OTA Internet via Wireless

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in insight | 0 comments

OTA Internet via Wireless

Eta Friends, Ninjani?

I hope you’re well, I must pause and say thanks for coming back to see what i’ve got to say this week on the blog – Siyabonga Kakhulu!

So as you may know I’m an Information Technology Professional and my lovely wife Kanique is as well, so what do you think is the first thing we wanted to secure after moving to South Africa?

Need some time to think….

…times up – the answer is Internet! We live our lives on the web for both personal and business reasons so we wanted to know what all the options are so we could make an informed decision quickly to minimize down time.  We were astonished to find the options were slim to none at least in the context that we were used to.  In the states we had Comcast Broadband for internet (because Verizon FiOS kept pushing back their installation date for our area – right Henry?) and it worked well, here is an example of how our home network was setup:

We had a Cable Modem or DSL Modem feeding your Wireless Router and everyone had access to the internet.  Worked very well for us, i’m sure all the US based readers are very familiar with this setup and probably this is still the most common home internet solution in use even today.  We searched for providers here in South Africa that could offer us what we were used to but found none – let me hassen to add that this isn’t because the providers here dont have similar services but mainly because of the area we live in, it’s a fairly new community and there was never any lines run to the houses for phone, internet, etc.  So we begun asking our neighbors what they were using and we found that most were going into the office to access the internet or used the data plan on their mobile phones – which for us was unacceptable.  We did find two neighbors who were using a 3G USB internet device so we eventually broke down and bought one but that was only good for one machine at a time which was only going to temporarily fix the problem for us.  From August to December we suffered with this solution until we accidentally came across this device – Huawei B660 – a 3G Wireless Gateway, it’s a wireless router that has a slot for a SIM Card that it uses as a source for internet.  Here are some example pictures of the device:

Couple this device with a Data Plan from a local wireless provider called 8*ta where they offer 10 GB of data per month for 200 Rand (appx 25USD) for 24 months and we finally had a solution to our home internet problem.  I have since found that this device and this solution is also available in other parts of the world just not very popular given the other options that are readily available.  It’s also interesting to note that this solution was there all the time but because of our context and what we were used to we weren’t looking for it.  This solution is one of necessity for the area we live in and you’ll also be interested to know that the device is 4G compatible and the speed allows Kanique to continue her web design work and makes it possible for me to do web-based support from home.  We also have a home phone that is also SIM Card based so we only plug it in to charge it but we can take the phone with us anywhere we go – its basically a cell phone with a full phone body, LOL.

As technology continues to progress especially in the wireless and mobile solution arena it will have interesting effects on how we live.  Countries/Companies that didn’t jump on the TechWagon say 10 years ago will have some unique choices to make when it comes to deciding what infrastructure to implement – in some cases they might even be able to skip the whole CAT5 and CAT3 installations, Network Closets with tons of cabling going all over the building, and actual phone handsets.  They can choose to go with a completely wireless setup and use soft-phone solutions like Bria which can be installed on their desktop, laptop, or SmartPhone for office use.  There can be advantages to being in countries that haven’t fully come up to the Tech standards of the States because you just might be a candidate for skipping over the older infrastructure and implementing whats current – well thats my view, what do you think?  Please leave your comments below.

Until next time friends,

Hambani Kahle!

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English, Really What kind?

Posted by on May 5, 2012 in explanation | 0 comments

English, Really What kind?

English, Really What kind?

Sanibonani Friends!

We’ve been in South Africa, specifically the Pretoria/Johannesburg Area, for the past 10 months but our experiences haven’t been limited to this one country.  The Division office where I work covers 23 countries in the Southern Africa Indian Ocean Region and the cultures vary from place to place.  In most of the areas we’ve been especially South Africa where we live English is the Lingua Franca, there are 11 official languages for our Host Country but English is the common one that everyone speaks.

This was supposed to be good news right?  Ok it was good news but what they speak is a different version of English if you will.  The title of this post gives you a small window into what I mean, “I speak English.  Really what kind?” this may seem weird but if you think about it long enough it’s really not.  Take a born and raised, true blue Bostonian drop him/her in the deep south (i.e. Alabama, Mississippi, or New Orleans) and immediately there is a bit of a problem right?  The english the Bostonian will find in the Southern Part of the US won’t be the same and in some cases although rare words will have different meanings.  When I moved from Florida to Michigan to attend Andrews University I experience this as well, one of the more memorable ones was Pop/Soda – in the south we call Sprite, Coke, Pepsi, etc… Soda but in the midwest they call it Pop – took some getting used to but after 5 years there it became second nature.

So back to present day here are is a list of words (whole words) that have a different meaning in this part of the world:

South African –  American

  • Robot – Stop Light
  • Till – Cash Register
  • Queue – Line
  • Boot – Trunk
  • Gas – Propane
  • Fuel/Petrol – Gas
  • Garage – Gas Station
  • Bakkie – Small Truck
  • Serviette – Napkin
  • Toilet – Bathroom
  • Nappy – Diaper

I’m sure there are more and when I remember them I’ll add them to the list over the next couple days.  But just from reading what I’ve listed you can see that a simple conversation could get very confusing and lets not forget both parties are speaking english but just different versions – LOL.  I’ll share one of our experiences…

Driving Directions:  We were looking for a SuperMarket to buy some groceries and we were told it wasn’t far just 5 minutes or so from the house.  As we’re driving we stop to ask for some directions here is what we are told – “Keep going straight on this road past the first Robots you’ll see a Garage on your Left keep heading straight-on you’ll pass another set of Robots then at the 3rd set you’ll take a right and the shops will be on your Right.” – to this we replied Thank you So Much and drove off very slowly looking for Robots…….

ROFL, believe me we are still laughing about this one…

Ok I’m done laughing now so let me end by just sharing this, it’s very interesting to see the far reaching influence England has had on the world it set out to discover/conquer/explore.  Some of the terms above are unique to this area, some are from the Dutch influence, but others are directly from English society which was imposed or should I say force fed to all of it’s territories.  The first time I came to South Africa I was actually physically annoyed but Tea Time because I felt we couldn’t get any progress done on the project I came to complete.  No one has to ask where that came from, but more to the point of different perspectives: the phrases and/or influence of English society when compared to the culture of the States has a lot of Pros and Cons don’t you think?  I mean as annoyed as I was by Tea Time its not just about good digestion its about taking a small break from the Rat Race and appreciating those around you.  Not saying everyone who breaks for tea has this intent at heart but it sure is an interesting perspective to consider, dont you think?

Until Next time Salani Kahle!

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the least of these

Posted by on Mar 16, 2011 in insight | 0 comments

the least of these

what does Service mean to you?

That’s the question that I pose today and I pose it to myself first before I pose it to you. In the last 5 years we’ve seen natural disasters on a scale that was once unimaginable but did you know more people are dieing from the lack of clean water than all of these disasters combined?

Here is one pastor’s testimony…

I think what he said is excellent and a coordinated approach to the world-wide issues we have is definitely appropriate but do you really have to go that far? For those of us who have been desensitized by everything from the constant reports of disasters great and small to that man you pass everyday with his sign saying “will work for food” what is our motivating factor? I personally believe that having an attitude of service isn’t something you can turn on and off like a light switch you have to cultivate it. Though many of us would much rather fly over to Japan to help out with those suffering after this great disaster I think that desire is fueled more by the publicity of that event or by the credit we would get from saying I went there after the Tsunami – then from a genuine concern for your fellow man, a genuine concern for the hurting, hungry, or destitute. If you truly had that concern cultivated within you then how can you pass by those in your own neighborhoods, on the streets you walk and drive everyday and do nothing – what would have to happen or what would need to be said to propel us to act?

This video alone wont move you to action, this post wont move you to action, it has to be a mindset change, a paradigm shift, an undoing of all those years of resisting. It has to come from a deep understanding that but for the grace of God that could be me…

So i’ll ask the same question we began with:

what does Service mean to you?

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Legacy (Continued)

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in explanation | 0 comments

Legacy (Continued)

In my first post on Legacy I spoke on the fact that there’s one central theme in the lives of those who really left an indelible mark on this world – they chose to Love – and mankind was never the same because of it.  I recently came across a video that asks the very same thing: “What evidence will future generations have of your existence?  What are the things in your life that will last?”  And in a very unique and creative way answered those questions – enjoy!

Maybe a Legacy isn’t material…
Maybe a persons impact can’t be determined by a calculator…

Hope you enjoyed it…

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Posted by on Feb 26, 2011 in insight | 0 comments


Too Much Information

We live in an new age where everything is shared. We get vaccinations to protect against unwanted communicable diseases we may come in contact with. In sex education we teach our youth and young adults that if (Capital IF) they do choose to engage in sexual acts prior to marriage they should use protection so if their partner has a disease that can be transmitted sexually they aren’t affected. Their is an entire industry dedicated to (or taking advantage of) infant/child safety we even teach them the difference between family, friends, and strangers… Stranger theirs a interesting term that is used far too little these days. As I said to begin we live in an age where everything is shared – we have forgotten what ‘personal’ or ‘private’ means and have made all our information public:

If you wouldn’t do it at a train stop then why would you do it on the internet?

It may seem far fetched but it’s a Question that you answer everyday by the way you carry yourself. Your information is your information. Forget the fact that information is currency and companies like facebook, twitter, google, and others have created multi-million dollar businesses capitalizing on the organization and sale of your information that you give away freely. Mishandling your information can get your fired, robbed, stalked, or worse…

Protect yourself by protecting your information.

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Life = Risk

Posted by on Feb 17, 2011 in insight | 0 comments

Life = Risk

When you read the Bible you hear stories that are absolutely extraordinary, supernatural, and defy the very laws of nature.  Have you ever wondered why we don’t lead lives like that today?

Ok let me start this off a different way – take the word Risk for example it’s used in a myriad of situations some good some bad. Some people avoid it like the plague, others marginalize it and right off a certain level of it as acceptable, yet others play its odds in hopes to come out on top because somebody has to, but there is still another group who factor it into their every decision and have even found ways to leverage it to their benefit.

If your living i’d like to suggest that your at risk.

Let’s see what Webster has to say:

  • Risk:  noun /’risk/
  • Possibility of loss or injury: peril
  • Someone or Something that creates or suggests a hazard

When you turn on the stove in the morning, there’s a risk…

When your driving anywhere, there’s a risk…

When your standing in line at Taco Bell, there’s a risk…

So where does that leave us?  If living truly equates to risking should we just curl up and die?  Should we throw caution to the wind?  Somewhere between those two schools of thought lies an answer we can live by.  Random things happen, even ironic things i’ll admit and they can be devastating but there was really no way to predict it, no way for us to prepare for it: so we live with the notion that these things can happen but we can’t let those possibilities rob us from ever having lived at all.  In my experiences i’m finding more and more that it’s not Risk we’re afraid of but really it’s Failure and a fear of Failure/Rejection has kept far too many of us living in the drab, mundane, ordinary realm – looking out at the Ted Williams’s, Barack Obama’s, and Kelly Clarkson’s of the world saying wow.  Using the light bulb, eating the peanut butter, and boarding planes all invented by people who didn’t step but jumped headlong into the abyss called uncertainty and guess what happened: they Failed, they were Rejected, they were Discouraged, but they Overcame, and we have benefited.

As I watched this video I can’t help but wonder…

  • how many inventions haven’t been invented because someone was Discouraged?
  • how many medical cures haven’t been found because someone was Rejected?
  • what outrageous and ridiculous things does God want me to accomplish that I haven’t simply because i’m afraid to Fail?

…yea that’s truly ashame.

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