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More Space

On December 20, 2004, there was a fire in the restaurant next door. It was around six hours between the time the fire started and when it finally set off the smoke alarms on our side of the building. The result was that the restaurant was completely destroyed; everything was smoked thoroughly. The partial second floor had to be demolished and even the brick walls had to be soda-blasted to remove the odor. A third of our offices were evacuated and carpets, books, and computers had to be thoroughly cleaned.

The restaurant relocated around the corner and Logos took the opportunity to create additional office space that could connect to our existing offices.

For ten months we endured the sounds (and smells!) of demolition and construction on the other side of a very thin wall. But today it is all worth it, because we are finally able to move in.

From the back, at the top of the old second floor. Skylight is above and right.

From the front, towards the back and skylight.

From the back of the new second floor at nearly the same position as the first photo.

ETS/SBL Sessions Relating to Logos, Part 3

Two of our own Logos staff are making additional presentations at the ETS/SBL meetings. The presentations listed in this third post are not Logos-related, per se, but we want to support Mike and Rick in what they’re doing “on the side”. :-)

Dr. Mike Heiser, Ph.D., is presenting two papers at ETS. They are both based on his dissertation and discuss the relationship between certain aspects of early Israelite theology, New Testament/Early Church theology, and contemporary controversies. One of Mike’s research interests is questions surrounding the divine council and monotheism in the Old Testament.

I mentioned Rick Brannan’s Logos-related ETS presentation in Part 1 of this series of posts, but he’s also presenting a paper on biblioblogging at SBL. Biblioblog denotes a blog devoted to discussions of the Bible. Rick started Ricoblog over a year ago and PastoralEpistles.com in February 2005. His presentation will relate his experiences in setting up and maintaining these blogs, and present ideas for how to overcome some biblioblogging obstacles.

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ETS/SBL Sessions Relating to Logos, Part 2

As noted in Part 1, a number of presentations and papers at ETS and SBL will touch on Logos Bible Software in some way.

Four SBL presentations relate to Logos (I covered ETS in Part 1, if you missed it).

On Monday morning (S21-15), check out Dr. Steven Cox’s paper on integrating technology such as Logos Bible Software into the classroom to enhance the teaching and research of biblical Greek.

That afternoon (S21-107), sit in on the Computer Assisted Research session as Dr. Al Lukaszewski discusses and shows his work on a syntactically tagged database he’s developing for Logos. Stick around for a presentation later in that same session by Matthew O’Donnell and Catherine Smith, who are working with the Louw-Nida lexicon to perform computational analysis of the Greek New Testament. O’Donnell is with OpenText.org, our partner in developing a syntactically annotated Greek NT.

Finally, on Tuesday head over to the “Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew” session where you’ll hear from Dr. A. Dean Forbes on how phrase marker analysis of the Hebrew Bible opens up new avenues of research. Logos is partnering with Dr. Francis I. Andersen and Dr. Forbes to make their tagged Hebrew text available so you can do this kind of work, too!

Full details for each session follow…

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Re-Caffeinated at Logos!

Logos programmer Bryan Albert fills the bean hopperThe espresso machine is back! After breaking down sometime in September (that month is nothing more than a hazy, coffeeless memory now) and spending weeks at the repair shop in Canada (don’t ask why we have to take it to Canada when it breaks)…it finally came back last week and is once again caffeinating the good people of Logos.

The first couple of times the machine needed service, we crated and shipped it up to Vancouver. But customs turned out to be a hassle. So now a guy (Caleb) who works in our shipping department has been designated the bearer of the machine. He loads it in his car and drives it north of the border…and back. You might envision four men carrying it on long poles with the tribes of Logos following in procession…but it’s not quite like that…yet.

But we do love our coffee. True story: when the espresso machine came back from the shop this time, the repair guys said that when they opened it up and looked at the counter (shotometer?) inside, they couldn’t believe what they saw. Apparently, the machine has already produced more than 20,000 cups of coffee. The repair guys said it was the most they had ever seen on one machine.

Here’s to the beautiful bean… :-)

Yummy latte

ETS/SBL Sessions Relating to Logos, Part 1

One of the most exciting events we attend every year is the national meeting of Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature held in mid-November, this year in greater Philadelphia, PA.

We’ll have a booth at each meeting where you can meet a number of Logos staff. It’s an exciting time for us to meet and hear from the academic crowd and show off new products and features that are in the works or recently shipped.

Beyond just stopping by the booth, this year you can also attend half a dozen or more sessions that relate to Logos Bible Software! Some of the sessions are presented by Logos staff, but most are presented by scholars who are using our software or developing new databases for Logos.

I’ll start with ETS, since it’s held first, then follow up with a post or two on SBL sessions (found here and here).

At ETS, you’ll want to hit the Thursday afternoon session on Bible software, moderated by Dr. Coakley, Moody Graduate School. At that session, the emphasis is on using software tools such as Logos to teach syntax and discourse-level analysis. The new tools and databases we’re producing open up new approaches to teaching (and learning!) the biblical languages. The focus can now move beyond the word level to consider textual units as a whole. Just as morphologically-tagged texts were an essential tool for yesterday’s seminarian, syntactically-tagged texts are the indispensible tool for the next generation of students.

At this session, you’ll hear from three Moody profs and our own Rick Brannan and Eli Evans. Details follow…

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Thankful for This Job

There are lots of reasons I love my job. I like the technology, the business, and the people. But most of all, I appreciate the incredible privilege it is to be developing tools that help people study the Bible.

Recently I came in to work to find this email from a Bible college president sitting in my inbox:

I’m sitting here, w/ a notebook computer, in a “not yet open Starbucks,” in <city name> (giving a series of lectures at <seminary name>) using Logos / Libronix in my devotions and am still amazed. I cannot believe the ease w/ which I can do word studies, check commentaries, compare versions, and get lost in Logos trails… it is truly amazing what you have done. Thanks again. This tool is a huge blessing to me. Appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

I believe that I could work unto the Lord in many different occupations; I know people who do in a variety of jobs. But I know that it is a rare and unusual job where you provide tools that so directly support people’s Bible study and teaching, and where you can get such direct encouragement and feedback. I am thankful for this job, and for the many users who have taken the time to encourage, challenge, and pray for us.

Nobel Prize in Economics and Game Theory (at Logos!)

It all started innocently enough. I went for a cup of coffee on Monday afternoon at the Starbucks up the street. When I was there, they gave me a coupon for a free Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I like my coffee straight. No cream, no sugar, and certainly no “pumpkin spice”.

So, on my way back to the office, coffee in one hand and coupon in the other, I started thinking. Earlier that day, the Nobel Prize in Economics was announced. It went to some guys (Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann) who did foundational work in Game Theory. (yes, I can be a bit of an econ geek … )

I had the brainstorm of giving away the coupon via Logos company email, but experimenting a little with game theory in the process. Read on if you’re interested …

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Street Signs

LogosHighwayBanner.jpgGetting ready for AAR/SBL this year got me thinking about our booth in previous years.
ParkingForHebrewScholars.jpg

One of my favorite booth themes was our 2003 display with the road sign theme. We did a big banner with a highway overpass and freeway graphics and then made up custom street and parking signs to decorate the booth.

We got a lot of great feedback from people walking by the booth, and lots of people wanted to buy our “Parking for Hebrew Scholars Only” sign. But we kept it, and it now decorates the wall above our Hebrew scholar’s desk. The street signs are in our lunchroom.

(We ordered our signs from Cute Signs, where you can get your own custom parking sign for under $20.)

The Lost Photo Shoot

The attentive reader of Bob’s Sept. 27 post will recall that he mentioned using the ECF volumes for a recent photo shoot.

We were shooting Bob for the Red Herring article and trying to come up with some creative images. The reporter said the more interesting the image, the more likely it would be used in the story.

As with many projects at Logos, this was a no-budget affair. Sean, the graphic designer and all-around art guy, brought in his digital SLR camera and we grabbed some lights from next door…

After getting out the ladder so Bob could climb up and stand atop the 15-foot wall, we abandoned the idea as impractical (not because it was dangerous but because the angles were all wrong). We considered going next door to the dusty, gutted-out building that is being prepared for us to inhabit soon, but that idea was discarded as being an irrelevant backdrop.

We like the aluminum sign that hangs in the reception area, and somebody suggested using some books as a prop. Next thing you know, we’re trotting back to one of the bookshelves to retrieve the Early Church Fathers volumes. Where else can you find a stack of uniformly bound books that reaches more than waist high?

Here are some shots of the shoot in progress…
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Speaking of the Early Church Fathers …

Reading Bob’s post and seeing the picture of Eli holding 37 volumes of the Church Fathers’ writings brings back memories.

I remember when we did the ECF project. That was Eli’s baby, and what an incredible job he did in pullling that thing together. I can recall helping his team out by proofing through Greek in footnotes to make sure it was actually correct. I think I may have even keyed some of the footnotes.

But what I remember most is the topical index.
Huh? You didn’t know that the 37-volume Logos Bible Software edition of the Early Church Fathers has a topic index? Well, it does. And that particular topic index doesn’t exist anywhere else.

This article looks back on how all that happened. Ahhhhhh … nostalgia!

It must’ve been 1996, but it sure doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. Eli and I were just figuring out what it meant to make electronic books, and were “kicking the tires” both with LLS resources and with our still-developing programming skills.
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