Friday, December 7, 2012

Cheque Truncation System rollout by Jan 2013 for faster chequeprocessing and better safety of transactions

In order to streamline cheque clearance and processing, RBI has stipulated that banks must now make use of Cheque Truncation System or CTS from the new year. This has also been necessiated to ensure better security and scanning for safer transactions.








The main difference between CTS and non-CTS cheque books would be the words CTS-2010 mentioned vertically on the top left part of the cheque and a grey patch below the account number space on the cheque towards the left bottom. An illustration of such a cheque from Citibank and ING Vysya Bank are as shown below.






These cheques are already into circulation and some of you might already be having the same if you have ordered a cheque book recently. However for those who do not have this yet, your old cheque books and leaves would be considered void and unusable after this month end. To avoid your cheques being dishonored, you can get a CTS compliant cheque book from your bank as soon as you can to start making use of the new system that is rolling out from the next year.





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Friday, November 2, 2012

The iPhone 5 launches tomorrow in Bengaluru !





 

 

Apple is finally launching the iPhone 5 tomorrow in India. A mail from the imagine store specifies that they would launch the iPhone 5 tomorrow. What is already a well known fact is that the iPhone 5 replaces the earlier iPhone 4S with the pricing remaining intact at about 44,500 for the 16GB version, 52,500 for the 32GB and a whopping 59,000+ for the 64GB version.

 

At the price of the 64GB version Indians could do a lot of better things like paying 6 months of rent for a house, or buying a bike, or even buying an iMac. For the more culinary oriented guys, this money can buy you 300 costa cafe mochas, or about 600 MacD burgers.

 

While the iPhone 5 definitely has a lot going for its design and functionalities with the iOS6, it still does not justify the price being double of what other smartphones that provide same or similar features. S3, or the HTC 1x for instance.

 

Where Apple shines as compared to the others is in honoring its device warranty with mostly a replacement for devices like the iPhone or the iPad or with a definitive repair for the iMac. But these goodies too come with a cost of roughly 10%-20% of the product price in terms of a yearly Apple care cost. While this is still justified for the iMac or the Macbook Pro, it most certainly looks to be an overkill for a device such as an iPad or a phone.

 

With the leading phones by HTC, Samsung and Google at roughly half the cost, Apple's iPhone 5 pricing seems to bring down the sheen in a highly competitive market. Add to that propreitary accessories, plus inaccessibility to the file system and not much real functionality available and the recipe isn't even worth what you are paying for. Add to that a sloppy maps and siri functionality for India, and you would be having a dead on arrival product as compared to other phones which are live and fresh at the moment.

 

Google and Samsung are right on top of the game giving Apple a tough time in terms of pricing. While Apple still would make most of its revenues in America, Europe, and UK alone, there is a fierce couter attack on the Asian side from the Korean giants Samsung and LG. LG's upcoming nexus 4 will be butter smooth, has had a great review on major websites, plus at half the cost and much better google integration is more than ready to trounce the iPhone hands down.

 

The latest release of Google's voice search for Apple devices only goes to prove how important Indian english as an accent is for India specific devices. The accuracy of Google's software is simply mindblowing and more realistic than the dreamy Siri software which is more based on retrospecting on the questions asked to it. Needless to say the gaffe on the siri and maps precision has led to Apple asking its executives handling these to depart which has also led to its share price erosion to some extent and also brings to the forefront the possible bitter politics that can rear its ugly head sooner or later.

 

There is also no conclusion on whether the carriers would be launching nano-sims across the country once the device is rolled out. Most likely they will but they remain until this day tightlipped about this possibility even many of us already know too much about the iPhone. The iOS6 itself is losing some of its sheen after the jelly bean 4.2 update as the iOS6 has no great additions than what used to already be there.

 

So given the upsides and downsides of the iPhone 5 launch, would you go ahead and buy one of these? I would love to hear from you on this! Go ahead pour your comments!

 

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Altomail review

AOL launched a web based mail client called Alto recently. Currently to login to alto you can use your existing GMail(google), iCloud(apple), AOL(america on line) or yahoo mail ids. Further to sign-in you need an invitation from Alto, which you need to request on their webpage (www.altomail.com). The speciality of altomail seems to be its so called simplicity in organizing and displaying information to users once it retrieves the same from any of the above mail services. Their concept revovles around stacks of mails which are formed from different topics such as shopping deals, or starred(important) emails, or any other topic as chosen by the user.




So you can stack up everything from your best friend or say all promotional emails from a bank for example. You could keep adding all sorts of rules to fill up the stack like for example all mails from india.com or all mails only from support@india.com, etc. You can delete and entire stack as well. Also, you have the option of choosing to create the stack by those mails being skipped out of the inbox itself. As you can see the video explains all this in a simple fashion. There are also delete and forward and reply options per email which are easy to use, but if I were you, I prefer outlook.com's simplicity to the gmail's power over the Altomail look and feel. The point about altomail is that the concept wears off on you after some prolonged use and you begin to wish you saw the emails the good old way where you could choose whatever you dont want and just do something with them such as archive them or delete them as usual.

 

Moreover at the moment you can use only the four specified email services with perhaps more to come. However the user interface has no options to change the font and the default font is kind of bold and to some extent non space saving and kiddish after a while. The metro UI of microsoft anyday scores over such things hands down. So whether or not Alto is for you is something that you need to use it and decide, but for now, the concept is to try and simplify your inbox which many providers have tried in the past and its nothing new. Alto equals these providers if not surpasses them. Go and check it out by requesting an invite for yourself!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Metro lines to open during third quarter 2013 to mid 2014

The Bangalore Metro (BMRCL) has today stated that the metro services towards West and South Bangalore must see the light of the day by about the third quarter of the next year. While this is an unexpected delay, it will no doubt be a boon when this really opens up to this extent.




(image courtesy: BMRCL)


The most crucial parts of underground metro lines surrounding majestic (city central) area would however not be ready until almost mid of 2014 which is when one can say the two lines are completed and fully usable. On the south stretch, KR Market to Puttenahalli (near Metro Store on Kanakapura road) and on the west stretch Swastik to Hesaraghatta (which is more of a straightforward line) would be a substantial distance of coverage for some real time commutes for the people residing there when it opens up for public.


Particularly its bad luck for the people around Vijayanagar as they have to wait atleast another two years before their route sees the light of the day! For now its a long wait of atleast one more year until the said plan takes shape and we see some routes operational. Better late than never!


Also the government has approved a direct line between MG Road and BIAL (airport) which is expected to take people to the airport in 44 minutes from MG road. The only downside of such a decision is the amount of road work, dust and pollution it is expected to create for the next two years along the already screwed up Bellary Road.




New routes of Namma Metro (image courtesy: TOI)


The government has also considered a route between Banashankari Temple and Electronics city along the outer ring road and Hosur Road, and another line between IIMB and Nagawara junction to facilitate people from the south to reach the north easily. These are just on paper as of now and hopefully must be part of atleast a 2020 vision for Bangalore. This is acceptable considering that the busy London Underground Tube Rail took almost a 100 years to reach where it is today! Good luck to you BMRCL and hope you cheer up many more people next year by finishing things on time!


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple to likely introduce the 7-inch iPAD mini to compete againstcurrent bestsellers

In the crowded tablet marketplace, we already have thousands of android tablets like Samsung, Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle HD, Barnes and Noble Nook, Acer Iconia, Asus Padphone, Blackberry which was a failure as such, and a host of Indian ones like Beetel, Micromax, and few others.






(image courtesy: Engadget)





While Steve Jobs always believed that a greater than 9 tablet was the most perfect form suitable for daily use, the myriad 7 tablets already in the marketplace seems to defy that logic and in fact being more suitable to be carried around and used more effectively. Now with Steve gone, Tim Cook and co, seems to be thinking otherwise to increase their tablet market share by entering into the categories of 7-inchers with the iPad mini which is to be announced shortly.



It would be interesting to wait and watch how well Apple does in this segment of overcrowded 7-inchers. With microsoft entering the tablet with its surface offering, its only time that will tell whether the fragmentation is an exact 33% of the big three: Google, MS and Apple, or whether Apple would still dominate this category as well going forward.



Well whatever it is, this proves more and more that only the big and powerful market leaders can actually get some sales going in anything they make be it hardware or software, though some others keep trying in a bid to win over them either in form or in function.



Via: Engadget





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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Indian Railways launches RailRadar web app for tracking trains realtime




As part of its technological advances, the Indian Railways have launched a web application at http://railradar.trainenquiry.com/.



This application uses google maps and tracks trains realtime with blue on time codes and red running late codes on the maps. It now gets very easy for finding whether a train is running late or note and where it is exactly !!



There is no mobile app for the same yet, but it could introduced soon for android, windows and apple iphones if railways can put their mind to it.



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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple will launch the iPhone 5 today at 10:30 PM india time !!






The apple store is also down to reflect the same opinion !!








 



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Friday, August 24, 2012

KHB notifies public auction of corner sites in KHB suryanagar Phase-1on 30th of august, 2012

KHB recently put up an advertisement listing out sites for public auction in the 1st Phase. Basically all the sites are corner sites. This auction will happen at KHB office in Cauvery Bhavan on 30th of august, 2012 in the morning at 11:00.








The following are the conditions of the auction in brief




  1. Sites are on as is where is basis

  2. People participating must inspect the properties upfront

  3. Rs.50000/- is the fee to participate in the auction and this has to be paid upfront as a deposit.

  4. This can be paid by preparing a DD in the name of Commissioner, Karnataka Housing Board, Bangalore or by cash.

  5. Those who dont win the auction, would be refunded on the spot after the auction is over

  6. Tokens would be provided to those in a queue if they arrive before auction time well in advance

  7. Tokens will be issued by 10am

  8. Those who come later than 11 will not be allowed into the auction

  9. Those who win the auction must pay 25% of the bid amount to the nominated banks within the next day banking hours close

  10. This should be accompanies with recent 2 passport size photos and address proof.

  11. Those whose names the tokens are provided on, would be the ones to whom the property would be registered and no one else.

  12. The KHB has the right to cancel this auction at anytime for any reason.



For more information the contact numbers of KHB related to this auction are:



080-2780 4400
99808 69439
94490 47084
080 - 2227 3511



Please note: this is NOT an e-auction, so you have to be physically present there.



Good luck to everyone who is attempting and it would be much appreciated if you can provide the details of the winning bid amounts against the dimensions once the auction is over for the notice of other readers and their benefit!





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Sunday, August 12, 2012

On Indian Railways, Thoothukudi express, Waiting list booking,TatkalThrills, Pulling the chain and a train journey that has no logic whatsover!




I recently made a trip to Kanyakumari. I had an initial set of tickets which had everyone on a waiting list. I was hoping that would clear when I realized that it wouldn’t. I had booked from Bangalore city to Vaanchi Maniyachi junction. According to wikipedia, Vaanchinathan Iyer shot dead the collector of Tirunelveli, a britisher named Ashe on a train that came into this station exactly at 10:38am.

According to wikipedia, Vaanchi shot himself in the toilet after killing Ashe with a letter on him that read as below:


The mlechas of England having captured our country, tread over the sanathana dharma of the Hindus and destroy them. Every Indian is trying to drive out the English and get swarajyam and restore sanathana dharma. Our Raman, Sivaji, Krishnan, Guru Govindan, Arjuna ruled our land protecting all dharmas and in this land they are making arrangements to crown George V, a mlecha, and one who eats the flesh of cows. Three thousand Madrasees have taken a vow to kill George V as soon as he lands in our country. In order to make others know our intention, I who am the least in the company, have done this deed this day. This is what everyone in Hindustan should consider it as his duty.
sd/- R. Vanchi Aiyar, Shencottah.


While my whole Iyer fraternity back home was advising me against getting down at Vanchi Maniyacchi due to lack of connecting trains/buses to Kanyakumari and that they put a scare into my brain that its a non descript village, I was rather euphoric that Iyers too had contributed ousting the British and really wanted to see this place atleast for this historic reason :-) However after speaking with some real close friends from the region, I was strictly advised to get down at Satur, or Kovilpatti and take a connecting bus to Kanyakumari unless I wanted to re-enact the pre-1947 long walks to nowhere in search of freedom (read: to catch a bus from Maniyachi to Kanyakumari).

So practicality prevailed and we decided to get down at Kovilpatti. There still seemed to be one hitch left to solve - that of the waiting list ticket status. So knowing that the Tatkal procedures had been eased out lately, me and KK naturally sat down to work to get ourselves tatkal tickes to ensure that the journey part would be done in peace. Indians are always a bit disorganized when it comes to last minute activities and the Tatkal was no different. Of the six tickets we booked four with valid document numbers but one of them with dummy document numbers since the said persons were traveling with us. Having confirmed tickets now I still did not cancel the waiting list ones for those two people who I had entered dummy document numbers for. After that started a bit of mental hell as to whether they would be allowed by the TTE or asked to get down from the train and this uncertainity lasted a long time until the last minute.

I being a very organized guy, did all that was possible to try to resolve this document number error, and was promptly told by customer service that I would have to forfeit my ticket if the TTE would not agree to the error. I even tried to get in touch with people in railways who could reach the TTE but to no avail. Finally as the night of the journey approached, I learnt that the waiting list ticket that I had also was now RAC. So I now had atleast one legit ticket and decided to take the chance to travel. We arrived early at Bangalore city station to rectify this error but learnt that the TTE would also board only at 9:20 when the train departs from here to tuticorin. When the TTE finally came to our seats, we showed the tickets and six our ID cards in all possible jumbled ways. We also told him two of us did not have our ID cards, but he was okay with that and let us travel in peace.

Act-1, Scene-2: Kovilpatti to Bengaluru, Sunday evening: All our tickets were confirmed onto the S-11 coach and the same train was supposed to halt at Kovilpatti for a minute and nothing more. Heeding the practical advises from the fellow beings of the society, we decided to give Vaanchi a miss even for history’s sake and returned to Kovilpatti to board for return. After a lot of photography in and around the platform with a cool evening sunset, the train finally arrived onto the Kovilpatti platform a full 20 minutes late. By now the mind was calm and wanted to just board the train, find our confirmed seats and sleep in peace upto Namma Bengaluru. Here is where hell decided to unleash its own fury as a last minute surprise for us. As the train stopped, all the people at Kovilpatti rushed toward the entrances of the compartments. As we tried to get in quickly I realized that I was not making much headway through the door even after half a minute.

This is when a bit more of depth of the situation dawned on me. At the door were atleast 25-30 people organized into stacks of lines fitting into a tight package much as you would know about the Krack jack biscuits inside their packaging. I had a very heavy luggage which I pushed and tugged in every manner I could. Just as I was about to get into the walkway of the comparment, an old grandma lashed out at me and others boarding, screaming hoarse that her daughter following her was pregnant and it would be a crime for us not to respect pregnant ladies getting down by giving way. And there was only ONE freaking way. The way out! Who can argue against Vibhuti weilding furious grandmom’s having pregnant daughters? I had already had enough arguing against my own grandmom all my life. So even for a moment, this was needless. I promptly walked and pushed everyone out of the compartment and got down myself only to be blessed by the granny that if I was lucky enough again, I can successfully board the same freaking compartment.

Exercise repeated, I was in the walkway again. Only to find 200 more people dotted all along the walkway. Everyone of us believed - yes - BELIEVED - we boarded the wrong train by mistake. Yet we jostled our way in to reach our famed confirmed seats only to find the last six challengers of the trophy, the unreserved cattle class sitting on our prized possession - confirmed seats. Asking them to get up and out only meant they went lower by status. From the lower birth to the floor. Same place. Nothing else changed. Having been scared out of our wits, we threw our luggages on the top berths and sat down sweating with a feeling of achievement, the same what you get when you pass complicated exams within predefined time frames. After having a tough time being concerned about the TTE with our tatkal tickets, we were sure of one thing - IF EVER A TTE managed to get into S11 coach this day - he would have his name engraved on the nearest station for being skinned alive. Not quite the Vaanchinathan types you see.

There was one issue with so many unreserved guys sitting all along reserved compartments. All of us. After having sat for 3-5 hours on that train, everyone wanted to take a leak. At the nearest toilet. Whichever direction - IF THEY COULD REACH IT ! The challenges dont seem to stop do they? Given that no one could board the train or no one could get down from the train, it was then a challenge even to get ourselves some water to drink and food to eat. At Viruthunagar, we managed to buy so many things including cakes, water, chocolates and whatever else was left off the cart that was going about on the platform. Drinking and eating all of that meant only one thing - we were also in the queue of people wanting to take a leak. Only question was how? And then the train suddenly stopped. Screeching of the brakes, and halting few metres away. Someone in our compartment were pissed off (literally) and had pulled the chain. The officials came to inspect what had happened and they could not even get in, leave alone listen to what we were saying. And then a few of us managed to go upto the toilets without causing a stampede of sorts of the people lying beneath us. Meanwhile an RPF guard in an unreserved compartment next to ours literally kicked a guy who flew and fell to the next track as the train started moving slowly. Dazed he asked his family to get down as well and a set of people wearing burqahs and the guy on the track quietly slid away into the darkness knowing pretty well that they could not board an overflowing compartment.

Reaching the toilet was only one part of the adventure. The toilets were locked. We waited patiently with our bladders full for few mintues yet no sign of anyone opening up. Its only after sometime we figured out that some smart asses had locked themselves inside the toilets permanently upto Bangalore. There went our hopes of answering nature’s call as well. This is seriously when I lost my cool and the train again stopped suddenly ;-)

Routine check, routine assurance, routine resets and train started moving. The only time the TTE came to the coach, he was hassled so much that he begged our pardon and said - “I’m the TTE only for coaches S6,7,8,9 and not s11 and that he came only due to respect he had on us” - He says even the poor unreserved people deserve some respect. Sure why not? Of course in India we have to be tolerant. Even to the extent we let people sit below our feet in whatever space we can afford to give them. Actually what the TTE really meant is that (and he actually said it to me) - if I forcibly pull a female’s hand and ask her to get down from the train, then it will become a communal riot! But seriously Indian Railways, for the face of modernization you have put up in a short span of time, how about adding more coaches to an already lengthy train, or how about introducing more trains along the route? Won’t you people think of such things?

There was no better thing than the feeling of euphoria of having pulled the chain, a long time childhood fetish come true. You know you get to understand the physics involved in getting the train to stop. After rebuking the authorities multiple times, the crowd was slowly flushed out between Virtuthunagar, Madurai, and Dindigul. As we neared Dindigul station we could see a group of 20 people clinging onto another ten people who were inturn clinging onto the door of the unreserved compartment. I mean if this isn’t craziness then what the heck is? Even after that when we got down at Carmeleram in Bengaluru, few people stepped on the people sleeping near the door and the babies started crying at daybreak. A man becomes wise only with experience and this was no exception.

The wise need to note down these points stemming out of experience:


  • Firstly, if the waiting list is a 100 3 days before the journey, it will never clear to RAC.

  • Secondly if you are in RAC it will always most often clear to confirmed as they add a coach and clear up parliamentary quota in each train.

  • Third, hours before the journey there is no point trying to negotiate with the TTE

  • Once the chart has been prepared and it shows RAC you are guaranteed sitting at least and that status isnt going to change anytime in near future

  • Do not go to stations where the train halts only for a minute or so

  • If your confirmed ticket is in a coach right next to the unreserved coaches, expect loads and loads of turbulence including grandmas screaming at you

  • If you are still confirmed in such coaches and you have heavy luggage, then god save you

  • Last but not least, never try to board a running train as its very dangerous and that could be the last journey you undertake for the rest of your life

On the part of Indian Railways, just after a recent purported sabotage indicent happened in which a bogie was completely charred with the passengers before they could wake and up and react in the middle of night, my experience just goes to show how these types of incidents are repeatedly going to happen time and again and how in the midst of 500 passengers within a compartment there could be one terrorist who could spell disaster within a short time. Unless this country and its government learn to value human life they will not be serious about any such possible damages. Neither would they provide more trains or alternate arrangements to make life better. However when it comes to claims, they would make many which are focussed towards customer friendliness. For now my open challenge to them is to try taking a leak in S11 coach at Kovilpatti on a Sunday on the Tuticorin express !!

Tags: bangalore, kovilpatti, mej, vanchi maniyachi, tuticorin express, tatkal, unreserved, toilets, people, crowd, rpf, police, sabotage, incidents, TTE, ticket collector, chain, pull, network, indian, railways, express, booking, tickets, online, irctc, food, madurai, dindigul, viruthunagar, negotiation, documents, proof, id, carmelaram, bengaluru, blog, karnataka, tamilnadu, kanyakumari, nagercoil, tirunelveli, train, network, s11, rac, confirmed, waiting list, pnr, long, coaches, platform, food, catering, vaanchinathan, aiyar, iyer, freedom fighter, ashe, british

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Android goodie comparisons

Most people have only couple of interesting questions in mind when it comes to android OS.


Is Samsung better or the Google Nexus better in terms of usage? Is SVoice better or Google Now better in terms of answers? Is ICS slower than Jelly Bean, if so how slow?


What if pictures and videos could do the talking? Wont it be great? Take a look at this video which was shot at 300 frames per second and slowed down to half of that or quarter of that to give you an exact idea how good this looks!







Okay that was great wasnt it? Now how about the comparison of questions to both these services and who answers more accurately and fast enough?


Take a look for yourself !






If you liked this give your comments across in the comments section. The next thing pending is a proper review of indian english accent and questions to the device based on that! Stay tuned for that article!


 


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Airavat bliss and Airavat superia launched in Banglaore

The government on Wednesday launched two new buses Airavat Bliss and Airavat Superia on introductory routes Bangalore to Chennai and Tirupati. while the first series comes with Chemical toilets and built in pantry, the second one comes with these and additionally live TV and wifi internet services throughout the journey.








This definitely has perked up the road travel aspect for those who discerned it earlier due to the toilet break reasons! Additionally ladies can feel a bit more easier on these routes now. While a break of additional 15 minutes can be avoided, these buses would now be equally costiler and as much as comparable to other similar services such as Olivea which already operate in Bangalore.



Definitely the KSRTC service would be a bit more practical while the Olivea is generally more comfortable due to superior seating even though its the same multi axle volvos. The real issue is the cleanliness of the toilets and overall sustained maintenance which would be an issue as the service is continued over a longer period of time. There is a general lack of concentration on this and its reflected by customer complaints already with Olivea. Lets hope KSRTC does not repeat the same mistakes.



The costing of Olivea is about 2500 to 3000 bucks a one way ticket. However KSRTC does not still provide pricing details for this clearly on their website.



Have you availed of their services already? Why not provide your opinion on the same in the comments section?





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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Snippets of Apple iOS6, and thoughts on performance on the 3GS

Apple recently updated their mobile operating system during the WWDC. As part of iOS 6 there are many new features which again are deeply rooted into the overall ecosystem. This post aims to explain in simple terms what changes are now part of this new operating system and also discusses some of the performance aspects of iOS6 on iPhone 3GS.

Facebook and Twitter deep integration

The iOS6 now comes with facebook and twitter more deeply integrated into the operating system. This means there is now an ability to quickpost to facebook right from the notifications area, and also sharing anything and everything to facebook or twitter from mostly anywhere on the iphone that originally allowed sharing as well as from some new places.

This not only means that sharing becomes more useful now, but also highlights the fact about the growing popularity of facebook that even a company like Apple recognizes that its no doubt a social behemoth already made by now. It also gives Apple an edge against Google who tend to copy all design and software ideas from Apple time to time and puts it totally out of sync with apple considering the latters association with Facebook.

Twitter was always Apples blue eyed boy and iOS 6 retains that sentiment in iOS6 as well.

Sharing of items changed to include more options

In the new operating system, you can now share across a variety of services from facebook, twitter, etc to even a printer. This has not only enhanced the scope of sharing, but has done away with buttons and has a page based icon system for different sources to share to. Its not practially significantly different but the deep integration is what the point is about.

 

Answering calls differently

This was one sorely missing feature in ios 5. Finally the hole has been plugged. Now with the new OS, one can answer calls differently. Along with the usual buttons, one can now also send a custom SMS message informing why you are declining a call. This helps for sure but should have made it in the earlier OS version itself !!

 

Do not disturb

Simple things matter. No one has thought about this until now. No phone had nothing more than a vibrator mode. The do not disturb ensures the phone doesn’t annoy you during those hours set by you as don’t disturb hours. What’s cool then? Well if some of your close contacts are desperate to reach you even beyond calling one time, a repeated incoming call can be set to ring and wake you up. Emergency responses assured thus. Good job apple. You can also add your favorites group to let the calls through. Don’t add your manager though

Custom ringtones 

This was always available as a very unlisted undocumented feature for apple since long. One could tailor an mp3 tune into an m4r ringtone file from iTunes in windows or mac and transfer it to the phone. Apple seems to have done away with that complexity and instead now will allow custom ringtones to be any mp3 file that you desire. I am sure apple will also provide options to trim them as well perhaps. Not a unique new feature but still welcome.

Camera

Some while before the iOS6 itself, the camera was made accessible from the home screen by a simple touch and drag up. What most people do not know is that you can also slide it back into place to close the camera without touching any hardware button. Perfection must come from within and be seamless to learn. That’s what apple is all about notwithstanding the fact that they do all this on a rather user unfriendly linux backend.

 

So is then everything hunky dory about the iOS update? well, yes and no. This is surely a major update in terms of giving things that are already 2 years old stuff. Only point then is about the deep integration of stuff which makes this whole thing so delicious. However the performance of iOS 6 on 3GS is almost close to pathetic. Menus take lot of time to load, graphics take lots of time to show up. Well I am not talking high resolution graphics. it’s the same things that used to be there in iOS4 & 5. I am not sure why Apple must make it take so long to load on 3GS considering I am not exercising any gaming capabilities on it!? Bewildering. Apple will have its own reasons why they do things in a particular way, but the bottom line is that iOS 6 is terribly slow on the iphone 3GS and hence though they practically support it, we must restrict ourself to iOS4 or at the most 5 on the 3GS. If Apple does make it any better by the time the actual release is out – remember, for the purpose of this review I am still using the first beta of iOS 6 – then it might be a tad bit better but don’t have too many high hopes on the performance.

A phone that cost me about 35,000 bucks, still might command anywhere between 8000 to 12000 and the iOS6 update working on this phone definitely ups its value to still be in demand. But it’s a matter of time before iPhone 5 is coming – roughly in exactly 2-3 months from now – and that is the hardware really meant to run such a software that is quite versatile, user friendly, seamlessly integrated and what not !!

So do I still miss anything in this update? Well, oh, plenty. How about switching on and off Wifi, Bluetooth, etc from the notification area? Is that too much for Apple to develop? No, not at all. One point to note is that bluetooth now finds a place in the main menu itself which is good unlike last time, when it was really buried deep down into some menu levels. I also miss the word helper during typing and I am not sure what is making apple not give this facility as its ages old already. I miss the panorama feature on the camera which would’ve been a great addition given the fact we know it was always in the works. Perhaps the iPhone 5 would feature it. Time will tell.

Still there is no way I can copy a video or audio file into the phone directly without iTunes. Still there is no way to stream it to a TV without apple TV, which is absurd. They are now bringing in AirPlay which is over and beyond normal DLNA. A monopolistic company cant go too far in dictating how the world must work. And this is precisely where google is slightly better.

Thankfully I do find a secure PDF file open feature which also was not there earlier on. Even Windows phone mango doesn’t have it. Shame!!

What the iPhone 5 needs is a serious boost in screen real estate. The browsing experience and the general handling experience will be so much more better if that happens.

Until my next post, I wish to conclude by saying the iOS 6 is definitely a refreshing update to facebook fans, and others who would not like to be disturbed during their sleep hours mainly!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The new Apple Macbook Pro 2012 - the visuals say everything !!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw9lVrxARrg&w=560&h=315]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yedyurappa - Adikegey hoda maana, Aaney kotru baradu

Its interesting how people go behind what they lost. Its not uncommon that leaders try to regain their lost positions - or must I say politicians? In the same vein ever since Yeddy lost his seat as CM and was asked to step down in july last year, he has taken every opportunity since then to come back into the BJP which was stung with corruption cases, infighting and dissidence related issues.

It was then very evident that a successor for him was coming from his own camp within his team, when many others in the BJP were suggesting candidates who were not close to him in the interest of the party. Finally it boiled down to a lot of war of words from the BSY camp and Shettar camp. With both the governor and opposition targetting him, he also started being targeted by the BJP top cops themselves.

He had to do something soon so that people stopped climbing on his back. So he quickly chose his closest pal (at that time) - you know literally speaking - the same guy whose smile blinded cameramen with 1000W flashes - Sadananda Gowda, and nominated him as the next CM until he came out clean - which he never did until a year later even now.
Ananth Kumar has been the biggest thorn for Yeddy in his political career and one that is digging deeper and deeper into his flesh. This goes to show no matter how much someone is located at central, they can very well meddle with local politics. However this is not the same case for Congress where Krishna is still looked upon to support the team back home while the laggards back here hardly care about where the party is going. Always there is one Gandhian to lead the show and also get a big pie of everything. And anyway they are the opposition and can wake up only during election times.
I still remember the day when BJP routed JDS and congress and Yeddyurappa cried on the screen - which isnt new by the way - that he will uphold the state an steer it towards a clear developmental path. He also told that infrastructure is the highest focus area. And we can see that with the way BJP is uprooting trees here and there! With his enormous acting skills one could easily be convinced that he could hold his position forever.
There ended the similarity between Modi and Yeddy. Modi has visionaries who assist him on daily basis on how to make Gujarat great. Yeddy has dissidents who always assist him on how to pull himself down and out. Karnataka having lots of land is another horrible reason for subsequent politicians to be defocussed out of their normal duties! Giving the power of denotification of land for personal use is like giving a machine gun to a monkey. One look around Bangalore and we can see how this is being (mis)used to glory. How else can you explain builders making billions by selling ultra luxury apartments in the lap of mother nature and right besides a beautiful lake all for yourself? Have you seen the map of Sobha developers and the amount of projects they have around Bellandur Lake? That is what I am referring to when I say what will happen if such permission powers are provided!



Every single lake and forest has apartments next to it. Sobha forest view, Royal lakeview, and so on. Have you ever wondered where these apartments send their effluents to? Think a bit. The answer is not hard to arrive at. With Karnataka facing the highest taxes, scandal after scandal, the IT and BT industry losing their sheen, and infrastucture messes, we need someone who is a visionary at the helm to tackle all this. Not someone who denotifies a bit of land for himself and his family and still expect to regain a chief ministerial berth when there is a new and fresh CBI case against him.
Yeddy - Adikeygey hoda maana, aaney kotru baradu

Monday, April 30, 2012

Signal free corridor finally mooted to connect Dairy circle to ORR

The government has finally decided to connect Dairy circle and surrounding areas in the interior of the city to the outer ring road at Agara Junction. A notificaiton to this effect appeared in the papers today with the CM going to inagurate the work at Koramangala-Sarjapura road junction anytime this morning.







This signal free corridor would reduce atleast 5 traffic signals and save enormous amount of time to reach the entire city center or vice-versa the peripheral areas. The flipside of all this is about a year or two’s worth of work which will completely throw traffic out of gear around Koramangala area. For those who are traveling into these areas for their work, good luck!






For those who may not know, the residents of Koramangala opposed an underpass in this area saying that it was not required for the density of the traffic present in the area. But one look at this situation during peak hours would speak reams about the mess created due to ever increasing number of vehicles. It is best if this project is completed in true spirit to enable people from Marathahalli reach Forum in no time, and the other way round. All the people of HSR layout and surrounding areas would also find this beneficial in the longer run.








Do you like this development? Tell me your opinion in the comments section!



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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The new Nokia Lumia 900 review from The Verge website. Great phone, but software has to catch up a lot !!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4PKcYEQAqY]


 


The Verge put up a crisp review of the new Nokia Lumia 900 which was released by AT&T recently in the USA. One can compare this to the Samsung Galaxy Note in terms of dimensions. However this has a clear black display and not an AMOLED and the focus point about this phone is its industrial design in terms of hardware. Since microsoft uses lots of playing around with fonts for its menus, and not much of icons or pictures, the phone is definitely fast to use. However not many people would be comfortable with this mode of user interface and menus after seeing Apple and Android which would deter them from buying this phone. After the Nokia Lumia 800 dropped to 23000 from 30000, a straight 7000 jump in amount in India, it is clear that this is to make way for the next hardware beauty the Lumia 900. One can expect this to be priced at 30000 and further drop to about 25000 in coming months after launch.


What is left then is to see how people receive the windows software and how many more useful updates are provided by Microsoft in future. Hope you enjoyed the video. Do leave your comments and let us know if you will buy this phone or not?


 


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why you must not vote for BJP again?

Agreed we have seen resort politics before but those were not for dissidence. Those were to give better opportunities to MLAs in some other party other than the ruling party. Also, its always a known fact in politics that one could always be looking for an opportunity to knock the ruling party down by hook or crook.



But seriously what is missing in Indian politics is the urge to argue ethically, conduct business professionally, and work towards reaching consensus on correct matters and agree to disagree on wrong matters. In the past 65 years we have still not cultivated the art of agreeing to disagree.



Having said that, Yeddy’s brand of politics is all amusing, irritating, annoying and frustrating in one go. I still remember the time he cried on TV to a young girl who said she was waiting to see BJP rule in karnataka. He felt so overwhelmed that people had given him a majority mandate and that he would immediately put to use his expertise he has had in RSS into building a better governed state and city.



What has happened a couple of years after that episode is that Yeddy has continued crying for many things even a few of them which were denied to him. He continues to now slowly eat into the BJP base in Karnataka with his politicking with his higher ups and he is more of a naughty kid who needs to be in detention. The BJP must remove such people in a show of ethics and confidently approach another poll to teach the dissidents a lesson. Bringing caste and creed into the equation is only worsening things and the focus on development is completely lost.



Advani has done the right thing in letting Yeddy know that he will not be able to bail him out to be the chief minister of karnataka again. From land deals, to slow development of city and state in general, and for all the poor show that BJP did in the south, its only a matter of time before the congress rears its head again. Given the recent by election results where an independent candidate won, it only shows that the people are slowly fed up of the BJP for good. It is then only a matter of time before the BJP is decimated for all their wrong doings in the upcoming poll whenever that is.



The screw up of bio 2011, and other technical events has made the industry really unhappy about the current government. The industry has no more faith that they can repose in such a chief minister. The growth of karnataka is only going to take a backseat in the current year and more and more things are going to get mismanaged worse than ever.



Its time we boot our ex-cm out and show a strength of solidarity in putting together leaders who have vision, hope and work hard to realize the dream come true in the next decade. The next decade is one of very high importance and also competition where it matters the most for other states to pick up where karnataka left. If we do not have men of superior vision, and do not focus on what we do and work hard, we can see Karnataka lagging all the way in the next five years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The math of owning cars - diesel or petrol ?

There are many factors today to decide on what car to own. Compared to a few years ago, these days the fuel price of petrol has skyrocketed from about 55 bucks to a whopping 75 bucks per litre. So is it really high then or is it just a perception that owning petrol cars is now more costly? Lets do a reality check shall we?


A petrol sedan costs on the road in Bangalore, about 8.5 lacs. While a diesel version about 9.8 lacs. For about 50000km of drive irrespective of where you take it and how you finish the distance, and in how much time for calculation - we just consider the distance alone.


We further assume petrol price is 75 bucks, and the fuel economy is around 12kmpl. Similarly diesel is 46 bucks and the fuel economy is around 15kmpl (maybe more though). With this assumption, for a distance of 50000kms we need about 4167 litres of petrol and 3333 litres of diesel. The cost of this fuel is respectively Rs.312525 and Rs.153333 for 50000km of usage. Add these values to the base prices of the vehicle mentioned above and we get a cost of Rs.1112525, and Rs.1133333.


Let us take service costs for petrol to be Rs.1000 for first service, 3000 for second, 5000 for third and 7000 for fourth and 10000 for fifth. So the total here is 26000 bucks. Consider the same for diesel to be Rs.1500, 5000, 10000, 12000 and 15000 and we have a figure of 42000 bucks.


Add this again to previously computed values and we have Rs.1138525 Rs.1175333 for a petrol and diesel vehicle over about 50000km of driving.


If you were to drive about 15000km every year, you will need 3 years to manage this distance. However if you are even more conservative then perhaps 5 years to complete the same distance.


So for the first 50000km the diesel vehicle is atmost about 40000 rupees more expensive to own! Now what then differentiates the diesel from the petrol vehicle is not fuel price, service cost or features - but just the engine characteristics - not even mileage as the arithmetic is more or less close.


So tell me which one would you now consider? :-)


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is Flipkart really serious about customer feedback?

After much coaxing, waiting, reading, reviewing, and hearing great things about flipkart, I ordered a Steve Jobs book which I got promptly. Delivery was quick with many sync up calls and all the fanfare. Continuing to be impressed I decided to order a HP multifunction wireless printer as shown below:






To my luck, the price fell from 5200 bucks to 4949 as shown above. Promptly enough I received the delivery of this printer in two days. I setup the printer and took a test print out via WiFi connection using my iMac. The next step was to setup the scanner functionality by installing additional drivers from HP on my mac. While I was doing this, the printer switched off.



I tried many things but the printer would not switch on again. No matter what amount of knowledge i applied, it would not go on. Since this was through flipkart the only logical thing was to approach them and log a ticket. Here is where some nuances on the way of working in Flipkart surfaced. The following are to be noted:





  • Each time you log a call a ticket is assigned to you



  • They reserve the right to take 24 hours to respond to your ticket, it could be earlier but no later, though it was quite late each time for me



  • Every issue they pass from customer service team to refunds team, to technical team and so on, so you need to add these many 24 hour schedules for your call to come to some state




Given this criteria of handling things which is best suited to them, it also shows how tight a control they have over dealers and distributors of some items such as this (electronics). Just to speeden up things I myself called them each time the ticket did not progress. Then I had a troubleshooting document given by HP sent to me by Flipkart which also I tried without any use.



Now comes the returns/refund part. This is where Flipkart annoyed me. They asked me to take the product to a service center and check, which I promptly disagreed with. The very reason I do online purchases is not to waste time going physically from one place to another just to service something that came to me almost dead.



Given this explanation, they again huddled into a conversation regarding my case, and came back after 1-2 days saying they will arrange for a replacement and reverse pickup. I packed up the stuff and reverse pick up was done in 1 day. Here is where I spoke with them for one of three possible options:





  1. Replace the product and go through all of this again



  2. Refund equivalent amount into my flipkart wallet so i can buy something else



  3. Refund the amount to my bank and nullify this deal




Thankfully flipkart offerred me all three choice and no guesses which one I chose for reasons of convenience and not to go through this process again. Option 3.



Their turnaround time for this was 7-10 business days but I chose to wait. Somehow a refund was processed in just 2-3 days. What is the end result of all this?



I ended up having to spend 10 days buying a product that never satisfied me. The learning I had with this experience was simple : Never buy those products online that are readily available next door. Its better you can choose to go to a service center yourself rather than having to wait for flipkart to suggest you to do so losing 10 days in the total process.



Of course their gesture of refund was highly appreciated, but their turnaround time was a sore point in the whole deal. Given their sales volumes I can understand all this delay, but in my perspective I am a single customer wanting to strike a deal and this delay is perhaps too huge.



Obviously the last thing I had to do was to put up a review on their website about the service rather than the product which I did promptly. And after few days, Flipkart removed my review citing flimsy reasons.



This is the review I posted on flipkart:






If you take a look at their website now, you will not find it anymore: (note there is only one review)








And this is the flimsy reason I got from flipkart:





Dear Srikanth,



Thank you for your feedback regarding the issue you are faced for “HP Deskjet 3050 Wireless All-in-One - J610a Printer”, dated 10th January 2012.



Your feedback is valuable and of utmost importance to us, we understand that we were not able to meet your expectations and apologize for the same. Feedback has been shared with the concerned department ensuring you will not face the same in future.



We would shortly roll-out a customer centric forum welcoming your experiences and feedback on our services and products. We appreciate your patience in this regard. As per our review policy (www.Flipkart.com/s/help), we solicit only product specific reviews and hence your review on our service has been removed.



Please feel free to share your concerns or queries with us at cs@Flipkart.com.



Looking forward to your continued relationship with Flipkart.com



Yours Sincerely,
Amruta Kurle
Customer Review Team
Flipkart.com







The very fact they solicit only product based review is acceptable to me, but given the company wants to be a leader in the space they operate in, they must not have the slightest hesitation to publish even critical comments like what people in Amazon do. I am sure even Amazon will have some filtering. But to say they have removed my review which is not abusive either but speaks of their turnaround time is obviously for their benefit.



Everybody has some loopholes in the way the operate. It is highly desired a company like Flipkart work on their shortcomings and appreciate such reviews and bring about improvements. Definitely I assume that no one will stop ordering this printer based on my above review. You can read it for yourself if you have a doubt.



The moral of the story is simple. For products such as electronics, home appliances, etc, go to your nearest shop and purchase it. For things like books, software etc, order online !! Always weigh the pros and cons of what you are going to buy against ordering it in a shop vs ordering online. Keep in mind the huge turnaround time and the fact that not always will the redressal be to your benefit.



Having said this, I just ordered a USB pen drive again from Flipkart and it got delivered in one day :) I wish flipkart works on no conditions asked refund atleast for defective products which will take it a long way in making it a preferred online shopping portal over other similar ones! This is where the Paisa Pay protection model of eBay comes to my mind where all your purhcases are fully covered against defects.



Adieu!



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Monday, January 16, 2012

The Beat Diesel Test Drive

Though this review comes after a long while, it carries with it some salient points about the Chevrolet Beat which is now in an improved version with a diesel heart and much unlike its predecessor where some key areas are concerned. It was a sweltering hot winter afternoon in Bangalore when I decided to take up the test drive for this car. Briefly I will take you over with the process so you may understand this car all the way from the dealership perspective upto the drive itself.



Dealerships



Firstly and interestingly a google search for Chevy dealers in Bangalore throws up only three results which are shown below:



Kropex India Ltd
Address:49/1 Singasandara, Hosur Main Road, Bangalore.,
Bangalore, Karnataka, 560068



Phone: 080-43574357 / 09663388830 / 9663388812
Fax: 080-43574353



Email: kropex.sales@gmidealer.com



Sundaram Motors
Address:P.B.No 5358,107, Kasturba Road, Bangalore.,
Bangalore, Karnataka, 560001



Phone: 080 - 22070709 - 13 / 22070751 - 3 / 9880631313



Email: sundaram2.sales@gmidealer.com



Trident Chevrolet
Address:No.122/1, C. Shankar Reddy Layout, Kalyan Nagar Outer Ring Road, Bangalore.,
Bangalore, Karnataka, 560043



Phone: 080- 43430500



Email: tridentban.service@gmidealer.com



Upon visiting Kasturba road for a different reason which i will come to in a different post, I found that the Sundaram GM dealership was under lock and key and they seemed to have moved elsewhere. While I did not care to check, I also knew the Outer Ring Road showroom was a mere showroom of a very small size without any servicing options. I do remember there was one on Mahadevapura Main Road leading to whitefield, but it was somehow conspiciously missing from out here in this list above !! Since the Singasandra one was near my home, I reached there after informing apriori that I would be there.



Cars in the showroom



The showroom itself is impressive with an entire range of cars put up there under the Chevry Umbrella starting from the barebones Spark upto the Fully loaded Captiva. The Sail sedan and hatch are yet to make it even to showrooms as they were just recently showcased at the auto expo in Delhi.



A friendly supervisor let me meddle with all cars including the Cruze until the test drive itself was ready. One thing that struck me immediately was that all Chevy cars were low in seating much like yours truly Honda. Somehow I think these are not suitable with back problems for easy ingress/egress. The Beat thankfully was a bit more supportive of the driver if not necessarily the passenger.



Chevy Beat






(Image courtesy: www.chevrolet.co.in)



As we already know, the petrol Beat has been doing its rounds for a year or more now so many people already know the cockpit internals of the car along with a billion digital meters and displays. So its worthwhile just dwelling into the new diesel and outlining its good points and pitfalls. My test drive was about 3-4 kms which included great highway roads, congested city roads, broken gravel roads, ditches and road humps, curves and straight lines and some U-turns. This was a clear representation of what a test drive must be like. So how did the Beat Diesel perform? Read on!




  • Steering: The steering is really sweet and assistive without complaining ever. Now you would know that its important to have a very good steering for both low and high speeds and the Beat simply has that.

  • Footwell: This is an area where I have frequent issues, and car manufacturers also turn a blind eye to at times making it cramped and lousy to put your foot into. On longer journeys as well as congested city drives on bumper to bumper the footwell determines how bad you feel when you get down. I am happy to say the Beat has a great footwell with all pedals placed comfortably which causes minimal discomfort on the natural driving position and leg positioning. One more important factor to consider is the alignment of the pedals with respect to their height, and while its normal to have a recessed accelerator pedal, its NOT OK to have a raised clutch pedal. This is very common in the Polo/Vento which makes it very uncomfortable for tall people whose natural foot resting position gets changed due to the increased need to get your feet up due to pedal height. For longer drives this is a sure nightmare and the Beat thankfully does not have such pedal alignment. Simply put, a very comfortable footwell which adds to the already great steering.

  • Interiors: This is a topic that everyone loves to discuss about and beat the dead horse over and over, but one has to understand that its upto personal tastes on what people want. I have personally found light biege or griege (dont know where they coined this word) interiors to suit sedans like sunny or city, while grey or black interiors to suit cars like the Beat or Swift. As I already said its a personal taste, as some people like the illusion of roominess that Beige creates while some others like their interiors to be as black as possible so the meters are visible and keep the driver focussed specifically at night times. The Beat comes with grey to mild black interiors which make it more like an engine cockpit at night on an airline. The already small windows only make this kind of seating feel even worse after some continuous drive. Nothing to disturb, but disappoints. A light gray combination would have worked in my opinion.

  • Windows: This is where yours truly has a big big issue. The smaller the windows and the deeper the seating within, the worse it gets for the growing clan of claustrophobians or the set of people who feel lack of air, oxygen and feel asphyxiated. While the sedan class hatch is the new benchmark for roominess the Beat is the new benchmark for claustrophobia. No brownie points here in fact negative marks if possible. The styling has taken upper seat to miss out on something as important as a window. The rear window is ridiculously small and competes and wins against even swift who earlier held the master of claustrophobia title. Enough Said.

  • Space: The front two seats are elaborate, deep set and provides great comfort, but if you are expecting similar things at the rear, prepare to get disappointed and also unsettled along the way as this car does not even have the space of a Wagon R. Alright, lets not try to make things sounds so bad, but this is strictly a car for 4 people. The fifth average Joe can decide to stay back at home please. And if you are really tall, while the headroom is not much of an issue this deep beauty can provide you, legroom is. Lots of mixing and matching of passengers is needed to get the most optmial seating which is also bound to be disturbing an hour after the drive sequence.

  • Visibility: The Beat also has deep set interiors which makes it difficult for us to notice what is outside. The visibility is quite bad and one needs to get used to this car for sometime to guage who is standing outside. Its easy to miss out small kids standing next to the car or small cats, dogs crossing in front due to poor visibility.

  • Boot: Ok, how about some three small bags, some slippers, perhaps a small umbrella, and anything else as long as it gets smaller and smaller? I am already telling you that the car itself is small. Its unreasonable to provoke me to comment on the boot. For me, its as good as non existent for larger luggages. Period. If you want a deeper spacious boot look elsewhere. Not here.

  • Auto AC: If you close all your windows and do not have the climate control on, I believe you are going to sweat, puff and pant and feel like you are in an oven in less than ten minutes. Thankfully the automatic climate control does its job and keeps everyone cool and comfortable inside. Due to the technical limitations on the capacity of the engine, the cooling is also only marginal. I am not sure if you can take this car to rajasthan and expect it to cool your interiors when the outside temperature is 50 degrees. For Bangalore however, it gets the job done. Period. Its not very cold exactly its just at the temperature you set it in which gives a nice ambience. The overall BLUE colouring of the dials and meters are great. Personally I am a big fan of soothing blue as it mellows down your temper. So if you have just fought with your boss, sit down inside the Beat at night onset, and switch on the car and go for a long drive. You will come back fresh.

  • Engine: The new 1000cc, 3 Cylinder diesel is pretty noisy on the outside, and a bit of it on the inside too. Chevy are masters at sound damping and this is one of the traits why their cars really sell and are comfortable to be in, however this diesel has a bit of clatter though nothing to disturb your daily routine of driving the car itself. Start accelerating her and then the noise starts becoming coarse and coarser on higher RPMs and higher speeds. A constant drive at 100kmph will bring out a distinct hum and if you are the types like me who just prefers an ultra quiet cabin, then petrol is the way to go. The engine itself is peppy and punchy for short drives which makes this a cool car to drive around and chuck about in the traffic. This engine can surely give you much above 17kmpl in dirty traffic and maybe 22+ on the highways. Remember that there are speed limiters that Chevy has put in for the first gear, so that the engine is not spoilt, so a quick shift to second gear is almost all the time needed. The torque of 150NM is able to keep this car going and hence no big deal. If you are a mileage freak, kitna-deta-hai types, then close your eyes and buy this car!

  • Gear ratios: Well lets talk in plain english shall we? I could not push this car beyond 20-30 kmph on first, say maybe upto 60kmph on second and so on upto fifth. I could not stretch it beyond 80-90kmph as it required lots of acceleration though the showroom staff claim it will effortlessly go to higher speeds and remain there. Well it might, but we know from other forums on how the highway or long drive performance of this car is. Personally I feel this car cannot stretch but if you are the 80-100kmph types, then this should just be fine! Remember these speeds are the ones where the insane mileages are achieved albeit you might reach a bit late to your destination if not any earlier!!

  • Bad Road Handling: Chevy always has come up with innovative things, and they have this great habit of listening to their customers. They are not the types who would sell a car and forget about you. They surely know pretty well that a bad mouthed publicity on their product if improved upon will win them accolades. If not for anything else atleast for this attitude one can buy a Chevy car. Chevy Beat comes with a rebound suspension specifically designed for the greatly designed indian roads, so that upon going on road humps the car lifts itself pretty sooner avoiding it from hitting the road. This also will mean the passengers will get a mild jolt, but the cocooning of the car will take care of that jolt as easily as it threw you upwards. So rejoice and be at peace. Remember that while carrying other passengers, with you, please reduce the speed and go over the road hump maturely. Not like some rally driver. The car can take it, its the question of your driving manners with other people accompanying you. The top end variant comes with Alloy wheels as well making it a complete package.

  • Overtaking: This is one specific point I wanted to mention to highlight the customer centric company. Chevy has once again listened to common customer problems and has understood that overtaking while the AC is on at short notices is always impossible in a proper way in all low end cars (cars with lesser capacity engines). So Chevy has introduced an automatic AC cut off feature wherein if you press the accelerator real hard, the compressor goes off momentarily giving you the power for the overtake manouvre or whatever else you had stealthily planned, after which the AC goes on once you come back to driving equilibrium. Hats off the chevy for thinking this way. How many times would you have fiddled with the AC just when you had to impress those friends in the car and an overtake manouvre was giving your car’s true colours away?

  • Hill Assist: Chevy claims that the Beat Diesel comes with hill assist where they probably play around with generating more torque on hilly regions, but I could not personally verify this fact as the test drive was on city conditions which did not require this kind of feature. Just to let you know the FIGO has the reverse of hill assist feature. It will not even bother to assist itself on a hill. Leave alone you.

  • Pricing and safety options: The Beat does comes fully equipped with ABS and Airbags, but is extremely pricey at close to 7 lacs on the road in Bangalore which makes it one of the costliest little hatches in that segment. Neither is it cool on space, nor on power, yet it equals the FIGO on pricing. The only reason it can then sell well is due to its cute form factor for those easy single drives within city, or the unBEATable fuel efficiency if not the price. I respect companies who provide safety options on all their variants and Chevy has it only top variant. Well, atleast they have it, and you better have it too. We all have one life and we do not want to lose it in a car accident would we?



Conclusion



The Chevy Beat is a cute car. Its proportions are welcome in a city like Bangalore. It has a peppy diesel engine, with a great suspension, a great automatic climate control, much to my liking black interiors with blue instrument cluster and an absolutely delightful steering. Its great mileage is going to impress all those who have been choking out more money for petrol so far. The engine itself is a bit noisy and the car itself is only a four person vehicle strictly but not a major cause for concern still. The price though is debatable as we have other options in that price range with full safety features. The 100000 km warranty or 3 yrs coverage with labour costs zero is a great initative from Chevy which shows their confidence on designing good cars which require minimal service in the first place.



If you fall into the category of people for whom the above attributes are the most important, you would own a Beat Diesel right away.



Liked this review? - Let me know in the comments section what your opinion is and your views on this car!



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