Thoughts of a frustrated Logitech customer

After having bought a Logitech M235 Wireless Mouse, I used it for a year or more without any issues. Finally, it began to show signs of wear and the left button was not working anymore. Being a laptop user, I am not so comfortable with a trackpad and always dependent on the mouse as my mainstream device.

The Logitech M235 mouse was bought on a lightning deal for about 549 RS. After it stopped working,  I started looking for a similar mouse. It was one of my friend who advised me of its three-year warranty and the ability to get it replaced in Logitech Walk-In Center (WIC).  That’s where the problem is about to start.  While the product is just 549 Rs, I really don’t want to make a fuss about it. However, it is the experience that I had with these WIC in Pondicherry I wanted to talk about.

On a hot and sweaty weather of 5th October 2017 by the morning, I thought of visiting the one and only customer center available in Pondicherry listed on their official website.  Tried calling the no about 10 times only to end up no one picking it. The address is located just 3 km from my house, however, in usual traffic, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach the place. After having reached the place, I find no trace of such center. I roamed like a lost guy in a foreign land asking neighborhood about such a place. Using the Google Maps, I stumbled across several streets and finally after a 30-minute quest with no help from anyone I came to the same place again as listed in both the website and google places. Waited in the exact same location for about 10 minutes to see if I can find someone to ask.

Finally, an old man arrived, whom I went forward to seek assistance by showing him the name of the customer care center and a picture of the signboard I got from Google. He claimed that he is a watchman that works for this so-called place and handed me a visiting card saying that the place was shifted recently. He also said that they started taking requests from today since the shifting is all done. Finally, after an hour of pursuit, I found an answer to my quest.

I am sure Indiana Jones would have felt the same after finding the treasure.

Tried calling the phone number mentioned in the visiting card and again no one picked it.  After betting on my life, I now have to travel 4 km to their newest location. Yes, I am talking about something that takes 30 minutes in usual traffic to travel. With the intention to finish this task, I took the risk of going there.

That’s the second round of challenge in my pursuit to find my quest. I roamed around 15 minutes in the same street multiple times because there was no door number or no signboard or even any signs of such location.  The neighborhood has no idea about something like that. After doing my math (Counting the door no using Odd and Even formula) and trying to figure out the exact door no, I ended up in a place that looks more like a residential apartment than an office. I opened up a metal gate like a stranger who has no idea where he was going and went to the first floor. Finally !!! I reached where I should be “the Logitech WIC”.

With still the sweaty body in a hot noon weather, I entered the place where I got a straight to face answer that they cannot handle or take any request because there is no internet or network. It was a damn straight answer like a dirt was shovel upon my face. That’s when I realized I wasted 3 HOURS OF MY LIFE which I cannot get back. That’s when I realized I should probably write a blog about it. However, i never did.

Then one fine Saturday of 14th October 2017, I called the WIC office and this time I got lucky. Someone picked the phone. I told them I wanted to hand over my device.  The guy at the other end told me someone who takes care of this is away and suggested coming on Monday. I told him Monday is a weekday and would prefer to come the very same day. His next answer was that server is down and they cannot accept any requests. He also told me that the stock is available and I can get a new replacement immediately on Monday. I got surprised by his variable response. First, it was someone who is not available and then all of a sudden it was server that is down.

After appreciating myself for my level of patience, I had called again today to give one last try and got a response that I can come and submit my mouse for inspection. Finally, I took a 20-minute drive to reach the place. This time I need no directions or assistance as I know exactly where the place is. Went inside, waited for around 15 minutes and then signed a receipt and was told there is no stock and I had to wait 2 days to get a new one.

What ? Seriously? Just for a mouse that is worth 500 bucks, you want me to travel this many times? My hourly rates are nowhere near the price of this mouse but still what I am trying to emphasize is “the experience” one gets in believing it.

Sorry to say this Logitech but for being a long-term customer (Logitech Keyboards, Speakers, Mouse and Cam), this experience has changed my decision on not to rely anymore on your products.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

 

 

 

Wonders of Passport

I recently got my British Passport and was travelling back from India to UK from Chennai airport. Having had a bitter experience with Air India, decided to travel with Emirates who had good reputation in the Airline Industry

My flight was from Chennai to London via Dubai. As usual, landed in the airport, checked in my baggage and heard something unusual.  The support staff was talking to some foreign passengers and asked whether they need Exit Row seats. I was instantly shocked as getting an exit row seat is not an easy job, it gives more leg space and one of the finest seats in the plane.  To add more surprise, the foreign passengers do not know the meaning of exit row seats and was asking whether they need to pay any extra money for that.

British passport, European money

I did not bother to ask the staff as I always preferred aisle seats as it is easy for me to step out and step in. Moreover, I was travelling alone and it did not matter where I was sitting. I was already homesick and in dull mood on going back to London after spending couple of months in India.

After all the security checks were over, I was waiting in the lounge with 2 hours of boring time to kill. The support staff were announcing some names before boarding as usual to verify some details of the passengers.  I was in the toilet when I heard my name being called by the staff. It was a surprise to me as no airlines have ever called me before boarding. It was the first time and so many things were running in my mind. Did anything went wrong with my details? Am I a terrorist? Why are they calling my name? All sorts of negative things were creeping in, when I went there, they asked my boarding pass and tore it into two.  I was instantly shocked to see and looking at them berserk. They gave me another boarding pass with different seat number and I was about to ask why, then the lady told me in a smiling way that I have been upgraded to ‘Business Class’.

Yes, you heard it right, it was Business class. It was like winning a lottery to me as I never get these sorts of benefits in my life. It was a perfect send off for me with all these homesick thoughts being carried over in my mind.

I instantly called my wife and brother and made them jealous. I did not bother to think about why they had upgraded my class and more importantly why me? Then when the Boarding announcement came, I got priority boarding due to business class and standing along with all other Business class passengers.

It was a bit of shyness and tension prevailing in my mind as I have never travelled in Business class. I was fully prepared for this since it was like travelling for the first time in a flight. Looking at those seats with hi-tech gadgets, I was totally confused and looking all other on how to operate these things.

I learnt something over there by looking at fellow passenger who were also upgraded to Business class. Then I realized that the Airline had upgraded most of the single passengers who had Foreign passport as sort of marketing campaign to boost their Business class.

I did not know how to react as whether to cherish the moment or think about the fact that it was not offered to any Indian passport holders. I am just writing this incident to narrate how certain possessions can change one’s life and the way people perceive it.

Human beings are rated now based on their power and status and not by their character. This is unfortunate reality of today’s world.

CHARGEKEY – my obsession of stylish iPhone charge cable

11-21-2013_ChargeKey_Hero_Sidebyside_1200x1200

I own an apple iPhone 5 which I am totally in love with because of its design factor and powerful computing. My phone is my oxygen, it has evolved from need to necessity. As a regular traveler, it always run out of juice due to constant usage of songs, maps and social networking.

So i ended up carrying the iPhone charger with me always. Wherever i stop by, i look for a charge point in MRT, bus stations and airports.  After considerations, bought power bank to charge on-demand but still have to carry the long iPhone charge cable. Because these power banks usually don’t come up with lighting cable and iPhone does not use a standard charging port like other android phones.

This completely does not serve my purpose of carrying a slim phone with bulky charges and cables. Looking at options, I had opportunity to try the CHARGEKEY from Nomad.

ChargeKey-iPhone5It is a portable lighting cable that looks like a key chain. Best part is it is Apple Certified. It can charge and sync as well. Look at a situation where you need to copy some pictures from your iPhone and you can always pull up your keychain to do so.

Using Nomad CHARGEKEY for iPhone, I always feel like an international spy with high tech gadgets, it makes me distinct in a crowd. The best part is the key looks so thin and light but at the same time it is very rigid and rugged in quality.

It can hold your iPhone seriously !!!!!

Read more about the CHARGEKEY in Nomad Site.

Google Chrome didn’t shut down properly – Fix

Looking at the title, you might be wondering why I would post an article about a basic error message shown by the Google Chrome Browser. “Google Chrome didn’t shut down properly” was a normal error that you see when the browser or system crashed during the usage. But for some, it is a daily welcome message. There is this on-going issue which some users experience with Google Chrome browser. Every time you open Chrome, you see this error message appearing on your browser, in spite of closing properly.To me, this is annoying issue – completely, I don’t want to see it at all. Although there is no official fix or answer from Google, a deep search for solution in several forums resolved my problem. I have consolidated the steps for you.

Fixing the error message:
1. Open Google Chrome, Go to Settings, click Show advanced settings, and scroll down to the bottom.
2. Under System, uncheck “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed” and close the settings tab.
3. Go to About Google Chrome (Below Settings), in About Chrome Page, click the Chromium Link. The Chromium site is opened in another tab.
4. Close the browser properly. Wait for 5 Minutes. Restart the computer.
These steps look completely idiotic, but who cares? My issue is resolved.

Another Alternative Solution:
Delete the user account and disconnect the google account. If you don’t really need a Google user account linked to your browser. (I personally don’t prefer this option because I wanted all my plugins and settings to be synced across different devices).

How Two Factor Authentication should change in the future using mobile phone

This is my 50 cent suggestion of how two factor authentication should change in the future. With an increase in sites adopting them, you will end up having an average of more than 20 different two factor authentication codes in your mobile.

86/365+1 Cryptic

Two Factor Authentication codes via sms are just optional and purely dependent on your mobile network availability, i don’t prefer receiving sms codes for each of my sessions. The best so far is the Google Authenticator tool which is available in all cross platform mobile operating systems. So like an RSA key, the Authenticator tool can generate the codes offline and does not require data connection.

So what is going to happen in the future ?

I have 5 accounts linked with my Google Authenticator that includes my two google accounts, dreamhost, lastpass and dropbox. Evernote and Linkedin have introduced two factor authentication and they are going to be in queue for me.

There’s no doubt that i will end up having a minimum of 30 accounts very soon and the current Google Authenticator tool will let me scroll to search for my code out of this 30 accounts. By the time i locate the right account and enter the code, the time expires and code changes. So in terms of usability there is necessarily a change.

So here is my proposal (sorry if it sounds dumb)

Instead of entering the code manually for every account, each account added in Google Authenticator should have a unique callback url or Google should provide a push service which securely allows third party services to send request to our Google Authenticator client in our mobile.

Update: After having a discussion with my friend Srinivasan Annamalai, one of my Technology Evangelist, we concluded few things for better security and also in terms of usability, Google should provide a service to third party services which gives permission only to trigger an action to Generate Secure code associated with concerned account and pop up the same in user mobile screen (on-demand action).

So the next time you want to login using step two authentication, all you have to do is take your mobile, fire up the app and wait for a request made by your service provider to Google, the app will Generte code and pop it up. So you enter it. Thats it. Tada !

By this way you can manage N number of two factor accounts using a single authenticator application…

Activate Airtel Voicemail service for free on your Prepaid Mobile

Airtel provides Free Voicemail service for all prepaid customers but unfortunately no one is aware of it. Even Airtel website or customer care representative is unaware of it.

Activation by Call Code:

  • Call *321*671# for Activation
  • Call *321*673# for Deactivation

Activation by SMS Code:

  • START VMS to 54321 for Activation
  • STOP VMS to 54321 for Deactivation

Voicemail Account Management:

To access your Voicemail Account Management, call Dial 52555 from your registered Airtel Prepaid Mobile. For the very first time, it will prompt you to set a 4 digit passord. Next time you need to enter the password to access your profile settings.

With your account Management, you can do the following things

  1. Change your language presence
  2. Set your Own Custom Voicemail Message
  3. Hear, Save and Delete the received voice mail messages
  4. Change Voice mail box name

You can press the following numbers to perform action on your current running Voicemails

  • Delete – 3
  • Reply – 4
  • Save – 5
  • Previous Voicemail – 6
  • Replay Again – 7
  • Next Voicemail – 8
  • Settings – 9

Settings Page:

  • When you login to setting, Press 2 to change language presence
  • Rename Mailbox Name – 3
  • Change Password – 4
  • Hear or Change current welcome message – 7
  • Remove current Welcome Message – 8

Let me know if you have any issues in activating the services. Enjoy ignoring those unwanted calls 🙂

 

Enable and Allow Remote Access to MySQL Server

By default your MySQL Server has default configuration to allow only local connection. So if your application connects MySQL in localhost, then the basic configuration can be left untouched.

If you are planning to allow and enable remote access to MySQL server, then follow the steps below :

Find the MySQL configuration file which mostly is located at /etc/my.cnf. Using a shell editor like vim or nano, find the following line and comment it

bind-address = x.x.x.x (x.x.x.x points to the ip address you wanted to access from remotely, incase multiple servers, just comment it like below)

#bind-address = x.x.x.x

Also for people using old MySQL server, make sure you also comment the following line

# skip-networking

Restart your MySQL server

service mysqld restart

and try to connect your application with database present in remote server.
Note: You also need to give GRANT access to the db user on that particular DB.

Penta T-Pad WS802c Hands on Review – Video

For those who have been keeping up with the news must be aware of Noida based Pantel Technologies which sells co-branded BSNL Tablets. Recently they launched a new higher end model called Penta T-Pad WS802C. I had a chance to try it and been using it for more than a week. So this was actually my second tablet after the ipad. One thing I could notice is that tablets are drastically changing the way we consume the content. Also we have vast array of choices for buying a tablet, which varies on aspects like features, hardware and cost. In India, cost is a potential factor for every product and that’s where T-pad WS802c impressed me.

Overview:
T-Pad WS802C is a budget tablet which comes around 14700 INR. With my hands-on experience, I am writing a personal review on it. To make things more clear and concise, I am going to split into topics. Ok here we go 🙂 You can also checkout the video above to feel the looks.

Specifications:
Powered by Cortex A8 1GHz, 512mb DDR2 Ram, 4GB internal memory and runs on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It has dual camera (2mp rear + 0.3 front), GPS, 3G Sim Slot and other default stuffs. More detailed specs here.

Tablet Body:
Comes in white colour with 8” display, which is bigger than other budget variant. The back panel is a patterned white design with protective lamination that prevents scratches and gives good resistance. The Touch screen is very responsive like Samsung tab and Blackberry playbook. Overall body is made up of hard plastic and perfectly strong for a tablet.

Performance and Usage:
I performed several benchmark tests and certainly the tablet is up to the level on budget category. Boot speed is pretty quick but certainly at some point multi-tasking lags a little especially when 7+ applications are open same time. Sometimes it crashes and reboots completely. Tried playing couple of high end games and it is seamlessly fast but the negative factor is that it heats up very quickly. The Temperature is too high at some point where you cannot even hold it in your hand. Comparing other tablets in this segment this one emits more temperature. Seriously they need to consider redesigning their heat exhaust or sink.

Battery:
The total standby time is more than 6 hours but the battery drains very quickly within 4 hours on performing normal tasks. We also have to remember the fact that you can actually make calls; receive text messages in this tablet with a 2g/3g sim card. So turning of cellular network can increase your battery life.

Support:
The first question that sparks anyone when buying a brand which is unknown is the support and warranty. Unlike any Chinese products or Unfamiliar New Indian Brands, Pantel Technologies can be added to exception list because they have service centres all over India.

Comparison:
Here is my comparison with tablets in the same budget range.

Features T-Pad WS802C Huawei MediaPad HCL ME Tablet AM7-A1
Operating System 4.0.3 Ice Cream 3.2 Honey Comb 2.2 Froyo
CPU Cortex A8  1GHz Dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Cortex A8, 800MHz
Screen Size 8 Inches 7 Inches 7 Inches
Memory 4GB Internal + Ext 1GB Internal + Ext 8 GB + Ext
Camera 2 mp + 0.3 mp 5 MP + 1.3 MP 1.3 MP
Standby Time 6 hours 6 Hours
Cost 14699 INR 19990 INR 18000 INR

 

Pros:

  1. 15,000 INR is a good price for this configuration
  2. Performance and Speed
  3. Touch sensitive is quite good
  4. Hard and Strong Tablet shell
  5. Warranty and Support Center all over India

Cons:

  1. Over Heating
  2. Battery Charging Time
  3. Uncomfortable menu buttons

You can know more about the tablet in their official product page.

Moving multiple files from current folder to parent folder in Linux

People who use shell to install packages or application in their Linux servers usually need to keep this command handy. Every time they download and unzip a folder, they are in a position to move all those files to a parent directory they already created.

For example you download wordpress application and extract it, but those files are extracted in another folder that comes up with the zip package. What you need to do at this point is to move all those files from that particular folder to your parent directory which you usually created and planned to host. In most cases it will be your Application root folder.

Consider a scenario where you are in folderX, you download a package file and extract it but instead of extracting it directly in folderX, it creates another native folder that comes up with package like folderY. So all those extracted files are in path /folderX/folderY/ 🙁 thats bad !!!

Run this simple move file command outside the folderY, you need to be in folderX when you run !

mv folderY/* .

The above command will move all the files and folders inside folderY to folderX 🙂 That works like a charm! Yeah try it. Always ensure to be careful while running commands like mv, rm. If you don’t give the correct part, things will mess up and you end up doing the operation at wrong place.