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Hey There.

This is a quickie update. It is Election Day for the Local Government Elections 2011 and results are just beginning to come in.

Real-time results are hard to come by, there is a twitter hashtag to follow namely #LGEResults, but that makes it hard to get an overview of what is going on, which party is in the overall lead.

Lucky for us the IEC has a results page at where you can search for the results you want to see and then download either a PDF or Excel spreadsheet to view the results. If you are not interested in the technical aspect of how I parsed the information from the IEC spreadsheet you can view the results HERE:

(Bear in mind that I am not affiliated with the IEC, and with none of the parties – I am just a computer guy who voted and want to see the election results)

The spreadsheet I use for input seems to be updated every 10 or 20 minutes at this stage.

If you want to find out how I actually did the scripting, read on:

It is a bit of a pain, so I wrote a bash script to automatically download the spreadsheet (the URL does not change between updates :-)) and then parse the information. You will need to install the package xls2csv that is relevant to your Linux distribution.


#!/bin/bash -x
rm National*
xls2csv National.xls > parties
awk -F"\"" '{ print $2 $7 $6}' parties | grep -f input > results

Predictably the output is ugly, but it at least gives me some information that I want.

Have fun playing with this one. I use: while sleep 5m; do ./scriptname; done to run it every five minutes, and in the script above I added a simple scp command to upload it to my server where you can view the results at if you want.

Cheers for now!

Two weeks ago I wrote an open letter to the DA after engaging with Brandon Topham and other DA leadership on Twitter.

You can read the letter HERE.

This morning I received Brandon’s response in my email, and I am posting it below. He has touched on some of the issues I raised that will/would fall in his local government sphere of responsibility should they win Tshwane. As he has indicated many of the points I raised fall under a National Government level, and not local.

Below is the letter, with some comments by me in (italicised brackets).

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  • Use Ubuntu? Have Unity?? Then you are in luck! Let me show you how to make a custom Angry Birds Launcher That Works! #

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Look, this is a quick and nasty, but at the end of this one you will have a cool angry birds quicklauncher in your Unity sidebar and clicking it will launch Angry Birds Beta in a Chromium App window.

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  • New Blog Post: Unity bringing new options to Ubuntu? Also, how to build a custom Launcher Item and Quicklist: #unity #

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Ubuntu Natty Narwhal is here, yep, 11.04 has landed. (Is it just me or is there less Internet fanfare than before?) Along with Natty came the much discussed, loved-hated, maligned-adored, yet universally greatly expected Unity Interface.

Love it or hate it, I believe that most on-line opninionistas that has followed the roll-out of Unity to date has missed something that Unity might make possible in the near future – an application-rich environment.

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  • In case you missed it, my barrage of questions aimed at the DA, also, why this vote is important. #

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A Foreword For  The Regular Reader is not a political blog. I tend to steer clear of controversial issues that have no bearing on the technological  slant of my blog. I respect my readers right to differ from me on issues that are not technology or IT related. This is a blog where we are tech-heads first and foremost.

With this entry I am making an exception though, partly because our local government elections have entered our realm of influence, the on-line one, and I am choosing this medium that our political parties have embraced to take the fight to them.

UPDATE: The DA has responded via Brandon Topham to this entry, you can read it HERE.

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