Saturday, November 27, 2010

HP India Warranty - Fraud or oversight or callousness - nx7400

The sound from my HP nx7400 laptop left speaker is distorted for quite some time now.

1. I have an onsite warranty and when I called up the support center today, they asked me if the problem was apparent across media (mp3) players.
2. When they asked what media players, I said itunes, winamp.
3. There was an "innocous question" whether it was also on VLC.
4. I said it was on all players, itunes, winamp, vlc, etc.
Immediately, the question was repeated, "does it also happen on VLC media player?"
5. When I said "Yes", the support person immediately jumped on this and said "If you use VLC, warranty is not available".

This is supposedly so since VLC can be run at 400% volume levels which can cause problems. While it doesn't mean that I have run at these (or lower) levels, mere presence of this software has voided warranty now.

While I somewhat agree with such company policies, I have few major issues with this.

1. The line of questioning of onsite support is misleading and bordering on cross questioning with an intent to find fault. It is just not downright ethical.
2. If there are known software which will void HP's warranty, they must provide audit software which will help customers chose, install and use right software on their computers.
3. Such information must also be provided during warranty purchase / activation. Afterall, I paid close to Rs.4000-5000 for annual warranty and that is by no means cheap money in India (or anywhere else).

I provided feedback to the customer support on point (2) above and was asked to get in touch with in.ced@hp.com to provide feedback about such improvements. I certainly will.

So, beware - of such - policies and software.

I feel quite cheated.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Google AdSense - 6 years later

For those who have followed this blog for long, I shied away from Google AdSense way back in Jan 2005 for those documented reasons.

I'm now reviving it, albeit I've not decided how I'll put the monetary part into use, if at all I do make anything :)

Obviously the technology would have come a long way from then on and it's interesting to note that further to their acquisition of Feedburner, they have made that integration quite easy as well.

Right now, one of the best URL's that I've ever had is for my humor blog via http://feeds.feedburner.com/humor and I believe I should do more justice to that blog as well!

And, did I say that my "inspiration" to turn on AdSense was my friend Krishnamoorthy - for reasons he best can guess :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kindle 3 WiFi, e-readers, touchscreen tablets

So, I got Kindle 3 WiFi for Krish, still to get to Chennai with it. I like the concept of e-readers, but I'm aghast at the prices at which books sell legally :) IMHO, many product prices do not take PPP into consideration and there are possibly some valid reasons for it as well in the context of "e-goods". However, they do lose out on a large market for this very reason as well.

Well, FWIW, I'm quite tempted with the concept of touchscreen tablet when compared to a plain e-reader. I'd like to gift one to my parents who'll appreciate the ease of using a touchscreen device when compared to a regular desktop/laptop. However, I'm also sure that I'd be hogging the device if that was the only touchscreen tablet device at home :)

Samsung Galaxy Tab with 7" touchscreen, camera, wifi and android is a step in right direction - however I'm not fully convinced about screen size. I'd rather take the ~10" Apple iPad - however that's still missing camera (front & back) and is also exorbitantly priced without an external/SD card storage mechanism. I'll probably wait for the next gen tablets to make entry into the market. Apple can be quite greedy at times - afterall the 16GB iPad sells at $500 while 64GB sells at $700. $200 difference for 48GB! But then, the Samsung Galaxy Tab at $600 isn't a very inspiring price either for a 7" device. There was mention of a $500 variant with just Wi-Fi, but I can't seem to find enough information on it on the net - they mostly talk about the 3G+WiFi variant.

I do like Krish's take that a reader like kindle without extra-ordinary capabilities will keep him less distracted and dedicated to the task of reading! I couldn't agree more :) Will be interesting to see how HTC Nook Color (Barnes & Noble) stands up against Kindle.

In the meanwhile, if any of the readers are interested in gifting me one (either the tablet or e-reader), thanks in advance :)