Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The IndiBlogger Meet with HP - Original vs. Counterfeit

I was looking forward to this day, to attend my second IndiBlogger meet. The first blogger meet I attended, sponsored by Nokia was more or less a disappointment as there was very less Blogger interaction; it was more of a Nokia show, many who attended the meet back in November will surely agree. This meet wasn’t as hyped as the previous one; there were no celebrity hosts this time around, so I went in with little expectations, although I was very excited to meet a few known faces, also make new friends in the process. I am glad this meet managed to do just that. There was a lot of blogger interaction, fun games, photo shoots, mimes, debates and whole lot of prizes to be won (If you were lucky, you would even go home with a couple of leftover pen drives as well). All in all, it was a highly fun filled afternoon.

The ever so punctual me, reached the venue with my buddy Harkirat at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start which was 1:30PM, but it began only around 2:20PM or so. But it was worth the wait. The theme of the meet was “Originality”. In terms of the sponsors, HP, it meant buying their original products, especially their ink cartridges. To make everyone aware about not buying counterfeited products, and why original products fare better as compared to counterfeited ones, in all aspects.

The meet started with randomly picked bloggers introducing themselves and mimicking any one character of their choice, be it a cartoon character or any real-life character. Listening to some of the bloggers was real fun as well as cringe-worthy at the same time. And for the second time, I didn’t get to speak.

In one of the fun events we participated, we were given a blank sheet of paper which contained a QR (Quick Response) Code in it. Using a QR app, we needed to take a picture of the QR code which would generate a part of a quote to each individual; our job was to find the people who possess the remaining part of the quote. It was a really fun activity which had everyone involved; I was one of the few people, who were able to make a connection with the quote (eventually, I might add) as I was just roaming around aimlessly screaming my quote for the most part. There were no prizes given out for this activity though.

Then we had a chance to get our pictures taken in a unique way, so along with my partners in crime, my dear friend and mentor Sujatha Sathya, Harkirat and Sabitha came up with a novel idea to spread a message against Rape. So we got inspired by Gandhiji’s idea of three monkeys and added a fourth monkey to showcase our message. Although we didn’t win the award for the ‘Best Picture’ (our picture was slightly overlooked, I might add) but we were satisfied with its outcome.

Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil. The fourth monkey symbolizes - DO NOT RAPE.
The mime task was fun too, our team which was initially named ‘Photocopy’ but I suggested to add the word Original (in keeping with the theme of the day, also to intend pun). So our team was called “Original Photocopy” consisting of 15 members. We were given the topic “Jungle Book” to enact which we performed very well. Again, we didn’t win anything, well not even the worst performing team award.

A representative from HP spoke about how to protect originality and avoid counterfeiting. He made some really valid points about how and why purchasing an original product is better as compared to buying counterfeited ones. Normally, the main reason why people opt to buy duplicated products instead of the original is because of its cost, it is cheaper as compared to an original one. There is a common misconception that originals are expensive and copies are cheap which is not true.

When you buy an original ink cartridge, it will invariably give you true value for money; they will last much longer and perform much better. Normally a standard HP ink cartridge would cost around Rs. 1900 which is considered slightly expensive, so HP has tried to address this problem. Now the cost of a cartridge starts from Rs. 449 onwards. The number of pages you can print using this cartridge would be 600 and print quality of the pages would be excellent throughout. And it is very convenient too. As HP has come up with a service called “Dial-a-Cartridge” where in you can dial the number 1800 425 4999 and order an ink cartridge and the product will be delivered right at your door step in 6 to 8 hours. You can also order the cartridge online to avail the same service.

It has been noted that, 1 in 2 non-HP cartridges poses problem, as well as 70% of refilled cartridges poses problems. Compared to the original cartridge, the print quality of the counterfeited ones isn’t consistent, they won’t last long. Also you can’t get a quality color photo printout.

And finally, to identify a fake product from an original one, we need to check for the holographic security seal on the product. Also, there is an app called “e-supplies” using which you can scan the bar code, if you get a positive message then the product is genuine else it is a counterfeited product. You can also validate the product on the HP website.

It was indeed a day of original awesomeness as promised by IndiBlogger and HP.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Achilles - A Year in Pictures

I had written about an “incident” which happened exactly a year ago today, that is the day I lost (and found) the most lovable, cutest little guy ever. I christened him “Achilles” as he was so brave and courageous. He has been a member of our family for a year now and it has been one fantastic, roller-coaster ride. He is most delightful little kitty who has brightened up our lives. I can’t think of a day without him, he’s always up to his antics doing something or the other and I just love him to death. To celebrate the one year anniversary of his homecoming, I present you some his most precious moments captured in pictures. 

My Little Tiger

Ready to Strike
Achilles used to play a little hide and seek game with me when he was younger. After turning a year older he feels he is too old to play such “childish” games. But when he gives you this look, you know what to expect, don't ever go near him even by mistake, else be ready for some scratches on your arms. I have experienced it quite a few times already.

Bird Watching
Achilles in a very contemplative mood or is he staking out for his next kill? We can never tell what he is up to.

Achilles and Me
With Maa
Achilles watching his younger self
This was a unique moment I was able to capture when I was playing a video of his on my old desktop computer, he came running after he heard his own meows and started staring at the monitor.

Various moods of Achilles

Achilles' sister Enyo with her triplets
Achilles' sister Enyo was being taken care of by my friend since the past one year and she gave birth to 3 beautiful kittens in September of last year.

The triplets when they were a month old