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Zumocast is focused on helping you play/display the media you have on your computer to your iOS device.  After installing the app on your computer and iOS device and registering with Zumocast, you are able to do some incredible things.

You can watch any video you have on your computer on your iOS device.  When I say any, I mean ANY;  it even transcodes formats that are not viewable into viewable formats/resolutions.  It works over 3G or WiFi (though beware of your caps).  If you are about to get on a plane, don’t worry, all you have to do is click a download button and the item begins downloading in that appropriate format! (subject to the 10MB 3G cap)

More of a music person than a movie person?  Music works much the same way though for some reason it will not download.

Then, of course, you can view photos.  But that is not where the viewing stops.  I tried Word, Pages, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF, RTF and all opened perfectly for viewing.

As far as I can see there are only a couple of disappointments.  Why it doesn’t allow you to download the music is beyond me, but I understand having a healthy fear of the RIAA.  It is also irritating that the desktop utility installs with a default to prevent your computer from going to sleep.  While I am sure that is the best thing for ZumoCast to operate, I am glad I looked before I walked out the door tomorrow morning with a dead laptop.  It would also be incredible if you could make some simple changes to text documents.

The best part of this incredible app is that it’s FREE and cross-platform.  Zumocast supports windows, mac, and iOS.  They are working on an android version as well.

LOST: The End

Chris —  May 21, 2010 — Leave a comment

One of my favorite TV shows is coming to an end this weekend. After Sunday we won’t have the survivors of Flight 815 to lead us through a mysterious island complete with time travel and side-ways universes. I admit I was a little late to the LOST party, I didn’t start watching it till last fall, and thanks to Netflix streaming I got through the first 5 seasons in time to join in with everyone else when the season 6 premiered in February.

I love the story of these messy people and the journey they have been on. I look forward to the final act and see how they end up. I hoping I’m not disappointed, I’m trying to keep my expectations in check.

If you need one final LOST fix your should check out this amazing art by former Simply Youth Ministry creative director, Ty Mattson. They are great.

If you want to dive into theology and what we can learn from LOST, there’s a great book by Chris Seay. His book covers some of the ideas of faith and connection that are expressed on the show.

Check it out HERE: The Gospel According to Lost.

For all you lost fans, enjoy the finale, I know I will.

For long-term mac users, this may seem ridiculous. For those converts from the PC universe, be prepared to have your world rocked.  Spotlight is Apple’s search feature built into OSX, and if you’ve converted from a PC throw all ideas about how search on large file systems works out of the window.

Without going into mega-geeky details, the way that the Mac formats hard disks allows for incredibly quick search (instantaneous in comparison to the PC).  Just click your little magnifying glass at the top right of your screen, type what you’re looking for an voila; (in 1-2 seconds) it’s there!  Emails, applications, text files, images… everything!

And here’s the best part: it searches the contents of files as well as filenames!  There are lots of other tools that seek to improve on spotlight.  I’ve tried them, but keep coming back to spotlight because it is so solid, and it’s on every mac at which I sit down.

Star Wars Fun

Chris —  May 5, 2010 — Leave a comment

I realize I missed posting on Star Wars Day this year (May the 4th be with you.) But I still thought these were fun even if I’m a day late.

The star wars saga told in Legos in less that 2 and a half minutes:

and if that’s not enough, visit JibJab to put your self in the saga!

May the 4th be with You!

There’s no denying the fact the you see and hear about environmental issues every where these days. In fact we’ve even set aside a day to remind us (just so happens today is the day).

I don’t really hear much from Christians on the subject, and even fewer teaching resources to show our students a Biblical perspective. If it’s some a topic you’ve ever thought abut tackling, here’s a great resource:
Save the Planet
Save the Planet

Green is in. Recycling, driving hybrid cars, and conserving energy gas, and water have become just a few of the ways that we’re able to care for the environment. But what does the Bible have to say about caring for the environment? This 3-week series by Josh Griffin, high school pastor at Saddleback Church, is designed to help students get a glimpse of how to care for the environment through a biblical perspective. And with everything you need to teach them included inside, it’s easy enough for you to dive in and use tonight. Lessons include: Creation Speaks about what God is Like 5 Little Ways Make a Big Difference Perfection. Sin. Hope.

Link:
Save the Planet

Peter Krough has written an excellent article on backup in which he suggests the 321 system.  It says that you should have three copies (one primary and two backups) on two different media with one off-site.  Not only is this incredibly easy to remember, it really helps me sift through the myriad of backup solutions to get what I need and not a lot more.

For my on-site backup, I have mentioned before that I like to use Chronosync to automatically backup selected files whenever I mount a specific hard disc or thumb drive though Apple’s Backup (free with Mobile Me) or Time Machine will meet most mac user’s needs.  On the PC side of things, I have heard good things about Paragon Drive Backup and NovaBackup.

For offsite backup, I use and am really satisfied with Carbonite while Chris has written a bit about his preferred offsite backup service: Mozy.  Both are great and both support Mac and Windows.  The point is that you need to have your mission critical files and irreplaceable memories (photos, videos) stored somewhere that fire or flood will not cause you to lose money or memories.

I think Peter Krough said it best in his article, “There are two types of people, those who have experienced hard drive failure and those who will.”  Do yourself a favor and get your 321 system in place today.

It was a perfect storm:  1. I realized I could save well over $200 a year on seminary text books purchasing them on the kindle store.  2. I found $100 off deal when you subscribe to Audible 3. I made the decision to wait until the next revision to buy the iPad.  It culminated in the purchase of a kindle.  The first question I had was, how do I get news and free books onto it without having to manually copy and paste, and transcode into the Amazon format blah blah blah.

That is the problem for which Calibre is the solution.  Calibre is an ebook management program that allows you to automate all the tedium of dealing with ebooks.  After doing some basic setup, all you do is import files and then click the “send to device” button and voila!  It appears on your reader.

But it does more than convert and upload ebooks; it will also manage fetching your favorite news and blogs.  It comes preconfigured with a myriad of news sources in 25 languages complete with a place for login information if that service has a paywall.  Once you select the  news source, you tell Calibre how often you want it to be retrieved, and it will download the news and automatically send it after it is obtained.

Want to keep up with your favorite blogs that are not listed already in Calibre?  No problem!  Just click on the triangle next to the “fetch news” icon and you can choose to add a custom news source (think rss) and it will then appear in your list.

The only problem I could find is that the user interface is not totally transparent.  For example, you should be able to click and hold the icons that have the dropdown options.  Add to that several other oddly located things and you see where the future improvements will need to be focused.

That being said, it is the best implementation I could find of these features.  And it’s free!

I find that most of my youth ministry friends are using their phones for organization; in fact I have not used a paper organizer for years (from my monochrome Visor Palm device in 2000 to currently my Motorola Droid). That said I do prefer a pen and paper when it comes to brainstorming ideas, I mostly use a homemade journal or a Moleskine for creative space.  Other than blank paper here are a couple of sites that I think do a good job of offering several templates for you to use in sparking ideas or if you are just looking for free day planner inserts instead of giving Franklin Covey $50 bucks.

Pocket Mod:
Disposable organizer on one sheet of paper with multiple uses. There are dozens of options to choose. (My mother-in-law said she would use this concept as a kindergarten teacher for making little booklets).  Here are similar sites that do the same thing (www.pocketmod.com/v2 and www.pocketmod.com/app)

DIY Planner:
You can Google and find several calendar tools but this site has it all. Browse through all their “templates” and find downloads for several types of time management tools.  From 3×5 card size to full sheets. Sift through all their FREE resources.

I, like many in our field, have ADD. That makes assigning, completing and following up on tasks an adventure with our team. It is common for us to be in a car on the way to Starbucks or walking down the hall when we remember an essential task we need to do, or we need someone else to do.   Until now, we have had no solution outside of everyone carrying a pad of paper around with us at all times to remedy this situation.

Fortunately, we found Remember the Milk and production is up something eight percent.  Remember the Milk is basically a todo list system that is stored online.  What caught our eye was its ability to create lists that are shared with each other.  Once shared, we can each put tasks on everyone’s list.

It does all the standard stuff like priorities, due dates, and notes, but it also has fields for an estimate on the time it should take, location for the task, and tags.

However, none of these are the reasons we went with this over another service.  The reason we chose Remember the Milk is because of the sheer volume of ways in which you can access the information.  It has an iPhone app (like everyone else), but it also has an Android app and a way to sync it with your Blackberry or Windows Mobile device.  Want it to appear in Gmail?  They have a gadget.  Want to access it offline?  They have gears integration.  It also interfaces with Jott, twitter and a ton of stuff I’ve never heard of .

Its interface is not always transparent, but is easy to navigate after a couple of minutes fooling around with it.  For us it’s a great solution. It’s free for the basic account and $25 for the pro account which adds a couple of features and the ability to download the phone apps.  Worth every penny.

Wow you could be the king of the geeks with this new “Hands-Free” calling device.  Maybe it would have saved me from that ticket I got last month for talking on my phone in the car.

Cell-Mate headset provides hands-free calling, removes dignity.