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I’ve been outside India to many countries. I always dreamt India to be a dream destination for everyone, like the way we dream to fly to other countries. What makes us feel that the other side of the grass is always greener? We, yet being a fast growing economy, why are we not satisfied on what we are? I did an extensive study on what India is lacking and why India is lacking some qualities and What as an youngster and being a citizen we can do to change things? The first question is “Can we really make a difference?” Yes, believe me, if we unite ourselves, we can make a difference! I have seen lot of campaigns by Celebrity speaking about what being an “Indian” means. But, the effect stays in our mind only for few minutes of watching such videos. Why? Its just because, we guys are selfish! We guys are just introverts! We guys are ego-centric! We have to change friends… WE HAVE TO CHANGE! I know that after reading this article, you’d find yourself patriotic just for few moments, then what? You tend to forget it! But lets all keep our hands-on-hands and take an oath that we’d make a difference!

My intention to pen down this article is not to draw a simple conclusion from what I believe. I want everyone to think, I want every Indian to contribute to the growing India! There might be many different opinions and views from different people, please don’t forget to write a comment on what you think that I’m missing in this article. I hope this article keeps growing. This is my first draft.

Here we go…

1) Infrastructure. When I talk about infrastructure, I’m indeed pointing specifically at roads. I do agree that  India is having World’s second largest road network. But, why do we always use low quality materials to construct our roads? If the country’s National Highways, main roads and city roads are rubberized and made from high quality material, will we ever face problems like pot holes and traffic jams? This could have a very high impact on reducing accidents. Maximum accidents roots from pot holes in the road. Why cant the government think about an one time investment towards building solid and concrete roads? A possible argument will be that if the government invests such huge amount on roads at one shot, there will be unemployment for many road-workers later. Lets tackle one thing at a time. Lets make sure that the life of people involved in these issues are also job secured. We need to brainstorm on this issue. More inputs are welcome.

2) Sewage & drainage. Be it waste water from house or waste water due to rainfall. Why does water gets clogged in some areas? Why is there no free flow? Water should be allowed to flow freely to the nearest river or sea. Clogging of water can cause 100s of issues. It effects the earth’s water table. It triggers the growth of fungus. It pollutes the environment. Mosquitoes and such disease carriers takes advantage of stationary water clogged at places. This in turn leads to health issues like malaria, cholera, etc. And even creates a bad odour to the surroundings. Some arguments for this would be, plants get well irrigated at times. I totally agree. But why dont we practice some basic horticulture? More inputs are welcome.

3) Education. I understand that this is the most talked topic. But pointing out the importance of education is worth mentioning. It makes me proud when I came to know that the literacy rate in India has come way far up to 61% now. (as of Sept. 2008). By educating everyone, we intend to prevent 100s of hazardous situation like communal riots, political fights, population rise, traffic safety, etc. But with this 61% of literacy rate do you think that India is free from any such hazardous situation?

4) Cleanliness at Public places. I remember the day when the Municipal Bus stop was built in my city. It was very clean those days. But eventually, the situation started deviating. I visited the same bus stop after 8 years. To my surprise, it was the worst ever place I have seen in my place. It was spread across with cow dungs, dog shits, and what not. I dont want to mention that. No offense my friends, I just want to say why are cattle allowed to roam around in public places? Why cannot they be secured in a safe area where they can be fed properly? There are 245 countries in this world. Why only India has this problem and why the rest of 244 countries dont face this problem? Please think on this issue my friends. 

5) Justice to animals. Lets take the case of dogs. In India, many people throw stones at dogs. But why?? Just because all the dogs are trained from their forefathers that human beings are dangerous, they tend to bother you. But believe me, dogs never bite humans unless its a crazy dog (I dont know the term to be used here). There are 1000s of stray dogs and other animals running here and there on the roads. Why are there no animal protection group? Why is there no one to take care of them? Lets solve this puzzle.

6) Bribe. Maybe India is the number one country in bribery. Bribe for every reason is what makes the mob angry on the government. Bribe for passport verification. Bribe for notary sealing. Bribe for breaking traffic rules. Bribe for what not? I remember the day when I went for notarizing my engineering entrance forms. There was a notice board just behind him saying “Bribing is a crime. Please call so and so number, if attempted to bribe” What nonsense? Even with this notice just behind that guy he was not ready to notarize without getting his share. Should we encourage this my friends? This never happens in other countries. In the US, I got my driving license legally without any problem. But to get my Indian license, even after all the legal procedure to get the driving license, the traffic police was not ready to issue the license unless he gets his satisfactory share. How mean! Lets debate.

7) Pedestrian. Are you kidding me? Do we have a concept called as pedestrian in India? Obviously, not! In most of the countries, Pedestrians are kings! Why are we not giving importance to the pedestrians? Take the case of cities like Bangalore, even the motor bikes get into the footpath designated for the pedestrians to walk. If he hits someone, he might shout back at the pedestrian “Oye! Bathameez!”… Well, my friends, whose mistake is this? Its each and everyone of us responsible for this. We should keep in mind, if I do like this, others would also follow me, so let me avoid it. Thats how our mind should be set to. Respect the pedestrians right of way!

8] Banners and posters. Every city or small towns are flooded with movie posters, promotion banners and stuff. This spoils the environment. Why do we need to advertise all these crap things throughout the cities? Is there no other mean to convey this message? I have seen cows and bulls eating movie posters 100s of times.

9) Lack of being ambivert. I totally agree being an extrovert will give no justice to oneself. Why are we bothered only about our comfort? Why dont we think how any act could effect our brothers or sisters? We have taken the pledge saying that “All Indians are my brothers and sisters”. Do we really take care of this responsibility? Lets take the case of getting into a train or bus. Everyone just rushes to catch the seat. No one wants to travel standing. But do you want your brothers and sisters to stand and travel and be crushed in those huge crowds? I was really thrilled the way the Japanese people were. Back in Tokyo, before the train arrives, passengers would make a line at every distance of doorway. No fight for seat. Everyone gets justice! Everyone has a pleasant journey.

10) Respect Elders. When is the last time you have helped an elderly person to cross the road? When is the last time have you offered an elderly person a seat? I know, you wouldn’t mind to take a look at your side. This is what our mindset is. Why are we youngsters failing to gain respect and love from elders? Sit for a moment. Look at the stars and think for yourself.

11) Trust. This is what every single Indians lacks. Why are we always worried about our car being stolen? why are we always worried about theft in our house? Its just because we feel that this world is not a safe place. There was this simple incident that happened when I was at Tokyo. I was much concerned about my passport and my money. I always used to carry it along with me. My colleague sighed at me and asked, are you mad or what? Why do you carry your passport always with you? I told that I was scared of it being lost. He told me “Believe me, if you keep a million dollar in your room, leave your room unlocked and publicize it, not even a single person would come and steal your belongings”. I dont know how true this is. But see the level of trust my friend had on the Japanese. Lets throw some light on these issues.

12) Environment. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Thats well said. Why dont we encourage more cultivation and plantation? Have you not dreamt of breathing-in fresh Oxygen? What if there was no source to produce oxygen? God has designed this world very well. Plants are required to provide oxygen for us. Why do we encourage deforestation? Why dont we have a smog test plan in India? We are the buses and trucks polluting the environment a lot? Is there any ways we can reduce the poisonous gases coming out of auto-rickshaws? In many countries, the smoke cylinder is diverted till the top of the bus or heavy vehicles. This will protect other people who are on motor bikes or auto-rickshaw not to inhale the toxic gases. Why dont we have a system like this in India? Why do we allow trucks that carry soil without clean tyres?

13) Security Cameras. I’d personally suggest that security cameras should be placed at major places like airports, railway stations, bus stops, petrol bunks, mass parking lots, high crowd areas and all places where ever necessary. Later we dont have to repent on any tragic incidents that might happen.

14) International standards. I totally agree, some of you would totally disagree that this is not an important point. But let me take it to another angle. Why dont we have long runways? Why is only the Indian airports lacking international hospitality? Why are Indian railway stations not spacious? Possible arguments would be India got independence only recently, hence there was not much improvement in such areas. But when are we going to re-consider this aspect? We end up paying huge taxes and it goes no where!

I have missed a lot of things to say. Thats quite obvious. Please give me more inputs and feedback. (Sorry for bad English, if any because it took only 20 minutes to pen down this article)

Level: Beginner

I always used to wonder, why do we need a very high resolution camera if a 2 Megapixel is sufficient enough for sharing photographs. I just knew the fact that, higher the resolution the better it can be printed on a larger canvas. Higher resolutions can be used for poster size photography. Are we buying cameras with higher resolution to print posters? or is it just that we want to tell our friends that I’m having a high resolution camera? 

Today I figured out what difference a higher resolution image can make. I was trying to edit my sister’s picture with some photographic tricks but I felt very difficult just because she has captured the image in an 1.3MP Camera. It was very difficult to fine tune many aspects. Then I just took a photo of myself and tried manipulating and applying some tricks on the photograph using some advanced photo-editing software. There was a big difference! It was easier for me to edit because of the finer details it had. The outcome would speak about it!

So if you are into any sort of image manipulation or poster creation, then only a higher resolution camera would matter you. I’d suggest 4.1 MP or higher for moment capturing if you do not intend to do any editing.

Level: Intermediate

Often times its difficult to get the subject to focus when the sunlight is directly behind subject or if the sunlight is at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees. The reason is the subject doesn’t get lit properly. All you need is a reflector to lit the subject. A reflector can be made from an alumunium foil. The reflector reflects the sunlight back to the subject from the opposite direction so that the subject is lit properly. The trick to any photography is proper and sufficient lighting. This might be a simple thing, but often times simple things are ignored while it can bring a dramatic change in the way you take photographs.

I think you get the idea.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

The most important thing the photographer should know is that good photographs cannot be captured using the “Auto” mode when the sky or outdoor lighting is very poor. Most often the photographers are never satisfied by pictures taken in night mode, night scene or night snapshot modes provided by the camera. They tend to blame the camera instead. The way the photo looks is not the fault of the camera, rather its the fault of the photographer. It is very important to make the right settings to get a pleasing snap. Here are few tips to good night photography:

1) Set the camera to Manual Mode (M)

2) Increase the Exposure by reducing the shutter speed and increasing the aperture (refer camera manual)

3) Use a tripod or some stationary object

4) Switch off any “Image stabilazation” mode (Dont ask me why, i’ll explain this later in another post)

5) Use timer based trigger or use remote control based triggering to avoid even a very negligiable shake

6) If the subject is a human being, stay calm at the spot for a little more than usual.

7) Never take night photographs in “Auto” mode.

 

Hope this helps you to take better photographs next time.

Most of you out there who are new to photography and novice in photography thinks that setting the camera to “Auto” mode will be the best solution to get the best snaps. Well, this is absolutely a wrong notion. Auto mode is not just telling the camera to capture whatever and however way the camera feels. Rather there are few things the user or the photographer must know while using the auto mode. Auto mode is designed specifically for the photographer to capture the moment rather than adding some aesthetic values to the photograph. But an auto mode can do much more if you know exactly what the mode is designed for. Auto mode is most common in point and shoot cameras and compact cameras. The term Auto refers to Autofocus, Auto-Exposure, Auto-Flash and Auto-Whitebalance. The camera gives the user an option to concentrate more on the photograph rather on the camera.

Most important thing that the user doesnt know about this mode is “How to click the button”. The camera button has 2 levels of sensitivity. If you click the button half-way, then you are telling the camera which element or subject to focus on. If you click the button completely, then you are asking the camera to capture the image. So follow this steps while taking an image:

1) Frame the picture: This is called as composition. Decide what will come within the picture by seeing through the viewfinder or LCD screen

2) Decide which element on the picture should be the sharpest.

3) Click the camera button half-way to decide the most important element of the picture.

4) Once the camera focuses on the element, click the button completely to capture.

N.B: This tips are only for novice users and not for intermediate or professional photographers

I have been seeing this from ages. My friends always go for any gadget that has more features. I can understand its the human tendency to go for more. Incorporating more and more features is one of the marketing and business strategy. Here is the catch, you might have seen laptop that offers more features with lesser price. But on the other hand you might have also seen that some laptops tend to have lesser feature and higher price. I’m absolutely not saying to buy the laptop with less features giving a higher price. All you have to do is think if your decision is right about getting that particular laptop. I’ll be covering in detail how to choose a laptop. But for now, I’m dealing with how to maintain an existing laptop to give better results and performance.

Laptop performance is usually based on the CPU and the RAM. This does not mean that having a high end processor and infinite amount of RAM could boost up the performance. There are certain things the end-user should take care of. Here are few of the most important ones:
1) Make sure your PC/Laptop is properly ventilated.
2) Avoid any dust particle contacts. (Clean you PC regularly. Make sure that its dust-free)
3) Avoid any wet finger contact. Typing using wet fingers can effect the internal circuitry if by any chance the water gets into the PC.
4) Never plug in or out the adapter of the laptop when bootup is in process.
5) It is always advisable to power from the adapter rather than battery. Use battery when it is absolutely necessary.
6) Never block the CPU or GPU fan ventilation.
7) Minimize keeping the laptop on your lap or any cloth-like materials (Including bed, sofa, cushion carpets, etc). This is to avoid the dust being pulled in by the ventilation fan. More over keeping the laptop on your lap can cause health hazards. Keep the laptop on a solid surface like table.
8) Handle the keyboard and track pad with caution. Hitting the key hard can cause poor responsiveness.
9) Do not install un-necessary software
10) Avoid JRE. Install it only if its absolutely necessary
11) Avoid visiting Java based website that might trigger JVM.
12) Defragment your PC every 6 months
13) The Master drive (which contains the OS) should be having just 45% more space than it is required to install the OS.
14) Do not install any software on your master drive.
15) Turn-off Wireless (like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc) when not in use.
16) Turn-on Bluetooth only when it is absolutely necessary
17) Do not “DELETE” any software. Go to “Uninstall” option and remove the software.
18) Do not touch any System files (Usually under the OS folder)
19) Clear the cache and temporary files atleast once in a month.
20) Do not visit untrusted websites
21) Keep the brightness of the monitor less whenever possible.
22) If the program doesn’t respond, do not try closing the program or using end task, instead wait for the program to respond for sometime. Use end task only if it is absolutely necessary.
23) Do not use “End Process” for any programs that is linked to the OS
24) Run only the programs/software you want to run. Do not run multiple programs
25) Opt for browsers that allows the user to use the “Tab” feature.
26) Do not install high-end antivirus that is designed for professional purpose unless you are using your system for professional reasons. Install home edition instead.
27) Scan any disk or downloads before executing or copying to avoid any Trojans or viruses
28) Do not install any drivers which are not safe. Make sure that you are installing the right drivers. contact customer care or check with few forums before you proceed.
29) Make it a habit to turn-off the computer for atleast 1 hour every week.
30) Avoid scratched Media disks (Floppy, CD, DVD, BD, etc)
31) Disable browser pop-ups
32) Run a complete scan atleast once in 6 months.
33) Avoid Pirated Operating Systems. Use a legal version.
34) Avoid Dual or Multiple OS installation if the PC is not powerful.
35) Virtual Machines slows down the system a lot.
36) If screen savers are used, increase the time-out.

Hope this article helps you a lot to boost your system performance. If I have missed any. Please point me out. I own 3 Desktops and 3 Laptops. And I have never happened to face any problem till date. An this cannot be because of luck! All I have to say is “Respect the PC and the PC will respect you!”

It has been a very difficult time for me to figure out how to convert a VOB to MOV format. Frankly speaking there is not a single software that does that! Whatt???? yeah seriously! I had gone mad just figuring out how to convert VOB to MOV or something close to that. Finally, I figured out a way for myself.

Follow the steps below:
1) Convert the VOB file to DivX using DivX converter thats available from the DivX website.
2) I use “720p” or “Theater” quality
3) Now there are many software that can convert DivX to other formats. I use “SUPER”

You might be wondering that SUPER provides conversion back and forth different formats including VOB. Whatt?? yeah including VOB, I did not make a mistake while saying that. But you’d see a lot of side effects. Audio will be clipped-off. Un-necessary scan lines will be drawn on the video. Video gets converted to 5:4 aspect ratio. And above all, the PC itself crashes most of the time! So I think you wont try this with your PC atleast.

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