Loading...
Browsing Category

Technology

How to setup a custom WordPress site on your domain in under 5 minutes

I generally write tech related blogs on https://saurabhontech.com to keep things a little separate from what I write here.
But this tutorial that I have just put up will be applicable to lots of folks – techie or not.
Nowadays, it is quite easy to setup your own website in under 5 minutes with around $10 / month of hosting space (allows for unlimited sites).
So, if you ever felt you wanted to setup a site and didn’t know how to start, this tutorial should get you up and running.
Any questions, please shout out in the comments.
Click on the link below to go to the tutorial:
How to setup a custom WordPress site on your domain in under 5 minutes

How to disable the data usage flash messages on the Idea Network

If you are on an IDEA network and have a post paid number, you’ll notice these highly annoying data usage flash messages everytime your phone disconnects an active connection.
To get rid of this, simply dial:

*121*46#

To activate this again, dial:

*121*45#

If you simply want to check your data usage, you can dial:

*121*44#

This will show you your current limits but will not enable the messages again.
Hopefully this information is useful to some folks.

CFLs vs LEDs vs Incandescent Bulbs

If you have noticed, LED bulbs are all the rage suddenly. They are all over the place – the Philip bulb ads on TV, the Syska LED ads on radio and everywhere else. They have been around for quite sometime – but suddenly have burst into the scene.

So, with incandescent bulbs blowing up around my house, I decided to do a full review and bought a bunch of lights to see which ones stack up.

Here are the contestants:

All types of lights tested

My Setup

So, in my house, we have all yellow lights – which are mostly bulbs and few CFLS. Hence, my test involves LED bulbs and CFLs in the “Warm White” colour – which gives off a nice yellowish, intimate light. But before we go ahead, I present to you a little information researched on various types of bulbs.

This will help you understand why CFLs are more efficient than bulbs and why LEDs are more efficient than CFLs.

It all starts with Lumen

Lumen is a unit to measure the amount of light. If you are interested in the textbook definition, please see here.

In India, we tend to estimate the amount of light given by the wattage of a particular bulb. Hence, most of us probably have a fair bit of an idea on the light given out by 40W bulbs (incandescent) – useful for lamps, etc., 60W bulbs for regular, home lighting and 100W bulbs for outdoor / brighter lighting.

“Watts” or (W) is the unit of electricity consumed.

Incandescent bulbs give us light by passing electricity through a filament which heats up and emits light. In fact, 95% of the energy in these bulbs is lost to heat and only 5% is what produces light (ref). Hence, incandescent bulbs produce only 16 lumens / watt.

CFLs in the way they are built are more efficient and can give us between 50-70 lumens / watt (atleast 3 times more than incandescent bulbs)

LED bulbs on the other hand, can output upto 100 lumens / watt – which make them one of the most efficient sources of lighting. I drew up some numbers to compare these which are in the table below.

How do these compare?

[table id=1 /]

Quality of Light

Artificial lighting sources like bulbs, tubes, etc. are also rated on their ability to reproduce colour. The standard light against which these sources are compared is sunlight and companies like Phillips claim 90 – 95% colour reproduction for even their base models. Because most of us (especially yours truly) cannot make out this difference, I have decided to skip this and instead focus on how the light “looks” to me.

As I have already mentioned, all light fixtures in my house are lamps or wall mounts of some sort. We do not have naked tube lights or bulbs anywhere.

As such, I found the LED bulbs to be quite directional. They are known to not offer the omni-directional light that incandescent bulbs offer – but it was quite apparent to me without making much effort. The light was quite ‘harsh’ for our needs and we decided to not use the bulbs for our lamps.

As a matter of fact, I found the Tornado CFLs to give the best light distribution.

40W Incandescent bulb vs 8W CFL vs 5 LED

40W Incandescent bulb vs 8W CFL vs 5 LED (click for larger image)

As you can see, the incandescent bulb gives the best light distribution – but if you had to compare the CFL vs LED, the CFL (Tornado in this case), creates a much more distributed environment and is not as harsh as the LED.

Which LED bulb should I buy?

There are a couple of bulbs available in the market. I bought and tried the Phillips LED ones and the Alva LED which is an Indian company – and it costs half of what Phillips cost. In my opinion, LED bulbs are quite overpriced at the moment.

However, if you MUST get LEDs, I would recommend Phillips over Alva as I was quite disappointed with the Alva offering.

I bought candle lights from them and this is the light that I got from them:

Comparison of the Alva 4W LED to 40W Incandescent Bulb

The light that the Alva bulbs were casting was quite disappointing – even for use as spotlights (which I did not intend to use them as) – they look quite dirty.

In Conclusion

For me, I have decided to replace all the incandescent lights in my house with CFLs at the moment. There are some fixtures which the CFL form factors do not support (especially the small fixtures with the E14 sockets) – which I am going to continue using bulbs on.

LED bulbs – though exciting – don’t offer the kind of light that I am looking for. Plus the super expensive price point puts me off.

What do you guys think? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Further Reading / Links

  1. Different types of sockets. Don’t get the wrong type of bulb for your fixture.
  2. Phillips LED bulbs on Amazon
  3. Cheaper LED Bulbs on Snapdeal
  4. Myths vs Facts on LED and CFL lighting (especially about mercury content in CFL bulbs)

Why owning a second car doesn’t really make much sense …

The title of my post says it all… Before we start, there are some assumptions to this statement.

The assumptions are as follows:

  1. Your are living in a Tier 1 / Tier 2 city in India which has decent Uber / Radio Cab connectivity (Have heard good things about Meru as well See Update 2 below).
  2. You use your car as much as an average person does – say about an hour or so a day.

Let’s pull out our calculators for this one…

Step 1: Determining the cost of ownership of a car in India

  1. Some used or new car (average make): Rs. 5,30,000.00 (A). This, again, depends on what kind of car you are looking for.
  2. Lifetime of a car: 7 years (pretty decent estimate)
  3. Fuel expenses (considering diesel without inflation): Rs. 2,000 per month (on the lower side)

    Cost over 7 years: Rs. 1,68,000.00 (B)
  4. Car Auto Coverage Insurance (considering Rs. 10k avg per year): Rs. 70,000.00 (C)
  5. Car Maintenance / Servicing: (Rs. 10k avg per year): Rs. 70,000.00 (D)
  6. Change of tyres (twice in 7 years @ Rs. 3,500 per tyre): Rs. 28,000.00 (E)

Let’s add all this up: Rs. 8,66,000.00 (T = A+B+C+D+E)

Cost of owning this car / day over 7 years: T / (365 x 7) = Rs. 338.94 per day.

Please note that these are fairly conservative estimates. The cost here will be somewhat higher due to:

  1. Rise in the cost of fuel over the years.
  2. Not considering the amount you may need to pay for parking in your society (going rate in Pune is 1.5L – 2.5L per spot)
  3. Not considering the loan that you probably need to take to buy a car @ 15% pa. (you will end up paying an additional 2L interest over a 7 year loan period).
  4. You may not want to get an average car but a more expensive one. (Add the difference in costs accordingly.)

(Adding these expenses will take up the cost of your car to about: 8.66L + 1.5L parking + 42K fuel inflation @ Rs. 500 extra pm + 2L for loan = Rs. 12.58L or Rs. 492 per day over 7 years)

What this means is that everyday your car is sitting in your garage, you are wasting Rs. 340.00 – Rs. 492.00 per day.

I am going to consider the case in which you need a second car for your spouse to go to work.

(My office is around 8 km from home and hence my fuel costs are Rs. 2k per month approximately. If it were further, fuel costs would go up accordingly)

Also, most folks I know – use their second car even more sparingly than this particular use case.

Step 2: Let us consider the alternative: Uber / Ola Cabs / Meru / Other Radio Cab Services (See Update 2)



This is what I would pay one way to travel from my house to work.

Uber - Pune 2014-10-08 00-02-17


So: Rs. 120 one way. Rs. 240 both ways per day.

Assuming that I don’t need to use my car to travel on the weekends (Sat, Sun) my expense turns out to be:

  1. Per week: Rs. 240 x 5 = Rs. 1,200.00 (W)
  2. Over 7 years: W x 52 weeks x 7 = Rs. 4,36,800.00
  3. Cost of travel per day (over these 7 years): Rs. 170 per day

    i.e. I will be saving 340 – 170 = Rs. 170 per day just by not buying a car and using Uber instead.

In addition to this, the benefits of Uber / Similar services (over driving your own car are):

  1. You don’t have to drive a car.
  2. You get a nice, air conditioned, chauffeur driven mini-sedan (UberX has Sedans).
  3. No worries of filling up fuel, getting your car insured every year, PUC, serviced and maintenance.
  4. No more driving around for hours – looking for parking.
  5. No worries about someone hitting / denting / scratching your car while driving / parking.
  6. You can use your travel time to catch up on that extra level of Candy Crush instead of cursing those taxi and rickshaw drivers.
  7. With a little pre-planning, you can use your other single car between yourself and your spouse in most occasions. Saving on money and the environment by carpooling.
  8. The extremely satisfying feeling that you get when you press a virtual button on your phone and a car magically appears in front of your door cannot be beat. The magic of technology!
  9. Let someone else worry about getting you through that rush hour traffic – while you sit comfortably behind playing Candy Crush.
  10. Did I mention you don’t have to drive a car anymore?

Isn’t this all worth it? Not only do you save 170 bucks a day (Rs. 62,000.00 per year), you pay only when you travel. So if your travel needs are more infrequent – say for example, you need a second car only 2 – 3 days a week, your costs will come down even further – to about 80 – 100 bucks a day (or 60-70% cheaper than owning a car).

Step 3: So what is the hold up?

Sigh… There always is a catch isn’t it?

In this case, there are a couple of them:

  1. Uber isn’t as widely available as I would like it to be – and this will still be in only Tier 1 / 2 cities for sometime.

    Most of the times, it takes me between 10-15 mins on an average to get a cab (after pressing a button on my phone).

    Depending on your address in Pune, it could take you longer (20-25m). So a little pre-planning is required. However for the popular areas (camp / Viman Nagar / Kalyani Nagar / Koregaon Park / Aundh / Station / Airport / etc. – cabs arrive in between 5 – 8 mins which is not bad at all).
  2. You would be dependent on public transport / rickshaws – incase Uber cars are not available tomorrow.

    So you cannot depend on them a 100% yet – but with a little pre-planning, you can get around it.

In the end, I believe it is a lifestyle choice – something that we are very interested in trying. The economies make sense and the convenience makes so much more sense. If only the service grows and has enough drivers – then we’ll be talking.

Step 4: Get your first ride free – on me – worth upto Rs. 300.00

Just because you have read this post so far, your first Uber ride is on me. The coupon for the Rs. 300 off is: ubersaurabhj

Download the App on your phone (search Uber on the App Store, Google Play Store or Windows Phone Store), sign up (most debit cards and all credit cards work), hit Menu > Promotion and enter this coupon.

Update 01 – 08-Oct-2014

Gaurav pointed me to two interesting resources related to my blog post:

  1. An interesting discussion on hacker news.
  2. A blog written by Sam Altman (in SF) with an excel sheet having the same thoughts as me.

Update 02 – 08-Oct-2014

I have added Meru as a viable option in my posts assuming their rates are at par with Uber. But I was quite surprised to see them substantially expensive. In Pune for example, their minimum base fare is 200 bucks compared to UberX’s 90 bucks. Also their price per km is 20 vs UberX’s 12. That won’t hold up to my earlier calculations.

Disclaimer:

This post may seem that it has been sponsored by Uber – but that isn’t the case. The level of service and convenience that these guys offer is giving us the first glimpses of “Transport as a service” – which we haven’t seen so far. A service which allows you to summon a ride at the push of a button gives you the ability to dream about getting rid of that vehicle you rarely use anyways and use your hard earned money smarter.


We are actually very serious about selling our second car and converting to Uber – so if you see any flaw in my plans / calculations, please leave me a comment so that I can rethink! Thanks 🙂

How to get the Kindle Lending Library to work in India

I have a Kindle and an Amazon Prime account – which lets me access their Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.
However, I could never see this – and I have spent quite sometime trying to figure this out and thought I’d share the info here so it can save you sometime.
What is the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library you ask?
Amazon basically opens up more than 400,000 books for you to borrow for free from its library – once a month.
So 12 books in a year. You can return the book after reading to borrow another one in a calendar month.
Currently, the quality of books is a little lacking with most publishers staying out of this – so you are not missing much if you don’t have a Prime account.
However, if you do have a prime account and cannot see the Lending Library on your device, read on.
Note:
To be able to access the library and borrow books, you need to be on a Kindle device.
Apps on phones will not work. A loop-hole by which you can see the library on your browser is listed here. However, to actually borrow the book, you will need your Kindle device.
Step 01 (if you are on your browser):

  1. Go to this link.
  2. Make sure your country is set to the United States.
  3. Go to Step 02.

Step 01 (if you are on your kindle):
I have a Kindle Paper Keyboard – but this should work on other models as well.

  1. From Kindle Home, go to Menu > Shop in Kindle Store
  2. Once in the Store View, go to Menu > Store Settings
  3. You will find an option to change your country to United States.

Step 02 – You need your device for this

  1. From Kindle Home > Go to Menu > Settings
  2. Once in Settings > Go to Menu > Restart Kindle
  3. Wait for the Kindle to Restart

Once the Kindle restarts, the library will be accessible to you.
To Access the Library from your device:

  1. Go to Menu > Shop in Kindle Store
  2. On the top of this page, you will see a link for “All Categories”
  3. Hover over that and click it.
  4. At the bottom, you will notice a link for “Kindle Owner’s Lending Library”
  5. From this page – or any generic search that you perform, if the result has a PRIME logo next to it, that book will be available for borrowing.
  6. Just click on the link and select the second button which says: “Borrow from Lending Library”
  7. You are good to go!

Other links:
Amazon’s help page explaining how to borrow and return books.

Take a Logo Quiz with your Friends

Though this post could be considered to be a shameless plug, truth be told, it is not. 🙂

If you own an android or apple smart phone, you would have definitely played one or another flavour of a Logo Quiz game. You know those games in which you see one logo after another of various brands – altered in some manner, and you have to guess which brand that is?

Games like these are perfect for battling it out with your friends – short, quick, 30 second bursts to see who amongst you is the most observant when it comes down to brands around you.

And that’s what we have been working on for the past month.

Presenting: Logo Quiz Friends which is now ready for prime time.

Logo Quiz Friends


Would love for you to download the app and try it out and let me know how you like it.

The iOS version can be found here: http://bit.ly/logoquizapp

And the android version here:

http://bit.ly/LogoQuizGame

Challenge me: My username is: saurabhj84

The iPhone vs Windows Phone 8 vs Android Phones

Disclaimer:

I work for a company which primarily makes iOS apps and games – and as such I own and use an iPhone 4S and an iPad 2.

I have owned, used and loved a Windows Phone 7.5 (Samsung Omnia) for some months before I switched to a company issued iPhone 4S.

Note 2:

This is not going to be a technical comparison / flame war kind of a post. The intention of this post is to highlight the ideologies of the three mobile platforms – and how I “feel” the future will shape up. So if you are here looking to see tech and feature specs, you will be disappointed. However, this post may still help you to buy a handset that would suit your personality.

Okay, now with that out of the way, lets get started.

If you would allow me a bit of a leeway and let me compare these three platforms to children, then the behaviour of these kids and their quirks are heavily influenced by their parents – viz. Apple, Microsoft, Android/Google.

If you read about these company and their founders, you will soon realise that the company policies and mission statements are in turn, heavily influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of the people who founded them: viz. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Larry-Sergey respectively.

Hence, eventually, the way these platforms are designed – are in some ways, influenced by the beliefs and principles of the founders of those companies. And if you think about it, it becomes very apparent.

Lets take a look at each of these platforms individually now …

1. The Apple iPhone

To me, the Apple philosophy can be broken down into two statements:

  1. We are artists and we build works of art.

    This is a no-brainer really – with the amount of time and resources spent on making products beautiful – you definitely cannot contest this point.
  2. The common person on the street is dumb does not know what he/she wants and we know better.

    Many things in the iPhone – viz. not able to change batteries, using special screws so that people cannot open their phones, having draconian control over what people install on their devices (via the appstore), etc. all are evidence supporting this thought process.

Interestingly, both these statements are made (in some capacity) by Steve Jobs at one or the other time in his life (according to his autobiography). And if you look at the iPhone, it holds true to both these principles.

  1. It is a beautifully designed electronic device.
  2. It simply works! (except when it doesn’t)
  3. If there is a limitation to feature, etc. – you have to live with it unless you jailbreak your device.
  4. Specs, etc. are never disclosed (because most people don’t / wouldn’t care)
  5. It is a premium product – hence super expensive to own.

So if you are a kind of person who truly appreciates beautifully crafted products and are willing to pay a substantial premium over it, don’t really care about the technicalities as long as the thing works, and importantly have the money to own an iPhone, then the iPhone is for you. Smartphones break when people don’t take good care of them, if you need to repair your smartphone contact iphone repair from I Fix Phones. However, this also puts you in the lot with those people who just have a lot of money and want to buy the most expensive phone on the market without caring about anything else. (I’m sure you know the types!)

It is NOT a power user phone. (hence the very bloody feud between iPhone and Android users).

And like I mentioned, if something doesn’t work – you just have to live with it till Apple fixes it in the next version.

But hey! You get to flaunt an iPhone!

Why is the iPhone so popular?

Statistically speaking, it isn’t. However, the iPhone was one of the first platforms which offered developers a semblance of a decent development environment to develop apps in (even though I feel it is dated by today’s standards). Hence the rich marketplace for iPhone apps today.

They made it easier to build and publish apps on their platform and invested in the entire app store verification process which substantially improved the quality of the apps available. Mind you, this is at a time when we had the horror of developing Symbian apps. There was ofcourse Java also – but J2ME app development was equally painful and distribution was zilch.

In the end, the tone of the following video very clearly defines what the iPhone is all about.

2. The Windows Phone

The Windows Phone 7x OS is the newest operating system on the block, and considered to be the most reliable by up time metrics – compared to both the iOS and Android.

Windows has been a mobile player since a very long time, but frankly, all their previous attempts sucked. They were smart to realise that continuing with the Windows 6x legacy platform would get them nowhere and they went almost back to the drawing board to give us Windows Phone 7 & 8 OS.

They have taken quite a radical approach and have gone tangential to what both the iOS and Android are attempting with their Metro based UI. Whether this will work for them, only time will tell – but its a brave new approach.

 

If you look at most Microsoft software objectively, you will find that:

  1. Though bloated, most of them are intuitive and fairly easy to use.
  2. Microsoft draws a fine line between being the big brother (Apple) and opening up completely (Android).
  3. They might not make the most beautiful software / hardware – or the most advanced of devices, but most of the times, you can get your stuff done using their products.
  4. They are extremely developer friendly and go out of their way to make it easier for devs to develop on their platform.

    (Win Phone 8 supports apps made using HTML5 + JS natively compared to Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android).

Having said all this, their UI does take sometime to get used to (it took me a whole day) – but once you understand how it works, it is super productive and for me, I felt like someone designed a phone just for me! Your mileage may vary though …

If you are the type of person who likes the platform & apps to be flexible to her own needs (instead of the other way around) – without going to the other extreme of being completely open and transparent (you don’t care about that) – then you’ll love a Windows Phone.

This ad, I feel, captures the essence of A Windows phone perfectly and in the time that I used the phone, I found the ad to be 100% true.

3. Android Phones

Finally, we come to the most popular platform of them all (currently). Understanding the Android platform requires an understanding of Google’s philosophy (even though Android was bought and not created at Google). Don’t be evil.

If you take a look at Google’s history, they have always been staunch supporters of the “open” philosophy and having as few restrictions as possible in everything (to put it abstractly). This clearly reflects in the Android platform.

What are some of the quirks of the Android platform you ask?

  1. The operating system is given for free with the code to all manufacturers who want it.
  2. Google has no restriction on the specifications of the device or the screen size of the device. Hence, Android phones are available on the cheap end as well as the most expensive end of the spectrum.
  3. Manufacturers can modify the code anyway they feel fit.
  4. The primary store for Android Apps – Google Play – does not do any verification on the app submissions (as far as I know).

As there are very few restrictions on developing apps, developers have the maximum freedom in developing for this platform. They can write apps which can do cool system level stuff which other platforms restrict.

However, this comes with a price:

  1. As every manufacturer can do whatever they please, the Android experience is not consistent between handsets. A Sony handset may look completely different compared to a Samsung one.
  2. As there is no verification and checking, the App Store has tonnes of crappy apps and apps that you’d better avoid.

    Google displays all permissions that the app requires clearly to the user (which Apple doesn’t) – but then users need to understand the technical jargon which comes with it. Caveat Emptor.
  3. As manufacturers modify the operating system, updates to the Android operating system does not percolate to all devices as soon as Google releases it. Every manufacturer needs to update their own revision. Some models from small manufacturers might not even get updates.
  4. There is substantial more piracy on the Android platform as well – as it is trivial to copy apps from one device to another. Hence, the entire app eco-system suffers and many companies develop and release quality apps on the platform only after having first built it on iOS.

To cut a long story short, you are an Android person if you like to tinker with stuff, strongly support value-for-money products, understand technology better than most and can live with slower updates and a not-so-standard experience between handsets.

How the future might shape up?

I feel the war based on design and hardware is over. All platforms will come with all types of hardware – so the decision when you buy a phone will no longer be based on just the hardware. I feel it will depend on the price to value ratio greatly and the app eco system.

Of the three, Windows has the best tools to write apps in. If they take good care of their app eco-system and deliver a good app store experience (their appstore sucks big time at the moment) – they can eat into iPhone and Android’s share a bit.

Android will continue to do brisk business as their phones support a spectrum of price ranges – and will continue to stay on #1.

With Apple becoming the giant that they are now (ironically, they have turned into the IBM that they were fighting in  the ’80s) with innovation on the slower end, their market share is bound to dwindle. Especially after ios6pocalypse and the Samsung lawsuit, americans are beginning to figure out that Samsung and Apple are one and the same – so why pay more for Apple?

With Windows being new and still unfinished, expect tonnes of updates and innovation at their end. They are the underdogs now – so this will make for a very interesting battle. None of the Win8 phones have announced their prices as yet – but as long as the premium ones are priced around the Samsung S3 (35K) and NOT the iPhone 5 (45K), they should be good.

The money is no longer in the device. It’s in the apps. As long as the companies realise this and mine this properly, they could probably sell handsets on a subsidy. On this point, Apple already does a great job. It has a bustling app eco system and also your credit card.

I feel it is too late for Google to start doing this even if they want to (which I don’t think they do). Microsoft being the new kids on the block need to balance this well – avoid crappy apps without being too restrictive on the app store.

The battles are heating up – so we are in extremely interesting times. The tablet wars are going to be even more interesting.

The #1 spot is pretty much sealed at the moment – I think it is game on for spot #2.

So what phone are you and why?

How to install Windows 8 or Windows 7 drivers for Boot Camp 4 on Mac OS X Lion

UPDATE: Though this post was written for Windows 7, I recently installed Windows 8 on my Macbook Air using the same steps and it worked effortlessly.

This post concerns a very small niche – people who have Mac machines (Mac Air) in my case and would like to install Windows 7 on it.
I was able to do this successfully using the boot camp assistant – but got stuck up majorly while trying to install the Windows 7 support drivers for Display, sound, wireless etc.
After a lot of digging, I finally found it – so wanted to share it here – so that others searching could benefit from it.
As far as installing Windows 7 goes, it is fairly easy and has been covered at many places.
for eg:
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/boot_camp_install-setup_10.6.pdf
and
http://www.simplehelp.net/2009/01/15/using-boot-camp-to-install-windows-7-on-your-mac-the-complete-walkthrough/

However, what has happened with Boot Camp 4 (found on Lion) is that the drivers for Windows 7 have to be downloaded and it takes forever to do it.
Most of the times the download gets stuck or fails – and you need to start all over again. (It is an extremely frustrating experience this).
The download is actually a 700 Meg file – which is why it takes so much time.
The direct link is not available anywhere and you need to use the Boot Camp wizard only to do so.
Until now …

How to download Boot Camp 4 Windows 7 drivers without using Boot Camp Assistant

  1. Head over to:
    http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-lion.merged-1.sucatalog
  2. You will see an XML file with a lot of stuff that you do not understand. Ignore this.
  3. Using the Search functionality on your browser (CMD + F or CTRL + F), search for this: BootCampESD.pkg
  4. You may get more than one entry – when I searched, I got 2 entries.
  5. I got the following 2 entries on searching:
    <string>http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/54/00/041-0694/sq2RLp7XVNQzRG8qdpsq9sj4pHsgXkgPYg/BootCampESD.pkg</string>
    and
    http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/54/25/041-0707/2VPHmdxTTJW2yYdy3qHCChmQPH5dn74pbR/BootCampESD.pkg
  6. What you need to do is to copy paste the URL between the tags and download that pkg file.
    I downloaded the latter one because it seemed to me to be more recent.Notice the (041-0707):

    http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/54/25/041-0707/2VPHmdxTTJW2yYdy3qHCChmQPH5dn74pbR/BootCampESD.pkg
  7. Ok. So download it – its about 700 Megs and if you are in India (like me) – it will take about 20 – 30 mins for it to complete.
  8. Double click on the pkg file and it will install (basically unzip) files at a place of your choosing.
  9. Once this has been done,  you need to go to that folder using Finder and go into: Library\Application Support\BootCamp
    and then double click on the: WindowsSupport.dmg file.
  10. This will the mount a virtual drive on your system.
    Open Finder and click on: Boot Camp under the DEVICES section.
  11. Copy paste all the files on a USB pen drive.
  12. Reboot into Windows 7 (if you have already installed it)
  13. Double click on Setup.exe
  14. Wait for a couple of minutes – and you’re done!

Hopefully this helps someone else save time.
Let me know in the comments below if this helped you!
PS: Credit to this workaround goes to this post:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3257424?start=0&tstart=0
Which I was able to come across after days of searching.
Update:
Thanks to Chris in the comments below, the latest package (as of 23-July-2012) is available at:
http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/55/51/041-3891/se4uhpqng48t842cdsosqh28lft54fmswl/BootCampESD.pkg

How to disable 3G on your Samsung Omnia W

This is another tip which I dug around for hours to get.
Posting it here so that it saves some people time.
So in my Samsung Omnia W Windows phone, it defaults to 3G out of the box and there is no visible setting to change it.
If you like me, don’t really want to switch to 3G and would rather prolong the life of your battery, here is what you need to do:

  1. Go into the phone dial mode.
  2. Type: ##3282#
  3. If the screen does not change to “field test”, tap the dial button.
  4. On the next screen which opens up, pop up the settings options from the bottom of the screen via the … button.
  5. Tap settings
  6. In the Network type, select 2G only
  7. Hit the back arrow and go to your home screen.
  8. Your phone will now work on the 2G network and consume lesser battery.

Hope this helps someone.

Importing Contacts to a Windows 7 Phone from your Nokia phone

I recently bought a Windows 7.5 phone which is pretty cool – but this being a Samsung Omnia W and my previous phone being a Nokia E72, I had a tough time importing contacts from one phone to another.
If both phones were Nokia (like the Lumia), Nokia has a very easy app which does this over bluetooth (I think) – but no luck here.
So this is what I ended up doing finally, which worked.
Putting it up so that it could save you some time mucking around with stuff.
You will need:

  1. Your old phone Nokia (Series 60)
  2. A Gmail account
  3. Internet access on your new Windows 7 phone
  4. A Windows computer

Step 1: Export all your Nokia contacts to .vcf files.
Your mileage may vary – but what I did was as follows.

  1. Go to your Contacts screen.
  2. Click on Options > Mark All
  3. Click on Options > Create Backup > Phone to memory card

Wait for a few seconds depending on how many contacts you have.
This will copy all your contacts to your memory card on your Nokia device.
For me, the contacts ended up being in:
Memory Card > Others > Contacts
Plug in your SD card to your computer (or plug in your phone) and copy this contacts folder to a location on your computer. (say C:\Contacts)
Then, concatenate all the .vcf files into one file using the following method:

  1. On your windows machine, click on Start > Run > cmd
  2. Browse to the Contacts folder
  3. Type: copy *.vcf all.vcf

This will put all your vcf files into one.
Step 2: Import your contacts to GMail

  1. Login to your GMail account (or create a new one if you don’t want to mess up your existing one)
  2. Go to the Contacts screen by clicking on the big MAIL text on the left hand side of the screen and selecting Contacts.
  3. On the screen that opens up, click on the More button > Import
  4. Select the all.vcf file and import.
    All your files should now be imported into GMail.
  5. Once this is done, click on the More button > Find & Merge Duplicates
    to let GMail quickly merge any duplicate accounts that you may have.

Step 3: Add this GMail account to your People App to sync all your contacts on your phone

  1. On your phone, click on the People tile.
  2. Pull up the settings from the bottom.
  3. Click on “add an account”
  4. Select Google
  5. Type in your credential
  6. Tap on “Sign in”
  7. Magically watch your contacts migrating into the Windows phone

Make sure that from the Settings section in the People tile (step 3.2 above), you have the Google account selected when you click on  the “Filter my contact list” button service to find contacts.
Thats all there is to it! Hope this is helpful to you!