A perfect point-and-shoot device to gift

Why not gift a good camera that is built to last to your relative, friend or colleague. He or she would like to receive a highly functional and sturdy camera with a resilient body.

For slightly rough usage, a camera that is both water resistant and shockproof will be a perfect choice. In effect, it will make an ideal companion on trips to muddy hiking trails, sandy beaches, and even underwater adventures. If you can afford, you can certainly consider gifting a camera that is perfect for those tough moments in life.

Let us check the worth of Canon PowerShot D10 as a gifting option. It pitches itself directly against Olympus’ Tough range. In fact, the PowerShot D10 is Canon’s first native underwater camera. It comes with optional longer straps and a super-strong wrist leash.

Also, the Canon’s tough, funky chassis keeps it safe from water as far as 33 feet deep and even from a four feet fall. It can deliver some great imagery. The issue with many rugged cameras is the picture quality. D10 seems to have all the basic components of a comprehensive camera, as is the feature of other Canon’s PowerShot models.

Basic specs are a 12.1 megapixel CCD imager, a 3x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, and Canon’s latest DIGIC IV processing. The extended battery life, which lasts up to 190 shots at single charge, is another big plus. This definitely makes it a great choice outdoor shoots.

As proclaimed, it is waterproof, freezeproof as well as shockproof. It carries an accurate autofocus. However, its 3x zoom along with a 2.5” display is not really high-end for cameras. But if you want to gift just a point-and-shoot device, its comprehensive range of different scene modes make Canon D10 at a price tag of Rs 20,995 a good choice.

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Gift a feature-rich mouse to a successful student

If you are looking to gift something interesting to a successful student, who has come out with the flying colors in the SSC examinations, a computer mouse would just be perfect! The tech savvy youth sure would love to do away with his/ her old mouse. Here, we suggest some good picks.

Microsoft has come up with a portable mouse. The Arc Mouse is an industrial design innovation, so to say, as it folds up like your flip phone. This feature makes it a perfect accessory to stow away in a laptop bag. It wirelessly connects to PC or laptop via a USB micro-transceiver.

The Arc Mouse can efficiently work even from as far as 30 feet. You will be better off going with a Bluetooth-connected mouse, if empty USB ports are scarce on notebook, something that you need to check with the person whom you wish to gift it. Thankfully, there is no complicated installation involved.

In case the recipient would like to customize the left and right buttons on it, the free software known as Intellipoint available on Microsoft’s website, can be of help. Or one can simply tweak some Mouse properties from Window’s PC options menu too. The mouse motion is decent with Arc – no jiggling cursor or those jumping around movements.

The Arc Mouse has a laser sensor, which smoothly tracks along across many surfaces like cloth and hard paper. Just to mention, it has a slight design flaw. The back button on its left side could have been a potentially useful one. However, it becomes difficult to reach owing to its positioning on the left side.

A battery status indicator is present between the left and right click buttons. Microsoft claims that the Mouse will work for over six months on just two AAA batteries, so the battery life is good. The Arc Mouse is available at around at Rs 3,000.

It truly fits the definition of a versatile and reliable pointing device for both laptop and desktop users. Other features that make it attractive are functional design and glossy paint finish with rubberized sides and underside. On the flip side, wireless transceiver consumes a precious USB port.

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Successful students deserve a pat and a nice gift

HSC, ICSE and SSC (Maharashtra board) results have just been declared,. Successful students from your neighborhood, or in your family who have passed with flying colors deserve a pat on the back and also a gift in appreciation of their achievement. One of your office colleague or key client’s son or daughter may have done exceedingly well. Take this opportunity to appreciate their efforts with knowledge based books gifts ill help them in their further studies and personality development will be a perfect choice.

Macmillan’s Knowledge books
Macmillan India publishes a wide range of research based books and academic books for purpose of reference and research. Their publications are recommended for schools, colleges, individual and corporate buyers. Macmillan has on offer topical and general encyclopedias that feature the most reliable and updated information with attractive illustrations, photos, maps, charts, lists and tables.

‘Essential Encyclopedia’, ‘Philip’s Millennium Encyclopedia’, ‘Nature Encyclopedia’ and ‘Science and Technology Encyclopedia’ are some of the knowledge and information based offerings from the reputed publishing house.

The Ultimate Trivia Encyclopedia
‘15,003 Answers: The Ultimate Trivia Encyclopedia’ (Random House Reference Publishing), a revised, new version of the popular title‘10,000 Answers’, is an enchanting trivia encyclopedia that comprises ultimate entertaining and engaging facts. It offers umpteen little-known facts that students will simply love savoring!

Interesting and off-beat titles
‘Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body’ by Neil Shubin (Pantheon Books) is a lively, thoroughly engrossing chronicle of evolutionary history, which unearths the startling secrets behind why we look or behave the way we tend to.

‘Maps: Finding Our Place in the World’ by author James Akerman is a must-have volume for inquisitive minds that challenges them to stretch conventional thought about what exactly constitutes a map. It discusses many different ways for understanding graphically the environment in which we exist.

‘Lonely Planet Gap Year Book’ is a one-stop guide for 18- to 25-year-olds who wish to take time off from studies and career only to travel. It comprises handy regional maps and continent overviews that reveal the best routes as well as must-see attractions. It also imparts essential information on pre-trip planning.

Inspirational gifts for successful SSC students

At a delicate stage of their life as well as their career, successful SSC students sure need a few words of advice as well as some highly useful practical and general knowledge. It will stand them in good stead as they are getting ready for the challenges ahead.

Books and publications that greatly help and guide them in the whole process will make the most Inspirational gift. Sean Covey has written several inspirational and resourceful books that will impart them with a new way of thinking.

‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens’ and ‘Daily Reflections for Highly Effective Teens’  is a must read for ambitious children. In the bestselling tradition of ‘Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul’, this useful guide talks loudly and convincingly to teenaged audiences and informs them about universal principles that are certain to enhance their effectiveness and help them in their future decision making process.

‘The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll ever Make: A Guide for Teens’ by the same author provides in-depth guidance and practical solutions to six major challenges every teenager faces.

Mention must also be made of The Competition Success Review (CSR), a publication that has promoted and stuck to the concept of positive thinking. It mentions: “The idea of success is so deeply embedded with the ethos of CSR that the reader is motivated to focus on the goal and put in his best. You dream success; you live success and ultimately achieve it.”

Staying tuned to the changing times CSR offers an outlet to the changing world. CSR yearbook and other General Knowledge (GK) books – a rich database of general knowledge – make a thoughtful gift for the career-minded students who are on the verge of entering a new challenging world. On the other hand, each edition of Manorama Yearbook, invariably more than a 1000-page volume, is also designed and projected as a special general knowledge resource.

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Unraveling success secret of HUL’s vitality index project

In our recent blog, we discussed a unique initiative by Hindustan Unilever for all its employees. The company has set certain parameters that are meticulously measured, and a score is given to each employee on a vitality index score card.

The lower is the score, the better is an employee’s vitality;  a score of 0 to 4 puts the employee concerned in the green zone, a score of 5 to 6 slots one in the amber zone and a 7 plus score puts one in the red zone. Each employee is informed about his/her personal vitality score/color zone in a confidential manner.

Such relation building programs are a big boost to the employees’ morale and far more gainful than mere monetary rewards and incentives.  Of course, these measures succeed only if there’s a buy-in at the top! The top management committee ensured this. Another challenge was to create a buzz around the initiative. Mailers and posters like ‘Do you see red every time you see a staircase?’, or ‘Cool as a cucumber about your health? Don’t wait till it becomes red-hot’ were circulated.

In the next stage, employees were prompted to improve their vitality scores by conducting workshops  across the company’s different locations, through events such as Family Day, Walkathons, Vitality Exhibitions, nutritional menu counseling etc. Interactive sessions were held to teach the employees about the concept of BMI, ways of improving lifestyle, healthy diet to avoid/reduce weight gain as well as proper exercises for weight management.

The focus has been on scientific exercise methods, correct practical nutritional advice, and stress management techniques. The aim is to create health awareness so as to attain better fitness levels and enhanced lifestyle patterns. Workshops are conducted on post-retirement health planning for managers. At a basic level, the vitality index project reflects common sense: The healthier your employees, the more likely they’re to be (efficient) at work.

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What really is the secret of wealth building?

Have you been striving for long to discover the secret to wealth creation? Have you been unable to do so, and have started believing you will never be able to fulfill your dreams? How can you turn around your constant struggle into a lasting success? What really is the secret of wealth building?

To start with, you need to grasp a few basic theories that act as a stepping stone to become wealthy.

Change your beliefs and thought process 
To become wealthy, your habits, thoughts, self-image, emotions and motivation must all be aligned towards fulfilling that single goal. Remember, success hinges invariably on your frame of mind. All riches begin as a state of mind. The key is not the mindless pursuit of wealth, but changing your attitudes and beliefs.

Success is a matter of mental attitude
The author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey, has rightly mentioned:” Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns constantly express our character and (thus) produce our effectiveness or ineffectiveness. If your self-instructions are negative, your achievements will always be negative. Conversely, when your self-instructions are positive, you will achieve much more.

Ability to choose a money-making vehicle
Apart from developing a positive mindset, other keys to wealth creation are ability to choose a money-making vehicle and to learn how it works, and then to actually make it work. Wealth creation is not about mere luck; it is the byproduct of implementing an appropriate strategy. Remember, applied knowledge is power.

Information without action is of no worth
Information without action is of no worth. We are great at giving excuses like lack of time and lack of money to invest. The real reason is we fail to turn knowledge into action. We do not really utilize what we have learned. 

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Steps to help you create a wealth building strategy

Now that we have talked of books that make good gifts in today’s challenging times, why not help you further by chalking out a smart wealth building strategy. All of us wish to be rich, and aspire to tread on the path of the rich & famous. But what really makes them financial wizards even as most of us survive from paycheck to paycheck and ultimately retire with little in hands?

Here are some key wealth building steps, which can help you build your own winning strategy.
Step 1: Harbor a strong desire and reason to get wealthy
You need a stronger motivation than just earning money. Try to find out the real benefit you will receive from getting wealthy? In what way your life course will change for the better? You are least unlikely to do what it really takes unless you’ve an emotionally strong desire and reason to get wealthy. Remember that mediocrity will not take you too far.
Step 2: Create a strong business base and market
Your wealth has to be generated from somewhere, employing your skill and intelligence. You need to build a strong business base for reaching out to your potential market. Know what marketplace you want to target.
It’s important to choose a marketplace strong enough to offer you the optimum opportunity in order to attain your financial goals.

Step 3: Have a strong media, link or vehicle
How are you planning to tap the power of marketplace? You need to possess a link or vehicle with the potential to provide the results. It needs to be strong enough to do the job for you, regardless of the competition.

Step 4: Develop strong knowledge
If you’re keen on taking your wealth-generating vehicle to new peaks, you must drive it with the knowledge backed by practical skills. Know what knowledge you need and where you are going to get it. Get your act together, stay focused, remain in control of your finances, have a positive attitude, have faith in your abilities and just do it!

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Good-looking devices with handy functionalities make a perfect gift idea

For the design-conscious person, a good looking mobile phone does not necessarily mean that he or she would compromise on its features. This factor should be kept in mind while selecting a device for the purpose of gifting.

Thankfully, there is no dearth of options when it comes to pick good-looking devices with handy functionalities.

Samsung Ultra Touch
An example of this is Samsung Ultra Touch, which is a step up from the plastic slider phones previously released by the company. This one is a nice mix of a full touchscreen interface, a physical T9 keypad and an 8 megapixel camera.

Priced at Rs 27,500, the Ultra Touch model sure has the potential to warm the hearts of the elite fashion-seekers. On the flipside, 2.8” display might feel a bit compressed for internet surfing and e-mailing but other multimedia needs, such as videos viewing and music listening/streaming are well served on a display of this size.

Asus P565
Another option is available in form of the Asus P565. Retailing at just a little more than Apple iPhone, it costs Rs 35,000. Asus P565 gives the same touchscreen you see on iPhone.

Asus has forced out some fairly impressive smartphones in the mobile phone market, till date. It comes with a fairly huge flash memory (256MB, to be precise). P565 has also thrown in a nice program that allows uploading videos and photos to Flickr and Youtube.

A user can directly share pictures and videos from anywhere with an internet connection. A 3 megapixel camera plus the auto-focus feature guarantees good pictures.

Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220
The new Flip is lighter than most other RIM devices. The smooth curves, metal trim plus a glossy embedded front display along with the bundled 2 megapixel camera make it a good pick. It’s priced attractively at Rs 21,990. The new built-in web browser is better than that on Blackberry Curve & Pearl handsets.

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Devices to gift in smartphone and budget category

In the previous blog post, we looked at two of the ‘economical’ business phones you can consider for the purpose of gifting. If you are thinking of a high-end smartphone for someone up the hierarchy ladder, we recommend HTC Touch HD.

It is probably one of the costliest you would find among the lot, comprising Nokia E75 and Blackberry Storm 9500. Both are priced in the range of Rs 27,000 to 28,000, whereas HTC Touch HD carries a price tag of Rs 41,990. The price is worth paying for there are some truly inimitable features listed below:

• As a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone, HTC Touch HD comes with Microsoft’s own useful suite of productivity applications. This helps keeps track of business address book and key appointments to email, even dealing with Microsoft Office files. One using ‘Microsoft Outlook’ at work, can synchronize Touch HD with PC.

• It’s a fine combination of a 3.8 inch touchscreen, fast processor, 5 megapixel camera, and excellent battery life. HTC’s user interface (TouchFLO 3D) goes on to make it easier to use just with a fingertip (similar to the Apple iPhone). The phone gives an easy access to all commonly performed tasks like checking email, playing music, documents, surfing the web and so on.

On the other hand, if you are searching for a pocket-friendly phone to gift it to one of your friends or colleagues, you can get the LG KM335 music phone for as little as Rs 9,249.

Importantly, it does not compromise at all on useful features and functionalities, too. Just to brief you, it has a  MP3 player, 3.15 megapixel camera, FM Radio tuner with recording, support for microSD memory slot apart from anti-theft mobile tracker.

Another piece of good news for the users is that the phone offers a sizable 90 MB of internal memory that can be well enhanced up to 8GB.

Smartphones to gift

In today’s hectic work life, your friend or colleague sure would appreciate an offering that eases up their workload. Smartphones are essentially for those who demand literally everything at their fingertips from jazzy voice services to handy productivity-enhancing features, and that too without compromising on the cute looks. There are ample handsets to gift in this category as well.

An overwhelming variety of handsets available in the market only makes the decision even more challenging for those looking to gift something to smartphone lovers. To simplify your task, here is a look at two of the most suitable business phones you can consider for the purpose of gifting.

Nokia E75: the complete multimedia offering
It is a good choice because with it users find easier to adapt to a familiar-looking interface. However, the unique feature that sets Nokia E75 apart from other phones is its ability to allow integration of messaging and email services. Follow a simple three-step process and one is all set to support up to no less than 16 email accounts and this along with third party email solutions like Gmail and Yahoo! Another key feature is a 2.4 inch landscape slide-out keyboard. It will make life a little simpler for executives. You can get this device for Rs 26,299.

Blackberry Storm 9500: A good choice in the business phone category
Blackberry Storm 9500 is another excellent choice that closely follows the leader. Priced at Rs 27,990 it is available on Vodafone networks. The device can serve as a valuable upgrade for those who love Blackberry. Storm can though, disappoint conformists who think that a physical QWERTY keyboard is irreplaceable.

The entire screen of Storm acts as a virtual keypad. Browsing the web, playing music and reading emails is a doodle on the 3.25” screen. The Storm has other usual corporate features like push email as well as administrator control.