Thursday, November 24, 2005

Phishing IQ Test

Spammers are coming up with ever increasingly clever ways to part you from your money.  Phishing is when someone sends you an email that is intended to look authentic, but is really designed to trick you into revealing critical aspects of your identity or other confidential information.  These emails are “sent” from places like Ebay, Microsoft, Paypal, banks, credit cards, etc.  Can you spot the difference between the real thing and a fake?  Take the  MailFrontier ’s Phishing IQ Test and see.


I got a 9 out of 10.  How did you score?


Hat tip to Ed Bott


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

English Standard Version Bible for Tablet PC now available...and more to come!

Some of us enjoy reading our Bibles on our tablets.  While the field is still quite young, Rob Bushway has been doing a lot of work developing area.  Rob has just reached an agreement with Good News Publishers to make the ESV available.  If you read his blog and the comments you’ll see additional information about the NIV, developing a stand-alone app for Bible reaching and other good stuff.


I’ve had difficulty thus far getting on the Bible-on-Tablet bus.  First, I personally have deep and abiding loathing for the PlanPlus software (borne out of two separate and full-price purchases that never worked right for me).  I will never, ever buy Plan Plus for any platform ever again.  GoBinder, on the other hand, is a solid, well regarded package.  But, if you’re not a student, GoBinder isn’t something you’re going to run out and purchase just to read your Bible on.  All this explains Robs desire to create a stand-alone product for Bible reading that I’m really hopeful about.


We’ve talked (okay, maybe cross-commented) a little about Onenote’s usability in this regard, especially as both of us are beta-testing the new version.  Thanks Rob for all your hard work on this!


Through a licensing arrangement with Good New Publishers, I’m pleased to announce the availability of the English Standard Version (ESV) for the Tablet PC via . Like previous offerings, this Bible is free.

It has been specially formatted with wide margins and double spacing for notetaking. In addition, it includes the awesome footnotes and red letter formatting that you have come to expect from the ESV Bible. Either GoBinder 2005 or Plan Plus for Windows XP is required.

Download the new Bible here: . After downloading, import it into GoBinder / Plan Plus by going to File / Import and point to the location where you stored it on your local computer. Then specify where you want it imported to. I’d recommend creating a Bible tab and importing it there.

Non GoBinder / Plan Plus users: I am working on another version of the ESV either as a stand alone application or to work in OneNote. If it is a stand alone version, it will be more than a Bible markup tool. I’d like for it to be a general purpose book markup and notetaking tool. More on that later.

Donations are more than welcome to help offset current and future licensing costs, hosting, and future development. Visit to make a donation.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sweet new backup media


Finally a way to store all the missionary pictures and slide shows without running out of HD space.  Of course, if you were ever subject to a 1.6 terabyte missionary slide show you may curse the day this new media was ever released!

Holographic recording technology utilizes intersecting signal and reference laser beams to store data in a number of 3D hologram images capable of saving hundreds of data pages in a single location. One 5 1/4 inch-diameter optical disc can store up to 150 million pages– more than 63 times the capacity of DVD, the companies claim.

Also, with holographic recording, a multiple of form factors, such as discs, cards, and laser wavelengths (red, green, and blue) can be used.

The companies plan to bring holographic media to market by Sept. 2006.

Hat tip to Ed Bott

Saturday, November 19, 2005

OneNote 12 Beta 1 released! (and I'm in)

Chris Pratley has posted that Onenote 12 beta has been released.  I’ve been included in the beta test of it, and I can’t tell you how happy I am about that!!  It’s got a lot of great, new features (which Chris mentions below).  I’m under a non-disclosure agreement, so I can’t talk about it, but so far I’m loving it.  If you’ve ever wondered whether Onenote is right for you, you’re going to love Onenote 12!


Beta 1 of "OneNote 12" (and "Office12") is now available for download for those people who are signed up (you know who you are). This is not a public beta so if you're not already on the beta you are not going to be able to see it. Sorry. If you want to play with pre-release OneNote you'll have another chance in the Spring when we release Beta 2, also called the "preview" release. That release will be much more suitable for people who are not inclined to risk data, crashes, etc. You can register to get the preview here (click "Register Now"). There's more general Office 12 info at that site too, including an RSS feed.

Now, to people who have Beta 1, hold on to your hats.

As has been mentioned in various blog posts, check out a bunch of new capabilities:
1. Multiple notebooks
2. Shared notebooks (multi-user, online/offline no holds barred rich "wiki-like" experience)
3. Sync notebooks between your multiple machines (same as #2 but with yourself only)
4. Hyperlinks between and into/out of notes
5. Instant search
6. Tables
7. Embedded documents
8. Drag and drop of sections, pages, folders, notebooks
9. All images made searchable and indexed using OCR (if they have text in them) 
10. Print documents to OneNote from any application - and these are indexed and searchable too.
11. New ink model (oops - forgot to blog about this one!). Lasso tool, drawing tools, etc.
12. Save as PDF (and "XPS")
13. Live sync of task status with Outlook12 (forgot this one too!)
14. Extensibility (more to come on this)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

FW: OneNote Daily Journal v1.0.1 update

Andy Gray posted an upgrade to his very, very cool OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy.  It’s got some minor bug fixes and is probably worth the download, especially for Thinkpad owner who lack the in/famous Win-key.  He also explains the difficulty with using stationary with the PowerToy.

Thanks for all the comments we’ve received on the OneNote Daily Journal powertoy through blog postings, email, and forums!  Based on your feedback, I made some minor changes to the utility tonight:

  • You can now single-click the icon in the notification area of the task bar, instead of double-clicking it.  This is more consistent with the OneNote Side Note icon, and is slightly more convenient when using a pen on a Tablet PC.
  • You can now select between Windows+J and Ctrl+Alt+J as a hot key to invoke the Daily Journal feature.  This is more convenient for ThinkPad users, who don’t have a Windows key on their keyboards.
  • The powertoy is now omitted from the Alt-Tab task list.
  • Bug fix: the spurious gray rectangle that sometimes appeared on the desktop has been removed.

Daily Journal v1.0.1 is now available on the TabletDev Download page.

Windows AntiSpyware gets a name change and then some

I saw this last week somewhere, but Ed Bott tells us a lot more about what’s going to happen with Windows AntiSpyware.  I’ve been using the beta of this for quite some time and it never comes up with anything.  For a while I also used it in conjunction with Spybot Search & Destroy, but it never came up with anything either (caveat: The internet service I use, though city wide, is behind a big, private network).  Anyway, Windows Defender (the new name for the product) will automatically download updates through Windows Update.  That will save some headaches in trying to keep all your stuff up to date.

In case you’ve been wondering why Windows AntiSpyware has been in beta for what seems like two years (it’s actually been only 10 months), Microsoft’s Steve Dodson spills the beans. Three pieces of news:

The new name is Windows Defender.

It will be integrated into Windows Vista. Steve explains:

You will be able to run another spyware product instead of Windows Defender if you would like. Although I may shed a small tear, you will be able to disable or turn off Windows Defender and install whichever 3rd party anti-spyware application you would like. The really cool thing is that the Windows Security Center in Vista will be redesigned to detect if an Anti-Spyware application such as Windows Defender is running and operating normally.

And it will soon receive signature updates via Automatic Updates rather than through a separate update engine.

More details in a somewhat breathless post at the Anti-Malware Engineering Team blog:

Windows Defender is about what Windows will do for customers, defending them from spyware and other unwanted software. Our solution has really been about more than just the standard definition of “spyware”. We’ve always said we will provide visibility and control, as well as protection, detection and removal from other potentially unwanted software, including rootkits, keystroke loggers and more.

Making the engineering change from “Windows AntiSpyware” to “Windows Defender” took a lot of careful coordination across our team to ensure that the strings in the UI got changed, the help files all got updated, registry keys, file names and properties, as well as a couple of images all got changed. All this work was completed and tested last Thursday, and is currently making its way through our build systems in Windows to make it into the main build environment, where official builds come from. We’re pretty excited by the name, and by the sleek new UI and other improvements we’ve been making in it to help make Windows Vista the best operating system around! But Windows Defender is about a lot more than just a name change. The engine is now moved to a system service, and signatures are delivered over Windows Update. The detection mechanisms have also been radically improved by applying to spyware threats all the great detection technology we use in our antivirus engine.

Also see this follow-up story.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On Technology & Monks

I had an awesome experience over the weekend.  Our family and some friends took a little weekend vacation to Bulgaria.  To most Americans, Bulgaria is probably not high on the list of vacation spots, but it’s a beautiful place.  I’ll write more about the vacation on my other site, “…one missionary in Kosovo,” but I wanted to post about the spiritual implications of the trip.

            Having arrived at the hotel on Thursday, we headed out for the Rila Monastery on Friday.  This was actually our second visit to Rila, the first being last fall.  The monastery was built in the 10th century and continued to function for hundreds of years until it was declared a national historical monument in 1976. 

The paintings and artwork in and around the church are simply spectacular.  The whole place just breathes ancientness, history, permanence.  Visiting this place always reminds me of how long men and women have followed Christ and under what difficult circumstances they served.  The monks who lived here, for example, lived in obscurity far, far away from even the most rudimentary comforts of civilization.  They lived, prayed, worshipped and died way up high in the mountains.  And yet, they painted the types of phenomenal artwork pictured to the left.  Monks still walk the grounds, dressed very much the same way they’ve dressed for hundreds of years.

            On the way home on Sunday we happened by a different monastery.  We simply saw the sign on the road and decided to check it out.  After driving up the mountain for several hundred feet we arrived at a vey different monastery.  This one was brand new.  In fact, it was still under construction.  It consisted of a small building for lodging, some farm buildings and a brand new church.  The church had been provisioned and decorated and even included an assortment of relics.  Here too monks walked the ground, wearing dark beards and wearing simple black robes.  Around the grounds were a number of walking and hiking trails that look out over the valley and the beauty of God’s creation.  Along the paths are a number of simple, wooden benches looking out over particularly fantastic views of Bulgarian countryside.  One trail leads to a small cave, outfitted with a bench, icon and candle-holders.

Now, I’m an evangelical Christian. I’m an ordained minister by the Christian & Missionary Alliance.  I was raised by fairly conservative parents in fairly conservative churches.  But I continue to find a powerful presence in eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries.  I’m not saying I find some mystic, spiritual power…though there may be some of that.  Rather, I find in them places of profound commitment, artistry and commitment to God.  These men spend their lives in simplicity, worship and prayer.  Their lives are manifestations of “a long obedience in the same direction.”

What in the world does this have to do with technology?  I very much enjoy technology.  I’m completely taken by my Tablet PC.  I’ve used a Palm device for nearly ten years.  I’ve been using PC’s in some form for nearly for 25 years  I enjoy listening to podcasts and I subscribe to just about ninety RSS feeds.  In short, I’m about as geeked out as any vocational-ministry person you’ll meet.  And yet, I am again challenged by lives and the life-style I witnessed over the weekend.  It’s not my first visit up close to traditions other than my own,  but it’s been a powerful reminder about the life of faith and how exactly God works in our lives.

We have to create space in our lives for God to work.  Sometimes all my technological gadget…most of which really do help me get work done faster and cleaner…keep me from opening up space in my life for quietness, solitude and the other ancient disciplines.  These disciplines are the keys to living completely free in Christ.  They’re the training that enables me to live the life Christ has intended me to live.  A friend recently mentioned that while I’m highly productive, I just use the time I’ve won back by being productive to do more work.  That struck me and I was struck again by the simplicity of the monks lives this weekend that I need to continue to create the space necessary for the Lord to work in my life.


Monday, November 07, 2005

GetRightPro 6.0 Beta with podcast support!

I have a persistent irritation.  It doesn’t involve my difficulties with my adopted culture or language (thought they both have their share).  It doesn’t have to do with my ministry, though that happens from time to time.  It goes like this:  Two days ago I finished downloading a number of podcasts that I enjoy.  I’ve configured MediaPlayer to sync with my Sony CLIE TH55 so I synced my CLIE and went outside to haul firewood up to our apartment…it’s beginning to get cold here!  I’d downloaded the latest couple of History Podcasts on the Balkans.  Hey, that’s where I live!  At any rate, I loaded up my firewood carrier and began to haul firewood only to find out that my podcasts ended after 2-3 minutes.  Crud.

Back in the early days of podcasting (14 months ago) I tried a number of clients, none of which seemed to work right.  So I ended up simply downloading the podcasts I wanted directly out of my Newsgator add-in for Outlook.  For about a year I’ve been using GetRight to actually manage those downloads for me, and it’s worked well.  In fact, I’m fairly taken with it.    Why?

  1. I can schedule downloads.  With my internet connection I have to be able to schedule downloads during the nighttime hours.
  2. I can pause and resume most downloads (where those servers support it).
  3. It has good support for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  4. I know exactly how big the download is, and how much is left to download at any given point.

Now GetRight has released Beta 4 of their latest version 6.0 release.  One feature of the upgrade really caught my eye.  Version 6.0 is adding podcast support!  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with both iPodder Lemon and Doppler  (again) and still haven’t gotten them to work properly.  In both cases the programs report that the podcasts have been downloaded when, in fact, they hadn’t.  I don’t know why, though I’ve explored the forums.  I’m sure that there is a rational reason, but with both those clients there is little transparency into the actual download process.  With the GetRight podcast support we have full transparency of the process and the ability to schedule the downloads.  I know as the download starts how large it is and when the WHOLE podcasts has downloaded.  So far I am only trial-ing one of my feeds, but I’m loving what I’m seeing.  Check it out.




New OneNote PowerToy for Journal/Journaling

I picked this up from TabletPCBuzz over the weekend.  Wow!  This is really a handy tool.  I’ve experimented with a number of different tools for journaling.  I’ve also experimented with various ways of journaling.  For years I kept a journal of my spiritual life.  It was, and is, a fantastic way to track your walk with God and to trace the threads of his voice speaking into your life.  During this period I used MS Word exclusively.  It is ubiquitous, password-able, and easy to back up.  I frequently look back at these entries and remember the things the Lord was teaching me over that period.  The most significant are probably my entries at the end of my dad’s long battle against prostrate cancer.  God taught me a lot during that experience.

            I have also used OneNote to journal a fair bit, but in my pre-tablet days.  It didn’t last long.  It was a little bit cumbersome and I didn’t have the notebook “metaphor” firmly enough in my mind to organize it well.  Next I have used Outlook Notes to journal.  I did this for quite a while during my early days of GTD implementation.  In this case I wasn’t doing spiritual journaling, but keeping track of tasks done, projects, etc.  That worked well because it synced nicely with my Sony CLIE TH55.  With AcroWiki on the Palm side I could easily search and hyperlink from various days to project notes, etc.  ,I could add journal entries from a café, etc and have them sync to my laptop back home.  In the end, though, this became a little cumbersome because Outlook Notes is arguably the least developed aspect of the Outlook product.  My most recent attempt was triggered by the Moleskine craze a while back.  I bought a Moleskine went back to paper and pen.  I still use my Moleskine a lot, but I don’t do much journaling in it.  I can just type so much faster than I can write.  But writing also triggers my creative side in a way that typing doesn’t.

            So now I’m back to OneNote and this new PowerToy.  I really enjoy journaling, but I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit over the last couple of years.  With my tablet and OneNote, however, whole new possibilities emerge.  With it I gain the sheer text-input power of the keyboard and the creative, meditative aspects of the pen.  Installation of the PowerToy is a snap and it’s configurable in a number of ways.  You can format your dates anyway you like, for instance, and I’ve set mine up for the European convention (DD-MM-YY).  If you’re a OneNote user and enjoy jounaling, I’ll bet you’ll find this worth a look.

OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy

The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy permits a user to quickly jump to date-organized pages in OneNote, creating them as needed.

Many people like to keep a daily work log, journal, or "Daily Record of Events" (in FranklinCovey parlance).  With its powerful note features, a hierarchical binder metaphor, search capabilities, note flags, and ink support on Tablet PCs, OneNote is ideal for this task in many ways.  However, navigation to a designated journal page can require several mouse clicks, particularly if you have previously navigated to other folders and sections within OneNote.  The Daily Journal PowerToy makes access to a journal page for the current day as effortless as the creation of a new Side Note.

The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy facilitates creation and navigation of date-organized pages in OneNote.  When the feature is invoked, it creates (if necessary) and displays a page in OneNote corresponding to today's date.  The first time that the Daily Journal is run on a given date, a new page will be created and displayed; on subsequent invocations on that same date, the previously-created page will be displayed.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Great experience in a board meeting & Lenovo's profits on the rise.

Lenovo, the maker of the Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC is seeing good returns this quarter.  In some ways I’m not surprised.  I’m becoming more and more pleased with my Tablet and the difference it makes in my word flow.  I’ve chaired a few meetings since I got it, but yesterday was the first one outside my own organization.  We were all crammed in a little room because of maintenance going on in the board room.  Because we were using someone’s office we ended up sitting on nice comfy couches and chairs.  Other board members were trying to balance their laptops on their knees.  I was easily able to take notes, look up reference material in Onenote, and annotate an annual budget in Excel.  It was a wonderful feeling.


Good news coming from Lenovo (via Edinburgh Evening News):

LENOVO, the Chinese company which earlier this year acquired computer giant IBM's PC-making business, has seen a better-than-expected 22 per cent rise in quarterly profits.

The Beijing-based firm, which now ranks as the third biggest PC-maker in the world, raked in profits of some £25.8 million for the three months to the end of September.

Shipments of innovative Lenovo PC products, introduced after the acquisition of IBM's loss-making PC unit in May, grew 13 per cent during the three-month period, industry reports said.

This growth rate was fuelled by the demand for such products as the ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC and the model refresh of the ThinkCentre desktop PC line.

Hat tip to Rob Bushway