SARS eFiling now accessible to visually impaired taxpayers

Press release: received on Wednesday, 24 August, 2016.

SARS is proud to announce that our eFiling Mobisite is now accessible to blind and partially sighted taxpayers. Blind taxpayers who rely on screen-reading software will now be able to navigate the mobisite on their mobile devices, PC or laptop.
The revamped website will also benefit partially sighted taxpayers, since it offers improved contrast and is able to adapt to the user’s choice of screen colour (for example, high contrast black which displays white text on a black background).
This development means that visually impaired taxpayers will now be able to complete and submit their Income Tax Returns (ITR12) while previously this may have been challenging without sighted assistance.
Simply visit from the mobile device, PC or laptop that has the screen-reader software installed to start eFiling.
SARS At Your Service

Launch of new Mobile @Vodacom Kiosk for the blind and visually impaired at @CouncilForBlind

In partnership with Vodacom, the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) officially launched a mobile service kiosk at their Pretoria offices yesterday (Wednesday 8 June), bringing mobile communication closer to visually impaired people.

These days, smartphones come with built-in accessibility features on both Android and iOS platforms enabling people with various disabilities to also have access to the amazing world of independence and the internet.

The kiosk will provide step-by-step guidance and serve as an information hub and one stop shop for blind and visually impaired people who are interested in accessible phones.

For more information, please contact the SANCB on 012-452-3811.

How to Change your iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10, 8 and 7

How to Change your iTunes Backup Location in Windows 10, 8 and 7

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you break your computer or your nose out of frustration. Read carefully through the instructions below before executing anything.


I have iTunes installed on my root ssd drive, a 128 gb Samsung. However, this drive is kind of running out of space, especially since I have about 60 gb of content on my iPhone. This is a problem as stupid iTunes doesn’t allow you to change the location for backups. I had to solve this problem and thus, I’m sharing what I’ve done, here with you.

Please read the following carefully before you get started:

iTunes keeps the iOS backup folder directly on the system drive, usually the C: drive, like in my case.

By default, iTunes will store the backup files in the following path:

  • iTunes backup location on Windows XP:
    \Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • iTunes backup location on Windows Vista/Windows 7/8/10:
    \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

iTunes is hard wired to put all backups into the path shown above and it is not possible to instruct iTunes to store it elsewhere. Quite typical of Apple to dictate and limit but, this is neither here nor there.

We are going to create a new backup folder in another hard drive on the PC, such as D drive, E drive and so on. And then link the original backup folder to the new backup folder. Once we have linked them, every time iTunes tries to save a backup to the C: drive, the files get saved in the new created backup folder, even though iTunes will be (under the impression) that it is saving it in its default location. So yes, basically we’ll be fooling iTunes.

How to Change iTunes Backup Location on Windows

Step 1. Create a New iTunes Backup Folder on another drive

Firstly, you should create a new iTunes backup folder on D drive, E drive or any drive that has more free storage space. This includes portable external drives. You can name this folder anything you like, e.g. iTunes Backup.

I named mine:

d:\itunes backup

Step 2. Rename old iTunes backup folder on system drive

The default iTunes location can be found above, just make sure it’s the correct one and corresponding with your version of Windows. Now, rename the folder name “Backup” to something else, e.g. “Old Backup”. This is what I’ve done.

Step 3. Change iTunes backup location on Windows

We are now going to create a symbolic link. It’s fine if you don’t know what it is. Just follow the steps below and you should be just fine.

  1. Still in the default itunes location path from earlier, press SHIFT key and press the applications key on the old iTunes backup file location, you will get a pop-up menu.
  2. Select “Open command window here”.

    You should now be in the command prompt.

    In my case, it shows:

    C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\old Backup>
  3. In the command prompt window, manually type in the following command where D:\ is the new drive location (drive letter may vary depending on what you have selected earlier) and “itunes backup” is the name of the iOS backup folder you just created:

    mklink /J “%APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup” “D:\itunes backup”
  4. You will now see the command prompt window return a success in creating a junction. And a new folder shortcut called “Backup” will appear in the original location.
  5. Now, delete the old iTunes backup folder that you renamed earlier.

Go ahead, connect your iPhone or whatever Apple device you want to sync with iTunes and backup.

Cell C’s EPIC Mess.

Today I’d like to discuss one of Cell C’s contract options; the Epic range.

This is only because of a friend of mine who kinda got caught out by the offer.

For those of you who are international readers, Cell C is a mobile service provider in South Africa. We currently have 4 primary mobile providers. They are, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom Mobile.

Cell C joined this space in the early 2000s as the third major player and really shook up the South African cellular landscape with per second billing and many other innovative offerings.

However, the Epic contract offering, is not one of my favourite offerings.

You may recall that Cell C launched a promotion – aimed at luring contract customers from competitors in May 2015.

Getting new customers is not a bad thing but, what was offered to these customers, in my opinion, was not a good thing.

There is some financial reward, (in the form of a rewards card) but, you have to spend a lot of money per month to qualify for this kick-back.

To convince a customer to leave his or her current mobile network in order to join, Cell C, you really have to offer something unique and different to the client.

Cell C said that they’d “Buy you out” and offered the Epic deals as an insentive plus the reward card; no cash.

My issue is not necessarily with the buyout offer itself but, rather with the value that one gets for this package and the somewhat intentional deceit that takes place when one is offered any of these Epic contract options.

On the surface, it looks very promising and rather tempting but, if one looks at the actual value that you get from one of these contract options, one might be better off choosing something else instead.

I’d even go as far as saying that it’s misleading to some extent.

So, here’s how it works.

You have 7 Epic options. Epic 100, 150, 200, 350, 500, 650 and finally Epic 1000.

All of these options are charged at a somewhat lower price than the actual number might indicate, creating the impression that you are scoring a good deal.

Cell C’s Epic contracts give more inclusive airtime value than you pay in Rand value every month however, if your airtime runs out you’ll be paying R1.89 per minute on per second billing for calls and r0.99 per MB for data..

I’m just this guy, you know, the average kind but, I’d think that I’d be allocated the value of airtime that’s represented in the numbering scheme, for example, the Epic 200 contract option, should give me R200.00 of Cell C airtime to really use as I please.

On Cell C’s prepaid offerings, what can you do with R200.00 of airtime?

You can get 1 GB of data, 100 minutes of talk time and have some change left. i.e. you can make calls at reasonably low rates (R0.66 per minute), you can purchase data and sms bundles so, you can use your airtime for anything on offer when dialing *147#.

Things look somewhat different when you are on an Epic contract though.

You will not get much in the way of voice minutes when on an Epic contract.

On an Epic 200 contract option, for example, if I were to use the allocated value for voice calls only to phone mobile and fixed line numbers, (excluding tollfree and share call numbers), I’d only get about 105 minutes.

Get this, your allocated value will be gone.

You cannot purchase a data bundle.

Yes, this is correct. You cannot decide that you’d like to allocate a portion of the airtime to purchase a data bundle. Why? Well, because you are forced to use the airtime that Cell C gave you in the manner prescribed.
You are expected to pay R0.99 per MB. Do you know how quickly a smartphone eats through 1 MB of data?

The example package of the Epic 200, will give you only 201 MB of data. A 300 MB data bundle normally costs R55 but, in this case, it will cost you R200 of airtime value as you cannot allocate your airtime value to a data bundle.
Oh, and do not forget that if you have used this 201 MB of data you’d have nothing left for voice calls.

Sms messages.

If you are big on sms messages, you’d be able to send 403 sms messages. Perfect for 2016, right?

So, let’s take a more balanced view.

Let’s base the example of the Epic 200 on my usage pattern. I’m going to allocate 15% to voice, 84% to data and 1% to sms messages. We’re still using the Epic 200 as an example.

  • I’d get a huge amount of minutes. A total of 15 minutes that I’d be able to spend on phoning all my friends and family.
  • 169 MB should be enough for the month, I think, right?
  • I’d stick to sms message rather as I’d get 40 of those for the month.

Let me get this straight. For R129.00 a month, Cell C is offering me 15 minutes, 169 MB and 40 SMSs. Furthermore, they say that this is valued at R200 so, technically it’s the price that should be associated with the offer.

I’m sorry but, that is not going down very well.

Now, you might think that this is perhaps not a good example but, allow me to show you how little value the Epic 1000 contract option offers.

Keep in mind that the Epic 1000 contract option goes for only R699.00 per month. Based on my previous usage pattern of 15% to voice, 84% to data and 1% to sms messages, this is what you’ll get.

79 minutes, 850 MB and 199 SMSs; for R699.00!

I really don’t care about the sms messages but, this is a rip off.

If I wanted 3 GB of data with 75 minutes and no sms messages, I’d be able to get it for R249 per month, also from Cell C on the SMARTCHAT 3GB contract for R450 less.

What happens if you have used up all your allocated airtime?

If you have an open line, you will pay out of bundle rates (OOB) to the maximum of your credit on Cell C’s systems.

Thus, if you, for example, have a credit limit of R800 and you are on the Epic 1000 contract, you’d just need to download 792 MB of data and you’d have a bill of r1,499.

You could obviously add data and sms bundles outside of your contract value to your bill but, then you could also just choose a more suitable contract as this might end up being rather costly.

I’ve really tried to find value in the Epic range of offerings from Cell C but, I’m finding it very difficult. Even if one were to say that you are getting round about a 30% discount, it still is very misleading and unethical.

Instead of providing a value proposition, they’ve decided to take advantage of the ignorance of already frustrated customers by creating a really confusing and unnecessarily complicated product offering.

On top of that, Cell C also offered to (pay) to (buyout) these clients from their current mobile service providers.

It’s sad but, it is quite obvious that those people who took up this offer of being bought out by Cell C, might have been made to pay for this themselves, without realising this.

In conclusion.

This article aims to illustrate that we as customers should always be aware of what options are out there and what exactly it is that we are signing up for. Being taken for a ride is not a one-way thing; you need some participants to make it happen.

Cell C is certainly not innocent in this case and I’m quite sure that they’ve lost many of the clients that they initially gained due to this contract having been offered to clients who were not aware of how it exactly worked.

In short; there is really no value in these contract options, unless you just want the device and have your own internet at home or an additional contract or prepaid sim.

Also, shop around. See what it really is that you need and don’t just take the first thing that comes along.

I’m a very happy Cell C customer but, I’m not on the same page with them when it comes to the Epic mess.

Important Terms and Conditions’s listed for Cell C’s new Epic contract packages are:

  • The Epic packages are available on both Postpaid and Top Up for new and existing customers.
  • SIM-only Epic packages are available on 12, 18 and 24 month contracts.
  • Epic packages that include a handset are only available on a 24 month basis.
  • Inclusive airtime cannot be used for international calling, SMS/MMS, or roaming.
  • Inclusive airtime cannot be used to purchase data bundles.
  • Calls to Cell C, MTN, Neotel, Telkom, and Vodacom will be deducted from inclusive airtime, but all “special numbers” are excluded.
  • Cell C will not be liable for charges incurred where the subscriber dials non-qualifying numbers.
  • When inclusive airtime can’t be used, postpaid customers will be billed out-of-bundle and charges will be added to their invoice.
  • Parallel, upward, and downward migrations to and from the Epic packages is allowed.

Elbraille, a component like Windows 10 notetaker running with Jaws and Focus 14 Braille Display

Russian based Elita Group, recently announced the release of the all-new ElBraille Notetaker.

What is this?

Elbraile is a full mobile portable computer running on Windows 10 together with Jaws for Windows.
It contains a docking station, integrated with Freedom Scientific’s Focus 14 Braille display. This docking station contains the perkins style keyboard and all the navigation options that you find on the Focus 14.

One could say that this is a component based system so, if you already have a Focus 14 Blue, you would not have to buy a new Focus 14 Blue again.

189 mmx 118 mm by 38 (7.4 x 4.7 x 1.5 inches
Weight with Focus 14 included: 750 g (1.65 pounds)

Physical description

On the front you have the Focus 14 Blue control, like the selector buttons, panning, buttons, rocker bars, etc.
On the right side you have an extractor button, 3.5 mm jack, sd card slot, usb port and then power port.
On the back there is nothing.
On the left, there’s nothing.
On the top there are 6 keys. From left to right: E1, E2, Volume up and down buttons then E3 and #4.
The Sim card slot is right on the top left.

Windows 10 32bit
Jaws 17
1.8 GHz Quad-core atom processor
2 GB of ram
64 GB SSD drive
Built-in 32 gb sd card – not usable by user, for the OS
Expansion card slot up to 256 gb storage
built-in microphone
Stereo speakers
Vibration motor – Device vibrates and beeps.when being turned on, shutting down, when placed on charge, etc.
SMS messaging capability
You can also make and receive phonecalls.

Bluetooth 4.0
3G modem (Micro sim card required)
Wi-Fi 801.11 a/b/g/n
3.5mm headphone jack
USB port – used for external storage, full qwerty keyboard etc.
20 hours of battery life.

The device has a rescue menu – used in a potential situation if there is no speech or Braille feedback.
This menu has a self-voicing and self-Brailling capability.
1. Restart Jaws.
2. Shut the system down.
3. Forced restart.

Final thoughts:
I don’t know anything else about the device but, on paper, it looks great! I’m honestly quite excited.