31 December, 2018

Reviewing 2018.

One of the new year resolutions of 2017 was to build a Raspberry Pi robot.
That never happened.

However the year was not dull and the major highlights are listed below and then further down are some more details about each item.


1) The in-laws moved up to Johannesburg (March),
2) Update the Bathrooms, lounge, and Anya's room (March),
3) Family wedding puzzles (May, June),
4) Wrote 3 HTML games for the Geocaching MEGA event (August, September)
5) I foiled a Smash and Grab in Alexandra (September),
6) Ubuntu server at Contabo in in Germany (October),
7) Telegram Bot (November),
8) Outsurance Pointsman Tribute (December), and
9) Other Youtube videos (December)

  1. Move Mom and Dad up to Johannesburg
    Trish's mom and dad lived all by themselves in PE, with very little family support. After our last renter left, we decided that we had to look at options. One option was to get them here with the help of all the kids, or look for another renter. Long story short ... They got a good deal on their house, and plans were made that they would move up here in March.
    Trish went down for 2 weeks to help get rid of all their things, that could not come up to Johannesburg. Matthew drove down to PE on a Friday, rented a big trailer and loaded everything on. Mom and Dad flew up, while Matthew and Trish drove the late afternoon with Chris to Graaf-Reinett and then from there to Johannesburg the next day. Once the stuff arrived we all jumped in and moved everything into the flat. It was very tight, but got it all in.
    Later on Anya would move out the second flat room, and into a room we made from the dining room. This gave the folks an extra bedroom and a lot more space.
  2. Update the Bathrooms, lounge, and Anya's room We wanted to update the bathrooms, and the lounge, and chatted to the bank about a loan. Soon enough we had the money available, and we first had the kids bathroom redone. It used to have a bath, which was removed, and big shower was added in its place. We then also re-tiled our bathroom, which was in dire need to be done. After the bathrooms, and with enough money left we decided to also re-tile the passage, dining room, and lounge. At the last minute, and after lots of um-ing and ah-ing we removed the chimney as well. This put us over the limit we wanted to spend, but with hindsight, it was a good thing to do.
    We then shortly after modified the dining room and computer room, into a new bedroom for Anya, by adding in a false wall, and removing an archway that separated the two rooms.
  3. Family wedding puzzlesFrom some pictures I saw, and a few other ideas ... It came to me to make a puzzle for our folks with all the weddings. I started on it long before, and battled a bit with finding the right photos, but in the end with using GIMP, got it all sorted, and got my side of the family puzzle printed before my folks wedding anniversary.
    When it was Trish's folks anniversary later on, we kind of had forgotten about it. So it ended up being printed just before Christmas, and thus became a bit of Anniversary slash Christmas present.
  4. Wrote 3 HTML games for the Geocaching MEGA eventFor the geocaching mega event held this year in Johannesburg, I wanted to write an interesting puzzle game. I searched the net for quite some time and eventually found a java-script snake game I could base my game on. Soon this was done and tested, but I wanted to do something more. Since time was short I had to find something basic and that I could modify a bit to get it to work. I then found Michael Hadley's blg post and new this was the game I wanted to modify. I spent far too many hours on it boy was a glad when it all worked out fine.
    The snake (aka GeoSlither) game can be found here.
    And the GeoTreasureHunt game can be found here.
    Some more info on GeoTreasureHunt  games.
  5. Foiled a Smash and Grab in Alexandra
    I foiled a smash and grab in Alexandra. I got home quickly split the video using ffmpeg and uploaded the 1 minute 20 second clip to youtube. I was quite excited that I captured something for once that would be interesting to share. I then sent the link to 5 or so whatapp groups hoping to get the double digit views. The next morning someone asked if they could share the link on some crime group. I said of course they could and I think from there it went viral. I had hoped to get to double (i.e 50 odd) views, but when it went to quadruple (over 1000) I was ecstatic. Never in my dreams did I expect over half a million views. My video has been watched worldwide for over 650 000 minutes (WOW!)

    I am also greatly thankful for the opportunity of experiencing the other side of the story. I got interviewed by SABC ,
    by The Good things guy, and
    Carte Blanch.

    I also had numerous Radio interviews, and even one or 2 from overseas.

    I was also featured on Right this minute. I found it quite a humorous take on the whole event.

    Lots of motorcycle vlogs contacted me and asked if they could feature my clip.
  6. Ubuntu server at Contabo in in GermanyA work colleague was talking about his hosting options and mentioned the company he was with had a server for 4 Euro a month (Less than ZAR 80.00) a month. That is really cheap!
    I was starting to play around with dotNet core and wanted a place to permanently host the solutions I wrote. The cheapest in South Africa at the time was over R800 a month (of what I could find). So I decided to eat one less hamburger a month and rent a server.
    It was like 6 hours after I had paid and the server was ready. I pressed some button and Ubuntu 18.4 was installed, and got a notification all was done a little time later. I logged on and started configuring an loading stuff to my liking.
    A few days later I made a fatal mistake. I did somthing like rm /* and whiped a good portion of Ubuntu. Lukily I could click on that magic button and it reinstalled Ubuntu, and since I had kept a detailed (manual) script of all my steps 40 minutes later I was back where I was before. Only a little wiser this time.
    So, the plan was to rewrite the GeoTreasurehunt game onto dotNet core, but I never completed the rewrite. But what I did do was a lot more interesting than rewriting.
  7. Telegram BotI wrote a bot for Telegram.
    Since October 2016 I have been sending out "Friday Funny OneLiners" (aka FFOL) that I gather from various sources during the week. I decided to get them all and put them into a database and make them available via a bot on Telegram. It was an interesting project to do and is my very first deployed dotnet core app using TLS, and a Postgres database. You can have a look at Funny one liner bot
  8.  Outsurance Pointsman TributeI ride a motorbike to work and back, and pass about 2 points man directing traffic every day. As a way to make my ride more interesting, I started to greet them when I was able to. It took a long time for them to notice, as I am sure they concentrate on the traffic. However the one guy at the London Road on-ramp onto the N3 north, quickly learnd to greet me back, and so I thought I would make a tribute video to him and all his fellow pointsman. You can view the video on youtube.
  9.  Other Youtube videos
    I spent about 10 days of 4 to 6 hours a day going through all my videos I captured on the motorbike, and put most of them into small parts of between 5 and 7 minutes long, of interesting things that happened to me while on the bike. The videos are all listed below.
    1.  Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 1
    2. Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 2
    3. Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 3
    4. Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 4
    5. Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 5
    6. Interesting events on the motorbike - 2018, Part 6
    7. Blockhouse to Benoni Northeners Toy Run 2018 
For 2019 I am planning to make a monthly video of the interesting events that happen around  me on the bike. Also plan to make a CNC machine and a rain meter using a raspberry pi.