Thursday, 30 April 2009

Fake lyrics rule - funny video

Do you sometimes hear a song and can't understand the language? No problem! Just make up your own cheesy English lyrics so you can sing along! :)

Here's Prabhu Dheva, a well-known Indian dancer who is sometimes referred to as "India's Michael Jackson" although I think "India's George Michael" is more appropriate. ;) Funny subtitles!

Kalluri Vaanil

[A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song, due to near homophony, in a way that yields a new meaning to the phrase. It should not be confused with Soramimis, which are songs that produce different meanings than those originally intended, when interpreted in another language.]

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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Netgear DG834GT router - 1.02.19 firmware issue?

Netgear DG834GT ADSL wireless routerI make a point of upgrading my DG834GT 108 Mbps Super Wireless ADSL Router's firmware (low-level internal software) every time a new version is released. Usually it makes the router more stable and new features are added.

The latest firmware version 1.02.19 provides functionality like VPN (virtual private network) and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access Version 2) wireless encryption, the latter being the main reason why I upgraded.


However, after I flashed the router with this new firmware version, I encountered a problem with the WPA2 encryption. After changing my settings to WPA2, my laptop would connect successfully to the router but if I disconnect and re-connect, it wouldn't work. It behaves as if there's an authentication problem with WPA2.

I then re-created the wireless connection profile with my Intel PROset software (manages the laptop's wireless adapter connections), changed the password, rebooted the laptop, rebooted the router, flushed the DNS - it made no difference. It would simply not connect again. I then disabled the WPA2 security and enabled the standard WPA security and that connected once, but the behaviour of the wireless was erratic, something I have not encountered before.


So I decided to downgrade to the previous firmware version 1.02.16 and I could successfully access the router using a wireless connection, using WPA-PSK encryption. So it appears that the 1.02.19 firmware's new WPA2/AES capability is dodgy at best OR my laptop's
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless adapter doesn't fully support WPA2 encryption (even though the Intel PROset software indicates that it does).
If you use the popular Netgear DG834GT wireless ADSL router and experience a similar problem, post a comment below.

If you decide to downgrade to the previous 1.02.16 version as well, just remember that before you do that (therefore while you're still using 1.02.19), first disable the wireless security in the router settings on the admin page before downgrading, otherwise when you're using 1.02.16 again and click on the "Wireless Settings" link in the left-side menu, you'll get a "Can't open file wire_wpa2.htm" error. If you disable the wireless encryption before the downgrade, you'll simply be able to setup the wireless encryption as usual on the "Wireless Settings" menu and all other router settings will stay intact.


Looking at all the comments on this page, it is obvious the 1.02.19 firmware version has a LOT of issues. However, how much of these issues are known to Netgear? It is important that Netgear is made aware of all these issues.

I therefore suggest that you still leave a comment on this page but that you also log an official support ticket for your problem at Netgear Support.
Just remember to also mention this specific blogpost URL: http://globetrottingonline.blogspot.com/2009/04/netgear-dg834gt-router-10219-firmware.html in your support ticket as added proof so Netgear can read all the user complaints about the 1.02.19 firmware. Netgear will then hopefully take note and speed up the process of releasing new firmware that actually works...

ANOTHER UPDATE - 27 August 2009

Scientists in Japan cracked the WPA wireless TKIP encryption in one minute (read that blogpost for more details) so it is best advised to use the WPA/WPA2 encryption that specifically uses the stronger AES algorithm in future. Of course, as luck would have it, it's only the 1.02.19 version that supports WPA2 with AES and as we now know, it's very unstable. Version 1.02.16 is stable but Netgear better release an improvement on 1.02.19 soon so we can all benefit from the WPA2 with AES encryption.

LATEST UPDATE - 10 November 2009

Netgear has released the latest firmware version 1.03.22 which should resolve all the issues mentioned on this page.

However, I've seen comments of people who still experience DHCP errors even after upgrading from 1.02.19 to 1.03.22. Push Netgear support by logging an official ticket so they can fix this problem in the next firmware release.

Also see my related blog post.

LATEST UPDATE - 16 March 2010

Netgear has released the latest firmware version 1.03.23 which according to Netgear, resolves the DHCP and reserved IP address issues.
Read more on "Netgear DG834GT router - 1.02.19 firmware issue?"!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

South Africa - Elections 2009

IECSouth African flagSouth Africans voted today in the national and provincial elections. According to the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission), an 80% voter turnout was expected, therefore indicating that South Africans regard their right to vote as a serious matter.

The courts also decided that South Africans living abroad, who were already registered, were allowed to vote too.

I voted around 10h00 this morning at a busy voting station and stood in line for about two hours to cast my vote. People were enthusiastic which was a pleasure to see. This is also the first election which was free of violence and intimidation. No serious incidents were reported.

I'm a big believer that everyone must exercise their right to vote to ensure a democracy is maintained. The first democratic elections in South Africa was held in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president. The ruling party, the ANC (African National Congress) is expected to win which means the party leader, Jacob Zuma, will become South Africa's newest president.

The big question is, will the ANC get a two-thirds majority or not? If they do, they will have the power to amend the constitution. A scary thought. Let's hope that's not the case!

The main opposition parties are the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Congress of the People (Cope). Here's a list of the rest of the parties on the ballot.

Update - 25 April 2009 - Election results

Jacob ZumaAs expected, the ANC won by a big margin ( 65.9% of national vote) but fell short of the two-thirds majority which would have given them the power to change the constitution unopposed. The DA will be the main opposition party with 16.7% of the votes, up from the 12.8% percent in the last general elections in 2004. The ANC therefore losing ground since the last election. COPE came in third with 7.4% of the national votes.

Helen ZilleOn provincial level, the ANC lost control of the Western Cape (where I live) with the DA winning outright with 51.4%. This will see DA party leader, Helen Zille, become the Premier of the Western Cape. She will relinquish her role as Mayor of Cape Town since she's not allowed to hold both positions at the same time. Incidentally, she was voted the world's best mayor in 2008.

ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, will be elected as president on 6 May and the inauguration will be on 9 May at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Related news:
Elections 2009 - News24
Elections 2009 - IOL Read more on "South Africa - Elections 2009"!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Should appearance matter?

Susan BoyleSusan Boyle

Appearances can be deceiving? Don't judge a book by its cover? Susan Boyle, a Scottish unemployed amateur singer became an overnight internet sensation when she auditioned for Britain's Got Talent. The audition was aired on 11 April and this YouTube video of her audition has been viewed over 25 million times in a week, showing her remarkable popularity online.

The crowd didn't give her a chance when they first laid eyes on her due to her supposed unattractive appearance but when she started singing, it became clear that she had a beautiful voice and she won the crowd over almost instantly. Good for you Susan!

However, what does this say about society? Is she popular because she has a great voice or is she popular because she's perceived as being unattractive with a great voice? It obviously is not supposed to matter but yet it does. Sadly so.

I for one hate shows like Pop Idol where the focus is clearly on image and marketability of the singer and talent seems to be a secondary matter. Britain's Got Talent however, is for everyone, all shapes and sizes, which of course makes it appealing to me yet the crowd still seem to decide beforehand whether a performer will be successful or not, based on appearance.

As for Susan, she has been interviewed by several talk show hosts since her audition and have fielded some idiotic questions like "So you're unattractive but you can sing? What do you make of that?" How is she supposed to respond to that?

Good luck to you Susan Boyle.

Here's a video of her audition "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Misérables:

Link to video

Susan Boyle sings "Cry Me a River":
(Incidentally, my favourite)

Link to video

Paul Potts

Paul PottsIn June 2007, Paul Potts, a shy unassuming cellphone salesman auditioned for the same show where he sang Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma". He won the crowd over in seconds with his great voice.

Paul Potts' audition video:

Link to video

YouTube sometimes disable the embedded feature on very popular videos. This prevents bloggers from putting the videos directly in the blog post. Over time these embedded videos may become unviewable; if that happens, just click on the link to view the video.
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Saturday, 11 April 2009

Mama Africa

Mama Africa bar and restaurant

A friend and I decided to go out for dinner last night at Mama Africa in the Cape Town city centre. It's one of my favourite restaurants and I definitely recommend it. Great traditional african food and marimba bands like Abavuki, Abakhaya and Marimba Vibrations ensure an upbeat, lively experience.

Mama Africa entranceI like meat so I had a "Mama's mixed grill" (Crocodile, springbok, kudu, ostrich and venison sausage with vegetables and samp). A nice assortment of game to scare any vegetarian away. ;)

Mama Africa inside

The restaurant staff are friendly and the atmosphere relaxed. Due to the ambience and unique African cuisine, the restaurant seems to be popular with tourists. Note that booking is essential. The whole upper Long Street area has seen a revival of sorts during the last few years so if you're looking for a "night on the town", that's the place to be. Well, at least one of them! Read more on "Mama Africa"!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

New WACS undersea cable agreement signed today

Undersea cables serving AfricaToday all South Africa's major telecommunication companies signed a formal agreement for the construction of the Western Cable System (WACS), to be completed in 2011.

The African continent is starved for international bandwidth, when compared to the rest of the world. We currently only have one fibre optic undersea cable serving South Africa, Telkom's SAT3/SAFE. The Seacom cable will land in June and any internet geek in this part of the world is automatically excited about the prospect. After all, we've been waiting for years for this to happen. According to World Wide Worx, bandwidth capacity for sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rise from 80 Gigabits per second in 2008 to 10 Terabits per second in 2011.

The confirmed new cables due to serve West, East and Southern Africa are:

1. SEACOM, East and Southern Africa, 1.28Tb/s – Due end June 2009
2. GLO-1, West Africa,640 Gb/s, ready for operations, 2009
3. TEAMS, East and Southern Africa, 120Gb/s – Due September 2009
4. EASSy East and Southern Africa, 1.Tb/s – Due June 2010
5. MainOne, West Africa, 1.92Tb/s, due 2010
6. WACS, West and Southern Africa, 3.8Tb/s, Due 2011

Related articles
New undersea cable part of 100-fold bandwidth increase (MyBroadband)
Costing Africa's new cable ties (BBC News) Read more on "New WACS undersea cable agreement signed today"!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Launchy - Keystroke launcher for Windows

Launchy If you use Windows XP, you should definitely consider this freeware application. Launchy indexes all your programs in your Start folder
and can launch any of them with only a few keystrokes.

I've been using this utility for quite some time and I'm so used to it now, I can't work without it. I never access my start menu, folders or shortcuts on my desktop. There's no need to!

To access Launchy after it has been installed, just press the Alt and Spacebar keys simultaneously. The Launchy window will popup. All you need to do is type a few letters of the application's name you want to open, and it will automatically display that application name, then press Enter and it launches. Simple as that.

In the screenshot above I typed "v" to display VLC Player and Enter to launch that program. No need to browse endlessly through your start menu anymore, especially if you have an abundance of applications installed. This is really easy to use, it's intuitive and saves a lot of time.

Download Launchy Read more on "Launchy - Keystroke launcher for Windows"!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Why I use Firefox

Firefox logo Firefox is my primary browser. I also use Google Chrome on occasion but rarely use Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Main reasons why I prefer Firefox
  • You can customise it to suit your personal needs. You can add almost any functionality you want via add-ons/extensions/plugins. This is by far the biggest reason why I switched! (See a list of add-ons I use and their functionality below.)
  • It's more secure. Firefox doesn't run ActiveX components or VB script. This makes it far less vulnerable to malicious hacking than Internet Explorer.
  • Switching is easy. Firefox enables you to transfer your existing bookmarks and other settings from your current browser when you install, without much effort.
  • It runs on basically all platforms, be it Windows, Mac or Linux.
  • It's small. It takes up very little disk space, so it's a quick, simple download.

When you download and install the Firefox browser, you'll see an address bar and a Google search bar at the top:

What's nice about Firefox, is that you can customize it to look the way you want, which you cannot do with Internet Explorer. I removed the Google search bar (top right) and integrated it with the address bar. So now I just type in my search query in the address bar and it automatically searches it in Google anyway but now I have a lot more space to work with and a cleaner interface:

My favourite Firefox add-ons/extensions

AdBlock Plus

Blocks just about all ads on all websites! Since no ads are loaded, the website therefore also loads much faster. This is usually the first add-on Firefox users install.

Mouse Gestures Redox

Now you can use your mouse to execute commands without using the keyboard, menus or toolbars. For example: If you have several tabs open, just move the mouse in a certain direction and the tab closes, or enlarge or reduce the font size with a single movement. List is endless.

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus offers extra tab features like automatically changing the tab when you move your mouse over it, setup single windows mode to open popups in new tabs instead. Other features include duplicating tabs, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. You can also manage the current session with the built-in session manager.


Share your bookmarks across all your computers. It saves the bookmarks on a server and synchronises your bookmarks whenever you use any of your computers online.

Easy DragToGo

Drag any text or link in browser and it searches it in Google in a new tab.

GMail Manager

Checks your GMail accounts for new mails and displays it in the corner of your browser window.


Hides ads from searches in Google search and GMail.

Webmail Ad Blocker

More screen space when you compose new email messages. You can also remove GMail features like the spam counter, Invite box etc.


When you compose a GMail message and want to add an attachment, you can only do it one by one. With DragDropUpload, you can highlight several files and simply drag them on to the GMail message and it will attach all of them in one step. Very handy if you have to send a lot of emails that contain attachments.


When you visit websites which you don't want to appear in the browser history or cache, enable this feature. It clears your tracks for that session. It is similar to the InPrivate browsing feature in IE8.

SwitchProxy Tool

If you want to use a proxy server, you must usually set it up in the browser settings. With this add-on you can switch between (or enable/disable) proxy server settings with a single click in the browser taskbar.

Download Statusbar

View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar - without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.


Displays clocks from different countries in the browser status bar.


Displays flag in the browser's address bar to indicate which country the site is hosted in.


Get your Twitter account's status updates in popup window, submit tweets, send replies etc. all from within the browser window.


If you host websites you can easily upload files to the server without leaving the browser window.


Firebug is a set of development tools that integrates with Firefox which can be utilised while you browse. You can monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code in any web page. Great for testing purposes if you're a web developer.

Firefox dictionaries

When you write new web emails or post blog entries, it checks the spelling according to the set dictionary installed. You can install the dictionaries and language packs here.

There are several hundred Firefox add-ons to choose from. The bottom line is that you use what you need and disregard the rest. Unlike Internet Explorer where you have no control over which features you need or want to use. That to me is the main reason why Firefox is my browser of choice.
Read more on "Why I use Firefox"!
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