Friday, September 19, 2008

Yzerfontein – the start of summer

Flowers at the coast

Image by weskus via Flickr

The sun has emerged from behind the clouds after what seems like weeks of rain and storms. Perhaps this is the start of summer. The spring flowers are out but a little waterlogged; we are spoiled and we say that they seem not quite as magnificent as they were last year. Here is a photo that I took at the West Coast Nature Reserve which is just next door to Yzerfontein, during a break in the weather.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Social Media

If you're not involved in marketing or web development you may be a little mystified at the term "social media" which is freely bandied about now. Well, here is a slightly irreverent look at the subject, in the form of a slide show, which I hope you will find both enlightening and amusing.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008



If you know me at all you will know hat I am a fan of most things Google. So for me, the release of the Chrome browser was exciting. Not that it can compete with FireFox yet because it lacks the ability to add plugins but it is very fast and it runs my Gmail beautifully.

Even more exciting though is the pending release of the first Android based mobile phone by T-Mobile in the USA. For those of you who don’t follow this stuff, Android is the name given to an operating system developed by Google specifically for mobile phones. So who cares about an operating system for mobile phones? Well if you like free software and use the very cool, free applications that Google makes available, then be interested because this phone is likely to run most of these applications and give you access to your data on the phone.

So how to track these developments? Perhaps the best place is AndroidGuys, a blog started by a couple of Android fans who just happen to work for T-Mobile. Go and have a look and if you like it add it to your feeds.

And the question remains, when will we see an Android phone in South Africa and which of the networks will be first to release it?


Monday, September 8, 2008

Jaiku .. a part of the puzzle


Over the past week or two reams has been written about the launch of Chrome by Google and the impending launch of the first Android handset. There is much speculation as to how the two fit together and how they can be used by Google to increase its influence on the mobile market. But very little if anything has been written about Jaiku. Jaiku is a Twitter like application and was bought by Google in 2007. It had seemingly been forgotten with little hype or development. But here is the kicker, its very strong in the mobile market with a great client that runs on most handsets. Until recently it was one of the most stable applications of its type and then some two weeks ago it moved into the Google datacentre environment… this has led to some recent instability but could this move be attributable to the pending release of the Android handset and Google’s wish to kit that unit out with the full range of Google Applications?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Web Forms to go



Wow… so we are living in a web 2.0 world.. well here’s an application that makes it all to real. Wufoo lets you create web forms in a fun way with not a glimpse of code, well you may see a little code to cut and paste, but its all done for you. Not only can you create forms to email, to add to your web site or blog but you can also do it free of charge so long as your use is low volume. Make commercial use of Wufoo and there are a number of price plans, some of which even allow you to use Wufoo to collect money on your behalf!

The survey on this blog was created in Wufoo in less than 30mins having never seen the site before… that’s certainly some kind of record for me.

Here is a detailed review of Wufoo from Oakleaf Systems.

Google Android

 Android Picture

I just love Google… they keep releasing stuff so fast that I cant keep up. Just yesterday it was Chrome and now the news is that T-Mobile will be releasing the first commercially available Android mobile within a couple of months in the States.. its going to be a big event. The question is which of the local networks will be first to release. Android Guys have a recent post in which they speculate on where Google is heading.. it makes for interesting reading

Friday, September 5, 2008

Social Networks

There are so many social networks now all competing for your attention and all gaining their share of followers. But is there one that you really feel comfortable with? One that does all the main stuff that you expect and that just feels comfortable? That feels intuitive to you and that you can use without having to scratch your head and refer to help screens? Well I have looked at plenty and they all have their strengths… and weaknesses… but I think that I have now finally found the one that best suits my needs and expectations. Its Second Brain and it is still small in terms of user base with signed up members in the tens of thousands... but its a really cool application and I suggest that you give it a try.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Real Social Networking

Everywhere you look now days there is another social application. From Facebook to Friendfeed if you are not a member of at least one social network you are not spending enough time on the Internet. But every so often there comes along something that looks really interesting and that is also free. Remobo may just fit this category. Its billed as “Social Computer Networking” and although it is still in beta it looks really interesting. If you are an early adopter give it a whizz…


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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Windows file manager

Are you constantly at war with the windows file manager? There must be a better solution, right? Well there is, at least one, and its called Xplorer2 .... but the best news is that its free for private use.

It comes complete with support for tabbed file browsing, bookmarks, FTP access, advanced file filtering and will show copy of an image file right in the pane or play your music file without your having to open a player. Its well worth a look.

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Koeburg down again

With Koeberg nuclear power station down and Eskom predicting that it could be three weeks before it is commissioned again what are the chances that we will see a return t load shedding?

"Any loss of generating capacity places strain on the national grid. During the next few weeks while the unit at Koeberg is out for repairs the risk of load shedding is increased," Eskom said in a statement on Thursday.

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Do you Twitter?

If not, just perhaps you should be giving it some thought as a way to stay in contact with people in your social circle. Twitter is a simple way to broadcast short messages, of not more than 140 characters, across the Internet and even to cell phones via sms or to instant messaging applications.

Twitter can be accessed from a browser by going to the URL but there are many more interesting and more functional ways to send your Tweets. Here is a link to a page which will give you some ideas.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008


Would you like an easy way to share your life on the Internet with your friends? Do you have documents, photos, blogs, tweets and more scattered about on the net with no way to consolidate the way in which you distribute them to your friends? Well help is to hand with Friendfeed which is taking the net by storm.

Google Docs - with gears

Google are in the process of rolling out Google Gears for Google Docs and if you are one of the lucky first users, you will see a small green arrow that appears on the menu bar. You can then choose to enable Google Gears which will make it possible for you to use Google Docs off line to edit and create documents, a real boon for users who cart their laptop about with them.


Yzerfontein is the sleepy west coast village where I live.

Eighty kilometres up the west coast road from Cape Town, it is the most beautiful beach hide-away with wide stretches of snow white sand running down to a turquoise sea.