Tag Archives: uct

Photo Gallery: Quick Pitstop at UCT (2013-11-17) Photo Gallery 26 NOV 2013

Forgot to post these snaps, but basically on our way home from Claire’s birthday lunch in Constantia, little Emily decided to make life hard for Chantelle’s bladder, meaning a bathroom was needed sooner than later.

So I suggested stopping in at UCT to make use of their facilities (I worked there for long enough, meaning I know my way around – more or less. Turns out my memory really isn’t all that wonderfull…)

Anyway, I did take the chance to stroll around a bit, you know, for nostalgia’s sake, and I have to say, I miss the old girl a little. Of course, the spell was quickly broken by an excited Jessica who insisted on running up and down the lanes with Mommy and Daddy in hot pursuit! :)

2013-11-17 16.48.59

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Blast from the Past: 2004 UCT Faculty of Commerce Open Day Screensaver Design 31 DEC 2012

Stumbled across this in some of my archived documents, and thought it fun to post up here. One of the many things I did while employed by Commerce I.T., part of the Faculty of Commerce from the University of Cape Town was to design screensavers for the various computer labs, mainly because I was the only one there who could create things in Macromedia Flash, never mind the fact I was the only one onboard who could use Adobe Photoshop!

university of cape town faculty of commerce web banner

In addition to creating graphics and screensavers for the various side projects Commerce I.T. found itself involved in, once a year I would be asked to come up with a new screensaver for the Faculty of Commerce Open Day to be displayed on the lab machines, and as it turns out, this is the one I whipped up for 2004’s outing. Not exactly a thing of beauty looking at it now, but hey, it got the job done! :)

(Unlike my earlier attempts at screensavers which left an image burned on the 700 or so lab computer monitors. Not my proudest moments I have to admit!)

2004 UCT Faculty of Commerce Open Day Screensaver

Death to the Muffin, Man! My Life 18 SEP 2007

For two days straight now, I’ve avoided the alluring call of the work cafeteria’s muffins, danishes and samoosas. It has been incredibly difficult, with their sweet scents and sugary taste calling out to me oh so powerfully.

The desire to snack is becoming overwhelming. Water and Coke Light will only sustain my hunger for so long. I don’t know how I’m going to keep this up!

But I must be strong.

I must not give in to the temptation. Begone ye Muffin Man! Lest I seize upon you all in one big bite!

chocolate muffin

PASS me the salt please My Life 12 SEP 2007

larry soffer magician cape townHad a pretty enjoyable work day yesterday :)

Every year the Commerce Faculty organises a PASS staff luncheon, and this time the ladies from the Accounting department got the chance to host it. (PASS stands for Professional Administrative Support Staff, basically all non academic staff members – people like departmental secretaries, faculty office and the finance office, and even us IT support people). Its a pretty big deal, with yesterdays event costing around R35 000 it is rumoured. It attracts a huge amount of sponsors and is basically quite a looked forward to day here in the faculty.

The venue selected this year was the picturesque Suikerbossie Restaurant, a place that offers large buffet meals and caters to a lot of weddings and other events. It is nestled between Hout Bay and Llandudno Beach, along what is probably one of the most scenic and breathtaking drives in South Africa.

This years lunch was superbly organised. On arrival, every staff member was given a name tag, a luck draw number, a R100 Clicks gift voucher and a huge goodie bag, containing a number of varied items from sponsors. Each table was decorated to the full, from balloons to streamers and every sitting had a little bag of chocolates and a welcome message placed before it.

Starters was a variety of breads and spreads, ranging from humus to snoek pate. The main course (buffet) consisted of lamb and chicken, a lot of varied starches, salads and veggies, and dessert was a selection of delicious cream cakes and ice cream. Entertainment consisted of a hired magician (Larry Soffer) that wandered amongst the tables, showing off all his various tricks and sleight of hand (though he could have done without the long balloon swallowing trick – it drew a lot of dirty gay jokes from our table :) What made it even better was when he pulled one over Kyle – that alone made it worth my while to attend!). Frank from Finance and Ops impressed us with his guitar and singing skills as well.

Another nice touch was the minor lucky draw they held – ever number that had been handed out on entry was in fact attached to a prize. The prizes were plentiful and rather varied, from kitchen goodies packets to beanies and gloves, with me walking away clutching a peak cap, t-shirt and a 1gb flash drive

There was also a major luck draw that featured 12 prizes which ranged in value from R500 to just over R1500. Unfortunately I didnt manage to snag one of those beauties, but my colleague Jason managed to get an overnight stay at the Protea hotel in Glen Cairn, breakfast included. Lucky bugger. Kyle immediately said that hes not going to give him leave for it though :)

It was a wonderfully organised day and I think everyone that attended really enjoyed it. So thanks to the Commerce faculty and especially the ladies from the Accounting department that went out of their way to organise it.

It was a bit suspicious though that just about everyone around the Accounting table walked away with one of the big prizes. Yet another conspiracy theory for us to deal with then.

Fokkin’ Taxis! General Nonsense 30 AUG 2007

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC! These damn taxi operators are a law unto themselves. If they don’t get what they think they deserve, they will resort to any means possible to get it. Just look at all the flipping killings and so-called “taxi wars”. It is pathetic! And it is ludicrous that they get away with it.

They hold us other road users hostage on our roads and it is high time something gets done about it. They are not above the law. They are not allowed to do what they want to. Something must be done about this scourge on our roads!

The letter that sparked this outburst of outrage?

“Dear colleagues and students

I write to you on a most serious matter. You will recall my last communication to you on Monday, 27 August 2007, when I expressed my deep concern and the position relating to the protest action by certain taxi associations around the Jammie Shuttle service.

It is with regret that I report to you that the situation has worsened. Despite our best intentions and close monitoring of this situation I was forced last night to make the decision to suspend the Jammie Shuttle service operating on Main Road, Claremont route, until further notice.

The taxi association is insisting that UCT is operating outside the parameters agreed between Sibanya (the transport company contracted to operate Jammie Shuttle Service) and the Operating Licensing Board. We know that we are operating in terms of fully compliant licenses and within the clear stipulations of the permits. The taxi association has a particular issue with the Main Road, Claremont Route.

Although we were particularly concerned with the threats of violence made in the public media by the representatives of the taxi associations on Monday, we were determined to operate our service as we are legally entitled to.

However, yesterday afternoon a minibus taxi stopped next to a Jammie Shuttle. An occupant of the taxi produced a firearm and threatened the driver of the Jammie Shuttle. The driver was forced to run a red light to get away. Mercifully, none of the students and staff traveling in the bus was hurt. We have reported the incident to the South African Police Services and a charge has been laid.

The situation is untenable. I simply will not take a chance with the safety of our students and staff. This is my first priority. It is unfortunate that many students and staff will be inconvenienced. Please make alternative arrangements for your transport until further notice.

Be assured that we are treating this matter with the utmost urgency. We are engaged in discussions on various fronts and will do all we can to resolve this matter. I am grateful for your patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely

Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele
Vice-Chancellor & Principal”

uct jammie shuttle bus whizzing past a female student

Starship Troopers at UCT General Nonsense 22 JUN 2007

Starship TroopersDoes anyone remember the movie Starship Troopers from a couple of years back? Big budget Sci-Fi action movie that most people wanted to see in the hope of catching Denise Richards in the nude? Basically a military movie in space, with rather ineffectively armoured humans battling against giant bugs? Anyone at all?

Oh well not important. I remember watching the movie when it came out, but I remember being far more interested in the CG kids show that was produced as a tie-in, again a completely different topic. In any event, the first movie spun off a second direct to video feature and now I hear a third movie is in production. Which brings me to the point of this post: it is being filmed right here in South Africa. Better yet, parts of it are being shot at UCT!

It was kind of cool to see all the movie support trucks parked in front of Jameson Hall yesterday. All the crew were running around and the props were scattered around for the world to see. Futuristic helmets and paintball-like looking guns lay around all over the place. Lots of interesting bits and pieces to see.

But to be very honest, what the heck is a futuristic space movie doing at UCT? Guess I’ll just have to wait for the direct to video release of this one :)

Return to Sender Blues Tech News 13 JUN 2007

This morning it was brought to our attention that no external mail was reaching us (UCT) and instead was bouncing back to its senders with the message of the UCT mail server being blacklisted. Obviously this meant that the guys at UCTs main IT support department needed to spring into action (mainly to avoid being blamed for the problem like they always do whenever something goes wrong). Well at least this time is appears that it wasnt their fault. In fact, it appears that the problem doesn’t even lie with UCT’s servers for a change.

Thank you hackers for once again making the ordinary mans life more difficult than what it should be :(

This is the notice message that was sent out:

What has happened?

Companies around the world subscribe to spam blocking lists to reduce the amount of spam entering their organisations. – These spam blocking lists show known spammers. – Companies who subscribe to the spam block list will then prevent the delivery of mail if it comes from one of the known spammers shown on the block list.

However, one of the well-known spam block lists has been compromised (hacked) and a number of major email service providers have been falsely added to the spam block list. – These service providers include for example, mweb.co.za, is.co.za, wits.ac.za, vodamail.co.za, absamail.co.za, hotmail.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com. – This means that mail being sent from those service providers is being bounced as potential spam, even though the majority of the mail is not in fact spam. – This is affecting mail delivery world wide.

The problem is NOT caused by UCT, nor can UCT do anything to correct the problem.

What is ICTS or UCT doing about getting mail into the organisation?

In order to accept as much legitimate mail as possible, we have reduced the spam security on our email system. Unfortunately, this will inevitably cause more spam to be accepted as well. – It also increases our vulnerability to attack by malware that can now enter the organisation. – Please make sure that you follow the normal safety guidelines about opening mail and attachments. – (See: “Protect yourself from Phishing attempts” on the ICTS website homepage (www.icts.uct.ac.za) for tips on what to look out for.)

stylish sending e-mail  from a tablet

Come Heel and High Water My Life 12 JUN 2007

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself today as I returned from the tuckshop for the second time today, clutching my second custard mini Danish for the morning shameful I know. But winter was made for nibbling!

As I was approaching the Leslie Commerce Building a student approached from the side, heading up the two steps to enter through the main entrance. What made this particularly funny were this girls shoes. Obviously a victim of fashion, she was wearing long high-heeled boots I’m assuming they are in fashion nowadays the heel of which was particularly slim. Now with every step she took, her whole ankle shuddered, causing her leg to give and her body to wobble. Every step!

I don’t even want to know the amount of concentration it takes to get that right without falling over like a beached whale. And if one falls, how on earth does one get up again in those impractical things? Unfortunately I turned a different corner to get to my office, but I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world she was going to climb that flight of stairs before her!

high heel boot

Insurance brokers must hate those shoemakers.