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20 February 2013

Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors

We were privy to Qualcomm's Snapdragon's stall at the ISA Vision Summit 2013 at Bangalore this year. The stall had some of the best things under the sun to show! In fact the devices and the kind of technology that was at display was enough to blow our minds away! Before I delve into any more details about the processor and its offering, here are the specs of the processor line!

Snapdragon product specs

 

S4 Play

S4 Plus

S4 Pro

S4 Prime

CPU Up to 1.2GHz Dual or Quad ARM Cortex A5 Up to 1.7 GHz Dual Krait CPU Up to 1.7 GHz Dual or Quad Krait CPU Up to 1.7 GHz Quad Krait CPU
GPU Adreno 203 GPU Up to Adreno 305 GPU Adreno 320 GPU Adreno 320 GPU
Video FWVGA Up to 1080p HD video 1080p HD video 1080p HD video
Modem 3G/4G World/multimode 3G/4G World/multimode LTE on select processors 3G/4G World/multimode LTE on select processors No Modem
Camera 8 MP Up to 20MP, Stereoscopic 3D Kit Up to 20MP, Stereoscopic 3D Kit Up to 20MP, Stereoscopic 3D Kit
GPS gpsOne Gen 7 gpsOne Gen8A gpsOne Gen8A gpsOne Gen8A
USB High Speed USB 2.0 USB 2.0 High Speed OTG (480Mbps) USB 2.0 High Speed OTG (480Mbps) USB 2.0 High Speed OTG (480Mbps)
Bluetooth Discrete solution BT 3.x Integrated digital core BT 4.0† Integrated digital core BT4.0† Integrated digital core BT4.0†
Wifi Discrete solution 802.11n (2.4GHz) Integrated digital core 802.11n (2.4/5GHz)† Integrated digital core 802.11n (2.4/5GHz)† Integrated digital core 802.11n (2.4/5GHz)†
Process Technology * 45nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
Individual Chips
  • MSM8625
  • MSM8225
  • MSM8225Q
  • MSM8625Q
  • APQ8060A
  • MSM8960
  • MSM8660A
  • MSM8260A
  • APQ8030
  • MSM8930
  • MSM8630
  • MSM8230
  • MSM8627
  • MSM8227
  • APQ8064
  • MSM8960T
  • MPQ 8064
† -Digital integrated in SoC, Analog added via additional chip
* See detailed table for specific chip information as some generations include multiple microarchitectures

The source can be found here.

While we were at the stall, the team there demonstrated a few features to us that are relatively undeveloped and new. We were told that the processor family now runs on a quad core architecture. Nothing new at that. But then it was added that each of the 4 cores are capable of being individually controlled. When the device runs a regular application or is in the sleep mode then only one core is powered up and runs at the potential needed. However, when the user decides to play a game or get into a heavily processor intensive application, then as per need each core is individually powered and pushed to the required processing power in steps. Let me explain in detail. Say we are running a game and all the four cores are running fired at the full potential and you receive a call. Ideally speaking the run of the mill processors would generally keep running at the full power there by draining the battery. This would not be the case with Snapdragon. In a snap the processor would power down 3 cores and keep one core powered at the potential needed to run the device without lag. This would not only save the battery but also maintain the experience of the device.

Further, the devices were also demonstrated to be able to render 3D delightfully! We were shown a demo app that not only was able to use AR (Augmented Reality) and show us the innards of our body but could also delve into more detail as we selected the options. While this may seem run of the mill to you, let me point out that all this was being displayed real time using the phone's camera and being rendered in 3D on the phone's screen!

While there was more to show, I was running short of time and was too interested in taking the devices on display on a spin, however, that should not necessarily mean that you would have nothing more to know about it.
You can find the Wiki link about the entire family of processors here.
Also you can read more about the processors at the company's website here.

16 February 2013

Been a while...

It's been a while since I blogged. Basically I was too busy with my own life to think about anything else. The list weekend I traveled to Chennai. Being on a break has its benefits about being able to go anywhere any time and not bother about office! I am particularly enjoying this freedom.
In the meanwhile when I was helping my uncle out with some issues that he was having, I hit up on a business idea. Need to discuss it with a friend. Let's see what he's hit to say about it.
Until then sayonara!

04 February 2013

Curious Case of the Kaamwaali Bais

Yesterday’s Times Of India carried an interesting article about a Gujarati family that made a killing faking death of several people on fake LIC policies. News item here. Incidentally the lady who comes home to massage my new-born and my wife also went missing with her cell phone switched off.
The missing Bai sent my wife and mother in a tizzy since we did not want even a single day of maalish missed for either of the two, my wife and baby. After waiting for several hours, my mom decided to take it up in her hands and finish off the maalish is another story but non availability of the bai was something neither were ready to accept.
Just because of these indispensible helps, I thought it was fairly interesting to know what some of the common excuses these Bais made. I have compiled my list below from my experience. Let me know if you think there is more to the variety of excuses made!
  1. What tops the list and the reason the Gujarati family article was mentioned was that the Bais are excellent at killing the same person several times! in fact even if the person is related in a distant way, they take off at the drop of a hat citing the reason of death! so Excuse number 1, “Mera <insert name/relationship here> kal guzar gaya. Isiliye mai udhar gayi thi!” It is for this reason I think the poor Gujarati family has done no harm, it is these Bais who need to be arrested! Pun intended.
  2. Somebody or the other has to fall ill and then the entire responsibility falls on the Bai! Poor Bai, she not only has to work at other places, but also tend to the ill at home! so Excuse number 2, “Mera <insert name/relationship here> kal bimaar ho gaya tha aur ghar main koi usko dekhne ko nahin tha!”
  3. Well, if somebody cannot fall ill, why no the Bai become that somebody! A precursor to expecting the Bai missing the next day is to carefully listen to what the Bai is talking about today! She may complain of a backache or feeling feverish or even a toothache! In short she is warning you in advance to be prepared to do the work yourself the next day! "So Excuse number 3, “Meri tabiyat kharab thi, mujhko <insert ailment here> hua/tha!”
  4. You cannot kill somebody everyday, you cannot fall ill or get someone to fall ill everyday, so what do we do! Very simple! Complain of excessive work at another employer’s place and say you cannot make it! Complain of how the employer is mistreating you with loading you with less than half of what she does herself! Complain how there are so many guests that you are not able to finish your work! So Excuse number 4, “Aaj <insert name here> ke ghar pe bahut saare mehmaan hai, main nahin aa sakegi!” Well, this would come to you after you have waited for her all day and then finally decided to call her up!
  5. Final excuse when all fails and you have nothing to say, it’s no vacation season, no guests expected and all excuses used. Failsafe and one that the employer can never refuse. For this excuse to be used, it is mandatory that your Bai is married and has kids. the more grown up, the better! So final failsafe Excuse number 5, “Aaj <insert name/relationship here> ke school main bulaya hai, parent – teacher meeting hai!”
Can you think up of any other excuses that can be added to this list?

03 February 2013

Plan to monetize my blog

Given the current situation and times of needs, I am looking to monetize all my blogs in the best possible ways. This may include paid reviews, posts etc. I would not have done this had the situation not demanded. I do not expect my readers to be clicking the ads etc. however, if they like something then they are free to click the links.

I do not intent to hurt anyone with this but if I am ending up doing so, then please do excuse me.

In case you would like to have your product reviewed, or would like to place an ad on my blog, please feel free to contact me at normaltusker@gmail.com. I would gladly grab the opportunity.

01 February 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note–a Shoddy workmanship example set by Samsung

I have been using the Samsung Galaxy note for over 6 months now and was fairly satisfied with the external package that was presented. In fact, the very first time that I saw the phone, I had wanted to own it! However, My experience as a Samsung Galaxy note owner has been far from satisfactory.

First a little about my usage.

  1. I belong to the set of users who can be classified as power users.
  2. I often flash latest firmware that is available, including custom ROMS limited to only Cyanogenmod.
  3. I mostly stick to Stock ROMs but then they are often modded enough by me.
  4. I use the handset heavily to play games, listen to music and watch music.
  5. My phone is connected to the internet 24x7, Mobile Data when out and Wi-Fi at home.

Beyond Samsung, I have 2 more different Android devices by LG and HTC. In terms of the sturdiness, I have been the happiest with the LG Optimus 2x that I own, although the software updates are bad I agree. The HTC Explorer belongs to my wife and I do not mess around too much with it.

Back to Samsung. Of the last few months that I have owned, my usage pattern has been fairly constant and uniform. However, I have had the worst experience owning the phone.

I have had to take the phone to the service center several times now. thrice for the same reason and for different reasons the other times.

  1. Thrice the phone had to be taken to the service center for a Motherboard replacement.
  2. Once the phone had to be taken to the service center to replace the microUSB port. This prevented the phone from successfully charging as well as connecting to the computer. This often led the phone being on charger for hours without getting even a percent increase in the battery charge. This has damaged my battery beyond repair now and I have to now replace it because I get no battery back up now.
  3. The power key froze on its own two days back. I could neither lock/power down/reboot the device. In fact each time I wanted to power down the device, I had to pull the battery out. Reinserting the battery would power up the phone on its own! No keys pressed!

Each time, Samsung has been a royal pain in delivering the device at the said time and often delayed things beyond acceptable limits. Despite asking them explicitly not to reflash the software, they always did reflash the software there by resulting in my loss of data.

I had really high hopes from Samsung when I bought their flagship device. Samsung has not been able to meet their promise of being the best. It’s a classic case of a company that tried too hard but when they were sure of not meeting their deadlines, pushed a half baked device!