We all know things are changing but this gives us a clue as to just how much.

Some points of agreement:

– I find myself using the net for entertainment much more than TV these days

– I use my phone for probably half of my time online

An funnily enough although I use facebook a lot I am not on twitter. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad decision but it probably depends on what you hope to accomplish. At the moment facebook does it for me.


12 Months With An iPhone


I have had my iPhone for just over 12 months now. I know because when the volume button fell off I rang up to get it replaced and I was a week too late… oops…

This really is one impressive little tool and I thought I’d highlight what I like about it as well as what I don’t

The Good

Diversity – I use mine for everything from email, to personal finances, to playing scrabble

Wifi/Net – Great to be able to have access almost anywhere anytime

Screen – great size and visibility

Synching – I synch with Outlook, Google Calendar and Dropbox and it does a great job

App Store – there is such a diverse range of apps for almost every imaginable need. (I just downloaded a ‘Vehicle Log’ app for recording my business kms for tax purposes).

The Bad

Camera – the quality is crappy

Itunes – I don’t think its very simple to use

The Case – my case has cracks and crazing all thru it. I don’t think it will be a problem getting another 12 months out of it, but it doesn’t look good – and that’s with a full case over it for the whole time

Battery life – it’d be great to have about 3 times the battery life…

My Most Used Apps


– a blog newsreader. I read most of my feeds on the phone now

Notes – I use this nearly everyday and it syncs with Outlook. I usually write ideas or do quotes with it.

Maps – I use it nearly every day to find customers homes. It was great when we were travelling as the GPS was sometimes out of date.

Coastalwatch – surf reports, with video and still images. Great for daydreaming…

Facebook – works well and saves me booting up the laptop

CashTrails – we are currently tracking our spending and income. This is a brilliant little tool for that.

Pocket Weather – great weather reports with rain radar and synoptic charts

AutoStitch – good tool for creating panoramic photos

Around me – this has been a life saver at time. Where is the nearest Bunnings?… Ask the phone…

IceTV – a local TV guide on my phone so I don’t need to get Saturday’s paper now

GPS Sport – great for tracking where you have been. When I delivery retic flyers it shows me where I have been and how far I have walked. I’m sure its much more use to bushwalkers. You can use it to chart where you parked your car if you are worried you might get lost!

Scrabble – fun on the ‘normal’ setting, but I always get my butt kicked when I try to play against the phone on ‘hard’ setting.

Dropbox – a great way to synch hard drive with phone for essential items

Its a pretty damn sophisticated little piece of equipment and if you are willing to take the time to learn how it works it can be very very useful. i just hope I don’t ever lose it now!

I have been known to make the odd phone call on it too…)

So… Why Can’t You Tell Me Who You Are?…

Lately I’ve been getting increasingly concerned about anonymous blogging and commenting.

I’ve been blogging for seven years now and while I do it under the ‘backyardmissionary’ moniker, its not hard to work out who I am, where I live and what I do. That is intentional. I offer my thoughts and reflections on issues and I am happy to stand by them or correct them if I am wrong. There have been several occasions over the last 7 years where I have posted apologies or have removed other posts as a result of being asked to re-think my position on an issue.

The problem with anonymous blogging and commenting is that in my opinion it lacks real conviction and courage. Its easy to offer all sorts of opinions from a place of anonymity, but it takes a lot more thought and reflection to do it from a position of visibility and accountability. When people know who you are it affects what you write.

I am aware that even as I post this some will challenge what I am say and perhaps even be offended at it. I am happy to hear your perspective. You are welcome to try and persuade me differently. But I am tired of people who can crow loudly and vehemently so long as no one knows who they really are.

So feel free to comment but if you are an anonymous commenter then your comment will get deleted.

Great Free Software

A few weeks back I did a ‘factory reset’ on my laptop and in the process discovered that my photoshop software disc is corrupt, so I have been pondering ever since what to do. A real bugger when its a program you use a lot…

So when this offer came along you can guess who was smiling!

I’m always wary of anything that looks too good to be true, but this looks like the real deal. if you’re chasing some great software here’s a way to get hold of it free.

For the month of July, an initiative has been developed by BA Software with the support of their partners, friends and members to give away licenses for three software titles.

You can choose between:

Microsoft® Windows Vista UltimateMicrosoft® Windows Vista Ultimate (UPGRADE with SP1)

Adobe Photoshop CS3Adobe Photoshop CS3 (including optional plug-ins, sample files, textures, web swatches and stock photography)

VMware Workstation 6VMware Workstation 6 for Windows

So how do you get yours?

For website owners or bloggers:

* Write an article about the offer on your site and be sure to link to back to the BA Software article.

* Subscribe to the BA Software website for updates via email.

* Stumble and review the BA Software article.

If you don’t blog or have your own website:

* Write at least five quality reviews (or comments) for five distinct software titles listed on the BA Software website.

* Subscribe to the BA Software website for updates via email.

* Stumble and review the BA Software article.

Once you’ve finished, send an email to from the same email you used to subscribe to their email updates.

In that email you should include:

* Where you’ve posted about the offer on your site.

* Your StumbleUpon nick name.

* Which one of the three software titles you’d like.

The license for the software will be emailed to you after 48 hours.

Anyway, I’ll let you know the outcome.

I don’t get excited about ‘too good to be true’ offers until they materialise, but in this case I live in hope!

download house of 9

What the F- – – – – – – K!

One day I woke up and had all these emails asking me to be a ‘friend’ on facebook

As is my gentle nature, I was too polite to refuse… wouldn’t want to hurt any feelings out there… Now I have all these ‘friends’ and a facebook profile but I’m still figuring out the point of the whole thing.

I haven’t got a ‘myspace’ account, but it seems that I have almost been defaulted into facebook because some people have emailed me and signed me up.

Its an interesting phenomenon and one I think will grow and grow because even the ‘disinterested’ like me almost get no choice in the matter, but have to sign up. (I don’t mind really – all you people who are feeling annoyed at me!)

However if you are like me who wonder what the hell its all about this little vid here helped. From thunk speed movie download

So you can call me your friend on facebook if you like.. or not…

Are Blogs Toxic?

I rarely have people say this to my face, but I seem to hear it around the place a little more often than I’d like.

It seems that in some folk’s estimation it isn‘t ok to ask questions of current church practices or to express an opinion that is non-conformist. The phrase that I seem to hear most often is ‘blogs are toxic’, as if to suggest the expression of an alternative point of view is somehow dangerous… or poisonous…

I’m happy to hear the arguments on both sides of this coin, so if you’d like to contribute then I am all ears. By having a blog its obvious where I sit – but if you are a covert critic then maybe you should swallow a few courage pills and express an opinion… (publicly where you will be held accountable)

Are blogs toxic and divisive? Or are they a way for people (who may often not be heard) to express their view?

What makes a blog toxic?

What is the problem with having a minority view?…

What are you worried might happen?…

FWIW I believe blogs are one of the most open, vulnerable and transparent forms of communication available today. If you don’t like what is said then you are welcome to comment and influence the conversation. The blogger allows for comments and disagreement and sometimes needs to adjust their own position in light of comment.

Seems pretty fair to me…


Well – life is back to usual here on the blog.

It seems that the database file was badly corrupted, hence the weird look and inability to comment. Justin has fixed it but unfortunately all comments are lost. Its a bit of a bummer but maybe a reminder that there are many bigger things in life than a blog.

I don’t know about you, but I rarely read back over comments. Its a shame those who join a conversation late don’t get to see what others have said, but… that’s life sometimes!

Excrement occurs.


A big thanks to Phil who pointed me in the direction of Foldershare, a back up system that kicks butt and is way better than any DVD or external hard drive.

The basic idea is that you synch your computer with another computer and you are able to replicate files on your own hard drive on the remote computer. While you are online the computer’s check each other out and make sure they match up.

So my back up is now on Danelle’s computer, hopefully a fairly safe option. It means that any work I do on her computer will ultimately end up on mine as well.

A fantastic system – and best of all – its free…