Lenovo S400 IdeaPad – Upgrading RAM & Wireless Card + Installing Ubuntu

I bought a Lenovo S400 IdeaPad back in December last year, and well, it wasn’t such a great decision. To begin with, the pros of this laptop distract you so much that it is hard to get away from the idea of owning it. It’s very:

  • lightweight and sleek

That’s about the entire list of its pros. Can’t think of anything better.

So I decided to get rid of the cons. Here they are:
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Bruce’s Cheap Working Cars – F&M

I wanted a cheap car that could roll me to places nearby,. Non-fancy and no frills.

Bruce helped me out find one. The best part was (and this is after I read an earlier review), he hands over the keys to me so that I can take it to a mechanic and checked up. I got two cars checked; for the first one. Bruce said “If you’re going to take it to a mechanic, you’ll not buy it.” – and he was right. The forthcoming honesty was what struck me.

The second car needed some repairs per the mechanic, but was driveable. Took it back to Bruce and struck a deal. It’s been about two months now, and things are looking good. I’d recommend Bruce & Bruce. :)

Things Remembered

I had a pretty bad experience with an order I made at the store located in Westfield Valley Fair Mall, Santa Clara, CA.

First, the order was incomplete on the day we tried getting it + it was broken. So we could never get it the same day. I had to finally call off the whole event.

Second, when I went there later, the store keepers just kept telling me to come back on Monday because they didn’t have the form and receipt for the order. So they would not refund the amount of something they never delivered and can’t make a new one without making me pay.

I have never had such a headache with pricey things. I’m paying $$$ to get a service which isn’t reliable, and then the store keeper rolls their eyes at you and says, “Guys, you are not going to get this.” Excellent.

Finally, I make them call up their managers – talk to two different people, they agreed on re-making the order, broke it again and ultimately refunded me the whole amount. I wasted close to 5 hours doing this whole thing.

Never go to this store (or even this chain).

Sunnyvale Ford

I was new to the country back in summer of 2010 (and I do see a couple of reviews very similar to mine from back then). I wanted to lease a Ford Fusion somewhere else, but before I really did, I wanted to test drive it. I call up the nearest Ford dealership – Sunnyvale Ford, and they call me in.

I get a greeting from a “new guy” there and then they start showing around. I tell them what I’m looking for specifically and they take us on a test drive. Driving on I-280, I could feel the bumps being hit, but I was told it “was normal”.

Back in the showroom, they start to “sell”. I told them that I’m getting this car leased. When I tell them the numbers, they almost call me a “liar”. An unimaginable amount of pressure was being put on me by “a very tall guy” there (I really don’t remember names). “Help me out here,” says he. Running back and forth between a high-rise room, I’m being super pressured into buying. They brought their numbers to a low of what I could have afforded (another mistake I made). They hit a ‘gong’ and say congratulations even before I’ve said yes. The worst was yet to come.

They call in an insurance agent, who hurriedly does it for me. Their finance guy then starts putting more numbers into my bill. 2500 for an extra warranty + 2500 for ford care. When I say no, he says my financing rate will go up – since I’m new to the country without credit history. I was extremely naive to keep on falling into those traps – it was my fault too (..and I paid for it).

That night, I was unable to sleep. Somebody just slapped a $30,000 liability on me and I’ve no way of getting out. The next morning, I woke up early and went back to the dealership and told them how unhappy I was. Pressure tactics again – this time I was going to fight back. I said I’ll get my financing elsewhere, just cut the whole $5000 from my bill. Panic gripped them and they told me to wait. Magically, a person without any credit history in this country, was offered a low rate of 3.9% – the only condition was to buy the extra warranty+care. I was very very upset and completely lost it. I urged them to drop the warranty and bought only the Ford care plan (still an extra $2500 on my car).

I have always been thinking of writing to Ford or someone about this, but have never been able to. I signed up on Yelp to review another business – but this frankly is my worst experience ever – and I learned some very hard lessons. The only thing that has kept me happy so far is Fusion itself. It’s not such a bad car after all (despite people jesting me, this car is very comfortable has been great so far). Service (although it’s covered in Ford care) at Sunnyvale Ford has been “ok” – nothing that I would cherish.

Folks at Sunnyvale Ford sure know how to get you – and if you have never bought a car, please don’t go there.

DC Ducks

This is the best thing ever. If you go to DC, you’ve got to do this tour. The best reason to be on this tour is because you get to ride in an awesome vehicle and get to see things close up (without having to walk!).

Our Captain was very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. I did a few fact checks on a few things he answered to folks – and they very pretty accurate.

This is some real fun – try not to miss it.

Me Cook Food

When hunger strikes, you have to finally get cooking. For the first time ever, I served food out for myself like a civilized being (instead of devouring from the pots and pans).

On the table

  • Arhar Dal (Lentil)
  • Matar Pulao (Basmati Rice with Peas)
  • Aloo Pyaz ki Sabzi (Potatoes and Onions)
  • Sliced Tomato Salad

Took about 35 minutes to do this.

Bin Laden In India – (Response to Pakistan Daily)

Ok, so here’s another ham for all of us to feed on. Is Bin Laden in India? Like everything else that’s published against India on Pakistan Daily (like how India should be broken into 10 countries and how all our policies are driven by them etc.), this was another piece of speculation. I was very afraid that this classic piece of ham-work will be lost, so I took a lot of pain to sew together all the pages of this article and keep it here on this site for everyone to read, just in case Pak Daily decides to get rid of the article (if just not it’s author). Unlike most Indian newspapers (and Pakistani ones), Pakistan Daily doesn’t disclose the name of it’s journalists for the articles. Is that a convenience call to make sure that back-stabbing is still possible? For the record, as of this writing, bin Laden is very much dead and was found in Pakistan.

The class act begins when they start saying stuff like, and I quote:

The only country in the region whose name never appears in the list of countries that tried to contact al-Qaeda is India. But that is not because India did not try to establish such contact.

Oh hell yes. Indians really need to be contacting al-Qaeda all the time. How else will a country of 1 billion folks kill time? Then there’s news about India harboring terrorists (bombing Pakistan) from Afghanistan. Only fools blame the sky for their destiny. Pak Daily has one such fool (or may be more). Let’s not call them fools, let’s get entertained. Go ahead and find out, is Bin Laden in India?

Update: In an interesting satirical article elsewhere: what would have happened if India killed bin Laden.

Phuton

Got a disassembled futon at my place – and it’s assembly was quite a project. Took me about two hours to get it together. Photus phollow (wife took camera away to click our daughter, so the trail is a little incomplete).

initial mess
initial mess
arm frames
nuts and bolts
nuts and bolts
futon pad
futon pad
left frame and transmission
left frame and transmission
plan on board
plan on board
frames attached to stretchers (progress 1 hr later)
frames attached to stretchers (progress 1 hr later)
transmission attached (another ½ hr later)
transmission attached (another ½ hr later)
attaching the seat/back frames and rolling out the pad - final outcome
attaching the seat/back frames and rolling out the pad – final outcome

Red Moon During Lunar Eclipse

This Moon (Lunar Eclipse)is a photograph (credits to Hemant Hariyani) taken during a lunar eclipse. Besides being a very beautiful sight, there’s a curious orange tinge on the lower left quadrant of the moon. My curiosity lead to the moonzoo (please search for the terms “blood red” on that page to see their reason) – which explains very briefly the cause of this. While discussing on a list, I realized that it’s confusing sometimes to visualize how exactly this happens – so I drew a diagram to get this straightened out.

Reason for the moon's blood red (orange) color during lunar eclipseRefraction causes light to bend – and when different colors of white light bend at different angles, that causes light to split up; the very cause of rainbows. This is enough theory, the rest is self explanatory in the diagram beside this text. As you can figure out, light from the sun, reflected refracted when passing through earth’s atmosphere – falls on the moon (and since only longer λ [red] reach out) it looks orange (or blood red).

It’s imperative to note, that the cause of this blood red color is very different from the cause of the blood red color we see when the moon rises on certain nights. That blood red is caused because the light coming from the moon gets scattered when passing through the earth’s atmosphere (more so, polluted atmosphere), which causes the red waves to fall on our eyes and make the moon look red. That is when the light from the sun gets reflected back on earth and on it’s way to our eyes, we see red (the whole thing looks red – unlike this phenomenon).