Quick Update

The Wood Wide Web and thanks for all the braais…

Strand Beach
Strand Beach
  • Week of 10-16 October.
  • This post… is not, that late.
  • Monday, office, lunch with Michael, stayed at the office fairly late, 1kg ribs at The Butcher Shop and Grill with Georg, I switched podcasting apps – I’m now using Pocket Casts – the ads in Overcast were annoying.
  • Listened to this again: Naval Ravikant – The Person I Call Most for Startup Advice.
  • “I’m not a planner.” — Naval

  • “Treat your time as a search function.” — Naval

  • “If you can’t see yourself working with somebody for life then don’t work with them for a day.” — Naval

  • The Day You Became a Better Writer.
  • “Bandwidth you can buy, but latency you get from god.”

  • Tuesday, office, Octotel switch upgrade day at Teraco Newlands – some impressive toys there, a visit to the aquaponics farm at Woodstock Peace Garden with Michael – very cool, La Vie with Georg, Van Hunks with Georg, Al and Hilah.
  • Al, Jacques and I are doing a health challenge soon. Aiming to lose about 60kg of fat between the three us.
  • Wednesday, did not feel well, mostly spent the day in bed, did some reading about SDN, OpenFlow and Open vSwitch, dinner with Georg.
  • “The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.” — Woody Allen

  • A see a Nike Apple Watch Series 2 in my future. And now… you can swim with the thing. Whoot. So amazing. A waterproof wrist accessory, for knowing the time, and telling you when you sit still for too long.
  • To be honest, of late, I think I’m feeling a sense of overwhelm. Moving is no fun. Feel like I’m a month behind with email :-/ Meh.
  • The best jobs for your personality type.
  • Thursday, office, lunchtime walk with Heleen to Sababa, Octotel ISP whisky evening, Carlyle’s with Georg and Alex.
  • Make your life an adventure. Make it interesting. Make it funny.
  • “The most complicated skill is to be simple.” — Dejan Stojanovic

  • Funny read about startups.
  • Octotel now has around 135 apartment buildings connected.
  • Friday, office, fetched Mia, a beer with Christopher at Trumpet, a quick catch up with JM at Die Akker, early supper with Al, Wilbur and Mia at Trumpet, nice sunset drive back to Cape Town, loaded about 60 books on Mia’s new (8th gen) Kindle, thanks Jacques.
  • How Being Alone May Be the Key to Rest.
  • Saturday, grapefruit, tea making experiment with a thermometer (2deg warmer if you add the milk before you wait 5min), swimsuit shopping with Mia (she must have tried on about 10 swimming costumes), she bought herself a new cap and goggles, we fetched Jacques from the airport, Charlotte’s 7th birthday party and a braai at Jacques and Marietjie’s house – and a big water slide with lots of bubbles, we watched Back To The Future again.
  • “As ek eendag in regte moeilikheid is, bel tog net vir Wouter Basson.” — Jacques, about health.

  • “Moenie hoë torings bou met mense wat nie jou taal praat nie.” –Jacques, about relationships.

  • “Dr. E. Brown Enterprises, 24hr Scientific Services” — side of the truck in Back to the Future.

  • “I have a rule.” — Jacques, about giving irrational answers.

  • Note to self: read How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.
  • Sunday, up early, Mia’s nippers qualifying swim at the Strand pool – she was not used to the 50m pool – but accepted the challenge like a trooper, she swam 400m in 8min 14sec (which is under the u14 time), Mia’s first nippers training at Strand Beach – good fun – Mia loved it – she got a minor blue bottle sting, but it sounds like we’re doing lifesaving/nippers on weekends from now on, drove back to Jacques’s – chats about how payment card networks work, braai at Jacques’ house with Petro, Elise and Rossouw (who I had not seen in about 15 years) – nice to have all the cousins at a braai, cocktails and mocktails at La Vie with Mia, Georg and Heleen, Mia and I listened to the Wood Wide Web episode with some dark Toblerone – she loved it – trying to get her into more podcast listening.
  • My new new weakness seems to be dark Toblerone.
  • In other news, my recent DARG (dog) bite scar is not too bad.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Girls who glide and Campari for kids…

  • Week of 3-9 October.
  • This one is late, this one is late, this one is late… did you dry these in a rain forest?
  • I seem to have a bit of anxiety when not getting around to publishing my weekly blog post.
  • Monday, school holiday, grapefruit for breakfast, Waterfront, Mia watched The Secret Life of Pets while I worked at Exclusive Books, dentist visit, late afternoon visit to The Camps Bay retreat with Georg, curry at Raj in Camps Bay with Georg, Nick and Mia.
  • Tuesday, grapefruit for breakfast, walked to the office, Mia watched Back to the Future 1 and 2 (we tried to find some Robotech on Netflix, but failed), lunch at La Vie with Georg and Mia, Olwyn fetched Mia and her bicycle from CaffeNeo, stayed at the office till fairly late, epic weather – summer is in the air, supper and some notes processing at Simply Asia, tiramisu.
  • Mental fitness.
  • Wednesday, haircut at Yogi’s, FTTH conference in Century City – bumped into Abz, late afternoon massage in Wembley Square – bumped into Janey, office, sunset promenade walk with Georg, Lucky Fish and Chips, office.
  • I realised I suck at personal admin, which causes stress. So I made a new todo list. One thing per day. Let’s see if this works.
  • Listening to this again: Naval Ravikant, 2nd episode.
  • Found this again: Hacking Human Suffering is the Only Real Growth Industry.
  • Thursday, office, FTTH conference again – interesting morning panel discussion, another chat with Abz – somewhat ironic after a recent chat with Heleen about not really staying in touch with ex co-founders, office, catch up Myog with Michael, sunset promenade walk with Ian, Hussar Grill / Camps Bay with Georg, Belvedere vodka Martini.
  • “Two pizza teams.” — about getting things done.

  • “Though INTPs may scoff at the notion, they actually function best when paired with another person.” — 16 Personalities, about working with people.

  • Friday, office, catch up with Joseph at Nu – chats about podcasting and tracking sheep, lunch with Paul at Giovanni’s and some Campari for kids, fibre lab tinkering, after work beers on the roof and chats with Pawel, Village Idiot with Claus, Mida and Paul – spotted this girl who looked like she was gliding, chats with Claus about YC, smart cities and work pods (drawings on napkins), bumped into Diabi, Hilah joined us, fun evening – sadly the girl who looked like she was gliding was merely plodding along after a few drinks, in bed early.
  • “My hovercraft is full of eels.” — Claus, his test for really knowing a language.

  • “Asbestos – the people’s product. Can you say that in Bulgarian?” — Claus to Mida.

  • Are you in love? Had a chat with Hilah about this scene. You glide. Very cool.

    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: Are you in love?
    Dagney: Well there is someone…
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: But?
    Dagney: We date… I have memorized his phone number, but I won’t use his toothbrush… We’re somewhere in between and he’s crazy about me.
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: As he should be. You glide.
    Dagney: I glide?
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: You glide. It’s a very attractive quality. Most girls, they merely plod along. You, on the other hand, you glide… Tell me about it. What’s his name? Chip?
    Dagney: Alex…
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: Same thing. Does he make you thump?
    Dagney: Define “thump”.
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: Thump. When you think about him, you can’t eat You can’t sleep. You forget about man’s inhumanity to man. Does he do that for you?
    Dagney: That’s a ridiculous concept. No one can do that.
    Jimmy ‘The Saint’ Tosnia: Girls who glide need guys who make them thump. Have dinner with me.

  • Somehow I’ve become an advisor to two startups recently.
  • Interesting advice: Optimal stopping theory.

    “…if you are destined to date ten people in your lifetime, you have the highest probability of finding The One when you reject your first four lovers (where you’d find them 39.87 percent of the time).

    Get a feel for the market and a realistic expectation of what you can expect in a life partner. Once this rejection phase has passed, pick the next person who comes along who is better than everyone who you have met before.”

  • Saturday, Old Bilcuit Mill with Paul and Denise (and lots of Dutch girls in k-way jackets), Stellenbosch outing with Paul, Simonsig (Pinotage festival), Trumpet Tree – watched the 1st half of the rugby with JD, Nerina, Al and Hilah, Balboa.
  • “Nevermind inside or outside, there is no box.” — Paul, about JD.

  • Sunday, chilled on the lawn at Paul’s house – memories of the most fun day ever – aB 2014 the Sunday – AltJ, Campari (for big kids), Batman, drove back to Cape Town, dark Toblerone, time well spent.
  • Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2?
  • “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” — Alfred

  • Remember kids, “with no power comes no responsibility.”

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Favourite Podcast Episodes


After re-listening to a few good podcasts recently, I think it’s time to start keeping a list of really good podcast episodes.

From Geeklist, I still have to listen to these…

See my previous post about podcast collections.

Quick Update

Calm as a Hindu cow…

Clifton 1st
Clifton 1st
  • Week of 26 September to 2 October.
  • Two months till December. November will mark 10 years of blogging for me.
  • Monday, woke up just before 7:06 (when the aquaponics farm pump stops), walked to the office, …when you have to use a VPN to download a podcast – lame corporate thinking firewalls, catch up chat with Caley, Octotel automation project workshop, stayed at the office till well after dark, phone chat with Mia, inbox zero, watched the other half of The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) – good movie.
  • Tuesday, office, Octotel automation meeting, MWEB meeting, Mondiall wagyu burger, watched War Dogs at the Waterfront… very cool movie – that scene where the US military saves them was brilliant.
  • Wednesday, early Lions Head hike with Ian (and 3yo in a backpack), office, Myog, promenade walk, extended phone chat with Jonathan while walking around Sea Point, supper at Jarryds, walked home – 21k steps for the day.
  • Thursday, shrek tea, gym, office, fibre planning meeting, installed PyCharm, catch up chat with Martin, beers with Ian, Jonathan, Joseph and Barry at Village Idiot, published some notes on Ubuntu server tweaks.
  • What if something could be 10kx better?
  • “…what you are good at, what you like and where you can create value + similar people doing good things.” — Sam Altman : How to Build the Future – I guess, for me, that’s just going to involve telecoms in some way, actually the two themes seem to telecoms and education, soon. Finding good people to work with is really hard.

  • “Building railroads vs clipping train tickets.”

  • I seem to have a weakness for dark chocolate Kit Kats.
  • Friday, office, Cool Ideas meeting, a G&T at La Vie with Georg (who is in town for a few days), an extended (12km) sunset promenade walk with Heleen – good chats, pizza at La Vie, a Belvedere vodka Martini at Harvey’s.
  • Saturday, breakfast with Georg in Camps Bay, fetched Mia – we were going to go buy a goldfish, but that never happened, G&Ts, a late afternoon hike, braai.
  • “I live the way I type; fast, with a lot of mistakes.” — interesting chats on Saturday, reminded me of this quote.

  • Pet shops should have a bottomless goldfish deal.
  • Nice read on personality types – yeah, I’m INTP… like Yoda (-:
  • “INTP personalities are so prone to reassessing their own thoughts and theories, worrying that they’ve missed some critical piece of the puzzle, that they can stagnate, lost in an intangible world where their thoughts are never truly applied. Overcoming this self-doubt stands as the greatest challenge INTPs are likely to face.”

  • Interesting, seems Mia is pretty much the opposite of my personality: ESFJ (for now).
  • Mia seems keen to do nippers soon.
  • Sunday, the plan was to go hiking, but two kids were sick, Mia seems to like Wired magazines, protein pancakes in Camps Bay with Mia, Fred’s house, Hout Bay market – dads and daughters outing, beach afternoon – Clifton 1st picnic and sundowners with Georg – perfect weather, time well spent, the cat ripped apart our catnip growing operation, 11h sleep.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Ubuntu Server Tweaks 16.04


Things you might want to tweak on your new Ubuntu 16.04 server – because you need a pretty prompt and a text editor.

I figured this is a good place to put some notes for next time I want to make a new server feel a bit more homely.


Setup ssh keys.
Change the port your server runs on in /etc/ssh/sshd_config


apt-get install mosh

Add something like this in .zshrc (on your laptop):
alias mocms=”mosh -p 2345 –ssh=\”ssh -p 2345 \” joe@cms.my.server.co”


apt-get install update-motd landscape-common update-notifier-common
ln -s /var/run/motd.dynamic /etc/motd

Auto Security Updates

apt-get install unattended-upgrades

APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists “1”;
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade “1”;

Unattended-Upgrade::Mail “your@email.address”;


apt-get install zsh

install oh-my-zsh:
sh -c “$(wget https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh -O -)”

use this .zshrc if you like.

edit your .zshrc
plugins=(autojump brew pip git django python docker screen)


apt-get install emacs aspell

install prelude:
wget –no-check-certificate https://github.com/bbatsov/prelude/raw/master/utils/installer.sh -O – | sh

edit .emacs.d/prelude-modules.el

You may want to run emacs as a daemon for more than one user on your server.

Add (setq server-use-tcp t) to the top of init.el config files – so emacs starts as a tcp server.

alias emacsinit=”emacs -u joe –daemon=joe”
alias e=”emacsclient –server-file=joe -t”

alias emacsinit=”emacs -u root –daemon=root”
alias e=”emacsclient –server-file=root -t”

Quick Update

Prodigal sons and wayward daughters…

Camps Bay
Camps Bay
  • Week of 19 to 25 September.
  • Morning hikes and braais.
  • Monday, brief frantic scramble to find Mia’s school uniform, raw cacao, avo and coconut cream smoothie, school run while talking about how the phone network works, breakfast and notes processing at The Spur (I was tired of the gym), a shower at the gym, drove to Cape Town, house viewing, first day in the new office – it’s a lot bigger and a bit quieter, catch up chat with Dan and Martin, left the office fairly late, catch up chat with Michael, a quick podcast promenade walk, Wouter’s famous temperature probe steak and broccoli and some Chilean red wine.
  • “What’s the secret, Max?” Hmm. Building things and chats with Mia. I don’t seem to ever get tired of those.
  • Tuesday, up early, blogging, walked to the office, sunset podcast promenade walk, watched a video on REST API design, macOS Sierra upgrade.
  • “The number one way to eradicate poverty is to educate girls.” — The Tim Ferriss Show: #123: Rainn Wilson

  • Wednesday, up early, shrek tea, gym, cold showers, office, extended sunset promenade walk with Cath, tweaked my new macOS install a bit – zsh config and karabiner was messed up, phone chat with Mia, phone chat with Anton, played with Oh My Zsh.
  • Octotel now has 100 buildings live.
  • Been listening to a lot of a16z podcasts.
  • Thursday, up early, Lions Head walk with Cath, office, Octotel automation project meeting, hacked my zsh config, Myog, dinner with Jonathan and Ian at Village Idiot – chats about telecoms for poor communities.
  • “Capital is abundant, opportunity is scarce.”

  • “Anomalies wanted.”

  • Friday, up before 6:00, Lions Head walk with Cath, walked to the office, Octotel automation project meeting, lunch with Michael, Paul and Philippa (sorry I missed your birthday lunch), a large Myog, made the first beta of the Octotel API live (some nginx tinkering), Braai Day after work drinks on the roof (braai 1), walked home, braai at Jacques’ house (braai 2) – Jacques brought Mia a new Kindle from London.
  • Saturday, up early, Kasteelpoort hike with Cath, Sarie and Nevo, breakfast next to the lake on top of Table Mountain, epic nap (super epic), aqp water tests – NO2 levels are finally low enough to add fish, braai at Fred’s house in Hout Bay (braai 3) – good chats, time well spent, 11h sleep.
  • “Wisdom is always desiring the same things and always refusing the same things.”

  • Lately I’ve been feeling like I actually want to grow up. Maybe 10 years overdue.
  • Sunday, stayed in bed and tinkered with some sysadmin projects till about 13:00, Paul and Hilah fetched some jumper cables, aqp water tests – I think it’s all working well now – NH3 quickly converts to NO3, tinkered with Hammerspoon, early supper and blogging at Posticino, tiramisu, watched The Secret In Their Eyes.
  • Tune of the week: Magdalena, Brandon Flowers.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Stuck in Citrusdal…

Cable Car Station
Cable Car Station
  • Week of 12 to 18 September.
  • You probably want to read the end of last week’s post before you read this post.
  • Monday, rainy morning, woke up at the Wolfkop campsite and packed up, Gerhard helped try and jump start the car, when we realised the jump starting plan was not going to work I phoned Audi Assist – who suggested I phone Outsurance, who after a while phoned me back and said I get a free roadside assist service – only, on this day they can’t help me and suggested I talk to Audi Assist who took a long time to finally find a tow truck service, waiting and more waiting, when the tow truck service arrived hours later, just before dark, the tow truck broke down… at this point I was already feeling a bit fatigued on all kinds of levels – a bit sunburn, bugs eating me alive, nothing to eat or drink really, ex girlfriend stresses from the previous evening, two long painful useless call centre phone conversations, a phone battery that’s rapidly running out and no way to charge it (although Paul did not seem too bothered by charging his phone on the dead car battery which also stressed me out) and it was getting dark – ok, back to the story – then we realised that there was a small bridge on the way to the car which the truck could maybe cross, but would not be able to cross again with the car loaded, so then the tow truck driver tried to help us jump start the car with a truck battery which we carried to the car, when this failed we phoned the event organisers who then drove out and also tried to help us jump start the car, by this time it’s pretty cold and dark, next they phoned the local mechanic who kindly also drove out to come help us, he discovered that the fuel pump was not working – all of this after a car service less than a week back, at this point we gave up and they gave us a lift to the Citrusdal Country Lodge who kindly took us in at a very late hour and give us a place to sleep.
  • “Whose Indiana Jones ringtone is that?”

  • Tuesday, had an extended breakfast with Paul at the Citrusdal Country Lodge, managed to get a lift back to my car about 20km away which was able to start again after Marius went out to fix it, settled up the bill at the garage, road trip to Stellebosch with a Nick Cave soundtrack – we managed to have a bit of a laugh about the whole ordeal – next level adventure in camping discomfort, dropped Paul off in Stellenbosch, catch up chat with JM at the Akker, drove home and had a 12h sleep.
  • Big thank you to Anja, Marius and Hannchen.
  • Lessons of the week, always ask the locals first, call centres are useless, the Citrusdal hotel is cool – great value. Wolfkop was a very cool party. I’ll go again, I think.
  • Wednesday, walked to the office, iOS 10 upgrade day, eNetworks tour of our office, catch up Myog with Michael, Octotel City Bowl community information evening in Vredehoek, which went well, some notes and photo processing.
  • I listened to the TimF Chris Sacca podcast again.
  • Thursday, walked to the office, did some reading about switches, lunch with Dan, Charlotte and Joseph, sunset promenade walk, dinner with Dan, Charlotte and Michael at Beluga – found some new inspiration for the aquaponics hobby.
  • I think my weekly blog really keeps me sane – and offers some perspective.
  • We’re turning Cape Town into a construction site it seems.
  • In other news, it seems Telkom have gone quiet after their ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) letter regarding Octotel being the largest Open Access FTTH network in Cape Town.
  • Friday, rainy day, office, office move number 5 for Octotel – we are now on the 5th floor, fetched Mia, a late lunch at W Cafe, drove to Cape Town, tried to watch a movie at the Waterfront but the lame NuMetro app UX mislead us into thinking a movie was showing which was not, gelato, we spent a healthy amount of time in Exclusive Books.
  • A very cute girl moved into office space on the 8th floor. Meh, just in time for our move to another floor.
  • Really fun filled weekend, adventures around Cape Town…
  • Saturday, took Mia to robotics class, had a beer at The Woodstock Brewery while watching the SA vs NZ rugby, fetched Mia, Hout Bay Market with Dan and Charlotte, we went to pet some dogs at DARG (animal rescue) in Hout Bay – good fun, but one of the dogs managed to bite me – not ideal, we drove to Cape Point and hiked up to the lighthouse, drove to Kalk Bay and had dinner at Live Bait – very cool how the waves crash right onto the side of the building while you eat, time well spent.
  • Sunday, up early – Mia woke me up to go hiking, Mia packed a snack box, drove to Kirstenbosch, Skeleton Gorge hike with Fred, Caley, Dan, Charlotte and six kids, perfect weather, Mia loved it – I had no idea she was such a keen hiker, we stopped at the beach while the girls caught tadpoles, walked to the cable car station, had the best beer ever after a 5 hour hike, down the cable car – good fun, we managed to fit 9 people in a 7 seater Uber back to Kirstenbosch, sing along to… the Shrek / All Star song and Guardians From The Galaxy soundtrack, William’s (13yo) best songs ever – Don’t Stop Me Now / Queen and Sympathy For The Devil / The Rolling Stones – good choices, Mia and I stopped for a pizza at Posticino, we watched The Count of Monte Cristo with a healthy dose of dark chocolate – Mia liked it, time well spent – thanks Dan, Fred.
  • “My favourite breakfast desert is pancakes.” — Mia

  • Hmm. Need to do more hiking. Maybe find a girlfriend in her twenties and get a seven seater car. I might be a bit over outdoor parties for a while.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Wolfkop Weekender…

  • Week of 5 to 11 September.
  • Fasting week. My 4th 5day fast. Keeping to one every three months.
  • Monday, school run while listening to the Derek Sivers episode / TimF show again while Mia was doing mathletics on a laptop while sipping BCAAs, gym, cold showers, office, sunset promenade walk, caught up on some reading.
  • This is a gem. Derek Sivers. How to code a company. Don’t be afraid to code. Share strong opinions. Life is short. Hell yes, or no.
  • “The standard pace is for chumps.”

  • We’re at peak complexity. Software needs to be at the core of a business.
  • Tuesday, green tea – fasting day 3 – the buzzy part, swim, MWEB training session, office, a very interesting chat with Ben at La Vie, a sunset promenade walk with Heleen.
  • Wednesday, fasting day 4, office, Dasan GPON training day, lunchtime visit to The Mojo Hotel – they seem keen for an aquaponics system on their roof, sunset promenade walk, hacked together three quick WordPress installs.
  • Thursday, fasting day 5, up early, car service day, swim, cold showers, office, Dasan training day, Django sysadmin, fetched my car, promenade walk, more Django reading and video watching.
  • Friday, shrek tea with ginseng Korean tea, packed, office, Dasan GPON node tour, bank visit – never thought that replacing a debit card could be this painful – app and online banking grinded to a halt – took about 30min to fix, fetched my camping gear from storage, fetched Paul from Stellenbosch, road trip to our first Wolfkop Weekender – stopped in Malmesbury for supplies, set up our camp in the quite camping area, had a nice meal at the Friday evening banquet with Wouter.
  • What industry can software eat next?
  • Foam roller week.
  • Saturday, woke up fairly late, explored the camp site and had a bloody mary, spent most of the afternoon chilling with Paul and Tash (I told them The Super Cool story – how bacteria travel in snowflakes), extended nap – woke up around 0:00 – this seems to be becoming a pattern, caught the last music act and chilled by the fire – around about this point I noticed that my car battery was not happy after its Thursday service.
  • “Different podcast.” — Paul, about tech vs alpha female conversations.

  • Sunday, chilled around the camp site with Paul after most people left, spent some time hanging out with Gerhard and ex-girlfriend – I thought I was going to be cool with seeing her, but I obviously need another year or so.
  • Tune of the week: Come and get your love.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update


Walk to Clifton
Walk to Clifton
  • Week of 29 August to 5 September.
  • Monday, walked to the office, catch up chat with Michael, I managed to figure out how to add Youtube channels to my RSS feeds, after work promenade walk with Paul – we bumped into Bienne, had moules frites while wearing bibs and drinking Belgium beer at Den Anker with Paul – we restored his iPhone backup… his phone was a bit like The Fly – a mix of two iCloud/iTunes accounts.
  • Maybe don’t keep 6k photos on your phone, kids. I keep less than 50 photos on my phone on average.
  • “Smart. Interesting. Not-cooked. – Pick two.”

  • More hikes, swims and yoga.
  • Tuesday, walked to the office, salmon and wasabi cream cheese bagel at Kleinsky’s with Paul, supplements shopping – I’ve become interested in collagen, aqp farm tinkering with Michael – turns out an RPi does not have a hwclock (pretty obvious in hindsight) – which was making it run my cronjobs at the wrong time and waking me up, processed some notes and photos.
  • Because sleep…

    root@aquapi:~# cat /etc/cron.d/pump
    # Run pump in the day, twice an hour
    # min hour day month weekday
    # Mon to Thu
    */30 7-21 * * 1-4 root /farm/pump.sh
    # Friday
    */30 7-20 * * 5 root /farm/pump.sh
    # Saturday
    */30 8-20 * * 6 root /farm/pump.sh
    # Sunday
    */30 9-20 * * 7 root /farm/pump.sh

  • Happy spring. I’ve been single for a year.
  • Smart Lazy People.
  • Wednesday, office, DASAN meeting, set up two Ubuntu servers for the Octotel automation project – had to figure out how to use Winbox (Mikrotik – yeah, people still use that), catch up chat with Joseph, catch up chat with Eugene, sunset promenade walk, some blogging and an early supper at The Duchess of Wisbeach – very cool little place – snacked on some radishes and had the wagyu burger, phone chat with Mia.
  • Note to self: I should really just get this weekly blogging thing out of the way on a Sunday evening.
  • By now you must at least have about 2k FB friends or you are obviously a loser with this social media thing.
  • We received a legal letter from Telkom, they seem to be unhappy about the Octotel website saying: “Cape Town’s largest Open Access Fibre to the Home Network”. We think it’s true. This should be interesting. Might have to have a bit of a debate about this with an ASA process.
  • Thursday, office, MWEB finally confirmed their timelines for joining our network, catch up chat with Jaap, haircut at Yogi’s, lunch at Sababba, left the office after dark – my inbox was getting unhappy, bought a foam roller, ordered an RPi3 to be delivered at Dan’s office in London (a bit cheaper than ZA price).
  • This week was busy. I don’t usually like to say I’m busy. Inbox was all over the place. Last week Octotel received 35 orders, this week 85.
  • Watch: Love And Self-Love.
  • People are interesting. In the same week I have to listen to a guy who is unhappy that 10Mbps is our entry level line speed (he wanted 4Mbps), and a guy who wants 1000Mbps upload speeds from home.
  • Friday, shrek tea with Korean ginseng (all the way from South Korean – GPON vendor meeting), gym, office, brunch with Pieter, added four more ISPs to the Octotel website, fetched Mia, fetched a bank card in Stellenbosch, we watched Star Trek Beyond / IMAX 3D – good fun – really makes for a good suspension of disbelief experience.
  • Seems I will be moving soon. I think a braai or two is in order soon.
  • Saturday, raw cacao and avo smoothies, took Mia to her robotics class, shrek flapjacks and some 3D maths puzzles, Myog with Michael, swapped the aqp farm drain pipe, transplanted some seedlings into the main growbed – ate some of the salad and micro greens, watched some Youtube videos about using a foam roller for back and neck and experimented – works pretty well, sunset walk to Clifton with Mia, cooked a healthy supper, tinkered with the RPi to make it connect to the home wifi – man, the RPi1 is slow! – good thing a have an RPi3 on its way.
  • Robotics is the new HAM radio.
  • How many pencils would you need to make a 1m cube, fully meshed grid, assuming a pencil is 10cm long? …3630
  • “In a world where all the obvious names are taken, finding a good name is a test of imagination. And the name you choose tells whether or not you passed that test.” — Paul Graham, on startup names and domain names.

  • Get in the habit of writing down, before you go to bed, the top5 things you want to get done the next day.
  • Planned obsolescence.
  • Get a foam roller and a broomstick.
  • Sunday, more RPi1 hacking – managed to get a new wifi driver working – odd bootloader setup, photo and notes processing, Mia finally woke up, raw cacao and coconut cream smoothies, we tinkered with the aqp farm, the longer range wifi works well, Mia watered all the seedlings, we ventured into the city for a burger in a bowl and some ribs at Da Vinci’s, tiramisu, a beach walk from Glen Beach to the end of Camps Bay beach, we watched Guardians of the Galaxy – Mia loved it – cool soundtrack.
  • Fasting week coming up.
  • Tunes of the week: Brandon Flowers, check out the Flamingo Album, listen to Crossfire.
  • Remember, life is a dance.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Disobey fear…

Lions Head
Lions Head
  • Week of 22 to 28 August.
  • I wrote this post at The Duchess of Wisbeach.
  • Monday, made Mia some breakfast and fed her a hand full of vitamins with some grass fed milk, rainy school run, gym – I can bench 90kg again – only took three months for my wrist to heal properly – don’t do stupid things kids, cold showers, office, photo processing and blogging, quick promenade walk, cooked a batch of broccoli, tinkered with my RPi control system while the cat following me around.
  • Sometimes I think it really helps to be able to file all my notes and noise of a week in a blog post and press publish.
  • Remember: Live for the now. Be link music / dancing.
  • Paul is back from his EU holiday. Seems he missed two flights and a train. Lost an iPhone. Sounds about right for an EU adventure. Must suck to not have any photos.
  • Sam is back, he also missed a flight. It’s been a long month of playing pool guy, but I think I did a good job.
  • Etienne is in Cape Town this week. It’s been ages.
  • Tuesday, the cat woke me up – it does not seem to want to leave, oh bother, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime promenade walk, wrote an ISP newsletter, aqp water tests.
  • 2001 explained.
  • So, Joburg and Pretoria and PE also have DA mayors now. Very cool. Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • Linux turned 25yo. Wow. It’s pretty much everywhere.
  • Wednesday, Shrek tea (matcha and turmeric), gym, office, sunset podcast promenade walk, discovered the Longview service from Linode, upgraded some websites to WP4.6, played with PyCharm Edu 3.
  • People seem to lose all sense of personal space when they get a personal trainer. Why do you want to stand around in the middle of where everybody wants to walk? Muppets.
  • I’ve been much more into aquaponics than health hacking recently. It’s time for a health mission soon.
  • Definitely.
  • Thursday, Shrek tea, swim, cold showers, Mweb technical integration meeting, office, watched Mia’s hockey, early supper around Strand beach, a (“Strand small”) softserve ice cream, we chatted about fear – why we have it – then it’s good and when it’s not so useful, dropped Mia off at her mom’s house, podcast drive to Cape Town – phone chat with Etienne.
  • “We Shall Build Good Ships Here; At A Profit If We Can, At A Loss If We Must, But Always Good Ships.” — Collis Potter Huntington.

  • Disobey fear.
  • Kinda feels like I outsource my child to India in week days. Email only. No phone calls. No text messages. Long delays. You kinda suspect that the call centre hates you. Same vibe.
  • Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
    HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    Dave: What’s the problem?
    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

  • Friday, podcast walk to the office, lunchtime walk, after work drinks on the roof – chats with Martin about Django dev, a Campari with Etienne at La Vie, drinks at Hilah’s house with Paul and Claus – Paul brought me a Killers tshirt from his travels – rad!, I kinda fell asleep before everybody went out to Van Hunks, oops – I must have been tired.
  • Fibre, food, health seem to be the main themes. Only took me 18 months figure that out.
  • Find something that ads value which you can automate. Then enjoy life. Maybe that is the answer to The Matrix.
  • I’ve used about 500ml coconut oil in my morning teas, in the last year.
  • Saturday, woke up fairly early at Hilah’s house and read some Glamour Magazines, tea with Hilah, chilled at home and tinkered with the aqp farm while reading about React and Django, epic raw cacao smoothie, lunch at Sevruga with Etienne, a drink at Ferrymans, we spent some time looking for Etienne’s rental car in the Waterfront parking lot while he walked around asking people to hug him – fearless random hugs – found a helpful parking support guy who told me about 30 people lose their cars there every day – I think we were a unique case as we did not know the registration number or make or model or colour…. “it was kinda white or silver or grey” – Etienne kinda stole the guy’s bike and later returned it – my first tailgating experience (while listening to Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard – for Wes Anderson movie effect), watched the rugby at Van Hunks (about 75% – not sure who won) – I guess it was kinda inevitable that I would end up there – my first Tipo Tinto rum with Raspberry Sparletta.
  • It’s okay to be a bit odd, I think.
  • Sunday, aqp water tests – NO2 is still too high for adding fish – I showed Etienne my farming toys, fetched Cath, Cape Town mini Maker Faire – pretty cool… less 3D printing this year, burger in a bowl at Da Vinci’s, took a walk around De Waal park with Stefano, climbed to the top of Lions Head with Cath – chats about podcasts, time well spent.
  • If you want to get into podcasts… listen to this and this and this. And this.
  • Tune of the week: The Killers – A Dustland Fairytale.

Have a fun week, crazy cats.

Quick Update

Feed me a stray cat…

Lions Head
Lions Head
  • Week of 15 to 21 August.
  • Monday, aqp water tests, office, sunset promenade walk listening to aquaponics podcasts, hacked my Raspberry Pi to rather use cron to run the pump – so it can run less at night time – it was keeping me awake – now I have a cool water feature alarm clock.
  • */30 7-21 * * * root /farm/pump.sh
  • Been listening to every aquaponics related podcast I can find. I’ve discovered the Visionary Aquaponics podcast, pretty cool.
  • I researched chlorine vs chloramine. Seems the best way to get chloramine out of the water is Vitamin C – and not the chlorine neutralising drops you buy at the aquarium place… if you plan to eat the food you are growing.
  • Tuesday, sunny day, podcast walk to the office, installed a speed test server (see fibre pic below), read a whole lot of browser tabs that had been open for too long – like 50, phone chat with Mia.
  • Good weather this week – did not use my car for three days in a row.
  • Pet hate – people who keep talking about something but never do it.
  • Octotel now has around 60 buildings live, 23 cars on the road.
  • I think I need to start getting into software development again. Finally started hacking on a Django project. Keen to learn Docker and Jenkins and some CI stuff soon.
  • Check out PostgresApp.
  • I think it’s important to remain a techie / hacker. Keep coding, kids.
  • I’ve been reading the book: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. I see it was referenced here. Good read.
  • Wednesday, podcast walk to the office, strategy meeting and visited the office we’re about to move to (see above), automation project meeting, installed a speedtest server, breakfast for lunch at Kleinsky’s, sunset walk home, some photo processing, reading and blogging.
  • Be lazy like a fox.
  • Thursday, registered two domain names – after much head scratching, podcast walk to the office, mostly a sysadmin day, extended sunset promenade walk, did some reading about bio-char.
  • A friend recently commented that my life seems very full. Yeah, I guess. Maybe the trick is for your life to be full, but not busy.
  • What service business, which adds real value, can you build without needing people?
  • Friday, Mweb meeting, managed to get my network speed testing tools to work, went to Mia’s school’s Friday assembly, fetched Mia, we found some LECA, plants, seeds and coconut grow medium and Stodels – I’m becoming one of those people who like to hang out around big gardening shops, phone chat with Meiring, drove to Cape Town, washed the LECA while Mia planted the seeds in the coconut fibre grow medium – mint, red cabbage, dill, catnip, broccoli and brussels sprouts, dinner at Beluga with Mia, Wouter and Pieter – meh, the sushi was good, but bad value in general – what kind of a restaurant serves and adult portion ribs which does not fill up a 10 year old, ribs for ants?
  • Saturday, took Mia to her robotics academy – we chatted about high agency learning on the way – and the connection with the Maker movement and Burning Man, notes processing at Rosetta and Suprette, Granger Bay weekend market – the usual olive buying, found some Vitamin C to get the chloramine out of tap water (which ended up being pointless), put Mia to work on the aqp farm with my other billion little farm workers (bacteria) – we removed some marble chip pebbles (I was a dumbass and it was raising the pH) and filled up the grow bed with 100% LECA/hydroton – planted some red cabbage in the growbed – we replaced about 30% of the water – happy farm hacking day, we finished playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered.
  • The Woodstock Exchange… that hipster place which tech companies like for some strange reason – it has no parking and 60 wifi SSIDs but no free wifi. The Somerset West of the Cape Town tech ecosystems.
  • Sunday, aqp farm water tests – pH 7, NO2 and NO3 are off the chart, rainy day – so I collected some rain water, Mia started and finished DoTT again, the neighbour’s cat managed to kinda get trapped in the house because of the rain, Mia + cat + laser = good fun, fed the cat a can of tuna, some random mobility stretches just for fun, an early supper at Baccini’s – we chatted about building an automated multi-pet feeder and how to love learning, we had the required dose of Dark Toblerone and watched the 2nd half of 2001: A Space Odyssey – Mia said it was “the most boring and confusing movie she has ever watched”, the cat was back at 23:30 to wake me up – seems it just wanted to play – had to put it outside – it showed up again at 6:15 the next day, weird animals.
  • I was listening to Super Cool / Radio Lab this week and there was a moment where I experienced what I can only describe as a dopamine rush from the love of learning, eyes go all watery etc. I tried to explain this to Mia and made her listen to the podcast. I think she gets it. How cool is it that bacteria create snowflakes to travel!?
  • You are listening to podcasts right? Right?
  • Btw. you should not be eating tuna. Really. Mercury.
  • Your life is not a journey. Live for the now. Dance. Be like music.
  • Solving All the Wrong Problems.
  • Turns out Cape Town tap water contains good old vanilla chlorine, not chloramine.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Aquaponics is (also) the new Linux…

  • Week of 8 to 14 August… week #432.
  • Staycation week, felt like we had three Sundays in a row.
  • Monday, school holiday – so I also took the day off, tinkered with the aquaponics farm and took some water readings – pH went up a bit to 7.5, Mia played some Day of the Tentacle Remastered, device upgrades and backups, I hacked some cargo shorts to fit better, late lunch at Posticino’s in Hout Bay and some tiramisu with Mia, beach walk, Chardonnay and a mocktail at Dunes, beach walk around Beta Beach, catch up with Wouter – watched the sunset from the balcony with some Chardonnay, Mia finished writing a poem, watched 2001: A Space Odyssey with Mia – she complained in the beginning, but kept watching.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, farm check – plants seem happy, more DoTT, buffet lunch at Melissas in Kloof st – Mia played DoTT – I processed notes and photos and updated my blog – lots of tea involved, De Waal park walk, Gardens Centre, Green Point Park walk, promenade walk, Wouter cooked his signature green pasta – peas, basil etc, Mia created a blog for herself.
  • “…such a generous spirit, you’d be embarrassed to behave in a small way around her.”

  • Impressive how little garbage we have now that we recycle and compost. Obviously not being good consumers.
  • Wednesday, I made a fruit salad for Mia while she cycled the aqp farm, school run, gym, office, catch up with Eugene, Mia read a poem she wrote at the Eisteddfod – she was awarded a gold (medal?), aquaponics farm control system hacking with Michael and Luke – a bit of yak shaving – turns out relays like 12V – we managed to get the Pi to switch the relay on and off, some blogging.
  • I think I might be a gifted yak shaver.
  • Thursday, Titea, gym, swim, cold showers – I considered complaining about the cold water in the showers not being cold enough, office, milk and chia, found a 12V PSU at the hardware shop, exported some 2006-2009 iWeek photos – wow, feels so long ago, migrated a few months of photo masters to my external drive, 90GB backup, tinkered with the pump control relay – mega yak shaving.
  • “Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure.” — Tony Robbins

  • Remember why you started.
  • Friday, Titea, aqp farm water tests – NO3 levels looking very good, office, drove to Stellenbosch with Hilah, Trumpet Tree with Al and Hilah – bumped into Dawid – we’re planning to go to Oppikoppi next year, Balboa until they closed and then we stayed a while longer.
  • Saturday, Wouter fetched me from Al’s house, road trip to Bloutoring Plaas / Touwsrivier for John’s birthday weekend, managed to not shoot away any arrows in the lawn archery game, took a “nap” at about 17:00ish.
  • Sunday, woke up at 2:00, joined the birthday celebrations that were still going on, nap, road trip back to Cape Town – stopped at Die Veldskoen Padstal in De Doorns for breakfast, tinkered with my aqp farm control system – it now automatically floods twice an hour, a beer with Al at Van Hunks to wrap up the weekend, time well spent.
  • Some projects you just have to start with a beginners mind.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.