28 May 2013

More Cell C contract considerations

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Cell C at the moment, and why not? They're offering the most simple and most competitive package options available: R1 gets you R1 of value; how much simpler can you get?

Previously I recommended going on a Straight Up 100 contract and paying for what you use from there (especially if you weren't sure if you would use the 100 minutes or more) but with Supacharge now here to stay, my advice shifts a little:

Whether you sign up on Straight up XX or Straight up XX Topup the contract values remain the same:

So we can establish that there is no difference between prepaid or postpaid and it's up to personal preference.

Well, that would remain to be the case if it were not for Cell C Supacharge being a permanent feature now with Cell C:

With Cell C Supacharge any top-ups on airtime will include:
  • Free Cell C to Cell C minutes
  • Free Cell C to Cell C SMSs
  • Free data
f you want to spend R200 a month, my original argument still stands: do not get the Straight Up 200; rather get Straight Up 100 and pay for the extra minutes if you need them. Of course, I'd even go so far as saying start on the Straight Up 30 if all you are concerned about is the talktime. The only loss on moving "down" the contract tiers is the lost SMSs and data; if this is a big deal for you then bear in mind the following:

An SMS on Cell C costs money to be sent, so if you use 200 minutes and 100 SMSs a month but start at Straight Up 50, you will be paying the same amount for the minutes but will be paying for 50 SMSs that would have been free if you had just opted for Straight Up 100 or Straight Up 200 to start with. Ultimately the choice is yours and depends on your requirements for data and SMSs but once you have determined which package to settle on, you should still make it on TopUp and here's why...

The bonus of Supacharge is the inclusive minutes and SMSs and data. It is limited to Cell C but it does open up a new consideration. If you are going to commit to R100 a month on Straight Up 100 then go for the TopUp option instead. You're protecting yourself from unexpected expenditure, sticking to your budget, and in the off chance that you need more airtime, you will score with Supacharge bonuses when you recharge.

A really sly individual may even top up R300, score themselves the usual R300 airtime (even to overseas destinations at the same cost as local calls) but also get a further 900 minutes to Cell C contacts FOR 30 DAYS (on top of the 900 SMSs and 900MB of data). The R300 carries over for three months and you will reap the benefits of, essentially, unlimited calls for the month to Cell C contacts. If you did not top up but spent the equivalent amount, you would miss out on the Cell C to Cell C minutes. 

Going for the R500 deal gives you absolutely unlimited calls to Cell C contacts but I think spending R300 over two months will be R100 more, give you just as much unlimited airtime, but carry over R600 of airtime (which is R100 more and lasts for two months).

Anyway, Supacharge gives some additional things to consider now... my vote is TopUp contract every time, for the time being at least!

Pocket: when you've got more content than time

I am a notorious link hopper. Since Netscape days, I have discovered how to break each and every browser that comes out to improve life for end-users. Opera, Firefox, Crazy Browser, Chrome, IE, you name it, I've run it to the ground. Multiple browsers, multiple sessions, multiple tabs, and so forth means no matter what machine I am running, it will be max'ing out all the time. As it is, I am using Chrome on an i7 with 8GB of RAM and it's buckling under the weight of my resource-intensive link hopping.

If I do have the lucidity of mind to 'read it later' then I invariably email it to myself but that just ends up clogging up my mailbox which is equally undesirable.

I have really needed a better way of consolidating my content together to save time and be more productive. Bookmarks don't do it, saving recurring sessions doesn't do it, so when I stumbled upon Pocket, my life's dilemma was looking like it was finally resolved!

Check out the intro video and some of the basic features and decide for yourself if this is the tool you've been looking for ... comments welcome!

Introducing Pocket from Pocket on Vimeo.

Sounds great, huh? Well read on to see if it's worth its salt ...

Where to find Pocket

Pocket supports multiple platforms:
  • Pocket for iPhone
  • Pocket for iPad
  • Pocket for Android
  • Pocket for Kindle Fire
  • Pocket for desktop web browser
    • Chrome Extension
      • includes a bookmarklet
    • Mac
Simply go to http://getpocket.com/ and be having it :-)

Features of Pocket

  • Pocket allows multiple email accounts to be assigned to one Pocket account; this means you can save links by emailing them to add@getpocket.com from any of your registered accounts and also receive shared items from other Pocket users.
  • As mentioned, you can add items to your Pocket Queue via email but you can now also do it from one of the 300+ integrated apps (such as Twitter, Flipboard, Reeder, Zite, Pulse, etc.)

Annoyances / dissapointments

  • E-mailing links only allows one per email which is a real pain; to send an individual email each time diminishes its usefulness and it would have been helpful to filter multiple lines in the email.

23 May 2013

Search Twitter history easily, quickly, and online

If you have a need to search Twitter history, then Snapbird is the ideal website for you - simple, smooth, and highly helpful - just open the link below and get searching!


DNS issues affecting SAOL.COM - may affect other users too

SAOL.COM has DNS issues. They have had these issues for a few days and to my utter amazement (read: disgust) they haven't emailed out an advisory to this effect so people won't know how to fix it even if they wanted to ... here's the fix (may apply to other ISP's too):

Use these DNS server settings - and

16 May 2013

Fedora: Missing Security Signature when installing any programs behind authenticated proxy

I've decided to make the plunge into Linux as my primary desktop at work; this is the only way I'm going to learn anything about Linux I suspect. Fatherhood has put paid to any efforts at home so this is my time, this is the hour, this is my future (blah blah blah).

I connect via an authenticated proxy (Bluecoat) so this may not apply to everyone but it's a guide for those that need it.

One of the very first things I hit when trying to install any applications on Fedora was an error about certificates.


When trying to install google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm (no comments necessary about Chromium please)...

Missing security signature
The package security signature is missing and this package is untrusted. 
This package was not signed when created.

Public key for google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm is not installed

From my limited understanding of how things work, this is because YUM is not configured to talk via the proxy and YUM doesn't talk to the System Settings. YUM must be configured independently in order for these installations and updates to take place:
  1. Open Terminal
  2. sudo nano /etc/yum.conf
  3. Insert three lines at the bottom of [main] section as so:
    1. proxy=proxy details:port
    2. proxy_username=proxy user name
    3. proxy_password=proxy password
  4. To make sure it worked, run sudo yum list
  5. If it has worked you'll see files updating.
Export the settings as so:
  1.  export http_proxy="http://proxy details:port/"
To make them persistent on reboots, add export command to the login:
  1. nano /root/.bash_profile
  2. export http_proxy="http://proxy details:port/"
To verify the settings have been entered into the environmental variables you can run one of the following:
  1. env
  2. env | grep proxy
    1. If you do not see http_proxy=(your proxy details:port) then something is wrong with the export command.
Once this is all done, if you try to install the program you should see it go through just fine.