to the film, specially in the first half as a free-spirited young woman who doesn’t mind a live-in relationship. She also won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress that year. Another plus-point of ‘Guide’ was S.D Burman’s music with songs like, “ Piya Tose Naina Lage Re”, ”Aaj Phir Jeene ki Tamanna Hai”, “Din Dhal Jaaye”, “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil”, ““Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rang Hai”, “Kya se Kya Ho Gaya” and “Wahaan Kaun Hai Tera”.

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Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam (1962)
According to some, ‘Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam’ was ghost directed by Guru Dutt. The film was set in late 19th century against a feudal backdrop. Meena Kumari has never looked as sensuous as the Chhoti Bahu in ‘Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam’ with a stray lovelock peeping out of her head covered with a silk saree pallu and falling on her forehead adorned by a big bindi. She plays the respectable bahu from an upper class Bengali household, yet when she starts a slurred “ Na jao saiyaan ”, the contrast is striking. The unshed tears in Meena’s eyes make her worthy of her ‘Tragedy Queen’ title. Undoubtedly, Chhoti Bahu is the most spectacular character in tragedienne Meena Kumari’s career; a role that was uncannily similar to her own life. Chhoti Bahu dares to question the system and tries to reclaim her errant husband. Unlike the other women in the house, she is not submissive instead she wants his adoration and time. When in her desperation she turns to alcohol, one is stunned by her passion and desire to win over her husband. Her most forceful dialogue from the film is when she dares to argue with her husband who equates her to the wives of other landowners, ” Hindu ghar ki bahu hokar, kya sharab pee hai kissine ?” Meena Kumari, like the miraculous sindoor she yearns for in the film mesmerizes you with her acting skills. The role of Jaba was played by Waheeda Rehman and of Bhootnath by Guru Dutt himself. The film remains with you forever simply because of the splendid performance of Meena Kumari.

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Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
’Mughal-e-Azam’, a historical, had the grandeur of a Mughal court and a heady defiant note. Each and every scene in the film is a masterpiece moving in front of your eyes. The film took almost fifteen years in the making and cost Rs 1.5 crores in those days. The cast had the superstars of that time including Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor. People from all over the country were brought to Bombay to work on the elaborate costumes, props. and sets. It had a grand premiere held simultaneously in 150 theatres all over the country. The filmmaker K. Asif left no stone unturned to make sure that his film becomes a part of the cinematic folklore. Its a classic tale of rebellious love between Prince Salim and the courtesan Anarkali. Their love is opposed by the powerful king Akbar leading to a father-son rift. Naushad’s music is spell binding specially “ Prem Joga”, ”Pyaar Kiya to darna kya ” and “ Mohe panghat . The recreation of the Sheesh mahal and the shots where the reflection of Madhubala in a giddy twirl is captured in loads of glittering glass pieces is fascinating. The humungous set for this legendary song took all the lights available (even 500 truck beams) and about 100 reflectors to bounce off the light. An intoxicated Madhubala declaring her love with bold lyrics like ‘ Parda nahin jab koi khuda se, bandon se parda karna kya ’ in front of the whole world and the powerful King himself is awe-inspiring. ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, has one of the most talked about erotic scenes in Hindi cinema. Dilip Kumar teasingly caresses an impassioned Madhubala’s radiant face with a long white feather. She shuts her eyes slowly with her lips turned towards her lover and there is a suggestion of a kiss when the two go behind the veil of the feather. The classical notes of ‘ Prem Jogan Banke’ sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan add a timeless quality to the moment. It goes without saying that the film was a blockbuster.

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Pyaasa (1957)
Guru Dutt was one of the most brilliant filmmakers of India and ‘Pyaasa’ his most evocative work. Guru Dutt did the lead role of a suffering poet Vijay when it was rejected by Dilip Kumar. Mala Sinha plays his girlfriend, Johnny Walker his masseuse pal and Waheeda Rehman his admirer and a prostitute. The film is replete with symbolism, Guru Dutt’s forte. Whether it’s the powerful crushing the feeble or the hypocrisy of the society there is no parallel to the way it’s handled in ‘Pyaasa’. As an unsuccessful poet he is shunned by all and sundry from his own brothers to even the prostitutes. In bizarre circumstances he is believed to be dead and as luck would have it his work gets published and famous. The same people who ridiculed him attempt to cash in on his ‘posthumous’ glory. In a Christ-like manner the poet ‘resurrects in a function in his memory. The poignancy of the moment leaves you stunned. ‘Pyaasa’ is utterly bitter at times and painfully ironic at others. Its not the kind of film that one forgets in a hurry, it forces you to contemplate over matters that one usually shoves at the back of one’s mind. S. D. Burman music is brilliant as usual but the crowning glory of the film is the lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi. Songs like “Jaane woh kaise log the”, “Jinhe naaz hai Hind par who kahan hain” and the heartrending “ Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai ” are true classics. The film is an absolute must see for all film buffs!

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Mother India (1957)
Mehboob’s magnum opus ‘Mother India’ is a tribute to the Indian woman! The only film before ‘Lagaan’ to get a nomination in the Best Foreign Film Category at the Oscars, ‘Mother India’ is an epic. Nargis as Radha, a ‘Mother Courage’ like character was spectacular in the film. It was a performance of a lifetime, a role to die for. It won her the Best actress award at the prestigious Karlovy Vary festival. The film is emotionally charged as Radha represents millions of women across the country struggling to preserve their dignity while bringing up their children single-handedly. She works like a beast to feed her children and pay off the moneylender. Her sons played by Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt help her in getting back their land from the vile clutches of the local moneylender. Sunil Dutt as the rebel son whom she shoots in the end is brilliant. While shooting for the film Sunil Dutt had rescued Nargis from a fire that had broken out on the sets. The two later married spinning a romantic folklore around the film.

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Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957)
The renowned filmmaker V Shantaram made a stirring ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’; a film about social reforms. It’s a stark black-and-white film about a jailor who believes that love and trust can turn even the most hardened criminals into God fearing responsible citizens. V Shantaram played the lead character of an idealistic jailor himself and his real life wife Sandhya plays a toy seller. The jailor takes six murderers out of jail and takes their responsibility to reform them. He gives them freedom and trust and gradually are reformed. Shantaram makes the film believable as the change is gradual and thankfully there is no melodrama in the film. The prisoners keep going back to their old ways but the jailors faith and psychologically handled situations make him a winner in the end.

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Devdas (1955)
One of the most accomplished filmmakers of Hindi cinema, Bimal Roy made many films that fit the classics list, but Dilip Kumar starrer ‘Devdas’ is an absolute must see. We have seen many versions of ‘Devdas’ based on the novel by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay but this black-and-white version remains the best. It is tragic tale of lost love and a complex mish-mash of human relationships. Dilip Kumar as the self-destructive doomed lover, Devdas gives a remarkable performance. His drunken scenes are understated and that coupled with his inimitable style of dialogue delivery is a deadly combo. Its dialogue ” Kaun kambakht bardasht karne ke liye peeta hai ?” was oft repeated by Dilip Kumar fans. Vyjayanthimala as Chandramukhi and Suchitra Sen as Paro give sensitive performances. Motilal as Chunnibabu is a treat to watch. ‘Devdas’ won Dilip Kumar the Best Actor award and a Best Supporting Actress award for Vyjayanthimala.

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Do Bigha Zameen (1953)
Another Bimal Roy classic ’Do Bigha Zameen’ is one of the most unforgettable films of Indian cinema. The protagonist Shambhu brilliantly played by Balraj Sahni migrates to Calcutta from a small village where he owns two acres of land. He needs to earn money desperately to pay the debt as the moneylender wants his plot of land. His son joins him in the city and becomes a shoeshine boy. Balraj Sahni becomes a rickshaw puller. The scenes with him pulling people in his rickshaw were so compelling that you felt the anguish and the urgency with which he enacts them. To get into the skin of the character, Balraj Sahni, a well educated westernized actor practiced rickshaw pulling on the streets of Calcutta and mingled with other rickshaw pullers without telling them who he was. The film explores the cruelty that is meted out to the poor in villages and cities alike. The film wasn’t a big hit but it won major awards at the Cannes film festival, Karlovy Vary film festivals and Filmfare Awards.

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Awara ( 1951)
The USP of ‘Awara’ was the now famous Raj-Nargis pairing. Whenever Raj Kapoor and Nargis came together on screen, sparks flew. Their chemistry was electrifying and it crackles with raw passion in Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awara’. Nargis’s wild and carefree sensuality pulsates and Raj Kapoor’s scruffy hair-rebellious persona only adds fuel to the fire. The film was a runaway success not just in India but also in the erstwhile USSR and China. Raj Kapoor plays Raju an aimless youth turned into a criminal living in the slums who is loved by a respectable lawyer played by Nargis. The film established Raj Kapoor as the Chaplin-like ‘tramp’ of Hindi cinema. The music of the film was on the lips of not just Indians but people from all over the world especially Russians. The songs specially “ Awaara hoon”, “Ghar aaya mera pardesi ” and “ Dum bhar jo udhar muhn phere ” are remembered even today. The first ever dream sequence to be filmed in Hindi cinema where a gorgeous Nargis wafts through the clouds in search of her lover, Raj Kapoor took three months to shoot. It is a symbolic picturisation of the turbulence in the mind of the hero, he escapes the hell that the villain has created and climbs up to the angelic heroine. This song was a big attraction in its time and it spawned numerous dream-sequences.

FireTune is a freeware that speeds up Firefox to the extreme.

December 29, 2008

FireTune is a freeware that speeds up Firefox to the extreme.

Applicable to Firefox

Now that you’ve taken the baby step to speed up Firefox why not take an extra step to make Firefox superfast? FireTune is a freeware tool that helps you optimize Firefox so that it can work on the turbo speed mode.

FireTune allows you to configure the level of optimization that it can do by letting you choose the kind of computer and the internet connection that you have. The optimization that FireTune does is possible because of the fact that the developers of Firefox (or any other browsers for that matter) targets the users who have dial-up connection. They assume that if they can make the browser perform decent for the dial-up users then obviously the high-speed internet connection users will get a better speed performance. But that’s not the case all the time. That’s when FireTune comes in to speed up Firefox to the extreme.

Follow these steps to configure FireTune to optimize Firefox to get better speed,

Step-1: Close all of the Firefox instances

Close all of the Firefox instances that’s running on your computer. FireTune will fail if Firefox is running, so close all the instances of Firefox on your computer.

Step-2: Download and run FireTune

Download FireTune and unzip the file. You can use one of these WinZip and WinRAR alternatives if you don’t have WinZip or WinRAR installed on your computer. Once unzipped, launch FireTune.exe.

Step-3: Backup Firefox configuration

Backup Firefox configuration warning message

Once you run FireTune it asks you to backup Firefox configuration. Just click on the “OK” button.

Backup Firefox configuration successful message

When FireTune launches click on the “Create backup of configuration” button as shown above. FireTune will acknowledge with a “Backup successfully created!” message once done.

Step-4: Performance Optimizations

FireTune Performance Optimizations tab

Click on the “Performance Optimizations” tab if the focus is on another tab. Here you can choose the type of computer and internet connection that you have. In my case I have a fast computer and a really high speed internet connection, so I chose “Fast computer/Fast connection” option. Choose the one that applies to you the most.

Step-5: Other Optimizations

FireTune Other Optimizations tab

Click on the “Other Optimizations” tab and make sure to check the “Enable some performance tweaks common to all configurations” option.

Step-6: Other Useful Settings

FireTune Other Useful Settings tab

Click on the “Other Useful Settings” tab and make sure to check the “Optimize Firefox memory usage” option.

Step-7: Speed up Firefox now

FireTune Tune It button

Click on the “Tune it!” button once you are ready to let FireTune do its job.

FireTune Successful Optimization message to speed up Firefox

FireTune will optimize your Firefox installation to the chosen settings and will notify you of the status like above. The message to restart Firefox is erroneous. Since there is no instance of Firefox running there is no point of restarting Firefox. Anyways, ignore the details of the success message and just go ahead and launch Firefox.

You should be able to see a remarkable improvement in the performance of your Firefox browser.

FireTune Restore Original Configuration button

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Fiat Palio Diesel Multijet Test Drive Report

December 17, 2008
Looks
After the Stile, not much has changed, the most prominent are the new logos and the new grille, which looks much better than the old one. It looks stunning in white, even after all these years in production.
It’s old, but still not a bad looker.
Interiors
The interiors aren’t really anything to write home about. Its shocking that the interiors are the same the Palio first came out with years ago. Sure they’ve added beige to the interiors, but the slider controls for the AC and exposed metal in the doors cannot hide the age of this car. Even an Indica comes with moulded door panels. The ergonomics are fantastic though. The driving position is good and the seats are comfortable. Its spacious and rides very well. I hated the handbrake lever which seems to have been taken off a Padmini and the flat rear-view mirrors are just not done.
Interiors look dated.
Drive
The same engine does duty in the hot selling Swift as well. The Swift is a punchy performer and is very frugal as well. Has anything changed in the Palio? Well, the Palio is a heavier car than the Swift so there has been some impact on the performance and efficiency. Its not as efficient as the Swift, expect around 12kpl in the city and about 16-17kpl on the highway. Till 2000rpm, there is decent pull, but the actual action starts past that and goes up till about 4000rpm where it runs out of breath.
The same engine does duty in the Swift DDIS as well.
But there are good bits as well. The Palio handles very well, not only for a small car too. The ride is comfortable, the suspension absorbs the bumps really well, though its a tad stiff at low speeds. The steering is well weighted and gives you a lot of confidence in corners which most other hatches lack. The brakes too are much better than what we are used to hatchbacks especially when you compare it to an Indica whose brakes aren’t that great.
Worth it?
You get similar levels of performance as the Swift at a lower price, so it does look promising. But Palios don’t have good resale, but the since this is a diesel, this is expected to have better resale than its petrol sibling. But one thing is for sure, you do get good value for money. Its available in SD, SDE and SDX version. Its a tough fight with the Swift, but personally I’d go for the Swift because its a more modern design, the interiors are better and its a Maruti so aftersales shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But if you are on a budget and can’t choose between the Indica Turbo/Dicor and this, then I’d definately go for the Palio.

Palio_Stile_Diesel images and Palio_Stile_Diesel wallpapers

Palio_Stile_Diesel images and Palio_Stile_Diesel wallpapers