This past week K and I had a couple of days to get away for a short break. We decided to head into the wild (defined by any place with no mobile reception), 15kms east of Scone, NSW. It was excellent to spend time with friends, to build fires and to not be disturbed by email.
On holidays I usually like to set myself little challenges. This time I wanted to try out some new photo apps (mostly Average Camera Pro), along with my glif mount and a tripod. Here are some pics I took while experimenting with my new setup.
If you are in youth or children’s ministry this might excite you.
When I was a youth group leader I had to prepare talks, prayers, supper to eat and games to play at the beginning of the meeting. Usually the latter of these things were done with much less preparation than the first things. Your experience might be the same.
It’s probably a good thing. Preparing your talk and the prayers should demand much of your attention. You don’t want to say incorrect things while you teach the kids. The games were usually under prepared, and not really thought out.
To fix this problem, my friend, Calum has created an iPhone app. It’s called “Group Games”.
The app is brilliant. Simply put, it helps you prepare for the game time of youth group by providing you a list of games that you can play easily, with or without resources. I especially like that way that you can select a game using a search involving the size of the group and the time a game is needed to run.
If you are involved in youth or children’s ministry, you should definitely check it out.
I’m giving 2 copies away for free. The first 2 comments win. Simple.
I’m looking forward to this new radio show from Marc Fennell. Yep, it’s all about technology.
The iPod turns 10 today. The original iPod could hold 1,000 songs within its 5 GB of memory. Huge!
The iPod has come quite a long way since then, and quite a lot was said at the time of the first iPod. This quote is my favourite of all the responses on MacRumors.
All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.
Ten years on, the iPod has sold over 304 million units. I think it took off.
Watch these two videos. One is from 2001, the other is from this year.
If you use OS X, Android or iOS you shouldn’t be thankful for Steve Jobs or Google. Well not entirely anyway. Sure, they played a big part in their respective developments. But there is one man who played a much bigger part.
OS X, Android and iOS are written using a programming code called ‘C‘. Two other programming codes are used for OS X, Android and iOS are C++ and Objective C (they are basically just later versions of ‘C’), but ‘C’ has been a foundation of both of these operating systems since their beginning.
Anyway, to get to my point. C was invented by a man called Dennis Ritchie. He invented it while working at Bell Labs between 1969-1973. Dennis Ritchie passed away this past week at the age of 70 in his home.
No-one really heard about his passing. Dennis Ritchie was a huge player in the personal computing world. I especially like this quote about him.
“As the news of his death spread throughout the computer science world, historians and computer enthusiasts compared the bearded, introverted Dr. Ritchie to media-savvy Apple co-founder Steve Jobs“
And this one.
“It’s sort of ‘apples’ and oranges,” said Paul Ceruzzi, a Smithsonian historian and expert on the history of computers. “Ritchie was under the radar. His name was not a household name at all, but . . . if you had a microscope and could look in a computer, you’d see his work everywhere inside.”
Dennis Ritchie was a big player in the development of the computers, mobile phones, iPod’s and media centres that we use today.
I am thankful for him.
Governments are not known for their cool websites. In fact every single one I have ever had the privilege of visiting has made me consider gouging my eyes out.
This changed last night when I found a cool website from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to promote this years census.
Basically you put a minimal amount of info into a nice looking interface, and it explains some stats relating to you. It also creates a nice info-graphic so you can show your mum. Mine is below. You can do it for yourself here.
“Hey Tim, I’m going on a trip overseas and I have some videos that I want to convert so that I can play them on my iPad.”
“Hey Mate, I have an Avi file that I need to convert so that it will work in a powerpoint im giving in 30 mins. Can you help?!”
“I have an XBOX, and apple TV, an iPad and a Galaxy Tablet. How can I get my videos on all of these devices?”
These are all questions that I regularly get asked. The second issue is the most pressing, and the most stressful for people. Mainly because of the time constraints associated.
Thankfully I’ve been able to help everyone that has ever asked me for assistance. This is mostly because, in my last job I had to be responsible for the weekly organisation and production of video for a church in Sydney. While there were many aspects of the ‘video’ side of my job, one thing that I had to get sorted was the conversion of video.
I work on a mac, and for the first half of last year I had to make content that would work on a mac (Keynote), a PC (powerpoint) and also for the web.
All of these platforms require different things from video. Keynote will play most things (because it gets it’s codecs from quicktime. A plugin called ‘Perian‘ makes this possible), powerpoint is mostly useless (because with each version microsoft change what type of video it supports. Why do they love ‘wmv’ so much?) and video for the web have their own needs.
I came up with a few awesome tools that would let me convert videos into whatever format I needed. Most of these were free, and they all did an ok job. In these free versions there would always be some kind of bug associated with a particular video format. For example, handbrake stopped supporting .AVI and Evom never quite did an .MP4 video properly.
Recently I decided that if I wanted to find an app that will be able to do everything well, I would probably need to pay for it. In my searching I found a brilliant app that could do everything perfectly. It’s called Permute, and it is properly brilliant. All you do is drop the video into the app, select which output you want, and it quickly converts the video for you. Simple. It’s really quick too, and you can can convert batches of videos, saving you a whole heap of time.