Sunday, August 29, 2004


Well one of my friends from Navs sent me an invite to gmail, googles new email service, which is currently undergoing testing. It's caused quite a fuss in some parts with lots of people trying to get invites for a variety of reasons. It's quite nice, the interface is clean and quick and has a few nice features that other free email providers don't offer.

The main ones are.
  • Users are allowed 1Gb of email storage space.
  • Good spam filtering.
  • Nice clean interface.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can import your current contact lists from quite a number of different programs.
  • I'll mention it again the interface is nice and clean and loads real quick!
  • Threading for messages. eg it links replies to the original email so you can follow the conversation easier etc.
  • It's currently in limited testing so you can still get good email address's unlike hotmail and the others where all the good ones are taken, and your left with ones like (note that isn't my email address it's just and example).
The down sides are.

  • The text only ad's which target things your interested in. eg Should you send lots of emails discussing a certain author or book you might end up with a couple of small ad's down the side that link to sites where you can buy those books or more books by that author.
Not that, that's a major downside the ad's are small, text only things and use the same colours as the rest of the site, so they don't stand out! And the scanning of the email to determine the ad type is done by computer so humans never see what your've written. Which probably puts it on equal footing with the rest of the free email services available, except they don't state if they scan the email.

Any way for some reason, either that google's trying to increase the number of testers, or they liked the suggestion I made to improve something, I've some invites that I can give out to any of you people who are interested.

So if you want a new spam free email address, with 1GB of storage and a nice clean easy to use interface let me know.
Making a comment with a current email address then deleting it it's probably the best option as I'll get a copy of the comment sent to me. Either that or let me know at church or some other time. And I'll send you the invite. Note hotmail address's won't work as hotmail blocks all gmail invites. So use your student one. If you don't have anything but a hotmail address let me know as I can give you a link directly.

Note if you don't know me please don't bother posting I don't have that many invites.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sketches of a Soul.

My Faith.

Faith underlies my very being it's what my entire world view, belief and character are based on. Faith in God, that he exists, created us some how, Sent Christ to die for us and that Christ then rose from the dead.

Faith in God is at the basis of my thoughts it is the foundation of my desire to know things, to see God's glory and might revealed in all that I see and learn. To see God in all things, the wonder of the world and existence as seen through the scientific perspectives with the millions and millions of tiny things that make up larger things, which in turn make up larger things.

To look at a Tree and comprehend/see that it consists of trillions and trillions of sub atomic particles assembled together to form the atom's held together by forces humans barely understand in prefect order and harmony, atom's linking up to form the molecules, Ring structures, lines, links, chains, interlinking joining together to form the macro molecules, DNA, RNA, proteins, lipid's with there odd and complex forms, structures and abilities which combine to form organelles. The organelles grouped together to form cells, items more complex than any thing ever constructed by man some living, some dead linked into tissues with specific purposes, structural, transport, production, growth and reproduction all joined together to form a tree an single thing to our view something ordinary and boring something that you see standing in the garden, along the road, in a forest all so ordinary. Yet to stop and thing and marvel at the design and to see what God has created or brought into existence.

Lord to see that more often! To be able to comprend such things where ever I went, rather than as rare brief flashs!

Faith is what keeps the fear of death from tainting and poisoning my life for I have faith there is more than nothing awaiting.

Faith in God shapes my action when I let, producing all that is good in me but oh it is so easy to forget to over rule the implications of ones faith to ignore what is right, true and good, to do as we wish turning a blind eye to the consequences.

Faith must grow for only with the growth of faith can I grow. Lord let my faith grow I pray.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Random Stuff #1 Feelings and Other Stuff.

Is it just me or do many of us guy's seem to have problems discussing what we are feeling are we afraid of exposing the dark and gloomy depths of our souls and mind the insecurities and weaknesses we hide? Afraid of expose that which is "weak" and "pitiful" to our friends and families? Afraid that our core self would scare and disturb our friends and families?

Why I wonder for we cannot grow and strengthen with out light, some of us put our hope in God then refuse to open up to those he may/or has sent to help us, other bury it deep and let it fester and grow changing us and affecting our actions and interactions with our fellow beings and God.

I note this seems "some what" less of a problem among those of the fairer sex, Why?

Why do we have this tendency to close up and keep our deepest and darkest thoughts, our problems and troubles to our selves struggling to fight a war we can not win for we fight for both sides divided against our selves.

We call on God for help and allow him to help us in many ways but bits we keep to our selves rejecting God and his will in those areas, Why? With time and growth in faith and knowledge of God we open up more allowing God more control, but few if any can give up total control and honestly admit that God controls every facet and corner of there soul, body and actions.

Is it cultural I wonder? Spiritual for sure. Genetic? Nature vs Nurture?

Is it innately human? For Adam and Eve displayed it in the garden to some extent listening to the serpent and eating the fruit of there own choice failing to consult with God even though they new what they did was wrong. Was the sin eating the fruit? Or in the rejection of God in considering to eat the fruit?

Faith, faith in God and the Chance some perhaps if it still matters at that time to face/bow before God in heaven above and ask, Why oh Lord?

This rambles but thoughts would be welcome on all the questions for I doubt we know the answer to many of them.

- Does the ability or the ease in discussing feelings differ between Male and Female?
- If so why, what causes this difference, Culture, Genetics, Nature or Nurture?
- The Spiritual and interpersonal problems this can cause?
- What can be done about it? By our selves and with God?
- Finally should we attempt to open up our feelings and thoughts more to others and if there is a difference between males and females is it beneficial to smudge the differences in this area?

Again any other "Whys" are free to be talked about if you wish and have the time.

Thanks and God Bless.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Spybot Search and Destroy

Here is a quickish suggestion/recomendation for all you windows users.

One of the major problems with Windows these days are programs called spyware.They're little programs that are installed by website or by adware software you download to try out on your computer.

What they do is run hidden in the background of your computer monitering what you do with your computer what websites you visit and how often. Then they either report this to the company that made the software or start to pop ad's up (pop ups) when your browsing the internet they can also do other things well such as changing your web browser homepage, adding shortcuts to your favorites and desktop that take you to online casinos, pornsites, web browsers, dialing up 0900 or international numbers when your not using your computer, steal the passwords for the online sites you visit (including banks) and other similar things or they may do nothing except monitor what your doing.

These things are annoying but its the other problem they cause which can be even more annoying. Many of these little programs are VERY badly written or designed and can slow your computer down a lot, cause it to crash or simply cause various problems for other programs you try to install or use.

Once the apps are installed though (and if you use the computer to connect to the Internet they will be) they're much harder to get rid of. This is were a number of free ad ware/spyware removal programs come in, Spybot Search and Destroy being one of the better. What these programs do is scan your computer for installations of the spyware programs and remove them for you. This can lead to some quite dramatic reductions in problems with Windows.

So here is how to get Spybot Search and destroy and use it to clean up your computer.

First go here and click on one of the "download here" buttons to download the app it's about 4.2MB so will take about 10-15mins if you use a 56K modem to connect to the Internet. Once it's downloaded install it. Then once it's installed it will either run depending on what options you choose or you'll need to run it. Once it's running it will ask to make a back up of the register which is generally a good idea which if you decided to do (you should!) will take a couple of mins and longer on older computers. After that's done click next and It'll ask you get "scan for updates" click on it and then once that's finished click "Download updates". It'll download the updates then click next again. Here it will ask to immunize the System probably worth doing click next again and then start using the program (you could read the help stuff there if you wanted) then on the left bar click search and destroy and then in the main window search for problems. This will take a while as there are over 15,000 problems it checks for. Once it's finished scanning the computer it will list any problems it's found to fix them then click "fix problems". Some of them it may not be able to fix right away and if so it will ask you to allow it to scan the computer next time you restart/Turn it on. This is worth doing so click yes.
Then next time you restart the computer it will scan for and remove the remaining problems.

I'd suggest you scan the computer every month or two as the programs install them selves pretty fast.

To stop these little programs there are several things you can do with one of the most effective to simply use a non IE (Internet Explorer) web browser. This makes it alot harder for the programs to install them selves. Combined with using another non Outlook or Outlook Express email client this can also make it hard for viruses and worms to infect your computer.

Some of the best alternative browsers and webclients are
Web Browsers:
Firefox: web browser a 4.7MB download for windows.
Mozilla: a web browser and Email suite 12MB
Opera: web browser and mail client

Firefox and Mozilla are free while Opera charges for the full version of it's web browser. I'd personally recomend Firefox for simple web browsing and Mozilla for WebBrowsing and Email.

Thunderbird: Email Client
Mozilla Mail: part of the Mozilla Suite above.
Opera Mail: part of Opera above.

All are good email apps Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail especially I'd recomend Thunderbird is designed to complement Firefox and replace Mozilla Mail. It features very good junk mail filtering and various other nice features that aren't available for IE and Outlook or Outlook Express.

Quick note don't bother trying this on the uni computers.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Random Stuff #0.

Couple of randoms things I've come across recently one is a rather funny pointed lyric about Christian Rock music.

Some might think my hair is too long
Some might fear the beat of this song
So much religion, so many rules
But this is us and we are tools

He calls us to be free
Enjoy that freedom, friends
In time, we all shall see
Where man-made rules end

I might offend you by how I look
But God will not, according to His book
It's by our fruit that we will be judged
To show the world Jesus love

So keep the sheep together
No matter if one's shaved
Cause the wool means nothing
For all Christ came to save

I respect old-fashioned ways
Let's come together in His grace
Lord help us all to understand
How you can use a hard rock band

It makes the point quite well that it's not our (human) job to judge in the end it's God that matters and will deliver the Judgment that is required. More info can be found here.

Also being reading a book on "The Later Roman empire" lately is about the Roman Empire in the 300's-500's AD currently just reading through the summary/analysis of the sources the author draws from it's interesting to see the bias's the author Identifies in the various historic writters of that period and the probems caused by gaps of 40+ years where there are no surviving origional writtings to draw from. Of course no doubt the Author of the book has there own bias's no doubt better concelled than the ones that She points out.
This particualr period of history has a fair bit of interest from a christian point of view as it marks the beging's of Christianity as the official religion or one of the official religions of the Roman empire.

Any way thats enough for now.

Group photo Sunday afternoon.

Group photo Sunday afternoon. Posted by Hello

Andrew leaving the Womens toilets.

Andrew leaving the woman's toilets after hearing us plan an ambush with a camera outside them. Unfortunately he managed to cover up the sign on the door just as Jared took the photo. Posted by Hello


Well camp was fun a fair number of people went along ~ 17 from CU and one ICFer with the rest from Lincoln and Otago all up there where probably 40-50 people there (it varied abit). The location was quite nice and the main room fairly warm. The bad stuff was the room assigned to us guys. It was a fairly large octagonal room off to one side of the main building. Having a concrete, no heating (part from the 6 bar oil filled someone provided) a massive old cupboard in the middle of the room and a number of cast iron (or something similar) bunks around the edges with a wire mesh/fence like base. The mattresses where very basic and soft foam things and the combination resulted a sort of U shaped bed when you lay down. The wire base also had a habit of making quite a racket when ever you moved around not to mention moving would cause some of the bunk to sway around and clunk into each other. These combined with a rather humerus late night discussion resulted in little sleep for a number of people and promoted several to sleep the next night on the floor in the main building. Also the bunk room didn't have enough beds for every the resulting being that most of the Lincolnites had to sleep on the floor on spare mattresses in the bunk room, I must mention though that 20+ guy's in a room generate enough heat to keep the room warmish.
The other lovely thing about our (males) accommodation's where the toilet and shower facilities assigned to us. When we first walked into the place it smelt like something had curled up and died in there. Then noted the facilities 2 toilets a urinal and two attempts at showers, shower heads stuck on a wall with a couple of wooden sides sticking out and some sort of curtain thing at the end. with what appear to be abit of painted packing crate for standing on or something hanging at the bottom.
The Girls on the other hand were rather lucky they where assigned the fairly modern cabins at the other end of the camp each with it's own toilet and shower. As a result they seem to have managed to get a decent amount of sleep and have showers.
Apart from that though the things weren't too bad. The food was good though it seemed some what less than last year. Roast for tea with Club sandwiches for one lunch and sausages for the second.
The speakers where fairly good as well.
Jean? the south Island head of one of the missionary groups spoke first on missions on the Saturday morning and was reasonably interesting.
The Pastor for one of the Lincoln churches (baptist?) spoke next going over a couple of meditation exercisers thing's which seemed abit new agey to me.

Val Gould (amazing I managed to spell it right) then spoke in the Saturday evening and Sunday morning meetings on outreach (she really likes interactive stuff doesn't she!). Saturday evening she focused on testimonies keeping them short sweet and effective and how they should leave the person listening thinking about God not us which was a good point. She also got us to at articles in the newspaper and see if we could find related or semi related verses to support our view on each article. After which she pointed out the general negative slant on many of the verses chosen as well as that many had been taken out of context and several only applied to Christian not the general populace the final thought she posed was about what sort of stuff we need to point out about Christianity and god when talking to non believers and what order might be best in which to do so. I can't remember either the details of the order though.
Sunday morning she spoke again about outreach stuff but I can't remember the details.
Apart from the speakers quite abit happened at camp. Friday evening was mainly talking and a mix of odd games and alot of talking. e.g. Mu/Mew? not sure how that's spelt a rather amusing card game which several people were talked into playing, the name game with choosing random names and guessing who was who etc.
Saturday afternoon involved Andre at his corny best with a number of the exec helping out running a random Olympics involving such things as eating dry wheatbix and rolled oats, seeing how many times we could manage to fold a sheet in half and successfully get 6 people from our group to balance on it, the group I was in managed 6 the winning group "9" times, other such fun events were caring a member of our group around the field as fast as possible while they were holding a bucket of water and trying to spill as little as possible.
Later that evening when it got dark another game was run by Andre and co involving "bible smuggling" at the domain down the road which was fun but cold accept for the blackberries which we tried to sneak through on one side of the domain.
After that finished (11 something) more cards and a lot more talking occurred as well as some settlers (I didn't play in that game yes unusual I know).
Sunday was sleep in till 9am which was nice not much apart from the Val speaking occurred though and after lunch we packed up and left.
Another thing thing that should be mentioned was Brehaut and a lincoln guy played the music for most of the worship after the normal lincoln band managed to effectively disable them selves during some skiing or something a day or so before the camp. So congratulations to Brehaut for managing that at what was probably rather short notice.
Any way overall a good time was had by most I'm sure and I certainly at least enjoyed it.
Also one thing to note is Tim Weir managed to acquire a cell phone some how so now there's another number to collect for those who are interested and leaves Andre as one of the few remaining people in CU to get one. If you want Tim's number leave a comment and I'll stick it up for you I'm sure he'd enjoy a number of random texts :).
Any way here is a few photo's from camp thanks to Jared.