Sunday, November 13, 2016

Issues when using Google Docs fonts for Malayalam

When entering Malayalam text with Google docs, Firefox on Windows XP, one cannot choose the font - only one font seems to be available. This font also had issues like showing

instead of
and so on.

So, I used MS Word and the Rachana font instead, which looks good. But this has an issue - chillaksharams are automatically joined to the next letter whenever we save and re-open the document - like
മാര്‍ഗ്ഗത്തില്‍_ഗ്രഹങ്ങള്‍_സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്നതും becomes മാര്‍ഗ്ഗത്തില്‍ഗ്രഹങ്ങള്‍സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്നതും

My workaround was to add the character _ after each such letter, and finally, using the Find and Replace tool, change the font colour for this _ character to white, so that it is not visible.

This issue with web fonts seems to be well documented. Following the advice on the comments on that page, I installed Meera and other fonts given at https://smc.org.in/fonts/
After a restart, now I see പ്രകാശം - rendered as
Meera seems to have now become the default on Google Docs and Blogger on Firefox / Chrome, replacing the buggy Windows default Karthika. Now, probably, I can directly write with Google Docs instead. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Some speed tests and battery info

To add to my previous post on Jio 4G. The speed tests are taken at different times of the day, time can be seen at top right.

 











But the speed tests done with servers outside India shows that Jio's gateways are congested.
versus a server from the US,

The same test, when done with a BSNL broadband connection limited to 1 Mbps gave the following - 
and

And now a trend line showed by the battery app on the Intex Aqua, when left on as a wifi hotspot, wifi sharing enabled, but without much usage - 











Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

USB tethering Android phone using Windows XP

During my Jio trials, I wanted to try both wifi tethering, which is easy but drinks battery, as well as USB tethering. On Windows 7, simply enabling USB tethering on the phone Settings -> More -> Tethering and wifi hotspot -> USB tethering was sufficient - the OS recognised the connection and got IP addresses by DHCP etc.

On one Windows XP machine, I found that the same procedure worked, with the phone being recognised as a Windows mobile internet sharing device, since I had earlier installed drivers for an old Windows mobile phone on this computer. Full USB2 speeds listed - "Connected at 475 Mbps". Actual download speed was about 3 Mbps when I tested on Jio.

On another Windows XP computer, the windows mobile driver had not been installed, and installing the inf file as given at
https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/2812516?hl=en
did not help. Windows did not recognise the driver as being suitable for this device.

Tried installing a driver from Intex, the manufacturer of the phone, from
http://www.intex.in/Resources/Index
but that also did not help. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reliance Jio notes - pros and cons - mini review

Since my Xiaomi phone was showing some problems due to a crack on the screen and a dunking in water, I thought I would get a backup phone. And with 4G support in order to use the Reliance Jio welcome offer of free sim + free data + free calls upto 31 December. Got the cheapest 4G phone advertised with VoLTE - Intex Aqua 4G Strong.


Got a barcode by entering my Aadhaar number into the MyJio app, got a free SIM in ten minutes from a nearby shop, got thumb-print scanner verification done there itself. Though the dealer said the network would start working in another hour, it took another 6 hours or so, until at night the data connection on the SIM started working - activated.

Incoming and outgoing calls were not happening. Tried installing Jio4GVoice app to make outgoing calls over VoLTE - outgoing calls started going through. But not incoming calls. After 4-5 days, incoming calls from other Jio numbers started to work. Perhaps incoming calls from other networks would also work after a few more days. Solution suggested by Jio dealer was to install JioChat app - not sure how that would help. 

Battery life of this phone is not stellar, as the reviews suggest. But for Rs. 3500, no complaints in using this as a backup phone. Just on 4G standby, battery drains in 10 hours or so. Tethering via USB or wifi also drains battery quite fast, though USB tethering also charges the battery. 

As this indiatoday post indicates, there are many issues with Jio. The reliability issues are so much that anyone who needs a phone to work all the time must have another number from another provider. Interconnect issues apart, even Jio to Jio calls have problems due to people going offline - though this is probably due to their using other network options instead of Jio. Can use it as a free toy till Dec 31, that would be my policy.

Speeds - apparently Jiofi devices have greater speeds than sims put inside mobile phones. I generally get around 5 Mbps, with speeds dropping to 1 Mbps in the evenings. Early morning peak speed of 15 Mbps. Torrents are probably throttled - we got around 2 Mbps over a half hour test run. Also, the speeds are limited after 4 GB per day (as of now) as shown in the MyJio app below.



      

With Jiofi device, as tested by my colleague V, has gone upto 50 Mbps also,


In general, the DNS services on Jio are bad - changing to Google public DNS immediately improved browsing responsivity. Streaming videos are generally good - HD streaming on the JioTV app and on YouTube. On Vimeo, sometimes spotty, sometimes OK.

Edit: One week post-activation also no incoming calls. So, called up customer care at 199. Spent around 20 minutes on hold before a polite agent picked up. Apologetically gave me separate complaint numbers for voice and sms not being received, giving a 48 hour resolution time. Got a truncated sms from Jio tech support during the 48 hours. Finally, around 3 days later, incoming calls started working. 



Monday, October 10, 2016

email ids for a new domain

Similar to my earlier posts, copy-pasting from an email I sent:

Google Apps for domains (now called GSuite) no longer has the free option for new customers.
https://support.google.com/a/answer/2855120?hl=en
"As of December 6, 2012, Google stopped offering Free edition to new customers. If you already had the Free edition, you can continue using it for free"

 Microsoft Live email  has also stopped new registrations for free domain support -
http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-ends-support-for-custom-domains-in-free-email-service/

Zoho offers free for upto 10 users only,
https://www.zoho.com/mail/help/email-hosting-with-zoho.html

There are many paid options, I could discuss them with you if you are interested. And for the extremely tech savvy, you can also run your own mail server. Initially when we started with our domain's emails, we used to forward the emails to gmail from our own mail server. But that is a lot of hassle.

If you want Google GSuite free, an option would be to get the educational version, which remains free. But that has terms and conditions.
https://support.google.com/a/answer/2856827?hl=en

Sunday, September 25, 2016

formatting bold lines in MS Word table

Needed a specifically formatted table with some bold lines and some lines without bold face. Did the bold lines as per
http://superuser.com/questions/276778/how-to-adjust-the-thickness-of-some-lines-in-a-word-table

That is,
"Under Table Tools/Design menu, go to Draw Borders and adjust the line values to your preference. Then click on Draw Table and a pencil icon will appear. Click on any line and voila! The line is now set to your liking."