Have you ever gotten a new Mac or needed to install a new hard drive and was starting from scratch with software installs? I recently heard about this great we site that will make it easier. GetMacApps.com allows you to select from a list of apps and then it will create a script for the install. Just pop open terminal and run the script and it will download and install the apps you selected and even delete the install files. Most of the biggies are on the list (Dropbox, Chrome, Evernote, Google Drive & many more), and maybe you’ll find some great software you didn’t even know about. So next time you are setting up a Mac, give it a try.
Archives For Software
If you are looking for a super fun new game for your youth ministry, you need to check out Flappy Crowd. You may not be able to get Flappy Bird in the App store any more, but you can still get your students playing a fun version on the screen in your youth room. Get the crowd flapping to keep the bird in the air and collect coins and power ups.
This is how it works:
Check it out over at DYM.
Almost everyone I know uses cloud storage now for making sure they have files on all their devices, sharing docs between friends and co-works, or backing up. Dropbox is great, but the free 2 GBs isn’t enough for most people. I just found a new options that is giving 10x that for a limited time: Copy.com.
Click here to sign-up, install the app and enjoy 20 GBs of free space. (The standard account is only 15, but this Friend link, will get us both the bonus 5 GBs.)
How it works:
OK, there’s much excitement in our house about Star Wars Angry Birds in our house. It’s a mashup of two of our favorite things. After playing it for a few days, we are still just as excited. Who doesn’t like an Angry Bird with a light sabre slaying though evil storm trooper piggies.
If you are interested you too can enjoy the fun and games. It’s available on just about every platform out there.
May the Force be with you!
There are a ton of software bundles out there, and I haven’t mentioned one in awhile, but this one has some great tools youth workers need in their tool belt. The first is a 15 month premium Evernote account (a $60 value) and the other is PDF Signer that allows you to modify PDF files and save them. I’m sure there are others too, but those 2 definitely make it worth the $29.
I have written about the square card reader before which is the easiest way for you to begin swiping cards at your next parent meeting or fundraiser, but they have taken it to a whole new level with Square Register.
Designed to operate as a cash register for a business, Register transforms the iPad into just that, but better! After you download the app, you input your items (think summer trip costs or fundraiser items) choosing or taking a picture that represents them. Then, you decide where you want those images to appear, and you are ready to rock and roll. Pass the iPad to the volunteer and they simply touch the items someone needs to pay for, swipe the card, let the buyer sign on the iPad and the program texts or emails a receipt!
Incredible, I know. AND square’s fee is simple. The app is free, the card reader is free, and they take a simple 2.75% off the top of each transaction and direct deposit it at the end of each day. Yeah. You probably have already left to download the app, but if you haven’t… go get it!
At our church we create a load of custom publications. When I first started I used Microsoft Publisher. Over the past 2 years I began learning Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 so I have converted to an InDesign user. What kind of publishing software do you use, and why? Give 3 “likes” and 3 “dislikes”
Here are some of my favorites from 2011:
1. MacBook Air - I love this little computer. Great for travel, and super fast.
2. Sticky Faith - These books have really made me think a lot about youth ministry and being a parent. I highly recommend them. Plus check out StickyFaith.org for more insights in their articles and blog.
3. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I found this book to be a difficult read. He could be so harsh with people. It really made me think about leadership, success, and family from someone who did great things, but failed at so much too.
4. iPad 2 - This continues to be a device that changes the way I interact with content. I love it.
5. Kindle Fire - You probably didn’t expect to see this after I listed the iPad, but it’s a different device for me. It’s a great reader that also does some tablet functions. Plus, I love that there’s someone pushing the iPad to be better.
6. YSnetwork - This one is personal, but we launched it this fall at YS (where I work). It’s a great way to connect with other youth workers, join a network or build your own. It’s free to join, and if you sign up join the Youth Ministry Geek network to stay connected.
7. Flipboard - This is probably the app I use the most, and with the addition of the iPhone version a month ago, I just use it even more. It’s by far my favorite news reader.
8. GoPro - I got one of these cameras to take on our vacation to Hawaii this year, and it’s so much fun. We use it under water, on water slides, in the pool, the beach, on the trampoline. It’s a great camera to take when you don’t want to risk you full size, expensive one. Sure it has it’s limitations, but you get an amazing picture that can go anywhere. It’s my Flip Camera replacement.
9.Timbuk2 Control Laptop Case - After about 7 years, my old shoulder bag finally wore out. This was my replacement. Things I love about it: separate sleeves for laptop and ipad, TSA compliant so I don’t have to take my laptop out, not too big, but big enough.
10. Tech News Today - I love podcasts and increasingly over the last year, this has been my #1 to go to. It’s about 45 minutes every week day covering the lastest in the world of technology. Entertaining and informative, perfect for this geek.
What were you’re favorites from the last year?
2011 was a whirlwind year for me. While serving in our student ministry, I also spent half of the year revamping all of our discipleship courses, and the other half of the year directing our elementary ministry. We built a website to host all of our discipleship course registration and blog content, directed the largest children’s Christmas production our church has ever hosted, and are in the middle of planning a county wide student conference. At the same time I am pursuing an MDiv in Apologetics. I have relied heavily on technology this year but have also found some other non-techie favorites. Here they are in all of their glory:
Adobe Indesign CS5
Having done all of my publications in Microsoft Publisher over the years the switch to InDesign was fabulous! In an effort to keep users from messing up, Publisher limits the ability to manipulate the document however you want. While this is not a problem most of the time, there are moments when it becomes quite bothersome. Publisher often gives me grief when I have images layered one on top of the other. InDesign has been a breath of fresh air. The program offers so much control over the document. The learning curve is steep at first but you catch on. I highly recommend this software if you want to step up the quality of your publications
Color Scheme Designer (colorschemedesigner.com)
Creating a professional looking publication means you don’t need to guess about your color scheme. While most of us can “eye-ball” a good color, this web app takes all of the guess work out. Plus, the app allows you to choose between monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary and every other scheme you can imagine! I found this one late in the year but it has quickly become a go-to app.Samsung PX2370 LED Monitor:
I purchased this monitor at the beginning of the year and I have enjoyed every minute in front of it (well, maybe not every minute). The LED backlighting and 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio makes for a crisp display. Once again, if you want a top notch publication you need to create it on a display you can trust.
When we built our discipleship website for our church members to register an account on we created a screen cast video to walk them through the registration (basically a video that captures everything happening on your computer screen). The software we used cost a pretty penny. Well, just the other week I found Screencast-O-Matic! It has 95% of the features as the expensive program but only costs $12 a year to use. I am amazed at what we are doing with web apps now, and this one is one of the most impressive I have seen yet!
Ethics for a Brave New World:
I took an ethics course this semester and this was one of our main texts. The title plays off of the famous work by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. It’s a massive work (close to 1000 pages), but boy does it cover a load of pertinent topics. The Feinberg’s set out to give evangelical views on issues ranging from abortion to just war theory. If you want to give yourself a kick in the pants, pick up a copy and begin working your way through it.
Well, it’s Christmas eve when I am writing this and I am wicked tired and ready for Santa to get here! Hope 2012 treat you all well, and I hope all your techie dreams come true.