Sunday, September 16, 2007


Okay, this has got too far. How come it's always ME, yes, ME, who manages to pick up the one DEFECTIVE product? Huh? Why me?

* realises such sweeping statements may invite lawsuits *
* Uhm, let me rephrase that first line *

Why does every technological gadget that I purchase seem to conk? Why is it only me? Hell, there are 113 other PGP-1 students here, why am I the chosen one? >:(

Okay, this post, as you may have surmised, is just to vent out my frustration which has been held back for too long.

Let me start you off with my poor, poor history with MP3 players. Yeah, most people who have the moolah just went off and bought the iPod (two years back, they were still 16k+, a figure that was astronomical to us poor engineering college souls). What did the rest of us do? Why, buy cheaper versions of course. And all the while, we indulged in pacifying ourselves by trashing the iPod (some psychological bullshit, this!) telling ourselves the cheaper version makes more sense, while at the back of our minds, we knew we'd give a limb for a 'Pod. Whatever.

So with this endeavour to go 'digital', I buy my first player in the middle of my third year. A modest 128 MB player for 2000 bucks (yes, yes, laugh all you want) by a brand that is not exactly likely to be seen in Fortune 500 for a while - Miyota.

So what happened, you ask? Basically, Maslowian tendencies crept in, and the need for 'more' music just happened. So I 'gifted' this player to my brother (not before disaster number one, which was slipping from a bus and crashing my player into a wall and breaking the plastic enclosure, happened) and set out to buy a 512 MB player. And then, what happens?

Anyone who's bought fake MP3 players would very well be acquainted with the 'virtual memory' syndrome. In a nutshell, it means, if it shows X amount of space, the actual space will be only X/2. So my 512 MB gave me... Yes, 256 (good work, Einstein!). And of course, I discovered this a happy week after my purchase, so the gentleman cooly refused to take it back.

Fast forward to a software engineer's life in Chennai. With 15k a month for doing virtually nothing, I don't know WHAT on earth prompted me to go in for a iPod fake, which also had X/2 memory (I refuse to elaborate on details, as my player became a standing joke in our place after this!).

Finally, saved up a little, and seeing the iPod was still out of reach, decided that a Creative 8 GB player for 8k was a decent option. And it was. Till... The crash. And oh, the trouble I had to go to get it replaced. Eventually, it was replaced with a 6 GB version (and now, I'm waiting for the next crash). Thankfully, it exists to this date, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Now, memory sticks. Like all Indians, the thought of paying a premium for 'memory' was unthinkable. I mean, you buy a camera for 8k... Who would ever wanna shell out 4k more for 'original' memory, when cheaper versions are available? Huh?! Well, my history goes as follows, and the tallying up of the costs is quite painful.

1. 16 MB: Free with cam (whee!) <- Maslow takes over
2. 128 MB: 2000 bucks. See a trend here? <- This one crashes after 6 months.
3. 256 MB: 2000 bucks. If only, I curse myself, I'd waited for a while. This one lasts for over a year, giving me good value for money. And then it also decides to suicide ('Format Error' being the category's option of choice)
4. 1 GB for 700 bucks: Yes, you heard that right. Viva Richie's street.

And yes, the stick's been working for about 6 months now.

What next? Aaaah... Notebook computers * evil grin that shadows a lifetime of pain *

My notebook adaptor apparently conked. Being under warranty, I call up customer care, but they tell me the bloody international warranty is available only for Bangalore and Delhi. Not wanting to spend that much, I give my adaptor to a local dealer (hence nullifying the warranty) thinking it would be just a minor defect. As it turns out, it was pretty major, and I was lost again >:(

I had to end up buying a fake adaptor, which lost it's bloody end pin (!!) after three months... And I searched in vain to get another pin (ranging from electronic spare part stores to old customers of the fake adaptor...). Finally, Dad had enough and told me to just go and buy an original Acer adaptor (Dad is a great believer in long-term investments. Unfortunately, he didn't account for my jinxedness with tech products).

All is well for another 6 months, the course of which I shifted to Chennai. And then what happens? My screen starts developing certain coloured lines (the beginning of the end, you can feel it coming). My roommate gives my notebook a max of 6 months. The optimist that I am, assured myself it would last another 2 years (!). 2 months into MICA, and the graphics card acts more moodily than Shahid Afridi's form, and the screen has developed enough lines to give a zebra an inferiority complex.

And finally, the final nail in the proverbial coffin, the computer just refused to boot up any longer. An estimated 30k for repairs.

So what do I do? New laptop. Thrilled for 3 days, because I got an amazing deal at a kick-ass price. What happens after 3 days? Yes, screen refuses to work. Off to the service center, where they find the RAM had to be replaced (they took all of days to do that. Don't ask why. Some things are best left unquestioned).

Funny enough, the one gadget that gives everyone else nightmares, mobile phones, haven't caused that much of trouble for me. Yeah, my old 3310 had a couple of screen repairs, but the subsequent 1100, 6021 and E50 have performed fine, except for one repair the latter needed. Strange. I hope this is not a lull before a storm.

The positives? I've learnt so much about technology and researching for fakes and all in the process. (D---uh!) And yes, my 4-year old headphones still work like a dream. My faithful Sonys, which I bought for a paltry 900, still give me a better bass response than some of the Sennheiser models I checked out, and I am not kidding on this front. Infact, the only model which seemed to be better than my 'phones seemed to be Bose's QC3, but at 16k, they are another level.

Hence you have it. My sob story. Feels good, just letting all that out!
Posting this one quickly as I don't know when my comp will conk off next.
Cheerio! :D