The Amazing Free Back-Office/Productivity Suite/Mail Server Giveaway (Part 1)

What is GoogleApps?

If you happen to be a pastor or volunteer at a small church which is trying to embrace the flood of technology available in the 21st century then perhaps the title of this article caught your eye. Did you know that if you own a domain name and have the technical expertise to set your own CNAME records (or at least have the patience to follow Google’s detailed online help), Google will give you a free, hosted, productivity suite along with some seriously significant amounts of disk space located in the cloud.

That’s right. The standard version of the GoogleApps in-the-cloud, Web 2.0+, Microsoft-busting, service suite is available for free for personal use. If you have a personal website or blog, I recommend that you try it out right away. I did this a couple years back when this was still bleeding-edge and Google marketing was calling it “Google Apps For Your Domain.” Since that time, Google has not only shortened the name, they have added feature after feature, they have had (almost) flawless uptime, and they have continually increased the disk space allowance to users. If you are a GMail user then you are probably already familiar with many of the apps – mail, calendar, contacts, chat… Adding it to your domain allows you to brand these apps with your organization’s logo and get an amazing combination of great apps, great hosting, and great collaboration tools.

My personal journey with GoogleApps went something like this:

  • “Wow, that was easy to set up.”
  • “I wonder why I am still using Outlook.”
  • “Wow, that’s a great new feature, I can use that!”
  • “Wow, I can’t believe its been over a year since I used Outlook. It sure is nice to have all my contacts, calendars, email, important docs, etc. available from any computer/OS/browser that is hooked up to the internet.”
  • Sure is nice that all that stuff is backed up to the cloud too.
  • “Wow, I am glad they added offline funtionality too. It’s time to uninstall Outlook permanently.”
  • It is cool that I can easily add anyone I want as a user on my domains productivity apps from any computer and collaborate, share, chat, etc. etc. etc.
  • Anybody want an old Windows Server box to use as a doorstop? I am tired of trying to keep up with patches and admin. Let Google do it for me!

The features keep coming

 I recently checked out the Official Google Apps blog and noticed that two of the last big hurdles to using GoogleApps as my main productivity suite have been cleared by the G. Team as we head into 2010. Just recently they (finally) released a stand-alone contacts page that can apparently be shared across everyone in your domain. The other new feature for this month is that now users can upload *any file type* to their domain accounts. This is big because it gives you an immediate “G-Drive” type of backup location. You can upload important stuff as a zip archive or whatever format you prefer and have it in case of a local computer disaster. With GoogleApps folder sharing feature you can even create a dedicated shared folder and share anything you want across your organization just like many of us do on our local area networks. Only this is hosted on the cloud… sweet! At this initial release the limit is 1 gig per user on “unconverted” files (which means files that can’t be converted to online docs, spreadsheets or presentations). Hopefully that number will also go up soon.

Now For An Even Bigger Freebie

In part one of this article I talked about the standard edition. In part two I will tell you how I was able to use my church’s non-profit organization status to get a pro version of GoogleApps (normally $50 per user per year) for free! If you just can’t wait and want to go get this for your own church you can start here:

GoogleApps for Charities

Do you have experience with GoogleApps? Love it? Hate it? Join the forum via the link below and leave a comment or question.

How to Browse Japanese Websites (relatively) Painlessly



Japanese is hard! 

Anyone from the Western Hemisphere who has seriously tried to master the Japanese language knows that it is not a trivial task. After studying at two American universities and under two Japanese private tutors, I did what many before me have done – I focused on speaking and listening and let my puny Japanese reading and writing skills atrophy.  It would certainly be cool if there were a universal translator (ala Star Trek) – I’d even settle for a Babblefish to stick in my ear (ala Douglas Adams). In the meantime there is Google Translate

Translation is Hard to Automate 

However, the practical usefulness of translation software is still ridiculously limited as anyone who has actually tried to use it will quickly find out. Just try picking a phrase in English at random, translate that phrase into Japanese and then translate it back into English using the same software. Should at least be close, right?  OK, since I love the Bible  I will choose a simple passage that source. How about an excerpt from Luke 2 (as famously quoted by Linus on “A Charlie Brown Christmas“). 

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. 

The results after a round trip through Google Translate (English–>Japanese–>English): 

Because he is a line of David, Joseph, and therefore belongs to the house, the Jewish town of Nazareth in Galilee, the Bethlehem, went to the city of David. He and Mary went to register the child and was hoping that was promised to marry him. While were there, the time is coming to birth a baby, her firstborn child, gave birth to a son. 

Semi-humorous Internet History Break… 

For those of use who have studied Japanese since the dark ages of the Internet, when Al Gore was laboring to create Arpa-Net and Darpa-Net (insert sarcmark here), the greatest free gift to Japanese scholars was Jim Breen’s EDICT database. Pooling the resources of Australia’s university students who were majoring in the Japanese language, Professor Breen did something incredibly farsighted. He created a free English-Japanese dictionary for foreign students of Japanese and freely made it available to all on the Monash University website


Building on this great basic research, Todd Rudick built which can be easily used from any webbrowser for either translating Japanese text or (by entering a URL directly) browsing entire Japanese websites. The genius of (rikai means “understanding” in English) is that it is NOT a translator but something akin an automatic popup dictionary. If you know how to speak Japanese but your kanji skills are weak, this is better than a translator. Try it and you will see what I mean. I recommend using some kind of ad-blocker to remove the annoying dating ads that inhabit the sidebars, but the functionality is worth the effort. 

RIKAICHAN BROWSING PLUGIN is cool, but I have saved the best for last. Building on this idea and expanding on Todd’s initial attempt at a browser plugin version of, Jon Zarate has built an excellent plugin for Firefox called Rikaichan. As I write this the current stable revision is 1.07 and 1.08 is in the late beta stages. This is, hands down, the very best tool I have found for browsing Japanese websites. It is fast, slick and elegant. It also has the full power of the original EDICT database plus alpha and makes it all available as tooltip rollovers and hotkeys from your Firefox browser. There is also a work-in-progress Chrome version here called rikaikun

Do you know any other good tools for web-browsing in Japanese?  

OK, just to round out the list here is one more option for those who have decent Japanese skills but need a little help with the kanji. The furigana injector add-on is available for Firefox and Chrome and does just what you would expect from the name.

If you have any other tips for reading Japanese websites, let me know via the forum link below. Share your tips and be blessed!

Top 30 Unreached People Groups By Population

Shaikh Bangladesh 131,167,000 < 0.1% Islam
Japanese Japan 121,405,000 0.4% Buddhism
Shaikh India 76,130,000 unknown Islam
Brahman India 57,108,000 unknown Hinduism
Yadava India 56,367,000 unknown Hinduism
Turk Turkey 52,120,000 < 0.1% Islam
Chamar India 49,814,000 unknown Hinduism
Rajput India 40,963,000 unknown Hinduism
Han Chinese, Xiang China 35,793,000 0.3% Non-Religious
Sunda Indonesia 34,720,000 unknown Islam
Hakka China 33,238,000 0.6% Non-Religious
Jat, Muslim Pakistan 32,330,000 < 0.1% Islam
Burmese Myanmar (Burma) 27,875,000 0.1% Buddhism
Persian Iran 27,500,000 0.3% Islam
Mahratta India 27,460,000 unknown Hinduism
Bania India 26,519,000 unknown Hinduism
Hausa Nigeria 24,181,000 < 0.1% Islam
Algerian, Arabic-speaking Algeria 24,161,000 0.2% Islam
Pashtun, Northern Pakistan 24,041,000 < 0.1% Islam
Korean Korea, North 23,712,000 1.5% Non-Religious
Uzbek, Northern Uzbekistan 21,626,000 < 0.1% Islam
Jawa Pesisir Lor Indonesia 20,020,000 < 0.1% Islam
Thai, Central Thailand 19,649,000 unknown Buddhism
Arab, Iraqi Iraq 19,300,000 0.1% Islam
Jawa Mancanegari Indonesia 18,000,000 1.1% Islam
Thai, Northeastern, Lao Isan Thailand 17,958,000 unknown Buddhism
Kurmi India 17,067,000 unknown Hinduism
Teli India 17,024,000 unknown Hinduism
Rajput, Muslim Pakistan 16,561,000 < 0.1% Islam
Kunbi India 15,810,000 unknown Hinduism

Joshua Project welcomes corrections / updates to this data. Please send feedback to:

Joshua Project

Office: 719.886.4000
PO Box 62614

Fax: 719.266.9250
Colorado Springs, CO 80962

United States


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