Monthly Archives: December 2010

Picasa and Dropbox syncing/backup solutions

I take lots of photos and have found Picasa to be a great photo management solution. In one program I can edit the photos, give them captions, and upload them to Picasa Web Albums. However, this great program has one huge drawback as far as I’m concerned.

I use two computers, a desktop and my laptop. I basically want things to stay in sync between the two computers so I can work on a Document at home or on the run. I want my most important files to be backed up so I can recover from a crash if necessary.

One of the things I do on vacation is each evening as I wind down I off load all the photos I’ve taken during the day, cull them, edit them, and write captions for them while they’re fresh on my mind. When I’m back in internet range, I want my laptop Picasa to sync with my desktop. In other words, I want to use either computer anytime and have them stay in sync.

Picasa is the nifty photo solution, but the developers have totally ignored the basic fact of life that people use more than one computer. That’s where Dropbox comes in.

I won’t walk you through this, but instead, I’ll point you to where I got the information. Look at the post from Joel P. in this thread. I also got some good info here.

I will mention that I also moved My Photos into the Dropbox folder. Then, I told Picasa to “watch” that folder and I make sure I upload new photos to that directory.

The result of all this:
1. I can edit photos on either computer and the other will sync.
2. I have incremental backups of everything via Dropbox.

As always, let me add that if you don’t have a free DropBox account account and use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.

Reflections on 40 years of sermon preparation

It’s funny how decisions made early in one’s career get carried forward for decades. In my early preaching I wanted to “hide” my sermon notes in my Bible (not to be deceptive, just so I could hold my Bible in hand and preach without having to carry a notebook too). I turned the page sideways and typed the sermon outline in two columns, creating a page one and page two. I then folded the page in half and used a rubber band to hold it in my Bible in the same place as my text.

That didn’t work very well because it was hard on the binding of the Bible. Over time, I moved the sermon outline to a notebook that holds the paper with a clip on top. It is the same length and width of the average Bible. I kept the landscape/two column outline approach. Ultimately, I went to a fuller outline and ended up filling front and back of a letter sized sheet of paper, but still using two columns – creating “4” pages of sermon notes.

If you are still with me, looking back, had I not wanted to hide my notes in my Bible I probably wouldn’t have gone with the landscape, two column approach that I’ve now used around 40 years!

I’ll add this: using a manuscript or decent outline is invaluable for revisiting passages. I very seldom just re-preach a sermon, but having exhaustive material from a previous sermon is invaluable to an every Sunday preacher.

Sometimes going back and reviewing old material is quite humbling to me and I’m tempted to write a letter of apology to a previous congregation. At other times, I’m amazed at how the Lord was helping me in those days with insights that are still valuable to me today.

In general, I think I turned a corner around 40 years of age. Work I did after that is generally more to my liking than what I did in my 20s and 30s. Maybe at 45 or so I finally grew up (not kidding here).

Free Dropbox Upgrades

The awesome free Dropbox service comes with 2 Gigs of storage right off.  Once you start using it, you’ll find all kinds of uses for this service that automatically backs up data, seamlessly syncs files between computers, let’s you publish selected files to a public folder, and allows you to share specific folders with select users.  In other words, you’re likely going to need more than 2 Gigs!  Of course, you can buy additional storage, but the service also offers some free upgrades.  For instance, if you don’t have a free DropBox account account and  use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.

There are also some easy upgrades you can get for simply linking your facebook account to Dropbox or writing a short “why I like Dropbox” line or two.  Check it out here.

Trying out Firefox 4.0 Beta 7

After fooling with Chrome for a week or two I ended up back on Firefox. Chrome feels faster but it lacks some addons that I really like.

I decided today to install Firefox 4.0 Beta 7 and see what the hype is about.

It has a few new features like a built in sync feature that will keep bookmarks synced, etc. You can now pin tabs like in Chrome and move the tab bar if you want.

Mostly, though, it’s faster. I’ve seen some graphs that show Chrome to still be faster, but I can’t really tell it just by using the browser as I usually use it.

I think Firefox has a winner on it’s hands with Firefox 4.0 and I’m looking forward to seeing it come out of Beta – should be any day now.