Category Archives: Rants

Quick Update

Simplicate and add lightness…

  • Week of 25 November to 1 December.
  • This post is late.
  • Monday, tea, last school run for primary school years, gym, sauna, work, attended an ISPA telecon – because I’m an ISPA Fellow now and I was interested in the WOAN topic, nap, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • It’s been an antihistamine kinda week.
  • Tuesday, work, walked to the office, dev meeting, nap, sunset promenade walk – without podcasts – shock horror, braai with Wouter.
  • I realised that we’re going to have to watch Star Wars Ep I to VIII again before IX in December. Important business.
  • Wednesday, work, Strolla, game steaks at Hussar, nap, sunset podcast promenade walk, brain food at Mojo Market, in bed early.
  • I remember getting an Intel 100Mbps network card around 1997. Now 100Gbps seems to be the new standard.
  • Thursday, work, gym, walk, work, sunset walk, catch up with Wouter, random tinkering.
  • “Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.” — JP

  • Is there such a thing as too much freedom?
  • Friday, tea, work, website tinkering, lunch at Rockpool, catch up with Giles, nap, random tinkering, watched Terminator Salvation again.
  • Saturday, Lily’s – tech startup chats Adrian, a Hoegaanden at La Vie with Wouter and Adrian, Cape Town festival of beer, braai with Wouter, Al and Adrian, Stephan Bodzin @ Piz Gloria for Cercle video – good use of a 4k TV.
  • My desktop Instagram app stopped working for a while, in case you follow that feed.
  • Sunday, braai at Anton’s, pet and house sitting in Bakoven, time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

The world is at peak bullshit…

  • Week of 18-24 November.
  • Monday, work, walked to the office, dev catch up, nap, sunset promenade walk.
  • Tuesday, work, gym, sauna, mini nap, work, promenade walk – spotted a cute Vizsla.
  • Backups are useful.
  • Wednesday, work, Strolla, realised I should drink less coffee, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • Grand Master level cat herding: when every service on a fibre network matches the details in the billing system after 5 years of installing services with 32k+ services active.
  • Thursday, gym, office, cross connect migration, hopefully the last one I have to do for a while, meeting, mediation session, board game night and mexican food at Pierre’s with Stefan and Cinthia, good fun.
  • Friday, work, fetched Mia from school, braai at Dirk’s, time well spent.
  • Saturday, tea, conveyor belt sushi with Mia, watched Ford vs Ferarri at the 2D IMAX with Jacques – epic movie, go watch it, braai, time well spent.
  • Sunday, family brunch at Jacques’, Builders Warehouse visit, we dropped Jacques off at the airport, sunset promenade walk with Mia, device upgrades and backups.
  • Watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s speech about social media platforms. Good speech. No easy answers. Here is my take: I think you should be able to write and (self) publish pretty much anything you like on the web. But when it comes to the distribution of the content, via social media platforms, involving algorithms that select who sees what, there should be much more responsibility, even if it’s expensive to implement. Bring back blogging and RSS. Re-decentralise the internet.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

AfricaCom week, annual telecoms nerd gathering…

  • Week of 11-17 November.
  • Health week… well, not a health week. Conference snacks and beer.
  • Monday, school run, gym, sauna, visited Mia’s school, work, open networking workshop at Victoria Junction hotel, walked home, micro nap, prom walk, upgraded some VMs to Debian 10.
  • Tuesday, work, lunch with Paul at Smak in Bree street, meeting at Firemans, FTTH Council meeting at The Cullinan, Tigers Milk happy hour, rooftop cocktails at the Grand Daddy Hotel, La Vie with Georg, upgraded more VMs.
  • Bumped into Yassin at the rooftop party, he had a funny comment about Frogfoot’s tag line changing from “Built and Managed with Attention to Detail” to “Just Connect”.
  • Wednesday, 2 hour mediation session, Israel trade mission telco startups afternoon at Zevenwacht, braai with Wouter and Zander.
  • Thursday, walked to The Radission, my 2nd ZAPF event (2/4), general telecoms nerding, nap, Cowboys and Cooks restaurant launch party in De Waterkant with Paul.
  • “You might never touch perfection, but it’s the reach that matters.”

  • Friday, office, dev meeting, lunch with Paul at Mozambik, Den Anker with Adrian, a Hoegaarden at La Vie, catch up with Al, watched that Stephan Bodzin Cercle video again.
  • Fairly social week, added 10 FB friends.
  • Saturday, catch up with Nick, lunch at the German Deli in the Gardens Centre, walked down Kloof street and had a beer at Hudsons, Waterfront, watched Motherless Brooklyn – good movie – go watch it, a glass of wine at Chris’ in Clifton.
  • I’ve been using the Maps app for macOS. Pretty cool. Avoiding Google.
  • Sunday, lazy morning, Debian 10.2 upgrades, big round of offsite backups, gym, extended sunset podcast promenade walk, random reading and tinkering.
  • Tune of the week: Vampire Weekend, Harmony Hall

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Campari, Cheese, Chardonnay…

Sea Point
  • Week of 4-10 November.
  • Health week 5/8. Paleo week.
  • Monday, work, Harbour House, watched Terminator: Dark Fate at the Waterfront – not bad, podcast promenade walk, saganaki salad at Mykonos Taverna, finished watching War Dogs.
  • Tuesday, up early, work, office, dev catch up, some general fire fighting, after work catch up with Faizel at the Mojo Market, sunset podcast promenade walk, worked at La Vie – upgraded a server.
  • Wednesday, up early, work, installed apt-cacher-ng, Strolla, game steak kebab at Hussar – epic meal, rainy afternoon epic nap, catch up with Anton over a bottle of La Motte red, time well spent.
  • Thursday, work, gym, sauna, mediation session, 1890 sushi, sunset podcast promenade walk, catch up with Wouter.
  • Completed a year long Octotel project this week.
  • Attraction. Compatibility. Love. Choose two.
  • Friday, work, brunch, barber shop visit, Campari and Carpaccio catch up with Dirk at Morgenster, fetched Mia from school, Waterfront, book shop, L’Occitane, braai, time well spent.
  • Saturday, random tinkering, Dalewood Fromage cheese tasting, lunch at Glen Carlou with Mia and some nice Chardonnay, nap, Mia and I took a sunset promenade walk to the Mojo Market, brain food, reading.
  • It’s tricky to keep an optimistic mindset in SA these days, needs some real effort.
  • Quasar: Create an App for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows in 30minutes
  • Sunday, brunch with Mia at Coco Safar, backups, a walk around the Lifestyle centre, afternoon tea at Manna, flaneuring sunset walk to the Waterfront with Mia, lupper at the market.
  • Brunch and lupper, most important meals of the day.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Moar fasting, bone broth and the RWC final…

Camps Bay
  • Week of 28 October to 3 November.
  • Fasting week 2/3. Health week 4/8.
  • Quick Update number 600.
  • Monday, work, gym, sauna, Wellness Warehouse visit to get some bone broth, dentist, office, extended rainy weather nap, random tinkering.
  • Tuesday, tea, mobility routine, office, dev catch up, lunchtime walk, walked to the Waterfront, watched the new Woody Allen movie – Rainy Day in New York.
  • Derek Sivers podcast
  • Wednesday, work, gym, swim, sauna, Strolla, office, sunset walk, blogging, upgraded a server, watched Captain Fantastic – interesting movie – worth a watch.
  • Thursday, early morning walk, bone broth, mobility routine, work, fasting lunchtime podcast walk, some website tweaking, sunset podcast promenade walk, watched Anna of Luc Basson fame – good movie.
  • Played with Rpi4 4GB this week, pretty cool.
  • Friday, work, bone broth, gym, swim, sauna, a breakfast late lunch with Georg at Hemelhuis – first meal of the week, Camps Bay Retreat, Clifton 1st sunset.
  • I seem to drop about 800g in weight per fasting day. I lost 7kg in October.
  • Saturday, made an omelette, watched the Rugby World Cup Final at Stefan’s with Pierre and Stefan, braai, time well spent.
  • Sunday, stomach bug of sorts – was pretty useless, watched War Dogs again.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Water, salts, black tea, saunas…

Sea Point
  • Week of 21-27 October.
  • Fasting week 1/3. I figure I’m going to do 3 x 5 day fasts in a row. Paleo over weekends, no food in the week. 10kg fat loss plan.
  • Monday, gym, office, dev catch up, sunset podcast promenade walk, watched What We Started on Netflix – good movie.
  • Tuesday, black tea, mobility routine, work, backups, lunchtime walk, a water with Georg at La Vie, upgraded a Linode, sunset podcast promenade walk, in bed early.
  • I figured I would stick some details of my recent Debian Tweaks post up on GitLab.
  • Wednesday, office, sunset podcast promenade walk, in bed early.
  • Thursday, up early, work, gym, swim, sauna, work, catch up with Nick.
  • Friday, office, fetched Mia from school, late lunch at Vergelegen – first meal of the week, I talked to Mia about her communication habits, she left – I guess we’re into the teenage years now, I went to go braai with Jacques.
  • The 4 permutations of relationships: win-win, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose.
  • Saturday, kids party, Joostenberg deli – spectacular omelette (after not eating for a week), watched the rugby, paintball shop visit, watched Joker at IMAX 2D with Jacques, braai again with a vodka soda with limes from Jacques’ tree.
  • 2D IMAX is much better than 3D IMAX.
  • Joker was lame.
  • Sunday, I made a big Spanish style omelette, we watched the SA vs Wales rugby at Rossouw’s, dinner with Wouter and Rene.
  • Most important thing. Adventure.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update


  • Week of 14-20 October.
  • Monday, school run, work, gym, swim, sauna, work, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • My podcast app now reports 60 days of listening.
  • Tuesday, tea, mobility routine, office, dev catch up, breakfast for lunch at Knead, catch up with Nick, 5 hour roast for dinner at Georg’s, we watched Paul – entertaining movie.
  • Most big companies last 30 years. Most family fortunes last 3 generations.
  • Wednesday, up early, gym, swim, sauna, Strolla lunch, office, nap, dinner at I Love The Dough – which was lame and very noisy, Van Hunks with Pierre, Stefan, Stefan, Al and Adrian.
  • I won a R1000 voucher from Den Anker via Instagram (-:
  • Thursday, mobility routine, office, dev meeting, breakfast for lunch, Mojo Market, loadshedding fun at the office, Van Hunks with Georg, Anton, Al and Chris, burger in a bowl with Georg at Da Vinci’s.
  • Octotel passed the 30k live services mark this week. Close to 50 ISPs on the network now.
  • Friday, work, gym, swim, sauna, Waterfront meeting, a Hoegaarden at La Vie with Adrian, loadshedding braai with Wouter and Adrian, time well spent.
  • “Not everything can be taught, but everything can be learnt.” — Naval

  • Saturday, watched the rugby at Stefan’s followed by a braai.
  • Sunday, pastrami and sauerkraut brunch with Wouter at the new Kleinsky’s, watched the SA vs Japan game at La Vie with a Hoegaarden, had to reconfigure the home wifi and migrate to a different controller, sunset podcast promenade walk, backups, watched a Netflix show about Bill Gates while blogging.
  • Podcast queue zero. I listened to the Naval mega-episode and the Anything You Want audio book for the 5th time.
  • Tune of the week: The Black Keys – Breaking Down

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Adventure games, mobility routines and green smoothies…

Three Anchor Bay
  • Week of 7-13 October.
  • Health week 1/8. Keto week.
  • No coffee this week, which I think makes me more productive.
  • Monday, tea, mobility routine, work, gym, swim, sauna, keto brunch – omelette with broccoli and sauerkraut, took a walk to the Watefront, haircut at the barber shop, watched Ad Astra – good movie – all about staying calm.
  • Tuesday, tea, mobility routine, green smoothie, office, dev catch up, had to rebuild a web server VM – physical host died, left the office fairly late.
  • Wrote a blog post with some notes on Debian 10 Server Tweaks.
  • Err on the side of action
  • Wednesday, tea, work, gym, swim, sauna, omelette and sauerkraut lunch, meeting, fetched Jacques, early supper at Lourensford, we watched Mia’s school play – good fun, many hours invested in rehearsing.
  • Thursday, tea, work, mobility routine, green smoothie, BIA machine visit, office, braai with Wouter, Barry and Chris – with some Saronsberg Shiraz for mindful drinking, in bed early.
  • Friday, gym, work, fetched Mia, we went for an olive oil tasting at Morgenster, braai at Jacques’.
  • Saturday, brunch at Jacques’ with organic eggs from his 3 hens, a visit to Pearl Valley, late lunch at La Motte, sunset promenade walk.
  • Sunday, tea, device upgrades and backups, brunch with Mia, green smoothies, Mia finished Sam and Max before macOS 10.15 64bit-only upgrade – so long 32bit adventure games – 30 years of good memories, nap, braai with Mia, Wouter and Zander.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Debian 10 Server Tweaks

Basic Debian system customisation and some WordPress related items.


Evolution of the Ubuntu 16.04 Server Tweaks post.

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.

Basic Package Upgrades

apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade && apt-get clean


apt-get install jed
nano /etc/jed.d/
No_Backups = 1;


dpkg-reconfigure locales
Set default to en_GB
Remember to keep en_US.UTF8


Edit /etc/hostname and add a hostname
Edit /etc/hosts and add a hostname for the server
Run hostname -F /etc/hostname


ssh-keygen -t ed25519
ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ -p 2211 user@host

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


apt-get install mosh


apt-get install postfix
Edit /etc/mailname
Edit /etc/aliases

Make root go to an address you read


Unattended Upgrades / Security Updates

apt-get install unattended-upgrades

Unattended-Upgrade::Mail “root”;

dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades

APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists “1”;
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade “1”;
APT::Periodic::Download-Upgradeable-Packages “1”;
APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval “7”;

sudo apt install apticron



apt-get install zsh git

Install oh-my-zsh with curl

Use this .zshrc config file to get started if you like.

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

Change prompt colours like so:
base_prompt, play with integer values to change colours

Apache HTTP2

apt-get install apache2
a2enmod http2
a2enmod ssl
a2enmod rewrite
service apache2 restart

Add this to your vhosts:
Protocols h2 http/1.1

Check your logs when you start apache, you might have to switch to mpm_event for HTTP2 to work.


apt-get install mariadb-server
apt-get install libapache2-mod-php
apt-get install php7.3-mysql php7.3-curl

Let’s Encrypt

apt-get install letsencrypt
letsencrypt certonly –standalone -d -d


Installing WordPress

Create DB

Backup script

WordPress backup script, which keeps daily, weekly and monthly backups of website files and database dumps.

You probably want a similar script to backup /etc and /root.

Quick Update

Board games night, oxtail and Black Keys…

Three Anchor Bay
  • Week of 30 Sept to 6 Oct.
  • This post is not late.
  • Monday, woke up in Sea Point for a change, walked to the office, dev catch up, sunset podcast promenade walk, watched Annihilation – very good.
  • I’ve developed a liking for rice cakes with cream cheese and avo.
  • Tuesday, work, gym, work, some fun and games with iOS 13 contacts syncing, oxtail dinner at Hugo and Dennis’ with Georg.
  • If your contacts don’t sync well after iOS 13 upgrade using iTunes – I had a bunch of duplicates – there is a setting in iTunes where you can replace all contacts on the phone. Make a backup of your macOS contacts before you upgrade to iOS 13.
  • Wednesday, work, meeting at the Winchester, meeting at Strolla, nap, Van Hunks with Johannes, Pierre, Stefan, Anton and Hanrick.
  • Thursday, office, dev catchup, breakfast for lunch at Knead, watched World War Z again, board game night at Pierre’s with Stefan and Cinthia – we played Carcassonne – nerdy, but good fun, tasted some very interesting Swartland wines, time well spent.
  • The Black Keys JRE interview was pretty cool.
  • It’s been a week of introspection, pondering what I should do next year. Purpose and existential stuff.
  • Friday, work, backups, watched the SA vs Italy rugby with Paul at La Vie with some Hoegaarden and fresh lime, took a podcast walk to the edge of the Waterfront, Den Anker, dinner at Panama Jack’s with Adrian – good meal, a night cap at La Vie.
  • Saturday, early morning promenade walk, gym, swim, sauna, braai at Nick’s, epic nap, watched Mission to Mars again – not bad for 20 year old sci-fi.
  • Sauna for at least 20min at a time.
  • Sunday, gym, random tinkering and reading, long promenade walk, nap, caught up on some blogging, watched Life Aquatic again – love that movie – and Jeff Goldblum.
  • “Son of a bitch, I’m sick of these dolphins.” — Steve

  • How many adventures do you have left?
  • Tunes of the week: The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines, many great songs, but I really like this one. Check out the new-ish album: Let’s Rock.
  • This was a bit of a slow photo week – had to top up with some earlier photos.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Dog sitting, school holidays and braaiing…

  • Week of 23-29 September.
  • This post is also late.
  • Monday, Wolfkop, early Braai-day next to the river.
  • Tuesday, public holiday, packing, brunch at Hebron on the way back with Paul and Wouter, dog sitting in Bakoven, Braai-day braai, watched Fantastic Mr Fox and Igby Goes Down again with Paul, great movies – time well spent.
  • “Contracts. See, families should be run like companies, with everybody’s responsibilities clearly defined. Children at the age of reason should be provided with legal representation and a contract drawn up. All the best relationships are based on contracts. Bunny and I have a contract. Now that you’re gonna come work for me, we’re going to have one. That piece of paper, Igby, is your clean slate.” — D.H., Igby Goes Down

  • Blondi, the Great Dane – is pretty big now – her food comes in 20kg bags.
  • Wednesday, caught up on email, fetched Mia, 3rd braai day with Paul and Mia, nap, Mia and I took the dogs for a sunset walk on Camps Bay beach, watched Event Horizon on Netflix – it was pretty much as lame as I remembered it to be.
  • Thursday, fed the pets, braai meat for breakfast, work, nap, we took the dogs for a sunset walk on Clifton 1st beach, burgers on the braai, we watched Dark Shadows – which was very entertaining, time well spent.
  • Friday, up early, took the dogs for a Beta Beach walk, Mia made us breakfast, Sea Point visit, braai with Pierre, Stefan, Wouter and Etienne.
  • Saturday, watched Ghostbusters again, braai with Jacques and family.
  • Sunday, wet and windy, conveyor belt sushi with Mia, dropped Mia off at her gran’s, watched Wild Wild Country on Netflix while cooking a roast chicken and veggies.
  • Tune of the week: Here Comes My Baby – Cat Stevens

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Wolfchops, Golden T-shirts, Elgin Chardonnays…

  • Week of 16-22 Sept.
  • This post is very late, I was out of town for a few days and I’ve been a bit busy, plotting something.
  • Monday, school run, gym, sauna, work, lunch at La Vie, nap, work, nap, good catch up with Anton at Van Hunks.
  • Most annoying music it the world: VA Grid area.
  • Tuesday, office, dev catch up, Sababa lunch, sunset podcast promenade walk.
  • “Cheers. To our daughters.” — Dan Aykroyd.

  • Wednesday, up before 05:00, moved an ISP to 20Gbps NNI, gym, office, catch up with Eugene at Bootleggers, braai with Wouter.
  • I thought I took a Disprin before bed (following red wine with the braai)… but it was Modafinil. Woke up at 4am feeling very refreshed. I kinda remember thinking the packaging was a bit harder to get open and took a bit long to dissolve. Did not seem to stop me from sleeping though.
  • Thursday, work, kimchi and eggs, gym, nap, Elgin Chardonnay tasting in Bree stree with Paul – good fun, iOS 13 upgrade – dark mode is rad.
  • Friday, work, interesting telecon, packing, road trip to Citrusdal with Paul.
  • Saturday and Sunday, Wolfkop, great fun, as always, time well spent.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.