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Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Mackenzie-Hoy is a consulting acoustics and electrical engineer – machoy@iafrica.com

Disaster on different continents

23rd June 2017 It is storms and rain in Cape Town. I have been in countries where natural disasters have occurred and have been reported on the television (okay, clever clogs, they have been reported on radio, newspaper, the Internet and by word-of-mouth at the local pub but, in this column . . . television). 

Oh, for the good old days of no email

16th June 2017 At the time of the first free elections, in 1994, I shared an office with Alan Campbell. His nickname is Camel, since many people spell his surname without a 'p'. Camel is eccentric, and so am I. On the door to our office, we had the Latin quote: AP Campbell & T Mackenzie Hoy: Caput archimagirus... 

Water, water everywhere . . .

9th June 2017 A year ago, we had electricity load-shedding and now, in the Western Cape, we may have water-shedding. There is a very very serious water shortage in the Western Cape. There is a website that gives updates on the steady decline of the dam levels. At the time of writing, the dams were 19.7 % full,... 

The Golden Flywheel

2nd June 2017 I was talking with a Zimbabwean recently about his country and he said, "Very bad." And then he added: "Your turn next", referring to South Africa. Some think that, back in the days of apartheid, "things were better". So I thought I would write about how things were, in fact, back in the days of... 

Life imitating art at power utility Eskom

26th May 2017 There is a most wonderful musical, A Little Night Music, which is based on a film by Ingmar Bergen, Smiles of a Summer Night. Probably the very best known song from A Little Night Music is Send in the Clowns. The last lines of the song are: "And where are the clowns? / Quick, send in the clowns /... 

From incandescent light bulbs to laser lights

19th May 2017 The incandescent light bulb, rated at about 60 W, is one we all know and which endeared for about 130 years. Along the way had been invented various other types of light: gas-discharge lamps (such as streetlights) fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps, and so on. But, for a very long time, basic... 

More about electric cars

12th May 2017 In a previous instalment of this column, I wrote about Mercedes-Benz going to produce an electric car. By this I mean the automaker is going to produce a car for sale to the to the public that will be 100% electrical in drive – it will not be a hybrid car with a generator that switches on when... 

Electric cars

5th May 2017 Michael Douglas, the actor starred in the 1987 film, Wall Street, played Gordon Gecko, who decreed that "greed is good". In the sequel to the film, Gekko, in 2000, is released from prison after serving eight years for insider trading and securities fraud. He is handed his possessions, which were... 

Winging it

28th April 2017 Not too long ago, I asked a young engineer to build an item of equipment. It was not very complicated; when the temperature rose above a certain level, a relay should close, which would energise a socket outlet to power a cooling device. At the same time, if the temperature fell below a certain... 

Once again, we have a nonengineer as Energy Minister

21st April 2017 In the film The Remains of the Day, Anthony Hopkins is a butler in a large country house. It is before World War II. The upper-class guests are all discussing the state of the world and of Germany. Somebody suggests that the opinion of the people should be taken into account. The common people. A... 

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