Monday, January 28, 2013

Quad-Core phones are 'in budget', but what about battery life?

Karbonn (an Indian mobile manufacturer), just released a Quad-core phone ( for a price that is about 10K INR, which, I think is the max budget for many of the salaried people. Regardless of whether people go for the higher specked (and a bit more expensive) Micromax Canvas HD, the Quad-core phones have started to trickle in. And they are within budget of a large number of people. Sure, you may not see such devices coming from Samsung or Nokia any time soon, but I have a gut feeling that with this kind of aggressive pricing, Karbonn and Micromax may soon gain some sizeable 'market mindshare'.

While it gets me exited that we have some cool computing power on mobile phones now (any one interested in some Quantum Chemistry? see ), what is surely lacking is Apps that take advantage of the cores and more importantly the battery life of these devices.

While Jeol at the Nokia Conversations (, gave a very good account of where the cores are useful and also why merely incrementing the core count makes no sense; this is a known fact, especially for me, who has substantial experience in parallel computing.

What really bugs me is the fact that more powerful these devices get, more often these have to be plugged in to the grid to juice them up. The company that makes strides in the battery technology (and not the core counts), will make the next major wave in mobile computing. Sure, my beloved mobile company, Nokia, claims that Asha 'smart devices' are battery smart too, but I would rather want to see that smartness in the Lumia devices :)


Monday, January 14, 2013

MeTA Studio update

A new online update for MeTA Studio is available. The latest version is 2.0.14012013. To update use: Help -> Check for Updates -> [Update] -> [Restart]

This is largely a maintenance update. There are no new features that are added. However, a few changes as noted below:
  • The build system has moved to JDK 1.7 so before you update MeTA Studio, update your JRE to latest JRE 1.7
  • If you do not wish to update your JRE, please do not apply this MeTA Studio update. If you want the latest build, keeping your current JRE, then the only way out is to compile from the source. I will no longer make binary builds against JRE 1.6.
  • A simple example script to visualize "gradient path" is added (see
  • The JEditSyntax source has been updated to work with JDK 1.7, if you are compiling with 1.7 you will need to recompile this at your end.
  • The update mechanism has changed, now after the updates are applied, subsequent update files will be appended with the build numbers. This will help maintain previous binary archives.
I hope to get some free time this year to bring in some of the "frozen" work to light in MeTA Studio platform. Stay tuned.

(MeTA Studio on Google code: