Archive - Misc RSS Feed

Froot Loops & Free Bibles

We try to keep Logos Bible Software as inexpensive as possible considering all the value in the bundles, but that’s not enough for some people. For them the only right price is free.Some years back, a customer called one of our international distributors to report an epiphany in which God told him this distributor would send a free copy of the software. To which the quick-thinking distributor responded, “Fine, I’ll send it as soon as God tells me your address”.

But we’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened this past weekend. Here’s how the AP reports it:

A Bible software business was vandalized with pornography and devil-worship symbols, and a man has been arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said.

Satanic and Nazi symbols, pornography and other graffiti marred the Logos Research Systems Inc. main building and shipping department, located in separate downtown buildings last weekend, executive assistant Brenna Sebens said.

Regular light bulbs were replaced with red ones in a bathroom and there were disturbing paintings, satanic symbols and crude writing on the walls, she said.

…Police said officers were dispatched following a report of a man throwing Froot Loops cereal and pieces of paper out of an apartment window in the shipping department building Saturday morning.

According to the police report (and some of the graffiti), the man arrested believed very strongly that information should be free. The Bellingham Herald reported that he “told officers he felt the company was charging him money for Bibles when he could get them for free…”

Perhaps someone should have told him Logos doesn’t run on Linux anyway. (Just a joke!)

Some photos:

I’d like to say we were completelyshocked by this vandalism, but it’s not the first time we’ve experienced graffiti directed at the company or disturbed people walking into the office. But in the big picture, these are small frustrations. I think the email Bob Pritchett sent to the office after discovering the vandalism models what, ultimately, must be our reaction to such events:

I was pretty angry at first, but I think that’s the wrong reaction.

When a drunk driver drove through our church window, my pastor confessed to being pretty upset. But he soon realized that the (chronic) drunk driver, responsible as he remains for his actions, was in worse shape than our broken entryway. After putting up plywood he spray-painted it with large letters: “We forgive you.”

I want to exercise as much wisdom and grace.

Pray for us, that we would have the mind of Christ in all things.

A Review with Meat

Rubén Gómez at Bible Software Review recently posted a review of Logos Bible Software 3 to his site and graciously permitted us to reprint the review.

Logos has been dissected many times in various magazines, journals, and websites but I must say this is one of the meatiest, most detailed reviews to date.

Even if you already own Logos, you’re bound to learn something from Rubén’sanalysis and accompanying screenshots.

Check it out!

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Updated and Expanded

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (henceforth Lexham SGNT) is an ongoing project here at Logos. When v3.0 was released, a preliminary version of the Lexham SGNT, covering Hebrews through Jude, was included in the various Scholar’s Library packages and the Original Languages Library package. (see more on packages here).
Dr. Al Lukaszewski has been steadily working through the Greek New Testament since that time. The latest beta release (v 3.0e) includes a significantly expanded version of the Lexham SGNT. If you already have access to the Lexham SGNT, the 3.0e beta will update your version. The new version includes data for Revelation, Romans and First Corinthians. Of course, it is a beta release so you should be sure to read all of the warnings and whatnot before you decide to install the beta version.
For an example of the sort of information that the Lexham SGNT provides, check out this previous blog entry which includes a video discussing “Syntactic Force Annotations”.

Yee-Haw! The Logos Chili Cook-Off 2007

This past Friday was the seventh annual Logos Chili Cook-Off. Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke manned the camera, took some pictures, and files this report. Thanks, Mark!

On Friday, June 29 twelve Logos employees entered their time-honored (or recently ‘Googled’) chili recipes in a battle royale of meat, beans and tomato sauce.

Even before the clock hit high noon, this competition was unlike any other in Logos history. You see, when National Sales Representative Ed Hale heard about the contest he knew he had to enter. There was just one small problem – he lives in Escondido, CA and the competition was taking place at Logos headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. In order for Ed enter the competition he needed to figure out a way to get his chili to the Pacific Northwest.

The story could only end one of two ways: either this would turn into a messy disaster at the post-office or Ed’s chili would win and he would enter cook-off immortality. The result? Ed won the chili cook-off, got the girl and is selling his story to 20th Century Fox for millions.

And that was just in the “Mild Chili” category. This year’s competition required contestants to declare their chili as being “mild” or “real”. The “Real Chili” gold medal went to Scott Sanders of Logos’ Electronic Text Development department. This was a great send off for Scott as it was his last day working at Logos. Scott will be taking his ‘Roasted Robot Chili’ on the road as he bikes around the northwest for the next couple weeks. All this made for an memorable event and a great time for all involved.

Check out the chili-rific pictures below!


The contestants make their final preparations before the competition begins


Unofficial winner of the “best chili name” category.


While techies around the country lined up for their iPhone our sole attention was on chili.


Let the eating begin!


Scott Sanders’ winning entry: “Roasted Robot Chili”

Bob Talks About Pre-Pubs and Community Pricing

Last week, our very own Bob Pritchett and Bill Nienhuis attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing.
Bob gave a presentation about ways Logos produces and sells books — specifically about the pre-pub program and the community pricing program. Bob blogged about it on his personal blog (along with providing a link to his conference handout).
One of the O’Reilly bloggers — Sarah Milstein — attended Bob’s talk and loved it. Read what she has to say about the ways Logos uses both the pre-pub and community pricing programs to get the books our users want at low prices that actually cover costs.
Once again, if you want books from Logos at low prices, check out the pre-pub and community pricing programs.

What people say the Bible says about…

OpenBible.info just launched a new topical Bible service that is steeped in crowdsourcing-mashup-web-2.0 goodness. Since I just blogged about the “old school”What the Bible Says About… service from Logos I thought I’d give this upstart service a mini-review.

You can try it out:OpenBible.info Topical Bible

Here’s how it works: The developerscompiled a topic list using Yahoo! Related Suggestions, then searched Yahoo! for the most relevant web pages about each topic, then pulled any Bible references from those pages. So what you end up with is a list of Bible verses that are most closely associated with a particular topic across the web.

The label next to the “find” box says, “What does the Bible say about…” But I think it’s a stretchto say this service helps you find out what the Bible says about a topic. It would be more accurate to say you’re finding out what people say the Bible says about a topic. Or maybe what people say about the Bible when speaking about a topic. And by people I mean “the people.” The OpenBible.info project is truly trusting in the wisdom of crowds.

Admittedly, any topical indexto the Bible involves editorial decisions and inferences. Orville James Nave (1841-1917), who spent 14 yearsworking on his project to”…note and classify everything found in the Scriptures”, certainly did not work in a vacuum. (The New Nave’s Topical Bible used at What the Bible Says About and available inside Logos Bible Software is a revision of Orville Nave’s classic work.) But he was methodical, thoroughand consistent in his appproach to the task.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I do think there’s value to a service like the OpenBible Topical Bible.

What I like about it:

  1. It offers current topics. If you want to find out what people say the Bible says about Harry Potter…you can.
  2. It offers a constantly-growing list of topics. If you enter a topic that’s new to the database, the topic is added and you’ll get some initial results after a few moments of waiting for the server to do its work. I entered “Iraq War”, which was brand new to the database.
  3. It offers a constantly-improving data set. The Helpful/Not Helpful buttons by each Bible verse or passage allow me to help fine tune the results, while the Suggest a Verse box lets me associate a verse to my topic.

Suggestions:

  1. Allow the user to associate a new topic with an existing topic. I found later that “War” (of course) and “The War in Iraq” are both existing topics. Before adding “Iraq War” as a new entity, the service could ask, “Did you really mean ‘The War in Iraq’?” and learn from my response. In this way, I would be training the database to understand that the two terms mean the same thing.
  2. I don’t know what method the Topical Bible service uses to identify Bible verses onweb pages, but it seems to me such an undertaking is fraught with perils. Sean Boisen has raised some good questions about this in the context of counting Scripture references in blog posts. Since the web is full of unruly data (unlike the carefully tagged bookswe work on here at Logos) the only solutions seem to be a) push people to adopt something like Bible reference microformat standards or b) develop ever-smarter verse extraction routines.

All in all this is a pretty cool service and I’m sure we’ll see more like it in the days to come.

What the Bible says about…

Did you know about the free service offered by Logos that lets Internet users find out what the Bible says about a topic? And did you know you could host this free topical lookup on your own site?

The URL is http://wbsa.logos.comand here’s what it looks like:

Enter topic, click “Search!” When you click through on a result, you’ll see a list of Bible verses linked to Bible Gateway so you can read verses in the Bible version of your choice. I searched on riches, which alsowildcard-matches ostriches.

Who knew the Bible had so much to say about ostriches? Even a quick survey of these 12 verses shows some difference of opinion among translators as to whether the animal named is an owl or an ostrich. And there’s a strong association between jackals and ostriches/owls as inhabitants of desolate places.

I hinted at the beginning of the post that you could put this lookup on your own site, and you can! Just paste this code into your site:

<iframe frameborder=0 src=”http://wbsa.logos.com/module.htm” width=540 height=138></iframe>

The resultlooks something like this:

FamilyLife Today (Logos on the Airwaves 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

Just about a year ago, Scott Lindsey sat down with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine and recorded an interview that aired over two days on the FamilyLife Today national radio show. That week,a number of us got a call from mom who was excited to hear Logos on the radio!

We, too,were thrilled that they so clearly saw the value of Logos that they would devote two half-hour shows to Bible software! It’s fun to hearDennis and Bob’sexcitement as they run searches in Logos Bible Software and discuss whatthe softwarecan mean for family Bible study…and the part it’s alreadyplaying in their own families.

Midway through the first segment, Bob Lepinetells a story about his 14-year-old son asking about the word that gets translated as rubbish when Paul says he counts everything as rubbish compared to the glory of knowing Christ. His son’s teacher had hinted that the word might mean something more than rubbish, and Bob was able to answer his question thanks to Logos. As he tells it,

So we…popped up Logos, and we pulled up that verse, and we found it, and I right-clicked on my mouse, I pulled up the Strong’s Concordance – right there was a wealth of information about that word, its usage, and we were able to study the Bible together. It was wonderful, and it was something that I’m picturing, again, 15 years ago, a father and a son having that conversation, and the dad going, “I don’t have a clue, son.”

Scott Lindseyalso shares a story about ayoung man whoattended one of Scott’s presentations and asked his mom for Bible software instead of an Xbox for Christmas! It’s enough to make any parent get a lump in the throat.

Enjoy the radio shows…and if you have a friend or family member who should hear this, be sure to send them a link! (You can use this shortened URL which won’t break if you send it in an email: http://snipurl.com/Logos_FamilyLife)

FamilyLife Today radio shows

A Library at the Tip of Your Fingers(Day 1 | 25 minutes)

Now Bible College Comes to You (Day 2 | 25 minutes)

Radio Ads (Logos on the Airwaves)

Part 2 | Part 3

Logos doesn’t do a lot of radio advertising, but sometimes we have occasion to dabble in this area. Of course, it’s always a challenge to convey a very visual product via an aural-only medium. We’ve pretty well established the fact that when people see Logos Bible Software, they “get it” and are eager to own a copy…but when they hear about it (especially when limited to a 60-second spot) the response is not so automatic.

We don’t have a big budget to go out and hire a flashy advertising firm to create ads, sowhen we do a radio ad it’s usually written in-house. Since we’ve got a couple buildings full of smart, creative people, the Logos marketing department will solicit ideas from the whole office and run with the best idea that comes in.

The two radio spots linked below recently ran on our local Christian radio station, Praise 106.5. You can download and listen to them as MP3s. I edited out the special URL given for the radio campaign (can’t spoil our sales source tracking with a massive influx of orders from the blog!)so you may notice an abrupt ending or jump.

Radio Spots

College Roommates – concept from Brenna Sebens, executive assistant

Leatherbound Bible – concept from Mark VanDyke, marketing assistant

Biblioblogs.com Interviews Rick Brannan

Biblioblogs.com is a list ofblogs on biblical topics, maintained byJim West and Brandon Wason. Besides being a great resource to discover blogs on topics that may interest you,it alsofeatures a different biblioblogger every month and posts an interview with that person.

Why do I mention it now? BecauseJune’s Featured Blogger is none other than our very own Rick Brannan, who writes for the Logos Blog, Ricoblog and PastoralEpistles.com.

Check out Rick’s interview to learn the origins of the name Ricoblog, what Space Invaders and a TRS-80 have to do with Bible software, and how Say’s Law relates to the future of blogging. Oh, and while you’re reading about Rick, stop by Ricoblog and congratulate him on his brand new baby. She’s a cutie!