And now iPhone?

Morgan Stanley says iPhone is for real, made in Taiwan

This is something that I always wanted and wrote in this blog several times. A phone running a UNIX based OS with a OS X UI is something irresssssistible.

The only problem I see is that these phones may be tied to the much-hyped “Mobile Me” MVNO service from Apple. As long as it is on GSM, no problems – it will just be a matter of time before someone comes up with an unlock solution.

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Hats off to Microsoft

Microsoft to offer cheap Xbox 360 game development kit? | News.blog | CNET News.com

These days, I can’t help appreciating MS – First they opened up the MS Office document formats, now they seem to have come up with a game SDK for $100. This is a message straight on the face to Sony saying that ‘We are here to rule the gaming world”. Sony has closed doors for all sort of development work on PSP (Same may apply for PS3 once it comes out) with successive firmware updates, even though hackers always find a way out. In the recent times, Sony has become infamous for the Rootkit scandal, delayed PS3 and huge licensing fee for development on the gaming platform that it almost tells everyone to stay away from them, even though they produce some high quality gaming systems.

With a breed of homebrew games bound to come for XBOX 360, you can only expect the sale of these machines to sky-rocket, and by the time PS3 comes out, everyone will be singing the XBOX tune.

Hats off to Microsoft

Microsoft to offer cheap Xbox 360 game development kit? | News.blog | CNET News.com

These days, I can’t help appreciating MS – First they opened up the MS Office document formats, now they seem to have come up with a game SDK for $100. This is a message straight on the face to Sony saying that ‘We are here to rule the gaming world”. Sony has closed doors for all sort of development work on PSP (Same may apply for PS3 once it comes out) with successive firmware updates, even though hackers always find a way out. In the recent times, Sony has become infamous for the Rootkit scandal, delayed PS3 and huge licensing fee for development on the gaming platform that it almost tells everyone to stay away from them, even though they produce some high quality gaming systems.

With a breed of homebrew games bound to come for XBOX 360, you can only expect the sale of these machines to sky-rocket, and by the time PS3 comes out, everyone will be singing the XBOX tune.

A PDA Saga

I was thinking about the PDA devices I owned till date. Before I lose count, I thought I will create a journal entry so that I do not forget what are the devices I used during my stay at planet earth. Ok, here we go.

1) My first PDA was a Casio PVS 250. Though it had the lowest configuration of all the devices I ever used, it was way ahead of the competition in certain specifications. Back in 2000, it was one of the few devices which came with a flash memory – meaning you never lost the data even if your battery was completely drained out. The best thing about this device was that it ran on 2 AAA sized batteries and on regular usage, the battery lasted upto 6 months! Compare that with a modern PDA which will konk off in a few hours of continuos usage. As I remarked earlier, it had a monochrome screen and came with 2 mb of onboard memory.

2) Palm’s first color PDA became my second proud possession. The Palm IIIc. Acquired sometime during 2002, this nice little device had a great screen and boasted of 8 MB RAM. The screen was not trans reflective which made it almost impossible to use it outdoors.

3) Next came the Audiovox Maestro. It was Toshiba’s first foray into the Pocket PC market which was then dominated by Compaq’s iPAQ. It came with dual card slots and Pocket PC 2002 OS. It is still a very powerful device by today’s standards. I sold it to a friend who never used it, but still managed to break its screen.

4) Towards the end of 2003, I bought this great little computer called Sharp Zaurus, which even today is a hackers delight. It had everything that you expect in a PDA and a lot more. The slideout QWERTY keyboard was a first of its kind. Though the keyboard was bigger than that of a Treo 650, the buttons were a little hard which made it uncomfortable for entering large amount of text. It ran Linux and a whole lot of GNU applications were ported to this mini-laptop. I even ran apache on it once. Never used it the way it was intended to be. I still use the device and it always has a special place in my heart for its versatility.

5) I have to rather shamefully admit that buying the Motorola A768 was one of the biggest mistakes I ever committed in my life. Though it had a QVGA resolution, half the real estate was taken by a stupid menu bar on top of the screen. It came with a paltry 8 MB onboard memory with no expansion slot. Though it ran Linux, absence of SDK meant that there are absolutely no third party applications. What a shame for a linux handset. I exchanged it for the Krome SPY.

6) The Krome iQ700. I would rate this as the best PDA combo I ever owned. A very small form factor coupled with a very capable Windows Mobile 2003 makes the HTC Typhoon a runaway success in the history of Smartphones. I have a very detailed review of this phone in this website.

7) The Krome SPY. One of my current possessions. Also known as O2 mini or the imate JAM, this is one of the best multimedia phones out in the market. The Audio quality rivals that of iPod. Very handy – when it was released it was the smallest Pocket PC phone in the world.

8) Just acquired a Treo 650. My dream phone. Will keep updating this blog with more adventures on this wonderful gadget.

Intel Mac Mini to cost an arm and a few legs

The Apple Store (India) – Mac mini

After being down for several months, the Apple Store India is back online with most of the ‘fun new products’. The iPod Hi-Fi is conspicous by its absence. The Dual Core Mac mini (the one I was planning to buy) is priced at a hefty 45k -Incluse of all taxes. The model with a solo processor is cheaper by about 10k and it sports only a DVD combo drive, which is one of the fast-extincting species. All this leads to myself dropping the plans of switching to the mini atleast for the time being.

The low end iMac seems to be the best value for money even though it is priced at about 80k.

THE GENEALOGY OF THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE

THE GENEALOGY OF THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE

If you thought the only relationship between Tamil and Japanese is RajiniKanth, think again. Linguists are studying the relationship between these two great languages and to an extent successful in establishing the relationship between the two. In this article, Susumo ONHO compares the two languages in terms of phonetics, grammer correpondence, similar words etc., Though the article is pretty interesting, based on the evicence given, it is hard to decide whether there is any link between these two languages at all. Decide for yourself.

(Trivia: Japanese never had a written script till the 5th century. Now they have more than 3. Namely – Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji – the last one uses Roman Alphabets)