Dewdrops

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Early morning, fresh dew, and plenty of flowers – need I say more? Enjoy these macro beauties!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

0005 - TechnoFreak

 

Habit: trying to keep away my gadgets from my kids.

To Nexus 7, With Love

Beautiful Golf-ball-esque Texture

Beautiful Golf-ball-esque Texture

Like all men, I can’t help falling in love with high-tech gadgets so after a lot of deliberation, I finally caved in to peer pressure and splurged on a Chinese (read ‘cheap’) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet around two months ago. Turns out, it was a bad decision. Barely usable with its debilitated performance, delayed touch response, and apps that took ages to load, I decided to get rid of it. Luckily, I sold it for a 25% loss and purchased Asus’ Google Nexus 7 instead.

Surprisingly though, the Nexus is much cheaper (starting at around 199 USD) than its other ‘branded’ competitors, making it the first choice for people like me who enjoy a good bargain. Asus does sacrifice a few features to bring down the cost of the tablet, like a rear camera and a mini-HDMI port, but what it lacks in features, it makes up with its raw processing power. Showcasing Android Jelly Bean’s latest upgrade (4.2.2) and (mostly) flawless performance, it is, hands down, one of the best tablets around.

Nexus 7 is everything that you’d want in a tablet. With its top-of-the-line quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1 GB of RAM, this tablet is ideal for playing 3D games, surfing the net and reading books (three things I frequently use this tablet for). My 2-year old daughter absolutely loves playing children’s games on it, so much so that at times, I have to fight it out of her hands.

It has been almost two weeks since I purchased it and most of its 16 GB built-in memory is now full. I do experience a few lags here and there (and understandably so) but overall, it does not disappoint; a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. This is not a complete Nexus 7 review as you’ll find plenty of them online. It’s more of a cautionary tale for anyone planning to buy a cheap Chinese alternative due to budgetary constraints; the Nexus 7 will be totally worth the wait. Trust me!

Here are a few photos of this spectacular creation.

Fun With Lightroom’s HSL and Split Toning Features

Original Image

I have been using Adobe Lightroom for over a year now and the software never ceases to amaze me. At times, I just find myself opening random images to see how tweaking various settings affects my photo. HSL (short for Hue, Saturation and Luminosity) and Split Toning are perhaps my two most favorite tools and you will shortly see why.

In layman’s terms, think of HSL and Split Toning as something you do to recolor your images, increase the strength of some colors, and desaturate others. All I can say is that these features are a lot of fun. I don’t want to bore you with all the technical mumbo-jumbo, so even if you are an amateur wishing to digitally enhance your photos, Adobe Lightroom is the software to have. The learning curve is pretty steep (please take the literal meaning of this phrase i.e. easy to learn) so you should be up and running as soon as you install it.

Without further ado, here are a few examples. Hope they please your eyes. Enjoy!

Decreased saturation on yellow-green-orange components

Split-toning for a more dramatic effect

Desaturating everything but Aqua

Note: The image was taken at Wafi Mall, Dubai, UAE using a mere Sony Cybershot DSC-W130, which, by the way, is a great camera for beginners.

Aerobatics at Dubai Airshow

I happened to attend the Dubai Airshow back in 2009 and boy was it fun! Rummaging through my old photo collection, I came across these two shots that I absolutely loved, so I thought I’d share them with you. Enjoy!

Head-on Collision

Zoomin’ Ahead

 

Don’t You Wish Your Notebook Was Hot Like Me?

Isn’t that what we’re all running after these days? The latest gizmos, the fastest cars, the grandest homes, the hottest girls, the fanciest farm-bred horses (no harm fantasizing, right)? Well if you want to be part of life’s rat-race, you better have the right notebook to put you in the lead. The sleek new MacBook Air is the envy of every hot-shot and getting your hands on one is sure to get you into all the elite clubs you’ve been dying to get into (I might be exaggerating this a bit, but hey; my blog, my rules!). Looks can be deceiving; the new MacBook Air might be a platinum-blonde, but it sure ain’t dumb. With features unheard of in a notebook this size, it is the must-have gadget for 2011.

Body

In this world obsessed with size zeros, the MacBook Air proudly boasts a slim, bulimic, size -2 (read as minus two) body, slender yet powerful; your average Nikita. By default, it comes dressed in matte silver (aluminum finish) but couture brands like Colorware can dress it up for you in a multitude of colors for as little as $1,850 per gown. Irrespective of your dressing preferences, the Air sure is a sight for sore eyes. It comes in both 11″ and 13″ screen-sizes, measuring a mere 2.8 mm at its thinnest point and 17 mm at its widest.

Memory

Apple has successfully experimented with SSD/Flash storage in their other ‘i’ products (pod/phone/pad), only to introduce the same in the new MacBook Air. This thin, wafer-size chip is an essential element of the sleek new design and bestows up on you, the gift of instant turn-on from standby, whether it’s after a day, a week, or a month. Both models can hold up to 256 GB of of your life, extend-able using portable USB hard-drives.

Eyes

Even though the phrase “Big, bright, blue eyes” may not be applicable to the new Air, doesn’t mean it can’t see. A tiny sliver of a camera (codenamed FaceTime) graces the interior of this book, delivering quality video recording and chatting capabilities.

Graphics

With the latest in graphic display technologies, she comes in colors everywhere (only the hard-core Mac fans would get this innuendo), boasting a typical 15″ display resolution squeezed on to a 13″ screen (and a 13″ display resolution in it’s 11″ sibling). It’s a marvel how the geniuses at Apple were able to fit in an Nvidia GeForce 320M (with 256MB shared memory) into this deceivingly thin silhouette.

Sound

What good are looks if it doesn’t sound good, right? I can’t resist referring to the phenomenal uFone advertisement entitled “Saaf Aawaz” (meaning “clear voice” – the one with the pretty lady in Paris and the chorus singing “Teri aawaz ka jadoo”) to give you a better picture. You can always count on getting exceptional sound quality from a Mac and this notebook sure won’t let you down. Even though you can’t see the speakers hidden cleverly underneath the keyboard, you’ll definitely experience the power of full stereo while you watch your favorite TV shows or chat with friends.

Trackpad

Owing to my first-hand experience, many tried this (and failed miserably), but no one can do it better than Apple. The new Multi-Touch Trackpad boasts a jaw-dropping button-less design that allows you to interact with your MacBook Air in unimaginable ways. Innovation at its best, this extra-large trackpad lets you click, double-click, zoom, browse, rotate, navigate, switch between applications, scroll and do much more.

Battery Life

On a long lonely night, the 13″ book can pleasure you for a whopping SEVEN hours (and the 11″ for FIVE). You can browse the web, play your favorite movie, edit photos, or just sit and stare affectionately at the dazzling screen while occasionally caressing the trackpad.

Price

See? I saved the best for last. The one ironclad rule of dating: the more beautiful the girl, the pricier the gifts – and this baby is no exception! This drop-dead-gorgeous bombshell will end up making your pockets at least $999 lighter (and then some); the one I want is only $1,907 at the Apple store. With the recent advancements in technology, this book would be good for the next three years.

Below is a complete list of promises that this elegant lady upholds:

Features 11″ Model 13″ Model
Display 11.6″ – 1366 x 768 glossy wide-screen with LED backlighting 13.3″ – 1440 x 900 glossy wide-screen with LED backlighting
Graphics Nvidia GeForce 320M using 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM with Mini DisplayPort output
Front-side Bus 800 or 1066 MHz
Processor 1.4 GHz (SU9400) Intel Core 2 Duo with 3 MB on-chip L2 cacheOptional 1.6 GHz (SU9600) Intel Core 2 Duo with 3 MB on-chip L2 cache 1.86 GHz (SL9400) Intel Core 2 Duo with 6 MB on-chip L2 cacheOptional 2.13 GHz (SL9600) Intel Core 2 Duo with 6 MB on-chip L2 cache
Memory 2 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, extendable to 4GB
Secondary Storage 64, 128, or 256 GB of flash storage
Optical Storage NoneOptional External USB SuperDrive
Keyboard Gray characters, non backlit
Connectivity Integrated 802.11a/b/g/nBluetooth 2.1 + EDRWired Ethernet not supported
Battery 35-watt-hour non-removable lithium-ion polymer 50-watt-hour non-removable lithium-ion polymer
Weight 2.3 lb (1.04 kg) 2.9 lb (1.32 kg)
Dimensions 11.8 in (300 mm) wide × 7.56 in (192 mm) deep × 0.11 in (2.8 mm) – 0.68 in (17 mm) high 12.8 in (330 mm) wide × 8.94 in (227 mm) deep × 0.11 in (2.8 mm) – 0.68 in (17 mm) high
Peripheral Connections 2 × USB 2.01 × 3.5mm headphone jack 2 × USB 2.01 × 3.5mm headphone jack1× SD card slot

In the end, the choice is yours. I merely act as your guide to steer you in the right (wrong) direction. *evil sneer*

Cheers!

References

Official MacBook Air pagehttp://www.apple.com/macbookair

Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Air

Colorware Skinshttp://www.colorwarepc.com

Nexus404’s Bloghttp://nexus404.com/Blog/2010/11/23/colorware-does-new-macbook-air-professional-recoloring-service-will-now-touch-up-your-macbook-air-for-just-1850/