Thursday, 18 April 2013

One Memorable Software Bug


Many of my college friends including me, had to struggle a bit for our first job, as there was no campus placement  in our college that time and the situation turned out little more challenging, as we passed out during some kind of recession period. Gradually market improved and eventually guys were started to get placed in different organizations. Life was pretty cool during the initial phase of our first job. Well, money can definitely bring hell lot of happiness.  During that time, my good friend Diganta completed his CDAC course from Hyderabad and got placed in a well known software company, based out at Pune. Diganta is quite a cool and friendly kind of  guy, but he is not the kind of guy who used to spend little extra time over the telephone. In fact, when he was at Hyderabad, I couldn't remember even a single instance, when he bothered to call us. We had a huge gang of our college buddies, out here in Bangalore.

Diganta already shifted to Pune and joined the company he was placed in. One evening, all of a sudden we received a call from him and we talked for a long time.  We were really amused for the fact that, one after another, Diganta talked with each and every one of us. He talked for almost 2 hours and we were so delighted, but also very much confused, as it was a little different kind of Diganta we experienced that night. After his call, we discussed among ourselves “What happened to Diganta? He almost talked for 2 hours.”

Next evening, Diganta again called us and talked extensively with everyone, on various topics one after another.  We were totally confused and I seriously doubted that he must have got some free phone, from somewhere. But how the hell could that have been possible? STD rates were pretty high those days and within our knowledge, there was no such scheme where STD calls was free. 

We had hell lot of doubts and ultimately I asked him "Dude, what's the case?"

Diganta said "What case?"

I replied "I mean, all of a sudden you started calling us and that too, talk for 2-3 hours"

Diganta said "What should I say? You guys never call me and when I call you guys,  you complain. It's OK, if you don't like then I will not bother you guys any more"

I said "It’s not like that, we just want to know the truth. Do you have any offer like, free calls at night or so?"

Diganta replied "Well, in that case, next time I will always call you guys at day time. Will that be fine?"

The conversation went just like that for almost an hour and eventually Diganta disconnected the call. Before disconnecting, he said that we guys have changed, as we were not interested to talk to him anymore. He said that even his Mom and other family members also used to complain about, why he used to call them so frequently?

Next evening again the mobile rang and Diganta’s name displayed on the screen.  We were 100% sure that something terribly fishy was going on and we immediately asked him about it. 

Diganta started to laugh and said "Nothing guys, I just want to talk to you people"

He had fun for few more minutes and then he revealed his secret. It’s one of the most memorable software bugs that I could recollect. At Hyderabad, Diganta was using a Pre-Paid SIM card of a particular operator. He was about to relocate to Pune that time and he had some talk time left with his SIM, so he took the SIM along with him to Pune. Initially he didn’t use his Hyderabad SIM much, as the roaming charges were pathetic. Till the time he arranged for a new SIM in Pune, he had to receive a few calls on his Hyderabad number and he got very disappointed, as it charged him even for the incoming calls. Once Diganta got his new Pune SIM card, he still had 20 Rupees talk time left on his Hyderabad SIM.

He thought to utilize the remaining   talk time and called his home. He was under the impression that the call would drop automatically, once the balance would have reduced  to zero. But the call never dropped and in fact, it lasted for a couple of hours and they had to voluntarily disconnect it. After the call, Diganta checked his balance and it showed 20 Rupees. Diganta was very delighted, but he also anticipated that very soon the balance would become negative. Any way, he didn’t have to worry much, as it was a Pre-paid SIM. 

Once more he tried his luck and called one of his friends. Again that time the call didn’t drop automatically and they had a long chat. After the call, Diganta checked the balance and it displayed 20 Rupees on the screen. He was overjoyed and out of excitement he screamed and couldn’t stop laughing out loud.


Next few days, he experimented it with several mobile numbers and called his friends across India and every time his balance used to show 20 Rupees. He was damn excited, as he almost got the "Aladdin Ka Chirag" Magic Lamp, only the Jinni didn’t bother to appear. 



Diganta noticed that for every incoming call he received, his talk time balance used to get reduced, but in case of outgoing calls, it seemed the Jinni inside the mobile device did some kind of magic. Diganta realized that there was a serious bug in the operator’s billing software and he wanted to have maximum out of it, before it got rectified. Unfortunately he didn’t have any girl friend that time, but it’s OK, as he used to make long and frequent calls to his home, relatives and friends. He even tried some ISD numbers, as few of his friends were abroad that time. It seemed the software bug didn’t discriminate among national and international numbers. 

Diganta enjoyed the unlimited free calls for almost a month and then one day the validity of that SIM got expired. It was quite a difficult situation for him, as he was so much addicted to the bug. Those days there were not many options to recharge Pre-Paid SIM's and I think the only option was to buy recharge coupons. He asked one of his friends in Hyderabad to buy a recharge coupon for him, but unfortunately the Jinni inside the handset couldn’t help him any further with that SIM. Out of frustration, Diganta managed to get one more Pre-Paid SIM from Hyderabad and one of his friends couriered it to him.  Again the Jinni came back to business and Diganta got busy with the phone calls. It continued for another couple of months and then the operator might have identified the bug, as ultimately the mobile Jinni stopped to perform the magic.

39 comments:

  1. What a story! And what luck.

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    1. Hehe.. my friend really enjoyed the bug :)

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  2. I can understand the delight of your friend Jahid, for call rates were really expensive at that time. I wish I had got such an opportunity, for I had a gf too unlike your friend. :) Just kidding. Loved the post brother.

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    1. Yeah Deepak, call rates were pretty high that time. Such opportunities could be a dream come true for guys with GF(s) :)

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  3. After reading this, i m thinking of getting some pre-paid SIMs from hyderabad. who knows, maybe after the bug was fixed the testing wasn't done properly ;)

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    1. Try it out Sandeepan, you never know :)

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  4. hahhahha.. u had me laughing and reminded me those days ... i can t refresh the whole episode but yes I remember in between there was some rumour about people being able to make calls all free.. but dude relience days were amazing ... pioneer scheme ... phn for 10000 rs talk unlimited and then eventually for 500 and then 1 rupee.. I had almost 11 bought for 500 and one when they sold for 3500 and 1 when they had introduced the pioneer scheme where it also had some business model which was nothing but all about befoooling us !! hahahaha
    but i remember ... people would call up and talk from relience cdma phones and those typical milky handsets which would heat up coz of continuous talking.. hahaha thanks for a post which i reminded me of kido days when not even 18 I had mananged bmy first rs 10000 ka phn which was a first hand .. my father doubted if i had joined some smuggler group but in reality ... I was involved with some base level budding party workers whom I would get introduced to guys who seeked admission from backdoor in a reputed college of the city (reputed for hot chicks) hehehe .. my client usually used to be an year or two senior to me .. and i would charge them good 3000 for getting introduced to the local neta ji :D :D .. I have been a part of corruption hence no when I draw cartoons against corruption and politics .. its a way of saying sorry for my misdeeds :)

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    1. Haha.. liked Ur confession dude :) I remember now, reliance came out with free unlimited reliance to reliance calls. But later, they changed the scheme and people still continued to long STD calls and many people used to get bills of 20,000, 45,000 etc etc :):) It was hard time for reliance to collect such bills.

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    2. yes it was hard for them to collect bills .. and I am still a defaulter they giave up against !! :D

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    3. Haha! U are still a defaulter :)

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  5. Diganta could have run a STD booth :)

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    1. Hehe Ratul, his phone was fully utilized, as it was engaged 24/7 :)

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  6. what a lucky guy he was,nice post

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    1. Yeah, he was really lucky. It seems may of his friends in Pune also enjoyed his luck along with him :) I am glad U liked the post.

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  7. I wish I was blessed with such bugs too. Hilarious read.

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    1. Hehe.. I too wish the same :) Thanks for visiting.I am glad that U enjoyed the post.

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  8. Great luck with the guy, great story.

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    1. Yeah Kumar, ultimate lucky :) I am glad U liked the story.

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  9. lucky guy, experience worth remembering.

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    1. Yeah dude, good old memories. Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Very good one Jahid . Dignata was very lucky for whole month

    Travel India

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    1. Thanks Vishal. He was extremely lucky :)

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  11. Haha Jahid!!! Your friend is so lucky ... Diganta must have had a gala time and that too free of cost.

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    1. Ya Soumabha, he had a wonderful time.

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  12. nice story....... sometimes my friends too experienced the same..........

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    1. Thanks a lot. Nice to know that Ur friends also enjoyed similar kind of bugs :) Thanks for visiting!

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  13. Replies
    1. Yeah, extremely lucky. Thanks for visiting Roohani!

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  14. Hii Jahid, I am on your blog after a long time ! pretty exciting read as always :D Friend !

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tanya. So how U doing? How was Ur exam? It's really nice that U came up with blog designing blog :) It's really cool.

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  15. First of all let me tell you, you have got a great blog. It is quite good post here.

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    1. Thank U so much Paul.Glad U liked some of the posts and thanks for visiting out here!

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