As The Crow Flies

As The Crow Flies Book CoverCharlie Trumper, a young boy from East End of London, inherits his grandfather’s barrow and then there is no stopping for him. He ended up setting a retail empire and served as a second Chairman and Life President of the Trumper empire. The story takes the reader through Charlie’s childhood memories, the two world wars and the emergence of vibrant and colorful 60′s and 70′s. All this and the enmity with the Trentham family almost caused Charlie his empire.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and lived the entire 75 years with Charlie, such is the writing of Jeffrey Archer. This book also gave a glimpse of life in britain during this 75 year period starting from 1900, especially the increasing prices. This will be quite evident when the reader reads what Charlie and his grandfather used to shout while selling fruits and vegetables and what Charlie was shouting at the age of 75. What? Shouting to sell fruits and vegetables …… and Lord Sir Charlie Trumper of Whitechappel ……… Read on this book dear reader to find out this and a lot of other suspense revealing themselves.

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Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing Book CoverWeb London is the only survivor of the Charlie group of FBIs Hostage Rescue Team which was all wiped out in a drug raid. The story revolves around what happens in Web’s life after that incident. Determined to find the culprit, Web was struggling with personal psychological problems and also suspicions from his own FBI, he decided to take professional help from a psychiatrist. In the process lot of interesting events unfolded including Web’s previous visits to another psychiatrist and his undergoing hypnosis.

The climax was somewhat unexpected and the actual culprit came as a surprise to me. However, I feel that it may have been presented in a better way to gain some interest from the user. Lots of different scenarios keep on switching very fast and often the traction from the main plot was lost sometime. Some of the characters perhaps were not necessary as I was not able to understand the role they played and significant number of pages were wasted on them.

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Bankerupt Book CoverThis book the author has focused on gun crimes in the USA along with the usual banking theme. Two plots simultaneously runs and then they merge with each other towards the end. The author has also mentioned the problem of stashing black money in swiss banks by Indians and the role Indian investment bankers played in that.

Overall a good read, but not the very best by the author.

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Nokia X – A Review

Few days back I purchased a Nokia X (Black) from flipkart using the mobile application and it cost me Rs 6877/-, which was a very good price available especially looking at the fact that the Nokia Store itself is selling for approx Rs 7500.

About the Phone – Nokia X

The Nokia X is a dual SIM phone with 3G services available on SIM 1 and 2G on SIM 2. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor running at 1.2 GHz and 512 MB RAM. The internal storage on the phone is 4Gb and there is a micro SD card expansion slot available which can take upto 32Gb micro SD card.

I found the performance of the phone very good as compared to some of the cheap Chinese quad core / 1Gb phone out there in the market.

The phone display is 10.16 cms and the main camera is 3.2 mega pixels with a resolution of 2048×1536. If you are not using video calls then the secondary camera on front may not be missed by you. I don’t miss it. The primary camera photos/videos are very good quality for a normal person. Specially the shutter speed is pretty fast. The 3.2 mega pixel Nokia quality is very good.

The phone has a plastic body and a solid Nokia build. Its feels quite light and is very handy.

I have been using this phone from few days now, and I must say that I like it very much.

The User Interface

Nokia X uses windows tiling interface. You can resize and move tiles around to have a customized look and feel of the phone. Personally I find the user interface quite refreshing change from the standard android UIs which appear almost same in every other android phone.

Multitasking and Fastlane

Fastlane is a screen with quick access to most recently used apps, photos, notifications, calls etc. It appeared first in the Symbian based Asha series. To see this screen you can swipe right or left. In order to edit what appears there, long press any application and edit it or click on the settings icon to customize Fastlane. What gets recorded in Fastlane, is configurable. There is a difference in speed when you launch a recently used application. This clearly indicate that multiple applications are running simultaneously and Fastlane can be used to switch between them.

The Applications

Nokia X runs the Nokia X platform, which is based on the Open Source version of Android. In a nutshell, this is Nokia’s own android and does not have any support for Google Play Store. However, there are a lot of applications available on Nokia Store. For any application which is not available on Nokia Store, several third party stores can be installed (by enabling the third party stores in the security settings). I have used 1Mobile Market for installing some of the applications (like Yahoo Mail, Flipboard, 2048, Flickr, What’s App etc) which were not available on Nokia Store. But the application on Nokia store are growing fast.

I downloaded the Gmail / Youtube etc applications from 1Mobile Market, but it did not launch displaying that the Google Play services on which it is dependent are not installed

There are instructions on internet on installing the Google Plays by rooting the device, so if you are keen on going google way, you can take this step forward.

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RPi – Static IP Address on Wifi

There is a GUI tool in the desktop called “wpa_gui” which can be used to connect to the wireless network provided you have a supported wireless card attached to the RPi. However, if I want to run a headless RPi I would need a static IP address. Unfortunately “wpa_gui” does not provide me a means of configuring static IP address on the “wan0″ interface and my ADSL router does not support associating a static IP address with a MAC Address. This means I have to use static IP address configured on my wireless interface on the RPi and have to do it the old fashioned way (read I am loving it).

Open up the “/etc/network/interfaces” file and make the following entries. The commented lines are the one’s which were added by the “wpa_gui” and we don’t need them. If you have little Debian experience, you will find these lines self explanatory:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

#auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address eth0

auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet static
wpa-ssid "My SSID"
wpa-passphrase "My Passphrase"

I have added a static IP address configuration line for the eth0 interface also, so that in case someday I connect my RPi to physical connection I will just bring my eth0 interface up and have an IP address. The reason I have commented the “auto eth0″ line is because in case a physical interface is up, the default route of the system is always through the physical interface i.e eth0 in this case. So, if my WiFi is up, I want my packets to go in/out through WiFi by default and not through “eth0″ (by the way it does not matter if you have connected the cable physically or not, if the physical interface is up, it is the default route out). Of-course we can prevent that, but it is going to be a little bit complicated, so we are going to just comment out auto line to make sure that the “eth0″ does not come up. It is also possible to have both “eth0″ and “wlan0″ run simultaneously, but again it is a bit complicated for this post and I do not need that anyway.

Now you can restart the networking or reboot the RPi and your WiFi should come up with the static IP address.

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