iPaddio Daddio

John Saddington, purveyor of the fabulous ChurchCrunch, posted the question – “Is there any practical and realistic use for the new Apple iPad in a ministry context and environment?” – and the followup question – “Are you going to get one and why?”.

First, here is the response I gave in his post’s comments:

1. I can give my pastor one and repurpose his woefully underused MacBook Pro.
2. The PCO and ProPresenter Remote iPhone apps will rock, especially when optimized for the iPad.
3. The welcome center idea from Alex Tillman is right on – how cool would that be?
4. POS at ministry counter for book and CD sales; registration signups; online giving help.
5. Another iPhone app that will be immeasurably easier and fantastic on the iPad – LogMeIn.
6. I agree that this is not a device to help creatives create – but this will be perfect for presenters to present.
7. Preaching and teaching directly from this while controlling my presentation video? Absolutely!

But I don’t plan on buying one for me – I’m desperate for a new MacBook Pro to replace my obsolete Powerbook, because I picture myself as one of those creative types. But for 90% of my computing tasks and 90% of my users, this will be perfect.

Having said that I don’t plan on buying one for me, let me qualify that: I don’t plan on it now. Or exactly for me. Although I hope to enjoy one.

The iPad is going to be a phenomenal device, I hope. No one really knows. Except that the iPhone is already changed many things for me, and I expect that the iPad will do something quite similiar.

My 13-year-old daughter – who was previously saving for a laptop – is completely thinking iPad now. Laptop is overkill for her, but iPad is right in the sweet spot. My wife is also contemplating selling her MacBook and moving to an iPad. I can’t think of anything she does on her laptop that she couldn’t do on an the new iDevice. One of the biggest things is that for $499 or even $599, this is a great entry-level computer that does everything they could think of.

I was one of the ones who paid $599 for the original iPhone (which has since moved to the possession of Trudi). $499 for something that is multiple times faster and more powerful, with twice the storage of that original iPhone?

Easy decision. I believe it will be equally easy for many people – and the church needs to be there.

Going mobile

There is a fantastic new plug-in for WordPress blogs that lets you easily offer a mobile phone-optimized look to your site. It’s called WPtouch, from BraveNewCode. Yes, this is one of those geeky, computer-talk posts. But if you want to see what I’m talking about, try viewing SarcasticMonkeys on your iPhone, iTouch, Blackberry or other mobile browser.

If you have a WordPress blog, you really need to try this. It’s easy and makes your site look great on a mobile device without changing the way it looks in a normal browser.

I’ve installed it on my church web site and on our church’s Scrooge blog, too.

As an added bonus, the plugin points to another site – Flavor Studios – that allows you to create free icons that work beautifully and look great on an iPhone.

A place for everyone and everyone – eventually – in their place

Welcome to the relocated and renamed blog, formerly known as RevMcGator.

The original RevMcGator blog was an experiment. It was a way to see if I could run a blog and what it would become. It wasn’t my first attempt at a blog. Back in…the day…I signed up for AOL’s initial offering of weblogs. I created one on my AOL account, but I didn’t know what to do with it. It still exists, as an empty place on AOL’s servers I suppose.

Then I learned about Google’s Blogger system, where you could set up a free blog and easily give it style and structure. What I’ve learned the last couple of years is that blogs are easy; content is hard.

Most of the blogs I subscribe to have a particular theme and I read theme for one purpose. For instance, I am subscribed to Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like. It is a humorous blog built around one theme.

I’ve tried to give RevMcGator some structure by categorizing my posts in three categories – Rev, Mc, or Gator. Rev is the pastoral side of my life. Mc pertains to the family and personal things. Gator posts have to do with sports, hobbies, and the like.

That’s still pretty broad, so I’m continuing to cast around for the right theme for this blog. In the meantime, I’ve transitioned to SarcasticMonkeys. Let me tell you what you’ll find here and why.

The big idea for having this site was to have one place for the whole family to have their own space. Whether or not they ever use it, I wanted Trudi and each of the children to have their own webspace. So far I’ve only got Sam’s up and running, but in the days ahead I plan to have a blog for Trudi, Shae, Summer and Sawyer, too.

“What would I do with a blog?” Anything you want. Or nothing. The point is to have to the option. Sam likes creating videos, so his site is video-oriented. Trudi, Shae and Summer like to write, so I will be creating a more traditional writing-type-blog. And Sawyer…I’m not sure, but we’ll do something.

Look around. See what you like and don’t like. Feel free to comment (although the comments are moderated and we might not post your comments.) I’ve been playing around in this web space for awhile, trying to find what will work best. I installed Joomla and WordPress and uninstalled them both and came back to WordPress.

The name was a family consensus. I gave everyone their choice of some names, and they all liked Sarcastic Monkeys the best. Our humor tends to be a little sarcastic. And we’ve always referred to the children as “our monkeys.”

We hope you enjoy our new home.

FinallyFast = FantasticallyStupid [Gator]

File this one under “Commercials I Can’t Stand”.

If it was just dumb, I don’t think I would mention it. If it were crass or boring, I wouldn’t be writing about it. This crosses the line, past stupid, almost to criminal.

I just saw it again, and immediately said to myself – that’s it, I’m writing about this.

The commercial is for FinallyFast.com. It begins with a guy complaining that his new computer is really slow. Then…well, watch this two-minute version, then we’ll talk…

Did you hear the announcer? “Make any computer fast.” Of course, he says that while the text on-screen tells you that FinallyFast is for PC computers only. That means, not Macs.

But, wait…what was it the first guy, the one complaining about his slow computer, was using? An old iMac. And the second person in the commercial was using…a MacBook.

On further inspection, Ascentive, the company touted as having been featured in BusinessWeek and Forbes, WAS indeed featured in Forbes…in 2002…for its program that lets users spy on supposedly private instant messages. That’s right…they were featured for…spyware.

Nice. And evil. And a site and company to avoid.