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Slicing Books for Art

At a used bookstore in London I found a Bible atlas from 1900 with beautiful colored engravings. I have seen individual atlas pages in old map shops sold for more than this book cost, and it had 11 full page engravings. Few things hurt me like cutting up a book, but these clean, neat 8 x 10 inch pages simply begged to be framed and hung on the wall for everyone to appreciate.

After a quick check on the Internet to ensure that the book wasn’t too rare, we carefully cut out the pages and scanned them at high resolution before framing them. You will see them on the wall if you visit Logos in the future, and you can download this diagram of the tabernacle and the temple right now. (The file is 2.85 MB and the image is 3232 x 2464 pixels.)
The whole set of corrected images (cropped, rotated, color adjusted and scaled to 50%) are available in an 8 MB file.

If You Can’t Afford a Quarter

…then you ought to give a dime. If everybody gave then we could save the Blue Water Line.

The Kingston Trio wanted to save the home town depot and old engine number nine. I just want to make more books available to Logos Bible Software users.

Our Community Pricing Program is an attempt to let users collectively set the price of a book production project as low as possible. The more people who pre-order, the lower we can make the cost per unit and still cover our production costs.

Community Pricing is an experiment, and it is working. Together you have moved several projects into production and in each case the price per unit has been much lower than it would have been as a traditional Pre-Publication project.

What surprises me, though, is how many orders come in after a project covers its costs in the Community Pricing Program and before we ship it. When a title covers its costs in Community Pricing we move it to the Pre-Publication program and raise the cost. We have been getting as many as 20% more orders after moving a title.

That’s fine with us. The costs are covered, so those orders represent profit for us. But if those orders had been placed in Community Pricing, instead of Pre-Pub, the cost would have been lower for everybody. If you are at all interested in a title in the Community Pricing Program, place a bid now. (Some titles allow bids as low as $2!) If you placed a bid on a title that is hovering around 60%, a small increase by all the bidders can move the book into production right away.

Photos from a Logos Fan

Not only do our users send us random shipments of hot sauce from time to time, but sometimes we get photos like these sent from Logos user Michael Sinclair. Click either photo to see a larger version.

Michael is running Logos on Windows XP on this dual-boot Shuttle XPC (a compact PC). Notice the Logos wallpaper layered onto the front of the machine.

The shuttle coexists peacefully alongside a dual processor Mac G4–Michael says he plans to install Logos Bible Software for the Mac on that in December.

Thanks for the pics, Michael! You’ve got a cool setup there…

Story Time!

Speaking of all this Quick Navigate stuff reminds me of a story.

A few years back, when the Libronix DLS was still in its infancy, Rick Brannan decided that he was going to do the Quick Nav bar one better: He downloaded Microsoft’s speech recognition development kit and hacked together a little addin that worked just like the Quick Navigate bar, only it responded to spoken commands. This was never a serious development effort; in those days we spent time now and again just exploring the new LDLS technology, trying to figure out what it could and couldn’t do.

Anyway, Rick could say “Open: New King James,” into his computer microphone and Libronix would comply. It required a multi-megabyte download from Microsoft, and I’m sure Rick wouldn’t want anyone to look at the code, but all things considered, it worked pretty well. You could be typing along in silence and every now and then, you’d hear Rick ordering his computer around.

Now, in those days, all of the text development department worked together in a single open room. (They still do, come to think of it.)

As you might have guessed, Rick’s innovation didn’t last very long: When any of the rest of us noticed Libronix running on his machine, we would yell out across the room: “Open: The Message,” or “Open: N-I-V” just to annoy him. If we were in a particularly impish mood, we would glance over to find out the title of the book he was working on and yell out “Close …”

One million pages later…

APT Book Scanner from Kirtas TechnologiesLast year we took delivery of a robotic book scanner and set it to work in a seminary library. Today we have scanned more than one million pages from more than 3,000 titles.

Ultimately we would like to make all of these books available in the Libronix DLS format, but that represents a lot of keyboarding and tagging. (Automated optical character recognition can help, but is not accurate enough.)

So we are preparing a way to present the scanned page images. We are also putting some of them to use as source documents for the Community Pricing Program. The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul and the J. A. Broadus Preaching Collection are both being prepared from scans, and many other candidates are awaiting your bid.

It’s coming…


(more details at www.MacBibleSoftware.com)

The Logos Seal of Approval

Soon after we posted the TNIV to our prepublication program I received a personal email from a user who was troubled and disappointed that we would digitize this (admittedly controversial) Bible version.

I appreciate that this user took the time to write and am grateful that he expressed himself in a loving manner. Two lines from his email really stood out to me and seem worthy of broader discussion. He concluded his email, “I had thought Logos far more worthy of our confidence than this last example. If you continue to make offerings like this, you will soon lose your reputation for being a leader in producing first class materials.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard statements along these lines and it seems to point up a disconnect between what we see ourselves as doing and what at least some of our users see us as doing.

Statements like these suggest to me the presence of an idea or expectation that Logos serves as a content filter for the material we digitize. It approaches an implicit assumption that the books we publish somehow bear the “Logos Seal of Approval.”
Continue Reading…

Hello, My Name is Daniel

SnapshotAnother introduction…I’m Daniel Foster and I work in the marketing department at Logos. We get a lot of grief from the developers about belonging to “the Darkside” but they still share their hot sauce if we ask nicely.

Could be their suspicion is aroused by the motto on my whiteboard: Marketing: We don’t make the things you want…we make you want them!

But in truth, our job is simply to get the word out about Logos Bible Software and all the great things it can do. As soon as someone sees and understands what the software will do to revolutionize their Bible study, they’re sold!

I get to do a lot of PR-related stuff, which means I’m the face of the organization to product reviewers and press reporters. In addition to reviews, I work to get us press in various magazines and journals, whether Christian or secular. I’m also involved in writing for and helping to maintain the content on the website, managing our affiliate program, and working on various other super-secret projects I can’t reveal.

I’ve been with Logos for 3 1/2 years and moved out here to Washington from the Midwest where I was raised among Yoopers. My schooling thus far has consisted of 4 years at Hope College and 2 years at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Foremost among the delights in my life are my wife, Rachel, and two girls, Karis (2 1/2) and Esther (16 months). Rachel and I have also been blessed to have traveled in Europe and lived in Brazil for 7 months in 2001.

“Português é a lingua mais linda do mundo.”

There you have it…my introduction.

Logos icon stickers

Now that we are building Logos Bible Software for the Mac we are buying more Macs. I think that it is pretty cool how Apple encloses a white logo sticker in their package and I have seen them around, on windows and doors and other places.

Our new logo combines a cross and a search icon, which gets to the heart of what our software is about: looking deeper into God’s Word.

So we ordered up a few thousand sheets with just the icon from our logo and we are including them in boxes and pre-pub shipments until we run out. They are vinyl with a removable adhesive, so feel free to stick them wherever you want.

Introducing … Eli Evans

My name is Eli Evans, and I’ve been working at Logos for almost ten years now. (“HI, Eli!”)

It’s easy for me to remember that because my daughter Chelanne (/shel-ANN/) was only a few months old when I first began work at Logos as a “proofer.” Back in 1996, I was in music school (French horn) and my Dad was working at Logos in the dealer sales department. He told me about a new department that was just starting up that I might be interested: Electronic Text Development. It sounded exciting to me, and the closer I came to becoming a high school band instructor, the more I felt I had chosen the wrong career path. In fact, I began to believe that almost anything would be better than being a high school band instructor.

I started in the Electronic Text Development department about three weeks before Rick Brannan did (ha!), proofreading and tagging the electronic books that would eventually appear in the Libronix Digital Library System. Not long after, I was learning how to write short programs to convert files in various programs into Libronix format. Since then, I’ve needed to master Perl, RTF, SGML, DIESEL, XML, Unicode, JavaScript, and dozens of desktop publishing formats. I even had a brief flirtation with Visual Basic macros in Microsoft Word, but I don’t like to talk about that.

These days I work in the Design & Editorial department with Rick Brannan. (No matter what I do, I just can’t lose that guy.) I think that Rick is “Editorial” and I’m “Design.” Where Rick is the go-to guy for Greek resources, I mostly concentrate on the Hebrew databases and writing top secret data-entry tools for scholars and authors to create new LDLS content.

My personal website and blog are at Supakoo.com along with Rick Brannan’s, although I don’t blog about work much.

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