Fantastic iPhone 5!

Finally got it!

I can now say that I am the proud owner of the new iPhone 5. This happens to be my first ever iPhone. (I can’t believe it either!)

I’ve  been a big fan on Android and as such have been using an HTC Desire which I though was super awesome, only to realise half way into my 2 year contract that it had far too little memory. 512mb! I know what you thinking, how can that be! But, yes, somehow HTC thought that would be enough! I continuously ran out of memory to the point where I had to delete apps, important apps such as Instagram and couldn’t use Facebook cos it used too much memory! Very annoying!

When the iPhone 5 was announced I decided that I should give the California outfit a try. As it is in South Africa, where we get new tech way after it is released in the US, I had to wait and read reviews and ogle over pictures of the iphone 5 on the internet until we finally got the nod for it here on 14 Dec 2012….just in time for Christmas!!

So here it is , still neatly in its box.

iPhone 5

I couldn’t  be happier with it! Love it! Ogle over it everyday! Can use Facebook. Can get my mails. Can use feedly. Can use Flipboard. Can have Instagram installed on it and all my other apps installed at the same time….Imagine that!

The acclaimed retina screen in amazing. Colours fantastic, super clear and easy on the eyes! Other lower res cellphone screens just look terrible now! It is super light and super thin. The construction materials  have a high quality feel with an aluminium cover at the back. The device is devoid of any plastic. Feels far more solid than the Samsung Galaxy III, the current top selling android device.

Feature wise, I wish Apple would allow more customization on the iPhone to match the Android devices. But perhaps that is just me. Someone who likes to changes things an tinker a bit.

Many of the customizations that Android devices have are useless, but some are really nice and useful. However, its the GUI design on most android devices that put them behind iOS. The menu systems on Androids have always annoyed me. The hidden menus that seem to be lurking under the 3 buttons required on all Android devices are annoying. This is my biggest gripe with Android.

Anyway, I’m happy to have gotten the new iPhone 5 even with its lack of customization. The endless supply of apps and content in iTunes keeps a lot of non technical people clinging to their Apple device, as it is just plain easier than downloading things on the internet.

Let me know how you feel about your iPhone 5 or how you prefer the Android system.

Till Later

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SA vs NZ 1st…Just Woeful

SA vs NZ 1st Test

 

That’s a pretty woeful looking scorecard for NZ! Own bowlers in particular Big Vern destroyed NZ in clinical bowling performance! In the very same innings which lasted less than 20 overs, Big Vern got a fifer and Dale Steyn reached the 300 wicket mark!

 

Bok Selection

Heyneke Meyer’s team selection for the upcoming match in the Rugby Championship 2012 against the Australians tells you a lot about Heyneke Meyer and how he plans on running  Bok rugby during his tenure.

He has made a number of changes and none of them seem to inspire an exciting brand of rugby. The persistent selection of Zane Kirchner at fullback instead on Pat Lambie immediately tells you that the boks are going to be sticking with a kicking game as that is about all the Zane can do. Pat Lambie offers so much more, especially on attack with his creativity and speed, but that sort of play is definitely too risky in the eyes of Meyer.

Duane Vermeulen gets his bok debut slotting in at number 8 in place of Willem Alberts who moves onto the side of the scrum. This means that both Jacque Potgieter and Keegan Daniel drop out of the match 22 all together. Potgieter really did not impress in the game against the Argentinians, but I would have kept Keegan Daniel on the bench as player who can provide some impetus coming off the bench. Francois Louw gets a first recall since the World Cup last year and will be looking to bring some of that good form playing from Bath.

Amazingly, Bekker gets dropped to the bench. Meyer opting for Juandre Kruger. That is a massive call replacing Bekker, who is such a presence in the lineouts. Lets hope that Juandre does well!

Youngster, Johan Goosen is also included in the match 22 on the bench. There is no doubt that he is massive talent and much needed competition for Morne Steyn. Really looking forward to see how he gets on in the Bok jersey! My hope with his inclusion at such a young age is that he gets given the time to develop and learn before being judged.

The last two performances against the Pumas were dismal and actually quite horrible to watch. There didn’t seem to to be a game plan in place or the motivation to play well. If we play like that this weekend against the Aussies, then we are going to see one heck of an embarrassing score line.

Lets hope that the team can pull together and play some proper rugby, the way that we come to expect here is South Africa.

TEAM: 15-Zane Kirchner, 14-Bryan Habana, 13-Jean de Villiers, 12-Francois Steyn, 11-Francois Hougaard, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Marcell Coetzee, 5-Juandre Kruger, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16-Tiaan Liebenberg, 17-Pat Cilliers, 18-Flip van der Merwe, 19-Francois Louw, 20-Johan Goosen, 21-Patrick Lambie, 22-Lwazi Mvovo.

Proteas Just Too Good!

The Proteas just claimed the No.1 spot in ODI’s with a well deserved victory in the 2nd ODI against England!

That means we hold the number one spot in all three formats of the game! Well done boys! Lets keep it going and finally win the World Cup!

GT Karakoram 1.0

 

So a friend from work has been trying to convince me to get into mountain biking, but I resisted for quite a long time. It sounded quite painful and just not as fun as sitting watching the Premier League or rugby! But with some persistence he got me to go for a ride one Saturday morning using another co-workers bike! It was possibly one of the hardest morning I have experienced in quite while!

Even with a painful rear, painful legs and many scars and bruises from that morning ride something about it ticked in me and I became hooked with being out and about and getting fit!

I spent weeks looking for a new bike. Went every weekend to see bikes at shops and called I think every bike shop in JHB to see what was available and what they suggested. I researched the internet every night for reviews on bikes. Switched between hardtail vs softtail, 26″ vs 29″, Scott vs Giant vs GT. I really had no idea what I should do, but in the end went with a well specced hardtail under R10k that should last me at least 3 years!

The Bike

After some phoning around and research I stumbled upon the 2012 GT Karakoram 1.0! It was a great a price for the specs. Looked great and had received great reviews.

The Karakoram comes in 3 versions, 1.0 being the top of the range and is the 29″ version of the Avalanche range from GT. They all feature the GT patented Triple Triangle Frame Design. The Karakoram 1.0 come highly specced for this price range, with Shimano XT rear derailleur and SLX from derailleur and SLX shifter with Avid Elixir 1 Hydraulic disc brakes. Comparing other bikes with theses specs will come in at a significantly higher price. The much vaunted Giant Talon 0 only has SRAM X5 components which equates to Shimano Deore components.

The one downside in the specs for this bike is the fork. It is a Rock Shox XC 32 coil fork. It would have been great had it come with a Air fork. But at this price, it can be expected. Perhaps another downside is the use of a FSA crank. A Shimano crank to pair with the rest of the Shimano components to keep things consistent would have been great to see.

Many have complained that the bike is a little heavy, and perhaps that is warranted, however keeping in mind the price of the bike at R9500, it can expected to be on the heavy side. Being a new rider however, I’m pretty sure that it is not going to be the equipment that slows you down!

First Ride

My ride with the GT Karakoram 1.0 was along the spruit and into the botanical gardens in Emmarentia. First off, the WTB Pure-V seat felt far more comfortable than the one I rode before on the borrowed bike.

The gear shifting with the SLX shifters and XT rear drailleur are excellent. Smooth,quick and efficient! One tip I can give is to always look for the higher ranked components. They make a massive difference!

I thought the Rock Shox fork was great and really made a huge impact. and provided a plenty of rebound, which can also be locked for riding on solid surfaces.

The Maxxis Aspen tires on the 29″ Alex Rims feel incredibly comfortable and are a massive difference over the 26″ wheels. (I can see why 29er revolution is rolling along quickly!

I was very suprised with my confidence riding the GT. It made me feel like I could really ride quickly and attack the track and not have to worry about ditches and big rocks. The bike, with those massive 29″ wheels merely rolls over obstacles and keeps going!

Upgrades

Perhaps the first upgrade I would make to the bike is to do the tubeless tyre conversion and replacing the fork with an Air fork. None of these are however urgent right off the bat.

Verdict

I loved the bike and could not have asked for too much more for my first bike! Perhaps I will realize its shortcomings with more time on the bike and experience, but for now I love it! I can recommend it to anyone looking to spend under R10k. You get great specs from a great and well established bike company.

Specs

Type of Frame  Hthydroformed/Butted Speed Metal™ Aluminum Frame (TT/ST, DT), Triple Triangle™ Frame Construction, Forged Bottom Bracket, Dropouts, and 1 1/8″ Headtube, w/ 29″er-Specific Geometry
Fork  Rock Shox XC32 w/100mm TravelQR, Adjustable Rebound, Turn-Key Lockout
Crank  FSA Gamma Drive Mega Exo 42/32/24T
Bottom Bracket  FSA Mega EXO
Shifters  Shimano SLX
Cog Set  Shimano CS-HG62, 11-36T, 10-Speed
Chain  KMC X10, 10-Speed
Front Derailleur  Shimano SLX
Rear Derailleur  Shimano Deore XT, 10-Speed
Rims  Alex TD24, Doublewall 32H
Front Hub  ALL TERRA Alloy Disc 32H
Rear Hub  ALL TERRA Alloy 32h Q/R Cassette
Spokes  Stainless 14G
Tires  Maxxis Aspen, 2.1″, Wire
Pedals  GT Slimline Flat Alloy
Front Brake  Avid Elixir 1, 160mm (F/R)
Rear Brake  Avid Elixir 1, 160mm (F/R)
Brake Levers  Avid Elixir 1
Handlebar  ALL TERRA 6061 Aluminum Flat TopRiser, 690mm
Stem  ALL TERRA 3D Forged Threadless, CNC’d 4-Bolt Face Plate
Headset  FSA No. 11 Zerostack, 1 1/8″
Saddle  WTB Pure-V Comp
Seat Post  ALL TERRA Alloy Microadjust, 30.9mm

Pics

3rd Olympic GOLD for South Africa!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

South Africa has just won their 3rd Gold medal a the London 2012 Olympics!

After Cameron Van Der Burgh and Chad Le Clos’s successes in the pool, the lightweight fours rowing team have beaten the Great British fours and favourites for the event to take the GOLD medal, taking South Africa to 8th on the medal standings log!

8th!!

The whole of South Africa is abuzz with the great sporting achievements…Olympics, Proteas record win against the English and a South Africa team (Sharks) in the finals of the Super 15! Can it really get better than this…yes it can! The Olympics are not over yet and the Proteas are currently 93-0 just after lunch on Day 1!

It’s so amazing to see how sport can be so good for a country, bringing people to a common goal! I’m am so proud to be a South African!

Lets hope for more successes both on and off the sports field!

Google Handwriting for Mobile Devices

Google has released a new fancy and simply awesome function to its Google search homepage! The new functionality allows users with mobile devices to search by ‘writing’ on their screen. This is then translated and used as a search term with suggestions. A simple settings adjustment is needed to activate the feature and is available on devices with a least Android 2.3 and iOS 5 or later.

To activate the feature, just go to the homepage and click the cog in the top right hand corner as per below:

Google Settings

Once in the settings page, scroll down to ‘Handwrite’ and click Enable.

Enable Handwrite

Once enabled, you should now see a new bar at the bottom of the page.

New Handwrite Bar

Now start writing like you were a kid at school and watch the magic happen!

I tend to think that this is a piece of functionality to test their handwriting recognition software and we will likely be used more mainstream in future products Google will introduce. But lets wait and see!