Praval Singh

Praval Singh is a passionate blogger and will remain a passion for years to come.

Wondershare Photo Recovery for Mac

Data recovery has been one of the most talked about aspects of computing, ever since we realized the importance of data storage. Irrespective of a file format or the operating system we work on, it becomes a dire need to be able to recover files which might have been deleted accidentally.

While I continue to quench my thirst for softwares that make life easier on Mac, was given an opportunity to try out Wondershare Photo Recovery for Mac. It’s an easy-to-use and cost effective photo recovery software for mac that can recover lost, deleted, formatted and inaccessible photos, videos and music files. Just to add, it also provides recovery from iPod — Classic, Nano & Shuffle, USB drive and even a digital camera.

I got nostalgic about the time when some of the best photographs I had, moved into drains of digital clutter when my hard disk crashed, 2 years ago. Recently, after a trip to Japan, I accidentally formatted the memory card off the new DSLR camera I bought. Wondershare came handy there as well!

Salient features of Wondershare Photo Recovery for Mac;

  • You can recover files from not just Mac, but iPods (except touch), USB drives and digital cameras.
  • The Demo version allows preview of images and evaluate recovery quality before you buy the product.
  • Apart from pictures, the software can recover deleted videos and music files from your Mac. Much needed if you’re good at clearing the trash carelessly!
  • The application supports major photo, video and music formats.
  • One can recover images from Mac with original file names and storage paths to get precise Mac image recovery.
  • It has two recovery modes – Deleted Recovery and Deep Recovery, each having respective advantages.
  • If you wish to recover files based on the file size criterion, the software supports file filter function too.
  • Figuring out what to restore and what not to becomes tough if you have several hundred pictures on the media. The application supports photo thumbnail preview which lets you choose pictures easily.

The Setbacks;

  • Inability to recover photos from iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • The software does not allow previewing video files.
  • Formats such as .FLV are not supported.
  • Unable to resume the recovery process.
  • In-Unstable while trying to recover a whole hard-drive.

I hope these barriers would be soon crossed in the future releases of WonderShare Photo Recovery for Mac. Over all, it’s a slick and easy to use app to get things done for a little less than 50$!

Win 5 FREE Licenses: Tell us a short story about your data lost and how a recovery solution will help you. Wondershare have agreed to give out 5 professional License of Wondershare Photo Recovery for FREE. Comment with a valid email.

Note: For those who are willing to go beyond the GUI and into the command-line, TestDisk is a powerful open-source file recovery software which works on DOS (either real or in a Windows 9x DOS-box), Windows (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7 (x86 & x64), Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SunOS and MacOS X.

Is 3G just about speed?

3G Technology
Into the future with 3G. (source : Praval’s Photo Stream)

Earlier this month, we saw country’s first privately held 3G service from Tata Docomo. With large marketing efforts across all possible advertising medium, Tata Docomo established itself as the first private company to roll out commercial 3G services across 9 circles. This was analogous to NTT Docomo, the partners being the first company in the world to provide commercial 3G, a few years back! We’ve had promises from Airtel and Vodafone to launch 3G soon.

3G has been in India for the past several months, but owned by MTNL and BSNL, the PSU duo. Let’s not get into a debate of performance and service they offer!

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Plasma vs LCD – Demystified

Plama vs LCD

It has been a few years since entertainment at home has changed gears. Some of the reasons may possibly include – technology getting cheap and markets getting flooded with options. Festive seasons create good buying pockets as well! However, there are myths which are yet to be answered for people who wish to buy their next TV and are not sure of what shall be their best buy!

For some people, it is a daunting task trying to choose between a plasma television and an LCD. Color rich plasma televisions with high degrees of contrast cannot miss the eye of any buyer. On the other hand, we have the LCD, always changing for the better. The next generation of televisions, the LED TV, is lighter and extremely thin with bright crystal clear images. They are however LCD HDTVs that use an LED backlight instead of a conventional fluorescent one. The question is, which one should one go for?


The game of contrast ratio started after 2004, when the optimum peak was 4000:1. Before LED TVs came into being, Plasma televisions have has the best contrast with a contrast ratio. Today they lie in the same band. They give the blackest blacks and the whitest whites. They perfectly display images from DVDs, video games and NTSC TV signals. This is because they are accurate in displaying images with a lot of dark and light images simultaneously. LCD manufacturers have tried to make improvement in there black and white levels. However the fact that LCD uses much power when displaying full white makes them further inefficient.


The impressive color richness of the plasma is because it has pixels with amazing colorations. These pixels when stimulated by electric pulses produce amazing color sequences. The LCD on the other hand uses a twisting crystal matrix which filters white light into different colors. This particularly blocks some color wavelengths making LCD less colorful compared to the plasma.

Burn in

The twisting matrix despite its above disadvantage makes LCD less prone to premature aging as compared to plasma. Plasma is susceptible to premature aging as it uses pixels which are burned in when a DVD is paused for more than 15 minutes. This permanently distorts the color. However there are newer improved plasmas which can stay in the pause mode for over 10 hours without being burned in.

High altitude

This one may be astonishing, but true! LCD is the appropriate television for use in airplanes and in high altitudes. This is because unlike plasma which has compressed natural gasses in glass envelopes they are not affected by atmospheric pressure. This natural gas is what makes plasma TVs produce a buzzing sound in high altitudes. However there have been some latest models of plasma TV which can function in high altitudes. Performance still remains a question!

Energy Efficiency

LCD TVs save a lot of energy because they utilize fluorescent tubes in their backlighting. For the plasmas, a good amount of energy is required in lighting every pixel which are high in numbers.

Size and Price

The Plasma is pioneer in having extra large television sets. Samsung has manufactured a gigantic 100 inch plasma TV. There others like Panasonic in the 65 inches segment. Thou Bigger models of LCD are now being produced; they cannot match the prices of the bigger plasmas because they are relatively affordable as you go towards the higher size and compare it with the full HD LCD.

The Verdict

Both, LCD and Plasma are two competing technologies. One needs to identify the use case before deciding to buy any of these. For a reference, I shall suggest you to use this as a basis;

Look out for a Plasma TV if,

  • You need something which is in excess of 42″ of screen.
  • You like rich and warm colors along with deep black levels.
  • You would probably sit off-axis when you watch the Television.
  • You shall prefer the smoothest, most natural motion with fast on-screen action, like sports or video games.

Look for a LCD TV if,

  • You need something that is sleek. The newer LED TVs are still thinner than LCDs.
  • You watch in TV a room that has a lot of light coming in from windows or otherwise. LCDs are known to be very bright. Hence less of glare.
  • Power consumption is something you would want to consider.

I hope this would help you to decide on what suits you the best! Do share your experiences with display devices.

(Comic strip: Shoebox Blog)

A new email client for Mac – Sparrow

Sparrow Mail

Screenshot from Sparrow Mail

SparrowThe new simple mail app for Mac.

Email has been by far the most used of all the internet technologies. Hotmail changed the way we looked at internet communication. Gmail altered it to perfection with conversational view, integrated chat, video, sms and now phone calls. Microsoft Exchange has held a strong hold at large businesses in the way they communicate internally.

If you’re a Mac user, you would have sure had a chance to test the default Mail app. If you ever took a deep dive in finding ‘the best’ email client, I am sure you would have come across many more. Microsoft’s very own email client for mac, Entourage stands close to the Outlook’s feature set.

Earlier this week, I came across a new, slick, amateur email client for Mac — Sparrow. I wanted to give it a spin for a couple of days before writing about it.

It’s been a mixed feeling of good and bad with the app. It’s currently in beta and supports only Gmail for now. If you’re a fan of Tweetie for Mac, you would love this app. The interface is pretty close to Tweetie, as in the vertical arrangement of accounts and emails, ability to set the right drawer come out and sneak back, rounded corners on avatars and minimalistic design and functionality.

Gmail has always flaunted it’s threaded view functionality. The same is an integrated feature within Sparrow. Flicking through the threads is seamless. Integration with Growl allows notifications, as and when needed.

While the app allows you to view the a message in a slider that snips out as a right window pane, a double click shall let you open in it a new window, altogether. There is a slick and easy drop-down button on the top right of all messages to reply, reply all, delete, forward, mark as unread and print. On the bottom of all messages, there is a reply and a forward button.

My experience with the app has been good in terms of the simplicity and the user interface. It makes your job of reading and replying to emails, simple. Just that! However, there are times when the email message you would click on the window shall refrain from opening in the right pane. It may also go into an infinite loop of loading a message!

This was typically expected off an app that’s still a beta release. Coming up next, in the future release, it shall support other IMAP email providers and add labels for Gmail into the app.

If you’re a Mac user, I would suggest you to give it a spin and keep an eye on the next release. You may want to check out their blog or follow @sparrowmailapp.

Happy emailing!

11 Free Softwares from Microsoft!

Microsoft - The road to ?

Photo by Nils Geylen

Microsoft The road to ?

Microsoft has been known for the proprietary softwares and need no introduction! There has always been a conflict of views across communities. While some claim that Microsoft provides value for money, FOSS activists have often denied it. Suites and programs like Open Office and GIMP have often been compared to MS Office and Adobe Photoshop, on various grounds. One of the factors being the price.

However, there are a lot of free programs that Microsoft has to offer. We list 11 of them, today;

  1. Windows Live Writer
    This is undoubtedly the best desktop-blogging application that comes for free. The amount of flexibility it offers is matchless, making it one of the best picks for bloggers across the world, both professionals and amateurs.
  2. Server Quest Game II
    Do you find it relaxing to sit and play on your console of PC for hours on end? Well, there is one more item to include to your inventory. If you are into classics, it is one classic you will want to try your hands on. It features the same pixilated graphics featured in King Quest and Leisure Suit Harry. The game is designed with Silverlight and runs on the Internet browser.
  3. SQL Server Express 2008
    This is a slimmed down version of the SQL server but with the same powerful tools to enable you create your websites and applications. The server comes in three variations – Express, Express with Advanced Services and Express with tools. The program is simple to learn, easy to use and offers the same database capabilities as the SQL server.
  4. Office Accounting Express 2008
    Structured on the familiar Microsoft office interface, Office Accounting Express 2008 is a simple to use but powerful accounting tool of all times. It is engineered to blend seamlessly with other office applications.
  5. SyncToy 2.0
    As the name has it, SyncToy acts a synchronization tool that is tailored to help you keep duplicate files open on your computer or over a network. It is also a powerful back up tool. It has a simple to use interface which is a plus.
  6. Windows Steady State
    If you operate a cyber café or a large class and the chances of computers getting crashed is high, you might want to try out Windows SteadyState. The program allows you to restore every computer to the first day of configuration.
  7. Worldwide Telescope
    With images straight from the Hubble Space Telescope, this program brings the power of outer space exploration right into your house. You can engage in a rich user experience where you shuffle through hundreds of images from space.
  8. Virtual PC 2007
    This program allows you to run several operating systems and applications on one physical computer. A simple to install and run software.
  9. XML Notepad 2007
    If you find XML scripting task boring, you might want to give XML Notepad 2007 a try. Featuring different colors for different tags and classes, it is developed to make scripting and editing your XML files easier and fun.
  10. Visual Web Developer 2008
    Wannabe website developers have something for them! This program allows you to get as imaginative and diverse as it can possibly get. Tagging along powerful tools, it is one of the easy-to-use web design tools.
  11. Paint.Net
    This is simply a clever, well designed image editing software. Structured on the .NET platform, it is set to take your image editing to an entirely new level.

How many of these have your had a hands on? Which are the other Microsoft programs that are free to use? Do share your experiences with us.

Apple releases iPad

Apple iPad

The wait is over. Steve did his job! After the much hyped event, we have a new product from Apple. It’s an iPad. Yesterday, we wrote about what to expect off the event. Steve Jobs made many souls happy!

Last night, we saw people storming onto social networks — Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and everything else they could to publish even the minuscule detail of the device as it got revealed by Apple. Many blogs were covering the event live via pictures and text updates. It was fascinating to see few blogs did a LIVE coverage without having a live presence at the event! All this indicates how social the brand Apple gets to be, despite their silence on the product until it was finally launched, yesterday.

Topics like Apple and iPad started to trend within minutes of the launch. Few websites had to face downtime as well. Thanks to the enormous load that the social network addicts passed on to them!

Just after the product was launched, we could see the bloggers with comments like – “No multi-tasking”, Does not have a physical keyboard”, “Expensive” and more. Something that was evident when Apple launched iPhone in 2007. With time and roll-out of this device, these bloggers would come up with posts like -“Why opt for 16 GB iPad than 64 GB iPod touch?”.

Apple is by now, used to receive appraisals and criticisms alike. Sooner or later, the fan club shall only grow.

iPad: The features

  • Half inch thin, slimmest Tablet
  • 1.5 pound in weight (approx 600 gm)
  • 9.7 inch diagonal screen IPS type
  • Capacitive multi-touch
  • 1024×768 display resolution
  • 16 to 64 GB Flash storage
  • 1 Ghz A4 Processor
  • WiFi 802.11n Wifi
  • Built-in Speaker
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • 10 Hours Battery with One Month Standby
  • iPad 3G models are unlocked
  • WiFi models shall be available in 60 days worldwide
  • Comes with Wifi and / or 3G
  • Sync with iTunes
  • New GSM micro SIM for 3G data transmission


  • 16GB: $499 (Wi-Fi) & $629 (Wi-fi+3G)
  • 32GB: $599 (Wi-Fi) & $729 (Wi-fi+3G)
  • 64GB: $699 (Wi-Fi) & $829 (Wi-fi+3G)


iPad is undoubtedly a masterpiece when it comes to read information, watch videos and use apps. That is what it is pretty much for. Expecting everything in sync with this slick device would just be a little injustice. However, with features like addition of a keyboard dock and introduction of multi-touch word processor, spreadsheet and presentation apps for $10 each would justify some needs.

It’s an iPad and not a netbook or a laptop, so let’s not expect it to do which it ain’t build for. It would be a great experience for Kindle lovers to try out this new device. We would be equally anxious to see Amazon’s take on this.

For now, it shall be to early to dig into the good-bad-ugly of an iPad. We shall wait to see one, rather use it. There is more to expect from iBookstore and iWork. Let’s not forget the App Store and the community of iPhone app developers. Let the applications developed specifically for iPad arrive. There is more to come in the ecosystem, for sure.

How many of you have already planned to buy an iPad?