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Monthly Archives: December 2012

How To Keep Up In A Rapidly Changing Technology World

Apple Products

Just owning an Apple Product makes your wallet thinner

With new product lines appearing every month, and new product categories every year, and with the continued evolution of computer technology every day, how can someone stay on top of it all? How can you keep yourself informed without spending a mint buying every new product that comes out?

Today there are certain parts of the technology spectrum that anyone up to date would know about and have their own opinion. Apple Inc., for example, would be a company nobody could miss. If someone would discover that you didn’t know anything about the iPhone, iPad, and iPod product lines, they would consider you to not be well-informed technologically, even if you do have a computer science degree and know six programming languages. Android, Google’s massively successful mobile operating system is a major player, and Samsung has a huge hardware stake in successful products today. Knowledge in these areas today makes you informed in the mobile world.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint

What about the personal computer and notebook PC world, though? Are there areas today one must have knowledge in to be considered well versed? Indeed, Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion are some names anyone should be able to rattle off, and increasingly knowledge in the area of Linux, such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Debian would be something considered a necessary point of knowledge for someone in the tech world. Some products are standing on the fence between mobile and full-scale however. The chromebook is a solid new player, and tablets running full versions of Windows 8 are prevalent as well. Do you know their upsides and downsides? The Intel vs AMD processor battle is one you should know about, and what about the imminent takeover of SSD’s and downfall of the Hard Disk Drive?

Technology is growing in a less physical sense as well. The internet is increasingly taking up a larger chunk of the work done on a computer, whether PC or mobile, and there are always things to troubleshoot. As web browsers go, Internet explorer is on a little rebound, Chrome is a leader, Firefox is slipping a bit, and Opera still wishes it would have gained traction in the first place. Social media is changing by the minute, Facebook is up but its stock is down, Pinterest is the 15th most visited website in the United States, and Twitter is #10. Reddit is up, Digg is down, and Google claims Google+ is a hit, while everyone else says it’s a flop.

Knowing what is going on in these areas are big points to know, but more specialized knowledge on specific cell phones, cameras, netbooks, etc. is big too. Knowing a good from a bad processor, what tablet has enough RAM to run the latest games, all of these are important in being a balanced tech person. But just six years ago it was totally different.

This phone was hip in 2006.

This phone was hip in 2006.

In 2006, phones were just hitting the 3 megapixel mark, Blackberry was on top and Palm had some good choices. Windows Mobile was a competing operating system, 3G networks were still being launched, and there were rumors that Apple may be putting a phone on the market soon. Resistive touchscreens were still all the rage. If you wanted something to do online you would probably be checking out your MySpace page, performing a search on Yahoo (Which was getting more visitors than Google), or Checking out the web portal at Go.com. It’s a good thing that YouTube wasn’t even two years old yet, because if you wanted to download any of their videos you would max out at 750 GB, the largest Hard drive size yet- if you were lucky. In November there was a lot of buzz at the PS3 launch- any gamer would have an opinion on that. Tablet PCs? Impractical. Phone without buttons? Flops.

You could be on top of things in 2006, but it would be like you had no knowledge at all in the 2012 world. What should you do to stay on top?

1. Investigate
So you see an ad on television for a device. That’s a good hint that this is a device that is a flagship or a big part of a company’s lineup. You see a blog post about a long line for a new device at the mall. Go ahead and read the article, but then look up the device online. Read the specs, the comparisons, the comments. Read two or three reviews. Someone who doesn’t know much about technology will be seeing the same articles. They will read them, think it is amazing, and stop there. Someone who specializes in technology won’t stop there. They will dig up enough information until they are able to form a solid opinion, and be able to rank devices and companies in their mind. The products that are advertised are the first products that people will ask you about. But more than just waiting until you see an ad or news story about a product, be proactive. Follow some tech blogs like Engadget, visit reviews websites like cnet, and keep on top of web trends.

2. Upgrade

Maybe you should look into this.

Maybe you should look into this.

Some experience can be gained through research, but some takes experience. No, you don’t have to buy every product, or even a product in every category, but making sure to get a new device of some type at least once a year is a way to force yourself to stay on top. A new tablet, phone, laptop, camera, or maybe a new device in a product category that doesn’t exist yet. Generally, wait until it is out for six months to save yourself a lot of money, but don’t let yourself go for years on a dying operating system with no knowledge of what is out there.

3. Don’t let yourself become afraid of change.
Blackberry is basically dead, yet some people stick to it because they are used to it. For most people that is absolutely fine. I am 100% for continuing to use a so-called “outdated” or “deprecated” product if it still suits your needs. Many people running a 6 core Windows 8 machine to surf Facebook would do just fine on an 8-year-old PC with windows XP. However, someone who is trying to stay on top of technology needs to continually challenge themself to learn something new. If this involves jumping from Palm to Blackberry to Windows Mobile to iOS to Android to Windows Phone, then that is what you should do. Maybe switch web browsers every year. I used Internet explorer until about 2006, then Firefox from 2007-2011, and now I use Maxthon and Firefox. I have toyed in Chrome and Opera, and my Tablet has the default browser on Android, Dolphin Browser, and Maxthon Mobile. I probably will look around in 2013 to see what is better and switch again. I have had more than 6 PalmOS devices, which I no longer use, a Windows XP laptop and desktop,1 Windows Vista laptop and one Windows 7, all of which I do not use, A windows 7 PC which I upgraded to Windows 8, and a Windows 8 Laptop, as well as an Android tablet and an Android Phone. I’ve played with iOS devices, as well as done extensive research. Most of my PCs and Laptops have run some version of Linux (Puppy, DSL, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu), and I occasionally subscribe to technology magazines. All of this is to show how not to be afraid of jumping to new systems and learning new techniques.

4. Don’t get ‘hooked’

Don't.

Don’t.

The entire world of technology today is based on getting a repeat customer. Windows 8 is a step toward getting users familiar with Windows’ new mobile layout, and thus make them want to buy the Windows phone. Apple has millions of fans who find everything seems to work good for them with an Apple iBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Some Linux fans have dumped Windows completely and some people are still using all the default software on their PC for everything. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t allow yourself to get a brand loyalty that makes you no longer an unbiased critic in all things technology. Always be willing to switch your preference to a product from any company or OS, should that product excel in enough areas to clearly exceed the competition.

If you follow all of this advice, you will be one step in the right direction towards staying on top of technology for the forseeable future.

(c) Joshua Lindsey 12/19/2012

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Cell Phone, Computing, Hobbies, Money

 

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A synopsis of the life of Smith Wigglesworth

Here is an essay I wrote as a requirement for Christian Biographies taught by Bro. Ferguson at Master’s Baptist College.

Born on June 8, 1859, in Yorkshire, England, Smith Wigglesworth would go on to become one of the most influential evangelists in the early history of Pentecostalism, and bring it a large audience. 1 Wigglesworth claimed Salvation at the age of eight in a Wesleyan Methodist revival, and was confirmed by an Anglican bishop two years later. He was instructed in the Bible by a Plymouth Brethren friend, and baptized by Immersion in a Baptist church.2 Wigglesworth’s first convert was his own mother, and as his evangelism grew, he convinced his family to attend an Episcopal church. His Father was never converted, but he did enjoy the pastor of the Episcopal church, mainly because the pastor frequented the same pub that he did.3 At the age of thirteen, his family moved, and he then became involved with a Wesleyan Methodist Church. At the age of Sixteen he seemed to have found an ally with the Salvationists in the Salvation Army, attending their meetings. There he became convinced of the powers of prayer and fasting.4 At the age of eighteen, Wigglesworth became a plumber, and at twenty he moved to Liverpool. There he continued to work during the day and minister in his free time. He often broke down and wept at the meetings of the Salvation Army, and brought others with him.5

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth

One night at a Salvation Army meeting, Smith was listening to a woman preacher, Gypsy Tillie Smith, and saw a young woman make a profession of salvation. This woman, Mary Jane “Polly” Featherstone, would become his wife. They together opened a church. Polly would do all the preaching, while Smith would give the altar calls.6 Wigglesworth continued to witness throughout the city, not in organized meetings, but instead around his city. Sometimes on the streets he would meet people and discuss his faith with them. One day, on a trip to the city of Leeds, he heard of divine healing meetings taking place at a mission called the “Healing Home”, connected with the Zion City movement. He began to attend the Tuesday meetings regularly, and led processions of seemingly ailing people, convinced that they would be healed. At first, he did not tell his wife about the meetings, feeling she would think them fanatical, but when he finally did, she decided to also attend, and was supposedly healed as well.7 On one occasion, Wigglesworth was told that he was to be the speaker, and give a sermon. He did so, and from that point on he never could remember what he said that night. At the end of the service, it was the time for healing, and Wigglesworth stood while fifteen people came toward him. This was his first time leading a healing service, but those who stepped forward were seemingly healed. Back in Bradford, where he now lived, Wigglesworth began to conduct his own healing meetings, and became known as a miracle worker.8 At the age of 48, Wigglesworth claimed to have been suddenly “Baptized in the Holy Spirit”.9 At this point he began to practice what is considered in modern times to be “Speaking in tongues”, which is a spiritual gift that ceased with the completion of the Bible. He no longer would allow any medical skill to be used on himself or his wife, instead claiming only that the Holy Spirit would heal him. In 1913, his wife died, and two years later, his son George died also. His Daughter, Alice was deaf from birth, and was never healed.10

Wigglesworth’s ministry consisted of many healing services, and astounding claims have been made by others and by himself about him. It is said that the blind were made to see, the deaf were healed, people confined to wheelchairs walked, and most amazing, that people were raised from the dead. Smith himself claimed to have raised three people from the dead,11 while others report fourteen “confirmed” cases,12 and some claim twenty-three people brought back to life.13 Wigglesworth ministered up to to the time of his death in 1947.

Although many in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements today credit Wigglewsorth with great accomplishments and consider him a great evangelist for Christ, it is evident that much of his work was unscriptural, and his own theology is based on a shaky, ecumenical foundation. He commonly spoke in tongues during his messages, which is nothing more than vain gibberish, which Paul stated in the New Testament should not be done without an interpreter.14 He is recorded in a 1972 Biography as having someone cast a demon out of themselves, something entirely uncriptural.15 He is recorded in a healing service as pushing away a woman with a heart condition when she came to him for a second time, because she hadn’t been healed. He would not do anything for her, claiming it was not a problem with her heart, but her faith.16 Wigglesworth once said Shout, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” and you will have the best time on earth. Whisper it, and you won’t.”17 Quotes like this, baseless sentences that are designed to make himself sound wise, were common for Wigglesworth, and much of his teaching is reflected as shallow and entirely based on the condition of man on the earth. While he may have brought some to a position where they would come to know Christ, most likely his false healings, shallow teaching, and feeling based worship let more people into a path of disappointment than to a sincere walk with God.

1 Wikipedia, “Smith Wigglesworth”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Wigglesworth (Accessed November 15, 2012)

2 Gary B. McGee, “The Revival Legacy of Smith Wigglesworth” http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/199801/070_wigglesworth.cfm (Accessed November 15, 2012)

3 GodsGenerals.com, “Smith Wigglesworth” , http://www.godsgenerals.com/person_s_wigglesworth.htm (Accessed November 15, 2012)

4 Ibid

5 Healingandrevival.com, “Apostle of Faith”, http://healingandrevival.com/BioSWigglesworth.htm (Accessed November 15, 2012)

6 Ibid

7 Julian Wilson, Wigglesworth The Compete Story (Tyrone, GA: Authentic Publishing, 2002), 32-.33

8 Ibid, 34

9Lit4ever.org, “About Smith Wigglewsorth”, http://www.lit4ever.org/smith4.html (Accessed November 15, 2012)

10 Ibid

11 Wilson, Complete Story, 129

12 Healingandrevival.com, “Apostle of Faith”, contd.

13 Wikipedia, “Smith Wigglesworth”, Section on Healing

14 Mike Wright, “Book Review of Smith Wigglesworth – A Life Ablaze With The Power Of God, by William Hacking” http://www.bereanresearchinstitute.com/03_Doctrines/D.0005_Smith_Wigglesworth_A_Book_Review_of_Pentecostal_Teachings.html (Accessed November 15, 2012), Point 2

15 William Hacking, Smith Wigglesworth – A Life Ablaze With The Power Of God (Tulsa, OK:Harrison House, Inc, 1972), 26

16Ibid, 45

17Ibid, 72

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Homework, Master's Baptist

 

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Handy Links for buying a digital camera

I have been playing with the idea of buying a DSLR camera for a while, and I have found several excellent web articles on the main issues. I couldn’t help but want to share, so here they are:

Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Why is a DSLR better than a point and shoot?

What should I consider in buying a DSLR?

The Myth of megapixels

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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