Trip down memory lane

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It was a spur of the moment decision but I dropped in at the annual Lusito Land festival today. Despite the fact that it takes place within walking distance of where I live these days (and have done for about three years), I haven’t been for a long time.

There was not a single Portuguese beer on sale at Lusito Land 2013

In spite of the R60 entrance fee, first impressions were favourable: lots of funfair rides for the kids, an impressive array of stalls and what seemed like a watering hole down every alley. I was also intrigued to see a stall displaying (and selling) polish meat products and another that was peddling products of Canadian origin.

But sadly, that’s not the only place the Portuguese had sold out the origins of the event. The other, far more important area was in the numerous beer tents: the only “beer” on sale was the chemically enhanced swill peddled by SABMiller.

This was disappointing on so many levels because, unless my memory fails me, one of the more interesting taste journeys at the Lusito Land festivals of yore was that presented by the many different Portuguese beers available in this country. That’s a massive fail in my book.

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Ke nako; It is time

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My last post to this forum called for the SA cricket selectors to be fired and Captain Crossbat to be dropped – among other things. Today’s game against Ireland has shown that I was right: the time to lose Smith is now long overdue because he adds no value to the team. Check out the scorecard here.

This would solve so many problems for the selectors, primarily the bowling challenge. Up until now they have had to play an extra batsman to cover the gaping hole at the top – the one between Captain Crossbat’s bat and his pads. Morne van Wyk proved today that he can open without putting unnecessary pressure on his opening partner (Amla) or our star batsman, Jacques Kallis. AB is a shoo-in once he’s fit again and Ingram showed his metal today; I’d bring him in at five. Duminy was sublime. Du Plessis seems to be struggling at this level but I’d retain him because when he announces himself it will be big. However, if they wanted to play the extra bowler, he should be the one to drop.

That’s the top seven sorted, leaving four spots for bowlers. Botha is my captain and he’s in at eight. That leaves three spots for bowlers. Tahir has to be there: he has played only three games and taken 11 wickets for 98 runs (each costing less than 9 runs and coming in fewer than 14 balls). That leaves two spots for the quicks, Steyn and Morkel.

So, if we wanted to play the extra bowler (in the place of du Plessis), who would it be?

I’d  like to see Tsotsobe in action; A tall left-arm quick, he was brilliant against Pakistan in the Emirates on pitches giving very little assistance. He was also superb in the pre-tournament series against India in SA where he was the most successful bowler on show (13 wickets at costing 13 runs each at a strike rate under 20). I think he deserves a chance to strut his stuff. If the selectors had any brains they’d give him a run against Bangladesh.

And then there is Petersen. I call him a part-time bowler and part-time batsman or, in less charitable moments, 46664, to represent what he goes for in a typical over here at home. However, even I can’t deny that he has been effective in India. But then, as my learned friend Andy informs me, so have all the left-arm slow bowlers at this World Cup.

So that’s the selector’s conundrum: du Plessis, Petersen or Tsotsobe. The latter is the one we haven’t seen in action yet. Ke nako; It is time.

From the horse’s mouth

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Since the launch of Vista it has come under fire from all quarters. Now, it appears, criticism is coming from the horse’s mouth. Check out Ivo’s post on the subject here.

Indepth review of the OLPC

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The Register is running an excellent and detailed review of the OLPC project‘s XO laptop. By necessity it’s very long but if you have any interest in the topic is well worth the read. Reviewer Brian Hurley concludes:

“There’s a lot to like about the XO laptop. It’s tough, it’s great as an eBook reader, it has a big (for its category), high resolution screen. It runs silent and cool, has good battery life, and the clean design of the Sugar interface is easy to use.”

But he does note that several areas need work, among them the web browser and the file system as well as multimedia performance and support. Read the full review here.

Making computing affordable

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Much has been written about the need for affordable PCs – particularly among school children in the developing world. Which is why MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte launched his One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project with the goal of producing a $100 computer. Sadly, that price proved unachievable and the machine currently costs just under $200 – which is still remarkably affordable. But just how capable can such a machine be? Could Intel chairman Craig Barrett have had a point when he called the OLPC a $100 gadget? Or were those merely comments designed to promote Intel’s more expensive – and Windows-based – competitor, the Classmate PC?

Ars Technica has an excellent comparative review of the two machines. Even more interesting is the review by nine year-old Rufus Cellan-Jones after his father took one home to the UK from Nigeria. I wouldn’t mind getting my grubby paws on one of these gadgets to see for myself.

A load of crap on the Internet

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This was too funny not to post. It seems that the University of Aberdeen plans to welcome students back with a high bandwidth internet network connected via the sewers. Give new weight to the contention that there’s a whole load of crap on the internet.