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Using technology to God’s glory

Thank You, Thank You

   Rich just informed me that we have reached our goal and will be able to order the audio/video computer. My sincerest thanks to all who participated. I hope as you see the videos going out and read about people being blessed thereby that you will feel a part of what we are doing here.
   I would like to also thank you for providing the two volumes of Origen’s commentaries as well. They were purchased this morning from my ministry resources list. I look forward to being able to check some important assertions against these resources in preparation for the upcoming debate.

This Is Just Amazing (If You Are a Geek)

   OK, I have joined the legions of mind-numbed zombies with a Blackberry. I must admit it is the most amazingly well designed, intuitive electronic device I have ever used. It is the closest thing I will probably ever have to a secretary. Just amazing. So, I’ve been looking to put juts a few things on it to increase its usefulness since it will be the one item with me at pretty much all times. I am not looking to replace the massive library of stuff I have on my Palm, as that will continue to function as before. But there are times you just want to “go light,” so I’ve put a Bible on it, for example, and a few utilities. Well, last evening I saw a section called “religion” so I started looking around, and found the “Quran Reader Pro.” I have a number of Islamic programs on my computers, such as Al-Alim, but I am amazed at the capabilities of this program, including search functions in Arabic! Of course, I should probably avoid standing in line at the airport using it, but it is a great addition to my library of resources. I have used the Qur’an on my Palm a dozen times while giving presentations all across the country and in the UK. I have a limited amount of memory, and as I noted, am not looking to replace my Palm, so it is just a matter of “what you might need in a flash” as to what I load on the Blackberry. I will probably put the LDS Scriptures on as well since I have that in the MobiPocket edition. Geeks press on!

Hey, Live Blogging!

   Bummed you aren’t with us in Orlando? Missed seeing me shaking hands with John Shelby Spong in the corridor just now? Well, keep a stiff upper lip, bucko! The geeks amongst you may rejoice! There will be live blogging from the conference! Yes indeedy, proving that our folks are uber-geeks, some who are attending the event have put together www.pulpitcrimes.blogspot.com, and they will be blogging live as the conference and debate progresses! So tonight, when Tom Ascol and I do our “What We Wish the Students at Liberty Could Have Heard” presentation, you’ll be able to catch the action…not exactly live, in the sense of a live audio stream (someday, someday), but you’ll be able to follow via that blog! So bookmark it and join in the experience of our national conference in Orlando, even if you aren’t here! And pray for us as well as we seek to honor the Lord, and defend His truth!

When It Works, It Works

On my travels last week four technological items (and one program) worked so flawlessly, so perfectly, that I thought I should mention them. Instead of complaints, time to give some kudos to items and programs that actually do what they are supposed to do, and do it well.
   
First, the Palm Tungsten T5. I read my opening statement on it. I used it as my Bible. I used it as my Greek text (at one point checking a claim by Dr. Crossan and finding him in error on the term used, though, of course, he wasn’t looking at the text himself). I used a great program on it to store quotes and my cross-examination questions, a program that is easy to use and is simply perfect for storing data in a form that you can access quickly and easily. It is called Note Studio. It isn’t cheap. But it works, and works well. Best organization/note card program I’ve ever encountered. Highly recommended.
   
Now, let me warn you about something…if you have used the earlier Tungsten Palm devices (Tungsten, T3), and liked, as I did, the aluminum hard case Palm sells (I noted Tom Ascol had a T3 with a hard case with him on the cruise), whatever you do, do not get the T5 hard case. It is worthless. Talk about missing the point! The earlier hard case made sense: it was easy to get the unit in and out of it; you could turn it on, beam with it, plug in a headphone jack, etc., all while it was still in the case. But the genius who designed the new hard case for the T5 obviously has never actually used the T5, or any other Palm device. Getting the unit in and out of the new case is a chore, but more importantly, once it is in the case, you cannot beam; you cannot plug anything in; you cannot even get the stylus out or even turn it on and off without having to try to pull the device up and out of the portion it lies in (which isn’t easy either). A complete example of how to take a good idea and make it stupid in one fell swoop. Thankfully, Vaja makes a gorgeous case for the T5 that is functional and oh so wonderful (especially if you love the smell of Argentinian leather).
   
Next, I have had the Dell Inspiron 8600 for about a year now. Aside from the touch pad, which simply does not like my attempts at double tapping, this laptop is the best I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned quite a few). Bullet proof. Gorgeous display, excellent battery life, accessories work well…it just does what it is supposed to do. Dell gets blasted a lot, but I have never had a problem at all, and this one has proven a real workhorse, traveling all over the US, England, Scotland, and Italy, without a single problem.
   
Next, I love my digital camera. It is the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W1 5.1 Mega Pixel unit (looks like mine is gone, but this is the current version). Again, it simply works, and what I love about it is that it has a very large screen that actually allows you to see the picture you have just taken with some meaningful level of resolution. Again, a unit that does what it claims to do. The gorgeous Alaska pictures I’ve posted came from that camera. A great investment.
   
Finally, one more piece of technology I took with me that I can very, very highly recommend: the Canon iP90 portable printer. We bought this little unit for me when I was in St. Louis back in February. It is very portable (fits in one of my Oakley backpacks along with our digital projector with room to spare), produces gorgeous, high-quality documents, even after being lugged around and shoved under airplane seats and run through security-point screening machines, and rolling down the rollers and running into other luggage—you get the idea—and that on the first sheet of paper. This crazy little unit also prints color, vibrant, high-quality color pictures, at like 1400 dpi or something along those lines. And it communicates with my laptop via the infrared port (i.e., I don’t have to carry yet another proprietary USB cable around). Talk about a blessing in a hotel room, where I can print out my boarding pass for the early, early flight in the morning, or a copy of my sermon notes or debate notes (always good to have a back up should my Palm take a dive). I have been tremendously pleased with the quality of this printer, and couldn’t recommend it more highly.
   
So, there’s your tech fix for the…month, or something. 🙂

Louw & Nida Available for Palm OS from OliveTree

With the availability of huge, 1-gig and above SD cards for Palm devices now, it is great to see resources like this coming on line. Louw & Nida’s Greek lexicon based upon semantic domains is now available for Palm from OliveTree (they also make available the Gramcord Greek NT). As I traveled in England/Scotland, and as I look forward to a trip to Italy in a few weeks, I find my Palm T3 an invaluable resource. I used it as my preaching text more than once, and it is so much easier to study from it while on a train or a plane than it is to try to dig out the laptop. Now, of course, my laptop has a full Libronics library on it, etc., and the Palm devices are not quite ready for that huge amount of data, but believe me, as one who started with a painfully slow, green-screen Palm device with a whopping 2 megs of total memory, having the Greek text, Gramcord, Louw-Nida, and all the rest I have on my T3 is a tremendous blessing. Geeks unite and check it out.