Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Microsoft Reader: ~~This Reader reads .lit eBook~~

Did you download an e-book from internet having an extension of .lit and were wondering which software to use to open it. It opens with Microsoft Reader that is downloadable free of cost from Microsoft site and many other sites like etc. This is the only reader available amongst many others which has Clear Type Technology which means the characters will appear on your screen as they appear printed on a book when you read it. You can also download free Text-to-Speech ad-in from the same location if you want the book to be read by computer for you. The benefit is you can just open the book and turn on the speech, close your eyes and keep on listening to it. the voice and accent are clear enough to understand. There are some e-books available at Microsoft site that can be downloaded free of cost which are Encarta English Pocket Dictionary, English-French and French-English Dictionary, English-Italian and Italian-English Dictionary, English-German and German-English Dictionary, English-Spanish and Spanish-English Dictionary. All these files have an extension of .lit and the download by default takes them to My documents/My Library folder and beauty is the moment you download an e-book with .lit extension it automatically starts appearing in Microsoft Reader Library from where you can select the book of your choice and start reading it.

The worst part is it is a proprietary product of Microsoft, you have to register it at Microsoft for which you need to have a Microsoft Passport, while registering it asks for your details and then you can start buying e-books online from Microsoft site. The standard e-book publishers, most of them, publish their books in .lit format too, to cater people using Microsoft Reader as an e-book reading tool.

It works in all variants of Windows starting from Win95 and Pocket PC Handheld devices using Microsoft CE. Navigation feature remembers where you stopped reading book last time and bookmarks it automatically so that when you open it next time, it straight away starts from there and also you can use multicolor bookmarks and full book search feature. You can personalize any e-book in Microsoft reader by using multicolor highlighter, inserting drawing, changing font size, and adding personal notes wherever you want. It works on a low end Windows PC having as low Pentium 75 MHz microprocessor with 16 MB RAM consuming 19MB hard disk space (the Reader takes hardly 3.6MB rest is used for installation purposes), VGA 16bit display color and a mouse or any other pointing device. To install you just need to download it from the site and double click on the file downloaded, follow the instructions on the screen. Just keep on checking the Update from Microsoft site time to time if you are using Microsoft Reader eBook.

The other readers available across the internet are Adobe Reader, Hiebook, Instant ebook, Mobipocket, Gemstar/Rocket ebook, and Palm Reader. Problem is all these readers use different formats and very few support multiple formats. The main ebook formats are .pdf (Adobe Reader), .lit (Microsoft Reader ebook), .prc (Mobipocket ebook), .pdb (Palm Reader), .rb (Gemstar ebook), .kml (hiebook), .htm (HTML), .exe (Instant ebook), .doc (Microsoft Word Book) and .txt (Plain text).
Happy e-book reading.

WordWeb: ~~~Totally e-ddictive Dictionary~~~

WordWeb is quite fast, powerful, user friendly, feature-rich international English dictionary for Windows. All the versions are ad-free or any other annoying factors.
OS: It works perfectly with Win 98, XP, 2K or 2K3.
Versatility: It comes in three flavors as below–
Internet ( – no need to download and install software. If you are connected to internet, just go to this site, write the word in Search and get the meaning instantly. This is your online Dictionary. This is updated regularly. At the time of writing this review, the database was updated on 6th February that means 9 days back only. With online feature you have another benefit of finding even the latest words. If it does not get he word in its database it automatically searches in online available other Dictionary databases and shows you the results.
Free Downloadable Version: 10.9MB to be precise when it is installed on your system, and to install you need to download around 9MB of stuff from You don’t need to be online to use it. The Free Version is called “free cut-down version of Wordweb Pro software”.
Wordweb Pro Doctionary for which the cost of base product is $19 if you want to download from the site else $34 if you want a CD delivered at your place. The download file size is 20MB. With Wordweb Pro you have certain add-on features for an add-on cost. The current version available is Wordweb Pro 5. you don’t need to be online to use it.
I use the free version downloaded and installed on my laptop. It is really very handy and useful to me. The salient features of Free Version are:Language Options: you can select from American, International, British, Australian, Canadian and Asian English. The spellings and words will reflect according the option you select.
Ease and Compatibility: it supports Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat as well. Suppose you are in a Word Doc and encounter a difficult word for which you need to find the meaning, just select this word, click on Wordweb Dictionary Icon in you System Tray and Wordweb pops up with the details of that word. When you are in any other product of Microsoft e.g. Excel or Powerpoint etc. you can use the hot key “Ctrl+Alt+W” after selecting the word you want to search. In internet explorer you just highlight the word, right click and select Wordweb, it pops up. And the best thing is you can change the hot key as per your ease by going into options. After you get the results, say 10 meanings for a word, you can select one and click on Replace to replace it in your Doc with the selected one.
Words & Synonyms: There are 150000 words and 120000 synonyms in the free version. For the same word you can see its usage in different parts of speech as Noun, Verb, Adjective and Adverb by selecting the desired choice. There is a button on main window for X-ref which means that if you have other dictionaries installed on your system, it will attempt to find them out and get the meanings out of their database. It shows you pronunciations, related words, usage examples, nearest words, synonyms, type of, type, part, parts of, see also. Let me illustrate it with an example – when I searched for a word “lexicon” it gave me 2 meanings (1. A language user's knowledge of words, and 2. A reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them) , more than 100 nearest words (right from Lenten rose to lile), 3 synonyms (as dictionary, mental lexicon and vocabulary), Parts (showed 6 as citation form, dictionary entry, entry word, headword, lexical entry and main entry word), Type of (9 choices as book of facts, cognition, knowledge, noesis, psychological feature, reference, reference book, reference work and wordbook), Types (17 choices as bilingual dictionary, collegiate dictionary, desk dictionary, etymological dictionary, gazetteer, learner’s dictionary, little dictionary, O.E.D., OED, Oxford English dictionary, pocket dictionary, school dictionary, spellcheck, spell-checker, spelling checker, unabridged, unabridged dictionary), Parts of (2 – language, speech), See Also (lexical). It has an option of Option to hide (default) or flag vulgar and offensive related words
Connect to Wordweb Online: If you are not satisfied with the result produced by the offline free dictionary, you can go to online Wordweb with a click of a button (in help click on Wordweb online) and get more, but it never happened in my case, whatever words I searched I found the desirable result in my offline database.
Add-on features of Webword Pro: Wordweb Pro contains all the features mentioned above plus the following ones:
Tab pages to quickly check web references
Bookmark words
Highlights commonly used widely-understood words
Find words matching a pattern
Edit and add to the database
Solve and find anagrams
Search for words in a large number of optional extra word lists
Add your own custom glossaries
Reverse definition (full text) search
Cross-links words that sound the same (homonyms)
Word pattern finding using a wild card like CR?SH will get you CRUSH and CRASH, *GRY will get you angry and hungry
Anagrams: enter a word and you can get all straight and multiple word anagrams, e.g. protest finds potters, spotter, to strep, pert sot, etc. you can give a word and check how many words can be made using the letters in that word.

And you have an option of reporting an error online by clicking on the option in help.

Wordweb is really trendy, sleek, elegant, easy to use and friendly. My comfort level is 5/5

Windows Vista: ~~~Ready~~Steady~~Go~~~

Literal Meaning of Vista: 1 A view, a prospect, esp. one seen through an avenue of trees or other long narrow opening. A long narrow opening, esp. one created deliberately in a wood etc., through which a view may be obtained, or in itself affording a pleasant prospect; an avenue, a glade. An open corridor or long passage in or through a large building; an interior portion of a building affording a continuous view. A broad prospect or vision presented to the imagination; a mental view, in prospect or retrospect, of an extensive period of time or series of events, experiences, etc. 5 vista-dome US a high glass-sided railway carriage enabling passengers to look at the view from above the normal level of the train.
I wonder what literal meaning Bill Gates assumed while naming it Vista

Vista System Requirements:
 For an expected life time of 3 year the minimum requirements of hardware are quite high. Almost 95% of us will be required to scrap off our current desktop and replace with a newer model or upgrade the existing computer. Minimum hardware requirements would be 2GHz or above CPU, 1GB or above RAM, 80GB or above hard disk (MS recommends Serial ATA drives which are further costlier than the regular ones) out of which around 10-15GB will be eaten up by Vista depending upon which version of Vista is taken. There are 4 flavors available. DVD is a must. 2GB of shared VRAM or 1GB separate Graphics Card is required, and even all graphic cards will not work, you have to ensure that it has to be supporting fast dual-channel memory. DirectX9 will do but preferred is Directx10.
Ready to use features: 
there is a dashboard to support all your main mobile issues be it Mobile PC, battery level (if it is on a Lappy), wireless network connectivity, handheld syncs, external displays (TV, LCD, Plasma etc.). Power Control is marvelous, when you close the notebook cover, it goes to Sleep mode or full Hibernate mode depending on your settings. There is a new concept of ReadyBoost which means that you can hook a pen drive (or thumb drive) and use it as additional RAM instead of using it as a routine storage device. When you plug-in your thumb drive in the system, in options instead of choosing ‘Open folder to view files’ you click on ‘Speed up my system’ and wow! You instantly get an additional RAM for your system. The simple ratio is 1:1, that means if you are having 1GB RAM, you must plug-in 1GB thumb drive. This will definitely boost up your applications seeking more space (especially multimedia). There is a Network Projector wizard which can access a projector on Local Area Network (wired or wireless). Sync Centre is there to sync in with your any handheld devices.
A rework for Spammers and Phishers
: These guys are having a tough time. Vista not only controls all existing spamware, malicious worms but also phising stuff to force through it! So now these buggers have to rewrite and recompose their codes to beat up Vista. And this is actually not difficult for them to intrude and threaten Vista too as a whole lot of community is dedicated to this task to write “Vista complaint Malware” and they are already on the job.
Bill Gates, Vista and Security:
 Like last year this year too (rather 3rd year in the row) Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation is the keynote speaker at this week's RSA security conference in San Francisco (this year another keynote speaker is Oracle Chief), and will definitely announce what Microsoft is going to pull out of the bag in 2007 and years ahead. Last year in his opening speech, Gates told the RSA conference that “Microsoft would continue to offer leadership to the IT industry on security and promised that Vista would be strongly secure, stating: “security is the area that jumps out as the thing we have spent the most time on”. Microsoft’s new Vista operating system uses encryption technology extensively, mainly for managing digital rights, with BitLocker and Trusted Computing Module chip that is now being built into most PC motherboards. BitLocker mobile security technology control user access, removes malicious codes and locks down the devices when they are lost or stolen.
Vista and 3rd Party Security Software Vendors:
 Infact the security features in Vista have started threatening third party security vendors are shaken with its strong features and are clear that their monopoly is in danger (Mcaffee, Norton et al). Ofcourse MS knows that till now security was its biggest weakness and hence started focusing on it since last 5 years almost (with a separate huge security department and spending plenty of bucks on R&D) and above all what is the harm in capturing the market that was so far under the control of 3rd parties. Actually it was in January 2002, when Bill Gates issued an internal memo in the organization for a thrust to this initiative after a strong criticism from almost all corners of the world about the lack of security in MS products. That is the reason that Longhorn (Vista’s earlier name) project was halted in between and its release was postponed time and again. It is assumed that within next 3 years Microsoft, Symantec an McAfee will have an equal market share in security which means either the small companies will either merge or will shut off.
 This is the service from Microsoft started recently by MS that provides Vista customers with all of the usual anti-malware, antivirus, anti-spyware, antispam and firewall functionality and that too with no additional charges. It is bundled with Vista. This move will definitely force major security players to cut-off the prices of their products if they really want to stay in the international market.

Choosing a Computer Coaching Class: Run-Run@where-everyone-Runs

Is it difficult today to survive without knowing computers or is it just hype? If you can survive without knowing computers then look at your peers knowledge in computers. And if you know you can’t survive without knowing about computers then do you have clarity in mind what extent of knowledge is necessary for you to excel in your professional / personal life by acquiring this knowledge. what ever I mentioned above is totally vague, any one can argue – what do I mean by saying “knowledge of computer”? Am I talking about hardware or software and in case of any of these – up to what level? So let us understand some basic fundamentals of the game.

Do I understand what computer is
 Have a deep introspection what exactly the technology is and where all it fits in my aims of life. Now, at this point of time when the technology has rooted so deep in all aspects of life be it any ticket reservation, ticket status check, exams status, universities prospectus and course details, seats availability in universities, bills alerts and payments, online banking, online purchasing etc. etc. etc., then you can’t afford to keep yourself away from computers.

It has become part and parcel of daily life of almost every individual in one way or the other. But the point is at what stage of life I am in to understand how much I need to know. If you are a school student and also a computer geek (like our modernmukul) probably knowing all above will just be 1% of his total knowledge in computers. In that case the aim should be PhD or Masters in IT from Oxford, Ohio, any prestigious college/university of repute (including our IITs). And the best combination will be an add on of a MBA degree from an equally prestigious college of repute. If you are a Bank Manager, you still cannot do away without touching a computer.

A thorough knowledge of your business application and some spreadsheet applications would be a great asset to your job. Escaping away from this and depending upon your subordinates will be a big drawback. If you are a medical practitioner, knowledge of simple database and an application will boost your business if you maintain your patients’ records in your database and design report as per your requirements. Similarly if you are a designer, a thorough knowledge of some good design softwares will help you in scaling new heights in business which you can not get by depending upon your skilled manpower.

Do I have the flair
 Understanding the depth of urge of acquiring knowledge and its need is very important. If I am good at geography that does not mean I will be equally good in mathematics also. But if I am thrown in a pond and I have no other choice of survival, I have to learn swimming to keep me alive. Same thing happens here. Everyone knows about his/her capacity to understand a particular stream and the zeal with which he/she acquires it will depend on the fire in the belly.

Map your demand vs. supply
 How much do I need to learn as this area (or for that sake any subject) is an ocean. What and where to hit is very important. One of my friend working in accounts department as finance officer few years back just joined a computer course without knowing what exactly would be useful for his career. This computer was for a developer course meant for software professionals. He learnt development of packages in visual basic, java and pearl but could never use it as it was not matching with his job profile. Then he had two options whether to leave his accounts 7 years career and start from zero as a software professional else use this technology learnt in accounts. He could afford to do neither of the two. For earlier option, his career and growth was at stake and for second there was no opportunity for him as he was already at a responsible position in accounts in his company. He made a blunder by wasting a huge time and money in learning what he could not utilize anywhere and over a period of years he forgot all.

Find out if what you think as best Pathshaala is actually best
 Don’t go by the ad gimmicks in the media. Go into the depth to find out the correct institute with perfect faculty and with good rate of placements at good companies. Always consult the ex-students of that institute to understand before you decide to join one. Prefer not to pay the full amount in the beginning because later even if the institute turns out to be a bluff, it is next to impossible to get money back.

E-Books Vs. Paper Books

What is happening e-books/magazines or multimedia books/magazines are getting popular and popular can be drawn out of a simple fact that the worldwide magazines/books sites are: 
1. getting their websites in place if they are not present on internet 
2. providing excerpts / complete books / magazines readable over internet or downloadable to read it with the special tools they provide on their sites called e-book reader. 
3. you find newspapers, news channels, books selling sites (eBay), magazine sites over internet and get the contents faster. You open any magazine today published anywhere in the world or if you see the advertisement about a new book / latest edition of a magazine you will find its website address alongwith. And most of these sites offer you to download their own proprietary tools to read those downloaded books or otherwise a provision to read it over the internet.

Why e-book and book

1. printed version (hard copy) is always costlier and takes longer time to reach to you than the multimedia version available over the internet on their respective website. 

2. excerpts of any new book can be found easily over the internet and hence you can decide whether to buy or not. The moment you pay for a e-version over the internet via e-payments, lo! You are ready to download it on the spot. No waiting, no missing copies. 
3. battle is being over won by the e-version faster because of the cost factor, faster availability, more enjoyable experience, and your satisfaction of connecting with the latest technology. 
4. multimedia version is better as it provides far more than texts and pictures by providing animation, video, music, speech and hyperlinks for contacting them there and then only. 
5. most of these sites have to options for their readers – subscription offer or membership offer. In subscription offer you can subscribe for one of the publication of that company whereas with a one time membership you can browse through or download all their publications. 
6. this way these companies carry out an online survey like how many persons logged in, what contents they spent most of their time. It helps them in arriving at faster conclusions of improving the contents by reading the behavior of the readers online. 
7. advertisements have wider chances of hits online and they can be programmed in such a manner that they appear depending on the location/sex/preference/likings of the reader. Each reader reading the same book/magazine will have different set of advertisements. Moreover you have interactive ads which means you can reach to them instantly by clicking on their phone no., website, email. 
8. readership breaks all demographic barriers. A book published over internet can find its readers anywhere in the world. 
9. I badly wanted a last month copy of my newspaper but unfortunately I had sold all my “raddi” last week only. asked few of my friends about it – one was not taking that paper, second had also sold off, third one could locate it but did not find the page I wanted, fourth, fifth… and so on, and then clicked an idea, logged on the website of that newspaper, browsed through old issues, clicked on that date, and found the complete newspaper in front of me, and no pages missing!! 
10. a strike in the city can stop newspaper / magazine coming to you but can’t stop e-paper coming to you via internet. 
11. in my office internet is available on all desks, our librarian has downloaded the e-version of mostly required books (one copy each) and even a single  popular book is available to multiple readers at the same time.

why book and not e-book

1. I am fed up sitting in front of my laptop and would prefer to sit on my sofa comfortably and read the printed version 

2. I am traveling in a 10 hours flight and have the e-version of the book in my laptop but then I have to take extra batteries to carry on my reading during my travel else I just have to pick the hard version. 
3. my office has the facility mentioned above (no. 11) but then many of the people want to take the book home and read it in a traditional manner. So librarian has to buy hard copies too of the popular books in demand so as to satisfy them.

A message to all those who have not tasted it
 if you have not read an e-book, go to any search engine, read an e-book, taste the thunder, build up your opinion on it and do share it.

Don't Get Trapped in this Phishing Net....

Some Light on Phishing so that you don't get trapped Phishing is a hot terminology over the net users these days. Infact, it is a point of major concern for internet users. Every now and then you will find a mail in your mailbox from a valid ID of your mail services (Hotmail, Yahoo … etc.) or your bank (Citibank… etc.) telling you about the changes in your account as requested or the request for verification for your account by confirming your password, Internet pin number etc. 

This all will appear very genuine and original to you. It is more like a fake note printed & designed so cleverly (and perfectly ofcourse) that you will never doubt that it is not original. Don’t get trapped in this, as this is all fake, dubious and forged. I get a mail frequently from my bank that to avoid frauds over the internet they are verifying the passwords on their site to confirm user’s identity. 

Similarly time to time I get an email from Yahoo that my request for change of password, and I must verify it within next 24 hours to validate it else it will get suspended. In both the cases I get a genuine a hyperlink mentioning the address of Citibank / Yahoo on which I am supposed to click so as to reach to their site and validate myself. Now the moment you click on the link, you reach to the same looking home page looking as original as my bank / or mail service provider site. I am supposed to enter my I-Pin / password to confirm that I am the actual account holder, and the moment I enter the requested details I have opened the door for a disaster. 

The catch is the address on the top which will be not the same as I would have thought of. But then who cares to look at the address when the home page is totally as good as the original or genuine one. For example the link in my mail will tell me to click on the address and when I click on it, it will open a new browser with the same original contents but the address on the top will be something different (may look as the one on which I clicked in first instance) like or What should I do Well, being an IT guy, I was careful enough, but there are innumerous users who got trapped by providing the requested information and then had fraudulent impact on their accounts. 

Your all important mails will be accessible, your bank account is accessible, and imagine the things will be known to you only after they have happened successfully by the person you never know or will ever come to know. What is it?You are the fish and somebody doing it has put the bait in the pond of internet. The moment you bite the bate, your identity is stolen and you have invited all kind of hassles and problems. What exactly happens? The phisher will create email that looks as an official email from your bank or email service provider (or from any other important site where you have an account and any kind of commercial fraud or defamation can occur). 

This email will ask you to visit their site through the link they provide which again will look official and accurate. And when you click on that you are told to enter all your personal information for verification purposes. You just have handed over you’re the desired information to a Thief. Catch here is that no business will ask or should ask for your private information via email or internet. Another catch is the link they ask you to click on. It will look as if it links you to your bank but will go entirely to some other place. 

Third catch is if you keep your mouse over the link, you will see the exact place where it is directing to you in the popup text (or in the browser’s status line at the bottom when you have clicked on it and that browser has opened). Be careful to check that the actual destination should match (alphabet by alphabet) what you are expecting. Take care that the actual destination should be a proper name and not an IP address like Moreover this link should always direct you to a secure site (https and not http). Only avoiding way is never to click on the link. Still if you want to give it a try, type the complete address stated in your mail with your hands and you will find no information is being asked there. Or straightaway call your bank to inquire if they are the sender of this mail. thanks Ĵẫїďẻếþ ©

Video Conferencing: Things are Changing.errrrr Changed

Scene 1 Company: ABC International Inc., US Based, Head Office in US, 100 branches all over the world divided in 5 regions, and having 5 Managing Directors and 335 Directors. Event: Board Meeting of ABC International Inc. being held in US. (Board of Directors Meeting) This meeting is held every year during the month of February. US office sends return tickets for all the 340 Directors in their respective countries.

All Directors have to fly off to US office to attend this meeting. And every year the US Huge conference Room used to be jam packed during this one day affair. For this one day affair each of the directors had to travel from their respective countries. But this year it is different. Board Meeting is started in time, but there are hardly five persons sitting in the US Huge Conference Room. 

Thanks to the IT efforts of respective regions and the sanction by US office to set up Video Conferencing Facility in each Director’s Office. Just one time investment resolved this issue of tiring travels etc. Each of the Directors are sitting in their respective Conference Rooms, with their Video Conferencing on and the meeting is in full flow.

Scene 2 An MNC is hiring people for their new software development office in Bangalore. They plan to conduct interviews to hire 50 programmers at various levels from the major cities all over India. Thanks to their Video Conferencing setup. No investment for candidates to travel to Bangalore. 

With the help of a national video conferencing service provider, they called respective candidates to the respective video conferencing service provider’s offices with video conferencing setup. In one day they were able to select required persons from all over India. Candidates had to appear as they are appearing for a local interview as they just had to go to an office within their city having video conferencing facility and connected to Bangalore MNC company.

Scene 3 A free lancer Engineer aspirant to start his own company, has fixed a meeting through video conferencing with an Italy based Manufacturing giant to show his samples developed as per their specifications and to have a final go ahead for mass production. He went to a local video conferencing service provider, connects to Italy, and comes out happily as his samples are approved and the company has promised to commercially assist him to start his venture. In few hours a free lancer engineer has become an MD of a company tied up with an international giant.

These are not stories, this is what is happening in world today. Video Conferencing is conferencing between two or more than two parties physically sitting at different locations but virtually sitting in the same hall/room irrespective of distances. It is the corporate version of webcam chat we do over internet using some kind of messenger, webcam, and an internet connection. Now since this is a business solution, it is different to the video internet chat in terms of cost, solutions, and components selection. 

Video Conferencing has become popular worldwide as a business solution and has become legally permissible to conduct Board Meetings, Interviews, It is done with the help of 3 things: Carrier – or media that connects VC (Video Conferencing) system – or electronic device that connects to distant location with the help of carrier Monitor – to see the persons sitting at distant locations and make them virtually present in the meeting 

1. Carrier: It is the pipe of bandwidth that permits you to connect to the other end by dialing or permanent end to end connectivity. Like ISDN, Leased Line, VPN etc. 

2. VC system: This is a device that you have to purchase which enables you to conduct Video Conferencing. Major worldwide players are Polycom and Tandberg. This system connect to your Monitor and Carrier outlet thereby forming a full Video Conferencing System. 

3. Monitor: This can be a TV, Plasma or LCD Screen.

Preparation for a VC Once you have purchased the equipments and have a set up at your place. It is very important to learn well about all the equipments from respective vendors extensively. For TV, it is ok, every one knows how to handle it and use it. But if you are using a Plasma or LCD, do understand well how to use its remote as well as the buttons on the instrument. Understand that the people who are sitting for VC will mostly the top notch people having top priority for their time and the time of their counterparts sitting at the other end. 

Similarly for the VC instrument, follow the same criteria. Have a list of technical contacts of the respective vendors with proper guidelines somewhere near the set up so that any one in trouble can call them in no time. Ensure that you arrive at your set up at least 45 minutes before the actual start of the conference so that you can perform your tests and trial runs. If you are responsible to run the show without fail on the technical front, somebody else would be the anchor person for running the Conference. 

Ensure who so ever is responsible has done his/her role by distributing the agenda and objectives to all the participants in advance. Ensure that the setup according to your conference room has the camera at appropriate distance so as to cover all the persons attending VC. Avoid using auto sensor feature of your camera if which sense sound and focus accordingly. The camera and the screen should not be at different locations of different sides. Otherwise it will appear at the other end that all the persons are looking somewhere else. So to avoid a fuss or a flop show, the process owner (who has the responsibility to run the show successfully) must have enough hands on experience before conducting even his / her first live show.

The VC in progress Have a normal guideline for VCs which is circulated to all the relevant officials. Paste it in your conference room also. Ensure that these guidelines should cover points related to discipline (like keep your mobiles in buzzer or silent mode, talk one person at a time, be punctual, keep your tone and volume of speech appropriate – this will depend on your mike setup too, whether you are using extra mikes etc., keep your eyes and face towards camera and screen – prefer camera on top of your screen so that both the purposes are solved.

Who Moved My Tablet PC? (Not Cheese)

General Laptops in general have choices as compared to desktops. They are available in standard configurations from most of the major manufacturers. They can not be customized in a way desktop PCs can be as far as configuration, design, modularization and other options are concerned. 

Due to their compact size, the components are packed so tightly that manufacturer’s design will vary from each other and even for various models of the same manufacturer depending on the weight and size of the laptop. Weight and the Size are the two criteria that what all will lie inside the box and which components will be external devices. Due to this compact size and light weight these machines are comparatively costly as compared to corresponding native brothers “Desktops”. 

These machines have a different Service and Support schemes as compared to Desktops. Desktops are easy to repair, easy to diagnose the problem, so engineer does not mind coming at your place. But in most of the laptops, it has a carry in warranty meaning thereby that if you face any problem in the laptop, you need to carry in to the authorized service center. 

And you can not get it checked by an unauthorized engineer unless you want the warranty to get void. Laptops come in three variants, rather two – one is laptop or notebook and the other is tablet PC (might have heard of Toshiba tablet). Tablet PC is the one whose Screen you can rotate and place flat on your Laptop Keyboard base and use it for writing with an electronic pen and the handwritten stuff (text or drawing) goes inside your PC as an image file.

Basic Selection Features of Laptop while Buying Weight: If you want more mobility, you need to buy the lightweight Notebook. But mind you, lesser the weight, higher the price and higher is the external gadgets like Floppy disk, CD-ROM/DVD-ROM and even sometimes Hard Disk. Size: Again smaller the size means more compact thus higher price and higher is the number of external gadgets. If you need a laptop for a person who moves little and has to work on his desk only, you can compromise with the size and weight and thereby reduce cost and increase internal gadgets. Cool Tip I had to replace a hard disk of one of the laptops from 20GB to 60GB, the 20GB spared was fetching very less pennies in buy back. So I bought a USB case (worth Rs.1500) and converted this 20GB Hard disk to 20GB USB movable media which has become my 20GB pen drive infact and huge enough to take backup of my important data lying in my laptop.

Printers: Laserjet, Inkjet and Dot Matrix

I wanted to put a review on all the three type of printers - Laserjet, Inkjet and Dot Matrix, but was not able to find an appropriate place on MS as I found two categories separately. one as ''Dot Matrix Vs. Inkjet Printers'' and another as ''Inkjet Printers Vs. Laserjet Printers''. 

So decided to put this review under this category. In plain terms Printer is a separate (external) output device that is an add-on peripheral of a PC and the selection of a printer depends on various factors of a person like requirement, quality of print, budget, volume of prints required on regular basis. It connects to an interface or a port on the motherboard of your PC. A Printer converts text and graphics on a paper generally known as a hard copy (A soft copy means the same text and graphics in a floppy, CD or hard disk of the PC). Various uses of printers include official correspondence, printing of photographs, letters etc.

Types of printers:

Laserjet: The technology used in these printers is same as is used in photocopiers. This class of printers produces high quality prints at a very high speed too. Cost wise they are quite expensive but then the recurring cost of cartridge is very low. Normally black and white A-4 printers are used but then you have A-3 and color Laser printers also available in the market. Main players are HP, LG, Epson etc. The prices of Laser printers have come down drastically. Earlier an entry level laser printer used to cost around 50k which now costs around 11k.

Inkjet: This is the most popular lot. These printers function on the basis of print heads that eject dots of colored or black ink on the paper to create an image of text or graphics. They are quite inexpensive to buy but the recurring cost is quite high on cartridges. There are printers which will cost you around 2.5k and the two cartridges cost will be higher or equivalent to the initial cost of the printer. For high volumes they are not recommended.

Dot Matrix: This is the oldest family of printers used mainly in industries or places where multiple and/or continuous stationery printing is required. The device prints on the basis of a set of pins and a ribbon. Normally these printers are either 8 pin or 24 pin. Number of pins decides the quality of print. The two size variants are 80 column printers (supporting 10” by 12” stationery) and 124 or 136 column printers (supporting 15” by 12” stationery and 10 x 12 also). Out of the all types of printers the quality of this class of printers is poorest as compared to Laserjet or Inkjet printer. Mostly these printers are used for printing text like receipts, invoices, bills etc. as graphics will be in a very coarse form. They are normally quite slow, very noisy and low in quality as compared to Laserjets. The quality is measured in DPI or dots per inch. These are quite economical. Main players are Epson and Wipro. The big brother in this class Line Printer with lesser or no noise, very high speed and better quality of print. The quality is assessed in LPI or lines per inch. Line Printers are quite costly as they are having enhanced qualities.

Interface A Printer can connect to a PC either through Parallel port or USB. USB in any case will be faster than the parallel port printers. Although you have interface available in market to convert parallel port printer to connect to your USB on PC but then it is not recommended. Always prefer to buy a USB printer. There are network printers also for large companies where the printer sits on the network directly instead of hooking on to a PC.

Where to buy from Buy from the dealer nearest to your place if purchasing for home or SOHO. For a company if you are making bulk purchasing, talk to the manufacturer directly and let them decide the dealer for you. In any case manufacturer has to provide you the support during warranty period. In case of a single printer buy from local vendor, since he is the person who is going to support you when it is required.

What to check before buying:
Paper Capacity: There are very low cost inkjet printers available which do not support paper tray at all. In that case you have to paper one after the other manually. Imagine feeding paper manually and you will drop the idea of buying this printer. Check your needs of printing viz a viz the capacity of the paper tray that comes along with the printer having automatic sheet feeder capability. (Almost all laser and inkjet printers come with this feature). 

Also check if you need A-3 printings you need to buy an A-3 Inkjet (economical) or Laserjet (very costly).Operating System: If it is windows OS, there should be no problem because all printers come alongwith windows drivers (even windows itself contains most of the drivers so supports a large range of printers). But if you use any other OS like Linux then you need to check the support before you buy the printer else configuring it will be a major problem. 
Other Requirements: Buy the printer according to your need you’re you are going to printer just 5-10 pages a month there is no point in buying a laser printer, but if you plan to print 100 or above pages per day, you definitely require a laserjet. Then also check the quality of print you require. If you are not going to print high quality photographs then you should not go for a very costly and high quality laser printer. Check if you need black prints or color prints. 

If you can compromise with color and want quick and good quality prints, go for a laser as you will be happy to spend little money as recurring cost later. You have multifunction printers available in the market today from many manufacturers having the capability of Fax, Scan, Print etc. Check before you buy whether you are going to use atleast 70% of the features regularly else it will be a waste. High resolution printers will fetch high amount of money in initial buying but will get you a very fine quality of print. 

Check the speed of the printer very carefully at the dealer place during demo before you zero down on a printer. Also check the number of cartridges required, size of cartridges, number of pages it will give you, cost of each cartridge etc. if you are planning to buy an Inkjet or Laserjet. One more important factor to check before buying a printer is to check its failure history in the market, from your friends, from a vendor, even from the manufacturer directly.

Cool tips Buy from a genuine dealer who can support you afterwards as failures in printers occur higher than in PCs. Check out the warranty period. Some rock bottom priced inkjet printers don't come with ink cartridges, beware, the cartridges cost will be higher than the cost of this printer. Check out……….. Check the life of cartridges (by knowing the volume of ink it contains). Don’t just compare cartridges on price, check price vs. ink volume.

Magazine Review: Dataquest: The business of Infotech

This magazine from CYBERMEDIA Publications knocks at your door twice a month. The beauty of this magazine is that it has everything to cater every section of IT users. Right from Home Users, going through SOHO, Small scale Industry, middle segment to big corporate houses, it has useful contents for each of these IT Techies. 

So Rs. 50/- is a good bargain to get plenty of information on what is happening in IT every month. This magazine is older than 20 years of its publication age. You can see it lying with a school going IT enthusiast as well as on the desk of a senior IT official of a Company. It carries a interviews with the CIOs/MDs of major IT manufacturing and IT Solutions giants every month. It focuses more on merger of technology with business developments that helps to enhance Industry performance as well its profitability. 

Focusing on how IT specialists should formulate their strategies to be successful in any kind of IT environment thereby formulating right strategies for their company. Some regular features of this magazine are: Q&A: A thorough Question and Answer session with a big shot, MD, CIO, CTO or any senior management representative of a IT giant company for analyses on what is happening in IT and what are their contributions towards that. Policy

An in depth analysis of IT policies related to any world class certifications be it BS7799, CMM or Sarbanes-Oxley. Techpoint: An interesting must read for IT Techies CIO/CTO of the Month: Every fortnight they select a CIO / CTO by turn and focus on his/her achievements and roadmap he/she followed to reach to these heights. Innovation: This section will tell you the innovative ways to get the solutions to your IT related issues. Focus: Focus will focus on current happenings in IT related to any country, hardware, software, peripherals etc. Regulars: Some regular features are Edit, Letters, Issue, Ganesha, Datamine, CIO, Forum, Spotlight, Financials, Comments, Time Off, Bottom Line. And the bottom line is even if you are not a subscriber of this magazine, it does not  matter, but then there is no harm in buying in from the shelf once a while and getting updated yourself. In any case if you find it useful, a subscription will always be better and hassle free rather than buying it twice a month by spending some extra pennies.


If you are an IT Techie at any level and have not put your hands on this magazine, do it right now, straighaway Introduction The title given above is the theme of PCQUEST magazine marked on the cover page of this magazine just below its name. 

PCQUEST is a CYBERMEDIA publication. I am subscriber of this magazine for the last 10 years or above as I don’t remember now when did I start reading it. The magazine is purely for IT tech savvy guys handling corporate companies / big enterprise companies. It provides you enough stuff on month to month basis @Rs. 100/- apiece. Over a period of years this magazine has groomed to cater food to the brains of tech savvy guys serving corporate companies all over as IT Heads, IT Teams, Consultants, Service Providers et al or the same in the process of making/developing themselves. 

The magazine comprising of around 130-150 pages is not at all a bad bargain to get lot of information at your hands every month. The magazine is bundled with: 
1. Special Supplement: from a world class company like IBM, Compaq, Dell etc. giving a first hand information about their latest products and utilities (alongwith how and where to use them and how to manage them) from the parent manufacturing company. 
2. Hot Technologies: again a sponsored small booklet that comes alongwith the magazine from AMD, Intel etc. providing Enterprise solutions by using their latest products. 3. Each issue will either contain either a DVD (they mark it as DVD Extremes) and a CD (Tech Video, an exclusive 30 minutes video on new technologies) or 3 CDs titled as PCQExtreme, PCQEssential and PCQuestLive.

Now about the well woven contents of this magazine
1.. Cover Story: Covering a well crafted topic in detail about the new technologies or technologies in the making to assist to find out your solutions for your organization. 
2. Tech and Trends: Any one single technology in detail 
3. Shootout: An economical way to buy hardware/technology 
4. Hands-On: Somewhere around 8 to 10 different topics are covered here to enhance your skills on hands on experience with Tech setups and troubleshooting both in hardware and software. 
5. Developer: An area for developers where they can get information on enhancement of their skills in development areas. Purely for software guys buried in development platforms like java, .net, linux, Win etc. 
6. Mini Shootout: Another area where you get solution for your day to day problems related to running your show in the organization be it related to mails, virus, spam etc. 
7. Indepth: An in depth coverage of a full fledged implementation of a corporate solution like workflow, CRM, ERP, KM etc. 8. Reviews: around 10 to 15 reviews every month on new hardware and software products so as to bring you at level to choose a right product for your organization. 
9. Books: This is a subset of Reviews where they review current IT books. 
10. Special Focus: An area where you get knowledge on how to set up large solutions in your huge networked organization. Like backup solutions, storage clustering, multi-tier server settings etc. 11. Also Enterprise solutions, Tech and Trends etc.

Overall a well designed and well conceptualized magazine

Spyware: How To Avoid And Remove Spyware?

It is one of the newest killers on internet. It actually acts as a “Spy” means monitors what actually is happening on your computer, by tracking all your activities including the clicks of mouse, keys pressed, sites/web pages visited, local files accessed. Other variants of Spyware includes hijacking of web browsers, popping up additional browsers (unwanted/uncalled advertisements) or any other misbehavior thereby disturbing your normal working on PC up to such an extent that you get so much annoyed that you stop working on your PC. 

To have a first hand feel if your PC is infected with a Spyware, you need to regularly monitor your PC and get alarmed when you notice any kind of misbehavior. Best way is to download a good anti-Spyware and scan your PC regularly with the installed anti-Spyware. The choice and selection will vary from user to user depending on the comfort level provided by the product. None of the products are 100% perfect. But then you need to choose the best near to perfection. Don’t let your PC run without an anti-Spyware as it may create havoc for you if you frequently hook on to internet. At times it remains unnoticed and keeps on doing its work without showing any indications mentioned above. 

The important steps involved are:

1. Identification of a good Anti-Spyware: Most of the anti-Spywares are free and easily downloadable from the internet. You must download from a trusted site only as you may get a shock after installing it that the anti-Spyware itself is working as a Spyware for a particular site. Some of the most common anti-Spyware softwares are: - Yahoo Anti-Spy(that comes alongwith yahoo tools), - Microsoft Windows Anti-Spyware (from Microsoft) - Spybot Search and Destroy - Lavasoft's Adaware..

2. Download the Anti-Spyware Software: After you make up your mind for the right kind of product, download it from the respective site.

3. Install the Anti-Spyware Software: After downloading, install it.

4. Run the program: Now run the installed program to check how many Spywares your system is having already. You will have to choice to remove selective or all. Act accordingly. 

But the story does not end here. You will need to carry out following activities to regularly keep your PC out of trap of Spywares..

1. Update the Spyware list regularly: All anti-Spyware programs will have this option of updation of Spyware signatures from  their respective links. So don’t forget to do this activity after every few days (I do it everyday) (and don’t forget to connect to internet to carry out this activity). Some programs do it automatically while others will need activation manually. Better update your anti-Spyware updation and Spyware database on daily basis.

2. Run the  program regularly: Installing and Updating will have no meaning if this program is not run regularly. Do it atleast once a day. Some programs may have schedulers inbuilt, where  you can schedule by giving the option of running everyday at a particular time (choose the time at which most of the time your PC is on). Else you need to run it manually, but make sure that it happens regularly.

3. Understand the Anti-Spyware program thoroughly: Some of the advanced Anti-Spyware products have advanced features like locking of browser properties or tracking of activities, locking of files so that no change happens to the selected files without your approval. Turn those features on according to your need and security required. Putting them on for all files may give you discomfort. Select system files and your important files lying on your PC. 

Good luck – incase a Spyware sneaks past your Anti-Spyware loaded on the PC. And last of all keep your fingers crossed and stay alert to spy the Spyware

Choosing A Right Kind Of Anti-Virus

I know a regular PC-user who is using the best brand of anti-virus but has disabled on-line protection to avoid pop-up alarms indicating some infection. He has enabled autoupdate feature and very sincerely his computer start connecting to the site to update the latest patches the moment he connects to internet, but he likes to cancels it in between and closes it just because it slows down his initial browsing.

So the crux of the matter is – “it is not only the best of the product uploaded on your computer, but a lot depends on how you configure it and use it. Viruses or virii, spyware, adware, popups are a big headache for all computer users. And the problems are increasing multifold every year. But one for all query would be which is the best anti-virus. I would say there is no clear winner in this case. 

No single package can save your computer from all kind of robbers mentioned above. The choice may vary from person to person. Same product may satisfy one set of people and cause dissatisfaction among others. Switchovers are there until you achieve nirvana (satisfaction). You have a choice among Best brands vs. not so well known brands Purchased vs. free downloads Many a times it has happened that the best of best brands itself gets infected and stops functioning. 

At times one product is able to diagnose the virus but is not able to remove it. Then if you use another product it will remove the virus diagnosed by the earlier product. Or sometimes none of the products are able to fix it and your hard disk gets crashed. Many a times some unpopular product will fix it where all good branded products fail. So it creates a big confusion and rather frustration. But all said and done, never use your computer without an anti-virus. Now the question that arises is what product should you use? 

All the brands which are well known in the market are equal. None of them is perfect and all will be about 95-99% effective. If you are buying a branded machine, you get it alongwith your machine for the first one or three years depending on the deal available. Before you plan to install a product, and before arriving at a conclusion to buy a particular product always have a second opinion: Do consult the existing known users what product they are using and how much satisfied they are go through current magazines, sites to get to know the current threats and the solutions available Check surveys available in magazines and internet Check with your techie friends 

Check the recommendations available in magazines and internet Whatever product you use, some key points should be followed always as listed below: Always use a current version of anti-spyware / anti-virus Update / Upgrade it regularly Download of latest patches/fixes regularly Avoid browsing untrusted sites Use P2P sites only where very necessary else they become a big source of your headaches without alarming you So whatever product you install, it will never be 100% perfect. If it is 98% perfect for the balance 2% do your prayers regularly by keeping your computer on your side. I have expressed my views, and would appreciate your valuable comments on the same.

Google Earth: Nothing Hidden Now!

Amazing When I was in Paris recently, I went to visit one of my friends house in Belgium on a weekend (if you get a visa for France or Belgium or Germany or Netherlands or UK, you can visit the other four places with the same visa, that means no body will stop you entering the borders of any of these five countries if you carry a valid visa of any one of them). He had recently purchased a big house in a city 110 kms away from Paris so he insisted me to see his house. I was not in a mood to travel back so early as I was tired and wanted to stay there at least for two days. 

No, he said, you will have to see my house and that too right now. And in next 5 minutes we were in front of his house. No surprises please, no plane or fastest of the trains could take us to Paris from Belgium in 5 minutes, but it as done by Google Earth. He just put on the internet connection, clicked on google earth icon on his desktop, typed his place name, then street name, then some zoom ins and we were there in front of his house. We could see it from different angles. The photographs were as good as if we were in front of the house. We could see his lawns, main entrance, walls, surrounding houses, streets, roads, and slightly distant sea with many ships in it.

Frightening Facts Google earth took birth officially on Internet in June’2005 and since then it has received tremendous attention not only from individual but also from governments of several advanced countries. Officials of many countries have raised alarms over its extensively detailed display of government buildings, military bases, nuclear reactor sites and certain other sensitive sites. So the countries that request google with identification of the locations that are not to be shown clearly are shown blurred even if the surroundings can be seen up to street level. This all is done by regular transmission of photographs from Satellites to Google Servers which get updated frequently

What and How You need to download this software from, as this is a desktop application, after installation, you need Internet to use it. Google earth makes aerial view of every square inch of the globe. You select a place and certain information like topographical, population density, crime rate etc. is available at your finger clicks. Zoom in, zoom out, tilt, rotate, navigation etc.are the other options available for you. The source of this information is satellites and air crafts. Because the data comes from various resources, it is provided at different resolutions, that is why some areas of the globe appear crisp even at street level while others are blurry. US, Canada and most parts of Europe can be seen at street level, and if you zoom further you can view road names and local business offices names (building names).   

Some other features are video Flyover and Sightseeing which must be experienced and enjoyed individually. Actually if you tell it that you want to go from Delhi to Paris, for instance, and press play button, it will move along the aerial terrain an airplane actually passes through while going from Delhi to Paris. In sight seeing, it has a long list of places of visit.Some facts on installation front It may give problems in loading if you have Win 98 operating system, but if you are having win 2k, xp or 2003, it works perfectly.

Do experience it, it is really worth.

Pebble In The Still Waters: Now Web Hosting Is Not Difficult To Decide

Pebble In The Still Waters: Now Web Hosting Is Not Difficult To Decide

Now Web Hosting Is Not Difficult To Decide

Whenever I had to register a new domain name of buy some web hosting services, I used to go to individual service provider’s sites, check their rates and service level; and then compare for different service providers on my own in a manual fashion so as to arrive at a conclusion.

Recently I visited a website that was related to web hosting site and was surprised to see a consolidation of most of the major domain name registrars listed on the home page with their rankings, services available, uptime commitment, money back period, price along with rating of each individual company. That was fabulous to see such concise data readily available just on a click of a button.
The story did not end here. There were many more quite useful pages on that site to provide more vaiuable information. A page is there to provide reviews on all those companies providing domain name registration and web hosting. Another useful page is there on informative articles related to these service providers and their services.
Finally there is a page on news related to the same. Overall it is quite informative and useful web hosting review and information site.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System

Imagine your reach a new city in night in your car and are in search of a good food joint to have dinner and then to locate a hotel to stay. One way is you ask people and guided or misguided and may end up at a place you don’t like. Now again imagine that your car is equipped with a system that has a complete map of your country and tells you exact route to your destinations. 

Actually there is nothing to imagine, this is what is happening in the other world. I came across a live system a couple of months back about which I was listening/reading a lot for few years. I am talking about GPS (Global Positioning System), a technology which is emerging fast and will not be surprising that it comes to India very soon. I will discuss the practical scenario of this technology first and then will brief about the technology itself. 

Although this technology is being used in many areas (not in India as of now), I will share my experience I had while traveling by taxi on many occasions in Europe. I hired a Taxi from Den Haag Central Railway Station for my hotel. The cab driver asked me about the name of the hotel. 

He switched on his GPS instrument which had a monitor to display maps, a mini keyboard/switchboard and speakers. When you go to buy a car now-a-days in developed countries, you are asked whether you want the car equipped with GPS system. So the driver had various options on his display screen – Hotels, Restaurants, Roads, Cities, Museums etc. etc. Driver clicked on hotels and got a list of alphabets, he then clicked on the first alphabet of my hotel. Now he gets a list of all the hotels of that city starting with that alphabet. He goes page down and selects the name I told him. And the wonder starts. The road map appears on your screen as good as you are carrying an elaborative map in your hands. You put on the speakers and a voice (male or female – depends on what you select) starts guiding you. To start with it will tell you that you have selected this Hotel (the hotel name) as your destination. It tells you that it will be this much distance from here. 

Now start the vehicle and go straight for 500 meters, then take a left turn, now keep right as you have to take a turn after 300 meters and so on. And in next 25 minutes I was at my hotel. No need to remember the roads, route et al. Second instance I will mention about my friend who was coming by his car from Belgium to meet me and then we had to go out for dinner. There are two routes from Belgium to Den Haag, but without bothering which route should be taken, he just fed my hotel’s name in Den Haag and the car started telling him the exact route through map on his display screen and through voice. We decided to go to a good restaurant around 15 kms away from my hotel. Just fed in the system what type of restaurant we wanted to go and it gave us a list of those type of restaurants. We selected one and it gave us the exact route and started telling where to go straight, where to take turns and at destination announced that we have reached our desired destination. While coming back we just had to tell the system that we have to reach from where we started. 

And we got the exact route. No botherations to take care of road names, street names, places, not to ask anybody. What a great companion. Now About GPS GPS stands for the Global Positioning System. It refers to a system of satellites and receivers that allow people and devices to pinpoint their precise location on the earth. The heart of the system relies on 24 satellites that orbit the earth twice per day. Devices that are equipped with GPS equipment receive transmissions from at least a few of the satellites and are able to discern very precise positioning data. The first GPS satellite was launched in 1974 and the 24th was launched in 1994. The system is operated by the United States Department of Defense and use of the system is free for anyone. New satellites are periodically launched to replace aging ones. As the technology has improved, the cost of GPS devices has plummeted while the accuracy has increased. Small portable GPS receivers have become very affordable, and the accuracy is amazing. Accuracy varies based on various factors, but it can be as good as a few meters! Land-based supplemental devices can be used to improve accuracy if higher precision is required. 

The application of the GPS is very broad, and as the prices come down the number of uses is increasing. Portable GPS devices are used by fisherman and hikers to help them navigate in the wild. Many new cars are being equipped with GPS systems to help drivers with navigation. The military uses GPS to guide cruise missiles to pre-specified targets. On 2 May 2000, the Department of US Defense switched off selective availability (SA) which made GPS readings less accurate. They reserve the right to turn it back on during national crises and the like, but for the most part GPS devices are now about 10 times more accurate than they were when selective availability was turned on!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tips for Buying a Digital Camera

Knowledge required can be acquired atleast to an extent that you can make a wise decision for investments on buying your gadgets. I am listing below the most useful features that should be taken care of before you decide on buying a particular digital camera. 

1. Resolution: the game of Megapixels  A “pixel” is simply a tiny dot of colored light. The more dots of light a camera can capture when you click the button, the larger and more finely detailed a photograph can be displayed or printed without distortions. To put it in familiar terms, a 3 megapixel camera will produce an 8 x 10 inch sized photograph with good clarity. Printed on any larger format and the print will be grainy at 3 MP resolution. The greater the number of megapixels, the finer the resolution and the greater the files size used to store the captured image on the flash memory card and hard drive in your computer. 

2. Lens - the eye of camera As megapixels are important for resolution and size of an image, the quality of lens decides about the quality of the image. Lens alone is the costliest factor of the camera. The difference in the quality of picture in two same megapixels cameras is due to the lens only. Normally these lenses are not interchangeable. 

3. Zoom – In and Out There are two zooms which normally we are not aware of, these are – Optical Zoom and digital Zoom 
a. Optical Zoom - Optical zoom lenses are expressed by a number and the letter “X”. It refers to the number of times closer the lens brings you to the scene. Most digital cameras start at 3 times or 3X optical zoom. It is the feature of the camera that allows you to capture a scene and show close up detail without physically having to stand close to it. 

4. Flash Memory Sticks or Cards One of the nicest features of digital cameras is that no film is required for taking snaps. Because a digicam captures light with a chip the image is stored in digital form as a data file, just like we store data in our computer. These data cards also known as flash memory that are postage stamp sizes are detachable and reusable. XD Memory Cards and Memory Sticks are most common data cards. The type of memory used in the camera will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer based on which format / strength memory cards they provide with the camera. All formats would not be compatible with all cameras. So be careful while finalizing about your camera, understand clearly the memory card format of that camera. You can buy higher memory cards as add-ons alongwith your camera or later on. 5. Battery – the power behind the pix Earlier we used to buy enough number of films before starting for a long journey. This is replaced by batteries now a days. And if you are using rechargeable batteries don’t forget to take extra batteries and the plug adapter as per the country you are visiting. 6. Aesthetics, Look, Feel, Comfort Factors Take care of these small but very important factors that not become the irritation points later. a. Size of the camera b. LCD required or not (LCD cameras consume batteries at a very fast rate but assist you to see what you are capturing) and the size of LCD c. 7. Price: set your budget Once you decide on features, visit different good brand stores and do a survey to get the price range. Then set your budget, fix on to a brand and buy it. 8.  Where to Buy – Online or Local Dealer – You have two options – either go to an internet store and buy it, else buy from a local dealer near to you house or office. I will prefer to buy it from a store near to my area of work or house. But I will ensure that I buy from an authorized dealer only.

2. Lens - the eye of camera As megapixels are important for resolution and size of an image, the quality of lens decides about the quality of the image. Lens alone is the costliest factor of the camera. The difference in the quality of picture in two same megapixels cameras is due to the lens only. Normally these lenses are not interchangeable. 

3. Zoom – In and Out There are two zooms which normally we are not aware of, these are – Optical Zoom and digital Zoom 
a. Optical Zoom - Optical zoom lenses are expressed by a number and the letter “X”. It refers to the number of times closer the lens brings you to the scene. Most digital cameras start at 3 times or 3X optical zoom. It is the feature of the camera that allows you to capture a scene and show close up detail without physically having to stand close to it. 
b. Digital Zoom - While using digital zoom, we normally reduce the quality of the image from the original resolution. This may be a problem if your camera is a low resolution camera say only 3MP a 3X digital zoom will reduce the image quality by three times to 1MP, which will not be good at print and only could be shared on web. 

4. Flash Memory Sticks or Cards One of the nicest features of digital cameras is that no film is required for taking snaps. Because a digicam captures light with a chip the image is stored in digital form as a data file, just like we store data in our computer. These data cards also known as flash memory that are postage stamp sizes are detachable and reusable. XD Memory Cards and Memory Sticks are most common data cards. The type of memory used in the camera will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer based on which format / strength memory cards they provide with the camera. All formats would not be compatible with all cameras. So be careful while finalizing about your camera, understand clearly the memory card format of that camera. You can buy higher memory cards as add-ons alongwith your camera or later on. 

5. Battery – the power behind the pix Earlier we used to buy enough number of films before starting for a long journey. This is replaced by batteries now a days. And if you are using rechargeable batteries don’t forget to take extra batteries and the plug adapter as per the country you are visiting. 

6. Aesthetics, Look, Feel, Comfort Factors Take care of these small but very important factors that not become the irritation points later. a. Size of the camera b. LCD required or not (LCD cameras consume batteries at a very fast rate but assist you to see what you are capturing) and the size of LCD.

7. Price: set your budget Once you decide on features, visit different good brand stores and do a survey to get the price range. Then set your budget, fix on to a brand and buy it. 

8.  Where to Buy – Online or Local Dealer – You have two options – either go to an internet store and buy it, else buy from a local dealer near to you house or office. I will prefer to buy it from a store near to my area of work or house. But I will ensure that I buy from an authorized dealer only.