Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I like blackberry

Today, I was asked question by a friend about why I love Blackberry or RIM. I also recently purchased a playbook @ 199$. While the entire world is moving towards Android or iPhone, the question is vey obvious and I would like to explain.


  • I live in India and even though most of the last decade I stayed in USA.
  • I used blackberry for 8 years or so
  • I own both android (Original Google Nexus) and iPhone. 
  • I moved back to blackberry
For my friends in USA, Indian environment is very different compared to USA.


We purchase our phone by paying full price and buy unlocked phone. There are vendor locked-in phones but the discounts are not worth mentioning (20$ or so).

We do not have 2 year contract. Most of the people here use pre-paid plans where you recharge as required.

3G availability is limited. Where I stay, I hardly get 3G speed and where I work, I get good 3G speed. 

Approximately, if you have to buy blackberry curve here and compare the price of it with other android phones in INR, you will get the idea

  • Blackberry Curve (20,000 INR = ~ 400 $)
  • Samsung Galaxy  (25,000 INR = ~500 $)
  • iPhone 4S (45,000 INR = ~900 $)
Phone specs and features are comparable. But again, we need basic phone with phone and apps features. Most of the things required work very well in all of them. i.e. Facebook, email and internet.

Most of the features in iPhone like Siri or other features are specific to USA. Most of the apps are now available to India but requires credit card. Not everyone has credit cards and those who have are not comfortable buying anything with credit card. So, the purchase is not at the volume you might see in USA.



Some of the phones are built for certain category of people. I personally like to read content on the phone in multiple languages. Android has very poor (i.e. zero) for Indian langues. 

Check the issue here: and

iPhone has good support but it is out for several other reasons including cost :)

Think about embarrassment when your costly android phone cannot read SMS or email or Facebook post because it is in some other language :) 


I am a heavy keyboard user. I type on computer and prefer keyboard shortcuts and with heavy usage on blackberry. The experience (or expertise) gained, I cannot give away so soon. In the two years that I did not use blackberry, my responses in email went down. My response to my friends either on chat or SMS was slower and not so interactive and even my wife complained that I do not reply to her messages. Touch was a learning curve. After switching back to blackberry, I dont see that as much a problem. 

It also has ability to enter hindi text directly just like on desktop.


Blackberry is worst in terms of availability of apps. But again, if I see what apps I use mostly, it is limited to my Facebook, email and browser. There are some games that I play, but mostly that will move on to tablet. 


Cant talk about Blackberry without mentioning BBM. 
Indian government recently had a ban on SMS and you cannot send more than 100 SMS messages. No limits on BBM messages. I save ton of money by not using SMS but by using BBM and talking to my friends and my wife. 

And you can get all these features of BBM including web browsing for 399 INR on Vodafone (i.e. 8 $) without any commitment and prepaid. 

I must say that BBM is addictive. You may have another technology replace this in near future but for now, it is perfect.

RIM should find innovative ways of working with any of the android vendor and it will be amazing.


When my iPhone battery was not supporting up time of few hours, I went to apple store to replace it. They said they wont support it as it was not purchased in India. A local vendor who said he will replace it, charged me a lot more money and still did not replace it with authentic battery. The phone is a brick till I find right tools to open it and do it myself. For some other day but for now, it is useless.

I can get blackberry parts replaced or phone repaired without traveling too far from my home almost within few hours or a day. User replaceable battery :)


I put this at the end as there is no question that blackberry is still the best way to receive and send email for me. I can see and respond in much lesser time thanks to amazing keyboard. And yes, android does not provide HTML email (at least when I used) by default. Apple iPhone did.

Market Share

A market price or market share is not something I look at when I purchase basic things like phone. They are required but there is no financial planning or life dependency on it. Future phone models do not bother me. When I have to purchase, I will make decision on what is available at that time. When I bought Blackberry, I found it good for the price. When I have time to change, I will do my analysis again.

Will I buy RIM shares? That may decide on their future models and growth.


I have four blackberry users in my family. Me and my wife are only into IT. Other two users are no way closer to Information Technology.

For every 10 people who have blackberry, I find may be 5 with android and someone with iPhone. May be I dont meet lot of elite members of the society here :)

Without ability to use a tablet without a need for additional data plan or cost, I am thrilled :)

At the cost I am getting, it is good. Most of the places that I visit, do not have wi-fi. 


Nokia or Samsung. If they work within Indian context and provide hardware and software understanding local environment, people will switch.

So, unless my company provides me with discounted iPhone and 3G plan, I am sticking with Blackberry.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Creating Icon or FAVICON that shows in tab or URL bar

I had create an icon that we generally see either on the URL bar or at the top of the browser when you visit certain sites.

Amazon icon in the Tab
What you see here in the left is Amazon logo that is shown in the tab. While it is generally the case that you have lot of sites open, favicon gives quick identification for well know sites that you visit. 

It is little difficult to create icon for all kind of logo but not impossible. If you have to create an .ico file, you can create in any of the icon editor.

I looked up website and found that This Icon Creating Site was very handy at least for the image that I was using. Thanks for the creator of the site.

When creating a logo, you may also want to make sure that non logo part of the image is made transparent. The site provided that feature and it made logo look lot better. This is mostly the case if your logo is not not a perfect square. 

You can also use PNG but I think it is too heavy but may allow more creativity. 

Give it a try and do let me know how it goes.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ICICI Wealth Management - Bad Customer Service

Today I received an email from ICICI Wealth Management team. I am having recently very bad experience and this email did not help in changing that feeling.

Here is the link that I received for filling up survey.

Now, In the comments, I could not add more than 30 characters.

If ICICI is not willing to listen more, I am not sure they will provide any great service. At least provide an email address to complain :)

Recently, I visited a new ICICI branch in Pimple Saudagar.  My friend had just visited and received a locker after depositing some money in FD. I am already a wealth management a/c holder and I thought I should be able to get a locker as where my a/c is does not have any locker service.

After visiting the branch, I was told by branch manager that I have to do investment. I asked him several times why I have to do this when I already have a/c and sufficient investment and relationship with ICICI to be in wealth management a/c. He had no answer but insisted that is the only way to go. I tried complaining to my relationship manager and he said he cannot help. When I told them to take my complaint after few days, they mentioned that locker is no more available and they will provide it to me when available (which is not true).

This all is very bad and I am going to leave ICICI bank pretty soon.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chocolate Room

कल मैं गया था chocolate room कुछ खाने के लिए अपनी बेटी के साथ. वैसे तो जगह काफी ठीक हैं  FC रोड पर और मुझे ज्यादा देर वह रुकना भी नहीं था |
जब हमने खाने के लिए कुछ मंगाया तो वेटर बड़ा ही थका हारा लग रहा था. और जब मैंने पानी लाने के लिए कहा तो उसने जवाब दिया की अगर मैं बोतल लेता हूँ तो वोह मुझे पानी ला देगा नहीं तो मुझे खुद लेना होगा |

वैसे हम सभी किसी न किसी रेस्तोरा में जातें हैं और खाना खातें हैं. रेस्तोरा बड़ा हो या छोटा, पानी देने के लिया कभी कोई मन तो नहीं करता. पर इस तरह खाना लाकर देने के लिए तैयार पर पानी के लिए जाकर लेना मुझे कुछ अटपटा सा लगा |
मैंने बैरे से कहा की भाई पानी मेरी बेटी को चाहिए तो क्या अब उसे भी खुद लेना होगा? कुछ सोचने के बाद और कुछ सलाह मशवरा करने के बाद वोह बंद सिर्फ एक गिलास पानी ले आया |
इस अनुभव के बाद मुझे लगता मैं वह जाने वाला बहुत बार या किसीको वह जाने के लिए प्रोस्ताहित करूंगा|

जिसने भी इस रेस्तोरा में ऐसे करने के लिए कहा हैं शायद उन्हें भारतीय संस्कृति का कोई अनुभव ही नहीं|

बात संस्कृति से और भी बढकर हैं की यह लोगो को महंगा पानी और जो जरूरी नहीं उसे दे रहे हैं| 

आप होते हो क्या करते? 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blackberry Playbook Launched in India

I am very happy to see add in the news paper today for blackberry playbook.

While it is great news, when you try to go the link that is mentioned in the ad, blackberry site shows 404 error :(

How am I supposed to buy this blackberry. I hope your marketing and web department is well coordinated so such simple mistakes can be avoided. I love blackberry products so sad to see good company making so many mistakes from delayed product launch to website issue.

If I get to play with it, I will let you all know how good it is for Indian environment.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Windows 8 or Windows Mobile

I am little surprised about new windows user interface. It looks almost like windows mobile operating system.

I liked the bold move taken by Microsoft. I am sure there is going to be an option to have base UI look like windows 7.

Ergonomic keyboard for those big touch screens.. there is some time. :)

What would be great if Microsoft can integrate Kinect technology by using camera on the screen so rather than using those finger touch screens, we can have slight node or eye movements that will help operating system switch apps or move next/previous. It would be great in some of those apps like Internet Explorer and while reading documents.

Official Microsof press release is here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fedora 15 & VMWare tools

After long time, I was installing Fedora today (Fedora 15) and something surprised me on Terminal Window.

I tried to check whether gcc exists by typing gcc on the shell and it automatically recommended installing gcc. Great new feature for new linux users even though not a lot useful for experts. here is output

$ gcc
bash: gcc: command not found...
Install package 'gcc' to provide command 'gcc'? [N/y]

No more long hours to figure out how to use linux.

Beyond this, I also had issue getting current version of header files to install vmware tools as yum was installing latest version of kernel files and not the one that is used by os currently.
This command might be handy for you all in future.

$ sudo yum install kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

That should install and allow you to run vmware tools configuration. All the best. Let me know if that works.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding PG accommodation in Mumbai

Recently, over the weekend, I had a task of finding PG (Paying Guest) accommodation in Mumbai. I talked to many friends but found it amusing that those who live there for ever, dont necessarily know how to rent such accommodation.

So, anyway, reached out to some of my friends who are not from Mumbai and who lived there on rental and through them was able to find a suitable PG accommodation @ Goregaon.

Facebook was very helpful in connecting with friend which otherwise would be very difficult. No photos from the trip as I was a hectic task to be completed in one day.

Thanks to my friend who accompanied all day. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Old Nokia Phone with new features

Recently I lost my new blackberry while traveling back from vacation.
With not enough budget to buy one more phone, I decided to dig into my collection of gadgets that I use no more. Nokia N95 was my first pick as it still had all the keys working :)

While the phone itself is not in such a great shape, I wanted security and comfort level that I had with other phone with also features that I can. Having not used Nokia phone for some time, I thought of doing some research and find out how to set up security and emails.


Nokia N95 (I am assuming all Nokia phones that are latest) has a feature to enter phone lock code. By mistake, I entered wrong code in PIN Lock and my sim card got locked. I called my carrier (AirTel) and they gave me back a PUK code.

Here is Nokia Support page for more information.

Remember, to get PUK code, you have to have your SIM card and provide numbers that are on the back of the sim card.

PUK code can be saved in email for future reference. 

Once you have PUK code, you can unlock SIM card. One of the thing you can actually do is change PIN lock code itself. This will require you to enter PIN code (4 digit) at start/reboot of the phone but you will have additional level of security. This is when you use this SIM card only.

You can also set Nokia Phone Lock Code (5 digit) to have your phone keyboard and screen locked and will require this everytime you want to unlock.

Note: Security is to protect from average users. I do miss blackberry features like complete wipe out with 10 wrong passwords and encryption of SD card with our without media files. Your SD card is not secured this way. And I trust blackberry a lot lot more.


Email was a bigger challenge in the past but not anymore. You can download latest nokia email application either from Nokia site ( This allows you get push emails from upto 10 different accounts.

Instant Messaging

While there are not native gtalk client, you do have skype. There is no BBM messenger but you do get Fring.


I had all my contacts on blackberry synced to google contacts. Getting those to my phone was a tougher task. One of the option was to download and sync to a desktop account and sync it to phone using Nokia Ovi Suite. But after further research and trying to install google sync, I found out that you can use Mail For Exchange on Nokia to sync google contacts and calendar with the phone. Google has worked hard to support Exchange Protocol for synching. While Yahoo is trying to improve the site look and feel, it should also look at these kind of features that are really useful.

Here are the instructions at google site.

Google Instructions and screenshots are not perfect but if you play with it, you will get it right. Both contacts and calendar info.

I am not sure whether mail for exchange works with exchange 2003 and 2010 but that is something I still have to check.

How can I live without my blackberry keyboard. That is why I originally switched from Nexus One to Blackberry. Well, for the time that I am using N95, I am using predictive text input method which works OK. I also paired using bluetooth my wireless keyboard from Apple and it worked flawless.

Conclusion: You can pretty much get contacts, email, calendar and download latest apps from Nokia Ovi store. There are few nice apps including sports tracker,  etc.
 Google also provides gmail native application and google maps.
And you can use all these with Edge network using Airtel 98 INR/month plan for 2 GB. 
 Well, not smart phone but I am surviving for last 2 weeks.
I have to note that my N95 does support 3G and has front and back facing camera but my Airtel Provider does not support 3G at where I am. And this phone is 4 years old.