Go Home Dell, You’re Drunk!

After my Dell XPS L401x started contributing to the city’s temperature, I got into market for a new laptop. But apparently, the market has moved to Ultrabooks. So, for higher costs, we get less power crammed into a few nanomicrometers of Aluminum. I would really prefer a laptop form factor with a little more power. Anyway, after searching a lot, I settled on Dell Inspiron 15z Touch. I ordered it and yaay, received it today. I’ll skip the unboxing here! I took it out and yeah, this thing is really slim as compared to the previous one.Inspiron 15z Profile

It doesn’t run as hot as furnace. In fact, it feels very pleasant. Unlike earlier Inspirons, build quality is brilliant. The keyboard doesn’t have flex, touchpad is responsive (gestures like scrolling and zooming actually work, by the way), no part is loose or shaky. Overall, the thing looks and feels very good. Did I mention that it’s lighter than I expected? That’s probably because of the build material being polymer instead of metal. I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that even plastic builds can feel good. I was simply loving it – that is, until I actually booted it up!

I pressed the power button and in about 20 seconds, I was presented with the Windows setup. The very first step on the setup – Give us your email address and allow us to send some more newsletters. Yes, Dell has started it’s OEM non-sense right from the initial setup! But this isn’t a Windows Signature machine, so OEM crapware was expected. Next screen has some checkbox. Now, I wasn’t habitual with this new touchpad so I thought I’d simply touch the screen and check the box. It has a touchscreen, right? Wrong! Touching the screen didn’t make any effect except a small fingerprint on the shiny new screen. ‘Let’s give it a time. Windows may load the touch input drivers after the setup is complete. I got through the setup and nothing happened. Touch definitely wasn’t working. I went ahead and checked the system properties: No pen or touch input available! Something was definitely wrong. And that’s when I saw this:Inspironi5

Yeah! They have sent me a completely different laptop. It does have the same GPU, RAM and HDD, but the processor is i5 instead of i7 I ordered. The touch enabled display is nowhere to be seen. I got back to Dell customer service. I won’t get into the details, but it went something like this:

IVRS: Press one for this. Press two for that.
Customer Care Guy 1: Thank you for calling Dell. How may I help you?
Me: Order number blah blah blah. I got blah blah blah.
CCG1: Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Let me transfer your call to someone else.
CCG2: Thank you for calling Dell. How may I help you?
Me: What? The other guy didn’t forward my details already? Alright, Order number… blah blah blah.
CCG2: Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Let me transfer your call to CompuIndia.com guys. Those are the people who handle orders in India so, obviously, they are responsible for screwing this up.
CompuIndia Guy: Hello sir. I have already been provided with the order number.
Me: Great! Now will you check what that order number corresponds to?
CIG: Let me check. Right, it’s Inspiron 15z Tocuh with i7 blah blah blah.
Me: What did you guys send me?
CIG: Whatever was ordered.
Me: Would you check and confirm that?
CIG: I confirmed. I’m really sorry, the wrong laptop is sent.
Me: Now what?
CIG: It’s already Friday. We’ll arrange pickup on Monday. After a few more days, we will ship the correct order. You’ll have to wait till then.
Me: Hell with your weekend. Ship the correct order by tomorrow or I’m keeping both the laptops.

So, that didn’t go very well. I wasn’t ready at all to wait another week for my laptop to arrive. So, I contacted the Dell representative who was handling my case.

Me: Blah blah blah.
Him: Today, at Dell, we are having an internal party. No work today! Happy weekend.
Me: I need to talk to your seniors.
Him: We’ll work your case out.
Me: I still want to talk to seniors.
Him: Alright. Here you go!

After a whole lot of head banging, those people have finally agreed to speed things up a bit and try to get me the correct order in next few days. But the real question is, how drunk one has to be to manage to screw up at that level? Any ideas?

A Bite of Raspberry Pi!

So, I got a Raspberry Pi a few days ago. Actually, I was one of the early adopters who ordered the Pi as soon as I could. After 10 weeks of ‘baking and delivery’ period, I finally got my hands on the device. It’s a tiny little circuit board and looks kinda cute. With some help from photo editing softwares, I was  able to achieve this:GlowOfRaspberryPi
Looks nice and geeky, right?

First impressions:

I don’t exactly know how it happened, but the capacitor which sits near power inlet was broken when I opened the package. Maybe, it happened during the transit or maybe, letting a five year old do the unboxing was not such a good idea. Nonetheless, the thing works very well as long as there is continuous power supply. I have hooked it up to the charger which came with my HD2, so it should be safe to assume that Pi receives sufficient power.

So, I just loaded a 4GB SD card with official Raspbian image and went ahead with monitor connected via HDMI. The Pi boots straight to the raspi-config utility. For most users, changing password for the default user ‘Pi’ should be sufficient here. As I was on 24 inch Dell monitor, I had to use Overscan option to remove black bars. Rest of setup is breeze – almost everything works out of box.

What do I do with it?

After toying it for a while, I have turned it into an headless machine which works as Network Attached Storage, SeedBox and PVR with SickBeard. I also have Dropbox installed to have another backup of  all my important documents. In coming posts I will share the procedures and configuration files in detail.

Should one buy it?

If you like to tinker, absolutely! Want ‘it just works’ experience out of box? You probably should be visiting this site! Want to know more about my Pi? Comment!

Testing the Crayon Syntax Highlighter and other plugins

Crayon Syntax Highlighter

So, finally, I seem to have set up WordPress. There are still some bugs and weird looking places. I’ll fix those in due time. For the time being, let’s just see if the new code plugin works!

Seems like the editor work quite well! It’s actually very good – gives you option to customize everything. One can choose when the toolbar appears, what color schemes should be used for code highlighting, etc. So, I’m gonna stick to it for a while.

In case you are interested, here is the link to plugin: Crayon Syntax Highlighter

WP-reCAPTCHA

Yet another useful plugin I found today. It seems to prevent spam effectively. Looks clean and fits nicely with the theme. (I’m using ‘Clean’ theme of the plugin, for the record.)

The 'Clean' theme

The ‘Clean’ theme

Again, here is link to the plugin: WP-reCAPTCHA

If you have any other suggestions, let me know via comments.