Author: stephen

Do Not Use www.topgrades.co.za a.k.a Centaurus Trading to buy Kruger Rands

TLDR; Topgrades.co.za is no longer a member of Rand Refinery, their membership has been suspended. Take a look at all rand refinery registered dealers and make sure to only buy from people on this list

Investing in gold you can actually hold can be a very prudent investment espescially when global debt continues to rise and money is being created through this debt. However buying real gold that you can hold is the only way to be sure that you actually own gold. Merely buying gold shares or a Gold ETF will mean nothing in a global financial collapse. It is important to read the fine print of the contracts if you do prefer paper gold.

Nonetheless getting actual Kruger Rands can be tough because they are of high value and with high value comes risk. Certainly there will be a scammer for every legitimate coin dealer.

I had dealt with Centuarus Trading by buying through their topgrades.co.za website before and didn’t have much of an issue except that the order did take quite long to be fulfilled. This was in mid 2017. I had checked and they were a registered dealer.

A month ago I made another purchase, however this time it took 2 weeks without contact. I had to call the owner of Centaurus and ask him what was going on and he gave me the run around.

I then called Rand Refinery and was told that their membership was being reviewed after I noticed they were no longer on the registered coin dealers list. The next week I called Rand Refinery again and they told me that management had decided to suspend their account and I was to ask for a refund.

I asked for a refund and again a bit of a run around. It was not processed immediately I was told to wait 48 hours and then again for the following day.

The whole ordeal took 28 daysf from the day I EFT’ed into their account until I received the refund. Unfortunately it has left a bitter taste in my mouth and a dent in my growth prospects as Gold has rallied about R500 since the time of purchase.

When you are dealing with relatively large transactions it is important that everyone feels safe and secure but in this case I was worried by the shady activity and that it could be a scam.

At the end of the day it all worked out ok but I want to warn other people to avoid dealing with the following companies when it comes to Kruger Rands (Gold Bullion):

  • Centaurus Trading
  • MetalNexus
  • www.topgrades.co.za
  • www.goudwoud.co.za
  • www.centaurus-trading.com
  • www.sasilver.co.za
  • www.sagold.com

Also always ensure you test the authneticity of KrugerRands using the methods descrobe in the Rand Refinery Testing Guide.

Installing Ubuntu 18.04 for Dual Boot alongside Windows on seperate drives

Alright you’ve had it with Windows and their horrible, data thieving, privacy breaching ways. But you still want to be able to use it because of other reasons. Well you can dual boot – boot into the platform of your choosing with sperate drives, I will be showing you how to do this,

This is going to be a quick guide to installing Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop for Dual Boot on seperate drives

Quick Steps for your Dual Boot Ubuntu 18.04 and Windows Desktop on Seperate Drives

  1. Go to Download Ubuntu and click download Ubuntu desktop
  2. Go through this tutorial to create a bootable USB with windows, it was a bit tricky as some options were different from the screenshots. I went with MSDOS, master boot record.
  3. Make sure you have an empty drive at least 128gb for your ubuntu install.
  4. Plug in the usb and restart your computer. Press F2 or del to get into the bios and ensure you are booting with your usb. Sometimes this will happen automatically.
  5. Install it and make sure to allow third party software, I’ve had issues with not allowing it before.
  6. When it comes to that scary screen about your isntallation options the best thing to do is click manual.
  7. On your empty drive you want to put Ubuntu 18 on, it’ll be called sda or sdb, clear out existing partitions with-. Then add a parition for 300mb and change the type to Boot EFI this is the important part for the dual boot setup. Add another partition with + for the remaining amount of space you have and change the file system to ext4 and the mount point to /
  8. Now continue, set the timezone and everything should be swell.

Trying the Pelican Static Site Generator and Abandoning it

I have a Jekyll site called fixes

I wanted to move away from Ruby and try the language I prefer and saw that pelican was the most popular. I also wanted to move away to improve the way categories are shown and to speed up the site.

Don’t Use Pelican

After trying it out I have come to the conclusion that it is best to avoid it.

The problems I had:

  • When setting up it creates a fab file for you, for the convenience of deploying and running the site locally. Unfortunately it is based off of the old fabric that required python 2. Using fabric > 2 gave errors.
  • It is September 2018, the last release of Pelican was in January 2017. The author is relying on the community to review pull requests and it seems the community is not alive and kicking anymore.
  • The default theme is not what I deem elegant or simple.
  • AWS is used by default to show assets (like the github ribbon), which is slower and less reliable than a locally hosted version in my opinion. I don’t want to be reliant on some external service.
  • It also uses Google fonts for the default font. Yet more bloat and reliance on Google.
  • Themes are in a seperate repo and are complicated to use.
  • I found that 50% of the themes give errors when you are building them
  • All themes require significant customization.
  • Extra stuff is in yet another repo called pelican plugins, which also requires more technical skill and doc reading to make work.
  • None of the themes I tried were light weight and looked descent and required not much effort.

All in all, things have just gotten a bit too complex and complicated. Too much unnecessary shit is included in the standard package and too much necessary stuff requires external repos and customisation.

Things don’t just work, so I am going to look for another solution or stick with Jekyll.