Skull Candy GI review

I’ve had my Skull Candys for about a year now, and have used them on and off during the year.

Skull Candy GI Headphones

What I like

The sound quality is good, not up there with Sennheiser but good, with excellent bass because of the size of the drivers.

Solid, you won’t break these easily.

Lifetime guarantee, no matter how you break them.

Built-in bottle opener, ok, that’s not really a feature of headphones, but it has come in handy once or twice.

What I don’t like Continue reading Skull Candy GI review

Captain in the Cauldron – My review

Captain in the Caildron book coverJohn Smit‘s autobiography is an awesome read.  I managed to finish it in a few days, purely because I couldn’t put it down, unlike a few other books I’ve read recently.

The book gives a lot of insight into what happens behind the scenes in the Springbok camp, especially around the preparation for the 2007 World Cup campaign.

A number of rumours incorrectly spread by the media were also dispelled in the book, and I have even more respect for our current Springbok captain after reading his book.

I’ve been following Smit’s career since he burst onto the international scene, and have realised long ago that most of his work is done behind the scenes, out of the public eye, even on the field :-). This book was a confirmation of that realisation.

I can really recommend the book, well worth the buy.  I hope I get the rest of the chapters for free when they are written

Blackberry Bold 9700

For full disclosure, I’ve been a Nokia fanboy for many years, in fact I have not owned one non-Nokia phone. I’ve played with a number of other phones, but never for more than a few days. But in my opinion, Nokia’s UI is getting more stale than last week’s stock at your local greengrocer.

My last phone was the E71, which I absolutely loved, so I will draw some comparisons.

Sleek packaging, a BLACK box, half the size of the usual nokia boxes, but with the same amount of stuff in it.

Switching it on and starting the configuration was easy enough, it guides you through the initial parts, to the point where you can use the phone, but no more. Continue reading Blackberry Bold 9700

Mazda 5 – My first impressions

Buying a car is expensive nowadays, and I did a lot of homework before deciding on the Mazda 5. My reason for deciding on it was that it had the most space in the third row of seats out of all the MPVs I tested, but was still small enough for my wife to drive, seeing that she’s moving up from a Peugeot 206.

I’ve had the car for a few weeks now, and overall I’m loving it.  There is plenty of space, with two baby seats in the middle row, an 8 year old in the back row, and multitudes of bags and prams in the boot.  Ok, half the boot, seeing the back row of seats fold flat to create the boot, so we have one up and one down to fit the whole family. Continue reading Mazda 5 – My first impressions

Standard Bank Internet Banking problems

Seeing that I’m not entirely happy with the response time I’m getting on Twitter, and the fact that the website that Standard Bank lists on their Twitter profile has a broken communication page (it is broken in my browser of choice, Chrome), I’ve decided to list a few minor issues I have with my internet banking here.  I dare them to respond, and actually fix the issues, because I’m convinced I’m not the only one with these issues. Continue reading Standard Bank Internet Banking problems

Dodge Caliber

Since I saw the first pictures of this car in a magazine, my thoughts were that this must be my next car.  It is a seriously good looking car with the high stance, big wheelarches, and 18" wheels.

And then when seeing it in the flesh for the first time, my thoughts were confirmed, and I decided to go drive it as soon as I had some spare time.  That happened on Friday afternoon.

As I got in the car, my first thoughts were that it feels a bit cramped after he space that I expected from its size.  The centre console is quite wide, and the driver leg space is actually less than in my Conquest.

The trim on the inside was better than what I expected after reading all the bad write-ups in the local magazines, but I'm used to a Toyota Conquest, the reporters are used to driving the latest and greatest.  Same can be said for the power and acceleration, it wasn't impressive, but certainly better than the expectation set by the reporters.

As I started the car, AC/DC Thunderstruck started playing on the radio, big coincidence, but still one of my favourite bands, so I got to test the impressive sound system.  It is seriously impressive for an out of the box system, with very clear sound across all the ranges and volume settings

As for the actual drive, as I said previously I was fairly happy with the power and acceleration, but what put me off enough not to buy this car, was the fact that you can't see anything from the driver seat.  You can't see the bonnet at all.  Yes, I could move the seat higher, but then my head would be touching the roof, so that was a no-go. 

The A-pillar is situated closer than any other car that I've driven before, in such a way that it changes almost every curve in the road to a blind-curve, you cannot see oncoming traffic at all!  Now in my opinion that is dangerous, and my first thought was that, as in the software world, where most engineers never get to test-drive their own products to see the shortcomings, this design engineer never drove the car, because I think he would have changed this had he driven it.

The last thing that seriously ticked me off, was the salesman.  From the time he introduced himself he seemed off, and it got worse.  It took him a full 10 minutes to find the keys for the car, now if there was hundreds of cars standing on the floor I would understand, but out of the 7 cars in the showroom there were only two Dodges, how difficult can it be.  Then, without the usual sales pitch about all the features, he handed me the keys with a frank "Drive it around the block" and walked off.  The block isn't very big, and there are speedbumps, so I decided to take it further.  Then upon getting back, he couldn't wait to get me out of the showroom, choosing not to even gime an estimate of how much they would give me for my car on a trade-in, only repeating "…it is big, it is american, and you should buy it."

Piss-off buddy, I'll find another car, and even if this one was good enough to buy, I would have gone to another dealer to get some service.

So, that means I keep on looking for a car, and until I find something spectacular, my paid for Conquest will have to do the job.