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Social Experiment at Amazon

It looks like Amazon.com is doing an experiment in social tagging. UnSpun beta allows users to create lists of anything they want, associate links with each item, then open up the list to the community of Internet users to rank and comment.

One of the most popular lists at UnSpun right nowis titled Best Blogs about Biblical Studies. It lists 65 blogs that deal with biblical studies issues. It’s worth visiting as you will probably find some new blogs or sites to check out.

The way their ranking system works is that visitors can “vote” for items on the list by clicking the up or down arrows as shown below (see the “click” pointer).

If you click the Your Ranking link and sign in, you can create your own ranking of some or all of the items in the original list.

Just click the left-pointing arrow to move items to your list (as shown below). This impacts their spot in the Community Ranking even more than the simple up or down vote.

Check it out and show your support for the LogosBlog if you are so inclined.

Other UnSpun lists that may be of interest:

Muppets in Middle-Earth (Frivolity at Logos)


Last Friday, Ken Smith, general manager of electronic publishing services at Logos and author of a number of blog posts, conceived of an idea for a new Muppets movie: The Muppets inMiddle-Earth. That’s right, a muppet cast for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!

During the lunch hour, Ken sent an office wide email that began:

“I got to thinking about which Muppet characters I would cast into which LOTR roles and decided it would be a fun little diversion to share with anyone who wanted to give their opinion.”

When somebody throws down the gauntlet like that, what can you do but rise to the challenge?

A number of people did so, resultingin the following consensus cast list for The Muppets in Middle-Earth (with comments from Ken Smith). Feel free to leave your own nominations, cheers or jeers in the comments section!

Frodo: Kermit Sam: Fozzie Bear Gandalf: Big Bird Aragorn: Kermit (There was no clear second choice) Legolas: Gonzo Gimli: Tie between Rizzo the Rat and Cookie Monster Merry/Pippin: Ernie/Bert Gollum: Tie between Oscar the Grouch and Animal Galadriel: Janice Arwen: Miss Piggy Elrond: Tie between Dr. Teeth and Sam the Eagle (Sam definitely has Elrond’s permanent scowl) Saruman: Tie between Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Count von Count Eowyn: Miss Piggy (dual-role? I think she could handle it.) Wormtongue: Rizzo the Rat Orcs: Animal, Sweetums Black Riders: Count von Count, Statler & Waldorf

No consensus (see below):Bilbo, Boromir, Faramir, Theoden, Eomer

Not on the original list: Treebeard: Big Bird Cave Troll: Sweetums

Here are other nominations, with comments from those who submitted them:

Frodo: Grover, Fozzie Bear

Sam: Scooter, Elmo, Grover

Gandalf: Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Swedish ChefRowlf (with a dorky hat)John Denver (if he were still alive–maybe some CGI magic?)

Aragorn: Floyd, Big Bird, RowlfGrover (with possible appearance by Super Grover)Here I would cast a live-action actor, say, Christopher Walken

Legolas: Janice, Grover, Elmo, Floyd

Gimli: Sweetums (muh-nah-muh-nah), Fozzie Bear, Gonzo

Merry/Pippen: Gonzo/Rizzo the Rat, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew/Beaker

Gollum: Beaker

Galadriel: Miss Piggy, Camilla the Chicken

Arwen: Sam the Eagle in a wig

Elrond: Elmo, Grover, Big Bird

Bilbo: Swedish Chef, Gonzo, Cookie Monster, Telly, FloydStatler… or Waldorf (they could switch off, like Mary Kate and Ashley did)

Boromir: Statler, Cookie Monster, Zoot, Scooter, Bert

Faramir: Waldorf, Rowlf, Grover, Ernie

Saruman: Statler

Theoden: Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rowlf

Eomer: Rowlf, Elmo, Robin the frog, Gobo (Fraggle Rock)

Eowyn: Janice, Camilla the Chicken, Mokey (Fraggle Rock)

Wormtongue: Beaker, Waldorf, Oscar the Grouch, Marvin Suggs

Orcs: Oscar the Grouch, Clifford, Bobo, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the PrawnOne Million Swedish Chefs (Just picture it…)

Black Riders: Sam the Eagle, Zoot, The Fragglesthe purple siamese twin monsters from Sesame StreetGonzo (fell beasts, chickens, same difference)

Other fun comments:

Aside from the hobbits listed above, all the other hobbits would have to be those aliens from Sesame Street that just walked around saying “yip-yip-yip-yip yuuuuuup“.

I know that having the Swedish Chef as Gandalf is bizarre, but just think how funny it would be to hear him shouting out lines like “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!“

At the end, we find out that that … Sauron … is … really …

… ELMO!

Logos 3 Wins Industry Achievement Award

Logos Bible Software 3was honored with the Community’s Choice Award at the WSA technology industry event Wednesday night in Seattle.

Farecast.com won Consumer Product of the Year (we were a finalist in that category), and they definitely deserve it, so congrats to them!

It was great to see Logos recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 of the industry’s finest, including people from Microsoft, Google (though I didn’t see any), the Puget Sound Business Journal, Farecast, WhitePages.com and many other Washington State businesses.

When accepting the award, Bob said that when he and Kiernon left Microsoft to start Logos, they traded down in terms of the size of the user base but traded up in terms of the passion and loyalty of users. I heartily agree.

According to the event brochure, the Community Choice Award is “perhaps the most coveted of the WSA Industry Achievement Awards.” We certainly owe it to our community of users, who are the best in the world (and no doubt coveted by some of the other companies at the event).

Thanks for your passion for Bible study and Logos Bible Software!

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.)

Help us promote Logos for the Mac with a banner on your site!

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.”