Well… It seems like I am going into this alone… My blog, which did have the highest readership on The Herald Website, now has been removed from the blog roll and will be no longer connected to The Herald or Avusa in any way shape or form.

So where does that leave me now? I dont know. It seems like  The Herald thinks that their staff are able to maintain a blog that gets over 300 hits a day.  Now I wont be bitchy because well, they are still to pay me.

But now that I am a free agent, I can do things the way I want them to be done. 

I am still waiting to hear from the guys over at the Bush Wars ARMA mod. To do an interview, also I have been talking to Megarom and they have been kind enough to put me on the PR list, and Vodacom has been supportive since day one. So I think with these people and companies behind me and giving me the support that for a while there I thought I would never find, I think Tech Noir should be alright.

But time will tell. As soon as I get something to review I will inform all readers. Till then… well its work time


Well after mucking around I got my wordpress app on my iPhone working.

The other night I did a drive along with some Netcare paramedics. While it was an uneventful night, only attended one car crash. However the high light of the evening was visiting the Netcare command centre.
I don’t know if I can mention what I saw, as I don’t want to get sued. However I will talk to the Netcare and see if I can mention it. The tech they have in there would blow your mind. I’ll keep you updated if I can write about what I saw.

This isn’t tech related, but the information has to be put out there.

Brain box on E-tv, a game show where you have to call in and answer questions. They promise thousands of rands, all you have to do is call them and they will just give you the money.

Notice how they don’t ever take a call? With the millions of people all across South Africa, they never get a call?

Also, it costs you the caller R7.50 a minute to try and play the game. Now imagine a thousand people call in, thats a cool R7500 that E-tv has just earned from you the loyal viewer.

Thats how it works, keep you on hold. Milk you till you give up and never give away the money they always promise.

Don’t believe me?



I cannot believe that this scam has been going on for so long. ETV has been broadcasting this program late at night called Brainbox which is more like ScamBox.

When I first saw this show I could not understand what was going on because whenever anyone called the show then, it would sound as if you were calling someone in a tunnel and the presenters did not look or sound South African. Then they changed the presenters, enter “Mandisa”, from YOTV, Pap Idol and now BrainBox. What a change in careers.

The other element is that the program runs for hours on end and people continue to call. I remember someone saying if you want to understand the society you live in. You should walk around at night and watch and listen very carefully to what people do during the dark, then you will learn a hell of lot than during daytime. That is if you survive. What I learnt from observing BrainBox was that a lot of people are in-debt and very desperate for cash, because that is the only reason why anyone would call this show.

I then decided to take my enquiries about the show to the internet after I noticed that the program charges callers a rate R7.50 even if you don’t get through. Which spells SCAM for me, because the producers could put you on hold for years and during that time you will be creating some serious damage on your phone bill in hopes to win their prices. I also observed the fact that questions seem obvious but the answering system is completely unreliable. It is as if there is a guy seating in the studio and whenever a caller gives answers to Mandisa, he would either nod his head yes or no.

It reminds me of SABC1’s Win iKhaya which is very questionable but better than Brainbox. Think about, can you imagine how many poor and homeless people buy air vouchers only to send R7.50 text notes to SABC in hopes of winning a home. By the time they announce a winner the channel has already made enough money build a couple. Note that someone in this whole Ikhaya business has to make money, its not the winner. This competition was also reviews by the Lottiers, as to the outcome no one know yet. Anyway moving on…..

On the internet I typed Brainbox on etv, within seconds google had given me links to complains on the program which astounded me. One of the people who wrote online said “The answer given to a competition can in no way be arrived at. It is purely a “game” to make money for the makers. Even the telephone answering system is designed to keep you hanging on listening to the promotion for not less than one minute at a time. We definitely do not need this!”
I then remembered an article in the local paper which was a follow up of a much published SCAM on ITV which revealed that the producers of this call in show participated in actions which criminal in nature. If you typed “ITV call in show a scam” on googled – the first link you get is (http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/18/business/itv.phpv) which is an article on this scam. ITV admits fraud. Reading it will amaze you and help you if you’re a fan of the show, that is there is anyone crazy enough to be one.

You can also type in: ETV Brainbox for some very interesting search results.

“all SMS’s are charged at R7.50 and all calls are charged at R7.50 per minute, all calls and SMS’s are charged whether you are selected or not”. Do you think this is fare or even legal in your understanding?

I was very surprised to hear Mandisa and the other presenters repeat this words over and over during the program’s broadcast. This is after they used to only write them up on the screen and later changed to having the presenters recite them during their broadcast.

I then tried to find out more about the company that produced the ITV show and during my research I found a write-up by another commentator who responded to a question or query from a concerned South African. His response was “Yes, the South African venture is totally immoral, corrupt and illegal – after being reprimanded in parliament Ostrich seek out viewers in countries where there is a lot of poverty (and therefore temptation to enter easy looking puzzles with impossible answers- even though these puzzles were outlawed in the UK by Ofcom after the intervention of parliament). It takes a complete lack of social conscience/responsibility to be involved in any way in such a blatent deception. Please ask your SA contact to look out for the names mentioned in the credits of Brainbox. I also need to know what other rip-off quiz shows are broadcast in SA re Price and Pearce.”

After reading that I could not believe that etv could be part of this. This is a channel that has one of the most sensationalist investigative program called “3rd Degree” but I kept on wondering why don’t Debra investigate BrainBox because it is a scam. Then I realized why she would bite the hand that feeds her, after all BrainBox is probably paying her salary and perks.

This is an extract which gives an idea of what this ITV show and its producers did, which seems to be the same as BrainBox. “On 24 September 2006, Quiz Call admitted to The Sunday Times manipulating games by blocking callers from taking part for periods of up to 40 minutes. Under headlines of “naked profiteering”, Quiz Call said that on these occasions, it charged thousands of callers a standard 75p premium line fee — knowing that it would give them no chance to answer the prize question. In the Culture, Media and Sport committee held on 28 November 2006 representatives from Quiz Call admitted that one instance of people being put on hold did occur and that the producer responsible no longer works for Ostrich Media.”

It continues: “Quiz Call, which once offered a £100,000 jackpot, admitted that the show’s producer was responsible for deciding how long callers had to wait to enter the games. It admitted that Quiz Call had been caught out cutting corners, in using its own staff to pose as prize winners, clutching 3ft cheques in an on-air promotion, though there was no suggestion that any employees had been playing or winning the games.”

Brain Box is seemingly based on Quiz Call and e.tv’s has drawn criticism from across the country from people who say they can never get through to the call-in show, but the channel says everything is above board.

Bloggers on several Internet websites, like hellopeter and mybroadband, have detailed their grievances against the show, with some angry viewers labelling it “a money-grabbing waste of time”.

“But e.tv said the show had paid out over R4 million (approx £266 949) to 5 000 winners. The channel’s Vasili Vass said the names of all the winners are on the Brain Box website.”

“One irate viewer said he ran up a R450 (approx £30.03) telephone bill trying to call the show. His efforts were in vain, and he did not get the opportunity to participate”
There must be something very wrong in our broadcasting landscape to experience this continued late night robbery by this channel. This program has been on air for a very long time and nothing has happened, perhaps a reflection of a lack of action on the part of viewers.

Many have written, blogged, called and complained about this show but nothings seems to have happened expect the fact that it is still on air and why you may ask? Well because it is making a lot of money for the channel.

I guess it is a natural progression from porn to robbery.

Please readers, don’t fall for it. No one ever gives away anything for free.

What really annoys me is that while we know its a scam, and they have to be making a snot load of money out of it other wise they wouldn’t be doing it. But you would think that they could afford to produce better television shows from all the money they make. Also they should be able to buy movies that aren’t B grade movies. But no, E-tv continues to pump out crap, steaming piles of crap. Have you seen what they have been producing, so many Soap Operas that it defies the mind.

Oh well, I have no idea where all that money goes. The only conclusion I can come to is that all the money goes towards keeping Debra Patta’s fake tan that lovely shade of orange that we all know and love.

E-tv, the channel of piss poor soap operas, scams, smug journalists and soft core porn.

Remember this is just my opinion and has nothing to do with The Herald newspaper.

While most 3D animation in South Africa generally sucks, well at least the stuff that makes it onto TV.

But check this out, I know its old. But its worth a watch.

Are you an animator? Why not send me your creation…

Also, a challenge for all the readers. I am looking for a introduction to for the vblogs that I would love to make one day.

email me at jjmccabe (at) gmail.com

Later readers

Its that time of year, when money must be offered up to the consumer gods. Yep its Christmas time. So I have put together a couple of games that are a must for you or your kid this holiday season. It will be sure to keep them out of your hair for a couple of days.


Tragically I am yet to get a single game from any of the distribution companies in South Africa. Not for a lack of trying, oh no. Many a day has been spent on the phone calling and asking them to send me stuff. My outbox looks like a directory of companies. Alas I am yet to get anything, so I am going into this blind. I have only the opinion of reviews I have read and the chatter that fills internet forums.


Zombies, FPS and the Half Life 2 Source engine… it sounds to good to be true.

You play as one of four survivors of a zombie apocalypse, armed to the teeth, you have to shoot your way through wave after wave of the undead, trying to reach the next safe house. Other players are able to play as one of the Zombie horde, I’m sure that would add a little spice into the action.

Its a multi-player only game, so only if you are a regular LANNER or have at minimum a ADSL 512K connection, don’t even look at Left 4 Dead.

Seeing as I have never played this game I dont know what you are in store for. But post-apocalypse is always great, so I’m sure its going to be great. However, parents, its going to be full of gore and blood.

Pick it up online at: (Oh Reader, i have not been paid to advertise the following sites, I just find them to be the best in SA when it comes to online buys)

Take 2: R 362

BTgames: R375.00

kalahari.net: R346.46

Game Specifications :


CPU 2.4 GHz Processor,
DirectX 8 graphics card,
Windows Vista/2000/XP,
Mouse, Keyboard,
Internet Connection


The Command and Conquer series has for a long time been the acid test from where all RTS games are based. So it with awe and amazement I heard that the 3rd of the RED ALERT series was on its way out.

The 3rd in the series, sees America and Russia again blowing the crap out of each other. Mean while the Empire of the Sun (Japan) is about to get into the thick of things. Three factions, full motion videos and fast action packed carnage… its going to be rad.

From the youtube videos I’ve seen it looks like its going to be great, make sure this is underneath your tree this year.

System Requirements:
* OS – Windows XP / Vista (32-Bit)
* Processor – XP: 2.0 GHz (Intel Pentium 4; AMD Athlon 2000+; Multiple Cores) / Vista: 2.2 GHz (Intel Pentium 4/AMD Athlon 2200+/Multiple Cores)
* Memory – XP/Vista: 1 GB
* Hard Drive – Media: 6.0 GB / EA Link: 12.0 GB
* DVD Drive – 8 SPEED
* Video Card – NVIDIA GeForce 6800, ATI Radeon X1800 or higher end DirectX 9.0c compatible gfx card
* Sound Card – DirectX 9.0c compatible (Creative Sound Blaster Audigy cards require a Intel P4 2.6 GHz or similar under Vista, Yamaha Xwave-512 not supported)
* Online Multiplayer – 512 Kbps or faster; 2-8 Players
* Input – Keyboard, Mouse
* Optional – VoIP Headset

kalahari.net: R399.95

BTgames: R379.00

TAKE 2: R 362

Call of Duty 5: World at War.

We all thought that Call of Duty had grown up and moved off the battle fields of World War 2 and into the modern era. With the massive success of Call of Duty 4, it was with a raised eye brow and a WTF I read about Call of Duty 5.  Yep, you are back fighting the axis powers, either as an American, Brit or a Russian. The only reason I can come to for the reason why Call of Duty 5 to be back in WW2, it was the only time that they won a war.

Besides that, its looks awesome. Non stop action, gun play and enough carnage to make you remember those soldier of fortune 2 days. If you have the PC able to play it, do your self a favour get it. play it and send me your take on it. I wonder if we will ever see a FPS based during World War 2 where we get to play as one of the axis powers. But I wont hold my breath and neither should you.

System Requirements:

Processor: AMD 64 3200+/Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz or better

Memory: 8 GB free hard-drive space, 512MB RAM (XP)/1GB RAM (Vista)

Graphics: Shader 3.0 or better, 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6600GT/ATI Radeon 1600XT or better

kalahari.net: R383.95

BTgames: R375.00

Take2: R 361


Set in deepest darkest Africa, you are a merchanary that has to hunt down a arms dealer. A FPS set in our own back yard… roving gangs of armed faction fighters, with enough fire power to even make the dodgest Hillbrow Resident turn green with envy. Oh, and you get to run around with a flame thrower, set fire to the Africa veld or burn your for like your uncle burns the chops at the family braai. You’ve also got hundreds of kilometres to run around in. The best way to describe FAR CRY 2 would be, as dangerous as Johannesburg stuck in the middle of the veld.

If I could have one game this year, it would be FAR CRY 2.


CPU: Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz, Pentium D 2.66 Ghz, AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or better


Video card: NVidia 6800 or ATI X1650 or better
Shader Model 3 required
256 Mb of graphic memory

Media reader: DVD-ROM

Hard drive space: ~12 Gig of HD space. (TBD)


CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo Family, AMD 64 X2 5200+, AMD Phenom or better


Video card: NVidia 8600 GTS or better, ATI X1900 or better
512 Mb of graphic memory

Sound: 5.1 sound card recommended


NVidia 6800, NVidia 7000 series, 8000 series, 9000 series, 200 series. 8800M and 8700M supported for laptops.
ATI X1650 – 1950 series, HD2000 series, HD3000 series, HD4000 series.

BTgames: R329.00

Take2: R 361

kalahari.net: R383.95

Blu Ray for most is a pipe dream that is at least two or three years away from being affordable. However having seen the what these little babies are able to do, it is something that one day will take its rightful place next to my TV.

If I could afford Blu-Ray what should I buy? That is a good question, as the current price for Blu-ray players and disks is currently in the realm of the insane. So you do not want to waste your money on crap.

…Of the Dead series.

George A. Romero’s classic zombie trilogy is a must for all shelves. A classic tale of the dead returning to life to feast on the flesh of the living.

Personally, there is nothing I enjoy more than watching a good old zombie movie, eating some popcorn and trying not to laugh at the terrible acting. Boy is the acting terrible, every …of the dead movie the acting is about as terrifying as the almost constant gore. Not a scene will go by with out some sort of blood letting. For me thats what you want in a zombie movie, a near constant flow of blood, limbs being ripped off and at least one naked blonde woman that’s been turned into a Zombie.

The original movies were: Night of the Living dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead.

Check them out, while they may not be for all they are a great way to spend an evening at home. Watching it in HD… well I have no idea, but I am sure it would rock my world.

Night of the Living Dead is available on google video, and being the nice chap that I am its right below this entry… so why not waste some bandwidth and enjoy one of the greatest classic horror films of all time.

Now that you’ll tasted Zombie movies, why not get your PC in on the action.

‘Left 4 Dead… Distribution companies are you listening? I want to review it!!!

Lord of the Rings.

No surprise to anyone. Lord of the Rings has, for me at least, taken the thunder right out of Star Wars. It has become the Trilogy that for years to come, with be a viewing must for geeks around the world.

Having seen it on the big screen, I am sure that it would bring tears to my eyes in HD.

There isn’t much to say about Lord of the Rings, we’ve all seen it, we’ve all loved it. Now imagine it in HD…geekgasm.

The Mcnab War movie collection:

Being a massive fan of war movies it would ne impossible for me to just have one or two movies that appear on my top 10 list.

So I have thus allowed war movies to have their own section.

Saving private Ryan:

One of the most brutal and awesome World War 2 movies ever made.

Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother…

Remember the first time you saw this?

Full Metal Jacket.

Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is one of the great Vietnam War movies ever. From basic training to the street of Hue city, Full Metal Jacket is a movie with two-segments that look at the effect of the military mindset and war itself on Vietnam era Marines. The first half follows a group of recruits in basic training under the command of the punishing Sgt. Hartman. The second half shows one of those recruits, Joker, covering the war as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, focusing on the Tet offensive.

A classic… me love you long time GI

The Dirty Dozen.

A Major with an attitude problem and a history of getting things done is told to interview military prisoners with death sentences or long terms for a dangerous mission; To parachute behind enemy lines and cause havoc for the German Generals at a rest house on the eve of D-Day.

I remember watching this with my dad, its a classic, its awesome and fill to the brim of American goodness and flag waving. But its still worth it.

All Quiet on the Western Front.

A poignant and hard-hitting anti-war drama that details life in the German side of the trenches of WWI, it has lost none of its knuckle since it first veered onto the screens nearly 75 years ago. It makes its point and pulls no punches doing so, illustrating the impersonal coldness of war and the desolation in rendering an ‘enemy’ of someone who you’d really have no issues with on an individual basis. This message is particularly well-captured in one especially harrowing scene – I won’t divulge in the details, for the sake of those still yet to witness this masterpiece, but needless to say, it’s a real tear-jerker. The war depicted here is not one of glory and heroism, but one of hardship, horror and desperation.

Enjoy the cheese. More trailers should be like this.


Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two commanding officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes (Tom Berenger) and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin (Willem Dafoe). A line is drawn between the two officers and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon.

Well I think you get the idea. I enjoy War movies. Back to the list.

Monty Python.

Again, I am unable to pick one, and thus have picked two. Such is the way with lists, for I writer of the list am in power. I am just in my picking of two rather than one. For long I have suffered, long a cold nights i pace wondering which of the two. You reader, are the problem, with you 1 is 1 and never 1 is 2 dependent on the number of clauses and sub sections that require the use of two.

… and the Holy Grail.

Sadly I would buy this just to have it in my collection, as I have watched this movie so many times that I can quote it from beginning to end. No really I can, its tragic really.

A word of warning, for as long as I have been alive I have never seen a female of the Human race enjoy this movie. Comments such as, its stupid, silly, pointless and rude. tend to spill out of there clown like mouths. Well yes it is, that’s the point you see. Its great to be silly, its great to have a knee bent running around romance with the English language. I would love to see anyone, come up with gold like this.

… and the Life of Brian.

Religion is one of the few things that the Brits are allowed to make fun of, without the fear of some right wing evangelical nut case throwing pipe bombs at people.

The Tagline of the film is A motion picture destined to offend nearly two thirds of the civilized world. And severely annoy the other third. We really need more movies that are just made to annoy people, allowing them to gnash their teeth together, scream its immoral and against god. I feel that we as rational people, owe it to our selves to annoy faith followers as much as they annoy us.

The Matrix:

I know I know, the first one was the best and the other two just kinda beat the body of the first in some hope that the constant twiching and spattering would create some sort story line.

However, the action is tight and the fight scenes some of the best we’ve ever seen on film. Well second to maybe King Aurther vs the Black Knight.

Remember this?

Now Imagine it in Hi Def… oh that would be so sweet.

Well that will have to do for the mean time. I am sure some more will pop up later in day, what would you like to see in Hi Def?

G’day there readers.

Sorry its been such a while since last I posted. But due to a recent move and a computer going pop its been kinda hard to post.

But now i’m back. Armed with a more powerful computer, a better view and a copy of windows Vista. But thats another blog.

Lets finish off some unfinshed business.

The Iphone 3G. Yes I know I have harped on about it. But its still worth talking about.

Over the two months that I’ve had the iPhone, I’ve learnt its little in’s and out’s and here is list of what I think are vital tools of the iPhone.

Twitter on the fly:

gpstwitIf you’ve been following the blog while I was away you will have seen that I’ve been keeping readers up to date with on Twitter. The iPhone has a number of Apps that are available for free from the App store. Personally I enjoy GPS twit as it uploads it directly to google maps.

However don’t just take my word for it, check out what the App store has to offer. You’ll find something to your liking.

‘Twitter as you know is a great way to keep friends up to date with what you’re up to. But using the twitter Apps with the iPhone makes life so much simpler and easier. Makes going on a journey something that friends are able to see experience as you do.

So check it out.

The iPhone helped me keep my dignity:

While I am sure most cellphones now days can play music, and often you hear peoples cellphone speakers straining under the latest offering from the MTV overseers. The iPhone does have have some good speakers that have saved me a couple of times from embrassment.

Allow me to explain, one day while sitting in the stall it dawned on me that the classy Hyde Park patrons would not take kindly to me struggling with the Steers Burger I had just eaten. But the problem is quickly solved, open the iPod program and playing a little Rock Lobster sorts out the problem. I can only imagine what the people in the other stall thought.

How ever….

I’ve noticed a couple of problems with the iPhone as of late.

Holding the phone to close to your ear tends to push the mute button, which makes for many a conversation where you are screaming “can you hear me”, shortly before the other person hangs up. Its annoying and a massive over sight by Apple. The rare mistake. Tisk tisk Steve. I am still to update to version 2.2, so maybe the problem has been sorted out.

Seeing as the iPhone in South Africa is massive investment, most people will buy a cover for their phone. However the cover tends to hide the sensors that control the touch screen. So often you will find the phone spazing out for no reason. Taking a call tends to cause the phone to crash, dropping your call and making you wonder why spent that extra R200 on a cover that does nothing but annoy you.

Well I now have nothing more to say about the iPhone as I think I have milked that horse long enough.

Hey Tech Noir people. Its been a while. Been in Joburg dealing with family issues. Heart attacks dont look like fun. Nor do they make for relaxing family gatherings.

However a reader sent me this video.

Seems the credit crunch is causing the fat cats to fall from their silver towers.

I wonder if that went live to air?

I will be arriving back in PE on Monday Morning. I will be posting the month in the making.

“1 month with the iPhone, getting to the core.”

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There are a couple of issues I feel that should be addressed. First off, the video blog I’ve been claiming that I would put together on the I-phone. Well due to the lack of processor power and the video editing software crashing, when I have the audacity to attempt to used it. Really, when ever I attempt to render the video into a certain format, it manages to get about 8% through before crashing. Screaming for more memory, apparently it isn’t impressed with the 2 gigs I have. It screams at me like a apathetic hooker that demands more money after she’s taken her socks off.

I thus beg for your humble forgiveness Tech Noir Readers.

I am ashamed to say this, to the readers. However it seems that the PC that has served me these last couple of years has started to give up the ghost. No longer does it zip through boot up, not longer does it open applications faster than a click of the fingers. It maybe time to get my hands onto a new one.

However, due to cash flow issues in the Mcnab house hold it seems that is not a likely hood. Maybe some distribution company will one day offer me a branded PC to be able to do reviews.

Another issue, is that at the moment, I do not have much in the way of stuff to review. Sorry, that would be a lie. A lie of such epic proportions, I could base a election campaign on it and win.

You see, its not due to me not begging, pleading and even offering my self up to the marketing managers for their nefarious deeds. So until I receive items from one of the various distribution companies in South Africa. I will rather be taking a look at interesting things I find online.

I will also be converting the script I wrote for the iphone video blog, into a feature for the blog.

There is at least some people out there that want to know my final thoughts about the iphone.

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