Archive for June, 2013

I want to buy a cellphone with a good music player, an e-book/PDF reader and supports all major apps (such as WhatsApp) within a price range of around R8000- 12000.

I want to buy a cellphone with a good music player, an e-book/PDF reader and supports all major apps (such as WhatsApp) within a price range of around R8000- 12000. I’m not particular about it running on Android or Windows OS, but was thinking of the Nokia Lumia 520. Your suggestion?


—The Nokia Lumia 520 is a Windows phone that is very attractive in terms of price and will perform every function you asked. There are many Android phones in this segment as well. For frequent reading on your phone (and within your budget), India-made or designed Phablet phones fit as well.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm

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want to get WhatsApp running on simless tablet

I recently bought a tablet that does not have a SIM card slot. I use wi-fi at home to browse and on a friend’s suggestion, want to get WhatsApp running on it but am unable to do so. Please help.

WhatsApp messenger authenticates users only through a SIM Card with an SMS facility to create an account. Since your tablet doesn’t accommodate this feature, you can look at other alternatives suchy as Skype or Facebook Messenger.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:16 pm

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Click and Create Magazine online

Aim, click, publish!

PUSH-BUTTON MAGAZINES The Flipboard app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices helps you collect, curate and share stuff from the Web in neat formats

The Internet is exploding, with articles, blogs and even e-books. The pictures are getting sharper and brighter. And videos are mushrooming. There is a whole new culture in getting them from diverse sources and sharing them with people over e-mail and social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, which also provide you with interesting links from friends. In short, everyone can be a publisher of sorts now – or at least a smart curator.

You can do this smarter with the arrival of Flipboard, an application that helps you do all this and more. All you need is an iPad or an iPhone, an Android Tablet or an Android phone. At this point, this is not working for Windows or BlackBerry tablets.

The Flipboard app is free and so is an account that helps you use it. The app has been around for sometime, but finally offered an Android variation late last year. And more features have been added to make it cool.

So let’s say you are headed for a holiday, and are up for planning one. This typically means combing the Internet, going through magazine sites or other web sites to look for the stuff you want. What Flipboard does is to help you collect the items that you surf and pick, and turn them into a format that is nice, attractive – and shareable.

When you start using Flipboard for the first time, it will ask you for your areas of interest, and after you create an account, it will ask you if you want to integrate it with your Facebook and/ or Twitter feeds so you can get all your content here.

Once this is set up, your can build your own magazine-like display.

Since we are considering travel as an example, let us say you are travelling to London. If you search for “London Travel” you will have a few suggestions pop up on Flipboard when you type this on a search bar on the app. This leads you to a collection of articles or magazines published by others. You can now surf or flip through them as if they were a catalogue. If you like something, you can press the “Like” button and/or share it on your social media network. Or you can email it to yourself.

But the best part is the button at the bottom of the app that leads you to “Click Create Magazine” – that turns you into a publisher. You can choose up a name for a magazine, with a description and a category and decide whether or not to share it with others.

You can also use the app now to collect and publish stuff that you come across while browsing the Net. This is made easier by a “bookmarklet” for your browser that takes you to the sharing link ( https://share.flipboard. com ). You can press the share button on your browser when you are on a page and the stuff comes on to your Flipboard magazine.

You can also edit and share your magazine items from your PC. Head on to , log in with the account you set up for Flipboard. You can see all the “magazines” you created here, add more content or rearrange items or share your magazine with a friend, family or group members so they can read it on their tablets.

If you like photographs on sites like Pinterest, Google Images, Facebook and on Flickr, you can send them all to a Photo Journal on Flipboard, and enjoy them at your convenience.

And yes, you can share videos as well. You can go to YouTube and curate your own collection of stuff like funniest animal videos and use the “bookmarklet” to take them to your Flipboard magazine.

Sky is the limit, and you are limited only by your creativity. If all you want is to read, Flipboard is good for stuff that has been already curated .

You can even go for special niches. For instance, there is Yanko Design, which showcases the latest in product and industrial design; iPhoneography, which compiles great pictures taken and modified on the iPhone; and Cycle Exif, which takes a look at both vintage and modern cycles.

With such variety on offer, whether you are a collector, consumer or publisher, Flipboard can help you go far.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:12 pm

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Remember when mail attachments weren’t sent because uploads were slow and mails bounced back due to full inboxes? Along came faster Internet, more storage and the smartphone. With a 3G connection that charges you by data downloads, how do you handle such large attachments on it? Here’s how:

  • Go to and sign up here as well. Connect this account with the Dropbox one and it will result in an email id resembling the following:

  • Share this ID with your contacts. Files and attachments will now directly land in your Dropbox account, which can also be synchronised with your PC. It has an easy-to-manage file system, which helps avoid your inbox bloat. For free.

Caution: To prevent spamming and quick filling up of your Dropbox storage don’t share this email ID widely. Upgrading to Pro service from at $3 per month (about R150) gives these benefits: a better email ID (, multiple email addresses and a list of who can and who cannot send you files.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:04 pm

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Photo editing – for free

PLAYING WITH IMAGES Both Adobe and open-source alternatives now offer free facilities that you can use to create fancy and high-quality images

The joke goes that you don’t need to go to the gym to get a six-pack abdomen to impress people. All you have to do is to “Photoshop” your picture. Adobe’s famous software that helps manipulate photos is now a verb.


If you are serious about your digital editing, and are currently using a pirated software, we urge you to give those tools the go-by and give the free ones a try.So what happens if you want to get access to tools such as Photoshop and use them to edit pictures, fix the contrast or the exposure of a shot you took on a holiday, change it to black and white or add other effects? The good news is that you can now do it for free. Apart from basic Photoshop features that are available free, there are also other free open-source applications. We guide you on the options.


Last year, Adobe made free. Go to, where you can access the Online Tools section, where you use the Photoshop Express for free. You can use features such as Crop & Rotate, Resize, Exposure, Red Eye, Dodge, Sharpen etc. There are also special effects and a decoration menu that lets you put things from text. Or you can add bubbles or other objects on your photograph.

Of course, this is not full-feature Photoshop, but then you are also not paying for it.

If you want more features, Adobe now offers Creative Cloud, you can subscribe to it by going to and sign up for a free account for 30 days, where you get all the Adobe software tools for free. For 30 days, you can either choose to use one software tool by paying R1000 per month, or use all the software that Adobe has to offer at R2,700 per month. That is a great deal when you consider how much the old Photoshop cost to buy.


Gimp is the nearest to Photoshop when we come to open-source software and has improved in leaps and bounds over the years. In it’s current 2.8.4 version it is also available for both Mac and Windows. You can download it, install it and you are ready to go.

Gimp gives you all the great tools that has and a whole lot more. It also offers a whole set of plug-ins that you can find by doing a Web search, from plug-ins such as Liquid Resize that help you resize the image intelligently.

Photo effects is another very attractive plug-in that works with Gimp. It adds photo touch-up capabilities of the kind Instagram does on the mobile phone.

Gimp can also work with tablets such as those from Wacom that allow you to draw or simulate a brush to draw on the screen. allows you all this only in the paid version.

In case Gimp does not suit your fancy, and Photoshop just seems to elaborate, there is a third tool which is quick on its heels and just gets things done.


Head on to the website, select the version of Pixlr you like to work with. They have an advanced version that has all the fancy tools, an efficient version that has similar tools if you work off a tablet, and a playful version that is an exact copy of their mobile application available for the iOS and Android platforms. The tools help you get things done, though they may not get you to award-winning standards.

If you are serious about your digital editing, and are currently using a pirated software, we urge you to give those tools the go-by and give the free ones a try. You will find that the free tools can do most of your work, and if you still need the full utility set, the per month payment from Adobe really allows you to do that easily now.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 6:53 pm

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We have all heard how smartphones are more powerful than yesteryear supercomputers and they can do much more than our imagination. So, this week we have an interesting app — which makes you rap.

Wikipedia defines rap as “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics”. It requires skills to write a rap song, and special skills to rap everything together. But if you want to give it a try, we’ll tell you how:

  1. Head on to and download AutoRap, it is available for iPhone [ R170] and Android Phones for free

  2. Once you have the application downloaded and installed, simply speak in the phone. This could be a chapter from a book you are reading, or some poetry you wrote, add some expressions. And, just in case you don’t know what to do, watch this video

  3. Press the ‘auto rap’ button, and now your phone (supercomputer) will convert those spoken words, with some background beats, into a rap. If you like it, share it with your friends, and if you don’t like it, you can easily give it another shot.

After all, who knows you may be the next Sean Diddy in the making.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 6:49 pm

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Can you suggest a way of getting better Internet service at my home?

I live in an area where Internet broadband is only available from MTNL, whose service is indifferent, and not working most of the time. We don’t have any private service provider in the area. Can you suggest a way of getting better Internet service at my home?


The first thing to do, of course, is to escalate the matter at MTNL. In terms of alternatives, since 4G connectivity is still some time away, the best option would be 3G. You could use a 3G dongle, such as the Lava W200 that will convert a USB-based 3G connection to both wi-fi and ethernet. The dongle can connect to your LAN if you already have one at home, or just give you wireless connectivity.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 6:37 pm

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