Nov 29, 2011

How to read Indic Fonts on Nokia and other mobile devices?

Do you browse websites with fonts in Indian Regional Languages from your mobile phone and get annoyed that you are unable to read those Indic fonts? 

Or it happens to you that one of your facebook friends has posted something in a regional language, on which many other friends are commenting, but you can't comment since you are unable to read that on your mobile? 

If yes, then here is the workaround.

First of all, download the latest version of Opera Mini, which is the best mobile browser by visiting from your device's default web browser.

Then go to mini address bar and type "about:config" or "config:" (without quotes). This will open Power User Settings menu.  

Go to the last item in that menu and select "Yes" for the option "Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts" and then click on Save button, as per the screenshot beside. 

After this, whenever you visit any website containing Indic fonts, you would be able to read the text like what is shown in the screenshot below. 

Depending on your handset, you may face an issue that after you exit your opera mini, the setting above may get reset to default setting automatically and you may need to change that every time when you start Opera Mini to browse Indic font website. However, I am not facing this issue.

Nov 17, 2011

Why Moon rises 50 minutes later everyday?

Have you ever got curious to know why moon rises approximately 50 minutes later everyday as compared to the previous day?

For understanding this, first we need to understand how celestial bodies like earth, moon etc. rotate (around itself) and revolve (around some other planet or star). Its so wonderful to know how these celestial bodies move in tandem and that too for millions of years in perfect synchronisation. 

Its a well known fact that earth completes one rotation in 24 hours. And also moon completes one revolution around its parent earth in approximately one month. Now this approximate period of one month is calculated in two ways. 

First one is Sidereal Month which is equal to the time taken by moon to complete one revolution around the earth, but with respect to the background stars which we see from the earth. This period is equal to 27.32 days.

Second one is Synodic Month. Even though, moon completes one apparent revolution in one Sidereal Month, we won't be able to see the new moon just after one sidereal month is complete. This is because moon revolves around the earth and at the same time earth also revolves around the Sun. As a result, moon has to travel some extra distance so as to reach at the same place, with respect to the Sun and we get new moon again. So the total time taken, also called as a Lunar Month is equal to 29.53 days.

Visit for nice animated presentation explaining Sidereal and Synodic Months.

Now lets understand why moon rises 50 minutes later everyday. 

Here for us, the relevant time taken by moon to complete one revolution around the earth is Sidereal Month, since we want the exact moonrise time i.e. the time when moon first appears on the horizon. Hence the position of the moon which is apparent from the earth with respect to the background is what matters for us rather than its position with respect to the Sun. 

Let is assume that in a figure beside, on Day 1, a person is standing at a point A on earth and he sees the moonrise exactly at 07:00 pm. 
Exactly 24 hours later, on Day 2, the man is standing at the same point A on earth at the same time i.e. at 07:00 pm expecting to see the moonrise again. But in those 24 hours, moon also has revolved around the earth. Now as we have seen, one sidereal month is 27.3 days. So moon completes 360 degrees revolution in 27.3 days. So in one day of 24 hours, it moves by 360/27.3= 13.18 degrees. So for a man standing at point A on the earth on day 2 at 07:00 pm expecting to see the moonrise, moon is still 13.18 degrees below the horizon. So he has to wait for the earth to rotate 13.18 degrees to see the moonrise again. So now the moon will rise for him when the point A on earth travels further to reach point B. As we know, earth rotates 360 degrees in 24 hours i.e in 1440 minutes. So it rotates 1 degree in 4 minutes. So to rotate 13.18 degrees, it takes 13.18 x 4 = 52.72 minutes. This is the delay in moonrise everyday.

This delay would have been same at all places on earth, if earth's plane of rotation around itself and moon's plane of revolution around the earth would have been co-planer with each other. Had the planes been like that, we would have seen solar eclipse on every dark moon day and lunar eclipse on every full moon day. But they are at a angle of almost 29 degrees with each other. So this delay calculated above is not the same at all places on earth and depends on the latitude of the place from where we see the moonrise but it averages out to be around 50 minutes per day. 

Nov 16, 2011

Nokia E5 firmware version 81.004

Today Nokia released a new firmware version 81.004 for its business series smartphone E5. Software version date is 22nd October 2011.

I have upgraded the firmware over the air (OTA) today itself. 

There is no "what's new" type information available on the internet yet. Neither I have come across any release notes.

I haven't noticed any new features yet. So there might be only bug fixes in this upgrade. The user interface seems to be a bit faster than what it was earlier. But that can just be a perception. 

I will post if I notice any new feature which I might have missed out. 

Nov 8, 2011

Excel - Check Value Within a Set of Numbers and then use Conditional Formula

Yesterday, one of my friends called me and asked for a help in Excel. Basically he had a dump exported in Excel from SAP finance module and in that dump, there were more than 1,50,000 line items. In SAP, all debit amounts are positive (+) figures and all credit amounts are negative (-) figures. But the problem my friend faced was that when he exported them into Excel, all the figures were positive figures only, but each figure was associated with a posting key, which was a determining factor to decide whether it was debit or credit i.e. whether (+) or (-). 

And those determining posting keys were in combinations of (+,-) like (40,50), (89,99) etc depending on transaction type. There were 3-4 pairs, he had at present, but in future that number was going to increase. He wanted an excel formula to change the amount to either (+) or (-) depending on the posting key. 

I started to look for the possible ways to do it. I tried to use the "IF" function in combination with excel functions like "MATCH", "VLOOKUP", "LOOKUP", "OR", but wasn't getting the desired results. And since the number of pairs were uncertain, I intended to give him a future ready solution. 

Finally I was sucessful in acheiving the desired results using "IF" and "COUNTIF" functions. The solution was as under with imaginary figures and imaginary sets of posting keys. 

Please feel free to export the above sheet into Excel and look for the formula used in Column F. You may also click on any cell in Column F above, but the formula used won't be visible completely, unless you scroll down in formula field. If you accidentally edit the document, just reload the page and the original document would be visible again. 

Even if the combinations increase in future, the codes need to be added in the columns A and B and range needs to be extended in the formula. 

Any better solution is always welcome. Its a constant learning process.

Nov 6, 2011

Interconnectivity issues between Idea 3G and Vodafone

This is a post about an interesting issue that I was facing since last 3 months or so. This involved interconnectivity issues between Idea and Vodafone. I wrote several complaints to the customer care teams of both the service providers, separately and jointly as well. No solution was found and both the service providers were saying that the problem is with the other network. But at last, I had to identify the problem on my own. The problem is surely from Idea's end. Now that the problem is identified, I have informed Idea Customer Care and now its up to them to fix it. 

I am having two postpaid mobile connections. One is from Idea Maharashtra which is used by my wife and another one is from Vodafone Maharashtra that is used by me. As an example in this post, lets assume that Idea numbers are in series I1, I2, I3 and so on and similarly Vodafone series is V1, V2, V3 and so on. 

The problem that I noticed first was not receiving incoming SMS on Idea number from Vodafone number. So my wife was not getting any SMS from me. This means that I1 was not getting incoming SMS from V1, V2, V3 etc.

But V1, V2 and V3 were able to send SMS to I2, I3 etc. So it was logical that the problem was with I1 i.e. Idea number and hence complaint was lodged with Idea. They checked everything, refreshed the services and then informed me that the problem might be from Vodafone's end. 

Then the complaint was lodged with Vodafone using number V1. They also checked everything. During the calls from network team, they put the number V1 on server for testing and asked me to send SMS to I1. That SMS was not hitting Vodafone's server at all. So the confusion increased and I guessed that the problem might be from Vodafone, since the SMS is not hitting their server. So I kept on following it up with Vodafone. The issue remained unresolved from both the service providers. 

Then one interesting thing happened. My wife travelled out of Nagpur for a couple of days. As soon as she left Nagpur, she started receiving SMS on her Idea number I1 from my Vodafone number V1 and from V2 and V3 as well. It was then the problem got clicked in my mind. In Nagpur, she was always on Idea 3G network. But outside Nagpur, I1 got switched to 2G network and she started receiving messages. When she came back to Nagpur, I tested the same to reconfirm by putting her cell on UMTS (3G) and GSM (2G) modes. So the problem now identified is that Idea 3G number is not receiving any incoming SMS from Vodafone numbers (on 3G and 2G as well). 

I have informed the Idea Customer Care team with these details and hoping them to fix the issue, since the problem is identified now. 

Another interconnectivity issue is there between Idea 3G and Vodafone 3G. The above mentioned Idea number I1 is unable to receive video calls from Vodafone number V1 and so on. Video Calls are possible from I1 to V1, but not from V1 to I1. I had complained the same with Vodafone. Their network department called me and the executive gave me his mobile number (say V4) and Video call was successful from V1 to V4. So again the logical interpretation is that there are some issues of interconnectivity between Idea 3 and Vodafone and they are from Idea's end. Idea 3G is somehow blocking incoming SMS and incoming Video Calls from Vodafone. 

Both the issues of incoming SMS and Video Calls are reported to Idea for fixing it and to Vodafone for their information.
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