Archive for January, 2007

Google Creek, SC

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

There has been much buzz about the possibility of Google building a data center right here in Goose Creek, SC. This has become a subject of frequent conversations among the engineers where I work. Some have dreams of a better life through Google’s corporate culture. I first heard the story during one of those water cooler style talks in the lab at SPAWAR. Later that say I saw a post on Trace Pupke’s blog. Trace dug up some numbers that say, “…they plan to make a $750 million investment there, employing at least 400 workers who will earn an average of $90,000 a year.” The Post and Courier ran a story last week to give us a taste of what Google might be looking for when filling these 400 positions. Here are my answers to a few questions found in the P&C article:

What programming languages are you familiar with? C, C++, Basic, Fortran, several markup languages…Does it really matter if I am applying for the Network Engineer position?
Is your work space messy or neat? Neat, on the surface ;-)
Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Depends on caffeine level
What magazines do you subscribe to? AOPA Pilot and what ever techie journals I can get for free
What pets do you have? None, but I wish I had a Cheeah Pet. Oh, my back yard provides plenty of birds, squirrels, rabbits, and a raccoon from time to time. If that is not enough there are plenty of roadside whitetail deer and opossums in the local area that I have to dodge when driving at night.

The article goes on to say, “As things turned out, there was no single factor that seemed to find the top workers for every single job title. (And pet ownership did not seem to be a useful predictor of anything.)” Whew! I threw in the backyard and roadside stuff just in case the pet thing was a deal breaker.

The official word is not yet in on this mysterious Google data center, Possible site of Google data center in Goose Creek, SCbut you can pretty much bet that if it does come to Goose Creek (affectionately known as Duck Ditch by some natives) then it will likely be planted in the Mt Holly industrial park just off of Highway 52 about half way between Goose Creek and Monk’s Corner.

The local media has covered this story and a few bloggers. One commenter from the Charleston area by the name of Lynwood Hines (hines1957) did a great job of hammering out some criticisms by others leaving comments on a Valleywag post about Google’s consideration of Goose Creek for one of its new data centers. The biggest beef in those comments seemed to center around the possibility of hurricanes hitting the coast of SC and disabling data centers. Hines said, “Keep in mind that other areas of the country are not immune to nature’s energetic tantrums. Google’s headquarters is located in Mountain View CA, which is at considerable risk from earthquakes.”

A story published by The State newspaper’s web site gave some information about yet another possible data center site in South Carolina. And there is always the Si-Fi version of the story found in the comments of a Slashdot post. My favorite comment on the Slashdot article can be paraphrased as “Google ain’t stupid”. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story from Google Creek, SC.

UPDATE: In December a company by the “named Maguro Enterprises paid nearly $17 million for about 520 acres in Mount Holly Commerce Park…”
Source

These property purchases in mid-December by Maguro Enterprises can be verified by sifting through the Berkeley Country property cards at: http://gis.co.berkeley.sc.us/

An article by Data Center Knowledge helps sort out whether Goose Creek is still in the running or not.

Busy Year

Monday, January 29th, 2007

It has been a busy few weeks and posting has been light. There are a couple of things keeping me busy besides the normal stuff that goes along with being a husband and father. There have been a ton of things going on with the local GFI community, and I have changed employers in the past two weeks.

With the parenting ministry, my wife and I began the year by leading a Preparation for Toddler Years class, organized a one night teaching presented live by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, and are putting together at least one Growing Kids God’s Way (GKGW) class with another couple that we are going to co-lead with beginning next week. The response to this GKGW class has been great and we may have to split it into two classes. Even better was the response to the one night teaching titled “How to Raise a Responsible Child”. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo came to Seacoast Summerville on January 19th to present this teaching. The response was so outstanding that we had to rent extra chairs. Pastor Phil, the Seacaost Summerville campus pastor started getting very nervous when our RSVP list approached 90 people for a room that had never seen more than 65 adults in one sitting. We found a way to fit everyone in the room and the teaching was a huge success. I think we ended up with less than five vacant chairs in that room and that was with about a dozen pre-teen kids sitting up front on the floor. God brought in just the right size crowd and we have got nothing but praises from those who attended.

The other busy stuff has centered around my job change. I am no longer a contractor for the US Government. I am now a federal government employee. This a very good move for my family because I will have much better job security, more than twice the paid time off per year, and a list of other improved benefits. My new job will require me become less of an engineer and more of a project manager. That is about as much as I will say about my job, because I have made it a personal policy to not blog about the specifics of my work. I could tell you more, but well you don’t have a need to know and probably don’t care about that stuff anyway.

I am not too busy to continue my plans for some more recordings of The Living Bible. I continue to get emails from folks who are blessed by this little podcast service. I am seeing more than a thousand downloads of mp3 files per month from this podcast even though I have only posted 52 chapters of the New Testament.

Please keep me in your prayers. Ask God to continue to reveal Himself to me. It is truly a blessing to serve God through this blog, my church, and the local Charleston GFI community.

Seacoast Internet Campus

Friday, January 19th, 2007

There is a new virtual venue at Seacoast Church. A couple of staff members from Seacoast have posted plugs for this beta campus. Shawn Wood is the Creative Pastor and my friend Trace Pupke is the IT Director for Seacoast. I have not seen the new service in action, but I plan to check it out in the next few weeks. You can check out the Internet Campus for yourself at Seacoast.org. Pastor Shawn gives credit to LifeChurch.tv for inspiring this project at Seacoast.

This new Internet Campus is not the only place where Seacoast is making move regarding technology. Our Seacoast Summerville Campus will be getting a behind the scenes technical upgrade this weekend. I also found an article on Light Cast Media featuring an interview with Pastor Shawn where he talked about how Seacoast has moved to outsourcing the streaming video for the church instead of doing it all in house.

These upgrades may not sound like that big of a deal, but you would have to see a Seacoast satellite campus in production mode to appreciate these changes. I have been a part of some very fragile and nerve racking moments as a Seacoast Summerville tech team volunteer. The delivery process of a Sunday morning message at Seacoast Summerville has some single points of failure which have been tested a time or two. I remember one Sunday morning when the equipment trailer was MIA. This particular trailer held the sound board (affectionately named “The Ark”), the video switching gear, the lighting system, along with most of the items used to stock the information and small group tables. The Ark and everything else was finally delivered and the service was went on without a hitch. I remember a conversation I had with Pastor Phil after that service where I asked him what the back up plan was if our technical team was unable to deliver the recorded message using the overhead projectors and the sound system. As I expected, there was a good plan.  He said that he would deliver a live message. He did say that having to deliver a complete message was nowhere near his greatest concern when it comes to equipment failure. Pastor Phil said that it would be way more difficult to pick up in the middle of a message that had already begun playing from a recording of another pastor.

I have to say that Seacoast has come a long way in technology, and it still amazes me how so many people can be reached in a rented space with a week old video taped message. I have heard our senior pastor say that we have more people attending Seacoast via satellite campuses than we have attending the original Mount Pleasant campus where many of the sermons are still delivered live. I think we are averaging somewhere around 600 people between two services at Summerville and we are nowhere near the largest satellite campus. I am pretty sure that the West Ashley Campus tips the four digit mark on their attendance numbers on a regular basis. The big difference between the Summerville Campus and most of the other large campuses is that we are in a rented space that we can only occupy between on Sunday mornings. We walk into an empty room at 7am to set up and deliver two services at 9:30 and 11:15. Then we tear it all down and load it into trailers. Tomorrow is a big day for Seacoast Summerville because we will be coming together as a church to pray for God’s direction and provision for a more permanent building to have worship services.

One place where technology is being implemented is at the heart of the leadership and personal spiritual growth training for the church.  A web site called MyNextSteps plays a key role in providing tools and lessons to disciple small group leaders and help all Seacoast members become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
I expect the new Internet Campus to be a huge success.  This new venue and the technical upgrades to Summerville and other areas of Seacoast are testimonies to the commitment of the Seacoast staff to deliver the highest quality worship experience to every single person who attends a Seacoast service.

MySpace and JCFaith

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I have posted for a while a link to the MySpace page I created some months back. It was initially an exercise to see what the technical capabilities were and how people were using these pages. I also signed up for a Christian alternative to MySpace called JCFaith. The first question to answer is why bother leaving the MySpace page live?

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10

After reading this again recently I remembered a post back in September done by Jay Atkins titled “Why MySpace?” Jay’s post gives a pretty good example of why we as Christians should not be afraid to have a presence on MySpace or any other social networking site. There is nothing wrong with being in this world as long as we do not become conformed to this world and its standards. I continue to leave my page up on MySpace with a copy of the feeds from this blog and Caden’s Page in particular. I feel that my blogs have become much more inspirational and serve as a small ministry tool. I continue to receive emails from people who are encouraged by our family’s attitudes and actions in response to the tricks of the devil.

The secular social networking scene on the Internet can make you sick if you really get a close look at what is going on in that realm. Social networking is basically an electronic form of the things I remember from the average high school weekend hangout from my teen years. My teen years were way more typical and did not reflect a devotion to serving or following Jesus Christ. I try to keep focused on what I am trying to accomplish on sites like MySpace and not do any browsing around. I treat MySpace much like the folks at XXXChurch treats a porn convention. I go in and set up my both (page) to shine a little of God’s light in a largely dark place on the Internet. A very small majority of secular social networking site members are sharing their desire to serve God. You don’t find much in the way of good Christian influence when you go to searching MySpace for God or Jesus.

So, what if you are not really wanting to shine light into dark corners of the Internet? What if you just want to have some health Christian conversations and share stories with some folks and rejoice with each other when God blesses you? Maybe you are looking for encouragement from online friends to continue to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ. Is there a place where you can go to set up a free social networking page that is Christian? Is there a Christian alternative to MySpace? There are several that I have found, but only one that stands out so far. JCFaith has proven to me to be a great place for people get the same type of features that secular social networking sites offer without the filthy ads and requests from half naked friends. I have been much more of a spectator than a participant JCFaith, but I can say that I have not yet run into a single profile that I would consider questionable. Here is what JCFaith has to say about themselves:

Co-founders of JCFaith.com (www.JCFaith.com), saw a glaring omission in this emerging new trend. “I feel young Christians are searching for an online community where they can grow their faith by interacting with other Christians in a social networking environment. Unfortunately there are not many options for Christians that completely filled this gap, so a few of us got together and created one. Co-founders banned together to create a user experience that was uniquely Christian, yet completely social. “We wanted to create a Christian experience for users but maintain all the top aspects of the popular social networking sites. (www.JCFaith.com.)” Source

Regardless of how “Christian”, clean, pure and innocent a social networking site may seem, there are still opportunities for inappropriate relationships and communications to occur. I want to leave you with a few basic rules for all online activity.

  1. All online activity should be performed in a public place in your home.
  2. All passwords to email accounts, social networking sites, and other personal communication systems should be shared between the husband and wife.
  3. All passwords for children’s email, chat/IM, social networking sites should be known by the parents. And parents should regularly review the content of these accounts while logged in with the child’s user id and password.
  4. Browser history files should never be cleared by anyone other than the parents.

These basic rules will help create an environment of openness and trust between all of the members of your family. It may be more difficult to implement rules like these if some members of the family have been allowed a certain degree of privacy in some of these areas. These rules also assume a certain degree of respect and trust between husband and wife. If your spouse is not your best friend then voluntarily sharing your user ids and passwords to email, IM, and social networking sites is a good step towards building that relationship. If you don’t know your children’s user ids and passwords to email, instant messaging, and social networking sites, then you should. There are a ton of ways that kids can get around the above rules, but they are a good first step in protecting your children online.

BIG News on Caden’s Page

Monday, January 8th, 2007

The most exciting news heard in the Osborne camp in years has been posted over on Caden’s Page. There’s way to much to repeat over here so you will just have to jump over to Caden’s Page to read Christmas Plus.
HINT: The biggest news to tell is illustrated in the picture of Caden found inline in the post once you get over there on Caden’s Page. The detailed explanation can be found in the post.

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Daily Bible Reading PlanI have completed a document that contains the entire year of the Bible reading plan that I have been posting each month since March of 2006. You can download a copy of the Adobe file at the bottom of this posting or by clicking the image on the right.

The reading plan that I have been sharing with my readers has been recreated from a very old copy that was give to me during a Bible study in the fall of 2005. My copy came from a copy machine duplication of an original that is in pretty rough shape. The original is even missing a couple of corners and edges.

Please contact me with any corrections that need to be made if you have a cleaner copy of the original. I am also interested in learning more about the origin of this schedule. The article gives credit to for the plan being devised by Fullgrowth Ministries of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I can not find any information on this organization and I am guessing that they no longer exist. The original copy talked about reading the Bible through during the year of 1984 which leads me to believe that it was originally printed late in the year of 1983. The format of the original leads me to believe that it was produced in some printed magazine.

This time of the year many people are working to improve their daily Bible reading practices. This is an excellent plan for reading the the entire Bible in a year. My wife and I read on this schedule as a minimum daily Bible reading. I hope this schedule blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

Adobe PDF version of reading plan: DailyBibleReadingPlan.pdf

How to Raise a Responsible Child

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Our good friends Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo will be joining us at Seacoast Summerville on January 19, 2007. They will be presenting a unique and exciting one night teaching titled “How to raise a Responsible Child”. The announcement of this event has just been released this week and the RSVP messages are pouring in. You can get more details on this event by visiting GFI Charleston.

The Ezzo’s have been writing parenting curriculum since 1985. Their curriculum has impacted over four million parents throughout the world. They have written 13 books on parenting to cover birth through teens. Their books have been translated into 17 different languages.

This event is a great opportunity to meet Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo if you have not yet had the pleasure. This one night teaching is also a small glimpse of what you can learn from the Growing Kids God’s Way curriculum. Sherry and I offered a DVD version of this teaching as a supplemental lesson to our Growing Kids God’s Way class last year.

Don’t forget that there a ton of new classes beginning in the Charleston area in the next several weeks. You can get the details on these local classes by visiting the Class Schedule over at gfigharleston.org.