Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is this how we show our national pride...?

While parked at a shopping mall on the weekend, I noticed another car parking nearby.
A young guy then got out, beer in hand.

He then proceeded to down the contents of the bottle, and walked away while casually tossing the empty beer bottle into a flowerbed nearby.
Clearly sensing that he had been noticed, he then turned around and glared in my direction.
Had I decided to hold said glare for long enough, I might have had a volatile situation on my hands.

Thankfully though, I let it go and that was that.

Now we all see people littering on a daily basis, whether it's junk being thrown out of cars, to this kind of thing.
Add a bit of drinking and driving to the mix, and it gets me wondering how many South Africans (and people in general) behave in this fashion?

Is it ok to just dump trash in public spaces which other humans have to use as well?
Is it ok to operate a motor vehicle while brazenly consuming alcohol?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then maybe it goes a little way to explaining some of the problems we face in South Africa today...

Now South Africa is truly a beautiful country, and I think that our collective futures can hold great potential, but how can we have any pride in our country if we disregard the fact that other people might have to share it with us, or if we act like reckless rebels without a cause, all in the name of "looking cool", or because we just don't give a damn...?

Just saying...
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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Case of the Smoking Computer...

Charlie was a customer care technician at a small computer store. One afternoon, a frazzled-looking lady—my 62-year-old aunt—came in with a large box. Inside, she said was a broken computer that she had brought in from her office at work. She claimed that the computer was under warranty and produced a receipt from Charlie’s store dated four months prior. “You need to fix this,” she stated.

Before Charlie could even lift the flaps and get a glimpse of the computer, he smelled it. The stench of cigarettes clung to the once-beige tower case and every component of the entire computer system, which she had been so considerate as to bring along with her. Yellow tar and nicotine stains covered the keyboard, mouse, and liquid crystal display monitor. Unable to contain his stunned curiosity, Charlie blurted out, “What have you been doing to this poor computer?".

My frazzled aunt disclosed that the computer was a service machine for a taxi company. She was a smoker; the other dispatchers were smokers; all of the cabbies were smokers, and the office for the taxi company was less than 12 feet square. Smoking was a part of everyday life in the cab service, it seemed, and the computer was taking a lot of second-hand abuse. Charlie watched my mother's older sister as she spoke and noticed that she, too, was wearing signs of such a toxic environment.

Yellow clung to her teeth and fingers, and Charlie began to suspect that she might be quite a few years younger than she appeared.
She explained to Charlie that the keyboard and mouse were sticking, and she had trouble opening the compact disk drive. The computer was “unusually quiet” and would occasionally reboot itself unprompted. Charlie nodded, swallowed hard, and opened the case. The inside of the tower case, along with every card and wire within it, was covered in visible deposits of gummy brown tar.

“This is the problem,” Charlie began. He explained to her that a computer produces a lot of heat while operating, but it cannot work unless there is sufficient cooling – much like a taxi’s engine.
He showed her how the heatsink draws the heat from the processing unit to the fan and that the fan draws cool air from outside of the tower case to blow the heat away.
“The heatsink and cooling fan are loaded with cigarette tar, ma'am. Your computer is having trouble processing the heat through this thick layer of soot."

Charlie eyed her, wondering if she was equating her computer’s difficulty “breathing” with her own lungs. She certainly did not seem to be. He went on to explain that the same tar was causing her keys, mouse and compact disk drive to stick. The computer that she had been sold was beige and had been turned brown in only four months due to their excessive smoking, he explained.

Charlie told the woman that he would not be able to help her repair the computer. She indignantly reminded Charlie that the computer was under warranty, and demanded service.
Charlie insisted. “I’m sorry, miss. This computer has died from second-hand cigarette smoke, and smoking isn't covered on the warranty."

This article was contributed by Holly Miller, who writes for Coupon Croc. Shopping online for the latest computers and technology? Visit us for discounts on all the latest electronics.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Unboxing the New Samsung Central Station Wireless Hub Monitor...

Check out the unboxing of the new Samsung Central Station Wireless USB Hub Monitor below.

This awesome product includes a wireless USB 2.0 dongle that connects to a USB port on the portable computing device.
The monitor then ‘comes alive’ if your computer is within 3 feet of the ‘Central Station’ and what’s more, you can plug desktop peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse into it.

You can read more about this amazing product at the Samsung website here.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Look what I found in Duty Free at OR Tambo...

One of the coolest recollections that I have of my childhood, is this:

If you are part of my generation, then you probably know what I mean.
This was the original "chocolate-egg-containing-a-toy" - the forerunner and inspiration for all of the copycat chocolate eggs that you can pick up at Woolies today.

Aside from the ultra cool toys that were packed inside, the chocolate itself was incredible - after all it is made by the Ferrero company - makers of the legendary Ferrero Rocher.

In recent years however, it became increasingly difficult to find the Kinder Surprise in any South African shops.
It was gradually replaced by a product called Kinder Joy - something which is now available at any major retailer.

Kinder Joy, great as it is, is not quite the same thing. 
While the shape is the same, and the toys inside are still pretty cool, it somehow just misses the mark for me.
Imagine my surprise then, when on a recent visit to Duty Free at OR Tambo International Airport, I spotted the original Kinder Surprise in all its glory!

Not quite believing my eyes, I purchased a pack of 3 (for R45... ouch!).
Turns out the ouch was worthwhile - the chocolate is still superb and the toys are still super cool :)

When I asked the lady behind the counter why we cannot find these in local shops, yet we can get them in Duty Free, she just shrugged and smiled suspiciously...

Hmmm... I might just decide to find out more... watch this space :)

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