Monday, 30 April 2012

If you are a techie then this weight loss “diet” is for you! (Ok, it’s more of tool than a diet)

Yes, I’m a techie and I love online services, I also love my food and the past few years have seen an increase in the number of beers that I carry in my beer-boep (and some hidden in all sorts of other places!). 
However, I’m no techie when it comes to counting calories and fat and carbs and sugar and fibre and cholesterol and protein and sodium – that’s where this amazing, free service comes into play: SlimKicker
imageAfter (free) registration, all you need to do is enter your current statistics and your target goal weight – it will then estimate when that target will be reached – mine was 5 months away – which didn’t seem too far away – so, I decided to get started!

From then onwards, it was a pretty routine set of things that I needed to remember to do:
1) enter what I ate
2) enter what exercises I did
3) enter my current weight

The site does the rest: calculates how many calories (and fat and carbs and sugar and fibre and cholesterol and protein and sodium) I consumed and compared that with the targeted amounts.
Each time I entered a food, it would (in bite size text) feed back the good and bad of what I had eaten. {Excuse all the puns in there!}
There’s a points system to help motivate you to the next levels.

All of this is very nicely presented and your statistics are charted to show progress.

The difficult bit is remembering to enter the food eaten – in fact, the less I eat, then the less I have to enter – that’s motivation in itself!

There’s a social part to the web site too: you can make friends for additional motivation.

There’s a huge selection of exercises that people have entered – and you can add your own:

Check out their “Food Calorie Calculator”:
I mean, did you know that ‘Canned anchovies’ had all of this in 1 anchovy?: 8 calories, 0.39g fat, 1.16g protein.

Also, Cappuccino beverages will be rich in calcium and protein content if prepared with low fat milk.

The resources and articles are well written and brief and to-the-point so it’s quick and easy to learn about food and how to eat healthily.

I can really say that this site has motivated me to watch what I eat and do some exercise.  The points and charts and badges and levels have in fact added to the motivation factor (believe it or not).
I also enjoy updating the web site and learning (a little at a time) what’s good and healthy to eat and what isn’t.

So, if you like the web, and you like looking at your “figures” – then why not get started and start losing all that unhealthy fat now?
Register here:

Follow SlimKicker on Twitter here:!/SlimKicker

Check your past Lotto and LottoPlus tickets against all the past draws

I have recently started purchasing Lotto tickets but didn't keep up with the draw results each week. Then later, I decided to check if I had won anything. To my amazement, the Lotto web site didn't allow me to enter my set of numbers and auto-check if I was a winner on any of the previous draws! [updated on 21Nov2008]

So, I decided to write my own "calculators".
Download it from here:

Lotto Calculator:
Zipped 300KB: {updated on 19May2009}
LottoPLUS Calculator: Zipped 400KB: {updated on 19May2009}

It allows you to check your numbers in 2 ways:
1) If you are a person that purchases a constant (favorite) set of numbers each week, then use the "Lookup1_TicketAgainstALLresults" worksheet.
Note: this worksheet searches through all draws
2) If you are a person that purchases lots of different numbers in a week, then use the "Lookup_20_TicketsAgainstONEdraw" worksheet. Note: this worksheet searches through one draw's results

It now shows the actual prize money paid out per win.

the "Lookup1_TicketAgainstALLresults" worksheet uses the list of results in the "lotto_export_to_excel" worksheet. To update this list, download the spreadsheet from and then cut and paste the list over the existing numbers.

Good luck! I think it's a sign of the times that we're turning to the Lotto in an attempt to beat the rising inflation and cost of living......

Update on 30Apr 2012: I found a site that does an online search (on a per draw basis) and checks your numbers and winnings:

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Forget that fuel log book – switch to storing that info online – much more powerful and convenient

Yes, I used to log all my fuel fill ups in the log book and manually work out my fuel consumption and try to spot that increase in fuel consumption to alert me to something going wrong in the engine compartment…. Wow, that’s a mouthful, and so was doing it manually.

The schlep of finding a pen and filling in the details, then remembering to calculate the fuel consumption per Km – is it litres divided by km or the other way around…. Ummm, well I don’t really care anymore – I switched to a web based app that calculates all that for you. 
Fuelly: It draws charts on consumption and you can even compare your consumption with similar vehicles all over the world.  There are also fuel saving tips.  All of this for free!  Register and start using it now.

All you need to do is remember to enter 1) Kms since last fuel up; and 2) Litres of fuel purchased; Optional info to enter: Price/Litre, notes, tags.
It will then immediately show you the last tank’s fuel consumption statistics: image

The user interface is configurable to use metric or US or UK or L/100km or Km/L, and currency (eg: Rands)image 
The overall historical statistics is shown using a customisable dashboard:

Also some nice charting to show your statistics over time:

It even gives you that (old fashioned) log book view:

The “Fuelly Mobile:” URL is a lean and fast way to enter those fuel-ups at the petrol station:
I have stored a bookmark in my phone to jump directly to my car’s fuel-up page.
And a bookmark in my wife’s phone to jump to her car.

See here for videos on how to use Fuelly:

Importing and exporting of your data is also possible.

Follow them on Twitter here:  @fuelly

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Copyright © 2008 HandyTechTipper. All articles are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa license, unless where otherwise stated.