Technology at GRN

GRN have an issue of Inside Tracks dedicated to technology - see

We assist GRN with management of their Australian servers and the US ones as needs be. 

Is Crosscape an Apostolic Service Provider?

I came across this article (Introducing the "ApNet": a 21st Century Approach to Apostolic Ministry in the November-December 2006 issue of Mission Frontiers. I've attached the PDF as well.

The article talks about Apostolic Service Providers (ASP), basically outsourcers of the various roles performed by traditional mission agencies, such as IT, HR, member care, fund raising, printing etc, letting the agency focus on what it does best.

Now, in business, this restructure has been happening for some time. But missions tend to be more conservative and tend to lag behind in such trends. This may also be indicator that leadership of suh organisations may tend to be of an older generation. Anyway, the generations are changing and I have seen this change happen in at least one organisation.

The USD100 laptop is coming...;550610574;fp;524288;fpid;1

Quanta are now starting to produce their first USD100 laptops, and the open source community are are rediscovering good programming that doesn't depend on heaps of RAM and fast CPUs.

You can read the details of the One Laptop per Child project at

Is this a project Christians should be supporting. Where it is appropriate to culture, I think so. Children will need to understand technology and computers in the future, and makin

Getting ready for IPv6

There is a new web site out there to determine how ready Australia is for IPv6 -

The focus of the web site is mainly e-business, but I'm sure missions will need to track this soon enough. It is early days, and at the moment they are just try to determine the readiness of the industry, but we should be considering these issues when building networks, at least substantial networks.

Why building a community web site is so hard

Anyone who has tried to get a community site working (as I have with ICTA-AU and will undertsand the 90-9-1 rule

- 90% are lurkers
- 9% contribute occasionally, and
- 1% account for most of the contributions.

Jakob Nielsen, the usability expert, has written on this phenomon toay.

Very interesting. He has some ideas on how to address it, but it does seem that all you can do is skew things to include more people, rather than getting all to contribute.

SME and IDE tape backups

At the moment and are in a state of flux, so I'll document this here for now....

with SMEserver 7.0 you now need to use the ide-scsi module for tape drive support, and you need to turn off DMA, and I suspect you may need to run the non-SMP kernel, but that needs further testing. Without the turning off DMA you are forced to access the device in 512 byte blocks which breaks tar backups, since it wants to write in block size 0...

To turn off dma on ide and use ide-scsi you want to edit /etc/grub.conf to read something like

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-34.0.2.EL ro root=LABEL=/1 ide=nodma hdc=ide-scsi

The Cyber missionary of the future

The Momentum Magazine for July/August has a interesting futurisitic article on what it might be like to be a missionary in 2081. Some of the technology may be a bit far fetched, but some of the ideas aren't. Have a read...

It is interesting how they describe handling objectionable material. A problem we have at the momentis actually identifying objectional material, so we can't do anything like it, but would you be willing to reduce your filtering as the main character did?


Well, I'm back now. The last 2.5 weeks seemed to last a long time, lots happened. I am now back where the air is clean, the sky is blue, not hazy, the water is clean, my family is here, I sleep in my bed, I don't have to select a meal from interestingly translated menus, and rice isn't the staple food! And I don't have to pack any time soon. The streets are less crowded too. But the food costs more. And I shouldn't greet people by say 'Sa wai di krup'!

So what were the highlights of the trip?

Well, Alan and mine overlapped, but here are mine.

* Fixing 3 out of 4 computers for International Teams in Bangkok, when they hadn't had anything working for 5 months.

* Visiting a conference of 120-140 workers in a very large country. It was sobering to realise that all had given up a lot for this work, and many of them had young families. Being used by God to fix a dozen laptops in 2 hours while not feeling well was also good.

* Meeting an answer to prayer. An Aussie at another conference investigating moving to Chiang Mai to teach programming as part of a Computer Science course at the Unis there. Students need to learn how to be engineers, rather than working by rote. The Thai educational system doesn't do this well.

* Helping FEBC in Bangkok. There is no trustworth Christian IT support in the city. Some help is available from Chiang Mai, but they really need someone there. Visitors like us can only do so much. We also had an opportunity to work closer with Thais, rather than westerners or Filipinos. We also allowed one of them to sleep better at night by providing a means to backup the server.

Did we achieve what we set out to do?

David in Singapore

Alan and I separated on Sunday morning. While he saw some of the sights of Singapore I moved into the OMF guesthouse. I then attended St George's Anglican Church with the Cooper family. We then travelled back to their condominium where Chinese New Year was to be celebrated.

<img src='tiki-view_blog_post_image.php?imgId=20' border='0' alt='Singapore at Night' />

I left my camera in the unit, so I don't have photos of the flag pole balancing (about 30 foot pole in a breeze, nor the lion dancing. It appears that everything about Chinese New Year relates to propsperity and fortune. They clean out their houses before hand to greet it, but then don't seep during new year to avoid sweeping out the good luck. The lion dancing is also realted. Those very keen paid for the dancers to visit their homes and visit each room. Similarly money is given to children and madarins are shared to bring good luck.


Well, both David and Alan are back home now.  David has only just arrived, and since I have been back a couple of days now, there's a good chance that I will make more sense than David today.  (:biggrin:)  I suspect he'll stop by here and add a few more comments in a day or two.

We did spend some time in Singapore en-route home.  Aside from time spent in debrief, my time there was spent as a tourist.  Singapore is a beautiful city.  In many respects, it is difficult to differentiate from my home town of Melbourne at first glance.  Tree-lined streets and green open spaces were something that I had missed in Thailand, and they were a striking feature of Singapore.

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