Asianet DTV Service

August 26, 2007

Heres a typical consumerist type entry.

I switched one of my TV’s to the digital service from Asianet. They hooked me up with a Scientific Atlanta (now Cisco) Z60 DVB digital set top box. There’s nothing special on the inside, except that it differs from its elder sibling , the Z70, since the ethernet port / chips are not soldered on. It does have a SIM card slot though.

What they say:

* DVD Quality picture and sound
* Over 115 digital channels
* Electronic program guide
* Program reminder

What i say:

* The picture and sound is a definite improvement over the regular cable. Some programmes on Star World seem to have a single channel of sound. Definitely a mood killer!
* They do have 115 Channels! I counted. Of which, 1 is a demo channel with information about the channels, a sample channel with 4 streams playing ( 4 malayalam video streams , but no audio), and 5 placeholder channels for Video on Demand.
* EPG . Technically true. doesnt meet up to their claim of a 7 day schedule. Its more like a 3 day schedule, and you cannot go back to see what programs you missed. (big mistake!) Also, im not really intersted in knowing that some channels are showing “No data available”. The schedule could use a good dose of upper/lower case education for easy readability.
* Program reminder .. Notice i use programme/program interchangeably. It does remind me, but there a too many options to set a reminder. Kind of a pain.

Now for the other features… Asianet says, 1 year warranty, and lifetime free service on the STB. Also , they should allow exchange upgrades when newer devices come out ( DVR!! 😀 ). I will believe it when i see it. They provide a composite a/v cable to connect the STB to your TV, and plugin the RF coax cable to the STB. They do not connect the STB to the TV using coax. A recipe for disaster.

Yesterday, my service cut out on me. The end of the world you say? Well, it turned out that the digital service cut out, but the analog service worked fine. But, for me to access it, i needed to unplug the Cable from the STB, and plug it into the TV. (Cheapskates). 12 hours later, the service seems to be back up.

After repeated calls, that is.

So heres the info you were looking for:

To get it: SMS STB to 62635. You should get a confirmation message, and they will call you up.
They will offer you two STB models. The vanilla STB, or the EPG enabled Z60 STB. Its a Rs. 300/- in your one time payment. You pay a years subscription upfront to cover the cost of the device.

In case of a problem , call 3016666 . ( Trivandrum users anyway… ) . If the line is still in service ( like today , when the service provider informed me that the line is out of service, after i tried a few times. ) they should pickup and redirect you to your local area office. So far so good.

On popping open the box, theres nothing really fancy that caught my eye. But of course, the flash / ram chips , the tuner and a STM chip called OMEGA. More research into that when i get my camera back. Yes. i have outsourced my camera.

If you are stuck with asianet cable/internet, then DTV is worth a try. Otherwise do check out TataSKY and/or DishTV ? Anyone willing to sponsor one 🙂 ?


Master Cards and Visa’s

June 22, 2007

If you’re a happy airline-traveler , clap your hands …
If you like cramped seats with no headrest, clap your hands …
If you like the force of takeoff , and the yummy airline food,
then you should fasten your seatbelt and clap your hands!!

Happenings: He who must not be named flew to MAA for dinner at Sparky’s Diner. “He” met the Chef. Or rather the Chef met him and enquired why he was not eating anything. He had just stepped off a plane. He had just been treated to tapioca and a gravy-yard of fish. He was just digesting the fact that he had eaten local gastric generator specialties on an aircraft. He came to the conclusion, that the wings at sparky’s ( Never trust a skinny chef ) , were no match for the 3 mile island at Hooters .

He then bid adieu to the Chef, and proceeded home, to spread the word of cheese on his daily bread , and partook in it . After all , he was still hungry! Later in the week , he visited Richie Street, twice , in search of a match. He knew for many years that there was a void that needed to be filled, not dentally, not mentally, but optically. After a lot of matchmaking and moser baer coaster generation , he settled for a dusky beauty, a Liteon multitasker!

Also, he went home and proclaimed, ‘let the computer remain on, when all those around remain in darkness, but let it be known that he who stays on too long, eventually will return to the darkness’ .

3 weeks later, he felt another void. This time it was a void Tablet(); . So this little piggy went to the bank. This little piggy went to the market. Finally this little piggy returned home with a Iball Graphics Tablet ( 8″ x 6″ ) .

Finally, a creation:

Taruns Activities

June 3, 2007

My ID…

Originally uploaded by tarunactivity

* Tested out some Arctic Silver 5 on the aging AMD Athlon XP 2200 on Asus A7V .

* Swapped SDRAM sticks and ran Memtest86 on them ..

* Tried to get Fedora 7 Live / XP / Xubuntu on it with great difficulty.

* Disabled the ghost 3.5″ A: in the bios..

* …..

C*** Off!

May 20, 2007

Hairy Peter was not in his element. After all the strange things that kept happening to him, and people poking and prodding his scar all day, (that caused it to glow… ) . He was no ordinary wizard. He had cleared his third year magical certifications to become a Magical Specialist! (MS) . And now , he faced his biggest challenge ever….

The Boss.

Hairy Peter enters the chamber of no return , (~ roughly translated as ‘cube-icle’) . He looks around. It is as was mentioned in the scrolls. One shall be forever condemned to the windowless confines of hell, where there shall be space for 4, but shall be 6 or more, and where there are not enough network portals for everyone. Oh the horror. He looks around. He sees a vacant space in the chamber that will soon be converted into a torture device, where a newly enslaved wizard, or witch will be chained to and forced to document every minute of the day in TPS reports.

He shudders at the thought.

Later he sees the eye. The I of the sticker on all the transparent glass doors and walls that are placed strategically at eye level, so one sees it only after being ensnared in its captivating presence, and only after having bumped into it.

Behind the wall of I’s lies the Boss “who must not be harmed”. It is a well known fact to the class of wizards and witches that the bosses (Koopa/Voldermort/…) are immune to spells cast by novice magicians. (and also seem to elude the ecstacy caused by leg swinging in the posterior on certain special occasions) .

Hairy enters, with his wand drawn. The Boss stands up like agent smith, and says,’I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Anderson’ .

Hairy makes a quick gesture and casts Spell #456. of Sacred Spells and Sorceries, (SSS) , also found on page 1962 of Warren and Trump .

C*** Off! ****************************

Music from Andrew Lloyd webber:
A crash of drums, A flash of light,
my cow-workers flew out of sight,
those cow-wards faded into darkness,
I was left aloone….!
Narrator: Never before had such a curse spell been uttered by a third year magician.  The boss wizard reels in disgust, …

Nooo . ooo .oooo .oooo .oooo  ( while his head shakes “no” in slow motion )
For and example, refer here.

To be continued!

Hack a Thon, Hackathon!

January 13, 2007

Hear Ye, Hear ye,

Terrasoft, (maker of all things for the PowerPC) , maker of YDL 5.0 for the PS3
is conducting a hackathon.

Now contrary to popular assumption , this has nothing to do with gardening or any other outdoor sport. Check out for the low down on the event.

Any volunteers? Colorado or Bust.

(Sounds like i’m not gonna get either)

Anyway, Things i’d like to see on the Cell/PS3:

1. Optimised MM Codecs that will kick the Core2Duo’s a$$

2. Use the TOSLink for high speed data transfer between PS3’s

3. Connect 2 PS3’s in a SLI / Crossfire config

4. Power saving mode / multitasking

5. Custom firmwares ( like Slinky , my WRT54G! )

6. More love, More power, More flight simulators in my life!

7. A Bulletproof / scratch proof surface

8. Backlit USB ports. ( So we can see where the hell we are plugging in stuff..)

9. Mac OS X on the Cell.

10. A way to use a friggin laptop monitor as a display for the PS3 (in hi-def)

11. Cheaper friggin HDMI cables.

12. Shutting down the evil CBEC!

13. ….

Any inputs? Hmm.. Do i smell a platinum sponsor?