Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheapest 5 Android Phones

While some including me believe that the top-end of mobile phones will live forever and the platforms of the top-end won’t come to the low-end, there are others who believe that open platforms like Android (or the many earlier Linux consortiums – CELF, OSDL) truly provides platform that can work on the high-end and low-end equally well.

But as we’ve quickly seen, instead of the hardware manufacturers, the software industry really has driven what hardware sells. We saw that for the PC market and are quickly seeing that in the mobile phone markets now. How the OS and the applications are making or breaking the success of the mobile phone handsets. Nevertheless, here are the cheapest Android phones in the Indian market, which may probably be global leading in terms of mobile phone growth in the low-end market… And the prices will keep dropping I guess!!

1. Huawei IDEOS U8300 – Rs. 6200/-


Huawei has many handsets in India in the CDMA market. Most of these handsets are serviced by operators that provide these mobile phones along with the plan. The IDEOS is manufactured in China and is sold in many markets around the world. I happened to see this phone is also available in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

This entry-level smartphone was designed with the needs of young, mobile users in mind. This smartphone combines a QWERTY keyboard and a touch-screen in a small, chocolate-bar inspired package. Powered by Android 2.1, it comes with the most popular social networking applications pre-installed, so users can stay in touch anytime, anywhere.

For more information, please visit: www.huaweidevice.com/ideos

The phone has low battery life, but provides excellent features for the price.

2. Acer beTouch E110 – Rs. 6990/-


  • Stylish, compact and slim design
  • 2.8” (QVGA) resistive screen
  • 5-way navi key
  • 3G and Bluetooth connectivity

Looks pretty and is light-weight. Doesn’t have very good battery life, but does have some good applications and interfaces built-in like Spinlets and Nemo Player


3. Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro – Rs. 8700/-


- 240 x 320 pixels (QVGA)
- 2,6" capacitive touchscreen

- GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
- UMTS/HSPA 900/2100

- 5MP Camera with Flash
- WiFi

Great build quality and excellent software and hardware polish. Great support and service centers. Known brand

4. Samsung I5503 Galaxy 5 – Rs. 8800/-


  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 3.6 Mbps HSDPA support
  • Smart dialing
  • 2.8 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Android OS v2.1 Eclair
  • TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization (on both, I5801 has Orange UI too)
  • 600 MHz processor
  • 2MP camera with geo-tagging
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support


5. Spice Mi300 – Rs. 9400/-


Android 2.1 Ready
Android Market Place
Google Messaging Services with Push Mail

Key features

  • 3.5G
  • Wi- Fi
  • 3.2” HVGA Capacitive Touch Screen
  • 5 MP Camera

Troubleshooting smslib-based applications (DHIS Mobile, SCDRT, InventMobi, StocksTracker)

While I’ve been troubleshooting SMS Applications (based on smslib, Gnokii, Kannel) for over 3 yrs, it is excruciatingly painful to tell people the basics of the troubleshooting again and again. There have been numerous small docs, readme files, emails that have repeated the same things again and again. To people who have gone through with the implementation and fixed problems, I’ve repeatedly requested to document these at some place (…infact as part of their job profiles), but none have sadly been able to produce anything useful. So, here is an attempt to make the troubleshooting process a little more easier for someone who is stuck. There is always websearch that will finally give you the answer to the troubleshooting process, but this is just a reminder to myself where to look at.

    0.) Archive the logs and send it... as basic as it sounds, ALWAYS look at the log file
  1. Check the application/library version – report this as part of any question you are asking
  2. Check the Native Library version and the Java Library version. These should ideally match or should have the same type. i.e if you are using RXTXComm (this is bundled with dhis-web-mobile module), then you should have rxtxSerial.so (Linux) or rxtxSerial.dll (Windows). If using the older version, check the comm.jar and the required dlls is at the right location.
  3. Check the compatibility of the modem (Kannel) and (smslib). If not listed, check if it supports common standard AT command and may just work
  4. If you are using SMSLib for Java on Linux with the RxTx, you can have a no response exception or gnu.io.NoSuchPortException, as if no modem is actually connected to your computer – create a simlink to the dev/ttyS20 and also do start your application (for DHIS this is catalina.sh) with the –Dsmslib.serial.polling parameter as given in this bug filing.
  5. Check if you have the correct port number in the configuration. For Windows, look at the device manager and the modem. Put the COM10 as the port (COM is needed for DHIS, while not for SMSListener), while for Linux add the /dev/tty<whatever> (/dev/ttyUSB0). For linux, try running the “wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf” (without quotes) or scanModem script. This will give the modem port
  6. Check the SIM memory location and add it to the configuration file. This is complex, but a Google search on your modem should help. If you don’t find anything obvious leaving it blank should likely work for your modem
  7. If you repeatedly see Framing Errors, it is primarily because the baud-rate mismatch between what you have set and what your modem supports. Running wvdialconf as earlier may give you good indication of what baud-rates are supported and best for your modem. If its windows, then setting to 56000 should be safe enough.
  8. Some modems supports a specialized AT command set. These are init commands and activation AT commands. You should change the manufacturer and model string. If you know the manufacturer, then it is always good to put the exact manufacturer name in that string.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Netbeans Community Testing for 7.0 starts

Netbeans has just started its Community Acceptance Program (NetCAT 7.0) for Netbeans 7.0. Basically developers who are using Netbeans as their IDE need to download latest builds and report bugs. Good experience to get involved with testing and learn more about Netbeans. Also makes some friends with community and developers at Sun Microsystems.

Helps improve the IDE you use daily!!

Go HERE: http://wiki.netbeans.org/NetCAT

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women more respected in Pakistan & Bangladesh than in India

I’ve been pretty involved in health information and monitoring the state of affairs in that domain, but this is something I believe is as critical for humanness. The UNDP just came out with their Human Development Report (HDR) and celebrating its 20th Anniversary… I would like to congratulate guys at UNDP for the great work with this report and its indeed an excellent piece of work that has been going on for the last 2 decades. Also who better than Amartya Sen introducing us to the report.

The report is one of the most complete ways to give the overall picture to development. There are obviously critiques to how development is measured and qualitative analysis is sometimes required to study the cases. Nevertheless, it is indeed rich in data for looking at how development is measured. The report covers Health (… and life expectancy), Knowledge/Education, Standards of living, Innovation, Economic growth, Empowerment, Gender, Income inequalities, Security… and creates an index comparing these at a benchmark number of 10.

India ranks 119 on the Human Development Index and highlights somewhat of a sad story, when we are so happy celebrating our growth rates and world reputation success, a lot many things are lacking. May be even aggravating - in this view of achieving only economic growth and race for money and world power! Sure, we are doing great in democracy and political freedoms, but what about the many unfreedoms of gender and income inequalities. I would say it’s a shame that women feel more respected in Pakistan than in India, although we are the world’s largest democracy in the world. More and more as you read the whole report…

Sitting in Norway and reading the HDR feels like we are miles away in India…, but even in closer geographies (e.g. SriLanka), I feel we are very far off from our potential as a society!!