• Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
Social networking

Entries in iphone (13)


Converting a regular sim card to a micro sim or nano sim for the iPad mini or iPhone 5

Some time ago I put a post on my blog showing how one can convert a regular sim card into a Micro Sim for use in an iPad or iPhone 4 (then the iPad 2 or iPhone 4) - you can read that original post here.

Since then Apple has released the lovely little iPad Mini and the brand new iPhone 5.  Recently when I was in New York for business I played with the iPad mini - it is a lovely device, however, I will sticking to my 'regular sized' iPad for the next while.  The screen size works for me and the kinds of things I need to do with my iPad (it is often my only 'travel' computer for email, creating documents, doing presentations, surfing the web, reading etc.)

However, I decide to upgrade my trusty old iPhone 4 to a new 'white' iPhone 5.  I have been using my iPhone 4 for over two years now and the 'home button' was no longer working as it should.

I bought my iPhone at the 5th Avenue Apple Store just near Central Park and headed back to where I was staying at Alma Matthews House to figure out if I could convert my Micro sim (that used to be a regular sim!) into the new smaller Nano Sim that the iPhone 5 requires.

The good news is that it is easily done!  Of course the standard disclaimer applies - if you mess up your sim card (which is very possible) that is your own doing I'm afraid and I won't be able to help you.  You will have to go to your cellphone carrier and do a sim swap to a new sim card and pay what is required.

Here's what you'll need:


  • A computer with an internet connection to download the PDF document from Point 1 below (that shouldn't be a problem if you are reading this post ;-)
  • A printer and A4 paper to print the PDF guidelines you will use to measure and cut your sim card (see point 1 below if you don't have a printer or A4 paper).
  • A rule with a straight hard edge.
  • A pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Handle with care! Fingers are more precious than sim cards!
  • A marker or even a pencil to mark the lines along which you will cut.


So, here are the steps that I followed.

1.  Download this PDF document and print it at 100% size on an A4 page.  That is important! It must be printed at 100% since the measuring that you will do is to scale, if you print it larger or smaller your cut will not be accurate and you could damage your sim card.

Just a little note - I did not have a printer or A4 paper while I was in New York (my printer and paper were back in Cape Town...) So, all that I did was to open the PDF on my laptop screen, made sure that the PDF was displayed at 100% in the PDF viewer (I use Apple Preview, but you can also use Adobe - just make sure that it is displaying the PDF at 100%). I held my Sim card against the screen (actually I turned my laptop so that the screen was on the carpet and the 'bottom (keyboard etc.)' was against the wall, and put the sim on the measurements on the screen, marked it with a pencil (since I also did not have a marker pen) and then cut it!)  I am a little braver than most!

2.  If you have downloaded the PDF and printed it on an A4 page at 100% simply follow the steps for converting your regular sim card, or micro sim card to a nano sim card.  Remember to measure twice and cut once! It pays in the long run!

3.  The nano sim is actually a little thinner (not only smaller) than a regular sim card.  Most people have been able to simply cut their sim card and insert it.  I did, however, use the sharp edge of my pair of scissors to 'shave' the pain off the top of my newly cut sim card to make it thinner.  Of course if you could get some fine sandpaper that would work much better.  Just be extremely careful not to shave through the back of your sim card and damage the electronics on the other side!  So, just take off very little at a time, test it, and then redo if it still does not fit.

I went from New York to Paris, and then on to London.  In all locations I bought prepaid 'Vodafone' regular sized sim cards, cut and 'shaved' them and put them into my iPhone 5 to use for email, phone calls, texts, skype and of course the most important of all - google maps!

I hope this helps you! Enjoy your new iPad Mini or iPhone 5 and let me know how it goes!


What to do if you get an error 1013 or 1611 when updating your iPhone to OS 4.3

I decided to update my iPhone 4 to iOS 4.3 this morning (mainly because I would like to use the personal hotspot feature).

So, last night I left my Macbook downloading the update and after I got back from the Junior Argus with my kids at lunch time I hooked up my iPhone to my Macbook and let it update. When the update finished I was greeted with a message on my Macbook to say that an unknown error hard occured and my iPhone could not be updated and needed to be restored. However, no matter what I did, each time I restored it with the 4.3 iOS update it would give the same error.

So, this problem is described here. It seems to be related to an Apple update verification server that is problematic ( that is in the 'hosts file located at /private/etc/).

The bad news is that no matter what you do you'll loose your photos, music etc., that has been changed since your last backup or sync with your Mac! My suggestion is that you ALWAYS backup your iOS device before performing a firmware upgrade.

Now, if you have the correct permissions set on your mac there is an easy solution to the 1013 or 1611 error. Just follow these instructions: Method 1 (the easy way)

On a Mac:

* Open Finder

* Hold down COMMAND + SHIFT keys and press 'G'

* Enter "/private/etc/" in the field and press "Go"

* Find "hosts" file in the directory

* Drag the file to your desktop

* Open it in text editor

* Remove the line that has entirely or put a # at the beginning of it to comment it out

* Save the file

* Drag it back to the /private/etc/ folder.

* You'd need to enter your username and password to authenticate the move

On Windows:

Locate the hosts file in one of the following directories:

Windows 95/98/Me c:\windows\hosts

Windows NT/2000/XP Pro c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Windows XP, Vista, 7 c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Right click and click on "Open With..." and then click on

"Notepad" on the list.

* Remove the line that has completely and save the file.

This should work fine but you will lose all music, photos, videos and books

If your permissions are not set correctly on your Mac you will soon discover that you can't save the edit 'hosts' file and copy it back to its original location. It will keep telling you that you do not have the necessary permissions to save the file and move it.

So, if that is the case, here is an alternative solution (it requires a little 'terminal alchemy', but just follow these instructions and it will work like a charm. This was how I managed to do it - which reminds me I must do a disc repair to find out why my permissions are mucked up!). Method 2 (get your Unix geek on!)

Step 1 – Open the

Either by start typing Terminal on the Spotlight, or by going into Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

Step 2 – Open the hosts file

Open the hosts by typing on the Terminal that you have just opened:


$ sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Type your user password when prompted. Step 3 – Edit the hosts file

The hosts file contains some comments (lines starting with the # symbol), as well as some default hostname mappings (e.g. – localhost).

Simply append your new mappings underneath the default ones. Or edit one of the default values if you know what you are doing!

You can navigate the file using the arrow keys. Step 4 – Save the hosts file

When done editing the hosts file, press control-o to save the file.

Press enter on the filename prompt, and control-x to exit the editor.

Step 5 – Flush the DNS cache

On Leopard you can issue a simple Terminal command to flush the DNS cache, and have your host file changes to take immediate effect:


$ dscacheutil -flushcache

You can now perform your update using the downloaded iOS 4.3 and it will work like a charm!


Will Blackberry make their great Blackberry Messenger available for Android and iPhone devices?

I have to carry two phones each day. My personal phone is an iPhone 4 - I simply could not manage without my iPhone! I use it for calls, web browsing, email, my mileage calculator for tax purposes, my camera (instagram!), this blogg (this post was written on the sqaurespace app for iPhone), twitter, my Audible books... The list goes on and on!

However, my employer has supplied me with a great little Blackberry 9700. I also love the BB, it is not a great phone, neither is it a great 'consumer' or entertainment device like the iPhone. However, I have become so reliant on the Blackberry Messenger! My wife and many of my friends use BBM. It is fantastic to stay in touch, share pictures, and do it all for free. I know many people who have cut their monthly cell phone bill drastically through using BBM to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world!

It would be fantastic if Blackberry made their messenger available for iPhone (and Android)!

So, this story from One of my favorite blogs, jkontherun that discusses the possibility of RIM putting the BBM on iPhone and Android really got me excited! http:/

What phone do you use (or want) and what do you love about it?


Got sins to confess? There's an app for that!

I enjoy Daniel Mosley's tweets and blog posts. He recently posted this post on the Catholic Church's use of an iPhone app to support the sacrament of reconciliation (confession and penance).

Please see his post here:

I thought this was a great idea at first glance! I am all for the Church finding contemporary methods (and tools) to reach and serve a much wider audience to aid faith, transformation and wholeness.

The Methodist Church in Britain has done something similar. See my post on this here:

And, of course there are a myriad of 'ministries' and 'individuals' who have created tools and apps for devotion, news, encouragement or interaction. Some, like the two mentioned above are 'discipleship' tools to support believers, while others are evangelical tools to reach more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would highly recommend that you read Tallskinnykiwi's post on evangelism in this space here:

Back to the confession app, I wonder if I would use it? Of course one major problem is that this sacrament is not part of my theological and spiritual tradition. So, that does cause me to value it a little less for the specific task it performs.

Let me ask, if you are from a tradition that applies this sacrament would you feel comfortable (or not) using such a tool? I'd love to hear why.

Also, are there any other tools or apps that you use, or know of, that you find as important in your faith and spiritual life?

Personally I use the Methodist app mentioned above, and I use the Olivetree Bible app daily on my iPhone and iPad.


The iPad Nano 3G - a killer device!

I love my iPad Nano 3G - it is small, has great battery life, and it can do just about everything my iPad 3G does...

In case you're confused... It is an iPhone 3GS! Still a great device after some years of use!

As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you - that's true for my iPhone camera, but the same can be said for computers! The best computer is the one you have with you! And, I always have my iPhone with me.

In fact, this post was written on the squarespace app on my iPhone. I love it!

What phone do you use? And what do you use it for?


iPhone OS4 / iOS on a South African iPhone... What to do!?

I heard this morning that the iOS4 upgrades are starting… The new features look FANTASTIC!

Here’s my dilema.

I have an iPhone 3GS that is unlocked so that I can use it with my MTN sim card (I have my Vodcaom sim card - a work contract that does not have a data bundle loaded) in my Motorola Milestone (a Droid for the rest of the world).

The reason for doing this is simple, I don’t want to use my work’s phone for personal browsing, facebook, twitter etc., I’d rather pay for that usage myself. Hence the decision to put my personal sim card with a data bundle into the iPhone (browsing and social networking are superb on the iPhone)!

I also tether my iPhone to my Macbook in order to access my personal email, blogs, tumblr, twitter and facebook…

If I upgrade my iPhone 3GS to iOS4 will I loose the ability to tether?

Any advice is appreciated! Remember, I am in South Africa and use my iPhone on the MTN network.


I'm leaving my iPhone (for an Android Milestone and an iPad)

Yup, that headline may come as a shocker, but after about 3 years of using iPhones (if my calculations are correct, I got my first generation iPhone shortly after they came out), I am considering moving on - in a manner of speaking - from my iPhone.

Let me give you a little background first.  I have a 16Gig iPhone 3GS that is running iPhone OS 3.0 (so that I can tether it to my Mac, and use it on the MTN network in South Africa).  The iPhone has been relatively stable for an unlocked / jailbroken phone. In truth, when you jailbrake an iPhone OS device it looses quite a lot of its stability!  The phone has served me well in most instances.  The one annoyance I have had is that every so often the screen stops responding (I have to power off and on to get it to work again), and because I'm on OS 3.0 there are a few applications that I cannot run on my iPhone.  Also, I have found that the iPhone does not always work when I travel overseas (I have had to take to keeping my old Nokia E90 on hand just in case I land somewhere and find my iPhone doesn't connect to the local network).

Well, my personal phone contract came up for renewal late last year.  I posted a poll to find out what phone to get and didn't find anything worth upgrading for (most persons suggested the Blackberry 9000 or the iPhone at that stage).  So, when I upgraded I got the Nokia E63 and gave it to my wife. Her contract came up for renewal last week and so she offered me the chance to get a phone - I was surprised to find the Motorola Milestone (basically a European version of the Motorola Droid) on offer without the need to make any additional payment!  So, I snapped it up!

The Milestone is a great little Android phone (Android is the Google OS) with a physical keyboard, an exceptional screen (much better than my iPhone) and a 5 Megapixel camera (you can see the full specs here).  I have had it for about a week now and am loving it.  It works with our Microsoft Exchange server, there are plenty of great apps to help me manage my personal and work related social media activities (twitter, facebook, flickr, tumblr, QIK, youtube, wordpress etc.), the camera is fantastic for stills and video, it has HSDPA data and an incredible screen.

So, my iPhone is no longer my primary phone... What!?  Yup, I have decided to relegate the iPhone 3GS to second place in my arsenal of communication technology.  You'll notice that I am NOT doing away with my iPhone - I, like many South Africans, am in the position to have two cellular phones.  I have a private contract and one supplied to me at work.  So, my work sim card has now moved from my old Nokia E90 into the iPhone.  

There are some things that the Android phone does not do too well.  That's where my iPad comes in!  The iPad and the Milestone make for a perfect combination.  I can use my Milestone as a wireless hotspot for my 16Gig iPad, and the iPad functions like a great full powered computer on the road!  Last week at the Global Day of Prayer conference I used my iPad to keep track of each venue, each speaker, the timelines for plenary and track sessions, all important numbers, and even to show and create presentations for my own talks (as well as videos).  I used a ticker app to manage my time when speaking and used the iPad with a mifi to download email, update facebook, and even make some calls on Skype.

Just perfect!

Is anyone else out there using an Android phone (I saw a journalist recently with an Google Nexus!)?  Has anyone else given up their iPhone for a different phone?  ALSO, are there any more people in South Africa who have got their hands on an iPad?

I'd love to hear your feedback!  Blessings, Dion


Methodist Church launches an iPhone app - now that's missional thinking!

The Methodist Church of Britain has just launched an iPhone app - the application is available for free from the iTunes store and works on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (in fact the screen grab that you'll see in this post comes from my iPad - I have it expanded to double size to fill the iPad screen).

I think this is a marvelous, missional, idea!  In a context where persons are far more likely to want to structure their encounter with the Christian faith around their available time and location this is just another wonderful means of adding value to people's lives!  Don't get me wrong, I am still convinced that people need community and places of real connection (such as that offered by a local congregation).  But, we have to be honest - in Britain there are fewer persons who will want to make a faith connection through their local Church, than those who may be willing to receive a daily prayer and some reflection upon scripture on their phone (to read wherever they are).

The application is quite simple - it has a 'Spirit' section which has one part that offers prayers chosen from the Methodist prayer book and another section that offers thoughtful reflections upon sections of scripture.  The other part of the application offers news (naturally with a Christian, Methodist, and UK slant).

I think this is a great idea!  It even got some international news coverage!  We need more forward thinking like this in denominations across the world!

Tip of the hat to Thomas for sending me the link about this story at the BBC website.

Do you use a devotional application on your computer or phone?  Do you have any others to recomend?  Do you know of any other Churches or Christian groups that are offering similar outreach tools on creative technology platforms?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback!


Invention Of the Year: The iPhone

The thing is hard to type on. It's too slow. It's too big. It doesn't have instant messaging. It's too expensive...or cheap. It doesn't support my work e-mail. It's locked to AT&T. Steve Jobs secretly hates puppies.

YET, time gives you 5 reasons why it is the invention of the year....I agree! And, I don't even own one! How I wish I did!

Anyone out there willing to 'donate' one for research purposes?

Technorati tags:, , , ,

read more | digg story


iHype over the iPhone...

So, the iPhone was released last week on Friday (well just over a week ago in fact). And, true to the Apple marketing strategy it was HUGE (the phone is quite small, but the release was huge). However, reviews have not been all that kind to the iPhone. It lacks some fairly important functionality (like a usable keyboard, the ability to take video clips (even though it has a camera and can take stills), marginal synchronisation with Microsoft outlook, and of course worst of all, it is locked to the American Cellular carrier AT&T! So, there's no chance that it will work here in South Africa...)

My friend Gus sent me this wonderful cartoon.... (Click on it to enlarge the picture).

I think it sums things up nicely. I guess, for now, I'll stick to my Treo 750... Sure, I need to reset it every time I want to use the Bible, it looses information, and Windows Mobile is cumbersome and slower than my late gran.... But, at least it works....

Come on Apple, help a!


The Pirillo effect!?

Have you ever heard of this guy Chris Pirillo? Apparently there is an effect called the 'Pirillo effect' which says that if you use Chris Pirillo's name more than three times in your blog post he will show up and post a comment. So, let's see if Chris Pirillo will do that for me!

By the way, for anyone who has iPhone lust and is looking for a few good reasons NOT to buy one then watch this video of Christ Pirillo 'ranting' about the iphone...(the best reason I have so far is that they are not sold in South Africa, and even if they were, they only run on AT&T, so there is no way we could use them here)

If you watch the video let me know what you think. Doesn't he remind you of a young Woody Allen!? Thanks Chris! Now post a comment on my blog please!


Meetings, musings, and much less important things...

Today we ended the June General Committee meeting of the Education for Ministry and Mission Unit. These are always incredibly stressful meetings since we have the responsibility of making some very tough and conflicted decisions about the lives of our student ministers.

Thank God the meetings are done, the Theological Society is finished (week before), now I look forward to hosting some visitors from Cambridge in the UK, Garret in Chicago (US), and a Colleague from Detroit! Visitors are always a wonderful blessing. They bring new insights, energy, and a great sense of connectedness with this great wide world, and God's great church all over the world.

Just to mention three books that I am currently reading that are SO worthwhile (each for different reasons).

Firstly, I would strongly encourage all of you who are seeking a fresh and novel approach to orthodox Christian Theology to read Brian Mclaren's 2004 book "A generous orthodoxy". This has truly been the most encouraging, and gently presented, approach to Christian truth and the cause of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that I have read in a long while. It is set to be my book of the year!

Secondly, I have been reading (for a book review in the Journal 'Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae') a centenary festschrift on Cardinal Yves Congar edited by Gabriel Flynn, entitled "Yves Congar: Theologian of the Church" (2005). It has reminded me again of the discipline of working for the reform and renewal of the Church from within its fellowship. Congar was a leading light in Vatican II, a contemporary of Bernard Longeran, Karl Rahner, and Courtney Murray. His ecclesiology has lead in large part to the Catholic church's renewed ecclesiology and role for an 'educated laity' in the formulation and renewal of the evangelisation of the world.

Lastly, I have been reading a book by my favourite author, Bill Bryson, entitled "The life and times of the thunderbolt kid" (2006). This has to be one of the funniest, and most poignant, books I have read in a very long time. I have laughed so hard that I have almost bust a stitch!

Oh, and for the gadget freaks, take a look at this GREAT video review of the iPhone that gets released tomorrow evening in the US!

It was put together by David Pogue, a Mac fanatic with a great sense of humour.