Saturday, January 30, 2016

Read why the Electrohome alarm projection clock is one of the most useful gadgets for every home

From a long time I had one drawback being myopic. If I removed my spectacles while sleeping at night, I could not read my clock no matter how near it was. It was annoying to switch the light on, or use any other means to read the time. The last thing I needed was to do all this to disturb my sleep and others' sleep around me.

In India there are innovative and useless solutions for these things at the same time. Like the talking clock which was like someone spooking you from the dead in the middle of the night, to Ajanta's huge big LED clock that required a 220V AC supply which it had to be tied upto in order to display a red LED schemed clock somewhere high up on the wall. I was always yearning to just lie down on the bed, and know what the time was without audio hints, or switching on the light or disturbing others.

Enter the electrohome projection clock sold on From a long time I was fascinated by projection clocks, but never really understood how difficult they would be to maintain over a period of time. Plus the nuisance of their availability only abroad meant that I could never ask someone to get me one or even buy it myself simply because it would not be shipped to India.

I had a chance to go to USA on an official trip, where I decided to order this off Amazon to fulfil my long standing desire to own a projection clock. For 29.99$ this was not very expensive, so I went ahead and ordered it. Amazon shipped it to me promptly enough. The one drawback in year 2016 was that these were still being shipped with 110V power adapter instead of having a universal 110-220V one, which meant I had to do more gimmicks to get it working in India. I had to plug in into a crude step down transformer to ensure I did not blow the device up by mistake.

Once I setup the device, I was rather pleasantly surprised, and very happy with the investment made on the most important feature of the clock - the projected clock face. The clock projects via a red LED, the time to the nearest point on the wall or ceiling. And the digits were huge, and could be read at any time of the night with or without spectacles, even if you were in half sleep. I have even tried reading it through a mosquito net (commonly used while sleeping in a country like India) and it was still quite legible. However I must point out here that projection it to a rather far off surface beyond 10 feet may not yield great visibility all the time.

With two alarms, a button to switch the clock face by 180 degrees depending on how you would like to read it, and a soothing blue LED clock display with three brightness levels, and an add on FM radio, this thing is totally worth the 30 bucks you put on it. There are so many people who design something but the ultimate question is always on how usable it is eventually. In the case of the Electrohome projection clock, this is the best value for money 30 bucks can give you for a clock. Highly legible, highly non intrusive, always there for you on the ceiling or a nearby wall, bright and clear and with good amount of features - all these make the buy an absolutely valuable one. There are even focus controls for improving legibility on each wall you project the clock to. Further to that for a country like India, a feature where there is an internal battery to keep track of time in case of a power cut, adds all the more icing on the cake. And it even displays the ambient temperature based on where you have put the sensor to measure the same.

So should you buy one of these? Oh heck absolutely yes. Plonk 30 bucks and order it right now, and I give you my word, you would not be disappointed with the purchase. Be reminded that to use this in India, you need a step down transformer 220v to 110v. Plug it in, and enjoy the show.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Read this before you go to ‘Unleash 2016 Kids Festival’

My kid’s school had provided a pass to the UNLEASH 2016 KIDS festival by AtomConnect at the Nimhans Convention center bangalore. Today though I wanted to drive there early, I managed to reach there only by 10AM.
The registration counters were swelling with people who were not even aware of what form to fill and what activities are available for the day. Car parking had already become a hassle and I somehow got a slot after much searching which did not leave a pleasant experience for me either.

Once I was inside by paying Rs.49/- each for two parents, many activities were there some paid and some free. This include the playstation area, trampoline, carousel with horses and benches, caricature, photos with comic characters, revolving bull, automated cricket practice etc.
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There was also a pottery class, but strangely it was restricted to girls alone! Very bizzaire. The queues were not much for all these activities but there was some wait nonetheless. However, due to the hot sun, I did feel that the event organizers could have done a better job to keep the little ones more comfortable.
Inside the auditorium there were carnival games like dart boarding, foosball, merry go round, etc. Also there was a fashion show organized where little ones could walk the ramp. There were also remote operated toy cars for smaller kids. In the first floor was a concert hall which was getting ready for a magic show and singing competition which I did not attend.
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The rear area behind the auditorium had food stalls selling doughnuts, chats, sandwiches, etc. All these were medium fare and not really tasty at all.
One of the highlight for me in this whole event was the DJI phantom drone which was used to capture high quality videos of the event. While the person managing the drone told me it costed him about 5 lacs, an actual web reckoning threw up a price of 799 USD which is only about Rs.50000/-. Either it was then a much more professional version or its simply a jacked up price being quoted. Either way it is good to see drones into event video making and these gadgets are bound to get cheaper and cheaper as time goes by. One must also remember that drones can be operated only against permissions within the city.
Overall the event experience was not even average including event management, food, and general stalls and games available. I hope a lot more professionalism is put in, into organizing such events in the future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Faasos food ordering experience and review

I had the option of ordering food from Faasos sometime back. I had just left office and was halfway to my home, when I realized that I was getting hungry and impatient to have some good food. I had about thirty minutes left to cross my limits of staying hungry and needed some food before that. Sure I could have just stopped my car and eaten something before coming home, but with Bangalore traffic, the thought of never reaching home had to keep me going on the road.
I quickly took out my iPhone, where I had the Faasos app loaded, and since I was at a traffic signal where traffic had come to a dead stop, I was jobless and so started browsing the food menu on their app. They have a limited number of items, but well packaged and one can easily find the food type they need via the categories section. For some food types like rice items, they have three different sizes of boxes depending on whether you are ordering for yourself, or family. I quickly picked the item I need, entered my address, chose Cash on Delivery option to avoid going through payment gateways and was greeted with an “in-progress” screen which told me how soon my food could reach me.

In this particular case, the timing was just right. Thirty minutes. So me reaching home and the food reaching home was just at the same time as per calculations. Now in case you are wondering how I was so accurate about me reaching home in this traffic, I have done this for a whole year now and can gauge roughly how long I need to get home. 23701450223_0b84b8b821_o
Once I reached home, the app showed me that there was three minutes left for my food to get delivered, but there was no sign of the delivery guy. I was wondering whether they will even turn up on time, and when the timer stopped at zero, surely there he was with my food right in front of my home. I have no idea how these guys maintain time, but this alone is just enough for me to order through them again. They are highly predictable, and they always have an outlet nearby which makes them reach on time unlike the olden days pizza deliveries which was entirely dependent on traffic conditions!
The food itself was a bit spicy to my liking, but enough to fill you up for the night. The bills were not crazy either and no extra tips either. For the single item I booked, the bill was Rs.150/-. Very reasonable if you ask me to satisfy your hunger pangs. Would I order again from them, surely yes! Would I recommend Faasos to others, surely yes. Go ahead try them once, and I am sure you would have the same opinion as me.

Happy Eating !