Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Firefox ESR

If you are looking to still use Firefox after they stop supporting NPAPI configurations then you may want to download their Extended Support Release:

You can click here to get the latest version and language option.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Afrihost Mobile

I'm glad to share the news that Afrihost has decided to go full mobile with voice and data. The ISP recently announced that they will be piloting their network, which rides over MTNs network. 
As an Afrihost customer I was initially impressed with their mobile data products and liked the fact that there are no contracts and I can vary my spend when ever I wanted. Well our friends at Afrihost have done it again, but this time with mobile voice services.

You can now get a Afrihost sim, or port your existing number to Afrihost and reap the benefits of true flexible mobile services. You choose what you want to get billed for and once you reach your limit your service stops until you top up again. You can also setup an automatic top up so that you don't have to go with your services being temporarily suspended.

Afrihost has launched the pilot of their full mobile services which is working perfectly so far. This will be a big threat to FNB Connect which has a similar type of service, where you can choose and adjust your voice and data whenever you want, but Afrihost comes in far cheaper than FNB when it comes to data costs, which I believe will be the deciding factor that will tip the scales toward Afrihost. Another  huge factor is the network quality i.e. MTN (Afrihost) vs. CellC (FNB). We welcome this revolution that Afrihost will bring to the market!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lync to Skype For Business

Ever since Microsoft purchased Skype back in 2011, we didn't here much about the future of Skype. But at the time Microsoft did have their own version of instant messaging and video call i.e. Microsoft Lync.

Lync did what it supposed to do but was not widely used, infact the mobile version of the software was not a very good instant messenger at all. There were constant delays when communicating from mobile device, however the desktop version did the job well.

So where does Skype fit in? The main reason that Skype was purchased was because of its dominance in the IM market and it was and still is the preferred video chat software around the world.

Recently Microsoft announced that it will do away with its Lync software and port all users to Sype For Business. This will give Lync users the same look and feel of Skype along with the mobility and quality of IM and video chat services that normal Skype currently offers.

Network admins also have the option of opening Skype For Business to normal Skype users so you can chat to friends and family as well as stakeholders from other companies who sit in different domains.

This is going to be widely accepted by corporates as they have already started embracing social media as a great marketing tool. The launch is said to happen soon so look out for it!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Jurassic World

This movie will be one of the greatest movies ever for me. Because as a kid I remember the thrill and awe that I was in when my folks took me to watch Jurassic Park back in 1993. And what makes Jurassic World special is that I got to take my daughter to it, who is about the same age as me when I watched the first one back in '93 and I new exactly how she felt before, during and after the movie.

The movie takes CGI to another level, bringing to life the dinosaurs that kids dream about. Even in the original Jurassic Park, at the time everything seemed so realistic. Of course there are going to be people that will slam the graphics and animatronics,  but you have to look at  it from a child's point of view and remember what you experienced when you were young. 

Although Colin Trevorrow will never come top what Spielberg did in 1993, he did come close. He did well to instill the same awe and wonder that we experienced as kids.

A must to watch on the big screen. If you were lucky enough to watch the original on the big screen then this is a must.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

FNB Connect Launches Sim Cards

FNB has taken a big step in the banking industry and have taken their FNB Connect service completely mobile by launching their very own SIM cards. It's all part of a greater synergy that the bank is trying, and succeeding, to achieve. The service is available from 15 June 2015.

FNB will be selling their SIM cards separately from their mobile devices. Although initial press releases indicated that their pricing would be a tad bit off the mark, which may cause this idea to crash, their actual launch pricing seems to be highly competitive, especially the voice and data 24 month contracts. With the data contracts you get day + night data e.g. for R95 you get 2gb + 2gb night data. Another plus is that you can get up to 40% of your bill back in eBucks!

If you are on the prepaid option you can do top ups directly from the FNB App. I predict that this app is going to be something that we can't live without in the near future.

RICA is a thing of the past, because the sim is activated via your Online Banking profile which is already FICA compliant. All other management tools for your SIM card will be via the online banking portal as well, such as real time usage and call history.

The service is run via the CellC network. Although CellC's network has been criticized before, they are, like FNB, making big strides through innovative ways of doing things.

I hope to see this service succeed as it will bring greater competition to the already over inflated mobile communications prices in South Africa.

Zapper App For Restaurants

I was super impressed recently when I took the family out for lunch at Gitano's at
The Pavilion shopping centre. We enjoyed our meal and it was time to call for the bill. Our waiter came by with it and I noticed that  there was a QR code on the bill. I asked the waiter about it and he gave me the run down on it.

Basically, by scanning the code using the free Zapper app you can instantly pay for your bill and get R25 off! So I gave it a shot, for R25 why not. I've got an android phone, so I went to the Play Store, searched for "Zapper App", installed it and went through the registration. The app asks for some of your details and you have to load a credit or debit card onto it. Once done, you are ready to pay. All this took me about 5 minutes to setup.

I scanned the code and the Zapper app picked up the details of my bill. It also gave me options to load on a tip for the waiter. It then gave me a total amount, and when ready I just confirmed the payment and it was all done. No need to sign anything, and the restaurant got notified of the payment immediately. No worries and no fuss. I would definitely like to see this in more places in South Africa, it just makes sense.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whatsapp now with VoIP

The long awaited voice calls over one of the biggest IM service providers, Whatsapp, is now available. By upgrading your version of Whatsapp to the latest you will notice that you now have a phone icon on your chat sessions, if you were already on the latest version this service will be automatically enabled. The app developer has been making some major strides recently, even introducing a PC based web interface for Whatsapp, by incorporating and innovative barcode scanner.

You can also get to the call menu by just clicking on the avatar of your contact. The service uses your default ringtone when you are receiving a call and you answer by sliding the green answers icon across your screen, just like you would when answering a normal call. 

Voice quality seems to be good, however I did notice that there was a significant delay in the conversation. But this is expected, and I'm sure the guys over at Whatsapp will have this resolved in the near future. Data usage is also minimal, not to sure what codec they are using but it is providing good audio quality, which may also be the cause of the delay, but we shouldn't rule out South Africa's "state of the art" broadband network. 

Whatsapp currently does not have any settings for voice calls, so you can't tweak it to work in your current network conditions. But it is still early stages for the IM provider and I'm sure that they are going to introduce Whatsapp to fixed and mobile number calls, of course this is a service that you will surely have to pay for and I'd like to see what the charges amount to. 

I currently use FNB Connect and R50 gets me about an hour of calls to mobile numbers and is per second billing as well. Call quality is also good, the competition will be healthy to bring down call charges. It may even start to impact the mobile network providers and hopefully they will be able to bring down their charges as well!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Axxess 3G Mobile Data

Okay, as you might know by now I'm always looking for cheap internet connectivity. Previously I posted an article on Afrihost, who where giving out amazing data deals that run over the MTN network. MTN recently took some interest in them and bought out a big chunk of the company, and I'm not implying anything here but, shortly after that the amazing deals from Afrihost came to an end.

So I was on the hunt again and came across Axxess, very similar to what Afrihost was offering but coming in just a tad bit cheaper. It's seems that they are running on the same technology i.e. they are piggy backing on the MTN network and you are able to load your Axxess APN onto your MTN contract sim card.

You also get a simple but efficient control panel that you can load as an app on your Apple or Android device, giving you access to your usage 24/7 and also giving you the ability to top up your account at any time. Another plus, and I do believe that this will seal the deal, is the 3 months rollover i.e. is you have not finished your data in the current month it will rollover to the next and if still not used it will expire after the 3rd month.

The sign up was simple and quick, I registered on the website,, and loaded my credit card details, the next day my APN was ready to use, I had an issue with provisioning my sim card due to it being provisioned with Afrihost, but if it wasn't for that I would have been up and running on the same day.

So far the 3G service has been reliable with the APN not going dead as what used to occasionally happen with Afrihost. Top ups are immediate within the Axxess app and the online control panel. To all MTN contract customers out there this is a no brainer, if you have an MTN contract and you use data, you have to go with Axxess.