Monday, October 25, 2010

60 Days with Tyndale

Today I started a new reading of the New Testament.  This time, the goal is to finish reading the entire New Testament by Christmas, which gives us 60 days, as part of the Christmas Challenge being led by Pastor Mark at Graham Friends Church.

Of note for this reading, I will be reading the Tyndale Bible version.  This was the first English Bible translation from the Greek.  I picked up a Tyndale New Testament on-line from CBD which is a facsimile of one of two existing copies of a 1526 printing.  Below is a pic of what the pages are like:

[caption id="attachment_100" align="aligncenter" width="416" caption="Tyndale New Testament page"][/caption]

As you can see, it is basically handwritten script.  The first day reading it was a blast, but presented a few challenges.  Back when this was written, letters were a bit different, so I've had to get used to a slightly different alphabet.  The most noticeable are the letter "s" which looks like an "f", lowercase "j" which looks like an "i", and "k" which really doesn't look like anything we have now.  Then there are the "o"s with a line over the top of them (how we would indicate a long o sound) which, from what I can tell, generally indicate a "m" or "n" follows.  On top of learning the letters, I am having to deal with the different spelling of words and a little bit with sentence structure.  The other thing one might note is that there are no verse numberings.  By the end of the day's reading, I felt like I was starting to "get it".

One thing that definitely helped was the fact that I've read the NT before.  It helped that I at least had some idea of what was being written about as I translated the old, old English into the English that is in my head.  And the slow pace leads me to linger on the words a little bit longer than I might if I were reading a modern translation.  Hopefully that will eventually turn into a better, stronger knowledge of the text.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Some may recall that last April, due to an HVAC "incident" at the house, my server suffered a horrible death (RIP Donkey).  The server had run for 302 straight days at one point (New Record? 302).  Not too shabby for old equipment.  Too bad I can't get the servers at my job to stay up and running that long (oh if I could only get them switched over to Linux).

I have finally gotten around to seeing whether I'd be able to recover the data that was on the hard drive.  The first step was to get the drive out of the box.  While doing that, I looked for evidence of what might have burned up, but did not see anything that was obvious.  I did find a cover to a resistor/transistor/???, but never figured out where it was missing from.  There was a really bad build up of dust though.

Recovery work in progress
I also discovered that they now make USB to IDE cables so that you can connect what would normally be an external hard drive to a USB port and not have to physically install the drive in a computer.  Would have been nice if I'd had something like this for the last 20 years.

Took a couple tries, but I finally figured out the proper order to connect things (power first, then plug USB in).  Fortunately, it appears the drive was not damaged in the meltdown.  Linux Mint picked it up as a USB drive no problem.  So I am in the process of copying over 35 GB of data to a new Seagate external, portable HD I picked up at WalMart.  Hard to believe you can buy hard disk space for 22 cents a GB (and even cheaper if I had sprung the few extra dollars for a 1TB drive).

I found another HD up in my closet, so it'll be interesting to see what may be on that.  And I think I have one or two old PCs in the attic that I was saving for the day when I could do something like this easily.  I have an old laptop drive I need to recover at some point, but it is encrypted, so more of a challenge.

Of course, the big challenge now is to get everything organized.  Haha, like that is going to happen.

Scratch that - biggest challenge right now is keeping the laptop cool enough to keep running long enough to copy all the data over.  The laptop crashed once last night.  Did it again this evening just as it was about to finish up a 4.7GB folder.  And in the process, it borked the Seagate drive.  Had to go in and use the Partition Manager to reformat the drive (testing on a Win machine, it wasn't even detected).  I sense another meltdown may be pending. :-(

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A GTD/ToodleDo Modification

So, over the past few weeks it seems like I have been a lot busier than normal.  Some of this is attributable to my new boss at work.  He is very proactive in his attempts to improve our organization and this has resulted in a corresponding increase in tasks to attend to.  Likewise, with a few things behind me, I've been able to get more aggressive in addressing some areas where I'd like to see some changes.  Soccer season is in full swing and I've taken on a couple new projects for church.  Fortunately (or maybe, unfortunately) there has been a corresponding drop-off in my activity with the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club.

Bottom line is that I seem to have a lot more tasks that I am trying to juggle.  If I took the time, I'm sure I could go back through the archives and find some info that I posted about a new framework I had implemented to get GTD into ToodleDo and my iPhone app, ToDo.  It involved setting up folders for Actions, Projects, Someday, etc.  The contexts correspond to things like work, thmmc, bsc, church, and personal.  I've also implemented a specific format for naming tasks, especially those connected to projects.  Overall, it was a vast improvement over my previous implementation of GTD.

However, I have noticed a few cracks starting to appear.  While I feel good that everything is getting captured in the system (giving me some peace of mind - part of the GTD goals), the list of Next Actions that needs to be addressed has been getting kind of hard to manage.  The biggest issue seems to be an inability to distinguish between those next actions that need to have a higher priority (e.g. something that needs to be done in the next couple days vs within a couple weeks).  I'd been trying to use a combination of the stars available in ToodleDo combined with the priority setting and some calendaring (this last part mainly in an effort to force the system to present the list in an order based on urgency).

I decided tonight to make a change and introduced a new folder: Actions - Urgent.  This is modeled on something I read over the weekend on a GTD mailing list I'm on from someone who was having similar challenges.  Another person posted about implementation of a concept from the Master Your Workday Now! system (hmm - maybe I need to add reading that to my Someday/Maybe list?).  Apparently Lineberger uses a concept based on identifying tasks to be completed within a couple weeks.  My timeframe is a lot shorter - I'm looking at those things that need to be completed in about 2-3 days.

So in ToodleDo, I added the new context and now only items on that list get a star (which makes me think I could have just used the stars for this instead of an entirely separate folder) except for a couple items in the Project list.  Below is a screenshot of Toodledo after I went through and made changes:

New ToodleDo after mod

This may force me to have to do my weekly review on a more frequent basis.  Like I say, maybe some redundancy that I've introduced as well that is really needed.  I'll see how it works this week.

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Mission of Division

This past Sunday we got a little worried at church that our guest scheduled to give the sermon was not going to make it (fortunately, he did). In trying to figure out what to do about a sermon, I offered to try to speak on a couple of the readings for the week. I had made some notes about them in preparation for our Sunday School class which I was going to lead since Pastor Mark was out of town. Since our guest showed up, I did not have to resort to presenting an impromptu sermon. But I did figure I might organize my thoughts that I had and write them up for the blog. Helps me flesh out some of my thoughts and what I was studying. Maybe it will be a little bit of a kickstart to go back and get some other posts put together and published.

I assume those reading this know that I am in management and have been for many years. If you didn't know that, you do now. Being in management, I've had plenty of opportunities to get involved in strategic planning for various organizations where we worked on things like goals, visions, and missions. The idea of a mission – what an organization is trying to accomplish - struck me in the passages I had studied this past week.

Looking at John 3:16 we read (I'm going to use the ASV translation for everything in this post – another post one day about why that is maybe):
3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yikes - Time for New Plug-ins?

So, I have a new post I'm ready to work on for my Staying Awake blog.  But before I work on it, I wanted to make sure the Twitter Tools connection was functioning properly since the last couple posts I made from my blogs did not get "published" to Twitter (and in turn, to Facebook).  In digging around, I noticed the plug-in I was using had a newer version available, so I updated it.  As I then discovered, this meant a new way of connecting to Twitter using some application service they have setup (which coincidently looks more like a developer tool - doesn't seem to cool for end users to have to use that).

I went through the process of setting everything up, only to discover this updated Twitter Tools plug-in requires PHP 5 to run.  I spent about five minutes trying to figure out whether I could upgrade my PHP to 5.  That was all the patience I had.  I'm sure it's possible.  But, it was easier to try finding a new WP plug-in.

I found a Network Publisher plug-in that supposedly will let me publish to like 30 some social networks.  May be able to not have to worry about hashtags to push stuff over from Twitter to Facebook.  On the other hand, I may have to do some additional work on categories if I wanted to somehow exclude some from one service or another (can't yet imagine what that might be).

Anyway, I'm ready for this first test to post.  It will be interesting to see how this works.