Friday, October 29, 2010

Andromeda paralyzed…perhaps permanently

What India and UK couldn’t do in 3 years, Canada has done in 2 months!

Our ceiling began to leak early this morning. And where would all the dripping drop? Right on my laptop!! And where exactly on my laptop? On the keyboard and touchpad!!!

Andromeda has been acting really weird ever since and I’ve had to restart several times since. On removing the battery, I discovered water had seeped right into the precious organs of my laptop. Current status: The touchpad buttons are completely dead and scrolling doesn’t work anymore.

And the liquid that leaked wasn’t just water. This sounds the death knell. I guess I’ll now have to make do with an external mouse until the final moment arrives for my beloved laptop. I’m preparing the obituary already.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3 Countries, 4 Cities, 4 Phone Numbers!

I now have phone numbers local to:

  • London, UK
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Washington, USA
  • New York, USA

I can actually chain them all together!

One of these numbers is via Google Voice. It’s amazing what VoIP can do to you…like living without a phone bill. Yes, it’s possible!

Monday, October 18, 2010

To err is Bell

Bell has taken the liberty of renaming me to Deepsadjan. I’m deeply sad. Should I ring the panic bell since I can’t register for Bill Pay with my mangled name?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lousy customer billing

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Bell Canada should learn a thing or two about correctly billing its customers. We had to call customer support to rectify an inflated invoice.

Xpresspost–International (CANADA POST)

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I paid $53 to send some documents via Canada Post from Montreal, Canada to London, UK. The tracking history speaks volumes about how ‘quick’ Xpresspost has been. It took 4 days for my post to even leave Canada! The final delivery is still awaited, though it’s now under Royal Mail.

And I cribbed about India Post. I should have known better.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My phone without a phone

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I refuse to be sucked into expensive contracts. Indeed while telecom policies in India, and to a lesser extent UK, make it easier for people like me who loathe the phone, to maintain a not-very-expensive relationship with the damned gadget, I am truly appalled at how difficult it is to subscribe to a minimal rental plan in North America.

Getting into a contract is like selling your soul to the Devil. Breaking the contract incurs a huge financial expenditure. Pay-as-you-go is not a viable option either as you generally have to pay monthly $25-$30 anyway. You pay for incoming calls as well and phones here are almost always SIM-locked.

The only option left for someone on a shoestring budget is to go for a VoIP service provider who also lets you buy a local number. Localphone, a trusty VoIP provider since my London days, has been my savior in Montreal. I pay $3.80 per month for unlimited incoming calls. Voicemail is free and call forwarding inexpensive. Outgoing calls are also insanely cheap. There is a serious handicap, though. I can access my virtual ‘phone’ only in an Internet zone. Well, I can live with that for now. When the future demands more, I’ll probably go for a wifi phone with a VoIP client like Fring.

One thing is certain: I’m not signing any contract.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 Open in New Delhi

I hear the opening ceremony was fabulous!