Thursday, 23 December 2010

Are you involved in Skype group chats that are distracting – then set a notification trigger based on your name

We use Skype extensively for inter-office communications and a colleague recently showed me how she could ignore the Skype group chats unless someone specifically typed her name (or other configured words).  This is very useful if you want to ignore chats unless your name or other topics come up. 

Here’s how it’s done:
1) Open a chat window (group chat or 1-on-1 chat)
2) Select the pull down menu: Conversation->Notification settings
3) Select the radio button “Notify me only if these words are mentioned” and type in some trigger words and phrases:

Hope this helps shield you from “noisy” group chats and you can get some work done.

BTW: there are some nice useful features under that “Conversation” pull down menu – why not try some out now
eg: Profile panel –> Set topic

Why purchase a CD player for your car when you can use a USB stick and FM transmitter for less than R150?

I recently had a request for advice on purchasing a car CD player for music – here’s my suggestion:

If you have your music on a USB stick then why not rather purchase a FM transmitter?
I bought one for less than R150

This is how it works:
1) Memory stick with your mp3 music on
2) Plug the memory stick into the FM transmitter
3) Plug the FM transmitter into your car’s lighter (for power)
4) Press play on the FM transmitter
5) Tune your car’s FM radio into the FM transmitter frequency and voila – your MP3 music in your car!

For example:

Find a store here:


The C-Tech FM/MP3 Modulator for R100 from Cash Crusaders:

Main Features:   
4 in 1 Card Reader With Cell Phone Charger
Plays MP3 Audio On Your Car Stereo From Any SD/MMC or USB Drive
Cell Phone Charger Fittings For Most Popular Makes & Models

Works for me :)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

120 free days of calls to major cities, then rates at cheaper than SkypeOut

What a win! I've blogged about this before and even managed to get my DECT cordless phone to connect to the Internet and use this VoipBuster service

But really, if you aren't using VoipBuster to make international calls then you are paying too much. Free for 120 days then cheaper than SkypeOut rates.

Here's the freedays page that I always battle to find:

Amplify’d from
The Voip Buster
Free* calls with VoipBuster

Buy Credits / Login|

Not only can you call your online friends for free, VoipBuster also offers free* calls to any regular
land-line in various popular destinations (see panel).

To counter misuse of our network we have limited these free* calls for our trial users. If you want to enjoy
longer free* calls to these destinations, just top up your account by buying credit.

VoipBuster Freedays

Buying credit entitles you to 120 Freedays (unless stated otherwise). This means you can call
all countries marked as "Free" in our rates list for a period of 120
days at no costs. When the 120 days are over, the normal rate will
be charged for these destinations. You can get more Freedays by topping up your account with credit.

Fair Use and Restrictions

New users can try VoipBuster out for free for a total of 60 minutes. During this trial period you
can only call the destinations marked as free. Register your account by buying credit in
order to extend your free calls.

Registered users get max 300 minutes per week of free calls, measured over the last 7 days and per unique IP address.
Unused free minutes cannot be taken to the following week(s). If limit is exceeded the normal rates apply.
During your Freedays you can call all destinations listed as "Free" for free. When you have run out of Freedays,
the normal rates apply. You can get new Freedays by buying credit.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

BlackBerry Bold WiFi connection problems solved

I have been looking all over for solutions to my problem connecting my BlackBerry 9700 Bold to my wireless router at home (using WPA2 security). 

I checked the BB Bold’s specifications here: and found that it could support a lot of WiFi security: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, WEP, WPA-PSK (TKIP or AES), PEAP, LEAP, EAP-TLS, EAP-FAST, EAP-TTLS, EAP-SIM

I tried a lot of settings but I kept on getting the error: “failed to associate with the network”.
Eventually, I found the problem by chance – I tried playing with the router’s wireless mode (thanks to a posting on the CrackBerry forums).  I changed it from 802.11b+g to 802.11g.. in doing that the Channel changed from “Channel 13 (2.472 GHz)” to “Channel 1 (2.412 GHz)” and all of a sudden it started working!  Problem solved :)

So, here’s the solution in case anyone else has problems connecting the BlackBerry to a wireless router.

I have a Billion Bipac 7300GA modem/router and I have set it up as follows:
Wireless Parameters tab:
Mode: 802.11b+g
ESSID: MyWirelessSSID [can be anything]
Hide ESSID: Enable [I don’t want to let my neighbours know that I have a router]
Regulation domain: Europe
Channel ID: Channel 1 (2.412 GHz) <<--- that was the problem as I had it set to “Channel 13” initially
WMM (QoS): Enable
WMM-APSD: Disable

Wireless Security tab:
Security mode: WPA2 Pre-Shared Key
WPA2 algorithm: AES
WPA2 shared key: mypassword [remember, this is case sensitive]
Group key renewal: 3600

imageI then used the BB’s WiFi manual setup menu: Options->WiFi->New->Next->Manually add network->Enter your SSID->Add->Security type: “Pre-shared key (PSK)” (this works for WPA and WPA2 since there is no WPAx option)
Then enter your “Pre-Shared Key”: mypassword  [this must be the same as router’s “WPA2 shared key”]
Then click the “Connect” button.


Monday, 30 August 2010

If you are under 25, spend R40 per month with Vodacom, then there are some freebies for you

I registered my kids and looking forward to getting their

15 SVS’s every month;

15 MMS’s every month;

3 MB of data every month;

Hold on... what is an SVS?

I initially read this as SMS... but Googling eventually found the answer: SVS = Short Voice Service

Oh, and what's with the American spelling of Colour?

Using SVS

Dial. Talk. Hang up. Message delivered. It's really that simple! No more waiting for the recipient's cellphone to ring or listening to their voicemail greeting - you can talk for up to 25 seconds before a warning beep lets you know that you've got 5 seconds to end your message for only R0.45 - SVS today!

To send an SVS:

Press the # key on your cellphone and enter the person's cellphone number (e.g #082 123 4567)

Press dial

Listen to the voice prompts and leave your message

A reminder SMS alert notification will be sent to the recipient if they've not listened to your SVS within 6 days.

Receiving SVS

Your family and friends will find it just as easy, convenient and non-intrusive to pick-up your SVSs. Once your SVS has been sent, the recipient is notified via SMS. To retrieve a SVS simply dial #99.

Amplify’d from

Vodacom COLOR for under 25’s

Vodacom COLOR launched on 27 May 2010 for all Prepaid and Top Up clients under the age of 25 years.

This fun, new offering will help you to keep in touch with all your favourite things:  friends, loved ones, music and the world of gaming.  COLOR will allow you to tailor and bundle services and products to suit your needs AND save money!

So, how does it work?  It is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Register for Vodacom COLOR

If you are already a Vodacom Prepaid/Top Up client, you can register in the following ways:

You can register more than one cellphone number on your name.

If you are a new client, look out for the funky Vodacom COLOR Starter Packs and purchase one for yourself!

Registered Prepaid clients who recharge with at least R40 every 30 days will receive the following FREE:

  • 15 SVS’s every month;

  • 15 MMS’s every month;

  • 3 MB of data every month;

  • Vodacom e-mail address;

  • celebrity gossip / music / movie news every day;

  • AdMe registration that puts you in line to win great prizes!

(These FREE benefits are worth approximately R25!)

If you are a registered Vodacom COLOR Top Up client, you will get these benefits without having to recharge every 30 days.

You must use these benefits within 30 days.  Seven days before expiry, you will receive an SMS to notify you of the upcoming expiry date.

REMEMBER:  you must be under the age of 25 to register for Vodacom COLOR!

In addition (provided Vodacom COLOR Prepaid customers have recharged with at least R40 in the last 30 days), you can also choose from any of the COLOR UP Bundles at great discounted rates.

Purchase COLOR UP Bundles:

four bundles are available exclusively to Vodacom COLOR clients:

These four bundles are available exclusively to Vodacom COLOR clients:

These COLOR UP Bundles are valid for 30 days.  You can buy more than one bundle at a time, but you cannot buy two of the same bundles in a 30-day cycle.

You can buy COLOR UP Bundles through one of the following channels:

  • Visit on your cellphone or visit on your PC.

  • SMS “COLOR” to 31116 (FREE from a Vodacom cellphone).  You will receive a confirmation SMS containing a link to Vodacom COLOR.

  • COLOR UR Talk (discounted Night Shift) and COLOR UR Friends (Social Networking and SMS Bundle), can also be purchased by dialing *111*31116# and then selecting the “Purchasing” option

3. Manage your Vodacom COLOR account

If you want to check your Vodacom COLOR balance, you can:

  • Dial *111*COLOR# and choose “Balance Enquiry”;

  • Visit on your cellphone or on your PC and view the “Account Page” where you will see what your remaining balances are, as well as which COLOR UP Bundles you have purchased.

You can do small recharges that add up to R40 within 30 days to stay on Vodacom COLOR and receive the benefits (for example: R19 + R6 + R15).

When you recharge with R120 or more within 30 days, you will receive Vodacom COLOR benefits for a maximum of 60 days (15 MMS’s, 15 SVS’s and 3 MB data for 2 consecutive months).

ed more info?

  • Call the Vodacom COLOR support line on 082 1 9326 (FREE from a Vodacom cellphone);

  • Call Vodacom Customer Care on 111 (FREE from a Vodacom cellphone) or 082 111 from any other phone (standard rates apply);

  • Visit .

Need more info?


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Traffic simulation - now if every one would take the time to understand this!

This is not very intuitive, but makes sense! Get everyone that drives a vehicle to read this.

It should be part of your driver's license tests.

I must admit that I'm guilty of 'closing the gap' and only letting 1 car in, and only at the last minute! I'll leave the gap open as early as possible and hope ease the blockage.

Simple - right?
Amplify’d from



Traffic jams on highways are often triggered where two lanes must merge
Lanes of cars cannot merge if there are no large gaps between cars.
Therefore, drivers who create large gaps between cars will ease this type
of traffic jam.


To ease this type of jam:

  • Maintain a large space ahead of your car.
  • Encourage one, two even three cars to merge ahead of you.
  • If traffic slows to a complete stop, KEEP TWO CAR-LENGTHS OF SPACE OPEN AHEAD OF YOU.
  • Never "punish" merging drivers by closing your gap.
  • Other suggestions

Amazingly enough, it is not necessary that EVERYONE do this. If only a
few drivers will maintain large gaps during heavy traffic, then merging
traffic is not forbidden, and the situation in the left-hand diagram can
be prevented.

Yes you're right, you cannot eliminate every problem by simply making a
big gap in front of your car. When there are too many cars on the road,
traffic slows down. But if we use these special driving habits,
the smaller jams can be erased,
and stop-and-go traffic can be smoothed out. Since many traffic jams are
caused by merging lanes, many traffic jams can be improved by the actions
of just one driver.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Athlone Towers – a photo montage

Credits to all posters of the following images and videos of the Athlone Cooling Towers in Cape Town (also known as the “coffee cups” and "the two ladies of Athlone").

Here’s a nice blog giving the history of the “coffee cups” (by Andrew Boraine, Chief Executive of the Cape Town Partnership):

I’ve been through most of the Tweets using the HashTag “#CapeTowers” and found these gems of pictures and videos… Athlone Towers RIP, I’ll miss you every day I drive to and from work!

Built in 1968, served its purpose well for 25 to 30 years.

The towers were scheduled to be demolished at noon, however, 4 minutes before noon, they were imploded… was that a ‘premature detonation’?  Heard on eTV news: “the authorities saw that the weather conditions were perfect.”

RT @rogeema: Dear people of @CapeTown...not the mayor's fault the #capetowers blew early. He didn't push the button, his switch was a dummy!

@mrtuckbox: Explosive guys’ call, as the rain stopped and wind was right or had dropped, hence 3 mins early. Towers go BOOM!:
Stunning picture of the imploding:

Right tower flops over, rather gracefully:

Video of the Athlone Towers falling (credit to 

Video on implosion:  

Video from News24:

implosion at 210 frames per second (credit:, video by Justin Mopp) Login to FaceBook:

Roughly 7000 explosive cord and water-based gelignite charges were used to implode the towers.  Explosives were placed around 2/3 of the base of the towers which forced the towers to fall towards each other and downwards.  The explosion was estimated to be 135 decibels, the same sound-level a jet would make.  Resulting on over 21,000 tonnes of concrete that now needs to be cleared up.
Credit: MsBlondeSam (forwards and reverse and in slow motion) (credit to

Video of the implosion:

Best footage of the Cape Athlone Towers imploding - Remember the name Century Film School filmed by Costa Firfilis:


Credits: sarin54


Video by Padraic O'Meara:

What’s left of the Towers (credit: @iamzeed : What's left of the towers

An aerial view after the implosion - seems like there's so little rubble? (thanks to @retiefdv for pointing me to this one): 

Credit Rubble: this is the neatest destruction job ever! Hats off to the engineers!AthloneTowersRubbleHatsOff

The N2 will never be the same without Salt & Pepper :(

See the News24 article on the implosion: 'Ladies of Athlone' tumble ahead of time

Thursday, 19 August 2010

So I guess my Twitition petition is a failure: Save the Athlone Towers in Cape Town


We the undersigned petition ...

Save the Athlone Towers in Cape Town

The Athlone Towers in Cape Town are about to be demolished (on 22nd Aug 2010 at 12h00). Sign this petition to stop that from happening... Appeal to the powers that be to keep the Cape Town landmark forever!


Sign it now:

Another land mark bites the dust...

I really thought more people would object :(

Thanks for your support @nickiwentz :)

Amplify’d from

August 19, 2010



Athlone Cooling Towers
WP Greet Box icon
Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.
Also please note that your comments are greatly welcome - discussion and thoughts are what community is about.

On the 22nd August 2010 the Athlone Cooling Towers will be Demolished. The Huge Demolition of 9000m2 concrete structure will take place at noon.

The reason for this is that the support structures have become compromised and the big structures (The Two Old Ladies) are a danger.

This video quickly gives a general over view in a kind of  Motion Infographic style.

I will be filming the demolition  and posting the video as soon as it is ready – probably before GMT+2 8pm. So keep looking here if you want to see the video. I must just be careful of all the dust and debris since I will be quite close.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

TinyURL is so convenient

I especially like the way you can customise the link so that it's also easy to remember and much more readable.




Amplify’d from

Making millions of long URLs usable! Serving billions of redirects per month.

Welcome to TinyURL!™

Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you've come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.

Enter a long URL to make tiny:

Custom alias (optional):

May contain letters, numbers, and dashes.

An example

Turn this URL:


into this tinyURL:

Which one would you rather cut and paste into your browser? That's the power of TinyURL!Read more at

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Debug your web page for different versions of Internet Explorer with one (1) free program

How many times have you had to reproduce client problems on your web pages using a virtual machine or multiple PCs running different versions of Internet Explorer? 

You don't have to do that anymore.  Now you can debug your pages on multiple versions of IE on the same machine that you use for Web development or testing.
IETester for Windows Internet Explorer is a stand-alone (free) browser compatibility checker for Internet Explorer versions from 5.5 to 9.  It is a visual tool that makes it faster and easier to test your sites – it uses the rendering and javascript engines of IE9 preview, IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.  You can then navigate to the different pages and enter data as if you had installed the different versions of IE on your computer.

It’s free, but why not make a donation to support the project?  Donate now


And, look at their other product:  DebugBar:

  • DOM Inspector: View DOM Tree and modify tags attributes and css attributes on the fly to test your page
  • HTTP Inspector: View HTTP/S request to check cookies, GET and POST parameters, view server info
  • Javascript Inspector and Javascript Console: View javascript functions for easier debugging, see Javascript and AJAX code
  • HTML Validator: Validate HTML code to correct and optimize your code and html size of your page
  • And many more features: See page cookies, get pixel colour on a page, make a page screenshot...

Morph your photos online and free

I found this fun site that allows you to morph photos quickly and easily – I was impressed by the ease and accuracy that the web site provided:
It allows you to upload photos and then you “prepare” the photos so that the site knows where the parts of the face are.  So, it doesn’t rely on technology to automatically recognise where the outlines of the face, mouth, nose, ears, eyes, eye brows are… it makes you tell it where the outlines are:
image   image  (Wow, nice eyes!)
image  image  (Sexy lips!)
You can also select photos of celebrities – to see what would happen if you had kids with/for them ;)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

So WTF? No, ‘What’s That Font’… that they are using?

How often have you seen that advert or logo and you wonder What’s That Font they are using?  Well, sometimes it’s a self created (custom) font, but maybe not.
Here are a couple of great sites that help you to match the font that you have seen by either allowing you to upload the logo to their site for (online) analysis, or by asking you questions about the font and in doing so, limit the possible fonts to a handful.  Very clever!

A Twitter friend @Benjaminleach asked the question: “Does anyone know what this font is please?”.  He was referring to the “Sport Leader” logo below:
So, off I went to Google for options… found a pay program called “Font Matching Tool” [1MB] for $20.. and 2 online tools.

image  and image

allowed me to upload the Sport Leader logo
and it then correctly identified the letters in the logo – except for one, which I needed to UNselect.
It then gave me the results (5):

IdentiFont: allowed me to identify a font by answering a series of questions (and much, much more).  I entered the letters on the logo so that I would only be asked questions that can be answered from the letters specified:
I started with a possible 7315 possibilities and after each question, the number reduced:
After 17 questions, it gave the results: 30 possibilities and displayed all of the letters.
None of which were an exact match, which probably means that it was a custom font.

With information on the type font and where to buy it… nice, very nice!
While I’m writing about fonts… here’s the font that I found while creating this avatar for another Twitter friend @bryon13 
image Here is the font for this Android logo: DroidSans-Bold.ttf



Update on 24Aug2010:
Here's another great site for free fonts:

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Free 1GB from FNB, free sign up, no contract

All First National Bank (FNB) Personal Cheque Account clients can receive up to 1GB of free data every month as of 1 August 2010 until at least 31 July 2011 - free bandwidth depends on the type of FNB cheque account the client has.

Even more reason to open a FNB bank account (if you don't have one already)!

Data will expire at midnight on the day preceding allocation (of the next month's free allocation)

Also, (since Sept 2009): FREE Twitter and Facebook (and all FNB web sites) between 19h00 to 23h00:

Once the 1GB runs out, then the out of bundle rates are: 6.9c per MB = R71 per GB... which is a lot more than GConnect's R38/GB:

So, what's the catch? If there is one - I'll let you know as soon as I find out ;)

I'm an FNB client and I just signed for free.

Amplify’d from
Connect - Saying hello for less

Latest News

Latest News


  • 1 August

    Get up to 1GB ADSL data FREE on your FNB Personal Cheque Account EVERY MONTH!

    From the 1 August 2010 until 31 July 2011 clients will receive FREE ADSL data (internet bandwidth) if they open or have an existing FNB Personal Cheque Account. For the purposes of this Promotion data will be allocated on the 5th of every month. When the 5th of the month falls on a Sunday or a public holiday the data may only be allocated on the subsequent business day. Data will expire at midnight on the day preceding allocation.

    To qualify, you must:

    1. Have an active FNB Personal Cheque Account in good standing

    2. Have selected the Unlimited Option (pricing option),

    3. Make monthly minimum deposits into the account (see below) and

    4. Not use the branch for transactions that are available online

    5. Register for FNB Connect Surf, if not registered already

    Please see table below for qualifying criteria:

    Cheque Account type Qualifying Monthly deposit Monthly data allocation
    Encore R1 200 250 Mega Byte (MB)
    Silver/Islamic R3 500 250 MB
    Graduates R3 500 500 MB
    Young Professional R3 500 1 Giga Byte (GB)
    Gold R7 500 500 MB
    Platinum R16 500 1 GB

    *Terms & Conditions apply

    Even more reason to join FNB Connect today!

    Should you require assistance, you can contact our call centre on 087 575 0001.

    We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions and any other feedback that you may have about our website and product range. You can simply drop us an email at

    « Back

Latest News

Latest News


1 August
Get up to 1GB ADSL data FREE on your FNB Personal Cheque Account EVERY MONTH!
From the 1 August 2010 until 31 July 2011 clients will receive FREE ADSL data (internet bandwidth) if they open or have an existing FNB Personal Cheque Account. For the purposes of this Promotion data will be allocated on the 5th of every month. When the 5th of the month falls on a Sunday or a public holiday the data may only be allocated on the subsequent business day. Data will expire at midnight on the day preceding allocation.

To qualify, you must:

1. Have an active FNB Personal Cheque Account in good standing

2. Have selected the Unlimited Option (pricing option),

3. Make monthly minimum deposits into the account (see below) and

4. Not use the branch for transactions that are available online

5. Register for FNB Connect Surf, if not registered already

Please see table below for qualifying criteria:

Cheque Account type
Qualifying Monthly deposit
Monthly data allocation
R1 200
250 Mega Byte (MB)
R3 500
250 MB
R3 500
500 MB
Young Professional
R3 500
1 Giga Byte (GB)
R7 500
500 MB
R16 500
1 GB

Monday, 2 August 2010

Usenet for downloading stuff... here's how to do it

Is it really worth all the effort to install these programs?

BitTorrent seems so much easier...

Amplify’d from

An Introduction to Usenet

What is Usenet?

Rather than dive into a full history of Usenet, let's talk about how it's relevant to you. Usenet was originally designed as a bulletin-board service, and so there's a ton of text content available on Usenet, but once binary newsgroups made their way into Usenet, it quickly became a popular place to find any sort of files that interest you. A site called Newzbin started indexing the binaries available on Usenet and creating the NZB file format. An NZB file is basically the Usenet equivalent of BitTorrent's torrent file, in that when you download an NZB, you're simply downloading a file that points to files available on Usenet. Applications supporting the NZB format can use them to make downloading Usenet binaries a piece of cake. In this guide, we're going walk through how to set up Usenet access, configure a newsreader, and then find NZB files so you can get the content you want.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

AntiTheft protect Ur cell phone 4free: Locate Ur phone or wipe it or lock it

I've always wanted to purchase an app that does this... never got around to it.

Now it's free!

Downloaded [1.8MB] and installed no problems.

What's *not* free: anti-virus protection, firewall, and browsing protection.

Amplify’d from


    2. Ok, you lost your phone – lock it quickly with single SMS message! The phone stays locked until you get it back and enter the right password.

      Send text message: #lock#<your code>  to your phone to lock it

      See how it works  (video)


    3. If it looks like you won’t be getting your phone back you have one more trick up your sleeve -  erase all your confidential data. the thief is left with just the covers without of the content.

      Send the text message: #wipe#<your code> to your phone to wipe it.

      See how it works  (video)


    2. How do you locate your lost phone or the person who has it? It’s simple – use locate and see it on a map. It’s as easy as that!

      Send text message: #locate#<your code> to your phone to see its location on a map.

      See how it works  (video)


    3. Want to nab the thief? If someone steals your phone and changes the sim card, the phone locks down automatically and the thief’s phone number is reported to you. This feature works automatically when it’s activated.

      See how it works  (video)


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