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Computer says no…

Having worked in the IT industry or IT related industry since ’99, I have a few funny stories I can tell. This is by no means a knock at non technical people, or people who are not too “clued” up when it comes to knowing the in’s and outs of computing. It’s more of a look at how we as the techies see things and how funnny non technical people can be and the things they do.

Working at Incredible Corruption in ’99 as a floor sales rep…yep I was also one of the annoying vultures! “Can I help you?” Anyway guy walks in the store one day, straight to the point , “I want that laptop!” Quickest 17k sale ever, this guy clearly knew what he wanted. I was just the lucky guy to help him out. He was gone in a matter of minutes. The next day my manager calls me to his office, says he has a irate customer on the phone, saying I sold him a faulty laptop. The DVD-ROM is not working. He refuses to come back to the store, and has already called the group CEO, who is saying, we need to do what it takes. So I hopped in my car drove to the guys house in some larny estate in Bryanston. As I walk in this toppie starts throwing his toys about how I wasted his time and he feels like charging me for it. I sat down at his desk opened the DVD tray, clipped in a disc and proceeded to read info off the disc…it was working. Before I could say the drive is fine, he burst out “What did you do?” “Just do that again?!”, so I unclipped the disc and then clipped it in again…”Oh ok…” sounding very embarrassed, “Um, I was not clipping the disc in…”! LOL! Next thing I know I am getting offered a drink and thanks for coming out to his house to fix his problem.

Later on I worked as an on call technician for SOHO companies. I am sure many of you have heard the story where the techie always asks the user “Is the device plugged in?” Well, got a call one day, clients complaining PC won’t connect to the network. I tried all the usual things, like asking if it was plugged in, but still could not get it to work so I had to head out to their offices. Our offices where in Randburg, client was in Alberton, a good 45km drive, which takes a while in the traffic.  Get to the office, confirm the machine is not connecting to the network. So I check the network cable, it is plugged into the machine, and as I trace it back to the wall mount socket…well lets just say the client was not impressed they where getting billed for me coming out to plug a network cable into a wall mount box.

We kept getting a call from one of our clients on a Monday morning. “Everything is off!” Off one of us would go and every time we got there we would have to boot up all the servers. This continued for a few weeks, every Monday morning. Eventually our manager said, get there as soon as possible so we can see what the story is and why this keeps on happening. So one of the guys went out too found out exactly what was going on… He got to the office, at like 6:30am or something and went into the server room, which was really just a room in the office, everything was fine. He just waited…at about 7 one of the cleaning ladies would come in, with her extension cord, unplug the server rack from the wall, plug in the vacuum cleaner and proceed to vacuum that part of the office. The ups really just being big enough to provide shut down time hardly lasted long before the battery died. When the lady was finished doing her cleaning she just unplugged the extension cord and plug the rack in again but the UPS was not off. So after a bit of training for the cleaning lady it never happened again.

I got a call from a lady one day, completely stressed out… She had deleted a very important document she had not finished off yet and she did not have the time to redo the whole thing. So after going through the whole process of trying the recycle bin, temp files etc. I came to the conclusion that it had been deleted properly and short of data recovery we where not going to get it back, yet felt I should just stop by and try and help the poor lady. On my way there she called me again…she has a way to get it back but is not sure how to do it…so when I asked her to explain, she said to me “If I set the time back on my laptop to before I deleted the file, surely it will be back in it’s place??” Ummm…need I say more!

This same lady phoned me a while later. Oops she had sent an email that she should not have sent. For reasons I am not sure! She was unable to recall the message due to server limitations etc. Is there a way to stop it from going out. I explained to her unfortunately once it been sent it had been sent nothing we can do! She then asks me, “Please set the time on our server back so that it won’t get sent!” My boss hearing this over the phone, shouted out of his office, “Tell her for the last time that time travel is not possible!”

More recently, as in almost a year ago, at the company I am working for now. One of the engineers calls me, “Can’t get onto the network!” So off I go, after almost instantly I notice the network cable’s connector plug is broken, the little clip that pushed the plug down onto the connectors is broken, the plug is not making proper contact hence him not being able to get connected to our network. So I get him another patch  cable, climb on the floor,  plug it in, and everything is working. All is fine. “That was easy enough!” I think to myself! The very next day he calls me again, “Same thing as yesterday can’t get on the network!” I get there and same story, as before, so I think thats just bad luck and replace the cable again and all is fine in this users world. Well after he called me the next day, I asked him, what was going on, why does the plug keeps breaking. “It’s too much of a mission to struggle to clip it into the laptop in the mornings, and when I leave in the afternoon, so by breaking the clippy off it makes it much easier!” So I explained very nicely to him he is not to break the clippy thing off otherwise it won’t work.

Last but not least of one of my uses stories. CEO gives me a call, “My GPS is broken, please help!” Get to his office and seems as if his GPS got attacked by something that did not agree with it’s directions! Turns out his dog got hold of it…how did that happen? Only he would know!

I have loads more stories I could tell, and probably will post more in the future again, you might not think anything of these but I am sure there are a few out there that may get smile or a “I know exactly what you mean…” from this!

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The last time I cycled properly was last year January for the PnP Fast one. I was in a hectic car accident in February last year, was out of action for just under a year, before I managed to get on the trainer and do some stationary cycling.

Those of you that have done any cycling at all would probably agree with me that cycling on a trainer must be the most boring and frustrating thing ever, all that pedalling and effort to go nowhere…so I lost interest in that very quickly, and the bike just stayed on the trainer in my flat, looking all forlorn and lonely, collecting dust.

My cycling buddy convinced me to join him at Kyalami, for a few laps around the track, no cars or traffic to worry about. Not the best first ride one needs though, it’s a very difficult race track in my opinion. Anyway I joined a few times for a few laps but I somehow in a non cycling related incident injured my arm, and once again I left the cycling alone for a while.

On Friday as I walked past the Goblin (Yes I named my MTB!), still on the trainer, I looked at it…thought to myself “Screw it! It’s time for a ride again!”

Got all my lycra ready, (Yes I wear lycra!).  Made sure I set my alarm for nice and early to make sure I don’t ride when it’s too hot. That was it ready to go. I was nervous and excited at the same time, not sure of what to expect of myself or the fact that maybe I would not be able to cycle ‘properly’ any more because of the injuries I had?

Hit the road at 6:30am, not without a glitch though, I forgot about the most important accessory in cycling… my helmet…’dumbass’! Had to find out where I put it away…which cost me about 20mins…lol!

I was pretty nervous being back on the Goblin again. Not sure how I would handle it… nervous I fall or half way into the ride I can’t go on, how I would handle traffic, my mind tends to run away with me in situations like that. Yet it all went well!

The first 10km’s were a breeze, me not realising it was downhill and that I would need to turn around and go back up the hill at some point….hehehehe! I eventually did make the turn around and start the cycle back home, on a different route to try make it more interesting. That is when I realised how unfit I was… the cycle home was 1 and 1/2 times longer than the ride to the turn point. But I eventually did make it, and by eventually I really mean that.

Overs 2 hours to ride 25km’s, avg speed of about 12,5km/h, rate heart through the roof! Legs burning, arms aching, lungs pumping…I was cycling 500m to 1km then taking a rest, then another 500m – 1km then a rest…but I made it in the end! No major problems!

When I got in I was exhausted, but also so happy and proud of myself! Not bad for someone that was not supposed to walk again never mind cycle for 25km’s. I was so happy I could do it again! Am already planning my next ride with my cycling buddy! He is just going to have to bare with old Captain Slow here for a while but that doesn’t bug me!

Just want to get slowly back into it! Once I am more comfortable I need to get some knobblies back on the Goblin and then hit the off road stuff!

I love Sushi "Om nom nom nom!"After 14 weeks of tries, tackles, conversions, drop-kicks, scrums, rucks and mauls…*Can you feel it? It is here!*

All of this on TV of course, I was either standing at the braai, beer in hand, screaming at the TV, shouting at the ref, boo-ing the other team or fist pumping the air for mine!

 

Its Currie Cup finals weekend! I love it!

I tweeted today that I don’t think any other country in the world can have the kind of vibe we have. All everyone is doing is talking rugga! Most of my day at work was spent teasing fellow workers about the fact that my team is better, their teams are going to lose & either way the cup is ours! Discussing team selections, stats, records for home and away games!

It still just amazes me how people, me included, can get so into something as simple as a ball sport! We all had our teams shirts on today, the office had blotches of Orange, Blue, Black and then the Blue and White Stripes…emails where going around with pictures depicting what will happen and who is going to win! I am sure many bets where made as well!

I don’t think any country can have such a diverse population, yet everyone all united for their teams! I can’t think of any country that has such huge local derby’s, coastal team vs inland teams or north vs south! (Except the EPL?)

So in a reversal of last years semi’s we have:

Sharks vs Bulls & WP vs Cheetahs

Sharks have not beaten the Bulls in 3 semi’s they have played so far! Since 1970, and from what I can find, Province have played the Cheetahs/Free State only once…and lost! I could be wrong, but that was the info I could find.

So far this year, of the top 4 the Sharks have scored the most tries at 62, Cheetahs 60, WP 59 and Bulls 49. The Bulls have had the most tries scored against them 39, Cheetahs 33, Sharks 30 and Province 28.  This makes for some interesting contests this weekend. They all very close. The Cheetahs are not a team to mess with when it comes to Finals! The Sharks want to prove that they better than their Super 14 finish of 9th this year! Province must be hungry to lift a trophy for the 1st time since 2001 and well the Bulls with all their 1st team players back want to defend the Cup!!

All of that being said my SuperBru predications for the weekend:

Bulls to beat Sharks by 6
Cheetahs to beat Province by 13

Strange I know but then again that does explain why I am fighting for the wooden spoon in most of my SuperBru pools! Lol!

Hope everyone has a great rugga filled weekend! Al wat ek sien is die blou masjien!!! My Bloed is Blou!

It’s anybody’s trophy! If I can coin a phrase from one of Oliver Stone’s movies “On any given Sunday you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. The point is – can you win or lose like a man?”

So Contador has tested positive for a banned substance – clenbuterol…

Well it might have been a microscopic amount, 50 picograms, that’s apparently a very very very very small amount. I still say where there is smoke there is fire! He is claiming food contamination? So you telling me that someone mistakenly put/sprinkled/injected his food with this stuff not knowing what it is? Like I am going to believe it?!

If it was one of his competitors wanting to drug him, to put him out of the Tour De France, then surely they would not have used a performance enhancing drug? They would have used something else?  Yes then they also saying some foods contain this substance and he might not have knowingly taken/consumed it. Suppose this is all debatable…and I am just a supporter of the sport…I am just tired of all these doping scandals, its making a joke out of all of cycling.

I am big into cycling, and used to cycle a lot before a car accident last year. I just can’t imagine anyone cycling those distances everyday for 3 weeks (including +/- 2 rest days) without having to take some sort of performance enhancing horse hormone or what ever its called!

So my proposal then is to allow doping! Then it’s all out in the open, no need to hide it and sit at embarrassing press conferences trying to explain why, what, where and when.  All the cyclists should be allowed to take what ever they want. The team with the best chemist will win the tour. The cyclist knows what he is getting himself/herself into, there should be strict contracts in place to allow for the safety of the rider. Should they not want to take a particular concoction then they can opt out.

Sponsors would benefit from the fact that they could be contributing to some medical enhancements and break through’s. It’s a win win! The fans like me would all know that the riders are using, therefore there would not be such a big disappointment if it had to come out.

With all of these chemical enhancements in the riders, records would be broken on a more regular basis, TV viewing would go up, the thought of watching these Super Human athletes slugging it out to win would be amazing. More viewership more sponsorship and more development of the sport…

See its a win win… 🙂

Ok, so the final Super 15 schedule has been released, amidst much confusion over how it’s going to work and who plays who in the finals for what conference… I must admit I even had to read through it a few times to try figure out what was going on, and I am still not so sure if I understand it correctly, all I know is… More Rugby = Happy Jedi!!

Much has been said about there now being too much rugby played by the Southern Hemisphere teams, even Jake White had something to say about this, and that it’s going to give the so called smaller rugby nations a better chance in the world cup next year.

I personally don’t think that it will be too much! This is going to bring the managing staff into question, the teams with the best managing staff, and who manage their players the best will not have a problem.

Lets have a look at how many games one of our provincial teams would play, if they had to make it to the finals of the Super 15 and the Currie Cup?

  • Currie Cup Season – 16
  • Currie Cup Finals – 2
  • Super 15 Pool Games – 16
  • Super 15 Finals – 3 (TBC, as nobody really has confirmed how the finals will work)

Obviously all of this could change but these are the latest confirmations I could find.

So in total, a provincial side could essentially play 37 games in a season, this excludes international games.

If we look at the European Schedule:

  • French Top 14 Season Games – 26
  • French Top 14 Final Games – 2 (Old format, the newer format allows for more games)
  • Heineken Cup Pool Games – 6
  • Heineken Cup Finals Games – 3

These are all as of the 2010 season, they could change.

So then this leaves us with a total of 37 games, so the Southern Hemisphere would be playing a similar amount of games then as the Northern Hemisphere. Of course excluding all international games.

The European international teams all play in the Six Nations. Where as we play in the Tri-Nations.

I think our biggest problem, is the travel. Away games for the European teams are not such a big deal cause I think it’s hardly longer than  days travel between the different countries, also there is no need to worry about jet-lag and time zone difference. For the SANZAR teams its a different story with 2-3 days travel, getting acclimatised to the country etc.

This new Super 15 format I feel cuts down on the travel. Most of the games are played at home, then depending on the finals the rest are decided.

I am sure this is not going to be the final format for the Super rugby competition, but it will be tweaked and changed and get better as teams are added and times goes on.

Lets give it a chance! Then after the competition is done we can knock it. Who knows I might be eating my word next year!

OK ok, so it’s been a long time since my last post, actually feel a little embarrassed about it.

The biggest problem for was to find the time to actually sit down and put something together.

Been a busy few months since my last visit here and am definitely hoping that is not so long again after this one!

The biggest thing that happened was that SA successfully hosted the Soccer World Cup, oh and my birthday…on the 11th of June, not a birthday I am going to forget for a while!

Watched the opener with some good friends and had a really good time! Also managed to go to some games.  Was a great experience something I will never forget either. Managed to go to Soccer City to a game and must say it is as amazing as it looks on TV and in print. Then took a road trip to Rustenburg to the Royal bafokeng stadium which is also quite a sight to see.

Really was a different kind of experience, compared to the visit to Soccer City, did not do the park and ride thing. We parked in the park and ride area and walked through Phokeng to the stadium, we where stopped by many locals along the way thinking we where tourists and being asked for photos.

Managed to sneak into a press area and have a few drinks at the bar with some foreign reporters, who where also snapping away at anything and everything.

The whole of the world cup was simply amazing! Enjoyed every minute of every game I watched. I hardly missed any! Just as quickly as it started is as quickly as it finished.

Was lucky enough to get tickets to Bafana Bafana vs Ghana at Soccer City last week. Again it was an amazing experience, my first Bafana game! Singing the national anthem was awesome!  The whole game just reminded me of the unity the soccer had brought to the nation. Really do hope that it does not fizzle into nothing and that we continue to work on it all together as a country united!

As I sit here typing this another episode of soccer’s greatest league has had it’s first weekend with some very interesting results. The last game of the weekend is being played now.

Ok so thats it from me, definitely going to be back more often with more interesting updates and posts!

So those of you that know me, will  know I am a die hard Bulls fan! True Bull, “eet nie van die vloor af nie”, marching to Pretoria and all that. I have supported them for many years and will do so for many to come.

So when I heard that the Bulls where going to send a 2nd string side down to the Cape this weekend for the top of the table clash against the Stormers, I was pretty upset about that and was one of the people who thought “Ja typical”, I would have been pretty hacked off had I bought a ticket to the game on Saturday and found out that almost none of the “Stars” where going to be playing.

Yet after long thought over this, I had to come to the conclusion that it’s SA Rugby on a whole that is benefiting from this, should the Stormers win, they grab the other spot for the home semi-final! SA then has another chance of an all South African home final the week after the semi’s!! Never mind the money that these games will bring from tickets sales etc.

The top players in the Bulls team are getting a rest from all the rugby they been playing. For the last 14 weeks they played every weekend, except the bye weekends, in tough physical, hectic and hardcore games that would take it out of any normal human being! They have traveled, lived in hotel rooms, probably missed home and family. Don’t they deserve a bit of recovery time? Don’t they deserve some time with the family? After the break they head to Soweto all fresh and hopefully healed and strengthened for the semi, which guaranteed is not going to be an easy game either.

Yet is it really a B-team? I read today that the combined SuperCaps for this team is 500 odd compared to a 400-odd of the Western Force’s “A” team for the weekend. I also heard that this team has 7 players with previous national call ups in it. Now surely those players would want to play their hearts out for that call up to the national team once again? Which is going to put pressure on the current contracted players to preform when they do get back into the game. See where I am going with this, we getting the best from both teams! I don’t think they will be a walk over by any means!

Something else that crossed my mind. Do we honestly think that any of the other countries would be so narrow minded as some of us where? If they where in the same position. Would they send their best side to knock each other out of the tournament? If they could rest their best players for the last round and have them fresh for the semi’s would they not take that chance??

I now say “Well Done to the Bulls”, well done for getting themselves into the position where they can do this. They put the hard work in through the league games earlier this season to get enough points on the board, when you ahead of everyone by so many points that a win or loss is not going to make a difference then making a decision like this should not be such a big deal!

In my head I am hoping the Stormers pull off a win and get a home semi, but in my heart I am still True Blue!! Bulle all the way!

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