28 November 2012

A trick to get free delivery on TAKEALOT.COM

If you're into your online shopping as much as I am*, you'll probably do the odd purchase (or not so odd ;-)) from TAKEALOT.COM. The most frustrating part of the purchase is knowing you are going to have to pay R35 for delivery if your order is under R250; sometimes this doesn't make the purchase all that much appealing or even worthwhile (> 10% of the total purchase being added on as the delivery fee alone feels a bit steep).

The good news is if you do a frequent (or at least once every three years) shop at TAKEALOT.COM, you can spruce up your total to the required R250 minimum qualifier for free delivery by buying yourself TAKEALOT.COM vouchers!

I know this seems a bit silly to tie your money into TAKEALOT.COM, but if you are going to buy from them again in the future you may just be saving yourself that R35 delivery fee. Think about it after considering this example:

You want to buy a R150 item but will have to add on R35 for delivery (that's more than 20% of the actual product cost being added on as a delivery fee). If you buy a R100 voucher, your voucher is valid for 3 years and you don't pay for delivery now.

When you buy your next order six months later, you redeem your R100 from the voucher, and if your new order is over the R250 threshold, your delivery is free, so you won't need to buy another voucher, and in fact have spent less on the second order because of the redeemed voucher, and have realised the R35 saving from before!

I know this seems a bit like hard work for a saving but every bit counts, and if you are regularly buying under R250, you're essentially wasting R35 on each delivery.

I'm just saying, think about it. Be creative. You could end up saving yourself enough money from delivery fees (R35 per order) to pay for that R150 original order if you make four purchases a year!

* not that I do a lot of online purchases! My last order from TAKEALOT.COM was in June (that's almost six months ago)

15 November 2012

Xbox LIVE is 10 and to celebrate here's your FREE cupcakes!

Xbox LIVE turns 10 today and to celebrate, Microsoft is giving away some freebies (well, Wreckateer for 48 hours) and some half-priced games, depending on your zone.

Check out the full list of discounted titles here:

13 November 2012

FREE Tribute to 80's New Wave music download

Thanks to a tip-off from my buddy Graeme, here is a link to download a bunch of covers of classic 80's New Wave songs...


It started with this idea: the goth/industrial scene was highly influenced by the 80's New Wave scene and some of the bands in our little band of misfits even started out playing New Wave. Therefore, it only seemed natural to pay tribute to the music of the 80's New Wave ...


08 November 2012

FREE games (again) - Faerie Solitaire and Battlefield 1942

When there's the word "free" in a title, it always grabs my attention. Heck, as I've probably said countless times before I even buy fat free yoghurt because I don't want to have to pay for the fat when I can get it free.

There are two free games available now - one for a limited time only, so let's begin with that one:

  • Faerie Solitaire activated on STEAM - go on over and buy it before it expires (8 November 10am Pacific Time which is around 8pm South Africa time). Get it now, keep it forever.
  • Battlefield 1942 is also free now, forever (AFAIK). Go to ORIGIN, hit the demo section and claim your free copy! Still a great game IMHO.

05 November 2012

Telkom ADSL speed upgrades - manual prodding

Telkom has been long overdue in upgrading the entry-level DSL speeds in South Africa but thankfully, finally, the upgrades are here. Entry-level is now 1Mbps, up from a ghastly 384kbps (in 2012? You've got to be kidding me... even 1Mbps is ... well, let's just be grateful for the upgrade at all, shall we?).

 In my experience, I've had to manually request my lines to be upgraded once the exchange was upgraded, and here are the steps to follow. Note that this applies to 384kbps (up to 1Mbps) and 1Mbps (up to 2Mbps). A head-nod goes to HandyTechTipper (and in turn, Michal Mierzwa, for pointing out this strategy in the MyBroadBand forums).

Besides the obvious reason of wanting to get the higher speeds as soon as possible, you probably want to jump the queue just in case they end up oversubscribing the service and you end up without any available ports on the new exchange!

How to make sure you get your line speed upgrade

  1. Run a speed test on your line:http://speedtest.mybroadband.co.za/ or http://speedtest-rba.isdsl.net/
  2. Check that your line speed has increased at your exchange http://www.telkom.co.za/checkadsl by entering your telephone number
  3. Depending on the results, call 10210 (toll free from a Telkom land line)
  4. Go to the DSL technical guys
    (the prompts are as follows, in case you want to bulldoze the buttons and skip the voices and waiting)...
    1. 1 for existing customer
    2. Enter your 10 digit phone number
    3. 2 for more options
    4. 1 for DSL Technical support
    5. 3 for DSL Technical support
  5. Ask them to increase your line speed (you may have to explain to them that your exchange supports the high speed but your line is sync’ing at a lower speed)
    1. I've done this remotely, without being at home, and the first technician (or should I say, call centre agent) configured my line upgrade without me being at home to reset the router. That's all you need to do anyway; they 'flip a switch' and then you reset your router. This was done while I was at the shops and when I came home it was up at 1Mbps.
    2. Another incident occurred where the technician (ahem, call centre agent) insisted I need to be by the router when they do the upgrade because it can't be connected. I told them this wasn't necessary but they argued with me and eventually I had no choice but to relent (what do I know anyway, right? :)) and make sure the router was disconnected before they did the line speed upgrade. In this case they even had the audacity to check the connection was off before they ticked a checkbox. 
    3. The moral of the story is: rather do it from home if you can, and prepare yourself for some uncooperative agents!
  6. Check your speed again:http://speedtest.mybroadband.co.za/ or http://speedtest-rba.isdsl.net/
    (or go to the router console and check at what speed it is synchronising) 

I’ve gone up from 384kbps to 1Mbps ‘for free’ so I’m a happy camper.