Can a cheap Windows tablet replace your laptop?

In my case, yes. For more info, just read below.

I am a avid supporter of portability and lightness, so I always try to do my work (and live) with the less and lightest possible. My laptop arsenal consists of a huge and bulky 17-inch Toshiba Satellite (was used as a desktop in my previous work, so I rarely moved it away from the desk, and a low-end 15-inch Acer laptop, with basic specs (4GB of RAM, Intel N2940 @ 1.83GHz, 500GB HD), to be used mostly at home (by my wife and kids) and during trips, when my serious work had to be done. I needed something more portable, light but efficient, to save me from dragging these laptops around the house, where space is really limited – i.e. no desk available.

There are some related articles on the Web, authored by those who tried to get things done with a tablet, replacing their laptop. See for example

I am using a cheap 10.1-inch Windows tablet imported by a Greek tech company (Plaisio Computers), so it is practically a Chinese model with the Turbo-X (Plaisio’s brand name for my electronic devices) brand on it; a common practice among related electronics suppliers. It features (like almost all similar tablets) the following specs:

  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 32GB flash (expanded through the microSD slot)
  • CPU: Intel Z3735F @ 1.33GHz
  • Screen: 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800
  • Cameras: Front (2MP) and rear (5MP) cameras (both low quality). Practically useful only for Skype calls.

An interesting spec is that it charges both from its microUSB port and from its proprietary port (pin cable) so I can charge it and use its microUSB cable at the same time.

Modifications

Update to Windows 10: The table came originally with Windows 8.1 and no drivers were available by the supplier/manufacturer. After a couple of months, the free upgrade to Windows 10 started rolling and knocked my door, so I went for it. I had serious issues after upgrading (touch screen not working at all or misbehaving), cameras not working etc. so it took me days of researching for solutions, drivers and getting some support from Plaisio. Now it’s working like a charm with Windows 10.

Keyboard: The tablet came with a detachable keyboard, but after about after one year the plastic gaps of the tablet part, where the keyboard’s hinges plugged, broke and so the keyboard will not fit without causing issues to the tablet’s plastics. I soon replaced it with a Logitech K480 bluetooth keyboard because: (a) it doubles as a stand for the tablet (otherwise I would also need a stand) (b) it can be paired to 3 devices max and instantly switch between them by rotating a dial knob so I could also use it with my smartphones and other tablets and (c) it was bluetooth, so it would save me the only full-size USB port of the tablet (the second one was on its original keyboard part, which was now unusable) from a USB RF adapter of a wireless keyboard.

Storage: The tablet’s 32GB are mostly occupied by the OS and other app files, leaving less than 15GB for the user. I went for a 32GB microSD card, to be used as a storage so all apps would be installed on the tablet’s storage.

Peripherals
Mouse: After the original keyboard incident, I was left with no touchpad, so while I use the touch screen sometimes I need the precision of a mouse. I have a travel USB mouse with a retractable cable at hand, along with a bluetooth Microsoft mouse as a backup.
USB: I have a microUSB to USB adapter for making use of the tablet’s microUSB port.
HDMI: I bought a microHDMI to HDMI cable for hooking the tablet to TVs or larger screens. In most hotel rooms the ports (and TV menu options) are locked but sometimes I get lucky.

Ethernet: The tablet did not come with an ethernet port, so I got a USB to ethernet adapter for those rare (nowadays) cases where WiFi is not available but I have the option for a wired connection (while in other cases there are both but wired is usually faster and more stable 😃 )

Typical use

I mostly use my tablet at home, when I need to browse for something and I need a screen larger than my Lumia’s 4.7-inch one. It boots quickly, can be used single-handed and acts like a small-form laptop. I also use it for working with documents, reading ebooks, checking my emails and social media etc.

At one time, I decided that carrying my 15.6-inch laptop around during my business trips was an overkill so I started using my WinTab instead. And I haven’t regretted it. It is much lighter, flexible (e.g. I can use the tablet only when reading a document or reviewing my slides during a flight, where space is limited, and attach the keyboard when I am at the hotel room or during the meeting / workshop that I am attending, for working on my slides, keeping notes, sending emails, sharing outcomes through social media etc.

In both cases, WinTab is a great laptop substitute: It is capable of handling light multitasking, e.g. a few browser tabs open along with a couple of MS Word files, a PPT presentation etc. It can decently play YouTube videos and MP4 files without stutters. It is really sufficient for such light tasks and makes me wonder about the crappy netbook I once owned (an Acer Aspire One 751h), which was a real nightmare to use, even with lightweight Linux distributions – how badly designed it was…

Issues faced

Battery: The battery lasts much less than advertised. I haven’t tested it thoroughly but it won’t keep charge for more than 3 hours, which is really low (and less than I need), depending on the usage. For this, I decided to buy a 2m microUSB cable so that I can access any available power outlet.

Lack of Miracast support: It would be lovely for the tablet to support Miracast, so that I could wirelessly mirror its screen on a Smart TV or large screen. Its hardware does not allow it so I need to hook it through the HDMI port. It cannot be used as a larger screen for other devices, so e.g. I cannot project my smartphone’s images or videos to it – wirelessly.

Screen quality: I do not mind about the low resolution of the screen, and it’s size is adequate most of the times. However, I recently noticed some flickering of the screen, which is really annoying.

Storage: I use the remaining internal storage of the tablet for installing apps and the microSD card for storing stuff (music, movies, images etc.). However, my work is much larger than that and I need to keep files synced. In order to address this, I keep my archive on an external HDD and work directly on it, when it comes to real work. I also have a selection of movies and music there, so that I do not exhaust the microUSB capacity. I’d love to have more than 128GB of internal storage, so that I could avoid this.

Heat: The tablet is fanless and shouldn’t raise the temperature but maybe due to bad design (and lack of air flow), it gets really hot behind the CPU. It may affect the battery life, but it’s not really a problem.

So to make a long story short, one can replace a laptop with a basic Windows tablet, but this surely depends on the expected use and requirements. A typical Windows tablet with a Z3735f CPU and 2GB of RAM can do much more than I expected and costs less than a low-end laptop.

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Hacking my Lumia 735 to support Continuum

I recently came across a video showing how to enable Continuum on any Lumia smartphone and use it without display dock. It sounded pretty interesting, especially taking into consideration that we now have a smart TV at home (after the old TV broke down) and I wouldn’t want to invest in proprietary solutions like a Continuum dock. My Lumia 735 does not officially support Continuum (in fact I have a hard time projecting content to our smart TV as well) so I thought I should give it a try to see how it goes.

I took some time last night (less than 30 mins in total) to download the necessary files, hack the phone’s registry and restart the phone a couple of times. Then it actually worked! I managed to project my Lumia’s screen to my Toshiba’s laptop screen (despite the warnings I got that the laptop’s hardware does not support projecting from other sources). It was rather laggy but I could see a full-size desktop on the screen and actually run my Lumia’s apps using its touch screen as a touchpad 😃

Unfortunately, this was not the case for my Samsung smart TV; my Lumia could see the TV but could not pair successfully, while I kept seeing that the TV also tried to connect to the phone but with no luck. Interoperability issues I guess, with too many different protocols for performing a simple task.

In any case, the specific application of Continuum was not really useful, as I had a fully working 17-inch laptop in front of me so I had access to more processing power and a full size keyboard, along with a mouse.

However, the next day I thought I should give Continuum a try at the office, where in one of the meetings rooms there is a Philips Smart TV with a Miracast dongle attached to one of its HDMI ports. So I switched on the TV, selected the proper HDMI port as the source and waited. At the same time, I switched on the WiFi on my Lumia and launched the Continuum app. It took only a couple of seconds to see the home page of my Lumia mirrored on the meeting room’s smart TV!

What does this mean in practice? Let’s say I participate in a meeting where we share content and keep notes using the Intel NUC attached in the second HDMI port of the same smart TV. If I want to share something that I have on my phone, I just have to switch the image source (from one HDMI to the other), saving me from:

  • having to use any app credentials in another’s user account (running on the NUC),
  • having to switch to my user account on the NUC,
  • having to remember the credentials I use for a given app/account (I tend to forget lately)

From the convenience of my smartphone, I can show photos, videos, slides or even open a web page to share it with everyone in the room – wirelessly and with no hassle. How cool is that?

Newer is not always faster

I have a Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) as a backup phone, getting it ready to replace my trustworthy but declining (app-wise) Lumia 735. The phone came with Android 6.0.1 installed and before I even bought last May, I was reading on various fora about an upcoming upgrade to Android 7.0 (Nougat). Even though I knew that the update would be nothing special, as an upgrade freak I was really looking forward to receiving the update. And it arrived, last week.

The update brought some nice visualization touches (e.g. the new top toolbar icons), some usability tweaks (e.g. organizing settings/options in a better way) and some noticeable lag to the phone. The latter is pretty annoying. It seems that it takes a couple of seconds now before I can enter the SIM PIN and unlock PIN, switching between open apps takes some time as well etc.; before the update, the phone seemed more responsive and quick to use.

I read that it is not easy to downgrade to 6.0.1 and that would validate the warranty; I am sure that it will be possible and I do not care about the warranty anyway. In any case, it still is a usable phone, with a great camera, lots of functionalities and great looks.

I guess that this is the price you pay if you are an upgrade maniac like myself…

Packing light for summer holidays

Packing less is great, but you always have to carry the essentials with you; especially when you spend some time away from home. You need to carefully plan your stay, think about the items that you will definitely need, add some of those that you may need and then start packing. The easiest way is packing more, but this is not really convenient – especially during summer holidays.

During the first part of our summer holidays, I packed my stuff in my compact messenger bag: My 10.1-inch tablet with its charger and the Logitech K480 keyboard, a couple of smartphones with their chargers, HDMI cable for plugging the tablet to the hotel room’s TV (it was the first time the TV was unlocked and the cable proved useful for keeping kids busy watching cartoons), a notepad & pencils, wallet, my sunglasses etc. However, I hardly had the opportunity to use the bulky keyboard and instead I used mostly my smartphones for consuming content (e.g. checking out social media, looking for information on places to visit, GPS navigation etc.) and producing as well (taking and editing photos, updating social media). I also found the bag heavy to carry around.

As a result, during the second part of our holidays, I decided to get rid of some stuff and be even more portable. I challenged myself to fit all my essentials in a really compact mens shoulder bag that was given to me as a gift some time ago but never had the opportunity to use it. It may sound impossible, but this little bag held the following during my holidays:

  • My Magic Wallet
  • A pocket notepad and a couple of pens
  • A pocket book (one of the biographies of Black Sabbath 😃 )
  • Home keys, car keys and hotel room keys with keyrings
  • Two smartphones and one charger
  • My sunglasses in their pouch
  • A compact flashlight (it always comes handy when away from home)
  • A nail clipper
  • Coins
  • Fresheners & gums
  • All the receipts collected during the vacations and a couple of folded A4 pages with map of the area and other notes.

It was so compact and light that I could easily carry it around by the pool, the beach and our evening walks – virtually all the time. Of course I did not have my 10.1-inch tablet nor its keyboard with me, but I would hardly have the opportunity to use them anyway, based on my experience and daily schedule. This meant that I stayed a little bit behind with blogging, reviewing the places we visited etc. but this would happen anyway, due to lack of time for that (and not due to the lack of the items themselves).

Test drive of Hare Kohu beach shader: Part 1

I recently got myself a Hare Kohu beach shader by Terra Nation, after our cheap beach umbrella broke. I went for a shader, as I liked the fact that our staff would be half-protected while we are swimming and that kids would find it fun to sit under the shade and play (compared to a typical beach umbrella).

The specific shader is easy to setup, provides plenty of space, is said to be of high quality and is lightweight. What more could I ask? I purchased one and spent some time at home, opening and closing it and I was amazed by its simplicity. Its material was thinner than I expected (more or less like a rain umbrella) so I don’t expect it to last for a long time; however, it may make up for it thanks to the fun of using it.

Today I had the opportunity to test it under real conditions, at a remote beach we visited during our summer holidays. It was really windy though, and the wind’s direction was opposite to the sun’s one, so the shader had to face the wind like the sails of a boat if we wanted to get some shade…

I  needed some help from my wife to open it; in fact, she needed to make sure that it will not fly with the wind when opened! After that, I used five of the pegs provided with the shader and had both windows opened, in order to allow the wind’s flow, and put all our stuff inside. Using one of the available cords with an additional peg did not improve things. We soon realized that the shader would not stay at its position unless an adult sat inside, so we had to swim in turns! In the end, we got so frustrated by the wind that we had to pack our things and go. I closed the shader by myself and it was easier than I expected, taking into consideration the strong wind.

Despite that, my first impressions from Hare Kohu were positive:

  • It was easy to set up, even under windy conditions;
  • It gave us plenty of space and shade for three persons – even 4, if squeezed;
  • Our stuff were protected (at least partially);
  • We appreciated the roof pockets, which allowed the easy storage of our e.g. sunglasses and smartphones, among others.
  • The shader was easy to carry around (thanks to its practical carry bag) and lightweight, equal to a beach umbrella (but more compact).

On the other hand, it was obvious that strong wind was an issue and I would also appreciate a slightly thicker material (the current one looks prone to tearing at some point soon, even when packed with all these parts of the shader’s skeleton pressing the fabric).

Overall, I find it a nice investment and I can only hope that it will be a durable one.

My playlist: Summer 2017 edition

(Warning: Selection might look – and sound – paranoid to you!)

The songs are in random order and the the list may slightly change during summer 🙂

Lana Del Ray – Summertime sadness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdrL3QxjyVw
Lana Del Ray – Summertime sadness  (remix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akhmS1D2Ce4
Smash Mouth – Walking on the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQj–Kjn0z8
The Black Keys – Little black submarines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k8es2BNloE
Mazzy Star – Fade into you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uJ61jgFCMM
Death in Vegas – Hands Around My Throat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvQvOFRS9o
Death In Vegas – Scorpio Rising https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJu6vG64C2M
The Earthbound – The valley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaClUEEUBTM
The Earthbound – House full of fear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJWXlY_EYt4
The Earthbound – Riverside song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CqIgHkCoFI
The Cardigans – Rise & Shine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpaA163XaQA
Bomfunk MC’s – Freestyler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymNFyxvIdaM
Robin Schulz – Sugar (feat. Francesco Yates) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvC_0foemLY
Planet Funk – Chase the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_wKmMox1fM
Type O Negative Summer Girl (Banned Version – Summer Breeze) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmE_Zek4e1o
Type O Negative – Cinnamon Girl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO9aD4mzSE8
Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGr6i5Sar5s
Lords of Acid – Marijuana in Your Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5zZthqTr-4
EODM (Eagles of Death Metal) – Complexity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DLVLRpKtYc
Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-FxmoVM7X4
Foo Fighters – This is a call https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imxAeQZjBeI
Everlast – What It’s Like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwoNQvSOxM8
Nirvana – Seasons in the sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ve5bvC7BbI
1000 Homo DJs – Supernaut https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjho-zVgDXo
Cypress Hill – Tequila Sunrise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrWnH7cV_-c
Machine Head-Hole In The Sky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq_kadvLTSM
The Sisters Of Mercy – Temple Of Love (Feat. Ofra Haza) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMETa77dUrg
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Beggin – Original https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQgmyQFFQjo
Elvis Presley – Suspicious minds ???? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLbrLv-U1oI
The Almighty – Free ‘N’ Easy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwga20fPBDY
The Almighty – Soul Destruction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jmcErsaSu4
The Presidents of the USA – Kick Out the Jams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iblg5G3NTjo
The Presidents of the USA – Little Dune Buggy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq5OyumR_1o
Texas – I Don’t Want A Lover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhfSeUqfoP4
Alanis Morisette – Ironic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc
The Driven – Jesus loves more if you can drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A5xHTRRzH8
Sixpence than the richer – Kiss me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N-qO3sPMjc
Mungo Jerry – In The Summertime ORIGINAL 1970 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUQcnfwUUM
Peter Bjorn And John – Young Folks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iArXv64tCJA
Amy Winehouse – You know I am no good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DZ-V8VEWsQ
Danzig – Dirty black summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kRtTtpG8Ls

A challenging business trip to Ireland

I recently made a 3-days business trip to Ireland for a 2-day Conference. Due to a relatively recent operation I had, I decided to travel light, carrying only my backpack and a cabin-sized suitcase with only the basics. But this is a trip where things went wrong…

  1. During the flight to Dublin, I managed to stain my shirt (one of the three I had with me) with olive olive during the in-flight lunch. I tried to remove it with wet towels, hand refreshers and lots of soap and rinsing with water but didn’t succeed.
  2. I reached the hotel after about a long trip of 12 hours from Athens. As a result, I missed the interesting guided tour to the Kilkenny Castle, the Welcome Reception (drinks included) as well as a couple of interesting speeches.
  3. When I reached the hotel and started unpacking, I realized that the small dispenser with my dry-skin lotion was broken in the suitcase and left some stains on my second shirt – two shirts off before even the start of the Conference!
  4. My third shirt, which I had picked up from the dry cleaners just before the trip had some small coffee stains which had not been properly (and entirely) removed) – I only wish I had noticed that when I picked it up…
  5. The hotel had a maze-like arrangement (rather complex for newcomers) and some irregularities (e.g. Reception was on top of the 1st and 2nd floor!) so I got lost while heading to the reception. This resulted in me getting out of the building through an one-way security door (not opening from the outside) and I found myself in chilling cold, wearing only a shirt and having just left the steaming shower. That was a shock for me, but fortunately I didn’t catch a cold. No doors opened from outside, so I had to walk in the woods surrounding the hotel until I reached its main entrance.
  6. I left my smartphone to charge overnight using an EU to UK adapter but forgot that the UK power outlets have a small on-off switch. When I woke up in the morning, the smartphone’s battery was almost drained. It was a good thing I had my second device almost fully charged.
  7. On the way back to Athens, my flight from Dublin to London was delayed by more than 1 hour, so I was not sure if I will be able to catch my connecting flight to Athens. I tried to reach both Aer Lingus and British Airways through their social media (FB pages and Twitter) but I got no response. On top of that, power outlets in Dublin airport were out of order and I was running out of battery. Thank God for the free WiFi.
  8. When we landed in London, nobody knew if we had sufficient time to catch our flight to Athens. I was rushing so much that I missed the signs leading to the bus connecting Heathrow Terminal 2 with Terminal 5 and I had to walk much longer to catch the train. I was in a real shock.
  9. Fortunately our flight from London to Athens was also delayed, so I found myself boarding later on. Unfortunately It was delayed so much (more than 2 hours, if I recall well), that we reached Athens early morning (about 05.30) instead of 02.30.
  10. British Airways has turned into a low-cost airline and I was not aware of that. Instead of free beverages during the flight, we were handed a Marks & Spencer menu list and we had to pay for virtually anything that we needed – even for coffee and water. I feel sorry that I had opted for the BA flight instead of e.g. an Aegean one.
  11. The delayed flights along with the lack of proper sleep during the previous days, resulted in me sleeping abnormal times during the weekend, as I was really exhausted.

That’s the kind of stuff that you hate when traveling – especially for business purposes. No matter how well you prepare, things can easily go wrong. It’s a good thing that they’re not typical to most of my business trips, but some times, shot happens!

Issue with laptop’s keyboard – and how I fixed it

The truth is that my WinTab with its Logitech K480 Bluetooth keyboard has almost completely replaced my laptops at home (and often during business trips) – I even get some work done using my smartphones now. I still have my aging but still hard working Toshiba C670-1C1 for specific purposes, such as letting kids watch videos on YouTube or play some online games which is great thanks to its 17-inch screen.

I recently wanted to work on a document so I pulled out the laptop and entered my password – it was rejected. I tried once more, more carefully, only to find out that some keystrokes did not display on screen (namely 1 and 3). I used the numeric keys and managed to log in. After testing the keyboard, I realized that several keys on its left side (including the space bar) did not operate correctly (e.g. pressing them did not have any result). At first I suspected kids pushing the keys so hard that the keyboard ribbon was either broken or removed; kids could have also spilled water on the keyboard without letting me know.

I started looking for online information about the issue; many posts referred to NumLock and other key combinations that could cause the issue; however this did not solve my problem. I also completely uninstalled the keyboards drivers from the Device Manager and disabled device driver updates through Windows Update (as I read online) but still no luck. I even connected my bluetooth keyboard to check if the issue would appear (i.e. software or hardware updates) but it worked fine – so there was something wrong with my laptop.

In the end, I came across a post mentioning a Lenovo pointing device in the Device Manager, and how it should be removed as it caused issues (like mine). I checked, and indeed there was a Lenovo pointing device there (keep in mind that my laptop is a Toshiba, not a Lenovo!). I just had to uninstall the device and voila – the keyboard worked like a charm!

I am still not sure how this Lenovo pointing device drivers made it into my system (maybe a Windows Update component?) but I am glad that I managed to find out the solution and bring the laptop back to normal operation 🙂

Περί της φοροδιαφυγής στην Ελλάδα

Περί της φοροδιαφυγής στην Ελλάδα

Με μόλις πέντε παραδείγματα που συνέβησαν μέσα σε λιγότερο από ένα μήνα μέσα στο 2017, όπου υποτίθεται ότι τα μέτρα θα είναι πιο αυστηρά για τη χρήση καρτών και την πάταξη της φοροδιαφυγής:

  1. Παραγγέλνω συχνά από το γραφείο σε συγκεκριμένο εστιατόριο με μαγειρευτά. Δεν έχει έρθει ποτέ απόδειξη με το φαγητό μέσα στο 2016, παρότι πληρώνω μέσω κάρτας (e-food.gr / deliveras.gr) και η συναλλαγή φαίνεται. Η πρώτη παραγγελία του 2017 (μέσω e-food.gr) συνοδεύτηκε από απόδειξη, αλλά ίσως ήταν τυχαίο γεγονός. Συνάδελφοι πάντως που πληρώνουν με μετρητά δεν παίρνουν ποτέ απόδειξη από τον διανομέα, παρά μόνο δελτίο παραγγελίας.
  2. Χαλάει η πλακέτα του ψυγείου. Έρχεται ο μάστορας, την παίρνει, την επισκευάζει συνεργάτης του και ο μάστορας την ξαναφέρνει για να την τοποθετήσει. Κόστος €100, εννοείται χωρίς ΦΠΑ. Αν θέλω απόδειξη θα πρέπει να επιβαρυνθώ τα 24 ευρώ του ΦΠΑ. Θέλω?
  3. Πηγαίνω το αυτοκίνητο για πρώτη φορά σε συνεργείο γειτονιάς – αλλά τεράστιο (πιάνει σχεδόν ένα οικοδομικό τετράγωνο) – για αλλαγή λαδιών και φίλτρου. Μόλις το άφησα ρωτάω το κόστος (€35) και αν μπορώ να πληρώσω με κάρτα. Η απάνητηση ήταν πως γίνεται, αλλά θα πρέπει να επιβαρυνθώ τον ΦΠΑ 24%, αφού θα πρέπει να κοπεί απόδειξη. Εννοείται πως δε με ήξεραν και θα μπορούσα να είμαι εφοριακός.
  4. Πηγαίνω για δεύτερη φορά σε κομμωτήριο για κούρεμα. Την πρώτη φορά είχε κόψει απόδειξη χωρίς να ζητήσω. Αυτή τη φορά δεν έκανε την κίνηση. Το συγκεκριμένο κομμωτήριο είναι 30% φθηνότερο στο κούρεμα σε σχέση με αυτό που πήγαινα παλιότερα (€10 αντί για €13), το οποίο επίσης έξοβε αποδείξεις επιλεκτικά.
  5. Πηγαίνω για πρώτη φορά σε βουλκανιζατέρ για μπάλωμα σε λάστιχο και μετάθεση ελαστικών μπρος-πίσω. Ρωτάω εξαρχής το κόστος για να ξέρω τι να περιμένω- 28 ευρώ, χωρίς να διευκρινήσουμε αν είναι με απόδειξη ή όχι. Τελικά όταν έρχεται η ώρα να πληρώσω μου ζητάει €25 και δεν κόβει απόδειξη.

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Το πρόβλημα κατά τη γνώμη μου είναι σύνθετο: ο υπερβολικά υψηλός ΦΠΑ (που όλοι θέλουν να αποφύγουν), η έλλειψη παιδείας, το κράτος-κατσαπλιάς που κοιτάζει να τα αρπάξει από όπου μπορεί χωρίς να υπάρχει όμως ανταποδοτικότητα, η κρίση που κάνει τον καθένα να θέλει να γλυτώσει (άμεσα) ό,τι μπορεί από το κόστος αγαθών και υπηρεσιών και τέλος η παντελής έλλειψη ελέγχων. Αν ο μοναδικός έλεγχος είναι ο πελάτης/καταναλωτής που θα πρέπει να τσακώνεται με τον πωλητή/προμηθευτή για μια απόδειξη (τη στιγμή που δεν υπάρχει άμεσο όφελος), τότε το παιχνίδι είναι χαμένο – για αυτό και δεν φοβάται κανένας αν ο πελάτης που μπαίνει στο μαγαζί του για πρώτη φορά είναι εφοριακός. Το αν θα ζητήσω απόδειξη εγώ είναι δικαίωμά μου (και όχι υποχρέωσή μου) και εξαρτάται από διάφορους παράγοντες και κυρίως από το συμφέρον μου.

Οι άλλοι παράγοντες είναι πολύπλοκοι και δεν έχω χρόνο να τους αναλύσω καν.