Killing the Internet

The Internet was built on the idea of freely proliferated information and knowledge. The government wants to put an end to that TODAY with the passing of PIPA and SOPA.

When leading worship

I was working on a project tonight with some music playing in the background and my mind wandered to our worship team at church. Most are young and still growing spiritually. I consider it a blessing to be able to pour into them what has been poured into me, but it can be frustrating at times. As I thought about some recent discussions I had with a few of them, I felt compelled to write an email to them. Below is what I wrote, and I felt it needed to be shared.
When you sing or play, as we lead the church into worship together, be confident in the words that are being sung.
Understand that this is truth being spoken into every ear that hears, every mind that listens and every heart that it reaches.
Take a moment and forget what you have practiced.
Forget the melody.
Forget the harmony.
Forget the chords.
Forget the rhythm.
Seek the truth in the song.
Get lost in it.
Let the Spirit lead you to sing a new song, one that has been given to you and no one else.
Let Him lead you to play a new chord, one that you have never practiced.
Let His presence define a new rhythm, one that has not been heard before.
What He does in that moment is unique to what He is doing at that time.
It cannot be mimicked, cannot be duplicated.
But if you seek Him and His truth, and you will find it and it will be new and refreshing.

Installing Mac OS X 10.6.6 on VirtualBox

For my fellow tech geeks. This is a brief summary of the steps I had to take to get Mac OS X 10.6.6 working on a virtual machine on an Ubuntu server. These instruction are slightly modified from instruction i found in this article.
  1. Install Virtual Box
  2. Get EmpireEFI
  3. Create VM with EFI disabled on the machine. I chose 20GB HD with 1GB RAM. (Having the virtual disk on a separate disk is optimal)
  4. Boot the VM to EmpireEFI ISO
  5. When prompted, unmount EmpireEFI and mount 10.6.6 CD. Press F5, select the OSX CD and hit Enter.
  6. Open Disk Utility, select the disk and create a new partition.
  7. Close Disk Utility and continue the installation.
  8. When it asks to reboot, be sure to boot to the EmpireEFI ISO first, then mount the OSX CD, select the hard drive (not CD) and press Enter to continue the installation.
  9. Once installation is complete, remount the EmpireEFI ISO and install the post-installation package.

All in all, a lot simpler than expected. There was no need for a hacked CD or anything. Occasionally it may not boot right, but a simple reboot or three usually fixes that.

A box of unix

This past week I setup a Unix server in my basement. This is a little new for me, but a lot of fun. Just some notes below with some things I found quite useful.

  • cp -a works better than plain cp to preserve creation dates and such
  • RAID: specifically fakeRAID/mobo RAID. Create the RAID, create the partition (preferably in unix, installing X and using gparted makes it so much easier), use a label (maybe), add the partition to /etc/fstab, mount the volume.
  • comparing directory structures for missing files: diff -r /dirA /dirB | grep Only
  • Installing X and vncviewer helps a lot, but lets not keep vnc running when not in use. disable X from autoboot if possible
  • samba4 is alpha. don’t use it unless you enjoy pain or just don’t want to deal with it. samba3 is solid.
  • ushare for XBOX360 accessibility and DLNA/media sharing
  • putty ftw
  • 2TB may not be enough for two media hogs to share…

A moment of your mind

Take this moment to pause
and think
about where your walk with God has taken you.

Think about church
and your experiences within.

What are your early thoughts
and memories
of going to church
being a part of the church?

How has that changed?

Why has it changed?

What is one word
or phrase
or paragraph
you might use to describe
the direction that our generation
of Christians
is headed
or should be headed toward?

Where does the future
of the church lie?

How do we avoid the mistakes of the past
and head toward a church
as Christ intended
for our generation
and for our children’s generation?

Just take a moment and write it all down.

It’s all pointless

“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:11 (ESV)

What’s the point of what we do? What is our drive? Our reasoning? Our motivation?

Does it make you happy? Are you satisfied?

Solomon, the king of Israel, the person who was granted all wisdom by God, found all he did to be meaningless.

The work of his hands – meaningless.

The entertaining and pleasurable things – meaningless.

His own great and unsurpassed wisdom – meaningless.

We live, we work, we die, and all is forgotten.

Seems a bit melodramatic, but it’s a place we’ve all been at one time in our lives. The time when we look at ourselves, our lives, our future and ask:

“What’s the point?!”

And Solomon observes:

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” – Ecclesiastes 2:24,25 (ESV)

It is God who has given us these things to do, and we take pleasure in the duty that God has given us.

Because of Him we take pleasure in what we do.

In Him, we find meaning for our lives.

The coal-miner’s strings

Newtone strings w/ Yamaha F730SI don’t like Elixir guitar strings. Something about the way they sound. If you put Elixir strings on, your guitar tends to sound like a great guitar. In fact, it sounds like every guitar with Elixir strings. And i don’t like that sound, it’s just not full enough. Too tinny and fake-ish.

I also don’t like the idea that my strings are coated with chemicals that my precious guitar would be exposed to consistently. So I don’t buy Elixir strings. I once received a FREE full set of Elixir ultra thin nanoweb light gauge (.012) strings for testing through Taylor. Nine months later, they sit here unopened and untouched. It’s not that I didn’t want to test them. I fully intended to try them out and compare the sound to my current strings, but I didn’t want to risk losing the sound I had.

What strings do I use? I’m glad you asked.

I’ve made a lot of changes in string choices, but in the recent years I’ve been discovering round-core strings. Your basic acoustic string, E through G, is made by wrapping phosphor bronze or nickel or other material around a central core. Nowadays it’s all done by machine on a hexagonal core, like Elixirs. The advantage of round-core is a theoretically better sustain then a hex core which “digs” in to the winding. I say “theoretically” because I don’t know of any actual scientific proof and some say hex core gives better sustain because of the digging in. It’s a debate that continues to rage on in forums across the interwebs. I think round-core makes more sense.

My first foray into this new world was with DR Sunbeams. They sounded great from the start but after several weeks the tone and sustain got dead quickly.

Nowadays I play with Newtone guitar strings. Even more specifically Newtone Master Class Nickel strings. They are round-core and handmade in the UK by a former coal-miner! And I’ve grown to love the nickel plated strings. Like most strings they sound pretty bright at first, but after a week or so of playing the tone gets to a nice warm, natural sound. The ones I had on were on for over a year, and I only changed them because I wanted to try some new Newtone Double-wound strings in a different gauge.

My guitar of choice is a Yamaha F730S. No fancy electronics or anything, just a great full-size acoustic guitar with a great sound. I may drop a LR Baggs pickup in eventually, but it’s fine for what I need right now.

You can hear what the guitar sounds like with the Newtone MC Nickel strings in the videos below. Their not great recordings, but it’ll give you an idea of how it the guitar/string combo sounds.