Google Pixel, new VR headset: Review

Google’s latest

The words being used to describe the latest Google smartphone range from impressive (quality scores), a very high level of detail (on its 12.3MP) camera, accurate exposures. Dxomark.com said: “The Google Pixel takes some of the very best images we have seen from any smartphone we have ever tested.” Wow!

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Accounting…for India

For a long time now, Linux users in India have been searching far and wide for decent accounting software that works with the ‘free and open’ operating system. Specially one which is relevant to Indian needs.

Internationally, you have tools like Gnucash (double-entre accounting, stock-bond-mutual fund accounts, small business accounting), KMyMoney (with a user-face interface like Quicken), Moneydance (proprietory software for Linux), Appgen MyBooks (double-entry, confirming to standards), Nolapro (not Open Source but free to use), BasicBooks (for financial reporting), Quasar Accounting (full-fledged POS package), SQL-Ledger (an accounting/ERP system), Rapid Graphing Software (for technical analysis of stocks and commodities), and Crossover Office (for those who want to use tools like Quicken or Money on Linux).

It’s not that there’s no choice. TechRepublic.com has covered this very subject in an article titled ‘Top 10 Linux Financial Tools’. But these are, of course, meant for foreign users.

So it’s time for something desi to emerge. News just out tells us of gnukhata (that’s the spelling, in lower case). This has been a software under development for some time now, and it is finally out there in the open.

Some features: it is lightweight. It can scale up to a cloud-based deployment or down to a standalone installation. It is fast and robust, and based on the double-entry system of accounting. It offers dual ledger and automated closing of books. It has been developed through the active participation of professional accountants (a senior CA).

Above all, it comes free and doesn’t need to be pirated.

Its promoters expect it to be suited for factory or farm-based production, point of sales accounting and inventory, and the service sector too. It is likely to help those required to keep audited accounts, like self-help groups, craft producers and micro-finance groups. It can easily be transformed into Indian languages too. Soon, it expects to have a payroll section.

It works well on Ubuntu. Anyone familiar with the double entry system of accounts would be at ease with the software. Further anyone experienced with normal computing applications and form filling experiences (drop down boxes, customizing master files etc) would also be able to use this easily.

A caveat here: any type of digitized or computer based accounting needs a well thought out Chart of Accounts. Think this out carefully. If not sure what it involves, just Google.

At present it seems that the data is not transferable. Such a feature would allow users and auditors to exchange work files over the Net without having to access the same computer on which the software is based.

The developers list for this software is considered to be “very active”. Having a CA as the domain expert does make a big difference too. Though the gnukhata website has a lot of information please feel free to write Krishnakant krmane@openmailbox.org

Krishnakant Mane is a Python and Java developer, founder and project leader for GNUKhata, and director of the Digital Freedom Foundation dff.org.in

http://gnukhata.in

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Ubuntu in India

While on the topic of GNU/Linux, check out this mailing list focussing on Ubuntu, in India: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-in

Ubuntu, was almost everyone would know, is a Debian-based Linux operating system. It works on PCs, smartphones and network servers. It’s based on Free Software and gets its name from the South African philosophy of ‘human-ness’ (or Ubuntu). It was created by South African millionaire entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth, who has given away tonnes of free software.

Ubuntu encourages users to use Free Software, study how it works, improve upon it, and further distribute it. Sounds like a made-for-India fit?

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Oculus working on new VR headset

After creating ripples with its Oculus Rift headset, Facebooks Oculus team is reportedly building another virtual reality (VR) headset that does not need to be tethered to a computer with cables. The new headset was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the “Oculus Connect” event in San Jose, California, Forbes reported. Zuckerberg also announced that Oculus will spend an additional $250 million on “great software experiences” which are the next frontier of VR, says IANS.

“More than a million people actively use virtual reality products every month. This is happening, and we have a lot to be excited about,” Zuckerberg told the gathering. “The funding is an addition to the $250 million Oculus has already pledged to content development.

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