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.

 

 

 

 

CHARGEKEY – my obsession of stylish iPhone charge cable

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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.

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…

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.

Prebook your Ubislate 7+ tablet for 2999 rupees now

A tablet with cortex A8 , 3200 mAh battery powered by Android 2.3 with GSM and Wifi connectivity and i am giving you it for a damn price of Rs.2999 INR. Why would i buy it ? Sorry was that a question ? Nope i mean where can i get it ? Who can give you a damn cheap tablet with all these features ? The Aakash tablet project powered Ubislate 7+ is upgraded version of ubislate7 tablet and it rocks more than the previous one. You can actually make and receive calls with it !

Features of Ubislate 7 Plus:

  • Android 2.3
  • Cortex A8, 700 Mhz Process with HD Video Co Processor
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Storage: (Internal) 2GB Flash / (External) 2GB to 32GB Supported
  • Peripherals: 2 Standard USB Ports (Ver. 2.0)
  • Audio Out: 3.5mm jack
  • Display and Resolution: 7″ Display with 800×480 pixels
  • Supported Document Formats: All Version Office Document formats and many more
  • High Quality Video Streaming & HD Quality Video Playback
  • Input Devices: Resistive Touch Screen
  • Connectivity with GPRS & WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g
  • Battery: Upto 180 minutes of battery, AC adaptor 200.240 volts

Don’t even think about the quality just go and order it. All the slots closed for January and February but again the pre-booking has been opened for the month of March. Your wait is worth it and you can book it right away here at their official website. http://www.ubislate.com/prebook.html . i don’t know how long the pre-booking lasts !

Optional accessory “keyboard case” can turn this tablet into a laptop which is yet to hit the stores.

 

Jailbreaking your iphone, ipad and ipod touch. Is it safe to do ?

There is a misconception going  about jailbreaking the latest iOS 5 devices. People say it will void your warranty and should do it only after the warranty period. Recently Apple is insisting application developers to create apps which detect modified handsets. Some apps keep popping up saying ” Jailbreak detected. App cannot run on this device.” . Jail breaking is legal but it does not cover the warranty and will void your warranty ! So should you jailbreak ? When you ask this question yourself, you need to understand what jailbreaking is and the necessity why you want to jailbreak ?

Jailbreaking is just a process of removing the restrictions posed on a device.  Just consider entering a country without a visa. Each and every app developed for ios device should go for a process of approval by Apple before they are listed in itunes. So inorder to enable more functionality and to install custom applications, we involve in the process of jailbreaking our devices. Usually a custom community Cydia is available for ios which acts as a platform for apps market for jailbreak devices. I came across some of the custom apps and have to adhere their functions and how useful they are.  My favourite one was the bluetooth dialup  network for ipod touch which enables me to use my ipod touch with 3g facility by bridging it with my blackberry.

The misconception with the users is that the current iOS 5 upgrade sends a signal to Apple saying that your iphone was jailbreaked and should ban this user from any support or warranty. This does not work that way, if you ask me i would tell it was just a rumor ! Atleast not now ! I have to agree that apple is trying to strengthen its device with a lot of security fixes. Jailbreak can be possible because of the security exploits and holes in the current software version but for every update Apple is trying to fix it up, we end up with a good jailbreaking tool 🙂

So my advice is if you really want to use some extra apps and try more out of your device, jailbreak your device but don’t forget to take a backup before you do it. But don’t forget just in case if you want to send your device for a warranty you need to restore it with the original firmware !

Buy and Sell in Internet with Sahipasand

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It was yesterday that when i was looking for people selling second hand Enfield bikes i came across this simple and clean site called Sahipasand . At first i had no intent to browse through it as i thought it was just another random site with bot generated listing. But i tried my luck and found some reliable listing especially in my place Pondicherry.

To my surprise i can find more than 250 products alone in my city (Pondicherry) in different categories. This added to my interests and i began to explore some of the listings as well as features of the site.I thought it is a good idea to share a site like this to my readers. Sahipasand (right choice in Hindi) is a free classified site, where you can buy and sell anything for free. Yes you are right i could say its indian version of Craigslist !

One of the reasons why this site stands unique is that it has no ads; they don’t charge you for anything.  You dont have to pay for listing your ad or for contacting a seller. It’s completely free and you don’t even need to register. The site acts as a middleman to connect you to the seller/buyer free or charge 🙂

SahiPasand.com is owned by SCM Ventures which is under Schibsted ASA and its subsidiary Schibsted Classified Media (SCM).  SCM is currently the biggest online classified advertising company in Europe. The site looks elegant and simple so does the usability. With Sahipasand you can sell almost anything because they provide a wide range of categories to choose from like in ebay. They also have separate sections for selling cars, real estate and posting jobs . From the start the major thing i am obsessed about this site is its ease of use. You can simply narrow down your search and find what you are looking for!

Every listing is thoroughly checked and verified by the team and then it’s approved for listing. For example check this product listing where i ended up searching Enfield in Pondicherry. I can directly contact the buyer without any brokerage charges. Currently there are 45252 ads online which is good for a startup site.

Just browse through the site to experience yourself.

Free October Calendar Wallpaper Gandhi Jayanthi Special

Happy Gandhi Jayanthi to all of you. This is a particular day to remember one great man who stood as a father of our nation. Remembering Gandhi is not just about having him  in your currencies but in your desktop too :). It is my great pleasure to post October Calendar Wallpaper which is designed by my colleague Rafi. He is a Web, Graphics and Motion designer and have more than 8+ years of experience in this field.

You can check  his portfolios in his site Rafimmedia.com. He has designed a Gandhi Jayanthi Featured Theme Calendar Wallpaper for this month which is available in many resolutions to fit your desktop including the iphone. Thanks to Rafimmedia. Feedback about the design is appreciated and would encourage Rafi to design more wallpapers.

Download Gandhi Jayanthi Wallpaper With Calendar

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Download Gandhi Jayanthi Wallpaper Without Calendar

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Hope you like this beautiful wallpaper. Please do share it.

Using Underground Data Center to Store your Data.

Backup is a mandatory option for an individual as well as businesses. We have our own critical and confidential data that requires backup stored in some place is important. I usually use external hard disk to store my data like client docs, projects, resources, backup image and software applications. We also store them in DVD Disks which lasts long only upto 5 years. Hard disks too have their own read and write cycles which works upto an approximate lifespan but what if there arise a situtations like drive being stolen or damaged. You are out of choice and then only end up storing your data in the cloud.

There is a major concern over storing our valuable data in cloud when compared to storing it in our disks. Yes, its the privacy and security issue. When it comes to critical data like bank details, confidential documents, personal images, proofs.. we need a place where data can be secure, private as well as invulnerable to any means of risks and vandalism. My quest for a service online which overcomes my concern landed me in a different discussion. I seeked my cousin’s advice who is a product manager at Trend Micro. He told me about this trend called Underground Data centers. Its like Old wartime bunkers, caves, mountains turned down into a secure place for establishing Data centers.

When i was exploring about companies that have underground datacenters i came forward with this service called Mount10 (former name Swiss fort Knox) which stores all your date inside the Swiss Alps Mountain. Yeah i am not kidding..!! Mount 10 consists of two independent underground data centers inside the Swiss Alps which are being operated for storing, archiving and securing physical as well as electronic assets. The facilities are equipped with the latest technologies, physically separated by 10km and connected internally as well as with the Internet by a high performance network.

Why we should you go for Underground Data Centers ?

These type of Underground Datacenters are resistant against any known civil, terroristic and military threat including electro magnetic pulse and also offers protection against environmental disasters such as earth quakes, floods, landslides and large-scale fires. They are usually addressed as Zero Risk Infrastructure.

Click the image for full preview

Mount10,  an automated Backup Service (Underground Datacenter ):

The folks at Mount10 had given me a 4GB Free Account for Lifetime Period for testing their servers. With the help of Mount10 Client i can automatically backup and sync in realtime. Mount10 allows you to select an account name, with password and encryption key. This encryption key is the most important part, without which u cannot access your account and it is highly impossible to recover the key. Also you dont have to worry about your confidential and critical data being stored at their servers and being intercepted by someone since Mount10 uses 448-bit encryption technology the highest internet banking standards.

Some highlighted features of Mount10 Includes

  • Underground “zero-risk” infrastructure and protection against nuclear, biological or chemical attacks including Full EMP (electro magnetic pulse) protection.
  • 24h surveillance, ensured by a civil and military concept
  • 448-bit encryption for storage
  • Fully automatic backup via the Internet
  • Data history with search functionality
  • Dual Internet Providers
  • Independent supervision
  • Nominal Rates for Storage
  • Data vaulting to SWISS FORT KNOX
  • Manageable Client for All versions of Operating Systems

To know more about their features and service plans, i recommend visiting their site here.