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Africa United

Went to see Africa United over the weekend with Marie, Marie told me it was supposed to be an accurate portrayal of Africa. the opening sequence when Dudu (Eriya Ndayambaje) makes a football with a condom it made me sit up in my seat straight away as i knew this film just wasnt going to be any ordinary film. The story is that of 3 children’s road trip across Africa to Johannesburg for Fabrice (Roger Nsengiyumva), a football prodigy in the making, to be able to go out on the pitch for the opening of the World Cup. They get on a bus supposedly heading to the Rwandan capital for an audition but end up getting on the wrong bus and thats where there journey begins, they head through several African countries and have to fight the odds with so many things such as wildlife and bad guys threatening there journey and they pick up a couple of friends on there journey.

They hitch through Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to get there and it includes many issues other continents would associate with Africa: AIDS, child soldiers, lack of schooling, war and prostitution. But it deals with them in a matter-of-fact, occasionally light-hearted fashion. I have to say it was a sobering storyline. The film was excellent and from the limited exposure i have to Africa i have to say it is pretty accurate. Considering that the main 5 actors of the film were children i have to say that the film was very well done, and its great to have a different storyline for a change rather than the usual hollywood stories where all too often sex or violence feature in some way.

We had quite a debate after the film because the one thing it got me thinking is although its an accurate portrayal, the bit that got me was Africa’s belief that condoms will solve the HIV/AIDS problem, when in reality it wont, it only treats the symptoms when the root cause is hearts need changing. Sleeping around seems to be so prevalent in Africa and all condoms do is seem to say that its ok to do that as long as you where one you wont get HIV, i honestly believe that a heart change needs to happen before the HIV/AIDS problem is going to be reduced. God is needed in so many hearts to convict them that sleeping with more than one partner is wrong before this problem will get anywhere near going away. its sad to see a generation being destroyed because of this.

I will close with this, you really should go and see this film if you dont know what the problems in africa are, in one sense it cant capture the true scale of some of the issues in africa because it would make a very dark and depressing film, however it does highlight some of the big issues in a positive way which is so refreshing given that we only hear about these stories so often in a negative light or once or twice a year at fundraising events. It’s quite exciting to actually see positive culture shaping films making mainstream cinema




VPS.net SAN 2.0 early thoughts

thought i would put some of my early thoughts of VPS.net’s new SAN infrastructure as i have now been using them for a couple of weeks in production usage.

when i first started using the new London clouds (London Zone E – F opening soon) there were a very limited range of templates available

one good bonus of the new SAN infrastructure is that Windows is now available on VPS.net – i have yet to get the chance to test it first hand and for 99% of anything i do i am unlikely to need windows anyway but its good for vps.net obviously as it will attract another stream of users (namely the windows junkies).

my first step into SAN 2.0 territory was pretty smooth, i didnt have a cpanel template to choose from but i normally install it from a scratch centos install anyway so no problem for me. i didnt do any detailed timings but it certainly felt like the install went much faster  (most likely due to the faster and probably more consistent SAN performance) which if anyone knows how long a cpanel install from scratch  is a good thing!

have only been running the server a couple of weeks so far, but things seem to run much more stably i have not had any strange temporary performance issues that i used to have on the old SAN’s in fact performance has been so stable i have been running my server without litespeed on 3 nodes (litespeed causes issues with a reverse proxy domain i have setup in that it just doesnt work with dns based reverse proxy only IP) where as before i “had” to run litespeed to keep consistant performance without adding extra nodes that generally weren’t needed.

the new tweaks to the control panel look really really good, the new console is actually usable now and i could quite happily use it for client servers over the trusty terminal – sure it wont ever totally replace a terminal or ssh client but its a huge step forward over the old version. the new bandwith and cpu usage graphs are really nice looking (although i didnt mind the old graphs in anyway just annoyed that they used to break all the time)

the only negative of the new graphs is that you can only see the last 14 hours of data, there is as yet no way of editing the timescale or seeing further back or over a longer period. the other one thing about the new clouds is that monthly bandwith used is no longer accurate to my knowledge. because since i started my server 2 weeks ago its total bandwith is 6.4MB this includes the cpanel install and software updates and the constant syncing to S3 for the cdn of this site supposedly. i have yet to raise a support ticket for this as its not critical for me as i dont yet get near the transfer limits of vps.net.

all in all its been a long awaited upgrade and its certainly worth dipping in to test. if you are a potential new vps.net customer. use the new SAN’s dont even bother using the old cloud Zones.

now hopefully i should recieve one of the vps.net stress toy robots soon 🙂