Tech/Computer Resolutions

Okay… so it is a little past the 1st of the year… but here are some tech resolutions from Macworld.com that are worthy of consideration. Some are mac specific, but most should have an alternative that works in the windows world.

  1. I resolve to back up my data. Regularly. Thoroughly.
    Done… I have at least two forms of backup for each computer including multiple externals and CD/DVD backups, plus online backup/storage. 
  2. I resolve to purchase a copy of Alsoft’s Disk Warrior if I haven’t already, because I understand that it will save my bacon should my Mac experience the worst sort of low-level corruption.
    Not done yet. 
  3. I resolve to seriously consider purchasing AppleCare for my new Mac because Macs, like anything, break, and some of those breaks can cost a small fortune. Much as I view extended warranties with suspicion, AppleCare is often a good investment.
    Done.
  4. I resolve that if I’m going to open up an expensive hunk of hardware with the notion of improving it in some way, I’ll have the proper tools at hand (and this means more than a Swiss Army Knife) and a clear enough appreciation of my true skills that, if necessary, I can back out before I do The Bad Thing.
    Learned this after not having the right screwdrivers. Now I am equipped.  
  5. I resolve to be polite when speaking with any tech support person because I understand that my problems were not caused by the person I’m speaking with.
    I’m trying… I’m trying… Seriously… how is it that newegg can lose my package before it even left the warehouse. I want that RAM!!! 
  6. I resolve to sit in a healthy position when working at my computer and get up and walk around every so often because I don’t want to be mistaken for Quasimodo when I’m 42.
    Yeah… I’m trying… 
  7. I resolve to responsibly panic when my Mac’s hard drive begins to squeak and take immediate action along the lines of backing up my data and obtaining another drive from which I can boot my Mac.
    Gotcha.
  8. I resolve to not repair permissions on each day with a Y in its name because I mistakenly believe that it’s like giving your Mac a daily vitamin.
    Thankfully I never got into this habit. In fact, I’ve only rebuilt permissions one time for both my macs combined. 
  9. I resolve to tag and rate my media—photos and music—when I first import it with the idea that two years from now I might want to find it.
    Yeah… need to do that. Music I really don’t care about… but I’m still working on better photo organization. 
  10. I resolve to rein in any condescension and smugness when talking computers with a PC user, understanding that not only do I not want to be one of those people, but also that my attitude may prevent a fellow human being from moving to a Mac for fear that they’d become one ofthose people.
    I try to reign in my comments whenever possible… but after trying to get our secretary’s computer to behave… it is quite difficult.

Cool Site: Google Sightseeing

I highly recommend a really cool site: Google Sightseeing

Every week (or a little more) you’ll get to see cool things that can be found on google maps or google earth.

Recent highlights include a neat bridge in the Netherlands, huge mazes, a plane wash in Japan, a ghost town in the middle of the desert. 

Check it out!

What does a seminarian/vicar listen to?

Ever wonder what a seminarian listens to on his iPod?

Here is your chance to find out!

I actually use my iPod for a number of things. I do watch movies and tv shows on it occasionally, especially on trips. I wasn’t sure if I would like the small screen, but I’m sold on it now. I also listen to my CDs that I’ve put on it over the years: rock, alternative, rap, classical, comedy, R&B, movie soundtracks, to name a few of the genres. The only thing not represented: country. Sorry… I can’t listen to it. My wife can, but I can’t handle it.

The other big use for my iPod is for podcasts. Here are the podcasts that I currently listen to (by category) with a few notes:

Theology:

Educational:

  • Car Talk. My mom and I would often listen to NPR’s Car Talk while driving home from church. When it came out as a podcast… who could resist? Lisa and I normally save up episodes and listen to them on trips. Yes… we have listened to five straight hours of Click and Clack.
  • USGS Corecast. This is a rather new edition that was added to my podcast feeds after the small earthquake that happened last spring in St. Louis. While surfing the USGS website I found the podcast. Very understandable and reasonably short.
  • PotterCast
  • MuggleCast.

Technology

Now please don’t think that I listen to every episode of all of these podcasts. Many sit in my iTunes directory for a while only to have me delete them…. that is especially true for the Harry Potter and the technology podcasts.

Other World Computing Recommendation

Some time ago I was in the market for a computer program and I happened upon Small Dog Electronics out of Vermont. They had a great deal on what I was looking for and I went ahead and placed my order. In conversation with one of the full-time library staff members I was told to check out Small Dog’s “Charity Page” on their website. Absolutely Horrible! They support planned parenthood which instantly knocks them off my shopping list. Needless to say that I canceled my order that afternoon.

It was then that I found an excellent mac accessories and parts dealer out of Illinois… Other World Computing. The best deals you can find there are probably in the memory section. As Pr. McCain wisely points out you can never have too much memory. The prices at OWC are always competative and they have a great return/warrenty policy. I’ve purchased two memory upgrades from them, one external HD enclosure, and one hard drive.

If you want to purchase some quality products this is the place to go!

Organizing Photos

With the advent of digital cameras came the big issue of photo management. I currently use iPhoto 08 to organize my photos (between two libraries I have around 13,000 photos). It does an awesome job of organizing by date and by event. However, I’m currently looking for a way to organize family photographs. I’m thinking Aperture from Apple might help. My need is something to allow me to “tag” photos with different family members’ names. 

Anybody out there use aperture?

 

BTW… those 13,000 photos… probably 3,000-4,000 are from a band trip where I collected everyone’s pictures after we returned.

Logos for the Mac

A theologian who is interested in using technology in his studies has three options, BibleWorks, Logos/Libronix, and for strictly Mac users, Accordance. Before the advent of Boot Camp and Parallels, Mac users were stuck with running a painfully slow program called VirtualPC in order to run windows programs. Now, with Parallels, Mac users can run windows programs side by side with their Apple native programs. This has opened the door for the use of BibleWorks and Logos.

The advantage (in my mind) of Logos over BibleWorks is that Logos not only gives superb language release, but also access to thousands of books in digital formal, including Luther’s Works, the Book of Concord in multiple translations,  numerous Biblical commentaries, and thousands more titles. The only thing that I would like to see is the Concordia Commentary produced by CPH converted to Libronix format along with issues of the Concordia Journal (St. Louis) and Concordia Theological Quarterly (Ft. Wayne).

Now a new day is dawning. Logos is preparing a Mac version of their incredible software. If you want to keep track of updates on this software development program head over the Logos site and sign up for updates.

My name is Jesus. How may I assist you today?

 Yup… that’s right. Jesus helped me online today at newegg.com. That is some customer service!