Do you Vote?

I have always been an avid complainer, always ready to complain about how bad things are in India. I would jump on any issue, post emotional comments on Facebook, discuss the issues rigorously and essentially do what most of the citizens of our great country do – NOTHING. I recently realized there is no end game to this. This is not a solution. We are just analyzing the problem, and not thinking about the solutions. So I started thinking about what needs to be done. Unfortunately I am too small a guy in this huge country to do anything significant. And I don’t think I am even qualified or capable of suggesting solutions to cleanup this country.

That lead me to think about the small things, but not insignificant, that I could do to at least bring about a little, no matter how little, change in people.

I started thinking about how bad our political system was. But quickly realized it wasn’t the politicians’ mistake that they were able to wield such enormous power. I realized it was us. We are handing the wrong people the power. Some are doing it directly and some are doing it indirectly. Both groups are doing this via one of the most powerful rights that a country could bestow on its citizens. The right to VOTE. Some people are using this right wrong. Some people are wrong by not using this right.

I think most of the educated populace doesn’t really care about elections. They don’t take voting seriously. If you take a moment to think about it, it becomes clear that if a majority of the non-voting reasonably thinking educated voters of this country take time to vote, they can tremendously influence the outcome of an election.

So I decided to try to do something small that a person like me can do – influence at least 10 people that I know to vote. If I can do that, I can be proud that I have done something for my country.

In our country people always come out in hordes to claim and yell about rights. But most of them don’t realize that a right comes with responsibility.

Are you ready to take responsibility? Or are you just content with having a meaningless right?

Android Adventures

I am a Microsoft fan boy, more or less… I like their products, want their products to succeed, and use their products as much as I can. At least I used to. Then my mind wandered over to Android. I love it! I first started playing with my wife’s Samsung phone with GB. I wrote a couple of small apps for that phone and started messing around. Then I got hooked. I was using a really nice Nokia Lumia 900 at that time but decided to venture into Android world, so got myself a Samsung Galaxy Note. That has got to be the best phone I have ever seen/used in my life (then came Note 2, which is probably even better but I digress). And I have used a lot of different phones (Nokias, Blackberrys, an iPhone, a couple of Windows Phones). The level of customizations you could do was in itself a big plus for me.

I decided to take the next big step, a VERY risky one at that. Rooting and flashing ROMs. I was a bit nervous in the beginning because you can brick your phone. I gathered up some courage and finally did it last month. And it has been loads of fun since then…

I started off with Padawan v8, an ICS custom rom. It has a ton of very nice features, and of course no bloatware. It was pretty fast, no crashes or reboots. All in all a very good rom. I ran it for a couple of weeks, and then decided to move on to Jelly Bean.

Jelly Bean is a bit different because, unlike ICS, there is no stock rom for Note. So you have to work with unofficial JB builds. I tried a couple of different versions but finally decided to stick with CM 10.1 kang build by flappjaxxx (rom CM 10.1-20130225-FJKang-quincyatt). It is really beautiful, smooth and fast. This rom doesn’t have the S-Pen apps (since there is no stock JB rom yet), but the rest is so good, I can live without that stuff. I highly recommend this rom.

Even though my current rom is awesome, I am already searching for the next rom to flash :). This stuff is that addictive :).

If you are interested in custom roms I suggest you head over to xda developer forums. It has a lot of info. But I suggest you don’t take this lightly, because if something goes wrong with rooting or flashing your phone, you might be left with a bricked phone.

Upgrading Xcode in OS X Lion – My MBPro Experience

Ok, I can say that I am a reasonable person and I usually don’t get frustrated at small goof ups by gazillion dollar companies. But this thing really pissed me off.
I forked over 30 bucks for OS X Lion for my 2010 MacBook Pro. The upgrade was relatively issue free and was a success. Then I tried to fire up Xcode. It said I needed to upgrade it to a newer version released for Lion.
Fine, Let’s do it, I thought.
I went to the App store on my mbp and navigated to the Xcode page. Clicked Install. A spinning wheel appeared. It stayed on for a while and then disappeared. And that was it. Nothing else happened. Tried the same thing over and over. Nothing else happened!
Went over the internet, searched all the forums, found that a lot of people had similar issues but couldn’t find a fix.
Then one day, while looking for something, opened Launchpad and scrolled to the second page. And there it was! Sitting there, paused, was my Xcode update download! Every time I clicked the Install button in app store, the download state in Launchpad toggled between ‘paused’ and ‘downloading’. What could I say? The app store should have said something like ‘downloading’! Nope. It said nothing…
Anyway, I clicked on the Launchpad item and it resumed download and the install was successful.
So that’s the story of my Xcode upgrade in OS X Lion.