Monthly Archives: March, 2006

Business Travel

I’m in Johannesburg, setting up a couple of Ndiyo trial sites. It’s great to be back in Africa, though this is unlike any part I’ve visited before. A land of amazing contrasts. I was watching the rush hour traffic; the Mercedes S-class convertible with one guy on a cellphone reminded me of L.A, and, just behind it, the little elderly minibus packed to overflowing was much more reminiscent of Kenya.

My first few days here have been somewhat strange too… I’ve been working all day in the gleaming air-conditioned MTN headquarters and returning at night to a budget backpackers’ hostel. I have the tail-end of a nasty ‘flu and so spend my evenings drinking Benolyn and my nights hoping that my cough isn’t waking everyone in the hostel.

Today, however, things took a definite turn for the better. Deciding that the hostel might be good for my soul, but had little else to commend it, I have now moved to the thoroughly delightful but still very affordable Guest House Oaktree. That’s my room on the right:.

Guest House Oaktree

It even has a nice ethernet connection. All of a sudden, this month of business travel seems much less of a burden…

Guest House Oaktree Pool

The 10/20/30 rule

I missed this when it came out… Guy Kawasaki says that anyone pitching their company to a VC should adopt the 10/20/30 rule:

It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

Online storage – the next killer web app

Amazon S3 – “Simple Storage Service” – is coming very shortly. Others will no doubt follow – talk about Google Drive has been floating around for a bit.

The trick with all of these services should be that many people back up a lot of the same stuff. The same DLLs, the same MP3 files, the same application binaries. An intelligent client should be able to checksum the stuff on your local disk and only upload it if it’s not already stored on the service by somebody else, in which case it should just upload a pointer. Likewise, many files are very similar, and some intelligent differencing should mean that only patches need to be uploaded.

Your PC will soon just be a cache of your online world…

Nature’s Jet Pack

Thought for the day from The Dilbert Blog:

If you lived on a planet with almost no gravity, would you be able to fly just by peeing?


Heavens, what a week!

Cambridge-London-Toronto-San Francisco-Seattle-London-Cambridge. Lots of interesting meetings with lots of interesting people, but it wasn’t helped by my catching a bug on the flight out, so that many of the meetings were conducted in a haze of jetlag, ‘flu, and ‘flu-combatting drugs, with me sitting as far from the other participants as reasonably possible.

I was kept alive by Hap & CD, who welcomed me into their Seattle home despite my ailments, and administered TLC at every turn. I told them I felt like an elderly Powerbook, whose battery wasn’t too good, and after it ran down to zero during the day I had to go back to them to get it charged up. By that time, though, my lid was pretty much shut! Don’t think I was a very inspiring guest, but I was a very grateful one.

Now I’m on the train back home from the airport, blogging to keep awake. I have a couple of days to unpack and repack before heading to Johannesburg on Wednesday where I’ll be installing a couple more Ndiyo systems…

Am reading the Scoble/Israel book, Naked Conversations: “How blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers”, and wondering whether the Ndiyo news announcements should be more like a blog and less like a series of informal press releases….

A new experience

There’s a first time for everything. I found myself needing some dental treatment at short notice, and after arriving at the surgery, I was shown into the treatment room and told that the dentist would just be a few minutes.

Well, you’re never alone with a Blackberry, and so it was that yesterday I sent my first email from a dentist’s chair…

Microsoft redesigns the iPod packaging

A very nicely done spoof.


Some pretty amazing images from China.

Found on the City of Sound blog.


I was in Toronto at the weekend, meeting up with the good folks from DirectLeap. It was exceedingly cold on Sat night when I arrived, as I had expected at this time of the year, but on Sunday the sun shone, and all was bright and clear, and we sat outside enjoying the weather.

CN Tower, Toronto

Hanging on the Internet Telephone

Fame at last! Bill T has quoted part of my ‘Gizmo, Skype and the Garden‘ post in his BBC article.

The crackberry addicts’ den

I was at John‘s a couple of nights ago, and we both happened to check our Blackberrys at the same time. Tom, John’s son, laughed and grabbed a camera…

Two Blackberry addicts

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser