Taking a break ..

By |  Apr 8, 1999  |
Folks, Our apartment was broken into, and I had my laptop stolen. Bummer. Well, less to carry around now .. Corinna, my flatmate, bought a house in Rondebosh, so we moved out of our apartment. There was a magnificent fireworks show over the harbour at the end of March. Cape Town is really such a beautiful place - a perfect setting for such a thing. I took a leave of absence from InTouch in Cape town this month, and first went to an open-air weekend music festival at Rustlers Valley, in Eastern Orange Free State.
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Notes from Africa

By |  Mar 14, 1999  |
Folks, This weekend was the Argus cycle race, a 105Km race around this beautiful part of the world by 35,000 people, the largest such race in the world. It was also a weekend where the Milnerton Players had the “Millie awards”, their annual awards for “best of” 1998. I ran sound for the musical review they staged beforehand - quite excellent. To watch such a review, with tap, musical numbers from twenty years of shows, with music from piano, bass guitar and drumset, rehearsed in six evenings, was quite an eyeopener.
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African politics - a review

By |  Feb 25, 1999  | politics, nigeria, zimbabwe, angola, south-africa
Nigeria - A big turn-around - elections this weekend. The front-runner is an ex-military ruler - there is no other kind in Nigeria. The good news is that he is the only military ruler to have voluntarily handed over to a civilian government in the past. He is running for president this time. The bad news - Nigeria has institutionalised corruption - it is normality. It is a long road back - this weekends elections are the first step.
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Crime in South Africa

By |  Jan 27, 1999  |
Folks, Leanne, the super, efficient, secretary in our office, is emigrating to Australia. She won’t even go to the Waterfront, the glitzy mall at the harbour in Cape Town, which has been the scene of some high-profile bombs, particularly the “Planet Hollywood” bomb last year. At a champagne breakfast to mark the passing of the years at Kirstenbosch Park, a nature reserve nestled against Table Mountain, I met a doctor - currently studying in Cape Town, due for a year “out there” in South Africa (a requirement of graduation) - she is determined to go abroad.
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Y2K and counting ..

By |  Jan 13, 1999  |
Folks, The new year came in with european zest, and widely publicised and necessary advertising about drink-drive. Very necessary - in Africa life is cheaper. There was another car-bomb near the Waterfront - but only two people lightly injured. No responsibility claimed - the widely held belief is that it is PAGAD, a Mulsim Vigilante group People Against Gangs And Drugs, were involved. Protestations to the contrary, but PAGAD has a chequered past, and not always following its charter.
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Summertime in Cape Town

By |  Dec 19, 1998  |
Folks, The holiday season is upon us with a vengeance. Johannesburg goes to the beach in December, which translates to Durban, Cape Town, or Mozambique. Weather is hot, but maritime, so the wind is usually cool. With a couple of friends from work we went on a huge motorcycle rally a couple of weeks ago, called the Toy Run. It has been an annual event for a long time now, and is a toys-for-kids-for-xmas rally.
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Cars and things ..

By |  Nov 15, 1998  |
Folks, A friend of mine, Sean, was on business in Jo’burg last week, and I got to borrow his motorcycle, a 600cc Suzuki taken straight off the racetrack. Very nice. I took it down to Cape Point, a pleasant ride to one end of the world, now full of foreigners arriving on airconditioned tour buses. South Africa, I gather, does annual holidays somewhat like France, where everyone takes them together. In France they go to the beach, and it is the same here.
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Truth and Reconciliation Commission

By |  Nov 1, 1998  |
Folks, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed in 1995, a year after the election that brought the ANC to power. It was headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a great man. Its purpose was to offer amnesty in exchange for full disclosure of events in the apartheid years. This way the country would know what happened, grieve, forgive, and move on. Without the disclosure, the past cannot be put to rest.
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By |  Oct 26, 1998  |
Folks, Philosophising at my ’local’ on Friday, (really, the British culture does the ‘pub’ scene so much better than America, even if it is a struggle to find beer worth drinking here), I have to relate the substance of our discussion. Probably nothing you didn’t know already .. The proposal was that a ‘disease’ of Western culture is that of loneliness - a fallout of our working culture and small families is that lots of people end up living alone.
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Work shadow, PGP, chat

By |  Oct 13, 1998  |
I had a “work-shadow” request from the phone. Dean is standard 9, which, I think, makes him 16. This is a program where the school asks students to gain some experience in a work environment. We also deal with, and use, a lot of free software. One of these is PGP, which we use for digital signatures. It allows us to verify that the message was written by the owner of that signature, and has not been tampered with.
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