Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Problems with USB supporting DVD players

After using my Philips DVP3888 for over a year, here are some of the experiences of the same. I feel most other similarly modelled players will also have such issues, but do post if there are changes. Most of these are half-baked laymen experience, so do NOT expect any technical stuff (unless typed in by accident)

1. It supports DivX, Xvid (i havent tried all variants in that though).
2. Any video with resolution higher than 720p (width) does not show video although audio plays
3. MP4 files are considered as mp3 files and no video is displayed
4. Any movie which is bigger than 1.2Gb plays plays only till that time when the file size reaches 1.2Gb... that is, if the movie length is say, 90 minutes, and the file size is 1.3Gb, then the movie stops playsing approximately around the 75 minute mark. I had to split the files into smaller sized chunks (I use FormatFactory for this)

5. If your pen drive becomes too fragmented, then for video files, I have seen two cases
--> 5.1 The audio lags the video (or)
--> 5.2 The audio and video slows down pretty badly that a female voice will sound like a male

The same video worked fine after I defragmented the pen drive.

6. Photo loading is pretty slow
7. To load a photo fast, I had to press the next photo button. In this case, the current photo loads up fast (i dont know how it works, but yes, it works).. but soon the next photo starts to fill in top-down.
8. In my player, if mp3 files are present in the pen drive, then the first folder it encounters start to play the moment the drive is loaded.
9. I think it supports usb HUB based devices also. Cos, I once used a multi-card reader and used a CF card to view photos and videos and it worked.

Revolution 2020: A relaxing read

Revolution 2020Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice simple read; Chetan Bhagat style. Nothing special, still offers a decent story trying to prod into the moral and ethics of the society we operate in (India).

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The 90s and tamil movies

The 90s tamil movies with "certified" heroes came in many categories. I was able to make out three distinct ones. The major league players were (and are) the ever-impressive kamal, and the one man powerhouse, Rajni. Next came the crop of 'new' heroes. The marble-garble dialogue hero Karthik, the budding 'thala' Ajith and the ever extended hands (it would have made no difference if they were precast with PoP) of ilayathalavali, er, ilayathalapathy Vijay.

And then, there was the un-tamilistically tall Sathyaraj talking the same dialogue in different dresses and locations, one-dress one-location one-story only RajKiran, and the ever-lover boy Murali.

The third is the special cases. By cases, I mean, real gone cases.
First is the ever angry, always corrupt-free, "pure" minded, sociopathic, i mean, socialistic Vijaykanth; and last, but NEVER EVER the least, (drum roll please) the only colourful hero, everyone's favorite, ultimate action-sequence star, Mr. Pasunesan, who goes by the name of Ramarajan. His vocal affinity towards the bovine fraternity was so much that during one particular sequence of discussion between him and an Ox, he gave a choice between him singing or the Ox giving milk. He won. To this date, the medical field has been flabbergasted into submission over that incident.

Oh, talking of songs. Every hero group had its own set of "hero" song. The major league players doled out advice, the centre crop had a song that discussed the eternal attraction of youth to drinks, two-piece wielding one-song girls, and words that were understood only by the Omaticaya clan. And the special category... well... you know... they sing... song.... around tree barks, in parks, cycle stands, under corporation pumps... well, basically things that inspired Sam Anderson to become a hero, you get the drift, don't you.

Atleast the 'hero' songs of those years had unadulterated crap that the youth generally were prone for. But, soon the stalwarts of tamil moviedom with their ecclesial mission changed all that. All it took was a 7 digit bank balance, and an association with the then ruling party. After that, you have virtually every right in the world to have your own build-up song. A song where you (no matter how teensy weensy your height and brain are) can go all bernard shaw to the un-assuming family who had come to live out the misery.

Yes, the 90s were fun... I miss them...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How it went

Sometime back, I attended a seminar in Bangalore on using new tools for embedded development and testing. It all started nicely in a nice hotel and all. But, after sometime, my brian decided to go for a break (and never return till the end of the day). I was taking notes in the beginning and then the below happened... I am typing what I wrote for my own understaing in later years (the original is also loaded for your reference ;-) )

120 Engineers, project leaders and test heads; all trying to understand why in the world should one use JTAG to debug embedded systems and why no the history proven (and cheap) process of using printf and LED indicators. Mr. P. Seshan spoke for most of the 6 hours trying just that. I do not know how it was for others, but for me, it was the whole session just about grazed my hair while going over it.

The morning session started with topics on conventional methods of debugging like ICE, printf, etc. People at that time were pretty enthusiastic and started asking questions. Some who thought they had a good question and some who actually had a proper query both raised the stakes of the seminar. Suddently, there was an onrush of lame questions that a professor (who happened to attend the seminar) told Mr. Seshan how to put a stop to such questions by asking him to tell what the scope of the discussion was. It seemed to have silenced the people for some time.

This gave the speaker much needed time to actually go to the topics he had originally intended. Then started the concept of JTAG and what it is, how it works, etc, etc. That was when my brain started to go into suspend mode. Then all I heard was

... blah blah blah blah JTAG... blah blah blah blah memory blah blah blah blah blah processor blah blah blah blah blah JTAG... and (at this point everything else faded into oblivion)...


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Philips DVP3388 - Delay between audio and video

After lots of online reviews, I ended up buying the Philips DVP3388. It sure did justice on its part of displaying damn good clarity when a DVD is played. I tried with the Transformers DVD. I ended up watching the movie twice, just for its clarity (as a digress, I already had watched it about 20 times before the HDMI enhancements). Divx playback was also pretty much clean and decent (I used a 16Gb Corsair pendrive). But, over time, I started noticing a change in the USB playback. The audio and video in the divx playback started to go haywaire. The video was the winner with the audio lagging noticeably. I was seriously confused, because the video playback on a PC was immaculate. I tried lots of things like reducing the total data content in the pendrive, tried playing smaller sized divx files, even tried playing older files which previously worked just fine. Suddenly one day, a flash occured, and I ended checking the fragmentation. The pen drive was fragmented (but not very badly though). So, just to try out, I defragged it. Voila, everything played perfectly on the player now. I dont know if this same issue occurs with other players (I remember no one mentioning about this issue anywhere), but this sure is an issue with DVP3388.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Unofficial Indian (mostly) Traffic Laws

A fwd which I couldn't ignore.

1. The Other Side Law: If my side of the road has a traffic jam, then I can start driving on the wrong side of the road, and all incoming cars will be rerouted via Meerut.
2. The Queue Nahin Rule:If there is a queue of many people, no one will notice me sneaking into the front as long as I am looking the other way.
3. The Mind Over Matter Law:If a red light is not working, four cars from different directions can easily pass through one another.
4. The Auto Axiom:If I indicate which way I am going to turn my auto rickshaw, it is an information security leak.
5. The In Spit Of Thing:The more I lean out of my car or bus, and the harder I spit, the stronger the roads become.
6. The Cinema Hall Fact:If I get a call on my mobile phone, the film automatically goes into pause mode.
7. The Brotherhood Law:If I want to win an argument, I need only to repeatedly suggest that the other person has illicit relations with his sister or mother... .
8. The Baraat Right:When I'm on the road to marriage, all the roads in the city belong to me.
9. The Heart Of Things:If I open enough buttons on my shirt, the pretty girl at the bus stop can see through my hairy chest into the depths of my soul.
10. The Name Game:It is very important for the driver behind me to memorize the nicknames of my children.
11. Parking Up The Wrong Tree:When I double-park my car, the road automatically widens so that the traffic is not affected..
12. The Chill Bill Move:When I park and block someone else's car I am giving him a chance to pause, relax, chill and take a few moments off from his rushed day.
13. The Brrrrp Break:The louder I burp in a public place; the more it helps other people digest their food.
14. The Bus Karo Law:If I stop my bus at the correct place near the bus stop, the city will explode and blow into 6 million pieces.
15. The VIP Rule:There are only 7 important persons in this city-Me, I, Myself, Main, Naan, Aami and Moi !

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Numb3rs - Larry's wedding speech

I suppose the TV seriese Numb3rs' life is over (its not official as of this post). What with the wedding of Charlie and Amita completed in a 2 episode sequence, all the while solving crimes. I however, liked the speech given by Larry before the exchange of the rings. Just for my memory (and to all those who love the tv series), here it is.

With the request of the bride and groom, i'll keep my remarks short and non-technical.

Whilst you all know that the 4 fundemental forces of physics are electromagnetism, strong nuclear interaction, weak nuclear interaction and gravity.

Colby: So I wonder what the technical version sounds like

I heard that.

we've been talking here about the forces that bind the universe. But, what binds humans?


Powerful in small spaces, yet with profound effect on distance. Love defies time, outliving both its source and its object. Love is faster than light; for light requires time in order to travel through space, but love reaches its object instantaneously. Love journeys forever; into infinity. And its here binding together two lives. (gets the ring) Symbolic of eternity and rendered in a beautiful element.

Amita Ramanujam, do you take Charles Edward Epps to be your husband.
Amita: Yes, I Do.

Charles Edward Epps, do you take Amita Ramanjuam to be your wife.
Charlie: I Do.

I pronounce you Husband and Wife.