Category: IT

Infotech 2013 – The Review



It’s that time of the year again: Infotech, with its lot of IT gadgetry, mobile phones, TVs, macbooks and other laptops. Many people have stopped going to the event since it became Mobiletech instead of Infotech, but I still go, mainly out of curiosity. While the fair is a good opportunity to discover new players in the sector, do not expect to find any new technology there, especially if you follow the Virtual Data Room market and international tech scene closely. However, there are still a few surprises here and there which makes it worth my time. Anyway, on to the review.

TL;DR: Lots of tablets. Lots of mobile phones. Many TVs and other consumer appliances. Not much of pure IT, sadly. Just as expected.

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Shifting to 8 digit mobile phone numbers: DIY method


As you may or may not know already, all mobile phone numbers in Mauritius are shifting to 8 digit numbers as from 1st September 2013. So if your number is 777-8888, it will become 5777-8888. So to call or SMS you, I’d need to put a 5 in front of your number. Same for SMS. More info from Emtel here.

The problem is how to change all your mobile contact numbers to add that 5 before. I hear the various mobile operators are developing mobile apps to handle it for you, but I wanted a DIY way for my S3. If you have a similar DIY way for your own mobile, feel free to share in the comments. This article is NOT a guide, but merely the steps I will take to add 5 to my own numbers. It may, or may not work for you so use at your own risk. I hope I don’t end up with a horribly broken contact list! :/ Feel free to suggest if you have a better idea, apart from using an app coded by a third-party. I’m interested in DIY methods, or how you are planning to do your own migration if your phone doesn’t have an app.

Here’s my plan:

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SBMNet Transfer Woes


A friend of mine just sent me this screenshot of SBMNet, State Bank of Mauritius (SBM)’s online banking facility. She wanted to transfer some money from her account to a friend’s at another bank. She was then presented with the form below:

SBM, that’s not how you design forms. Seriously, we don’t all have a degree in banking to know what your “Payee Id” is, what’s the difference between a Payee name and a Beneficiary Name and why you need four fields of Payment Details, intuitively called “Payment Details 1” to “Payment Details 4”. The sparse help messages are not helpful. At all.

Anyway, what’s Beneficiary Bank Address 2 and 3?! Come’on! It’s ridiculous! Fix your thing, before you can even claim to offer “online banking” on your adverts. It’s not useful.

Oh btw? The said friend? She’s decided to go in person to a bank branch to do the transfer. So much for your online services.

How it should be done? How about:

  • Meaningful form names? Payment Details 1 is not helpful.
  • Contextual help when you hover on the forms?
  • Auto complete? Data-specific fields? Why should the user enter date? Can’t they choose from a dropdown?
  • Information overload! Use a couple of screens, with steps and a “next” button?
  • Or you know, just something like this

Hopefully someone will see this and fix this, or at least suggest a better design proposal. :p

EDIT: It’s 2016! They finally changed it!

SBM Beneficiary New Version

Mauritius is not a cyber island yet. Here’s why.


For some reason, our political leaders are bent on using the word “cyber” whenever the get the opportunity to. Everything is cyber here: Cyber caravan, Cyber Crime or something along that line as well as a few other cyber things here and there. What does “cyber” mean anyway?

Merriam-webster says something about “the culture of computers”. It must be a joke: I hardly see any kind of “culture of computers” in Mauritius.

We are far, VERY FAR from deserving being called a cyber island yet. Why? Lots of reasons actually…

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