Monthly Archives: April 2008

Quick Update

Another in the series of short and sweet bullet list posts. Hmm, let’s see what have I been busy with in the last week or so..

  • Last Wednesday was a record day, I ended up in being in meetings for more that 12 hours in total.
  • The all new Ubuntu was released. We updated the Frogfoot Grid page.. you can now order an Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server and we updated the datacentre graphic at the top of the page as promised.
  • Our Pirate Radio t-shirts arrived. We’ll hand them out soon.
  • I upgraded my laptop to the new Ubuntu version. It was not 100% painless.. because of the lame Broadcom wifi card in this HP, but it’s all working well now. Seems there is native kernel support for my wifi card now. Sweet.
  • I’m on holiday for the week. Woot! Well it’s more like a long long-weekend. Went sailing in Gordons Bay on Friday, Awesome sunset. Took Mia to the beach on Saturday. Another awesome sunset. Spent Sunday in Rooiels with Mia and the WSE. On Tuesday I took some panoramic pics, had some interesting German beer, a braai in Stellenbosch and drinks at Fandango’s. I seem to be in an Asoka/Fandango’s pattern lately. Oh, yeah I converted somebody to using Firefox at the braai (-:
  • Monday was the nerds geeks on a train event. About 20 facebook friends traveled from Newlands to Simon’s Town by train. Nice views all along the coastal track. R25 for a tourist pass to hop on and off as you like. We stopped for beer and food in Kalk Bay. I found a nice book in the Kalk Bay bookstore. Soaked up some sun. Had a few good laughs. Made new friends. A fun day.
  • I watched Run, Fatboy, Run today (yes, at the Labia). From the same breed as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Good movie. It hit home. Seems it’s possible to get all deep about a comedy.
  • Just returned from a Heavy Chef gathering at Hatfields restaurant in Hatfield Street, Gardens. I live in Gardens but I drove around for 10min trying to find this place. Weird street naming was to blame. We listened to a very good presentation by Phil Barrett about user experience design (UX). Interesting topic. Just like you get font-geeks, you get UX-geeks. Ran into Mr. Eric E. who updated me on his new venture.

As always, my photos are here.

CITI Muppets

Some people just don’t get it.

CITI sent me an invite to a Telecoms & OSS Event in the form of an HTML email with an MS Word attachment. Am I the only person that sees the paradox here. Muppets.

The email includes links to some CRM website, so I figure they must have given their email marketing some thought. They just overlooked the basics.. who do you want to reach?.

While we’re at it…

The ISPA also annoy me. They send emails to invite me to ISPA general meetings, asking me to RSVP.. but, they don’t include the agenda or list of topics to be discussed. How can I RSVP if it could be a total waste of 2 hours. I’ve asked them to include the agenda in the RSVP request. Seems my feedback goes to /dev/null and they keep doing it their way.

Because I think the work CITI does is important and I appreciate the venue CITI and the BWB provide to WAPA, WordPress Cape Town and SPIN, I’ll give them some hints on how to improve their marketing:

  • Don’t send HTML / MS Word emails, just don’t.
  • Include the agenda and list of speakers from the start, we’re busy people, you get one chance.
  • Figure out who you want to reach and put yourself in their shoes before you send something.
  • Don’t “push” too much. Send one email.
  • Use your website as your primary marketing resource (not MS Word). List events there. Make it useful. Keep it accurate.
  • Get an RSS/ATOM feed, so I can “pull” and you don’t have to “push”.
  • Your website sucks, but I’m not going to go into that now.

Cryptic Movie Reviews

Some movies showing at the Labia at the moment… guess I’m their biggest fan. Nice to put my mind in neutral with popcorn and beer. I watched The Savages tonight.

  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet St. – Sucks
  • Michael Clayton – Pretty Good
  • Juno – Very Good
  • No Country for Old Men – Excellent
  • The Savages – Good

Ok, Protein shake for dinner, done. Time for a drink at Asoka.

ps. Check out the new Grid page we built today. I think it’s pretty cool. We’ll get a better feature strip graphic soon, with more cool datacenter stuff.

Agile PM and Feature Boxes

Just returned from the monthly SPIN meeting at the Bandwidth Barn. Jan Pool talked about Agile Project Management. Good presentation.

I’m no PM wiz, so things like Agile and Scrum are kinda new to me. I’ve heard people talk about these pretty often but this talk was very useful in understanding the ideas behind the buzzwords.

In the end I thought.. Ahh, yeah, that makes sense.. kinda like the stuff we’ve been doing naturally (-:

One very useful tip I could relate to was to create a “Feature Box” or “Vision Box” at the beginning of a project. This is really a box.. as in packaging for the product you are aiming to build. List all it’s cool features on the sides. Try distill the content to something you would print, fold and put on a shelf for your target market to buy.

Wifi Hotspot Box

Last year, in the initial phase of the Frogfoot Wifi Hotspot project, we had a pre-launch demo at iWeek. We had to have a brochure and we had to have a box. It was a fun task and focused our attention on the important and unique features of our project.

PS. They also have nice snacks at SPIN (-:

The minister is not wearing any clothes

At the end of last year I gave a presentation at *Camp about Telecommunications Licensing in South Afrca. At some point I talked about what I believe the intention of EC Act was and the potential of this new technology agnostic (horizontal) licensing model.

I talked about “letting the tiger out of the cage”.. by allowing any of the 500+ VANS licensees to build their own network infrastructure and introducing a new era of competition in the market. It’s easy to see why any (all) of the incumbent telecoms payers do not what this to happen.

More options and choices for consumers will result in better service levels. Empowering the smaller and more dynamic entrepreneurial VANS licensees will result in an open and adaptive market.

I’m going to skip the part about ICASA and the Department of Communication’s many failures.. we all know the story.

Something changed last week. With a bit of luck we’re about to get clarity on the rights of VANS to “self provide”. This is a key question for the ongoing license conversion process. For the last 3 years there have been disputes about the rights of VANS to build infrastructure. This lack of clarity worked well for the incumbent players (FUD tactics).

One can only guess why ICASA and the DoC were so content to maintain this state of uncertainty on such and important topic for so long.

The Wirless Access Providers Association (WAPA) and Amobia filed papers in the Witwatersrand High Court last week requesting a declaratory order to clarify the rights of VANS. If WAPA is successful, it will be clear that VANS may self provide and that they must be converted to have ECNS licenses.

WAPA becomes the first group to stand up and say: “the minister is not wearing any clothes”… as everybody suspected.

Read more on the WAPA website and find related stories in the WAPA press archive.

Quick Updates

It’s been a while.. let’s see what I’ve been busy with and give you some random news..

  • Wrote a press release for WAPA’s legal action.
  • The Amobia Joburg network is about to go live. The first Joburg ring is up. Just need to feed it some Internet access.
  • Been spending most of my time on the new Frogfoot Website. Very close to done. The blog part is looking good. Still writing some content.
  • I could not make it to the last GeekDinner, it was the same day as Mia’s birthday. But my name is on the list for the May GeekDinner. I’m happy to see that the GeekDinner movement is progressing well in it’s decentralised and democratised form.. with the help of a few pillars in the community, naturally.
  • A good friend (Dr. Strangelove), who lives in England now will be in Cape Town over the next few days. Let’s hope for some nice weather. I guess it’s time to say goodbye to the summer soon.
  • The Amobia Suicide Gorge walk was good fun. I put some pics up. One of the less fit people walked from about 9 AM to 9 PM. Hehe.
  • This weekend is the annual Amobia company weekend. Somewhere along the West Coast. Involves paint-ball and 4×4 driving tracks.
  • Mia and I went to World of Birds in Hout Bay last weekend. Nice place. We did Butterfly World the week before that. I’m kinda running out of weekend entertainment venues for 2yr olds.. please post some suggestions. Really, please.
  • Mia seems to like Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes.
  • Attended a Neotel metro-ethernet launch last week. All I can say is “pfffftt”. What lame presenters.
  • I’m thinking of doing a presentation about how Frogfoot is using WordPress as a CMS with some WordPress security tips at the next WPCTP meetup.

..back to editing Frogfoot website content again.