Things To Ascertain Before Planning A Investment

Whenever we want to invest our hard earned money or buy any policy for our loved ones there are numerous things to be decided before even approaching a insurance advisor.  A good advisor helps you decide those things while many of them just focus on their monthly targets.  So let’s get prepared for those questions to avoid any misguidance or mismanagement of that hard earned money that rightfully belongs to you & your loved ones.

The questions that arise are :

  1. What is the PURPOSE of investing?
  2. What TARGET RETURNS can be gained from today’s investment?
  3. What is the investment BUDGET? &
  4. How much RISK TAKING CAPACITY do I have today as well as in future?

Purpose :

First question before doing anything in life is purpose of that act.

WHY should it be done?
WHAT benefits will I derive from doing that act?

Purpose of a investment can be short term like Tax Saving, Buying a automobile, etc. or a long term like Higher Education of your child, Buying Property, Marriage of your child & many other such things.

Plan wisely about your purpose as without it all your efforts may get wasted.

Target Saving :

Once purpose is decided, we need to ascertain how much money we intend to get from our investment so that our purpose gets served.

How much amount will be sufficient for your purpose in the future?

This question gets more tricky than we can think, so we need to be very clear about our purpose.  Take into consideration alternates to compensate if your investment is not enough when the day arrives.  Keep inflation rate in mind for calculating the value of your present investment in future.

Budget :

Once both above questions are answered you get the clear picture of what you need to invest & what you have to invest.

What you need to invest is derived by your

  1. Intended purpose,
  2. Present & future value of your money, &
  3. Returns you intend to earn in future from your investment made today.

What you have to invest can be decided by your

  1. Present household income,
  2. Present household expenses,
  3. Your emergency budget, &
  4. Short term savings.

Risk Taking Capacity :

More often than what we intend the amount to be invested & intended returns don’t match & this leads to the need to become a dare devil by taking risk.

Investment can be a tricky business as if your thinking is not matched by your advisor then everything done so far may go waste.  Advisor should be able to judge your risk taking capacity, importance of your hard earned money to you & your loved ones at present as well as in future.

Investments with guaranteed & safe returns like Traditional Insurance Plans, Bank Deposits etc grow slowly compared to unguaranteed returns like ULIP, Share market, Mutual Funds etc.

Manage your risk efficiently & with utmost care so that your limited resources can render intended results for your colorful future.

Take your time while planning your saving’s/investment’s as some brain storming initially can lead to your long time financial stability & sustainability.

[Step By Step Guide] Fast Booting Your Mi Device Using Mi Flash Tool

Nowadays, there are various options available to us if we get bored of using a particular ROM or sometimes it happens that our smartphone requires a clean fastboot flash to fix it.  So, today let’s discuss about fast booting your device using the Mi Flash Tool.

Thing’s Required :

1) PC/Laptop.
2) USB Cable.
3) Mi Flash Tool.
4) Latest device specific Fastboot ROM.
5) 7 Zip software for PC.
6) Fully charged Mi Smartphone (atleast 50% charge should be there else it may cause trouble).

Once all the above are arranged, we can proceed further…

1) Install 7 Zip.
2) Using 7 Zip extract the Fastboot ROM (TGZ File).

1

2

3

3) You will find another zip file (TAR File) in the extracted folder. Extract that file too using 7 Zip

4

5

7

4) Install Mi Flash Tool.
5) Open Mi Flash Tool using icon created after installation.
6) Switch off your phone.
7) Press Vol – & Power button simultaneously to start the device in Fastboot Mode.

1

8) Now connect the phone to your PC/Laptop using USB Cable.
9) Press the Refresh button & you will have the following screen of Mi Flash Tool.

6

Once device is connected & detected, enter the correct path of the final extracted folder using the Browse button.

Select Flash All for best results as it will clean install the ROM. Now, press Flash button & wait for the procedure to complete. Once successfully flashed device will reboot & you can safely disconnect it from your PC/Laptop.

The device will be showing Mi Logo screen, it will take sometime to install entire MIUI on your device so kindly wait patiently & let the process end.  Once the process ends it will show the MIUI 8 logo for you to do the device setup – just like the new device you get out of box.  Complete the setup & your device is ready to be used.

IMPORTANT NOTE :

  • I did it successfully on my Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
  • Carry out each instruction very carefully & exactly as directed.
  • I’m not at all responsible for any damage whatsoever to your device.
  • Fastboot your device at YOUR OWN RISK.
  • Take backup of your data as all will be removed during the process.

File Download : Mi Flash Tool

[Step By Step Guide] Snowfall Effect Using Photoshop

It’s winter time & christmas is around the corner.  Many people who play with images love to give different effects to their images & snowfall effect is the one that all love…  Let’s learn to cause some snowfall of your own…

1) Create a new file or open a clicked pic of your choice.

1

2) If creating a new image from scratch then make a duplicate layer & if using a clicked image then create a new layer.  Using Paint Bucket Tool fill duplicate/new layer with black color.  In case of creating new image fill color of your choice to the other layer (except white).
2
3) Make black color layer as your active layer & goto Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise.
3
4) When done, goto Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur.
4
5) Now, press Ctrl + M together for Curves pop up menu.  There it can be seen that there is a huge tower with a diagonal line.  Drag & adjust that line at top & bottom to control snow flakes.
5
6) When done, click on black layer for the menu.  Select Blending Options & then change Blend Mode to Screen.
6
7) Voila! Your own snowfall is ready…
7
Now, enjoy the winter’s & celebrate christmas but don’t forget to let the designer inside you to show his creativity.

[Step By Step Guide] How To Play With Compressed Files On Mobile?

We all have to use zip files on daily basis as lot of data needs to be shared & transferred for day to day tasks, whether official or leisure purpose.  To compress/decompress these files we have to use PC as mobiles phones are unable to use such files.

Sometimes it happens that we don’t have access to a PC & zip file is essential to get the information.  For that tricky situation the solution is provided by ES File Explorer.

ES File Explorer is a file manager app that lets user :

  • Manage & share all local & cloud files.
  • Access remote files.
  • Built-in viewers & players for different file types.
  • Root explorer.
  • App manager.
  • SD Card analyst.
  • & much more…

The feature that comes to user rescue in our scenario is Compressed File support.

ES File Explorer has built in compressed file support which enables user to create new zip files by compressing files of his choice as well as to decompress a existing zip file.

1

 

 

 

As you launch the ES File Explorer app you get this view.  Tap Compressed icon.

 

 

 

2

 

 

On the following screen, tap New.  It will pop up a menu where in you can locate & select the files you want to add to zip.  Name the file & save it.  You can also set file password too.

 

 

 

3

 

 

Saved file shows up in the Compressed folder & the saved file location pops up in the message below.

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

To decompress any file, tap Unzip, menu pops up asking for location to extract the file.  When done, unzip icon changes to Open & extraction location pops up in the message below.

When you tap file name then various options related to file management pop up in a menu.  To view the file with built in ES Zip Viewer tap it & the viewer opens with list of extracted files.

7

 

 

A compressed file can be unzipped by choosing Extract option too.  It leads to folder selection screen, I selected SD Card.  It then lets you reach extraction location by browsing through file explorer.  Tap extract at the bottom & folder is created with extracted files.

 

 

8

 

 

 

Move To option lets you move the file to a new location.  Just like Extract option it lets you choose location to move file.

 

 

 

Following the above steps as guided you can easily & successfully play with compressing & decompressing the zip files.

Easiest Ways To Retrieve Data From A Lost Android Smartphone

It happens many times with us that we lose our precious & personal information rich smartphone & then the panic button is pressed as if the smartphone is in wrong & bad hands then our entire life can be ruined socially & financially.  The foremost thought on losing a smartphone is not only its quick retrieval but how to secure data from falling into wrong hands & its recovery.  Various threats or concerns  on losing a smartphone & solutions for them are as follows :

Tracking & Retrieving Smartphone

For this purpose Google has Android Device Manager which when activated helps in :

  • Tracking device location.
  • Remotely locking the phone by changing the current password (handy if no password is set).
  • Wipe the phone memory of all data.

This service can be accessed by visiting here.

Apart from Google some device manufacturers provide same service.

Contacts

Saving contacts is a industrious task as entering each & every detail is very labourious & boring.  There were days when contact meant only saving a phone number but nowadays a contact means oceans of information regarding a person from phone number to address to personal info like dates of birth & anniversary.  Personal & professional details like emails, websites, social media app id’s etc can also be added to a contact which makes it very painful if a contact is lost as gathering whole information is a uphill task.

Everyone uses email services like Google’s Gmail etc which have facility to save contacts online with full information.  These contacts can be easily synced with your phone once you log into your email app on your smartphone.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

Images/Videos

Those loving, funny, caring moments that you saved for cherishing forever by capturing them from your camera are a possession of a life time.  Losing them can be a real heart break as you can buy new device, gather all lost information again but you can’t relive that perfect memorable moment again.

Google’s Photos is a easiest way to keep them safe.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

These can also be backed up using some cloud service like Dropbox etc.

Messages

Sometimes we save some important messages in our message box for future references.  Losing them may cause inconvenience & they can harm us in a big way if accessed by the wrong/bad guys.

Some device manufacturers also provide similar services.

Files/Data

Every user has enormous data on their smartphone storage like business files (excels, word documents, presentations etc), songs, movies etc.  If lost, it may be impossible to gather all the data again & even if possible then it may take a lot of time.  Backing up such data is the best way to be on safer side.

Google’s Drive helps in storing the data online so that the files can be accessed from anywhere anytime easily.

Other alternate for this is to backup them using a cloud service like Dropbox so that the data is easily recoverable & transferable to a new device.

Apps

Apps installed can always be accessed from the Google Play Store list but if device manufacturers service is active on your device then it can backup all your apps, home screen layout & settings for easy retrieval once you log back into your cloud service.

As we now know that we can retrieve almost all types of data from our lost device very easily lets check out the services mentioned & how they work.

Google

Google has integrated all its services with each other so closely that any Android user can access them without any fuss & free of cost (for basic level).

Google provides 15 GB space on creating a Google account where Gmail, Drive, Photos etc all store your data for easy retrieval.  You don’t have to remember a long list of passwords or numerous app names for this.  Just buy your new Android device, configure your Google account & you are good to go as all Google apps are by default installed on your device.  Google apps help you backup different types of data using different apps.

Device Manager Locate device, Reset password & Wipe data
Gmail Email & Contacts
Drive Business files, music, softwares etc
Photos Images & Videos
Play Store Apps installed

Device Manufacturer Cloud Service

 
Some smartphone manufacturers also provide free cloud space (generally 5 GB) to their users for data backup.  This service is very useful & every user should take benefit of this service as different type of data, which cannot be saved by any other means can be backed up & retrieved  easily using this cloud service.  Different type of data that can be backed up is Contacts, Messages, Images, Videos, Apps, Settings, Home Screen layout & lost device tracking.
Cloud Services
 
There are lot of online cloud service providers like Dropbox etc that give users specified free cloud space for data storage.  Here one can backup Business files (excels, word documents, presentations etc), Music, Images, Videos, Softwares etc.
 
NOTE :

  • These service are very useful but they have a drawback – if the person in possession of your device deletes the data & syncs all your accounts, then entire data will be lost.  So take precaution & be alert to track the device or delete/delink online cloud services as soon as you realise that you have lost your beloved device.
  • There are numerous other services for the above purposes feel free to explore the Google Play Store. (Listed these because theese are very common).

Maximise Battery Life, Follow These Simple Tips

Battery

it’s tough to get your smartphone running for 24 hours without charging.  Better battery technology is still to come to our rescue, hence it’s left to software & settings to get maximum life out of the limited power for as long as possible.   Here are a few suggestions to extend your smartphone battery life :

Use Dark Wallpapers/Themes & Settings

As screens only illuminates the colored pixels & black pixels are unlit, so if there are more black/dark pixels, the less battery is used.  Hence, using dark app backgrounds, themes & wallpapers can prolong battery life considerably.

Avoid Adaptive/Auto Brightness

As screen is one of the biggest battery suckers, most of the users find it a good option to control brightness automatically.  But they are mistaken, as most of the time auto brightness is brighter than what is really required.  Hence, it’s better to manually set a comfortable low brightness level & then regulate it as & when needed.

Shorter Screen Time Out

As stated above, screen consumes a lot of power – so if screen timeout is set for shortest possible convenient duration, a lot of battery can be conserved.  For eg. if screen timeout is set to 1 minute, it’ll use double the power than 30 seconds duration, before getting off automatically every time you switch your screen on.

Smartness Not Required Everytime

Smart features like air gestures, smart scrolling etc are not used most of the time or for long regular use but they keep on sucking the juice, so its better to stop/deactivate a feature you use seldom or don’t use.

Turn Off Vibrator & Haptic Feedback

Vibrator consumes a lot of battery so until its really required switch it off.  Haptic feedback – buzz you get while using keyboard – also uses vibrator.  It feels cool, but it doesn’t really add anything to your experience & is another battery drainer.  Deactivating them both prolongs battery life considerably.

Activate Lock Screen Notifications

Lock screen notifications enables to see app notifications at a glance without having to turn whole screen on.  Its a standard feature on Android Lollipop but Android KitKat users will have to use apps or widgets for the same, if your ROM supports.

Use Original Batteries

One should always use original batteries or recommended third party manufacturer batteries because saving some money on a battery may lead to sub-standard battery performance & may eventually damage your beloved smartphone, in the long run.

Do Not Disturb/Airplane Mode

While sleeping or during meetings or any other such time when you want zero disturbance from the world you can use Do Not Disturb feature or put your phone on Airplane mode.  Similarly, use Airplane mode if you are in an area/place where there is no network.  Airplane mode switches off all radios like network , WiFi, Bluetooth etc thereby saving on battery.

Connected 24/7 ?

GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi & mobile data should be turned on only when they are required.

Turning off location data or changing your Location settings to use Wi-Fi or 3G data rather than GPS works perfectly well.

Don’t keep Wi-Fi & mobile data turned on at all times.  Also, keep Wi-Fi to ”Always on during sleep” setting, as it will use less power rather than reconnecting every time you wake your phone.

Widgets Everywhere ?

Widgets do provide latest update/information but they constantly keep on syncing data thereby increasing net (wifi/data) usage & simultaneously over burdening the battery in a multiple ways.  Avoid widgets that are really not needed, especially those that are connected to the net.  For eg. Twitter, Weather, Gmail etc.  Just tap the apps on demand.

Use Latest Apps

Developers keep on updating apps thereby adding new features & doing optimisations for memory & battery consumption.   Delete old & rarely used apps, as they may be running background processes that eat RAM & suck battery.

Battery Saving Features

Every ROM has some settings to conserve & optimize battery usage.  For eg. HTC has Extreme Power Saving Mode, Samsung has Ultra Power Saving Mode, Android Marshmallow has Doze feature & so on.  Find yours & start conserving, today.

Trap Called Auto Sync

Every app syncs automatically as soon as it’s launched so until & unless notifications are truly needed immediately as some action takes place, turn off auto-syncing.  Auto sync keeps on syncing after few minutes & adds to continuous battery consumption.  For eg. Twitter, Mail, Calender etc.

The last thing any battery conserver wants to witness is bunch of apps screwing battery by automatically updating & syncing.  This can be controlled by managing app auto-updates settings from the Play Store or individually for each app.

Turn Off Hotwords

Nowadays all smartphone platforms like Windows, Apple & Android support voice recognition through some particular hotwords.  For eg. Google’s “Ok Google” voice searching is a useful & fantastic function but the problem is that its a battery eater – especially if its used occasionally.

Solution lies in the sort of settings selected.  Instead of “From Any Screen” select “From Google App” so that its not listening all the time but only when its needed.

[Step By Step Guide] Fastboot MediaTek MT65XX Devices

Whenever a phone gets bricked or gets severely damaged you need to restore it by installing Fastboot ROM on it.  It is a complicated task & when during that desperation to get your device fixed asap you get incomplete information or non working download links then it can be really frustrating.  So, here I am going to create a detailed step by step guide with fully operational links.

Pre-requisites :

  1. Android USB (ADB) Driver.
  2. VCOM Driver (depending on your PC OS).
  3. Smart Phone (SP) Flash Tool.
  4. Fastboot ROM.
  5. 7-zip or any other compression software like WinZip, WinRAR etc. (7-zip is preferred).
  6. Your MediaTek Chipset device.
  7. Your PC/Laptop.
  8. Compatible USB Cable.

Procedure :

  • Download Android USB (ADB) Driver, VCOM Driver (depending on your PC OS), Smart Phone (SP) Flash Tool, your device Fastboot ROM & 7-zip.
  • Install Android USB (ADB) Driver & VCOM Driver (depending on your PC OS).

Fastboot ROM

  • Extract your device Fastboot ROM tgz file & extract its content using 7 Zip which will give output as a Fastboot ROM tar file.

 

Extract tgz

Extracted Fastboot ROM tar

 

  • Extract the Fastboot ROM tar file by 7 zip.

 

Extract tar

  • Extract Smart Phone (SP) Flash Tool by 7 zip & by executing the flash_tool application file from within the extracted folder run the tool.

flash_tool

  • When you execute the application following pop up appears.

Pop Up

  • Click on OK & the following screen will show up.  click the Scatter Loading button & locate the required file from the folder where you extracted the Fastboot File.

Scatter File Loading

Scatter File

  • Once scatter file is loaded the window will look like as follows :

Download

  • Ensure that :
    1. All files in the list are selected.
    2. Drop down menu option above file list is Download Only.
  • Click the Download icon, file list will be greyed out & Stop button will be activated.

Download begins

  • Now –
    1. Switch off your device.
    2. Connect your Device to PC/Laptop via compatible USB Cable.
  • Once the device is securely connected, the progress bar at the bottom will show some activity.  Wait for the process to end.

Download OK

 

  • On the successful completion of the task a pop up window with Right sign will appear.
  • Disconnect the device & restart.  Allow it sometime to boot up & your device will be fixed.

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE :

  • I did it successfully on my Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G.
  • Carry out each instruction very carefully & exactly as directed.
  • I’m not at all responsible for any damage whatsoever to your device.
  • Debug your device at YOUR OWN RISK.

OTHER REQUIRED POSTS :

File DownloadSmart Phone (SP) Flash Tool

How & Where to get Genuine Insurance Information ?

We all buy insurance to safeguard ourselves against numerous unfortunate events & to serve that purpose we need expert guidance from a genuine professional.  There are many instances of insurance buyers being cheated by insurance sellers (agents, tele-callers, brokers etc.) – on whom they depend for advice.

So, What’s the solution ?

Is there any one point information center, for the would be insured, to get to the point exact genuine information ?

Can the information given by insurance sellers be verified ?

The answer to all these questions is YES.  Following links provide all the information one needs – to have or verify, while buying insurance :

  • Consumer Education Website by I.R.D.A. – This site is operated by I.R.D.A. itself to spread awareness among would be insurance buyer’s.
  • Life Insurer’s in India – Complete List of Indian Life Insurance Companies with their Website, Official Address, Principal Officer, Appointed Actuary & Contact details.
  • General Insurer’s in India List of all Indian Non-Life Insurance Companies (General & Health Insurer’s) along with additional information about Website, Official Address, Principal Officer, Appointed Actuary & Contact details.
  • Handbook Collection of guide books to answer FAQ’s.
  • Agent Locator I.R.D.A. regulated site to locate & verify if the agent is a Genuine I.R.D.A. affiliated Agent or not.
  • Company Website – Details related to the policy can be verified by visiting respective company’s official website.  Boucher, Calculator etc are all available online to cross check all the details, the agent has provided.

Print from your Smart Phone

Smart Phones have indeed made our life’s much easier with whole lot of apps.  One task which looks troublesome is that, when we have to take a print out of some documents urgently but we are not using our computer at that particular moment while the files can be accessed easily from our Smart Phone.

So can we take those print outs without having to use the computer ?
Can our smart phone be the saviour again ?

The answer is YES.  So, what all we need to Print using our Smart Phone…

  1. Smart Phone with Printer support/Printing facility.
  2. APK’s for detecting, installing & controlling printer.
  3. Net Connection for downloading & installing printer drivers & some file format reading drivers.
  4. OTG Cable.
  5. Printer.

Download & install the APK files provided at the bottom of this article.

USB Host Controller

Connect your printer to your Smart Phone using the OTG Cable & switch the printer on.  Click on this icon to access USB Host Controller which will help detect the printer.

Info

Once the app launches it will be busy at first.  When done it will look like as in the the adjoining screenshot.

Tab 1 is Information tab showing driver info & USB Port info.  If it shows nothing then click Refresh.

Tab 2 is USB tab which will display detected printer.

Tab 3 consists Settings related to the app.

Click the USB Tab to check whether your printer is detected or not.

Printer Detection

It the printer is not detected then :

  • Exit the app & kill it.
  • Check printer power supply & connection to the Smart Phone.
  • Also ensure that the OTG Cable is working or not.

Identify & troubleshoot the problem.  Restart the app & finally your printer will be displayed in the list.

Printer ShareOnce the printer is detected & you can view it in the list, exit the app while keeping it running in the background – by pressing the home button.  Now, launch the second app, Printer Share which will install all required drivers (printer & file format) & gives print commands.

Follow the steps – by clicking the buttons, pointed by the arrow, to install printer driver successfully.

Printer Driver Instalation

Print SelectionOnce the needful is done you are good to print device files using your Smart Phone & Printer.  You can choose to print :

  • Images  – Local Device Gallery & Google Photos.
  • Contacts – Collective & Individual.
  • Calendar – Single Day, Pre Defined or Custom Tenure.
  • Web Page.
  • Messages – Collective & Individual.
  • Call Log.
  • Email’s from Gmail.
  • Cloud Files from Google Drive.
  • Documents – Local Device.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE :

  • I did it successfully on my
    • Xiaomi Redmi 1S,
    • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G &
    • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G.
  • Carry out each instruction very carefully & exactly as directed.
  • I’m not at all responsible for any damage whatsoever to your device.
  • Try this at YOUR OWN RISK.

File Download : USB Host Controller
                             Printer Share

How to Plan Savings/Investments ? – for First Time Professionals

Whenever some graduate gets his first appointment letter, that is the day he begins his professional life & takes command of his financial responsibilities.  Not only his but of those as well who had been fulfilling all his needs till date – his parents, siblings & sometimes friends also.  This is the time when newly employed person is unaware about managing money & various questions further puzzle him like,

  • How to save/invest?
  • Where to save/invest?
  • How much to save/invest?

Let’s try to find answer to this puzzle & find safest way to save/invest.

To begin with, one should decide that they are in the job to work for a long time & do not have intentions of hopping around changing jobs as until this thing is ensured saving/investment cannot be done successfully.  Rather that saving/investment may turn into a liability in this scenario.  So, clear up the mind & take the plunge to swim across a sea & not a pool.

How to save/invest?

Break up your salary into different parts like :

Daily Expenses, required to carry out most essential activities like commuting (to office/client/home), communicating (mobile, internet etc), food (in case you are in marketing profession or residing outside home town) & other such expenses.

Long Term Expenses, are those which require certain fixed & huge amount like lodging (in case you are in marketing profession or residing outside home town), education (if intend to study further), clothing (no one buys them daily rather they are purchased in few months), entertainment (hanging out with friends occasionally) & other such expenses.

Savings can be done from the amount of money left after fulfilling all above expenses & keeping a certain amount aside for emergency situations.

Where to save/invest?

To begin with always go for the safest options available like Bank, Insurance, Post Office, Government Bonds & Government Schemes.  These options are the safest as they are backed by Government guarantee in case any organisation cannot sustain itself to serve (a rarest of rare situation) although return here is on the lower side (mostly 8% p.a.).

How much to save/invest?

Invest in small amounts on a regular basis like in R.D., S.I.P., Insurance etc. instead of investing in big regular/lump sum amounts.  This way a sense of responsibility & regularity developes within you.

Invest big regular/lump sum amounts only if you are sure enough that you will not need that money for the entire term of investment & you can sustain your living standard comfortably without that amount as well as can face any emergency with ease.

Another benefit of making multiple small savings/investments over single big regular saving/investment is that if anytime there is a financial crunch then single big regular will be affected badly whereas multiple small ones will provide you some cushion to save the most beneficial ones & look for saving the affected savings once you regain your financial stability.

Take your time while planning your saving’s/investment’s as some research & brain storming initially can lead to your long time financial stability & sustainability.