27 July 2011

The Humble Indie Bundle #3

If you're in the market for some refreshing games and want to support indie developers, charity, or get some freebies then look no further than The Humble Indie Bundle #3 for the next two weeks.

The Humble Indie Bundle is currently on sale for any price you want to pay and you can even determine how the contributions you make get distributed between developers and charities.

I can't comment on the quality of the games but the principle excites me so why not check them out? Thanks to Oltman for pointing out this deal!

The basic features are as follows:

  • Cross-platform (LINUX, Mac OS X, Windows)
  • Pay what you want
  • Support charity
  • DRM free (install as many times as you like AND redeem them on Steam and Desura)

A video of the bundle is located here:

British Passport renewal made EASY in South Africa

If you have to renew your British Passport (or apply for a new one) then you'll probably be as oblivious to the procedure as I was before I'd had to do it for myself. Not even knowing where to start, the logical first choice is to make use of one of these passport services to get the job done - after all, it should save you some time and these guys know their business and probably have connections to get things fast-tracked, right?

Well, as it turns out, not really. I concede that these passport services are really helpful and knowledgeable about what the procedure entails but specifically with my experience with a British Passport renewal, I don't think they're worth the cost or the time and effort of going down to their offices because you can actually do everything besides the photographs (unless you're skillful enough) from the comfort of your home.

From start to finish my entire application took under three weeks to be done (6 July to 22 July) and I did it all myself. I am now once again the proud owner of a British Passport and am a bona fide British Citizen! Doing it yourself will save you a good deal of money (it's not pocket change by any stretch so if you found my blog post useful feel free to send me 10% of your savings) and actually save you some time too.

Since this post is about the EASY way(s) to renew your passport I have included both information on passport services that offer the luxury of doing it for you as well as the DIY method which I recommend.

The first thing you will need to know is that my method may differ slightly from yours because I am a full-blown UK citizen with right of abode and am in possession of my own (expired) passport. The methods listed below will probably be the same for most of you but just in case they're not, I am very keen to update this post if you have a different experience so feel free to leave comments below. Everything I needed is highlighted in red font so keep an eye out for these if you are renewing your passport and already have your current or expired one.

The procedure - in summary
  1. Fill in the required forms
    1. http://centralcontent.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/central-content-pdfs/form-c1.pdf
    2. http://centralcontent.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/central-content-pdfs/form-c1-notes.pdf
  2. You will need to sign an online credit card authorisation form if you're paying by credit card. 
  3. Get the photographs taken
    1. Find someone upstanding to be a countersignatory and make sure you follow the correct guidelines (below)
  4. Submit via courier - they recommend Supaswift (pty) Ltd and I used them. R220 for their basic fee. I applied online in the evening on Wednesday 6 July and they came to collect Thursday noon and again on Friday morning (diligent!)
    1. Durbanites and Port Elizabethans can also make use of the British Cultural & Heritage Association (bcha1820@global.co.za) to courier their documentation once a month in a group bag. Contacts are 031 202 6174 and 041 585 3416 respectively.
  5. They claim that it takes around 4 weeks and if you want to follow progress, phone Careline on 0044 208 082 4743 but have your credit card ready because it costs 72p+VAT per minute! My application took fewer than 3 weeks.
That's it, in a nutshell! The more detailed procedure of how to do each of these steps is listed below. I confess I have hotlinked other sites' forms in my post but have referenced them at the bottom.

22 July 2011

Puma 650FPS Air Rifle - "Ideal for kids!"

I'm not really sure what to make of this advert outside the security store in Westwood Mall. Are they suggesting that if you have a problem with kids then the best solution is the Puma 650FPS Air Rifle?

I think, instead, that perhaps this would be ideal for the advertising company that thought up that slogan!

Today is FRIDAY!!

21 July 2011


If you're going to buy a sandwich, why not try out Spar's new CHEESE & TOMATO SAND sandwich!


15 July 2011

Today is FRIDAY!!

And horror of horrors, Rebecca Black's YOUTUBE video has been removed from YOUTUBE due to some 'copyright infringement'!

Can't believe it!

How will we ever know what day it is today if we can't use the internet sensation's music video to remind us??

167 million reminders and now no more!

12 July 2011

Telkom ADSL special 18 July

Finally, things are beginning to look up for South African broadband. We've got loads of special offers on the mobile broadband front, the local loop is going to be unbundled "soon" (although ICASA is shifting the goal posts, yet again), and 512kbps has been upgraded free of charge to 1Mbps and bandwidth is getting cheaper and cheaper.

The news of the moment is the countdown to Telkom's DSL upgrade special happening on the 18th of July. If you sign up for a new line installation from the 18th of July you'll get the following:

  • FREE refurbished ADSL modem
  • 5GB bandwidth for three months FREE
  • 1Mbps ADSL line for three months FREE
  • FREE line installation
All you are going to pay for is the residential line rental (which is around R133 per month). That's it. Three months at a total of R500 will get you 15GB, 1Mbps ADSL, an ADSL "modem", and a line installed. 

When I queried Telkom on the catch about a contract they said you will just have to decide at the end of the three months whether or not to keep the service. My strategy will be to migrate to SAOL at that point and reduce my line rental costs (but sadly also downgrade to the embarassing 384kbps speed).

This truly is a great day for ADSL users. Even if you have an existing line you can have a new line set up for three months and pay R133'ish per month which alone is cheaper than running a 1Mbps line anyway so everyone scores. Order five lines and you will get 25GB bandwidth, 1Mbps on each of them, five modems, and only pay R2,500.00 for the service ;-)