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3 Feb 2013

Bush Mechanics around the world (jugaad ghetto engineering) "streetuse"

South USAhttp://whitetrashrepairs.com


India: A related term is "jugaad" some photo examples here
Commercial jugaad
Starting a van with a rope whip

Roma: Related term ""Pretty Dyana"



Cuba has a lot of street engineering. Can we find the Spanish for it?

USA term: 'Quick dirty hack'. 'Kludge'
Related terms you might get in the UK: 'Bodge'

Useful items for fixes: Ty-wraps. Duct tape. WD40. These are the classics jugaard items for fixing things.

Jailhouse tech. More prisoner gadgets.

Loads more here at Streetuse:

Living in a car fulltiming


"Varner emphatically agrees. "What's the worst-case scenario?" he says, chuckling. "I fail and can't afford rent? I have to go live in a car?"

Sleep: Rear seats down, foam matress, feet in the trunck (boot)
Shower: Gym
Working: Hacker Dojo
Eat: Food in car, fridges at Hacker DoJo
Parking: Wasn't disturbed (it's USA)

$ ""My monthly costs were a grand total of $219. $100 for a 24/7 co-working membership, $39 for a 24/7 gym membership, and $80 at the grocery""

 Highlighting comments:

"Any good sized town is going to have a couple of soup kitchens, shelters, and other 'services' for the poor, pitiful homeless, but the worst thing you can do is spend a lot of time around other homeless people. (There are several reasons, some psychological; but the big one is that, as bad off as you are, you're probably well off by contrast to most of the others, and . . . things level)"

SMS txt tricks to avoid data roaming while travelling

 Buying a local simcard is now thankfully a reality for a lot of places. But not everywhere and it can sometimes be a pain to do and setup (tip: don't walk out of the shop until the shop assistant has shown it working on your phone).

A lot of people use SMS on the road. While it can be expensive to send, it's reliable. As long as you don't get into back and forth replies with someone it shouldn't be too expensive.

Some ideas:

- setup SMS balance notifications with your bank, since finding a secure connection to logon will be difficult if not impossible in some places and many banks don't offer decent 2-factor authentication like password grids or google authenticator... and also many ATM's don't allow balance checking. Chext might help you if your bank doesn't support balance by SMS. If you can't get this working though then for goodness sake just take note on a piece of paper as you spend! (I'm guilty of not doing this too)

- you can search google by SMS

- update twitter, facebook and google plus status, blogger by SMS

- question services such as ChaCha

- "program" (effectively) using SMS to do things on your behalf using "If this, then that" https://ifttt.com/ . You can use SMS both as an input (costs) or as an output (free)
- txt yourself the weather in the morning and sunrise
- many more ideas here

- obviously if you do have a data connection there's WhatsApp but it's a permissions and battery hog so you might prefer Contacts+ or any other of those services

Got some tricks? Share them below, no login needed

15 Jan 2013

More Knowmad lifestyle links

 Ah... I've found a new plethora of resources dedicated to the subject of this blog. The keywords:

 "Location independent lifestyle"

So now I've found I'm really not alone in this lifestyle. So now some more resources.

Coworking where you can work on the road:

A website biz orientated website, very useful, lots of info, flogging an ebook on the subject for £8:

A quora link on the subject:

12 Jan 2013

Togglemobile, VS worldSim vs local simcards notes (International simcards)

 I have a Togglemobile simcard on the way. When it gets here I'll do a proper review. It will be interesting to see if it actually works as advertised on the road.

Basically the strategy of the company is to offer you a local number for every country you wish to travel to.
This is better even than other international cards which typically either offer you a dual number in the Isle of Man (advertised as the UK) and in the USA (but charge alot for calls to the USA number).... or offer a non-geographical mobile number setup from Estonia.

 Iceland companies tend to have gone bust. Belgium companies offer a similar system but it's basically not cheap. There was a company called Paytoo but that too seems to have gone bust. That was a simcard somehow linked to VoIP but in practice it wasn't that cheap.

 So, Togglemobile then.

- £5 each number rent/yearb (not advertised)
- EU Domestic calls: tends to be 3p/landlines, 9p/mobile, 3p/sms
However consider this:
- Trinidad domestic: 15p/monfile/landline, 9p SMS
but without that local number:
- Trinidad to UK: £1.28/min recieve, £3 local calls etc... so it's back to normal prices... will I be billed incorrectly I wonder

In short, it's easier to use because you don't need to find a shop to register your SIM or go back to the hotel to haul your passport to the shop to prove who you are (driving license also sometimes works)... but it's still £5/year and then you have expensive data rates still.
Have it as a backup but local sims are still better, including international calls via an access number.

 So I suggest having this as a backup or just using for SMS.

The other approach can be to just focus on data rates and use email. This works for Europe and established markets without monopolies. But there's no good rates in a lot of countries still. Data still tends to be harder to get. There are sims out there focussing just on data... an example with iphonetrip is 100mb/day for $8 but I doubt it's really this rate in Trinidad, Oman or Ghana for example.
If you want this for maps, perhaps you should see my post regarding offline mapping.

Thus, as a guide local SIM cards and access numbers are still the best.

WorldSim are also advertising "free call forwarding" but I don't believe this - how would they do this without cost to them? They also suggest setting up call forwarding from your WorldSIM number to the number you wish to call and then calling yourself... I can't see this working... I expect the costs are just moved to the line you are calling yourself from...?

When looking up prices I suggest going straight to Trinidad or Ghana to see the rates to get a worst cast scenario first.

I note that none of the companies offer a UK to mobile number link via VoIP for cheaper rates.

Togglemobile rates:
A great Australian thread summerising the state of the international simcard market, minus Togglemobile:
WorldSIM rates:
Wiki page on all this:

After trying it out in Namibia, Spain & Senegal I can say that it just isn't worth the bother. In the countries where it actually works and is reliable (like Australia), it usually super cheap and easy to get a local sim anyway. It's only really good as a backup for established places such as Oz... in general.