Let me confess, that I have bought my share of lemons down the years. Stuff that simply was not worth the price I paid and gave me more grief than joy. I guess every geek would have a lemon list, just as much as every chef has a list of culinary experiments that inexplicably went wrong. Here's my list of lemons:
1) Logitech Kinetik Backpack
I fell hard for it when I saw it reviewed on the Net. Put down Rs. 5000 at a time when it was rare to pay so much for a mere rucksack. But I soon realised that it had a basic design flaw - the tough plastic shell picked up scratches too easily. It stands as one of the most expensive lemons I ever bought! You can read the entire story here.
2) Koss Earplugs
I bought them on impulse when I needed a back up pair. Truth to tell, they turned out to be the most awful sounding earphones I have ever had. I disembowelled them to use the silicon pads in my other IEMs and then quietly disposed of them. I confess I am an escapist and I do not like to see my mistakes glaring at me all the time.
3) 2 Belkin routers
I made the mistake twice in two years, of buying a Belkin router. The first one did not work with my Tata Indicom connection and the second one is currently not working with MTNL. Or maybe the lemon here is me, and I am unable to configure routers! Certainly there is something lemon-like about buying two routers which do not work. I should have done this post before making any fresh purchases, because I think I conveniently forgot about my previous experience.
4) Cellphone mistakes
When I look at the list of cellphones I have owned down the years, I own up that half of them have been lemons. Well, mostly the later ones I bought. And I am ready to acknowledge that rather than buying cheap and buying often, I should buy into more expensive ones that last longer.
5) Lenovo Y Series laptops
Thankfully this was an externally funded lemon, though it was selected by me. The Lenovo laptops were selected by me and a colleague, when I was on my last job. It turned out that this particular series have something seriously wrong with the keyboard. It would never type what I intended it to. Both me and my colleague had the same issue with it, and we were hugely frustrated. However, there was a happy ending as I found the misery unbearable and quickly purchased my own laptop, the XPS M1330. And I bought it just before Dell pulled the model off the market. So the Lenovo laptop proved to be a blessing in disguise.
I am glad I wrote out my lemon list. If as Oscar Wilde says "experience is the name men give to their mistakes", then my mistakes have taught me quite a bit. Infallibility would have made me very egoistic and insufferable. Whereas my failures, backtracks, and mistakes have kept me goofy, a little sheepish, ready to laugh at myself, and most importantly, ready to learn a lot. I'm happy that I still pick lemons now and then!