About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

07 April 2006

Music: Superdan & Apocalypse Cows

Wednesday night was Sara's first gig as part of her new band - Supadan at the Mercury Lounge, and a whole bunch of us went along to support. Supadan themselves are not a new band, but it was the first time I have seen them live. The music is best described as Hip-Hop with quite a bit of Jazz and Rock influences. To be honest, the music was nothing special, and I thought the stage show as such does need a bit of work. But, it was very enjoyable, and I would love to go see them play again. I hope they sort out the reverb on Sara's mike though ... couldn't really hear her because of the reverb.

Apocalypse Cows was the band that followed Supadan, and they can be best described as heavy rock accompanying cacophony. Indeed, the lead singer very much reminded me of the bard Cacofonix in Asterix and Obelix. Whether he actually utters words into the microphone or its just one scream after another, is up for debate ... but we did not stay behind long enough to investigate. The only positive is that they had a good heavy rock sound (in terms of the music). But, they need to get a better singer or failing that, better songs.

02 April 2006

Internet for the masses, Chuck Norris and the Wonders of the World

In an earlier post I mentioned the availability of free Internet access to all Cape Town library members. I didn't want to work yesterday morning, and took the opportunity to have a relook at the system at the Mowbray library. Incidentally, the company tasked with providing this service, Sm@rt Cape, is also rolling out trucks with PCs for the wider poorer communities in Cape Town.

The system is completely open source, using Firefox, Open Office 1.1 (should really be using Open Office 2.0 in my opinion) and runs on Linux in what seems like Enlightenment window manager for X. I didn't spend too much time on the system, but it was pretty easy to use, and I do not think it will require too much training to use. In particular, there is no need to learn complicated menu systems (there are no menus), and there is a clock counting down how long you have left on the system. I was however not impressed with the Internet speed, and websites took forever to load - so long that I just gave up in the end. The only other complaint I have is that there is no taskbar, something that could confuse a lot of novice users of the system who know how to multitask - but are not sure on how to get around multiple windows.

Later on in the afternoon, was the annual UCT RAG Floats Parade. For the second time in its 80 year history (first being last year), it was held on Main Road between Rondebosch and Mowbray. It was also held in the afternoon, and like last year, there was a mini carnival held at Mowbray Town Hall - this year featuring some top bands like the Finkelstiens and 340ml. From outside, the carnival was not much of a success - there was hardly anyone there, and to charge an entry fee for such a small carnival was suicidal in my opinion.

The floats this year were of poor quality this year, despite have longer time to actually do them. The amount of student participation in the floats was shocking (some floats barely had people in them), and most floats was rife with adverts from various companies. In fact, some residences went so far as making the company the subject of the float - definitely a sign of the modern times - but not really a wonder of the world.

Varietas' music dog was one of the best floats, featuring a spinning disc and lots of students, mostly playing various instruments. But a wonder of the world?

Chuck Norris made an appearance, with a number of Kopano boys strutting their stuff as Chuck Norris. I don't know (or understand) what the recent fascination with Chuck Norris comes from, but he appears to be everywhere.

EBE's (the engineering students) had some real engineering with a plane that could tilt from side to side. It was definitely one of the better floats. The Marquard space shuttle was small, but atleast they kept to the theme.

Smuts had the most commercial float - scoring not one but two sponsors. Whether McDonald's qualify as a wonder of the world can be debatable, but Scooters Pizza's 3 for 2 deal might just qualify ;)