Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Lots" of water found on the moon

"Lots" of water was found by NASA yesterday as solid ice under the surface.

Scientists have long suspected that water was under the surface of the moon as ice. These rumors were increased by the Chandrayaan-1 spotted what seemed like ice when it was orbiting the moon. NASA confirmed this when they slammed two satellites into the moon on purpose. These satellites then tested for water and the test came out positive. There is apparently an equivalent of 24 gallon of water that was kicked up by the crash itself. There could actually be much more.

This a history-making day in space science. Now NASA is thinking about setting out a permanent base on the moon which it can use as a refueling stop on the way to Mars. Even Google put a image of the moon on their homepage to represent this historic event.

I think this is a very important day in space science and it may even be one of the greatest discoveries made by NASA.

Friday, July 24, 2009

RockBox for Sansa e200 Series

A few days back I was trying to put some long clips onto my MP4 player - my Sansa e280. I have put short videos onto it before and they all worked fine. However when I tried to convert the long video using the Sansa Media Converter I found some glitches:
  1. The video took a very long time to convert
  2. It split the video 5 times
  3. The audio and video were completely out of sync
I was frustrated and so I went onto the Internet to find a solution. People recommended many other converters but none seemed to work. On one of the forums I was searching, someone mentioned RockBox. I was curious to see what RockBox was so I searched on Google and I found their website.

According to their website:
"Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players, written from scratch. It runs on a wide range of players:

Stable ports

Rockbox runs well on these players, has a complete manual and is supported by the installer:
  • Apple: 1st through 5.5th generation iPod, iPod Mini and 1st generation iPod Nano
    (not the Shuffle, 2nd/3rd/4th gen Nano, Classic or Touch)
  • Archos: Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio
  • Cowon: iAudio X5, X5V, X5L, M5, M5L, M3 and M3L
  • iriver: iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series and H10 series
  • Olympus: M:Robe 100
  • SanDisk: Sansa c200 series, e200 series and e200R series (not the v2/AMS models)
  • Toshiba: Gigabeat X and F series (not the S series)

Unstable ports

Rockbox runs on these players, but is incomplete, less usable or has problems that limit it to advanced users:

Unusable ports

Work has begun on porting Rockbox to these players, but much remains before they are usable:
  • Toshiba Gigabeat S, Cowon iAudio 7, Creative ZVM, Logik Dax, Meizu M6,
    Philips GoGear HDD1600, HDD1800, HDD6300 and SA9200, Onda VX747 and VX767,
    Tatung Elio, Sandisk Sansa m200, c100, Clip v1 and c200v
I was very interested and after some deliberation I decided to take the plunge.

I downloaded the RockBox Utility and using the manual I carefully followed it step by step to install Rockbox onto the player. Within minutes it was ready to go. After testing it out for a few minutes I realised that it was amazing. It could do everything that I wanted and much more - it could play games, videos, radio (if tuner is there), view text files and much more. Best of all it is totally theme-able. It also has amazing support on its website and it was really helpful. You can even uninstall Rockbox if you don't like it and it also allows you to boot to the original firmware.

Overall I think Rockbox is the best thing you can put onto your player, if it is supported, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chrome OS vs Windows 7

Recently Google announced that it would be making an operating system which it called "Google Chrome OS". Now this is quite a bold move to make with Windows 7 just around the corner (releasing on October 22, 2009). Chrome OS is going to be open source and based on Google Chrome their browser. It will be targeted at net books when it is released sometime at the end of 2010. It is based on the Linux kernel but it will have a new windowing system.

They say the design will be minimalistic and it will be mainly web-based with focus shifting from the desktop to the Internet (Cloud Computing). They also said that there will be a completely different security structure making it very difficult for viruses to infect the computer. And best of all it will be completely free.

The big question is will this move hurt Microsoft? Will people be put off from buying Windows 7 and use the free Google Chrome OS instead? We need to wait until Windows 7 is released to know.

I'm Back

Finally all my exams are over and it is the summer holidays at last.

Because of this, from now on there will be regular posts from me. So keep checking back to get the latest information.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2nd IPL Match - Bangalore Royal Challengers v Rajasthan Royals

This was a match between the team that won and came 7th. Rajasthan were the clear favourites going into this match and were very confident and they had every reason to be: they have a very good team, so good that they were champions last year. I personally wanted Bangalore to win because it has Dravid in it and he is my favourite player. Bangalore won the toss and decided to bat.

Rajasthan got a brilliant start by taking 2 wickets in the first over. But Bangalore managed to recover, thanks to Dravid's 66, to 133/8. Quite a competitive score.

Bangalore got an equally good start taking 2 wickets in the first 3 overs. Thanks to some excellent bowling from Kumble, who took the best figures in T20 - 5 for 5, Rajasthan only got to 58 and were all out.

So another surprise - Bangalore win by 75 runs. Dravid got the man of the match award.

Table as it stands:

Team Match Won Lost NR Pts RR Run For Run Against
Bangalore Royal Challengers 1 1 0 0 2 +3.750 133/20.0 58/20.0
Mumbai Indians 1 1 0 0 2 +0.950 165/20.0 146/20.0
Chennai Super Kings 1 0 1 0 0 -0.950 146/20.0 165/20.0
Rajasthan Royals 1 0 1 0 0 -3.750 58/20.0 133/20.0

1st IPL Match - Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians

A very exciting match that went down to the wire. I wanted Mumbai to win because I like Tendulkar a lot. Chennai won the toss and chose to field. On paper Chennai should have won/

It was a good effort with the ball but Flintoff got hammered for over 20 runs in one over of Abhishek Nayar which I thought was poor. They manged to restrict Mumbai to 165 for 7. Hayden dropped a vital catch which meant that Tendulkar managed to make a great score of 59 off 49 balls which proved important at the end.

Then Chennai batted. There was a wicket in the first over but they recovred and started to bat well. But wickets were falling at regular interval and at the end thanks to some good bowling the Mumbai team were able to restrict Chennai to 146 for 7.

So Mumbai won by 19 runs, a surprise result. Tendulkar got the man of the match award.

Here is how the table looks now:

Team Match Won Lost NR Pts RR Run For Run Against
Mumbai Indians 1 1 0 0 2 +0.950 165/20.0 146/20.0
Chennai Super Kings 1 0 1 0 0 -0.950 146/20.0 165/20.0

The DLF IPL Season 2 has begun!

Cricket is another one of my favourite sports. This is not very surprising as most Indians do like cricket. The IPL is a great idea developed by Lalit Modi (same first name as me by the way) and it is a great tournament. The first season was a great success. But the second season was threatened by security concerns as it clashed with the elections. But by moving the tournament to South Africa all these concerns have gone and the IPL has started with the same energy as last year.

SpaceTech Info will keep everyone posted on all the teams that I am following in the IPL that play on weekends!

These teams are:
  1. Deccan Chargers - Home Team
  2. Bangalore Royal Challengers - Lived in Bangalore for a long time and DRavid is my favourite player
  3. Mumbai Indians- Tendulkar is in it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brawn, Williams and Toyota Diffuser is Legal

Today the FIA ruled the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars as being legal. Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault said that the rear diffuser is not allowed according to the new rules but Formula 1's governing body ruled in favour of Brawn, Williams and Toyota.

This was the most likely outcome as the FIA hadn't said anything about the diffuser during the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix. But Ferrari still think that they are right and they are waiting to see why the FIA ruled against them.

I think that Ferrari should give it up and just get on with improving their car instead of worrying about other teams. They should accept the fact that just because the Brawn diffuser is different and better than their it is illegal.

Formula 1

Formula 1 has been one of my favourite sports since I started watching it a few years ago. So I have decided that from now one SpaceTech Info will give the latest news regarding Formula 1. Much of the news and results will be posted right here on SpaceTech Info.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Nintendo DSi Review

Today, at around 9 o'clock we finally received the DSi. We already have a DS Lite and many people were recommending that the DSi isn't worth it if the owner already has a DS. But we took the plunge anyway and bought it...

I had long waited for this moment eagerly anticipating what was in store. We opened the box and there it was. It looked really good. It is slightly bigger than its predecessors - the DS and DS Lite. But its screen is also bigger and its graphics are really good. It had a matted surface which I didn't like. I liked the shiny polished surface of the DS.

It didn't take very long to set up and we were ready to go. First we tried out the new camera and it seemed to work very well, even though it is only 0.3 megapixels. Then I tried setting up the Internet. A good thing is that the DSi has support for WPA which is another feature the DS doesn't. We got it working and then I tried to find the Internet channel that had been promised to come with the DSi. I didn't find it. I was quite surprised that Nintendo had not held up their promise.

But then I figured out that it was hidden away in the Shop channel, the same as the Wii. We downloaded it and it worked really well. There is a feature that allows the user to switch between the touch screen and the top screen. I actually managed to write some of this post on it. But it got tiring after some time so I had to come to the computer.

Overall it is very good and I recommend buying it. I still haven't played a game on it yet but as I explore the features of the DSi there will be updates on this post every so often for a few days.

Update - 12:36 - The DSi only plays AAC files and not MP3. This is quite shocking. An easy way to convert from MP3 to AAC is by using iTunes. Search on Google for this.

Update - 2:32 PM -
I have now played Mario Kart and Super Mario Bros. on it and they both look very good on screen. The DSi has a much more sensitive touchpad. Its touch screen is also very good.

Update - 4:32 PM - The music player doesn't allow music to play through the speakers if it is closed. The only way to listen to music when it is closed is to put headphones before you close it.

Update - 5:38 PM - I forgot to say that another good feature of the DSi is that the brightness can be changed when playing the game. If the battery is running in the DS you had to exit the game and go back to the menu.

Update - 5:46 PM - Some disadvantages of the DSi:
  1. No GBA slot so you can't play and GBA games and some games which have extra hardware that slot here can not be played.
  2. No Flash support for the browser so many things like YouTube will not work.
  3. You can't play any audio streams on the browser.

Update - 05.04.09 - 5:46 PM - I have found another advantage:
  1. If you want to change the game then you can just take it out when you are in the menu unlike the DS where you had to switch it off. THe same is true after changing system preferences.

Some Pictures of the DSi:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Microsoft Surface

A few days ago Microsoft launched its new computer - Microsoft Surface. This computer looks just like a coffee table but is actually a highly sensitive piece of equipment that has a computer embedded inside. There is no need for a keyboard or a mouse - it is touch sensitive.

This computer looks very good. It actually looks like a coffee table and it seems to be very sensitive. It is selling to businesses only currently at £8,500 in the UK. Microsoft want to release it to public soon. It is a very good idea and I like it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Recording your favourite radio program/station - Tutorial

Sorry for the long delay but this is a very long post and I have been busy.

It is not often I write a tutorial but I discovered something exciting and I wanted to share it. Some knowledge of computers will be required.

In this tutorial I will show you how to record a radio program using the VLC media player. The VLC media player is a very good program which plays most file formats and can even play DVDs on you computer without a decoder. Many of you may already have this but if you don't I strongly recommend that you do. You can download it from here: VLC Download - just click on the link. It is most likely to be virus free but run a virus scan on it anyway.

After installing it, open it up. it will look something like this (if the images are unclear just click on them for a bigger picture):

Then follow this link: and type in the radio station at the top of the page. You should get the radio station you want. For example if I want Radio 1 a page like this would come up:

Here, according to which browser you use you will need different instructions:

Under the "Windows Media Player" section click on the image that says a number and "Stereo" that represents your station . It will take you onto a new tab. Here copy the address and paste into Notepad.

IE and other browsers:
Under the "Windows Media Player" section hover over the image that says a number and "Stereo" that represents your station .Then, on the status bar, the address will come up. You will manually have to remember and copy it into Notepad. If the status bar is not visible (at the bottom of the screen) enable it. It can be enabled in the View section in the toolbar.

After doing this go back to VLC and click on the "Media" menu and then click "Convert/Save" A window like this should come up:

Click on the "Network" tab. Then copy and paste the address from Notepad.
The window should now look something like this:

Now click the "Convert/Save" button. A window like this should come up:

Now is the decision making time. If you want to listen to the station as it is recording then tick the "Play Locally" option. After this click the "File" checkbox and then click "Browse". Choose the location where you want to save it and type in the file name.

Now you will need to know about audio file formats to do the next this next bit. If you don't then just type ".mp3"after the file name go to the next paragraph. If you do though you can type in any audio file extension after the file name. I prefer ".mp3" as they are small but have good audio quality
Now click save you should get back to the window you were on before. In the "Encapsulation" tab click the "RAW" format and then switch to the "Audio codec" tab. Here, select the "Audio" checkbox and then make the codec the same as in the "File" window. Keep the "Bitrate" 128kb/s and the "Channels" 2 as most radio station are not better than this.
Then if you are happy with everything click the "Save" button...
And Viola! there you have it! The file should be saving and playing (if you chose this option) perfectly. When you want to stop recording just click the stop symbol.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Return of Tiger Woods

This week saw the return of the greatest golfer of all time: Tiger Woods. I am a huge fan of Tiger Woods and have been since I was about 7. This is the first time he has played a professional championship since the 2008 US Open which he narrowly won, 7 months ago. He played quite well on the first day beating Brendan Jones 3&2 comfortably. But on the second day he struggled against the South African, Tim Clark, losing 4&2.

I think that Woods picked a wrong time to come back. He is definitely stronger on stroke play than match play. He should have come back for a stroke play tournament. I was very disappointed when I woke up to the news that Woods had lost. By losing this match it has brought his confidence. He should definitely
have come back for a stroke play tournament. Oh well. There are plenty of other tournaments.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Universal Mobile Phone Charger

A few days ago I read in the Daily Telegraph that the big mobile phone companies such as Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola have agreed on a universal charger which would be the same for all phones. The charger would be a Mini USB one. And it would only consume half of what other chargers would consume in standby. This would be implemented by 2012.

Although it didn't say in the article, I figured out that this also meant that there wouldn't need to be a separate socket to connect the phone to the computer. This would reduce the weight of the phone.

One of the best ideas ever thought out but it is long overdue. It should have been introduced when mobile phones were first made.Well at least now the companies have had some sense to do this. I am hoping that there will be no delays and it will work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Windows 7 Beta

Recently my dad downloaded Windows 7 Beta 1 to test it out. It is not very surprising that Windows 7 was launched only 2 years after Vista since Vista has received a lot of criticism.

Windows 7 is a very good operating system. I have tested Vista briefly and Windows 7 is very similar but I like the improved taskbar very much. We have never switched over from XP because my dad thinks that Vista is not very secure. When I used Vista I never found any bugs in it but I only tested it briefly so I can not say.

We installed Windows 7 on 3 computers and we have never had any problems with any of them. It even worked perfectly on a 6 year old laptop (except the Aero theme)! It seems very secure and we have never encountered any major bugs in it.

I think most people will switch over to Windows 7, even people who recently bought Vista. The only criticism I have of Windows 7 is that Microsoft should have thought of a better name!

For a more detailed insight into Windows 7 please visit my dad's blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Space Junk Orbiting the Earth

Recently, I read an article in the Focus magazine which says that the space junk orbiting the Earth is becoming quite dangerous for space flight. Today on the Internet I happened to find a similar article and I decided to write about it in my first post.

Since the beginning of space flight there has always been debris floating around the Earth such as rocket boosters and nuts and bolts. These things have not been very harmful. Until now... Recently these things have become dangerous. A bolt may not sound harmful but if this bolt is travelling at 10m/s it becomes a huge problem. These debris are endangering other objects orbiting the Earth such as satellites and the ISS (International Space Station). Luckily objects which are bigger than 10 cm can be tracked. This is done by the SSN (Space Surveillance Network) which is a network of 25 sensors which are placed around the world. This is then processed by very powerful computers and if required a warning is sent to NASA.

The debris is very difficult to get rid of and if it crashes with another piece of debris it explodes into thousands of other pieces. Some of these object simply crash to the Earth and burn up but there are still a lot of debris above us. Currently there is no option for the satellites such as the ISS except to simply get out of the way by moving up or down. There have been plans to use things like lasers to get rid of these objects. But a laser powerful enough to do this could also destroy other satellites so these plans have never gone past the planning stage.

But there is nothing we can do now except get out of the way. Hopefully in the future we will be less careless about what we leave in space.