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Logos for the Mac Update

(This progress update from Bob Pritchett was sent last week to the Logos for the Mac email list and posted here.)

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Good news! Logos Bible Software for the Mac continues to progress. This week we saw searches running and the first reports completed.

The full search syntax and the Passage Guide are underway, and we’re expecting to see features come online at a faster pace, now that so much of the underlying infrastructure is in place.

Below is another example of the weekly progress report.

Date: Mar. 13, 2007Weekly Status Report

Executive summary of the overall progress of the project:

1. We have received feedback on the licensing area and the specified areas are changed and will be reflected in the next build. The next Build will be Milestone A1. The date for this delivery willbe determined after the onsite meeting at Logos on Mar.14, 2007.

2. The weekly meeting will be onsite at Logos at 11 am.

3. Book Display Status:

  • Status bar work is completed
  • Starburst animation is completed
  • Citation will be completed by Mar. 14, 2007
  • Final copy/paste work will begin Mar. 15, 2007

4. Reports Status:

  • Company Info is complete*
  • About This Resource is complete*
  • Passage Guide is under development
  • Company Info is under development
  • NOTE: * – right-click menu and event bridges from the C++ code does not exist in anyreport at the moment

—-Bob Pritchett – bob@logos.comLogos Bible Software – www.logos.com1313 Commercial St. – Bellingham, WA 98225-4307(360) 527-1700 – Fax (350) 527-1707

400 Posts and Some Housekeeping

Well, this is actually the 404th post since the Logos Blog was birthed way back in July 2005. Which makes last week’s Seeing Double post #400. If you’re counting.

I got inspired today to do a little housekeeping on the blog because I was trying to isolate a bunch of tutorial-style posts for a co-worker and it was more painful than it should have been.

So in order to make this trove of usefulpast posts more easily accessible to all our blog readers, I added a new category called Tutorialand two subcategories: Using Booksand Using Tools & Reports.You’ll see links to these categories in the right-hand column of the main page at http://blog.logos.com.

Thetop-level Tutorial category contains 99 posts that are substantially how-to in nature—posts with steps you can follow and a takeaway that you can use to inform your use of Logos Bible Software.

Almost half of these tutorial posts are syntax-related. Since some readers are very into syntax and others aren’tin the least,I created the two subcategories to narrow things down still further.

Using Tools & Reportscontains tips and tutorials for using features of the digital library, excluding syntax searching. Here you’ll find tips on searching, library management, time-saving shortcuts, and in-depth reviews of specific tools and reports.

The tutorials in theUsing Bookssubcategory are focused less on library features and more on the features of individual books, such as the reverse interlinear Bibles.

If you see some posts you think shouldn’t be included in the “tutorials” categories or run across others that should be but aren’t, please drop a comment on this post.

To cap this off, here are a few gems from the distant past that I rediscovered in my travels today. If you’re new to the blog (or are memory challenged) you’ll find more good stuff like this in the category archives that will help you do better, more efficient Bible study.

  • About This Resource(September 2005) – In which you’ll hear Eli Evans say, “an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange.” In this series of posts, Eli also explains what in the world a datatype is and how to use all the juicy information in the About This Resource window.
  • Mouse Gestures (August 2005) – Bob Pritchett reveals what he calls a “hidden feature” inside the app…but one that you’ll love if ever you start using it.
  • Bible Word Study Report(May 2006) -A9-part series by Rick Brannan that does show-and-tell on every feature of the super-cool Bible Word Study report.
  • Syntax Search Example: Relative Pronouns(April 2006) – A foundational syntax tutorial post in which Rick Brannan reveals the secret wisdom thatenables usto attain a higher level of syntax searching: “The structure of the query matches the structure of the hit.”
  • Words, Words Everywhere and Every One a Link! (January 2006) – A three-part series by yours truly (Daniel Foster)that shows how every word in Logos Bible Software is a link to something. Double-click words anywhere in the system and something cool happens.

Summer Internships for Programmers

Do you know a student studying computer science or information science? A smart, hard worker who could use a paid internship this summer helping to build the next generation of Logos Bible Software?

Logos hires interns every summer (and even other times of year), and many of our full-time programmers started out as interns. This summer we are offering a particularly exciting opportunity to work with the latest software technologies (C#, .NET 3.0, WPF, WCF, XAML, etc.) and to contribute to a major development project.

Summer internships are paid, typically 12 weeks long, and are on site here in Bellingham, Washington — a great place to spend the summer. Logos covers transportation costs, helps find housing, and ensures that interns have a chance to grow their skills while contributing to real projects.

We still have a few positions open, so call your crazy-smart computer-geek kid, brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, niece, or nephew and encourage them to visit www.logos.com/jobs for more information! (And don’t forget that we still have a full-time opening for a web developer, too!)

Vote for Logos

As you may recall, we announced last month that Logos Bible Software 3 is nominated for Consumer Product of the Year by the Washington State technology industry association. In fact, this nomination means Logos is counted among the (cue soundtrack) HeroesofInnovation!

This year the association is doing a new thing: a Community’s Choice Award. In addition to the winners in each category there will be a kind of “people’s choice” winner as voted on by…the people.

That’s where you come in!

We’d really love to stand in front of 1,000 attendees at the awards ceremony—all of them creating greattechnology products that help people in various ways—and receive this award because you put us there. We think Logos is the most deserving technology and hope you agree.

(Don’t worry…this is all on the up and up. The awards committee asked us to get the word out to our constituents, asking you to vote.)

If you can take a moment to vote for Logos 3 (it doesn’t matter where you live), here’s how:

  1. You will have to create an account at the awards site.
  2. Next, vote for Logos Bible Software.

When the page refreshes you’ll see how we’re doing!

Thanks for being such great users…your passion for the product and for Bible study keeps us going!

Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth

Today’s post is an excerpt from a recent NewsWire mailing

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” —Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)

I still choke up when I read that verse, and I pray that I always will.

Isaiah 40:8speaks volumes. It conveys more depth and richness of content in fifteen short words than some authors getacross in their entire collected life’s works.This powerfuldeclaration remindsus why we are here at Logos. We believe in this verse with all our hearts, and want to do everything in our power to make sure that during our brief time on this earth,we doas much as we areable to advance the study of God’s Word.

You have probably heard the story behind the founding of Logos Bible Software before: A couple of young Microsoft programmers with their entire careers of high-pay and lucrative Microsoft stock options ahead of them, dropped everything to join a partner and risk it all on pursuing their dream.

They weren’t satisfied with using their skills to help businessmen have access to the latest and greatest in technology just so they could be more productive or do better in business…

They wanted more.

They wanted to use those same skills to help God’s people in every walk of life have better access to the treasures of God’s Word.

They wanted to use the latest and greatest in technology to create tools for taking people deeper into Bible study than they ever thought possible.

“Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth”

Before anything else, we have a passion for God’s Word. In order to help you get the most fromGod’s Word, we relentlessly push technology to the limits, and make sure we are always up on the latest and greatest.

It is that passion that keeps everyone at Logos pushing technology forward. It is that passion that keeps us experimenting with the latest software and tools out there wherever they come from. It is that passion that ensures that your Logos Bible Software will continue to get better and better.

We promise that we will continue to push technology to the limits to make studying the Bible deeper, easier and better in every way possible.

Really, we are serious about this!

The most obvious benefit of our passion to help you get the most out of your Bible study is the ever-improving Logos Bible Software engine (the Libronix Digital Library System).Our passionfor making sure we are up on the latest and greatest technology ensures that you have uninterrupted access to the best Bible studysoftware in the world even when Microsoft releases new operating systems like Windows Vista, and new browsers like Internet Explorer 7.The latest version of Logos Bible Software is ready for both: Get it now.

Honestly, there is no catch!

Keeping up to date with the core engine in Logos Bible Software doesn’t cost a thing. There is no reason not to download the latest versionand stay current. Take a moment and make sure you are using the latest and greatest in technology by updating your engine for free: http://www.logos.com/support/download/30update

Experience just how far our passion has taken us…

There is no catch to the download. You can make sure you have the latest core engine at no cost just like we mentioned above…

…but if you are looking to do more than just keep your software current with the latest operating systems,or you want to see just how far our passion has taken us to create extra tools and add-ins to bring you new ways to dig deeper, read on.

After you update your core engine you should check out the individually customized upgradesale that is about to expire on collection upgrades. Download the update first, then if you want to jump light years ahead in your Bible study and add more great tools, add-ins and resources for pennies on the dollar, you should really check out our custom collection upgrades that are still on sale for just a month or so more at: http://www.logos.com/upgrade

Digital Exegesis How-To & Review of Personal Book Builder

The latest issue of Christian Computing Magazine includes two articles pertinent to Logos Bible Software.

The first is a review of Personal Book Builder by writer, editor and cartoonistRob Suggs, who was the subject of a recent post here on the Logos Blog.

In the second article, a Logos user offers tips on how he uses Bible software in the task of exegesis—including the 12-step pattern he follows when preparing a sermon. As we hinted in a another recent blog post, Logos Bible Software will soon include a built-in tool to help structure your Bible study workflow using a variety of study methodologies.

Without further ado, here are leads for the two CCMag articles.

Special Feature – Bible Software’s Best Kept Secret, Libronix Book Builder

by Rob Suggs

It happened sometime in the late nineties. As a Christian magazine editor, I attended a training session for a Bible study software program called Logos. Morris Proctor, our teacher, demonstrated the many pleasures of the Word Made Electronic. The only problem was that, as a publishing firm, we had an office full of Apple equipment, and Logos for the Mac was still on the drawing board.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Doing Good Digital Exegesis

Higher Power with Kevin

by Kevin A. Purcell

In the book and paper world, biblical exegesis is a time consuming, but useful task. Without it, you cannot faithfully preach the Word of God. A computer and Bible Study software will help you do high-quality, biblical exegesis in far less time than it would using stacks of books and a legal pad. And your study will be more advanced as you utilize powerful original language tools, even if you don’t know Greek or Hebrew.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Want Help Cleaning Your Desk?


I hope everyone took advantage of National Clean Off Your Desk Day last month…I did not.

But the last few times I cleaned my computer desk at home (which happens precisely as often as we’re expecting overnight guests, since the computer is in the guest room) I noticed a particular kind of detritus that accumulated around and under my monitor and keyboard. I’m not talking about dust (which was also plentiful) but note scraps.

That’s right, little bits of paper with important stuff written on them. Like the username and password for the website I built for my brother-in-law last year. Or the name of a book I heard about on NPR during my drive home one day, scribbled on the corner of a napkin, and deposited near the computer “for later”. Or library card numbers (which the library website unhelpfully refuses to store on my behalf, forcing me to re-enter them every time my kids’ Sesame Street videos need to be renewed).

So when I heard about a simple note-taking application being cooked up by Bob Pritchett, members of the Logos development team, and our graphic artist…I got pretty excited about its potential to help me get (at least slightly) more organized.

NoteScraps: Simple. Elegant. Cheap.

This new application is called NoteScraps and it’s the ideal place tostore bits and scraps of information. The stuff you might write on a post-it note and stick to your monitor…or keyboard…or litter around your desk. The notes that you might not need right now but are pretty sure you’ll need later…long after you forgot where you put them.

There are other note-taking programs out there butNoteScraps is cool because of its simplicity. It sets out to do one thing only and do it well.

  • Taking notes is quick and easy: my phone rings, a quick keystroke opens a new note, and I can start typing as my caller talks.
  • Finding notes is instantaneous: another keystroke (or click in my system tray) brings me to the find box, I start typing a word, and the appbrings forwardnotes that contain the word.
  • Using the app is fun: the design is thoughtful and balanced, and there’s just enough eye candy to enhance the experience by shuffling my notes on the screen as I interact with them.

NoteScraps is designed for Windows Vista but we also offer a version for Windows XP. Be sure to check out the demo video and download your own copy—the trial version is free!

Appendix: What Does NoteScraps Have to Do With Logos Bible Software?

In the words of Bob Pritchett, “Nothing specific — but we’ve all got little notes to manage.” And as he elaborated in our beta newsgroup, “NoteScraps has also served an important role in helping us explore and master the next generation technologies. Before we try to use .NET 3 and WPF in Logos Bible Software we want to play with them in a smaller sandbox.”

Logos/SBL Paper Awards: Just 10 Weeks Left…

Way back in late September, we announced that Logos Bible Software was partnering with the Society of Biblical Literature to give away nearly $18,000 inawards for papers that use the syntax tools in Logos 3 to advance biblical scholarship.

The May 1 contest deadline is drawing near so consider this an encouragement, an exhortation, a friendly nudge to get your paper done and submitted.

Full contest details are at the SBL site.

Need some inspiration for things to write about? Try trollingthe dozens of past posts on syntax here at the Logos Blog.You may also want to spend some time with the syntax videos we’ve posted at Logos.com.

Some of the videos hosted on that page are from a CD-ROM we put together for the ETS/SBL annual meetings in November. Now that entire disccontaining 33 Syntax Demonstrations can be ordered for a nominal fee from Logos.com.

So polish up (or begin writing) your paper and send it in! We look forward to all the great new research that will be produced as part of this contest!

Logos for the Mac: Status Update

Logos for the Mac

We sent out the following letter this week to all the people subscribed to the Logos for the Mac email list.

Dear Mac User,

I wish I had more news! It certainly seems like I have more Mac enthusiasts clamoring for it every day. (Those commercials must be working!)

While progress is being made on Logos for the Mac every week, the reports on progress make for pretty dull reading. (There’s an example below.) I can say that we’ve received another internal drop, and some very important features like licensing, license synchronization with the server (to let you move backup licenses or restore them from a Windows installation), and “data type highlighting” are up and running.

The features we all want to see and play with, though, are still under development: searching, reports, etc.

And there is no good answer to the question I’m asked almost daily: When?

The best we can say is: When it’s done.

In the past few months almost all of the progress has been inside the application; the only new screenshots we could provide would be of some pretty dull dialogs for license management. Once the work on searching, reports, etc. “breaks through” to the UI surface we should be able to provide more interesting (and encouraging) updates.

Thanks again for your patience.

Bob PritchettPresident & CEO, Logos Bible Software

bob@logos.com

Continue Reading…

The Serendipity Curve

Note: Creating Passionate Users is a secular blog, unrelated to Logos, and as such may use terms or images we wouldn’t choose.

Creating Passionate Users is a seriously smart and interesting blog on user-oriented product design. A recent post on the site entitled “Add a little more random to your product” encourages product designers to consider ways to boost the serendipity quotient of productsby adding randomness. Give users more opportunities to be surprised and they will enjoy the product more.

The article uses the example of the iPod Shuffle, which forces users out of a listening rut and exposes them to more of the songs they own.

Think about all the music on your (non-Shuffle) iPod, computer, or vintage CD rack. Now think about the subset you actually listen to regularly. For most of us, it’s a pathetically small set. By literally forcing people to listen to randomly-chosen songs, the Shuffle was constantly delighting, surprising, rewarding, stretching users. And users loved it.

Here at the Logos Blog, we’ve shared some of our thinking on this very topic, encapsulated as “Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery.”

F-S-D serves as a description and guiding principle for the way we design Logos Bible Software to invigorate, refresh, suprise and inspire users in theirBible study.

F-S-Dalso speaks to the approach we take to ensure that users receive more value from their electronic library…even as the number of books in that library grows into the thousands. That is, we design features and automated reports that help people find information they didn’t even know they were looking for…often in books they didn’t even know they owned.

Now I’m eager to hear feedback from you, the Logos user…

  • Do you have a story to share about your own serendipitous discovery?
  • What’s your favorite serendipity-producing feature in Logos?
  • Have you used or seen someone using Logos in an unusual way?
  • Where does Logos fall on the Serendipity Curve?
  • How could we boost the serendipity and randomness of Logos in ways that would make you happier?