Welcome to Invisible Ink


Welcome to Invisible Ink. This is the personal homepage of me, Kobus Myburgh, and here I will either entertain you (or sicken you) with petty philosophies, tasteless jokes, or my curriculum vitae. Hopefully you will see something here that interests you.

I was born in 1975, and has been working in the IT industry since 1994, with over 28 years of experience in managing tertiary education computer systems and users, many aspects of web development, customer care, usability, accessibility and user experience improvements and running IT companies.

I hold a B. Sc. (cum laude) and a B. Sc. Honors degree through North-West University, and also various other professional qualifications, some of which are A+, ITIL Foundation, ITIL Practitioner in Release and Control, Web development through Working Webs, Software specialist (with distinction) through Boston Business College, attendance of Novell 6.0 CNA, Project Management through Astrotech Training, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux through Obsidian, in an effort to become a certified Red Hat Certified Engineer.

I started my IT career in 1994 as an assistant in an internet café, then continued as a PC technician at a North-West university, and moving up in rank to IT consultant where I had various responsibilities, ranging from technician, anti-virus specialist, web development, student facilities planning and budgeting, as well as training and documentation production. Although using web development technologies since 2001, in 2009 I decided to focus solely on web development using PHP and associated technologies, such as MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, JSON, XML, SOAP and RESTful services.

I have been developing PHP driven systems since early 2001, and I have exposure in various industries ranging from universities, advertising and marketing agencies, parastatal companies, and web development houses. These industries exposed me to the unique budget constraints, stakeholder dynamics and development conditions present in each industry, and this has enabled me to produce a wide array of systems ranging from front-end coding in HTML and CSS, eCommerce systems with integrated payment gateways, the development of my own CMS, called Cornerstone, and complete financial and workflow systems for making clients’ administration tasks more manageable.

Due to my varied exposure over many IT related positions over the past 28 years, I am a well-rounded, technical individual, with a strong logical side, particularly adept at researching solutions where others see problems.

In 2012, I started a second company, Impero Consulting (www.impero.co.za). My strong focus on web development, customer service and entrepreneurship has guided me through various business ventures, and several high profile development and consultation positions.


Okay – I am again playing a bit of Tribalwars. That game consumed about 4 years of my life a million years back, but I have since then become a real hard-ass.

I applied to be in a tribe (since it is Tribalwars and all…) and was asked to fill out an application form. Okay – so here is my attempt:


The below might offend you if you’re thin skinned, but if you read what I am saying, and understand that I am actually helping you in your application process which is really iffy, so, you’d actually want me in your tribe.

In the very least, I’d give you a good laugh before you crumple up my application paper and toss it into your hoop basket.


-Any thing that doesn’t apply please put N/A. Please fill out the following using proper English:

Define proper English. Discrimination is bad. Did you know that only 17% of the world speaks English in the world? Did you know that less than 0.04% of people on earth even attempt to speak proper English?

* Do they speak American English (Y’all have a good day now, y’hear!)
* Do they speak Australian English (G’day mate! Oi think TW is a great goime!)
* Do they speak South African English (Ja, no, well, maybe, fine. Let’s have a braai at my pad, my cuzzie!)
* Do they speak British English (I think your aggro application process is arse over face, my barmy friends)
* Do they speak Scottish English (Heid doon arse up, wi’ya)
* Do they speak Irish English (Paddy, I am goan’ for a shite. Yeah, I’m gonna go see Barry White)

Sure, they do, but is that proper English? Nope. Now ainn’t a beyotch? Just state “in English”? That should be enough to gauge whether the applicant can communicate with all you proper English Speakers out there.

1. List how much experience you have (example: 2 tears):

4 years (been playing for 8 years total, but for 4 years I played very little, so I don’t really count that as experience. And that should be “years” not “tears”) ;-> I will be your personal proof reader.

2.If any, list specifically what experience you have in the following:


I run a business. Diplomacy is the game there. But so is not taking shit. I call a spade a spade when needed, and I am diplomatic when I have to be. I am probably not your guy for diplomatic peace of mind.

-Forum moderation:

I am intermediary all day between fighting staff acting like kids, so I can moderate. Question is whether I want to moderate something else, but I will if need be.

-Managing attack and/or defense groups:

Support packets? I can do that. Planning my own attacks for pin point landing times? I suck at it, as I refuse to set an alarm for 4am just to send an attack out to land in time 😉 My life is outside this game, mostly.


Do you mean firing and hiring people? Yeah, I do that too. Maybe a little too well.

-Management of a tribe:

Does managing a company help? I was in leadership in many tribes before. I am the guy they went to when Sylvester Stallone is considered to be a sissy. I say the things that need to be said. I get rid of the dead weight, even if that dead weight is myself.

3. Why do you want to join S.N.A?

Because I am not good enough and dedicated enough to be in an elite tribe, due to having a very full life outside the game, and in an Academy tribe I can do most good. I am a good leader and teacher, I am always willing to impart knowledge, and I am friendly (sometimes…). I also usually don’t bite, except when filling out half-arsed application forms.

4. On average how many hours do you spend logged into TW per day?

Hours? Hell! HELL NO! Let’s call that minutes, and we’ve got a deal. Approximately about 45 minutes. I think yesterday I spent 47.2 minutes, and I am already on 31.7 minutes filling out this application form.

5. Name ALL previous account usernames. Even ones that were from other worlds.

Grock – World 2, Bliksem – Since World 2.

-Lack of experience does not automatically result in rejection. It is simply to gauge what we need to teach you.
You could’ve fooled me.

-Application can take up to 24 (twenty-four) hours to review.

It is the only sensical thing you’ve said all day. All good hires take time.

-Background checks WILL be performed. So do not lie.

I hereby give you permission to do an MIE check on me. Criminal record, credit score, high school exam results, university degrees, the lot. Ha. Not. Grow up, folks – FFS!


Do you treat everyone like children though? If they do not answer the question, just ignore the application. do not tell them that “they will be punished if they leave a question out.” It is a game, folks, relax…

Now, let me just state unequivocally, that I was not accepted into this academy tribe. Ha. I wonder why.

[REVIEW] Laravel Design Patterns and Best Practices

I saw a post on LinkedIN inviting people to review a new book, and I thought – what the heck. I have reviewed books before, so this could be fun. So – I signed up, and was asked to blog about the book when I am done.

The book I had to review was “Laravel Design Patterns and Best Practices”. Written by Arda Kılıçdağı and H. İbrahim YILMAZ. The book is available at Packt Publishing.

As I am reading the first few chapters, I was generally impressed. As a beginner in Laravel, I found it easy, informative, and the usage of analogies were quite clever. This resonated well with me, as I learn well by understanding difficult concepts by analogy.

Talking of analogies, I am going to describe my overall experience with the book using an analogy. Imagine a comic book with nice big letters. It reads nice. The text forms pictures in your mind as you read them. Awesome. As you turn each page in the comic book, you get more immersed in the book, and you really start to enjoy it.

But suddenly, when you turn the page somewhere near the middle of the comic book, things get a little hairy. Suddenly, you are reading a printed book. No more pictures and very small print that is highly condensed with very little line spacing.

What happened here is one of two things:

  • The book was aimed at absolute beginners, and then switched to advanced level without a gradual build-up. It became far too difficult for me to understand.
  • The book was aimed at intermediate Laravel developers, but the inclusion of the first few chapters were to fill the pages: It is far too elementary for intermediate Laravel developers.

Now – on the Packt website, the following paragraph is found:

This book is intended for web application developers working with Laravel who want to increase the efficiency of their web applications. It assumes that you have some experience with the Laravel PHP framework and are familiar with coding OOP methods.

That brings me to the second possibility I have mentioned: that the book is aimed at intermediate Laravel developers, but that the first few chapters were only fillers, being too elementary to teach intermediate Laravel developers anything.

So, while it was a good read for me up to the point where the book lost my attention, I would recommend that:

  • If you are an intermediate or advanced Laravel developer, PLEASE skip the first few chapters.
  • If you are a beginner Laravel developer, PLEASE read only the first few chapters, and tackle the last bunch of chapters only once you have gotten some more experience under the belt.

I have read several Packt books before, and I generally like them, but I have to say I am slightly disappointed by this one. That being said, it is purely my own opinion, and you might find the experience with this book a lot better than I did.

Happy reading!

A day in the life of a scammer…

So, I received a letter from a scammer. I thought I will toy with it a bit. I opened up a new e-mail account with no real information, and nothing linking my real life to the fake account, and decided to reply to the letter I have received. I have not yet had a reaction, but as and when the debacle unfolds, I will be sure to post some comments about it. But first, the letter.


Dear beloved,

Please read this mail with good faith because I  am writing it from my hospital bed with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart because my Doctor told me that I will die in less than two months time. Base on this I wish to transfer my wealth to you so that you can assist me in building a charity organisation, for the saints in helping orphans,  poor and needy people in some parties of the world especially kids Haiti and Africa as a debt I am paying to Allah which is my last wish because I grew up an orphan.

I am offering 20% to you, while 80% should be used judiciously on the charity project. The total amount in question is $2.5Million United States Dollars.

Please get back to me quickly.

Mrs. Magda Bekker.

Okay, so I concocted a reply to this letter, in a hope to draw out the author, “Mrs. Bekker”. I made some obvious as well as some subtle hints about the fact that I know this is a scam, but I am hoping that this person’s grasp of the English vernacular is as low as his/her grammar skills, and would not pick up on these hints. Here is my reply:

Dear Mrs. Bekker,

I am “touched” by your letter. Truly so. No, really, I “mean” it!

I am sooooo-so-so-so sorry that you are going to die in 2 months time, but you know, all of us, our time comes one day or another, for some of us our time comes too late. 

In your case, the millions of dream “money” that you made in your life time will be well spent on all the “other” little orphans in Africa and Haiti who might have gotten hope from your “generosity” – if only they had internet access to read about your skit “heroics.” 

I am absolutely, irrevocably certain that your intentions are pure, and I “trust” you, because your letter was written with so much “heart-felt emotion” that I had really a lot of difficulty not to cry myself. I am absolutely “certain” that you have all the money you say you have, and can thus make the promises that you do. Wow, what a burlesque notion of concocted “philanthropy!”

You always hear things like “A fool and his money soon parts” and also “When money is scarce, friends are rare”. This is so true! You must have been VERY shrewd and secretive in your money making ventures during your life time, because nobody knew about all these “millions” that you have stashed away over the years. Poor soul. You must have worked day and night, because your attempt to contact me, a total stranger, to help you is so sad. If only you had real friends to help you distribute your “wealth”.

I am therefore offering my “devoted” help to you get rid of your unclaimed “millions”.

Tata ma chance! 🙂

William Jenkins

It would be quite interesting to see what unfolds here – if anything… Stay tuned!

Survival Instinct

This morning, I rescued a gecko from one of my cats. This was an eye-opener in two ways for me. First, the look on my cat’s face; a look that says: “Dang you! I worked hard for that! You are taking my livelihood away from me!” My feeling of guilt was short-lived though, as something else totally grabbed my focus shortly after.

As I held this little gecko, in total not even the length of my little finger, this brave little creature started to bite me. It bit me with all its might, and with a passion I can hardly describe. I wish I had a chance to take a picture of the event, but it struck me how much of a will to survive the little creature had.

I stood there for a few seconds, observing the tenacity with which it bit me, and I simply had to admire its will to live. I could squash this little thing like a bug, if I wanted to, and it probably instinctively knew it, but it did not give up. It bit me as if it knew I would sooner or later have to let it go in a yelp of pain.

After a few seconds of watching this brave little thing, a few seconds that felt like an eternity in awe, I went outside and put it down in the garden. This leads me to another thought about where did my cat grab this gecko in the first place, and would it be able to find its way back from where it was initially kidnapped from? We know that cats and dogs can find their way home for miles and miles, but what about this little gecko?

I hope so…

Vanishing of e-mail?

WebProNews posted this article about an executive at Facebook stating that e-mail will probably go away. I have commented the below, what do you think?

Well, that article hits the nail on the dot. E-mail can’t die. It is so integrated into our daily lives that there is no real way to conceive it to just die. But because I like to play Devil’s Advocate, I will contest this statement (without any proof, all just postulates, so don’t see it as opposing your story or the comments of the hundreds of – absolutely correct – commentators on your post).

The other side of the story goes something like this…

Who’s to say there will not be a new technology to take the place of email in the near future? Maybe Facebook is currently busy developing it. Who would’ve thought about 15-20 years ago that cellphones would all but replace conventional telephones?

Furthermore, when Sheryl said email will vanish, did she mean it will vanish like dinosaurs did, or did she mean it will vanish like the Illuminati did? Or even vanish as the KKK in the USA or Apartheid in South Africa? Just think about that… Does “dying” really mean “extinction” in this case?

Now, I didn’t attend the show, or listen to the broadcast, but I am just speculating here: could she have meant “conventional email sent via a computer” would die out? Could she have said that “email will die out in favor of mobile technology”? While these mobile devices certainly all have messaging technologies, and has a “handle” or “nickname” that has the format of an “email address”, does that necessarily make it an email?

And now, let’s go back to the other side for a bit… (sorry Sheryl)… If you take the official definition of email, according to one source on the net: “Email is a way of sending messages from one computer to another.” or another: “Email is the exchange of computer-stored messages by telecommunication”, it could be postulated that even an SMS is an email. So is an MMS, so is ANY other method of receiving a notification via electronic or telecommunications media.

So – will email die? Completely? NEVER, unless they can devise a way to send a message via telepathy. With the human mind sending signals between neurons via “action potentials”, which are considered by some as electrical impulses, that opens up a whole new debate…

Go figure…

Karma? Luck? I don’t know…

Do you believe in Karma? Is she a bitch on high heels? Or is she just and fair? Does she “exist”? I don’t know, and quite frankly, I believe that is for each to decide for themselves. I have often heard “What goes around, comes around” or “She got what she had coming” and things like that – this would suggest that Karma is indeed a bitch, if treated inappropriately…

I am not 100% sure – but based on my general feelings, I agree that you attract the response you send out to the world via your attitude. If you’re a kind person, people will be kind to you in return, well, generally speaking of course. If you trample people, they will trample you, or die trying to, depending on your disposition.

Now me, I am generally kind, and I am having it pretty good in Karma’s books. I have not had any serious problems recently. Am I doing something right? I don’t know. But I do know that I have been blessed twice in two days with excellent service. First my car repairs on Friday, and this morning, great service at my hair dresser’s. Maybe I am doing something right afterall 🙂

Of course, you can argue that this is expected, as you pay for the service, but still – we have become so complacent that service is bad, that we are starting to accept bad service as the norm. It doesn’t have to be this way…

When thinking back about this all, I figured what had at least a part in the good service I have received in the past few days – friendliness. I realised in hind sight that I was friendly (well, I am almost always friendly, given, but recently it was more than usual – the reason for that is a story for another day). Being friendly got me friendliness in return. Simple as that. Karma.

Perhaps we should stop seeing the fault in everyone else when we receive bad service, and start looking at ourselves. Hmmm?

Can you ever know someone completely?

The question that I pose is: Can you ever know someone completely? My answer is – I certainly hope not!

Why would you want to know someone completely? What is in it for you? No more enigma, no more surprise. No more thoughts of “what’s next”… How boring it must be!

Given, you need to know at least a few little things about a person you want to marry or otherwise spend your life with, need to find out the things that you can’t live with and the things you can’t live without. You have to know the fundamental differences and similarities between you. You need to know if your potential mate is an axe murderer. Wanted by the police? For sure, you need to know that. What about HIV status? I am sure that is high on everyone’s list.

But honestly, before getting married or otherwise hitching up, does it really matter if she had a Barbie doll when she was 7? Or that he had his appendix removed when he was 16? What about having 2 false teeth? What about being Victor Lodorum in school? NO! You don’t need to know this before committing! That is the fun of being with the one you love – you get to learn something new, every day!

After all, you want to do this for your entire life (the commitment, I mean). Well, at least most of us do. Most of us do not think – “Hey, I will date this person for a while, until I am bored” and those that do, have decided already that you can know someone completely right from the start. Skip the boredom! Leave something for the future. Grow old together, and die old, one day, thinking – I wonder what colour dress that Barbie doll had on?

My first hate mail and job offer…

Don’t you just love it when people show the signs of their poor upbringing and absolute lack of intelligence? Hehehe…

Well, I have just received my first hate mail. It goes like this…

Please contact Dick Dugler from Dick (TM) PTY LTD
Telephone number: 101111
E-mail address (as given): suck-my-d*ck@industries.net
Fax number (if provided): 101111
Subject: Job Offer
Body: Howz about you suck my erect p*nis? Faggot

Well, let’s see… First of all, he works at the police station, hence the number 10111 (LOL). However, this retarded “policeman” has problems counting. There are only 5 numbers in the police hotline, and only 4 of them are the digit 1. I guess he lost all his counting fingers when his inbred dog mistook them for frankfurters.

I have to say though – being able to register a domain such as industries.net for his personal hate mail needs certainly indicates that this “policeman” is very rich with lots of foreign investments, and he likes to travel quite a bit. It is evident from the fact that he owns a company called Network Solutions, which, from my knowledge gathering, is a Limited Liability Company web services provider located in the United States and is owned by General Atlantic, a large global growth investor company, who owns well over 50 companies (http://www.generalatlantic.com/en/companies/all). Looks at some of these companies! This is so impressive! It would be really ridiculous to believe that this man is anything less than a director of this group of companies! So – I have to say – I am very much impressed with the mettle of my retarded board member.

And would you believe! He is offering me a job! WOW! And nothing less that to suck his honorable erectness. Wow. Now all I can hope for is that I don’t need a tweezer to find it – I am so excited! But I believe he must be one of the “biggest” men around, you know, because, wow, nobody would advertise their manhood in his e-mail address if he was Stuart Little, right? Yeah – I wonder if I should accept.

… 4 hours passes …

Okay – now that the excitement and exhiliration is over, I have decided not to take his job offer. Not only did his e-mail address had a hard bounce, his mailer daemon responded with the following error message: “No such user: suck-my-d*ck”. So it means that this guy has been playing me! There is no job openings for personal d*ck suckers. I feel so wronged! *sigh*

Well, now that I am over the worst of the disappointment, I started to accept my fate. This person is actually sort of an idiot. Why do I say such fowl things about a prospective employer? Well, see, that’s simple: He has no d*ck to suck, which is evident from his bounced mail, and, well, he should’ve figured I am not his type, because his girlfriend likes me… 😉

My mom’s a b**ch

My mom’s a b**ch. The words uttered by a 12 year old on the forum of a popular game I sometimes play online, called TribalWars. He said this, because his mother would not pay for the fees of the game, so he had to play at a disadvantage to other kids whose parents did buy them the so-called “premium points”.

When told that his behavior was not good, here was his response: “I dont think you realize how young i actually am 😛 Im not old enough to have a Visa card or anything, my dad would buy it, he has bought it once but the bank shut his cards down because he stopped paying bills, and my mom would never ever spend money on a game… I would charge it to my cell but i dont want my dad to owe more money than he already does (My mom being what she is wouldnt by me or my brother cell phones, so my dad had to)”.

I have decided to buy myself premium points, because it just makes the game more manageable and it then takes up less time (which I do not have a whole lot of nowadays). Those with large game accounts without premium points can still play the game, but management of the account becomes tedious.

Now with the bit of history of the game out of the way, I responded to the post as follows:



Adults usually have reasons that kids don’t know about for not allowing certain perks or benefits. The reason your dad stopped paying bills could be because he COULDN’T anymore, or because of poor financial control. It could be anything. Your mom, on the other hand, could refuse to do this due to your financial situation (or not, whatever – read on).

My mom raised 4 boys on her own, and she had a very small salary. When I got out of school, as I started working as a waiter to help my mother with little household expenses, not because I was forced to (she never asked a cent of me) but because I started to realize what things cost, and how she was suffering, and hiding it from us kids so that we wouldn’t worry.

We didn’t have cellphones or any luxuries. What we did have, though, was second-hand clothes, food, and a roof over our head. We didn’t want to understand that when we were young, when all the other kids had money for sweets and cold drinks during school breaks. But now that we’re all grown up, we realize exactly what my mom went through, as we have been through similar situations ourselves in our adult lives, albeit for different reasons, perhaps.

Now that I am an adult, I remember all the small things that my mother *did* which I did not notice when I was younger. On pay day, each of us got a small, cheap sweet. Something nice, just for us. Without fail. No exceptions. At that time it didn’t compare well to the stuff the other kids in school got, but now that I think back – she was a FRIGGIN’ AMAZING WOMAN! Even though we considered her a b**ch when we were kids…

So – next time you want to call your mom a b**ch, think about what I wrote here, and you may reconsider your thoughts. Whatever her reasons are for not giving you money, could be a serious reason that she is not telling you, to stop you from worrying.

What a surprise!

I am busy reading a wonderful compilation of ghost stories published by Readers’ Digest. Many of them are quite extraordinary (exuse the pun) but one stands out with its (semi-transparent) head and shoulders above the rest.

Jean Rhys’ short story, “I used to live here once” is a beautiful, well thought through story which captures the reader’s attention something fierce (boooo!)

Although it is semi predictable from the start, and also somewhat from the title of the story, that the narrator of the story is in fact the ghost (no scares here), I doubt that it was the intention of the author to hide this ghastly revelation to the reader. The great surprise comes later in the story, and the chilling cold that ghosts your own body when you realize what you have just read in these few pragraphs is absolutely spectacular.

Due to copyright infringement possibilities, I can not post the story here, but you can probably find it by searching for “Jean Rhys” and “I used to live here once” in Google. Enjoy!