Thursday, July 30, 2009

Basketball

Hey guys, I'm looking to start up a regular basketball thing going every Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Around 3pm every Sat and Sun, at Auckland Grammar. Just turn up and play.

The idea will be that people may not be able to make one of the two days and can go to the other. Enthusiasts can go to both. It may also rain on one of the days and so hopefully one of the days will be good to play.

See you on the court!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open Source Home Group

Tonight, Kathy and I attended the Young Professionals homegroup from ACPC (Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Church). I call it the Open Source home group or the Mozilla Home group because it is led by Robert O'Callahan at his Mozilla office in New Market (above Lone Star). I guess it was fitting for Mozilla to open up their office for our use.

I enjoyed the evening, which started off with Kathy and myself rushing to get there and stuffing ourselves with something to eat quickly for fear that the evening would end late and we would starve and we were going to be very late. Only to arrive and pizza was provided, also free so very Open Source indeed. (But I must add that Microsoft .Net User groups offer free beer and pizza too).

Although it was not an actual bible study, we studied the work of A.W. Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy, where we discussed the attributes of God. The main thing that stood out for me from Tozer's work, was that because God is infinite, His attributes are also infinite, in number and magnitude. And also God doesn't "have" attributes, He is His attributes. God doesn't have the attribute of Love, Kindness, Patience... He is love, He is Kind, He is Patience.

Of course no biblical discussion would be complete without the sidetracking. Also covered was the never-possible-to-truly-comprehend idea of predestination and free will. Did Judas Iscariot have a choice in betraying Jesus? Someone had to do it if God had prophesied right? If he hadn't done it, Jesus wouldn't be able to fulfill His destiny and save mankind. Why did God create Him for this purpose? How could a loving God create someone knowing they would be destined for Hell? Although the answer is not easy, it starts with realizing that the choice was still Judas' to make. We cannot blame God for Judas' actions any more than we can blame our parents for our actions. Even when our parents know what we are about to do, the responsibility still falls on us.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shall not take the Lord's name in vain

The 3rd commandment; You shall not take the Lord's name in vain. Most people who interpret this commandment as not swearing and saying "God" in a "bad" way. This would apply to sayings such as "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ" often said in frustration or swearing. Sometimes the word God is used when taking oaths, for example "I swear to God!". Although I agree that these usages are indeed taking the Lord's name in vain, I do think the commandment calls for much, much more.

In Exodus 39:30 the priests were given a crown with the inscription "Holy to the Lord". Imagine walking around with the something like that on your forehead all day! You would essentially be claiming to be a servant of God. You would be in a sense "representing God's name". If that's the case, everything you say, everything you do, even everything you think about, you do in God's name.

You shall not take the Lord's name in vain. Do your actions, speech, and thoughts defile God's name?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recession and Redundancy

When will this recession end? A few months ago, it seemed to have hit the bottom, but now it seems to have stayed there. Sure there have been reports that we were on the rise, with a few reports that house prices and sales were picking up. But I think many of those were red hearings where sellers were finally reluctanly agreeing to a lowered price which met with the increased demand from buyers thinking they would get a bargain.

And several months on from when my company decided to go to a 4 day working week, the boss announced that the company has reached a critical state. He was quoted as saying "The past few months were spent trying to save jobs but now we need to save the company". Basically 15 cuts across the company need to be made and my department had been the most unprofitable. So how can an employee who loves his job help the company? I understand my boss' situation, if we don't make cuts the whole company will go down, and he's been trying his hardest to keep jobs for the past 4 months.

How has your company reacted in these economically troubling times? What ideas have you got for cutting costs and raising revenue?

Another interesting thought crossed my mind... If Jesus was in my situation, what would he do? There is very little written in the Bible of His time spent as a carpenter, but I wonder whether He encountered a recession? Did He need to work longer hours and find creative ways to earn an income? Was He as anxious as us worrying about where His next meal will come from?

Stormtrooper Cubee


Now I have two of these CubeeCraft guys sitting on the computer at my office. These guys are just so fun to make and look at :):)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Build a PC

A little while ago I posted a PC build which I was seriously considering, in the end I bought it with a few minor tweaks. I got a E8400 instead of the E7400 CPU, and the ATI 4870 over the ATI 4850 graphics card. Computer Lounge also gave me a free motherboard upgrade from a P43 chipset to the P45 because they were out of stock. I was very pleased with that, and they are now my favourite shop for computer stuff, absolutely no hassles, they got the order overnight and delivered the next day.

I assembled my computer from parts, as this gives you far more control over exactly what components you use and you are able to build precisely the computer you want. Sometimes you can get cheaper package deals but I found that the brands are often “cheaper” and even the same component can come in many “flavours” for example the VanTec 500W power supply comes with a larger 13.5” fan providing a quieter solution, and it has sleeved cabling and easy-clip-on plugs.


After you have assembled all your parts and made sure everything is there and in order, you should start reading the instructions. Start with the case, and the motherboard, and move onto the CPU. Connect up the motherboard onto the case first (this is the hardest part and will differ significantly depending on your case) Once you have that sorted, stick the CPU and Heat Sink onto the motherboard. Your CPU should come with a standard Heat Sink. Next if you haven’t already, you will need to hook up all the jumpers and cables from the case onto the motherboard.


Once you finish that step, it’s all downhill. Connect up the RAM, the power supply, the Optical drives and Hard Disk Drives, the Graphics Card. And you’re good to go.





Monday, July 6, 2009

CubeeCraft

I cannot believe the simple awesomeness of these paper toys, you just have to go check this site out. If you have children, getting them to do some simple crafts will be far far better than letting them spend all day on the computer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thinking about this PC Build...

CPU:

INTEL CORE 2 DUO E7400 2.8GHZ 3MB 1066MHZ LGA775
*EDIT*
INTEL CORE 2 DUO E8400 3.00GHZ 6MB 1333MHZ 45NM LGA775

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8GHZ 3MB 1066MHz LGA775


Motherboard:

ASUS P5QL EPU INTEL P43 DDR2 ATX PCI-E
*EDIT*

ASUS P5Q SE PLUS INTEL P45 DDR2 ATX PCI-E
Ram:

SUPERTALENT 4GB (2X2GB) DDR2-800 PC6400 DUAL CHANNEL 5-5-5-15
SuperTalent 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 PC6400 Dual Channel 5-5-5-15

Graphics Card:

HIS ATI HD4850 ICEQ4 TURBO (OVERCLOCKED) 512MB HDCP PCI-E



HIS ATI HD4850 IceQ4 Turbo (overclocked) 512MB HDCP PCI-E

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=7883

*EDIT*

ASUS ATI EAH4870 DARK KNIGHT 512MB DDR5 PCI-E














http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=8513


Hard Drive:

WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 1TB 32MB CACHE SATAII

Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 32MB Cache SATAII
Case:

ENERMAX CHAKRA MID TOWER CASE NO PSU

Enermax Chakra Mid Tower Case No PSU

Power Supply:

VANTEC VAN-520C 520W ION2 PLUS,135MM SILENT FAN, NVIDIA SLI READY

Vantec VAN-520C 520W ION2 Plus,135mm Silent Fan, nVIDIA SLI Ready

Optical:

SAMSUNG SH-S223F 22X SPEED BLACK DVD WRITER OEM
Samsung SH-S223F 22X Speed Black DVD Writer OEM

Swine Flu!

This past week I have been hit by the flu! Yes the Swine Flu! Nah just kidding, just plain old borring seasonal flu. I must have caught it somehow at somepoint on Sunday. I woke up on Monday feeling a bit of a sore throat, and by evening, I really felt it coming on.

On Tuesday Morning, I awoke to a headache and fever. Although I did go to work, I had to go home again after 2 hours because I just couldn't concentrate. By late afternoon, I was suffering chills, making me shiver non stop despite wearing 5 layers and being under 2 thick blankets in my bed. So I slept from around 4 to 6, 6 to 9, 9 to midnight, midnight till 9 am.

Wednesday morning, I wokeup thinking "ok so one day should be enough to recover!" and was about to get up and get ready for work... but before I barely lifted my head, I was feeling that headache again. Even today, I get a bit dizzy walking around. So on that morning I decided to go see the doctors! I was thinking to myself "This must be the first time in maybe 5-10 years since I actually needed to go to the doctors!" The doctor just told me it was likely to be seasonal flu and that they don't do the tests for swine flu, and even the people that do the tests only do it for people who are seriously ill. So in short she gave me some information I already knew, and prescribed me some medicine: Amoxycillin Trihydrate, and some paracetamol. The medicine instantly helped kill the fever so it was all worth it.

By Wednesday evening I was feeling 85% again, and today (Saturday) I am probably close to 95% health. Hurray for the antibiotics!


PS: An interesting side note, about half the people in my company were sick this last week, all seemed to have caught similar flu like symptoms over the weekend, the office was pretty empty.