God is in the details…

News24, Stats and freedom of speech

I’ve been posting on News24’s various sections for about 2 years now.

About a month ago, I noticed that my posts were disappearing. I’d post a comment, then refresh the page and the comment would disappear.

At the time of writing this post I’ve made 3558 comments had 147,746 likes and 8,473 dislikes.

I am at a loss as to why this has happened, and even tried to email them in this regard.

They are quite vocal about freedom of speech and scream quite loud when one of their own is attacked. But the rules don’t seem to apply to anyone posting on their website.

We live in scary times as the ANC uses the SABC as its mouthpiece, with rumors of the same happening at E-TV.

A famous man once said, I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend unto the the death, your right to say it. This may soon be how the truth makes its way out into our South African world.

If the ANC have their way, we’ll end up being a Communist sponsored dictatorship as Zuma shakes hands and does deals with China and Russia as they don’t tend to have a problem with tin pot African dictators.

Nelson Mandela was a great man, a true leader and a giant among men. Zuma is something that you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe and has been all but invisible during his second term.

I pray that I’m wrong about my News24 suspicions and that it’s just a technical thing.

I also pray that our democracy can survive the cANCer.


Rand Water-less Board

For a week in September, we had no water at all. We were forced to buy water from Makro, who very kindly discounted the cost of same to help us and people in a similar situation. Despite the discount we spent in 2 days about R900 on bottled water. For the record, this is what our monthly bill usually amounts too…

So come October, I download our water and rates bill [as is the norm for this time of year, the Post Office flunkies are on strike and no mail has been delivered for about 3 months now – but I get all of mine by email so I’m not phased, haven’t posted a letter in almost a decade]. Lo and behold, despite the week of no water, there is no difference in the amount the municipality has charged us.

Yesterday the new Minister of Finance alluded to the fact that due to shortages in revenue, we can expect tax hikes next year. This is quite fucking annoying as the reason for the shortfall is due to the fact that for 6 months there were strikes in the platinum sector, corruption within the ruling party has hit new heights, our president has built himself a house to the tune of R250 million using tax payers money. Service delivery is all but non-existent, Zumas cabinet is so bloated it looks like that character from Star Wars Jabba the Hut.

It worries me that we are at the mercy of a government that is totally out of control headed up by a lying [and if the rumors are true – disease ridden] president. There is a small minority in SA that actually work and pay taxes, and a majority sitting idly by hand outstretched demanding everything for free.

Add to this, the government has already indicated that it wants to institute free healthcare for all of the voters dumb enough to vote for it.

Sitting on the sidelines is the EFF party who since being sworn in, have not done a single days work. Malema sits in his dark corner, wearing his red beret and Zuma continues to make himself the most unpopular president SA has ever had.

So in summary, the ANC are killing SA, and if/when they are voted out, there is a good chance that Malema will be voted in.

Then we are really fucked.

Kindle Paperwhite First Generation Firmware Update [Problems after Rebooting]

Ok, so I haven’t restarted or rebooted my kindle for a couple of months now. On Saturday, I had a problem with a book that wasn’t indexing properly, so I deleted the book and in a moment of absolute, wish I had a time machine, madness, rebooted my Kindle.

First thing I noticed is that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to connect to to my WiFi.

After about 8 very frustrating hours I was finally able to get my WiFi and my Kindle to ‘talk’ to each other.

If you are ever in a situation where you have no choice but to reset your kindle, I’d suggest you make a copy of the entire documents folder, this will save you having to download the books from your cloud account again – which if you’re like me and have over a hundred books on your device, is a real life saver. Then after the reset you simply copy it back onto your device.

After all the fun I’ve had, I have become very wary of what I’ve come to call stealth updates, that manifest problems much later on, so that you battle to connect the problem to the actual cause, in my case, the firmware update that was done without me being aware of it, in June.

The Kindle is a really great device and I use mine daily as I am an avid reader. But. I am now a lot more cautious now when it comes to rebooting the device as I know the hell that awaits me. A Kindle that can’t connect to Wifi [and mine only has the WiFi option] is pretty much a dead duck.

There are numerous threads on the Amazon website about this issue, some posted quite recently. Lots of people were not able to overcome the issue. I guess I just got lucky.

I have been a client of Amazon since 1997. And have always enjoyed dealing with them. But over the last 2 years or so, I’ve noticed that their pricing is no longer as competitive as it used to be. They take a margin on the exchange rate and charge a premium to ship goods to where I live – or simply refuse as our beloved postal system, when not on their annual strike, steals half the stuff that comes across their counters. They also charge a fortune for their hardware. I had to wait years before I was finally able to buy my beloved Kindle second hand from a good friend.

I see that on Tuesday 21 October, they are launching their new Kindle called The Voyage, but it comes with price tag of over $200 which I am just not willing to pay, especially after the fun I had with my current one.

In a world that has become profit driven, businesses still haven’t learnt that price is everything to those who don’t have bottomless pockets.

I used to order from Amazon on a monthly basis – but haven’t done so in over 18 months.

Supporting the local guys, just makes more sense – for now at least.

Handy Information

Ordering Online

Can be very convenient when looking for specialty items, and very frustrating when ordering from overseas. I tried to order 2 items at a total cost of £6.50 and was quoted £23 as the cost to ship the items to me. I ordered a cover for my phone and a magnetic cable charger. Not items that weigh as much as small car, which is when you expect to pay hefty shipping charges.

Doing business in an economy as bad as the world’s is currently is hard enough without having a brain fart and ripping people off.


Not allowed to ‘takealot’ anymore

Last year a good friend of mine very kindly bought Fast and Furious 6 for me. The Advert on the Takealot website stated that the version they were selling, was the extended edition. When the movie arrived, he noticed that it wasn’t the Extended Edition and queried it with them.

The tone of their response was basically a F you. I joined the debate as I didn’t think the tone was appropriate. I had in the past year also had cause to query an item I’d bought from them that had died 6 months after I bought it. They arranged for a courier to collect the item and instead of returning a repaired version to ms, they gave me a brand new one – I recall being very chuffed at the time.

Back to the Fast 6 debacle. We debated via email the fact that the item ordered wasn’t what was supplied. After numerous emails they advised that it was not their fault but their suppliers and that under no circumstances were they going to refund my friend. He eventually reported them to the Advertising Standards Authority which had no effect at all. All this for an item that cost R185 !

Last year I bought another item from them, despite my now knowing that what is advertised and what one gets, may be very different.

Today, I tried to order something and was advised that my account has been suspended – guess they dynamited the bridge without my even being aware of it.

In closing, I have been a client of theirs since they were dvdsa then became shopping matrix, then Take2  and now takealot. I have been buying online since the late 90’s and on occasion have had cause to query lost items etc. Amazon in the States, does not treat you like dog shit and make out like you are a criminal, they either refund you promptly or dispatch a replacement at their cost without batting an eyelid.

I am a believer in giving companies a second chance, but that philosophy doesn’t work, when you are a client of Takealot’s, seems they don’t believe in engaging with their clients, and would rather lose a seasoned shopper like myself – which in today’s economy, is just plain STUPID.


Boo and things that smell like BS

Once upon a time, in a galaxy right next door to you, there lived a man called Zuma…..

after doing lots of bad and stupid things, he decided that he wanted to be president

so he summoned his minions and they made it happen

when he became president, he decided that he wanted a nice BIG ass house, this was done

then his pals the Guptas asked if they could land a plane at Waterkloof, this was done

as each year passed, the minions got fatter and the poor got poorer and lots of money was stolen by Zuma and his minions

then, as the time came for the people to vote for the president and his minions again, he stood before them and told them a good story

the people went quiet as they listened to the lies tumble out of the fat leaders mouth, he stood there and talked about all he and his minions had done for the benefit of the country the people looked around them, and wondered if the president was on drugs as not one of them, could see the things he was referring too..

on 7 May we will get the chance to get OUR story right, please please, make sure you use your chance.

Nokia – Lumia – 720 – WP8

One of the worst decisions I made in 2013 from a Phone Upgrade point of view, was to upgrade my trusty E63 to the Lumia 720. It is easily the most frustrating, most annoying phone I’ve ever had. A few months ago, for no reason that I could clearly discern, the camera lens decided that it was no longer going to focus. I tried every thing I could think of to fix this, from resetting the phone to factory default to buying apps that helped, but did not fix the problem. After many weeks of irritating myself to no end I finally threw in the towel and gave up.

A few weeks later, I happened to accidentally engage the camera application and noticed to my utter joy, that the problem had somehow, remedied itself.

Yesterday, the problem came back. A factory reset, bricked the phone. After about 8 hours of searching I stumbled across an article written by a guy who had had a similar problem. He’d managed to solve it via a piece of software that Nokia released to fix the problem I was having (the annoying spinning gears). At 1.30 this morning my phone was finally restored to working order. The camera, still not focussing, no matter what I do – and this includes a few attempts at manually refocusing the damn thing by throwing it at the wall and drop kicking it across the room.

If you are thinking up getting a Lumia, I’d suggest you don’t. As far as I know, and this from reading threads in forums from around the world. Nokia are aware of the problem, but have chosen to do sweet fuck all about it. I have been a loyal Nokia client for over a decade now. That door is closed. 2014 will start a new relationship with a phone that isn’t as full of shit as this one is.

Happy new year and all that.



2013 highs and lows

Well, so much for 2013. People laughed at me in February when I told then how many shopping days their were until Christmas…

For me, 2013 was a year of contrasts, but with news or events that either shocked or awed.

I can still remember the first time I heard about Oscar making his Valentines day one he’d never ever forget. The first insert in the breaking news on 702 hardly registered as I went about my morning routine of trying to wake up and work up the energy and desire to go to work. As the day and the week wore on, I eventually grew totally numb. I have my own thoughts about what actually happened that night, time will tell if I was right. Or the Not Prosecuting Anyone will make such a mess of this that this will become like the Kennedy assassination.

If memory serves, the next item on the agenda was the news about the cost of Nkandla. I think we can all agree, that Boo likes to live large, like many in his employ. In all honesty I don’t think the R200 million is all that was spent. Rumors abound that the roads were also upgraded to the tune of about half a billion, with plans to build a small R2 billion city in close proximity to our new temporary national keypoint – whatever the fuck that is.

I made the biggest financial mistake of my life this year, when I took my car to Car Service City [They should call themselves Shitty Car Service]. All I wanted was a basic service. They stripped my car and ‘found’ other items that needed attention, which as it turns out they didn’t. I was quoted R800 and was eventually charged in excess of R8000. I took my car back to them and they messed it up even more. So finally out of desperation I took my car to the manufacturer who restored her to her former self. So what should’ve cost less than a grand, ended up costing me twenty. This dent in my finances really messed me up. If you think I’m talking crap or exaggerating, take a spin past and have a look at what other victims have to say.

Number 1 or Boo as he’s know known – allowed his pals to use Waterkloof to land a private plane there so that the Guptas pals could attend a wedding. We all know that Boo authorised this and that he then lied about not doing so. The Guptas also launched the best comedy or to some, the best sci fi channel available on Dstv. Neither the Guptas of the royal shower-head have have shown any signs of remorse or regret.

OUTA, put up a very brave fight and took the e-toll saga to court, and after a very long and very drawn out battle, they lost the fight. I don’t doubt for a minute that the courts were told which way to rule. Every time someone from Satanral is interviewed they only offer numbers that can’t be substantiated or veiled threats as to what will happen if you dare not abide by the user pay principal, which doesn’t apply to ANC members. The Unions have offered token resistance to the idea and their lame attempts to resist e-tolls have amounted to almost enough to fill a thimble with warm piss.

All I can say about the Rugby is that it sucked. Heyneke Meyer did not impress me at all, and I’m a Blue Bulls fan. Next world cup might as well stay in New Zealand for all the good he’s going to do us. Nice to see the Great White in charge of the Sharks, they may be our only hope to defeat the evil empire, oh wait, that’s from Star Wars…..

My Sister-in-law very kindly gave me her old Samsung tablet, the 8.9 inch one. Not having ever had a tablet before, I thought this was one of those gifts that was going to sit and gather dust alongside all my other tech toys. I installed the Kindle application on it and the rest as they say, is history. A few weeks ago, I read an article on how to upgrade the operating system on it, to a newer version. Which I duly did. After much sweating and cursing and some really badly written articles on how to do this, I managed to upgrade the OS from Honeycomb to Jelly Bean and am loving it. Hopefully one day soon, I’ll even be able to upgrade it to KitKat – who knows… a few nights ago I installed a game called Candy Crush on it for my Wife to play – haven’t seen my Tablet since…

Mugabe ‘won’ another election – the champagne is on ice for the day he exits the stage.

Man of Steel came out, watched it twice, and it sucked twice. Iron Man 3 was great, as was Fast and Furious 6 [RIP Paul Walker]. I loved the Lone Ranger and Thor 2. Hobbit 2 was good, just a tad long and ended abruptly, liked the She-Elf though, even if she wasn’t in the book. Looking forward to seeing the final chapter next year – Peter, please tell me the third one is the last – and have you ever heard of the Silmarillion ?

Winter was great, we never even turned on our beloved dust covered gas heater. The Rain has been great as well. Nothing like getting your annual rainfall at 4 o’ clock every day just as you’re about to go home.

It was during the end of our nice warm Winter and the Start of our rain filled Summer that I chanced upon 2 new Metal Bands. Powerwolf and Battle Beast. They are 2 of the finest Metal bands I have ever come across. I also noticed that Bring me the Horizon released a new album entitled: Sempiternal. To put it mildly, this album blew me away. I rate it as one of the best Metal albums I have ever heard, ever. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you want a much heavier Linkin Park, then give your ears a present and give this album a listen.

Strikes also did a lot of damage to SA’s international reputation, with the ANC choosing to not get involved as they need the votes come 2014.

Another highlight was the acquisition of a second-hand Kindle from a good friend. Being an avid reader, and owning over 700 paperbacks, the Kindle has allowed me to enjoy new authors at a rate I previously couldn’t afford and no longer have space to store. The Kindle store allows you to buy books so cheaply that I bought about 50 over the last 6 months or so. I love the fact that the books are stored in the ‘cloud’ so that if you need to restore them to a new device.

Both the Arms deal and Marikana have become the farces the ANC want them to be.

I’m sure I’ve missed lots of great things that happened this year, but hey shit happens.

On 5 December 2013 @ 8.50 the greatest leader South Africa has ever seen, passed quietly into the night. I was in Cape Town on 11 February 1990 when he gave his first speech after being released from prison. At that point I had no idea who Nelson Mandela was, or why such a fuss was being made about his release. At the time, I was doing my national service in the police force and my unit (a Riot Unit) had been deployed into the Cape Town to keep the peace. As the years rolled by, I watched a man who had every right to be spitting mad at the people who’d put him in jail and effectively stolen over a quarter of his life, mold a country into what it is today. What SA could’ve been and what she has become, are 2 very different stories. Courtesy of a Man who decided that Intellect can build so much more than fists can tear down, we are almost a united SA.

The leadership of the ANC has slid downhill since he stepped down. But in 2014, we will go to the polls and hopefully, hopefully, people will vote with Madiba in mind and not for that disgrace that currently sits on the throne. If they vote for him, he will have another 5 years to enrich himself at our cost and his party will continue to party instead of working for the very people that elected them. Anyone with even half a brain, can see the damage JZ’s done to the SA brand and to his very own ANC brand. Unfortunately he’s a master at chess and has his pieces are in place already.

2014 will be either a great year for SA or one where the dark lord sour on gets his grubby hands on the ring and ushers in a new dark age. Only our votes can stop this from happening.





Upgrading a Samsung 8.9 [GT-P7300] to ICS or Jelly Bean

Re-loading a PC’s OS is nothing when compared to upgrading the OS on a Samsung Tablet. I must’ve read about a thousand posts/guides on how to do this, of which about ten, actually got me about halfway. Then I managed to find the missing steps on YouTube.

And, to make it even more fun, I have an old outdated Tablet, I mean the thing is like REALLY OLD, must be at least 3 years old. Sometimes companies product lines evolve so fast, that as you open the box to retrieve your ‘new’ purchase, an article is being typed up to advise that the product has been end of lifed and is no longer supported.

I’m sure that by the end of Decemebr we’ll be on version 26544165165164.02 of Firefox.

The Upgrade to ICS is relatively simple, you need 2 files, pretty much any version of Odin and the ICS Rom itself. Press the volume button down and then and the same time press and hold the power button. This will take you into the recovery mode, when the little Android robot appears, press the power button up twice.

This will take you into the Odin option. On your PC, open up Odin, check the AP box, point Odin at the Rom file [Should be in the form of a Tar file] – it will initialise and then you should be able to click start. Takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. – in case you get stuck

If you want to upgrade from ICS to Jelly Bean, I’d suggest seeing a therapist as you will need to get your hands on some prozac. This process is so different when compared to what I wrote above, it might as well be a different planet.

Jelly Bean requires installing a thing called a clockword mod, which is done the same way as you install ICS. Then you have to find a stable rom and its google apps brother – both will be in the form of Zip files which you access through the Clockwork mod menu. Something I learnt the hard way. You have to copy the zip files into the root of your SD card first, before you wipe the OS off. If like me you didn’t know this, you can then re-install the ICS rom in Bulgarian, then after 2 hours of trying to find the change language option, reboot and then install Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean then tells you that the keyboard doesn’t work and BOY is that fun trying to fix [it can’t be fixed by the way – you have to find a stable rom and then wipe and install it] – these guys have everything you need, and lots you won’t understand – like when I was able to make phone calls on my state of the ark tablet, but was not able to hang up the call.

If you are not faint of heart and like the term, dirty install, then this is something you might enjoy attempting, if not, then go rake up some leaves or something.


CellC we ShallC how to mess up your day

Chronology of events:

31 October 2012 – request to change tarriff plan emailed to

7 November 2012 – follow up sent to same address

14 November 2012 – follow up sent again

27 November 2012 – received email from CellC requesting I contact them, which I did by email

3 December 2012 – sent additional info that they required

21 December 2012 – sent follow up email requesting feedback – out of office reply received

I’ve been a client of CellC’s for a long time now, over the years I’ve come to accept the fact they they know sweet f all about customer service. The above isn’t the first time I’ve been treated poorly by them – and I doubt it’ll be the last.

Just lodged a complaint on hellopeter let’s see what happens now (for the record, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to resort to hellopeter to sort a cellc issue out either).