Showing posts from July, 2015

Migrating to Windows 10 and Cortana

Windows 10 was released on 29th July and I decided to upgrade my Office laptop to make sure that it was safe for others to do so!   I wanted to do it from my home since I would have the 50 Mbps all to myself!

Upgrade steps were quite straightforward.
Since I had "reserve" a Windows 10 update a few weeks back, I just had to click on that icon in the system tray.  It asked me if I wanted to upgrade right away or do it later (implying it would be downloaded in the background).  I recklessly chose the "right now" option.
The system restarted (the way it does for update install).  Then it displayed a message saying it was "downloading" the files.  
I had not bothered to check the size of the download to get an idea of how long it would take.  It was 6.45 AM and I would need to leave home by 9 AM.  Since it was work laptop, I did not have the luxury of leaving it behind as it installed.   These thoughts came up only after the files had started downloading.
To …

Paperless IT returns and refund

It was that time of the year to file IT returns.

I have filed returns on my own ever since I was required to do.  Ever since e-filing was available, I had chosen the option.

In the past, it was required to send ITR-V, the Verification Form that is generated on filing the returns by post.   From this year, that requirement has been dispensed with, in favour of e-Verification of the Returns.   This is done by sending a code to the mobile number of the tax payee.  IT department has provided three ways this can be done.

If income less than 5 lakhs, the code can be sent to

registered email/phone number of E-filing website.
If greater than 5 lakhs, user can choose two options:

through Netbanking of the Bank they Bank withusing the mobile number registered for Aadhaar
I chose the last option - yet another advantage of having an aadhaar card.

Also, I used the Excel option instead of Java like last year.

What I liked about the method was how it has been done taking into account the compliance …

The dubious debit

It looks like my love-hate relationship with SBI continues this financial year as well.

It started when I noticed a debit in my Savings account when I was checking the balance online.

Hmm!  what did that mean?  The description looked like a cryptic crossword clue.

I raised a service request online saying I wanted to know what that was.

The request was closed the next day saying it was Locker charges.

I have a locker in SBI, but the locker charges had been debited at the start of the financial year (April 1st week).   Why another debit?

On a Saturday, I went over to the Branch.  I had to take a token and wait half an hour for my turn, before meeting the lady in the counter.

"Locker charges", said she.

I tried to tell her that it was already debited once.

"Locker charges has been revised.  This is the recovery of the additional charges"

"When was the locker charges revised?  I did not get any intimation.  How can you do a debit without intimation?"


Passport renewal experience - take 2

It was more than three years back since I last had anything to do with the passport office.  I had then written about passport sewa woes,  passport application experiences and finally getting the passports.

My passport was due to expire end of 2015.  Sometime in April, I logged into Passport portal.  I had forgotten the password, but was allowed to reset after correctly answering the secret question.

I filled the passport renewal application online and saved it, deciding to submit it later.  I kind of forgot about it, till I got a reminder email a couple of days back.  It said "Your application will be automatically deleted by the system, since there is no activity".

So, I decided to pay the fee and schedule an appointment.  I chose SBI Netbanking to pay online.   The payment went off fine with a screen saying, "You will taken back in 10 seconds or click on a link".  I clicked on the link after a few seconds only to see myself in SBI's online banking screen wi…

Are you going to jail?

My four year old had persistent fever and his regular doctor was in US.   We gathered that the substitute pediatrician that we identified was available for consultation in Chinmaya Mission Hospital, fairly close to our home.

I reached the hospital in my two wheeler around 11 AM and parked my vehicle alongside a few other two wheelers.  Since I was in a hurry, I did not bother to check if it was a No Parking area - a decision also influenced by the presence of other vehicles.

It was 12.30 PM when we came out after meeting the doctor and I found a car parked in the place where I had left my vehicle.  "Hmm!  Did I park elsewhere?"  I wondered as I looked around.  A few metres from where I stood, I found a No Parking board.  I guess that applied to the place where I had parked as well (there is no point in wondering after your vehicle has been towed).  

A visitor entering the hospital saw me looking around and said "Looking for your vehicle? It has been towed to Jeevan Bhi…