Installing Rhapsody DR2 on VMWare

Between the acquisition of NeXT by Apple in the late 90s, and the release of OS X, Apple tried and abandoned a path to merge the two company’s technologies into a new, modern OS. Ultimately, a similar but different path was chosen, where much of the proprietary technology that made OpenStep expensive (specifically Adobe-licensed PostScript) were re-created, and better compatibility (introducing Carbon into the Classic OS to give developers an easier migration path than the hard and fast change to Yellowbox) with existing Mac applications was provided for.
Nonetheless, what amounts to an experiment: Rhapsody, essentially the NeXTStep/OpenStep OS with Mac interface elements bolted onto it (sometimes), was incredibly interesting. Yellowbox was to represent the new app platform (with built-in multi-architecture support) while the Bluebox, for compatibility with Classic Mac apps was to be added before release.
Shortly I will outline instructions here for getting Rhapsody DR2 (x86) up and running in VMWare. OK, it turns out this process is exactly the same as for installing NextStep. In case it wasn’t obvious, these two OSes are very closely related.

Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce

I sat through a sermon a couple weekends ago. The preacher was not our usual pastor, but someone who spoke at a retreat we were at. His talks had some ups and downs — he certainly shed a lot of light on the Hebrew context that Jesus lived in. Toward the end of the weekend he espoused what I’ve come to call the “yard theory” of life. This is the idea that the world is a big playground that God has placed us in: that there is a whole array of options in front of us, many equally good, a few bad, and that He provides boundaries that He wants us to play within, and correction or repercussions if we push at those boundaries too hard, then sets us free to do whatever we want with our life.
While I like that this theory positions God as Father, watching His kids play, I don’t personally buy into it. I think our fallen world, and the forces at work within it, dictate that God has more in mind for His kids than random play. I think that there’s an over-arching plot-line, with Jesus as the main protagonist, and with each of us asked to play a specific supporting role.
I don’t mean, of course, that His plan won’t unfold if we don’t find and play our part — I know with confidence that He doesn’t need us in order for His will to be fulfilled. What I mean is that He’s inviting us to have a part in His incredible plan, and that at the center of His will is a role and purpose unique to each of us — as His handcrafted creation.
My theory (and I’m sure its not unique to me) is what I’ve come to call the path theory. And in it, the redeemed look a little something like this:

I’ll call this the train-truck, because I don’t know what its name actually is. The important thing about this vehicle is that it has two sets of wheels. One set is made to follow a track, the other set allow the truck to go off on its own course. I propose that we are all born with normal wheels, and that when we are saved, God gives us railroad wheels. At no time (in this life) does He remove our original free-will wheels, but He equips us with a mechanism to stay on track.
None of this is really profound or controversial, but what I’m going to say next seems to be debated a bit: I believe that no matter how many times we go off the track, when we repent and re-engage our God-wheels He restores us to the same track. Maybe our wandering costs us some progress, and definitely it seperates us from God’s best, but when we screw up, God doesn’t say “Great, now I’ve got to put you on a new track and adjust my plan!” He says, “OK, you’re forgiven, now get back to where I had you heading.”
We can, and probably will, get to the end of our life without reaching that perfect destination He had in mind for us… but how close we get to that destination is determined by how much time we spend on the track.
Here’s the really wonderful thing about our God-wheels: using them means we don’t need to worry about what comes next. When we’re wandering on our own, decisions like which direction to take, and what roads to follow, are stressful because we’re wandering randomly, hoping to find roads that go roughly in the right direction. When we’re on the track, what comes next just unfolds on its own — a train doesn’t worry about which off-ramp to take. All we need is obedience, and faith that the track will still be there on the other side of the hill, or around this difficult bend, or when we come out this dark tunnel…
I don’t know if I’m communicating this clearly enough, but what I’m suggesting is that the only thing necessary to have a successful, effective life in Christ — where we fulfill our potential, grow, help others, and impact the world according to His plan — is to focus on surrendering our wheels to His. That’s it! There are no critical decisions to make, there’s no reason to worry or fret about what comes next, there’s nothing to debate or argue, there’s nothing we need to convince ourselves or others of. All we need to do is obey.
That track will lead us to our divine appointments: to the people we’re supposed to witness to, or disciple, to the jobs we’re supposed to take or schools we’re supposed to attend, to the places or countries we’re supposed to live in. And if we’re all living surrendered, then none of us have anything to fear.
Of course sometimes there are choices — and sometimes we put more weight on them than God does. Sometimes there are three or four apparent directions on our track, and we freak out and think we’re never going to be able to choose the right one. But God knows that they all lead to the same place, and He’s simply giving us multiple good things to choose from. The only option that’s wrong is to engage our old wheels and take off in a selfish direction.
For my family, this then is our only plan for the future. To work hard at the tasks in front of us, and to surrender our wheels and rely only on His. Knowing that it is our desire to follow God’s track with complete obedience where ever it leads, we will be dilligent stewards and attentive students, so that nothing hinders us from following His perfect path.

Knights of the 500 Kingdoms of Fortune

So I’ve been traveling for business for a few months now, and its high time I record some observations…
The first is that men (and perhaps women, although I’ve had less samples to observe) traveling on business are a solitary bunch. Although they represent families, employers, teams, and sometimes even churches, while traveling we are each alone. Despite spending the day with partners, or customers, or other team mates, at the end of it, we retire to a hotel room alone.
The strategies employed to manage this loneliness are varied — almost as much as the temptations available — but everyone I’ve come across has recognized the need to employ self-discipline in order to survive. What’s just as interesting is how readily we each compare our routines with each other. One guy I frequently see on my trips is very regimented in his diet — going so far as to buy groceries upon arrival in each place he visits, so that he’s not tempted to splurge on eating out. Others have a strict morning exercise routine in the crappy little gyms that hotels usually have.
For myself, I’m frequently traveling from east coast time to west coast, which makes it very easy to wake up in the morning, and very difficult to stay up at night. This means that my mornings are purposefully full: I do my stretches, read my Bible, spend some time in prayer, and allow myself one Starbuck’s Chai Tea Latte (my only coffee for the day) on the company’s dime. If I have extra time, mornings are also a good time to call home.
Another thing people do when they travel is try to fill their evenings. Customer and sales guys, partners — even ones with some tension in the relationship — will invariably look for a business reason (excuse) for dinner, a hockey game, a scotch tasting… anything to avoid the hotel room for a little longer. This usually works fine for me, although being an introvert near the end of my day (where 9pm = 12am with the time change) sometimes leaves me exhausted. If I do end up in my hotel room, I’ve taken a page from a long time mentor and resolved not to turn the TV on. Downloaded TV shows on my laptop ensure I’m not watching anything my bride’s not also watching at home. And accountability software on my computer, that reports any risky material to a friend at home who also travels for work, ensures the loneliness doesn’t lead to temptation.
Almost everyone I’ve come across has similar rules and strategies, so although our missions are different, with this shared need for self-discipline, and a common aloneness, there’s an almost instant comradery when coming across another guy traveling on business, which is something I’ve never really experienced at any job I’ve had before. It’s like we are lone warriors of the Kingdoms of the Fortune 500, knights of the board room, ronins on a lonely path welcoming the chance for a drink and a conversation — about anything. Even about faith…

Considering Home Schooling

We have friends who have two amazingly smart, well-adjusted and entirely pleasant children, who have been home schooled their entire lives. In standardized testing, they typically score 4 grades above where they’re supposed to be in school. Their eldest, who’s only just pushing at her teen years has already taken PSATs with scores sufficient to get her into pretty much any college she wants.

Having known them since they were born, we haven’t needed much convincing on the benefits of home schooling. However, we’re aware – having known other kids who have been home schooled who aren’t as well-adjusted – that there are also risks/potential problems with home schooling. Social consideration, of course, being significant.

You’re welcome, dear reader, to chime in with thoughts on the subject, as we’re currently gathering such opinions, but its not likely you can introduce any new variables that we haven’t already been considering.

Home schooling is on the rise in the States, one of the foremost reasons given by surveyed parent’s who chose this path being that they desire a better religious education for their kids. I won’t say that’s not important – it is – but I doubt I weight that factor for the same reasons as many Christians. I do not, in fact, want my kids to grow up ultra-conservative. I’d much rather see my kids grow up with an excess of compassion than an excess of indoctrination.

That said, I understand the importance of shaping our kid’s understanding of the world according to Truth, as well as Grace, and acknowledge there are things in the public school system that we would prefer to have taught differently. What I struggle with is that I don’t want my kids to arrive at adulthood without being able to understand, and have respect for, differing points of view. If they learn only our point of view, then how are they going to react the first time they meet someone different than us? How can they be effective on a missions field, or in a workplace, if they grow up without tolerance for differing perspectives? Although we don’t want them to be of the world, we do want them to be effective in it.

On top of that, and the aforementioned (and obvious) social implications, I worry a little bit that our house might become a semi-permanent cradle. With me working at home, Nicole functioning as the in-home teacher, and our little village being a little bit isolated from the 3 neighbouring, larger cities, it would be very easy for our kids to grow up thinking that our home is the center of the universe.

All this is coming to a head because, ridiculously, we have to enroll Benjamin in school now if we want him to attend Pre-K in September. Because his birthday falls at the end of the year, our choices are to either enroll him as too young for his class, or too old. Both possibilities pose risk that, with him at a public school, we won’t be able to determine quickly enough if he’s struggling at school, and why.

I have two theories on my own education (and frustrations with it) that combined suggest to me that if we put Ben in school too late, he might end up frustrated, bored and unable or uninterested in performing according to how he’s evaluated… but that if we put him in too early and he learns differently than the teachers expect, he might get steamrolled.

If our kids learn at home, they’ll have 1 full-time teacher, and 1 part-time teacher available to them to help them learn however they need to, and at whatever pace works for them. And our field trips? They’d be world-wide…