Monthly Archives: February 2007

Sunday in ape Town

I started the day with a French doughnut, had some Cuban doughnuts for lunch followed by peeling labels off a few beer bottles for dinner. Food of champions. Spent the day with friends and had a few good laughs. We did the rounds in Kalkbay and ended up at a comedy club thing in Sea Point.

Why do they call them fashion sandwiches anyway?
I’ve decided that Voice Mail is evil. More on this later.

The Third World Dog Lives

While swimming tonight I was brewing over today’s FUD stunt by the cockroaches.

A while ago somebody emailed me and asked me to write a followup to an article I wrote at the end of 2003 about The African Internet and The Third World Dog.

I looked at my apache stats and for some reason this article gets a fair number of consistent hits each month. A few people linked to the article. I found it very amusing that somebody quoted the part about the three pigs of the SA telecoms market in a posting. I think enough things have changed in the market since 2003, especially on the wireless side.

So after today, I may just be annoyed enough to write a followup. I have a list of ideas and a plan. Let the Animals Run the Zoo.

I’ll take the firmest path
Oh, and I must refuse your test
Push me and I will resist
This behavior’s not unique

— Pearl Jam, Vitalogy, Corduroy.

FrogRunner

FrogRunner

..some artwork for the Design Indaba background banner 2.5×1.8m.
Join us at the Design Indaba 23-25 Feb.

You can also get it as a wallpaper image.

Decard was a frog, this is obvious from the frog dream and the origami frog at the end of the movie. You all know this right?

Blio PBX Progress

Blio Logo

Blio is busy building an IP PBX. It will run Asterisk, but the main thing that differentiates it from your average Linux PC with Digium cards is that the hardware is designed from scratch.. right here in Cape Town and Stellenbosch I should add.

Version 2 of the main PCB was completed this week. There is also a custom designed MiniPCI ISDN interface card and our own FXO and FXS modules. We are in the process of extending the Blio web management interface to work on the PBX.

It should all soon be available in a neat 1U casing at a price well below the cost of a mid-to-low range traditional PBX.

Here are some pictures from a demo at the Futurex trade show at the end of last year. At the time of this demo it was already a functional PBX that could route analog and VoIP calls.

Radius Day

Today was Radius day.. we concocted an interesting new config for our ADSL related Radius systems with FreeRadius, Postgres, LDAP and some Perl. Even though Radius can be a bit of a dark art with a long list of mostly unused config files it is actually pretty useful.

I’m interested in using Radius proxying for wireless service reselling, interconnection and roaming user billing.

Valentines Day 2007

Today was romantic consumer spending day, 14 Feb.

This is a strange day. You can feel the expectations created by the media. The first weird thing was that out of the blue two girls wanted to Skype chat. This never happened before, why the sudden need to go search for people using Skype in their home town? One was a bored PA, the other I did not really ask.

Then, on my way to Frog HQ I stopped to buy breakfast. I overheard two girls, the one asking the other “what are you doing for valentines?”.. she responded “taking sleeping pills and watching Ally McBeal”. How romantic.

Me?, well.. business as usual.

I phoned the S.O. (/dev/girlfriend) using my new (pig-and-rat-free) VoIP network. I’m not totally cold blooded.. just to clear that up.

Ernst contacted me again after a long silence. Bitch! Why did everybody move to London?

I sent employment offers for two new senior systems engineer positions. One for Amobia and one for Frogfoot. Did a telephone interview with a guy in India for a project management position, which I think was very positive.

Arrived home, had a glass of Lourensford white wine, went for a sunset walk on Glen Beach while listening to LugRadio. Had a snack, more wine and now I’m catching up on some email.

All in a day’s work. Cape Town is Rome.

Jobs at Frogfoot

Frogfoot is looking to employ more passionate, fast learning people with attention to detail.

If you feel you can keep up with the pace of a fast growing Linux focused company please contact us. I can guarantee it will be a fun ride.

You can find a job spec for the technical positions on our website. For the Junior technical positions all we really require is a basic Linux background, a passion to learn and good problem solving skills.

On the not so technical (but still geeky) side, we are also looking for:

  • Project Manager / HR person
  • Jnr Technical Sales people
  • Receptionist and admin person
  • Lets see if the viral blogging networks can help grow the frog empire. :)

    “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

    — Warren Buffet
    CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

    Quick News

    A quick list of news items from last week. Yes, I was a bit lazy at the end of last week so I’m only adding them now…

  • Cape Town 27 Dinner – I’ll be there.
  • WAPA and ICASA Meeting – WAPA representatives met with people from the Western Cape ICASA office as a follow up to the ICASA head office meeting earlier this year. No official statements at this time, but it looks as if ICASA is interested in working with WAPA to regulate outdoor wireless networks. (WISPs)
  • Reduced Amobia Installation Cost – The installation cost for Amobia consumer products (Broadband and Always-On) has been reduced from R3990 to R2499 Incl VAT
  • The Frogfoot Fleet Grows – The Frogfoot fleet of (non-amphibious) vehicles has grown to 4. We have a new bakkie which is awaiting branding.
  • A visit from BJE – Jaco (back from London) visited Frogfoot HQ
  • Joe, Inc. Telco – Total customers : 2 :) I installed a VoIP phone at my (kinda) 2nd home in Somerset West over the weekend. I now have my own voice network between Gardens, Newlands and Somerset West.. all without using any services from the Pigs or Rats. More on this later.
  • Politician Traffic in Cape Town – What would a Monday be without a bit of sarcasm… A big thanks to all our esteemed political leaders for screwing up our traffic in Cape Town on Friday. Thank you for the fine display of the very expensive black automobiles which your loving tax payers are kind enough to fund. It also warms my heart to see traffic stopped by your elite police forces while you swiftly avoid any traffic problems in our city. It must be nice to live in your state funded god-delusion reality.
  • Building 50 Debian servers in a week

    Frogfoot is busy assembling 50 Linux servers to be installed around the country as branch servers for one of our bigger clients.

    servers 1 servers 2 servers 3

    Servers are made up of an Intel P4 CPU, GigE LAN, RAID1 disks and our very stylish metallic face 2U rackmount casing. We use system-imager, PXE boot them and install a custom Debian OS image.

    None of this is wildly exciting.. other than the fact that with these 50 servers we beat our previous record number of servers in a single project. The last record was a 22 server cluster last year. Whoohoo!

    Frogfoot in the News

    Whoot!

    Frogfoot was mentioned on Tectonic as the only company (which James could find) who sells (proudly) pre-installed Linux PCs.

    Read the Tectonic Story.

    We’ve also been looking for Notebooks we can sell with Ubuntu installed that don’t require us to pay “MS-tax”. If you are in the market for a new Linux PC and can’t find exactly what you are looking for please contact our sales team.

    Thanks Al and the Tectonic team. Keep up the good work. I’m a loyal reader. Frogspeed.