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Showing posts from 2010

Image Composite Editor

Went out on the 2010 Toy Run today and came back with some photos I would like to stitch together:

Normally, a mission of note, but then I tried Image Composite Editor from Microsoft Research.

I dragged and dropped the four images into the software and it gave me the following FULLY automated:

Give it a bash.

g|south africa day 2

Day started with a couple of repeat presentations from the previous day.

Google Maps:

From the Google Maps presentation Chewy gave us some new samples:

Google Places - - make sure your company is listed to show up as part of search results.
Walk Score - - site that shows dynamic map API calls
London Metropolitan Police Service - - site uses maps to show crime trends in the London area.

Find more on the maps API at -

Google Insights:

Google Insights for Search - - see how your search results are working.

Google Youtube:

The Youtube presentation showed some brilliant Youtube features:
- Voice recognition to subtitles
- Realtime translations of sub titles
- Youtube now has a team in SA

and the samples:
Gardyn -
BBC2 Wave -
The hunt for Gollum - http:…

g|south africa day 1

Day one at g|south africa was great, but some more technical info would have been good.

Not a total waste of time, here are some of the exciting links I picked up on:

Ushahidi - - was mentioned as a virtual crowd sourcing services.

SocialWok - - fully Google App Engine integrated sample site

Google Web Toolkit - - Google's Java Script development environment

Google Code Playground - - play and test all the Google code in a simple view

Google Maps Elevation - - Google Maps now includes elevation information

flightwise Flight Tracking in 3D -

Picasaweb App -

AdMob - - add ad's to any mobile application

Real Time Web Analytics - - get realtime site information

See you all in the morning.

Cono Holiday Flats

This past weekend we had the opportunity to stay in this lovely flat in Amanzimtoti, Durban. Yes, it was over the same weekend as the Curry Cup Final, but our team was out of the running, so did not bother me in the slightest.

The flat is located right on the beach of Amanzimtoti and sleeps 6/7 people. It is on the 17th floor with a >180 degrees view of the Kwa Zulu Natal coastline. Fully furnished including bedding, microwave, fridge and box freezer, tumble dryer, TV & DSTV decoder. Secure basement parking and storage for trailers rounded of the stay.

With a SPUR in the next block, and a Shoprite Checkers within walking distance, everything is right there. Amanzimtoti also offers a very good Funland which offers 10 pin bowling, games arcade, bumper cars and restaurant.

For more details please visit


Yesterday at MyBroadband Conference 2010, Tim from Let's Talk Geek was flashing his new business cards around with his QR code on the back. Strange how many people did not know about QR codes.

Now pop over to and generate yourself a QR code. You can print it, store it on your mobile or even drop it on your webpage.

The next time somebody asks for your contact detail, pop open your QR code and tell them to scan it. When they look at you all funny, tell them to quickly scan there marketplace on their mobile and install one of the many apps available.

DropBox and 1Password


Everyone has probably heard of DropBox, like me, but also haven't tried it.

Tekzilla suggested DropBox as very effective way to syncronise files (like "My Document") between Windows, Mac and Linux as answer to a viewer question. This prompted me to have a quick look, and it is amazing. Yes, synchronise files between Windows, Mac and Linux effortly and simple, but also much more!

I have a Windows 7 Desktop, Windows 7 Notebook and Windows 7 Netbook. For the first time ever, "Documents" are synchonised and up to date between all three the machines. Add access to these files using any web browser on any machine AND DropBox on Android, and you have the best of all.

Also IT support nightmare: 1x Mac on Network A with 1x W7 on same network. Now ad 1x XP on network B and have people try and share files between each other. I did say users? Now all of them have a shared folder in DropBox which shows as a folder on there machines. Drop file you want in, and everyb…

Skype for Android™ phones

It arrived yesterday in the Android market place.
A pretty bulky on device application (>14Mb), but definitely worth it.
The interface is slick and usable with pretty good call quality.
Video calling isn't available, but then the Desire does not have a front facing camera.

Custom Google Maps

Logging into your Google account on the Google Maps page, presents you with the ability to create your own custom maps. These maps you can add to your own website, or add as a layer on your mobile version of Google Maps.

Log into the site, and then click the "My Maps" link. Under this option you can the create a new map, name it and add a description. You can also select if this map would be publicly available or not.

Save your options, and you are ready to populate your map.

Now search for what you want to add, and look for the "Save to..." option on the icon or under the search result. When this is selected, you are presented with a pull-down menu of all your "My Maps". Select the one you want, and click save.

Do not worry about the generic title for your entry, as all of this can be edited.

Add all the location you want, and then return to "My Maps". Select the map you would like to edit and then the "Edit" button on the to right.


Star Wars

Star Wars franchise has released two very nice online games. You download a small EXE and play the game online. Levels are downloaded as you progress in the game.

So why aren't more games like this? - is Lego Quest for R2D2. From the very successful Lego franchise, you play a Lego character running around with your Light Saber killing droids and solving puzzles. - is Clone Wars Adventures online world where people meet and play within the Star Wars universe. I've only played the training quests, but this one could go far. In beta at the moment, but worth the time as installation is no effort.


Let's Talk Geek Show 20 - The links from the IRC

Android sniper shot

Little time waste while waiting for Windows server to restart. App loads a scope view of some sniper rifles and let's you take a shot of whatever using the camera. It then saves the image for you to share with friends.

Let's Talk Geek Show 19

SA Blog Awards - & - K-19: The Widowmaker - The Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) and UniForum SA (the administrators) will be hosting their 9th iWeek annual conference from 15 – 17 September 2010 at Kloofzicht Lodge, 1747 Kromdraai Road, Muldersdrift, South Africa. - Lobster Rage Fist - Android: The Future Of Mobile Geography Tools - Wil Quits w00tstock! - Free Beer

Thanks guys.

Let's Talk Geek Show 18

Again a brilliant show again, that was live on Ustream and NetCaster. We had a couple of people in the IRC chat and here are this links from the show and IRC: - Liquid Lights (Tim) - Movies Infographics Collection (Tim) - Tonights guest ( @singe ) and his declaration.... - ZaCon scheduled for 9 October 2010 at University of Joburg. Videos from last years event at (Dominic) &, but here is the iPhone app - and it seems it was solving in 20 moves back in 2009? (Els) - The Google Wave Protocol. (Els) - Test and train your addblocker &…

Google Android and HTC Desire

One of my contracts where up for renewal and one of the phones on offer for free was the HTC Desire. Being a Nokia fanboy for many years, I was very nervouse moving to another brand.

The Symbian O/S has been very disappointing the last couple of years and I was due for a change.

In steps Android. Where have you been all my life???

Being a IT professional, a husband and father, I have to juggle work and my private life very carefully to ensure I get everything right. This means little things like multiple calendars and contacts. Work, we use Microsoft Exchange. Private we use Google Apps. We have calendars for the kids, birthdays and other events like PTA WUG and Stardates (see here).

Add social networking (Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin) and everything becomes a nightmare to manage, or not!

Switching this phone on, the setup wizard asked for my Exchange and Google account information and synced both calendars and contacts into one! It then asked for my Facebook account information and…

Toshiba Tecra S11-11Z

What a beautiful machine! I've now had mine for a week and I can say I'm loving it.

This Intel i7, 4Gb RAM, 320Gb HDD, 15.6" LED 16:9, Nvidia Quadro 512Mb, HSDPA & GPS with Windows 7 64bit machine does everything an I want. For work and play!

Little things like a serial port for router setups and eSATA port for file transfers just makes this machine productive and fun.

I've added Microsoft Office 2010 Professional for business use and Vistumbler for war driving.

I can say disappointing is the screen resolution is up to 1600x900 which is not 1080p(i) HD (1920x1080) and the fact that it ships with a DVD RW drive is a bit pointless today. Also while running WiFi scanning and GPS, the battery only last about an hour. And while still have that little button mouse in the middle of the keyboard?

Overall, a great machine and priced very well with included 3 year warranty,

I highly recommend t…

Lets Talk Geek Episode 14

Tonight show had some very good links in it: - good site to analyze your website with and find some performance issues. It also has a scoring system which compares your site against all the other sites they have analyzed. - another website analyzer. - the magnetic putty. Currently sold out... - find blogs in your country - be a 15 seconds part of Star Wars - the URL says it all - Quinton, who was one of the guests, own blog.

I also added on the IRC channel - some online networking tools. - now who wouldn't want to stay here?

And then the show at

Have fun!

Microsoft Windows Home Server

Having been using Linux as my home server for many years, I decided to give Microsoft Windows Home Server a go.

Hardware: I'm using an old Intel Xeon 2.5Ghz CPU on server board with 4Gb RAM. It has onboard Sil3112 RAID with a mirror onto 2x 200Gb SATA drives. Additional storage come from stripped 4x 1.5Gb SATA drives attached to a SATA4000 Sil3114 RAID card. Old IDE DVD ROM for installation.

Installation: This was from the CD media (always remember CD/DVD should be master on IDE on Intel Boards) and Sil3112 driver added using a USB stick. It actually marked the mirror as a mirror and did the installation. 4 restarts later, the server was up and starting the update process.

1. Couldn't get the Sil3114 software stripe working on Ubuntu. On WHS the drives where added as extensions to the data volume in the interface.
2. Very well priced for a Windows 2003 server with 10 user connections
3. Backup process very simple for Windows clients

1. It's Windows
2. More resource…

Ubuntu 10 and DMRAID

Installed my new Ubuntu 10 server today and spent 4 hours on trying to get the DMRAID working right.

Intel server board supports simulated RAID which is configured using DMRAID. I created a RAID1 using 2x SATA disks in the RAID controller.

Online guides work fine, but they forget to mention 1 very important thing.


After doing the partitioning, restart.

After formating, restart.

Then use the standard setup that should detect the disk is formatted and leave them alone.

Hope this helps someone.

Bulls het gewen... (Blackbird Pie)

This little handy tool at makes it quick and simple to drop a good Tweet into your site, blog, anywhere online.

Drop the URL from the Tweet status into the site, and they give you the HTML code.

Here was probably the best Tweet for the weekend!

Die Bulls het nou net in HD op my TV gewen. Dis omdat ek HD het.less than a minute ago via Seesmicgriffin

Welcome to SA Google

It seems to be official, Google is hosting in South Africa, or at least some caching services.

With many rumors running around for many months, I've been able to physically see Google behind a local IP.

With the story showing behind IP it is possible to do on this IP, and it is shown to be an IP in Pretoria.

More interesting is the reverse DNS for this IP that returns "" which could mean many things.

For me the question becomes how this would be available when ADSL caps are reached and one gets limited to local only access. Will we then still get some Google services?


Aspire One and Windows 7

I got myself an Acer Aspire One AO531h in December 2009 from MTN direct on a data contract. This little machine is small and lite enough that it is now always with me. All I upgraded was the RAM from 1Gb to 2Gb.

The machine ships with Windows XP Home Edition that works very well, but still is XP. I then tried the Beta of Ubuntu Lucid Netbook Edition on it which also worked well, but some things just wasn't lekker.

Thursday I decided to give Windows 7 a go, and what an improvement! Everything just works, and works well.

As a MAPS subsriber, I used the Windows 7 Ultimate ISO that I downloaded for the installation. I downloaded Novicorp WinToFlash from and used it to prepare my 4Gb PTA WUG USB stick. It takes the ISO image as the source, and the USB stick as destination and builds the whole stick for installation. This was done on a very old Windows XP Home machine.

I then booted from the stick on the Acer Aspire One and did the standard installation, and that …

HerUniverse - Star Wars for her

Over the years, we have loved Star Wars.

We would secretly look at the Lego models, the toys at Toys-R-Us, the toys that come with kids meals, T's, caps, well, just about anything we could find. But these where all focused for men.
Now you can join in the Universe that is Star Wars!
Actress Ashley Eckstein who is the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be introducing this range at San Diego Comic-Con's Star Wars Pavilion in July, so if we men could go check it out for you?
Her Universe -

Ubuntu 10 Lucid is here

Ubuntu's long awaited new distribution has been released. A lot of new features and updates and the all new colors from Ubuntu is top of the log.

Grab it now, or wait for your local mirror.

Hit for details.

Google Chrome Pins

Was looking for ways to use less desktop on my netbook, and found this very nice tip.

Pin the tabs in Google Chrome, and then add make them start like that every time by adding:


to the shortcut for Chrome. Change the X to the amount of tabs you have when starting Chrome.

Full story over at under

So everybody is Tweeting and Blogging this site ( about aircraft over UK and the Volcano cloud, but what I found funny is the notice on the site when using IE:
"We strongly advice all Internet Explorer users to switch to another browser, like Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari. Internet Explorer is not powerful enough to run this website."
Zoom out as well, 2 birds in the air over Durban.
Now that is funny!

Nokia Light Saber

Last night after a heavy routing training session for the PTA WUG admins, Blaze and BazzDaddy where comparing notes between Iphone and Nexus One.
Or rather what can yours do that mine cannot do!
Look, most of the stuff are gimmicks, but the one that was really cool was the Light Saber app. Or should I rather say BazzDaddy's impression of Luke Skywalker slicing Blaze up with his lightsaber.
So I had a look around and found the Nokia Symbian version of the same app, for free.
Head on over to and download the free little app and loose a couple of hours in the office, slicing some colleagues in half!
Still, looking for that one amazing thing any other phone can do, that my N97 cannot do.....

Welcome back

Strange how technology and fashion are making 360 circles.
Who remembers the old Commodore VIC20? I still have mine, on display in my study. I do not have the PSU or tape drive anymore, but still have the machine.
Now you can get a modern Intel processor machine, all in a keyboard! Just like the old days!
Cybernet ( has build this little machine to be a Zero-Footprint-PC. With up to Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb SATA Hdd and Intel 3100 GPU, this little machine should run Windows 7 no problem.
What next, return of Burning Rubber?

ISADSL and MiktoTIK Router

So we have an ISADSL Business Uncapped Shaped service from IS. I've been shouting at them for weeks now, because I just do not get anything out of this service. They looked at it, Telkom looked at it and still nothing.

Now, I did ask them if I could use my own modem, but no, I have to use the modem from them.

So today, I loose my diginet line and have to push the whole company onto my IS ADSL service.

Having users shouting at me, I decided to really look at this problem and after many hours I found that for some reason the router from IS has issues with mishappedMSS and MTU's on the Ethernet. Now this is something I assumed any good router would resolve, but not the one from IS.

So I added "change MSS" mangle rules to the Ethernet on the Mikrotik connected to this router:
/ip firewall mangle
add action=change-mss chain=forward comment="" disabled=no in-interface=ether2 new-mss=clamp-to-pmtu protocol=tcptcp-flags=syn tcp-mss=1441-65535
add action=change-mss chain=f…

Nokia N97 / V20 Firmware / South Africa

Last night I just had enough of all the shitty excuses why my Nokia N97 is still on V12 Firmware. The one from Nokia that says it is because it is a network funded device, and the one from the network that says they still have to authorise the upgrade, and meanwhile I'm ready to bin this damn thing.In short, it is a LOVELY phone, and it does everything what I wanted when I chose it. I still will gladly stand next to a Iphone user and see if they can find something I cannot do on my N97. But the shipped software was crap!And the worst of it all is Nokia, admits it, and they have fixed it! ( Nokia VP: N97 taught company some tough lessons - last night I decided, enough is enough, and I looked into NSS and the device codes.
Now let me start with what everybody says about this:


Downloading FLV Files - URLSnooper 2

Most sites are now using Flash as the frontend, and Flash Video as the video file format. This is all good and well, but makes the task of getting the FLV file a little bit more tricky.
I've always looked at the source code, and from there figured out the location of the FLV file, but even this is difficult if the site embeds the video with references and not URL's.
Then I found URLSnooper 2 ( ). This little utility installs the WinPcap libraries (also used by Ethereal - to literally sniff the packets passing through the Ethernet interface, and find all HTTP POST and GET requests.
It the summarizes that in the application, from where you can copy paste the once you want into your download manager.
Yes, that simple. Start the sniffer, surf the site you want, stop the sniffer and copy the links.

Netbook and Office

So, I have a Netbook, and there is no way I'm installing any Office Suite onto it. She already battles, so why add that load.
So let's look at the online office solutions:
Google Docs -
Zoho -
I've been using Google Docs happily, then I got a Microsoft Excel 2007 price list from a supplier that is 2.5Mb in size. Google just will not load it because it is over the 1Mb size limit. Zoho tries, but then gives an error, no explanation, just an error. So now I had to look for a solution. I then tried opening the document on a Microsoft Office 2007 machine, removed all the fluf and saved it, still no luck. I even did the ZIP rename and removed the images from the file.
So of to Google we go, and there someone mentioned
I registered for the free option (look for it in the signup screen), uploaded the original XLSX file as I got it from the supplier, and done. Very nice interface (Google Chrome) and the file is in a PD…

Bietjie die pad duister geraak....

Ek het gister, oppad terug van KK (Kiewie Kop), die pad duister geraak met die fiets. Die S-draai van Pretoria se kant, oppad Valhalla toe. 'n Taxi het gevoel hy het die reg van weg, en het my gestoot die bosse in.
Was dit nie vir die ordentlikke BMW baadjie, BMW valhelm en CAT stewels nie, het ek die uit die hospitaal uit geskryf.
Ek is redelik styf en seer vandag, maar geen steke nie en niks gebreek nie.
Die fiets sal ek more hoor.

En die sleep trok het die fiets ook nog laat val:
UPDATE: (17 February 2010)
Versekering happy en het uitbetaal, sy word reggemaak.

Mikrogolf Krummelpap

1k Meel tot 1k water = Krummelpap 1k Meel tot 3k water = Slap Pap.
3x 3Min op hoog in Mikro roer krummels los v mekaar na elke "rondte" 3x 7Min op Defrost (30%) en roer tussen deur... as pap effens droog lyk voeg net bietjies water by op 'n slag.
Lekker EET

We Conquer From Above - Paul. J. Els

The book WE CONQUER FROM ABOVE on the history of 1 Parachute Battalion 1961-1991, will soon be available by Paul J Els.
It is a soft cover book, A4 size, with 336 pages and contains c. 1000 black/white photos of which most have not been published before.
The cost of the book will be R360 (add R20 postage – local) after the closing of pre-orders.
Pre-order with a discount of R60 can be done now till the end of February 2010.
Proof of payment, postal address of payee, name of person to whom the book must be autographed and email/contact details is required. Dealers to contact author directly for orders.
Paul J. Els -