The new Nespresso Limited Edition Monsoon Malabar is available

Posted on March 31, 2015





Nespresso Monsoon Malabar


The new Nespresso Monsoon Malabar is available to try. It’s an Indian coffee of a fairly high (8) intensity that is ideally enjoyed as an espresso. Time to head on down to the Nespresso shop and grab some to try.

Will report back once have had a chance to sip on some.


MS Image Composite Editor updated to Version 2.0

Posted on February 09, 2015

My favourite free photography tool of all time, Microsoft Image Composite Editor (related to Microsoft Photosynth on mobile devices), has been updated with significant updates.

ICE was first released in 2008 and has been updated a few times since, before entering what seemed to be a hibernation period. I am truly delighted that this update has been made.

There are a number of new key features, including :

  • Automatic image completion, where gaps that would otherwise leave black spaces in your final image, or force you to crop it closer than you would like, can now be “auto completed” using some smart new algorithms. You can see this in action in the demo video and it really is cool
  • The application is now more forgiving, select the wrong option or decide you don’t like what you have selected and you don’t have to start it all over. Just press back and give it another go.
  • The video to panorama feature introduced last time around has been improved. You can now select key frames from the video and have them stitched together to give you wonderful panoramas with the person in the video appearing across your final image. Looks great for action sports.
  • A new series of lenses (projections) have been added providing for a number of different effects such as fish-eye, spherical, orthographic or stereographic amongst others.
  • 32 bit and 64 bit versions available (hopefully no more running out of RAM)

Your final images can still be exported in a number of different formats including JPEG, TIFF and Photoshop PSD/PSB as well as special multi-resolution tiled formats used by HD View and Deep Zoom. You can also still upload your panoramas for 3D viewing on the Photosynth website.

You can download the new MS Ice here : Project ICE


Mugg and Bean nespresso compatible pods now available

Posted on October 30, 2014

I was delighted to discover that my local Checkers now stocks a new range of Mugg and Bean nespresso compatible pods. 

There seemed to be four flavours available,  three of which are pictured below. Espresso (no 47),  House Blend (no 52),  Single Origin (no 24) and a Decaf.

They are presented in a cute square box and each box contains two puffed up airtight bags with 5 capsules in each.  The foil tops are of each capsule are printed with the name and number of the coffee and seem to be aligned with the new “extra compatible”  design being used by Caffè Luxe so should work in most machines.

Interestingly the box doesn’t mention the Nespresso brand anywhere but it’s clear from the pod shapes that they are the same.


Always good to have more options. They are priced at a mid range of R49.99 for the box so a bit cheaper than the Nespresso foil pods and R13 more than Checkers’ own Foreign  Ground range. 

Two new additions to the Foreign Ground capsule range

Posted on September 08, 2014

Good news comes in three?

1. Checkers have added two new flavours to their Foreign Ground nespresso compatible capsule range. 

2. The newer flavours have a newly designed capsule that works in the newer u milk machines

3. They are on special for just R29.99 for a pack of ten,  and they actually taste quite decent.


Coffee pod compatibility : not so Nespresso compatible after all (updated)

Posted on August 28, 2014

I have two coffee machines. The Nespresso CitiZ (with milk) and a Verona Espresso Caffe Lux machine

Over the past two years or so since I got the first Nespresso machine I have tried out various Nespresso compatible pods. These come with brand names such as :

  1. Caffe Luxe ( (R40 for 10 to R90 for 25)
  2. Vida e Caffe (from Vida or from Cafe Lux) (+-R62 per 10)
  3. Mycoffee (First from Groupon and on (R40 for 10)
  4. Beaver Creek Coffee (from their shop on the Farm in Margate –  (R55-R64 per 10)
  5. Foreign Ground (Checkers) (R36 for 10, sometimes R29)
  6. Caffe Impresso (Some Pick n Pay’s and some Spars – wholesaler is (R50 – R62 per 10)
  7. Caffe Cagliari (First from Groupon and they were being sold by Aquazania but aren’t being stocked anymore) (R40 for 10, decaf only on special now for R20)
  8. Nespresso (the genuine article) (R63 – R73 per 10)

Now all of these different brands have worked (almost) perfectly across both of the machines I have. The very first Cafe Luxe pods I had sometimes didn’t pierce properly and a little bit of water would come out before the coffee, but it didn’t affect the flavour of the coffee. The did an upgrade which seemed to mostly fix the problem, but the pods remain a rather thick plastic container.

A few weeks back I had a reader complaining that the Caffe Luxe pods didn’t work at all in his machine. I hadn’t had that problem before and replied as much. I didn’t hear back from the individual.

Tonight I heard from another friend that there is definitely a problem. She bought a Nespresso U milk machine. It works quite nicely, makes your coffee then spits the pod out into its little basket without you having to “eject” it. When trying with the Mycoffee pods though, it huffs and puffs and a very little bit of water comes through but no coffee. Then it ejects the pod with no coffee having been produced. On examining the used pod it can be seen that the machine is having trouble piercing the plastic pod and therefore is unable to pump the water through the pod to brew the coffee. A further test with a Foreign Ground pod produced the same result.

Now a number of the local manufacturers seem to use the same plastic pods (numbers 1 to 5 on the list above). that somewhat limits your options in terms of which coffee pods you can buy. Caffe Luxe are quite adamant on their website and in their adverts that their pods work on all machines (they even expressly name the newer generation machines), so it seems more tested is going to be needed on their pods.

I have tested out some of the newer Caffe Luxe (Option 1) “Origins” range and confirmed they work just fine.  The “new compatible” Caffe Luxe capsules seem to work sometimes (but not all).

Foreign Ground (Option 5) have introduced two new flavours, which use a new pod design, which work just fine. See post here.

Options 6 and 7 seem to be imported (from Italy) and also use plastic pods, but a very different much thinner plastic. Further testing was done and there is no problem here. The Caffe Impresso capsules have a series of small holes pre-pressed into the back of the capsules. Water flows through here a little slowly at times if further holes aren’t punctured but this doesn’t affect the final outcome of a great cup of coffee.

This is incompatibility of “compatible” capsules is bit of a pain as one of the benefits of using the Nespresso system over some of the others was that there seemed to be a growing range of alternate (and cheaper) pods that could buy for daily use.  If you have come across other sources of compatible pods, and have any further test results as to which machines they may work in please do share your experiences.


New location for Nespresso in Durban (updated with pics)

Posted on March 28, 2013

I received an SMS from Nespresso the other day to say they are currently located at 254 Lilian Ngoyi Road (formerly Windermere road). Their new phone number is 031-303 3374.

Having struggled in the past to find them, and the fact the address and number is not listed on nor does it come up on a Google search, this may be useful to some of you looking for them.

Update : So as you drive up Windermere road, their shop is a converted house on the right hand side, you can see the palms outside. As you get closer you can see the sign on the road facing part of the building to the left of the palms. At this point you want to be slowing down already as they have off-street parking. and it is easy to miss. The parking is right up against the building, and the solid island does stop so you can turn right into the parking. The security guard will have to open the boom for you.

While you are here, if you are interested in some other Nespresso compatible pods (depending on your machine) take a look at this post.




Nespresso Shop nes2 nes3



Caffe Luxe’s new and improved Nespresso Compatible coffee pods (mostly just pics)

Posted on February 16, 2013

After one of our readers complained about the Caffelux capsules, the good folk over at stepped in and offered to send her some capsules. At the same time they noticed my previous blog post on their coffee still showed the old branding and product. Since the product had been updated with new branding, capsules design improvements and coffee they very kindly offered to send me some of the new coffee to try, which I gladly accepted.

Below you can see the new whiter, lighter branded boxes of the five flavours.

The 5 flavours

The 5 flavours

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Using iDrifta with iPad Mini / iPhone5 / Lightning connector iDevices

Posted on February 16, 2013

The good news is that you can use your iDrifta with the newer Lightning connector enabled devices (iPad 4th Gen, iPad Mini, iPhone 5) but you need to get an Apple Certified 30 pin lightning adaptor. I have yet to try this personally, but have ordered some connectors and converter cables from DX.COM to see if these far far cheaper generic converters will work. Will keep you posted once these arrive and I have tested them.

Just don’t forget, DONT UPGRADE to iOS 6.1 if you want to keep using your iDrifta, DStvMobile need sort their nonsense out and get their app upgraded to work with iOS 6.1 before you proceed. (See previous post).

Info obtained from dstv website here 
The iDrifta is a mobile TV decoder that receives DVB-H signal for viewing on iOS devices. For the product to work it must be within the DVB-H coverage area. Currently, the device is compatible with iPhone 4/4S/5*, iPad 1,2,3,4*,Mini* and 3rd generation and the 4th Generation iPod Touch.  * Using an Apple Certified 30 pin to lightning adaptor.

iOS iDrifta users/buyers beware! iOS6.1 not compatible with iDrifta (currently), works fine with Drifta (wifi)

Posted on February 16, 2013

Users of iDevices who own the iDrifta are on the rampage. Since the release of iOS 6.1 the iDrifta has not been working with the iPad/iPhone and DSTV have no useful response. They apologise and have no timelines for implementation of a solution. I have reached out to a few people I know but have received no response either.

The only bit of info is this “Announcement” on their website :

“Apple recently introduced the new iOS 6.1 version for its devices. In keeping in line with the various operating systems that we service, the Drifta is compatible with the new version and we are in the process of making the iDrifta compatible with iOS 6.1 soon.”

Not sure how that helps those users who can’t watch the test cricket or rugby. Seems unfortunate that DSTVMobile aren’t keeping up with the times and testing their products with those they claim to be compatible with.

Some relevant links :

  • Keep checking the iStore.  Let’s hope this is not a repeat of the Blackberry debacle.
  • You can follow the irate stream of complaints on Hello Peter over here (swearing and ineffectual customer service response involved!)
  • The thread on the DSTVmobile forum with the hapless Thulani saying much of nothing
  • And on facebook where a nameless sap apologizes for “any inconvenience that may have been caused.” indeed. A non-functional product “may have” caused inconvenience? What a lame braindead response. Of course it has caused inconvenience, the darn thing don’t work!


Players in #Afcon2013 with the most followers (Top 20)

Posted on January 20, 2013

Below is a list as at 3pm on 20/1/2013 of the Afcon#2013 players with the most followers. It is interesting to note that as per my previous post, South Africa has the highest percentage of players with Twitter accounts, yet, this list shows that none of those South African players makes the Top 10. The top 10 list is dominated by Ivory Coast (4), Nigera (2), Ghana (2) and one each from Mali and Togo. The first South African is Bernard Parker in 11th place.

Only 8 of the top 20 have had their accounts verified by Twitter.

# Twitter User (Screen name) Country verified Followers Follows Posts
1 Victor Moses (@VictorMoses) Nigeria Yes 147499 57 177
2 King Emmanuel Eboue (@TheRealEboue) CÔTE D’IVOIRE No 143332 162 3196
3 ASAMOAH GYAN (@ASAMOAH_GYAN) Ghana No 141759 37 2579
4 Salomon Kalou (@Skalhuno) CÔTE D’IVOIRE Yes 104935 87 1676
5 Kwadwo Asamoah (@Asabob20) Ghana Yes 85391 22 995
6 Momo Sissoko (@sissokomomo) Mali Yes 76320 30 490
7 Drogba Foundation (@FondationDrogba) CÔTE D’IVOIRE Yes 67997 35 213
8 Emmaunel Adebayor (@E_Adebayor) Togo Yes 62351 0 2
9 Joseph Yobo (@JosephYobo3) Nigeria No 43369 39 188
10 Didier Zokora (@maestrozokora) CÔTE D’IVOIRE No 37111 7 208
11 Bernard Parker (@BernardParker) South Africa No 30793 144 445
12 Adlene GUEDIOURA (@AdleneGUEDIOURA) Algeria Yes 26750 284 2323
13 Derek Boateng (@BoatengDerek) Ghana No 22269 34 326
14 thulani serero (@sererothulani) South Africa Yes 19237 30 149
15 Kagisho Dikgacoi (@KGDikgacoi) South Africa No 15656 390 1633
16 Ikechukwu Uche (@ikeuche9) Nigeria No 14621 45 422
17 Itumeleng khune (@TherealItu) South Africa No 13056 27 262
18 Katlego Mphela (@KillerMphela) South Africa No 11066 3 51
19 Afcon2013 (@AFCON2013za) South Africa No 9671 247 600
20 Agyemang-Badu (@Badu_Agyemang) Ghana No 7299 26 527

Following the #Afcon2013 players on Twitter (#CAN2013)

Posted on January 19, 2013

I spent some time today capturing the Afcon 2013 player list (23 players from each of the 16 teams) and then trying to locate their Twitter accounts. A somewhat arduous task and one that is less than accurate. None the less, it is complete and available for you to follow the players quite easily.

In all 85 players were added to the list : the majority of which are players, with some support accounts added. I have not added the official accounts of each of the team, although have collected some. Will consider adding when see what is coming up on the Tweet feed.  (This number will increase as I find more players, and I may not update the post, so don’t be surprised to find these don’t tally over time).

The position is summarised by country below. The top three by Rank are :

  1. South Africa
  2. Ivory Coast
  3. Algeria & Nigeria (tied)

Full list provided below.

Please click-through to the link. Mail me on afcon (at) if you find additional players I have missed, or recommend any amendments  I have tried to ignore spoof accounts and fake accounts, but cannot be sure I have got it all right.

Enjoy the #Afcon2013. And best of luck to Bafana. May things improve after tonight’s rather dismal game.

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Afcon 2013 online resources

Posted on January 19, 2013

The African Cup of Nations (English #Afcon2013 French #CAN2013)

The tournament is being contested between 16 countries : Mozambique, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Togo, Malawi, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cape Verde, Algeria, Egypt or Central African Republic . Profiles of each of the teams can be found on

The tournament kicks off on 19 January 2013 and runs until the final on the 10th February.

The tournament is well represented online :

Various unofficial CAF 2013 twitter accounts abound include : @AFCON_SA

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Nokia music : when things go wrong #fail (updated : Resolved)

Posted on January 01, 2013

For a long time in SA we didn’t have any real choice if we wanted to buy music online. iTunes didn’t support us, the other stores wanted to sell DRM’ed music, the methods to download the music were painful and it really wasn’t much cheaper than getting the physical CD’s instore. Then I found Nokia Music (OVI store). They supported South African musicians, have a decent selection of artists and albums, are reasonably priced and provide further discounts for buying credit up front. Albums average between R60 and R100 each (and often it is the newer ones at R60). Songs between R6 and R10 each. Buy R500 of credit and get R600. So you could get between 6 and 10 albums for R500. Thats good value.

To download your music though you have to use the clunky Nokia Music Player. Worse than iTunes and I never use it for anything other than downloading my music. The problem with it is that it queues your songs for download but they regularly fail. Then it is a manual process of logging onto the website and getting the missing tracks individually. With the Lumia 800 things improved a little (or so I thought). You could now download the albums directly to the phone over wi-fi, no PC needed.

In the meantime iTunes started selling music in SA. I bought a Freshly Ground album for R60 but the rest of their music seemed expensive, sometimes as much as twice the price of Nokia Music (Rihanna Unapologetic Delux R60 vs over R120). I thought I would stay with Nokia music and put up with the hassles. iTunes really worked better, faster, simpler. But we all have our price.

Then it all went wrong.  (Although @NokiaRSA did fix it in the end : See update at end)

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Vida e caffe coffee capsules (Nespresso compatible) now available

Posted on December 29, 2012

A month or so ago I was in the vida e at Canal Walk in Cape Town when I noticed they were selling capsule based coffee machines, as well as the capsules themselves. On enquiry they said that they were compatible with the Nespresso machines. Great, I picked up a box (a rectangular arrangement rather than the tubes we are used to).

Tried them out, they work fine and taste great.

Others have had some hassles getting them to work properly. Read the interesting post (with lots of pictures) over at Square Art (link) here, documenting some problems they had with the capsules, and how to solve the problem.

The capsules are the same plastic ones as the Caffelux which made me wonder if they weren’t just co-branded items produced by Caffelux. Google indeed confirmed this to be the case with a post on the Luxury Coffee website confirming they were producing them for vida e. More info here.

I forget exactly how much I paid for them, think was around R58 or so, and I see they are on the Luxury Coffee website for R59.90 a box.  So pick some up at your local vida e, or get them from Luxury Coffee but let us know what you think of them. Both the VIDA ESTRELLA REGULAR (10 CAPSULES) and VIDA ESTRELA DECAFFE (10 CAPSULES) are available.

P.S. Just to sweeten the deal the box came with a voucher included for a free cup of coffee at vida e. Nice touch.

Review of the iDrifta for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch

Posted on June 24, 2012

Full disclosure : I have no affiliation to DSTV, DSTV Mobile or Multichoice. I write this blog in my spare time with no payment from any providers. The review unit was provided to me by the marketing agency working with DSTV Mobile and I thank them for it. I pay the monthly subscription fees on the Drifta devices I am using – including the iDrifta. 

The iDrifta is a cute, small, convenient little device. As a Drifta for the iPad / iPhone / iPod touch (referred to as iDevice), this is brilliant. It is however restricted to just those devices.

I have in the past reviewed the original (wifi) Drifta and the USB Drifta. This review now focusses on the iDrifta. If you are wanting to use the Drifta with your PC, Blackberry, Mac, Android and your iDevice then right up front this is not for you. Take a look at the table over here to see which devices work with which Drifta’s to make that decision. If however your are primarily wanting a Drifta to use with your iDevice, then read on.

The iDrifta is about the size of a matchbox. On the top it has an Apple connector, on the bottom it has a micro USB for charging, with a soft loop of aerial around the port.  Just above the micro USB is a single LED which lights up when the device is being charged.

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