Tech Gadgets in the Chapel

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
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garylm-p40
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Tech Gadgets in the Chapel

Postby garylm-p40 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:22 pm

...

Do you bring gadgets to church, and where do you personally draw the line?

Do you WAN from church?

What apps do you run at church and what materials do you access at church? Scriptures? Lessons? Conference talks? Church mags? Presentations? Attendance spreadsheet? Meeting minutes? Personal journal?

What is the largest gadget you would feel comfortable powering up in a church meeting? Beeper? Cell phone? PDA? Tablet? Laptop?

What precautions do you take to keep from distracting yourself and others?

Does the fit and finish of a gadget affect its church-ability?

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Postby rmrichesjr » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:55 pm

garylm wrote:What precautions do you take to keep from distracting yourself and others?


I don't have any portable tech toys myself.

A few years ago, somebody was using a laptop or similar device to take notes during a meeting, and it made an annoying, piercing chirp with each and every keystroke. The chirp was strong, even across the full width of the hall. I hope those taking toys to church meetings will at least keep the toys as quiet as possible.

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Postby WelchTC » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:56 pm

In order to preserve the sanctity of sacrament meeting I ask that we not postulate about bringing technology gadgets to the meeting or discuss the events that happen there. How people prepare for and participate in sacrament services should be very personal and sacred.

Tom

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Recorder Jack nowhere near power outlet

Postby atticusewig » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:10 pm

Now, this is a little off the thread topic,
but has anyone else noticed that
the tape recorder jack in their building
is nowhere near a power outlet.

We don't normally record Sacrament
meetings, which is fortunate, because
otherwise we would have to use an
extension cord which would be a
big distraction.

- Atticus Ewig

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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:11 pm

I used to have an iPaq but I only used it for Priesthood and Sunday School. I was able to get the manuals online. I think anything that distracts you from the speakers is inappropriate for Sacrament meeting.

aaron.mosiah.curtis
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Making Technology Invisible

Postby aaron.mosiah.curtis » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:19 pm

I was reading the northtemple.com blog, and was impressed with something Ted Boren posted there about the miracle of technology, that I think applies, not just to considerations of using technology in our meetinghouses, but also in developing technology for use by church members and employees:

"But despite all the coolness, I hope you just enjoy listening to the words of inspired leaders this weekend, in your own language, without having to think once of the technical miracles that make it all possible.

"That is the real miracle, when the technology disappears, and just lets you focus on the Spirit and Inspiration."

http://northtemple.com/484

Sometimes, I get so excited about cool things we can do with technology in the Church, and from the posts I'd guess some here share my enthusiasm, but Ted's comments made me think I might be missing the mark. So I'm interested in suggestions for how we can make technology disappear to allow people to "focus on the Spirit and inspiration."

I'm not soliciting policy discussions (e.g., whether technology should be allowed in certain situations like sacrament meeting or Sunday School), but I'm curious what is it that draws attention to technology? Is it the size of a device, the buggy nature of an application, too many bells and whistles?

Any thoughts?

Aaron

rmrichesjr
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Sound systems

Postby rmrichesjr » Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:44 pm

atticusewig wrote:Now, this is a little off the thread topic,
but has anyone else noticed that
the tape recorder jack in their building
is nowhere near a power outlet.

We don't normally record Sacrament
meetings, which is fortunate, because
otherwise we would have to use an
extension cord which would be a
big distraction.

- Atticus Ewig


If your system is a modern installation, you'll probably find a record output jack on the stand, under the clerk's table or under the sacrament table. Newer installations have a cassette recorder physically attached under one of the tables for recording meetings. You may find that the jack in the breezeway or at the back of the chapel is fed by the cultural hall system, not by the chapel. That's how it was set up in at least one of two installations I was briefed on in about 2004.

EDIT: Since posting the following paragraph, I have been informed that the 2006 Handbook prohibits audio recordings of sacrament meeting talks. Please disregard the following paragraph.

When the "consultant" from Sound Design briefed us on the new installation in 2003 or 2004, he explained the way his ward uses the recording system. When the sacrament part of the meeting is finished, the priests at the table start the recorder as they go to sit with their families. Then, when they go around to take the sacrament to the shut-ins, they take the tape to the first shut-in and pick up the tape they had left with this person the previous week. They drop off this 1-week-old tape with the second shut-in and pick up the tape from 2 weeks ago. Each of the shut-ins gets to hear each meeting, even if some are delayed a few or several weeks, and it only requires making one tape a week.

EDIT: Since posting the previous paragraph, I have been informed that the 2006 Handbook prohibits audio recordings of sacrament meeting talks. Please disregard the previous paragraph.

One thing I picked up on during the two briefings I attended is the way things are set up with the different businesses employed in doing a sound system. At least in 2004, a "consultant" from Sound Design comes to do the specific design for that building, including any local adaptations required by local situations. Then, a contractor (often General Communications) does the actual installation. The contractor will do some rough, preliminary tuning of the system. A couple of weeks later, Sound Design comes back to do final tuning of the system and instruction of local folks in how to use the system.

Sound Design gives out a training DVD at final tuning. The DVD is _SUPPOSED_ to be given to local ecclesiastical leaders for training of local people. Sometimes the facilities management group gets the DVD and hangs on to it. If that happens, the contact person needs to bug the facilities group into giving the DVD to the local units.

The consultant also shared an interesting perspective on the microphones and such in the Primary and Relief Society rooms. The main reason the Primary room has a PA system is so the children can learn proper use of a microphone. The main reason the Relief Society room has a PA system is the sisters would complain if the Primary room had one and the sisters did not.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:09 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:The main reason the Relief Society room has a PA system is the sisters would complain if the Primary room had one and the sisters did not.


:D

There may be some truth to that. ;)

Unfortunately, it's not the case at my ward. We have a PA in the RS room because of the dividers (make for rotten room acoustics) and the noisy air conditioners. :mad:

Personally, I'd like to eliminate the need for the mic. I feel it hinders discussion.

As for the Primary, I thought they had a mic so the teachers could control the class. :p

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:14 pm

Aaron wrote:"That is the real miracle, when the technology disappears, and just lets you focus on the Spirit and Inspiration."



Absolutely!


Aaron wrote:but I'm curious what is it that draws attention to technology? Is it the size of a device, the buggy nature of an application, too many bells and whistles?


- Any effort required to make it work. (Other then turning it on.)
- To any degree it falls short and prevents us from hearing (or using) clearly and comfortably.

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garylm-p40
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Postby garylm-p40 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:18 pm

This talk about the PA systems reminds me that when our building was remodeled and fitted with a new system, we got an adapter box that let us plug an unbalanced input such as CD player or DVD audio into a balanced mic jack. This box came in handy for playing ambient music in the multipurpose room. Unfortunately, that box eventually disappeared. By then I had become so accustomed to using it for various activities that I went through withdrawals and had to go out and purchase a similar unit for myself. After that I felt guilty whenever somebody asked why I had my own adapter box or called to borrow it, thinking I ought to donate it to the ward (and maybe watch it disappear).

There's a company in Orem that sells them for about $100. I'll have to look them up.

There ought to be an easy schematic out there for building your own adapter box. It might make a fun father and son (or daughter) project for a Saturday. I think the most expensive part is the transformer. You ought to be able to salvage a microphone plug from the ward's dead microphone collection.


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