Dion's random ramblings

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Invention Of the Year: The iPhone

The thing is hard to type on. It's too slow. It's too big. It doesn't have instant messaging. It's too expensive...or cheap. It doesn't support my work e-mail. It's locked to AT&T. Steve Jobs secretly hates puppies.

YET, time gives you 5 reasons why it is the invention of the year....I agree! And, I don't even own one! How I wish I did!

Anyone out there willing to 'donate' one for research purposes?

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why I think that Mac OS Leopard could NEVER compete with Windows Vista - and I own 4 Macs!

Yup, last night I gave in to the Steve Jobs distortion field - in the cold and wet I raced through the traffic to get to one of my favourite places on the planet, the iStore in Menlyn Park shopping centre in an affluent subburb of Pretoria East...

I have been anticipating the release of Leopard for some months now, and in the last few weeks I've been looking forward to the 26th of October - what a joy when the iStore staff phoned me to come to the worldwide launch of Leopard! So, like all Mac fanatics I went!

Now, before I explain the heading of this post let me just say that I currently own the following Apple computers:

  1. Primary machine: Macbook Pro Mac OS 10.4.10, 2GHz Intel Core Duo (dual booting Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP Pro). It has a 'rough night out' gelaskin cover on the top - it has become quite famous at Methodist gatherings!
  2. Secondary machine: Sony Vaio UX 180 P Micro PC with dual booting Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux (this machine 'lives' in my backpack!) I love this little guy! It is not much larger than a cell phone, it has a built in keyboard, a built in GSM / EDGE cellular modem and it runs for about 20 hours with my external battery pack! I most often take this little guy with me when I travel around the world. It can litterally fit onto my belt (when I really want to GEEK it!)
  3. Primary desktop machine: iMac Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard!), with Windows XP in Parallels.
  4. 'Old' Desktop: Apple Powermac G4 dual 1.25Ghz with a 23" cinema display running Mac OS 10.4.10.
  5. My wife's computer: Sony Vaio TR3A, Windows XP Pro.
  6. Daugther's computer: Apple iBook (the toilet seat model... Blueberry) running Mac OS 10.3.9.

[Just to mention that most of my machines were purchased with research funds (I could only use Macs for the magnetoencephalagraph that I used in Cape Town to measure magnetic activity in the human brain), or were acquired in trades. I have only ever purchased one new laptop, a G4 iBook back in 2003 - that has since gone THROUGH Wessel to another well deserving home] Oh yes, and let me add that one's spouse MUST be a saint to allow for SO MANY computers (she also has to earn a lot more than one does to keep one in the style to which one is accustomed... But that is another matter entirely).

You can see that we are a thoroughly Apple household!! We LOVE MACS!!!

So, you may be asking yourself, how could I possibly say that Leopard could NEVER compete with Vista!??? Well, the answer is simple - Leopard is just in a completely different league!!

Ha ha! Yup, Vista from my limited use, is to Windows XP what Windows ME was to Windows 95... Nothing but eyecandy and instability!

Leopard on the other hand is FANTASTIC!!! And yes, I am biased, but it is faster, more stable, and it looks even better than Tiger. I love the new Mail application, the new style sheets and eye candy, you can add 'to do' items and sticky notes directly in mail, the new Safari browser is FAST and user friendly, it also allowes you to 'snip' active elements from web pages to add as widgets in Dashboard. Of course the new Finder is magnificent! It has 'cover flow' that lets you see the contents of files within the finder (without even having to open an application like Word, Excel, Adobe reader, Keynote, or the Preview image viewer)... It is just fantastic!

So, yes, I bought a copy of Leopard last night - I aslo happened to see a cracked, working, iPhone! It is magnificent. If the guy who had the phone reads this post, would you mind dropping me a line? I'd love to stay in touch.

So, Steve Jobs and Apple, WELL DONE!!!! This is a great upgrade that will make my life so much more efficient and pleasant. It was worth going out in the cold and the wet, and the Apple iStore in Menlyn is still one of my favourite places in the whole world!!!!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Liveblog! Mac OS Leopard has been released! Discover the new features here.

For all the Macheads out there that have been waiting for the official release of Mac OS Leopard (AKA the Vista shamer...)

It's been released in the USA. I hope to be able to get my copy on Saturday (please Lord!)

If you're interested in following a live, blow by blow, geekfest of leopard feature discovery you can follow the constantly updated Gizmodo Leopard blog here.

Wohoo! I can't wait!

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How to create accurate references in MS Word 2007

So much of my life revolves around text, reading it, thinking about it, writing it, and of course trying to disseminate it to others. Anything that can help to manage and record my use of text more accurately is always welcome!

Just this afternoon I was reminding my students how important it is to provide detailed and accurate references in their work! Of course this not only aids verification, it also helps others who are doing similar research to find sources of use.

Here's a great tutorial from the Microsoft team (yes, Lord, I repent, Steve Job's I'll also be sending you a letter of apology)...

It will teach you how to do easy references in your papers, articles, assignments etc. using Microsoft Word 2007.

I use MS Word for Apple Mac, however, if there is anyone out there us MS Word for the 'dark side' please let me know if it works, and how it works!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

It will be the most exciting day of my year! Well, except for the celebration of my miracle son's first Birthday!

Yup, 16 November 2007 will truly be the most significant day of this year for Megan, Courtney and I. On the 16th of November we will celebrate the miracle of our son Liam's birth. At this time last year Megan, as about 23 weeks of pregnancy (some way into her 5th month) had already been in hospital once in labour... It was one of
the scariest and most difficult times of our lives! Liam was born just 3 weeks later... Many of you will remember that he was just 1kg at birth (do a search for Liam, or click on December 2006's archives) to see some pictures....

Liam spent 3 months in the neonatal ICU and almost left us a few times... However, God is faithful! Even to heretical theologians!!! Liam truly is a miracle child! So come and celebrate with us on the 16th of November. I'll give you some advance warning - if you would like to send Liam a message of blessing, or some form of
encouragement (remember, I am his dad... He'll need all the encouragement he can get!!!), then please drop a comment on the blog on the 16th. We will save all the comments and print them for him so that he can remember, one of the most special forms of love in Christ, is the body of Christ loving itself through its members!

Now, what will the SECOND most important day of 2007 be? Well, go to http://www.apple.com/ and take alook at the countdown to the release of the new version of Mac OS X,
leopard! I can't wait, Leapard is going to BITE M$ Vi$ta's BUT! Wohooo!!!

As far as I know only Pete, Wessel, and I are Mac addicts... Any others lurking out there?

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Women's day from the Mecca of Mac in London!

If you were hoping to see some deep theological reflection as my first post from England you may be dissapointed! Here's a photo of me (taken in Photobooth on one of the Macs here in the Regent street Apple Store in London). Happy Women's day to all the significant women I have the joy of sharing my life with (Megie and Courts in particular).

I arrived yesterday after a 26 hour marathon trip via Dubai! Today I head out to Cambridge, spend the evening with some friends and colleagues, and then back to London on Friday to be with Richard and Michelle!

I am off to Oxford on Sunday.

Check back for more 'real' posts and updates on the Conference, papers, and other more scholarly things (I don't have wifi coverage currently... That accounts for this quick and nasty post from the Apple store).

I am MISSING Megie, Courts, and Liam... I'll post again as soon as I have wifi...

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Meetings, musings, and much less important things...

Today we ended the June General Committee meeting of the Education for Ministry and Mission Unit. These are always incredibly stressful meetings since we have the responsibility of making some very tough and conflicted decisions about the lives of our student ministers.

Thank God the meetings are done, the Theological Society is finished (week before), now I look forward to hosting some visitors from Cambridge in the UK, Garret in Chicago (US), and a Colleague from Detroit! Visitors are always a wonderful blessing. They bring new insights, energy, and a great sense of connectedness with this great wide world, and God's great church all over the world.

Just to mention three books that I am currently reading that are SO worthwhile (each for different reasons).

Firstly, I would strongly encourage all of you who are seeking a fresh and novel approach to orthodox Christian Theology to read Brian Mclaren's 2004 book "A generous orthodoxy". This has truly been the most encouraging, and gently presented, approach to Christian truth and the cause of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that I have read in a long while. It is set to be my book of the year!

Secondly, I have been reading (for a book review in the Journal 'Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae') a centenary festschrift on Cardinal Yves Congar edited by Gabriel Flynn, entitled "Yves Congar: Theologian of the Church" (2005). It has reminded me again of the discipline of working for the reform and renewal of the Church from within its fellowship. Congar was a leading light in Vatican II, a contemporary of Bernard Longeran, Karl Rahner, and Courtney Murray. His ecclesiology has lead in large part to the Catholic church's renewed ecclesiology and role for an 'educated laity' in the formulation and renewal of the evangelisation of the world.

Lastly, I have been reading a book by my favourite author, Bill Bryson, entitled "The life and times of the thunderbolt kid" (2006). This has to be one of the funniest, and most poignant, books I have read in a very long time. I have laughed so hard that I have almost bust a stitch!

Oh, and for the gadget freaks, take a look at this GREAT video review of the iPhone that gets released tomorrow evening in the US!

It was put together by David Pogue, a Mac fanatic with a great sense of humour.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

iPhone.... STILL want one! Why?! Because iLike!

Yesterday Pete Kropman poked me on facebook (no, that's not rude... If you don't understand it you're starting to get old!) and wrote on my wall (no that's not illegal in facebook) to ask if I had been watching the Apple WWDC (that's the Apple World Wide Developers Conference) keynote.

I had not... I have been marking (that's 'grading' for the yanks) first year ethics scripts... About 200 of them.

However, this morning my friend Arthur sent me a link to this youtube video about the iPhone....

Art! Impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery!!!! I still want an iPhone... Mainly to use as sideburns and a cheese grater (watch . Heck if I wanted to make phone calls I would use a land line... Remember those!?

So, the moral of the story is: Save your shekels for an iPhone, Oh, and look me up on facebook. Surprisingly, my name is Dion Forster... And I'm too old to be on facebook....

NOW, just a quick note to say that I am preparing a post on little Liam's baptism that took place this last Sunday. It was a truly special evening. We were able to give thanks to God for his miraculous life, and dedicate ourselves to caring for him and raising him in a manner fitting of a Christian family.

I'll post some thoughts, photos, and a reflection in the next couple of days.

Some of you already know that I am facing a bit of uncertainty this week. I go under the knife, so to speak, on Thursday for surgery and a few tests. Please pray for me even if you don't know what it is about. News will follow.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

The weekend and shaving... The picture says it all!

Give me 5 minutes, my Apple Macbook, Comiclife (and NO razor blades) and this is what you get...

All is well with the world! Megie is flying back from Cape Town, Liam and Courts are well taken care of (when Megie left for Cape Town this morning Courtney and I tossed a coin to see who would get to care for the top part of Liam (feeding) and who would care for the bottom part (... Nappies...) She drew the short straw, yet somehow I still ended up caring for both ends)! Ha ha! It's enough to put hair on your chin!

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