Read the Bible vs Get fit and listen to Podcasts

So I’m busy working part time at Dev-Zone (my old job) and the other part of the part-time at 3months (new job). I’m doing some work for Chris while he’s in Australia, which is taking up a large portion of my spare time; but that’s fine. It’s the old job that’s stressing me out.

But hey, I’ve got some cool stuff to tell you about, so bear with me.

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First of all, I bought me a small portable metal bible about two weeks ago. The cheesily entitled Battlezone Bible, Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it’s an ESV. I love it — best translation ever. Not to mention it fits in my trenchcoat inner chest pocket nicely. I would catch the bus just so I could read it. It reads so beautifully. And just carrying the bible with you everywhere is a constant reminder of the presence of God. I can read on my breaks, or any spare moment I get.

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Secondly, the IRD love me right now, but it wasn’t so shiny-happy-people until Thursday. I hadn’t filed my taxes for about 3 years, and the IRD got pissed and basically made a default assessment of about NZD$10,000 and sent me bills. But they bounced (because I hadn’t changed my address with them), and so the IRD talked to my employer and forced them to take NZD~$250 a fortnight out of my paychecks. The payclerk told me what was going on and I was all “WTF!!?!”. So I got an accountant and told them to sort this damn crap out. And they did, for a nominal fee of course. So on Thursday night, I come home from Thursday Night Curry to find an envelope by my door. I open it up: “Hi we’re the IRD, here’s a cheque for ~$3400!” And I was all like SW00t! So I paid my accountant (about $1400 :P, but hey, better than $10,000), and paid my bills…

…and bought a BRAND NEW IPOD! W000000T!

A 60GB Color iPod. I tell you, I seriously missed having one. When you’ve got music and podcasts to listen to on the way, I’ve found that I actually WANT to walk places. Roll on summer! Dang, I need to get fit…

I’ve also missed Craig Patchett and Adam Curry in the morning. I’m re-subscribed my podcast catcher (iTunes now, was FeedDemon) to the Daily Source Code, the Radio Adventures of Dr Floyd, and several others, including many Godcast Network channels. I also started listening to Rachel’s Choice which is done by potentially the youngest podcaster in the world, Rachel Patchett of age 8, who chooses a track of christian music and a bible verse to share each week. (a side note: Wellington christian band The Lads were featured on Rachel’s Choice back in June. For those not in the know, The Lads are probably the most popular christian group in New Zealand)

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So now I’m in this quandry: I can catch the bus and read my bible and listen to music, or I can listen to podcasts and walk to work. *shakes fist angrily at quandry!* Never mind, I will be going full time at 3months, which is only a five minute walk away from my house… at least I can still read on my breaks. Oh well.

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Oh yeah, and now that I’m rich, I’ve bought flight tickets and am fully paid up for WE05! YAY! A very HUGE THANKS to all of you who gave your support, I really appreciate all the help you’ve gave!

John C. Dvorak vs Creative Commons

I think John C. Dvorak, a prominent column writer for US PC Magazine missed the point of Creative Commons in his latest column. Did he even WATCH the flash animation? Has he read Free Culture? Screw him. He’s spreading FUD.

He would have learnt that Creative Commons is a way to grant everyone permission to use your works in certain ways without giving up your copyright, encouraging a world where you don’t have to hire a pack of rabid lawyers just to clear permissions. “Permission is already granted”.

Creative Commons is about encouraging creativity. Because creativity always builds on the past. But the past is wrapped up in red tape. So we have CC licences that allow those who would build upon your work to cut through that red tape.

It’s not hard to understand. Less Lawyers = Good Thing.

Sure, adding a CC licence to your blog might be ‘trendy’, and I can safely assume very few, people, if any, are going to take my blog posts and build something new and exciting from them. But what’s wrong with saying “I don’t mind if you do”, even if the chances of that happening are slim-to-none?

John C. Dvorak, I thought you were cool, working with Chris Pirillo on that book of yours and all. I do realise this is an opinion piece, but come on, it feels a bit premature. You really should do your damned research.

The ESV Online Edition

Colour me impressed with the ESV Online Edition… I’m still geeking out about it… They have put a lot of effort into the web development of this site.

The site is valid XHTML, they provide various RSS interfaces, including Bible in One Year feeds and various other daily devotionals, a Web service (SOAP and REST/HTTP-GET) interface for doing verse fetches), favelets, A Firefox search plugin, integration with OpenSearch initiatives such as A9.com, Javascript syndication, and even search-by-email! Talk about spreading the Word of God!

I also really enjoyed reading the Technical Introduction to the ESV Online Edition, which included a report of a usability study of their own and other bible search engines, expected behaviour and implemented behaviour, caveats of search ambiguity, how their whole bible is in XML and is transformed into XHTML, what they did for older browsers, popular bible book query patterns, and strangely enough, MySQL database definitions and PHP source code for viewing (not borrowing) of how their search works. I learnt a lot.

Wow… It’s so geeky, it almost makes me proud to be a Christian ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, and the translation itself is good too ๐Ÿ˜€ They even have the entire audio version available to listen to, and if you search on something, you can listen to the results too ๐Ÿ˜€

Sunday through Friday (or: How I learned to stop caring and bomb the HP)

Below is the log of some of my personal time during the last 5 days. It’s in no way everything I have done.
Update: I forgot to mention my iPod is broken
Sunday:
After having an enjoyable time at my Dad’s place in Otaki, I return home to realise I left my USB thumb drive in my Dad’s computer. I have my IM program and PGP private key on there.

Monday:
I finally spring into action fixing an old computer for a family — it’s an HP Pavillion 4404 (404 not being a good omen). Try to install Windows 98 SE on there, it works. Download drivers for the HP from their website. When I install them, they don’t take hold, and a driver for the video card is missing ๐Ÿ˜› That’s not gonna work… Off to MysteryMovieMonday… the world’s most disturbing movie Visitor Q is shown… when it is over, everyone is glad.

Tuesday:
Time for another attempt at this HP. Use the crappy “system restore” CDs which basically factory-fresh the operating system. Try to install Windows 98SE over the top — wrong! I need a Windows 98 SE Update disk… :P. I go to my church cell group (for the uninitiated, bible study group)

Wednesday:
My iPod was being stupid just before I went to work — it didn’t copy the playlists across, probably because it was full. There is lag between docking and windows suddenly recognising it. I was late for work, and got impatient. I removed the iPod from the dock and accidently dropped it on the floor.

DO’H!. I reset the iPod and it went into a perpeptual reset cycle — apple logo, file error icon, reset, apple logo, file error icon, etc. I left it in my dock and went to work iPodless.

I call my Dad and get him to send me my thumb drive. I am getting paid to tutor my friend Bevan in CSS tonight. I get home late and I don’t want to touch the stupid HP.

Thursday:
Tried to get the iPod working before work, No good. Actually, having the iPod in the dock crashes WinXP during boot-up. Weird. Boot up without the iPod, then try to dock the iPod — Windows hard-resets. WTF?

I have lunch with Bevan, and he borrows my Designing with Web Standards book. We pop into Dymocks and I see a copy of The Zen of CSS Design by Dave Shea, mastermind behind CSS Zen Garden. I buy it ๐Ÿ™‚

That night, I had borrowed the Win98 -> Win98SE upgrade CD from work and start it installing… then it bluescreens… ๐Ÿ˜› Need to system restore from CD again. SE is no longer an option. I go to Curry. After a restore, I just try to install IE6. It starts installing, but for some reason, it says at the end that it didn’t work properly, and leaves Win98 borked beyond repair, needing another system restore from CD. Something doesn’t want this machine updated ๐Ÿ˜› Then the computer spontaniously turns off — the power supply overheated… ARGH. I go to bed.

Friday:
I get my USB thumb drive; Dad has posted it to me. Yay! Zen of CSS Design is pretty awesome, and written really well, but in an interesting style. It looks at the different Zen Garden submissions and pulling out tidbits of design and css wisdom from them, in a very logical and well thought out order. Maybe I’ll write more about that later…