Who is going to assemble the Shoe Rack purchased from pepperfry.com ?

We have been furniture shopping since about couple of years, yes that is how long it took to set up our “shangri-la”, after all… we all retire to these spaces after a hard day @ work.

So the last missing piece was the glorified “shoe rack” which we really “must have” because people entering our abode just would look at our footwear collection and make remarks about the amount of pairs of shoes we possess 😛

So, we bought one from pepperfry.com on a Sale and waited for about for it. It was delivered along just fine. Next we waited for the carpenter to arrive or contact us to assemble the piece but we didn’t hear from anyone for about a week so we went about assembling it ourselves. It turned out to be more tedious and strenuous with the numerous parts , nuts and bolts. Plus the one page “manual” to help put it together was completely inaccurate.

nevertheless that was the last and only piece of furniture bought from pepperfry.com but we’ve heard better stories about the carpenters and better customer care about them after our incident. It’s good to know they have improved their service 🙂

My father’s email inbox dilemma

It’s funny (and necessary) when i check on my parent’s email accounts to see if “all is well”.

As usual there would be lot of junk/spam/newsletters. For example, i would have mentioned a website/service for my father to check it out. He always manages to sign up for the newsletter unintentionally/intentionally adding more clutter to the inbox.

The primary/promotion/social tabs don’t fool anyone. My parents have no idea about that! That makes sense only to the Power users. Why did it ever get enabled for my parents?

My father’s primary task on email right now is to find the right “mate” for our male golden retriever and a bride for his son, my brother [What a situation!!! no bias here though we love our dog more :-P]

So, there is “hell” of Spam in his inbox from “e-com” websites regarding pets for “sale” [well, that is the reality 🙁 ] and lots of profile matches for my brother’s matrimonial profile on various matrimonial websites. How would you solve this? In a country where “arranged” marriages are a norm even in urban areas, my father has taken to technology to solve this situation. It is not just my parents but other urban families too have jumped on the online matrimonial bandwagon.

In fact, few of my  friends & relatives were hitched this way. It is no longer “uncool”, it has become a necessity as many of them have no time to date/ are too shy/ or considered dating taboo! [we’re 3rd world duh!]

Coming back to the problem of electronic mail which still seems complex to my parents : “spam” still being an eternal problem, yet they manage to keep it all [zero!] read. I hope these systems become more intelligent and more empathetic towards the older generation.

Talking about mailers, i noticed that my father took those very personally and he actually replied to them! So now, there is more “mailer daemon” error code emails & frankly my parents till have no idea what “mailer daemon” stands for or what it does.  Come on!! we really need to change that, how about “Return to Sender” instead? of all the metaphors used, how come this was neglected? huh?

No matter what fancy technology email has evolved with, there is still some level of frustration with new features & etiquette of the whole email system because they are not designed with normal human users in mind.

There is NO excuse for BAD design.

The trial & tribulations of a non-Human Centered cheque deposit machine

Machines can be stubborn as hell.

Imagine you have a couple of days to the due date on your credit card payment (you have no internet at home & don’t trust these internet parlors) so you have decided to drop a cheque at the bank’s ATM as (phew!). Simple ain’t it?

Well, the misadventure starts here:

Scene 1:
Step 1: locate the nearest ATM using the ATM locator from the website (piece of cake?)
Step 2: Visit the closet ATM which is also the popular because of it’s location in the middle of the city
Step 3: Enter the ATM, find the machine/slot to drop your cheque into the machine and your’re done!

Wow! that is the ideal situation isn’t it? Here is what we faced!

Step 3: Enter the ATM, locate the machine and drop in the cheque and voila!
The cheque is spitted out by the machine so……
Step 4: Insert the cheque carefully into the machine and again it spits out!
(3 times a charm so let’s get it right this time)
Step 5: Insert the cheque carefully into the machine and voila it spits out!
Frustration mounting up! i’ve got a million things to do…. Why isn’t this simple?

What made this machine so full of hate that it rejected my cheque? Why me???

Scene 2:
Another customer walks right in and waits for his turn so we decide let’s give him a chance with his cheque instead and viola! The machine just accepts his cheque in the first try itself!

Why me??? Why does the machine hate me?????

Scene 3:
After asking for some help from the customer who could successfully get his cheque in, the sudden realization was that the cheque leaf was not “torn” properly from the cheque book hence…. Maybe the machine couldn’t accept it [what??? Where did this mumbo-jumbo come from? Are we 3rd world? Oh my! We are 3rd world!]
So a new cheque leaf is torn out from the cheque book and filled out to be inserted into the machine again and…… wait for it….. it spits it out again!!!!!

Scene 4:
We decide that the ATM is jinxed for us [3rd world belief] so that we decide to locate another branch of the ATM, another good 6-7 kms from present location and proceed to find it. My foursquare as usual disappoints when it is in need
So I find it on google maps instead and reach the location amid chaotic traffic

Scene 5:
After literally dropping a prayer in the heart… really I want to end this nightmare today… the brand new machine at this ATM is located [makes you feel that since it’s new, it’ll be more nice]
The cheque is inserted to be spit out again and the deja-vu is repeated with a another’s customer turn and his cheque getting accepted.

Scene 6:
We give up and discover a quaint bakery with fresh baked cashew cookies.

Scene 7:
Next day is Sunday and the ATM circus is apparently useless.

Scene 8:
Monday I directly go to the main branch and submit the cheque for collection at the counter. Why? Because the damn machines they had installed were faulty and were taken out for exorcism.

A good book to read:
Microinteractions by Dan Saffer

Required: Android version for dish.fm (also not available globally yet! )

What more can add value to foursquare? Dish.fm of course! Instead of going through a zillions reviews (user generated content) on the foursquare tips, you always think boy..i just need one answer…what are the top dishes?

This would make decision making simple, of course you would say.. i rather just ask our waiter what is the best but are you sure they are not just trying to push something they need to sell? how about take away or home delivery? how would you know then?

Haven’t tried the app yet (have an droid phone) , but i love this solution! (just want i needed 🙂 )

Dish.fm helps you discover the best dishes at any restaurant with confidence. In one quick glance, learn what is the best dish, drink or dessert to order. Dish.fm shows the top dishes at any restaurant, powered by analysis of millions of reviews pulled from Yelp, Foursquare and others sites.

Source : dish.fm

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease by PredictAD

Scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland have developed new software called PredictAD that could significantly boost the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The comparative software contrasts patient’s measurements with those of other patients kept in large databases, then visualizes the status of the patient with an index and graphics.

The support system and imaging methods were developed by VTT and Imperial College London.

Source: http://www.gizmag.com/vtt-diagnose-alzheimers/25561