Tuesday, April 25, 2006

IBurst a vein - Should I come back down to Earth?

Grind my Cogs/Computers

I have been using IBurst for nearly 8 Months now... Is the Love still there? The lure of DSL remains, but will I sell my soul for a third time to Telkom?

My friend and colleague Derek recently updated his spreadsheet which compares the cost of having residential Internet connection in South Africa. In summary, if you take the cost of the modem/router/device and the monthly and once-off costs of maintaining the connection over a 2 year period, IBurst is the winner. That is, if you factor in the bandwidth and the cap of each option into the calculation.

In my case I am only receiving about 50% of my potential bandwidth and another colleague reports that he obtains speeds much higher than 384Kb/s on his 384Kb/s ADSL connection.

So that levels the playing field somewhat for me, but I will NOT support Telkom. This country is fucked-up enough already without people supporting this greedy selfish monopoly any longer. Just look at their ridiculously high profit margin and the telecoms costs compared to other countries. Unfortunately it is not that easy. If it wasn't for my IT background, I probably would have ditched IBurst long ago. For example, nagging problems which I experienced for a month or two were solved by upgrading my modem's firmware. Try and tell that to Joe Average. He doesn't have the money to pay for BobMcSpensive the freelance computer techie to help him out. Joe Average is going to go to Telkom because IBurst won't assist him. Neither the IBurst resellers nor Iburst will even come to your house to see if you have enough signal strength to warrant getting IBurst. I know, I tried.... repeatedly.

In my previous post, there is a headline about a super-fit runner that was dragged underneath a taxi because that taxi was driving where it shouldn't have been. South Africa is that runner and Telkom is one of those taxis. There are many of these taxis... unroadworthy, piloted by greedy cretins, driving on the pavement and overlooked by the authorities.

Unless these taxis are controlled, the runner is doomed, it's simply a matter of time.

Headlines and Deadlines

Grind my Cogs

Some headlines from South Africa over the past 4 days

Six people have died after being thrown from a passenger train in Benoni, apparently by striking security guards.

The Cape High Court has granted an order for the provisional sequestration of murdered mining magnate Brett Kebble's estate.

The first farmer to be threatened with expropriation has agreed to sell his farm, the Commission on the Restitution on Land Rights has said

Three gunmen have stormed into a high school class, robbing pupils at Johannesburg's Parktown Boys High of 12 cellphones, five watches and cash.

Three armed men have been shot dead by the son of a Johannesburg man whose house they were trying to rob.

Jacob Zuma's rape accuser may be placed in the witness protection programme once the trial ends, the safety and security minister has said.

The arms and head of a baby have been found near a river in the Eastern Cape, police said.

A man from Stilbaai, who was arrested with a young woman for making and distributing child pornography, has committed suicide in prison.

South Africans are still consumed by unrealistic beliefs in the supernatural, writes Jon Qwelane.

Cape Town mayor Helen Zille will demand police protection before she goes into townships again - and she's laying charges after being attacked at a meeting.

Long lagging behind other regions of the world, sub-Sahara Africa is showing economic growth that should lift thousands of people out of poverty.

An investigation into reports of rat-tailed maggots in three provinces has found no evidence of contaminated drinking water, the Water Affairs department has said.

A Sandton woman has been shot dead during an attempted hijacking outside her home, while the hijackers fled in a security company vehicle.

Six men who allegedly beat to death a 16-year-old have had their case postponed in the magistrate's court.

DA leader Tony Leon has said the murders of Brett Goldin and Richard Bloom sent a shudder through SA - and showed how bad crime has become in the country.

An alleged serial rapist, wanted on at least 15 counts, will soon appear in the magistrate's court.

More than 100 drunk drivers have been arrested and 40 buses taken for tests in Johannesburg since the beginning of April.

A hundred and seventy-nine schools identified two years ago as having pupils who were taught under trees have been given proper classrooms.

Tshwane's new mayor Gwen Ramokgopa has reportedly decided to ditch a sponsored BMW in favour of buying a luxury S500 Mercedes-Benz.

A man has been jailed after police accused him of trying to sell his 18-month-old daughter.

Two policemen who allegedly assisted one of the country's most wanted serial killers in a hostage drama at police holding cells will remain in custody.

A super-fit man who jogged to and from work every day, has died an horrific death under a packed minibus taxi that dragged him for about 100m.

A mother, who lived with her two young children in a smallish two-bedroomed house with 140 cats, has been charged with animal abuse.

News from Elsewhere
A 12-year-old boy accused of beating and stabbing to death his mother and younger brother was charged as a juvenile with two counts of first-degree murder.

A large sinkhole opened in the middle of a house, killing a man who plummeted three metres and was covered by the rubble

About 11 mortar rounds have exploded in central Baghdad

Rwanda has postponed until at least next month the start of nationwide village trials for hundreds of thousands of people accused in the country's 1994 genocide.

What does this mean?
that our police are efficient?
that we have a high crime rate?
That we still have a long way to go?
That it's not as bad here as some other places?

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's Groundhog Day on April 1 in South Africa

[edit] I left this article in draft until now because I wasn't in a particularly good mood when I started. I still think it's relevant enough to publish. [edit]

Like the movie Groundhog Day, savvy South Africans will be perpetually stuck on April Fool's day ready to believe any good news, no matter how bizarre.

One piece of news was potentially easy to believe because we're hoping and we're desperate and it's the way it should be at the very least.
The article was the on the MyAdsl.co.za site:
In a surprise move the SNO (Second National Operator) announced late Friday that it has successfully trialed its new 5 Mbps WiMax broadband offering and that they will start a commercial trial effective immediately.

Why should this be an April Fools joke? If somone reported that a complete cure for cancer was found everyone would think that it was in very poor taste. The same applies for this article.
This should have been the lowest offering in South Africa 2 years ago.
[edit] while paging through magazines in the doctor's room, I saw an article which said that the SNO was going to start in July or August after a delay of a few years. "Wooohoo!", I thought, then I saw the date of the magazine.... 2003 hahaha [edit]

I get so sick and tired of people that berate you if you speak badly of South Africa. You are then labeled as negative and unpatriotic. Like that overly opinionated fuckwit and his 4x4 on TV
, according to him everything in South Africa is rosy and fine. It's not. It's a racist, apathetic haven for slackers.

Just look at Telkom's lack of customer service. Nobody gives a shit. I have cancelled my Telkom account 3 times over the past 7 years, each time because of rediculously bad service. Each time I went back because I need Internet access and there was no viable alternative. There is no Broadband. There is no Second National Operator for Average Joe. There won't be for probably another 3 years. There is no alternative.

So here's my suggestion Mr S.N.O. ...Fuck off!!