Archive for November, 2007

Work update

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

When we left Kenya we weren’t sure whether or not we would have enough work. One of our goals was to get settled into Cape Town and then work on our web site and use it to get more business. Well that goal was back in September, then it became October, and now it’s November. So what happened you ask? Well we got work, quit a bit actually. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still looking for more work, but we’re paying the bills. Anyway we finally finished our web site and wanted to share it with you all:

http://www.mindfulinteractive.com

Mark
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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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Time to explore….

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Mark and I decided to rent a car for the next week to try and take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities that Cape Town has to offer. Saturday we went fishing again since that’s the hardest thing to do without a car. The only fly fishing store in the area operates a couple of dams that you can go fish at. Although we only managed to bring one fish to hand, it still felt a bit like cheating as the “dams” are really just small ponds. The location, however, couldn’t be beat as we were nestled in a valley between 2 sets of mountains outside of Stellenbosch.

The backdrop while fishing.

The one fish we almost brought to hand…we really needed a net.

Today we took at drive to Chapman’s Peak. Unfortunately the road around the cliffs was closed, but we were able to drive out to the point and see some amazing views. In the first picture you can barely see the road that drives around the bend….its looks tiny, very curvy, and hardly distinguishable from the cliff face!
The view from Chapman’s Peak drive.

We stopped off at a trailhead and hiked part way up to the top of chapman’s peak. The trail was really just one very long staircase. All I could think about was the person/people who had to carry and place each and every rock along the way. We didn’t go all the way to the top, but went high enough to see the ocean on both sides of the peninsula. We could have spent all day up there just looking out onto the ocean, but the wind was ferocious…..a number of times on the way down Mark and I had to stop and concentrate on not getting blown over!
On the way up to Chapman’s Peak.

One of many beautiful flowers we saw along the way. The area was recuperating from a recent forest fire and thus all the vegetation was very low to the ground.

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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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Freedom Toaster (Mark)

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

(This was a post I wrote up a while ago but never got around to posting — Mark )

In the US the amount of “things” you download from the internet don’t really matter. Everything is essentially unlimited. In Africa, while there are some unlimited plans, we are using pay as you go. So every byte we download costs us some money. We are currently paying around 55 dollars for 2gb of data. Which in most cases is fine for a month. One of the great things about Open Source is that it is very easy to get your hands on the software, which in most cases is free. So if I wanted to download a alternative to Microsoft Windows I could go onto the internet and download a dozen different operating systems. Well if you are on a pay as you go plan then you could quickly use up your bandwidth downloading these operating systems. That’s where the Freedom Toaster project comes in. It’s a project that aims at providing a location where you can come with a CDs or DVDs and burn copies of different Linux operating systems, for free (well the CDs and DVDs aren’t free). It’s funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation, a South African foundation funded by Mark Shuttleworth. Having a day with a car, we decided to go visit one of these Freedom Toasters for ourselves. Here’s a couple pictures of it:


Verdict? It wasn’t very user friendly. It took Sam and I a while to figure out how to actually use the thing and turned a few cd’s into coasters (aka unusable… insert joke about freedom coaster). It’s a interesting idea, in the right environment it might actually get used: university, technology groups that don’t have access to free bandwidth, but I don’t see it swaying masses of microsoft users to switch to linux.
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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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… And now for some breaking news …

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Well I finally gotten the ok to release this bit of news. I’d love to tell you all how it happened, but you should get it right from the source:

http://courtneyandarthur.blogspot.com/2007/11/on-palm-fringed-shores-of-lake-nyasa.html

Make sure to read the whole thing carefully, especially around the sentence that starts with, “Arthur was acting a bit funny…”

Mark
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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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Garden Route – Wilderness (Bebeth)

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Day 3 of our trip took us to Wilderness National Park. Although not quite as “wild” as the name suggests, it was very beautiful. We camped on the bank of the Touw River and woke in the morning to lots of Guineafowl running around chasing each other and generally making a racket! We spent Sunday paddling up the river to the start of a short hike to a waterfall. After lunch Mark and I took off down a tributary to try and find a lake. No lake was found, but we saw a number of beautiful (but sadly unidentifiable) birds. One even had an 8 inch red tail!! Try as we could, we never found it in our bird book. We did find out that our arms were…how shall I say…not as buff as usual. Apparently we thought that our daily reading of Small Adventure and Kaj Bune Photography meant that we were in paddling shape! It was no day out in the Sea Clipper, but it was great none-the-less.

All in all it was a great visit to a majestically beautiful part of South Africa. Below are a few more images from the trip.

A red-knobbed coot getting ready to grab dinner.

Pushing through the reeds in search of the lake.

A look up at the sky….

The view from our tent.

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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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Garden Route – Day 2 (Mark)

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Sorry for the last double post.

Today we went for a hike in the Knynsa forest, near an area called Diepwalle. Most of the beauty we’ve experienced here in South Africa has been grandoise and sweeping: Table mountain, the stunning coast line, etc. Today’s beauty was small and subtle: small flowers tucked in between tree trunks, tops of ferns, insects, budding plants, lichen, moss, etc. Here’s a small collage of pictures …





 
 
&bsp;

Mark

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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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Garden Route – Day 1 (Mark)

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Well Spring has sprung, or maybe it’s the beggining of summer here, either way it’s time for a vacation! “Vacation?”, you say? I know it may looook like we aren’t doing any work here, but how boring would it be if we just posted pictures of us working on the computer? Anyway, we decided to take five days off and see what this garden route thing was all about. Today was essentially travel day. We drove five hours out to a town called Knysna, a quaint and touristy town on the sea. We only have a few pictures to show of the day, but this is a picture of us “foraging” for dinner, aka walking up and down the waterfront perusing menus:

And this is a picture of our view while eating a yummy dinner of Fish, prawns, mussels, calamari, and wine.
Also if you haven’t checked out Courtney’s (Bebeth’s sister) and Aurthur’s (Bebeth’s sister’s boyfriend) blog they recently posted some exciting stories from the village you shouldn’t miss out on:

http://courtneyandarthur.blogspot.com/

Mark
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http://www.steudel.org/blog
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