Showing posts from December, 2011

Troubleshooting wi-fi connectivity with Intel Centrino Wireless N-1030

There is a problem which has cropped up recently on my Dell Vostro 131. It refuses to connect to my Linksys WAG54G2 router, and when it does, the connection breaks almost immediately. I established that it could not be a router issue (I sit and work on the sofa next to the damned router) and besides, other devices including my iPad and my old Dell XPS laptop are connecting perfectly well. So I figured that it's a problem with the network adaptor/ drivers.

Here is a summary of the steps that I took to address the problem. They seem to have worked, but I will be calling Dell customer support if the problem persists. Do note that I use Windows 7, and the screenshots I have posted may not be applicable for XP/Vista machines.

Intel acknowledges that there is a problem with several products - see the list in the article for details. The feature called 'Power Saving Polling' which is intended to save battery life but can cause problems if the router or access point cannot impleme…

The Handy Guide to the Samsung Galaxy Range

There's one word to describe the Samsung Galaxy smartphone range - confusing . Well, Nokia did much worse with the endless alphanumeric combos like C2-03 and X2-01 and I spent half a day figuring out what they all stood for when I composed my handy guide to Nokia phones earlier this year. Samsung has not made it too easy either. The company tags "Galaxy" to every Android phone/tablet it makes and "Wave" to every bada phone and after that, price is really the only cue to figure out what's at the top of the heap and what's at the bottom.

So here's the low down on the Galaxy range. Earlier this year, Samsung introduced a naming convention to define the Galaxy Range (thanks, Mobile Gazette for the lowdown!) which is as follows;

S = Super Smart (Top End phones)
R = Refined (High End Devices)
W = Wonder (Upper Mid Range Phones)
M = Magical (Mid Range Phones)
Y = Young (Entry Level Smartphones)

In addition, a 'Pro' handset will feature a QWERTY key…

Review of Dell Vostro V131

I don't usually do reviews - there are so many sites who do a fantastic job (and more importantly, do it at the time of launch - whereas, I am usually  a late adopter). But the Dell Vostro V131 is likely to interest a lot of people like me who are buying on a budget so I thought I would do a quick recap after two weeks of using it. This does not purport to be an exhaustive review - I'll give you some links to reviews that helped me to make up my mind at the end of this post. It is rather a recap of the good and bad points.

I bought this laptop for work use (I am self employed). I was looking for a light, 13 inch laptop with good service support at a price point under Rs.60,000. No graphics card. Good keyboard. The choice narrowed down to  the Dell Vostro V131 and the Sony Vaio S series which features some models under Rs.60,000. I also considered the Dell XPS 14, but did not see an additional value for paying Rs.65,000 other  than the good looks. As an aside, the XPS range has…

Will Windows Phone be the third wheel in the mobile party?

It's been  a year of massive upheavals in the volatile mobile phone market. First of all, smartphones now constitute 30% of mobile shipments worldwide. Secondly, according to Gartner, in Q3 2011, Android gained more than 50% market share globally, doubling its market share over 2010. And Samsung overtook Nokia to become the world's largest cell phone manufacturer. The casualties were RIM and Nokia - Symbian lost nearly half its market share while RIM plummeted below 10% in the US market. Nokia continued to maintain some momentum thanks to a slew of low end devices aimed at  the emerging markets, but RIM did not have the same fortune.

Now in a scenario where Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS rule the market, is there room for a third player? And who is it likely to be?

The logical answer is of course Microsoft with its WP OS. Microsoft has so far not made a dent in the mobile market - it is stagnating at less than 2% market share even  after the launch of the new oper…

The best 3G data plan in Mumbai

If you use 3G a lot, on your smartphone or tablet, you would also have figured that 3G data plans are prohibitively expensive and restricted in many ways. For example, there are almost no unlimited plans, you pay extra for roaming on other networks and 3G coverage is patchy.

MTNL Mumbai has some extremely attractive unlimited 3G packs. The pick of the bunch is the 3G 4500 plan which gives you unlimited data for 6 months at just Rs.4500. Pair this with the seamless 3G roaming on BSNL networks at no extra charge and you have the best plan for Mumbaikars as of now. This plan is available for both prepaid and postpaid MTNL users and can now be purchased online.

Do bear in mind that MTNL Mumbai does not offer MicroSims for iPad so you will have to purchase and cut the SIM yourself to use with an iPad. That's easy to do, and TechRadar has an excellent guide which I followed to create my own MicroSim.

Here are the MTNL 3G settings for iPad in Mumbai.

How to increase partition size of C (System) Drive in Win 7

I am back to blogging after a long gap!

This post is based on my practical experience (Read : struggle) with partitions in my new Windows 7 PC. Windows 7 provides a disk management tool which makes it very easy to create new partitions. You simply go to Control Panel/ System and Security/ Create and Format HD Partitions and you get a window which lets you  easily and intuitively create partitions.

So creating partitions is easy. The problem starts when you later decide that you want to increase the partition size of C Drive. There is an option called Extend Volume but it shows up greyed out and it cannot be used. So you are stuck with lots of extra free space elsewhere and you can't use it on C Drive. What do you  do?

At this stage, you need  to get a third party software to help you. I used EaseUS Partition Manager which is a great freeware tool. Ten  minutes and one boot up and my C drive volume got extended.

Here are the steps:

1) Backup your data!

2) Download the partition man…