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Risharde's Blog

Shame on TGI Fridays Gulf City. No WIFI??!!!

It is really a deep shame that a so called well established dining restaurant such as TGI Fridays at Gulf City does not have free wifi access in this day and furthermore considering the exorbitant prices that one pays to eat and dine at this so called higher class restaurant, one would expect the least luxury of having such. This goes to show that people pay ot only for food but convenience and to always be connected. I dont believe that I get enough at TGI for what O pay for.

TSTT bMobile's Add+ Vantage - Mostly Rubbish

You know, the thing that gets me, is when a company advertises an expensive service but makes the consumer think that they are getting real value for money. Therefore, I am about to speak to the masses of you about TSTT/bMobile's Add+ Vantage promotion which as far as I can see, is just a big waste of time gimmick (mostly rubbish).

Point #1: So previous to this Add+ Vantage promotion was the 1..2..3..4 promotion which I must say which did in fact save you money in one sense. The 1 2 3 4 promotion allowed you to make a call for more than 3 minutes if I'm not mistaken and give you up to 100 minutes free for that specific call (which is fine I suppose, kind of like spending about 3 dollars for a 100 minute call)

Point #2: So I think they've gotten rid of this and no started splitting plans up such that you choice between voice and data communications. In other words, they have plans for data + sms and separate plans for voice minute bundle. Furthermore, the voice bundles basically charge you $1 per minute (which I do not see as a cost advantage to the consumer - so that's rubbish to me).

Point #3: Who on earth these days want a limited data plan? Answer: Simple, anyone who can't get an unlimited plan. And there's where this company basically advantages the situation with the consumer. You pay $29 dollars a week for 300 MB of data. This is like giving me one slice of pepperoni from a pizza. It tastes really good but can't do much to keep you up and practically worthless. But yet, some foolish person working for this company dictates the pace at which technology has become. So my rhetorical question for them is.... What is the point of the cloud if data is THAT LIMITED. It makes no sense. Sure, people will buy the plan but the truth is that you all can do much better. It's a real shame. I don't mind if a company which gives its best gets money from the consumer but I'm not seeing that here. So as far as I am concern, to power a small island with data is not to much ask and thus these plans and limits are utter rubbish. That data calculator is as bogus as the people who came up with these data plans.

Point #4: Their so called "unlimited" plans have unreasonably low limits in this day and age. One cannot compare Verizon to our small TSTT/bMobile. It is ridiculous to think they cannot provide more for less considering they have much less overhead cost than an international company. Utter rubbish from TSTT/bMobile as usual. When will this end?

bMobile / Blink / bzone Hotspots - Pure waste of time - Extremely frustrating!!!

So for the past 3 days, I've been trying to get access to the free bzone hotspots. But as is mostly the case, TSTT has once more proved its incompetence. Everytime I try to register as a bmobile user to get unto the hotspot, the SMS code is never sent to my phone which means - NO INTERNET ACCESS. This has been extremely frustrating to say the least, I don't know what to do anymore.

bMobile Outlets - FRUSTRATING!!!

You know, as if all my rants have not been enough. Every time I check a bmobile outlet for a handset promotion, it ends up with my blood pressure so high, I end up having to try to sooth myself with mental therapy that one day, they will actually become a company worth something! If you haven't had the chance, head down to a bmobile outlet and test your luck out on getting those blu hansets that $500. They are either out of stock or the outlet does not have the promotion. I mean, what in God's name is going on with TSTT/Blink/Bmobile?!? Absolutely frustrated. Digicel is no better as far as I am concerned because they have similar ridiculous prices for internet. Is it too much to ask for a third mobile company that gives the proper service? For God's sake man!

Royal Castle at the Airport

It is extremely pathetic when a fast food chain that encourages people to eat local does not provide local pepper. In fact Royal Castle at the airport rather sells the pepper as it is neatly shown in a glass case. So guess what Royal Castle.... youd be surprise how much sales you are not going to get from me anymore. Kfc it is then. I rather wait in line to get pepper than to not waot to get no pepper. Shame on Royal Castle!

Freepbx Paging/Intercom tweaking for devices that cannot autoanswer / conference

Right, so the title is really complicated so I need to explain what I am trying to do here. Essentially, I had some extensions that I wanted in an "Intercom mode" (kind of like a conference), except I wanted to be able to dial a number and it would do automatic calling to all the other extensions and hope that they have autoanswer enabled. Well, generally speaking, the devices I am using (which are soft phones) don't seem to have autoanswer so the Paging and Intercom settings in FreePBX basically times out the call to each device after 5 seconds which is way too short for you to manually answer it. So.... I did some ..... tweaking and thought this would be useful for those of you having this strangely unique issue.

Time to get to the linux console
Go to /var/www/html/admin/modules/paging

Edit the functions.inc.php
I use nano to do this: nano functions.inc.php

Look for and change the value to something higher. I used 20 (its in seconds apparently)

Save

Exit

Now go to the Paging and Intercom Freepbx webpage, create a new group and associate the extensions you want to intercom to. I use duplex because I want it to be like an emergency conference.

Save, apply

and now test it out! ;]

Good luck!

IT Managers of the Government

You know, I've had chats with a lot of people and for some reason, people tend to believe that Government works don't work hard. This is particular FAR FROM THE TRUTH from my experience. I work EXTREMELY HARD! If you're one of those people who believe that government workers don't work hard, you are misinformed to a certain extent. I am not saying that some people don't slack of but this happens in both public and private institutions. Today, I sat at an IT Managers group and I really felt that we want to create a better tomorrow for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. I know its going to be a lot of work but we are accustomed to working so the iffy part for me is if we all can agree to move forward. Putting 10 brilliant people together and trying to get them to agree on something is generally very hard. With the right steering however maybe our work isn't in vain. Overall thought, it was good to be an attendee at IT4MD (iGovTT).

Flow 25MB internet is legit!

I recently tested a 25MBit connection from FLOW / Columbus Communications I have to tell you - It's AWESOME! You get every single drop of bandwidth. So far, I've experienced no downtime, the install was easy, nothing to really do other than plug into your router and boom, you're on!

Flow / Columbus Communications doubles bandwidth for free this Christmas!

Yes! As the title rightly says! The kind folks at FLOW / Columbus Communications had doubled residential bandwidth for FREE this Christmas (2013). Prior to this, a 5 megabit connection was priced at $199.99 but now, you'll get a 10 megabit connection for this price. I definitely appreciate this up in bandwidth and this shows that Flow seems to be leading the pack with respect to internet future here in Trinidad and Tobago!

Winamp is shutting down 20th December 2013

Winamp is undoubtedly one of those applications that remind you of what computers were and what computers have become. It's very unfortunate that Winamp is shutting down on the 20th December 2013. Definitely Winamp was and probably is one of the best media players out there. Definitely for sure, the most awesome feature for me was the fact that Winamp had really cool visualizations. Furthermore, it was the only media player that could read Variable Bit Rate (VBR) mp3 formats while Microsoft Media Player at the time couldn't. I still wish they were going to stop development and close down but I guess at the end of the day, its all about sustainability which co-relates a lot of the time to making money - and who buys media players nowadays? Not many people.

So Winamp and Nullsoft, I salute you for a really awesome app. It was a great journey.

--Risharde

Spending money wisely is a science... good luck is the additive ingredient

For me, spending money is a science. Sure, sometimes luck helps when buying a product or service but definitely for the most part of it, its a science. So you might be wondering what I'm talking about and basically these general rules or "science" is just how I do things, there's no necessary wrong or right and you might do things differently.

So let's say I need a website and I either have two options:
1. Buy a solution
2. Create a solution

Initially, it might be easy to throw some money at it to get a solution that works out of the box which is what you'd be paying for. But let's just say that solution is 5000 dollars U.S (of course this is just an arbitrary figure, I'm just giving example)

OR

I could build the solution which would simply cost me some of my time (...some what FREE). I'd probably choose building it because I'd get the added benefit of learning plus it would cost me a lot less to maintain hopefully in the long run and I own it.

So this is kind of how I think about open source technology because when something is free, you can't blame it really. Your Return On Investment is instant. You don't have to hope and pray that your solution will work and whether it works or fails, it matters very little because you don't waste money. So think of this on the business aspect, does it apply? Of course it does.... Make it Agile and then it's even better!

So why can't people see this? Well that's another topic I'll write on.... "People that over-think processes"

Risharde

TSTT - Poor service December 2013

One of my friends told me that they were having problems with their internet. On investigating the issue, I went through the wireless router and the TSTT ADSL trying to figure out if any of the settings were off. After about 20 minutes of being puzzled by the issue, I decided to take the chance to call TSTT's Internet Helpdesk. The helpdesk itself was very helpful but told me that it was an issue on their side. So for 3 days of downtime which ended up being a TSTT problem, they should automatically fixed the issue instead of having customers call in just to solve the issue. It's just ridiculous!

Digicel IMAX - Simply Amazing!

I've been an avid customer of Movietowne for quite some time and thought that it was the best place to spend time with my loved ones. Well, today, I've experienced the acclaimed Digicel IMAX experience and I have to say, I'm a believer. Other than the food variety which was limited, the Digicel IMAX theatre literally took my breath away when I looked at both the 2D (Hunger Games) and 3D movies (Thor 2). You might be wondering what the difference is? Well, trust me, firstly the quality is about 5 times cleaner than Movietowne's and the sound is a lot richer. Of course, you pay more for that quality and that's the catch! The screen is much larger than the largest Movietowne's screen from what I gathered and spanned the whole front of the theatre from left to right and to the top up to the ceiling - it's literally THAT BIG! The popcorn was less buttery than Movietowne but in my honest opinion, it was very tasty and had enough salt... it didn't leave me upset at the end.

If you get a chance, I definitely recommend it but I wish they could just keep the prices on par with Movietowne and they'd be my #1 destination!

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