Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Article: Nick's Software Picks

Our team has had the privilege of serving many hundreds of ministries nationwide as network engineers and consultants. In those roles we have found that some software works better in church and ministry offices than others. We have also found that some software seems to be more trouble-free than others. It is with that perspective that we make the recommendations in this article.

Click here for a free PDF download!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Office 2008 12.2.0 Update Problem

Entourage will not run on some Macs after installing the Office 2008 12.2.0 update. Microsoft has not yet acknowledged or addressed the problem. All of the other Office programs run, just not Entourage. (This is not due to running the EWS beta; it was not installed.)

To get back up and running, I had to restore the MS Office application folder from Time Machine. After doing so I tried running the update installation again and had the exact same problem, so restored 12.1.9 again. I think I'll stay there until MS figures this one out.

A thread has begun in the Mactopia forum, click here to access or add to it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Solar Power Bummer!

Primarily to save money on power, but also because it's a good thing to do, we contracted with SolarCity to install a solar power generating system on our roof. We contracted for a fairly large system: 5.25kw! It was to be installed by the end of this summer.

SolarCity's engineer came to do his field work in preparation for drawing up the plans for the city permit. While here he observed that our roof-- which is in great condition and has many years of life left-- was installed on top of the previous roof. Because the previous roof was wood shingles, SolarCity later told us that unless we re-roof, they won't install a system for us. The engineer told us this is a new company policy that was set in place after we signed our contract.

Our choice was to re-roof, or cancel our contract with them.

Our roof is not uneven or wavy... it is very flat. In fact, we didn't even know that the asphalt shingles are on top of the old wood shingles! Buyer beware! This felt like an up-sale, we felt ripped off.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tired of Bein' Angry

Our church began a new series last night, and the first topic was Managing Your Emotions, taught by Harold Bullock. It was very good (thanks, Harold!).

Even before it began I realized that I'd been angry for awhile. As I thought it through, I identified two primary things that were getting me so mad: the economy and recent directions made by our federal government.

The economy is hurting most of us. Blame whomever you'd like; it doesn't matter: most of us are feeling it and making changes in our lives to accommodate less cash flow. I've been going out to eat much less, putting off buying a replacement pair of Levi's, checking books out from the library instead of buying them, riding my bike as much as possible, etc. These are all good things, and I'm not complaining... but changes in lifestyle always meet emotional resistance, and are thus not comfortable.

Our country is spending like there's no end to the money supply (something that's true if you can print as much as you need, I guess), and nearly all of what they've spent has been benefiting a few rather than stimulating the economy. As I've researched the issues, I'm astounded at what the truth is in what they're doing, and I believe it is really hurting the U.S.' future. In fact, I don't believe we'll ever be able to recover; that's how bad what they're doing is.

Both of these combined to make me a very unhappy guy. And that meant my anger was always barely below the surface of my heart. Trust me: that is exhausting! Exhausting to me, and to everyone who has spent much time with me recently.

So I've changed a couple of things:
  • Regarding the economy: I decided to focus on God's provision and manage positively rather than focus on the negative economy. I can already feel the difference that decision is making.
  • regarding politics: I decided to stop focusing so much on politics. If I'm going to be an activist on behalf of my citizenship, I'll do so based on my heavenly citizenship rather than on my U.S. citizenship. That doesn't mean I won't be a good U.S. citizen... it's just not going to be my driving focus.
Decisions like that need to be put into practice as soon as possible. So today while on a short bike ride I picked up a couple of small I love you gifts for my wife and daughter-- the two ladies in my life. It felt good to prime the pump! Maybe I'll even get that pair of Levi's!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Working in Paradise

Our family often finds itself amazed that God chose to plant us in such a fun place as Huntington Beach, CA. It's a hugely unchurched community, so the ministry opportunities are big. But it's also a fun place to live!

This morning I had to wrestle through some challenging work/ management issues. When I was done, I desperately needed to clear my head. So I hopped on my bike and headed out for a ride-- first to church to help our pastor with something, then to our downtown library and lunch.

One of my favorite lunches is on Main Street at Pacific Coast Highway. I like to get a couple of Wahoo's fish tacos and a Jamba Juice smoothie. Today I also had my notebook computer with me, so I checked my email while eating outside just yards from the beach. I answered some emails, made some client phone calls, said hi to some of my favorite locals, and IM'd with my team. All in all, it was a productive time down there at the beach on a perfect day!

Working in paradise is cool. It's also a privilege to be part of a church leadership team that is heavily focused on reaching the unchurched in our community. Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Nicholaou.com Website!

We've had a family website since the late 1990s, but it hadn't been updated in sometime and was built on very dated technology. Today I re-published the site and think I like it! It still has some polishing to do (like the picture files are a bit too large), but it's up! Let me know what you think!

Click here: Nicholaou.com