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Oct 6, 2015

Windows 10 upgrade - quick review

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Just wanted to share my side of the Windows 10 upgrade story (from windows 7). Depending on the number of devices that your PC / laptop is currently supporting, the file size for the upgrade varies. For my PC it took nearly 2.2 GB size for the whole downloading of OS / driver files.
Using the 1 Mbps BSNL connection, it took nearly 4-5 hours for the download to complete. Then the Windows asked for a reboot, upon reboot, the windows configuration starts with absolutely no manual interaction from the user.
The actual upgrade runs by starting to copy the OS files, followed by driver files and finally the configuration starts.
The whole process took less than 1.5 hours and the desktop was up and running within another 5-10 minutes time.
The Changes:
1)       Your old desktop and all the files are retained. Whatever theme packs you were running on before upgrade still exists (even installed ones). So the desktop still runs your themes that you would prefer to have.
2)      Start bar is really beautiful and stylish with the search box at the left side. Default search engine is Bing.
3)      Upon clicking the start button (windows key in keyboard), your recently used apps lists and the live tiles are loaded on the right side. Its rightly a marriage between Windows 7 and Windows 8.
4)      In the start menu, there is an option to search for all apps, which would list us the apps in alphabetical order as in Windows phones.
5)      Live tiles are stylish and updates real time.
6)      All the applications that you had before upgrade still exists and runs perfectly without any hitches.
7)      You can configure what live tiles you want to see.
8)      The Start menu has settings option, which contains everything you want to configure in the PC/laptop (from device drivers, to installation of apps, to configuring background colors etc.)
9)      Microsoft has dumped IE and has come up with Edge browser, which is good so far.
10)   Default programs to open pics, videos will be setup
11)    Windows media player is missing. Groove music player is the new kid on the block!
If you already have a webcam, that is connected via USB, you might probably need to download an update post setting up the PC. The driver will install additionally and set it up for being compatible with Windows 10.
Windows 10 is definitely sleek, comfortable and easy to use. With Service packs coming up, it is definitely going to fix any ongoing issues and make this OS a win-win for both MS and customers alike.
Windows 10 is free for an year post upgrade.

Note: In case you need to downgrade from Windows 10, you can do it only within one month of the upgrade. Post which you cannot downgrade the OS. This is a good option for customers to try out Windows 10 for now, and go back to the shell and live within their own comfort zone.

Oct 5, 2015

Products that harm us

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Most of us would have used these products in our life time sometime. We would have used it mostly in our teenage I bet. I also bet that we would have at least tried one imported product of this category and would have recommended our family members or close friends/relatives. It was a part of my life too until couple of months when my wife raised a concern about cancer causing chemicals that are used in these products. These products are: deodorants and antiperspirants.

I am really against any of the products that act against our natural body system. Soap for instance, blocks the pores in our skin that would otherwise be helpful for perspiration of skin and also used as a channel for releasing sweat. The sweat contains urea, minerals and lactate. Our body sends them out because they are either in excess or they have the potential to cause cancer cells in our body. This process of sweating in humans is called perspiration (also called as transpiration).

Clearly the name antiperspirants should have ringed an alarm bells in your mind by now! Now let us see what chemicals do these products contain and why they might be potentially harmful for our body. Remember there are studies that are out there which determines the potentiality of cancer cause in people who use deodorants and antiperspirants. These studies are yet to determine and prove a direct correlation however. So caution needs to be exercised in understanding what I am going to say further.

Both Deodorants and Antiperspirants help in reducing the body odour that is a result of sweat.  This odour is caused by specific bacteria underneath our skin (underarms). Deodorants tackle the odour by targeting the bacteria. To do this, they contain antibacterial compounds, such as triclosan and chlorhexidine. Antiperspirants, unlike deodorants, don’t do anything to act on the bacteria that produce smelly sweat compounds. Instead, they contain chemical compounds whose goal it is to prevent you from perspiring at all. These compounds are always either aluminium or zirconium-based; aluminium chlorohydrate is one of the most commonly used, but a number of others can also be employed.

Triclosan has been proven to contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Though this only proven in animals and in humans it might be different and there is no concrete study yet. The solvent, cyclomethicone is used both in Deodorants and antiperspirants evaporate very quickly and easily. But studies have proved that this solvent causes dry skin and other problems. Apart from that there are growing concerns of potential bioaccumulation in the environment. It doesn’t break down easily in water, and also it is further not clear if they are the reason for toxicity in water which threatens aquatic life. Aluminium compounds that are used in Antiperspirants have been under major controversy with links to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Both Deodorants and Antiperspirants have been under lenses and are posing a great health risk upon prolonged usage. It would be wise if each of us look at the ingredients in these products and see if any chemical used in it is having potential to cancer of other major controversies. It would be good if we can avoid such products and choose a safe alternative.

Sep 29, 2015

Thani Oruvan - moview review

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Brilliant screenplay is all you can say about this film. What a performance by Arvind Swamy, he oozes style and smartness throughout this film. The role that Arvind Swamy got is really good and he enjoys it to the fullest, till the last scene. He is really lucky to get this role in a comeback sorts of film. What a terrific performance!

‘Jayam’ Ravi as he is famously called, completes his role succinctly. As a tough police officer who tops the ranks during training and very good in collecting information about his enemy even before his posting is confirmed really creates lot of expectations on his role. We eagerly wait to see how this brilliant cop is going to snatch an almost uncatchable enemy. The film starts with a succinct tag line ‘Tell me about your enemy, I will tell about you.’

There are lot of hypes created around the role of ‘Jayam’ Ravi’s Mithran. Mithran however disappoints us with his emotionless approach which all movie watchers would expect in a hero (main screen). But his role was such to not to display any emotions (soft side) on anyone. Nayanthara finally gets some flesh on her face, a much needed change after her appearance was commented all across the magazines and film news. We get a chance to see Mahima (Nayan) as a brave and tough woman who fittingly loves an equally brilliant hero, Mithran.

There was not a scene in this film where you will feel let down. Thambi Ramaiah cameo in this serious film was much needed and provides the much needed laughter in all of us. Theatres erupted in laughter for his comedies when Siddharth (Arvind) talks to his dad of his plans in the car while driving, especially the one when he says ‘Naan eppo rendu kolai panna plan sonnen’ (When did I plan to kill two people). Thambi Ramiah as Sengalvarayan provides the lighter side of politicians who match in real life scenarios, who would just read whatever is printed in their material (reading).

Mithran finds that all petty crimes lead to larger group, all the gangsters add up to one head who oversees all the operations without his name coming out. This is typical of Illuminatis mode of operation. The director is also brilliant enough to show how newspapers (media in general) mislead people and how they shape the thinking process of people. A good ground work done by director Mohan Raja this time. It needs lot of courage and effort to know these details to the point and another type of talent to bring it to mainstream media (cinema) without creating much buzz or tension. Hats off to director in this regards. He carefully handles the script.

Technically the scenes were up to the mark and how Mithran’s friends help him without much fuzz was much welcome change in the film. It shows their friendship and loyalty to each other. There were lot of truth that had been attempted to be revealed in this film and I am sure people who watched this film can connect these facts to reality (in life). Especially what the pharmaceutical giants (and mafia) do in order to make sure that our country doesn’t get the best (and cheap medicine).

All in all this film is wholesome factual movie that can still be valid at any point in future. The way the director exposes the network of goons, big business players and finally the head of all these organizations is a commendable work. A brave and breezy film that should be encouraged and watched by everyone to know the sad reality in the crimes happening around us.

Thani Oruvan is not just about a single person fighting the cause, we all must collectively (individually) know many facts around us and act upon it to make sure that our future is safe, best and peaceful. That was the message from the film as per my view. Watch it and enjoy it J!

Digital India

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I was roaming jobless that time. It was a tough period, I knew I am going to win this battle and get in to one of the top IT companies in some time, but the going through the hardship was testing my patience, honesty and dedication. It was the time when I lost in crucial HR interview at Infosys itself. People were telling me that once I clear the initial technical round, then I am in the company. But the offer letters were sent for my colleagues who met me at the interview and not for me.

I felt devastated, in disbelief and also in disarray. Then came an opportunity and I really wanted to prove a point why I deserved to be in a top notch company with smart salary. There were nearly 20K people and only 30 out of them were selected in a college off campus, and I am proud to say I was one among them. First round was about aptitude test and I cleared it easily as with many other companies attended earlier.

Then came essay writing, where I am the best since childhood and my own English teachers were proud of and also referred me as a best example. I would write essays with such strong message which strikes the reader where it matters the most. I was asked to write why they would recruit me for getting in to that company and I did write it neatly.

Then came the Group discussion round which was scheduled for the next day. Around 5K people were selected for this alone. In my panel we had around 10 people who were asked to speak about “technology: is it a boon or bane”. I was only listening till the end and whenever I opened my mouth to strike a balance with my panelists, I was only taken over by a stronger voice who would not allow me to continue with my view points.

The GD panelist was noting this behavior and he did give me a chance to speak at the end. And I didn’t mess it. I spoke for just 3 minutes and without a break, with such fluency that the entire classroom wowed upon it and clapped their hands (including the panelist). Even I felt good at my viewpoint and encouraged my way of positive thinking.

The thing that I spoke 10 years back exactly echoes what our current PM Narendra Modi spoke at the San Jose CEO meet. Especially the view of ‘Digital India’. I echoed similar sentiments and view points and was vouching for empowering villages and poor with technology to update their status not only physically but also online. I voiced for learning through technology and also better planning with technological advancements.
‘Let us use technology to educate people about the good and ill effects of using it and let us create a positive, wholesome environment that doesn’t discard anyone based on their financial status.’ I concluded.

It was not over, Later I went through a technical code testing interview. This was followed by one one-on-one meeting with Executive VP of the company who testing my emotions. Later I was offered a job in their company within a month’s time. I will never forget my first employer and interviewers who shaped my career now.