Archives For Technology

Tired of Turning Pages

kinnon —  October 20, 2010 — 6 Comments

This is somewhat pathetic.



I am somewhat pathetic.

I'm a fan of C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series. I devoured the first four books in the series – after Ben Witherington wrote about them. Most of my family and many of my friends have become Sansom fans because of the pleasure we have all experienced in the good reads he has provided. The next book in the series would only add to that pleasure.

At some point in the last year, when Amazon announced the fifth book, Heartstone, I must have pre-ordered it. Long before I ever considered becoming a Kindle-ite.

The book arrived two weeks ago. Imbi has already read it. And thoroughly enjoyed it.

I've read a bunch of other books on my Kindle 3 – but have resisted picking up the new Shardlake book. And not because I don't want to read it. But simply because I'd rather read it on my Kindle – and I'm just barely smart enough NOT to order and download it onto my device when we already own the Hardcover.

I just whined at Imbi about not wanting to read it as an actual book.

"I'd prefer to read it on my Kindle."

"What, have you forgotten how to turn physical pages? Are you too weak to pick the book up?"


But. Look. The book IS really big. And I'm old.


Out of Ur pointed to this from Tony Morgan. Forget videographic representations of the preacher. Morgan expects churches to be using this within 12 months. No doubt. Whether or not they are actually "churches" is open for debate I'm afraid.

Since so many of us in the west are convinced that entertaining pew fodder is critical to advancing "the gospel" and that only a very few have the necessary gifts to preachertain – this will become the "perfect" solution.

I was only partially joking when I created this graphic, from this post. Click on the graphic for a full version that's easier to read.

Animatronic Preacher Man

I've spent years working in edit suites – with some of THE most powerful visual tools at my finger tips. I'm just glad I don't work with clients in that environment today. (99.9% of my editing takes place by myself these days. And no, it has nothing to do with what deodorant I use. )

This kind of stuff in movies and TV shows must make editors, stuck in edit suites with clients, a little crazy [via Adobe's John Nack – original here]:

Client: "How come they can do it on CSi but you can't do it here? Especially with how much money I'm being charged per hour!"

Editor: [Sigh]

Via the LATimes Blogs,

Computer-book publishing magnate Tim O’Reilly is urging young geeks to stop making software that lets you throw sheep at your friends on Facebook or drink beer on your iPhone and to instead start making a difference in the world. He is daring them, in the words of James Collins and Jerry Porras, authors of the business classic “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” to take on “big, hairy, audacious goals.”

The post goes on to quote from an LATimes article

O’Reilly argues that Silicon Valley has strayed from the passion and idealism that fuel innovation to instead follow what he calls the “mad pursuit of the buck with stupider and stupider ideas.”

Flush with money and opportunity following the post-dot-com resurgence, he says, some entrepreneurs have cocooned in a “reality bubble,” insulated from poverty, disease, global warming and other problems that are gripping the planet. He argues that they should follow the model of some of the world’s most successful technology companies, including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which sprang from their founders’ efforts to “work on stuff that matters.”

Perhaps the church could listen to this as well. And rather than creating locations in Second Life and software to measure church metrics (Good Grief!), we could take that expertise and focus on dealing with some real issues that impact the planet.

I live in shock realizing that Western Christians are praying that the Lord will bless falling markets whilst we have continued to ignore the plight of the rest of the world. We build bigger and bigger buildings to serve our supposed needs, whilst thousands of children die daily for lack of clean water and simple meds. We ask God to bless the $700 Billion dollar buyout – while a fraction of that amount would solve the drinking water issues in much of Africa.

The late Keith Green echoes in my head, “Bless Me, Lord, Bless Me, Lord. That’s all I ever hear!”

UPDATE: I’m so sorry. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so harsh if I’d read Al Mohler who says,[via]

The free market is not perfect, but capitalism has brought more wealth to more people than any other system. It rewards investment, labor, and thrift and rises on innovation. Better ideas and better products push out inferior ideas and inferior products. Given the reality of human sin, we should not centralize economic control in the hands of the few, but distribute economic power to the many. A free market economy distributes power to multitudes of workers, inventors, investors, and consumers.

No economy is perfect, but the American economy remains a marvel. The present crisis is an opportunity to rethink some basic questions and restore trust. There are no easy ways out of a crisis like this, and no painless solutions. Yet, would you trade this system for any other?

And, in case you were wondering, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., serves as the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

Although I don’t use it anywhere near as often as I should (because it runs on an older PC we rarely turn on here), I am a fan of Logos Bible Software.


Kent Hendricks, one of the good people at Logos, has made me aware that they are in the prepublication stage of preparing the Paternoster Missional Theology Collection for possible release. Smart people that they are, they will only go ahead with this based on interest.

So. If you’re a Logos user and interested in Missional Theology, you might want to pre-order this well priced 16 volume collection. And if you’re not a Logos user, check it out. Their Mac version is in Beta 1 release. (And I need to download and install it myself.)

Note: I received nothing from Logos for the writing of this post. As I said up front, I am a fan.

My friend, Dion Oxford, has written a very good post @ Empire Remixed. He calls it the iPhone Challenge. Please give it a read. (The Toronto Sun’s Mark Bonokoski did and wrote a column on it.) [HT: Len]

Microsoft Abandons PowerPoint

kinnon —  April 1, 2008 — 1 Comment

Redmond, Washington April 1, 2008 (Wrediculus News Service)

Bill Gates announced today, that in spite of its popularity, Microsoft (MSFT) would be abandoning PowerPoint. Originally developed by a former Berkeley PhD student, Bob Gaskins and software developer, Dennis Austin at Forethought Software – PowerPoint was launched for the Mac in 1987. Forethought was purchased by Microsoft later that year and PowerPoint was released for Windows in 1990.

Gates made the announcement at a symposium put on in Seattle by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Eyeballs. Commenting at P.E.T.E yesterday, Gates stated,

  "Listen this has nothing to do with Apple’s purportedly superior presentation program, Keynote. I just feel that after almost twenty years, PowerPoint has served it’s purpose. If you remember, I didn’t even use it for my presentation at CES in January. But, quite frankly, that isn’t the real reason we’ve canned the product.

  As you may remember, Time Magazine voted Bono, my wife and me, Persons of the Year a few years back. It’s because of our efforts to make the world a better place.

  Dispensing with PowerPoint is a part of that initiative. We realize that no matter how wonderful the software is, it’s being used in ways that are hurting people."

Gates said that one of the main complaints he’d heard about the presentation software was its use in churches. He stated that there are over 300,000 churches in America and it would seem a vast percentage were using PowerPoint. And using it badly.

  "From cluttered screens to using every font in their system, churches are making a mockery of the power of this program. Things fly in, things zip out. It’s making congregants sick. And Microsoft has had enough litigation issues without having to worry about a class-action lawsuit from the millions of pew sitters in America."

This reporter asked Mr. Gates why he hadn’t recommended the writings of Garr Reynolds to the church PowerPoint audience. Gates said,

  "Listen, I’ve really appreciated Garr’s comments about my own PowerPoint presentations. I’ve taken them to heart. And I am making my way through Garr’s new book. Unfortunately, Ballmer has been less willing to change.

  But the problem is that Mr. Reynolds calls his website and churches really aren’t into the whole Zen thing."

Gates stated that Microsoft (MSFT) would continue to support PowerPoint for Windows XP and earlier but that all development for Vista was being curtailed. He also said that all PowerPoint packages in the retail channel would have labels added to them stating "Not Recommended for Church Use."

Gates also told the gathered reporters that he was attempting to talk to Steve Jobs about Keynote as he feared churches would just move to the Apple platform. "As yet, I’ve not heard back from Steve."

Originally published on Feb 14th, 2006. I thought it would be appropriate for today.

Screen capture utilities have been important in the work I do for a rather long time. I won’t bore you with why. Suffice to say that I use them almost daily.

When most of my life was spent on PCeees, I used TechSmith’s products SnagIt and Camtasia. On the Mac, Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro X was my weapon of choice.

Skitchheart A month ago, I began using Skitch from the very smart people at Plasq who also brought us the fun and very usable ComicLife. I’m a Skitch addict. I’ve used it about four times today alone.

Jing I’ve just discovered that TechSmith has a similar (yet different) screen cap program with some great video sharing capabilities. [via] It’s called Jing – and it’s available for Mac or PC as a free download (whilst in Beta, I assume). Both Skitch and Jing are loaded on my Mac Pro. We will see which gets the most screen time, as it were. (I would rather that Jing not add a widget to my screen, but…)

Just capturing the Jing logo (with Jing) and the Skitch heart (with Skitch), I can already tell you that I prefer Skitch’s file handling for saving on my computer. Though Jing does have more saving/sharing options – its just not as elegant. And the Skitch interface is much more attractive.


Engadget reports that the OLPC offer I mentioned yesterday has now be extended ’til the end of the year. Read more about it here. From the best gadget blog:

The deal buys both yourself (or rather, your kid supposedly) and a tot from a developing nation new XOs for just $399. Already, the non-profit claims to be pulling in about $2 Million worth of "donations" each day. They’ve also opened up bulk buying to schools in quantities of 100-999 ($299 each), 1000-9999 ($249 each), or 10,000 and more ($199). Oh, and the program is now officially renamed "Give One, Get One" (GoGo)

Lost in Translation, Please?

kinnon —  November 10, 2007 — Leave a comment

Update: A note to my critics (the female members of my immediate family), according to this test, this blog scores 68.63 on the Flesch Reading Ease scale ("Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70"), and 9.04 in the Gunning Fog Index which approaches Time and Newsweek in complexity and is in the range where most popular novels sit.

My daughter and wife, who have had many years of experience interpreting my convoluted attempts at communicating, repeatedly tell me that I write convoluted blog posts. Guilty as charged.

But just think of how many more people I could confuse if my blog was available in other languages. Say, Italian.

The code snipped below code that’s been removed as it seems to be screwing up Firefox from the good folks @ the Microsoft Machine Translation team will help would help more people become confused ae readers. How cool is that!? If it worked.

Note: You may need to go to the Live Translator page to change the language – as the drop down doesn’t seem to want to work in the post field of this blog, at least in Firefox. The drop down works fine in Safari 3.04, and I’m guessing it will work in Internet Explorer as well – though I have no way of checking that. (Safari does mess up the Translation page, however, which Firefox appears to display correctly.)