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LinkStream

Google might not be evil, but they fight dirty

A desperate move to try to keep the iPad and iPad 2 from continuing to kick sand in the faces of the Android-tablet crowd.

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ThoughtStream

Doing my part [Gator]

[Warning: for those that are bored by computer-talk, especially as pertains to software and the iPhone, this post…and the ones to follow…are not for you. You’ve been warned.]

Apple is currently counting towards the billionth download from their iPhone app store. I know I’ve done my part. Ever since the update of the iPhone last summer, when the App Store opened, there have been an ever-increasing variety of cool and useful apps. Most of the ones I choose are free.

Currently we are restricted to nine pages of apps. At 16 per page, plus the four on the bottom bar, that means you can have a total of 148 apps on your iPhone at any one time. I don’t have that many, but I do have 102.

So, as a public service…um, okay, whatever…here are all 102 of my apps, why I have them, why I do or don’t use them, and anything else that might help you decide to add them to your phone or not.

I’ve organized my nine pages from most important to least important, mostly. And the four most critical apps are on my home row – the row at the bottom that appears on every page.

We start with the least important, on…

Page Nine
The apps on this page made it here for one very important reason – I don’t use them. It doesn’t mean they’re bad or useless…necessarily. But I don’t use them. Ever. So why are they here at all? Why haven’t I deleted them? Well…I MIGHT use them. Maybe. Sometime. Okay, I know I won’t, but I can’t bring myself to delete them.

There are some apps I have deleted. Some good ones, too. Probably the best one I’ve deleted is the Masters app. But the Masters is over, so I won’t need it. There were a couple NCAA Basketball Tournament apps I deleted, too.

As for these apps, the top row contains four Twitter apps that all have some great features and work quite well, though somewhat differently from each other. In fact, at one time I was using all four of them, in order to manage my different Twitter accounts (follow me at Twitter.com/TimMcDaniel.) Probably my favorite of the four was Twitterific. All four of them are free.

UReport is a free Fox News app, that allows you to submit news stories to Fox. Never used it.

SmileDialLite is a neat little free app that does one thing – it allows you to store the photo of one of your contacts with their contact information. Then, when you start the program, you see your contact’s photo full-screen, and when you tap the bottom half of the picture, it dials their phone number. If you tap the top half, it will send them a text. Of course, this has limited appeal, since you can only store one person. SmileDial Pro allows multiple people for $3.99. Nice gimmick, but I don’t need it.

Lightsaber is the official Star Wars app. Cool, but I don’t use it. (It’s free.)

Air Sharing is probably the most useful app I never use. It allows you to wirelessly move files from your computer to your iPhone and vice-versa. It works. It’s easy. Why don’t I use it? Um…I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because I don’t usually need to. But it’s there in case I do.

I got Air Sharing for free, during an introductory offer. Now it costs $4.99 through the App Store.

You’ll notice that at the bottom of my screen, in my home row, are my four most critical apps, and they’re not the four that Apple pre-determined should be my four most critical apps.

Okay, three out of four are. The Phone, Safari, and iPod apps are far and away the most important things about the iPhone, because, well, it IS a phone, the internet is always important, and, as much as it’s a phone, it’s also an iPod.

The fourth app in my home row is one of the few apps I’ve paid for. It’s also the reason the other four Twitter apps ended up on the ninth page. Tweetie is $2.99, and it takes the place of the other apps mainly because it handles multiple accounts. I update my Twitter status – and also my Facebook status via Twitter – many times a day. I also have Twitter accounts for the church (Twitter.com/FaithAssembly), my BibleQuizPodcast (Twitter.com/BQPodcast), and a couple of others, so this has become an important app.

Next: The 8 on page 8.

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ThoughtStream

That criminal software thing [Mc]

Trudi said something the other day about “that criminal software thing you posted about.” She was talking about a status update I had on Facebook concerning the latest MacHeist.

If you don’t know, MacHeist is a promotion involving a number of Mac software developers who are offering there software at a greatly reduced price as part of the MacHeist 3 Bundle. This version of the Bundle includes a wide variety of utility and specialty applications. Some of them are very useful, such as photo editor Acorn and recording utility Wire Tap Studio. I was really excited about Kinemac, a professional 3D animation app, which regularly sells for $299.

At present there are nine applications with a total value of $601.80, available in the Bundle for only $39. That’s the price for all nine together, not the price for each one. That’s an incredible value, especially if you have a need for a few of these applications.

And the catch? Actually, I wouldn’t call it a catch – just a bonus. As I said, at present there are nine applications in the Bundle. When the Bundle was released (a few days ago) there were only eight. The catch is that when total sales of the Bundle reach a certain pre-determined point, they unlock more apps. Currently, we are waiting for the next unlock point, which is $400k. When sales hit that point, BoinxTV will be released.

That’s why I’m writing this post, because I really would like that program. It’s actually something I looked at for the church, but at $199, it was a little too much. But it looks great. So, if you have a Mac, and you like really good software at insanely cheap prices, go take a look.

The other thing about MacHeist is that 25% of every sale is donated to charity. You get to pick, from a list of 10 charities, where your donation will go.

Of course, if you’ve never heard of MacHeist, then you probably have never heard of the MacHeist controversy. In a nutshell, the people don’t like MacHeist think it’s unfair to the developers, that they are being robbed, and by purchasing the Bundle, consumers are being mean and dirty and cheap and favoring the big, bad marketer over the innocent, pure developer.

One blogger actually said, “Put it this way: would you rather pay $10 to Universal Music Group for a music album, or $15 directly to the band in question?”

This might not be obvious to you – as it wasn’t to me – but his answer is that we should spend more because the creator would get more.

Um…whatever.

So…I’m not going to link to that blogger, because he offered that piece of advice to me for free. Instead I’ll link to Apple, since his blog is hosted on their servers and they paid a lot of money for those servers so that he would have the ability to post idiotic, link-bait, gibberish like that. (And I’ll also link to John Gruber, where I got the link to the blogger’s blog.)

In the meantime, I’m going to download SousChef and see how Trudi likes it.

[Update: I should also mention that the applications in the Bundle aren’t trial, demo, or previous versions of the software. They are full, up-to-date versions. In fact, SousChef is a new version as of the release of the Bundle, as are a couple of others.]

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ThoughtStream

A library in your pocket [Gator]

One of the coolest gadgets out there is getting updated. The updated Amazon Kindle, now version 2, was announced today. The first version was widely criticized for its clunky appearance, but actual users seemed to love their Kindle.

Version 2 actually looks kind of cool. What is it, you ask? It’s a web-enabled, anywhere, anytime, book-reader. It allows you to download books and magazines and other web content quickly. It will even read it to you.

UPDATE: 2/10/9…new links.

Blogs on Fire

Procrastination gets me every time.

Back in December I purchased the MacHeist – a collection of software offered through MacZot that was only $49 for 10 applications. However, I didn’t download or install any of them. I was waiting for the new iMac to come out since I thought I would be buying one for the house and I would install these applications on it.

Of course, the iMac wasn’t upgraded in January like I thought it would, and when they finally were upgraded a few weeks ago, I didn’t have the money to buy one.

So this week I’ve been downloaded and installing these ten apps for my Powerbook and I wish I done it sooner. My favorite app has been NewsFire. It’s a great app for reading blogs and I could have mentioned it to my workshop class.

I guess I’m mentioning it now.

Ministry on My iPod – Links and Notes

It was great fun to present the workshop at the ACMC. If you have any questions, let me know. You are also welcomed to post comments here on the blog.

Contact info: [email protected]

If you look on the right side of the main page of this blog, you will see my podcasts, as well as some of the podcasts I like. You will also find some other blogs that I read.

Good email
Gmail.com

Social networking
MySpace.com; FaceBook.com; Twitter.com; SecondLife.com; Jaiku.com
and I also mentioned YouTube and Flickr

Blogs I mentioned
Political – Instapundit
Mainstream Media – USA Today
Technology – Engadget
Christian – Evotional by Mark Batterson; God-Life-Stuff by Mark Lunsford

The Scrooge Blog
www.FaithNFM.com/Scrooge

Blogging sources
WordPress – and the WordPress software for your own site
Blogger
TypePad

Hosting providers
APlus.net
GoDaddy.com
DreamHost.com
Libsyn.com – free bandwidth

Podcast Aggregators (the software that lets you subscribe to a podcast)
Juice
Doppler
iTunes

It’s listed among the podcasts I like, but I would highly recommend Podcast411, both the website and the podcast. It is a great resource for you to begin or improve your podcast. I would also recommend a book by the Podcast411 creator, Rob Walch and co-author Mur Lafferty, entitled Tricks of the Podcasting Masters.

As I said at the beginning of the workshop, I’m a user, not an expert. I’d love to hear from you and what you are developing in the blogging/podcasting world for your ministry.

Workshop Notes and Links

Thanks to everyone that came to the “Ministry on My iPod” workshop on Friday or Saturday. I hope you learned some things to help in your ministries. I know I learned a few things in the process of presenting the workshop.

I am currently working on the links and notes from the session. I am also working on a video using the presentation slides that I will post here when it is ready. Thanks for your patience.

Headed to Lakeland

I’ll be in Lakeland this weekend for the All Church Ministries Convention, hosted by Lakeland Victory and generated by the Pen. Florida Assemblies of God.

I am teaching workshops on blogging/podcasting (yes, some in the class are looking at this right now) and Bible Quiz.

The blogging/podcasting workshop will be in the Media Center at 1:40pm Friday and 11:45am Saturday. The Bible Quiz workshop and Teen Bible Quiz coaches meeting will be in Room FLC 110 on Saturday.

For the “Ministry on My iPod” class, here’s an example of using a YouTube video in your blog. (It’s an old video we posted several months ago.)

Season 2 Begins

Finally got the 2nd Season of the Bible Quiz Podcast off the ground. I made some cosmetic changes to the show and I’m trying to focus more on Assemblies of God quizzing for the new season.

This is an example of a very niche podcast, and something I will be bringing up in my Blogging/Podcasting workshop at the Pen. Florida All Church Ministries Convention this weekend. My workshop is called “Ministry on My iPod” and the emphasis is on trying to get churches into the 21st century.

Fortunately, I have a list of good podcasts and blogs to point people to – without having them look at my pitiful offerings.

Inspirational

Before I got my iPhone, I had been highly anticipating the ability to listen and watch podcasts on the phone. I previously had an iPod Shuffle, which lost a battle with a sharp object, rendering it useless. When I had the Shuffle, I had been able to listen to podcasts while grocery shopping. (Grocery shopping? you say. That’s a story for some other time.)

But I also have video podcasts that I subscribe to, and I wanted to get a video iPod, then they announced the iPhone. So I’ve been waiting.

Alas…some video podcasts do not work on the iPhone. Formatting issues.

However, I very much enjoy the ones I get to watch. Which brings me to the subject of this post. Even though the podcast I’m going to tell you about isn’t a video podcast at all, but simply a good audio podcast.

The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary has a couple of podcasts and I’ve been listening to the Chapel service podcast. Very inspirational. I especially liked the message by Earl Creps from October 2006. Check it out if you get the chance.

Poll is closing soon

Thanks to you if you voted on the Web Site poll. Time is running out, so please vote before it’s too late. Thanks, again

Hello

Yesterday was a good day. Today might be even better.

Sam and I went with our friend, Gene, to Miami last night to see the Braves and Marlins. Sam and I are big Braves fans. Gene is a Yankees fan, but loves baseball. We had GREAT seats. (Section 142, Row 1, Seats 5-7). Gene gets the tickets, I drive and buy dinner.

The only drawback was that we had planned this months ago. As it turned out, this was also the day of the big iPhone release, I was seriously considered getting one, but then June 29th ended up being the release day, and I was going to a baseball game.

Oh, well. Baseball first.

The Braves hammered the Marlins, 12-3. We had a great time, getting back home just after midnight.

So, this morning I went out to see if there were iPhones left. At minimum I wanted to hold one in the store and try it out.

First stop – the AT&T store in Cape Coral. It is the closest to home. They were out. So, I crossed the bridge into Fort Myers and headed to the Fort Myers AT&T store.

Again, no luck.

I called Trudi (with an in-store iPhone, because I had inadvertently left my phone at home) and she offered to call the Apple Store in Coconut Point to see if they had any left.

While I was waiting, I was listening to a VERY disgruntled new iPhone customer complaining about not being able to sync to iTunes like he was supposed to, and the AT&T manager trying to explain that iTunes is Apple software and she has no way to help him with that.

I stood there remembering some of the negative posts I read before leaving the house, and wondered if it was even a good idea to get one yet.

But, in the end, I ended up going to the Apple Store, where the phones must have been plentiful. And, yes, I ended up purchasing this very expensive phone.

And, yes, it is very cool. The picture was taken with the phone’s camera. Not a great camera, but I wish I had had it at the ball game last night.

Our Place

No picture with this post – but there is a new poll!

The question I asked myself was – if our family were to have a website, what would the name be?

For some reason – I can’t remember why – I went to bed last night wondering if my name was available as a dot com domain. That is, is TimMcDaniel.com available? (It’s not, although no website comes up when you go there.) How about McDaniel.com? (No.)

That made me ponder…if our family – me, Trudi, Shae, Sam, Summer, and Sawyer – were to have their own web site, what would it be called? So, I set some ground rules…

– It would be a .com – not a .net, .org, or any other dot something. A website with a .com just sounds better.
– It has to be relatively short. You don’t want to have to enter a long name. That eliminates TimTrudiShaeSamSummerSawyerMcDaniel.com. That was Summer’s first suggestion. (It’s available.)
– It has to be easy to understand when you say it. You don’t want to have to spell it out every time you say it. FamMcDan.com is short, but you would definitely have to spell it out when you’re telling someone about it. (Say it out loud. See?)
– It has to be easy to spell. Shae’s favorite was MassPandemonium.com. Could you spell it without looking at it?
– It has to relate to our family somehow.
– It has to be available.

With those basic ground rules, I came up with a short list of possibilities and created a poll for everyone to vote on. That’s what you see on the right side of this page. Here is a brief explanation or comment on each choice.

– McDanielTribe. I think that was a Shae suggestion.
– McDanielNation. Like GatorNation.
– McDanielCentral. Basic.
– McDanielSix. It’s already Trudi’s web address, so we have a connection.
– TimandTrudi. Eventually the kids will be gone and have their own web sites.
– GatorMonkeys. On the other hand, they’re still here, and they’ve always been my little monkeys.
– SixMcs. Pronounced “sixmix”, thereby violating rule #3, but it sounds nice.
– Other. That’s what you choose when you have a better idea.

So?

Please vote. I’d love to know what you think. And if you come up with a better name, let me know. Either send me an email or post it in the comments. Don’t know that we’ll ever use it, but it’ll be fun for me to think about.

(The poll generator lets you vote once a day. The poll results page comes with ads…not mine, just part of the poll generator.)

Better Fonts

Happy Mother’s Day.

My mom (and dad) were here for the afternoon. Dad wanted to watch the end of the Player’s Championship (golf) and Mom wanted to see us. Okay, I’m sure Dad wanted to see us, too…I think.

But do you care about all that?

What IS interesting is a tip I heard on MacBreak Weekly about ComicBookFonts. These are great looking fonts, and it challenged me to do a better job with the fonts we use in Sunday services. I wanted to buy a few of the fonts at the ComicBookFonts web site, but didn’t want to spend the money.

Fortunately, I have about 4000 fonts already on my Mac. (Yes, that’s way too many. Microsoft Office has a cow every time I open a document.) But I have no idea what they all are. I’ve been spending time this weekend getting to know them. So far my favorite is Bolton Sans. That’s the font I’m using in the blog header.

I just wish Blogger would give me more options on fonts to use in this blog.

(At least I didn’t lose $747,000 like poor Sean O’Hair did today. Wait a minute…did I say poor? The guy still won over $200,000. Slightly better than I did today.)