Est. 2007

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

All Blacks Jersey Cheaper Overseas

In Life on August 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm

The higher pricing of jerseys in NZ has sparked some criticism in the media of late.

I am totally with those that decided to import theirs from overseas. Importing is a really good idea right now as our dollar is still pretty strong against the US dollar. You will get that instant saving right there if the rate is in our favor. I think it should teach Adidas that we live in a globalized world and you can’t try to charge different prices in different regions all the time.

I can understand the reason for doing so. It is basically to do with demand. Hardly anyone is going to buy an All Blacks jersey in the UK or other countries like that. The most All Blacks jerseys are going to be sold in New Zealand. New Zealanders are willing to pay that high price to get it.

There is a theory called prospect theory. The basic idea is that of framing the prospect. The media is publicizing it as if we are paying more, but it can equally be framed such that the price we are paying is the normal price and there is a discount for the other countries due to lower demand. If we framed it like a discount, it wouldn’t sound so bad. Let’s face it though, this publicity has to be good for us, retailers will lower prices at some point.

Here’s to media pressure!

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Slow Download of iTunes Movie Rental

In Life, Tech on June 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

It’s the usual story. I got a little bored and decided that I wanted to watch a movie. Of course I’m not so inclined to rent one from a video library because I then have to go return it the day after. With the added bonus of my larger data cap this month I decided that I would purchase a rental on itunes and then watch it on my T.V using a mini DVI to HDMi cable and adapter.

I managed to download it and watch it in fact on my T.V. Sure, the picture wasn’t very good; even a DVD would quickly outclass it. It was nonetheless an exciting experience; I did manage to use my ipod touch as a remote as well.

My main concern is not how cumbersome it is to watch a rented movie unless you opt for the Apple TV option with HD video from Itunes or how poor the quality of the video is. I wouldn’t even complain about the fact that it still counts towards the data cap. I will complain about the fact that it took me a god awful long time to download it. I calculated at the time based on estimated time of completion and the file size that I was being restricted to downloading the movie to a meager 512kbps. This is pretty shocking because I believe it took well over 7 hours to download it. what I want to know is why? I know for certain that this is not the first time it has happened. I know that the last time it happened, I was on a different ISP altogether. I know it was a similar time to download, so the 512kbps restriction was the same. I know that on both occasions my international bandwidth was capable of a lot more than 512kbps.

It only leads me to the conclusion that somewhere and somehow there is an artificial restriction on the download speed for movies on itunes in New Zealand unless already on the local cache.

The Spray Can

How to clean a Macbook

In Life on May 31, 2010 at 6:07 pm

So like the many people out there that have a white macbook, I have been wondering of how to keep it that way i.e WHITE. I have stumbled upon something that may be of interest to you all.

The miracle substance is called JIF cream. It is suppose to be a harsh cleaning agent usually used on stoves etc, but trust me it isn’t that bad as long as it is wiped off quickly. It will loosen all dirt on the surface and leave it like new. It doesn’t really harm the actual plastic or anything like that. You can also use something like pine-o-clean or dettol to then wipe of the JIF residue. This will disinfect the computer and the keyboard so that your computer doesn’t only look clean; all the nasty bacteria are also killed.

I’m not too sure if this applies to those who had palm rest discoloration, but mine had started to catch a lot of dirt early on and once I started to keep it clean, the problem hasn’t be so prevalent. Still it is worth a try if your situation is quite bad.

Overall I think that it’s quite a discovery. Some MacBooks I’ve seen don’t look remotely like they were once white and light grey. I’m glad that mine still does.

The Spray Can

Macbook Setup

In Life, Tech on May 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

OK, very sorry for the poor image there, but its been taken from my less then stellar mobile phone camera. Anyway, as you can see its pretty basic in all respects.

I basically got a Maxtor basics HDD; the one with mac sticker on it. There is a belkin 7 port powered usb hub in there as well. You may be able to see the yellow/white Kingston thumb drive sticking up from the top as well. There is the iPod touch. Obviously, the computer you see sitting there is a Macbook (early 2009). It’s been propped up on a book. It also runs Win 7 for all those Info-sys assignments.

Now the main thing here is kinda my take on the usb hub. I believe it’s probably the best thing I ever bought. It is powered so I know that every thing is going to work well and it has so far. It also has those top mounted ports and that makes it easy to plug in USB drives and my iPod for syncing. It’s also got a cable conduit so that all my cables that need to be on the desk stay that way. The hub practically lets me have a docking station. At the moment its got a printer, HDD and a tuner card hooked up to it along with that flash drive. I really do think Belkin make the best usb hubs by far. Some of the others are just so ugly that they can’t be put on the desk comfortably, especially if you are conscious of aesthetics.

I’m still pondering if I should get a stand and separate keyboard and mouse and possibly even a separate monitor. I can’t seem to bring myself to shell out the extra cash for the lot. Perhaps later this year or even the next. There really isn’t much choice if you want to get a mac specific keyboard; you either have to buy the Apple versions or a logitech diNovo. Otherwise, it’s just going to have to be a PC version if you want a cheap one. With stands, there is a dime a dozen. It’s easy to find a custom made one as well that could be made out of wood or plastic or even aluminum and steel. Mice are dime a dozen as well, logitech make some really nice ones and of course there is the magic mouse by Apple. Anyway you cut it, there is a fair price to pay for a decent ergonomic setup.

The Spray Can

The Power of Ebay

In Life on August 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Ho Ho Ho.

Merry Christmas.

Yea, Christmas came early for me. I have found the power of ebay.

It is so easy to buy from sellers in Hong Kong who often have some of the coolest gadget and small items on the cheap. The often have pretty good feedback ratings and their items are typically good quality. The whole Ebay system is quite tight nit with Paypal and you are pretty much gonna be protected that way. Buying an item is just a few clicks after the first time where you have to register.

So farI have bought:

  • A case for my ipod touch.
  • A screen protector
  • A keyboard silicone skin
  • A charger for my ipod
  • A case for PSP
  • A charger for PSP
  • A case for psp games
  • Replacement game cases
  • Headset for ipod
  • Replacement joystick for psp
  • A VOIP adapter

And there are so many other things to buy. Most items cost between $1 and $6 USD around $1.50 – $9NZD.

Items typically arrived with 8 days to NZ.

I would recommend looking on ebay before buying anything now cause you can save a fortune as long as you are willing to wait a week or so.

The Spray Can

2Talk Max

In Life on April 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Well, there are a few things that nobody can live without. One of them is obviously the internet. Ever wondered what you would do with out it, or what you do when there is an outage.

Anyway, I have chosen 2Talk max to be my ISP and VOIP provider. Beamed wirelessly from the sky tower not too far from my apartment, it gives a similar experience to that of Kidanet in Fiji. The fact that it is Wimax by Alvarion is understood but the Consumer premises equipment is more like that of Unwired- self install, indoor variety. I personally have the $65 a month plan which gives me unlimited traffic on the internet; something that nobody else will rival. They also give a phone line with two local numbers and 500 minutes of calling to landlines in most popular destinations, though this does not include Fiji. Other providers give a 5GB capped connection and landline with local calling only for $80 a month.

The service is excellent for the most part with close to 6 mbit downstream and around 3 mbit upstream speed. Something hard to find in most DSL services. On the other hand, I have had a few outages in the past few days for which I’m not all too pleased about. On the whole though, the service is quite good and cost effective.

The Spray Can

Cell Phones- Cheap like chips; Cheap on quality

In Life on April 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Having moved back over to New Zealand I had to buy my self a new phone. The one that I had from Fiji was obviously locked and wouldn’t work here. I got one of the starter packs for prepay from Vodafone like most folks do; it cost me $35! I then slowly looked for a handset.

There were many models, but my observation was that the market mostly liked phones from over $200 to about $1000. I just wanted something that texts and calls and none of the fancy stuff, but I suppose it was hard but I finally managed to buy the cheapest at the time. I got myself an LG flip phone that cost my $99 and also included a starter pack. The starter pack was basically put aside. I liked the phone, it wasn’t bad though it wasn’t like my old (more like my other) Nokia 1680c.

There is just one problem. After about a week or two, the sound quality deteriorated and finally I would not be able to hear the phone ring or hear the other person over the phone if I called someone. So naturally, I went over to have it sent away to be fixed. I had to use Vodafone so that I would have a loan phone in between, since the store I bought it from wouldn’t give me one. The phone came back after about two weeks.

Here’s the bad news, the same problem occurs again after it is fixed. This time I’m furious. If it happens once, it is ok just a faulty part. When it happens a second time, that just means that the phone is just no good and it is likely to occur over and over again. I took it back to vodafone and thought that I wold have to accept that they would send it over to the repairing folk again, but I was so furious at the time that I took it over to Dick Smith and had a great big fuss with the manager. He finally agreed that if he had one in stock, he would swap the handset only. He apparently had none. He checked if I had everything from the box and lucky for me I had not used up the starter pack. I inevitably, ended up choosing to go with a Samsung slide phone which was $109. It is dearer by more than $10 since I lose out on that additional starter pack, but at least I have a working phone now with two more years of warranty.

At the end of the day, the moral of the story is that everything is cheap these days but it is also cheap quality. Though, even the best of them are just as bad (or as good). You just have to be assertive about standards.

The Spray Can

Digicel Fiji

In Life, Tech on October 3, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Well, the opening of the new mobile phone giant in Fiji was done in one of the most extravagent ways with Sean Kingston performing live before a crowd of thousands for FREE. This is in line with many other launches in the Pacific where stars like Shaggy were brought in to promote the company. Local artists were also present at the event.

The day was filled with lots of hype and the media were having a feild day with it. The Fiji Times and The Fiji Sun being filled with advertisements from all communication companies, namely Vodafone, Inkk, Telecom and of course Digicel. Digicel went on further to subsidise the Fiji Sun which costed 40 cents on the day. Digicel offered phones at cheap prices and had some free credit up for grabs for all new customers in October.

The thing to analyse now is whether the company will make any headway in trying to gain significant market share as Vodafone has been deep rooted here on the account of its 14 year long reign. Though it seems that people are eager to switch if the price is right, they are not blind. The firm advertisers free credit but the credit comes with significant disadvantages. The bulk of the credit can only be used for calls and texts to other Digicel phones, which is not very useful as existing customers are on rival networks and for a new Digicel customer that means they can’t call anyone else for that credit unless their friends switch also. Secondly, the cheapest phone they have at $19 does not have a radio though were advertised to have such a feature. Thirdly, their rates aren’t all that cheap; 30 cents is only for off peak Digucel to Digicel and other charges work up from there. and climb to 45 cents, though it is good to note that the charges are all per second based which is unlike Vodafone and Inkk which charge per block on at least landline calls. You can check this all out at www.digicelFiji.com

On the other hand, they are giving more than you are paying for at the moment. $75 credit is something for nothing even though there are strings attached. The Cheapest phone they have will at least get you on their network if that is what you want. They also have phones that are better and it is good to note the F250 from Samsung which has a whole heap of features for just $125. They have even better phones like Blackberries and Nokia N series phones for cheap as well. The firm will further enhance your experience in the first month by offering free MMS messages. They basically allow pictures with text to be send together; they will later charge 50 cents for this service which is basically half the price to Vodafone which does it at 99 cents. Oh and yes, their texts cost 15 cents! Voice mail is customisable and free to access too.

Further on, the network of Digicel is 2.75G, i.e it is an EDGE network; the network is faster than the standard 2.5G GPRS networks. Digicel, according to their site will offer data plans and data even for prepay users at the rate of 1c/1kb, which is $10/1MB. Certainly not cheap. They also have no inbetween plans just a 2mb and 1gb plan. They really ought to have one at 50mb or something like that so that people can atleast check mail and access a few web pages per month.; it would be nice at around $12.

Overall, Digicel has got some competition coming up against it, though temporary; Inkk gives 30 cents all day rate and Vodafone has got the My Gang thing going for it as well. The next thing that Digicel needs is the ability to convert their Vodafone number to their network so that clients find it easy to switch, but that might never happen even thoughi tis done in countries like New Zealand. On the whole we’ll just have to wait and see what they come up with for us, but they certainly are looking promising.

The Spray Can

Where’s my 2 cents Fiji?

In Life on September 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

The RBF as of October is removing from circulation the one and two cent coins. Smart? Maybe and maybe not. Let’s look at the pros and cons and perhaps a few other countries.

Cons:

Well firstly, some inflation? Removal of low denominations ought not to cause inflation but it may it rounding is abused. This may occur in a country like Fiji. Items that a readily bought will have their prices rounded up at the shelf and when mixed with other items at the cashier the prices may be further rounded up; therefore, the stores effectively charging more. Though from research it is clear that it is a non-issue in later years and does not affect the economy when proper practices are in place.

Secondly, beggars aren’t going to be too happy. Usually we would give away our coins to charity or to religious places or to donation drives.

Pros:

Well there are many. Firstly, the one cent coin costs 4 cents to make. Added to that fact is that they are often collected and not tendered back, leaving them in drawers and other places where they will not be utilised.

Secondly, not having to deal with these coins means that labour costs are saved, not only by RBF but also by businesses who no longer have to cater for the floats with these coins. The cashier also does not need to count out and give out the coins saving them precious time.

As stated earlier, the coins have limited use; they are only given out and not taken back as counting a bulk of the coins will again cost the company or bank more money than what the coins are worth.

The value of the cent is so low that no item can be purchased by the coin alone. The FJD cent is of course valued less than the US dollar equivalent. Other countries including the Australia and certain European countries have stopped the minting of some of these low denominations. Sweden would be one of the first and hence were the ones to come up with rounding to solve the problem often caused at the checkout. New Zealand on the other hand has removed from circulation the one cent, the two cent and the five cent coins, leaving the lowest denomination as 10 cents. The ten cent coin is also a copper coin. Needless to say, they went on further to make the other coins smaller and lighter so that our wallets and pockets would not be laden with coins that were far too heavy. They are now some of the most light coins around.

Lastly, some of the things that we do not think about. The coins are small and often get lost, so they are not so beneficial to the consumer. The coins are hazardous to small kids who may find the coin small enough to swallow. Seeing as the coin is now intrinsicly valued more than its face value, it becomes a target for copper extractors who can melt coins to gain the metal components. In my honest opinion, this may be difficult in Fiji but there is no lack of motive. Thieves often loot building sites for copper wire; it wouldn’t be a surprise if they suddenly started selling out coins.

All in all, we’d better get out those money bags cause I know we’ve all been hording some of those coins. Who knows, you might get a couple of bucks richer by the weekend.

The Spray Can

The “Kaicolo” Effect

In Life on September 22, 2008 at 7:14 pm

I have theory. The theory is that of people’s behaviour towards technology. Technology is a big word; it is also a common word in today’s day and age. The problem is that for some it is a norm and they are not so easily amused by the next craze that happens to come along. They know that it takes something very good to make it very big.

How does the “kaicolo” effect come into play you ask? Well, here in Fiji the internet was one of those things that few had till competition and broadband made it cheap enough for average people to have a connection at home. This created a rift; people started to look at the new things that they could do with this. Also at the same time as broadband’s introduction, the new buzz word became Web 2.0. This meant a wealth of new applications like social networks, IM, video sharing and picture sharing. If you know human nature well then you know that people pick the things they love to do; they love to do things that are not so good for them.

The Kaicolo effect is just this. People are consumed in doing pointless things that get them into trouble, let alone the fact that they are wasting their time away and not getting the job done. It is also part peer pressure. Here, in Fiji, it’s social networks and cell phones. I suppose friendliness of the people means that everyone just wants to make friends, but they are just wasting many of their hours simply talking to people they see during the day. It’s a problem not for adults, who are so busy during the day; but for kids who are seemingly free all the time and have no work to do what so ever.

There are always new things to do and sites to visit, which means that time is being wasted on pointless things. It is not like they write about anything good, help out at a forum or do any constructive photographing that it be any benefit to the community or oneself for that matter.

Two people I know of have been consumed by at least some part of this effect. Their social presence means that they have hundreds of people to chat with and to update those profiles would also take some time.They are constantly texting or “buzzing” their friends from their cell phones also. They end up wasting the most productive parts of their afternoons doing this. Their teachers and parents became highly concerned about it and their computer usage is now kept at a minimum. I must say that my usage of technology including television, computers and a games console means that my productivity recently has also been declining, but I try to keep that down.

In the end, it’s time that can only fix a problem like this. People will learn how technology is to be best used and not how it is to be abused. This is probably why they still call Fiji a developing country; we are still developing mentally, economically and materialistically.

Kaicolo means becoming crazy about something like you have never seen it before. In this context it can mean obsession.

The Spray Can