smokerings of my mind..

Connecting laptop to HDTV & Home Theater

I spent a lot of time searching, then researching for options to connect my laptop to my HDTV and home theater, to get best possible output. Sharing the solution I finally went in for, just in case any of you are looking for it —

1. Transferring video from your laptop to HDTV:

You have basically two options – (i.) S-video to DVI cable, or (ii.) HDMI to DVI cable. Now, since you already have an HDTV you might as well go for HDMI-to-DVI cables to enjoy the best possible experience. I went for Cables to Go HDMI to DVI – they cost about $30 on Amazon.

Since I have Macbook, which does not have a DVI outlet, rather it has a mini-DVI outlet, so I bought Apple Mini-DVI to DVI adapter – costing $18.

2. Transferring sound from your laptop to your home theater:

You will need an audio 2-RCA cable – so, one end of it has one plug, and the other has two plugs (red & white) that go into your home theater. Belkin Pure AV is a good brand – will cost about $10. Here, the max cable length that I found was 7ft, and I felt the need for an extension cable of 6ft – another $14.



May 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Pioneers & Settlers

I read a very interesting line this afternoon… adding to that.. here it goes..

In the world of business, there are Pioneers and there are Settlers. Businesses need both.

Knowing who you are will help you in deciding which direction to take.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regret minimization framework

Jeff Bezos:

I went to my boss and said to him, “You know, I’m going to go do this crazy thing and I’m going to start this company selling books online.” This was something that I had already been talking to him about in a sort of more general context, but then he said, “Let’s go on a walk.” And we went on a two hour walk in Central Park in New York City and the conclusion of that was this. He said, “You know, this actually sounds like a really good idea to me, but it sounds like it would be a better idea for somebody who didn’t already have a good job.” He convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. So I went away and was trying to find the right framework in which to make that kind of big decision. I had already talked to my wife about this, and she was very supportive and said, “Look, you know you can count me in 100 percent, whatever you want to do.” It’s true she had married this fairly stable guy in a stable career path, and now he wanted to go do this crazy thing, but she was 100 percent supportive. So it really was a decision that I had to make for myself, and the framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called — which only a nerd would call — a “regret minimization framework.” So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.” I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision. And I think that’s very good. If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?” it gets you away from some of the daily pieces of confusion. You know, I left this Wall Street firm in the middle of the year. When you do that, you walk away from your annual bonus. That’s the kind of thing that in the short-term can confuse you, but if you think about the long-term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.

Most regrets, by the way, are acts of omission and not commission. If you do bad things, if you go murder somebody, that would be bad, and that would be an act of commission that you would regret. But most everyday, ordinary non-murderers, when they’re 80 years old, their big regrets are omissions.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Dash – a potential ‘wow’ device

Few weeks back, I came across a post on Dash. I have been reading about Dash for over an year now – that they are building the next-gen GPS… they are trying to make the GPS interactive… attempting to be the iPhone of the PND industry (portable navigation industry).

Few really cool Dash innovations that I like (theoretically.. haven’t played with the unit yet) –

– Real time traffic flow: Dash takes data from the Dash Express units (installed in customers cars) and calculates traffic flows in real time.. and they say, it needs only about 100 units in a medium size city for this to work effectively.

– Send to car feature: Dash units have a built in GPRS. You can send addresses / search results to your car unit from your PC.

– Live search: It has built in Yahoo search engine.

And, now that Dash has opened up its platform for third party developers, there will be more of web-based content available to us in the car… and soon, we will be able to locate which of our friends are available and are in nearby area, look up for movie shows running in nearby theaters, buy movie tickets, make dinner (restaurant) reservations.. all with Dash… on the road.. while we’re stuck in traffic. Time well spent. Life made simpler. 🙂

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan train station during peak hour

Scene is pretty similar to Mumbai train station, where I have commuted for over an year. The difference is – in Japan, you have ‘Oshiya’ – who pushes you inside the train, while in Mumbai – we help push each other.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why FriendFeed is worth considering

I love FriendFeed.

This morning I came across an article that explains – why you should use FriendFeed. While I don’t subscribe to the notion of any ‘shoulds’ in life 😉 , the article gives few good logical reasons why you may want to look at FF.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Comcast buys Plaxo

So, finally after almost 3 months of rumors, it’s finally confirmed and official that Comcast bought Plaxo for $175 million (figure not officially confirmed yet).

I’ve been a user of Plaxo for the last 4 years. It is the best address book ever. It tried to go social-networking route with Pulse, which pulls activity streams from other services into users Plaxo page. There was big hoo-hah about it… but then how different is that from the Facebook feeds or the FriendFeed I get regarding updates from my contacts/friends?? I didn’t see any significant value add to justify the big hoo-hah.

All that said, Plaxo is THE best and THE most effective address book ever. I don’t know what exactly will Comcast eventually do with it. I know they use it with their SmartZone service. And they say Pulse will be used to deliver social media experience to Comcast users. Hmmm… well, that needs to be seen. I just hope the essence of Plaxo remains – the address book service.

Blog post on the deal by Plaxo CEO here.

Analysis on the deal by Gillmor Gang here.

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

I’m loving Adium

I had been looking for a decent interoperable IM client that would work well on my Mac. Few weeks back I bumped upon Adium. It served my purpose. The things I love about it –

– it is so very simple to use!!

– single IM client for all my IM accounts (Y!, G talk, MSN)

– cool sound settings and options

– it gives you ‘text to speech’ option for every event.. example, you can have it speak the name of your contact (or any other text you want) when s/he comes online

– besides, it has a very cute looking Duck icon

Now, if only the Skype integration was good and there was a mobile client too. Skype has the best voice chat. Currently you can get your Skype contacts in the Adium window, but you need to be logged in to Skype for that – which in my opinion beats the purpose. I’m sure the smart guys at Adium will do something about it soon.

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling to prospects

This is a follow up to my previous post on reaching out to potential prospects in our tech-savvy, executives-are-more-busier-now times. OK, so once you’ve connected with them, what do you do..?? I would love to write about it, however when some one else has articulated it very well, why reinvent the wheel… so sharing the article I read this morning on RWW –11 Biz Dev 1.0 Tips. These are so very common-sensical tips, but then common sense has always been a rather rarely used commodity so who ever uses that does well :-).

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Office Space

This is such a fundu comedy. It hits on the real life office-life. Every person who has an office job will relate to this movie in some way, and also to the characters and how each one represents some one you’ve worked with or is still working with. 🙂

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment