Time taken to download for various Broadband Speeds

A recent business proposal required me to calculate the time taken to download huge files. Being a BSNL Dataone user, I was comparing it with various plans including the Home unlimited plan for Rs.900.

1 MB = 1024 KB = 1024 * 1024 bytes

= 1048576 bytes

= 1048576*8 = 8388608 bits

Bandwidth in K bps (Kilo Bits Per Second) Speed in Kilobytes per Second Time taken to download a 1MB(1024Kilobyte) file
under ideal conditions in seconds
256 K bps = 256 * 1024 bps = 262144 bps 256/8 = 32 KB/S 8388608/262144 = 32
384 48 21.33
512 64 16
1024 (1Mbps) 128 8
2048 (2Mbps) 256 4
4096 (4Mbps) 512 2
8192 (8Mbps) 1024 1

BSNL offers 256Kbps guaranteed speed with a maximum of 2Mbps. So you can theoretically download a 1Mb file in …well under 4 seconds. So that’s under ideal conditions. I have seen download progresses for my 256Kbps connections at the range of 200KB/s. A lot depends on the server’s bandwidth too.
So how much does a 1GB file take to download with a 1 Mbps connection ? From the above table, 8 seconds for 1MB = 8 *1024 for 1GB = 8192 seconds = 136.53 minutes = approximately 2 and a half hours..

Update as on 14-3-08
I’m getting a download speed of 312Kb/s on my home 500 plan which means the speeds are crossing the 2Mbps speeds.

My favourite Windows Explorer and Command Prompt Usage Tips

These are tips that you might already be using but definitely there would be one thing or the other that you would not have known. As far as I’m concerned most of these are tips that I use almost daily . That much for the usability. Most of this stuff will work from Windows 95 through Windows NT-4,Windows 98,Windows 2000,Windows Millennium, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Explorer, Start Menu Run and Keyboard Shortcut Tips

  1. Press the Alt key  and look for the underlined characters( known as accelerators). You can activate menu’s or controls by pressing the accelerator key.In older versions of Windows it was not necessary to press the Alt Key for viewing the accelerator key underlines.
  2. When you create or check the properties of a shortcut, you find the Start in option.This can help in changing the default open dialog in most old windows applications.
  3. Start applications from Run.And there are 2 easy ways to reach Run
    i) Ctrl+Esc R
    ii) Win+R
    Common programs that I use through run
    cmd, calc, wordpad, mspaint, regedit, winword, excel, conf (Netmeeting)
    Tech Note:
    Its not case sensitive
    This works when an entry is added to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionApp Paths key of registry
    Checkout the above key to know what all applications are available through Run
  4. Type the following at the Run prompt to go to the corresponding Windows Special Folders
    Temp folder – %temp%
    User Profile Folder – %userprofile%
    Windows Folder     – %windir%

    Want to add more ? Just add an environment variable (Control panel – System – Advanced – Settings – New – Type whatever name you want for variable name and the type the full path in Variable Value and click OK.

  5. Start Control Panel applets and MMC applets by typing it in Run. Some of my favourites are listed below

    Device Manager devmgmt.msc
    Service Control Manager services.msc
    Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
    User Manger lusrmgr.msc
    Internet Properties inetcpl.cpl
    Disk management diskmgmt.msc
    Firewall firewall.cpl
    Add Remove Programs appwiz.cpl
    Bluetooth Configuration btcpl.cpl

    Want to find it all ? You can use WIN+F and search for *.cpl,*.msc in the windows folder.

  6. Optimise your system for best Performance by (Control panel – System – Advanced – Settings in Performance) setting the option for Best performance
  7. To delete files bypassing the Recycle Bin keep the shift key pressed during deletion process.
  8. Shift-Close will close all folders, under a folder path, ie suppose you have C:test, C:testdir1 and c:testdir1dir2 open as separate windows in explorer closing   c:testdir1dir2  will close all the open windows, including C:test, C:testdir1
  9. The most used explorer/windows app  keyboard shortcuts

    Cut Ctrl-X or Shift-Delete
    Copy Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Ins
    Paste Ctrl-V or Shift-Insert
    Undo Ctrl-Z
    Switch between open programs ALT+TAB
    close Active Windows Alt-F4
    Backspace Go to up one level
    Find F3 or Win-F
    Replace Ctrl-H
    Explorer Win-E
    Start menu Ctrl-Esc or Win
    System Properties Win+Break
    Copy Active Window to Clipboard Alt-Prt SC (might need fn key for some laptops)
    Copy Full Screen To Clipboard Prt SC (might need fn key for some laptops)


Windows key and context menu keys are your friend, Shift-F10 can be used instead of windows context men key and Ctrl-Esc can be used instead of windows key to activate Start Menu


Command Prompt

  1. cmd or command (for win9x or ME) from Run. Go to DOS prompt easily
  2. CMD here power toy helps to delete files faster. You can open a command prompt in a folder and give del. to delete all files or use a wild card like del *.tmp. The advantage of this method is that the deletion process does not stop with a file in use. this very handy for emptying the temp folder.
  3. At the Run prompt typing cmd /k followed by a DOS command will not close the command box even after the command  is executed. eg cmd /k ping google.com
  4. ping -t at command  prompt continues pinging till ctrl-c is pressed. Helpful while tracing network problems.
  5. Find the IP address from computer name using the command nbtstat -A computername
  6. Enable auto complete at DOS prompt using TweakUI and get file name completion at DOS prompt.

I don’t quite remember the source but these Vista shortcut can be handy

Win 0 – Dos prompt

I wanted to write more but this has been sitting as a draft in Windows Live Writer for long..

Tips on checking and fixing HP Laptop Remote Control

I have a HP dv6395 laptop (should be applicable to the whole HP dv6000 series)  and it comes with a remote. Once in a while it just stops working. The ultimate problem solving technique of resatrting windows doesn’t solve  this problem. Usually whenever there’s a problem with any IR remote, I use the digital camera technique to ensure that the IR light actually comes from the remote. In this case the RC was actually woking and I couldn’t find anything else wrong. The related services were working, but none of the functions were actually executed by the OS. Powering off and removing the power supply too didn’t work.

Finally I had this logical intuition, where I thought that since the remote can power on the laptop even if its powered off, unless I remove the battery the IR sesning circuit will not be reset. That worked, removing the battery and then inserting it back restored the IR functionality.

So Why Should I have a personal domain name ?

Of course for businesses you have no choice, you got to get one for the n number of reasons that you might get on a Google search. Long time back my good old friend Shankar Subrahmanian asked me What do you do with a domain name ? 

So here are the pros and cons of having a domain name in your name.


  • You feel as if you are one the web, on the net, having a web presence or identity or what ever.
  • Have a stylish email id root@root.com or me@me.com or whatever@whatever.whatever . Yes most domain names will let you have unlimited email ids and you can have a catch all email id so that you can get all spam.
  • You can find the web site who spammed you. On the  registration form on various websites, give the email id as websitename@yourdomainname and use the catchall option to get the registration info.  Later you can know when you get an unknown newsletter, or spam from which web site it actually originated or which web site sold your email address.
  • You don’t loose your identity till you stop renewing your domain.
  • You can register and get free samples of products from sites like http://microchip.com where they do not accept emails from hotmail,yahoo or gmail or any free email providers.
  • Create as many accounts that you want for invite by email id sites. You can have multiple Gizmo accounts or anything that offers a service or product for free.
  • Provide great content and your site becomes a brand, a sellable commodity something like a business entity.


  • Spam
  • Spam
  • and more spam with catch all
  • Its like you lost your anonymity, anybody can contact you. You have a  forced identity. Well you asked for it …
  • You got to pay renewal fee every year 🙁
  • You got to have hosting and have to pay for it 🙁

I want to add more, but here’s a start. do comment and add more advantages or disadvantages.

Driving madness and stupidities in India

Yesterday morning I had gone to Mahe by car and I thought I’ll make a note of the usual stupidities or lack of road sense by my fellow drivers. The confusing signals given by some drivers might be helpful for foreigners driving in India.

Here are the most common counter intuitive confusions and tips in surviving road traffic in India.

  • Putting the indicator to the right, to indicate to the vehicle following that you can over take.
    The worst part is if you wait for the vehicle in front to turn right, it will never happen, and if you decide to overtake and if the drive really meant to turn right, you are in for a crash.
  • Hazard warning indicator to go straight
    I don’t know who started it, but I have seen this happening since the hazard warning indicators started to appear in Ambassador cars. If you try to teach someone he’ll never learn goes the old saying. Try convincing a driver about what it is and he’ll reply, you have right and left indicators and how can you indicate that you want to go straight in an A/C car.
  • Beware of bus drivers, they might stop anywhere 
    Buses are like friends, they come in various sizes and shapes. Some may just barge in, some may force you down the road, overtake you and then stop abruptly in front of you at the next stop.And where is the stop you might ask, its the place where the driver feels like stopping, it tends to be the middle of the road, ensuring that you can’t overtake.
  • Humps and bumps
    Can appear anywhere, sometimes with a sign board and sometimes without. Those incredible roads do test to alertness while driving.
  • Road cuttings
    These are found in most places, as the roads are re tarred the thickness increases and the sides end up having cuttings. Sometimes the difference can be so much that it can overturn your vehicle if you make a sudden turn.
  • Potholes, drainage, fountains
    Potholes appear every year in most Indian roads. Kerala roads are well known for their deep holes that can damage your spine and drive you nuts. yes you might find fountains in the middle of the road when water pipes are broken. Be careful of the drainage, the slabs might fall off most of the time if you drive over it.
  • People, Cows, elephants and Tipper Lorries
    Watch out for all these, night or day. In some places you’ll find people who’ll actually bend in such a way that the vehicle can pass without touching their butt, and without moving their feet. Honking makes no difference, they’ll just not move until the vehicle has passed.

That’s it for now, add your comments so that I can I add that to list of things to watchout while driving in India.

How to write a product or service review ?

I was just thinking of starting to write reviews about products and services. Naturally I intend to review only those products or services that I use. It has to be true, unbiased opinion. So I first thought if I make a general procedure on how to write a review it might be helpful for me and others on similar grounds. Well I can also write reviews on movies and books, but may be I’ll cover that in another posting.

Its always easier to answer questions even when you are on a stage freight session. So I think, I’ll just list out questions and some tips where in the answers to the questions and the tips will help you to be more creative in writing a review.

Here are 11 tips in writing a product/service review

  1. Be honest and truthful about the product or service that you review.
    You are writing the review so that it can be helpful to somebody else. Why cheat ? You should not get somebody into the same trap that you fell into. There’s no problem in being opinionated, its your review, but be faithful to what you do.
  2. Make Notes while using the product or service that you are going to review
    Its quite easy to forget, so while using the product just make a note. Use your PDA (I use my  Treo 650 with Splash Notes) or any note taking software, if noting’s available just use the classic pen and paper.
  3. State the antecedents
    Your readers might be interested in knowing how you bought and got to know the product and your background information. The context might be important as the reader can skip the review altogether if its unimportant to them. It also gives a personal touch and adds genuineness to the review.
  4. General Features and Limitations
    There are advertised features which you might easily find on the product website. Go deeper, make a difference by looking out for the not so obvious features. Something that you truly liked. Be critical, but not insulting while stating the cons.
  5. Usability
    I’m one of those guys who’s interested in usability. Almost anything that you use will have an interface that makes it more usable or maybe something that irritates you by making you go all the way around your head, to touch your nose. for software and hardware products, you can state about your installation and configuration experience.
  6. Aesthetics and Durability
    Yes, looks can be deceiving and beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. My wife can better tell about the aesthetics of a product, about the color combination. The general saying is that beauty and brains don’t go together. But still there’s something that anybody can tell regarding the looks of a product and its something that you can write about.
  7. Cost
    For some cost is not an issue, but for the majority its the price that counts in ultimate decision making. I generally look out for the Price Vs Performance ratio. I look out for the maximum features that I can get for the given price. Stating the price in the review gives the reader more options. It will help him in knowing whether his deal is worth.
  8. Benchmarking
    This is the difficult part, you might have to do some research and testing.  Some sites like notebookreview.com give guidelines on benchmarking tools and their download links. If the product or service doesn’t warrant benchmarking or if you can’t just don’t do it. Also note that it might be a violation of the license terms.
  9. Comparison with similar products
    Anybody reading your review will definitely like to know about similar products that you considered while buying the product. So give the share of information that you got in doing the research. While comparing be careful not to compare Apples with  Oranges. If your comparison is generalized like comparing fruits, yes you can compare apples and oranges.
  10. Have screen shots or photos
    Having photos of products or screen shots (if its  software) would definitely enhance your review. Just ensure that your photos are not bandwidth hogging  monsters. It can also give a hint on the aesthetics of the product.
  11. Conclude
    Write a conclusion whether its worth it, do you like it and for whom can you recommend the product or service.

Want to add more, feel free to comment..