Page 1


Feb ‘10 / 3


4 / TECH


FEBRUARY 2011

OMAN’S ONLY TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE

Home Screen Surprising you each time

The end of January always brings in a sense of freedom. Having made up enough resolutions and more for the New Year, you can go about breaking most of them, without feeling guilty. And if your resolution was to spend less on gadgets, we are sorry to say that we are just about to help you break your resolution. TECH’s forte has not only been the featuring of products that are currently available in the Oman market. We bring the world of technology to readers in Oman. We always have something unique in store for you every issue.

EDITORIAL

Editor-in-chief

One of our most interesting features this issue is on a superyacht. What would the dream of every water maniac with millions to spend be? They would desire above all else, a yacht. And not just any yacht, a super yacht – custom designed to satisfy their every desire. We have featured one such super yacht named the Strand Craft 166 that is worth millions. Even if you are unable to own one, soak in the designer yacht and dream up your own version of it with your favourite décor. As most of you might know, the world experienced one of the largest Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January. We have tried to bring you the most unique of the products unveiled at the CES 2011. This covers products in almost every section of the magazine. So Oman has quite a lot to look forward in the near future, as most of the unveiled products have a global release. You can also look forward to a more in-depth look at some of these products in future issues. Flip through TECH and enter the dream world of gadgets and technology.

Hatim al Taie

Content Head

Content Manager

Asst. Content Manager

Senior Designer Designers

Malcolm X Crasta

Sujata Sengupta Poornima Ramani Shyniben Koyakkil Muneeb Khan

CORPORATE Managing Director

Abdullah al Taie

General Manager

Rathish Ramachandran

Asst. General Manager

Terry Mathukutty

Sales

Sami Dalwai

Emily Matthews

- Ed

Produced by

Deenar Press and Publishing LLC PO Box 139, PC 102, Al Qurm, Sultanate of Oman Tel: + 968 24 696868, Fax: +968 24 693569 E-mail: info@deenarmedia.com

$ 2010 © All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers; while every care has been taken in the preparation of the magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible if factual errors in product and pricing occur. MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time. The publishers regret they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this issue. Please check any quoted hardware specifications and pricing with your supplier before purchase.

Model: Victoria Finol Photography: Shakeel al Balushi

Talk to us!

If you have any queries, contact us at tech@deenarmedia.com

Printed at Oman Printers & Stationers, Sultanate of Oman


ISSUE 10 - FEB 2011

OMAN’S ONLY TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE

CONTENTS Letters to the Editor

08

Tech News

10

Nouvo Tech

12

Photography

14

Mobile Zone

16

Interview

22

A/V Zone

24

Computing

28

Profile

32

Buyer’s Guide

36

Pure Luxury

38

Dashboard

42

Gamer’s Delight

46

DVD Review

51

Time Zone

52

Home Zone

53

Business Tech

54

Quiz

55

Tech Favourites

56

Tech Directory

63

Feb ‘10 / 9


Letters

If you have any queries, mail us on tech@deenarmedia.com, and we will try to answer them in our next issue.

to the Editor

Hey Tech team!

Tech Team, Happy New Year! You guys must have had a great 2010. It has been 2 months since I have started reading your magazine and I just love it! It has given information about gadgets that I thought never existed on earth. However, I need your help in advising me as to which game would be better, Gran Turismo 5 or NFS Hot pursuit, both are amazing and are from the two giants of Automobile Gaming, NFS and Gran Turismo. Do advise. Regards, Prasanna

I have been reading your magazine for two months now and noticed that you feature some very interesting gadgets and your design and layout is also really cool. I guess it’s the first of a kind in Oman and you’re doing a commendable job, Keep up the great work! Coming to my query, I want to buy a new laptop and I am looking for one on which I could smoothly work on design and editing software like the Adobe Creative Suite and Premiere Pro. Also, what are WLAN and Ethernet? I do not want to go for Mac, I am planning to get Toshiba L655- 1CJ which comes along with 512MB dedicated graphics, tell me if my choice is ok for what I want to do! Thanks, Deeba!

Dear Prasanna, A Very Happy New Year to you too. 2010 was definitely a great year for us, especially with TECH becoming such a success with our audience. Furthermore, we are pleased to have built up such a firm following in such a short time. As for your question, Gran Turismo 5 and NFS Hot Pursuit, as you rightly mentioned, are both amazing games. But they are also two very different sorts of games. NFS is a pure arcade racer with very little emphasis on realism while GT5 is a pure racing simulator through and through and is as realistic as it can get on a game console. If we had it our way we would get both but if you have to make a choice, it all comes down to taste. If you are a casual gamer who loves games like Burnout, Motorstorm and have always loved the way the original NFSHP played, then the new game is definitely the one for you. On the other hand if you are a pure gear head and love messing with advanced tuning setups and basically live, sleep and breathe cars then you can’t do better than GT5, except maybe for Forza on the Xbox 360. -Ed

Dear Deeba, Firstly, WLAN and Ethernet refer to the network connectivity of a PC or laptop. Ethernet basically refers to your wired local area network connection that you will see used in most homes and small offices. WLAN, putting it simply, refers to a wireless version of the same – basically WiFi connectivity. As for your second question – while the Toshiba L655- 1CJ will serve your purpose for working on design and editing softwares it does seem to have some bottlenecks. While the GPU is perfectly adequate to run the programs smoothly, the processor and RAM may cause occasional performance issues. If you really want smooth performance we would suggest upgrading to at least an i5 and 6GB of RAM. If this is not an option, we would advise you to upgrade the RAM in the same model, this should improve the performance. -Ed


Under new leadership With over 20 years experience in the automotive industry, Hardie joins Zawawi Trading Company following his previous dual role at Chrysler International GmbH as head of Market Management Western Europe and Head of Marketing and Communications EMEA.

Zawawi Trading Company, the authorized general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Sultanate of Oman, has announced the appointment of Craig Hardie as CEO with immediate effect.

In his new role Hardie’s core responsibility will be to further develop the Mercedes-Benz business and sales in Oman. Hardie’s key focus will be to build on the Mercedes-Benz market position through the expansion of passenger car and commercial vehicle sales, as well as the after sales network, across the next few years. The development of the premium used car operation will also form a critical component of Hardie’s plans, which will provide a

complementary platform for existing customers whilst also drive future growth. Commenting on his new role, Hardie said: “Our partnership with Mercedes-Benz has existed for more than 37 years and in that time ZTC has established itself as a market leader in all segments of the Mercedes-Benz product range. In my new role I look forward to driving Mercedes-Benz further in market share and continue to maximise opportunities for their current and forthcoming range of new models and technologies.” The Middle East is not unfamiliar territory for Hardie, with more than 10 years experience in the region including his role as Head of Marketing and Communications for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.

Handing Over Google has announced plans to streamline decision making and create clearer lines of responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. Starting from April 4, Larry Page, Google cofounder, will take charge of Google’s day-to-day operations as chief executive officer. Sergey Brin, also a Google co-founder, will devote his energy to strategic projects, in particular, working on new products. Eric Schmidt, the current CEO, will assume the role of executive chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business

relationships and government outreach – all of which are increasingly important given Google’s global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Larry zand Sergey. Commenting on these changes, Eric said: “We’ve been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles we’ll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I’m excited about working with both

him and Sergey for a long time to come.” Larry said: “Eric has clearly done an outstanding job leading Google for the last decade. The results speak for themselves. There is no other CEO in the world that could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly. Eric is a tremendous leader and I have learned innumerable lessons from him. His advice and efforts will be invaluable to me as I start in this new role. Google still has such incredible opportunity – we are only at the beginning and I can’t wait to get started.”

All set to hit Oman roads Renault has come a long way, and it surely is getting noticed in the Middle East region. Its appeal is likely to intensify with the rapidly

expanding range of models that will include a diversified lineup. The new Renault Safrane, a distinctive, user-friendly and reliable sedan is now available in Oman. The Safrane is an ideal model for GCC customers. Owners in the region have exacting standards for cars, looking for something that will stand up to the rigours of the climate, offering exceptional comfort, luxury and a powerful engine for effortless motoring, all wrapped up in a stylish saloon body. The All-New Renault Safrane meets all these criteria. The car is very much akin to a relaxed and well-appointed private business lounge, offering relaxation, comfort and luxury

12 / TECH

thanks to the high standards of innovation and quality utilised in the development of the car. The vehicle is available in three variants – 2.0 16V (140hp) mated to Nissan XTronic Continuous Variable Transmission, a 2.5 V6 (180hp) model with an automatic six-speed transmission or a 3.5 V6 (240hp) also fitted with an automatic six-speed transmission. The Safrane inaugurates the brand’s new ‘Take Care’ signature which denotes a particularly high standard of well-being on board. Features include an unprecedented dual-mode air purifying ioniser, a double scent diffuser and a four-mode massage driver’s seat.


True Justice Every online gamer will have encountered a few bad apples from time to time hell bent on ruining your hard-fought match. A number of developers have taken firm steps to sort these culprits out so that the rest of us ‘normal players’ can have a good time. These range from banning players from games to matching constant violators with others of the same reputation. The latter being quite a just punishment in our opinion. Unfortunately these methods are not 100 per cent effective and have loopholes to work around.

a pardon or be subject to disciplinary action. This will give the players itself the opportunity to help clean up the League of Legends community and furthermore, an Influence Point rewards (one of the game’s two currency units earned by participating in matches) for each case in which their vote is part of

the majority. This is an innovative system that is sure to make waves in the industry and, should it succeed, you can expect other developers to implement a similar system making the world of online games a much better place.

To combat this, Riot Games, the developer of the popular online game League of Legends has developed and will soon implement an entirely new system that will combat this problem. It is set to augment their new ‘LeaverBuster’ system (a new leaver banning system for people who leave games while the match is still in progress). They call this system the ‘Tribunal’, a revolutionary system by which the community itself are empowered to evaluate cases of bad behaviour. Think of it as an online jury system. In the future when level 30 players (level 30 being the highest experience level attainable in the game) log into their account, they will be presented with the option to review random player reports. Bundled with each report will be supporting information relevant to the case, such as chat logs and game stats. With these materials at their disposal, they will be asked to vote to either punish or pardon the reported player. Once a case receives enough votes in either direction, the case will be resolved. In accordance with the verdict, the reported player will receive either

OMASCO assigned as Xbox 360 distributor As regional sales of Xbox 360 continue to soar, OMASCO plan to capitalise on the growing console video gaming industry in Oman by delivering a range of exciting products to avid gamers. Coupled with the much anticipated arrival of ‘Kinect’ and a lineup of new games, OMASCO hopes to bring in all the latest categories of gaming and entertainment experiences from Microsoft that are more inclusive and relevant to a broader audience. The appointment of the region’s leading electronics distributor, retailer and customer care provider is also in line with Microsoft’s

growth and expansion of its retail reach across the sultanate. The region has seen incredible growth in gaming and Microsoft Xbox 360 has captured a large share of it. The retailer remains committed to offering wider coverage and stronger presence in the gaming industry, bringing Xbox and its accessory range to gaming enthusiasts in Oman. Xbox 360 continues to pull ahead of the competition when it comes to delivering on a complete home entertainment experience. Visit OMASCO’s retail outlet in Qurum to experience the Xbox 360 in all its glory. Feb ‘10 / 13


Rugged recording First Ascent Peak XV Down suit is one of the newest additions this winter. For one of those extremely cold days, the suit provides the ultimate protection. In the most extreme of conditions, especially at higher altitudes, this winter outfit will keep the chill out. It is ideal for mountain climbers and people into adventure sports. It is available at an MSRP of USD1000.00 (~OMR385.000).

As video systems go, the POV.HD from V.I.O is flexible, rugged and easy to use. It is a point-of-view HD video camera that is available with in-field flexibility, recording up to five hours of HD video. It sports a two-inch LCD screen to view footage in the field, edit videos and make exposure control. You can tag scenes while recording from either the recorder or the wireless remote control. It is shockproof (up to 1m) and waterproof (up

to 30min). It has four recording methods – the clip mode that you can use to start and stop recording action from your POV. The loop mode lets you capture footage from the past. Then there is the still image mode and the loop and forward mode that lets you capture footage from the past while continuing recording into the future. Available at an MSRP of USD599.95 (~OMR231.000), it can be shipped to Oman.

For music buffs

Sony’s new MDR-EX1000 EX-Monitor earphones are made only for those extremely passionate about music. For excellent sound reproduction, the earphones are crafted with ultra large drivers of 16mm. For improved sound accuracy the drivers are vertically aligned. The MDR-EX1000 produces an impressive frequency range of 14 / TECH

3-30,000Hz. And the most annoying thing about earphones seems to be eliminated in the EX1000 – the fit. Sony is offering ten different sizes of silicon ear-buds. And one of them is sure to fit perfectly. And music buffs will probably not mind paying the whopping MSRP of USD799.00 (~OMR307.800) for these perfect-fit earphones.


Easy controlling Samsung recently launched the NX11, the latest addition to the NX series of cameras. The uniqueness of the NX11 is the i-Function lens that provides an easy way of controlling the camera. The NX11 emphasises on usability. And with a change in the grip design it is easier and comfortable for users. The camera uses APS-C sensor delivering high quality images. It has a three-inch AMOLED LCD screen that reduces glare. It also provides high quality video with 720p HD recording.

High performance drives The Intel Solid-State Drive (SSD) 310 series is ultra-small and delivers amazing performance. Measuring 51x30mm and 5mm thick, it is fast, bringing flexibility, ruggedness and scaleability to devices. When combined with a high-capacity HDD the 310 can improve overall PC system

In raptures over Raptor An American company based in Palo Alto, California, the Etón Corporation is famous for its line of shortwave and emergency handcrank radios. Most of its radios are either hand or solar powered. Etón Corporation’s newest project is the Raptor – a solarpowered instrument with all-terrain guidance capabilities. This handy, colourful instrument serves as a guide to the user by acting as an altimeter, barometer and a compass. And for

outdoor enthusiasts this is the ideal weather forecaster, with NOAA weather alert feature built-in. The Raptor has a digital clock with alarm function. It comes with AM/FM/WB digital radio tuner with 10 AM/10 FM station presets. The Raptor has a battery and a solar charge indicator. One of the really funkiest features is that the Raptor can be used as a bottle opener as well. It has been designed in black, green and bright orange colours.

performance by up to 60 per cent. The Intel SSD 310 Series contains 34nm Intel NAND flash memory and is available in an m-SATA form factor in 40 and 80GB capacities. The 310 has an MSRP of USD99.00 (~OMR38.000) for 40GB and USD179.00 (~OMR69.000) for 80GB.


PHOTOGRAPHY

Evolution, not innovation, was the name of the game with the cameras on show at CES 2011 Cameras had a decent showing at this year’s CES with a well-above average number of new product launches, a large number of which were courtesy of Fujifilm who launched a staggering 16 new models. Launches aside there were some very interesting technologies on show, a handful of our favourites are mentioned below.

Casio TRYX At first glance this sleek 0.6-inch thick TRYX looks like a stylish version of your everyday ultracompact camera or mini camcorder. That is until you realise that a major portion of the camera goes towards the slick rotating three-inch touchscreen. The frame itself rotates 360 degrees and the LCD screen can be rotated up to 270 degrees giving you the freedom to hold the camera horizontally, in a traditional point-andshoot style or it can be adjusted so that the body can act as a tripod; you can even flip out and rotate the body so that the camera can hang from a hook, doorknob or other surfaces. Aside from creative stills the camera is also capable of HD video recording and even high-speed video recording at up to 240 frames per second at 432x320-pixel resolution.

Samsung SH100 For the most part, the SH100 is your basic everyday point-and-shoot with decent image processing capabilities and lens. It even looks decent. But what makes it unique is its implementation of Wi-Fi. Not only can you connect to your wireless network at home to upload photographs, you can also control the camera using a Galaxy S smartphone. You can view the shot you’re about to take in real time and you can even zoom in and out to get the best picture, and then activate the shutter remotely when you’re ready to pose.

Camcorders Of all the camcorders present at the show, three definitely deserve a mention. The first is the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ series which have built-in video projectors. While integrated pico projectors are nothing new, having them in a video camera is much more useful than any other device. The other two devices that caught our eye were the 3D camcorder offerings from Sony and JVC, both of which use two lenses along with two sensors, and produce two full left and right HD streams, combined using a technique known as ‘frame packing’. Although they are not perfect and have their set of flaws, it’s a step in the right direction. 16 / TECH


Creative freedom Stylish and ultra-compact, the NEX series packs quite a punch

The new α NEX-5 and the NEX-3 are interchangeable lens cameras that deliver good image quality in a stylish ultra-compact package. For wide-angle, standard zoom and high power zoom shooting, you can choose from dedicated E-mount lens. The package also includes an optional mount adaptor that lets you use the full range of Sony α system A-mount lens features. The NEX-5 and the NEX-3 come with the built-in Help Guide that displays a popup window with a brief description of each item or function when selecting modes or scrolling through menu items with the control wheel. The only difference between the two cameras is that the NEX-5 has a slightly smaller magnesium alloy body and an infrared remote receiver. In nearly every other respect they’re the same.

Both cameras also sport dual memory card slots for the use of Memory Stick and SD media and are compatible with the latest Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX media

Nex-5 & NEX-3 In addition to Speed Priority Continuous mode shooting at up to 7fps, the NEX-3 and NEX-5 feature the Handheld Twilight mode and the Anti-Motion Blur mode, letting them easily capture impressive, high resolution images in low light conditions without having to use a tripod or flash

The NEX series features a new 3D Sweep Panorama mode based on the same Sweep Panorama technology used in existing Cybershot models and leveraging Multi Picture Format (MPF) storage

The NEX-5 and NEX-3, Sony’s interchangeable lens cameras support movie recording in 1920x1080 full HD AVCHD MP4 format in the NEX-5 and MP4 at 720p resolution in NEX-3.

Built-in shooting tips provide information relevant to the current shooting or mode selection, giving users quick tips on photographic techniques as well as various types of scenes and subjects

Easy-to-use control wheels and soft keys are the other important features of the NEX-5 and the NEX-3

Tech Specs

NEX-5

NEX-3

Camera Type

Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera

Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera

Effective Pixels

14.2MP

14.2MP

LCD Monitor Type

Three-inch Xtra Fine LCD

Three-inch Xtra Fine LCD

Video Capture

1080i AVCHD

720p MP4

Price (OMR)

279.900

229.900

Available at

Jumbo Electronics, 24818358

The three-inch Xtra fine LCD monitor features a high 920,000 dot resolution with its 16:9 widescreen display that can be tilted from 80° up and 45° down permitting easy viewing and shooting of subjects even at awkward angles


mobile zone

Technological prowess Samsung’s newest Wave series takes the Bada platform to the next level Samsung S5253 Wave 5253 has a vast supply of next-generation apps that you can enjoy. Like all other Wave phones, it is supported by the Bada platform and lets developers continually create new apps — games, e-books, news, utility and more. The phonebook seamlessly integrates the SNS, IM, email and calendar accounts. The features are clearly organised into four categories — Info, History, Activities and Media. It also comes with a series of innovate social mapping tools. Advanced TouchWiz UI makes your mobile experience more intuitive and easy. And the enhanced homescreen can be customised up to ten screens. The Music Recognition function helps you identify new songs and purchase them directly to the mobile.

The 5253 has a 3.2-inch WQVGA display that lets you view games, videos and pictures comfortably

Similar to the S7233, the S5253 has a Dolfin browser

Similar to the S7233, the S5253 has a Dolfin browser

It has an internal storage of 100MB with microSD support of up to 16GBv

Samsung S7233E The S7233E operates on Samsung’s Bada platform. The mobile offers easy and direct access to the Samsung Apps store for browsing, purchasing and downloading of free and premium applications. The Apps offer services that support your daily needs, like News, Health & Life, Reference, etc. Localised applications offer great convenience and enhanced services. With the latest Wi-Fi connection, you can download data at a much faster speed and get access from a much wider range. The one-stop social hub brings all your messaging needs under one location — tap the corresponding icon next to a contact’s name in the phonebook to connect via email, SMS, MMS, SNS or IM. To match its technological prowess, the mobile looks sophisticated with the metal back cover. The S7233E comes with a leather flip that offers protection to the mobile, while retaining a sophisticated flair. The S7233E has a 3.2-inch WQVGA 240x400 resolution, TFT touchscreen display 18 / TECH

It supports 3.6Mbps HSDPA 3G, Bluetooth v3.0 and microUSB v2.0

It is easy to upload photos and other files to Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube

Additional features include a 5MP camera, autofocus, flash and A-GPS support


Samsung S8530 Wave II comes with advance features like t9 Trace input that lets you input data by gliding your finger in a continuous motion over the letters of a word instead of punching in individual keys. It also offers a fully integrated one-page layout of your phone book, IM, email, and SNS. It is powered by a 1GHz processor that provides powerful performance. Internet browsing is also fast. Wave II provides a mix of powerful multimedia. And Samsung Apps lets you effortlessly download countless applications — games, e-books, utilities, health and lifestyle apps and more. The Wave II also has an oversized Super Clear LCD.

It has an internal storage of 2GB with microSD support of up to 32GB

Wave II’s oversized 3.7-inch Super Clear LCD display makes enjoying on-the-go games, videos and photos more fun than ever

It features Bada OS v1.2 and ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor

It supports 3.6Mbps HSDPA 3G, v3.0 with A2DP Bluetooth and microUSB v2.0

Tech Specs

Additional features include a 5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, geo-tagging and image stabilisation

S7233E

S5253

S8530

Operating System

Bada

Bada

Bada

Display

3.2-inch 240x400 pixels, TFT Screen

3.2-inch 240x400 pixels, TFT Screen

3.2-inch 240x400 pixels, TFT Screen

Camera

5MP Auto Focus

3.2MP

5MP Auto Focus

Connectivity

Bluetooth v3.0, USB v2.0, Wi-Fi

Bluetooth v3.0+EDR, USB v2.0, Wi-Fi

Bluetooth v3.0, USB v2.0, Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n

802.11 b/g/n

802.11 b/g/n

Memory

100MB Storage, microSD Support

100MB Storage, microSD Support

100MB Storage, microSD Support

Weight

99.5g

100g

99.5g

Dimension (HxWxD)

109.5x53.9x11.8mm

109.5x55x11.7mm

109.5x53.9x11.8mm

Available at

SARCO, 24593025 Feb ‘10 / 19


as plans h s ic n o r t c umbo Ele J , h c r o T y r kBer stomers c u c la l B a e u h s t a c h Wit s to local, r o o d s it g on openin

20 / TECH


T

he Torch is the very first smartphone from RIM (Research In Motion – the manufacturer of BlackBerry and BlackBerry service provider) to combine a full hardware QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. Their primary goal with the new device was to attract the more casual crowd into the world of blackberry and to alter the image of the brand from being a business-only phone. So, equipped with a slider and an entirely revised OS, the Torch is all set to take the market by storm (pun not intended) and change your perception of the brand forever.

Look and feel

RIM has always been good with their designs and the Torch is definitely no exception. With black surround of its 3.2-inch screen, chrome highlights and iconic four-button and track pad base, there is definitely no mistaking the BlackBerry pedigree here. The back of the phone sports the 5.0MP lens and flash and is covered in a ribbed, rubbery material that will ensure the phone doesn’t slip, not that it actually would when you consider its size and weight. Measuring in at 111x62x14.6mm and 161g, this is by no means a compact light phone but to its credit it is solidly built

and incorporates a really well designed full QWERTY keypad that slides out from under the phone. The buttons themselves, both on the front face and the keypad, have just the right amount of travel and give a satisfying click when pressed. While the keys of the slide-out keypad may be a tad small and compact for people with big fingers, we can’t think of a way in which it could be made better. RIM has to be commended for its design. They have made the best of the space that was available

and have even left some room at the top to avoid making the top row hard to reach. So, what else can you expect to find inside the box along with the phone? Well, aside from the documentation, program disk and charging adapter not much. RIM has included various plug adapters. So charging your phone on international trips won’t be a problem. Aside from this you get a cleaning cloth, a microUSB cable and a hands-free kit. Lastly, RIM has kindly included a 4GB microSD card, which is nice.

Hardware and functionality Under the skin of the Torch is the 624MHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of built-in storage. As mentioned before, the phone has a microSD card slot to expand its storage to 32GB and comes with a 4GB card included in the package. The slot for the memory card is under the battery cover and is hot swappable. The 5MP camera is the best so far in a BlackBerry and takes decent stills. The flash

helps in low light situations but the user interface still requires some polish. Video recording on the other hand is average with support for VGA recording at 24fps, captured in 3GP format. Also for those of you used to making video calls take note that there is no dedicated video call camera on the phone. Connectivity is where the party is on at the Torch. It ticks nearly every box you can think of – 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi, quad band GSM/GPRS/ EDGE support, Bluetooth with A2DP support

and even a standard microUSB port for data transfer and charging.

The Display

The front of the torch is dominated by its 3.2-inch capacitive display with support for 16mn colours. In most aspects we have nothing to complain about here. The image quality is good. The same is true for its sunlight legibility, brightness and overall size. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the resolution. At 360x480, most phones in its price range nearly double the pixel count. As such the display cannot reproduce similar levels of sharpness. Contrast levels and viewing angles are among the better side of the LCD equipped phone market but, as expected, cannot match that of the AMOLED screens found in some similarly priced phones. On a more positive note, the resolution is by no means a deal breaker and the screen is responsive and even supports multi-touch. Feb ‘10 / 21


Ease of use

The phone makes use of the latest version of the BlackBerry OS – BlackBerry OS 6. While it isn’t meant to rival the likes of the Android or iOS, it is nice to see how much more touch friendly and presentable the OS has become. Long gone are the boring monochrome menus and drab icons, these have been replaced by more pleasing, colourful and easily thumbable icons.

music player have also been revised with the latter able to play in the background while you do other tasks. The phone even supports a wide range of video formats so video playback shouldn’t be an issue either. Aside from this the phone has all the regular BlackBerry features such as various document readers, BlackBerry services, a fully featured organiser and much more.

The menu has also been revised for the better. It can now be extended from the base of the home screen to reveal anywhere from one to four rows of icons. You can also scroll sideways to reveal four different panes – the ‘Favorite’ tab for you to select your favourite apps and programs, ‘Frequent’ tab with icons auto generated by the phone, followed by ‘Media’ and ‘Download’ sections which are quite self explanatory. The status bar is also clickable for quick access to the most important connectivity options. Below the status bar is a nifty search button that enables you to search your phone for specific content and even extend it to search the BlackBerry App World or YouTube. Some form of widgets would have been a nice addition though.

One of the best features and also the most widely advertised aspect of the phone is the way in which it has seamlessly integrated the use of traditional BlackBerry controls with the touch screen. Every aspect of the phone can be altered using either the traditional button approach of the touch interface.

For those of you who feel the need of touch a tad unnecessary, think of it as an alternative to traditional controls that makes it easy for newcomers to get used to the interface. Overall, the new OS is all about taking a more streamlined touch friendly approach and improving the OS’s functionality ever so slightly in almost every aspect. These small changes add up to give you a vastly improved experience.

Also included in the ‘fully revised’ bandwagon is the Phonebook, which has become much more streamlined and pleasing to the eye; and the image gallery, which now utilises the new interface and multitouch to full effect. Messaging and the

Tech Specs

BlackBerry Torch 9800

OS

BlackBerry OS 6.0

Processor

624MHz processor

Display

360x480 pixels, 3.2-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen

Camera

5MP, 2592х1944 pixels, LED flash, VGA@24fps

Video

DivX/XviD/MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264

Audio

MP3/WMA/eAAC+/FlAC/OGG player

Memory

4GB storage, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, microSD

Dimensions

111x62x14.6mm, 161g

Price (OMR)

279.900

Available at

Jumbo Electronics, 24818358

22 / TECH

Conclusion So does the Torch succeed in its goals? The answer to this question is sort of a mixed bag. What RIM has done with the Torch is extremely smart. By keeping the traditional controls intact they have not alienated their core customer base, who we suspect will also be the majority of takers for the Torch. At the same time they have made the OS much more approachable for newcomers to the service, especially with the integration of multitouch controls. So, while the phone doesn’t really alter the image of the brand on a whole it does manage to open its doors to a much wider audience. This is definitely a step in the right direction for the company. While the phone does have a few flaws, these will have little implication on your decision to purchase the phone. Besides, which other brand is there that can give you the ‘BlackBerry experience’.


With the smartphones introduced at the CES, 2011 can be dubbed the ‘Year of 4G’ CES 2011 was a big wireless event, especially with companies like Motorola and Verizon. Motorola’s Atrix 4G took several awards in the smartphone category. Another major phone company, Sony Ericsson, introduced just one phone – the Xperia Arc, which is a stunning, sleek smartphone. LG showcased the Optimus Black and Optimus 2x. Here are a few phones that made an impact at the CES. Look forward to an in-depth review in the upcoming issues.

There seems to be only word that has been used to describe the Optimus 2x – fast. It is a global-release phone and can be expected in the Middle East. With a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, the Optimus 2x sports an eight-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, HDMI mirroring and DLNA support. It measures four inches diagonally, and the display has 16 million colours and a WVGA resolution of 480x800. It runs on Android 2.2, but is upgradeable to v2.3.

Motorola Mobility and Orange UK announced the launch of Motorola ATRIX at the CES. The ATRIX employs a revolutionary webtop application that runs a full Mozilla Firefox 3.6 browser and supports Adobe Flash Player. It includes a dual-core processor each running at 1GHz and 1GB of RAM. It runs Android 2.2 with access to more than 100,000 apps and games in the Android market. It has Biometric fingerprint reader for easy unlocking of your phone, while providing extra security. It sports a qHD display, offering high resolution and 24-bit colour.

Sony Ericsson kicked off its CES experience by announcing a new Android smartphone – the Xperia Arc. The display looks stunning and the handset is sleek, like a candy bar. The Arc is available in midnight blue or misty silver. It sports a 4.2-inch, 16.7 millioncolour touchscreen (854x480 pixels). The capacitive display has a multi-touch interface and a Sony Bravia engine. The Arc runs on Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread. The phone sports an 8.1-megapixel camera with Exmor CMOS sensor, offering a variety of editing options. Other features include 512MB of internal memory, PC syncing, WebKit browser, Wi-Fi and Google apps.

Feb ‘10 / 23


Interview

‘Unique’ is the key From computers to office automation, Rehsi has a few exclusive projects up his sleeve Manmohan Singh Rehsi

D

r Manmohan Singh Rehsi’s five year sojourn in Oman has been spent working for Mohsin Haider Darwish (MHD). With over 30 years’ experience in the field of IT and telecommunications, he is currently the general manager of the computer, office automation and telecommunications division. This division of MHD primarily handles IT products and will soon include Lenovo into their brand portfolio. “We are going to launch an entire range of laptops, netbooks and tablet computers in the middle of February, from Lenovo.”

This particular division of MHD is as diversified as it gets. They are into security and surveillance solutions; they deal with Epson and Hitachi in the audio visual section; and as part of their office automation section, they deal with digital multifunction printers from Konica-Minolta. One of MHD’s unique projects targets the education sector. The interactive boards for e-learning have been around for quite some time now. But with the introduction of mimio solutions, MHD decides to take e-learning to the next level. With digital content in Oman improving every day, the interactive boards have an amazing future in all the educational institutions here. Rajeev Sahni, senior manager, office automation – sales and service, joins us to talk about the mimio solutions. “The uniqueness of the mimio product is that they make any surface interactive. It gives schools the benefit of turning standard whiteboards into interactive ones.” One of the major brands that MHD is synonymous with is Nokia. As its flagship business unit, Nokia has been a part of

24 / TECH

MHD for more than ten years. Despite the recent success of the high-end models, Nokia has received some criticism about its use of the Symbian 3 OS. But in Oman the sales has not been affected. In fact, Rehsi elaborates, “In Oman, Nokia smartphones are well accepted. And the N8 is specially a big success. In fact, we don’t have enough supplies and there is a waiting list. Although the Nokia operating system, Symbian, has been compared to other systems like the Android, each has its own set of positives and negatives. Nokia is even coming up with a new operating system called the ‘MeeGo’.” The Symbian and MeeGo operating systems are set to work together, with Nokia unveiling certain products on the MeeGo platform in the future. MeeGo is an open source that is based on Linux operating system for mobile devices and is backed by Intel. When the talk revolves around smartphones, Rehsi is quick to point out that the full potential of a smartphone has not been explored in Oman as yet. “A smartphone is basically used by people for its email facilities or web browsing. And Nokia smartphones have gone to such a level


that they are available in the market for as little as 45 Rials. But one of the really important things to explore the facilities of a smartphone is to have cheap Internet connectivity. In Oman, Internet rates are quite high, and until they go down, people cannot explore the full potential of smartphones.” Nokia’s future in Oman, however, seems to be set. “As a company, Nokia’s rate of development and innovation is really high. It is one of the few companies that come out with products on a regular basis. We are expecting the E7 and the touch capable C6 in the near future. Nokia’s Ovi store and navigation are also doing very well here,” Rehsi adds. One of the unique projects of Nokia, specific to Oman, is the introduction of a hotline number that is routed to a call centre in Dubai. “With a lot of fake, look-alike phones rampant in the market, Nokia has introduced a hotline number. Customers will just have to dial the number and give their IMEI number. They will be informed if their mobile is genuine or not. This has been around for only a month now and is yet to be perfected.”

Rajeev Sahni With the rapid progress of digital content in Oman and the rate at which the country is developing, the future of the division is quite set. Rehsi is looking forward to partnering with some more leading brands in the near future. This will give the brands a reputed platform on which to enter the country, thereby giving clients a reliable source for all their IT and office automation needs.

MHD prides itself on having more than just a transaction with its customers. “We have live demonstrations where we explain to people about the features of mobile phones. We don’t deal with just buying and selling.” As part of the office automation department, MHD has projectors and Sahni talks about their new deals with top brands like Vivitek. Most of the clients for the office automation department are the ministries and corporates in Oman. Sahni adds that their upcoming projects include conference room integration solutions – setting up projectors, screens, speakers, amplifiers and mixers – the whole lot. And with the launching of the Electronic Documentation Management System from ‘Laserfiche’, the office automation department has tied up with Kodak for production grade scanners. Feb ‘10 / 25


a/v zone

With glasses-free 3D entertainment and wireless home theatres, CES 2011 brought together the best of both worlds – audio and video At CES this year, the trend was to have a musician’s name attached to the headphones. And more than the name, it is the style – sleek, colourful, with a combination of the earthy and the industrial. You could call it the mating of earphones and fashion. And there were some unique home theatre systems that were unveiled by some of the top companies in the entertainment business. Here is a look at some interesting products, which stand out for their quality and innovative designs.

Zeppelin Air

Philips BDP7580 CES 2011’s wireless saga extends to home theatres. Have you ever wanted a Blu-Ray player with wireless HDMI that streams video from all the way across the room to a wall-mounted TV? Well, Philips has come up with a solution – the BDP7580. Expected to be launched in April (in the US) with a price tag of USD499.99 (~OMR192.600), it offers 3D playback, NetTV, Netflix, and Blockbuster streaming. Another feature is the Philips MediaConnect, which allows you to stream content from your PC to your TV via a Wi-Fi connection.

B&W announced their latest striking design series of Zeppelin iPod Speakers, the Zeppelin Air. It is compatible with Apple’s new AirPlay streaming audio platform. What this compatibility means is that you’ll be able to stream music wirelessly directly from iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad or the iPod Touch. You can also stream either from apps or your own music collection. The Air also includes a dock. And most important of all, B&W is promising a number of audio tweaks. So start saving now. It is scheduled to come out in March (in the US) with a list price of USD600.00 (~OMR230.000).

Toshiba glasses-free 3D prototype How awesome would it be to enjoy 3D entertainment without those awkward plastic glasses? There is still hope now. At the CES 2011, a glasses-free 3D laptop technology in a custom-built Toshiba Qosmio laptop was unveiled. The concept is quite impressive and although not yet perfected, it seemed to work. The 120Hz screen seemed to produce a convincing result, demonstrating good depth effects.

26 / TECH


Samsung BD-D7000 Blu-Ray players have been getting more petite every year. And Samsung’s newly announced BD-D7000 features an ultra-small design. It has a slot-loading disc drive with touch-sensitive buttons on the front. It is, of course, 3D compatible, with built-in 2D-to-3D conversion processing. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and you can access Samsung Apps. This gives you access to a variety of streamingmedia services, which includes YouTube, Twitter, Netflix and Blockbuster.

LG HX996TS Moving on from the sound effects of home theatre systems, it is now all about looks. And LG’s HX996TS led CES 2011 with its revolutionary look. The interesting-looking design includes tower speakers that have top-mounted drivers. It also includes two subwoofers, making the HX996TS a rare all-in-one package system. And with its innovative look, LG also advertised its ‘Cinema Dome Effect’, a digital sound processing mode, for an immersive sound effect.

Creative Tactic 3D Omega Headset Creative’s wireless gaming headset seems to be an answer to avid gamers. It works on multiple platforms – PS3, Xbox 360, Mac and PC. It is also advertised as being fully integrated, which means the wireless technology is built into the headset, and so Tactic3D will not require any extra attachments. However, a powered dongle does have to be plugged into your machine. The headset also has volume, mute, and connection controls integrated into the headset, as well as a detachable noise-cancelling microphone. Feb ‘10 / 27


Mus c n style Experience true sound with the stylish wall-mountable music systems from Philips

For people obsessed with sound, Philips brings the latest in micro music systems – the MCM233 and the MCM277. Sleek and wall-mountable, you can enjoy music from multiple sources – CDs and portable players connected to the USB Direct. The MCM233 and 277 are compatible with MP3/WMA-CD, CD and CD-RW. For extra convenience, the music systems have a digital tuning facility with preset stations.

MCM233 The sound experience of the MCM233 is enhanced by the Digital Sound Control feature that lets you adjust the sound balance to match the type of music you are playing, with pre-set jazz, rock, pop and classical controls

The Dynamic Bass Boost feature enhances the bass content of the music from low to high volume settings, at the touch of a button The stylish design is complemented by a functional motorised sliding front door housing the disc

The MP3 link connectivity allows direct playback of MP3 content from portable media players

MCM277 Similar to the MCM233, the 277 has the Digital Sound Control and Dynamic Bass Boost feature for an enriching sound experience

You can play your music directly from the device by simply plugging it in to the USB port of the Philips Hi-Fi system

Tech Specs

MCM233

MCM277

Output Power (RMS)

2x10W

2x5W

Speaker Drivers

3” Woofer

4” Woofer

Power Supply

100-240V AC, 50/60Hz

220-240V, 50Hz

Available at

Mustafa Sultan Electronics, 24636015

28 / TECH

The MCM277 also has a front motorised CD door with a viewing window


S u p e r i o r New speaker line from Aluratek streams music wirelessly Audio systems have come a long way in the past decade. For audiophiles, it is not just about enjoying their favourite music blasting out of huge speakers, with wires trailing all around. They are looking out for systems that satisfy their high expectations in terms of the sound quality, and one that caters to their aesthetic sense. Without a hoard of wires to make a non-tech savvy person go haywire, audio systems are becoming more adorable. Here is Aluratek now with their new Bump line that is wireless and attractive. The collection introduces three new products – the AMS01F portable boombox, the AUW01F USB transmitter and the AWS01F boombox with remote speakers. The APS01F, a portable mini-speaker, is also a part of the ‘Bump’ line.

AMS01F

APS01F

This is a portable MP3 and FM Radio Boombox with a simple plug-n-play design that plays music on inserting an SD/SDHC card. It satisfies the senses of every audiophile – being wireless and petite. It features a built-in FM tuner and alarm clock function. You can connect MP3 players and other audio devices with the 3.5mm auxiliary audio output. On a single charge of the built-in Li-Ion Polymer battery your listening pleasure lasts for up to six hours. It supports MP3, WMA and WAV music files.

The APS01F is even more petite. It is a 3.5mm portable mini speaker that comes with a built-in Li-Ion battery and is compatible with MP3 players, mobile phones, portable CD players, and any other audio device that you can think of that has a 3.5mm auxiliary audio output. It has an expandable bass chamber.

AWS01F The AWS01F is similar to the AMS01F, except that it comes with a Remote Wireless Speaker that uses a 2.4GHz GFSK digital wireless transmitter with eight selectable channels. It ensures high-performance sound up to 60 feet from the transmitter. There is an independent volume control and audio output for each speaker. The wireless stereo speaker comes with bass radiator.

Tech Specs

AMS01F

AWS01F

APS01F

Audio Output Power

3W

3W

2.5W

Price

USD49.99 (~OMR19.000)

USD99.99 (~OMR38.500)

USD19.99 (~OMR7.600)

Available at

www.aluratek.com Feb ‘10 / 29


computing

PCs, Tablets & Laptops While computers are not really the highlight of CES, this year’s show certainly didn’t disappoint At CES2011, there were a number of commercially ready products and even some ingenious concepts that will surely see production in some form or another. Also some concepts from last year’s show made their production-ready debuts this year. After what we have seen we can say that 2011 will be an exciting year for computer enthusiasts. Here is a quick list of our favourite products at CES 2011.

Motorola Xoom Launched by Verizon Wireless (one of USA’s premium 3G and 4G mobile service providers) and Motorola, the new Motorola XOOM is the first device to be based on Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. Powering it is a dual core processor with each core running at 1GHz. It features a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display. Although the device is currently 3G ready, it will also be 4G LTE upgradeable. Suffice to say, with its sleek design, powerful innards and Google’s Honeycomb OS, the Motorola Xoom easily stole the show from every other tablet. Now all we can hope for is that the tablet makes its way to the Middle East.

Intel Sandy Bridge Chips

Featuring the industry’s first processor graphics, Intel’s second generation Core Processors were definitely one of the biggest highlights of the show. The new chips, while retaining their i3, i5 and i7 nomenclature, are built around a new 32nm microarchitecture. This allows for more energy-efficient performance and improved 3D and graphics performance. So much so in fact that content creation is up to 42 per cent faster and gaming up to 50 per cent faster than the current chips. Furthermore, the chips now feature the latest version of Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, called Turbo Boost 2.0, which lets each core boost performance past its base clock speed as needed for dynamic workloads, while balancing the thermal headroom to avoid overheating.

NEC LT-W Cloud Communicator We have seen quite a few dual screen setups before and even in tablet form, but never before has a product struck such a fine balance between portability, performance, useability and style. The LT-W has two seven-inch TFT LCD touch screens and weighs only 530g. It runs Google’s Android 2.1 OS on an ARM Cortex processor, has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional 3G connections. It also has a 3MP camera, a speaker, an SDHC card slot, USB connectivity, GPS navigation and an accelerometer. And finally, with a battery life of about five hours, it is perfect for on-thego entertainment. 30 / TECH


Lenovo Ideacentre B520 The IdeaCentre B520 AIO (all-in-one) desktop is Lenovo’s most powerful AIO (and also one of the most powerful AIOs of the show) and is perfect for either high-performance gaming or as a family entertainment machine. It is a machine that almost literally has all the power you will ever need in an entertainment home centre. This performance is courtesy of Intel’s Sandy Bridge chips. The IdeaCentre B520 delivers second generation Intel Core i7 processor and the latest 3D-ready GPUs from Nvidia. And yes, the B520 is also 3D capable and features a 23-inch capacitive multitouch touchscreen.

ioSafe SoloPRO ioSafe is a company that provides innovative disaster-proof hardware for corporations and consumers alike to protect their irreplaceable data. Their latest model, the SoloPro, was officially unveiled in August 2010 but it didn’t fail to impress us with the punishment it could take. Where else will you find a portable USB3.0 HDD that can be submerged in water, hung up on the firing range and take about 10 rounds from a shotgun (yes those are bullet holes from the shotgun’s pellets in the picture), slammed on the floor really hard a couple of times and finally crushed with a vise, and still work flawlessly.

The stunning trio We have already covered the Lenovo U1 Hybrid and the Acer Iconia in the past issues, but that didn’t stop them from getting the attention they deserved. These are two extremely innovative laptops that definitely deserve a mention in this list. Finally we have one of the stars of the show – the Razer Switchback, a stunning concept that actually makes PC gaming truly portable, an act that was once thought to be next to impossible. You can have a more detailed look at the Switchback in the ‘Gamer’s Delight’ section of this issue. Feb ‘10 / 31


The MB2000 series of multitask printers offer superior quality scans All-in-one systems are some of the most cost effective and convenient tools in the computing world. Just think, here you have a machine that can print, scan and be used for sending and receiving Fax messages. In turn saving you the cost of purchasing three separate devices and also freeing up the space needed to house these devices. Many leading brands are coming up with innovative technologies and solutions to streamline the integration of these devices and boost the performance to ever-increasing levels. Here are Panasonic’s latest all-in-one multitask printers - the KX-MB2000 series. These new devices are compact, stylish and have the performance to match too.

KX-MB2000 It comes with the Easy Print Utility that includes a print image control function, simplifying the production of complex documents

The MB2000 also has a high-resolution colour scanner with up to 9,600dpi (interpolated)

It features a 24ppm high-speed printer with a variety of copy functions

KX-MB2030 As another important multitask printer in the MB2000 line-up, the KX-MB2030 is an excellent choice for offices as it is quite compact The features of the MB2030 are similar to that of the MB2000 – it features a 24ppm high-speed printer, with diverse copy functions and a high-resolution colour scanner with up to 9,600dpi (interpolated) An additional feature of the 2030 is that it also sports a 33.6kbps Super G3 Fax function and a standard network connection It comes with an internal memory of 32MB 32 / TECH


KX-MB2025 Similar to the other models in the 2000 series, it has an internal memory of 32MB. Featuring a 24ppm high-speed printer and a high-resolution scanner, the system also has a Super G3 compatible Fax facility

The MB2025 multitask A4 printer has a print resolution of 600dpi and a power consumption of 1,000W

This comes with a standard network connection with a speed of 33.6kbps

Tech Specs

KX-MB2000

The scanner can be used to scan pages to the PC, email, FTP or SMB

KX-MB2025

KX-MB2030

Fax Compatibility

N/A

Super G3

Super G3

Modem Speed

N/A

33.6kbps

33.6kbps

Power Consumption

1,000W

1,000W

1,000W

Memory

32MB

32MB

32MB

Printer Resolution

600x600dpi

600x600dpi

600x600dpi

Scanner Resolution

600x1,200dpi (Optical)

600x1,200dpi (Optical)

600x1,200dpi (Optical)

9,600x9,600dpi (Interpolated)

9,600x9,600dpi (Interpolated)

9,600x9,600dpi (Interpolated)

Copy Speed

24CPM

24CPM

24CPM

Multi Copy

99 pages

99 pages

99 pages

Warm Up

16 seconds

16 seconds

16 seconds

Print Engine

Laser Printing

Laser Printing

Laser Printing

Paper Capacity

250

250

250

Dimensions (WxDxH)

420x432x255mm

420x432x305mm

420x432x305mm

Weight

11kg

12kg

12kg

Price

OMR55.000

OMR79.000

OMR101.000

Available at

OMASCO, 24564310

Feb ‘10 / 33


profile

Power of Knowledge In just under three years knowledgeoman.com has become the largest community-driven, knowledge-based website in the region

K

nowledge as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is the expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education. In short, knowledge is power. But this power, no matter how great, is of no value unless it is shared or put into practice. With this in mind, and with the aim to solidify His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s vision of creating a knowledge-based society in the country, Tariq Hilal al Barwani, Oman’s IT prodigy, launched knowledgeoman.com (KO) in April 2008. The site was launched by Tariq along with a team of local and expatriate community volunteers. It started as an English-based web forum where people could login, become a member, create and exchange knowledge which included anything from basic arts and business to the likes of complex sciences. Few months after the launch, Tariq realised the need to have an Arabic

34 / TECH

interface to cater to the diverse readership and community need and thus an Arabic forum was created. Soon after, a fully-fledged portal website was created along with dedicated teams that undertake both online and offline activities to meet the objective of making knowledge freely available to everyone in the country. In 2009, the website was awarded International Standard Web Technology Website during the Oman Web Awards Competition and in 2010 was awarded a Global Brand Leadership award during the world brand congress 2010 event in Mumbai, India. Furthermore, the site has received over a million hits since its launch. KO is not just a website anymore, but rather a project managed voluntarily by over 66 people across the sultanate and driven by over 8,000 community members, both local and expatriates, bringing a myriad of talents under one roof.


THE PROJECTS

Educational Videos

KO Educational Seminars

This is an online video knowledge sharing platform allowing members to create, share and exchange educational videos online. Think of it as a local and extremely helpful knowledge-based YouTube of sorts.

KO Seminars enable community members to nurture their knowledge through expert speakers for free. The seminars highlight successful individuals in society through interactive sessions between the speaker and the audience. This targets different sectors to widen the knowledge exposure and establish a platform of intellectual discussions with the general public.

Show Your Potential (SYP) The SYP programme assists participants in preparing for various Microsoft IT examinations to qualify for official certifications that empower their role in the job market and further develop their knowledge and skills. With the programme’s direct link to Microsoft, SYP ensures participants have accurate information about each certification, the most recent knowledge resources, and advice from professional experts. SYP plays a role in Oman’s development by supporting individuals to gain qualifications that enrich the country and move it forward towards a digital knowledge-based society.

www.omanvideos.com

Social Media Platform www.omanwall.com

Omanwall.com is an online platform specifically created to connect people in Oman under one roof. Members of Omanwall.com can create, post and exchange blogs, pictures, videos and also play games online with other registered members.

KO Library This is the first community e-library in Oman with free and open access for all. The KO library features books in both English and Arabic across various knowledge areas, and brings the opportunity for all individuals to take part in contributing with their own e-books as a community-driven platform. The library continues to expand with new books, encouraging continuous learning among the community.

KO Charity KO Charity is an open door for budding talents and professionals to come together to sell their artwork, photography, crafts and any creative hand-made items, as a fundraising event. The project supports and promotes individual creativity while supporting those in dire need of community support.

Community Speaks This is a platform that brings together writers from various backgrounds and expertise to share their knowledge. Diverse topics are featured to make knowledge accessible and to ensure that the voice of the community is heard.

KO School The School is the first free e-learning community platform in the sultanate and a major leap towards free online education in Oman. It first introduced ICT courses with enrolments in English and Arabic for Adobe Photoshop, C++, Web Designing, VB.Net, Networking, Java, IC3, and SQL. Other courses are also offered, including a course in Team Building, while new courses are periodically introduced in diverse knowledge areas.

Planning ahead

The sky seems to be the limit for KO but as far as short term goals are concerned the site has some very interesting and innovative plans in store for its dedicated community. For starters, KO wants to create a physical body/version of the online school, where people are educated beyond the

electronic medium. It also wants to ensure the community and organisations are linked together. This is to be achieved by continuing to close the gaps and providing access from organisations to the community and vice versa. The website also aims to open and export local ‘talents’ to the world through

software development and anything that contributes to providing solutions to realworld problems be it business or the like. Above all else, KO aims to become the hub of knowledge about and from Oman to the world.

Feb ‘10 / 35


Behind the scenes

KO is managed by over 66 volunteers across the sultanate but there are eight key staff that form the backbone of the project

Every day is a new day for KO and therefore since our launch in 2008 we’ve never stopped introducing something new, Tariq’s list of achievements is quite beneficial and important for the community. impressive. His contributions to the Sky is the limit on where we are community have yielded many accolades – aiming to be in the future. and IT security. He is currently a doctorate candidate in management of organisations. His interest in computing started with the ZX Spectrum 128 – a computer released by Sinclair Research Limited, which his parents gave him. Tariq’s main interest had been computer programming, in particular, developing games. His other interests include reading, chess and soccer. He has travelled to a number of countries, including the UK, Holland, Russia, the USA, India and Australia.

Tariq Hilal al Barwani Founder and President

Tariq Hilal al Barwani, born in 1979, has spent 25 years working with computers, 13 of which he served in the professional business and technical fields. He has created a number of successful projects that aim at transforming the country into a digital society – a vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Tariq has a diploma in information systems, a bachelor’s degree with honours in computer science and a master’s in information technology. During his education he dabbled in artificial intelligence, software development, mobile devices computing, relational database management system, networking and data communication, advanced web and XML technologies, electronic commerce, Microsoft.net framework,

Tariq enjoys tapping the potential of people and loves to share knowledge via his personal email, newspaper articles, radio and TV programmes and at public presentations that he attends. Tariq’s vision is to enrich the lives of people in Oman through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The perfect blend of his technical expertise and business knowledge is the integral component of his success. At KO, Tariq is responsible for the overall development and progress of the website. He overlooks the projects, operations, media and corporate relation of the project by forming the necessary strategy, direction and plans that are aligned by the vision, while building and leading a team of dedicated professionals.

the Man of the Moment, Silicon Super Kid, WhizKid, Genius, Brains of Oman, Hacker, Marketing Guru, Popular IT Expert, Technical Manager and much more. In 2007, Tariq was selected by Business Today as one of the top 50 people that made a difference in Oman. His other achievements include: The first and only Omani to receive the Most Valuable Professional award from Microsoft five years (2007-2011), consecutively, for technical leadership Best IT Professional award in 2008, presented by the Information Technology Authority (ITA), a government IT body in Oman Best Personality in 2009, presented by Telecommunication Regulation Authority (TRA), a government telecommunication regulatory body Tariq’s ‘Happy99 virus cleaner’ program was selected as the best and was featured in www.hotfiles.com – one of the popular international websites for downloading files Global Brand Leadership award at the World Brand Congress in 2010 for knowledgeOman.com Best Dot.com in 2000 by Business Today

Khalfan al Mahrazy Vice President, Operations Khalfan al Mahrazy overlooks the KO English and Arabic forums. He ensures the portal’s development and maintenance with the help of the respective operations team. He is also responsible for recruiting new members to the dynamic team at KO.

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We are not just a website but rather a community project filled with a lot of activities undertaken through the Internet (online) and outside the Internet (offline).


All our community-driven initiatives are unique and free for everyone to join, attend, participate, learn and exchange knowledge that contribute to developing a nation.

Rym Aoudia Head of Corporate and Media Affairs

Rym deals with the corporate division, handling the community projects and media coverage. She helps expand the community of KO through specific projects, and manages the PR and communications of the portal.

Abdullah al Harthi

Administrator, Arabic Section Abdullah al Harthi is the administrator for the Arabic section of the portal. Similar to the English section, KO Arabic has a team of moderators led by Abdullah. Creating new sections based on member’s requirements is one of his responsibilities.

Christudas Dai Online Community Strategist

Christudas is responsible for development of the social networking aspect of the project. He also enhances the online community strategies, direction and plans that are aligned by the portal.

Talal al Farsi Everyone in KO works voluntarily, but everyone is committed to one goal – making a difference to the lives of people in Oman. We are happy to be recognised both locally and internationally.

Tomy Bosco

Administrator, English Section Affectionately known as Kubu, Tomy is the administrator for the English section of KO. Tomy leads the development of the portal with a team of dedicated moderators. His responsibilities include creating new sections based on member’s requirements and recruiting new moderators. He is also responsible for launching new ideas.

Technical Manager

Talal governs the technical development of the portal. He is also responsible for the technical upkeep of the KO Portal, ensuring maintenance.

Almaatsam al Gheilani

Deputy Technical Manager Almaatsam supports the technical development of the portal. He is responsible for ensuring the portals have the latest functionalities that allow members to feel at ease while navigating across the websites.

Feb ‘10 / 37


buyer’s guide

PC Protection Viruses, Trojans, Spyware and more are the bane of owning a PC; here is a guide to picking the perfect counter to them

W

ith so many viruses and the like running rampant on the Internet, it is only a matter of time before you are infected by one. But getting the right program to protect your PC can greatly reduce these odds. In this quick two-page guide we’ll explain the differences between paid and free programs and also tell you about some of our favourites, both free and retail. With so many free protection programs available online, is it really worth paying for the others? The answer to this question is quite simple – it’s a matter of choice or need. There are four basic levels of antivirus products available to you: free, paid antivirus, suites,

and ‘premium’ suites. As you move up the ladder, you typically get more features, such as identity theft protection, firewalls, parental controls and system performance tools. Most of the best free programs out there offer a bare minimum level of protection and will suffice for basic home use. But this ‘bare minimum level’ has significantly improved in recent years with many of the free services offering browser integration, add-ons and in some cases even behavioural malware detection which finds malware based on how it acts on your PC. This is a good way of detecting brand-new malware outbreaks and is generally found in paid products only.

Moving up a level, we find the paid services. These are generally more comprehensive products offering security tools such as parental controls and identity theft protection and offer significantly more flexibility. In terms of basic features and performance you will not find much difference between free or paid services with the latter being slightly better. However, one of the key justifications in purchasing a paid product is the technical support, which is significantly lower in free products and also in cases where the same program offers both free and paid services, the paying customers will obviously be given priority over the free users. But free users, don’t you fret too much, there are a number of forums available with people willing to help solve your problems. Also, if you are an advert hater keep away from most free services. Lastly, we have the suites and ‘premium’ suites which offer a host of additional protection software such as antivirus, malware detection, firewalls and more, all controlled using one intuitive interface. These are the cream of the crop in terms of all-in-one protection for your computer but can be significantly more pricey. If you are unwilling to spend on these suites but would like similar levels of protection, there is a free alternative. You can augment your free antivirus with a free malware detection program, firewall and any other free security program you desire and then follow by a linkscanning utility to create your own custom security setup. This approach does require you to be quite computer savvy, may be more complicated in the long run and will not offer the advanced technical support, extra benefits or performance of full-fledged security suites. But on the plus side, since updates for both free and paid services are practically the same, the level of protection will also be similar.

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Taking all these into consideration, here are a quick list of our favourite security suites and antivirus software:

Norton 360 Norton was always at the head of the pack when it came to paid antivirus and suites but at the expense of system resources. Those days are long gone. Over the past few years the developer has made significant improvements to the software, reducing the amount of resources required to sustain the program by a substantial amount while still retaining and improving on its interface, performance and features. Our pick of the bunch would be Norton 360 which, despite a slightly higher performance impact than Norton Internet Security, offers all the protection of the latter and, for only a slight increment in price, adds PC tune-up and a feature-rich local and online backup system, now with remote access and file sharing.

Kaspersky Internet Security This is another top-class security suite. While there is a grade above this called the Pure, we would consider it a bit of a overkill for the basic home user; especially so when you take into consideration the significant increase in price. Besides, the standard Internet security suite will provide you with practically everything that you will ever need to protect your data and is easily one of the best programs you can buy.

Avast Of the free choices, Avast is easily one of the best you can get offering impressive malware-detection scores, a very intuitive and pleasing design and extremely low system drag. While it lacks additional features such as antispam measures, a testing sandbox, a Script shield and a firewall, it can easily stand toe-to-toe with even the likes of Norton and Kaspersky in terms of detection performance.

Feb ‘10 / 39


pure Luxury

Tide Rider If you have a couple of million in cash lying around and have a strong passion for automobiles and the ocean, the Strand Craft 166 was designed just for you

Designed entirely around an automotive theme, the Strand Craft 166 is an uncompromising superyacht that is as outrageous as it is daring. Her low stance, enormous length and curled haunches give this vessel a dynamic aesthetic that is guaranteed to turn heads even in the most well appointed marinas.

Concealed beneath the carbon fibre inlaid foredeck is a sun deck equipped with a large Jacuzzi and a built-in bar. Access is gained through a vertically sliding glass door in the windscreen of the pilot house where there is ample seating for eight guests.

The pilot house opens up to the lounge to provide a smooth transition and connection between the driver and the main guest area, at the same time letting in light from the main windscreen to the spaces below.

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The SC 166 comes with the option of having upholstery made from exclusive Japanese Samurai tread leather. These custom designed leathers are woven from a bulletproof textile made of Vectran fibres. This leather treatment can optionally be carried over to all walls to make it a truly bulletproof yacht.

Completing the specification list, there are five double en-suite staterooms, each equipped with 52-inch Bang & Olufsen TVs, top of the line sound systems, LED mood lighting and an iPad control and information centre from Poets Road to allow you to activate any function from wherever you are on the yacht as well as providing essential information about the running and status of the vessel and its massive engines.

The automotive theme is rich in the SC 166, from the cockpit-like glasshouse on the upper deck to the red leather covered upholstery that adorns large surfaces of the interior. Chrome highlights can be found in every part of the cabin and the walls are treated to a highly polished gunmetal automotive lacer. Brushed aluminium trims the windows and bar area. The hallways are bathed in soft LED spotlighting.

The SC 166 is powered by two MTU 20V4000 M93L 2x5,766hp engines with a Vericor TF50 5,600hp booster engine. It is capable of cruising speeds of 30 knots with a top speed of 40 knots.

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Tech Specs

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SC 166

Loa

50m

Beam

9m

Construction

High Tech Composites

Draught (Loaded)

1.9m

Weight

230 tonnes

Engines

2xMTU 20V4000 M93L

Booster

Vericor TF50

Propulsion

Water Jets Rolls-Royce KAMEWA

Top Speed

~40 knots

Fuel Capacity

35,000L

Freshwater Capacity

5,000L


Following Strand Craft’s automotive tradition, the SC 166 comes equipped with its own custom supercar tender. Created in the same design language as the carrier and equipped with a V8 engine producing 620hp and a top speed of 305kph, the tender ensures you can roll out at your favourite port in ultimate style. Alternatively, you can order your own choice of conveyance to accessorise your yacht – be it a Koenigsegg, Maybach, Lamborghini, Ferrari or even a waterborne tender.

To ensure that the yacht keeps the cleanest possible lines and to contribute to its sleek profile, the flybridge and radar mast can retreat into the skin of the yacht when not in use. Both can be deployed independently of each other and are available only when they are required. Furthermore the stunning yacht features twin concealed entrances, hiding the stairway to the upper aft deck as well as providing access to the garage, bar and lounge areas.

Feb ‘10 / 43


dashboard

Experimental Beast

The Porsche 918 RSR stole the show at NAIAS in Detroit and with good reason

CES 2011 wasn’t the only international show to be held last month. There was also the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which was held in Detroit. While the variety of vehicles was truly impressive, it was this car that stole the show – the Porsche 918 RSR concept. The 918 RSR is a high-end synthesis of Porsche’s 2010 successful hybrid concepts – the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Spyder. It is a true ‘racing laboratory’ featuring an updated V8 engine from the successful RS Spyder race car with an output of 563hp at 10,300rpm. In addition, it features electric motors on the two front wheels that each contributes 75kW, i.e. a total of 150kW, to provide peak drive power of exactly 767hp. With the new 918 RSR ‘racing laboratory’, Porsche is now elevating this motor racing hybrid concept to an experimental level.

The V8 engine is a further development of the direct injection engine from the successful RS Spyder race car and now offers an output of precisely 563hp at 10,300rpm in the 918 RSR

The Source With its highly efficient flywheel accumulator, the 911 GT3 R hybrid racing car proved to be an attention magnet during competition racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, during the American Le Mans Series races (ALMS) in Road Atlanta/USA and the ILMC run in China’s Zhuhai. It demonstrated its massive performance potential under realistic motor racing conditions against top competitors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid, referred to internally as the ‘Race Lab’ actually surpassed the high expectations of Porsche Motorsport. Competitiveness, high reliability and exemplary fuel efficiency combined with top performance underscored the Porsche technicians’ basic idea of generating additional power in an intelligent manner. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid obtains its additional power from its own vehicle dynamics when braking. Porsche is now transplanting this technology into the mid-engine coupé 918 RSR, the motor sports version of the 918 Spyder concept car. 44 / TECH


On the roof are the two aerials for pit radio and telemetry and a discreet air intake between them

The characteristic doors open diagonally upwards just like in the McLaren F1 or the Enzo

The chassis is a light, torsionally stiff carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque

The electric motors on the two front wheels each contribute 75kW, i.e. a total of 150kW, to the peak drive power of exactly 767hp, and offer a torque vectoring function with variable torque distribution to the front axle, increasing agility and improving steering response

Mounted upstream of the rear axle is a six-speed constant-mesh transmission with longitudinally mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur gears that is operated using two shift paddles behind the racing steering wheel The wheel arches house no-profile racing slicks mounted on 19-inch wheels with central locking

FUN FACT The starting number, 22, pays homage to the anniversary of a further triumph. Pilots Dr Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep were the first to cross the finishing line in 1971’s 24-hour classic. The distance record set by their Porsche 917 short-tail coupé – 5335.313 kilometres (3315.21 miles) at an average speed of 222.304km/h (138.13mph) – a record that had remained unbeaten for 39 years until 2010. At the time, the 917 in the Martini colours was also an experiment and far ahead of its time: using a magnesium space frame which set new standards in Porsche’s lightweight construction domain.

Feb ‘10 / 45


Performance Focused In contrast to the 918 Spyder concept car, the RSR’s interior is far more performance oriented. The figure-hugging bucket seat in brown leather holds the driver in place while the gear flashes on the racing steering wheel and a recuperation display on the steering column in front of the display screen supply him with information. Instead of the futuristic, ergonomic centre console with a touch-sensitive user interface from the 918 Spyder, the 918 RSR’s cockpit is split by a minimalistic console with rocker switches and instead of a second seat, the flywheel accumulator is positioned to the right of the console.

Flywheel Accumulator The flywheel accumulator is an electric motor whose rotor rotates at up to 36,000rpm to store rotation energy.The power stored can be used to generate extra power for around eight seconds when the system is fully charged and during acceleration or overtaking manoeuvres and can also be used as a consumption aid depending on the racing situation, for example, to delay pit stops or reduce the fuel tank volume and therefore the weight of the vehicle.

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Here is how the flywheel accumulator works:

Stage 1: When the driver starts braking, the two electric motors on the front axle reverse their function operating as generators converting the car’s forward motion into an electrical current.

Stage 2: Inside the flywheel accumulator is a carbon-fibre flywheel, which revolves inside

Stage 3: At the push of a button, the

Stage 4: The flywheel is braked electro

pilot is able to call up the energy stored in the charged flywheel accumulator and use it during acceleration or overtaking manoeuvres.

a stator. The flywheel is placed in a vacuum and has been loaded with magnetic material to act as a electric motor/generator. When the current generated during braking reaches the flywheel, it increases the flywheel’s rotation speed from an idle state of around 20,000rpm up to a maximum of 36,000rpm, in the process storing electrical energy as kinetic energy.

magnetically in this case in order to additionally supply up to a total of 150kW, from its kinetic energy to the two electric motors on the front axle for up to eight seconds.

Feb ‘10 / 47


gamer’s delight

The Switchblade Experience Razer finally finds the solution to making PC gaming truly portable

T

he primary problem that prevents companies from making PC gaming truly portable is reciprocating the use of a full-fledged keyboard and mouse in a handheld format. But now it seems that Razer has found a solution. By combining adaptive on-the-fly controls and display, Razer has managed to maintain the full tactile keyboard in a miniature computer while saving valuable screen estate.

The new Intel Atom powered concept model, codenamed the ‘Razer Switchblade’, although relatively tiny in size, brings an evocative level of design to gaming by replacing the traditional mouse and keyboard interface with an ultra-sensitive multi-touch screen, dynamic tactile keyboard, and an intelligent user interface that adjusts the configuration and key layout on-the-fly based on game content and user requirements. It even manages to pack in Wi-Fi and 3G for Internet connectivity.

The Razer Switchblade concept was created from the ground up by Razer designers and engineers, in collaboration with Intel, focusing on enhancing the entire user experience of playing the extensive PC game library on a handheld device. Although the Switchblade is currently just a concept design and will not be made available for purchase, Razer will be working with selected partners to design and launch products based on the design. We just can’t wait to get our hands on one.

The seven-inch capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1024x600, is multi-touch capable and is downright gorgeous

Look on the right and you will find the MINI HDMI and AC power input

With compact dimensions of 172x115x25 mm, it has an extremely small form factor and like with other Razer products the styling is second to none

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For Internet connectivity the Switchblade will be Wi-Fi and 3G capable

Under the fancy overlay lies a Windows 7 Operating System

The Switchblade features a sole USB3.0 port on its left

The dynamic tactile keyboard and an intelligent user interface adjusts the configuration and key layout on-the-fly based on game content and user requirements

While Intel and Razer didn’t reveal what was powering the Switchblade, suffice to say it was quite powerful; as far as we know it has the newest incarnation of the Atom and Intel has made strides to modify the architecture to significantly increase the speed of the integrated graphics engine and enhance video performance

Feb ‘10 / 49


The Fighting Edge

Razer finally enters the console market with two of the most anticipated Xbox 360 controllers of CES2011 Razer has introduced two editions of the Onza at this year’s CES, the Tournament and Standard Editions. Both feature Multi-Function Buttons (MFB) on the controller’s shoulders which allow remapping of critical buttons to your fingertips. Not only does this increase efficiency of game control, but aids those with disabilities unable to reach specific functions on a standard controller. Both controllers are also armed with Hyperesponse action buttons, are PC compatible and are equipped with a 15foot cable with a Quick release USB connector for the ultimate pleasure in Xbox gaming. Built for the hardcore competitive gamer, the Razer Onza Tournament Edition takes it a step further with superior customisability with adjustable resistance analogue sticks – meaning nothing stands in your way for exceptional precision. Twist the analogue sticks in one direction to make them more resistant for steadier control, or twist in the opposite direction for quicker, fluid movements. With these your response will be raised to a whole new level. This is one occasion when having elite equipment will truly give you an edge.

Razer Onza

MSRP: USD39.99 (~OMR15.400) Four Hyperesponse action buttons

Precision D-Pad High grip textured surface

15-foot, lightweight cable

Precision D-Pad

Two Multi-Function Buttons (MFB) 15-foot, lightweight, braided fibre cable

Two Adjustable resistance analogue sticks Four backlit Hyperesponse action buttons

Razer Onza TE MSRP: USD49.99 (~OMR19.300)

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Non-slip rubber surface


Go farther than ever before in the thrill of the ultimate GT5 experience with Thrustmaster’s latest racing wheel – the T500 RS

Gran Turismo 5 is easily one of the best console racing simulators available in the market, putting aside its lacklustre visuals (look at our last month’s issue for a full review). To make the best of its technology only the best racing wheel will do. So why look elsewhere when Thrustmaster, a company with more than 20 years of expertise in racing wheels, has just unveiled its latest and best racing wheel just for the game – the T500 RS. Completely optimised for GT5, the T500 RS is as close as it gets to absolute realism without having to spend thousands of dollars. The first thing users will notice when setting it up is its weight: 4.6kg for the wheel and 7.3kg for the pedal set. Another instantly visible feature is the omnipresent use of metal – for the gearshift levers, the wheel’s central spokes section (30cm in diameter) and the pedal set; this is required for a mechanical design with no compromises. The T500 RS carries an MSRP of EUR499.99 (~OMR257.000) and should be available for purchase through various online retailers such as Amazon.

The sequential gearlevers mounted on the base feature large 17cm levers that are constantly accessible without letting go of the wheel. The wheel itself offers a remarkable 1,080-degree rotation. These three full turns are also adjustable, thanks to a motorised stop, allowing the gamer to choose the maximum degree of rotation according to the type of racing circuit and

the car being driven. Force Feedback effects are relayed via a 65W industrial motor, providing 150mNm at 3,000rpm. The feedback mechanism is vigorous, fast-acting and extremely responsive. While the power is potent, the integrated large dual-belt system ensures backlash-free and smooth behaviour. Fans of even the most intense racing experience know that power alone does not

allow them to achieve the best performance. With this in mind, the T500 RS provides total precision which never decreases over time. The T500 RS employs a magnetic sensorbased technology called H.E.A.R.T (HallEffect AccuRate Technology). As a result, the wheel is extremely precise with 16-bit resolution and 65536 values on its steering axis.

Ergonomics was at the heart of the system’s development, with an eye on optimising gameplay, performance and driving sensations. As a result, the spacing and height of the 100 per cent metal pedal set is also fully adjustable, accommodating individual driving preferences by offering two positions: ‘floor-mounted’ F1 style, or ‘suspended’ GT style. The brake pedal has been given extra attention, with reinforced and adjustable resistance that lets users perfectly tailor their braking with precision and which includes a removeable mod. A textured foot rest, also crafted entirely of metal, completes the pedal set. Gamers will notice that having three pedals at their disposal not only enhances the level of realism, but it gives them a taste of what’s to come with the addition of an independent gear stick, which will be available from Thrustmaster in the coming months.

Feb ‘10 / 51


Game Release Calendar February 2011 February 4

February 18

Earthrise

Lego Star Wars III

Publisher: Iceberg Interactive Developer: Masthead Studios Platform(s): PC Genre: MMORPG ESRB Rating: R/P

Publisher: LucasArts Developer: Traveller’s Tales Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, PC, DS Genre: Adventure ESRB Rating: 10 and older

Lord of Arcana

Marvel vs Capcom 3

Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Square Enix Platform(s): PSP Genre: Action ESRB Rating: Mature

Publisher: Capcom Developer: Capcom Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3 Genre: Action ESRB Rating: R/P

Nail’d Publisher: Deep Silver Developer: Techland Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC Genre: Driving ESRB Rating: Everyone 10 and Older

February 11 Test Drive Unlimited 2 Publisher: Namco Bandai Games Developer: Eden Studios Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC Genre: Driving ESRB Rating: Teen

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February 25 Bulletstorm Publisher: EA Developer: People Can Fly Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC Genre: Action ESRB Rating: Mature

Killzone 3 Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Developer: Guerrilla Games Platform(s): PS3 Genre: Action ESRB Rating: R/P


dvd review

As far as sequels go, Afterlife is definitely one of the few worth owning

M

illa Jovovich is back in Afterlife, slicing, dicing and blasting through the masses of undead with her infinite supply of ammunition and bio-enhanced skills. Milla reprises her role as Alice in this fourth instalment of the Resident Evil series with her finite supply of smiles and a new set of friends. Partnering with her is Claire Redfield, played by Ali Carter, who was introduced in the Extinction. Although Ali didn’t have a major role in Afterlife, she was good at what she did, especially the fight sequences. Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller plays the role of Chris Redfield, Claire’s brother.

He has done full justice to this installment. Afterlife is the kind of movie that will be loved by some and hated by others. And for fans of trilogies, Afterlife doesn’t disappoint. It lived up to expectations, especially with the combination of stunning soundtrack that assaults the eardrums and the spine-chilling fight sequences. The movie definitely has a bit of a kick. But for hardcore fans of the game, the movie can and most probably will be disappointing. While there is a bit of fan service in the form of a few famous creatures creeping their way into the movie, it’s almost complete diversion from the actual game’s storyline is the primary culprit. Afterlife is quite entertaining, especially for teenage fans of gore and guns. And although the other men in the movie seem a little dull, Milla and Ali Carter’s fight sequences more than make up for it.

As always, Milla was stunning. There is probably no one else who could play the role of Alice better than her, with her charismatic hardcore action. Milla’s role in the Resident Evil lineage sometimes brings to mind her role as Leeloo in The Fifth Element, where she was partnered against Bruce Willis. Albert Wesker (played by Shawn Roberts), as in the game, is the villain behind all the trouble. Even his performance could easily stand toeto-toe with the performance put up by Milla, complementing her perfectly. Resident Evil 4: Afterlife is director Paul W. S. Anderson’s second in the series of Resident Evil movies. He directed the first in the series.

The best addition in this installment features the figure of the Axeman from the video games. He is an epitome of pain and malice, appearing out of nowhere to attack. The attack leads to a well-paced and thrilling encounter set in a shower room spewing forth water. And the background score is perfect with every swoop of the gigantic axe dripping blood. But there is something missing in the Afterlife – the presence of Sienna Guillory (role of Jill Valentine), Oded Fehr (Carlos Olivera) and the thousands of ravens that feast on infected flesh, from the previous installments. Everything considered, Afterlife doesn’t disappoint and is well worth a watch. Just make sure you have seen the previous instalments first because the movie starts exactly where the last left off, with barely any back story to ease you in.

F EBR U ARY DVD RELEASES Takers 7 February Action | Crime | Thriller

The Runaways 7 February Biography | Drama | Music

Marmaduke 14 February Comedy | Family

Red 14 February Action | Comedy | Crime

Paranormal Activity 2 28 February Suspense | Horror

Feb ‘10 / 53


time zone

Time that swirls ZIIIRO watches present a unique way of reading time

The concept of the ZIIIRO watch is unique – a clock face without hands or markings. ZIIIRO watches have a constantly changing pattern of rings. The rings help in reading time. And it is made even more interesting with the number of colours available. There are no distracting elements in the design. The latest releases are the Gravity and the Mercury. The ZIIIRO Mercury differs from the Gravity in one sense – it doesn’t have an interchangeable clock body. In the Gravity, you have the luxury of changing multiple colour straps to match your clothing by simply removing the clock body from the rubber strap. There is also a snap case on the back of the removable clock body that facilitates battery change, when necessary.

ZIIIRO Gravity

ZIIIRO Mercury With a combination of silicone and metal, the Gravity is a flexible bracelet watch

ZIIIRO Mercury comes in four colours – blackmagenta, black-ocean, silver-magenta and silver-ocean

Mercury does not have an interchangeable clock body

The ZIIIRO Gravity is a model that features an interchangeable clock body that is switchable with multi colour straps, and it comes in six colours – white, red, green, yellow, blue and magenta

It uses a unique way of reading time – the tip of the inner swirl represents the current hour, while the outer swirl displays the minutes, with a continuous gradient movement showing the passage of time

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Resting on a 24mm stainless steel mesh band, it displays time in a simple and unique way, similar to the Gravity, where the tip of the inner swirl represents the current hour and the outer swirl displays the minutes

Tech Specs

ZIIIRO Gravity

ZIIIRO Mercury

Material

Silicone Rubber & Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Water Resistant

30m

30m

Type

Analogue

Analogue

Lens Material

Hardened Mineral

Hardened Mineral

Battery

SR616SW

SR626SW

Wrist Size

15cm and above

15cm and above

Price

EUR110.00 (~OMR57.000)

EUR149.00 (~OMR77.000)

Order online at

www.ziiiro.com/shop


home zone

Cleaning power Dyson DC35 is a power-efficient cordless vacuum cleaner The Dyson DC35 Multi floor, as the name suggests, is a Digital Slim cordless vacuum cleaner that is suitable for multiple floor types – carpet, ceramic, vinyl and wood. An important feature of the DC35 is a detachable long-reach wand and a motorised cleaner head. The DC35 is powered by the Dyson digital motor.

Suitable for all floor types, it uses ultra-fine anti-static carbon fibre brushes to clean hard floors and rotating nylon brushes for carpets

The lithium-ion battery recharges up to three times faster than other batteries and it also releases charge evenly

The Dyson digital motor used in the DC35 is three times faster than the conventional ones, making this a power-efficient cordless vacuum

The DC35 can handle up to 15 minutes of high constant suction in the standard mode, with 13 minutes if the motorised floor tool is attached; and in the maximum power mode it can handle up to six minutes

With the Root Cyclone technology, it ensures that you don’t lose suction power as you vacuum

The DC35 features a detachable long-reach wand made of lightweight aluminium that can reach high up, low down and hard-to-reach gaps

Tech Specs

DC35

Technology

Root Cyclone Technology

Suction Power (Air Watts)

65AW in Max. Mode 28AW in Std. Mode

Bin Capacity

0.34L

Dimensions (HxWxD)

112x23x30cm

Weight

2.25kg

Price

USD299.99 (~OMR115.500) Feb ‘10 / 55


business TEcH

Lightly efficient The DCS7901 is a high performance, light weight chainsaw The DCS7901 is a two-stroke petrol engine-powered chainsaw from Makita. Its AirMaster air filter system is one of the most important features. It comes with an optimum chip exhaust for avoiding jams. It also has an integrated chain brake with a sprocket that can be mounted externally. Mounting the sprocket externally makes it easier to fit the chain and facilitates cleaning of the whole chain area.

With the release of just two steel clips and the removal of the housing cover, the DCS7901 is easy to maintain; the air filter element is held in place by one more clip

As part of its ergonomic design, Makita chainsaws have a safety feature – a chain brake that can be operated manually or activated by inertia

The DCS7901 is simple to start through the semi automatic half-throttle stop

Tech Specs

DCS7901

Power

4.6kW/6.1hp

Displacement

78.5cc

Engine Weight

6.3kg

Fuel Tank Capacity

0.75L

Oil Tank Capacity

0.42L

Sound Pressure Level

113.3dB

Sprocket Nose Bar

50cm

Available at

Gulf Services & Industrial Supplies, 24811238

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The AirMaster filter system traps coarse wood particles in the first chamber, letting only very fine sawdust get through to the second chamber and the filter, thus reducing the amount of servicing intervals

The vibrations of the chainsaw are significantly minimised with the help of heavy-duty steel springs that are unaffected by either oil or petrol

It also has lateral chain tensioning feature


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Choose the correct answer and send in your entries for a chance to win

1. On which of the following sites can you set up your email account?

3. Computer viruses were first discovered in...

a) www.linux.org b) www.gre.org c) www.syvum.com d) www.hotmail.com

a) 1940s b) 1980s c) 1960s d) 1990s

2. Which of the following is not a valid domain name?

2. In which year was the first manned spacecraft launched?

a) www.yahoo.com b) www.yahoo.co.uk c) www.fr.yahoo d) www.yahoo.co.in

a) 1961 b) 1948 c) 1985 d) 1951

Previous quiz answers: 1 – (a) 2 – (b) 3 – (c) 4 – (d)

Please send us your entries by 24th of February for a chance to win a Sony DVD player. Gift courtesy of EMax

Name ___________________________________ Age ______ Mobile ________________________ Email ____________________________________

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Welcome to our ‘TECH Favourites’ section. With these lists we aim to keep you updated with our favourite products in a concise format. Please give us your feedback on the basis of which we can further improve it. pdated

Flat-Panel Displays LG 42LE5500 OMR680.000

This is a 42-inch, full HD, 2MP, LED TV with wireless AV link. It sports four HDMI inputs, Bluetooth and Net Cast.

Philips 46PFL9704 OMR1205.000

Besides the excellent design, this 46-inch LED TV is known for its ‘Ambilight’ technology. It supports various types of multimedia playback and has a three-way hybrid tuner that supports CI+ encryption.

Sharp LC46LE820M OMR999.000

This is a 2MP RGB LED screen with full HD 1080p 46-inch LED TV. It has four HDMI/PC inputs and supports USB DIVX HD.

3D TVs LG 47LX9500 OMR1299.900

3D LED 47-inch screen, THX certified display, Wireless HD streaming, Magic Wand remote control, Internet enabled

Panasonic TH-P50VT20M OMR1265.000

3D Plasma 50-inch, full HD, four HDMI/PC input, THX surround sound, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio

Sony KDL-46HX800 OMR949.900

3D full HD, Dynamic Edge LED backlight, Motionflow PRO 240Hz refresh rate, BRAVIA Engine 3

Samsung UA65C8000 OMR2699.000 3D LED 65-inch screen, full HD, four HDMI/PC input, USB port, Internet TV, 100Hz motion flow

Sharp LC60A77M OMR1359.000

This 60-inch LCD television has a full-HD panel and a pure black filter that reproduces deeper black. It also has STS TruSurround, bass enhancer and RGB backlight system.

Sony KLV40EX710 OMR499.900

This is a 40-inch, full HD, 2MP, edge-lit LED display with 100Hz motion flow. It sports four HDMI inputs, a USB port, P.I.P and Internet TV.

Sony KLV40NX700 OMR549.900

This is a 2MP, full HD 40-inch edge-lit LED TV with 120Hz motion flow. It has four HDMI inputs, Internet TV, Wi-Fi, USB port and P.I.P.

Panasonic THP-50U20M OMR499.900

This is a 2MP, full HD 50-inch TV with a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 and 600Hz sub-field drive. It has three HDMI inputs and an SD card slot.

Samsung UA32C5000 OMR299.000

This is a 32-inch LED TV with a stunning picture quality and a 1080p display. It has two Dolby Digital and DTS decoders for a lush soundscape and includes four HDMI inputs.

SEVEN DAYS EXERCISE T U O H T I W EAK W E N SO MAKE

Players LG BD350 OMR64.900

Full HD 1080p, Dolby Tru HD, USB 2.0, supports DVD, Blu-Ray, CD, DIVX playback

Samsung 3D HT-C6950W OMR330.000

1,330W RMS, full HD 1080p, Bluetooth, iPod dock, Blu-Ray playback, supports DVD, VCD, CD and MP3, Wireless Rear Speaker

Philips HTS-9800W OMR199.000

HDMI Up-Scaling, Wireless Rear Speaker, 800W RMS, 6.1Ch Dolby Digital, supports DVD, VCD, CD, MP3 and DIVX

NB: Due to the ever changing world of technology, prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change on a weekly basis. Please check with your local dealer for updated costs of your favourite gadgets. *All lists are in no particular order and prices are subject to change at the retailer’s discretion

Eecellent range of fitness equipment at fantastic prices!


Netbooks & Ultra Portables HP ENVY 14-1111ee OMR690.000

Laptops

Intel Core i7 720QM processor, 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz, 6GB RAM, 1,024MB VRAM, 500GB HDD, 1,024MB VRAM, 14.5-inch HD LCD, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 digital media reader, 1.3MP web camera

HP ENVY 14-1188ee OMR609.900

Intel Core i7 720QM, 1.6GHz Turbo Boost, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1,024MB VRAM, 500GB HDD, 14.5-inch HD LED screen, DVD super multi drive, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Acer Aspire 5742G-5464G64 OMR289.900

Intel Core i4 460M processor, 2.53GHz CPU speed, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, 15.6-inch LCD, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera, NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 420M

HP Pavilion dV6-3171SE OMR414.900

Intel Core i7 720QM processor, 1.6GHz CPU speed, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1,024MB VRAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6-inch full-HD LCD, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 digital media reader, 1.3MP web camera

Asus G51J OMR799.900

Intel Core i7 720QM, 1.6GHz Turbo Boost, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 640GB HDD, 1GB VRAM, 15.6-inch HD Glare LED, DVD multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Dell Alienware M17-ALNW-0068 OMR1217.900

Intel Core i7 820QM processor, 1.73GHz CPU speed, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 17-inch HD WLED screen, DVD super multi drive, 1GB dedicated graphics, Wireless, Bluetooth, card reader, 1.3MP web camera

Packard Bell TM86-JO-103AC OMR314.900

Intel Core i5 430M processor, 2.26GHz CPU speed, 4GB DDR2 RAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD LED LCD, DVD super multi DL drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 card reader, 1.3MP web camera

Apple MacBook Air OMR584.900

Intel Core 2 Duo, 1.4GHz CPU speed, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 11-inch LED, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, built-in insight video camera

Toshiba QOSMIO X500-14H OMR955.000

Intel Core i7 7,400QM Processor, 1.73GHz CPU speed, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1.5GB VRAM, 1,500GB HDD, 18.4-inch full HD screen, Blu-Ray disc rewriteable, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Toshiba Satellite L655-19J OMR399.000

Intel Core i5 460M processor, 2.5GHz CPU speed, 3GB RAM, 1GB VRAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD LED screen, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Asus 1201N OMR199.900

Intel Atom processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB HDD, 12.1-inch LED display, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Dell 3250-STREAK-0137 OMR240.000

Qualcomm Snapdragon 3250 processor, 1GHz CPU speed, 512MB RAM, 16GB storage, five-inch WVGA, Bluetooth, 5MP web camera

Samsung NF110-A0 OMR154.900

Intel Atom processor N455, 1.66GHz CPU speed 2GB RAM, 250GB SATA HDD, 10.1-inch WSVGA, 1.3MP web camera

Sony Vaio VPCW219 OMR247.900

Intel Atom processor N470, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 10.1-inch WXGA LCD, 3-in-1 card reader, built-in 3G modem

Apple iPad OMR314.900

9.7-inch LED backlit screen, 1GHz processor speed, 16GB RAM, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology

Computer Accessories Microsoft Arc Keyboard OMR21.900

2.4GHz Wireless keyboard, stowable nano transceiver, battery life indicator, lightweight and compact

Life Cam HD6000 OMR22.900

720p HD-quality video at 30fps, auto focus, TrueColour Technology, Notebook design with 360 degree lens rotation

WD TV Live Hub OMR99.900

With 1TB capacity, users can centralise video, music and photos, and play full-HD 1080p video on HD TVs throughout their home

Linksys Router WRT610N OMR75.900

Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router, WEP, WPA and WP2 security features, three internal antennas for each 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio band

GoFlex Pro 500GB OMR39.900

Features USB 2.0 plug-and-play connectivity, illuminated capacity gauge, 500GB portable drive, 1 x Serial ATA-300 interface


Cameras Leica DLUX-4 Special Edition OMR360.000

The D-Lux 4 is a premium compact digital camera featuring a new ten-megapixel sensor with more light-sensitive area on each pixel, a 24-60mm wide-angle optical zoom lens, and RAW shooting capability.

Sony DSC-TX9 OMR184.900

This is a 12.1-megapixel, 4x optical zoom camera. It comes with a 3.5-inch LCD screen. It has HD movie capture capability and an EXMOR CMOS sensor.

Casio EX-Z550 OMR79.500

The EX-Z550 offers a longer 4x ultra-wide zoom with intelligent modes. It can record HD movies in 720p detail. It has a 14.1-megapixel sensor and a 2.7-inch TFT colour LCD.

Canon IXUS-1000 OMR152.900

This is a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, three-inch LCD camera with 10x optical zoom. It comes in a compact, stylish metal body with smart auto and smart FE functions. Super Slow Motion Movie captures video at 240fps.

Panasonic FT2 OMR166.500

The FT2 is waterproof (up to 10m), dustproof, freezeproof (up to -10 degrees Celsius) and shockproof (up to 2m). It has a 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x optical zoom.

Olympus mju9000 OMR79.000

The mju9000 features a 12-megapixel sensor, a 10x zoom lens equivalent to 28-280mm, and a 2.7-inch wide-view monitor. It also has a robust yet compact body.

Samsung ST1000 OMR119.900

This has built-in GPS, GEO Tagging technology, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The camera has a recycling bin, preventing the accidental deletion of photos. It has a 5x optical zoom lens with a resolution of 12 megapixels.

Samsung ST500 OMR79.900

This is a 12.2-megapixel, 4.6x optical zoom camera. It comes with a three-inch LCD screen. It has HD movie capture capability and image stabilisation.

Fuji Real 3D W3 OMR249.900

This is a 10-megapixel, 3.5-inch LCD 3D camera with 3.0x optical zoom. It lets you shoot high resolution 3D photos and movies.

Fuji XP10 OMR89.900

This is a 12-megapixel, 2.7-inch LCD camera with 5x optical zoom. It is waterproof, freeze proof, dust proof and shock proof.

Camcorders Panasonic HDC-SDT750 OMR485.000

Full HD 1080/60p progressive movie recording, advanced 3MOS System, Intelligent Auto function, Hybrid OIS

Sony HDR-XR550 OMR509.900

12 megapixel resolution, 10x optical zoom, Exmor R CMOS sensor, 240GB HDD, Image Stabiliser, 3.2-inch LCD screen

Canon LEGRIA HFM36 OMR339.000

8GB dual flash memory, relay recording, easy HD shooting, 2.7-inch touch-screen LCD, Dynamic OIS and Powered IS

Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5K OMR89.900

5MP resolution, CMOS sensor, three-inch LCD screen, HD Video 1920x1080, built-in USB, 270 degree swivel lens

Sanyo XACTI-CG10 OMR64.900

10 megapixel resolution, 5x optical zoom, digital image stabiliser, 720p HD videos, threeinch LCD screen

DSLRS & Micro Four-Thirds Sony a 500 OMR259.900

12.3 megapixel, three-inch LCD screen, Live View mode, nine-point auto focus, 5fps, plus 18-55mm lens

Nikon D300S OMR639.900

12.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor, 51-point auto focus, three-inch super-density VGA LCD monitor

Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 OMR2329.900 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, 10fps shooting, three-inch Clear View LCD, HD video recording

Olympus EPL1 OMR330.000

2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD, computerised focalplane shutter, interchangeable lens system

NB: Due to the ever changing world of technology, prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change on a weekly basis. Please check with your local dealer for updated costs of your favourite gadgets. *All lists are in no particular order and prices are subject to change at the retailer’s discretion


Phones BlackBerry Bold 9700 OMR229.900

iPod Docks Boston Acoustic IDS3 OMR183.000

This handset boasts of a sleeker design than its predecessors and includes an optical trackpad and a brilliant display. This smartphone is 3G capable and offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a 3.2MP camera.

IPod/iPhone compatible, wireless subwoofer, 100W RMS

Samsung I9000 Galaxy S OMR247.900

Dock and Play, recharge for iPod, video output for iPod Video, wall-mountable

Samsung’s latest smartphone is Android-powered and boasts of an AMOLED touch-screen. It includes a 5MP camera with autofocus, HSDPA Internet connectivity, and 8GB storage. It supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Motorola Milestone OMR199.000

Milestone has a full QWERTY keyboard with five-way navigation keys, multi-touch, high resolution screen. It is a smartphone that is Android-powered, with a 5MP camera with dual flash.

Nokia NK C7 OMR141.900

The Nokia C7 comes with AMOLED capacitive touch-screen. It sports an 8MP full focus camera, dual LED flash, 680MHz processor and supports Bluetooth v3.0.

Altec Lansing M602 OMR84.900

Logic3 iStation Studio OMR49.900

iPod dock, 40W RMS, Line-in connection, AM/FM radio, clock display

Bose Sound Dock-10 OMR249.900

iPod and iPhone dock, recharge and play, remote control, audio input

iHome Studio Series OMR89.900

Speakerphone stereo system for iPhone/ iPod, features Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station, Class-D amplifier technology

Samsung S8530 Wave II OMR179.900

It sports a 3.7-inch super clear capacitive touch screen, 5MP camera, ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP.

MP3 Players Samsung SGH S5620 OMR72.900

With A-GPS support, the handset is filled with additional features like the one-finger zoom, accelerometer sensor, image editor, a 3.2MP camera, geo-tagging and smile detection. Video recording is also possible.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro U8 OMR148.900

This phone sports a 3.2-inch touch-screen. It sports a 5MP camera and comes with internal memory of 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM. It also supports Bluetooth, WLAN, GPS, A-GPS and Geotagging.

Sony Ericsson U10i Classic OMR113.900

This smartphone sports an 8MP camera, three-inch touch-screen with a resolution of 240x432 pixels. In addition, it has Wi-Fi, A-GPS, 3G support and stereo Bluetooth.

Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro (U201) OMR128.900

This smartphone sports a 5MP camera with auto focus, QWERTY keypad, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This phone runs on Android OS 1.6 and has a 600MHz processor.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 OMR216.900

With a TFT resistive touch-screen and full QWERTY keypad, this mobile sports an 8MP camera, an LED flash, 110MB storage, 256MB RAM and Qualcomm MSM 7200 528MHz processor.

Creative Zen Mozaic EZ300 OMR32.900

4GB, 1.8-inch video screen, built-in FM radio, voice recorder, picture viewer, built-in speaker

Apple iPod Nano 5G OMR86.500

16GB, VoiceOver gesture-based screen reader, 1.54-inch (diagonal) colour TFT display, Live Pause feature

Sony Zappin NWZ-W252 OMR36.900

2GB, high speed connectivity, built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, water-resistant

Apple iPod Touch OMR103.000

8GB, 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen, multi-touch display, 720p HD video capture, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

Creative Zen MX OMR49.900

8GB, 2.5-inch 320x240 resolution display, integrated SDHC port


Air Conditioners Whirlpool AMD-333 OMR139.900

This 1.5-ton capacity split air conditioner is a super tropical model that can withstand temperature up to 52 degree Celsius. It comes with a LED on the front panel.

Samsung AS18UU OMR185.500

Samsung’s latest 1.5-ton capacity split air conditioner is best known for its antivirus plasma filter and silver nano health system.

General ASG18-HTR OMR253.900

This 1.5-ton split air conditioner comes with a Blue Fin coated condenser, silver nano health system, hyper tropical compressor, deo air filter and a plasma pure filter.

Samsung AWT18WHBM OMR118.500

Samsung’s 1.5-ton window air conditioner with a rotary compressor has a digital temperature control, anti-corrosion body, fuzzy logic feature and a silver nano health system.

Panasonic CS/CUC18KKF OMR180.000

With power cooling at 55 degree Celsius, this 1.5-ton capacity air conditioner has a Blue Fin coated condenser and an Eco sensor/ plasma filter.

LG E2463PP OMR381.000

This is a two-ton capacity Art Cool air conditioner with a three-way air flow system. It comes with a slim design and a picture panel frame.

Electrolux ESSD-18 OMR127.900

This 1.5-ton window air conditioner has a reciprocating compressor with a digital temperature control and smooth air flow. It also has washable filters.

Hitachi RAN-209CP OMR132.900

This 1.5-ton window air conditioner has a high energy-efficient compressor with a super quite air flow. There is a symmetric twin flow air discharge, washable filters and a rotary compressor.

Toshiba RAS-18SKP OMR198.900

With a compact design and precise operation, Toshiba’s SKP series has a seven-layer air filter that cleans pollutants from the air. It operates at an extremely low 20 decibels in quiet mode.

Sanyo SA186M5 OMR116.900

Sanyo’s 1.5-ton window air conditioner is a low noise design with a rotary compressor and comes with an anti-bacteria filter. It is easy to clean and allows smooth air flow.

Offers

Service

Refrigerators LG GR-762-DEPF OMR288.900 760l capacity, double doors, frost free, tempered glass shelves, multi air flow

Toshiba GRY-70TS OMR229.900 680l capacity, double door, frost free, hybrid plasma technology, twist ice tray, insulated wired shelves

Samsung RR82WE+RZ80EE OMR589.500 620l capacity, digital display and control, child lock, double doors, BRITA filtered water dispenser

Samsung RS-20CRHS OMR299.500 560l capacity, multi air flow system, nano silver anti bacteria deodoriser, temperature sensor technology

Sharp SJF80P OMR579.000 724l capacity, bottom freezer/deodoriser, tempered glass shelves, express ice making, door alarm, LED display

Washing Machines Toshiba AW-1160/70 OMR126.900

9.5kg capacity, six wash programmes, memory option, digital display, water level selection, child lock

Ariston EXT-1400EX OMR369.000

11.5kg capacity, 13 programmes/1,400rpm, easy iron, mini load, child lock, temperature control

Panasonic NAF-11TY OMR166.400

11kg capacity top load washer, eight programmes, foam wash, fuzzy logic, Aqua Beat technology

Samsung WF-8692SFU OMR144.500

7kg capacity front load washer, 11 wash programmes, 1,200rpm, delay start, child lock, temperature selection NB: Due to the ever changing world of technology, prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change on a weekly basis. Please check with your local dealer for updated costs of your favourite gadgets. *All lists are in no particular order and prices are subject to change at the retailer’s discretion

Emax


Microwaves & Ovens Samsung CE1031 OMR58.500

This is a 28L convection microwave oven with a ceramic enamel interior and six power levels for cooking. With 900W output power it has a Steam Clean system that exploits the power of steam to cut through grease in minutes.

Samsung CE137N OMR95.500

A 36l oven with 800W microwave output power and 1,540W grill power, Samsung’s latest family-size combi steam oven has six power levels for cooking. It also has auto steam cook and auto power defrost.

Samsung CQV513S OMR184.500

A 36L oven with 800W microwave output power and 1,540W grill power, Samsung’s family-size combi steam oven has six power levels for cooking. It also has auto steam cook and auto power defrost.

Elekta EBRO-444HP OMR28.900

This is a 43L capacity electric oven with five stages of heating selector. It comes with two hot plates, with 500 and 800W power, respectively. It has a temperature selector between zero and 250 degrees Celsius.

Vacuum Cleaners Philips FC-8146 OMR48.900

1,800W power, bagless, HEPA filter, special parquet nozzle with soft brush hairs, 300W suction power

Panasonic MC-CJ905 OMR78.600

6.2L bag capacity, Anti bacteria filter, FOURspeed control, 2,000W power

Samsung SD9420 OMR69.500

Aquatic canister vacuum cleaner, 2l dust capacity, HEPA 12 filter, two-step brush, steel telescopic pipe, bagless

Karcher SV1802 OMR230.000

Steam vacuum cleaner, four suction settings, five steam-flow settings, coarse dirt filter, foam filter, HEPA filter

Hoover V091PB OMR73.400

2,400W vacuum cleaner, variable power control, washable central HEPA exhaust filter, 3.25l dust capacity

GE GMOH30UCPSS OMR56.900

A 30L convection microwave/grill with electronic touch control, GE’s latest in this series has time and weight defrost feature and express cook. It has a 1,000W grill power and 900W microwave power.

LG MC-9287 OMR99.900

The LG WaveDOM series microwave oven is 60 per cent bigger on the inside than conventional microwaves. It comes with in-built auto cooking software and a digital clock-enabled grill system.

LG MS-2349H OMR27.900

This is a 23L microwave oven with 800W power output. It has automatic cooking, defrost and timer settings.

Panasonic NN-CD997S OMR149.900

With a 42L oven capacity, three stage memory, delay start, and two level shelf cooking, Panasonic’s exclusive Inverter technology offers real power level control.

Black & Decker TRO2000 OMR16.200

Domestic Appliances Tefal Actifry OMR87.900

1,400W power, digital display, only one spoon of oil for 1kg of crispy chips, easy basket handling

Black & Decker FX800 OMR30.900

800W power food processor, 2.3l processing bowl, 1.7l blender, five speeds plus pulse

Philips Steam Iron GC4491 OMR32.900

2,400W output power for 40g steam, 350ml water tank capacity, scratch-proof, durable Anodilium soleplate

Philips HR2094 OMR35.500

This is a 1,380W toaster oven that features a 19L capacity. It comes with an adjustable timer, a wire rack and a food tray handle. It also has a removable crumb tray for easy crumb disposal.

750W power, 2l with serrated blades for superior blending and crushing, smoothie making, illuminated switch

Black & Decker TRO60PB OMR40.400

Westinghouse Set WKCPNE03 OMR18.900

This 42l electric oven has 1,800W input power. The oven comes with temperature control and a timer. It also has a function selector and a power indicator lamp, along with shelf supports.

For a copy of TECH on your desk, call 95413571

1.25l coffee maker with non-drip valve, twoslice toaster with 32mm wide mouth slot, 1.7l cordless water kettle


PSP 3000 + 2 Games OMR75.500

Gaming Consoles

This current version of the PlayStation Portable has a built-in microphone and a better screen that is even able to resist glare and so works better outdoors.

Nintendo DSi XL OMR107.300

This is Super Mario Bro.’s 25th Anniversary Edition. The DSi XL is the longest, widest and heaviest of the DS models and features two 4.2inch screens.

XBOX 360 250GB OMR135.000

With a stylish design, the internal 250GB hard drive allows you to save games and content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It has builtin 802.11n Wi-Fi and 5.1 surround sound.

Logitech G13 OMR42.800

The GamePanel LCD in this gaming keyboard keeps you informed of the game stats and other vital information to help you claim victory. It includes programmable G-keys that let you create macros on the fly.

Logitech G19 OMR85.800

With a colour GamePanel LCD and 12 programmable G-keys, this gaming keyboard supports multi-key input and has two high-speed USB 2.0 ports.

Logitech G27 OMR160.000

Logitech racing wheels and flight controllers simulate remarkable realism. Force feedback lets you feel every slip of the tyre, every shudder of the wing and the controls feel like the real thing.

Logitech G9X OMR48.200

The G9X Laser mouse ramps up to 5,000dpi and boasts a customisable grip and weighting system. It also has customisable LED lighting and uses Teflon feet to ensure smooth gliding over difficult or dusty surfaces.

PS3 Slim 320GB+2 Joysticks OMR 185.900

The PlayStation 3 returns with more capacity than ever (320GB), and has lower power consumption. It supports media streaming and its drive allows you to play Blu-Ray movies as well.

PlayStation Move Starter Pack OMR28.500

The Move is broken into three parts: the ‘Motion Controller’, the ‘Navigation Controller’ and the ‘PlayStation Eye Camera’. The Motion Controller contains built-in motion sensors.

Nintendo Wii Sports Resort Pack OMR94.400

The fastest selling console in history just got better. The Wii now sells its Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus accessory bundled into the console package at an extremely competitive price.

Our Current Top 5 Recommended Games Call of Duty: Black Ops OMR28.900

Publisher: Activision Developer: Treyarch Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC, DS, Wii Genre: Action ESRB Rating: R/P

Gran Turismo 5 OMR26.900

Publisher: Sony Developer: Polyphony Digital Platform(s): PS3 Genre: Driving ESRB Rating: R/P

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit OMR28.900

Publisher: EA Developer: Criterion Games Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC Genre: Driving ESRB Rating: Everyone ten and older

StarCraft 2 – Wings of Liberty OMR25.700 Publisher: Blizzard Developer: Blizzard Platform(s): PC Genre: Strategy ESRB Rating: Teen

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm OMR18.900 Publisher: Blizzard Developer: Blizzard Platform(s): PC Genre: RPG ESRB Rating: R/P

NB: Due to the ever changing world of technology, prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change on a weekly basis. Please check with your local dealer for updated costs of your favourite gadgets. *All lists are in no particular order and prices are subject to change at the retailer’s discretion


Company

Product

Showroom

Service Dept.

Al Khalili Group

Acer

Wadi Kabir 24816303

24816303

Bahwan Electornics

Asset, Carrier, Ignis, Napro, Toshiba, Seiko, Casio, Titan, Sony Ericsson, Tempstar, Cooline, Corning, Print electronics, Dolphin, Benq, Ausonia, Daewoo, VIP, Dometic, Corby

Ruwi 24796629/32

24501965 / 66

Jawahir Oman

Bang & Olufsen

Qurm 24563213

24563213

Belltel

Nokia

Ruwi 24798222

24798222

Genetco

Sanyo, Videocon , Fujitsu, Thomson, York, Yamaha, Canon , HAAS, AEG, Sure, Caravell, Gulf Star, Safari, Admiral, Francia, Mitsubishi, Marc Climatic, Vortice, Guntner, Zanussi , Ziegra Imesa, Bitzer , Manitowoc, Bremer, Dito- Electrolux, Metro , Taylor, Costan

Al Qurum 24568806 Al Qurum 24561948 Muttrah 24713138 Ruwi 24830919 Seeb 24422797 Shatti al Qurum 24693292

24503653

HiTec Centre

Boston Accoustics, Denon, Leica, Polk Audio

Azaiba 24497384

24497384

Jumbo Electronics

Sony, VAIO, Sony professional Products, Blackberry, Supra, Midea Air-conditioners, Casio, Brother Sewing Machines, Acer, HP, Dyson, Gorenje

MBD 24818358, Al Araimi 24565845 QCC 24470529, Salalah 23291984

Wadi Kabir 24814815, 24814751, Fax 24815267

Khimji Luxury

Krups, Moulinex

Ruwi 24796161

99881627

K R Household

O General, Siemens

Wadi Kabir 24813333

24814793

MHD

Fagor, Pioneer

Ruwi 24732440

24732440

Meta Galaxy

Hitachi

Ruwi 24503653

24503653

Muscat Electronics

Daikin, Ricoh, Sony Professional products, Chigo, Sansui, JBL

Ruwi 24702982

24813408

Mustafa Sultan Electronics (MSE)

Samsung, Haier, Philips, Nevica, Whirlpool

Al Khuwair 24636015

Wadi Kabir 24818018

Oman International Electronics & Trading Co.

Bose, Nec, JVC

Qurm 24565490

24830606

Oman Trading Est.

Bosch, LG, Palson, TCL, Prolux, Promate, Pearl, Souq Technia, GHanz, White Westinghouse, Hostess, Kenstar,

Ruwi 24834162 Al Araimi 2456148, 24810522

24810522, 24810156, 80075545

Omasco

Raymond Weil, Kolber, Westar, Alba, Maxima, HMT, Panasonic, Xper, Aftron, Black&Decker, GE

Qurm, 24564310 Ruwi 24833630

24560232

OMASCO - System Solutions

Panasonic

24565696

24565696

Sarco

Samsung, Frigidaire, Technoflame

Ruwi

Ghala 24593025

Sayed Bin Nasser Al Hashar

Ariston, Rinnai, Voltas, JBL, Kirloskar, Kardex, Lexmark

Ruwi 24700571 Ruwi 24706004, 24796007 Ruwi High Street 24834460 Salalah 23291405, Sohar 26840763 Sur 25544613

24704494

24702555

24702555

24700883

Oman Modern Electronics Co.

Sharp, JBL, Mastergas, Harman/Kardon, Onida, Nikai,

Shah Nagardas Manji Co.

Kodak, Olympus, Yashica, Cokin, Case Logic, Ruwi , Qurm 24562656 Lexar, Noritsu, Durst, Bushnell, Eiki, Iriver, Lulu Baushe 24593806, Steiner, Tasco, White Westinghouse, Igloo, Nizwa 25410184 Venus, Russel Hobbs, Addis, Noritake, Ocean, Wenger,

Emax

Multibrand

MCC 24558062, Fax 24558063

Technical Trading Co.

Westinghouse

Ruwi 24703515, Fax 24700010

Photocentre

Amano, Archivtechnik Kunze, Unomat Intl., Broncolor, Delkin Devices, Fuji Film, Epson, Green Clean, Hama, Hasselbald, Marumi, Mitsubishu Electric, Peli, Sigma, Sinar

Qurm 24565305 Al Khuwair 24479296

P&G

Brawn, Oral-B

24815474

Salman Store

Seb, Janome, Coolex

24799332

Abu Hani

La Germania, Starway, Westar, Starline, Tatung

24495141

Jashanmal

Mytag, Hoover

24702312

Loay

Macintosh, Benq, Epson, Sokkia, Acer

24708795

24708845

Al Moayyed Integrated Enterprise

Daewoo Electronics

24488795

24488795

If you would like to be listed, e-mail: tech@deenarmedia.com

24491327

Feb ‘10 / 65


Inviting your presence in Oman's only builder's digest

A GUIDE TO ALL BULIDING NEEDS IN OMAN

Deenar Press and Publishing LLC PO Box 139, PC 102, Al Qurm Sultanate of Oman O: +968 24696868, F: +968 24693569 E: info@deenarmedia.com For advertising and company listing information, contact Terry, 97304442


Professional chain saw with ergonomic designed body


Systems for Dentists


TECH Issue 10  

Light of the Future, February 2011

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