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The Home Grown Notebooks: Doel Laptop

October 11, 2011 will forever be a significant day for the IT sector of Bangladesh, not only because it is another binary date (11-10-11) but due to the inauguration of the first ever laptop mass produced in our country. The Doel Laptop may be considered as the first real and effective step by the government in its goal to digitalise the country.

Bangladesh Telephone Shilpo Shongstha (TESIS), with the help of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and the Malaysian organisation Theme Film Transmission (TFT) and a few foreign consultants, started producing the laptops in early July at Gazipur. Most of the machineries used in the laptop are still imported, but soon about 60 percent of the components will be made in Bangladesh. The real charm of Doel Laptop lies in its configuration and price.

Despite what almost every teenager privileged with computers would say, the real use of the computer is seldom in playing Crisis 2 or Fifa 12. Or perhaps signing in to Facebook to do stuff-you-know-you-do. Internet is most commonly the primary reason for wanting a computer. It's the gateway to everything. But to the people living outside Dhaka, internet remains just a high-priced tool that they cannot afford to have on a regular basis. Well, the situation will change as soon as Doel hits the market, or at least, that's what the experts hope. The Primary Model - 2102, priced at a meagre Tk. 10,000 will bring the laptop down to a very affordable price. With it, we hope internet will not remain a luxury anymore.

As for the configuration, Doel is very simplistic. The Primary Model does not have a hard drive. It has a 16GB flash memory. It runs on Google Android operating system with a 512 MB RAM on a 10” LCD screen. For internet, it has 802.11b/g WiFi, but its efficiency is questionable because WiFi hotspots are after all very limited even in the capital. The Basic Model - 0703 (numbered paying tribute to the 7th of March), the Standard Model - 2603 (26th March) and the Advanced Model - 1612 (I don't need to tell you anymore, do I?) all boast higher configuration. These have SATA hard disk drives, minimum 1 GB DDR3 RAM and Intel Atom processors. The price gets a bit high too, but even the Advanced Model doesn't exceed Tk. 25,000. Another extraordinary step has been the use of Open Source software and the Bangla interface. Laptops can never appeal to the general mass without them. More information about the laptops can be found in this PDF: http://www.tss.com.bd/config.pdf

A question might arise: what can you do with a Doel laptop? Well, pretty much everything, except playing high-configuration games. This shouldn't be a problem. It might sound incredible but most of the computer users don't actually have time for playing games. Doel laptops can provide almost anything a layman wants in a laptop. They have enough potency for basic internet browsing, word processing, spreadsheet analysis, programming and general file management works. You might not be able to use the Microsoft products on the Linux based operating system, but they do come with Open Office software, which are no less handy than the Microsoft ones. All in all, Doel laptops should bring notebook PCs within reach of the general populace.

But these laptops are not yet available on the market, despite the gala opening ceremony and all. It should be, quite soon, as TESIS informs that they are setting a target of manufacturing 10,000 laptops per month from basically right now. Perhaps it's time to gear up to see another phenomenon similar to the cellphone revolution.

By Jawad

Christopher Columbus was the best deal maker in history. He left not knowing where he was going, and upon arriving, did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on borrowed money in a time where chopping people's heads off was thought to be normal.


Curse You There was a time when cursing meant something

Beep. Beep. The usual wake-up call.
'Oh, ****!' The usual response.
For quite a while now, certain words have made more than an unwelcome presence in our everyday lives. Whether it's a math test or stubbing a toe that triggers it, four letters seem to be pretty much the standard reaction to everything around us. And it doesn't stop there. Even when everything's good, f-words and s-words somehow manage to sneak their way in. 'That was a ****ing brilliant goal!' or 'Dude, she is ****ing awesome!' How many times have we heard that before? People just can't seem to get enough of it.

But this isn't going to be your nani lecturing you to tone it down. What we're trying to say is that, these words have become so common now that they don't really have the effect they were originally meant to have. Every fifth grader and their bua are cursing their mouths off. And in most cases, they don't even know what they're saying!

Many of us curse out of habit. These curses don't really mean anything -they're just part of our everyday vocabulary. But does a pencil falling off the desk really qualify as an excuse to bring on the verbal fireworks? Using these 'special' words as the norm somehow takes the edge off them. In the end, throwing them around just seems pointless and lame. Most of us learnt our curses young. We saw our older bhaiyas and apus doing it, and we picked it up thinking it was cool. Now, hearing a picchi scream **** when he can't find his toy should definitely make us wonder if cursing really is all that.

We want to bring back the good ol' days of cursing. When hearing somebody curse would really mean trouble. Instead of unleashing verbal hell on every teacher that dares to hand out an assignment, save it for the things that really matter. Trust us, it feels so much more satisfying that way.

Showing off your vocabulary at every chance is just one of those fads that all of us can live without. Unless you want your little brother picking it up off you, and further killing it. Save it for the day (or the person) that actually deserves it. So when you finally let it loose, you'll really have them running for the hills.

By Tahmida Zaman


Hail to the Fall

We don't really have a 'fall' season in Dhaka but in fashion terms, it's time to say bye-bye to the summer florals, sundresses and super bright prints and move onto a more muted wardrobe.

If you prefer a breeze on your legs in this sweltering heat

But never fear; this year, the fall colours have pops of bright bold colours that will jazz up your look in no time!

Since we live in such a conservative society where short skirts are still quite a no-no in most places, doesn't mean that you still can't be rocking your street style without offending anyone. Leggings paired with skirts and dresses are kind of an eyesore, and makes you look like a grandmother of five, so ladies, please let's not do that. Another huge fashion don't? White Leggings! Ughhh. That is like the Jersey Shore of the fashion world.

Leggings, however, look fabulous with kameezes. Not the super short ones that barely cover your behind but proper length ones. Remember the rule of thumb when it comes to leggings, never wear them as pants. They are not pants, they are leggings! If your top is not covering your gorgeous behind, then skip the leggings and grab a pair of pants, jeans or jeggings. Please.

Maxi skirts in bold colours are also a trend right now, if you prefer a breeze on your legs in this sweltering heat. They are chic and fantabulous and can be easily found at Urban Truth, if you want to dish out the big bucks. For a cheaper alternative, which is much more suited to young fashionistas who don't want to spend their entire life savings on one darn skirt, just head over to the numerous places selling fabric in town. They have wonderful variety, prints and textures available. This way you can get exactly the kind of comfy fabric you want. Find a great tailor and show him some pictures, and voila, your maxi skirt is ready in a couple of days!

By Musarrat Rahman



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