Know the Digicam : Point and Shoot or dSLR !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 31, 2009

Digital Camera is one must have gadget. The luxury to go on clicking without worrying about film rolls and everything getting automatically saved on that tiny Memory Card having 1 gb, 2gb or more space is something, really. So, lets try to know the digicam in a Simple to learn way.

Basically there are two types of digicam :

1. Point and shoot digital camera : Small and portable camera with Live Preview capabilities and limited motion video features mostly used for taking Snapshots.
2. dSLR (digital single lens reflex) digital camera: The reflex design scheme is a major difference between a dSLR and an ordinary digital point and shoot camera, which typically exposes the sensor constantly to the light projected by the lens, allowing the camera's screen to be used as an electronic viewfinder.
There is also the Bridge / SLR ( Single Lens Reflex ) digicam often confused for a true dSLR Digicam. It has small sensors and Livepreview just like Point and Shoot digicam and shares a few features with dSLR but it's not a true dSLR.

Points on which dSLR digicam scores over Point and Shoot digicam :

1. Optical viewfinders which tend to be more comfortable and efficient, especially for action photography and in low-light conditions.

2. Accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure

3. Larger sensors : similar depths of field and picture angle to film formats.

4. Choose from a variety of interchangeable lenses

5. Less shutter lag, faster autofocus systems, and faster frame rates

6. Ability to attach additional accessories. A good dSLR can really be customised.

Now, points on which Point and Shoot digital camera scores over a dSLR digicam:

1. Generally smaller size and weight.

2. Generally lesser cost and if chosen wisely, a great value for money.

3. Few DSLRs with a video mode, while this has become a standard feature of compact digital cameras.

4. Most DSLR models lack live preview on their LCDs, a nearly universal feature among compact digital cameras (many newer DSLRs do offer this).

5. Noisier (audio) operation, due to the SLR mirror mechanism.

6. Small digicams generally can focus on closer objects than typical DSLR lenses.

Simply put, if you really have keen interest in photography go for a dSLR
Also if you have money to splurge and videos are not a priority then go for a dSLR.

On the other hand if you want to strike a balance between cost and performance go for the compact Point and Shoot digicam. There are some real good ones in 6 MP TO 10 MP range. But as I pointed out in last Tuesday's Tech post, Megapixels are not everything.
More aboutKnow the Digicam : Point and Shoot or dSLR !!

Simple2Learn Video Convert : Symbian Mobiles and Ipod

Posted by Unknown on Mar 30, 2009

This " Symbian Monday " post is not really an exclusively Symbian post. This one is also for the Ipod and other video freaks who want to convert video to formats that that would run on their gadgets.

As I mentioned in last Monday's post, I use Total Video Converter to convert files for my Nokia N70 ( S60 2nd edition ). The process is same for other advanced S60 edition mobiles and Ipod except for few steps.

So here are the Simple To Learn steps :

1. Run Total video converter and click on the " New Task " button.

2. Select the " Import File " option.

3. Browse and select your video file from your system.

4. Most Important Step : For s60 2nd and 3rd edition devices select Ms avi > Xvid Mpeg4 avi

For Ipod and Nokia 5800 express music ( S60 5th edition ) , select Mobiles > H264 mp4

5. Now, click on " Settings " button on bottom right corner. Select the Video Resize Tab > Custom Size > Select/Input the size of your device screen ( 320 x 240 is optimum size).

6. Press the " Convert " button and get all your videos reduced to half or less MB's without any loss of quality on your device/gadget.

Simple2Learn Tip : You can check the " Background Converting "option if it takes a lot of your System's Memory.

We can go for tweaking a few options here and there to see what works best for different gadgets. I guess this is enough for one Symbian Monday. Feel free to Disqus.
More aboutSimple2Learn Video Convert : Symbian Mobiles and Ipod

Blogger Widgets : The Saturday Blogging Simplified Post!!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 28, 2009

It's the Saturday " Blogging Simplified " post and I guess we have a little more time on our hands to tweak and " widgetify " our blogs and sites. I thought of listing a few for all of us. These are hosted on blogger and mostly for blogs hosted on blogger.
The Widget Treasure cove : A Simple2Learn presentation :

1. BloggerUniversity : Absolute gem of a site for anyone who wishes to implement those seemingly complex widgets and hacks. The interface might seem a bit too much but the posts are amazing. One University you'll be proud to be a student of.

2. BeautifulBeta : A cool and simple blog making life easier for other blogs.

3. WidgetsForFree : Amazing repository of widgets and hacks. It's addictive, you might end up spending your entire day trying out different things. But then it's great value for our precious time.

Before we go on a tweaking spree, few suggestions for accident-free experiments :

1. Try the widgets on a test blog first. If that sounds a bit too much then download/backup your full template before making changes to the html code.

2. Don't add the widgets as it is. Try to customize them as per your needs. If you read the posts, you'll find great tips to customise the widgets you choose.

3. Don't give up on a widget you desperately want just because of few problems in implementing. Try making it work and if it doesn't then post your comments here in the ocmments section or on the respective blogs. You'll find a lot of helping hands.

4. Do tell me about the recent widgets or tweak you implemented ( Disqus in comments ).

Watchout for the Saturday post on Blogging Simplified. Any blog/site falling in this niche and willing to be featured mail me or comment.

Enjoy your weekend !!
More aboutBlogger Widgets : The Saturday Blogging Simplified Post!!

The Friday Movie Post : Chillout with Simple2Learn !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 27, 2009

This is the " Friday chillout " post. I saw quite a few movies this week ( like every week !!). Couldn't wait to disqus them.

1. The English Patient : First on the Simple2Learn menu is " The English Patient ". I remember the first time I came to know about Oscar Awards ( Academy Awards for some ) was way back in 1997 when this movie won 9 oscars. I got to see it only a few days back and felt it deserved a few more. An amazing tell of epic love ( or passion ) and how national identities mean so little in the face of true emotions. Set in a period of World War II, the movie boasts of actors like Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche (won the Oscar for supporting actress), Willem Dafoe which means no point in dicussing performances. A must watch.

2. Mississippi Burning : I saw this one as it has the great Gene Hackman in its cast. It's about how two FBI agents ( Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe), coming from different parts ( south and north US) and having different approaches go about solving hate-crime case in a deeply racist and hostile city. Gene Hackman is terrrific as always but it's Willem Dafoe who matches him all the way to make this movie a memorable one.

3. Dances With Wolves : A Kevin Costner masterpiece. Acted and directed by Kevin Costner, it's set in the period of American Civil War. It's about how an army officer posted on the Western Frontier inhabited by wolves and native tribes ( Sioux tribe) ends up more a Sioux than a " white man ". The movie won 7 oscars, a fact I came to know only after watching it.

The next one is a complete off-beat affair. You'll either love it or hate it. I can only hope it's the former.

4. Kungfu Hustle : Also known as Kungfu, this one is hard to describe. Acted and directed by Stephen Chow, the movie is set in China in 1940's. Action of an alltogether different kind ( outworldly) yet enjoyable. The best thing about this movie is that it doesn't take itself too seriously and neither should you. A thoroughly enjoyable flick.

To have a look at all the movies I have seen till date check out " My Movies " on IMDB.

You can create one for yourself. All you have to do is register and whenever you visit a title you have seen click on " Add to my movies " on the left sidebar.

More aboutThe Friday Movie Post : Chillout with Simple2Learn !!

Portable Web Apps on USB : Protect your data !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 25, 2009

With the spread of Wifi and people being constantly on the move we frequently access cyber-cafe, computer centre or other public venues. Moreover, with every business turning online and hundreds of web services coming up everyday there is always a fear of breach of security and privacy intrusion.

Today in this " Wednesday Web How To " post we will put this fear to rest in the simple to learn way.

We will look at how to fully equip your USB device ( it can be a 1 GB pen drive or 250 GB external hard disk ) with the necessary Portable Apps so that all we need to do is plug our device, do our stuff and eject the drive when done.

Here are the Simple2Learn steps :

1. Knoppix 6.0 : The best of all the live distros. Just save the bootable image on the portable hard drive and boot if you can . It has everything you need from web browser to office to multimedia players.

Check to get Knoppix and learn to use it effectively and simply.

2. Portable Google Chrome / Mozilla Firefox : Best option. No need to install. Just keep it on yuor USB device and use it . Feel like being more secure just clear the private data after your session is over.
We will deal with safe browsing in general in the posts to come. In this post let's restrict to portable options.

3. Now, for bloggers and people who do a little more than just social networking on the web, goto for all the portable softwares you need. Amazing array of softwares, all free and simple to download.

In Detail :
Leave your views/comments
More aboutPortable Web Apps on USB : Protect your data !!

Megapixel & Resolution : Difference is Simple To Learn !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 24, 2009

Keep hearing that Megapixel thing all the time. So what is it and how important it really is. Let's try to simplify things. Just imagine a chessboard having 64 squares. A pixel is like one square on the chessboard. In case of digital images it's just so small that we can't really distinguish the borders and the resulting image is very sharp.

So just like a 8x8 chessboard has 64 pixels, a 3.1 Megapixel digital camera has a sensor comprising of 2048x1536 = 31,45,728 pixels = 3.1 Megapixels

Pixels can be both square and rectangular as shown below.
Pixels are mostly used as a unit of measure, like 1200 pixels/inch, 640 pixels/line and a space of 10 pixels. We come across these terms so often in Photoshop or CSS.

Number of pixels is often called the resolution in digital imaging but actually it's the maximum resolution a digital camera or computer monitor can achieve if all other factors are compatible.

Resolution ( or Spatial Resolution ) means the no. of close lines that can be resolved in an image or monitor.

Let's again consider a digital camera having 2048x1536 = 3.1 Megapixels. Now the clarity of the image it produces depends on spatial resolution which depends not only on the number of Megapixels but also the size of sensor, lens type etc.
The image it produces can have any resolution less than 1536 pixels/inch

So, don't just get carried away by the no. of Megapixels. A 6 MP camera with a better lens and sensor and if in the right hands can beat an 8 MP one just so easily.

More aboutMegapixel & Resolution : Difference is Simple To Learn !!

How to set up symbian mobile theatre the Simple2Learn way !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 23, 2009

In this " Symbian Monday "post we will learn to optimise the video playback capabilities of S60 2nd edition mobile ( e.g. Nokia N70-1). While the specifications of Nokia N70 leads us to believe that it supports only 3gp ( H 263), and MP4 plus realvideo 8 formats, the fact is that we can easily play dvdrips in AVI format ( xvid/divx codec). The latest offering from Nokia, the 5800 Express Music ( S60 5th edition) can additionally play H-264 (MP4) and real video 9 and 10 plus support for flash video.

All this without any compromise in quality and whole movie packed in say 150 mb. Even a 1 GB memory card sounds more than enough. All we have to do is set it up the Simple2Learn way.
A screenshot of movie Twilight on my Nokia N70.

Here are the simple to learn steps :

1. Download and install XVID codec on your S60 mobile. Free Direct Download

2. Download and install Smartmovie player or Divx player. Better install both. I prefer Divx player as it looks better and is easy to use. Free Direct Download both players.
3. Download and install Total Video Converter on your pc to convert all your favourite videos to avi with the right settings. Now what these settings are and how to convert videos the simple to learn way will be explained in the next " Symbian Monday " post.

Till then get all your movies pre-optimised for S60 mobile and Apple Ipod from

Also if you have any specific movie or Symbian app request, say it loud in the comment section.

In Detail :
More aboutHow to set up symbian mobile theatre the Simple2Learn way !!

Simple2Learn formatted : 5 posts a week !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 20, 2009

In Brief :
Keeping in mind the random nature of posts ( all aimed at making it really simple to learn), I have decided to assign particular days for particular categories of post. I have been thinking about it and I guess I might well try it out. This is how I intend to go about the much needed formatting of Simple2Learn (as of now !!).
Monday : " Symbian Mobile How To " . Some examples of posts that would fall under this category are,

Tuesday : " Simple Tech " Here we'll try to simplify some tech topics we have heard about but haven't quite understood. A few examples ,

Wednesday : " Web/Software How To " . A few examples,

Friday : " Movie/Entertainment Simplified " . This will be the weekend post. One for the movie buffs from a fellow movie buff.

Saturday : " Blogs/Links of the week " . Here I'll share some amazing websites and try tofeature fellow blogs.

Wow, 5 posts a week seems too much. Let's see how it goes. Hopefully I'll make it work. So watchout for Simple2Learn !!

In Detail : Watchout for Simple2Learn
Any suggestions, mail me at or
More aboutSimple2Learn formatted : 5 posts a week !!

Hard Disk Recovery : Simple to Learn !!

Posted by Unknown on Mar 9, 2009

In Brief : Can't believe I just recovered my external USB hard disk drive partition. I have a 250 gb Western digital external hard disk, with 4 partitions one of which got corrupted recently. It seemed like I would end up losing 80 gb worth of movies and software. But after numerous attempts I discovered the simplest partition recovery software of all.

Testdisk 6.10 is a freeware and an amazingly simple software. It can run on almost all operating systems. The console look might be a turn-off for some but believe me it's really simple to learn.
Here's how I did it -

The green highlight belowis the lost partition.

There are a host of other recovery softwares we can go for. For a complete list of such softwares click below to read more :

In Detail :
Comprehensive review list of recovery softwares !!
More aboutHard Disk Recovery : Simple to Learn !!