The Media Guru
Dec 31, 2008

Best-of-2008

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Dec 29, 2008

TGS12E08

Season 12 was pretty good, but still didn't manage to come near S10 which was the most hilarious of all.
Here are the highlights of each episode as from E03. I've already blogged about E01 here & E02 here.

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Dec 28, 2008

Movies

The good thing about holidays is that you get to watch movies which you missed during the year. :)
& I've been watching (or eating) lots of them. Here are some short reviews...
As usual, Spoiler Warning if you haven't seen those flicks.

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Dec 24, 2008

Image(414)

The legendary Audi R8... here it is in all its beauty.

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Dec 20, 2008

image

I’ll get straight to the point that concerns most Internet users. The whole PDF can be downloaded on the Ministry of Finance site or direct link here.

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Dec 19, 2008

iphone_manchette_mobile

Why it sucks? Oh, take a look at these offers…

FireShot capture #38 - 'iPhone 3G' - www_orange_mu_iphone_offer_php

From http://www.orange.mu/iphone/offer.php

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Dec 17, 2008

Apple Orange Banana_Rotten

Yep, the French Competition Council (Le Conseil de la Concurrence) has temporarily suspended the iPhone exclusivity with Orange, deeming it uncompetitive. This comes as a blow to Orange who had negotiated a 5-year contract to for exclusive access to the iPhone.

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Puppylogo

Puppy Linux is a super-lightweight Linux distro aimed at older computers with low specs or those which can’t run fully-fledged OSes. So how does this mini-Linux fare as a LiveCD?

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Dec 13, 2008

2wren2c

If you have gone on Adobe & tried to download any of CS4 suites like the Adobe CS4 Master Collection or the Design Premium, you must have been disappointed to find that you can only try it by ordering a trial DVD. The trials are no more available for download… or are they?

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Dec 12, 2008

Audi_Zentrum_Mauritius

Great news! The supercar of the year 2007, the Audi R8 & the legendary 5-time champion Audi R8 Le Mans Racer, are coming to Mauritius!
The two R8s will be showcased at the new Audi Zentrum at Réduit as from the 15th to the 30th December 2008.

So if you are a petrolhead, then this is an once-a-lifetime opportunity not to miss! Grab your camera & roll on! & if you are not a petrolhead, just go there as well!

Update: Exclusive Photos of the Audi R8 (click here)

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Dec 6, 2008

next_nokia

If you think that S60 is a boring out-dated interface, then check this pic…

The first thought that springs to mind is – that’s an iPhone! Actually, this prototype looks better than the iPhone. The UI is awesomer! Threaded messaging, widgets on standby…

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Dec 5, 2008

iPhone_3G_Mauritius_Order

http://www.orange.mu/mobile/iphone3g.php

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Dec 2, 2008

Nokia_N97_white_04a_lowres

This is truly the industry’s best kept secret - the Nokia N97. Everyone knew there was an Nseries touchscreen in the making, but NO ONE had any idea of the specs or the form factor… & here comes the N97. The best way to describe this device would be exactly what Jonas Geust, VP of Nokia Nseries has stated:

“From the desktop to the laptop and now to your pocket, the Nokia N97 is the most powerful, multi-sensory mobile computer in existence”

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Nov 28, 2008

_45246930_gunman_ap_466x300

Mumbai, Nov 28 (PTI) - Indian Navy’s elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) have recovered a Mauritian national’s identity card from the rug sack of a terrorist, who escaped from the Taj hotel room, after an encounter with the security forces.

“We have recovered a rug sack of a terrorist, who escaped, after an encounter with the MARCOS and we found an identity card of a Mauritian national,” Marine Commandos team leader, who was part of the operation, told reporters here today.

The rug sack also contained Chinese made grenades, seven ammunition magazines, 400 spare rounds of ammunition, seven credit cards of different banks, dry rations and USD 1,200 and Rs 6,840 from inside the rug sack.
[source: livermint.com]

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Nov 24, 2008

freshgenerator

I just wanted to inform all readers that I’ve moved from Blogger (themediaguru.blogspot.com) to a free custom domain –
www.themediaguru.co.cc

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Nov 21, 2008

Lamborghini LP560-4 Spyder

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder was revealed yesterday at the LA Auto Show… It has the same 552hp engine as the coupe but with folding top that opens up in 20s. More details about the original LP560-4 here.

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Nov 17, 2008

Air_Mauritius_New_Logo

So this is the new visual identity of Air Mauritius (aka the new logo)…

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Nov 13, 2008

Facebook_Blackpapers.info

Well, not exactly leaked like that Harry Potter book... but tidbits of questions, answers & topics to be covered were released on infamous forum Blackpapers.info & its Facebook group.

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Bold the ones you’ve done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
...

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Nov 12, 2008

Top Gear S12E02_US_Special

The 2nd episode of Top Gear aired yesterday and was scene-released a few minutes later. The main feature of E02 was a US muscle car special.

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Nov 9, 2008

orange_livebox

Ever since I got my Orange Livebox, I always had a problem connecting to the Internet each time I started my PC.

The problem was that the network adapter, Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC for me, did connect to the Livebox, but it didn’t detect the Internet connection.

Because the problem occurred on both XP & Vista, I knew it was my onboard network adapter that was faulty. & while googling for it, I found it was a recurrent problem with many NICs.

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Nov 4, 2008

Top Gear S12E01

I'd bet you could find any other TV show more hilarious than Top Gear... & in the very first episode the TG trio have already set the pace for what promises to be a really exciting Series 12.

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Nov 2, 2008

Top Gear S12_Jeremy Clarkson

Great news! The 3 young lads of Top Gear - original-format genuine Top Gear United Kingdom with the barely-legal presenters & their tamed racing joker - are back today, on the 2nd of Nov, for an ambitious but rubbish new Series 12!!!
SPOILER WARNING!

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Oct 29, 2008

635_front_blk

The HP 635 Photosmart is the only camera that I own. Bought 5 years ago, I've taken over 12, 000 photos with it....

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Oct 28, 2008

800px-Diwali_Diya

Today's the day when Light triumphs over darkness & I would like to wish all Mauritians a happy & pious Deepavali.
The significance of Sanskrit word Deepavali is quite straight-forward – Deep meaning lamps & avali meaning row, hence Deepavali – row of lamps.

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Oct 27, 2008

Windows Azure

Microsoft’s cloud OS has finally been unveiled – & that’s Windows Azure! But before you get confused between the real Windows & Azure, let me point out that Azure is not a “normal” OS – you won’t get a virtual desktop hosted somewhere, with virtual apps running on it. Azure is just a cloud services platform like Amazon’s Cloud Computing Services.

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Oct 20, 2008

Atif Aslam in Mauritius

After taking part in the 12th of March independence (& his birthday's) celebrations, Atif Aslam was back for his own concert on the Saturday 18th of October at La Citadelle.

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Oct 18, 2008

Emtel_Facebook

Between the 17th & the 19th of October, all Emtel users will be allowed free 3G access to Facebook, or more precisely the mobile version of Facebook.

swidniw

To access Facebook, you'll need to log onto wap.emtel.com

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Oct 14, 2008

Top Gear Mauritius

I’ve got an announcement to make: I’m making my own version of Top Gear, which will be licensed to MBC & sponsored by… Orange!
The host will be ME, accompanied by Mr. Captain Slow & our tame racing driver, The Stig’s Mauritian cousin… Our first episode will be aired at the end of year & here are the episode details:
- Old car challenge (Morris Minor)
- Mauritius Supercar Showdown - Ferrari F430 v/s Nissan GT-R R35 at Plaisance “racetrack”
- Epic race – Boat vs Car vs Public Transportation

Some say that he’s a 17th century Dutch experiment gone wrong… and that his favourite meal is the KFD (Kentucky Fried Dodo). All we know is… he’s not The Stig, but The Stig’s Mauritian cousin!

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Oct 13, 2008

nokia-5800-ofc-04

Nokia's first ever touchscreen S60 smartphone was officially revealed 2 weeks ago along with its Come With Music service. Is this finally the iPhone-killer?

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Oct 9, 2008

Check out this article from today’s L'Express:

Baisse de 20 % du tarif d’ADSL à prévoir

115976_1Le forfait mensuel de 128 Kbps devrait passer à Rs 600 contre Rs 750.

Le ministre des Technologies de l’information et de la Communication (TIC), Asraf Dulull s’attaque à deux dossiers de taille : les tarifs de téléphonie et d’Internet. Il espère voir les tarifs d’ADSL plonger d’environ 20 % d’ici la fin de l’année. Ainsi le forfait mensuel de 128 Kbps devrait passer de Rs 750 à Rs 600 environ. C’est du moins le souhait du ministre. Le forfait de 528 Kbps pourrait ainsi passer de Rs 1 360 à plus ou moins Rs 1 000. Actuellement, plus de 10 000 personnes sont abonnés à l’ADSL. Le gouvernement compte bien pousser ce chiffre à la hausse. Pour ce faire, il a demandé à l’Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) d’entamer le dialogue avec les opérateurs concernés. Il s’agit de la priorité du moment. Une proposition de nouveaux tarifs est déjà attendue de la part des opérateurs. «On attend une demande des opérateurs auprès de l’ICTA qui prendra la décision après une étude. Les opérateurs ont indiqué qu’ils ont l’intention de faire une proposition rapidement», dit-on au ministère. Asraf Dulull compte aussi s’attaquer aux tarifs téléphoniques afin d’encourager la téléphonie par Internet.
[Source:
L’Express]

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Oct 6, 2008

topgearaustraliaoy2

Yep, the first episode of Top Gear UK's Australian spin-off was aired last Monday at 7:30 pm (1:30pm Mauritian time). The scene took 6h to rip it, but finally Top.Gear.Australia.S01E01.WS.PDTV.XViD-PiX was released. So, the BIG question is... how does it compare to [original] Top Gear.

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Oct 2, 2008

The Dark Knight Poster

The Dark Knight, the much-hyped sequel to 2005 film Batman Begins, features Batman's most formidable nemesis - the Joker.
SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen The Dark Knight, stop reading right here!

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Sep 25, 2008

My_Old_PC

Yeah, it's exactly a decade ago that I got my first PC. At that time I certainly didn't have a camera, so the above photo was taken 4 years ago when both the PC & the camera were working. Now join me for a little nostalgic journey along memory lane...

The Beginning 

win98logo

In August 98, Windows 98 had just been released. & the Windows piracy problem was making headlines - even in Mauritius. Many computer shops had been caught selling counterfeit copies of Windows - the counterfeit being nothing more than a copy of the cd & the manual without the hologram (there was no activation at that time!).

So there was this one computer shop which was selling original Windows 98 & the best specs at the best affordable price! Hence for a sum of around Rs 40,000 here's what I got:
- Intel Celeron 300 – 300Mhz (Covington 250nm – 0 KiB of L2-cache!)
- 32MB SDRAM
- 3.2GB Hard Disk
- 2MB PCI Graphic Card
- 14" SVGA Monitor
- 104 keys A4 Keyboard + Mouse
- Multimedia Kit - 32x CD-Rom Drive; Yamaha 16-bit Sound Card; Aiwa Stereo Speakers.
- Canon BJC-250 Printer
- 56K Fax Modem (Rs 2400!!!)

A configuration that you won't even find in a smartphone today. & to think that this was high-end 10 years ago! Moore's Law still standing firm.
I don't think you'll ever find a 56K modem today at that price - but at that time there was no ADSL & dial-up was the global norm.

Hardware

Win95

The rule of world states that everyone starts off as a noob - & I was no different. But in a certain way, I was an "experienced" noob because I had previously used a Windows 95 computer for a few months. My experience consisted mainly of gaming (PacMan, Solitaire & an unknown game which I forgot) & of having an uncanny ability of breaking that computer every time I touched it! The number of times it was sent for repairs is almost comparable to infinity... Usually that meant me fiddling with the settings (device manager!) or installing apps that corrupted Windows. But I once did mess-up the BIOS! (How would I have had known what was the BIOS at that time?)

So the switch to my own PC meant that I knew something about what not to do. However, this time, it wasn't me who was (primarily) responsible for the frequent breakdowns. The computer itself was faulty! For no apparent reason it would refuse to boot-up! That meant repairs every few months. Sometimes a good bang would do the job & at other times reconnecting the cables did it – my most used trick was re-connecting the printer’s serial cable, but I have no idea how this would work?!? I never managed to know what really the problem was, but most probably the hardware wasn't great...

Troubleshooting Windows… 

Windows_98_BSOD

Or was it the Windows 98? Fortunately I didn't have frequent BSODs, but "This program has preformed an illegal operation & will be shut down" error was a terrible nightmare!

win98error_msg

It was the most dreaded errors of all time. The error message wasn't very helpful - it gave you some hex codes which were totally meaningless! At that time, the Googlian culture of searching for anything on the Internet wasn't there - you could only turn to computer technicians! & what in hell’s name was invalid page default??? 

n00bs pwn 1337s!

win98se_My_Computer

A few weeks after the purchase, someone gave some floppy disks to check out. Using CD-ROMs was a breeze, you just insert the disc & it will Autorun by itself. But unfortunately that didn't work with floppys. I tried various ways to make the floppys work, checking the Computer settings, restarting & all that - but in the end, I had to admit defeat that my floppy drive just wasn't recognising them! Why?
It was much later that I found out by reading the Windows 98 Manual that you had to go to My Computer & double-click on the Floppy Disk icon to access it. How stupid of me!!!

Volume

One day, my speakers stopped working suddenly. Because it was still under warranty we took it to be replaced. But there weren't any problem with those speakers. So logically it must instead be a problem with Windows or the sound card, so the PC was taken for repairs. It turned out that I had muted the system volume...

Connect to

On a certain occasion, I deleted the Dial-Up connection settings & when I re-installed it, the computer couldn't connect to Internet. When the Telecom Plus technicians came, they found out that I had put my own telephone number for the dial-up instead of 3121212!

Software

win98

Windows 98 was fairly stable - it ran most of apps I had & most of the games as well. At that time, I had indeed heard of Linux & I thought that it was just another type of… Windows! LOL

win98_Start_Menu

Windows 98 desktop included Active Desktop, which had a sidebar-like thing called the channel bar, linking to MSN, MSNBC & Discovery Channel. I always thought that one day I would be able to watch Discovery Channel through it...

win98_Start_MenuVista_Start_Menu

This is absolutely amazing! 10 years from then, the Start Menu has hardly changed!

win98se

Windows Media Player was still in its classic version & you couldn't play mp3s on it. Clips were still in MPG or MOV requiring a software called QuickTime from an unknown fruit company Apple, that sold Macintoshes?
& there was also XingMPEG Player which was bundled along with Windows 95/98. I always thought that it was some sort of game because it was called Player...

win98_ie4

Remember Internet Explorer 4? At that time, IE was the underdog since it was facing tough competition from Netscape. But with IE5, WBWI (World Browser War I) was won by Microsoft. & to think at that time these folks never thought about inventing tabs. The problem was that with a dial-up connection, you could only surf with 2 or 3 windows, which didn't clutter the desktop. But with faster connections & more cluttered windows, tabs had to be invented. Necessity is the mother of invention…

PSP5

Among the various software, one of my favs was Jasc Paint Shop 4 which had an unlimited trial. Winzip as well had an unlimited trial – which was really a bug in fact…

Warez

Office97_front

From Day 0, I've always used warez on my PC. What happened was that the technician who came to setup the computer fooled us into buying Office 97 & F-Secure Antivirus at a cheaper price from him. I don't know whether there were cd-burners at that time, but he didn't give us a copy of the cd & just installed it. Little did I know that the Office 97 & the F-Secure were illegal copies - there were no cracks at that time, only serials! & the most stupid thing is that we called him after one year to extend the license of the antivirus...

Office2001to2003

Microsoft Word opened up new possibilities - I can now type with spellchecking, add WordArts, pictures & even charts. But the sub-zero feature was the animated office assistants - As you were typing, the office assistants entertained you through their animations! Links & Rocky (& co)  got better in Office 2000 until they finally disappeared in Office 2003 & never to return in Office 2007. I miss them a lot! (Microsoft, please revive them!) :’(

Games

winmine

Yeah, that was THE BIG THING for a kid like me! In addition to the usual PacMan, Solitaire, FreeCell & Minesweeper, there was only 3 games that really initiated me to gaming at the very beginning.

Ancient_Conquest

First was Ancient Conquest demo. At that time, the only way you could get PC games were by buying those computer magazines which came along with bonus CDs having trial software & games. So we had bought this issue of PC Quest & we didn't really know how to use the cd, so the computer technician browsed around it, installed some software & the Ancient Conquest demo.

Ancient_Conquest_2

That was the first time I encountered Real-Time Strategy (RTS). I found this game more awesome than any FPS. The scenario is classic RTS. You've got a settlement, you gather resources, research upgrades, you expand, you make your own army (navy here) & you fight!

Ancient_Conquest_3

My favourite ships were the Quicklime-thrower & the Fire-thrower. You use the Quicklime-thrower to disable enemy ships by covering them in quicklime(chalk) & then set them on fire using the Fire-thrower! You also had the Temple which granted you special powers like Lightning strike... I do really miss that game!

118264

The first game that I installed by myself was Commandos: Men of Courage demo.

118285

Commandos really fascinated me. One of the early games where AI was quite intelligent & where rushing things was certain death. That was the game that really taught me the virtue of patience & perseverance.

118248

At that time, I didn't know anything about the Save function - & who to save? So everyday I kept trying these 2 demo missions over & over again. You can well imagine what happens when I die & I have to restart the mission... (banging the desk & ripping my hairs off!!!)

118281

118293

I didn't know that at that time, but Commandos was a role-playing game with environment interaction - like blowing up a dam! One of the misconceptions I had was that I thought there must be way to unlock these demos to become full games...

Age_Of_Empires_Rise_of_Rome_Expansion_Trial_2

The 3rd game was the ubiquitous Age of Empires! That was the Rise of Rome Expansion Trial. That was really the most advanced game of its time. The reference for all RTS games to come. The above screen is the first mission.

Age_Of_Empires_Rise_of_Rome_Expansion_Trial

Here's the second mission where you have that huge Carthaginian city & you have to build a Wonder. My preferred unit was the very powerful Phalanx!
It was through AoE that I learnt of cheats & walkthroughs...

Internet

Win98_Connect2

Internet use wasn't widespread at that time. But since you had a modem, getting an Internet connection was quite obvious. The cheapest Internet package was the 10h Discovery at Rs 375.

Yahoo.com - 1998

At first, the Internet was quite useless as surfing was limited to Yahoo! & its linked websites listed on different categories. Compared to now, the Yahoo! portal was quite simple. & its search was powered by something called Googol or Grogle (well it was spelled something like that).

Servihoo.com - 1998

Remember the Servihoo portal?

Microsoft.com - 1998

Microsoft?

Google!

& Google… First let me thank Google for 10 years of services & innovation to humanity (on the Internet & beyond). On the 7th September 1998, Google! Inc was founded. At that time, Google had the ! which they copied directly from Yahoo!

FireShot capture #5 - 'Google!' - web_archive_org_web_19990125084553_alpha_google_com

& here's the original search webpage which can be found on the Internet Archive. At that time, even the founders themselves could never have thought that one day Google will reach such heights. They own the web search, the advertising, the mail, the maps & have their own browser, mobile OS & satellite! Rock on Google! (Read more about Google’s 10th Anniversary on GeekScribes)

designing-google-logo

A few years later, the Discovery package was bumped to 12h & I began to realise the importance of email for registering in forums. I never managed to configure Outlook Express (bow.intnet.mu??), so I still used the default Servihoo mail! My first forum post was a help message on a game forum. Afterwards Google became popular & my internet use exploded. But it was only last year that I got my ADSL connection & the rest is history… :)

Upgrades
I didn't do much big upgrades on the system, but I did bought a scanner, HP Scanjet 3300C (appearing in the first photo at the start of the post) in 2002. Almost one year later, the scanner stopped being detected on my computer & because the warranty was still valid, the scanner was sent to HP France to be replaced. & when I got my brand new scanner, it still didn't work! I googled for the problem & I found out that I had disabled an important background process!

In 2000, 32MB of SDRAM was added to my old PC after being sent for repairs. In 2002, lightning struck the telephone cable which was still connected to my modem & both my modem & sound card fried! While replacing them, I bought a 40GB secondary hard disk which lasted only for a year. It was replaced by a 20GB hard disk which also lasted until 2004.

My_New_PC

The original 3.2GB, which contained Windows, never failed until mid-2004! By that time I had my new PC (the current one – the bunch of wires above!)… & that old PC was scrapped off...

The Future
So it's been more than a decade since I've been using computers. My old PC definitely wasn’t a great experience, but I did learnt a lot & I don’t regret it… How that noob of yesterday came out to be a blogger today is astonishing… but who knows what will happen 10 years from now? Will we even have “PCs” by then??? :)

win98_shutdown

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