"A meek endeavor to the triumph" by Sampath Jayarathna

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best Laptop deal so far this holiday season (Black Friday)

Finally I got my self a deal I must say the best so far. I normally don't believe any of these black friday deals or Cyber Monday deals or Christmas deals. But I was looking for some laptops this holiday to replace my water damaged laptop and was looking for high-end ones with Ivy Bridge I7 processors. Most of these deals were in upper $700 limit and the max I was planning spend was around $650. There were always some systems I was tempted to buy because of their elegant designs like Lenovo U410 which was super thin and merely just $749 this black friday.

Please see my previous post about how to find good electronics deals and couple of my recommendations for an online sites which shows good deals with some descriptions.

While searching deals in dealnews.com , I so another tempting deal, HP Core i7 Quad 2.4GHz 16" Laptop w/ Win 8 for super awesome $599. I was kind a skeptical once, thought this was a Sandy Bridge processor (2nd generation) but later I figureout this was indeed an Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge quad-core processor with some cool specs. Here's the full specs for this.

5.7-lb. HP ENVY dv6t-7200 Quad Edition Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 2.4GHz 16" LED-Backlit Laptop, model no. C0L27AV, for $899.99. Coupon code "HOLIDAY220HP" drops it to $679.99. With free shipping, that's $105 under our our mention from two weeks ago (which included a larger hard drive and better graphics) and the lowest total price we've seen for any HP Envy laptop with 8GB of RAM and Windows 8. Sales tax is added where applicable. Features include an Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge quad-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 8GB RAM, 750GB hard drive, DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, webcam, 6-cell battery, and Windows 8 64-bit.

The deals said, it was $599 but in the middle there was an update which says $679.99 at HP.com. I was perplexed. Again, I saw another note in the bottom said there was indeed an offer from Samsclub.com for members for $599. Woo hoo. I'm already a member at SamsClub.com and I was eligible for this offer.

Update: Of note, Sam's Club offers offers the HP ENVY dv6-7247cl Quad Edition Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 2.4GHz 16" LED-Backlit Laptop, model no. C2L34UA#ABA, with the same specs as the above model for $599 with free shipping. Sales tax is added where applicable. Non-members pay a 10% fee.

 So, finally I have one of these cool HP Envy laptops with a Beats Audio; HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer.  I'm super excited and waiting for the delivery end of this month.

If anybody else is waiting, there is a low-quantity stock still available live at SamsClub, click the following link to find the deal.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heisman Trophy 2012 - Winner Prediction (Johnny Manziel "Football")

I'm really not a big fan of American Football (hardcore Sri Lankan Cricket Fan), and I don't even know the ABCD's of this game, but its hard to escape the heat when your school is one of forerunners for this 2012 prestiges award.  My college, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wasn't even on the radar of the Heisman Trophy betting odds earlier this season, but a stellar campaign highlighted by an upset win over then-No. 1 Alabama has Johnny "Football" (nick name) as the favorite to win that trophy. And remember, no freshman (first year undergraduate) never won the Heisman Trophy in the history, but Texas A&M Aggies and Johnny Heisman "Football" is here to change the History Books for the Heisman Trophy.

History of Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (usually known colloquially as the Heisman Trophy or the Heisman), is awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football. It was created in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club trophy and renamed in 1936 following the death of the Club's athletic director, John Heisman (former Brown University and University of Pennsylvania player; head football coach at Auburn University, Clemson University, Rice University, and University of Pennsylvania; and football, basketball, and baseball head coach and athletic director at Georgia Tech).

The award is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games. It is the oldest of several overall awards in college football, including the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the AP Player of the Year. The Heisman and the AP Player of the Year are the only awards to honor the most outstanding player, while the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award recognize the best player.

All football players in all divisions of college football are eligible for the award, though winners usually represent Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Heisman.com states that sports journalists are to be the determinants of the award since they are "informed, competent, and impartial." However, fans also vote for the award; a survey collected by ESPN.com counts as one vote for the award. In addition, previous Heisman winners are given a vote; this includes winners who are, occasionally, also current candidates for the award.

145 media voters are selected from each of six regions, for a total of 870 media voters.As of August 2012, there were 55 eligible former Heisman winners. (All living winners, except 2005's Reggie Bush, who returned his award amidst controversy.)

Each voter identifies three selections, ranking them in order. Each first-place selection is awarded three points. Each second-place selection is awarded two points. Each third-place selection is awarded one point. Voters must make three selections, and cannot duplicate a selection.

The accounting firm Deloitte is responsible for the tabulation of votes, which has moved almost exclusively to online voting since 2007. 


The updated odds to win the Heisman Trophy at BOVADA have Manziel listed as the 2/5 favorite, and he enters Saturday's game against Missouri with 3,047 passing yards to go along with 1,114 rushing yards on the season.
Manziel has tossed 21 touchdown strikes this season, and has rushed for 17 scores; he'd be the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is then the second-favorite at 5/2 on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Klein has thrown for 2,306 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, while running for 787 yards and 20 scores.
Notre Dame linebacker Mante T'eo sits third at 4/1 on the Heisman Trophy odds at BOVADA , and he's been a big reason for the success of the top-ranked Fighting Irish's stalwart defense this season. The last defensive player to win the Heisman was CB/PR Charles Woodson of Michigan back in 1997.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has longer 20/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy; he's passed for 1,850 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 1,214 yards and 13 scores on the season.

Odds to Win the Heisman Trophy at BOVADA :
  • Johnny Manziel (QB Texas A&M) 2/5
  • Collin Klein (QB Kansas State) 5/2
  • Mante T’eo (LB Notre Dame) 4/1
  • Braxton Miller (QB Ohio State) 20/1
Award Watch : Johnny Manziel 

Currently As the presenting sponsor for the Heisman Trophy, Nissan has the unique privilege of casting one official vote on behalf of fans (the college football fan). The current leader-board shows,
  • Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M 30%
  • Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 28%
  • Collin Klein QB Kansas State 9%
  • Geno Smith QB West Virginia 7%
  • Braxton Miller QB Ohio State 5%
  • AJ McCarron QB Alabama 4%
  • Kenjon Barner RB Oregon 3%
  • De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon 2%
  • Tajh Boyd QB Clemson 2%
  • Matt Barkley QB USC 2%
  • Giovani Bernard RB North Carolina 1%
  • Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina 1%
  • Marqise Lee WR USC 1%

Please cast your vote to win Johnny Manziel this years Heisman Trophy 2012.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How do i transfer a Motorcycle (Moped, Scooter 150CC) Title in Texas?

This is my personal experience in titling a 150cc scooter (moped) in Texas. I was looking for all over the places on how to title transfer a used 150cc Scooter in Texas. I recently brought a used TAO 150cc scooter from Craigslist and wanted to title it in my name. Few things to remember  when you buy a vehicle whether its a used car or a motorcycle.

Title - This contains all the information of the scooter like the VIN, License Plate, Mileage, Body color etc. My seller signed the back of the title and wrote the correct Mileage in KM. Remember some of these Chinese scooters comes with the Odometer in KM not Miles. So remember to ask your seller to write the correct Mileage on it.  I also wrote all the required information in the title.

Tittle Application - Please download the title application from your Texas DMV link. The seller needs to provide his information in the darked color area and the price sold. Also you need to have your information as a buyer like name, address etc. There are two places that the Seller needs to sign. Also remember the title application is same for Vehicles and Motorcycles.

Insurance - I brought GEICO Motorcycle Insurance for about $100 per year. There was a $3 discount for having a car insurance from GEICO. Still I guess the amount should be around $100.  The title office checked the insurance before they transfer the title to my name.

Fees I paid at the County tax office.
My title application shows following fees
Title application Fee: $13.00
Texas Mobility Fund Fee: $15.00
Sales Tax Fee: $xx.xx
Transfer Fee: $2.50

I already had the license plates in my Tao 150cc with valid registration. Before I go to tax office, I thought you have to get a new license plates with the registration if title a motorcycle. Thats what I read in the web, specially in Texas if it is not a vehicle, then you can't keep the license plates from the previous owner.  But thats not true, the tax office told me that I can keep the license plates from previous owner as in any other vehicle transfer in Texas.

Remember, you have to pay tax on the Motorcycle whether you buy it from dealer or private party from Craigslist. If buying from an individual, when you apply for a vehicle title the motor vehicle sales tax (6.25 percent) on either the purchase price or standard presumptive value, whichever is the highest value must be paid. The standard title, registration and local fees will also be due. Contact your county tax office for the exact amount that is due and to learn which forms of payment are accepted. Acceptable forms of payment vary by county. There is a covinient fee about $3 or I guess something like 2% charged on paying these fees using a credit/debit card. So have a check with you to pay for it without additional fees.

Note that when I checked the standard presumptive value for my TAO TAO 150cc scooter, it showed as $0. So the tax amount was the 6.25x scooter cost which I paid for the seller which was stated in my title application. So its possible that some vehicles will not have this value listed in the DMV database.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Best Electronics (tablets, notebooks, cameras) deals - how to find deals online?

I'm back in laptop hunting. My two year old son killed my 2007 HP Pavilion DV9700 laptop, he poured a coup full of water on top of it. So, yes I panicked and forgot good old tick of turning it off soon and keep it till the moisture is out, instead I kept on trying to switch it on and it actually came alive up until the windows boot screen logo to my joy! but yeah that was a short lived triumph, it straight went to sleep of dead.

So, I'm back online and lucky during the thanks giving Black Friday, Cyber Monday frenzy of tech deals. I personally don't believe that we actually get better deals during those long lines of cold night Black Friday door-busters, and not once I had some bad experience waiting to buy a better deal online without a single good deal, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Personally I think the best time is when you really need one! Yeah right!

Here's what I'm looking for right now. My experience says I need to buy the top of the line processor and max possible RAM with possibly a bigger hard drive and Windows 8. Yes I want to keep my laptop/notebook at least couple of years so that I don't really get depressed after I see all these touch screen tech laptops coming with top of the line Ivy Bridge processors with windows 8.

Lenovo 437629U IdeaPad U310 Notebook Laptop (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, the big question, where should I check to buy one? Walmart? Oh crap, I will surely buy from Walmart one of those crappy laptops if I ever want to return and get my full refund. Smile and you know what I'm talking right?

Amazon? Again surely there are some deals, but not always.

I used to buy most of my laptops online, so that I can read the reviews, look at the Youtube channel to see some unboxing videos and couple of reviews from CNet and others and compare and contrast what I really get for most of my bucks.

Lately I found couple of good deals sites with some reliable laptop deals with swifts updates throought the day, so I can keep up with the deal and the summary of the technology specifications and a percentage of money I can save with that. In addition there's a cool feature which says what was the last know price of this brand across online or in stores and how much in reduced the price. Thats pretty cool Ha, up close and personal.

Apple MacBook Pro 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Notebook Computer - MD102LL/A (Google Affiliate Ad)

I'm a big fan of deals2buy but they update once a day most of the time and sometimes I feel that some manifactures pay for them to display a particular deal top of the list to attract some buzz. But I found couple of more sites which actually updates pretty frequently during the day and give a sneak peak of what you really get from the deal.

Dell Inspiron 14z Laptop Intel Core i5-2450, 500GB, 14" - Red - Dell (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, here's my top 3 picks during this Thanks Giving, Black Friday , Cyber Monday and Christmas what not for deals loving fans, and hope you get what you really looking for.

www.techbargains.com - Here you will find press releases, recent media coverage and the latest information on tech trends and deals. Techbargains has been finding the best products and services at the lowest prices since 1999.

www.dealnews.com - where everyday is Black Friday. We bring you the best deals, coupons, and promotional offers from over 2, 000 online retailers every day.

www.deals2buy.com - has a plain simple look to its home page listing all the deals for the day paginated.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

if your internet connection gets disconnected frequently

Recently my Internet connection started getting disconnected every once in a while during the day. Every time I have to unplug the cable modem connection and plug it back which would eventually start the network connection. I thought its something to do with my ISP Suddenlink.

Netgear N600 Wireless DB Router WNDR3400-100NAS (Google Affiliate Ad)

But after some look around, I guess I found what is going on. My computer power management is setup to go to sleep mode in every couple of minutes and my cable modem power management setup is also setup to turn it off to save the power.

Motorola SB5101 DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem (Google Affiliate Ad)

Here's how to remove these power management setup.

In windows 7,
  • click on Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager
  • Then expand the Network Adapters
  • Right click on your device (Cable Modem, Router etc.) and select properties. 
  • click on Power Managment tab
  • Remove the check mark from "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option. 

Fast track US Citizenship for F1 Student Visa (Without Perment Resident Status) (and other legal non-immigrant visas) - MAVNI Program

Please see below for further information regarding Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program details. The "Sinhalease" language skill is also included as a criteria and this would be a good opportunity for Current Sri Lankan F1 visa holders studying in US with a valid status.  There are other visa categories included with this program. Please spread the word, you can also share this blog article using the icons below (facebook, twiteer, or Google+) or reblog. The age limit is 35.

Go Army! Rectangle Sticker (Google Affiliate Ad)


Secretary of Defense authorized the military services to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest. Those holding critical skills – physicians, nurses, and certain experts in language with associated cultural backgrounds – would be eligible. To determine its value in enhancing military readiness, the limited pilot program will recruit up to 1,500 people per year, and will continue through May 15, 2014.

U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook (Google Affiliate Ad)

1. The applicant must be in one of the following categories at time of enlistment
            a. asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or
            b. nonimmigrant categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V

2. The applicant must have been in valid status in one of those categories for at least two years immediately prior to the enlistment date, but it does not have to be the same category as the one held on the date of enlistment; and

3. An applicant who may be eligible on the basis of a nonimmigrant category at time of enlistment (see 1b above) must not have had any single absence from the United States of more than 90 days during the two year period immediately preceding the date of enlistment.

4. An applicant who is eligible under #1-3 above is not rendered ineligible by virtue of having a pending application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. In the specific case of an alien with H nonimmigrant status at the time of filing a pending application for adjustment of status who has lost such status while his or her application for adjustment was pending, and who is otherwise eligible for enlistment under the MAVNI program, the military Service may on a case-by-case basis waive the requirement that the alien be in a status described in 1 above at the time of enlistment.

NASA Open Source Agreement (Google Affiliate Ad)

Health Care Professionals
􀁸 Applicants must meet all qualification criteria required for their medical specialty, and the criteria for foreign-trained DoD medical personnel recruited under other authorities
􀁸 Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English
􀁸 Applicants must commit to at least 3 years of active duty, or six years in the Selected Reserve
􀁸 Applicants must possess specific language and culture capabilities in a language critical to DoD Enlisted

U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual (Google Affiliate Ad)

Individuals with Special Language and Culture Backgrounds
􀁸 Applicants must demonstrate a language proficiency
􀁸 Applicants must meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria
􀁸 Applicants must enlist for at least 4 years of active duty

(Services may add additional requirements)

􀁸 Amharic
􀁸 Arabic
􀁸 Azerbaijani
􀁸 Bengali
􀁸 Burmese
􀁸 Cambodian-Khmer
􀁸 Cebuano
􀁸 Chinese
􀁸 Czech
􀁸 French (limited to individuals possessing citizenship from an African country)
􀁸 Haitian-Creole
􀁸 Hausa
􀁸 Hindi
􀁸 Hungarian
􀁸 Igbo
􀁸 Indonesian
􀁸 Korean
􀁸 Kurdish
􀁸 Lao
􀁸 Malay
􀁸 Malayalam
􀁸 Moro
􀁸 Nepalese
􀁸 Persian [Dari & Farsi]
􀁸 Polish
􀁸 Portuguese
􀁸 Punjabi
􀁸 Pushtu (aka Pashto)
􀁸 Russian
􀁸 Serbo-Croatian
􀁸 Sindhi
􀁸 Sinhalese
􀁸 Somali
􀁸 Swahili
􀁸 Tagalog
􀁸 Tajik
􀁸 Tamil
􀁸 Thai
􀁸 Turkish
􀁸 Turkmen
􀁸 Urdu
􀁸 Uzbek
􀁸 Yoruba


Non-citizens have served in the military since the Revolutionary War. The Lodge Act of 1950 permitted non-citizen Eastern Europeans to enlist between 1950 and 1959. Additionally, the United States officially began recruiting Filipino nationals into the Navy in the late 1940s, when it signed the Military Bases Agreement of 1947 allowing U.S. military bases in the Philippines. In total, over 35,000 Filipinos enlisted in the Navy through the program between 1952 and 1991.

U.S. Army 1st Aid Manual - Paperback (Google Affiliate Ad)

Today, about 24,000 non-citizens serve on active duty, and about 5,000 legal permanent resident aliens (green card holders) enlist on active duty each year. Law ensures that the sacrifice of non-citizens during a time of national need is met with an opportunity for early citizenship, to recognize their contribution and sacrifice.

US Army Survival Handbook (Google Affiliate Ad)

In fact, today's service members are eligible for expedited citizenship under a July 2002 Executive Order, and the military services have worked closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline citizenship processing for service members. Since Sept. 11, 2001, over 78,000 (as of April 2012) members of the Armed Forces have attained their citizenship while serving this nation.

Please see more information here or at GoArmy.com

Thursday, November 08, 2012

"Survivor Philippines" (Season 25) : Winner Prediction

My favorite reality show is back, the Survivor Philippines (Survivor Season 25) and the 3 tribes are merged to a one final tribe and who ever voted out will be sent to Ponderosa (the place where voting members from last tribe will be kept).

It has been renewed for two more seasons (seasons 25 and 26) for the 2012–13 television season, with Jeff Probst confirmed to return as host and executive producer. Season 25 was filmed in Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines.

Survivor Love Bumper Sticker (Google Affiliate Ad)

The game started as Three tribes (Matsing, Tandang and Kalabaw) of six, including three returning players . Each tribe features a returning player who was forced to be medically evacuated due to injury or illness on their previous appearance; first season with a merge at 11 (Dangrayne tribe); First season to have a tribe (Matsing - before the merge) that did not go to Tribal Council.

After Jeff Kent (8th Voted Out, 2nd Jury Member, Day 22) have voted out yesterday episode, now its the time for me to make some predictions for the final 3 standings and the "Sole Survivor" of this Season 25, "Survivor Philippines".


Before that I must say the players who are my most and the lest favorites (personally, and I don't care who win the final sole survivor title)

My most favorites Survivor players of this Season 25: Survivor Philippines
Denise Stapley - She is awesome, fit, down to earth.
Jonathan Penner - Winner of the first ever Survivor "Cook Islands", Cunning, and Cool and Calm.
Malcolm Freberg - I like him so far, and hope he is not going blow that up. So much remind me of Ozzy Lusth and James "J.T." Thomas Jr.

Tribal Warfare: Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality Television (Google Affiliate Ad)

My least (hate) favorites Survivor players of this Season 25: Survivor Philippines 
Peter "Pete" Yurkowski
Abi-Maria Gomes
I don't have to explain my choices, this cauote from one of viewer is enough I guess
"Is it just me, or does Abby look like an "old" young woman. Must be her attitude and personality...bitter, ugly, scorned."
Now for the official business.

I'm rooting for Penner, but my gut feeling says he is not going to win this season.

Final Three: Denise, Lisa and Artis

The Sole Survivor : Denise Stapley

Who do you think going to win this season