Dell Hell

There has been a lot of positive reviews and praises for Dell floating in the web. Blindly relying on these reviews I took a giant leap and purchased myself my first Dell laptop. Its a XPS series and Model M1210. XPS is supposed to be the premier lineup in Dell production line and its the most expensive of the lot. I was ready to pay the extra money imagining I would get a red-carpet welcome in the customer service area plus superior performance and quality product. I was decieved by Dell in all three areas.

1. Red Carpet Customer Service

After one year, I wanted to extend my warranty and I contacted Dell by email. They responded fast but the response was very bland. No greetings, no regards, no contact details in the mail. I was surprised. But then I didn’t want to make a fuss. So I asked for my quotation for my XPS system. The guy sent me a quote for Inspiron system. I repeatedly told him that I have an XPS system. But he kept sending only the Inspiron quote. When enquired, I was surprised to hear that they have only one template for quotation PDF and it can accomodate just Inspiron. But still I can go ahead and get it as it would cover my service tagged Laptop. I was not so sure about this. By this time the guy in Dell India Support (Extended Warranty Section) lost his patience. So I contacted another guy over the phone, only to find that he reports to Guy 1 and he too sent me the same quote but with my laptop model mentioned in the remarks section. Yet this quote is for Inspiron.

I decided not to go for warranty extension with a company with such poor infrastructure. I really dont understand, if they can’t reprogram the tool to support XPS and other product lines as well.

I decided to buy the replacement for the battery and I found out that its not possible to check it online in Dell’s site. So I called them again and when the call center guy hears my issue, without any warning, he puts me on hold and transfers my call to a person responsible. And that person not available in desk so I go to her voice mail. It doesn’t route to any other person who can help me. Is there only one person who can sell battery in the entire Dell Asia?

Dell India Customer service is highly chaotic and ill-managed.

2. Quality Product

After exactly 1 year, the battery life started exponentially decreasing. This is not my first laptop and I have had many brands before and every one of them had a very decent battery life and they would run fine for years. I tried contacting the Technical Support team a couple of times and the made me wait for 40+ minutes in each of my call and the line got disconnected automatically. I didn’t want to waste anymore of my mobile bill (I dont have access to Toll Free number) and I started searching the web and found out that its the same case with many. The 53 watt 6 cell lithium battery would not last more than a year. Probably this could be a dell-tactic to make consumers buy more from them even after the laptop purchase. One of the worst unethical tactic I have ever come across. I never expected Dell’s products to be of such inferior quality.

3. Superior Performance

The XPS line-up is not a great thing to drooll about. Its just an average laptop and even Vista rated it as 3.5 in its hardware performance rating. Nothing great about either Dell brand or the XPS co-brand.

My next laptop will definitely not be Dell and I would never recommend Dell to any of my friends.

Tweety Bird’s eye view

Twitter is a revolution. Its a great tool. It has changed my lifestyle on the Internet. It the best thing that can turn the corporate world topsy turvy. Well, these are not my words, but words from Internet Gurus.

Do my ideas and views of twitter differ from theirs? That is all what is post is about. So how is twitter helping me? Well, its helping me to know what my friend are up-to and that has helped me learn a lot and break open new vistas. If my friend updates his status as, “Checking out MXNA”, then I might be interested in finding out what it is and then explore and learn. This has how Twitter worked for me. For some, it has helped in letting others know about updates in their promary website.

Its a micro-blogging environment. You can talk about something and make a statement to the world with 140 words. Short and Sweet blogs are read more that long post like what you are reading right now. Some say, its gonna influence the corporate blogging culture and bring out a change in marketing and advertisements. But I don’t agree. If a social networking site like twitter forays into marketing and advertising unnecessarily, then I will be first one to walk out. God! how i hate those marketers!!!

But the twitter popularity is not catching up like wild-fire. It isn’t something like orkut or facebook. Still I have to explain my friends what a Twitter is and coax them to sign up. Even if the sign up, they don’t get the concept easily and never use is frequently.  One even asked me, whats the fun in scrapping your own scrap book? Well, there is no definite answer for him. But once you get about using it, you will know why Twitter is cool.

I can update my status (verb: tweet) using Google talk, FireFox extensions like twitbin, Flock browser, my mobile phone, widsets in my mobile and ofcouse twitter website. And recently i found that adobe air powered twhirl is totally awesome to tweet and friend-feed. A blog friend of mine has mentioned twitter as a free sms service. Yes, if your friend is on twitter, just tweet him and he will get a message in his mobile. I have even integrated it with my facebook, so that my facebook status is my current tweet.

Ultimately, Twitter is not addictive, its not a revolutionary invention that going to change the world wide web. But, its a step towards something innovative and probably explosive. Until then, its just a show-off accessory.

10 strange things I want to do in Chennai

  • Travel on the roof of double decker bus and keep travelling for one whole day though all possible roads in Chennai.
  • Vacate the entire marina beach stretch and shout at the top of my voice, overlooking the sea, until I drain out
  • Play street light football in Mount road Spencer plaza signal
  • Skateboard x-games style in Gemini fly-over
  • Rent a Ferrari and drive it full speed between Madhya kailash and SRP tools, 21 times and crash the Ferrari in 22nd lap.
  • Unleash my Dog inside the premises of any super-expensive star hotel and watch him do the destruction. go mike go…
  • Wear lungi and go to LeMeridian and sit in the restaurant floor and eat in Banana leaf (Pandhi style). Food must flow out of leaf and I must my lick heartily towards the end. The entire crowd must watch me do it.
  • Rent a cycle, park it with stands on,in middle of the road, in Duraiswamy subway at peak hours, and stationarily pedal the cycle and get scolded by everyone.
  • Gather all stray dogs from chennai and parade them from Kathipara junction to Ripon building and then let the dogs to castrate the coporation guys.
  • And finally, become one-day mayor of Chennai and pass a corporation law which makes it mandatory for Houseowners to pay rent and deposit to residents if they are working in IT companies, for the next 50 years.

RSS Day – May 1

Really Simple Syndication is what I am going to talk about and not any political party. So why do I want to talk about RSS? Is it because of the Awareness campaign or the prize money involved? Neither of it. It because I feel not many people are aware of this. Even a few bloggers I have known are not aware of RSS and its power. I am really surprised to see that this ignorance is also prevailant with a few website developers. Quite a few of them know about RSS but have not utilized it.

Before defining the powers of RSS, let me just tell you how I use RSS. I make use of RSS to read my blog comments on my Mobile RSS reader, when I am not able to access the internet for long hours. I use google reader extensively to read all blogs I follow in a single window. New updates from various News sites gets filled by itself in my Flock browser’s inbuilt RSS aggregator. These are the main applications which I utilize from the house of RSS. I use facebook’s mini feeds to keep track of my friends and the latest addition is feedburner. But the possibilities are endless.

RSS is a text streaming channel which streams the text from a site to any aggregator. Its basically like a electricity power line. Electricity is generated at one place and streamed to you house and you use it in many appliances. Similarly news feeds from one site is streamed to you, wherever you are and you can deploy it in may applications.

For those who already use RSS feeds, keep the good work and spread the word. For others who are ignorant, explore the features and limitless possibilities of RSS.

As a starting point, visit google reader and try subscribing to my posts.

RSS Awareness Day

Life with N95-8GB

Its been close to 6 months since I got myself the beautiful beast called the N95 8GB. Ever since, I have been one happy Nokia customer and a very proud owner of N95 8GB. The other day a friend asked me if I would advice him to go ahead and get himself a N95 8GB. I stopped him and told him not to waste money on something he won’t utilize fully. I told him, if he was a power-user like me, then he can go get it. But just to take and make calls, N95 8GB would be a criminal waste.

Well, what do I mean when I say power-user? This means that I use the power of the device to the maximum extent and explore all possible feature list and make the phone an integral part of my lifestyle.

As a business phone, I use it to read short PDFs while on travel. I edit and read word documents and excel sheets. I don’t carry PowerPoint presentations in a USB drive anymore. Instead I use the phone to store it as I can edit it on the move. If there is any blue-tooth enabled projector, then I can directly project my presentations from my mobile. I use it to organise my events, reminders and birthdays. I wear a watch but, I always check time and date with my mobile as I can cross check my clients/on-site timings as well with world time.

I record meetings with Dictaphone and use it later to make minutes. I record conversations with call center agents to keep them on the hook. All my calls are automatically recorded and this is quite handy.

I check mails and send emails. I chat with friends via regular IMs and with colleagues via official IM installed on my mobile.

I have both scientific and normal calculators installed in my mobile and its very handy. I don’t pay my service provider for the answering machine. Instead I have an application that manages my voice-mails efficiently.

I use Google maps(mobile version) to locate a destination or to get the driving directions. Nokia map’s GPS is fun to explore and I sometime GeoTag my photos to tag them the location on which that particular photo was clicked.

I read RSS feeds using Mobile feed aggregators and use emTube to watch youtube videos when I am totally bored. I block unwanted calls and SMS and also backup SMS to an online server automatically.

I use the phone inbuilt voice recognition time to read me the time when I am half awake. It also reads me the name of the caller when there is an incoming call. It reads me the just-received SMS while I am driving.

I am able to protect my privacy by selectively hiding and password protecting photos, videos, text message, call logs, etc…

I also use the counter to count certain iterations. Very useful when I am in temple to do 108 rounds or chants. Bluetooth/IR to share stuff with other phones. BlueJack to play pranks.

Instant Age calculator is very useful for mathematically challenged guys like me and the Group creator automatically groups my contact list on set criteria.

Applications like smarttorch enable to use my mobile as an ad-hoc torch light. I also edit photos )photofix) on the move and share them online(shareOnline 2.0). ActiveNotes helps me in making note of certain lists. I tweet using the mobile widsets. Create my own widsets and integrate a handful of sites using widsets. Facebook, VOX, and flickr applications gets me mobile and social.

Endless list of accelerometer applications are always handy. I shake my mobile to show me an incoming message(ShakeSMS). Shake it lock/unlock(ShakeLock). RotateMe is used to automatically adjust the orientation of my phone.

Google search application is very handy to help me search the web and IRCTCMobile application lets me book tickets over mobile and also check my ticket status. ICICI bank’s mobile appication lets me check my account status.

I edit music using mobile and I also set the phone to start certain application at set time. Like it starts my Radio automatically every day at 6:30am.

Extreme applications like Inclinometer tells me if I have parked my car on a plane or inclined surface. ActivityMonitor help me keep track of my workouts and calories count on a regular basis.

Apart from these, I use the phone for regular use like listening to Music, Radio (both FM and Online Radio), organising the music tracks, pod-casts, watch full length movies, short video clips and play a lot of games (I keep changing my games list regularly).

Camera is one thing which I can’t live with. I don’t miss my digital camera now. In-fact I have gifted it to my sibling. From clicking the number plate of the vehicle which bumped me, to events photography (like office bday parties) my Mobile’s camera does a very neat job.

I use the phone’s TV out cable to connect to my TV and watch movies on a bigger screen when I am at home. And ofcourse I use the WAP/GPRS to browse and when I find a wifi hotspot, my N95 is very useful to jack me into the net.

I want to keep this post short and many other features private. So I stop here.

Well, now that I have defined the word power-user. The reason for this post is not to showcase my capabilities. None of these applications translate my capabilities. They translate the power of user communities and developer communities. Modern day devices are futuristically designed to accommodate more features and support 3rd party applications.

So if you are willing to explore the geek’s world and tap the full functionality of a device, go for it. Else stay with a device that caters to your need. Owning a geeky device is not show-off. Real show-off is when you are able to display the features of the device you own. So spend wisely.