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Showing posts from 2011

Howto shoot stills in low lighting (Quick Tutorial)

Sometimes you need to shoot where a flash will not be allowed. As a parent of young children, this is normally the yearly dance show or prize giving in the school hall. Hopefully these tips will help you shoot something.

In these conditions, the traditional point-and-shoot cameras will not work. You are looking for a camera that will give you some control and has at least an ISO1600 or higher.

You want to keep the camera in manual and ensure the flash stays down. Most modern DSLR's with build-in flash, has this automatic pop-up feature of the flash when in Automatic mode. That pop-up and flash could get you chucked out of the show and then you are going to be in trouble with the whole family, not even mentioning the studio!


We wish you, your family and your business all the best for 2012. May 2012 be success, joy and the little things in life. Have a good 2012!
Ons wens jou, jou familie en jou besigheid al die beste vir 2012. Mag 2012 sukses, vreugde en die klein dinge in die lewe inhou. HĂȘ 'n goeie 2012!
Johan, Annerie, Beatrix, Elize and Paul Els. ( ) Traffic Delivery Department. ( )

Google Picasaweb and Panoramio

On holiday and wanted to post some of the images I've been snapping away onto Picasaweb. Then I realized that some of the scenes are suited for Panoramio, which feeds into Google Maps/Earth.

PTA WUG KK Rebuild

After lightning damage, all of the equipment on KK (Keevy Kop) needed to be replaced. This involved replacement of 4x Ubiquiti Nano Bridges, 1x Mikrotik RB433 and 1x Ubiquiti Rocket.
All Ethernet cables where replaced with CAT5 shielded cable as well as replacing the LMR400 cables between radio and antennas.

We also had to install new earthing wires as the previous ones where stolen, and possible contributed to the lightning damage.

Thank you to all that helped with the repairs and to Danie who looks after the site.
The KK site was established August 2008 and this was the 3rd lighting damage to the site.
As this site provides backbone links to most of the Pretoria WUG, this site is very important.
Full album at

Graad R Klas van 2011

Die Graad R groep van Laerskool Rooihuiskraal het gister aand, 29 November hul graderings funksie gehad by die skool.

Gedurende die geleentheid het die Mr. Ferdie Maree, skool hoof, elke skolier se hand geskud en vir elk 'n graduasie sertifikaat gegee en geluk gewens met die besonderse prestasie.

Elke leerling was pragtig geklee in hul eie toga en hoed. Die klas onderwysers van elke groep het hulle name geroep, dan het die betrokke leerling vorentoe gekom en hulle sertifikaat ontvang. Dit het ook tepaard gegaan met die leerling se beoogde beroep en soms die rede hoekom hul die beroep wil nastreef. en toekoms planne in die form van beroep aangekondig.

Na afloop van die geleentheid was daar te ete en te drinke in die foyer van die saal gewees wat ook pragtig versier was.
Dit was 'n prag geleentheid wat weereens bewys het watter bonormale gehalte onderrig Laerskool Rooihuiskraal bied.
Al die fotos is beskikbaar by Album 1 en Album 2

Very interesting use for VidBlaster

We, Traffic, are shooting a production that requires some Chroma Key effects.

These effects will be done in post production, but as we need to place the actor relative to the scene, we use VidBlaster to do a studio rough mix. This way the director can see the effect real-time before we shoot to tape.

VidBlaster provides us with a very quick way of actually playing the scene into the shot from tape over firewire, have the actor on camera also over firewire and then line everything up nicely.

If you are in video production and have not looked at VidBlaster ( ) you have to give it a try.

Brick Fair 2011

AVG 2012 Free Edition

I've been using the Microsoft Security Essentials for a couple of months now, as it has the lowest impact on the machine.
As I'm a power user, I'm very careful about what I do, having security in mind all the time. But it seems something slipped in, and I noticed that Microsoft Security Essentials stopped loading. Google-ing around, it seemed that all the Microsoft Security Essentials services were disabled. Enabling and starting them, they would stop and become disabled again in seconds.
Trying a couple of things:
1. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware: Restart in save mode with networking, run update and full scan. Nothing. 2. Microsoft Security Essentials: Restart in save mode with networking, run update and full scan. Nothing. 3. McAfee Stinger: Download latest version, run full scan. Nothing
I then made peace, a format was in my near future.
Then I noticed this story on MyBroadband:

"AVG 2012 Released in South Africa"…

Riverman Fishing Cabin
Situated 22km North from Dullstroom, these beautiful cabins provide luxury in self catering, with the excitement of fly fishing for trout, all in one location.

The dirt road to get to this farm is fair, and was easily navigated with our sedan. It would however be totally different in rainy season, but help would be available if you do get stuck.

The very spacious main cabin, Rainbow Cabin, has a full kitchen, with dining room table that seats 8. 4 bedrooms with 2x double, 2x single and 1x bunk beds. Two full size mattress as couches to the sides of the build in fireplace, will easily sleep another 2 adults.

2 and 1/2 bathrooms rounds the sleeping arangements off.
I did mention the build in fireplace?

Outside you have access to a build in braai, some more confortable seating overlooking the beautiful landscape.

2 medium sizes dams are stocked with trout, providing a challenge for seasoned casters in some obsticals in the water and ashore, but still areas…

Tablet Deals Compared

I received the latest specials on Thursday, and have updated the table.

The HTC Flyer seems to be the best value for money of all the deals.

Click to image to get to the Google Doc version.

HTC Bootloaders

27th May 2011 sow a memorable event happening in the world of consumers versus big corporate.

A couple of weeks ago, HTC announced that they would be locking the bootloader down of the Android mobile devices to make rooting even more difficult. Rooting Android devices have not been difficult, but it also has not been strait forward. One would use some sort of exploit to gain the root access required to replace the bootloader. By changing the bootloader of the device, you are able to tell the phone to start into a different version of Android, rather than the HTC version.

Sparked by the lockdown announcement, the community responded with Twitter, Facebook and mail campains, directly towards HTC. With webpages giving the e-mail addresses to senior execs in HTC and asking community to mail them directly with petitions not open up the bootloader.

Well, HTC listened and posted on their community page:

This proofs that the community can make a difference, or does it?

How open would it be? Op…

MTN Tablet Specials

I found the MTN specials for the month of May 2011 at

On page 2 they have the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Huawei S7 Slim and HTC Flyer.

Samsung Galaxy TabHuawei S7 SlimHTC FlyerSize190.1x120.5x12mm200x109.5x12.5mm195.4x122x13.2mmWeight380g400g420.8gDisplayTFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsTFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colorsLCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors600x1024px 7"480x800px 7"600x1024px 7.0"SoundStereo speakers & 3.5mm jackStereo speakers & 3.5mm jackStereo speakers & 3.5mm jackMemory16/32Gb Storage, 512MB RAM32Gb storage, 1Gb RAMmicroSDmicroSDmicroSDDataGPRS/EDGE/HSDPA/HSUPAGPRS/EDGE/HSDPA/HSUPAGPRS/EDGE/HSDPA/HSUPAWLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspotWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspotWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspotBluetoothv3.0 with A2DPv2.1 with A2DPv3.0 with A2DPUSBProprietary v2.0microUSB v2.0microUSB v2.0Camera3.15MP & 1.3MP2MP5MP & 1.3MPVideo720x480 @30fps720pAndroidv2.2 Froyov2.2 …

MWEB ADSL DNS (mobile post)

Had some time today to have a proper look at why my MWEB ADSL service has been so bad and unreliable the last couple of days.I'm running a Mikrotik Router PC as my boundary and the PPPoE session from this machine to a Dlink ADSL modem. Uncapped 4Mbps from MWEB.Today nothing worked. Sites would not open, but the old clue SKYPE was working. For those that do not know, when Skype is working, and nothing else,you have a DNS problem of some sort.The problem this time was IPv6.As part of the debugging I did a nslookup for on one of my Windows 7 machines and to my surprise it returned a IPv6 address. I have not deployed IPv6 on my home network yet, so this is a problem.It seems that Mikrotik ROS 5 now includes IPv6 by default. Also Windows 7 has IPv6 by default, so wheels now you can come off.I disabled the IPv6 module on the ROS and W7 and all is now working again.Hope this helps someone.

DropBox LAN Sync

I've enjoyed DropBox as a very good synchronisation between multiple machines. With web and mobile clients as well, one can access your data from anywhere, anytime.

Today I've found another briliant feature, DropBox LAN Sync.

Let me explain. I decided today that my notebook needed a format, so I popped the recovery CD's in and after a couple off minutes, she was up and running. Now because of the format, this machine would have to re-sync the whole DropBox file collection. Now I do have a 4Mbps Uncapped MWEB ADSL service, but still, at a maximum of 400Kbps it would take around 10 hours to sync the 8Gb of files.

Seeing that I use DropBox on my Android Mobile, Mecer Lucid Windows 7 10.1" Slate, Acer Aspire One Netbook, Toshiba Z11 Notebook and Ubunutu 10.10 Server I already have all the files I need on my local home network.

DropBox has a simple feature which allows it to find your other linked machines on the local network, and then rather sync between the local machines…

WhatsApp (mobile post)

The ultimate mobile instant messenger, and no other way to put it! I had two friends (thanks Wally and Louis) say I should try it, but they couldn't give me a good enough reason but that it works on BB. Well, here are some good reasons from Android's view.Contact list is build from the numbers in you address book, or people in the case of Android. On registration it send a SMS from your mobile to confirm your registration. It then runs the numbers in your addressbook against other registrations and builds the contact list. No adding people in another IM application, just refresh the list and off you go! Contact links also works on the Android.Group chat is awesome. Now build groups to chat to easily and quick. Organize a braai quickly with the chicks and guys in one conversation.Attach things to the chat, quick and easy. Photo, video or sound from camera or library. Current location from GPS or contact card from contacts.Delivery and read confirmation. Something that is appare…

Pretoria WUG Wierdamall Highsite (mobile post)

Today I spent a good part of the morning at the Pretoria WUG Wierdamall Highsite. This highsite is located on the roof of the office block for Wierdamall.
This site is assembled on a 9m tower and comprises of 2x RB433 boards servicing users onto 4 sectors, 1x RB493 to handle routing and QoS and 4x Rocket dishes for backbone links into and out of the site.
The main thing we changed was the layout of the sectors. Up to now, expantion was done horizontily causing partial overlapping. We now changed it vertically. We placed two sector antennas on top of each other, covering the same area on another frequency. Horizontal overlapping is kept to a minimum.
Feedback from users are already very positive an we will see what happens under load.
This is why I joined the WUG, to learn. Here one can make drastic changes and monitor the result, learning from the outcome. Feedback from users might be lacking, but reading between the lines helps.

UNISA video studio (mobile post)

Located in the UNISA Sunnyside Campus, the video studio is used by educators to lecture into 22 regional locations over South Africa. Students get the schedules by mail of what would be covered in the broadcast and then have tje choice of attending the closest viewing point.Recordings are also made and some lectures get repeated later.Interaction is achieved using simple mail and IRC services with a dedicated machine on the Internet available to the lecturer.

Omaramba - Feb 2011

Hi All, (Oh great followers of ONE... :-D)
A week have passed since returning from our first camping weekend for 2011 and the return was a joyous one! Sunday evening we basked in the glory of the joy of the weekend, having had some much deserved rest (and I use this term lightly) with great family time.
Let’s start at the beginning, the last blog was ended with the planning for the menu for the weekend. The menu outlay was done with simplicity in mind and least amount of effort required for preparation.
Friday Evening: Hot dogs for the kids and Boerewors (sausage) Rolls for the Grownups Saturday: Rusks for the early morning feeding, Pita Bread Breakfast (Scrambled eggs, bacon and what not) at about 10am which kept the lunch hunger at bay Fruits and Snacks for the rest With chips/crisps here and there Evening: Braai Meats, Braai Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob and Fresh mixed Salad Sunday: Rusks and Cookies for the early morning hunger Breakfast Burgers for Brunch.
------------ We left with great fan…

We Fear Naught But God

This book is another that I had heard about for a long time, but the original version was out of print and not readily available second hand. Following its republication in 2009, with updates, I finally obtained a copy as I was eager to know more about the ‘Recces’, whose members and operations were covered in half-truths and rumours as much as fact, at least in my own experience during my service in the SADF.
W.O.1 Paul Els served with the ‘Recces’ during his military career, and is therefore in a privileged position, being able to describe much of their history with some accuracy. As a result of this service, he has put together a 401 page history covering the formation and some operations of all the ‘Recce’ units formed, from inception to their eventual disbandment under the new SANDF. Included within these pages are no fewer than 300 photographs, all black-and-white, most of which would be new to readers I am sure.
Let me start my review by saying that this is another admirable effo…

Free Online Storage

Now I'm sure there are many other services out there, but here is a quick list of free online storage, sorted by size.
Google Docs - - 1Gb Google Picasa - - 1Gb DropBox - - +2Gb - - 5Gb Microsoft Live Mesh - - 5Gb Google Mail - - +7.5Gb Microsoft SkyDrive - - 25Gb Google Storage for Developers - - 100Gb
Multiple accounts are possible with some of these services and something like Gladinet helps moving files into and out of this storage simple.
My personal favorite is still DropBox.

Mecer LUCID Slate Tablet Multi Touch Screen

I collected my Mecer Lucid Slate last week Friday, and have now had almost a week with it. Here are some of my impressions.
Specifications:Mecer LUCID Slate Tablet Multi Touch Screen (Intel NM10), Intel Pineview Atom N450 1.66GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD, 11.6" Multi Touch (1366x768) LCD display, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD/MMC Card Reader, 1.3M Webcam, Speakers, Microphone, 2 x USB2.0, Mini-HDMI, Li-Polymer Battery, 1 x Mini PCIe slot, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition, Dimension: 295 x 195 x 14mm Weight: 0.99kg, 1 Year Carry in Warranty
Also Known As:bModo, WeTab, ExoPC and Pioneer ePad L11 HD.
Unboxing: The standard brown box contained the Slate, 19V Universal PSU with 2 point into SA 3 point power cable and a set of Mecer recovery CD's. Also included in the shipment was a Zip case and a touchpad pen. The pen was strange, but I soon realised why....
1st Power-up: Standard Windows 7 1st boot, asking for username, computer name and network information. All this was easy to enter u…

Welcome to the First Post

I am going to try my hand at this blogging thing, with one specific subject in mind, the subject of camping... with  a caravan.

As a family of 5, with 3 children Beatrix (5), Elize (3) and Paul (1) and a Sprite Swing Caravan, it poses a interesting set of challenges. Firstly and MOST importantly a camping weekend needs to have a camp site that caters for the busy bodies on all levels, with a “safe” playing environment such as a jungle gym with out rusted nails sticking out or wood splinter’s due to deterioration.

So for the year of 2011 our aim is to find some of these nice camping places by going camping one weekend out of every month, including the winters :-)

This blog is to share some of our experiences and if there are less that fantastic, at least the campsite will be reviewed having our family dynamics in mind for any interested party out there is cyberspace.

Firstly I need to state for the record, camping with a caravan is a way of life it is not the poor man’s choice due to being…

Let's Talk Geek Show

And again, some of the cool links in the IRC channel uring the show.

MobileMonday -

Switch Modular Pocket Knife -

Pool and Bowling -

Go -

Chess and Boxing -

IBM and the Jeopardy Challenge -

Bandsawing -

Bottom Up Beer Dispenser -

Finding Satellites

A couple of resources are available online to help finding satellites. The most comprehensive being DishPointer ( ).

With this interactive mapping service, you can select the desired satelitte add your location and get the direction and elevation of the satellite you require.

Dish alignment with Dishpointer
Futher information regarding programs on the satellite can be obtained from and

But the scary information is at

UPDATE: Another brilliant site is SatBeams ( ). This site uses Google Maps to overlay footprints and has a database of channel information.

Android x86 / LiLi / VirtualBox

I started a debate yesterday at the Android Developers Day around Android or Google O/S for my Netbook. Now with a good selection on Android tablets coming out, I understand that would be a good option, but I already have the netbook.
With no way to "test" the new Google O/S, all I can do is test Android on x86 and make some assumptions.
My netbook needs an O/S that would be quick and lightweight.
I've tried Ubuntu Remix ( and JoliCloud ( but have settled on Windows 7 Pro on my Acer Aspire One Netbook. Additionally installed Microsoft Security Essentials, Chrome Browser, 1Password and World of Warcraft. I do everything in Chrome, but for the occasional additional applications required, the Standard Suite from adds what I need (
All of this works well, but sometimes feels to much. I just want to quickly reply to a message in Gmail, and my keyboard on my m…