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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Independent Awakening

'The Independent Awakening'

Sorry this is not another joke on the prices or politicians,
Neither is it a piece dedicated to filmi or religious devotions.

Everyone seems to cribbing about all that is wrong,
And eagerly forwarding jokes and making up parody songs.

Convenient to abuse the guys who should actually be flogged,
But what did YOU do about it?
A like on FB, a tweet or +1ed a Blog?

You may not value the freedom you possess,
But 'they' do know how to make you indulge in excess.

You, me, we... The Youth, the majority of this Republic,
These economic parasites have set shop to loot our public

They are deciding how you spend, how you save,
They manipulate and market and make you crave,
You think you are free,
But you are still a slave.

Wake up, past midnight
For the Tryst with Destiny has not been met.

Realize and unleash the Power of YOU
Time for the vows to renew
And for the decade to come to script a story brand new.

Too old fashioned to use a pen,
Use your fingers and click away at your keyboards,
The economic war is on and the cyber war is coming,
Your clear conscience and undeterred will are your sharpest swords.

Come on cyber India, wake up the Youth of India.
Make the move, even a pawn can change the course of play,
Fight the battle not for the 'Kings' but for your own clay,
Not your loyalties but make the crops in the green fields sway,
Make it for all of us a Happy Independence Day!

- Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2014

Greetings,

While most of us were eagerly awaiting this:

Registrations for the Mumbai Marathon 2014 (to be held on 19th January 2014)
are going to begin on :
19th July 2013.

2 days from now.

This is the website: http://www.procamrunning.in/scmm/

While usually I handle the registrations for everyone, the last 2 years,
the organizers have made it extremely tough for 1 person to sit and make that many transactions,
at the same time they have also made it simpler and easier for genuine runners to participate.

FIRST timers (MALES): PLEASE make sure you try ASAP. From 19th morning 10 am. There is NO prediction when the registrations may close.

First time - female participants: No worries, there is always a Women quota and everyone gets through that.

Those who have participated anytime in the last 2 years:

Be ready with:
  1. Name
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Address
  4. Contact Number
  5. Email
  6. Emergency Contact number + Details
  7. Govt. recognized ID proof : PAN card, Driving License, Passport etc. SCANNED and less than 100 kb in size
  8. Your passport photo : again scanned & less than 100 kb in size
  9. Your last year's TIMING certificate : available on their website to download. 
  10. Payment via Credit card, debit card or netbanking. (They have been steadily hiking up their charges - it was a 954 Rs. last year)
That's all I can recollect from last year's experience. 

I will surely be registering on Friday morning. If any updates I shall definitely post here.

ALL THE BEST !

& let me know if you decide to run.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

For the Car Enthusiast ....

Define - Car Enthusiast -

The guy who kisses his car goodnight everyday,
ensures a thorough 'bath' for all parts
can hear rattles where others can't
cannot go home without taking a 'round' around the car at night
so on and so forth....

To ensure the 'car' stays at it's best and performs at it's optimum and to decrease the chances of it every failing you....


Weekly Car Checklist - Compiled by Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani

1.        
Weekly Car Checklist - Compiled by Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani
 
Engine oil
Every week, open the bonnet of the car, pull out the oil dipstick and check the engine oil level. It should be at the maximum marking or slightly below (oil is thicker when the engine is cold). Check the color of the oil. It should not look dirty or burned. Take two drops on your finger tips and feel its consistency. It should not feel too sticky or gooey, but should be fluid and thin. Replace engine oil as per the manufacturers’ recommendations or sooner

2.        
Coolant level
Check the coolant level in your car by opening the top of the reservoir bottle. When the engine is cold, the reservoir bottle should be between the minimum and maximum levels in the bottle. If there’s any leakage in the coolant, you will need to check the rest of cooling system (follow the hoses) to look for wet patches around the joints or on the engine, indicative of a leak. If the coolant level is low, top it up with distilled water or pre-mixed coolant if you have it in stock.

3.        
Windscreen wash fluid
Especially in the rainy season, check the level of water in the windscreen washer reservoir. Top it up with clean water as needed. You can also add a commercially available “windscreen wash fluid concentrate” that costs about Rs. 90 to Rs. 150 a bottle to this, which will clean the windscreen better and remove dirt and grime. Or you could also add a drop of dish-wash liquid to the container, but keep in mind that some dish-wash fluids are corrosive, and can affect the washer motor as well as remove polish from the car’s paint when the water flows on to it.

4.        
Windscreen wipers
Check the condition of the rubber on the windscreen wipers. If it’s frayed or cut, it is time to replace the wipers. Replacing the wipers in time can save expensive replacement costs to the windscreen, because damaged wiper blades can scratch the windscreen. Clean the wiper rubber with a damp soft cloth or sponge to make sure it’s grit free.

5.        
Tyres
Tyres need the most attention. Individually inspect each tyre for signs of wear, any new cuts or tears and embedded foreign objects. Remove pebbles that are stuck in the tyre tread. It would be handy to keep a tyre pressure gauge and/or a portable air compressor with you. Check the tyre pressure and ensure it’s at its optimum. The best time to check pressure is when the tyres are cold as this will give you accurate pressure readings. Fill air if needed.

6.        
Lights
Check all the lights of the car, especially headlights and brake lights to ensure they are working. Have a helper press the brake pedal (with ignition on in some cars) to see if the brake lights work. With the ignition on (but engine not started), shift the gear into reverse and check if the reverse lamps work. Switch on the hazard lights and check if all indicators are functioning. Replace any bulbs that have fused as soon as possible.

7.        
Battery
Check the battery terminals for signs of corrosion or residue. Clean this with warm water and a cloth, but don’t touch it with your bare hands, as it is acidic and can harm your skin. Once a month, you can also open up each of the cell caps on the battery and check the level of electrolyte inside the battery. It should be just above the plates in the battery. Top up with distilled water as needed. In some batteries you can see the level indication on the outside through the translucent casing.
If you have a multi-meter handy, you can also check the charging voltage and standing voltage of the battery. It should read about 12.9 volts when nothing is switched on, and should not exceed 14.1 volts when the engine is just started, settling at about 13.6-13.9 volts.

8.        
Exhaust pipe
Especially with a diesel vehicle you can perform visual exhaust checks. Start the vehicle and let it idle. Observe any smoke emissions from the exhaust. White smoke or black smoke from the exhaust could mean signs of trouble, and it’s better to get the car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

9.        
Bodywork
Check the cars bodywork and paintwork for any scratches or dents that may have appeared during the week. Especially look around bumpers and toward the floor of the car. Look at corners of the fenders for any signs of rusting. If there’s rust, get it attended to immediately. Small scratches in the paint can be polished out, while larger ones may need touching up.

10.    
Interiors
Check that all the seat belts in the car function properly and are easy to attach and remove. Check the sliding mechanism on each of the seats to ensure it locks in properly, as these can be fatal in an accident. Check all the door locks and ensure they lock and open smoothly without jamming. If you car has power windows, roll each window down and up fully a couple of times to ensure they are working fine and there is no obstruction in the window channels.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 JellyBean Upgrade - DIY GUIDE


Dear Samsung Galaxy Note users,

The day we were all eagerly waiting for has finally come.

From November to January to March - delay after delay.
But as of 23rd March 2013, Saturday - the JellyBean update is finally available OTA (Over The Air) and via KIES for all Note (N7000) users in India.

As usual - good news and bad news!

Good news 1st - LOADS of goodies.
  • Faster camera
  • new UI
  • New widgets
  • New homescreen
  • New Notification bar - AWESOME
  • Multi-window
  • smart stay
  • offline voice
  • Google NOW - again nice
  • New notifications - SUPER awesome. Especially Gmail & whatsapp.
  • Project Butter smoothness
  • Loads of new settings and options - must explore completely
  • S Memo - migrating to S Note. Unified app
  • Photo notes - super cool idea
  • Crazy small but numerous changes.
  • Better WiFi signal
  • New Keyboard - bye bye SwiftKey
BAD news.
  • Battery - STANDY by increased - but active usage decreased.
  • If OTA update without format - phone EXTREMELY slow. MUST format and begin with clean slate for optimum performance.

Elaborating on that :

Essentially - if your Note is already fully loaded - this MAJOR upgrade does not apply as smoothly as it should. And it also re-calibrates the battery.

What to do: 

  1. ALL your Contacts - Merge with Google. Contacts > Menu > Merge with Google. So all contacts on the cloud.
  2. Calendar entries - I hope you have been using GooCal & not the phone memory.
  3. Download - SUPER BACKUP app from Play Store - very small.
  4. Backup - APPS
  5. Backup - Calendar
  6. Backup - SMS
  7. Backup - Call logs.
  8. Connect phone to PC via cable.
  9. Open phone memory via default Windows Explorer.
  10. COPY some important folders onto your PC hardisk
  11. Application, Android, DCIM, Documents, Downloads, S Memo, SuperBackup, WhatsApp, Videos.
  12. RE-CHECK - everything backed up?
  13. Disconnect phone from PC.
  14. Re-check all data on PC harddisk.
  15. Remove MMC (Memory card) from phone
  16. Menu > Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory Reset phone - including USB storage.
* The author takes no guarantee for any other addditional loss of data stored by user in different folders. Kindly mark your folders according to your usage and backup on the PC.

Your phone is BACK to day 1 when you opened it.
Begin - enter Google Account info.

THAT's it.
Go to software update.

START update to JellyBean : 474 Mb odd. file.
While it is downloading - keep phone on charging.
UNPLUG - only after 100% charged.
Keep on charging and INSTALL the JellyBean update.

NOW - when the phone starts - for the 1st time after JellyBean update. Battery @ 100%.
Phone blank. Except contacts and email.

RESTORATION.

Transfer data back from PC to phone.
Install SuperBackup from PlayStore.
Restore everything.
Install whatsapp. It will detect previous backup and RESTORE ALL conversations.

Re-install MOST of the apps. Re-enter MOST of your personalized settings. (Also gets you acquainted to the new UI and the numerous new tweaks).

Enjoy.
Insert Memory card when finally convinced that "Alll izz Well".

LAST update for the Note N7000. May get Anroid 4.2.2. (Also JellyBean) - but don't hold your breath.

This much should suffice for now.


P.S. - If you have already updated your phone to JB and finding it slow - then only choice - BACK up all data as instructed. Go to a Samsung service center and tell them it's slow. They will FLASH it with JB rom again and you are back on track.
(Free under warranty, if not 165 Rs. charge)

P.P.S. - Easter egg. Menu > Settings > About Device.  Keep tapping the Android 4.1.2 version number repeatedly. You will get a pic of a nice BIG red jellybean smiling at you.

Touch it - keep it pressed for 5 seconds.... ENJOY what follows next. Feel free to flick around. ;)
Your normal home screen is just 1 BACK tap away.



Disclaimer - Tried both methods on my black Note and on my wife's white Note. Difference is phenomenal! In performance as well as battery life.

A BIG thanks to Rohan Chheda for helping with this compilation with his valuable inputs!

Enjoy!

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Original Work by Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani

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