Thursday, November 24, 2016

Google Takeout for downloading your data at google

Google Takeout is a service that lets you download all your data available with Google. Funny thing is that we don't actually get how much data we share with Google. 
With Android, App logins, GMail and many other google stuff the integral part of our life, we share a bootload of data with google. So this week I downloaded my google data using google takeout service and I was surprised when the archive turned out to be 6.39GB in size. 
I'll be analyzing what all I've been sharing with Google. My expectation was about 2.5-3GB max data since my Gmail and Photos are using about 2GB at present. They managed to hit 3GB six months back so I trimmed both in spare time. So I was surprized with >6GB figure. 
Lets see what all has ended up with google...
Photos 5.2GB
GMail 350MB
Drive 650MB
Rest all services few more MB.

I was frankly surprised with the amount of space photos are taking, but then I recalled that only full resolution photos count towards the calculated storage. And most of my photos are not full res. So I guess that's the reason. Everything else looked okay.
I also saw Google Fit using about 300KB data  and after going through it I found out that its the exercise data from the one week I used Google fit as trial. Funny that.
So Takeout can provide a glimpse of your usage of Google services as well.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nokia C5-00 5MP - from Yr 2012

We all have those relic phones which are replaced by yourself/cousins/relatives and ended up with you as secondary or tertiary phone. This was the phone I gifted my sister as her primary phone in 2012. She used it for about two years, then she wanted a big touchscreen phone so I got her an entry level droid. And so the Nokia was discarded as a secondary. The entry level droid  - a chinese knock-off by a local company is still kicking after about two years and a battery replacement, but now this Nokia has ended up with me. Funny part is I love this phone. it's small and simple. Gives very good battery life. Is a pleasure to use  -all these buttons. And is a good mp3 player too - again thanks to all the buttons I don't have to take it out of pocket to skip to next song. 
Well, I have been using this as my secondary device for about a year now. I charge it maybe once a week, have all my contacts on it - took me a painful evening to send them one by one using bluetooth. I'm laizy enough that I did not bother setting up Nokia PC Suite and what not. But now it has all my contacts - at least the important ones, I keep a nano-SIM adapter since my other phone uses all nano-SIMs. And that's it! Really! 
It's a novelty to use all these buttons and keys. It's a different kind of experience where you mostly do things by the feel of physical buttons and not look all around the screen and hunt for soft-keys and menus. Here you know, you press call end button and you are going to go to homescreen, while on my droid it gets stuck in the transition once in a while. This is the solidity of Symbian - no crashes seen yet. While on the droid the other day a nightly update put it in bootloop. Hangs and crashes are common even when using Stable ROMs and heck, even with Stock Firmware. I would use The Nokia if I could forego the Contacts sync and the few apps that I use - Whatsapp. Bigger problem is this phone does not have WiFi support, so I'll be almost offline unless I activated a cellular data package. But they are costly so I would forego data too, which would make this a dumb phone as far as I'm concerned and to that end I have another Nokia - a terrible terrible entry level Nokia 1280 whose only feature is a LED Torch - god bless!!! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Update on the Sailfish App

Well, it's been a while and I actually didn't spend much time on the app all this while. But today I decided that I'm going to spend at least couple of hours on it. And I did. Kind of solved couple of big issues too. Maybe not completely, but progress still.
So the summary is I was facing issue with deployment of the database. It's sqlite db and I didn't know where to place it and how ty place it.
So after lot of googling and some forum searching I found a way to deploy data files on Sailfish.
After applying and troubleshooting couple of issues here n there I got the database working. But the problem now is, it works only when the app is run from sdk. When I launch the app from inside, no DB. Well atleast the role are going to the device. Teething issues.
Another problem is the UI is all screwed up. This should not have happened because on desktop was all Sunny and Rozy. Anyway I'm yet to get to Sailfish specific stripes anyway so I'm thinking it would fix the UI issues.
So I pushed all these changes git. Also logged above issues too. Overall it's ghost couple of hours.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The story of Airtel Prepaid to Postpaid Conversion

Update: On Wed 2016-11-08 I gave in and visited the nearest Airtel Care Store. Thankfully the people there were very helpful and they knew the exact problem. So they gave me a 1800-xxx-xxx number for televerification. Once it's done they asked me for ID proof which I did not have at the time. But I visited them in evening and submitted the ID Proof. After this I was given a new SIM Card. This got activated in about two hours and the phone service was started. The SMS service was started after 24 Hours. 
Hush! That was an experience. So this proved that Airtel's OnCall Customer Care sucks but the Airtel Care stores might be the ray of hope. Well, lets see how the postpaid services work out for a while. Or else we can always port out!!!

Sometimes you look at the many hours you spent looking at your prepaid packs n the best combos and stuff, it seems like a waste. Me too. So I decided to convert my Prepaid Airtel connection to Postpaid. And it has been an adventure so far.
Sat 2016-10-29 Airtel guy visits to collect documents and gives SIM. Assures SIM will be activated when address verification is done. Another guy will visit for address verification by 2016-11-02 since its four days holiday.
Sat 2016-11-05 Finally the airtel address verification guy shows up. I have the SIM in the phone but no network. I hope it will get network after address verification.
Sun 2016-11-06 Verification complete. But no network yet. I try to get to Airtel Customer Care but cant find a way to reach any exec. Airtel website is useless. The internet is useless as it seems.
Mon 2016-11-07 I have shot out a number of mails to Airtel Customer Support E-Mail - They say they will get back to you in two hours. But no help yet. Airtel really sucks.
Tue 2016-11-07 Got some replies. The tune is same - Your tele-verification is pending so please complete it. I shot out at least three replies to the tune - your damn SIM won't connect to your thrice damned network. So god help me.
Wed 2016-11-08 Shot out a mail to their nodal officer. Got positive and useless reply. I complained about the lack of Customer Care Number Access and this idiot have not mentioned anything about it in the reply. Stupids!
Also got a call from the Postpaid people who contacted me in the first place. And they can't find their ass with both hands. Airtel have lost me as a customer. Now I'm just waiting to get the number working and then port out to someone even marginally better.
Who? Probably Idea or Vodafone.
Reliance Jio is crap as seen fro their billing plans and the freebies are vaporware or reality only till Dec 03.
Telenor has crap service, don't have 3G.
Tata Docomo has severe signal issues everywhere. Incidentally I have a Photon WiFi dongle which can't find network half the time.
Reliance RCom is a thief of a company with crap service.
Aircel is total unknown. And I'm not looking to experiment right now.

Monday, November 7, 2016

A quest for returns from Foodpanda for failed payment

Update: Finally after couple more follow-ups the refund was initiated and delivered to my account three days ago. It was interesting to see the lack of processes at Foodpanda and it does not give me much confidence. Mainly because they depend most on their CC Execs to keep track of things and the requests do get missing as I found out with my refund. Anyway at least I got the refund.
I have been a loyal customer of foodpanda for about two years. For single IT professionals having the food delivered at doorstep is a boon especially when you are exhausted after a 12-14Hr workday and just not wanting to go out for food. Having food home delivery services like Foodpanda, Swiggy, JustEat etc helps a lot in maintaining peace of mind.
But then once in a while that peace of mind gets eaten up when any of them screw up. 
I have had my experiences dealing with unprofessional and lousy restaurants, delivery screw-ups and what not. But that has been generally rare experience and we have ensured we gave crap ratings after such. So overall it's been a positive experience with foodpanda and their customer care has been okayish in dealing with order related mishaps. 
Now what I'm talking here about is something different - online payment. There have been couple of occasions when online payment failed due to various reasons - like network issues, payment processor issues etc. And we had to get through Foodpanda's customer care which was helpful in getting the refunds processed. It did work. And I was satisfied. But there were couple of payment failed issues last few orders where I had a negative experience. Refer below mail:

17-10-2016 21:00
from me to Foodpanda Customer Care
I have returns pending for following three orders:
1. 15/08/16 first payment failed so I retried the payment and this time it was successful. But no refunds.
2. 04/09/16. Similar story. No refunds.
I firgot to check foe the returns for these two orders in time.
3. 13/10/2016. First payment failed with timeout error. I had a customer care person place another order with Cod Option. Its more than said 48 hrs and yet refunds are not in the account.
Please help.

17-10-2016 21:01
from Foodpanda Customer Care to me

Hi vaibhav,

Thank you for contacting foodpanda Customer Support.

Your request number is # 13289930. We strive to answer all e-mail support requests within eight business hours.

For urgent issues or modifications in your order please contact us directly on our Live Chat at or give us a call on 0124-6149200.

Best regards,

Your foodpanda Customer Care team

18-10-2016 16:42
From foodpanda Customer Care to me

Dear Mr. Dalvi,

Thank you for writing to us.

Thank you for bringing this issue to our notice. We are committed to resolving your concern with utmost priority. Post investigation I found that due to a technical issue with the payment gateway the amount was deducted from your account and order was not processed.

As per our telephonic conversation, we have initiated the refund against the order id: n0dp-r4as which was not successfully placed due to the online payment issue. You will receive another confirmation mail within 24 to 48 hours. Be assured it will be credited to your respective bank account within 5 to 7 business days. Furthermore, payment of order v8tx-m6ol 4th September, 2016 and 15th August, 2016 was already reversed.

We appreciate your patience and understanding on this situation. Please be assured that you will receive the refund as per the given timelines.

Looking forward to serving you and enhance your experience with foodpanda.

Najmul Hasan
Happy Food Ordering!

Now it's about a fortnight since and it's 07-11-2016. No returns, no communication. Foodpanda has lost one customer who would have brought them hundreds of rupees in business, but if for the 200 odd rupees they would have returned.

Foodpanda! Not Happy Food Ordering! Never Happy! 
Panda Sucks!!!

Update on Tata Docomo Photon Plus WiFi USB Dongle

So I have been using Tata Docomo Photon Plus WiFi USB Dongle for a while now. My experience remains unchanged. On most if the days it just cannot connect to the 'plus' network. Mostly it connects to the 'Wiz' variant, which is CDMA1 RevB with about 115kbps(Yeah - It's kilobits!). Anyway, when it manages to connects to 'plus' variant which is as I believe CDMA2 the speed is good. I get about 1-1.5Mbps which is good. But again with the INR700 pack it's just 2GB of high speed goodness. After that it's 115kbps crawl. But since it's unlimited, I am okay with it. Heck, I once even managed to upgrade my Sailfish OS phone using the slow network. 
So the outlook remains same. INR2500 is too much investment in Tata Photon Plus WiFi USB dongle. It's just not at all a strong contender for Dongle of the month or year. The good thing is it does work in it's own moody way. And if you can live with it, it's an okay deal. But still I wish I had gone for an unlocked dongle and be using SIM card. Might have been cheaper with a RJio SIM in it. J

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Intex Aqua Fish Update

Not much happened for last couple of weeks. I was busy with things to work on the app porting. But three days ago I tried something to get the latest update. Here's the story with the background. 

The background: 
Intex Aqua Fish is a Sailfish OS phone with partner space enabled. What that means is whenever there's any update by Jolla e.g. Fiskarsinjoki v2.0.4.14, you don't get it right away on Aqua Fish. It goes to Intex and then after validation it reaches you. 

Anyway as you all know Aqua Fish is just clone of Jolla C, I decided to try out some
tinkering on my own. My inspiration is following link:

So after reading the steps, the provided script, and the comments carefully and multiple times, I started with the script. 

The script failed saying I had some conflicting packages. So after going over instructions of how to clear out the offending packages in about half an hour I had Jolla packages on my phone replacing Intex packages. 

Next I restarted phone (why? Because with computers it's a good idea to reboot them once in a while, and especially when you tinker with the system to see nothing's got broken.)

And after that I connected phone to my home WiFi and checked software update - and there it was Fiskarsinjoki. Took a while to download since the update is hefty 400MB, but then it was installed and the phone rebooted. 

Feels great to run the latest and greatest. Keep up the good work Jolla.