In a previous post, I enlightened the world as to how jinxed I am when it comes to anything that has anything more than a diode in it. Unlucky I may be, but the good samaritan that I am, I would like to share my blunders with you so that you, my loyal readers, are not afflicted with the same. So here are my top five tips for averting a technical Waterloo.
5. Use a surge-protection extension cord while using an external HDD.
Alright, that sounded vey geeky, I know. (Okay, I'm an engineer. So sue me!) Let me break it down. There are external hard disks. You know, the big ones with an external power source, as shown.
Now chances are, you plug your nice shiny 7500 rupee drive into the wall socket or use a cheap extension cord. For heavens sake, don't! Those 400 rupee extension cords cost 400 rupees for a reason - they come with something called surge protection. Now while the geekiness counter might go haywire here, all you need to know is this surge protection thing protects your hard disk adaptor from power fluctuation. In effect, it doesn't get fucked up. Ha, you say, you've been connecting your laptop adaptor to the cheapie and no damage has happened till now, you argue. True, but your laptop adaptor is a lot more powerful. The li'l thing inside a adaptor of a HDD is not. And noone repairs it. I've tried.
So do your 60 GB pirated music and 500 GB of downloaded movies a favour, and get yourself a surge protector.
4. Back up data!
Backing up data is like trying to save from your first salary. You keep thinking you'll start off next month and before you know it, your nose is in the grinder. Seriously now, it won't take you more than a couple hours to back up your documents. And if you have a music collection or movie collection that you've spent ages organizing and putting together, it deserves to be in more than one place. Think about it... Your life's hard work is in between a few metal sheets which are all oh-so-delicately balanced and read by a modified version of a gramaphone head. Now that I've succeeded in scaring you, go back up your data, and you'll truly have peace of mind. Like all those insurance ads claim.
3. Never buy anything over 5k without a bill.
Sure, that N series from a place in Lamington Road may look tempting, priced 2000 bucks lower than at the MobileStore. So what, you say, its a Nokia! Good quality! Of course I trust them and won't need a warranty! I'll get by.
Wake up, chowderhead. The reason the thing wound up in Lamington Road was because it was probably a factory reject. It's not like a Levis' factory reject from the Loot where you can tailor it up for 50 bucks. If your phone crashes, chances are you'll need to spend over 500 to fix it. Plus you will be at the mercy of private repairpeople who'll charge you whatever they please and tell you whatever they want when in reality all they might have done is piss on your screen and changed the keypad. Sometimes that invoice can be a great comfort. In my opinion, any electronic item for over 5000 bucks should be bought from a proper store, with a bill. And warranty.
2. Test memory devices before buying
Yes, I know not all of us can afford iPods and Sony Memory Cards (those propreitary-toting bastards!) so we may be tempted to pick up cheaper stuff from the Lamingtons and Richies of India. Not a bad idea, if it's not too much of an investment. At the same time, make sure you check the thing because many unbranded memory cards and players (Mitashi and Suny are not counted as brands, by the way) may not always contain the rated memory. I had a 1 GB player that ended up having just 512 MB (and my roommates had a field day at my expense). So caveat emptor, really. And when using one of these things, alwasys keep frequent backups because you never know when one of them will crash and lose your favourite songs or your killer photos.
In any case, you get pretty decent memory these days.
1. Don't buy an acer
Last but not the least. Even if you're held at gunpoint, do NOT buy this piece of utter, undiluted shit called acer. Note how I don't even capitalise the 'a' to show my utter disrespect. They tempt you with low prices but have as much quality as Ashish Nehra has a batting repertoire. Their customer care is pathetic, their after-sales response is a nightmare (think not? Try waiting two weeks just to get your RAM replaced). And of course, their laptops suck. I don't care if I got a bad piece (like one of my friends suggested), it had no business being in the market with all the 'good' pieces then. So please, please, please, please, don't buy an Acer. Discourage anyone who plans to do so. I've talked hundreds of people out of buying an acer and will continue to do so. This is called philantrophic vengeance. Actually, don't buy any laptop other than Dell. Laptops = Dell. They'll come and fix your laptop even if you drop water on it. THAT is Customer service. Acer on the other hand, refuses to replace a faulty keyboard because 'they don't have spares', and act as if the fault is yours all along.
Oh, and a word about their marketing campaign, if you can call it that. 'Life is Busy, Acer makes it easy' is in my list the worst ad campaign ever, trumping HCL's pathetic wannabe effort. What sort of shit is that? I lost respect for Hrithik when he did an ad like that. And don't go by what PCWorld says. The laptops (as well as all the other equipment) sent to them for testing are like the blazers the college director gets. The masses get crap, but he gets a carefully tailored one - probably one that has been through multiple quality tests.
And I apologize to Ashish Nehra and all his fans for comparing him to a craptop like acer.
And as a bonus point, if any of you have any intentions of buying the most overhyped thing ever to exist, the iPhone, please don't. Get yourself a Nokia ESeries and some quality and value for money. Expanding pictures and all is cute for the ads. Here's a killer take on why the iPhone is, well, less than satisfactory.
This picture sums up what a lot of people feel about the iPhone:
So there you have it. Follow these simple instructions and you will lead a happy life and reach Tech Nirvana. Now, where's my Creative?