Admin on March 14th, 2019

This is a 2019 repub of a story written in 2007 to commemorate events in June 1997. We hope it is a blessing to you today. 2019 footnotes add amazing insights we’ve learned since then. This post may move to our new website. We’ll work to adjust links.


June 2007

How Much Can We Really Do?
Confessions of a “can-do” high tech wizard

Dum-De-Dum-Dum.[1]

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. It’s a story about God’s hand on one common ordinary person.

I work in High Tech. I carry a laptop. My name’s Pete.

I grew up in California… and in rural upstate New York.[2] I’ve lived in Colorado since the early 1990’s. One wife, two daughters, three computers and more pets buried than I can count.

To understand this story, you need to know about two parts of my life.

The first part relates to all those computers. “High Tech” is my background, my giftedness and skill—some might call it an anointing from the Lord.

A couple of years out of college, I was burdened by the sense that God wanted all of me, not just some volunteer time and some dollars in the Sunday offering bucket. So on the day our first daughter was born, and with my wife Leslie’s blessing, I quit my job. My goal was to earn time for God as a computer consultant in Silicon Valley.

God has greatly blessed that side of me. I’ve had the privilege of helping create many of the products that have shaped our world, from phones to computers, diabetes monitors to accounting software, maps to market research.

He also blessed me with a very clear high tech ministry. In the 1980’s He directed me to lead the computer work that resulted in the 10/40 Window model, and to coordinate the equivalent of “market analysis” of global mission. In the 1990’s, our team solved the problem of worldwide group email for leadership teams. And now I lead a small team that’s moving from helping people talk to helping people truly work together.

Bottom line: I’m a high tech entrepreneur, a problem solver, a concrete “can do” guy. I praise God for His amazing grace to give me gifts and skills to solve almost any problem.

Accident Site, Pretoria South Africa

Accident Site, Pretoria South Africa

Now let’s jump to the other side of who I am.

Simply put, I exist as a miracle of God’s healing, and it’s time to boldly declare His power to easily perform what scientists might call “low probability events.”

Ten years ago I became one of those people you’ve read about: dead, gone to heaven, miraculously restored to life by God. I’ve been cautious about making the story public because I know how bad the hype can get. But after a decade, it’s time to share this story of God’s signs and wonders. The signs point us to God, and He gives us something to wonder about!

By the way, if you’re skeptical as you read this, please remember that I’m a skeptic too, well trained in science and engineering. So let’s just review the facts.

June 27, 1997, I was in Pretoria, South Africa to speak about technology at a huge global missions conference. I finished a prep meeting, across a residential street from one of the conference churches. I looked both ways and then started across the street. Suddenly, I heard “LOOK OUT!!!” and that was the end.[3]

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Pete on March 3rd, 2011

Computer motherboardLate night, deep slumber. The phone rings—never a good sign. “Hello?” “Hi…can you help? My computer’s dead!”

A relative calling from a thousand miles away, in a panic.

“What’s the problem?” “Well, it won’t boot. All I get is this message on my screen…”

Disk boot failure - Insert system disk and press Enter

Ouch. None of our remote control tools are going to help with this one. We need someone there to look at it!

Skip forward a week. An experienced tech guy has been on-site, working on the computer all day. It’s still not fixed. He calls for help.

His report: After seven hours, he’s found that none of the usual issues for that message seem to apply:

  • The hard disk is actually fine. No problem.
  • Windows is properly installed. In fact, he wiped out everything on the disk and reinstalled Windows, but it still is not working properly.

Hmmm… father God, what do I ask this guy? A few more questions digging to learn something, anything… he gives an answer that sounds a bit strange to me…

The rest of the story »


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Pete on December 20th, 2010

Bible Islands FreeICTA loves to discover and promote Spirit-Led Technology – and we have an interesting new example for you at this gift-giving time of year! A friend of ICTA has helped develop and promote a fun, exciting and Bible-centered high tech way to offset a bit of our secular culture’s lock on kid’s attention spans – currently estimated as 42 hours a week of secular TV or video games.

ICTA has been given permission to offer you early access to Bible Islands, a safe, online learning game adventure experience for kids 4-99.
ICTA’s Christmas gift to you:  you and your family can all PLAY FREE in Bible Islands with a two-week family FREE Trial Subscription good through January 2nd (it becomes a one-week trial after that.)  Then if you opt to become a member of Bible Islands, using the ICTA link provides access to discounted 6 or 12-month family membership packages.  The makers of Bible Islands will also donate a significant portion of your family membership to ICTA ministry projects.   So check this out, tell us what you think…and pass along to others who may be interested.

More details below the fold…

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Pete on October 13th, 2010

MS Windows: Show Hidden FilesThe Mac is well known as an easy, reliable computer.

It only took me five minutes to discover that Mac marketing hype has its limits.

Administrating a Mac server requires the ability to look at a variety of configuration files, particularly when doing anything beyond the bare basics.

So, one of my first goals was to make it easy to see the “hidden” files on the computer.

It’s easy on Windows. Just open up Tools->Options and change a checkbox or two.

How about on the mac?

Nope, there’s no option for this. It’s not in the user guide. Nowhere. I guess they just assume people don’t need to see hidden files.

So, I searched Google… and found a good set of instructions. Here’s what it takes:

1. Open Automator (in your Applications folder) and choose Service from the list of templates provided and click the Choose button.

2 In the left hand column under Library, select Utilities.

3. In the second column, drag “Run Shell Script” to the right hand pane.

4. At the top of the right hand pane where you dragged the Run Shell Script action, click on the right-hand popup menu and change “any application” to “Finder”. This sets the service so it only appears and can be activated by the keyboard shortcut when Finder is the active application.

5. Then click on the popup menu next to “Service receives” and choose “no input”. It’s important you do this step after step 4 because if you do the reverse, Finder won’t be available as an option in the right hand menu.

6. Copy and paste the following text into the empty text area of the Run Shell Script action:

7.

osascript -e 'tell application "Finder" to quit'
SHOWHIDDEN=`defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles`
if [ $SHOWHIDDEN -eq 1 ]; then
   defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool FALSE
else
   defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE
fi
osascript -e 'tell application "Finder" to activate'

Completed Automator action, ready to save (click to enlarge)
8. Choose File–>Save, and give the new service a meaningful name like “Toggle Hidden Files” that will appear in the Services menu. Once you’ve done that, you can go to the Services menu (located in the current application menu, next to the Apple menu) and your newly created service should appear there. You can even run it, it’s already functional, just lacking a keyboard shortcut.

9. Open System Preferences–>Keyboard–>Keyboard Shortcuts and select Services in the left column.

10. Setting the keyboard shortcut (click to enlarge)
11. Scroll down to the bottom and under the General category, you should see your newly created service listed there. Select it, then Double-click close to the right side of the selected line to reveal a field where you can enter a custom keyboard shortcut. Enter “Shift+Command+.” (might as well keep it consistent with the shortcut used in open/save dialog boxes), and then quit System Preferences.

The good news: follow those instructions carefully, and you will now be able to view or hide the hidden files. (By pressing Shift, Command and “+” together.)


Update (March 7, 2011): A friend has discovered an easier solution, albeit still non-standard. The built-in Dashboard app supports several thousand user-supplied “widget” mini-apps. One of those apps is the Hidden Files widget. With that widget installed (and the Dashboard icon dragged to your icon bar), toggling hidden file visibility is as simple as firing up the Dashboard, clicking on the Widget, and re-hiding the Dashboard.