Rath Family Website

This website contains resources we want to share with everyone as well as personal information we only want to share with family and friends.  The latter information is behind a password.  If you desire access to our Family & Friends pages then please send an email requesting the password.

For Family & Friends

Home School Resources

As Home Schoolers, we have developed resources for use within our family. We would like to share these with you for use in your home. Commercial use of these resources is prohibited; except with written permission from Christopher or Jean.

  • Flash Cards For Musical Note/Symbol Drill—print the page found through this link, cut the pieces out, and paste them on file cards
  • Ramblings In Rath

    The pieces linked to in the list, below, represent the personal perspective of each writer; be it Christopher or Jean, or one of our occasional guest writers. Readers should treat the contents as “opinion pieces”: t hey are personal opinion and perspectives on life; they are not necessarily fact or doctrine and should be treated accordingly. These essays, reviews, and miscellaneous writings have been posted both for your reading pleasure and to cause you to think. Happy pondering:

    Ruth Rath

  • [2003-12-01] A Christmas Memory—a short article written by Christopher's mother, remembering her Christmases as a young girl growing up in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Jean

  • [2014-03-11] At the Smiling of the River
  • [2013-09-07] Food For Thought
  • [2013-06-12] Mired in the Church
  • [2010-10] New Wine: Getting There Is All The Fun
  • [2010-06] Navigating the New Thing
  • [2010-04] Easter… Unbound
  • [2010-04] Small News
  • [2010-01-31] Set Apart
  • [2009-10-28] Toward a Contemporary Understanding—Art and godlessness.
  • [2009-03-01] Toward a Thousand Places (The Travelling Homeschooler)
  • [2009-02-03] A Peek into a Different World, Part 2: Hope
  • [2009-01-09] Teaching Our Ways
  • [2008-12] The End of Education (A Boy with a Problem)
  • [2008-11-06] Guilt and How to Come to Terms With it, Part 2: I’m Bored
  • [2008-10-11] Who's The Dummy
  • [2008-09] Guilt, and How to Come to Terms with It—Originally published in the Holiday, 2008 issue of Homeschool Horizons.
  • [2008-07-13] A Smack of Reality (The Future Home)—Originally published in the October, 2008 issue of Homeschool Horizons.
  • [2008-06-28] Nothing (Much) New—Originally published in the September, 2008 issue of Homeschool Horizons.
  • [2008-06-07] A Peek into a Different World—Further thoughts from Jean on education and home schooling.
  • [2008-05-23] Typical—Originally published in the Summer, 2008 issue of Homeschool Horizons.
  • [2008-05-07] Away from Home—Jean's thoughts on education preparing children to leave home.
  • [2008-04-09] To Love…—Originally published in the June, 2008 issue of Homeschool Horizons.
  • [2008-02-16] Nailing Down Normal—Jean's thoughts on normality.
  • [2007] Teen Education
  • [2005] An Education Philosophy Emerges
  • [2001-12-07] Literature and Culture
  • Christopher

  • [2014-03-18] The Blackberry Z10—My review of the Z10.
  • [2014-03-01] Tim Oren's User Interface Advice—Two articles from 1986 that today's application designers desperately need to read.
  • [2013-09-11] Clicker Training & Millennials—Why do Millennials design such crap UIs?
  • [2013-08-26] Evolution of Relative Wages, by Education Level—Why you should get a university degree!
  • [2012-09-24] A New Discount Airline—My experience flying Singapore Airline.
  • [2011-12-09] Letter to Radio City Music Hall—The letter I sent after having my camera taken from me by Radio City Music Hall security (as we entered the theatre).
  • [2011-11-12] Negative Scanning: Part 1—My experiences scanning our family negatives.
  • [2011-07-08] Cutting the Cord—XLink experience report: moving from a Bell land line to a mobile phone for our home phone infrastructure.
  • [2011-01-29] Dumbing Down Daisy—Further MS Office musings.
  • [2010-05-31] Crooked Democracy—Commentary on the erosion of democracy in Ontario and the USA.
  • [2010-05-27] Airline Woes—Commentary on bad airline behaviour.
  • [2009-07-30] Searching For A CMS
  • [2009-07-25] Office 2007: A Bad Idea Gone Bad—Christopher's take on Office 2007
  • [2009-07-23] Dumb & Dumber III: Blackberry Madness—Christopher's Blackberry complaints.
  • [2008-12-31] Wikipedia Deletion Police—Bad behaviour on Wikipedia.
  • [2008-12-13] Email To The BC Attorney General—Christopher's email to the BC Attorney General regarding the findings of the inquiry into Mr. Dziekanski’s death.
  • [2008-09-06] Correspondence With The Canada's Justice Minister.
  • [2008-07-27] Death of a Telecom—Christopher's take on Nortel Networks' inability to recover from the Dot-com crash.
  • [2008-06-07] Wax Seals & Democracy—Some thoughts on the idea that democracy only works if honest people behave honestly.
  • [2008-05-30] HP 2710p Tablet PC Review—A short review of my recent use of an HP 2710p Tablet PC.
  • [2008-05-30] HP 2710p Slate Orientation Issue—A description of a problem with the HP 2710p Tablet PC along with my personal workaround to that problem (since HP has declined to provide one).
  • [2008-05-03] What Actually Matters?—Some thoughts on how to determine which business processes and applications are actually important, and which are not.
  • [2008-04-15] Another 3Com 3C19504 Rescued—Jeff Deacon writes about his experience refitting a 3C19504
  • [2008-04-10] Christopher's Email Filing & Retrieval Method Email—filing email in MS Outlook for subsequent retrieval.
  • [2007-05-02] On Being Canadian—an essay about Christopher's frustration regarding hyphenated citizenship.
  • [2006-09-19] Email To Canada's Transport Canada Minister—Christopher's request from the Canadian politician responsible for Canadian airline security asking how public accountability is brought to bear on in airline security in Canada.
  • [2006-07-07] Wine Tasting Report—personal report on tasting wine at Château de Glerolles in St-Saphorin, Switzerland.
  • [2006-06-30] PC Recommendation—some thoughts about how to decide what PC to buy?
  • [2006-06-08] Fat Man Rant—for men only.
  • [2006-04-09] “It’s All About Me”—selfishness in Ontario.
  • [2006-02-26] An Appreciation For Classical Ballet—some thoughts about ballet
  • [2006-02-05] Toshiba M200 Tablet PC Review (Part 2)—some further comments on Christopher's Tablet PC; now that he's been using it for 16 months
  • [2006-01-29] The Lesser of Two Evils—negative choices and the possible consequences
  • [2006-01-08] Dumb & Dumber II: RBC, Davis + Henderson, & the CPA—two big finance related organisations tell lies to avoid serving their customers, and the third just ignores the customer
  • [2005-12-07] Dumb & Dumber: Quicken & Amex—Intuit/Quicken and American Express Canada are not customer service oriented companies, and unfortunately for consumers these two companies must often be used in tandem, resulting in disaster
  • [2005-09-02] Sea Level Silliness—a short rant about the rebuilding of New Orleans in its original, below sea level, location
  • [2005-07-22] The Ladykillers---A Review
  • [2005-06-25] Letter Regarding Bill C-60 In Canada—a letter to Canada's political party leaders regarding the unnecessary enactment of laws
  • [2005-05-14] Behave For The Best—an exhortation to change our behaviour
  • [2005-12-24] L. V. Hogue—A Canadian Painter—a website Christopher has put up to document my Grandfather's life and paintings
  • [2004-10-22] Toshiba M200 Tablet PC Review—my first 6 weeks using a Toshiba M200 Tablet PC
  • [2004-07-24] The Case For The Logbook—arguing the case for the use of a logbook in your work-life
  • [2004-05-07] Logitech IO Review—a review of Logitech's IO digital pen device
  • [2003-11-27] Letter To LA County Officials Re: Their Desire To Eliminate Computer 'Master' and 'Slave' Labels
  • [2003-09-24] Response To Ontario 2003 Election Debate—an email I sent to the Leaders of the three major Ontario Provincial political parties; none of the recipients even acknowledged receiving the email
  • [2003-09-12] Tablet PC Review—a review of a Tablet PC
  • [2003-04-30] Pareto’s Unthinking Populace (PUP)—litmus tests for discovering those who don’t think
  • [2003-04-20] Metropolis—A Review
  • [2003-04-06] A Frustrated Canuk—Christopher's personal frustrations with recent world events
  • [2002-12] The Heresy of DIY—Our free, capitalist, highly technological society has bred a belief and corresponding behaviour of "With the right tools I can do anything."
  • [2002-09-11] Change, What Change?—Reflections on the 1st anniversary of 2001-09-11
  • [2002-10-25] Bob Bennett In Concert: A Review
  • [2002-05-10] Letter Regarding Proposed Audio Tariffs In Canada
  • [2002-03-17] Rebellion, Submission, & Authority—an essay on terms and conditions
  • [2002-02-24] Letter On Changing Canada's Anthem
  • [2002-02-17] Letter To Canada's Privacy Commissioner
  • [2002-02-01] Experience Report: Turning Audio Cassettes & Vinyl LPs Into MP3 Files
  • [2001-12-16] A Stay At The Inn (or audio version)
  • [2001-04-09] Thoughts on Intergenerational Church Life
  • [2001-01-21] Remembering John Parr, an obituary
  • [1999-08-21] Review of Robert Critchley’s CD “How Big Is He?”
  • [1998-12-16] CrossPad Review
  • [1998-05-24] A Message To N. Ireland On Their Vote To Accept The Peace Accord
  • [1997-08-15] Review of Robert Critchley’s “Song Resource Pack”
  • [circa 1997] Cost management via problem prioritisation
  • [circa 1990] Protext—In Review
  • [circa 1990] WYSIWYG Or Not To WYSIWYG
  • [1986-11-18] Why Computer Literacy?

  • Stuff From The Kids

    The resources in this section have been created by our children.

    Covers for Cereal Box DVDs

    Early in 2002, and again in late-2004, one of the breakfast cereal manufacturers in Canada offered kid’s DVDs as a give-away in certain brands of breakfast cereal.  We scoured the Internet for relevant artwork and then created case-covers (real DVD-sized covers, not CD case inserts) using PowerPoint, for each of the DVDs we collected.  These were created as a computer assignment by two of our children within the context of our Home School.

    Stroke Books

    In late 2002, I (Christopher) came upon a reference to something called a Stroke Book. This is a small, bound booklet that can be folded from a single sheet of paper. The best instructions I can find—describing with illustrations exactly how to fold one of these books—are found on the Oregon Public Education Network's website, in the Support For Teachers In Art Section.  What appears below is an MS Word document that is formatted such that you can easily type text into the document, print it, and fold it into a stroke book.  This was created as a computer assignment by one of our children within the context of our Home School.

    Stuff From Christopher

    The resources in this section have been authored by Christopher.

    Mr. Travel

    Since 1995, my work has caused me to travel much more than I have ever imagined I would.  My giving of opinionated and vocal travel advice to co-workers caused me to be nicknamed “Mr. Travel” (specific thanks for the moniker goes to Brad Black).  While waiting in airports, hotels, and airplanes, I have collected my opinions and recommendations into the following documents (I trust they will be of some value to others):

    Worship Team & Sound Reinforcement

    I have been part of “Worship” bands/teams since becoming a Christian in January, 1983.  Playing in bands and later helping to start a church led to experience setting up and running sound systems for church services, conferences, and concerts.  Early in 2001 I decided to try and capture my experience and learnings in writing, and these documents form the resources in this section.

    I am confident that not everyone will share the opinions I express herein, but I trust my experiences will serve to assist others as they work out their own salvation (c.f. Philippians 2:12) in service to the Body of Christ.

    The links in this section are presented in alphabetical order; with a List of Terms being listed at the bottom:

  • Choosing Sound Technicians—guidelines for selecting appropriate individuals to become members of your team of sound technicians.
  • Choosing Sound System Equipment—thoughts and suggested constraints for the selection of sound reinforcement equipment.
  • Gift Projection & Sound Technicians—sound technicians are present at a variety of meetings and often encounter "gift projection", so they should be prepared to handle it.  Even worse, sound technicians themselves often engage in gift projection and they should be prepared to deal with themselves.
  • Home Group Worship Seminar—our church put on a day-long seminar, in 1991, for anyone interested in leading worship in Home Groups (i.e., small, mid-week care groups). These are my teaching notes for the session; where an outline of the other presenter’s sections are present, but the only detailed notes are for the sections I authored and taught.
  • How To Use A Vocal Mic—some tips regarding proper use of vocal mics.
  • Overhead Transparency Template—this document is an MS Word 2000 document template (a .dot file).  To use this template, download it (by right-clicking and doing a save-as) and put it on your desktop.  Whenever you need to create a new overhead for a song, double-click on the overhead template icon and you’re away to the races.
  • Prerequisites For Home Group Worship Leaders—some thoughts on both the qualifications required to be a Home Group Worship Leader as well as how the local church should be serving such leaders.
  • Prerequisites For Worship Team Members—the set of requirements I wrote (with lots of input from our congregation's leadership team at the time) to capture the responsibilities and prerequisites for membership in the Worship Team that led the congregation in worship on Sunday morning's.
  • Sound Reinforcement & Friction With Others—a short discussion intended to help sound technicians deal with common complaints.
  • Sound System Checklist, or, “How to get sound from the system”—this document is a printed as a small 4 page booklet and left with the sanctuary’s sound system.  I wrote this to provide instructions which would allow anyone using the sanctuary to be able to make use of the house sound system.
  • The Importance of Rhythm—some thoughts on the importance of rhythm when leading a congregation in worship/singing.
  • Yamaha BMS-10A Usage Tip—an inexpensive tip for getting extra life from your Yamaha personal monitor mic stand adapter.
  • List of Terms—a list of common terminology used throughout my Worship Team & Sound Reinforcement notes.
  • Miscellaneous

    This section contains a miscellaneous collection of tips and contributions towards the public good.  I hope they’re helpful.

  • Christmas Carols—I have compiled commonly sung Christmas songs (the ones I like) and put them together into a little booklet and overhead transparency masters.  Although this collection isn't new, it has been reformatted and new carols added for the 2004 Christmas season.
  • ClarkConnect Notes—thoughts, experiences, and software I've written for our ClarkConnect-based firewall.
  • CSV.pm—Perl module for processing Comma Separated Value (CSV) files.
  • Diamond Grading Chart—to assist with a diamond purchase, I created a pocket-sized chart of the AGS’s diamond grading system.
  • Digital Photography Notes—we recently switched from an analogue to a digital camera.  Click through the link to read about our experiences.
  • Hacking The 3Com Multi-Purpose Internet Server (3C19504)—my experiences hacking into, reconfiguring,  and upgrading my 3C19504.
  • Home Group Teachings—notes for teaching I have done in small groups (generally associated with the church we belong to).
  • HVAC Search—our search to replace our furnace, central air, and hot water heater; the page includes a couple of MS Excel tools I put together to assist with evaluating the various options.
  • IT 101—an introduction to information technology (IT) practices.
  • LaTeX Songbook Style—more than 15 years ago I took on maintenance of the songbooks and overhead transparencies at the church we attend. The style will print songbooks with chords, without chords, and transparencies, all from a single input file. It will also produce a table of contents, an index sorted by title and first line, and an index sorted by key. It attempts to handle songs in multiple keys, as well as songs in multiple languages.
  • Nature Log—A log of some of the wildlife we have seen.
  • Newton Resources—I have produced a few resources which may be of interest to Newton MessagePad users/owners.
  • NeXT WriteNow to MS RTF conversion—click through the link to download a couple of scripts which can be used to perform some rudimentary conversion of NeXT WriteNow files into Microsoft RTF (Rich Text Format) files that can be opened with MS Word.
  • NTP For Windows 2000—Network Time Protocol (NTP) support is built into Windows 2000 Professional; however, it’s not turned on by default and the process of turning it on is not properly documented.  Follow the link (at the start of this bullet) for my W2K NTP crib sheet.
  • MS Office Templates—Christopher's Excel templates. [New]
  • Personal Work/Task Logging tool—an Excel template you can use to track your time on a per-task, per-client basis.
  • Proxy Logger—an informal proposal for a new Squid module.
  • refreshSG—my ClarkConnect (and generic Linux) module for refreshing squidGuard Blacklists.
  • Salary Management 101—material I created in 1999 to document the approach I was using for actively managing the salaries of my staff; the material was updated to make it generic prior to being posted here. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. The original PowerPoint file and a PDF version are also available under the same license.
  • VBA Resources—various VBA tools and techniques that I have written, developed, and utilised.  Published under LGPL.
  • VBacs—VBA macros VBA to create Emacs short-cut keys in MS Word.
  • View From Here, The—Bob Bennett's personal commentary about the songs on his CD, The View From Here.
  • Old Hat

    These are past publications, most of which have no current application but which might have some historical value.  If nothing else, they capture a point in time which may interest others.  The publications are presented in reverse chronological order:

  • Internet Access White Paper presented to an OCRI Technology Executive Breakfast in February 1993.
  • USENIX Winter 1993 Conference Report—the conference report I circulated to co-workers upon my return from the conference.
  • HP-41c Microcode Programming—published in PPC Technical Notes #15, early 1984. In early 1983 I was invited to give a talk at an upcoming gathering of Hewlett-Packard calculator enthusiasts. Over the preceding couple of years a number of my letters and articles had been published in both The PPC Journal and PPC Technical Notes, and the primary focus of these writings had become microcode programming of the HP-41c calculator. This article is an annotated version of paper I wrote and presented at the Rhode Island conference on 1983/05/07–08 (the annotations are by John McGechie and Michael Thompson).
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Algorithm & HP-41c Implementation—published in PPC Technical Notes #13, late 1982. I created this algorithm and code during early 1981 while learning to repair ground RADAR at the Canadian Armed Forces’ Electronics School in Kingston. For many months I had been promising the PPC TN’s editor that I would write up and submit an article; hence the gap between the writing of the program and the publication of the article. A text version of this article is available at this link.
  • Aliases

    Over the years, Christopher has been known under several email addresses within the high tech community and on the Internet.  Those addresses include:

    Who I am not.  This Christopher Rath is not the a c t o r who is also a a member of the religious organisation whose name starts with 'Sci'.


    ©Copyright 1998–2009, Christopher & Jean Rath
    Telephone: 613-824-4584
    Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
    Last updated: 2014/03/18 @ 23:12:39 ( )