IR Or USB, That?EUR(TM)s The Question

Published Date
01 - Nov - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Nov - 2005
IR Or USB, That’s The Question
I want to transfer images from my PC to the phone. How do I do this? What should I opt for: an infrared dongle or a data cable? Is there a way of increasing the memory capacity of my phone?   
Dhiman Chakrabarti

The K508i offers an infrared transceiver and a USB port for PC connectivity. The choice between IR and USB depends on what you want to transfer and how often. IR is slower as compared to USB. If you plan to move stuff between the phone and PC often, IR could be a pain, and I'd suggest you go in for a USB cable.

If you're looking for a clutter-free way of transferring files and don't mind the slow transfer speeds, you can opt for an infrared dongle. You need the DCU-11 data cable for your phone, which retails for around Rs 600.

As for the USB dongle, just grab any make, but make sure it's compatible with your PC's OS-for example, some dongles don't come with drivers for Windows XP.

An IR dongle sells for Rs 400 to 500. And no-you can't increase the memory of your phone; it doesn't support a memory expansion port.

A laptop is a good tool for light workloads, not if you want to do such things as graphic design, 3D gaming

Is Windows 98 Really Dead?
Q. I'm assembling a PC for my friend. He wanted to go in for an Intel solution, and we decided on the following components: a Pentium IV 3.0 GHz, 256 MB of RAM, an 80 GB hard drive and a combo drive.

We decided to settle for a 915G chipset-based motherboard, but the dealer insisted on us going in for an 845 chipset-based board, saying Windows 98 doesn't install on the 915 chipset board.

I was not convinced, and asked for an 865-based motherboard. Which of the three would you recommend? We will be using this PC for animation, gaming and video too. Do we need a graphics card as well? Also, please suggest a good 17-inch monitor.
Sumant S Puranik

Your dealer was right. You can't install Windows 98 on the new 915 chipset-based motherboards. Microsoft has officially discontinued support for Windows 98 and hence, many hardware vendors have stopped offering drivers for Windows 98-and without the proper drivers, you won't be able to run Windows 98.

I don't think you should go in for the 845-based chipset motherboard-it's got one leg in the grave. I'd suggest the 915 board and Windows XP; it's much better than Windows 98.

If you plan to do some gaming, the onboard graphics controller on the 915 motherboard will do fairly well-you can play most of the new games, but don't expect too much. As for the monitor, go in for a Samsung 17-inch; the DF-793S should do well for your purpose.

TV-Tuner: Internal Or External?
Q. I have an HP-Compaq V2136AP laptop with a Pentium M 1.6 GHz processor, 256 MB of RAM, and a 60 GB hard disk. I want to buy a TV-Tuner card. Is it possible to fit an internal TV–Tuner card, or do I need to go in for an external solution? Also, will I be able to record TV programs if I opt for an external solution? My budget is Rs 2.5K to 3K.
Salil Natekar

I don't think integrating the TV-tuner card into your present laptop would be possible. But you should check with HP-Compaq for more details on this. As far as an external TV-tuner card for your laptop is concerned, you have two options: an external USB device that hooks up via a USB port, or a PCMCIA bus TV-Tuner card.

An external USB TV-Tuner card will allow you to capture TV programs, but good solutions will set you back by at least Rs 6K to 7K.

Pinnacle and Avermedia have external USB solutions for around Rs 7K. Aver also has a PCMCIA-based solution called the AverTV cardbus. I don't see these fitting your budget. If you don't mind the brand, Techcom has an external USB TV-Tuner that retails for Rs 3K. It performed just about average in our tests. I'd suggest you check the quality of reception and recording. If you're satisfied, you could consider it your only option.

A Laptop As A Desktop Replacement
Q. I am interested in buying a laptop-preferably a Centrino with a 1.8 GHz processor and a 12-inch screen. My primary use for this laptop would be as a desktop replacement, and I will use it for at least eight hours a day. What model would you suggest?

Today's laptops can easily parallel desktop PCs when it comes to computing power and features. However, comfort over an extended period of use does not rule in the laptops' favour.

In a laptop, the display is attached to the base unit, so you're forced to look down. With extendeded working hours, there's a high chance of discomfort.

A laptop is a good tool for light workloads, not if you want to do such things as graphic design, 3D gaming, and so on. If your usage includes heavy workloads, it's better to opt for a desktop.

One more thing: 12-inch screen laptops are generally ultra-compact and more suited for frequent travellers. If you're insistent on a laptop,  get one that has at least a 15-inch screen, and which offers a variety of connectivity options. I'd recommend a Lenovo Thinkpad any day.

Just A Great Mobile Phone
Q. I I'm on the lookout for a mobile phone with a camera and an MP3 player, expandable memory, and a large phone book. My budget is about Rs 25K.
N Sarvesh Rao

I'd strongly recommend the Sony-Ericsson W800i. It has a 2 mp camera with an inbuilt flash, and very decent MP3 playing capabilities. A 512 MB Memory Stick Duo is also bundled. The phone book capabilities are good. The W800i only comes in a white-and-orange colour combination. If you can't live with that, I suggest the SE K750i. Most features are same, except that the K750i has only a 64 MB card.

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