Mountain roads: photo book in print, available on Amazon

Earlier this month I wrote about my new photo book, a simple 7″x7″ paperback featuring a collection of 25 carefully handpicked black and white photographs, revolving around the theme of mountains.

I do not quite remember where I read this, but someone advocated printing out your photographs — at least select ones — even in the digital era, because printed photographs have their own charm and heightened value (even if the latter is only in our minds). Continue reading

An e-mail reply from Tim Cook

Steve Jobs was known to reply to every e-mail he got, often tersely, but reply nonetheless; or at least he would direct it to concerned employees to handle issues immediately.

The practice has stuck with Tim Cook taking over the company as CEO. I, for one, have come to look at Tim in the same light as Jobs, as a capable leader, a dedicated worker and an analytical mind seeing whose decisions and lifestyle we can all take home something. And a couple of days back, he replied to an e-mail I sent. Continue reading

On Physics and Hinduism

Image courtesy, Be good stewards of mother earth.
Image courtesy, Be good stewards of mother earth.

At the entrance to the Centre for European Nuclear Research (CERN) stands a 2 metre tall statue of the Hindu deity, Nataraja (see above). To the unaware, it looks like something out of place: something that does not belong in one of the world’s largest scientific research institutions. But it is only one instance of the compatibility between physics and Hinduism. Continue reading

Tissot Classic: watch connoisseurs’s Dream

As a watch connoisseur, a Tissot simply had to be part of my collection. This was especially after my older Tissot ran out of style with its spin bezel. There were a lot of choices to make among the company’s legendary catalogue, but few caught my eye as swiftly or as effectively as the Classic.

It is an unassuming piece with some impressive fitting and bold crocodile leather. Its stitch runs along the perimeter of its leather strap ending in a steel buckle with neatly folded stitches securing its lug ends. Continue reading

Social media etiquette: 15 rules for the modern gentleman

They say, in the real world, chivalry is dead; on the interwebs, especially social media etiquette, never existed. The present state of technology — and social interactions through it — is a little like when civilisations themselves began: there was no rule that prevented you from shouting, tugging hair, or eating off somebody else’s deer carcass. As man grew, so did unanimously approved methods of social interaction.

Present-day rules of etiquette have grown to be as complex as passing port wine compulsorily to your left and pouring a glass to the person on your right. This is a carryover from the days when such a practice allowed men at dining tables to keep their right hands free in case they had to draw out their swords. And if these habits have lived until today, when nobody carries a penknife, let alone a sword, why should similar rules of interaction die out with the advent of technology?

Another point of debate is that no such rules of etiquette have been formulated for interactions online or via technological media such as text messages. This perhaps happened largely because over half of all rules — especially every single one meant for the dining table — are no good for socialising online. And the few that do carry over from the offline world to the internet are underrated, overlooked or simply ignored.

Yet, such rules exist; and it is, perhaps, just a matter of reminding people about it. If so, this article may serve as a sweet rememberancer. Continue reading

From start to finish: details and tips on how to write a blog post quickly, yet thoroughly

As promised in my recent article, I am going to dedicate this one to detail my blogging method. Generally, how to write a blog post so that it saves time, not takes it all away. Many people have asked me specifics before, and, over conversations with other bloggers, I learnt that this is one of the most frequent questions established bloggers get: how exactly do you blog?

When you come down to it, the thing is pretty simple; but some dumb it down so much that it loses meaning. A lot of thinking does go behind a blog post, and my intention today is to explain to you exactly what I do and how I do it. Particularly, the physical process of turning an idea into an article.

If, in my last writing I was unclear that I would talk about the mental approach rather than the physical technique, I apologise. In this one, we will surely talk about doing things — typing and things along those lines, yes. And I hope to keep this article quite short.

(Also note that, in an attempt to address the largest possible group of people, I will be focusing on writing on a WordPress blog. Except for a couple of specifics, however, the process should largely be the same.)

An idea strikes

Like everything else, blog posts too begin with ideas. At the start, it is one at a time; then it floods like a barrage gave way.

That is when you will need two apps I strongly recommend to all you serious WordPress bloggers. Continue reading

Blogging manifesto, slow blogging and a cuppa

This is one of those tough-to-write articles that is tough just because you are trying to come up with ways to avoid following what follows. (No pun intended.) But when you write three blogs, including this, a satire column and a science blog, all at once, you try to streamline everything into one, if for no other reason, just to loosen things up a tad.

A lot of people seem to have enjoyed my satire, a genre of articles I myself love writing, and the genre of preference any day. A smaller, but more targeted, group of people have freely discussed my science blog as well. Both of these platforms have died as of last week.

Blogging v content creation

The website (and particularly this blog section you are on) is what I opted to serve as a common platform for all this. What I have been most fortunate in is having readers with enough courage to take news from news sources and who would rather discuss with real people. If you know the blogosphere well, you will realise that better insights come from single bloggers rather than team blogs churning out several articles a day. (Yes, I speak of The Verge, HuffPo, TechCrunch, Mashable, Engadget and the lot.)

I follow these as well, but I use my own blog to voice my opinion. And I value a richer communication that a comment on these larger websites where you voice is one in a thousand on a single page. Not many appreciate the value of this, but I am not here to judge them. Continue reading

Why the D600? A real-world user review of Nikon’s ‘affordable’ full-frame beast

After several months’ long wait period, I finally got my hands on the D600. (How can you not find that phone call exciting: “Sir, your camera has arrived.”) Finally! It was like the world was surging ahead. (Frankly, Nikon, why do you take months to deliver a camera? Open a factory in the West somewhere.)

QC issues are going around, so I’ll tell you why that did not bother me; comparisons are going around (all positive) and I’ll tell you why I chose this; some people chose to have minor quirks with this camera and I’ll tell you why they’re amateurs. Ultimately, I’ve been testing this camera for weeks now so I’ll tell you quite definitively what you’d feel if you held this brilliant camera in your hand and shot with it.

The contents of this quick review

Since this is article might turn out to be longer than usual, let me toss you a list of contents:

  • First impressions, handling, body etc.
  • Looking through the D600 and others’ other issues
  • Specifications that matter, or, why I chose the D600
  • Friendly cage match against the D800, 5D MkIII and 6D
  • Sample images and video

So that’s it. Let us dive right in.

[sws_blue_box box_size=”100%”]Shortly after I published this article, I realised the text may be too long for most of you so I’ve removed the sample images from the ‘sample images’ section and distributed them all over the article so you won’t find many images in the sample images section. Continue reading

Evernote Mobile – Part 1: Getting started

If you have not heard of Evernote, you definitely are living under a rock. Evernote is a powerful, cross-platform, note-taking and collaboration app. And if you read our recent notes-app comparison, you will see just how feature-rich Evernote is.

Now, on the other hand, if you have not yet got started with it for some reason, that is excusable. With this seven-part series, you are sure to be an advanced Evernote user (we call ourselves ‘Evernote junkies’) and — here is the real deal — you will be using Evernote not just as a note-taking app, but as one to improve your productivity and (seemingly) lengthen you day!

Evernote Mobile

I will only be talking about Evernote on mobile devices (be it iOS, Android or something else, Evernote is basically the same build-, design- and structure-wise) because its mobile app itself is so plump with features and targeted at several types of users that it is going to us seven interesting articles to cover.

I am going to be putting up  one every two or three days to help you digest the information effectively. So, today, let us start with a quick run-down of what Evernote is, what you can do with it and getting a basic understanding of how Evernote works. Continue reading

The complete guide to buying an Android smartphone

I need hardly stress how popular Android is these days: it has taken over 75% of the smartphone market globally, it is on everybody tongue for some of the best reasons, and it is in many hands and pockets world over. And there is a good reason for it: Android really gives you a piece of hardware only limited by your wallet, bundled with a software which means you can end up with a phone truly yours, unlike anybody else’s on earth. Besides, it is among the fastest, most functional, easily configurable and practically limitless.

But this is also the disadvantage of the Android OS. Its sheer vastness is intimidating to many people and some who have bought an Android smartphone do not use it smartly enough to realise its capabilities fully!

In this complete guide to buying an Android smartphone are ten points you must make absolutely sure you look into carefully before buying your next (or first) Android phone. We proceed on the assumption that you have decided to buy an Android phone (because Android is so awesome — good decision!) and you may rest assured that you have nothing to worry about apart from these aspects.

1. The battery life

Let us keep this one thing in mind: at the end of the day, what you will be buying is a phone; it is a device with which to talk, to get rid of the hassle of carrying around a half pound land-line phone (entirely forgetting the wires attached) and that means it should not die out on you halfway through your day. Continue reading