Real-Value running costs of a Vehicle in 2001 Vs Vehicle in 2012

A exploratory exercise to understand the real-value running costs of a vehicle between 2001 and 2012, limited to variables related to fuel price and fuel consumption for a specific range of vehicle. Whilst limited, it was fascinating to see the relationship between fuel prices and fuel consumption figures as time has progressed.

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Plot of Fuel Prices against time in South Africa

Considering the last petrol price increases and the incremental decreases car manufacturers have managed to attain in fuel consumption, I wanted to understand what fuel price history would look like on a graph ( to relate this to some theories).

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Liberta – Finance Blog

Found an interesting blog about finance and living financially free;… okay granted the blog does not seem to be updated for a long while however the information I would think is very relevant. Find the link here.


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Apps for Blackberry

Mobiola Xplayer (Free from App World)
Alot of you may or may not have realised that Blackberries with OS 5 cannot fast forward in larger than a few second increments. In OS4 you could fast forward a lengthy movie with a few swipes across the trackpad but in OS5 you cannot. Mobiola Xplayer returns this functionality to OS5, allowing you to squiz through videos much faster. It also provides a bookmark feature which comes in handy if you would like to save a position in a video file for later viewing.

Viilingo (Free from App World)
A fast and well-integrated RSS reader for Blackberry, currently go through most of my RSS feeds though this app. Has the ability to connect to Google Reader and share the same feeds.

Gmail application (Free from
A seperate application for Gmail. Some may ask ‘why would you need a Gmail application?’ when you can receive your gmail emails on the blackberry itself. Explanation: The app comes in handy when you want to search your entire Gmail inbox, specifically if you are looking for a really old mail or invoice, as it allows you not only to search but forward the email to another address allowing you to retrieve any mail in your Gmail Account whenever you need it.

Google Sync (Free from
A syncing tool, that allows you to sync the contacts and calendar on your phone with the contacts in your gmail account and calendar with your Google Calendar account. Can be setup to sync periodically.

PDF Creator Ultimate Free (Free from App World)
Allows you to create a pdf from images on your phone, making it easier to email out.

Interval Timer (Premium from App World)
Timer for interval training, can set intervals, warm-up and cool down periods.

News24 app (Free from App World)
News information, like that you can see user pictures uploaded to News 24.

QR Code Scanner Pro (Free from App Word)
Scans and displays the text in QR codes. This is what QR codes look like:

bMind (Premium from App World – last I paid around R 100)
A mindmapping tool for blackberry, compatible with freemind. Allows me to create mindmaps on the move.

repligo Reader (Premium from App World – last I paid around R 100)
The best mobile pdf reader I have used, scales large pdfs well.

Bloomberg Mobile (Free from App World)
Stock markets prices and information from around the world.

Twitter (Free from App World)
Use it to follow my favourite bloggers, news leaks and updates.

SalatMK (Free from App World)
Gives an adequate representation of Muslim Prayer times. Can be set with alarms to remind you to pray, can provide Qibla (prayer) direction based on location)

One Touch Flashlight V2N (Free from App World)
An app that puts the Blackberry screen on and at its brightest. Handy when you don’t have a flash light around.

Google Maps (Free from
A mobile version of the popular Google Maps web app, use it to get me directions and satellite images of areas I don’t know, before I have meetings there.

Rock File Manager (Free from App World)
Handy file manager, with much more features than the standard file browser on the phone.

DropBox (Free from App World)
Use it with my Dropbox account to grab files recently stored on my desktop, for referencing when in meetings or while I am travelling.

Quickpull (Free from App World)

At times your blackberry can get slow or stuck requiring you to open the back cover to pull the battery out to force a restart. Quickpull will fake a battery pull allowing you to restart your blackberry without doing any physical work besides selecting it from the menu.

WiFi File Transfer (Premium from App World – last I paid around R 30)
Creates a HTTP file server on your blackberry that you can connect via wireless to. Can be used to download and upload files directly to your blackberry via a shared wireless network with your pc.


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Planning for a long time ahead,consider using the CompactCalendar

Ever since I stumbled upon this some years back, I always use it to plan for events at work and home. The idea is simple, a whole years calendar on one page. The dates are  to the left of the page which makes room for you to make notes on the right.

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Looking for property information?

If you are looking to purchase property, it would be helpful to know what is the municipal evaluation of a specific property and what it was sold for previously. Fortunately these days there are sites where you can retrieve this information easily for a small fee.

Two sites that I have personally used myself are:

Last I used both sites, PropIQ charged me R 70 and Evaluate R 30. I personally find the propiq report better laid out and seems (but I have not confirmed this) to have more information. Both sites provide the reports instantly and a credit card is required to purchase a report.


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Looking for Mobile Phone / Tablet reviews and information

If you are looking for information regarding a specific phone or tablet, I suggest you do the following:

Head over to and use the search box on the top right corner to find the phone you seek information on. The search button is located here:

After you have searched and selected the phone model you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below. Please look in the following corner (arrow in red) for reviews that you can click on.

You ll find that GSM Arena’s reviews are quite comprehensive, and for the non-technically oriented still a good read.

Other sites worth a visit are:

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Samsung ML-1670 Printer problem solved

At 03:00 AM,  I was suffering to print some notes I needed for an open book exam. The printer I had just refused to print. I’d click print and about 2 minutes later , it would print a timeout error. This was quite bewildering as I had tested this printer with a few documents before, (I did take into account) however this was a much larger document than what I had printed previously.

This is a take on how I solved my problem in case any one has the same issue.

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Lightweight – MP3 Player

The lightest MP3 player I could find, some reviews claim it to be 6-8 times faster than Winamp –  all I can say is that its really fast and simple. If you looking for a fancy graphical interface, do not download this, however if you want speed and something that can run on a netbook or old pc blissfully – this is for you.

Commands to know:

  • Play – Enter
  • Pause – Space bar
  • Volume Up – Ctrl and +
  • Volume Down – Ctrl and –

You can download it from here.


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Can leadership be thought?

This was a question posed to the class when I was at the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town. Each student was asked to provide a brief response providing a view of their thinking. This is my view: 

With respect to the question? thinking about it from a different angle, we may consider what is needed to teach an individual to become a leader? I think the honest answer would be we dont know. The mere definition of leadership has a very open understanding. Hitler and Mandela are leaders, besides leading people there are very real differences between the two and finding commonality is insanely difficult.

In assessing the specific question:

I believe that leadership cannot be thought (after attending four courses from university and two corporate getaways on leadership), however tools can be provided to an individual to increase the likelihood of him/her becoming a leader.

Some of these tools include knowledge of the environment and people, and intellectual stimuli to generate thoughts around the idea.

I questioned myself whether other qualities mentioned in so many books on leadership, like humility, kindness, direction are ever needed to become a leader and came to the following conclusion. Hitler was a leader, I would not think he was humble or kind. Steve Jobs is considered a leader, his not humble either and in his biography had very little direction in his life. I think it is ultimately based on what type of leader the person is capable and willing to become. You cannot teach a person to be a leader, rather the person can be equipped with the skills to understand if he or she wants to pursue leadership and what type of leadership they would want to pursue. Would they want to be servant leaders like Ghandi, fearful leaders like Hitler, eccentric leaders like Steve Jobs or humble and loving leaders like most mothers.I believe 3 things make a leader:

  • An inner drive within a person matched with a personality that fulfills the requirements of a type of leader (compassion for servant leadership, brutality for fearful leadership)
  • experiences which have shaped their being (this can be accelerated by a mentor assisting the individual to turn experience into knowledge)
  • and opportunity to lead (you can be the best politician, but if no one believes you over Julius, you will not be given an opportunity to be president of the youth league) however you may lead under the guise of another position.

In concluding, hopefully tying all this jumbled ideas up. I believe you cannot teach a person to become a leader, however given a set of tools, opportunities and drive a person can learn to become a leader.



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