23 Apr

Technology – Moving Ministry Forward

I mostly love the impact that technology is having on our ministry and work. YES computers go wrong and cause huge headaches at times, but every now and then something happens that restore my .. umm ‘faith’ in the tech.

Jonathan and a translation team.

Jonathan and a translation team.

Here is a note that my colleague Jonathan sent me about what he has been up to.

Waci language development has been slow because there has not been much linguistic analysis done on the language. As a result, translators have always struggled to write their language consistently.
Bruce is a linguist who resides in Canada, but has recently started to work with the Waci language to unravel its secrets! For three days, two Waci translators came to Jos to meet with Bruce. We met over Skype for the 3 days. Bruce directed the conversation to ask questions related to his research. Once he was comfortable that he understood the words, we would record them. When Bruce asked for a word, Baba Peter would recite the word twice and hum it twice. They would then move on to the next word.
Once the words had been collected into a recording, I would drop the 200MB file into a folder on the network, and Bruce would upload it to his computer using a syncing program.

It was a headache to figure out the uploading of such a big file. It had to be done overnight in Nigeria so as not to use ALL the bandwidth during the day. It slowed the process down for Bruce and the team. Several people were involved in finding the solution, but how amazing that Bruce who was unable to visit Nigeria at the time, WAS able to help the Waci team in such a significant way!

14 Mar

Technological FAIL

Just a brief message to anyone who may have received 3 emails from me this morning contain a few sentences of good stuff then 8 pages of rubbish.

I’m aware that when we get out to Nigeria that internet access is going to become somewhat more restricted than I am used to here. I have been trying to set up my blog in a way so that I cam email it blog posts that it can then post. However as is often the case I came a cropper a few times. WordPress makes it sound so simple, yet digging deeper it really is not! I have now stopped trying. Sorry to have filled your inbox!

13 Dec

Scripture in mission

We live in an ever-changing world and I LOVE technology and I love seeing how things change and adapt and I am often surprised by how far behind the rest of the technological world, mission agencies can be. Not all parts of every mission agency are in the dark ages by any means! One example is Wycliffe and it’s partners helping to provide scripture on mobile phones and listening devices. Freddie Boswell (The Executive director of SIL international, SIL is one of Wycliffe’s partners in Bible Translation) was one of the many delegates at the recent Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, and he participated in a cool sketch designed to challenge the mindset that it is “all about the printed word”

08 Dec

Natwivity

I have been a twitter user for a long while, I wasn’t among the early adopters, I didn’t see the point.  Once I understood how easy it was to integrate it into various other social media sites like Facebook and blog, I was converted pretty quick!

This December an amazingly creative team have decided to tell the whole of the Christmas story using twitter.  So the story is told through the eyes of the characters you establish what is going on based on the ‘conversation’ as it unfolds on twitter.

I’ve set up a page on my site here if you aren’t on twitter, but would like to follow it.  http://www.robinsonta.org/natwivity/

16 Oct

Life changing app

 

Example of the day by day view

Every now and then an app really captures my attention. Maybe it won’t change my life but definitely my lifestyle! I guess anything that helps manger more out the bible

and track Gods answers to prayer, that should change my life!  I discovered Momento
My phone is so much more than a phone. It has my diary, my email, my Bible , my music, some video and plenty of games! 10 days ago while sat at home in a slightly frustrated state pondering my Bible reading habits, it occurred that there must by a diary/journal type app that I can use to take notes. I’m not a fan of paying for apps unless absolutely required. So my Bible app I paid for I wanted that to do more than provide scripture on my screen.
I found a GREAT app for £1.59 called momento for diarying and journaling. You can tag people places, you can import social media ‘moments’. You can also create you own tags. You can display all the moments with a particular tag. So I also use it to track prayer requests, take notes in church and life group. I can also write snippets during the day if I and thinking or processing something. The copy and paste function of the phone is useful for Bible bits you want to include in notes.

18 Sep

iPhone facetime

example of iPhone facetime function

OKay Okay, I’ll stop going on about it soon!   But yesterday I had my first opportunity to try out the iPhone’s much talked about ‘facetime’ .  The idea isn’t new, video calling has been around almost as long as phones have had cameras.  As one of the first user of Skype that i knew of, (which was pretty pointless at the time, as other people did also need to use skype to make it any use),   iPhone’s face-time is a bit like that too.   It only works with other iPhone 4 users, something not in abundance in my circle!

The quality of the picture is greatly limited by the quality of the camera on the front of the phone, which is MUCH less that the on one the back.   Yes it is nice to see people, but you also have to be connected to WiFi.   It doesn’t work when you are on the road in the middle of nowhere.  but also doesn’t cost you a packet of data time.  So for people who aren’t good at managing their bill, you can’t accidentally end up owing a fortune!

You can switch cameras in the middle of the call, which is cool if you want to show the other person something, but lighting is a major issue.  You need to be in a place with good lighting.  My phone call buddy,  was in his lounge in which they use lamps around the edge of the room, every turn of the phone caught a different lamp which decreased the quality of the picture.  Having said that it switches to speaker phone mode, and the quality of the call was excellent!

But basically if you have to be connected to Wifi, to see any MAJOR advantages over soem of the other software adn other apps that are out there.   There isnt’ much advantage over using skype, which quite frankly allows you to use a camera, and you can connect with  WAY MORE people!

17 Sep

Iphone 4 :)

The iPhone 4 🙂

Please excuse the self indulgence, but I was blessed recently by a phone upgraded, upgraded at the cost of successfully selling the old phone. I LOVED my iPhone 3g Enough said. I loved it. It did everything said say, for me, the keys were email, Facebook, Twitter, calls texts, web, music, bible with note taking function, geocaching apps and a plethora of games. I really did live on my phone so to speak. I didn’t’ think it could be topped. MY only complaint about my phone was that it didn’t work when I travelled. Inadvertently I had a faulty handset that didn’t get picked up as faulty until out of warranty. MUCH discussion with the phone company later, upgrade was in order. My suffice to say, I LOVED my phone.

Ali would freely tell you that I quite like gadgets. It’s true I can’t deny that I do like a gadget, but it has to be useful to me, not destined to be sat in a cupboard. Unlike the sowing machine I got for Ali or the hair straighteners. Haha, one of our family dynamics – the usefulness of gadgets!
So like ultimate kitchen gadget, George Forman grill. LOVE it, use it a lot.
Bread machine, we hardly EVER buy a loaf of bread any more.
Boss GT-10, use it EVERY week.

An AWEFUL lot of fuss was made about the launch of the Iphone4. The demo didn’t’ work, the areal had problems, it was square cut not round blah blah blah and also, the price tag L Every TV ad spot, I could see Ali glancing over to asses if I was paying any attention, and would I ultimately be wanting one. Well of course!
I had never had an ipod, or really used a smart phone for all it’s functions until I was offered an upgrade of the iphone some 18 months ago. So having got myself totally set up to use it to it’s fullest extent, I was reluctant to transfer to a new brand of phone losing apps and info in the process. Selling the old phone covered the cost of the upgrade totally J and no need to change phone contract J

The iPhone 4

  • Better Reception – Seems to get receptions in places my old phone didn’t.
  • AMAZING screen – I have watched several movies on it quite satisfactorily.
  • I actually prefer the weight and square-ness. I feel like I am holding a tool rather than a toy, seems a bit more serious to me, which is nice.
  • The WiFi reception is literally 100% better that the 3g.
  • For me the upgrade to 32gb means no longer having to select what to put on there or not!
  • Battery lasts a whole lot longer, I can just about get away with not charging it every night.
  • Speakers for playing music are way better
  • Ability to multi tasking apps means on a call I can access info.
  • I would have paid for a case anyway, so a free 1 is a bonus to me not a hassle!

Now the research begins to see if I will be able to use it in Nigeria!

16 Feb

WordPress for iPhpne

I have voiced my not quite satisfiedness with the iPhone. the more I use it, the more I discover its coolness. For example facebook app is great, but also discovered the Twitter app, which also integrates with my facebook status and also makes an appearance on this very blog. Suddenly a Twitter user. Also just found a wordpress app so I can now blog from my phones too!

Suddenly a bit happier with my iPhone!

%d bloggers like this: