Had a peaceful weekend, leaving aside the brief exchange on the previous post. I’ve written about the washing machine syndrome sometime ago. Yesterday, I witnessed another use (or diabolic misuse, from my point of view) for the machine.
My sister got herself a Nokia 7610 (no, not an envy-rant). It plays songs and can be connected to the PC via USB. So far, so good. So she hooks up the cell to the PC. And does she back up her phone’s contents? Transfer images shot with the camera? Synchronize schedules and to-do lists? No way! She logs in to coolgoose.com and apniisp.com and downloads songs in bulk. Using the Nokia PC Suite, these find their way onto her phone.
Piracy apart, I hate seeing my machine reduced to a glorified pipeline. The phone’s loaded. It has GPRS connectivity. So why not use it? Why waste nearly four hours of machine time every week to transfer songs? I say if you download music like a vaccum cleaner (like a lot of my friends), do it only if you are going to listen to it from your PC. Why the double standard, you ask? Because I spend more than four hours every week doing ad-ware and AV scans, updates and defrag runs to make sure Windows doesn’t hang up on the user. After all this, using the machine as a transporter (highly efficient but replaceable and redundant nonetheless) is simply not fair. I wouldn’t mind if she buys CDs from the market, rips them and transfers the files to her phone – thats where a PC would be essential but as a pipeline? No way!
My plans to persuade my parents to switch ISPs has run into a wall – tariff. With effect from November, MTNL has doubled its rates for the “Telephone for Internet” scheme. Don’t know why. Maybe they are trying to push customers to TriBand. But TriBand has serious billing issues. People using its Night Usage plan, where traffic between 12 AM to 8 AM was supposed to be unmetered, have received bills amounting to thousands of rupees. And MTNL’s policy is “Pay up first to continue on to redressal of your complaint”. Also it has serious authentication issues. It seems the username and password are stored in the DSL modem. So you can effectively use it as “roaming DSL” wherever you have a DSL-subscribed telephone line, since such lines would have the necessary splitter that seperates telephony and data signals. Convenience? Or a potential for misuse?
I talked with Amey through Skype for fifteen minutes yesterday. He came away impressed with its quality. I wasn’t in a position to judge becuase I don’t voice-chat that often. But the few times I’ve done… Skype is better.