typing oot fast

Do you ever find that your typing gets a little garbled, your fingers get ahead of your mind and the result is a mess?

One typo I do all the time is “ot” when I mean “to”. I think this happens because I am frequently typing NT and OT for the Testaments. This used to drive me crazy. I hate lifting my hand from the keyboard to fix this with spell-check so I created a Word macro to fix this on the fly.

Here it is:

Sub FixOT()

‘ FixOT Macro
‘ Macro recorded 1/1/99 by Donald C S Johnson

    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
End Sub

I have this Macro attached to the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl-Shift-O”. It only works when you are one space past the typo… “ot “ (just before the second quote in the example.

And… I find that my fingers sometimes zip along and type “si” for “is” and “eb” for “be” and “yb” for “by” and any number of other dumb typing errors. My little macro gets used a lot.

If only it could fix all my typos… I still have plenty in the big words too!

It’s something like the way I talk. One of my friends used to say, “My tongue gets tangled around my eye-teeth and I can’t see what I’m saying.”

I don’t know if this of any interest to anyone, but it’s Friday and I have been making these typos a lot this week!


the kindle changes many things

I haven’t posted for a while. I think the reason is my new Kindle. I have entered the e-book era with a vengeance, a little late, I suppose, but  I entered it nonetheless.

A whole world of e-books is available, much of it for no charge. Check out Project Gutenberg for many titles, already formatted for the Kindle.

In addition, I have saved many pdf books, booklets, and articles on my hard-drive over the years, meaning to read them later. My Kindle makes this much easier to accomplish. You can copy your pdf files right over to the Kindle, although you may want to edit the font size for best viewing … or convert that pdf to a Kindle format book. I have discovered several free software packages for performing this task and for managing Kindle content.

  • Calibre is a library and conversion program. I think you can convert books from B & N’s Nook format and other e-publishing formats into the Kindle format. (You can also convert from Kindle format to other formats if you use a different sort of reader.) Really an excellent program.
  • MobiPocket Creator is a program that converts pdfs into e-publishing format. I have discovered that it may require some formatting and html coding in some books, but it does get you started on the project. This site also offers books for sale, but I would recommend staying away from that portion of the site.
  • Sigil is a program that edits html and saves it in epub format. This allows you to customize your file to display how you would like it. Some knowledge of html is required.

There are other programs out there, perhaps some better than these. I’ve found these helpful, but my projects take on a life of their own and often consume a good deal of time.

As for reading, I find the Kindle to be quite handy – I seem to read a little faster with it as well. You do need good lighting, the e-ink technology can be read in sunlight, but no backlighting makes my living room somewhat problematic in the evenings.

I also am using the Kindle for preaching. I write my sermons in my ‘normal’ 8.5 by 5.5 templates and then copy and paste into a special template for the Kindle. I have to boost the font to 25 or 30 points, then print to a pdf, then copy over to the Kindle. But from there, the file reads very well in the pulpit and it means I can get away from my compulsive saving of paper notes.

One of these days,  I’d like to get an iPad for the preaching – it wouldn’t require “pumping up the fonts”, at least from having a look at a friend’s iPad. And it might be way more cool. However, for now, the Kindle is an affordable and very adequate solution.


items of interest

Some very interesting articles over the last few days, impossible to really absorb them all, but thought I’d pass them on for the interest of others:

* An amazing editorial over at CT regarding the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy – they don’t get everything right, but make this amazing admission:

The lesson is that our attempts to find and exploit a point of cultural contact inevitably end in bankruptcy.

This does not deny the need to talk about the gospel in language and thought forms that a culture understands. In fact, we cannot avoid doing this—we are culturally and linguistically bound, ultimately unable to get out of our own skin and see the world in any other way. But we must repress every fearful thought that suggests that making the gospel relevant and meaningful rests on our shoulders.

* On the subject of music, several articles out about a new study published at McGill University (Montreal) – when a musical piece builds tension, then resolves it, the brain releases dopamine, the ‘pleasure juice’ that is also stimulated by things like food, drugs, and sex.

Some quotes from the Gazette article:

…the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine is released when people listen to their favourite music, be it rock, jazz or classical.

"Because it [music] gives us pleasure, we can use it to our advantage to modulate our state of mind."

The music that generated dopamine release depended on the listeners’ tastes and preferences.

"All types of music activated the same part of the brain," Zatorre says. "It doesn’t matter if it’s punk, classical, tango or even bagpipes."

Very interesting stuff. I sent the links to Scott Aniol. I wonder what he’ll make of all that.

* Don’t miss the audio files and most of the notes for the Preserving the Truth Conference. I’m reading Mike Riley right now. Very interesting.

* And last, for Bibleworks users, a recent announcement tells us of a partnership between WORDsearch and BW. You can now buy some pretty interesting titles to add on to BW. This could be a welcome gift for someone. (No idea who that could be…)


well blow me down

I have been playing with Logos 4 for about five days now. I was fully prepared to disdain L4 as much as I do L3 and previous versions. Well…

Well blow me down, I actually like Logos 4. They said they rebuilt it from the ground up. They did! And it shows!

[Read more…]

the desire accomplished…

… is sweet to the soul.

So says Pr 13.19a. I wonder if we take that out of context, considering the parallel phrase in Pr 13.19b, but…

But I just finished a massive amount of re-coding our Thru the Bible html index project.

Between August of 2005 and April of 2007 we took our church through a marathon chronological Bible reading and preaching project. We read the same passages together, worked through study guides, and preached messages covering the material we were reading each week.

I created Thru the Bible 1.0 with just the Old Testament index. It was kind of clunky looking, basically really really old-fashioned HTML, back eons ago when the web was young (and ugly). This index contained only our written material.

Tonight I finally finished the re-write of the whole project, OT, Intertestamental period, and NT. It looks much better than the earlier effort, although I am not sure it reaches the level of what the geeks call “Web 2.0”. Anyway, it looks a lot better than the first version.

And it contains all the audio files.

I plan to burn these on DVDs, and will make them available to anyone who asks for the cost of postage. (These will be on basic cheap DVDs, if you want a “100 year” DVD, it will cost $5 plus postage.)

I still have to double check all my links, but praise the Lord, all the coding is done.

Now its time to go to bed. How many late nights has this been?


UPDATE: DVDs now available!

how do i hate vista?

I cannot even count the ways…

My laptop died. Not an agonizing death, but a slow, whimpering, desperate kind of death that allowed me to save my files while the patient suffered on life support on the operating room table. It is not dead beyond repair, but the cost to repair would be about half the cost of a new machine.

So… new machine it is. I now have a Dell XPS 1530 courtesy of Future Shop. It is apparently last year’s model. I was looking at a Dell model that had 4 GB RAM and a 250 GB HD, for $749 (loonies). They had this other machine on the shelf with a price marked down to 849, I think. The sales guy asked if I would be interested if they could get me a good price… it has 3GB RAM and a 250 GB HD… and a fingerprint reader… and a cool slot for the dvd-rw… and originally listed at 1098 loonies. So he got the price down to 649 loonies (40% off!!!) and had a deal.

The machine is very nice.

But it  has vista… need I say more?

[Read more…]

on a cool blog editing tool

I wrote the most recent post in a new blog editing tool I discovered, Windows Live Writer from Microsoft. The tool is free (but in beta) and allows you to edit your posts in a WYSIWIG window, but adds many tools and features not available in Blogger’s editing window. For example, I can insert tables like this:



Point One Point One A
Point Two Point Two A

I can insert a map. Here is a map of our church’s location:

Map image

We are at the corner of Brock and Matson above. The map comes as a road map, or in aerial view as below.

Map image

In the aerial view, our church building is the black-roofed building just above the green playing fields, with a few gary oaks behind. The oaks are mostly gone now, we have 14 townhouses as our ‘back-door’ neighbours now.

I can also easily insert pictures, hyperlinks, and videos, all without leaving a fairly intelligent WYSIWIG editor. There is an option to insert tags, one which I don’t understand. The tags are somehow related to Technorati, or Flickr, or deli.icio.us and others. These are things I have vaguely heard of but I don’t really know what they mean.

I can format text in quite a few different ways, like this:

Heading One


Heading Two


Heading Three


Heading Four


Heading Five


Heading Six

I can add colour to text, strikethrough, and other formatting settings.

So far I am quite pleased with this editor. It makes posting so much easier.

I can save these posts as drafts, to work on later, or I can publish directly from this editor to my blog without entering its editing features.

Try it, you might like it…

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3