Orson colour television and National VCR

(Flashback dated: 22/July/1988)

For 1982 Delhi Asian Games my father purchased an imported SONY colour televsion for our house, I was less than 10 at that time and I vaguely remember it from the descriptions from my elder sisters. But I remember well  when we changed that TV to a new (SONY) ORSON 20″ Inches Television in 1988. Today while going through old warranty cards I found the purchase bill and manual of that TV (given below). Look at the price it was Rs.12042.

ORSON-TV-1988-B

ORSON-TV-1988-A

After few years from that we had purchased a National VHS VCR (NV-G10EN), I was surprised to see its printed manual to be in Hindi language even in those days. Only in the last decade in Software I have seen developers talking about I18N and localization.

National-VCR

 

My first mobile connection in 1997

(Flashback date: 1/April/1997)

Around 1996 Chennai (Madras), India got its first Cellular (GSM) Mobile network setup by RPG Cellular (SkyCell). I signed up for my first cellular (SIM) connection with them (RPG SKycell) in 1997/98 around the time I started my firm (Vishwak Associates). Individual connections were pretty expensive to get with huge deposits, so I signed up with RPG through a corporate account under my client firms’ name (Focus Infotech). The instrument I purchased was the iconic Motorola phone (non flip). The calling rates in those days were exorbitant, at Rs.18 per minute it was for super rich, so I tried every thing to finish my calls in the first 10 seconds :-)

Today while going through old warranty cards I came across the customer kit I got from RPG around June 1998. Look at the tariff  below and the limited coverage of cellular towers in Chennai, from those days mobile phones in India have come a long way.

RPG-SkyCell-Mobile-Brochure-2

RPG-SkyCell-Mobile-Brochure-4

Comfy headset for my Desktop PC

My usage at work of a headset is to listen to music, see TED videos, Microsoft/Apple keynotes without disturbing meetings in next room.  And also to do Skype calls so that microphone quality is important.   For a year or two now I was using a Microsoft Lifechat LX 3000 which comes with a USB connector, this headset was good especially the microphone. My only complaint with it was that I couldn’t wear it for more than 20-30 minutes, after which my earlobes start to pain and the noise cancelling gave me a vacuum like feeling in the ear. I was shopping for a good quality headset especially one which has better frequency range and fidelity.

On a friends recommendation I bought Sony MDR-10RBT Bluetooth headphone. I was hesitant initially to buy it as it was wireless so and it was expensive, around Rs.12,000 (USD 200) in India. I tend to prefer Wired Keyboard/Mouse/Headsets over wireless, as I feel wireless tends to be slower and spotty due to interferences.  The headphone has a 3.5mm headphone port which means I can connect a cable to my PC and listen music if Bluetooth has a problem. The headphone charges using standard MicroUSB port (which means I can reuse my Nokia Lumia 925 charger).  Reading the online reviews for this headphone I got convinced and went for it from Flipkart for Rs.11720.

sony-mdr-10rbt

I had to use this in my Desktop PC which didn’t have Bluetooth inbuilt. So I purchased a small  Bluetooth 3.0 USB adapter by Kinivo (BTD 300) from Amazon India for Rs.760 (USD 12).

kinivo-bluetooth

The headset & Bluetooth adapter worked OOB flawlessly and I am pleased. The headphone paired with my Nokia Lumia 925 phone as well effortlessly as both supports NFC. The headset is comfortable on my earlobes (its not perfect but the best I have used), it is not noise-cancelling which makes it pleasing for me. Sony ships a small cloth cover to store the headphone when not in use, quite handy. The Bluetooth adapter when connected it blinks in blue colour indicating successful setup and pairing. In Windows 8 the headphone automatically configures as default communications device & default device as appropriate under Playback & Recording devices.

bluetooth-windows8-sony-mdr10rbt

Few tips that I learned while I was getting this working with my PC:

  • Before I got the Kinivo Bluetooth adapter I tried with an old unbranded adapter, the audio was choppy and the device detection was sporadic in Windows 8. With Kinivo adapter I had no trouble. If you are using the headphone with a laptop or a smartphone with built-in Bluetooth you have nothing to worry
  • In Windows 8 ensure you have the 3 Bluetooth services set to “Automatic” start-up in Windows Services applet
  • If you have a Wireless Keyboard or Mouse like Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000 that I have, they come with their own Bluetooth USB dongle. Ensure you plug this USB dongle and your Kinivo Bluetooth adapter to USB ports in your PC that are far apart, I used a USB hub for one of them to ensure there are no interference