At 10.44am on 12 November 1991, the first packet of data was sent from Grahamstown across the Atlantic to a house in Oregan, USA. We all know this simple transaction that we all use on a daily basis as the Internet. Grahamstown has just celebrated the 20th anniversary of this event, hosting an evening with the players involved. Grahamstown is still a buzzing centre of technology, with a large varsity population studying towards careers in technology, wireless service providers providing last mile service to farmers and dynamic Internet Service providers providing  access and hosting services around South Africa to our Internet community.

The first email sent by Mike Lawrie:
“Well, the line keeps going up and down, and the ‘telcos’ have not completed testing yet. But for the record, it was the first ping from North America to [sub-Saharan] Africa.” Sauce

One not so positive note is that one of South Africa’s peering points, called GINX, was shut down last month. Although not headline news, it kind of gives us a story about lack of communication and sharing of data amongst service providers. Although Ginx was only setup as a model INX by Rhodes University, it was more of a pain to maintain. IT could have provided a legitimate service amongst the local providers that used the service and also paved a way for providers sharing and peering bandwidth, perhaps reducing costs to internet users.

Following prodigious efforts by the SANReN project Team, the SANReN Backbone extensions project has reached Rhodes University. On 9 October 2012, engineers from Rhodes and TENET commissioned the new connection.

What does the Internet look like in picture?

This project was created to make a visual representation of a space that is very much one-dimensional, a metaphysical universe. The data represented and collected here serves a multitude of purposes: Modeling the Internet, analyzing wasted IP space, IP space distribution, detecting the result of natural disasters, weather, war, and esthetics/art. This project is free and represents a lot of donated time, please enjoy.

More information:
Stats of domains regsitered in South Africa


Internet Stats 2012 South Africa

Good composting makes for good soil. Soil is one of your most important assets, and needs to be checked and regenerated on an ongoing basis. The area is well-known for cattle farming and pineapple farming which both generally deplete soil of its nutrients fairly rapidly.

Benefits of a compost heap:

Soil conditioner: Adding fresh compost adds vital nutirients, and humus to the soil. This inturn helps retain moisture.
Recycling of waste products: When buying the correct products ( no chemicals, plastics ) and eating properly you will be able to halve your waste. Instead use most of it to fertilise your compost heap.
Adds beneficial organisms to the soil: The active composting process creates a habit for the correct organisms to eneter your soil and be used to break down plant matter, aerate the soil and kill plant diesease.
Good for the enviroment: You can stop using chemical fertilsers with good compost. When you start composting you are opening your garden a whole world of possibilties such as worm farming, vermi compost, compost tea.

Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It’s also free, easy to make and good for the environment.

The first thing, especially when cleaning up is making adequate space available for composting, and to find a suitable location for the compost heap.A compost heap should not be in full direct sunlight, but some shade is required to keep the compost wet. Easy access to the heap if you have a large vegetable garden, place it close by. It should not be too close to the house at it can attract alot of vermin aswell as snakes. A compost heap should not be too smelly but can produce some smells that you would rather not have around the house.

We are currently making space for a compost heap in the vegetable garden as it is easy to access and provides a great way to fertillise the soil for future vegetable beds. We will move them and turn the old heap into a vegetable garden. I also would like to build a brick compost heap with drainage. This will be complemented with two x 4 tyres stacked wormery to make vermi compost and worm castings.


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