Monthly Archives: June 2011


STOMP. A joint photographic exhibition by Joe Botha and Stu Shapiro

  • Rococo Studio Gallery, 38 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town (CBD)
  • Running from Friday 15 July to 1 August 2011


This body of work explores the rawness of expression and experience in the underground summer festival scene in South Africa; one of the worlds biggest outdoor festival societies in the world. A society in society, where suits and artists strip away their uniforms in the ever growing need for free expression. Photographers, Stu Shapiro and Joe Botha collaborate in this much anticipated exhibition, “almost voyeuristic photography”.


Cape Town born photographer, Stu Shapiro has made people smile, gasp and has touched raw nerves. His persistent eye and camera have caught us humans unaware of where we are and how we act ? and how we
might appear in some moments. At times a sense of almost voyeuristic emotion and truth are accentuated with his unique photographic style and techniques.

With a background in all forms of art, recently returning from the 3D Animation industry in the UK, Shapiro has flooded Cape Town with his photography. He has since been published in various print magazines and a multitude of online platforms. Although most commonly known for his festival photography, Shapiro can also be seen in the studio or be found doing his own more controversial projects.

“As a voyeur of social commentary, Shapiro captures humanity in all of its follies. He frames these revealing moments with quirky precision and presents them in vivid colour and truth, both in and out the studio.” — ODC


Joe’s work explores memories and emotions in social spaces, often captured in environments designed for freedom, anarchy and hedonism. Influences include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton and electronic music subcultures. Joe enjoys portraits, capturing people in lively colour.

Joe is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town. After studying at Stellenbosch University, he co-founded three technology businesses. During office hours Joe is the CEO of a CapeTown technology start-up: The rest of the time he is a Dad and pathological Photographer.

For further information please contact:

Rococo Studio Gallery
38 Buitenkant street, Cape Town CBD

7 tips for Startup Health

I woke up without a stiff neck this morning. Nice feeling. For the last 5 days my one shoulder just did not feel right. Talking to a few friends, it seems at least three of them have had some issue with their back or neck recently, so I figured I’d share some ideas on how to fix or avoid this.

Our lifestyles are stressful. Tech startups are probably not the best environment for your back. Long hours in front of computers and the relentless quest to find product-market fit. Finding product-market fit could take a year or two. This is the primary goal of a startup and you can’t ever really take a break from searching for it.. you keep thinking about it when you drive your car or stand in the shower. Yes, it’s a bit nuts, but you have to make this process sustainable.

7 Tips to keep you happy and productive:

  • Stretch. Every morning. I stretch about three times a day.
  • Take your Vitamins. I take a hand full every morning and a Vitamin B shot every six weeks.
  • Get more exercise. At least 3 * 30min per week. A bit of exercise often helps you think better. An early morning or sunset walk is a good idea. Go for a run. Go for a swim. If you can’t spend much time in gym just do a few back and lower back exercises.
  • Get a cheap Heart Rate monitor. Good to know your heart rate when jogging. I stick to around 160bpm. I upload my heart rate data to my health insurance company. They require 30min sessions above a certain heart rate. It’s a game, but it works.
  • Measure your health. I check my blood pressure once a week. It’s often on the healthy limit (120/80). I measure my blood glucose, iron and cholesterol once every 6 weeks. Not that the figures really change but I know the tests are in my calendar so it motivates me to have a few weeks of healthy living.
  • Watch what you eat. You don’t want to be clawing your way back from more than 20% body fat. It’s just easier to stay in a healthy range.
  • Go for massages. I go for about one a month. I used to think this was lame, but sometimes it really works wonders.

I hope these ideas help a few people.

The good news is that I strongly suspect we have found product market fit for our startup recently. Have a look at TrustFabric Connect.

Good luck with your project. Feel free to add comments with your startup survival tips.

Quick Update

We’re on our way to summer again kids…

  • Signed up for TrustFabric Connect yet?, please do so now:
  • Monday, TrustFabric founders meeting, watched Rock ‘n Rolla again.
  • Tuesday, meeting in Stellenbosch with Gerhard, long overdue car wash, sunset walk to Clifton 1st.
  • Wednesday, afternoon at Wembley, chai tea with Frances at Crush, some creative writing, gym, watched Thank you for Smoking again.. very good.
  • “If you can’t generate traction, do you really want to raise money?” — Venturehacks

  • Thursday, typed up a press release, gym, Thai massage at Enmasse, TrustFabric meeting, I was on the Bruce Whitfield show – 702 / 567 Cape Talk – talking about Cloud Computing… I think this was my third time on radio, watched Scoop.. pretty good.
  • Stating the obvious, but not getting enough exercise is bad for me.. it get stiff and grumpy.
  • Friday, meeting on the Green Sofa, lunch with Naulene and family at Lourensford, a walk around Radlof park, pancakes for supper.
  • It’s my birthday soon. Need to plan something.
  • Saturday, woke up in Somerset West, had porridge, drove to Cape Town, gym, swimming lessons, pizza at Knead, shopping at the Waterfront, got a Leapfrog Tag Interactive World Map, Tangled and Tinkerbell books, sunset Beta Beach photography walk, Dim Sum for supper, Mia watched Matilda again.
  • Sunday, grapefruit, Matilda, raw chocolate green smoothie, gym, swim, braai at home with Lauren, Marco, Aiden and Georg, watched Iron Man 2 again.
  • My first braai broodjie in at least 6 months.
  • Two Elon Musk movies this week.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Time Machine backup with rsync

I’ve been using Apple’s Time Machine for backups over the last year. Last week it started annoying me by wanting to backup the same 300GB of data a few hours after it did a full backup. Not fun. I also don’t need a full machine backup and I don’t like things doing “magic”. I want a log and I want to be sure my files are safe.

So, back to using rsync. I found this article useful.

Here is my script:


#incremental backup to USB disk

date=`date “+%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S”`

rsync -aPxWSvv \
–delete \
–delete-excluded \
–exclude-from /Users/joe/backup.excludes \
–link-dest=/Volumes/JoeBackup/Backups/Ripley/current \
/Users/joe \
/Volumes/JoeBackup/Backups/Ripley/incomplete-$date \
&& cd /Volumes/JoeBackup/Backups/Ripley \
&& mv incomplete-$date $date \
&& rm -f current \
&& ln -s $date current

backup.excludes looks like this:


Quick Update

Hooah. (From Black Hawk Down)

  • Monday, some blogging, gym, salad on the green sofa, I made pasta for Andrew and Georg.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever had the (lack of) muscle tone to be a Cape Town Hipster. Bummer.
  • Tuesday, wrote a press release, Thai massage at Enmasse.. to restore my Jedi powers, sent off the press release, gym, Neo, Mouille Point sunset photography walk, visited Green Point Park, Skype meeting, watched The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard with Georg.. funny.
  • I seem to be in tourist mode lately.. been using pretty much only my wide angle lens.
  • Wednesday, early drive to be at Mia’s Father’s Day school concert… with my camera.. more full HD video, worked a bit at Naulene’s house, lunch at Jenna Viva, fetched Mia from school, tea at Postcard Cafe and wine tasting at Stark-Conde – Jonkershoek, a walk with Naulene in the woods above Somerset College, drove to back to Cape Town, watched Valkyrie with Georg.. not bad.
  • Remember: safe bets don’t make us happy.
  • Thursday, Youth Day (public holiday), new backup scheme.. dumped Time Machine… back to rsync, sushi at Beluga with Keith and Georg, sunset photography session around Bakoven, DJ Georg played some tunes, a beer at Van Hunks with Etienne and Lea.
  • Friday, fetched Mia, lunch with Naulene at Manuka, Orms visit.. got a Canon S95 compact camera, sunset beach walk with Mia, bath, read, sleep.
  • The S95 is pretty cool: f/2.0, shoots RAW and 720p video.
  • “You enemies are your greatest teachers.” — 14th Dalai Lama

  • Satruday, Princess Diaries, arts and crafts, gym, swimming lessons, pizza at Knead, Noon Gun visit, Bo-Kaap spice shop visit, Three Anchor Bay play area, sunset walk, Beta Beach play area, watched the rugby, bath, read, sleep.
  • Mia seems to be loving the fruit slicing Samurai game on her iPad.
  • Sunday, arts, crafts and iPad games, Father’s day lunch at Shannon’s in Rondebosch, Mia went home with Naulene, watched Robin Hood… not bad.
  • Bit of a Father’s day revelation: easier being a dad than having one.
  • Tune of the week: Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man
  • … check out their other songs.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Canon S95 Review

A 5min review…

I figured I needed a new compact camera. The Canon S95 looked like the best option. Here are some notes on the first weekend of shooting:

  • Nice user interface. I like the front wheel setting. Nice size. Compact and light.
  • f/2.0 – Pretty cool. Would be nice to go SCUBA diving with.
  • 28 – 105mm zoom.. at full zoom it goes f/5.6
  • 1280×720 HD video. – probably the best video you want to shoot on a compact anyway.
  • Only 10MP.. but I don’t mind, I can use the saving in storage. About 3MB for a jpg. About 10MB for RAW.
  • You can shoot RAW, but only in the custom modes, which is a bit weird, it goes JPEG in all the auto modes.
  • Seems to have a nice low-light mode.. 12800 ISO at 1600×1200 (only). Needs some more testing.
  • I like the the tilt and shift feature (miniaturised look)… it does both still and video.
  • It does HDR… on an tripod (best of three bracketed images).
  • Nice to be able to force the flash to fire.

Sorry kids, that’s it for now. It’s much better than the Canon PowerShot D10 I had for the last two years or so.. but it obviously does not come close to the Canon 5D mkII (my real baby).

Best compact I’ve seen so far. Have fun.

Quick Update

Happy winter hibernation…

  • Monday, woke up in Montagu, drove bock to Somerset West, dropped off Mia and family, back to Cape Town, sunset run.
  • Tuesday, we polished the first TrustFabric Connect release, I presented a talk on privacy and VRM at Heavy Chef, we launched TrustFabric Connect Beta 1.0.
  • TrustFabric Connect is what you would call a pivot.. I think the best pivot is a re-focus. You probably have to pivot at least once to earn your stripes as a tech startup entrepreneur.
  • Remember: nobody knows anything.
  • Wednesday, hot chocolate with Lee at Knead, another hot chocolate with Chris at Field Office, smoothie at Crush, spinning class, Chateaubriand steak at Hussar grill Camps Bay with Georg, DJ Georg played some tunes.
  • Thursday, work, a wrap at Kauai, SiliconCape Thirsty Thursdays at Alba Lounge V&A.
  • Friday, meeting in Stellenbosch, fetched Mia from school, lunch at Naulene’s house, Iona Chardonnay and a few Cosmo’s with Nikki at Il Leone in De Waterkant.
  • Mia has discovered the game features of her Leapfrog Tag books.
  • I suspect I have my Rushmore back. Well, almost.
  • Saturday, grapefruit, rice milk hot chocolate, raw smoothie, swimming lessons, watched Kung Fu Panda 2 at V&A.. good movie, we got Mia an iPad1 -15% vitality discount = R2800, watched the rugby, bath, read, sleep.
  • “I threw up a little bit on the third floor. Someone might want to clean that up. Is there some sort of evil janitor?” — Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Sunday, grapefruit, hot chocolate, arts and crafts, screen calibration, put ~6000 photos on Mia’s iPad, lunch, chardonnay and ice cream at Deer Park with Georg, lightsaber battle, Little Beta Beach session, Mia took a swim in her wetsuit.. I had a beer, we bumped into Pierre on the beach, Naulene fetched Mia, DJ Georg played some tunes.. I had soup and a glass of Saronsberg Provenance red.
  • Seems my Facebook friends number has a natural decay rate of about 2 per week.
  • I gained about 40 Twitter followers this week.
  • I was featured in a Sunday Times article about Super Geeks.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

NuMetro Muppets

Dear NuMetro Muppets

My daughter and I visited the NuMetro at the Waterfront this weekend. Your self-help kiosk user experience is uber lame. The rest is an email I sent to the manager of the branch:

Things to fix..

  • It should allow me to select a child movie ticket, yes, I get that people can game this but you need to come up with a solution. Surely the person at the door should be checking the tickets.
  • It should detect if it can’t talk to the credit card gateways and show that it’s offline.
  • If it can’t talk to the credit card gateway it should fail with “error” not “declined”.
  • Screensaver goes on while it’s busy processing transactions.
  • You probably want to sort the list of movies to exclude once-off shows, I have to scroll through 20 art movies to buy a usual movie ticket.
  • You probably want to print something if a transaction fails so the person has proof of the failed transaction.

This is not rocket science. Twice I’ve had a really bad experience using your self help kiosks. This is 2011, not 1996.

Quick Update

Getting a bit lazy with the notes.. or maybe I’m just busy at the moment.

  • Monday, drove all the way to space ship Canal Walk to buy a new Macbook Pro i5.
  • Tuesday, design session with Mike, sunset jog.
  • Wednesday, lunch with Rob, Telkom installed a new ADSL line, Orms visit, laptop bag shopping.. mildly depressing, sunset jog.
  • Thursday, design session with Mike, fetched a photo print at Orms, Jonathan visit, Lions Head walk.
  • I might be overdoing the soup and red wine suppers a bit lately.
  • Friday, tea with Tim at Melissas in Constantia, fetched Mia from school, installed a photo processing workstation for Naulene.. and a games/movie system for Mia, Aiden visit, Stellenbosch visit, early supper at Manuka, drove back to Cape Town, Mia went to bed early, watched some rugby and Simpsons with Georg.
  • Saturday, family day, fetched Naulene+2, drove to Robertson, oysters and bubbly at Graham Beck, drove to Avalon Springs (hot springs), indoor pool, pizza for supper.
  • Sunday, family day, woke up in Montagu, jumping castle at Zandfliet, pancakes at Excelsior, more hot springs swimming, fish and chips for supper.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.