13 December 2017

An open letter to hospitals that make patients relatives run around to get blood

Note: In Karnataka, you can get blood from these places: https://blood.kar.nic.in/Home1.aspx

A relative of mine was being treated at a hospital, and I heard the hospital was making his friends and relatives run around, to arrange for replacement blood donors. Since he was undergoing plasmapheresis and dialysis, there was a huge demand for blood. Moreover, even though they brought blood donors and paid the donors, they still had to pay extra for blood units that the hospital gave. That was a shame. Especially for a hospital that claimed to treat its patients well.

I wrote a letter to them. The links in the letter are important. They will take you to a whole new level of knowledge.


I know there's no point in taking you on a guilt-trip of making relatives of patients running around trying to find blood donors, so let's get down to some facts:

I understand hospitals have their own logistics to worry about, but when you have a marketing term that claims to treat people well, the hospital's word-of-mouth advertising will definitely improve when people know that this is one hospital that does not inconvenience people. Apart from the blood donation aspect, I really appreciate other procedures that are followed well in the hospital.

Kindly forward this to the person who can take decisions on organizing blood donation drives. Meanwhile, I hope your hospital could immediately stop inconveniencing people and instead organize for processed blood units to be brought to the hospital from other blood banks (which follow strict guidelines). You could of course charge a premium on it.


For the reader: If you can organize for donors, then please do. There is indeed a shortage of blood. But be aware that you are not obligated to.
Bangalore itself needs an average of 800 units of blood everyday!!! Do encourage and participate in blood donation drives. It's the best way to ensure there is safe blood available for everyone in need. Encourage hospitals to organize frequent blood donation camps instead of just complacently indulging them with replacement donors.


Some points from the links above:
  • With no official complaints raised by the public, corporate blood banks have no incentive to walk away from replacement blood. “Grievances can be filed at the PM’s portal,” Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS), “which collates grievances from multiple sources and forwards them to the state government, nodal officer, or blood bank concerned,” says Dr Shobini.
  • Shobini Rajan, assistant director general, National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), said the blood policy doesn't say it is illegal for hospitals to ask for donors but it is undesirable.

More on blood donation: http://nrecursions.blogspot.in/2015/02/blood-donation-what-went-right.html
And volunteering: http://nrecursions.blogspot.in/2015/07/how-to-start-volunteering-or-how-to.html

09 December 2017

Forgot BIOS password and removing CMOS battery does not work?

In the "good old days", if you forgot your BIOS password, all you had to do was open up the computer, remove the CMOS battery or remove the jumper near the battery and your CMOS password would get reset to no password.

That's changed now. I recently reset my laptop to CMOS factory default settings, saved and exited, and it asked for a password the next time I wanted to enter the CMOS settings. I had not even set a password!!!

Opening up the laptop and finding the CMOS battery was an interesting proposition, so I did just that. Removed the battery, replaced it after 30 seconds, put back all components, started the laptop and it still asked for a password. Darn! Going through the laptop manual showed that the battery had to be removed and kept aside for at least an hour.
Ok good. So I did that. Waited for more than an hour, put back all components, started the laptop and bang. There was the password prompt again!
Turns out that there was a person who even kept the battery aside for three months and yet the password didn't reset. It's likely to be stored in a more permanent location in memory in today's computers.

The solution:
After a lot of anxious searching, I found this website. The ultimate guide to resetting the BIOS password.
Turns out that when you take your computer to the official service people, they don't need to know your BIOS password or hack into it with brute force techniques.
They simply use a default password that the manufacturer programs into the motherboard. These are called backdoor codes.

So all you have to do is try out some of the openly available backdoor codes on the website, and if that doesn't work, then try entering some random password three times and your BIOS password prompt will show you a number. Enter that number into this website https://bios-pw.org/ and it'll show you the backdoor password for your BIOS.

That's it! I was able to access my CMOS settings screen again and this time I set my own password.
Do try this before you take your laptop to some service person who'd use the same simple technique and then charge you a bomb because you'd think they used some super secret hacking technique to elegantly solve your problem for you.