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Lies, it’s all lies

This is a Guest Post and does not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of Techzim. We have a strong filtering process of what makes it to our blog and are confident that you’ll enjoy the article below.

There are known knowns, things we know that we know. For example 1byte = 8bits. There are also known unknowns things we know we don’t know. The exact value of pi for example. However people frequently forget the unknown unknowns; things we don’t know that we do not know. More often than not it is because we think we know! But I digress.

Sometimes people think they are infallible – even if all evidence points to the contrary. I am tired of self-styled geeks who peddle lies just to appear knowledgeable. I had this thought after hearing the conversations between geek (self-styled) and novice and thought I’d bust some of these myths.

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1. The Wi-Fi Myth.

Novice: What is this Wi-Fi I keeping hearing about?

Geek: Short for Wireless Fidelity. Wi-Fi is the name of a popular wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. It’s a short range solution it operates within 100m.

FACT: Wi-Fi is simply a trademarked term meaning IEEE 802.11x it does not and has never meant Wireless Fidelity. As for Wi-Fi being short range, the record for Wi-Fi is 201km! Yes you can set up a Wi-Fi connection between Harare and Rusape and expect speeds of 11Mbs! Visit Defcon here to verify the facts yourself.

2. The 4gb Ram 32bit Myth.

Novice: I have a 32 bit OS can I expand the RAM to 6 GB.

Geek: That would be just a waste of money. It is mathematically impossible for a 32bit OS to access more than 4GB of RAM because the processor cannot access memory addresses beyond that.

FACT: Now I was never very good at math – just good. I saw my way across college calculus. Some crazy lecturer (name withheld) saw to it. But I know my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32bit can eat up more than 4GB of RAM for dinner thanks to the PAE kernel. Using Physical Address Extension technology will send the 4GB RAM FUD hurtling out of the window. Personally I could never understand what this 64bit fuss was all about. The benchmarks do not back 64bit OS. Not on a normal PC anyway.

3. The PayPal Myth

Geek to Novice: Forget it you cannot have a PayPal account if you are from Zimbabwe.

FACT: I can understand why someone would say that. Ignorance. All one has to do is visit www.payoneer.com and apply for a free prepaid MasterCard, wait for a month for it to be shipped to you; visit FBC and apply for a prepaid MasterCard; load FBC master card and use it to load Payoneer MasterCard. Join PayPal. Avoid using a Zimbabwean address on the PayPal registration form you can always specify your actual address when making purchases.

4. The Proxy Myth

Geek:  There are no public proxies in Zimbabwe.

FACT: AFRINIC provides 4 public proxies that can be accessed from Zimbabwe without much speed loss. Please visit http://www.freeproxy.ch/countryZW.htm .

Ok I am not going to get started on things like tethering, rooting, jailbreaking etc. The final word of the matter is: If you think it is impossible you are wrong. To the novices;  trust but verify.

This guest post is by Garikai Dzoma. Though professionally an accountant, Garikai is an avid Linux geek who started using Ubuntu Linux in 2007 and is an active member of the Zimbabwe Ubuntu LoCo team.


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19 thoughts on “Lies, it’s all lies

    1. In Linux, Apps can use more than 4gig. M$ does not ship with PAE enabled as a matter of licensing policy. In Linux the apps do not even know about the amount of available RAM they just make system calls to the kernel. The truth is PAE systems are actually 36bit OS. So u got me!

    1. Yes they can detect it but these days they are not doing anything about it. In case they restart any of their ” your country is not allowed” stuff, you can always use a proxy
      http://hidemyass.com/proxy-list/ . On the internet you can be anywhere you want to be.

      1. Thats the worst advice you can give someone concerning financial transactions. Using an anonymous proxy?! For casual browsing,yes, but not for conducting financial activities.

        If at all you have consistent use with Paypal, putting it at the mercy of connecting through a third party is no different from leaving your card with a pin code written beside it
        ________________

        As for this bit…

        ….Avoid using a Zimbabwean address on the PayPal registration form you can always specify your actual address when making purchases.

        The issue about PayPal access from Zim has always been to do with having to have such WORKAROUNDS as provided by the anonymous author. Workarounds that attempt to “deceive” PayPal would not be treated lightly, and if you intend to have make regular transactions, you face a risk of having your account suspended and your money held. In other words, that bit of the article encourages FRAUD.

        Its not a myth, and that is very bad advice. People desire the same direct service all others get when accessing Paypal services. A workaround dznt bust the claimed myth

        1. Now hide proxy etc is for geeks, for a lay internet user this is too much work and they won’t be bothered. So as far as they are concerned paypal etc isnt available for them

        2. Amen, couldn’t have said it better myself. Why put yourself at risk of being blacklisted for life and then when PayPal officially comes, you will be the only one not able to use it because you are blacklisted?

      2. Easier just to go to Standard Chartered and get a Visa card or an FBC Mastercard and avoid all these risks and having to use go arounds. Visa is just as universally accepted as paypal.

  1. Here’s another myth: electricity.

    What we all pay for at the end of the month and what ZESA scarcely provides is not electricity. Rather its electrical energy.

  2. I can confirm i just created a PayPal account in the last few minutes after reading myth 3. I have been a holder of a payoneer card for over a year never thought this would work 😉 You can also do the same using a BancABC prepaid VISA card without need for a payoneer card i.e replace both FBC and Payoneer cards with BancABC card.

  3. the question is: Can you do a direct business transaction from Zimbabwe with Paypal, ie can l go on eBay, buy a product, pay it with Paypal all from Zimbabwe?

    On the question of 32 vs 64 memory, l beg to differ. Everyday l have an option of using Win XP, Vista, and Win 7. Here is the trick.

    lf lm running backups on Win 7 32 bit(forget about Win XP, it might take even a week and half to jus finish one backup) from disk drive to LTO-5(3terabytes), it takes roughly 7 hours.

    lf l put the same job on a same exact match this time with 64 bit, the same job takes roughly 3-4hrs can you explain this! We have run test on different machines, converting them from 32bit to 64 and back to just make sure.

    Closer to home, l built a PC with 8 gig run, l downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 and installed it, then l started doing my things like gns3, vmware machines and it was constantly freezing even, l then changed it to Ubuntu server 64 bit and not even once did it slowed down or freeze.

  4. Nice trivia article; but the WiFi point is a bit of stretch. Obviously a mono-directional, 3-meter dish can extend the range of a signal that was intended for a short-range, omnidirectional set up. It’s like saying you can watching a TV from 2km away – by using a telescope!

  5. no the second one is not a myth. a linux box running 32bit os will not use more than 4gb ram. applications are still limited within that 4gb.

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