Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Western Digital WD TV Live Review

Western Digital WD TV Live Okie! Here goes my first gadget review. I am going to tell about a very cool bit of technology innovation called Western Digital WD TV Live player. A small cute device that is going to change the way you viewed connected media before!

Honestly speaking I didn’t appreciate this amazing piece of work when my husband bought it. Well he is a gadget freak or more rightly an electronics-shopaholic. But just like any shopaholics he has his own way of convincing why that was a ‘can’t live without’ stuff. I was really skeptical if any of his reasoning was going to even convince me on this. But this time, it was the product that convinced me! I’d not say that it’s a gadget you can’t live without, but I’d definitely say its worth every penny for its versatility.


Full-HD 1080p video playback.

Plays almost all types of media

Audio - MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA
Video - MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264),MTS, TP, TS Playlist  PLS, M3U, WPL Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8), SMI, SUB, ASS, SSA

Doesn’t require a Western Digital networked device to be able to play the media in it.

Live streaming from YouTube, Flickr, Pandora, and Live365. What’s more here?? You can login to your personal accounts in these internet media sites and play just your favorites! (Unfortunately Netflix and Picasa are missing)

Comes with a good remote control.


Yeah it does have few hitches.

1. Though the network setup is really simple (just have to plug-in the cable from router), a small mistake in setting up file sharing in connected PCs can take ages to resolve. I personally had this problem (I had one Win7 laptop and one Win XP laptop – WD infact offered to take the device back as they couldn’t say why I couldn’t connect to the networked laptops. Thankfully I had sense enough to Google for the solution and we were able to do the network media sharing!)

2. No inbuilt wireless connectivity. But this can be excused as streaming media over the network is better when its wired rather than wireless. (We did try the Wireless-N adaptor, but it works pretty good as our router is also 802.11 draft2 N class - but definitely not as good as having it hard connected). So what's the hitch? The extra bucks that you’ll have to throw in for the wireless adaptor (and a N router)

Final Word:

This all in one wonder box is sure enough worth the money and will have you hooked on to it. Its a real piece of entertainment – Go for it! Its time for you to experience the good things that come in this small package.

Already own one and like it? Share your awe!

Having trouble with WD TV Live? Do drop me a line in Comments – I’ll try to answer those (as I had run into quite a bit myself during the initial setup)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Internet explorer 9 Beta Review

IE version 9 was officially launched on 15th September 2010 with a lot of promising features and a magnitude of reengineering to give a fast, clean, secure, never before web experience. You can download IE9 Beta from

Web browsing or internet browsing constitutes almost over 80% of usage for a PC / Laptop users. Still it is one of the most compromised areas too. Browser crashes and slower loading time of graphic web pages are going to be things of the past with the latest IE in action. One of the most striking feature of IE 9 is that it puts content first. The screen space for the website is increased and browser controls reduced. So how does the experience get better?

1. Hardware acceleration: With the use of Microsoft DirectX technology in this browser, premium quality graphics will be displayed at ease.

2. HTML 5: Now enjoy Adobe Flash and Microsoft SilverLight without any need for plugins – thanks to HTML 5 supportable IE 9

3. JScript engine: The javascript engine used in IE9 is “Chakra” which compiles scripts on the fly that the running time is reduced

4. SVG: With SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) incorporated in IE9, the images and charts and maps will no more be pixilated in browser.


IE 9 has some very cool features over its previous version.

Single search/URL bar: With the unified search and URL bar, the browser has more space to display the page contents using lesser space for browser tools.

Pin websites to taskbar: If you liked the feature in windows 7 that allowed you to pin the frequently used applications to the taskbar, then you are going to love this new feature in IE9. You can now pin a website like an application to the task bar. Voila, you get to browser your favorite site just by a single click. Whats more, if the site had configured meta tags for jump list, you’ll see them upon right clicking on the pinned icon.

Smart Security: The IE9 is smarter in identifying and memorizing your regular download types .The built-in download manager doesn’t pop up  annoying warning for your most common types of downloads (like winamp) unlike the smartscreen filters in the previous IE versions.

Tear off/Aero Snap tabs: Well, this is not new if you had experience with Firefox 4. I thought this was one feature that IE was missing with respect to tabbed browsing and now thats there too!

Add-on Advisor: I’d say this is the smartest thing in IE9. It tells you when an add-on is slowing down the browser performance and gives an option to close just the add-on. So no more browser crashes! One might argue that this is not something new as Chrome already has tackled this browser crash problem. Yes, but at the cost of large memory usage (chrome uses different processes for each of the plug-ins/add-ons)

With respect to performance, security, ease of use and web standards and Development tools, IE9 beats the other two competitors hands down. This link here gives the best comparison of the browsers that I’ve seen so far.


I tried IE9 last week and since then my other browsers lay forgotten. I find the experience beautiful indeed!

Have you tried IE9 yet? Do you think IE9 is better than other browsers? Do share your comments!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spilled Water on Laptop

"What an Idiot!" Thats what I said to myself when I spilled water on laptop - not just drops but a lot :( In an over enthusiasm to show a fish bowl to my niece, I lifted the bowl above the keypad and unknowingly tilted it!! I know that you are just thinking "What an idiot!" But anyways,whats done is done and am out of action for days to come. Here's what I did immediately upon the spill: removed power,removed all external devices connected, removed battery,turned it upside down, bloated water on surface with tissue paper, vacuumed the keypad area (i don't mind if my vacuum doesn't work ever again) and left it turned upside down near a light bulb to dry.

Now I am keeping my fingers crossed as the warranty on laptop has expired!!!

Do you have any ideas on what I can do now??

Friday, September 17, 2010

We Are Family Review

Genre: K Jo Drama

Director: Siddharth P. Malhotra

Cast: Kajol, Kareena, Arjun Rampal, Aanchal Munjal, Nominath Ginsberg and Diya Sonecha

Storyline: A terminally ill single mom transferring responsibilities to a Stepmom.

Bottom line: K Jo’s big guns in action. Sadly they fail to fire!


I’m sure you’ll want to see the credits of this movie once again when you are done with going through the mawkish debacle just to check if Karan Johar’s name came under ‘Produced By’ or ‘Script and Screenplay’ section. This movie has all the K Jo elements-big stars, beautiful and rich houses (Does K Jo have a doctorate in making NRI stories?), cool locations and cute kids. Can you think of one K Jo film that didn’t have any of these? This is a baaaad remake of Julia Roberts starrer ‘StepMom’. Why is it bad –because there has been excessive usage of glycerin and almost zero usage of brain.

Bright Spots: Kajol’s commendable acting and Arjun Rampal looks very HOT (Poor guy he didn’t have anything to do in the movie- the director could’ve given him some more scenes and importantly with dialogs).

Bloopers: I don’t know from where the script writers get ideas for the things that kids do on screen. Its totally unrealistic and beyond a point actually starts to be irritating. The pace of the movie is very slow in the second half and the climax is over stretched. Even for some one like me who cries for the emotional scenes, just the hospital scene between kareena and Kajol brought tears!

Hit or Miss: There is certainly going to be some family crowd for this movie at least in the initial weeks. Make sure you take a tissue paper box for mommy. But otherwise, its not really worth a watch at theaters- wait for a couple more weeks, Colors TV will do a World Premier of this movie. I rate this movie at 2 stars.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Va Quarter Cutting music review

The mere title by itself is intriguing and raises an expectation to see a well made comedy. It is rumored to be Tamil Padam – Part II and I hope its not. Spoofing movies cannot sustain the humor quotient for long! Happened to hear the album today and I was not expecting a lot (even though music director was G.V.Prakash as this seems to be a comedy movie and comedy movies usually don’t have much weightage on music) as the songs these days do not seem to make a lot of impression on us. But I was pleasantly mistaken, for the album is quite good. All the songs are good to hear and have interesting lyrics. Kudos to Kumarraja,  for penning such refreshingly new lyrics. In an air stale with mix and match of same lyrics lifted in bits and pieces from other songs, his lyrics come as a breath of fresh air.

va quarter cutting music review

‘Unnai Kan theduthe’ is going to be a hit among the youth and is sung well by Gana Ulaganathan. All ‘kudimakkal’ are gonna be very happy about the lyrics. The beat might remind you of ‘Un mela aasai than’ – an other G.V. number. ‘Thediye Thediye’ is a rhyme like melody that sticks to your mind soon enough. A very beautiful song that starts with a sad tone but ends on a happier tone. Andrea has added soul to this song by showing the variation of the mood in her voice. ‘Saudi Basha’ has cool arabic / islamic beats. ‘Shake Shake Shake’ is going to be the way of youth for sometime to come now. Absolutely enjoyable lyrics by Siva and R.Amarendan (they’ve the credits for just this song in the album). ‘Saarpu Saarpu’ is a ghana type rap. Cool bit of music and lyrics again here. The last number is the remix of ‘Unnai kan theduthe’ and the ‘quarter quarter quarter’ humming is all that remains in mind after listening to this.

A interesting bit of innovation in this album – 4 dialogs are included as a part of track list! Those are hilarious too. Overall, this album is going to be a sure shot hit among the youth and FM radios are all going to play these songs nonstop on all their primetime shows!

A strong yes to buy this album. Rate this at 4 stars.

Click here to download these songs or to here to hear them online

Tracks in the album:

Dialogue 1
Artist(s): Siva, SPB. Charan

Unnai Kan Thedhudhe
Artist(s): GV. Prakash, Gana Ulaganathan
Lyricist: Kumararaja

Dialogue 2

Thediyae Thediyae
Artist(s): Andrea Jeremiah
Lyricist: Kumararaja

Dialogue 3
Artist(s): Siva

Saudi Basha
Artist(s): GV. Prakash, Bhargavi
Lyricist: Siva, R. Amarendran

Dialogue 4
Artist(s): Siva, SPB. Charan

Saarpu Saarpu Ji
Artist(s): GV. Prakash, Lakshmikanth
Lyricist: Kumararaja

The Quarter Song: Clubmix
Artist(s): GV. Prakash, Gana Ulaganathan, Remix: DJ Vijay Chawla
Lyricist: Kumararaja


Did you like the tracks? Do share your reviews in comments!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Boss engira Baskaran Review

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Director: Rajesh

Cast: Arya, Nayanthara, Santhanam, Rajendran, Chitra Lakshmanan, Subbu Panchu

Story line: Vetti hero loves heroine, family denies to marry girl off to a no job hero. Hero raises in life and marries heroine

Bottom line: Complete Galata, non stop entertainment, carnival for college students!

Arya (Boss) is a vetti officer who has still not completed degree and has been writing arrears for 5 years. Nayanthara (Chandrika) is a temporary lecturer and Boss falls for her at the very first sight. Boss’s brother Saravanan’s (don’t think hard where you had seen this handsome dude before – he was the villain in the serial ‘Arasi’) marriage gets fixed to Chandrika’s sister. Arya tries to ‘correct’ Chandrika but she says he has to get permission of her family if he wants to marry her. Family members don’t agree as Boss is jobless. Chandrika’s dad is hilarious!! So Boss sees ‘Annamalai” movie and wants to become rich soon. So he along with his friend nallathambi (Santhanam) start a tutorial college. Did he succeed? Did he get to marry Chandrika? The rest of the movie answers these.


A  complete clean family entertainer. Arya seems to be on a roll. This is his third consecutive hit and he is cute on screen. Santhanam seems like the second hero of the movie. His comedy is nice. Hope his comedy doesn’t get stale doing the same things in another movie. Jeeva comes in a guest appearance just like how Arya was the rich groom (cameo) in Siva Manasula Sakthi. Nayanthara looks tired in most of the scenes.  There are 5 songs in the movie:

1.“Ada Boss Boss”
Sung By: Sathyan

2.“Yaar Antha Penthan”
Sung By: Haricharan

3.“Thathi Thaavum Paper Naan”
Sung By: Karthik

4.“Iyley Iyley”
Sung By: Vijay Prakash

5.“Mama Mama”
Sung By: Vijay Yesudas, Shweta Mohan

Show stealers: Santhanam – he is just awesome. This film has shown his true potential. I bet college go-er’s famous dialog now is ‘nanben da’!  No unnecessary elements in the movie like fights

Bloopers: Songs, Songs, Songs. Though the songs are good to listen, they dampen the pace of the already slow second half. Nayanthara looks old to be Arya’s pair.

Hit or Miss: A certain hit! I rate this movie at 4 stars for total entertainment. Have fun watching in theaters.

Dabangg – What a movie!

Genre: Action, Drama

Director: Abhinav Kashyap

Cast: Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Dimple kapadiya, Vinod Khanna, Sonu Sood

Story line: Good triumphs Evil – simple as that

Bottom line: Absolute paisa vasool!!

With all  the gray shade the in betweens andcharacters marking the bollywood movies these days, it is like a cool refreshment when we get to see movies like Dabangg. The magic formula that ignited the screens in 80’s is brought back with the good conquering evil said in a complete entertainment package. Chulbul Robin hood Pandey is a fearless cop who is not really the HonestRaj types but is still good in his own way. His mother (Dimple) is widowed when he is very young and she marries Vinod Khanna. He has a step brother Makhanchan (Arbaaz Khan) who is dull headed. He is fond of his mother but remains distant with step-father and step-brother who also do nothing to amend this. He meets Rajo (Sonakshi) with whom he instantly falls in love. After his mother’s death, he severs all ties with the rest of his family and marries Rajo and lives separate. The evil Cheddi singh (Sonu Sood) brings the brother against each other just so that he could avenge Chulbul. How he is taught a lesson is narrated with all the essential masala in place.


For Salman fans this is one great treat after a very long time. Malaika Arora Khan sizzles the screen in her cameo number ‘Munni badnaam hui’. Thankfully, the song is better lyric-ed than other item numbers which is just a mixture of words from some other item song. Sonakshi looks pretty and does decent bit of acting.  The stunts are good too!! I was just wondering how Salman went without baring his torso for so long, that the climax came for him to exhibit the toned body.  “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain” lingers long in the mind after watching the movie. An out and out entertainer, with lot of reasons to watch in theaters.

Hit or Miss: A definite box office hit. I’d rate the movie at 4 stars just for the entertainment quotient.

The best home remedy for cold : Chukku Kashayam (Dry Ginger Potion)

As promised, I write this post to share one of the best remedies for cold.

Chukku kashayamIngredients:

Chukku (Dried Ginger) – about 5 inch long piece

Black pepper – 10 to 15 (crushed fine)

Cumin and Coriander seeds – 1 tsp each crushed fine (optional)

Karupatti (Palm Jaggery) powdered – 1 cup

Tulsi (holy Basil) leaves – 1 bunch

Water – 5 cups

Coffee powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)


Crush the chukku in a mortar and pestle  till it almost gets powdered (If you get really good dried ginger, it’ll become powder with relatively lesser crushing – ask for ‘maavu chukku’). Dissolve the karupatti in water in a thick bottomed vessel, to this add the powdered chukku, crushed black pepper, coriander and cumin seeds and the tulsi leaves. Allow this mixture to come to a boil. If desired, 1/2 tsp of coffee powder can be added now for the flavor. Allow this to boil on a medium flame for about 10 minutes. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to sediment. Pour out the clear liquid and drink.

This is a sure shot home remedy for common cold. This mixture would be spicy(hot) and if you have a moderate cold, you can use a little less of the chukku and black peppercorns.

Cold or not, this drink is quite refreshing and can be taken everyday!!!

Do try it sometime and let me know if it helped. Have other home remedies for cold? do write them in comments!

The annoying ‘common’ cold!!

common coldThat’s right, I was down with a sore, painful throat and a bad cold for the past few days. I feel that the common cold is the most annoying of all the illness, thats bcos, one is not actually sick but still cannot go about the regular discourse without a feeling of unease. Since it is said that ‘A cold cures in 7 days without pills and in 1 week with pills’, I thought this time I’d take the 7 days trial :)

I am going to write a separate post on the ‘sukku kashayam’ (the dry ginger potion) that actually worked wonders on my cold. But here goes small tips that work in a big way! If you have a bad cough, try these home remedies:

1. To 1 glass of hot milk, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and crushed black pepper (3 to 4) and natural brown sugar (panam karkandu) and mix well. Drink it when it is tolerably hot. This not just soothes the throat but also controls the cough.

2. To a teaspoon of honey, add 3 to 4 crushed pepper and powdered cinnamon (about 1/2 inch long). Drain this down the throat slowly so that the taste lingers in the throat for sometime.

3. It can be really irritating if coughing does not cease when we try to sleep. Try having one black pepper (slightly crushed) and 1 rock salt (size of the black pepper) in your mouth. Don’t swallow it, just keep it in the mouth and let the flavor get to the throat slowly.

4. Gargle with hot salt water at least 3 times a day and keep drinking hot liquids all through the day whenever the coughing sensation sets in.

P.S: Even though the cold kept me from posting new posts, it didn’t stop me from watching a lot of movies. So look out for many reviews in the next few days!

Do you have any other tips that had come useful when you had cold? Do share them in comments.. I am sure they’d help me next time around!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Inception Movie Review

Genre: Action, Sci-fi

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard

Storyline: Of Dreams, dreamers and their ideas

Bottomline: The director must’ve been on hell of a dreamer – excellent – undoubtedly the movie of the year


When insanely unimaginable stuff is presented on screen in an unprecedented way with unparalleled clarity, there is no way that one could help being swept off the ground! Inception just does that to you. A brilliant no-chaos script that doesn’t confuse the viewers even though it is ‘the most freshest’ and the most unimaginable idea. Leonardo has just cake walked through the Dom Cobb character – arguably the best by DiCaprio so far. Not to leave the supporting cast – every one has done an excellent job.

Leanordo (Cobb) specializes in extracting the secrets from the subconscious mind by sedating them into his dream (shared dream). He has many corporate espionages that makes him one of the ‘wanted’ man by International police. Cobb also has the blame of his wife’s (Mal) death to his name which makes him stay away from his kids for he cannot enter into US. Mr.Saito, a powerful man offers to clear his name and get him into states if he could plant an idea in his rival’s (Robert Fischer) mind – just the opposite of extraction that Cobb specializes in. Cobb accepts the job and plans to take Robert into three levels of dreams. God knows how Nolan imagined this stuff!!! Now this three shared dream level is complex and unlike in less complex dreams, death in this doesn’t wake one up but gets them into a limbo where they have to stay till the dream will end. Does Cobb succeed in his mission? – the answer comes in the action packed second half of the movie. The best part of the movie for me is its conclusion. Nolan lets the viewer decide if Cobb’s totem did topple or if he is still dreaming!

I’d be surprised if it doesn’t bag in at least an handful of Oscars. The best movie that I’ve seen in this year. Watch in theaters and take your friends along, am sure they cannot thank you enough!

I rate this movie at 5 stars!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peepli[Live] movie review

Genre: Draorea
Director: Anusha Rizvi
Cast: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuveer Yadav, Malaika Shenoy, Naseeruddin Shah, Shalini Vatsa, Farrukh Jaffer
Storyline: A social issue handled in quite an intelligent way
Bottomline: Hits the chords just right – A Definite yes!
I don’t think there is much left for a hobby critic like me to review the movie. After all, it had won accolades even before its release in Dublin international film festival. Still, I couldn’t stop myself from writing this for I wanted to share my awe at such an intelligently thought out movie and the excellent way in which the extremely sensitive issue of farmers suicide has been handled.
peeplilive The casting scores cent percentage. From amma to the agri minister and everybody else in between, they just seem to be die cast for the role! The scene in which the brothers decide on who is going to suicide (that you see on trailers) is just an example of the black hue in the flick. The scene where the reporter fakes as if two ladies are possessed by ‘Mata’ may look hilarious on scene, but the disgusting truth is that it is in fact the most realistic portrayal of today’s irresponsible, TRP crazy news media. Everything about the film is realistic and there is no over exaggeration at any point.
An excellent movie which has rightfully reached the masses (thanks to the bollywood Demi God Aamir) unlike the other movies of such genre that go out of box-office without any noise within weeks of release. Do make sure you watch this movie on theaters, for its going to be the best in its class for a long time to come!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How to make a flop extravaganza?

This year has seen many high budget extravaganza movies that went straight to the dumpster from the box office within a week into launch. And with me reviewing the movies, was ill-fated to sit through those. I am really fed up watching these no script/dumb joke/total nonsense movies these days that I can give tips for making movies getting inspiration from the likes of Sajid khans. So here goes the 10 ways to make a extravagant flop movie:

1. Sign the top hero and heroine for the movie – their salary would eat up almost 1/3 of the total budget

2. Shoot the entire movie at international exotic locations.

3. Have songs that are totally irrelevant to the movie.

4. Get as many well known supporting cast as possible – even if they are going to show their faces in just one scene in the entire movie

5. Make a flashy and costly Poster for the movie.

6. Make a grand audio launch in a 5 star hotel inviting all big shots and making them say “this movie is going to be the hit of the year”

7. Create publicity stunts (like spreading rumors that hero and heroine of the movie are going out together in real life too)

8. Get the stars as special judges into all the reality shows with Judges on TV (whether they know the art or not).

9. With all these hype created, see the distribution rights for a whooping fortune!

10. Most important of them all, don’t bother to have any script for the movie (who cares about the script after all when you have the top hero and heroine romancing at international exotic locations)

With all these done, the movie hits the box-office with a lot of expectations and finally disappoints the poor audience and goes into the trash bins. The TV channels get lucky with these movies – they do the “world premier screening” of the movie within weeks of its release!