The winter of technical discontent

So far as our day-to-day work goes, not much changes. For the people we serve, that’s largely a good thing. The clients of my technical support and services want stability, reliability, and predictability. It’s when those qualities suddenly disappear that I receive a frantic message or phone call. In those cases, it helps to be able to think fast and perhaps even travel at short notice. Here are the highlights of the events that popped up over the past few months.

In December, my colleagues at Wycliffe Netherlands called and reported that their Internet connection had quit. The other tenants of their building in Driebergen were fine—only their office was affected. Shortly after determining that they had a problem that they could not resolve themselves, I started the three-hour drive north. I took three devices that I could use in place of the one that failed. In the end, though, it was only a power adapter that was faulty—a relief to me and to them. I spent the night there, took care of some smaller matters in the office, and then drove home to Niederdresselndorf.

In January, the backup file server used at Wycliffe Switzerland died. That sounds worse that it really was. When we replace these servers, our practice is to use the older file server to do daily backups. USB backup drives are used less frequently for longer storage. When the Swiss backup server failed, I needed to reconfigure the data arrangement and backup schedule to give them an efficient arrangement. It’s been working to my satisfaction—and theirs—for a several weeks now. In time, they’ll replace the working file server, and it will become the backup.

A few weeks ago, the director of Wycliffe Austria—who was attending a workshop here—consulted me on the matter of replacing aging equipment in her office in Linz. Since she claimed little familiarity with technology matters, I walked her through our own small office, pointed out the components of our network, and explained what role they play. She was grateful to have that overview and relieved to hear that new equipment would not cost nearly as much as she (and their board) might have feared.

Katherine’s work in the library associated with Wycliffe Germany has been steady. New books come in, loans go out to people doing linguistic and translation research, and God’s message finds its way into yet another language. She has been busy lately introducing the routines of the library to the woman who will oversee the work after we return to the U.S. for a year’s furlough. (More on that later!) We hope to begin a project soon that will unfetter the library from a local database to one that will allow people to search for and request items online.

If you’re praying for us, please pray for wisdom and patience in all that we do, especially when one system or another acts up.

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David Liddle

I grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, close to Philadelphia. I graduated from The Citadel in 1994. In 1995, I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and have served in Africa, the United States, and Germany. Katherine and I were married in November 1998.

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