Sunday, October 15, 2006

Recommendation need for family tree software

Any recommendations for good, free (opensource) family tree software ? If there's an online version, that'd be great 'cos it could then help send invites and others could fill up details online and it'd be a dynamically self-building list. Needless to say, it needs to be free :)

If there's an opensource version that I can host by myself, that's also welcome input.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My new mobile phone - Nokia 6233

A few months ago, I'd written about thinking of getting myself a new mobile phone. The feature list is recorded here.

A few weeks ago, I finally got myself a Nokia 6233. Did a bit of "research", asked around quite a bit, looked at more than a few models (from various makes) and finally "decided" to plump for the 6233.

It doesn't have "Wi-Fi" capabilities, amongst the list that I'd written about, but I'm not really complaining at the moment [ I sure would start thinking about network security even if Wi-Fi was available on the phone and would want WPA2-PSK on it :) ]

6233 has the following features that *I* consider quite important for me :)

* camera / video (the images aren't really all that great. First I thought it was due to the low resolution setting that was by default, but changing it to high-res hasn't produced a great effect. The images are definitely nice to view on the phone, but not on the computer, maybe there's something I'm missing, have to know about, but at the moment it's a minor bit of let down, however, I can't complain about the convenience that it offers)
* mp3 player
* decent loudspeaker (serves well for playing mp3 too)
* fm radio (20 preset stations, needs the free headphone attachment supplied with the pack to pick up signals)
* voice recorder (absolultely wonderful. I recorded a 45min call crystal clear even though it was on external speaker phone and it just consumed 2.3MB. I've also tested it to record calls that happen via my mobile itself and even that works wonderfully)
* contacts maintainable via a simple interface on computer and syncable via outlook (presently I don't use outlook, hence using the simpler means of syncing up contacts)
* has calendar/to-do/notes that are easy to use and also syncable via outlook (imported my entire personal birthday calendar from yahoo calendar into outlook and then synced it to my phone !)
* 3G connection capabilities (although it will take some time to come up in a big way in India)
* It has infrared, bluetooth and USB connectivity options and I frequently use IR or USB
* Good volume for ring options (my earlier motorola c350e sucked on that regards, IMO) . One can assign ring tones from the mp3 music on the phone. Groups of contacts are possible.

For sending SMS, I use the IR mode and key in the text on my laptop and send it away. Very convenient (read further below for a pain point regarding SMS).

At my current rate of usage, the battery last about 1.5 days. I however tend to recharge it in about 1day 'cos I don't want to take a risk during long official calls. (Once when it was on silent mode for major part of about 2 days, the batter lasted more than 55hrs or so and I ended up recharging it even while there was still quite some power left in it)

The kewlest thing that I haven't yet mentioned (IMHO) is the nokia theme creator that can be used with the phone (way to go Nokia!). It's nice to be able to do personalization to the menu options on the phone. I ended up changing the background in every menu/page - even during startup/shutdown ! :)

Things that I miss (I can't really believe that I'm actually saying this) from my earlier simple Motorola c350e:
* Ability to assign direct dial numbers for most important contacts. I could assign 1-99 numbers for contacts on my phone and call any of them using number#. That was very convenient, 'cos one usually needs more than 10 direct dial numbers (got by pressing 1-9 continuously).
* When messages came in, the ring tone associated with the sender would apply for messages too.
* SMS texting was very convenient with T9 predictive texting. It could automatically learn my most frequently used words and interface was very easy. Nokia's SMS interface just SUX (maybe someone can teach me how it can be used in a better way).


Nokia 6233 - Rs.13450

The phone comes by default with a 64MB memory card (MicroSD). That's abysmally low IMO. I ended up getting a Toshiba 1GB card for Rs2150 (at Mercy Electronics on Arcot Road for those who are interested).

The IR approach to data transfer, while extremely convenient for small things, isn't all that great when it comes to transferring music and heavy stuff. So, I plumped for the data cable CA-53 at a cost of about Rs.350 (at Kevin Electronics, sister concern of Mercy Electronics, and a few shops besides the other).

Am quite happy with it for now :)