Monthly Archives: March 2009

Safe as Houses

Just before the GeekDinner I was thinking about somebody (ex-friend of a friend kinda thing) who recently lost pretty much everything.. a whole string of properties included. He now pretty much spends his days crying. It’s messy. I used to think this guy was very wealthy.. though I knew he had questionable ethics.

If there is one thing we learnt in the last six months.. it’s that there is something wrong with the way banks score and trust lenders.. especially property speculators. There is something generally wrong with the way banks “create” money, but that’s another story.

Banks allowed this guy to heavily gear his property portfolio because they could again in theory borrow against the collateral he provided.. which was actually just loans on top of loans. A big card house.

A few months ago most people would have said this guy was a smart investor, but it turned out that his “assets”, which looked so good on paper were a major risk.

If it’s too good to be true..

Remember kids, try not to do what all the other kids are doing.


People often ask me about my website.. looking at me in a strange way and saying something like.. “but, you have everything about you on your website?”.

Kinda. Everything that I’m happy to share. That’s what personal websites are for right?

I love discovering personal websites. I usually read every page.. assuming it’s interesting. I’m talking about brochure / history / life story stuff… the traditional homepage, something creative and personal, not the usual fickle “I built myself a blog in 5min and I updated it a year ago” site.

I think I maintain my personal website because I hope other people also love this discovery process.

I’ve found one potential snag in this theory: mystery.

I figure mystery is a big part of the initial excitement and intrigue of relationships. People assume the best… well, if you don’t I guess you are looking for something else, but that’s another story.

“This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.” — Oscar Wilde

Now, imagine you enter a new relationship (the romantic type) and you are able to say: “What do you want to know? Everything is here.. here is the URL, with friendly navigation, extensive history and detailed photo archive.. about 50GB of content.. knock yourself out, baby”.

Very efficient, but no mystery.

Then again, I guess it depends what you are looking for.

I have this theory that we learn the first 80% in 20% of the time, but it takes 80% of the time to learn the remaining 20%.

“The final mystery is oneself.” — Oscar Wilde

Having a good personal website could just speed up the process of filtering the people that are not aspiring to the last 20%.

ps. Why am I writing this?.. because 37 is my new record number of posts in a month.

Humans with Guns

A crazy way to measure your ideas.. let’s say you have a big idea that you think could change the world.

Could humans with guns stop the idea?

Would they want to?

Remember kids, Anarchy means “without leaders”; not “without order”.

Quick Update

Just digging for fire..

  • Monday, spinning. Nothing else to report.
  • Tuesday, walked around Lions Head, walked from Clifton 4th to 1st and back, soccer at La Med with Andy and Steff, Camps Bay club for burgers and a few non-alcholic Becks, Baraza.
  • “..don’t you live with two blue collar men, just ask them to fix it?” — About an ADSL line that fell out of a tree. A good way to quickly end a conversation. So much for quam, then again, you will agree this counts as an exception.

  • “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    — Albert Einstein.. something I spotted on a forum

  • SA Blog Awards, hmmm.. scanned the list, could not really find anything to vote for.. at first I thought I bet they have a bunch of muppets as judges again.. but then it turned out I know half of them.. so I can’t really bitch about anything. Good work Chris. Maybe I can be the first daddy blogger next year :-P See you on Friday.
  • Realised I’m more of an explorer and a scout that a hunter / gatherer, if your life is anything like mine, it’s a series of tangents with interludes of clarity and focus.
  • Realised I have 3 years.. then Mia will be in school.
  • Realised I’ll probably need to be nice to Mia’s sister.
  • I figure I kinda like the company of mildly crazy people, helps keep my lateral thinking and complexity reduction skills sharp.
  • Wednesday, gym, swim, scooter shopping, Carly’s Bakery to order cakes for Mia’s birthday, bit early for a meeting so I crused around Stellenbosch.. kinda makes me feel 10yrs younger, Ginos in Stellenbosch for a long Amobia board meeting, had a cazone pizza, only got in bed around 2am, ..when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.
  • “Is sy ‘n tert met ‘n Uno of ‘n tert met ‘n BMW?” — JM, trying to establish somebody’s seniority in a company.

  • “We don’t do Madagascar, Pixar only.” — about a birthday cake.

  • Thursday, pizza for breakfast, Lunch with Lauren K at Mimi’s.. very nice salad, Teraco Launch function at Great Westerford.. very nicely done.
  • Friday, ran from Bakoven to Glen beach, fetched Mia, tea and cupcakes with Nikki on a rainy afternoon at the Daily Deli.. thanks for the Olivia book, she loves it, home cooked dinner with “the family”: The Incredibles. I figure if I cook Mia dinner with yellow, red and green vegetables and she loves it I’m doing well.
  • Turns out the song.. Daughter by Pearl Jam is about dyslexia. Interesting.
  • Had a chat with Gerjo on Saturday. He changed his blog to have a theme.. but I figure that’s what categories and tags are for. Blogs are about authors not topics.. just my view. I realise this theory does not scale and that search engines do not think this way, but..
  • I like the Audi day LED idea, very iRobot, very good marketing idea. BMW must be kicking themselves… but, they should only have used it on the A5/S5, R8.. not A4 and other sedans.
  • Saturday, tea, gym, swim, smoothie, toy shopping at Tinka Tonka, food shopping.. escaped a parking garage fee.. my new hobby, braai at home with the usual suspects, a walk around Bakoven with Mia, Earth Hour candle light catch-up chat with Keith.
  • “Go check the electric fence or something” — Edna, The Incredibles.. I just love Edna.

  • “You sly dog, you got me monologging” — Syndrome, The Incredibles

  • “You would have to find a new hair stylist after something like that” — about things you would not want to have to explain.

  • Sunday, tea, watced Happy Feet.. not bad, had to climb through a window since Mia locked me out, gym, swim, smoothie, Mia’s 3rd birthday party on Little Beta beach with the usual suspects and Dave, Chris and Matt.. good fun, lots of very nice cake.. perfect day.. I think Mia enjoyed it.
  • Children’s parties are a rather interesting logistical challenge.. on a beach even more so. My car looks like a sandpit inside after the party, but oh well.
  • Dave has this idea that he arranges meetings to walk around Lions Head.. good idea.. I updated my contact page.
  • “Geeks don’t interface with API’s they build them” — about MXit’s new open API, I think Joey or J3 came up with this idea

  • Joerg invited me to talk at a Facing the Speakers evening.. Wed 8 April.
  • I seem to have built up a bit of an appetite for destruction after my 5 weeks detox.
  • Word of the week: “ickle”.. Mia often uses it.
  • Tune of the week: Under the bridge, RHCP.

Have a fun week crazy kids.

Teraco Launch Function

Last night Teraco hosted a launch event for its first data centre at Great Westerford for about 200 people. About 100 people went for a data centre tour and about 50 travelled all the way from Joburg for the event. A very nice turnout.

Good cocktails and nice snacks. Interesting to see the media and PR people getting a bit tipsy together (-:



It was really cool seeing everybody that’s been involved in the project over the last two years. Big smiles and optimism all around.. like proud parents. An exciting ride from a simple (big) idea to a well structured business in operation.

Plans for Teraco’s Joburg data centre were on display. Looking good. It’s going to be a three story “green” building. Should be open towards the end of 2009.

I recited a little sales pitch a few times, so I figured I’d write it down.

As I was leaving I thanked the events planning contractor. She commented that Teraco looked like a really promising business and asked if it has any competition. As I drove home I again realised what an awesome running start Teraco really has.

Teraco does not have competition, it’s first to market, by the time the Joburg site is live Teraco should be well established as the leading vendor neutral data centre brand and I don’t see anybody raising R100mil to be number two in this economic climate.

Naturally, I woke up with a smile today.. makes we want to do it again.

The 80/20 Teraco Sales Pitch

Why Teraco? Well, in short..

Let’s say you are hosting in a (non-vendor-neutral) data centre. About 20% of your spending goes towards hosting – 80% goes towards connectivity.

Now, spend the same 20% with Teraco and see how you get more value for the other 80%.

Easily compare pricing from a number of connectivity providers.. or chose 2+ providers.


In the end I figure people will end up spending similar amounts of money but get more value and we’ll see a trend towards dual upstream links, less single points of failure and better interconnectivity.. which is good for the local internet industry as a whole.

ps. I need to credit Tim, this is mostly his logic.

The Cost of a Social Network

Forget for a moment that the new Facebook homepage sucks.

I’ve been thinking, social networks cost money. Well, to grow them costs money. Sure you have a number of school/university friends you can easily add, but after that.. totally new friends usually involve some social event. A drink, a dinner, a party.

Hmm.. what would that average be: R50 per new connection?

Then again, you would be spending that money anyway, at least now you have something to show for all those beers you had.


Two weeks ago I watched a Lark show at Klein Libertas in Stellenbosch. Nice show.

I first saw Lark in Cape Town around 2004 at some Russian theme restaurant (which closed soon after and I can’t remember the name now).

At the time I was a big Moloko fanboy and I liked the idea of a electronic duo from Cape Town. I attended another show in 2006, also at Klein Libertas.. where they performed with Goldfish.

I bought both their albums: “Mouth of Me” and “Razbliuto”.

Something bugged me about the last show. I’ve been trying to figure out why I liked their early music (like the Reflections song) but not the new stuff.

Inge is a good performer with an exceptional voice. They have a good stage presence. All very professional. They have a pretty big following. But.. the new stuff is disjointed.. lacks continuity… it’s like a Russian bohemian Rhapsody for hipsters, a bit too raw.

Compare where they are and where Goldfish are today.. and you realise:
it needs to be a bit more happy, fun and funky kids.

Message from Debby

Was checking out the invite to Mia’s birthday, saw all the other interesting stuff on your site, lost about 30min of my life reading about yours, ended up imdb-ing Rushmore, spent another 5min wondering WHY I’ve never seen this movie when it has so many of my best-liked actors and director, realised I’m so very late for getting to SWest to buy new tyres! Thanks alot! :-P — Debby

Skinny Rabbit Arms Up

Mia often says: “skinny rabbit arms up” when you want to pull a top on/off her. She gets this from her mother.

Turns out the saying comes from a technique to skin a rabbit.. since it’s easy to tear the skin off a rabbit.

I’ve never tried this. Hmm.. rabbit stew (-:

Lots of love for JZ

I’ve been reloading a Facebook group page to see how it grows. About 3500 new people joined since I noticed it a day ago. Impressive. What could get South Africans to be this active?

Our hero in a halfshell: JZ.. I bet I can find 1,000,000 South Africans that dont want JZ to be president

There are 768,380 people in the South Africa network.

83,208 members in the group as I’m writing this.


Let me just remind you that 11% of people in this country pay income tax. Think about that for a moment.