The 3G-4G confusion..

I’ve been hearing this confusion for many days, and decided this needs to be addressed.

What’s this 3G/4G that we keep hearing about everywhere, what does that mean to me??

The main reason for the confusion is the completely illogical and confusing naming convention and ‘branding’ (it sounds almost dirty) used by all the telcos and manufacturers.

Let’s go back to the basics..

1G. When mobile telecommunication started off, it was analogue. All communication between the phone and the tower was just a analogue modulated signal of the speech. This is called 1G. The standards used during these times were, NMT · AMPS · ETACS etc.

2G. With the digital age, this communication also became digital. The voice was digitized and transmitted to the tower as a stream of ‘1’s and ‘0’s .The main advantages of the 2G systems were that they were encrypted (kinda) so you couldn’t listen to other people’s conversations by just catching their signals using an antenna. The digital systems were more efficient (allowed more people to talk at the same time), and they were extensible (we’ll come back to this). Some of the famous 2G standards are GSM, CDMA(IS-95), iDEN. GSM was a part of a standards group called 3GPP and CDMA was part of something called 3GPP2 (Yes, I know it’s not exactly this, but this makes it easier.)

Since they were digital, many of these standards also allowed other digital data to be sent over these mechanism. That’s how they started to send SMS over these networks. That was 2G.

2.5G. A ‘half-step’ towards the next generation wireless telecommunication standards was the more generalized data-network (not restricted to SMS, etc). This brought GPRS (on 3GPP side) and CDMA2000 1xRTT(on 3GPP2 side), which are both data standards for 2G based networks.

2.75G. The 3GPP side decide to improve the data standards on their side of the ground by introducing EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution). This improved the data rates and speeds of the existing GPRS networks.

3G. This was the 3rd iteration of the mobile telecommunication standards. Now this is where it get’s messy. To have any standard qualify to be ‘3G’, it had to pass some regulations set by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). But that’s ofcourse not how the telco advertise it.

So both the groups evolved their standards to quality for the new requirements. the 3GPP side came up with UMTS(W-CDMA). The W-CDMA here refers to the technology used, nothing to do with the CDMA standard from 2G. And the 3GPP2 side came up with CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, widely known as EV-DO.

3.5G Ofcourse, we can’t stop at 3G, so there was enhancement to the standards. The 3GPP moved to HSPA(HSDPA and HSUPA), while 3GPP2 side went with EV-DO RevA. These were mainly just speed bumps. Confused?? The guys at commandN did a nice table for everything until 3.5G.

3.75G We can’t stop here either. Even more speed 3GPP – HSPA+ ; 3GPP2 – EV-DO RevB.

3.9G (pre-4G) Now this is where the fun starts, ITU has come up with requirements for 4G. However, the two main standards (WiMAX and LTE) gunning for this can’t make it as of their current versions. But since everyone wants them to be commercialized and available, they decided to release the current versions.

WiMAX is an IEEE standard. The current version IEEE 802.16e-2005 can’t be officially called 3G, but it’s just one step before the next version IEEE 802.16m which should be called 4G.

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the 3GPP groups version of next generation standard. Once again it can’t perform to the requirements of ITU and hence it’s considered 3.9G. The next version LTE-Advanced should be called 4G.

So what does it mean to you??

1. Anyone selling you anything which is ‘4G’ is fooling you.. None of the 4G standards are matured and surely none have been commercialized. But, many telcos are bringing out LTE and WiMAX 802.16e and touting it to be ‘4G’. Or ‘4G-ready’. It’s not true.

2. You will have to change hardware. Yes. None of these technologies are interoperable. Just like GSM/CDMA, the phones and modes supporting these standards will be completely different (might even have very different mechanisms of authentications, for eg, SIM card). And most of the devices you have now that can do 3.5G/3.75G won’t be able to support 3.9G, but the reverse might be possible.

3. Faster mobile telephony coming soon. Yup! This is a given, going forward we’ll surely be seeing more and more devices supporting these new standards. Be careful what you buy. While most will support the fastest networks available currently, you don’t want to be left behind when the next changes comes.

P.S. To learn more about these standards, wikipedia any of these names.

Directional Loudspeakers..

I had talked about this looong time ago. And finally, I got a chance to study and work on some ideas about Directional Loudpseakers..

This was a poster we made for a course at school.. (It was for educational purposes)

Har Saans Mein..

I love this track from Raghu Dixit Project which I recorded back in 2007.

Here is a video of his performance (not the one I recorded, another one)..

I always wanted to write down the lyrics.. They’re quite nice..

Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum
Ya Khuda kasam
Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum
Saach Teri Kasam
Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum
Ya Allah Allah
Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum
Ho Jahan Bhi Tum
Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum

Chalte hai tere rahon mein
Jeete tere yadon mein
Bin tere ike pal bhi jeena mushkil

Ehsaas mein har baat mein bhi ho tum

Duniye kya jaane re, kya hai deewanapan
Khushiya hai saare, phir bhi kaisa yeh gum
Par ha magar, na jee payange hum.

Har raah mein, Har manzil mein bhi tum

Ek hi tamanna hai, tujhko hi paye hum
Jaise andhera main, aur ho savera tum
Arman mere phir bhi lagte hain kam

Har rang mein, har mehak mein bhi ho tum

Chalte hai tere rahon mein
Jeete tere yadon mein
Bin tere ike pal bhi jeena mushkil

In badalo mein, taaro mein bhi tum
Ha Khuda kasam
Har saans mein Har dhadkan mein ho tum..

-Raghu Dixit Project


This track by the Midival Punditz called Tonic is stuck in my head..

As I did before.. I don’t know the lyrics of this track. But I am gonna jot it down as much as I can understand. (Hopefully someone will help me like last time.. :$:$)


Tadpey, Bin balam, mora jiya.
Bin nahi chain, rain nahi neendiya
Tadap Tadap ke, bhor kiya.
Tadpey, Bin balam, mora jiya.

Back together third disk massive forever
Swinging Delhi on the map and all you cats know that
Gand me ?? mo********er like my beats real fat
My ancestory is partial to getting marshal, I bring it to the now,
I keep my eyes on my opponent, even when I bow.
World class Artistery, deadly profeciency.
Main Kudiyon ka vada, jee I am nahin baat akeli
tu hi best disco dancer no 1. ekdam
sabki loud ladkiya naram garam
mien jab se paida hu ??? shivam say boom beem delhi soon
staying high, flying low, staying hot and keeping cool
just like a warrior with a sharp trishul
the slick spot, the subsonic sureshot
i do what i must, puff, a week of cuss
i roll black charas
tum chaho ??? tu chahe jo samajhlo, bro
by now you know my flow, so blow the shankh
mera joota mere hai jannat ke pankha
great work scala, main hun nache wala
in my gulli ruppes beat the dolla!!!

-Midival Punditz

Funky Waves..

We were trying to animate a mode which we measured on a beam for one of the labs at school… Ofcourse, Matlab it was for all the data processing and animation. We used the ‘patch‘ command to generate a surface with many elements and then moved them individually as per the measurements.

Now of course Matlab let’s you save each plot as a bitmap and play them back as a movie, but then it’s stuck in Matlab.. So how do you render it to a ‘standard’ file? Well, there is mpgwrite. You can find it at Matlab Central which is a really cool community where you can get tonnes of Matlab help and pre-written scripts and libraries which help you do lots of things..

Now, that’s all cool, but mpgwrite uses a Matlab executable(.mex) to do all the heavy lifting in C. So that mean I had to compile it myself. Not a problem I thought.. With macports, I should have all the things I need.. So we ‘make‘.. But I had some errors.. Looking at the forum for mpgwrite, I saw this solution…

A few hints on how to compile would be nice. I see others have had the same problem, so I’ll share how I managed to compile it under Mac OS X 10.4.8 running on an Intel Mac Pro.

1) First, you must change file pbmplus.h, at line 101 change to

2) Locate where you mex compiler is. In my case it is /Applications/MATLAB73/bin/mex. The full path must be written in the Makefile, i.e. it says simply “mex” on line 8, however it must be the full path to the mex compiler (as written above).

3) Type make at the command line (not in MatLab) – of course you must be in the src/ directory to do this.

4) Enjoy your .mex*-file!

Hope this helps.

And Voila!! It compiled.. So I continued to export the matlab animation and made an mpeg out of it… Check it out..

For those who are interested.. This is a mixed mode with some part torsional and some part bending wave..

Best Kanelbulle in Stockholm..

In Sweden, like the rest of Scandinavia, they love their pastries and sweet breads. And the most famous are the Cinnamon Rolls, or Kanelbulle in Swedish. Especially since they’re one half of the traditional, fika, which basically means coffee break. The other half being coffee, which the Swedes are known to consume in crazy amounts.

Anyway, so I’ve really been enjoying Kanelbulle in Sweden, and I was searching for places in Goteborg, which are knows for their Kanelbulle. I was told there was a very traditional bakery, somewhere in the old town which makes really good Kanelbulle. While searching for it on the internet, I came across, and their video of finding the best Kanelbulle in Stockholm.

So when I was in Stokholm last week, I decided to try to find this place Saturnus. Thanks to Google maps, I figured it was pretty near where I was staying, so I went there for Lunch and ofcourse Kanelbulle.

So what’s the verdict? Yup. These guys are correct this is the best Kanelbulle I’ve had (at least in my 1month here). It’s absolutely tasty and absolutely HUGE!


Kanelbulle at Saturnus, Stockholm


HUGE Kanelbulle at Saturnus, Stockholm

My Kanelbulle

My Kanelbulle

And to be fair to the place, the Sandwiches there were pretty awesome too.

So next time you’re in Stockholm, you know where to go.. :)

Tesseract + Automator = DragnDrop OCR!

Necessity is the mother of invention it is said.. And sometimes it just takes an annoying repetitive task to psuh someone to do something..

I’ve always been interested in Applescript and Automator. These are Apple’s scripting/automating/batch processing frameworks. Applescript is basically a scripting language which allows you to command many OSX apps. The amount of control you have exert over the running of the apps depends on how the app was made (if they put in the hooks for apple script or not), but most Apple apps are pretty ‘scriptable’. Automator is automation for noobs. Instead of writing a script, you just drag and drop “actions” and create a “workflow“, which lets you pass outputs of one action to another and process them. It seems pretty lame at first, but once you start making your own droplets and ‘workflows’ it’s great fun!

Picture 3

So, during one of my labs, the analyzer we were using was unable to store/save the data we captured during the experiment. It was an old analyzer which used 3.5″ floppy disks, but the disk drive has stopped working. So we decided to take photos of the small screen of the analyzer when it displayed the data, and the transcribe them later.


When I saw the sheer number of file which needed to be transcribed (and also my entire evening gone doing that), I thought of doing some OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Google helped me to find Tesseract, a *nix utility which does OCR. Great. I managed to find a MacPort for it and got it to run on OSX.

OK.So far so good, but Tesseract only accepts 1 file as an input and requires that file to be in .tiff format. Now I could have written a bash (or perl :P) script to convert all the files to .tiff and then loop over all the files and call Tesseract but that’s too much work and surely not the ‘Apple way’. So, I called on Automator.

After a bit of tweaking and testing, here is my final workflow which creates a droplet. Any jpg file dropped on this droplet is duplicated, coverted to .tif and OCRed through Tesseract and the output is stored in a file with a suffix .txt

Picture 2

The OCR output was not the best. I had to massage (crop, rotate, gray-scale, etc) the images to get a good output.

You can download it here, but you’ll need Tesseract to make it work. Yay!

Btw, if you’re interested in Automator, check out the videocast Macbreak Ep235-238. And also Ep4-13 of MacBreak Dev


I heard this Poem at the Göteborg Toastmasters Club meeting today.. It was written by Rudyard Kipling of the Jungle Book fame.. It’s very well known (except to me, that is..) and was even voted to be the “Britain’s favorite poem”.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

—Rudyard Kipling

Main Kyaa Jaanuun..

Main Kyaa Jaanuun Kyaa (Jaaduu Hai \- 3) \- 2
In Do Matavale Nainon Mein (Jaaduu Hai \- 3)
Main Kyaa Jaanuun …

Ek Ek Athah Sagar Sa Hai \- 2
In Do Matavale Nainon Mein (Jadu Hai \- 3)
Main Kyaa Jaanuun …

(Man Puchh Raha Hai Ab Mujhase
Nainon Ne Kaha Hai Kya Tujhase ) – 2
Jab Nain Mile (Nainoin Ne Kaha – 2)
Jab Nain Mile Nainoin Ne Kaha
Ab Nain Base Ke Nainon Mein
Main Kyaa Jaanuun Kyaa Jaaduu Hai

-(unknown) Zindagi, 1940

Hello Sweden..

I have been in Sweden for the past four days, and I have been really enjoying it. The weather has been amazing, and so have the people. It feel really easy in a country where almost everyone speaks decent English. Most of the signs are in English as well, or can be inferred from Swedish very easily (more on that later).


I’ve also been meeting many interesting. The current suspects are dutch student, a french teacher, a dutch bagpacker. Hehe. We went out on a day trip to the Göteborg Archipelago. It was really great weather and interesting company. Although we didn’t manage to solve all the worlds problems over the lunch table, we tried.. :P

I’m also enjoying the food here.. My guilty pleasure is the supermarket trip. But, I am trying not to buy too many things for now, since I will be moving into a new place soon. But still I couldn’t resist a huge block of Gouda cheese (much to the disappointment of the dutch who don’t like their cheese made from pasteurized milk.. ah well)

I have also started a Posterous Travelog at Do check it out and give comments and suggestion. I would love to interact with all of you during my travels and allow you to see Europe as I see it.