Fascinating to read about your online voyages from Italy with your pal HMA.

Reminds me of the days when I would hack Windows just for the thrill of staying one step ahead of Microsoft’s anti piracy attempts, in a sort of Cat & Mouse game. Strange how the ‘uncool’ Microsoft of those days has become the cool cat of today with their Xbox and Surface laptops and whatnot.

Btw, keep that diary of yours safe. It will one day be the star attraction in some musuem! I know what you mean about this generation taking tech for granted. The other day my kid started yelling at my comp because a picture wouldn’t go where she wanted in her school assignment. Worries me as they have everything and are never happy. Whereas I had nothing while growing up, and even now get thrilled out of my head by little things.

I will definitely check out YouTube TV. But without unlimited data, it may not be viable in India. I do use VPN sometimes on my Android but the providers are getting smarter. So now I have to also fiddle around with GPS and that interferes with other apps. Too much of a headache. Anyway, these days, most stuff is available legally. Like Jio bundles a music app with my $5 monthly data subscription. If there were shows I’m interested in but can’t get in India, I’m sure that I too will be making friends with HMA.

Btw, I’m sure you have tried the Telegram app. But if you haven’t, check out its bots. These little guys are good. The other day I needed to download a video from youtube. A bot saved me the hassle of figuring out how to do it myself. There are many other bots doing stuff but I have yet to explore them.

In India, the concept of phone contracts does not work. People here have too many options and refuse to be tied down to one provider. In fact, I’m not sure contracts and locked phones exists here. But I’ve seen phones being sold by networks at a discount. So I guess they must have some such contract.

The majority of Indians use prepaid SIMs. Postpaid is for those who don’t like their calls getting cut midway through a call because they run out of credit. Of course, they shouldn’t mind paying a little extra for the convenience. Here if someone doesn’t like a network’s service, they just pay off the last month’s bill, and port their number to another service provider. That way, networks have to play nice with customers, or risk losing them.

Take me, for instance. I have SIMs from four network providers, and use them all. They are all prepaid so there is minimum commitment from my side. Jio gives cheap, fast data and free calls so that is my primary SIM. The only long term commitment for their services is a ₹99 ($1.5) annual fee for subsidised offers. But being new, Jio hasn’t yet tied up with foreign networks and so doesn’t work while travelling abroad. So I use one of my other SIMs while travelling. Or maybe, one of the other networks gives a good offer on international calls so then I put that as a second SIM in my dual SIM Android and use it for those calls. You get the picture?

I think our Jio is modelling its business on your 3. Jio has a similar offer for a wifi modem with a 4G SIM slot. But it’s not so complicated. You have to buy it outright for $30 (₹2000) and then choose one of their data offers. Like the ‘1GB per day for 6 months’ at $5 (₹309). They are targeting Indians who don’t have a wifi connection at home so it may work.

Thank you for your recommendations. Always feels good when I find that what I write you has struck a chord with someone somewhere.

it’s an odd world

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