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Showing posts from January, 2008

RANT: Eskom, inaccurate reporting and the truth behind the problems...

Very, very interesting rant sent in by a Cowboys reader - who wished to remain anonymous for fear of cold showers in the dark and a cold knife in the back.

Thank you, dear Reader. All views appreciated. Especially controversial ones (you gotta love rants - and there are going to be PLENTY of them floating around this subject). What do y'all think?

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INACCURATE REPORTING. This one makes me boil! There is so much crap being talked and written. Even a single article in the paper will usually contain directly conflicting statements.

Examples from Weekend Argus Business Report front page:

Eskom's Failures Threaten to Halt Industry For Weeks

"… But public enterprises minister Alec Irwin, addressing a conference on Friday to discuss the government's plans for dealing with the power crisis said he was not aware that the major platinum and gold mining houses had shut their mines…."

"… Alongside him, Eskom Chief Executive Jacob Maroga who signed the emergency let…

E61i - The Greatest Weakness.

I love my Nokia E61i. Big screen, QWERTY keyboard, wireless... the works. It's quick, it's stable. It doesn't feel as big as it looks. Chuffed.

BUT. Help a brother out here. Am I being an idiot or is it just impossible to dial 0861 SOMETHING. (As in when a number is written in letters...).


The QWERTY keyboard prevents you from dialing these types of numbers! I've been forced to figure out their representing digits on a lesser phone. Sies. For instance:

On the E61i - these are the corresponding letters:

1 = R
2 = T
3 = Y

Agh! All wrong wrong wrong.

What gives?

Eskom. Looking into the future.

HAR HAR! Thanks Roger Hislop...


You know, if Eskom were REAL buggers... they would put some AdWords up on the Load Shedding page...

Should I go Mac (Part 2)?

My question. The operating system seems to be Unix-based - which suggests speed, reliability etc. etc. But, let's not kid ourselves. The world is Windows. The business world at least.

Just how compatible is a Mac in the business world. Can it hook up to a Windows Network. Windows Domain. Exchange Server. (Would you want to?)

Here's the next round of research for new Mac thinking-about-buying-ers.

An Introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Meet Your New Desktop
Everyone's talkin' about Leopard. Word on the street is - it's what Vista should have been. Read this in-depth review of the new OS from Mac and why it's so good.

Mac vs PC: The Popular Vote
Ingenious little fan site where people can leave a comment and vote Mac or PC. Fascinating stuff. Current score: MAC 75%. PC 25%.

Apple's MacBook Leaves Its Predecessors in the Dust
Probably the most interesting article I've read so far. It's a Washington Post review of the MacBook (probably the target machine for m…

The Jack Johnson Internet Machine Starts...

Jack Johnson is one of the biggest artists in the new "internet" music age. The campfire crooner shot to popularity through word of mouth (and BitTorrent I reckon). He's on Wikipedia. He's on MySpace. He's on the web. He's on YouTube.

Now, with a film/music label of his own - there's a bit more of a strategy to the launch of his new album.

Take a sneak preview listen to: Jack Johnson - Hope.

Thanks Scott! Digg it here.

Eskom: The jokes are starting to tell...

Someone would've blogged this. But someone ran out of power.

An internal memo methinks...

SECURITY ALERT: ABUSE OF ESKOM EMAIL FACILITIES

A number of "Eskom jokes" are being distributed in the organisation. These jokes are defamatory, degrading, obscene and abusive.

In terms of the Eskom Information Security Policy:

2.13.3.4 Users shall not use any Electronic communication facilities provided by Eskom to create, send, forward, store or display material that is fraudulent, sexually explicit, obscene, defamatory, racially or sexually harassing, threatening, unlawful, contrary to the rules of Eskom, the regulations of the appropriate Eskom Ethics body or otherwise illegal.

This is a request for Eskom employees that receive these "Eskom jokes" to forward them to Group Communications and under no circumstances should these jokes be forwarded or circulated either within Eskom or outside Eskom.

Your co-operation in this regard will be appreciated.

Regards

Krish Naidoo …

Should I go Mac (Part 1)?

Mac vs PC. A journey of discovery (and of getting over multiple crashes).


Me and My Mac
John C Dvorak - grumpy co-podder in Leo Laporte's TWIT show. Traditionally a PC Boy. Gets a Mac. Gets converted. Good article.

Office 2008 on Mac - Screenshots
Aha. In my current frame of mind - Office 2008 (Office 2007 on PC's) is probably the only thing which would halt my onwards march towards no settings, no viruses and a Dock. Office 2007 is a truly remarkable piece of software. It really is. Easy to use. Pretty stable. Phenomenal results from creatively challenged users. What more can you want? I produce documents worth of Creative Directors. With a cleek-cleek apply template. Mmmmm.

And now... it's coming to Mac. And it looks gooood.

Microsoft announces Office 2008 for Mac!
Confirmed!

It. Just. Got. Interesting.

Oh dark day. Giving up on Vista and going Mac?

On Sunday... I spent 4 hours just trying to copy some videos of our New Years Band from one XP machine to another. Vista crashed twice, required three restarts, hung four times. I tried connecting via my home wireless, via switchover cable. I pored over settings. I allowed Network Discovery (now THAT's a bitch that Vista chooses to keep subtle). I allowed file sharing. Short of uploading the bloody things and downloading them onto the other machine (neat idea, not practical, thanks Telkom) - I tried everything.

Everything.

I have never, ever been so frustrated by an operating system.

And to be fair to Vista, I even tried this on Ubuntu. Theoretically, a lot easier, but still couldn't get it working (I have a feeling Ubuntu got as far as copying and then decided that the crummy downstairs wireless signal shared by its lesser XP brethren was just not enough and timed out with gay abandon). So points to Ubuntu. No points to me who is still without said New Years videos.

Vista is a di…

The Stork Brought Me In (translated into Geek).

A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers, "Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

You've got male.

Har. Har.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend...

ESKOM ANNOUNCEMENT:

With immediate effect, Nkosi Sikelele iAfrika will be replaced as the national anthem with:

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend.

Eskom. A worrying press statement.

Up on Moneyweb (thanks Mr McLeod for the pointer).

By David Carte
18 Jan 2008 13:24

Eskom will explain itself to the public in a media release next week and until then cannot respond to media enquiries.

That's the word from the office of Bongani Mqwababa, finance director, who this week urged government to close SA to big new industrial projects until 2013 when electricity supply is expected to improve.

That statement amounts to stalling new job generation for another six years.

[continues...]

Hells bells people! Does that mean 2010 out the window? Gautrain? Stadiums? Fine way to cause immediate investor panic.

Issued by:


Har. Har. (The press statement is real though!)

Questionable ad deal offered to sister site, PakisCorner.com... Analysis.

Quite an interesting experience recently on sister blog, Paki's Corner (basically a rugby and cricket blog written by ex-SA, now US 7's player Dallen Stanford, edited, tech'd and sometimes co-written by myslef).

We were approached by "Danial" (spelling?). He was looking to place text advertisements inside three or four of the Paki's Corner posts. Now, the ads weren't written in the most delicious English I've ever seen - but this is a global economy. You don't have to speak or write English properly to make money or do business on the Internet. Google pretty much entrenched this view by giving in to Chinese censorship demands just to keep their service alive behind the red curtain.

Copy of ad (links removed) below:

Not majority of people like to take one way flights, but there are many times when they may have to, and other times when they want to so they can prolong their vacations. The online presence of many commercial airlines facilitates their…

Meeting Places with POWER (Johannesburg) #1

With all the power cuts going on - I've been lucky to have discovered a couple of coffee bars / restaurants that have taken the leap and gone generator.

What better than a frothy cappucino during the eternal darkness?

Try out:

The Divine Bean or The Baron and Quail, Dunwoody Shopping Centre, Cnr Woodlands Ave & Western Services Rd, Woodmead.

I particularly liked the Divine Bean. They're just to the right of this sign:


OR... Debonairs / McDonalds on Rivonia Rd.

Oh, but to own a generator business now :) Thanks Jenefer Morgan for the tipoffs!

Eskom... The jokes start...

In Sandton today, we had about 2.5 hours power. I feel nothing about posting this.

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Dear Electricity Consumer,

Just a little note to let you know we understand your anger in the recent price hike and power cuts. But it should be noted that you have no choice. We are a big company and you will pay what we tell you. You have no choice.

We have the power, you need the power. So sad, too bad. Sucks to be you. We have enclosed a little picture to help outline our response.

Have a nice day and keep those cheques coming, loser!

Regards
ESKOM

Holiday musings... What's going on at the Spur!?

OK. So this has sweet bugger all to do with tech. But hell. It's me.com - theoretically I can do what I want...

Thought I'd share the following funny experience.

EXPERIENCE 1. Spur. Durban Airport.

Couple of hours to kill at the airport, so I settled down for a friendly Spur Burger. I don't have kids - so I'm not sick of it yet :)

Imagine my surprise at the complete brand confusion placed in front of my bored, hungry person:


Am I missing something, or was Spur borrowing plates from Panarotti's. Perhaps there's an inter-franchise deal. Hmmm.

EXPERIENCE 2. Spur. Durban Airpot.

Hide the kids! Gone are the telly tubbies or that purple dinosaur thing. Replaced with what every kid craves. ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP. Where the blood flows thicker than the commentary. Yowsers.


Eventful 2 hour wait at the airport.

The Mystery of LCD...

OK. So towards the end of last year, got meself a little wedding present. A Samsung 46 inch HDTV.


Then promptly became lost in a sea of settings - vainly trying to combat inferior show broadcast quality of DSTV, wondering when HD will come (rumours = September 2008!), getting lost in more settings that Linux and having that typical buyers remorse when I saw my first motion blur / stutter / questionable quality of fast moving objects.

Who KNOWS their stuff about this? I sure would like to know the correct combination of settings for PEAK super TV watching experiences... Movie mode? Sharpening? Edge enhancement? Upscaling?

Wat die donder.

Anyhoo - I'll be posting some stuff up here as I come across it. You'll all need it soon. :)

This surfaced via the ever knowledgable geeklist.

LCD TV Response Times: Playing with Numbers!

Normally, bigger numbers sell better; in the case of response time, it is the smaller number that is better. Manufactures know this number game very well. A faster …