Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Of Playbooks and Plays

Delhi provides a fascinating advantage for me that Mumbai does not... Resourceful friends :-) That apart .... getting my hands on the new Blackberry playbook was easier than I expected. Now being an iPad owner as well, I was immediately taken aback by the size difference.The playbook is almost 2/3 rds the size of my iPad and size wise, almost put me off at the first glance.

But what surprised me the most was the OS that powered this unassuming little thing. QNX developed by a Canadian Software firm was one of the most delightful mobile operating systems I had ever used up to date...I have jostled with Andriod, iOS, Symbian, Linux and Windows and therefore can proudly say that I am well aware of the pros and cons that each of them has to offer....

The ring-master is a dual-core, 1GHz TI OMAP processor that's efficiently caressed and used by the QNX OS. QNX is a decidedly efficient and water-tight operating system that fuels everything from alien-space ships to, well, little black tablets...

A five megapixel camera juts out the back, while a three megapixel module handles front-facing duties. That later is tucked under the glass and situated just above the seven-inch, 1,024 x 600 display that will threaten neither rods nor cones when on maximum brightness. It does, however, deliver lovely clarity and good viewing angles.

Graphics are taken care of by a PowerVR design, which quite handily offloads video decoding and gaming acceleration from the processor, enabling this thing to decode and display 1080p video over HDMI while still crawling along quite smoothly and running productivity apps on the seven-inch display. Not a hint of dithering or pixelation, of course. Apps load quickly, tend to be impressively responsive, and switching from one to the next is effortless.

To switch from one app to the next you can swipe inward from the left or the right, which pops the app out of full-screen and lets you move forward or back in the queue. A tap then maximizes your new favorite app. Or, a swipe up from the bottom gives you an even higher-level view of your running apps, which you can again zing your way through. Grabbing one and throwing it upward sends it to the garbage collector, or you can tap the tiny X that appears next to its name.

It's something of a serious tablet when compared to the competition running software from Apple and Google and, while it certainly has games, its biggest strengths are rather more boring. It does a really great job at displaying PowerPoint presentations, for example, and has the security chops to keep last quarter's dismal sales figures from falling into the wrong hands....

An impressive battery life of upto 7 hours (my iPad beats that...10 hours hahahahahaha ) lets it do its thing.

Over all, a great thing to pair with your blackberry handset (I do not have one Sob !!! :-( Symbian Zindabad !!!) but I managed to get hold of a friend who has one and used the impressive BRIDGE feature...

All in all....a nice little treat....(I stole adoring glances at it while it was tucked away in my bag :-) )

Now talking about plays..... (Again...thank you Delhi :-) )...

If you ever can (unlike me who had front row passes *gloating laugh* ) watch Frankenstein by Danny Boyle....It is in one word STUNNING !!!!!!!!!!!!

The use of technology to bring the stage to life is absorbing, riveting and super to say the least....

Cumberbatch (top left) alternates roles with Lee Miller (Top right) in Boyle's production who play both Frankenstein and the monster. The stage adaptation is a far cry from Mary Shelly's novel that I had received for standing first in class VI (lol)

Miller, however, strikes me as the more disturbing and poignant monster, while Cumberbatch undoubtedly has the edge as the scientist.

Danny Boyle's extraordinarily haunting production is set on the notion of alternating the two leading actors in the roles of Frankenstein and his brilliant handiwork.The role-reversal makes deep thematic sense because it highlights the irony whereby the son becomes the father, the slave the master.

It is a hell of a production. This taut, thrilling play runs to its awful conclusion without an interval, indeed with hardly a moment for breath.

I nearly fell out of my seat at the shock bridal-chamber scene. Twice.

As for now, I am recovering from the shock of having seen a masterpiece and twiddling away at the playbook with my thumbs...

Not often that you get to see the Playbook and a play based on a book all in the same time span, do you?? :-)

CIAO all :-)

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