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How to download Win 7 SP1 ISO and verify its Hash Key

You bought a laptop with Windows 7 license (probably Home Premium or Professional). But the manufacturer did not provide you with the installation media (CD/DVD). Bummer. They did provide you with the recovery kit or recovery partition but you think that their installation has damn too many bloatware (yes brother! you are right, kudos !). You want to start anew with a fresh installation of Windows 7, SP1 all by yourself. Hold that thought….

  • You don’t have the Windows 7 <whatever version,build>SP1 DVD.
  • Since you already have the license, you don’t need to buy a new one. So, you just need to download the ISO file.
  • But where to download? (Stop scratching your head !) head out for a torrent site.
  • Then, you start nagging and wondering whether the ISO has been tampered by crackers / hackers or what not, waiting to exploit your computer to be their botnet minion. (Mind you, 99% of Windows 7 ISO that one downloads via torrent has been tampered with, which basically means that somebody has modified the original ISO and injected something (either a non-malicious software such as an unlocker, pdf reader,a new build OR an extremely malicious software such as a rootkit/trojan/etc. A big warning placard if you do use your computer for internet banking or often purchase items via credit or debit card).
  • So how to ensure that the ISO files have not been tampered with? Well, this is what you should do.

A few years back laptops usually surfaced with Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1.

  • You will find Windows 7 Home Premium x64 with SP1 in the ‘ISO NAME AND HASH KEY (RECORD) just below. From there,copy the file name,viz :
    en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso
  • Search (Google) en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso and download it. Hell yeah !! you found it at piratebay.
  • Download the torrent. {I believe that we are not breaking any cyber laws by downloading something that we have already paid for. We own the license after all 😉  }
  • Once the download is complete, you need to check whether the ISO is genuine or has been tampered with. Download MD5 / SHA1 Download Checker. [no sneakwares] Get it here from CNET.
  • Use MD5 / SHA1 Download checker and openen_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso. Get MD5 and SHA1 value.
  • Compare the MD5 and SHA1. Ideally, the one that is generated by the MD5 / SHA1 Download Checker should be identical with the record below. (Where did I get these? Refer to the ISO NAME AND HASH KEY (RECORD) Section.
  1. SHA1: 6C9058389C1E2E5122B7C933275F963EDF1C07B9 
  2. ISO/CRC: 4A182640
  • If they are identical, you are safe.

PS: Some tidbits for those who are feeling damn lazy…Scroll down to the end of this page. Mind you, please double check the hash. If you don’t trust the Hash record here, please check https://technet.microsoft.com .You can use your Live / Hotmail / whatever account to check the hash key, the only complication being you cannot download a legal copy yourself from there assuming that you are not their ‘special’ subscriber .

ISO NAME AND HASH KEY (RECORD)

Windows 7 Starter with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_starter_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_678562.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:43:48 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:43:48 PM

SHA1: E1653B111C4C6FD75B1BE8F9B4C9BCBB0B39B209

ISO/CRC: C810B42C

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Windows 7 Home Basic with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_home_basic_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_676470.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:32:46 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:32:46 PM

SHA1: 080EC1DE94B88B0F7E8D000690A4AAAA031E2719

ISO/CRC: FF5299DA

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Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_676701.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:33:58 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:33:58 PM

SHA1: 6071B4553FCF0EA53D589A846B5AE76743DD68FC

ISO/CRC: 85B5EF4A

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Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English) File Name: en_windows_7_home_premium_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676549.iso Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:34:16 PM Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:34:16 PM SHA1: 6C9058389C1E2E5122B7C933275F963EDF1C07B9 ISO/CRC: 4A182640

----------------------------------------------------------------

Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677056.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:38 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:38 PM

SHA1: D89937DF3A9BC2EC1A1486195FD308CD3DADE928

ISO/CRC: E8C2AD67

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 Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676939.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:46 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:37:46 PM

SHA1: 0BCFC54019EA175B1EE51F6D2B207A3D14DD2B58

ISO/CRC: AD44DB36

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Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1, VL Build (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_vl_build_x86_dvd_u_677896.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:37 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:37 PM

SHA1: D5BD65E1B326D728F4FD146878EE0D9A3DA85075

ISO/CRC: DB028749

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Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1, VL Build (x64) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_vl_build_x64_dvd_u_677791.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:30 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:39:30 PM

SHA1: 708E0338D4E2F094DFEB860347C84A6ED9E91D0C

ISO/CRC: AAFC72AE

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Windows 7 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_enterprise_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677710.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:29:50 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:29:50 PM

SHA1: 4E0450AC73AB6F9F755EB422990CD9C7A1F3509C

ISO/CRC: E3586659
----------------------------------------------------------------

 Windows 7 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_enterprise_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677651.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:30:00 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:30:00 PM

SHA1: A491F985DCCFB5863F31B728DDDBEDB2FF4DF8D1

ISO/CRC: CE09FA98

----------------------------------------------------------------
 Windows 7 Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (x86) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677460.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:45:59 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:45:59 PM

SHA1: 65FCE0F445D9BF7E78E43F17E441E08C63722657

ISO/CRC: 35511F11

----------------------------------------------------------------

 Windows 7 Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (x64) - DVD (English)

File Name: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677332.iso

Date Published (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:46:21 PM

Last Updated (UTC): 5/12/2011 2:46:21 PM

SHA1: 36AE90DEFBAD9D9539E649B193AE573B77A71C83

ISO/CRC: 992B8FCD

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Featured post

YU Yureka Plus Vs YU Yureka : whats new ?

Yu-YUREKA-PLUS

Back in 2014, Rahul Sharma co-creator of Micromax Informatics introduced us to the company that changed the Indian smartphone market forever, ‘YU Televentures’ which earmarked advanced users (a rare and noble gesture) , one that went head on against the préférée de masse ‘Xiaomi’ and I dare say was quite successful in that attempt, Yu named their first handset Yureka (hope you get the pun) which showcased a 615 snapdragon 64bit Soc clocked at 1.5Ghz paired with 2GB Ram and a HD 5.5″ display along with Cyanogen Mod 11 (based on android 4.4.4) as its operating system, at a meagre price tag of 8999 INR, the revolution was brought in terms of service though, the company promised that rooting would not void warranty, and that if there was any problem with a handset (in terms of hardware or software) it would be repaired by their engineers at the customers place with no extra charge up until the service period lasts, for those of you who are scratching their heads as to what rooting is, it’s basically just providing your android with super user permissions that allows the user then to perform a wide range of functions like overclocking your android’s cpu to changing its visuals for better or worse, now this process of rooting varies from handset to handset because of their different specifications but one thing remains common is that the procedure is unsafe and if one tends to do something that he isn’t supposed to he may end up with a bricked (dead) device, so now you see that ‘YU’ provided with something that no other smartphone company had dared before, this was a welcome surprise for all the developers as well as normal users who did want to try something new on their android on a regular basis (believe me there are people who brick tens of devices regularly yet continue with their quest) as a result, thousands of ‘YU’ devices were sold in a matter of seconds, up in the flash sale policy just like their arch rival ‘Xiaomi’ and thus began the story of ‘YU’.
Fast Forward to the last quarter of 2015, within a matter of 10 months we have seen 4 handsets from ‘YU’ as well as the ‘YU’ Fit band and the ‘YU’ cassette, their whole ecosystem is booming with new ‘relatively cheap’ innovations all thanks to Rahul Sharma and the folks at Cyanogen Mod who are ready and gearing up to launch their new product Yutopia or Yureka 2, God knows it could be just about anything (giggles) .

Now that we are all up to speed let us see what their new product the ‘YU’ Yureka plus is providing with, the things that have been changed from the previous gen Yureka and how aggressively they have priced it at.

Specifications:

Yu Yureka

Announced 2014, December

Technology  :      GSM / HSPA / LTE

Platform
OS              : Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat), upgradable to v5.1 (Lollipop)
Chipset    : Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
CPU           : Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU           : Adreno 405

Body
Dimensions : 154.8 x 78 x 6-8.8 mm
Weight           : 155 g (5.47 oz)
SIM                  : Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)

Memory
Card slot     : microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal       : 16 GB, 2 GB RAM

Camera
Primary                : 13 MP, 4208 x 3120 pixels
Video                     : 1080p@30fps
Secondary            : 5 MP

Communications
WLAN                : Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
Bluetooth         : v4.0, A2DP
GPS                     : Yes, with A-GPS
Radio                  : FM radio
USB                     : microUSB v2.0

Display
Screen Type       :  IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size                       : 5.5 inches (~69.1% screen-to-body ratio)
                      Resolution    :      720 x 1280 pixels (~267 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch          :  Yes
Protection            : Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Sensors                    :  Accelerometer ,gyro ,proximity
Battery                     :  Li-Po 2500 mAh battery
Colours Available : Moonstone Grey
Price                           : Unavailable
Buy Now

 

Yu Yureka Plus

Announced 2015, July

Technology  :      GSM / HSPA / LTE

Platform
OS              : Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat), upgradable to v5.1 (Lollipop)
Chipset    : Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
CPU           : Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU           : Adreno 405

Body
Dimensions : 154.8 x 78 x 6-8.8 mm
Weight           : 155 g (5.47 oz)
SIM                  : Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)

Memory
Card slot    : microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal      : 16 GB, 2 GB RAM

Camera
Primary                : 13 MP, 4208 x 3120 pixels
Video                     : 1080p@30fps
Secondary            : 5 MP

Communications
WLAN                : Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
Bluetooth         : v4.0, A2DP
GPS                     : Yes, with A-GPS
Radio                  : FM radio
USB                     : microUSB v2.0

Display
Screen Type       :  IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size                       : 5.5 inches (~69.1% screen-to-body ratio)
                      Resolution    :     1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch          :  Yes
Protection            : Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Sensors                    :  Accelerometer ,gyro, proximity
Battery                     :  Li-Po 2500 mAh battery
Colours Available : Moondust Gray, Alabaster White
Price                          : 8,999 INR (Launched at 9,999 INR buyers were later                                                                              provided with a 1k amazon coupon)

As you can see there aren’t many changes except for the display viz. resolution has been bumped to Full HD, 1080p ~401 ppi
and a brand new Sony sensor has been provided with, that helps in capturing low light images and is way better than the previous gen Yureka Sony sensor, according to Yu.
Build-wise, Yu claims that there is a brand new chassis which has been reinforced for additional rigidity in the frame. The phone is more resilient to drops and dings and just like the first gen Yureka, suffice to say it should last you a long time.
Yureka Plus also comes in Alabaster White with a matte finish if you dig white.
Full HD certainly makes the screen look great, images are far more vivid, videos look sharp, the octacore  processor and the adreno gpu keeps gaming smooth with minimum frame drops, battery backup is good and there are no heating issues or call drops. LTE provides with 20Mbps in Delhi, India. (Airtel network)
There are no performance issues as of now (Android 5.1_CM12.1), Cyanogen has done a pretty good job, and soon it will receive the marshmallow update (android 6.0 ) which is ready for flashing (alpha phase) if you are that eager, being an alpha build there are a few bugs but with the official update scheduled for the first quarter of 2016, all should be up and running and that’s the best thing you receive when you buy an YU, you get software updates that other vendors rarely do provide to their handsets, except for their flagship which changes within a matter of a few months and you get stuck with an outdated software and an empty wallet.
To wrap it up, Yu Yureka Plus just like its predecessor is certainly worthy of your hard earned money, should you like fiddling with androids or simply because you like to keep your device updated (Cyanogen ❤ ) but do not want to spend a hefty sum for a cell phone and trust me you are getting a good deal since it has got it all and costs half the moolah.

yu_yureka_plus_rearyu-yureka-plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream Sandwich Update Rolling out on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

While Google is getting ready to release its latest version of Android, i.e. Jelly Bean the whole fleet of Android OEM’s devices have just about started getting their previous iteration of Android i.e., Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android 4.0 update for Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

As per the website Sammobile, Samsung will be releasing the Android 4.0 update for its Galaxy Tab 7.7, which is currently available only through the Samsung Kies software and not OTA.

Although, it is yet not clear as to which countries in Europe are receiving the update, a lot of users from Austria have stated that they have managed to upgrade their tabs using the Samsung Kies software.

Google will soon be releasing the Jelly Bean update for their existing brand of Nexus devices. With competition between the OEM’s in the Android ecosystem heating up, how soon OEM’s can bring regular updates might prove to be a major factor as they struggle to outperform each other.

People have already started pointing out at the fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, something which Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Apple’s iOS platforms can take advantage of considering the fact that their devices do not have the same problem. Though it would be interesting to see how the various OEM’s who have agreed to imbibe the Windows Phone platform on their devices differentiate their smartphones from the others.

Till now Nokia and Samsung the two major players have tried to create their own app store on the WP7 platform and offer exclusives apps restricted to their range of devices on the platform.

Microsoft Announces the “Surface” Tablet

At an event held at Los Angeles late last night (India Time), Microsoft took covers off an entirely new line up of tablets. Christened the “Surface”, the tablets come in two variants – one based on Windows RT and the other on Windows 8. The one running Windows RT would be powered by an ARM based chip (which has been later proved to be an Nvidia Tegra chip) while the other would run Intel’s Core i5 chips.

That said, both the variants share the same design points which we will highlight below. Let us first delve in to the ARM powered device which can be termed the “lower end” of the two.

 

To start with, the Surface for Windows RT tablet features a NVidia Tegra based ARM chipset. It weighs in at 676 grams and is just 9.6 mm thi(ck)n. The display size is slightly larger than standard 10 inch tablets with this one sporting a10.6 inch ClearType HD capacitive panel with a resolution of 1366*768 pixels.

Like we said, this version when launched will come loaded with the ARM chips specific version of Window known as Windows RT and would also come preloaded with Windows Office Home & Student 2013 Edition. It will come in two variants – a 32 GB version and a larger capacity 64 Gb version. On the connectivity front, the device will feature a micro SD for memory expansion, a USB 2.0 port for seamless connectivity options and support for Micro HD Video as well as 2×2 MIMO antennae.

As for the “high-end” version, this one will be powered by an Intel Core i5 Iv Bridge chip. It would be significantly heavier than the ARM powered device – tipping the scales at 903 grams. Unlike the 720p –ish display on the other model, this one gets a 10.6 inch full HD capacitive display as well as a much larger battery – rated at 42 Wh – as posed to a 31.5Wh battery on the other tablet. Unlike the ARM version which only gets a USB 2.0 port, this one romps home with a USB 3.0 port for much faster data transfer speeds. The rest of the connectivity options remain the same.

On the software front this one would come loaded with Windows 8 Professional which is expected to be released later this year.

Both the tablets have an eye-catching design and come with a built-in kickstand which would make watching movies on this a pleasure – without having to hold it in your hands all the while. When combined with the Touch Cover keyboard that it comes bundled with, the tablet can turn out to be a worthy laptop replacement.

As for the aforementioned Touch Cover keyboard, let us inform you that it comes in two versions – one which is 3mm thick and another version which is slightly thicker. The Touch Cover doubles up as a protective cover for the tablet as well as a full-fledged keyboard when you want to use it as one. It even features a full sized touchpad area. It connects to the tablet via Bluetooth and also comes with its own set of batteries to keep it powered.

Microsoft has not announced any time frame by when they expect both these devices to be released – nor have they given us any idea about the expected pricing of these two. They did however add that both would be priced competitively. Once again, we think this announcement was a bit premature on Microsoft if they do not intend to release these products in the next few months.

It is also unclear as to how would Microsoft’s OEM hardware partner take this move by the software giant. This would definitely be seen as Microsoft’s forced entry in to their turf.

All said, it would only be post launch that we would be able to say if the Microsoft Surface would go on to become n instant hit. What do you think?

Samsung Launches Omnia M S7530 with Windows Phone 7.5

Samsung today launched its latest handset in the Windows Phone platform, dubbed as the Omnia M S7530. It is a successor to the Omnia W device which had been Samsung’s only Windows Phone offering in India for a long time.

The Omnia M boasts of a 4inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480×800 pixels. It has a 5MP camera at the back which should be capable of shooting videos at 720p. It has a VGA front facing camera as well. Talking of the internal specs, it has a 384MB RAM to go along with an internal memory of 4GB.

Samsung has preloaded the Omnia M with a bunch of homegrown apps like ChatON, Mini Diary and Fun Shot 1.5 to name a few.

The timing of the launch of the device is questionable, especially with the Windows Phone 8 on the cusp of being launched. Also the device only upgrades the screen from the Omnia W, but degrades the rest in comparison, which includes RAM at 384MB and a reduced internal memory of just 4GB as compared to 8GB in the Omnia M.

Since the announcement of WP7.5 devices not being upgraded to WP8, even Nokia’s WP laden smart phones have struggled with Nokia forced to reduce the price of the flagship Lumia 900 by 50%.

Keeping the above factors in mind it’s difficult to see the Samsung Omnia M making considerable sales, especially at a price tag of Rs. 18,500. We expect it to come down considerably in the next few weeks to around Rs. 15,000, especially with the Omnia W being available for as low as Rs. 14,000.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update Arrives For The Motorola Xoom

A month after its official announcement, Google and Motorola seems to have started issuing the official Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for the first ever Android powered tablet – the Motorola Xoom. The Wi-Fi version of the tablet which yours truly owns, received the official notification earlier today.

As of now, I am looking in to the new features that Jelly Bean brings to the grand daddy of all Android tablets and would post a detailed review soon. The first generation Motorola Xoom was announced back in January 2011 on the eve of that years’ CES. It was launched on March 27 (the Wi-Fi version). Later in November 2011, Motorola followed it up with the second generation Xoom, The Motorola Xoom 2 – better known as the Xyboard.

As for this update, Motorola had started issuing this to select developers and members inside Motorola’s feedback network since the past week. After finding out that the update is ready to go public, the company seems to have decided to let it go public.

As of now, only the Wi-Fi version of the Xoom gets this update – similar to the case when the ugrade from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich happened a few months ago.

Anyway, if you happen to own a Motorola Xoom (the Wi-Fi version of course), you might want to check the notifications bar to see if you have received an update. The more desperate ones can try to do a manual refresh and find out.

Zync Z909 Plus Low Cost Tablet Launched; Yours For Rs. 3699

Low cost tablet maker Zync has announced the launch of yet another low cost , entry level tablet in the country . The latest model to hit the shelves is known as the Zync Z 909 Plus.

The  Z909 has been attractively priced at just Rs.3699 – making it amongst the cheapest Android powered devices you can buy today.

The Z909 Plus boasts of a 7 inch, 800*480 pixel resistive display and gets a 1 Ghz processor doing the number crunching bit under the hood. While it would be too much to expect a camera on this device, Zync does surprise us with a 0.3 megapixel front camera on it which you can use for video calls.

The Z909 Plus runs 2.3 Gingerbread OS and gets a rather adequately large battery rated at 3000mAH. While Zync has not revealed the estimated backup time , we assume, this would be on the longer side.

The Z909 Plus gets  256 MB of RAM due to which it might have issues whilst multitasking – although we would reserve a final opinion on the performance only after we get to see this one in flesh.  There is an adequate 4 GB of onboard memory which can be expanded further to accommodate 16 GB microSD cards.

The tabletnat 360 grams is no heavyweight and is easily portable. If that wasn’t all, It gets two USB ports that you can use to attach external equipments and accessories to it.

While there is no 3G connectivity, the device does offer Wi-Fi support. Besides, you can use the USB port to plug in a compatible 3G ready dongle.

The device comes with a bunch of preloaded applications such as Angry and  BigFlix embedded.

Nokia Announces Budget Range of Touchscreen “Asha” Phones

Nokia has taken covers off three new budget handsets from its Asha range earlier today. The new handsets to be introduced are named the Asha 305, Asha 306 and the Asha 311. All the three devices are targeted at emerging markets and were announced in Malaysia.

Let’s take a look at what these phones have on offer for you. We start with the Asha 305.

As made obvious by the model number, the Asha 305 is the cheapest of the lot announced today. It is a dual SIM handset and features a 3.0 inch display with a resolution of 400*240 pixels. It weighs just 98 grams and therefore is quite lightweight. The phone is based on Nokia’s S40 platform and features a built in App Store from where users can download apps and games from. It also comes preloaded with a bunch of games.

Taking care of the imaging part is a 2 megapixel camera at the rear which we believe shold be more than capable of handling basic photography tasks. The phone features a 3.5mm jack as well as micro USB port for charging. It also gets a Nokia standard 2.0mm charging port which we believe is a pretty good idea. The Asha 305 only supports 2G networks.

There is 64MB of built in memory which can of course be expanded to 32 GB with the use of Micro SD cards.

Asha 306

Next up is the Asha 306 which is a slight upgrade over the 305. Looks wise, it is identical to the 305. In fact, most of the features too remain the same – including the display size, camera resolution. It also skips the 305’s dual SIM capability. What it gets however is support for WLAN. There is still no sign of 3G, though on the Asha 306.

Asha 311

The Asha 311 is the priciest of the handsets announced today. The 311 sports a different look as compared to the 305 and the 306. While the screen size remains unchanged, the display resolution (amazingly!) sees a downgrade with this sporting a 320*240 pixel display. Also, unlike the other two devices which get resistive displays, the 311 boasts of a capacitive one. Apart from support for WLAN, the 311 also supports 3G networks. The internal memory capacity too sees an upgrade and has gone up to 256 MB. You can of course expand this to 32 GB using micro SD cards.

The camera megapixel count on the Asha 311 also sees an upgrade too over the other two models. This one gets a 3.2 megapixel camera. The 311 also comes preloaded with Nokia Maps as well as a 15-level version of Angry Birds. All three handsets comes with Nokia Browser 2.0 and a social network client for accessing Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

The Asha 305 would be launched before the other two handsets in Q2 2012 at an estimated retail price of EUR 63. As for the Asha 306, it is expected to be priced at EUR 68. The Nokia Asha 311 will be priced at EUR 92. Both these phones would arrive only by Q3, 2012.

Sony Starts Shipping Out Xperia S Around the Globe

The first Sony (sans the ericsson) branded phones has started its journey to different parts of the world. On Wednesday, Sony started shipping out Xperia S smartphones globally, as reported on the company’s blog.

The blogpost, indicates that Sony will let the local telecom service providers, in individual markets, announce the details of the smartphone in terms of availability and pricing. Although, it fails to mention, exactly when and in which markets, the phones will be expected. Nonetheless, the phones will be in stores shortly.

The Sony Xperia S will feature a 4.3 inch scratch resistant TFT touchscreen with 720p display and will run on a 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Dual Core processor. Some of the other features include a 12 megapixel camera with HD video recording, 1GB RAM, 32GB internal memory, 1,750mAh battery and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is expected to update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the second quarter of 2012.

In the Q4 of 2011, Sony Corp bought Ericsson out of the mobile venture for $1.5 billion, to better integrate its array of content that from the  music label, movie studios and Playstation games. If all cards are played correctly by Sony, this could be their ticket to be at par with smartphone competitors like Samsung and Apple.

Nokia To Launch PureView 808 on June 9!

Nokia’s flagship camera phone, the much talked about PureView 808 will be launched in India on the 9th June – a little birdie tells us. The phone would be initially made available at Nokia Priority Dealers giving them exclusivity for a week’s time. Starting June 16, the phone would be made available to other dealers as well and a pan India launch would happen – our source adds.

The Nokia PureView was first announced at the eve of this year’s Mobile World Congress at Barcelona. It immediately garnered worldwide attention thanks to the outrageous 41-megapixel camera sensor it boasted of.

The PureView 808 runs Symbian Belle and boasts of a 1.3 Ghz processor, 16 GB of internal memory, a 4 inch AMOLED display and 512 MB of RAM. Other bits include support for NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, 5.1 channel audio support and Dolby Digital Plus certification.

New Nano SIM Approved by ETSI

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has approved a new nano-SIM design in Europe as the official fourth form factor.

nano SIM ETSI Apple

Although, the screens have been getting bigger and bigger resulting in larger smartphones, they are increasingly getting slimmer as well. This has resulted in a lot of components being made smaller and cramped into the teeny weeny spaces inside smartphones.

And hence our standard SIM size is getting a bit too luxurious to say the least. And the topic has been hotly debated since Apple has been pushing for a decrease in the SIM size by at least 40%. Interestingly though, most other manufacturers like Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and RIM have been opposing the same, with Nokia proposing its own design which didn’t gather much approvals as well.

The ETSI approved nano-SIM is said to be a third smaller than the MicroSIM card and allow manufacturers to build even smaller smartphones. Also called the fouth form factor (4FF) card it will have a width of 12.3mm, height of 8.8mm and thickness of just 0.67mm.

It is believed that the new design approved by ETSI is the one proposed by Apple, though RIM and Motorola also seem to have reworked on Apple’s design and added a notch to it to ensure the card is secured in its position.

Irrespective of the size and the ownership of the design, we just hope that it is widely available with the carriers once the manufacturers start adopting the design in their smart devices and the end user is not hassled.

Samsung Galaxy S III Launches in India; Yours for Rs 43,180

After days of waiting, the day most smartphone enthusiasts in India have been waiting for is here. After making its debut in various countries across the globe, the Samsung Galaxy S III has been officially announced in India. The launch event happened in New Delhi a few days ago.

Contrary to expectations that it may price the Galaxy S III below the HTC One X, Samsung has decided to go in for a shocker of a price for the smartphone. Earlier thought to be priced under the 39k mark, Samsung has raised many eyebrows by pricing the Galaxy S III at a ridiculous 43,180 – thereby making it only slightly cheaper than the iPhone 4S.

 

The Galaxy S III was announced a few weeks ago at a Samsung event amidst much fanfare. It runs the latest version of Android 4.0 and packs in a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU ably supported with 1GB of RAM. The front is dominated by a huge 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED Display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC and Samsung’s proprietary S Beam technology

For imaging buffs, there is an 8 megapixel camera at the rear coupled with a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. It is capable of full HD video recording playback and recording and comes with 16GB internal memory and supports microSD cards slot as well.

So, how many of you would be going for the Galaxy S III without heeding its price – or would you rather wait till it comes down to saner levels?

Samsung Galaxy SIII to launch in the US in June

The Samsung Galaxy SIII is said to have received a record 9 million pre-orders from the carriers across the world. Though, its launch in the US and other international markets was supposed to get delayed and launch only after a couple of months of its release in the Asian market; just like it happened with the Galaxy SII.

Samsung Galaxy SIII US Launch

But now Samsung seems to have decided turn things around this time as the Galaxy SIII is slated to be released with as many as five carriers in the US. This includes the likes of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and US Cellular and the smartphone is supposed to release by the end of the June itself.

Although, there are no official statements from any of the carriers regarding the pricing and the availability of the SIII in US, you can expect it to be around $199 across all carriers.

Coming to the variations in the SIII across the carriers it is more or less expected to be the same as well, with all of them retaining the 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display and other important features like the S Voice, S Beam, Smart Stay and TouchWiz 4.0. The device will have Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 along with 2GB of RAM, Gorilla Glass 2.0 to protect the screen from scratches and other damages.

Importantly, the Samsung Galaxy SIII will be available in two colors, the marble white and the Pebble Blue hue which is yet to make its way in the Asian market where it has been already launched.

Seems like there will be a few sales records broken this time around by Samsung. Apple, I hope you are listening. ;)

10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

speed up torrent download speedImagine being on the autobahn with the accelerator down and then you realize that you are driving a wrecked car. The plight is not so uncommon on the information superhighway too.

Torrent users would attest to the fact that half of our time is spent looking for ‘healthy’ torrents and the other half trying to download (and a bit of upload too) at the maximum speed. The former is mandatory; the latter thankfully is within the realm of tweaking.

If you are the one who thinks that your torrent download speeds could do with a boost then keep reading. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to speed up torrent download speed.

  • Your ISP is where it starts

  • Check the maximum download and upload speeds allowed by your ISP. Most ISP’s have specific bandwidths for both uploads and downloads. Obviously your torrent download speed won’t cross the cap set by the ISP. There are many other bandwidth testers like DSLReports which is included in the speed test within uTorrent.

  • Choosing the right BitTorrent client

  • Use the better clients out there like uTorrent, Vuze or the BitTorrent client itself.Wikipedia lists about 51 of them supporting the BitTorrent protocol. The choice of client used should always be updated to the latest version. The screenshots here depict uTorrent. The settings should be similarly configurable for other clients too.

  • Go for healthy seeds and peers

  • A peer is any computer participating in the download and upload of a torrent file. A seed (or seeder) is anyone who has one complete copy of the file being shared across the torrent network. A leech (or a leecher) is the person who does not have the complete file yet but has joined the network to download it. A leecher becomes a seeder when he downloads the entire file and then shares it across the network.

    increase torrent downloading speed by choosing healthy seeds

    For high torrent speeds, the best bet is in numbers. The greater the number of seeders, the healthier the torrent and the better the chance of higher speeds. The rule of thumb says to choose the torrent files with a high number of seeders and preferably lesser number of leechers i.e. a higher seed-leecher ratio.

  • Get through the firewall

  • Firewalls can block all incoming BitTorrent connections coming through. To ensure otherwise, a firewall should be manually configured to accept the connections and let it through the client. Windows XP has the Windows Firewall. Configure the firewall installed to accept the connections by checking the BitTorrent client on the allowed list i.e.Options – Preferences ““ Connection – check Add uTorrent to Windows Firewall. Also, check the Windows Firewall exception (if you keep it enabled) in your client too. Shutting down the firewall is not recommended as it leaves the computer open to attack.

    Note: If the home computer is behind a router, it also should be configured through the feature called Port Range Forwarding to enable torrent traffic. The router documentation should have specific information on this.

  • Limit your upload rate

  • A peer to peer network is all about sharing alike, but an unlimited upload rate hits the download rate too. Using the speed tests, find out your maximum upload speed and then set your client’s upload rate (Global Upload Rate in uTorrent) to about 80% of your maximum upload speed. You can also try varying your upload speeds ““ keep it high initially and then gradually bring it down towards the middle of the download.

    Note: Mind the speed units ““ it may be given in kilobits per second (kb/sec) orkilobytes per second (kB/sec). 1 kilobyte = 8 kilobit

  • Go to a different port

  • The default port for the BitTorrent protocol is any between port numbers 6881-6999. ISPs throttle traffic on these ports as BitTorrent sharing involves high bandwidth usage. It’s easy to configure a different port in your torrent client. Use some number above10000 to get around ISPs and also avoid problems with other applications. By default, the uTorrent port is randomized each time it starts. Set a specific port by not enabling the Randomize Port setting.

  • Increase the number of Max Half Open TCP connections

  • This figure specifies how many connections a torrent client should attempt to establish simultaneously at any given time. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or newer, limits this to a default of 10 as a barrier against virus multiplication. But that’s a bummer for torrent speeds as torrents too need a large number of simultaneous connections.

    A patch has been available for a while from LvlLord which modifies the TCPIP.sys file in Windows to allow a higher number of TCP connections.

    increase the half open tcp connections

    After running the patch, you have to set the number of connections in your torrent client. For example, in uTorrent go to Options ““ Preferences ““ Advanced – net.max_halfopen. Set any number from 50 to 100. But see that net.max_halfopen is setlower than the value set in TCPIP.SYS. Always check if it is still patched because Windows updates sometimes overwrite it.

  • Experiment with Protocol Encryption

  • Some ISPs love to act like Big Brothers and constrict bandwidth for P2P protocols. Protocol Encryption in most of the torrent clients helps to override this bandwidth shaping. Enable outgoing protocol encryption and put a checkmark on Allow Incoming Legacy Connections.

    With protocol encryption, ISPs find it difficult if not impossible to detect that the traffic is coming from BitTorrent. Experiment with enabled, disabled and forced options because you could be getting better speeds with encryption disabled. Non-encryption makes a torrent connection compatible with someone who is not using encryption but as a minus it makes the torrent detectable to an ISP with a bandwidth restricting policy.

  • Bandwidth and connections

  • Your BitTorrent client’s settings options will let you enter figures for ““

    Global maximum number of connections gives the maximum number of connections that a BitTorrent client can make for any P2P exchange. Setting this too high does NOT mean higher speeds. Setting it too high would take up useless bandwidth and too low a figure would miss out on peers. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 130.

    Maximum number of connected peers per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client can connect to for any P2P exchange. Experiment by setting this number close to the available peers for a particular torrent. For my 256kbps connection, I have a default setting of 70.

    Number of upload slots per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client will upload to for any P2P exchange. A low setting may affect downloads. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 3.

    uTorrent has a Speed Guide which handily calculates the figures for a particular connection.

  • Some common sense

  • Most BitTorrent clients allow us to view the individual files in a download. You can selectively disable the download of files you don’t think necessary.

    Familiarize yourself with the customization settings of your particular client available in the Help files or at the website FAQs.

    Some useful resources:

    BitTorrent User Guide
    uTorrent FAQ
    Vuze FAQ

    Optimizing the speed of torrent downloads is a lot of trial & error and a bit of patience. Do you have some tips to speed up torrent download speed? Any that you have successfully tried out? Maybe we can put some wind beneath the wings with your comments.

    Mac OS X Lion is Now Live On Mac App Store, Download it Now!

    Expected since a few weeks now, Apple has finally pushed Mac OS X Lion to Mac App Store with a price tag of $29.99. To download Mac OS X Lion, you must be on the latest version of Snow Leopard, that is, 10.6.8. It has been released in the form of an OTA update where a user need to download 4GB of data on the system. Apple already confirmed the release during Q3 earning call yesterday and it’s finally here.

    Mac OS X Lion comes with tones of new features which includes full screen support for every application, Launchpad, Autosave, etc. Before downloading the new Operating system, you should backup all of your data currently on your Mac OS X.  In addition to Mac OS X Lion, Apple has also refreshed Macbook Airs with improvements in the internal hardware and a backlight keyboard. For all the information on New Macbook  Airs, you may want to checkout Apple Store. Quite a few Lion features have been inspired from iOS, bringing best of both the worlds to your Mac.

    So who is upgrading?

    Update: We have just got word that recent Mac buyers (as always) would get a free upgrade to Lion. This applies to ones who have made a purchase after 6th July. Details here

    42 Mbps 4G HSPA+ Smartphones On The Cards With T-Mobile

    T-Mobile had already demoed its 42 Mbps capabilities at the CES early January this year. Well as per the latest reports, Android smartphone manufacturers like the HTC, Samsung and LG are preparing to launch devices in the later part of the year which will be capable of supporting T-Mobile’s 42 Mbps network.

    As of now, T-Mobiles network speeds in ideal situations is only about 21 Mbps, which is half of the 42 Mbps at its best. The new faster 42 Mbps network would be made available in upto 152 markets. T-Mobile has just announced that they would be shifting from the current HSPA+ networks to the new 4G LTE networks, though the date for the same has not been officially announced yet.Though market speculations suggest that the same will be launched sometime in the second half of this year.

    With Verizon having launched LTE already, in the last quarter of 2010 and AT&T getting ready to do the same in the second quarter of this year; it will be interesting to see how T-Mobile goes about their launch. Also the fact that AT&T is about to acquire T-Mobile USA makes it all the more interesting.

    Maybe AT&T has asked T-Mobile to hold its launch till its acquired and both the carriers launch the 4G LTE services together to maximize their reach and earn a better market share in the 4G LTE segment.

    Via Gottabemobile

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