Archive for June, 2009

30
Jun
09

Series 40 vs Sony Ericsson Proprietary : A short review

So I recently switched from SE to Nokia. Just thought I’d outline a few differences, pros and cons of each etc. for anybody wondering what changes they’d see when switching from one to the other. The two I’m comparing are Series 40 5th Edition and the Sony Ericsson Proprietary OS found in most older generation phones of theirs like the K750. I’m no expert in either but this is the Internet. Any fool can post anything.

First up, Interface : SE runs their own thing. Pretty quick and responsive on most phones and very easy to find your way around. Most modern installations have support for flash based menu navigation. S40 on the other hand is getting a little long in the tooth. And by long in the tooth I mean Temple of the tooth like long. It’s decently responsive if you keep the transitions turned off. Then it starts lagging. Flash lite support has been introduced, but only on wallpaper and screensavers. On the other hand, the interface is customizable in different ways. Menu icons and icon order are among things that are changeable. The same old gallery views are there on both OS’s, since neither has a  dedicated image/media viewer, and use the file manager.

Applications : Both have Java support. But, like that annoying old shopkeeper, S40 refuses to do two things at the same time. You’ll have to quit whatever app you’re using before replying to that message just recieved. SE on the other hand supports multi-tasking for one java app at a time.

Functionality : This is a bit strange. S40 manages to get in a few punches in the way of background file transfers and unlimited message capacity, but then SE pees on Nokia’s feet by showing off it’s multiple alarms and encrypted notes features. Both have more or less the same functionality otherwise, and you won’t notice much difference once you get used to it.

Messaging : SE have  two different editors for SMS and MMS. S40 has just one, where you just add content if you want it to turn into an MMS. Switching between the two can be tricky at first, since both employ different methods in various things. For example the Nokia editor sends a message if you click the middle button on the nav pad, whereas the SE editor just asks for the number. There are a few other minor changes in typing style as well.

Multimedia : They’re both pretty sucky when managing and displaying media without a Walkman or XM player. Or to put it more diplomatically, they’re both pretty well matched. Audio quality, as far as I’ve noticed, is better on SE, but still not as good as a dedicated device. Video plays full screen at what seems like a blistering 15fps. If it got any faster I’d say it it could outdraw a man animating single frames with a notebook.

All in all, I’m not particularly drawn by either. But when choosing, I would go for an SE, since IMO they make better designed phones across the price spectrum. Feel free to correct, I am open to editing.

30
Jun
09

The Best Meal I’ve Had In Years!

Cast away all those recipes! Throw out the 15-course tea! I have rediscovered heaven.

But yeah, most of you will probably balk at it.

Was out of liquid milk yesterday so I had to make my own chocolate sauce with milk powder. See, I used to make this thick contraption with milk, sugar and cocoa powder. It was choc sauce in the way that Papareboy is human. You think it might be, but it’s just not quite the same. So I made it. Then I had one of those tiny packets of chocos so I put that into the sauce too.

Then I looked for what I would eat it with. Turned out there was roti and…yeah that’s it. So like countless other times, I was eating roti with choco sauce again.

It was brilliant. I had forgotten just how sickly sweet the thing was, and was left licking the bowl for the last few milliliters of the stuff.

So yeah, that’s it. I know, shit post, but meh…

29
Jun
09

Movie Review Time

Recently watched two movies. In my tradition of bringing you my opinion on the newest movies off the block, The Chronicles of Narnia : Prince Caspian. Also Watchmen.

Fist up is Caspian, which I found lurking in my sister’s pen drive.  Was meh. Full of Spanish people running around yelling “Why are you talking about the rain in Spain?!”. Or maybe I got something mixed up with My Fair Lady. Doesn’t make a difference anyway.

Then suddenly the conquistadors are running after Jason Mraz. Or at least what I imagine Jason Mraz to look like. Spanishey and all ‘My kingdom must be saved from my evil uncle! But wait till I save this damsel first. Stand in line for autographs’. After a whole lot of running around and impossible phenomena such as a teenager actually acting rational, there’s a huge battle with a lot of centaurs that look like they’re running on a treadmill. While in stilettos.

There’s a huge battle scene which could have been easily improved with a few DC characters. Maybe throw in the Hulk. The people were too full of honour so they didn’t show off their fighting skills to their true potential. And then suddenly they’re all in a train station and I went to sleep.

As for Watchmen, we went to see it at the Majestic. Sabby, Hijinx, Whacko, Sabby’s cousin and two generic ‘dudes’ cam along to keep me entertained in case the movie sucked. It did. If not for all the fighting, the sheer monotony of the thing would have killed us. Well, made us leave, at least. Actually, we DID want to leave. But whacko wanted to stay to see if he could spot the Night Owl naked. Yes, the Night Owl is a guy.

It dragged on for two and a half hours, sporadically bursting into a cool fight scene, but filling the rest of the time with corny action movie plot. Maybe you have to read the graphic novel to get it. Maybe you need a lobotomy. I don’t know. It was a waste of a bit of life.

26
Jun
09

I can’t remember the title :/

I had a really cool title in mind on my way to work this morning. I forgot. Dang.

Anyway,

…dammit why can’t I remember that title?! GGNNHHHH!

There was yet another open mic kinda thing at Galle Face yesterday. It sucked. Whacko, PB and me got there just as the last person was performing. Apparently all of them had just sung things. Fallen had just finished his encore too.

Somewhere along the line some random female came and sat down at the table. We weren’t sure what the waiters wore at the place so we were cautious at first. Turned out it wasn’t a waiter, it was just some random woman who had walked in off the street. No, it wasn’t charmbracelet.

After whack read some short poetry, Fallen again went up to pollute the air with some matchstick fumes and some poem about…something, I couldn’t hear it. And then while I was wondering what to do, a judge came on the mic and went on about how the performers performed. And then some dude who strummed a guitar won.

It sucked. Did I already say that?

It sucked.

Afterwords we got dinner, debated who the hottest female blogger was, and went home.

No, we’re not telling you.

25
Jun
09

Phone Woes

So my trusty Sony was dying. It was showing delayed signs of damage from exposure to wet substances, namely water. I decided to replace it before it totally died on me. I could not bear to see it breathe it’s last breath. It was just too painful.
So I just peddled it off and got a new one.

And it’s a Nokia. Now see, I have nothing against them, they’re fine phones. But personally, I prefer SE phones to most Nokias. Something to do with their design and OS. But this time, there was no avoiding this thing because it was the best option for my price range. The only equivalent SE phone wasn’t available here. It’s pretty good, but it’ll take a while to get used to.

So this morning I plugged my walkman into the PC. It refused to charge. It remained silent, saying nothing. Thinking yet another problem had cropped up with my PC, I thought the name of that pill that some people on the blogosphere seem to keep referring to. The one with the chemical name ending in ‘all’. Set off for work, patting it and whispering, “just last through the bus ride, I’ll get you your juice when I get to work”.

Come to work, connect. Won’t charge.

Shudder, wondering if I’ll have to listen to music on the phone. Yes, it’s a music phone, but the sound still isn’t that good. Shudder at the thought of people on the bus looking at me condescendingly, “look at him with his phone! Haha the poor sod!”. Shudder at the thought of having to tell people “I use my phone for music” while they roll on the floor laughing their asses off. Shudder at the thought of playing music off something that is red.

:P

Meanwhile, walkman whined that it was slowly being depleted. I yelled at it that I wasn’t even using it and that it should learn to keep its own screen turned off. Then it started crying and saying I don’t treat it the same as I used to. But you’re an MP3 player, you’re not even supposed to be talking!, I replied. It shut up.

So anyway, googled it and found that it happens when the PC doesn’t detect it right. With not so high hopes, because two PC’s had spurned its advances, I pulled up device manager. Exclamation mark. Right under the walkman was the phone, also listed as an MTP device. I experimentally delete it off the list and lo and behold, the thing starts charging.

Apparently the Nokia driver causes the walkman’s driver to stop working. Unintentional bug, or sly attempt at cornering the mobile music market? I think the latter! WHY would they do such a thing? They are out to get you, I tell you! Watch out! Batten the hatches! Do not give in! They will slowly eat away at your soul! Through your media player of choice.

But seriously, I like this phone. Pretty good for the price, and it doesn’t look as horrid as most other nokias.

Also, a note on music. Only recently discovered MGMT. They sound almost like something Borat would be into, what with all the synthesizers and things, but I like em. I _might_ get the urge to wear tights and a shiny shirt while listening, but they sound cool. Check em out.

24
Jun
09

Hypocrite + Arty

Is what I’m supposed to call myself, according to SOME PEOPLE. It’s not my fault people around me wanna throw caution to the wind and see if money CAN indeed be spent faster than you can burn it. It’s not my fault Barista’s right next to MC and happens to be the only place you can just sit.

Besides, if I were to adhere to everything written on this blog,most females would probably be throwing sharp metal objects at me. Although, being weak as they are, it wouldn’t do me much harm. Females are pointless like that.

I’ve noticed a bunch of people on kottu (well, two) are quite adept at choosing paint and things. The slap-it-on-a-canvas kind, not the useful, painting walls kind, though I’m sure they have a promising career in house painting in store for them if they wish it. I’ve always assumed that people who take painting, as an art, seriously would live in little cottages in the hills, only stepping out to kidnap a random nude or maybe a fruit basket or two. Now I see that they are among us. I clicked onto one post and was shown a picture of various sinister looking materials all laid out in an artful way, I guess.

So using knives to do things that don’t involve one becoming two is not alien to the denizens of kottu. We look forward to seeing… stuff, from these artists, hiding in plain sight. Oh yeah, must go watch Transformers.

23
Jun
09

The Play and Meeting Sabby

So we went to watch HE Puss in action last Friday. MoM got us the bestest seats ever. I asked her where journo’s usually get seated, and she pointed right to the front, near the stage. Yeah, after a brief while we were watching the starting video from up in the balcony.

But it was still okay.

The play itself was so-so. It was just… Well, most of it was just funny because it was in Sinhalese. You know, that way in which it’s terribly funny whenever someone gets told to “palayan yako yanne”? It was Sinhalese sitcom kinda comedy. Mostly. There were some pretty good bits too. Just don’t remember them. As for the acting, I have no idea. I wouldn’t notice good acting if it slapped me in the face with a fake sword.

—-

Sabby is back here, and claiming to be more Sri Lankan than me. In the same breath with which she says that she does not travel by bus.

So obviously I had to go see what she was talking about. After a brief tour around MC trying to find her and her cousin, we got lunch. As usual all present were greatly impressed by my greatness.

Till whacko arrived.

Then ensued a tale of Muffines and Brownies.

Oh yeah, my next post will probably be about what a hypocrite I am. Yeah we ended up in Barista again, sabby being the rich foreigner she is. I got an almond brownie. The kind of thing that you can actually eat with a fork. During this time whacko was wracked by confusion after being presented ‘Muffines’ and ‘Muffings’. What exactly were they? Why did they look like muffins? We will never know. So, in the tradition of all men going out in search of adventure, he went with the muffine. We all sat down, and it arrived. With a fork.

All around the table were perplexed. A muffin-lookalike, and a fork. What were those two items doing together on a plate? Was one to stick the muffine on the fork whole? Was the knife on the way? Was the muffine already cut into little pieces by a laser? After a further few seconds’ battle with the serpents of indecision, whack attacked it with the fork. It moved not.

It was still whole. He did what any sane man would do and viciously attacked it till it was almost half gone. Half, because half of it had turned to crumbs in the process.

So people, the moral of the story is : Don’t eat anything with sabby, you will get random utensils with your food. I’ll bet they give forks with their ice cream too.

19
Jun
09

Stuff Posh People Like

No, none of you have read http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/. I am sure of it. Not even whacko, who pointed it out to me who I showed it to.

This isn’t exactly a copy of the thing, more or less a SWPL like look at the incense-sticks-from-odel types in SL.

Trains – The local railway system has it’s roots in colonial times. That’s a pretty good reason for any erstwhile posh person to like the railway. Anything British is High Class and/or Respectable. But they face the slight conundrum of local trains being, for want of a better word, raggedy. This goes against any self respecting posh person’s rule of “Never be seen anywhere raggedy, unless you’re standing on a poor person”.

Anything in Odel – The few times I go in there I am amazed at the similarities of most products to that found in, well, pettah(see next item). Except that they have a price at least 100% higher than their non-sold-at-a-fleecers brethren. This, of course, lets posh people get cheap things for higher prices, which instantly makes said cheap thing much more presentable. For example, Plain white t-shirts are rapidly transformed into ‘base fashion components’ when an  ‘OD=L’ stamp is stuck on.

Fort/Pettah – This area of our beloved country faces the same fate as Trains. No wonder then that most trains start at Fort. Of all forts, only the Galle fort and a few other small forts are deemed posh enough for being traversed, on foot, by any posh person worth his/her Perrier. It’s romantic colonial roots are now covered in muddy alleys and electronics shops. the lone museum attracts the occasional tourist.

Sales – Posh people just adore sales. But not real sales. They merely buy things at sales which bring the prices of goods down to their regular price, as the selling price at Places Posh People Shop are much higher than average. Anything less would be an embarrassment to wear.

Expensive Coffee – Barista and Coffee bean are high on the list of any posh person for a place to “chill”. Any regular person cannot really chill knowing that their wallets are being slowly run into the ground. As such, only a truly posh person “Chills” when ordering anything more than a brownie. A whole group of people, and you can be assured that they are at least distantly related to the Queen of England.

Hikkaduwa – Better known to most posh people in it’s castrated form, “Hikka”. This is a godforsaken place by the beach, dry as the serengheti, with about as much appeal to a human as that same desert and with nothing special going for it except that you are slightly less likely to be assaulted by German paedophiles if caught wondering about in the night there. Perfect place for an overpriced party. Most posh people will try to get special tickets which will keep them away from the ‘posh'(pronounced like cho/floor/door/ghost) people, who merely strive to be real posh. These tickets will be at least thrice the cost of a regular ticket, and provides them with special rooms for staying away from the mere middle class. The fact that any normal ticket for a place like Hikkaduwa should cost around Rs. 20 causes great pleasure to posh people, as spending more money on something cheap is just fabulous.

Eating regular food, then blogging about it – Something that causes a great stir in the world of the Posh People is eating regular Sri Lankan food, like dhal and pol-sambol. Even more eventful is blogging about it. A popular eatery for this is “Pilawoos”, an establishment where food is cooked the same as any other cheap roadside eatery, but, again, is priced much higher. If this fact alone didn’t reel them in, the service of bringing the eatables to the customer in a waiting vehicle does so with much success. This ensures that the posh people not adventurous enough to go into a place where the dirt on the tables is wiped off using a cloth which has more dirt on it than the intended surface it is to sanitize are able to eat said overpriced eatables as well.

19
Jun
09

Read this post! Or the terrorists will win!

Ha. So much for Jerry, He-who-cannot-come-up-with-standout-titles.

But wait, the terrorists already lost. What? Oh, minor details. Just read the post. Or I’ll lob hijinx at you.

Chat, the one at http://tinychat.com/kottu. I’ve been in and out a few times and it is… strange. All sorts of people from Gehan to a certain impersonator we all know dropped by. But then it all got a little old and now nobody goes in there.

Again, I bring your attention to that strange post of mine, the light buzzing thing. The tinychat chat made about as much sense as the comments section on that post, which is still growing. Whack said something about the subconscious mind taking over when you keep typing whatever comes to your fingers like that. If so, there’s something wrong with ours; since at a glance, eggs, bees, squibbles and water polo seem to occupy that recess. Not very assuring.

But anyway, I’ve been looking at the most viewed lists on kottu. I think they suck. Mostly because I’m never on them, but also because whatever posts get up there get even more clicks, keeping them up there till everyone in the damn internet has clicked it. And then they come back and click on em again to check for comments.

I know it’s not like kottu is a fount of great wisdom, but hey, there’s plenty of interesting posts that get passed by. But then again, I guess it’s better than nothing.

I have to invent some new device to keep my blog stats up, since we all know what an attention seeking little prat I am. Something that’ll make people wonder how they lived their lives before it was discovered. Like electricity or..or…. gravity. I should sell my soul. Yes, that should get me the desired effect.

I need to go check out the classifieds section…

17
Jun
09

So we…

watched the match yesterday without calling st.fallen.

Oops, did I just say that out loud? Sorry PB, no pani for you from fallen for a week.

So anyway, at this super not-secret meetup yesterday(sans fallen), we decided that you lot were just not intelligent enough to understand the last post. I pity thee, ingrates. Only comrade Wackinnaborgeouseworsoski seems to have the required mental dexterity to read it. I mean, just look at it. It should be in the bible. NOT as the noise a demon makes as it is exorcised or anything, but as the answer to all life, and why I never seem to have anything to write about.

In other news, some jobless hack went and pointed everyone to tinychat.com/kottu and now there are at least two or three people in there all the time. I presume the original creator was trying to kill twitter or something, but since it’s flash based, and doesn’t work on phones, epic fail.

Everyone’s in a slump. There are few posts and there are fewer comments. It’s almost as if they’re all out actually getting a life.

Meh…






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