In this issue…

  1. PDF FORMAT MAKES SENSE
  2. FOR THE WILD AT HEART
  3. MICAH PERSONNAL SOFTWARE FOR MISSIONS
  4. POINTY BRACES ARE DEAD; A GREAT TECH CONSULTANT
  5. CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS FROM THE US
  6. MULTICULTURAL TEAMS WORKSHOP IN CYPRUS IN OCTOBER
  7. PROMOTING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
  8. IN THE MARKET FOR A DIGITAL MISSIONARY CAMERA?
  9. FREE NEW TESTAMENTS IN SERBIAN
  10. CLOSING STUFF

  1. PDF FORMAT MAKES SENSE — With the possibility of Word viruses, the bloated Word file size, and Word’s “jumpy” graphics, I wonder why we don’t see more file exchange in “PDF” format. Originally an Adobe specification, the file format is public access, allows for graphics, can’t be “virus-laden”, is uneditable (so your work won’t be swiped or tampered with as easily), and can be figured with table of contents and indexed search base. The only thing I can conclude is the fact that the Adobe marketing engine isn’t screaming as loud as the one from Bill’s place (Bill Gates, that is). As for me, I’m a PDF-guy. I have no doubt… if Microsoft and Adobe were to have been better friends, Word would have had a “Save as PDF” file configurator. But I’m confident that somewhere back in time, the two of them (Microsoft and Adobe) became bitter enemies (the subject of another editorial) and … as is often the case, the whole user base suffers because leaders couldn’t work out their differences. If my comments aren’t enough to convince you, see the 40-second Adobe PDF video commercial at:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/acro_ad.html

    So what can you do? Pick up an add-on product to churn out the PDF files. To see the market, read PC Magazine’s review, “PDFing Cheap” at:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1190601,00.asp

    :-) Any of the tools listed in that review will do. I happen to use the one from Adobe themselves – Adobe Acrobat Standard.

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatstd/main.html

    After you prepare your document in Word or Excel or Powerpoint or whatever, you just “print it” to the Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer printer driver. It asks for a proposed pdf filename and, well, the rest is automatic. It’s great. Check it at, but feel free to play with the others listed in the review above. If they were to have been available previously, I would have probably gone with one of them.

    By the way, almost everyone installs a PDF reader today… to get forms from the IRS or an application from your local mission organization. If you don’t yet have the free PDF *reader* installed, get it at:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


  2. FOR THE WILD AT HEART — Need a place to heal? Trying to get away from the rat race? Doing a personal spiritual retreat? A grad from John Eldredge’s advanced training is conducting “Mini-boot camps” with all the wild trappings for missionaries on his ranch near Colorado Springs. He’ll work with random individuals on select dates or teams from near and far. Check it out at http://www.myransomedheart.com/windmillranch by clicking on the “For the Wild at Heart” navigation button.

  3. MICAH PERSONNAL SOFTWARE FOR MISSIONS — Missionary TECH Team announces the release of MICAH: Missionary Information Catalog and History. With over 33 years of technical assistance, Missionary TECH Team has created this software package to track the type of personnel information unique to missions that commercial software does not address. MICAH offers flexibility. Included are the following features: capability to enter and track categories of people, contact information, unlimited addresses, comprehensive family phone numbers, and financial information. MICAH software is configurable to designated needs and provides extra space for notes. It has email and web page connection, cross platform, and client-specified security. For more information see http://www.techteam.org or contact Missionary TECH Team, 25 FRJ Dr., Longview, TX 75602, James Wood Mgr. Computer Services, jwood@techteam.org . (Note: As this Brigada Today went to the ‘Net, this website wasn’t functioning, but we suspect that it is a momentary lapse. No need to alert us if it stays dead. :-) )

  4. POINTY BRACES ARE DEAD; A GREAT TECH CONSULTANT — Please remember, if you’re preparing items for consideration in Brigada Today, pointy braces are . :-) We’re no longer enclosing email addresses in them because certain email clients were reading them as hidden text web addresses. Interesting: To make a final decision about this major change, we looked up Jonathan Marsden, an old friend of Brigada Today. (When we started in January, 1995, there were two subscribers: Jonathan, and me. So when we sent out the very first Brigada Today, Jonathan was the only one to receive it.) I think he’s been involved in Internet technology for as long as bread has been sliced. :-) If your organization ever needs some extra IT consulting help, look to him at Jonathan@XC.Org , without the pointy braces. :-) (Last I heard, he did Christian consulting for like half-price… but that was still $100/hour. I haven’t checked lately; nor was this a sponsored comment. :-) )

  5. CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS FROM THE US — For cheap calls from the US to all over the world (and in the US also), use OneSuite http://www.onesuite.com They have a 1-800 number for access and local access numbers in many areas. You can call China for 2.4 cents/minute! No monthly fees, no connection charges and only $10 pre-payment required (not $25 or more like other cards). The connection to China is usually very, very clear and not much if any delay. To start an account, go to their website or call their customer service number 866-417-8483 (sorry, I don’t have a non-toll free number). You can also e-mail them at support@OneSuite.com . (The user who contributed this item (S.M.) asked that we use “SuiteTreat number 029J58250” which will get him/her 20 free minutes.)

  6. MULTICULTURAL TEAMS WORKSHOP IN CYPRUS IN OCTOBER — It’s not too late to sign up for “The Dynamics of Multicultural Teams and Partnerships” workshop led by Dr. Lianne Roembke, who brings 28 years of experience and research to bear on helping teams relate and work well together. Author of Building Credible Multicultural Teams, she has designed this workshop for mission leaders, HR and Member Care staff and cross-cultural workers. It will be held in Limassol, Cyprus, October 23-28, 2003. As a new component this year Dr. Roembke is offering Step One for facilitator training of the M-C Teams Workshop. You won’t want to miss Cyprus in October! Reserve your place by sending a USD 100 or EU 90 check payable to “Scan InterAct (Cyprus) Limited”. Hotel (half-board, near beach!) costs CYP 112 per person (USD 215 at present rate) payable on arrival. Email Kerry kbuttram@pobox.com or call +357 25 822970 for more details. To register send your name, contact info and check to: (Mr) Kerry Buttram, PO Box 51939, CY3509 Limassol, Cyprus. Please confirm by email or phone.

  7. PROMOTING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY — Have you checked out LAM’s book, “Kingdom Business, The Ministry of Promoting Economic Activity”, by David R. Befus? The book explains how the development of productive economic activity contributes to the growth of the church and to a presentation of a holistic Gospel. Available in either English or Spanish, the cost is $6 plus $2 postage in the U.S., actual postage cost outside of the U.S. For information, check http://www.lam.org and click on bookstore, or write to LAM at Box 527900, Miami, FL 33152 USA

  8. IN THE MARKET FOR A DIGITAL MISSIONARY CAMERA? — Now’s a great time to buy. When, previously, have we ever been able to buy such a high- quality 5-megapixel camera so cheaply!? Check out the Pentax Optio 550, reviewed at: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxoptio550/ You can find it on the web or locally at a “street price” of $440 or so. These level cameras were $1000 just 2 years ago. Welcome to the new digital era! :-)

  9. FREE NEW TESTAMENTS IN SERBIAN — Here’s an organization based in Argentina, with a publishing house in Switzerland, with free New Testaments in SERBIAN language. (Hey… I don’t design ’em; I just report ’em! Personally, I think it’s *great*! :-) ). Anyway, these guys have these New Testaments read for use, begging for those who can get them into the hands of willing readers — who speak Serbian, of course. If you can use them, write Juan publicristianas@ciudad.com.ar .
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