Ubuntu Past Group Membership

I was in the process of installing Virtualbox day before yesterday (September 20, 2011); needed to add myself to the vboxusers group, but accidentally erased my group membership on Ubuntu –I feel retarded right now. It was a silly mistake really, I accidentally left out the “-a” (append) switch when I was trying to add myself to the vboxusers group.

A tail on /var/log/syslog file was not very helpful. Continue reading “Ubuntu Past Group Membership”

Free International SMS using Gmail SMS

Update #1 (September 9, 2014): SMS through Google Chat in Gmail was discontinued on April 1, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a tweet about how cost effect and convenient I was finding Gmail SMS –I mean I am behind a machine 95% of the time so clearly, its something quite useful for me… Plus, its 100% free –compare that with the R1.74 (ZMK1218) I have to pay for each SMS I send to Zambia if I use Vodacom. I think that very few people who read my tweet actually understood the idea behind it, and so I decided to write a short article about it, with the hope that someone else out there will find this service useful –as I do :D. Continue reading “Free International SMS using Gmail SMS”

Backup, Replicate& Multiplex – Redundancy Helps

Flashback! Its November 2007; I am just about three(3) months into my new Job as a DBA; and one of the few things I am tasked to do is babysit an OLTP system with 256GB RAM, a 15TB sized Oracle database and 32 multicore processors –an HP Proliant, a beast, nothing quite like anything I have ever worked with. The system basically maintained the Prepaid subscriber lifecycle process –dynamically computing daily subscriber additions and churn figures by making use of RGE events. So thirty(30) minutes after arriving at the office, I accidentally truncated the table that stored historical details of all churned subscribers, from as far back as 1998 (9 years worth of data). We had a very rudimentary backup mechanism at the time –daily Oracle exports of “critical” aggregated tables. I spent the whole day trying to figure out what to do and I never told anyone what I had done 😉 The good thing is I managed to restore the previous day’s hot backup and then performed a very primitive roll-forward of all transactions for that day. Continue reading “Backup, Replicate& Multiplex – Redundancy Helps”

Cheaper International Calls with Google Voice

International calls in South Africa are insanely expensive, and funny enough, local voice calls are no exception either. It gets even better though, International calls are so expensive that it is 5 times cheaper for someone from home (Zambia) to call me than it is for me to return the favor. One would wonder why that is the case, especially that the interconnect rates are the same between two interacting mobile operators *SMDH* And did I mention SMS is not spared? It appears I found myself in a place where the basic laws of economics do not apply. But thank goodness for VoIP and the Internet! I can make calls at a shocking ~500% cheaper rate. Yes! 500% less… I did complex Mathematical Number Theory (Mathematical Methods+Numerical Analysis) at versity so I am really good at maths 😀 I even contemplated pursuing a career as a mathematician –but I took the wrong turn 😉 Continue reading “Cheaper International Calls with Google Voice”

Time Management – Rebirth& Pursuit for Nirvana

I decided to call this post “Time Management: Rebirth& Pursuit for Nirvana” because it coincides with my birthday; my biological clock is fast ticking and very soon I will pass on to the world beyond. Seven(7) months ago today, I –as my western and capetonian comrades would put it– grew myself some balls and decided to move on with my life. Little did I know that moving on would be both a painful and trying phase. My reasons for moving on would strike the average human being as an act of madness and I will not talk so much about that. What I would like to do, however, is to share with you the difficulties I have faced these past seven(7) months. In particular, I would like to focus on time management and self discipline. Continue reading “Time Management – Rebirth& Pursuit for Nirvana”