Friday, January 18, 2008

MacBook Air - One Less Burden in Ministry

If you haven't already seen it, jump down to and check out the MacBook Air. It is a cool new, ultra-lightweight, ultra-thin MacBook with a shiny, taut aluminum skin.

If you're tempted to bite into this wicked looking fruit, you might want to think of your ministry needs and concerns before doing so. Part of the reason is that you are paying a premium for looks so you can gauge your flock's response to a computer in designer duds.

This beauty is designed for people who love the look, can live in a wireless world, and have minimal need for optical media. There are a few things that you can do to overcome those moments when an all-wireless situation is not possible, such as networking (you gotta buy an affordable adapter), or when you need multiple USB devices (use a portable hub, they're cheap too).

But if you need Firewire, such as connecting up to a so-equipped digital video camera, you will have to look elsewhere.

Otherwise, the MacBook Air would be a great travel companion that doesn't conspire to make us all one-armed neanderthals like most notebooks. Ministry has enough burdens as it is already.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

ProPresenter Rocks!

I just did two back to back youth conferences using ProPresenter for the first time and the software really rocked! As the main guy to switch between Keynote, DVD, and ProPresenter, everything worked smoothly as it should have. The only glitches were operator error and experience will fix some of those. But both venues reported a much improved lyric presentation and asked me back for next year.

One of those conferences involved over 3,000 students with By the Tree, who led them in a weekend of worship. The band often just followed the Spirit in the songs that they often sung and at one point, I was switching between the choruses of two different songs that they were singing in an amazing mashup! And it was cool because the video guys used a luma key so I could present the lyrics in the bottom third of the screen over live IMAG video.

One funny story is that I had a DVD cued up in ProPresenter to play halfway into a service. The video started to play just fine along with the audio but after a minute, my wakeup software that automatically launches and plays iTunes came on and took over the audio. I had incorrectly set my alarm time so it was my fault completely. It's one of those caveats of using a computer that isn't totally dedicated for presentations.