Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 17, Tuesday November 29, 2005



News flash

Mouth watering pickle contest

On 17 November Prothom Alo and Pran jointly organised the '2005 Achar Competition' at the Bangladesh China Convention Centre. There were about 1500 contestants with over 5000 pickled entries. It was a momentous task for the judges to taste all the various pickles but the challenge was duly licked as 48 pickled concoctions remained to battle it out for the top spots.

One of the judges, actress Dilara Zaman felt a bit overwhelmed at the selection whereas newscaster and film producer Samia Zaman could hardly contain her delight. She felt that the entire world seemed a pickled delight after tasting all the various creations. Actress Joya Ahsan, who was also on the judging team, waited in anticipation for the selection of the hot pickles to begin as it is her favourite type.

The pickles were categorised into sweet, tangy, hot and mixed selections with three winners in each category. This is a very popular annual contest that has been making the pickle connoisseurs mouths water since 2002.

It wasn't only a day filled with titillating the taste buds. The rest of the senses were provided input in the form of dance and musical performances. This is an exciting function that pickle lovers can look forward to next year.

By Hasan Imam

Shop Talk

Cell phone wish List
Hmm. You're thinking 'Buy a cool new phone today, and tomorrow watch and weep as my best friend gets a cooler, slimmer handset, complete with a higher mega-pixel camera that he'll use to take mocking pictures of my suddenly ashen face'. But trust me! As wireless phones do ever more, adding TV feeds, music downloads and video games to basics like voice calls and e-mail, different demographics are starting to expect different options. As a result there is a cell phone for every budget from simple, functional handsets that won't crimp your wallet to fancy, full-featured mobiles that will..uh..break the bank and so, you might end up QUITE happy with your choice after all. The mobile shop outlets at Motalib Plaza, Eastern Plaza, Bashundhara City, Rifles Square, Metro Shopping Mall and Bangabandhu National Stadium Market offer the latest ranges from al the manufacturers. Prices range anywhere between BDT 3,000 to 50,000 depending on the brand and features.

A pen drive by any other name…
Whether you refer to it as a pen drive, jump drive, thumb drive, key drive, or memory stick, you have to admit, the USB Flash drive is pretty da..uh..darn cool! Just stick it into the USB port on your computer and within a few seconds a new drive appears on your desktop. What makes them so good is that they have a spate of desirable features such as no need for batteries, solid state storage, good transfer speeds, durability, portability, and expected data retention of ten years. Do check out Transcend JetFlash2A, Kingstone, Siemens and Twinmoss apart from the imitations and clones available. Prices start as low as BDT 1,000 and can go up to 6,000 depending on the storage capacity and brand.

MP3 players…Music to your ears
MP3 Players have revolutionized the way we enjoy music. Most have a fixed internal memory capacity, and therefore your only other critical choice is the amount of storage space you anticipate you may need. 128MB of storage space enables you to store approximately 32 songs of 4MB length. Plus, they double as flash storage and voice recorders! Set the menu to record mode and voila! you capture everything from a note or lecture to conference presentations and brief conversations that you need. Price range starts from BDT 2,500 for clones and brands from China and can go up to BDT 20-40,000 if you're thinking of getting something from say…the Apple iPod family.

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!
As the holiday season rolls around again, literally millions of people like you are thinking about buying digital cameras, for yourself or as a gift for someone else. No camera is perfect, and not every model is right for everyone. Your top priority in making your pick should be image quality sharpness, good exposure, and smooth tones. Though price is an important factor, you shouldn't compromise on the essentials...remember you're capturing not photos but 'memories' of your cherished one. In the low-price range, brands include Vivitar within BDT 4-5,000 and Olympus, Canon and Kyocera within BDT 12-14,000. For those with a bigger budget and hunger for 'more professional looking' pics, go for the Sony Cyber-shot models starting at around BDT 20,000 and going up to 36,000.

Combos…and no, I'm not talking about Burgers!
While most PC's still come with 3-1/2" floppy drives, face it…they are a relic of the past. Now, onto the next step on the latest method of storing and managing huge amounts of data. You are looking at getting a CD-RW drive for your computer. You'd also like to get a DVD-ROM drive but you only have one free drive bay in your case. Or you might only be able to add one more IDE device. Which drive do you get? You can get BOTH in a combo drive. Combo drives are generally great for those who need the storage capacity of a CD burner and the ability to read DVD's at the same time. Popular brands include LiteOn and Asus priced at around BDT 3,400.

Hi! I'm your personal digital assistant..
How May I Help You? PDAs are pocket-sized electronic organisers, also referred to as Pocket PCs, Handheld Organisers, or Palms. PDAs contain essentially anything one might need from a computer when on the move. They contain e-mail and fax functionality and the ability to access special PDA formatted Web channels, or to browse ordinary Web sites. PDAs can also synchronize with a desktop PC and keep information up to date on both sides. You'll get brands like O2, HP, ViewSonic, Zire and Tungsten, with prices ranging from BDT 15,000 to 56,000. Go haunt IDB Bhaban for these latest electronic gadgets and gizmos. True you'll get bargain deals at the Elephant Road shops, but you can be sure that there will be no quality compromise on the goodies you get from the dealers at BCS Computer City.

By Simin Saifuddin


With our issue themed on virtual lifestyle and the internet, it is probably a good time to update us on the most pressing of problems- How to use a search engine to find the information you are looking for. We all know what search engines are but we are often left frustrated by the lack of results that come from a typed response. Here are some tips on how to locate exactly what you are looking for:

Be Specific
Too often we type in vague questions or statements in the fear that we will not get enough results. Do away with that fear. Type in exactly what you are looking for and you will be surprised at how often you get exactly what you are looking for. For example, don't type in Harry Potter if you want to know about the latest movie. Type in, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” .You will be surprised at how well it works. Remember, don't be afraid to tell a search engine exactly what you are looking for.

Yes, math and no, no complex equations. The addition and subtraction buttons are invaluable keys when it comes to searching for stuff. The + sign helps specify your search so that only the pages that have all the words that you typed in will be displayed. For example, +Jennifer Anniston

Brad Pitt would display you results of pages on which both names appear together.

The key works in much the same way but it works to filter out results. So, Jennifer Anniston Brad Pitt would display pages that have Jennifer Anniston in it but no Brad Pitt.

These are all the basic tips that you need in order to carry out a detailed search. Hope it will be helpful to you. Search away!

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam



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