Playstaion 3? No way!

Yes it’s finally here; after much speculation, Sony’s much awaited and talked about Playstation 3 has just been launched in India today!

And boy did it come with a bang! Not to mention an unforgivable price tag of Rs 39,000! That’s enough to get a decent laptop! Or even a PC with greatest graphics card on the market.

But they’re not selling just a ‘gaming console’ anymore. The PS3 offers to play games, music, DVDs, pix and even store stuff on a 60GB hard drive. But that’s not what’s sky-rocketing the price tag. After all, any dumb computer can do this. The big deal is in HD graphics (and support for Sony’s exclusive Blu-Ray™ DVD) for real hi-res pictures. Again, this is what Microsoft brought with its Xbox360™ earlier this year, minus the HD-DVD support.

Now here’s the real problem; you can’t do anything with HD graphics unless you have a High Definition TV to see them on. That means, unless you already have one, you need to throw away another 80,000 bucks on an LCD HDTV.

Oh yeah and one more thing, the console isn’t enough – you need games to play. And every gaming title is sold separately for Rs 2,799.

So lets see now if I wanna play the PS3 with around 3 games, (just 3 games okay, let’s be modest) I’ll have to shell out around

39,000 + (2,799 x 3) + 80,000


I don’t know if you realize this, but THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY!

PS3 means serious business for serious gamers.

Guess the rest of us will just have to stick to Tetris for now.

Video my format!

I don’t know why its like this but there doesn’t seem to be a standard format for video files…

If you haven’t noticed, we have basically two formats for audio/music files: .mp3 and .wma – both of which play almost anywhere; well anywhere as long as you have windows that is, but being the universal OS that it is, I guess it is safe to say anywhere.

Of course, you do have the stupid .ra/.raw formats which only play on a Real Player and Apple’s ridiculous .au format which plays on God-knows-what; but the point is, if you’re looking for music, you’ll most probably end up with an mp3.

Now compare this with video:

Take any random computer and chances are you’ll find a healthy mixture of








…each of which seem prefer its own sweet player.

The trouble is not the format, it’s the creation of that format. Any digital imaging device captures still photographs only as a JPEG, but when it comes to video… a digital camera gives you a .mov (Apple’s QuickTime™ Movie) while a phone camera makes a .3gp (which so far, seems to play only on weird players you download off the net) and a Muvee™ autoproducer which makes a .wmv

So all in all, if you wanna play all your videos, you have 2 choices:

1. Get a good collection of Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Real, Nokia Multimedia Player, and other players or

2. Download a weird player off the net that claims to play everything and risk an attack on your system.

Its your call, and the videos are waiting…

The Real Terrorist

For those of you who came in late, three days ago on the 16th of April, a masked gunman stormed into a classroom at Virginia Tech University and opened fire, killing 32 of his fellow students and a professor.

Worldwide condemnations of this shoot-out occurred instantly and while every news-channel and publication worth its name ran headlines of the “horrific” incident and the “worst violence since the Columbine High School massacre” and all that jazz, in case you haven’t noticed, NO ONE called him a terrorist.

And he wasn’t. He was just a South Korean student, your everyday boy-next-door who was a “loner” and “disturbed by the rich kids” so he decided to take them out.

You know, when I heard the news, the first thing that came into my mind was, please don’t let him be Arab.
Hypothetically, assuming that he had been somebody else, say some guy named Muhammed-Al-Something or Ahmed-bin-Something-Else, the news would have been dramatically different.

Everyone would have been talking about the ‘latest terror attack against America’…

President Bush would have made statements to continue the War on Terror…

The news channels and papers would have published long and scary articles on the spread of religious terror and why it wasn’t safe for anyone anymore…

Yup, things would’ve been so different. But they aren’t. Why? Because the guy involved was a South Korean instead of an Arab, so we can go to sleep tonight thinking this is just an isolated incident about a ‘disturbed’ kid instead of a worldwide plot to spread fundamentalist terror.

Double standards for terror? I don’t know.

But guess that kind of makes the terrorist feel like a “loner” too…

Pirates of the Software Industry

Yes, I will shamelessly admit it: I use mostly pirated and counterfeit software. If not for anything else, for two very simple facts:

1. Everyone needs software

2. Not everyone can afford original software

In fact, the only reason I have a Genuine Microsoft Windows, genuine AntiVirus from Symantec and other genuine junk I never use is because they kind of came along with my laptop. I figured, now that I have some original software to begin with, let’s kick the piracy bucket and turn over a new leaf. So I went to purchase my obsession: Need for Speed: Underground2.

The man behind the counter gave me a confused look, almost like something we’d give a pitiable mad man, as he pulled out the package with the price tag of Rs1,700.

For 2 CDs, a booklet containing some cheats and a cardboard box. 1,700 bucks.

Needless to say, I simply walked out into Richie Street and got the same thing (minus the cardboard box) for around 50 bucks.

And if you thought that was bad, check out a few more:

Microsoft Window Vista Home Premium is priced at Rs.22,500

Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition is priced at Rs.14,500

Now, I agree that it must’ve taken those folks a lot of time and money to develop all this, but then what’s the point in putting a price tag that most people will just laugh at.

And the other thing I don’t see why software manufacturers don’t understand is, what advantage do they provide to people who buy and use original software over those who don’t? I mean, if you use a counterfeit hardware product, you get cheap quality; but with software it’s virtually the same!

And NO, I DO NOT agree with Microsoft’s scary claim that “counterfeit software can have critical bits of code missing which can compromise the security of your infrastructure”

Boy, that’s a good one! Apparently some “bits of code” get left out when you copy a CD! We believe it!

But one thing I’d appreciate Microsoft for is the Genuine Software Advantage which gives you special upgrades like Internet Explorer 7 and Media Player 11 (both of which install only on Genuine Windows), not to mention Windows Live Updates and Security Center for original software.

And unless other manufacturers do something like this too, pirated software will thrive. And I for one, will continue to swear by it!