Monday, 29th July, 2019

How Airtel is lying to us

You’re cruising over the information super highway, consuming mobile data like there is no tomorrow, gotta watch them videos all! All of a sudden you’re hit with this SMS from Airtel:

Alert-50%-: of your daily data limit is used. You wonder, 50% data gone already? So fast! And you start thinking of conserving data to get through the rest of the day, you become selective in what you click from now onwards. Sorry funny cat video, you’ll have to wait till tomorrow. Sorry political propaganda, no can do, gotta save bandwidth for Whatsapp, Zomato & Paytm.

But no! AirTel is trying to fool us. If you have the Airtel mobile app, go to the “Data Balance” section & check how much data you’ve actually consumed. It will be nowhere close to the 50% of your plan, it will be much much less! For me the 50% message comes when I still have 2.9GB data left out of 3.4GB! Clearly someone at Airtel office skipped primary maths class.

Chal jhootha!

And then soon after you’re hit with a second SMS, 90% of your data is gone into thin air, your online life is now officially over for the day, until 12 O’ clock mid-night when next day’s data balance reloads. But no, its just Airtel messing with you like a good homie. Again if you check in the mobile app, you’ve not even used half the data, and they’re warning you of 90% data exhaustion. For me, I get that SMS when I have 2.5GB remaining out of 3.4GB!

I have been monitoring this for several days now. Why Airtel why? Stunts like this is what forced many of your customers to switch to Jio in the first place.

Friday, 26th July, 2019

Can I wash Apple EarPods?

Yes you can! I am talking about the WIRED earphones from Apple, which used to come bundled with older iPhones before they stopped doing that.

I have 2 such EarPods, one from iPhone 3gs [yes that old!] and one from iPhone 5s, both of whose phones are long gone but the earpods continue to work perfectly.

Apple EarPods

After so many years they are still white because I clean them regularly.

I directly wash them with regular water & liquid soap, clean the wire, take a small brush & clean earwax, dirt etc off the part which go into the ear. Must let it dry before using again. These are my favourite earphones & I will continue to purchase them as long as Apple will sell a 3.5mm headphone plug.

If you’re still not convinced, use surgical spirit instead of water. Take a cotton pad, wet it fully with surgical spirit and use it to clean the entire thing.

Thursday, 25th July, 2019

Roomba 606 review

Does Roomba work for Indian homes? Yes it does!

I have been using the Roomba 606 since September 2018, which is the cheapest model from iRobot on selling at around 19000 rupees.

It works perfectly. Roomba cleans the floor better than a human can, it picks up such fine dust which can never be picked up with a broom, ONLY IF you let it clean. Any by “letting it clean” I mean keep as much floor space available for Roomba. Move away small objects like toys, utensils, house slippers, clothes that are lying on the floor and any other obstacles that might get in its way.

We let Roomba clean our 2 bedrooms, 1 living + dining room, 1 kitchen & 1 utility space of our flat, which is of approximately 900 sqft of tiled floor. It takes approximately 1 hour to clean this much space. We run Roomba & do a wet mopping of the floor every alternate day, so if wet mop is done today then Roomba runs the next day. We don’t let it clean the balconies, we just wet mop there.

And if I got busy in some work or just being lazy & have not done wet mopping of the floor on the day which I should have, then I just run the Roomba.

After every 3 to 5 runs I open the dust box & remove the dust it collected, take out its front wheel, side brush, 2 main brushes, clean dust & hair from them & put them back, wipe everywhere I can with a microfibre cloth. That makes sure it does its top performance. I have not had to replace any parts so far. I do this once a week.

It works great, floor is so clean that sometimes you can make that screeching noise with your feet if you rub hard on the floor. Never have to pick up the broom & bend down to do sweeping anymore, that activity has become a thing of the past for us. Haven’t needed a maid either.

One thing to note: Roomba runs in a very crazy pattern which is beyond any human logic. For example it will be running against the wall in a straight line, then it will move to the middle of the room in a random pattern, going back n forth, and while half of the room is still not cleaned all of a sudden it will move towards another room. This can make you frustrated & loose trust on the device. But if you notice closely for a few days, it eventually returns back to those “missed” spaces later to complete the job. And IF by chance it misses a spot today, it works more on that spot in the next cleaning, which has been my experience. Even though I had read about this behaviour before, it still took us several weeks to process that Roomba is not a person, its a machine, it detects spots with its sensors & signals and has its own unique way of cleaning.

So just let it do whatever it does, let it clean & it will. Now one step from the list of home cleaning chore feels to be automated.

This is a solid company of 30+ years, sold millions of devices across the globe. If it worked for so many people’s homes it will work for you too. We are 100% satisfied with this robot & recommend it. Go for it!

Tuesday, 23rd July, 2019

Calvin Klein One EDT review

Calvin Klein One Eau De Toilette 100 ML

I got this Eau de Toilette in 100ml size by redeeming my HDFC bank Regalia credit card’s rewards points. Looks like it sells online for around 3000 rupees.

I did a test of one spray on each side of my t-shirt’s shoulders in the day, and a very light smell is still there on my t-shirt till mid-night when I am typing this, after around 10/11 hours.

I feel the point of using a perfume is for either of the following two reasons:

1. You have had a long, sweaty day, you’re going to be out there in the public such as in a market or public transport, people will be going to get closer to you, and you need all the help you can get from a fragrance to suppress any bad odour your body might be starting to generate, and make other people comfortable around you, until you get a chance to clean yourself up.

2. You just want to smell nice, fresh & interesting for yourself & other people around you. I have written a guide on how to smell nice all day, everyday.

Looks like this EDT is good for both of these cases. I recommend it.

PS: The bottle comes with the cap on top & the sprayer is kept in the packet. You have to take out the cap & put the sprayer on top in order to use it.

Saturday, 20th July, 2019

I am done with Amazon

I ordered 2 memory cards but the seller sent only 1. After 5 days of “investigations” Amazon didn’t do anything. I lost 899 rupees & have to buy another memory card.

I will never buy anything from Amazon ever again. I think I’ll survive without it.

Monday, 1st July, 2019

How to apply Singapore tourist visa from Bhubaneswar

Odisha comes under the jurisdiction of Singapore Consulate General in Mumbai. Their web page has a list of authorised visa agents that are allowed to apply for a tourist visa on your behalf.

Blue Star is one of those agents based in Mumbai. I have used their services to get my visa and I absolutely recommend them.